Wednesday, September 25, 2013

~They Think I Can~

As I pursue and pray about what is next for me I get a lot of suggestions from others about what I should do next . I appreciate suggestions , but to be honest at times it gets frustrating . Mainly because of suggestions that to me, make no sense . Those suggestions usually come from those closest to me surprisingly . Last week as some one was rattling off some ideas  I got so irritated I just changed the subject . Jack Davis is forever a handy fella to have around for such occasions . Later the same week I was telling my mom about some crazy to me idea's that my g'parents had . She laughed and offered a few suggestions of her own . None as crazy as another's suggestion of "tax preparer" . Why is that crazy you may ask ?! Let's just say math is not my strong suit and leave it at that .......
....unless it involves coupons, then I'm freakin' rain man !

I started thinking about all the varied suggestions I had been getting and some how worked myself into a tizzy . Tax Consultant , piano teacher , car part assembly.....DANCING WITH THE STARS!!!! I started to roll around phrases in my head such as "don't they know me at all?", "are they crazy?", "are they serious?", and "I'm running away from home. This is clearly not my family" . If I didn't look so much like my relatives it would be easier to claim I was adopted or something , but the proof is in the photo's.
Uncle Rick & Mom


Me & Dad
I mean.......I can not deny I look a bit like my owners. BTW- Owners is often my choice of word for parents. I.E. a child is doing something it shouldn't, "where is this child's owners ?". In the pic with my dad we are even smiling the same!! So, as I calmed myself down from my self appointed fit I started to gain a new perspective . I started asking myself the same questions once again, but came up with a better answer . It is so easy to get focused only on our selves when we are in the midst of a journey . We rarely look to the left or right to see who is traveling along with us . We also fail to look in front of or behind to see who has already walked before us and who is helping push us along . Now I'd like to preface this "ah-ha moment" with , it doesn't mean I don't still get irritated sometimes, but it does help me keep things in better perspective . I asked myself again , "why are they suggesting such crazy ideas as if they are possible?", it's because they believe they are . To my grandparents I am their only grandchild (I'm sure that explains a lot about who I am to some of you) and in their eyes , "if given the opportunity you could be on that Dancing with the Stars too". They genuinely believe I am capable of anything .

In the eyes of my loved ones and those closest to me I could do anything I wanted . In their minds I am capable of great things . So, why is it so difficult for me to believe that too ?! I think now that I have had this epic realization I am now more able to believe as well that I am capable of great things . I mean.....don't expect to see me shakin' it on Dancing with the Stars anytime soon, but know that I am pursuing God harder than I ever have before . For possibly the 101th time, I whole heartedly think "the no's are as important as the yes' ". With each disappointment, rejection, or simply unrealistic opportunity that I have to turn down I am getting closer and closer to Gods' plan for me . I am closer today than I was yesterday . I'll be closer tomorrow than I am today .

Thursday, September 19, 2013

~ Start With Me ~

 Sometimes we can start our days with the best of intentions . A to-do list of working out , cleaning house, paying bills, doing the dishes and varied other things . Most days I have on my to-do list a random act of kindness . It isn't always written down and it isn't always random, but it is in my mind to keep my eyes and heart open for opportunities to show kindness and love to people . I remember being a very young child and seeing people explode on a cashier, waitress or random person and it would hurt my heart . Even at a young age God allowed me the understanding that we are all hurting people . I am very grateful for that now as an adult . The phrase , "Hurt people, hurt people" is forever in my mind . Now, don't mistake my words as a proclamation that I am always on task . I can be self centered, in a rush and sometimes just flat out absent minded when completing my daily to-do's , including this one .
I have written about Jack's Birthday and how we took some yummy dog treats to a few of our four legged friends to celebrate and more importantly to show love . I think I have shared a few other  ideas along with the thought that these small things are practical ways to "be faithful in the small things" . It is so important to me personally to not become focused on the BIG moments, actions and words , but to remain focused on the day-to-day "small" things of faithfulness and the growth it can bring . God is at work ALL the time . It isn't just the big stuff that draws His attention or moves His heart so I feel like we should do the same .

Luke 16:10- New Living Translation (NLT)
10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
Last Friday became a day of marathon errand running . I had an appointment for Jack to be groomed and I wanted to have the oil changed in my car along with getting a few other things accomplished while I wait . I am big on multi-tasking and making the most of my time when I can . I dropped of  a very nervous Jack , went walking with my mom who lives not too far from the groomers , ran to a store that I don't have in my town to get some things I needed and had coupons for (anyone who coupons understands that inner list of "I'll wait to get that in case I go to ______ and can use a better coupon(s)). On this day I had three coupons that where store specific, so it was totally worth putting on the to-do list while I was in that part of town . Anyway, after lunch with mom I still had several errands to run before picking up Jack. The errands became more time consuming than I had planned, but I am grateful to have gotten them done .
In the midst of these errands taking up more time, I found myself having several opportunities to be kind . When waiting for my car I was texting on my phone, of course . Isn't that how most of us spend those "empty moments" when we are waiting on something or just trying to pass time ? If not texting on facebook or pinterest or checking e-mail . While I texted away a young lady sat down on the bench beside me . She too was on her phone passing the time . I hadn't seen her when I came in the store or while I was walking around the store trying to pass time , but I would find out that she had seen me .  Where we sat waiting for our cars there are several candy machines and I decided I needed a double bubble treat for all the productivity of my day . Before I went to put my quarter in the machine I felt the urge to offer a piece to this other young lady . As I asked her if she would like a piece of gum she looked up from her phone somewhat surprised . I'm not sure if she was surprised I was speaking to her or because I was offering her gum from the machine . Either way, she thought about it a second and said ,"thanks, that would be great" . She reached for her piece and I then purchased one for myself . We chatted back and forth about our love of double bubble , our distaste for waiting on our cars , being grateful that the oil change was on sale that day and just other chatter . While we chatted she mentioned that she had pulled up to the car garage just after me . Now this may sound just plum silly , but when she said that I became so grateful I had taken a moment to offer her a piece of gum . I became overwhelmed by the thought that you just never know who is looking or what they are seeing . We didn't talk about anything "deep" or even of a spiritual nature, but I swear it seemed she felt relieved in some way as we spoke . Now, I'm not saying that piece of gum or brief conversation did anything beyond helping her pass the time, but for me it was a huge conviction of all the other times I rush past people or burry myself in all the distractions my cell phone has to offer .
While I spend a lot of my time alone I do have Jack Davis, my family and some amazing friends . Finding someone to talk to is not a task in my world . Especially with all that technology has to offer us with texting, face time, Skype , and every things else . But the conviction I left with after that brief encounter was that with all technology has to offer and with all the people we come across on any given day not everyone has someone to "just talk to" or to be nice to them . Not everyone has someone to text , Skype or even to ride down the road and visit for a minute or two . I may never see this young lady again . This conversation very well may have meant nothing to her, but on the other hand maybe it did . I have no idea what hand her day had dealt her up to that point and I have no idea what she faced in the rest of her day . But I do know that as we left she spoke to me in the tone of a friend  saying, "talk to you later" and I responded with the same, got in my car and drove off . As I pulled into traffic I got tickled realizing our good-bye greeting . Why hadn't I said , "it was nice chatting" or something of that nature ?! You never know when you'll come across someone you thought you'd never see again . Maybe our paths will cross maybe they won't , but I pray that what she saw in me wasn't just a chatty cathy, but the love of Jesus . 1 John 4:19 (NIV) 19 " We love because he first loved us.".
Not every good deed will go well . Today I learned that particular and surprising lesson , but even as I wrote this the Lord presented me with a opportunity to love on and help out someone . We can't control how people will receive what we offer them in doing a "good deed" we can only control what we present to them . God will give us the opportunity every single day to love His people . We just have to have our eyes and hearts open to it . I have shared several of Meredith's songs in my blogs and I just down loaded her newest CD "Worth it All" several days ago . I am being ministered and challenged by it in so many ways . This song is apart of my hearts cry tonight . "My life is an empty cup Fill it up, fill it up! I wanna hear every rescued heart cry You're enough, You're enough! Break what needs breaking 'Til You're all we see. And start with me, start with me, Yeah start with me, start with me". Tonight I ask the Lord to " Start with me" . I want to challenge you to do the same . It is an indescribable blessing to know you have brightened some ones day and sometimes all it takes is a piece of gum .
"Start With Me" - Meredith Andrews
You are air the desperate longs
Water falling on the sand
Silence to an angry storm
Sight to a blind man
You're still the God, a miracle
So if You're gonna move again
The would You move in me?
Move in me

You're the beat to a broken heart
Bread for a hungry crowd
And warm word from Your voice rings out
And the dead throw the grave clothes down
Cause You're still the God of the empty tomb
The one who came alive again
So come alive in me
Come alive in me
Come alive in me
Come alive in me

My life is an empty cup
Fill it up, fill it up!
I wanna hear every rescued heart cry
You're enough, You're enough!
Break what needs breaking
'Til You're all we see
And start with me, start with me

Whose arms hold the fatherless?
Whose voice do they hear?
Who sits with the prisoner
And stands for the one who fear?
You're still the God of what is just
And You're still the God who loves
So would You love through me
Love through me yeah
Come and love through me
Would You love through me, yeah

My life is an empty cup
Fill it up, fill it up!
I wanna hear every rescued heart cry
You're enough, You're enough!
Break what needs breaking
'Til You're all we see
And start with me, start with me, yeah

Your kingdom come
Your will be done
Lord let it be
Let it start with me, start with me

Yes, Your kingdom come
And Your will be done
Oh Lord let it be
Let it start with me, start with me

Yeah, start with me, start with me

My life is an empty cup
Fill it up, fill it up!
I wanna hear every rescued heart cry
You're enough, You're enough!
Break what needs breaking
'Til You're all we see
And start with me, start with me,
Yeah start with me, start with me

Sunday, September 15, 2013

~ Happy My Birthday ~

" I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." - HP

My Birthday is creeping up and I am doing my best this year to not mourn it , but instead find a way to celebrate it . At least in my heart , not necessarily with balloons and cake . I have several friends that are stunningly good at celebrating their birthdays and they are my examples for this task . I'm not quiet sure why, but for the last several years it has been increasingly difficult to truly enjoy my birthday . I of course feel so blessed when I receive a card, gift or text wishing me a Happy Birthday mainly because I have friends and family that are so very thoughtful they make it hard not to feel blessed every day . As I wrote in my post , " I Only Date Super Hero's" one of the newest ways that I am actively praising and thanking God is by writing down my needs and marking them off as He meets them . Being able to see this tangible reach down from Heaven into my life has really aided in the movement of my life perspective . Focusing on what God IS doing instead of what He isn't is now a thought/motto that's consumed my every day . I think that may be something I need to relate to my birthday . Looking at the years needs and how they got met by my almighty and ever caring God .
"If you got it, flaunt it"
Stacie @ 1 yr old-ish
I actually think I may need to survey my life and do this list . It is so easy to get focused on a day, month or year of trials or victories and think that's all there was . But if we actually take the time to look back either through old notes, photo's , cards or gifts we would be reminded of exactly how much God has been at work . I struggle with the idea of getting rid of old journals . I have a box of them that I keep thinking I just need to burn . There is so much of my humanity , sin nature and flaws in them that I dread the idea of someone ever reading them , even if it isn't till I'm dead ! Then as I glance through these books I see Gods blue prints for my life . The people that have come and gone , the heart breaks , trials , the fun , the memories , the experiences , the mountain tops , and the impossible moments that God came through . I have a former supervisor that would always say , "hindsight is 20/20" . Meaning that when we look back we see things so perfectly , but when we are looking forward or in the moment of something perfect vision isn't possible . That is what keeps me from burning my anyway .
I mentioned my friends that are amazing at celebrating their birthday and allowing others to celebrate it with them . I am going to take a cue from them and
  1. Celebrate all Month Long "I'll celebrate as long as you want too" - Miss Bridget :-)
  2. Be grateful - Let Family Love You/Me - How CC Celebrated Her B-day this year .
  3. Take advantage of FREEBIES !!!! I have waiting in my wallet a free Red Robin Burger & a free Starbucks bevi (of any size might I add) . I think I have several others , but I can't remember at the moment . It is worth signing up for those things. You could eat for a week with out paying .
  4. GIVE ~ GIVE ~ GIVE ~  How Gweneth Celebrated her 5th Bday !  
My friends Nate & Tricia have a miracle lil' girl Gweneth . The way they choose to celebrate her birthday is so encouraging and challenging . It truly inspired the idea that my b-day should be a time to give more , much more , than I receive that day . Last year I focused only on my mom really .I got her a fun fall candle . I mean , she is the one that spent close to three days in labor with me . She thought I'd be born on my Aunt Rita's birthday, but I apparently needed a day all of my own . That day all of my own only lasted about  decade, then my lil' cousin Jeremy was born . I am proud to share a birthday with him .
"Find out who you are and do it on purpose."
--Dolly Parton
Don't judge the duck face.
I rocked a selfie, before selfies where cool.

So, as I get closer to closing the chapter on another year of life I hope to not only celebrate all that God has done in my time on earth, but to look forward to what He has next . I am proud to say that I have already begun keeping with the list I have made . I sent off a "Happy My Birthday" to a friend just this week . Of course it isn't much, but I hope it will bring some little blessing to their day . This post will be and is my accountability on this project . You are free to ask me how I spent my Birthday  , to hold me responsible for and to these ideas of celebration , gratefulness and giving .
Happy Birthday fellow September Babies !! I pray your day is special in every way. Praise God that you are here , that you've got another year under your belt and are staring the next one in the eye . God has BIG things in store for you .
1 Corinthians 2:9
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
 neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
I wanna leave you with this video of "Not for a Moment (After All)" by Meredith Andrews . As I look back on the days that have come and gone along with the days yet to be this song is gonna be something that echo's in my praise . "Not for a moment will You forsake me." I have also added the lyrics for you to read .
Lyrics - Meredith Andrews
"Not For A Moment (After All)"
[Verse 1]
You were reaching through the storm
Walking on the water
Even when I could not see
In the middle of it all
When I thought You were a thousand miles away
Not for a moment did You forsake me
Not for a moment did You forsake me

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

[Verse 2]
You were singing in the dark
Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousand miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me


And every step every breath you are there
Every tear every cry every prayer
In my hurt at my worst
When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Even in the dark
Even when it's hard
You will never leave me
After all

Not for a moment will You forsake me

Fallllll-a-lleujah !!!

It is one of my most favorite times of year, FALL !!!! While the weather hasn't completely turned into fall I am surely getting geared up for it.  The Last Jewels of Fall , is my post from the last Fall season . If you are looking for some tips on baking pumpkin seeds give it a read . One of the bonus' that come from pumpkin carving is the wonderful fall snack of pumpkin seeds . I have a friend that is traveling cross country and on their stop at my place we plan to do some pumpkin carving and seed baking for sure !!!

I'm mulling over a Fall wreath idea that I have in my head. So far I have only gotten the primer completed. On this weeks to-do list is attempting to complete it. I will be sure to update you.......if it turns out to be something worthy of sharing of course. Jack Davis has gotten his fall hair cut and is ready for the new season. He absolutely loves sitting in the sunshine and letting this brisk breeze move through his lil' furry ears and snout . I think Fall may be Jack's favorite season as well .

This last week while visiting my grandparents I dropped off a bag of candy corn from my mom to my grandparents . As Mamaw poured a bowl of the sweet snack Papaw told me a story . He told me that once when he was younger he worked at a candy corn factory . Papaw has had many adventures in his days . I think that all he has experienced is why he likes to keep me so close . He knows what kind of trouble there is out there to get into . HAHA!! This story, is one of the best . So, apparently as I said before , Papaw worked in a candy factory as a teenager. This factory focused on candy corn . Papaw said he worked there for a little over a year and ate so much candy corn that he got blisters all over . I couldn't keep from laughing . I guess to a teenager a candy factory would be heaven . I can't say I blame him for indulging . I mean, when would one have that opportunity again ?!
I hope that you are enjoying all the wonderful things that fall has to bring with it . Have you gotten your fall wreath hung ? Are you baking yummy pumpkin flavored treats ? Have you hit up Starbucks for a PSL ?! I hope this season brings you some fun and cozy opportunities to make memories, tell stories and of a little candy corn, but not too much ! ;-)
Happy Fall to You All !!