Monday, December 26, 2011

Mary's POV........

Yesterday morning I fell into my routine. Take Jack out, make the bed, get some hot tea brewin', and begin the day with some reading, praying, and thinking. As I sat to read I found myself with the realization that it was Christmas day. I knew that I didn't want to do the same ol' same ol' in my reading. I thought I'd veer from my regularly scheduled Bible chapter and go to the traditional "]Christmas story in the Bible. On Christmas Eve I read Luke 2, the account of Jesus birth. But on Christmas day the subtitle above a section in Luke 1 was the "Birth of Jesus Foretold". It struck me that Christmas was just as much about Mary's willingness to serve her God as it was about the amazing act of the birth of Christ. With out her willing heart and spirit what would this day had gone down in history as ? So, I read this section along with Luke 2 and the account of Christs Birth. There are four verses that stand out to me, Luke 1:30 "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.", Luke 1:37-38 "For nothing will be impossible with God, And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." , and Luke 2:19 "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them  in her heart."

My mind cant help but be amazed at how calm Mary was depicted as being. I mean, based on what I was taught in Bible class I am told that Mary was only 15ish. Can you imagine being 15 and pregnant ? She was newly engaged and here she is approached by an Angel with a message far greater than perhaps any other message she will ever receive. I think on the excitement, worry, and dreams that come with just her engagement alone. The desire to be a good wife for a good man. To honor her parents with the plans they had made for her. And here she is told she will give birth to a King. Does she panic, stomp out of the room cause the plan is not as she anticipated, toss her hands in the air feeling betrayed by God or her parents, worry about her man, her wedding, her future ? No. She replies so simply and beautifully "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord......". OH TO HAVE SUCH CALM!!!!!! I confess I envy this part of Mary's nature. Yesterday I lingered on the thought of Mary. While being so thankful for a God that cares for my sometimes "dark and twisty" self so much that He would send His Son to die for my sins. I also linger on the work that God had to be doing in Mary. I long to be such a faithful servant. I don't know that I'll ever come near approaching any sort of close similarity to this part of Mary's character as a person, but I believe it is a worthy goal to add to my new years resolutions. Just thinking on the fact that one persons's following of the Lord will indeed have an effect on another person's ability to the follow the Lord. It causes me to pray much harder on the choices that will come to me in the future. I hope to be able to say, "I am a servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to Your word."

Merry Christmas Loves!!!!!
I pray your holiday was everything you dreamed it to be and more!!!

Much Love from Stacie and Santa Paws!!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thirst and Quenching

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend time with friends in one of my favorite places ever. Per usual I crammed my visit with brunches, lunches, dinners, coffee meetings, walks and anything else I could get fit in a day or night in order to at least attempt to spend time with as many people as possible. Even with only seven hours of sleep in three nights total I still didn't get to see everyone that I wanted too. I set off for my visit thinking it would simply be a time of celebrating all things festive and Christmas-y.

One of My Favorite Cities - Chattanooga

Rock City Christmas Lights


Thinking only of myself and the refreshing I might get from being with close friends. I've been so thirsty for true fellowship I could think of nothing else in planning my visit. I had no idea that God had an appointment for me. In these few days I was reminded that my heart was made for ministry. The ministry of His people. My mind and mouth have been made to flow His words to His workers in love and encouragement. My ears have been made to hear the burden of His people and the victories that have only come from His fighting on our behalf. My life was made for better or worse to represent and speak of what He has done. How He has made me and how I have to fight daily and at times hourly against my sin nature. In being honest about these flaws in me I was able to shine light on some wounds in others that needed a "band aid". In sharing where I have been, I was able to help others from falling into the same "pot holes" I have had to crawl out of. In fighting my selfish pride I was able to hopefully begin the mending of a dear friendship. Now, there is a lot of I in this writing. By no means was it really me. It was God. I came back home poured out and exhausted, but amazingly energized at the thought that He indeed has plans for me. He WANTS to use me. I have been so focused on my thirst I haven't thought He may be just waiting to quench it. It is not a privilege to Him for me to be used it is a privilege for me to be chosen for use.  I cried more in these few days then I have in the last months. I felt His hand on me closer than I had since the summer. I'm reminded that when it seems He is far away, He isn't. When it seems He isn't listening, He is. When it seems He is done with us, it couldn't be further from the truth. Our cups weren't made to overflow. We are meant for receiving and pouring out all that is His goodness and truth. Isn't it funny ? We go into something intending to bless someone or be an encouragement and we walk away feeling we have been blessed and encouraged. I beg of Him that in whatever path He leads me down that I would always be clearly His daughter. As I look back on my oh so fun weekend I am thankful for so much. To name a few....... friends that love and even like me in spite of myself, always having a place to stay if I need to get away, people who make me laugh and smile till it hurts, people who remind me I am of worth to someone, people who let me share what God has and is doing, sleepless nights that come from fun days....and too much cotton candy, water proof mascara :-) , and His ever surprising extravagance of love poured out on me. What a wonderful way to go into the weekend of celebrating His birth.

These are a few sentences He has used to speak to me as of late.
Hope they encourage and speak to you as well.

"I will never leave you alone in the midst of any affliction. You cannot escape the crisis experiences if you desire to grow and mature." "And this is the will of God, that ye be about the Father's business." "I have a ministry for you. You have not found it yet because you have been earnestly and in sincerity and with humble heart trying to conform to the patterns of others."  - All excerpts from Come Away My Beloved Daily Devotional by Frances J. Roberts

"Nothing can give you quite the same thrill as the feeling that you are in harmony with the great God of the universe who created all things. " Dr. James Dobson

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm not dead.....

....just quieter than usual. It's been several months since I last blogged. I realize to the majority of my blogging friends that's basically a sin. But rest assured I am not dead, I'm just being a bit quiet. I know, just doesn't sound right does it ?! I am still in the midst of researching, praying, thinking, etc. about what might be "next" for me. I am still in my home town living and for the most part loving life. I am fighting to use my time wisely. Yes, fighting. There has been a battle with in myself of how to best spend each day. My most recent of prayers I pray before my feet ever hit the floor, "Lord, let today be a day that brings glory to You and brings me closer to Your will for my life." Not every day is a earth shattering revelation or a day that was totally productive start to finish. But I absolutely believe that even in the silence He is working. Words that He has brought to me as of late are be still, wait patiently, the quiet, know, rest, peace, faith and many others. A verse I've just today begun clinging too is Psalm 69:13 "But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of Your steadfast love answer me in Your saving faithfulness." Words and phrases like, "at an acceptable time", "abundance of your steadfast love", "answer me", they assure me that indeed He has a timing for ALL things in my tiny little world. That I can ask anything of Him and He will hear me. He loves me and wants to know what burdens me, excites me, brings me peace, and so on. So, tomorrow I will start another day hopefully with more faith than I had today and a step closer to what He has for me. I hope to spend even the moments of defeat, struggle, and nashing of teeth getting closer to Him.

A few things I've been up to.......
 Throwing down in the kitchen.....                                                 

Chocolate Eclair Cupcakes

Egg White & Veggie Frittata

White Chocolate Marshmallow Pumpkin Truffles
 Getting in touch with my inner Crafting Queen......                                       
Fall Wreath

Button Frame

Christmas Ornaments for Some of Those I love

of course coffee time with Jack Davis
and celebrating what God's done in friends lives.



Spendin' Time With.....               

With my crazy funny family....