Tired of That Life

If you woke up today, it’s the perfect day for a new beginning.

Last week my teenage son had the flu. He spent two days on the couch. He just didn’t feel like doing much of anything, but sleeping. He even stayed in his pajamas both days. On the third day, he was feeling much better. He even put on real clothes. He was still on the couch for most of the day, but he was awake and vertical with no fever.

On the fourth day, he felt much better, but we were still out of school because of a snow day. After breakfast I asked him if he was going to settle in again on the couch. That’s where I had moved his computer and his drawing stuff earlier in the week. He looked at me and smiled and said, “No, I’m tired of that life.”

We laughed and I helped him move his stuff back upstairs to his work space. It’s a room where he picked the color. It’s a room where all of the things that inspire him are close by. It’s the space where he likes to work, create and play.

I chuckled about his comment several times during that day. I really couldn’t get it off of my mind. He had only been confined to the couch for a few days, but he wanted something different and took steps to make it happen.

I knew there was a life lesson somewhere in those words.

We are headed towards the end of January. How many of us were going to make some changes this year? Maybe it was losing weight or starting to exercise. Maybe it was eating better. Maybe it was looking for a new job. Maybe it was working on relationships or starting a new hobby. Maybe it was going to church or reading the Bible. It may have even been something like stopping drinking or getting help of some sort.

Whatever it may have been, how many of us at some time in our lives have reached the, “I’m tired of that life;” point? How often do we actually do something about it?

Thankfully, God doesn’t care what day it is on the calendar. He doesn’t care how long we have procrastinated or how many times we have failed. There’s not a day or date, that we can’t start over with Him. The Bile says: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Those words are beautiful reminders that if we woke up this morning, it’s not too late, for a fresh start, for a new beginning, or for that first unsteady step. Sometimes I need reminding. Perhaps you do too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Biblical Wisdom, Building Christian Character | 1 Comment

Inspirations from a Partial Thaw

We can choose to allow God to thaw and heal all of our hearts or only portions.

Our little town was blessed with two snow days last week. The first was exciting for most people. The snow came down throughout the early morning and when it stopped, it was play time. But, it wasn’t one of those stick around for days, snows for many of us.

In most spots, the sun melted the majority of it away by late afternoon. However, we are a rural town and we have lots of shady spots that are off of the beaten path. Those spots and roads, kept the snow wet and frozen and so when the temperatures dropped back into the low twenties, those spots froze solid making driving conditions very dangerous.

Those conditions bought us a second snow day even if there wasn’t much snow left.

Personally, I couldn’t have been happier about the extra day as I was buzzing around my house cleaning and straightening and doing little chores that I never seem to have the time to do these days, when the roof over the landing to my front door, caught my eye.

One side was completely melted, not a drop of snow or ice, remained, yet the other side was still mostly covered in snow. It was clear that the sun was shining directly on one side, but its warm, thawing rays were not reaching the other.

I had a hard time looking away because the two halves were so very different.

Now, over the past few years, God has taught me a lot from roofs, from helping to remove them and replace them on mission trips, to a tree falling on my roof in all the safest places during a hurricane, so I wanted to pay close attention to what He was trying to tell me.

The answer that kept coming was, that roof is like our hearts. We have different areas and parts of them. When we decide to surrender our hearts to Jesus, there’s always lots of heart work to do. Humans are flawed and broken and we inevitably hurt each other often, whether intentionally or not.

We sometimes carry those heart injuries long after they were incurred. We sometimes carry them for a lifetime. Most of us will allow healing for some of the injuries like the side of the roof where the sun was shining. But, often we will continue to cling to the deepest hurt, anger, shame or resentment, not allowing Jesus to shine His light on those parts. So, they stay frozen and prevent us from living, loving and trusting fully.

Yet, Jesus calls us to more. He calls us to trust Him, to hand over all of our hearts and let Him shine His light and love on all of the parts. He wants to heal us completely, so we can be totally free, not just mostly free.

A partially snow covered roof reminded me that when walking with Jesus, mostly is not enough. He wants to heal all of our hearts and for us to let go of the past so we can embrace the future with Him. Perhaps you needed reminding
too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Trusting God, Watching for God | Leave a comment

Snow Inspiration

Fresh snow, like grace, is brilliantly white and covers everything in its path.

On Tuesday night, we got the much hoped for phone call; there would be no school on Wednesday due to inclement weather. There was the possibility of snow coming our way, which is a big deal in Georgia. We don’t get much of the stuff and it creates a ton of excitement for us.

We also went to bed with cautious optimism. Nature often proves to be fickle where she will or won’t deposit her cold powdery gift. There have been times when it seemed that every county around us got snow and we didn’t get so much as a flake. There have been times when the forecasters promised us it was coming and they were proven wrong.

Many of us in the Peach State have adopted a believing when we see it attitude when it comes to snow.

But, Wednesday morning, we awoke to a pretty little blanket of snow on the ground and it continued to fall for a little while.

I marveled at how beautiful a thin layer of frozen water can make a landscape, but I knew it wouldn’t last for long. I bundled up and grabbed my camera and went to explore.

There had been others out ahead of me because there were already footprints and some tire tracks on the roads, but the areas that were untouched really drew my attention. I didn’t stay out long because it was bitterly cold and I just don’t do cold.

Later, when I sat down at my computer, I noticed that the light coming from the sun shining on the snow was almost blinding. My entire work area was bathed in the light.

I knew there was a Bible verse that had the phrase, “white as snow.” I Googled it. I was not disappointed.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Sure, I had read it before, but gazing out across my yard at the glowing blanket of white, gave the verse a whole new meaning. We humans can be capable of doing some pretty bad things here on planet earth, sometimes on purpose and sometimes inadvertently.

Sometimes we become the people that we want to be, but we carry past sins around on our conscience. Sometimes there’s an enemy voice that makes us question if we are really forgiven for this or that.

But, God’s Word has an answer for those doubts. “Let us settle the matter.” Yes, we are forgiven if we only ask and let me reassure you if you haven’t seen snow in a while; it is brilliantly white and it covers everything in sight.

A Georgia snow reminded me of the beauty and the reality of forgiveness. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Trusting God | 2 Comments

Giving Thanks in All Circumstances

When we focus on God instead of our situation, His presence radiates like the sun.

Monday was a much awaited day off for me. Yes, we had just had a couple of weeks off for Christmas, but the College Football National Championship had been the week before and it had me and my family and for that matter, everyone I knew, up well past midnight, and the old gray mare, well…..

Anyway, I was super excited about the long weekend. I did have to do fasting blood work that morning, but I was okay with that. I could just sleep until it was time to go, piece of cake.

After that one little chore, I went home and grabbed a cup of coffee and some breakfast. I was reading my devotional and giving thanks when my teenage son came downstairs and collapsed in a chair. He said he didn’t feel well. I took one look at him and I knew it was the flu.

His high fever and a visit to the urgent care clinic confirmed my diagnosis. I had to go to two pharmacies to get the prescriptions filled. I also had to make a Publix run for extra juice, soup and crackers.

There was a time in my life where the entire ordeal would have really bummed me out. My carefree, no plans day was no longer mine.

But, I have come to a point in my life and in my faith, where I really try to give thanks for all that I do have when adversity crosses my path. It’s amazing when I give thanks, how the many blessings, once hidden in my subconscious, show themselves.

I was blessed to have the day off to take him to the doctor. We were blessed to have great medical care close by. We were blessed to have no wait time and a very kind doctor we had never met before. We were blessed to have transportation to get us there. We were blessed that the second pharmacy had what the first one did not. We were blessed with insurance to cover the medications. As I continued to give thanks, I remembered that my hubby had already taken two additional days off because he had maxed out his time. He would be home to care for our son. Since it was a holiday, my son would miss less school.

As I prayed, I was increasingly sure that none of this was a coincidence. God’s timing is always perfect.

Now, no one in their right mind considers the flu a blessing. Jesus never promised a trouble free existence on this side of eternity. We live in a broken world. Pain and sickness are sometimes going to be present in our lives here on planet earth.

Yet, when we walk in faith and open our eyes, we can always see God’s presence with us. He’s always close to His children, helping us along. When we focus on ourselves or our misfortune, we often miss it. When we focus on Him, it shines as brightly as the sun.

A sick child reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too!

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Choosing to See the Bright Side, Watching for God | 1 Comment

Ramsey Wisdom

Like Ramsey, we have all been strays at some point.

My neighbor, who I’ll call Jack, recently took in a stray cat. He’s a cute little orange and white cat. I had seen him hanging out around the cul-de-sac, but he was wild. He always ran away when I tried to approach him, but Jack has a way with strays and he took him in and got him shots. He named him Ramsey.

I marvel as I look out the window and watch that previously wild cat, follow Jack faithfully to the mailbox. How is it that he can build that kind of trust?

Well, Jack and his wife, went away for the holidays and they boarded Ramsey. When they returned, they found that he had become very sick. He had fluid in his lungs and he could barely breathe. They took him to the animal hospital at UGA and learned that he had a heart defect. They kept him for a while, but they treated him and told them to keep him indoors for a week.

While I was watching the Rose Bowl, I got a frantic call from Jack; Ramsey had slipped out while the trash was being taken out and he was missing. Now, Ramsey has been known to hang out in my garage and Jack was hoping I would check and see if he was there.

I rushed out the door. It was nineteen degrees that night, unseasonably cold for us. There was no way a sick cat could make it in that cold. I didn’t see him at first, but then I got down on my hands and knees and looked under my daughter’s car. There he was, hiding.

I still had Jack on the phone. I told him that I could see him. I didn’t dare approach him because he doesn’t trust me. Jack and his wife came over immediately. He crouched down and called Ramsey and he came out from under the car. Jack scooped him up, but he didn’t hold him for too long before Ramsey was squirming to get down. They apologized for the inconvenience and took him home.

I thought about Ramsey and Jack in the days to follow. His pursuit of Ramsey reminded me of how God pursues us. He finds us as wild strays and fixes our hearts. He seeks only to love us and we like Ramsey, often squirm to get away, back out into that dangerous world that to our minds, seems free and exciting.

Sometimes like Ramsey, we do get away and like Jack, God pursues us, even when it’s unbearably cold, even when the big game is on, He calls us. If we are smart, we answer and return to the safety of His arms, just like Ramsey returned to Jack’s.

An escaped cat on a cold night, reminded me of God’s love for us. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Trusting God, Watching for God | 2 Comments

Beacons of Light

All Christ followers have access to the light.

As I sit here typing my last post of the year, I remember that it’s December 21st, the longest night of the year. We have more hours of darkness on this day that any other day of the year. Starting tomorrow, the time of light gets a little longer everyday and the time of darkness gets less.

I think that today is a perfect day to reflect upon this past year. There are many that would argue that 2017 has been absolutely horrible. We have been barraged by hurricanes and ravaged by wildfires. We have suffered mass shootings. Our political landscape has been nothing but anger and hate spewing from both sides, and it seems that every time we turn on the news, there’s another sexual harassment scandal.

Yet, in all of that darkness, there’s been light as well.

Every disaster that hit us also bred stories of mercy and kindness. Strangers used boats, cars and everything at their disposal, to help those in need. They stood in lines; wrote checks and gave their own blood for their fellow Americans.

The sex scandals have at long last, resulted in justice for many people who have been victims for a long time.

Perhaps it’s by design that the longest period of darkness occurs right before the light bursts forth. Perhaps it’s important to truly acknowledge the darkness in order to fully appreciate the light.

There will always be a certain amount of darkness on this side of eternity. God’s people have an enemy who will see to it. Yet, we are called to remember that just the tiniest flicker of light can dispel the darkness and all Christ followers have access to that light. We also have the means to spread it.

Just yesterday, when I was out doing some last minute Christmas shopping, it was pouring down rain. An older woman stepped out of the store and dropped something out of her bag. No sooner than I had commented to my daughter about her misfortune, another woman came up and helped her get her things back in her bag.

Yes, there are beacons of light everywhere.

The longest night and a rain storm reminded me that wherever we find darkness, we have an opportunity to shine the light and make no mistake, the light wins. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day! Have a Merry Christmas! Have a Happy New Year! See you in 2018!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Choosing to See the Bright Side, Christmas | Leave a comment

Power Outage Inspiration

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/stranded-traveling-football-player-gets-help-from-total-strangers

Last Sunday, the Atlanta airport lost power for eleven hours. It happens to be the busiest airport in the world. You can imagine how crowded it was. You can also probably imagine thousands of angry and frustrated, stranded passengers. Keep it mind they couldn’t even buy so much as a bottle of water because all of the cash registers at the shops were down too.

This story reads like a recipe for disaster. I mean this is a apocalypse, movie type of scenario, but as I was reading about it, not one, but two stories jumped out at me that I just had to share.

The first one was that at about 10:00 pm, that evening, the mayor of Atlanta reached out to the management of Chic-Fil-A and asked for assistance. This company is well known for being closed on Sundays so that its employees can worship with their families. Their management is also known for being strong in their Christian faith and values.

I wonder why the mayor reached out to them.

They sprang into action asking employees who worked or lived near the airport to help. They ended up handing out over 5,000 sandwiches to hungry passengers. Corporate America rarely does much worth bragging about when it comes to helping others, but Chi-Fil-A continues to impress me because not only do they talk the talk; but they walk the walk.

My heart was already warmed as I read the next story. It had tears rolling down my cheeks.

There was a freshman football player, Luis Lebron, for Colorado State University, who was one of the stranded. After he waited for close to seven hours, he began walking, looking for a place to stay and something to eat. He had been to seven hotels that were completely booked. Does that remind you of any other people who were weary travelers and could find no room at the inn?

Luis just happened to come upon a live local newscast and he told his story. Within minutes, people began to show up to help him. He was offered food and a place to stay. He was so very thankful to the people of Atlanta. The newscaster said in all of his years doing the news, he had never seen anything like it.

As we journey through Advent, awaiting Christmas and what it means to us, may we seek out Immanuel, which literally means, “God with us;” and may we remember that He is always with us. May we be inspired to share the light when all seems dark.

A power outage inspired me. Perhaps you needed a little inspiration too.

Have an awesome day!
Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Christmas, Watching for God | Leave a comment

A Gift from the Heart

I will never forget the two little girls who presented me with this ornament.

Last Friday was our last day of school for the year. I work in a school office where we have lots of generous parents, and my coworkers and I got little gifts all day long. We got lots of homemade goodies. We got gift cards. We got Christmas cards and handwritten notes. All of the kind wishes and tokens of appreciation were all very heartwarming.

But, I suspect the gift I will always remember the most, was a little handmade paper ornament from two sisters. They have had a rough year. They lost their dad and they come into the office on the way to the clinic, frequently. They usually seem to be looking for just a little extra attention, which our nurse is more than happy to give.

My Friday morning began as it often does, with an early morning visit from them. But, when I saw their little stack of ornaments, I had to fight the tears. Each one was decorated specifically for the recipient and had a hole punched in it with a carefully tied gold chord through it.

They had quite a stack and I’m sure it must have taken them a while to get them all made. When they proudly presented mine to me, I felt like I had received a true treasure.

I immediately thought of the Christmas song, “The Little Drummer Boy.” The child had no expensive gift to bring to the Baby Jesus, so he brought what he had, his ability to play his drum.

A grown up Jesus told His disciples when He witnessed a widow giving only two small copper coins, that her gift was greater than anyone else’s there, because she gave all she had.

In God’s economy, it’s never been about the size of the gifts we bring. It’s about the place they come from. It’s about the hearts who are giving them.

May we take this time in Advent as we await the coming of Christ, to purify our hearts and give to Jesus from that place. In the “Little Drummer Boy,” Jesus smiles at the little boy, showing approval of his gift. When we give what we have, no matter how big or small, with a pure heart, I know that He smiles on us too and blesses us as well.

I saw Jesus in the faces of two little girls and a homemade paper ornament. They reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Christmas | 2 Comments

Unexpected Gifts

The best gifts rarely come wrapped or from underneath a tree.

Last Sunday morning, when my hubby and I were running out the door to go to church, my car wouldn’t start. We assumed it was the battery and took his car instead. After church, he went and got a new battery. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the battery. It was the starter.

The minor, easy to fix car repair, had quickly turned into a tow truck call and a much pricier fix, right at Christmas time.

But, this Advent, I have been determined to see all of the many gifts that I so often miss. My sixteen-year-old son volunteered to drive me to work. My daughter, who is home from college for the Christmas break, volunteered to pick me up. Just like that; I had transportation.

I can’t really fully express how much I enjoyed being driven by my children. I’ve come to a point in my life where I realize that time and people are the most precious gifts we are given on this side of eternity. I enjoyed our conversations. I enjoyed their choices in music. I enjoyed seeing my children happily helping out in adult roles.

When I discovered that the starter was covered under a warranty, it also meant it took another day to get it repaired. I saw it is a gift all of the way around.

And when my daughter dropped me out at the mechanic’s to retrieve my car and I told her that I didn’t know what I would do without my kids chauffeuring me around, she said, “How many times did you chauffeur us around?” I immediately felt the sting of tears in my eyes.

I gave thanks on my drive home for my what initially seemed like misfortune. God, in His timing and wisdom, gave me not only the unexpected gift of extra time with my children, but also the gift of allowing them to serve me. Now, I’m not one who likes to be served. I like to be the one who does the serving.

But, when we allow others to serve us, we allow them to be a blessing. I wouldn’t trade the time with them for anything, but if I hadn’t been looking for it, I would have missed it.

I could have easily been angry, discouraged or frustrated about my car. I could have chosen to feel inconvenienced. Instead, I chose to look for the blessings in my situation. I was not dissappointed.

But, then again, when I’m truly seeking God in what I do, I never am. Car trouble reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Choosing to See the Bright Side, Trusting God, Watching for God | Leave a comment

No Post

I had no internet last night and I simply am not capable of writing an entire post on my phone.😀 I hope to be back up and running on Friday.

Have an awesome day!
Wendy

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