Friday, August 30, 2013

Five Minute Friday... Worship

"Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that You're My God..."

As soon as I read the prompt this morning, this song came to my mind.

Every Friday, I try to gather with Lisa Jo Baker at her blogging space, where she gives us a prompt and we write for five minutes on that word, unedited, not really thinking, just writing. Except sometimes I forget to set my timer... so enjoy!

Worship. What a beautiful word.  Worship is bowing down... it is looking to something else, it is completely losing yourself in the moment to feel peace and hope.  It becomes about something other than yourself, something bigger than yourself.

Humble praise. Adoration.  Standing in awe.

I've actually been thinking about worship a lot. Last week, I went to a Casting Crowns concert.  As I stood on the old University of Louisville football field and raised my hands to worship the one true God, I reflected on how far I have come since I last stood on that field. 

Almost 20 years ago, I cheered on my Breathitt County Bobcats as we won back-to-back State football championships.  My hands were raised to urge the crowd to become involved in the game.  The prayers that I sent up were focused on winning, on allowing that pass to be caught, on petitioning God to somehow help us come back from behind.

I went to church that next Sunday after the game, sat in the same pew I sat in every weekend, and just sat.  Oh, I stood for the reading of the Word, and I sang along with the hymnal in my hands... but it was just going through the motions.

I didn't know what true worship was.

Twenty years later, I still don't fully understand.  I still am not completely uninhibited... but I'm learning.

And thanking God for the opportunity.  Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What I Learned in August

1. It's not all about me.  I  knew this... but relearned it.  It's easy to take everything seriously.  We may read a facebook status or a tweet and think it's about us.  Or feel excluded because something doesn't include us... but chances are, that person wasn't even thinking of me when they posted it.  Why get your feelings hurt about something that someone did not even mean for you? And even if it was meant for you... Grace.  =)

2. How did I live my whole adult life thus far without realizing that Post-It Notes are manufactured in Cynthiana, Kentucky?  Because heaven knows I could not have lived my whole adult life thus far without them? I saw this in someone's tweet so of course I had to look it up...  Post It Notes are a 3M product and manufacturing started in 1985. The plant in Cynthiana is 450,000 sq. ft. and also manufactures Scotch packing tapes.  And I'm so glad they expanded their line of products to include hot pink and purple =)

3. The Kentucky State flag actually does not have a picture of Daniel Boone on it. All my life, I've looked at that seal on the Commonwealth flag.  Two men, shaking hands.  United We Stand, Divided we Fall.  One is wearing brown clothes and a coonskin cap... so of course it is Daniel Boone, right? Wrong!  I searched the internet because to be honest, I wanted to know who Daniel Boone was shaking hands with... and most of the websites said, "a statesman and a pioneer." But I'm still pretending it was Daniel Boone.  And maybe Henry Clay... both famous Kentuckians.  Not the same time period. But that's what I'll choose to believe.

4.One of the things I love about nursing is there are always new things coming out. This month, I heard about a  new pain management option being used in recovery, the On-Q pump.  This little gadget administers local anesthetic directly to the surgical site, which decreases the need for narcotic pain control.  Looks pretty cool to me!directly The On-Q pump

5. I'm reading Auschwitz: A New History.  I've been reading it all month long and am still only 25% into it, because I'm reading late at night and it is non-fiction and has lots of German names that put me to sleep.  I've always loved World War II History, though, and it is a really good read.  In that book, the different levels of the Nazi army was discussed.  I guess rationally I knew that there would be different positions, but I did not know the difference between the SS and the SA. I won't even attempt to put down what they stand for, but SS army members were the private army of the Nazi party, whereas SA troops, or Stormtroopers, did more of the day to day business of the German miliatry. SS guarded Hitler; SA went door to door removing Jews.  SS wore black, SA wore brown. There  you go.   SS vs. SA- German military history

6. There is actually a day for celebrating the Middle child? August 12... and Lord knows Holly Chelle and other Middle siblings like herself need a day for celebration... considering all she's put up with from her big sister!

7. YMCA= Young Men's Christian Association. This was a duh moment.  How many times have I danced to YMCA??? I never knew this was what it stood for. I knew the young men's part.  And maybe I knew the rest of it... but we were visiting Kami in Lexington, and there is a YMCA very close to her apartment, and I saw the writing, and I thought... hmmm.. something I've learned today.

8. 4 H Corndogs are the best thing ever. Heaven on earth. Oh, wait, I knew that already...

Linking up with Emily Freeman at, where we're all sharing things we learned this month... and this has made me aware of what I'm learning.  I'm actually seeking out learning opportunities!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Perseverance has never been one of  my strong points.  I usually start well, but then lose momentum.  Goals that I set seem to become unreachable, or something comes along that is more important, or I lose focus or become overwhelmed.

This is true for lots of things.  Organization. Exercise.  Not drinking pop.  Getting up early.  Reading my Bible.  Quiet time. 

I love reading and studying the Bible.  I truly do. The more I read it, the more I want to read it.  The problem is, sometimes I want to overwhelm myself by doing too much... and not doing any of it well. This was the case a couple of years ago.  I was reading a book for a Online Bible study with Melissa Taylor (now P31 OBS) and also doing a couple of other online studies, and I lost focus.  Stopped participating in the group.  Just quit reading.

I sat out from the next study and regrouped, and when I came back I still struggled with keeping up.  I have issues with prioritization... and let life step in and make me lose my focus.  I'm confessing it now so y'all can say a little prayer for me, and also so that you can see that maybe you're not alone...

Because now I'm a small group leader.  And we were asked to sign on for a year, and stay committed.  We recognize that there may be things come up where we have to step down, but it would be after much prayer and consideration.  This is my third study leading and I am loving it.  All glory to Him...

But I'm tired.  School just started, and that means hours of homework with my little man.  I'm trying to fit in exercise.  And I've lectured every single day, it seems...

And this week I really wanted a break.  Not necessarily from leading, because my girls are great ladies... but I wanted a break from persevering.  I wanted to NOT read, because I had so much else to do.

But I had people counting on me.  And even if they are quiet, I know they are being touched, because I see it in their comments.  I see it in their prayers for each other. 

And then I got Melissa's message this week.  #StickWithIt.  Chapter 5 was just what I needed to read.  Chapter 6- who doesn't need an easy button?

It's not always going to be easy.  There will be times when we get tired.  Times when we hit the snooze button so many times that we lose out on meeting God.  (I've done that not once, but twice this week.  Oh, 3 day weekend, please, please hurry!) And that's true for our entire Christian walk.  There will be days when I just flat out don't feel like being patient, or loving, or kind.  They'll be days when I feel like I can barely put one foot in front of the other.

The good news is that He knows.  He sees.  He's there, ready to pick us up.  We are running this race, and even when we get tired, we are to keep pressing on... because all of this here, it's just temporary.  And Heaven is going to be so worth it. 

All the time in the world... just to worship Him.  Nothing else on our to do list.  Ahhh....

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What's on My Mind

If I've learned anything in my life, it is that nothing is black or white, and that decisions are made based on our own preconceived notions. I've had a lot on my mind, and I really need to clear my head. Thoughts are bouncing around in there and all it has served to do is to give me a nervous stomach.

Earlier this week I wrote about love and hate, and I'm choosing love. Sometimes it is hard. The thing about hate is, it only hurts you. The other person most of the time doesn't even care; in fact, sometimes they actually thrive on those negative emotions. I'm currently reading Auschwitz: A New History. It's a pretty heavy read, and the author is just now talking about the final extermination plan of the Jews. The sad thing is, it was all considered to be not just right, but necessary for the German nation to kill so many people, because food and resources were scarce and these people were not contributing to society. And the Jews knew better to respond, because if they did, it would only further infuriate those in authority over them.

Today, we shudder at these thoughts, but we still live in a world where our own perceptions guide our decisions. We fail to think that there are two sides to every story, and in our emotional states we are unable to look past the things that outrage or sadden us to think about that other side. Every action has a reason behind that action, and while it may hurt at times, the individual would not make decisions if they didn't feel that they had a legitimate reason to do so. Sometimes, not every facet of information is available. That whole Paul Harvey thing about the rest of the story? It's true...we never know the rest of the story.

It's my belief that we should not have to defend our actions. I agree that everyone should be held accountable for things, and that sometimes decisions affect people in a negative manner, but in personal decisions, things happen for a reason.  Noone should have to live a life where everyone second-guesses their decisions. We can hash things out and debate and sling mud, and the only thing it does is get everyone dirty, and quite frankly, I've never really liked dirt.

God's mercies are new every morning, and I'm thankful for that. And if He extends grace towards me, and I freely accept it, how can I not extend grace to others? By His strength, and for His glory, it's what I'm trying to do.

I may not always be perfect... in fact, I'm never perfect. I struggle every single day of my life. There have been times when I've trembled in anger, when I've felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. Words hurt, and whenever something is said or done toward you or someone you love, it is especially true. In the past, I most definitely would have lashed out, but I'm reminded that we are to attempt to control our tongue through the Holy Spirit's power. I don't think it is coincidence that God has been reminding me to Remain in Him. To Abide in Him. To be fruitful. To forgive those who hurt me. To love my enemies. And to confess that at times I probably need to ask for forgiveness and understanding, too.

I'm almost hesitant to post this because I don't want people to think I'm pointing fingers. I'm not. I don't want to start another firestorm, nor do I want anyone's sympathy. I'm telling anyone who reads this that today, I'm thankful for God's grace. I'm thankful for His love, and for His blessings, and for His peace over decisions that no one else may understand. And I'm moving on. Living life in each moment, because that's all we've been offered. I'm praying for the same for anyone who may read this post. May you look to the future, but love the present. May it be everything you ever imagined. Former things have passed away. He's made all things new...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wholly Committed

Love and hate... they are both strong emotions.  They can fuel fires. They can incite passion. They can unify and divide. 

God is love.  He is unable to not love us, because it is inherent to Him.  Love makes up who He is.  He created us and redeemed us out of His steadfast love.  And He desires that kind of love from us, in us.

As I've been reading What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, I've thought about what it means to truly love God.  His Word says that if we love Him, we are to love Him with all our hearts.  In another place, it says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.  In still another place, we are instructed to love our enemies.  And in yet another place in His Word, He tells us that we are known by loving others, because it is His love in us (all of these are paraphrased). 

The theme seems to be love.  And let's face it, saying yes to love is sometimes hard.

I'm always amazed when God keeps speaking something to me.  Tonight in Bible study, the theme was "Where is the love?" and we looked up verses on His love.  John 15:10 was quoted, "If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love." 

Keeping His commandments. Saying yes to God.  Being wholly committed... even when I don't want to love. Even when I lash out in anger.  Worshipping Him in Spirit in truth- not just in church on Sunday mornings, but every day of my life.. worshipping Him with my life, a sacrifice.  Instead of focusing on more of Him, giving Him more of me.

I don't know that I'll ever get this love thing figured out. There are still a lot of days when I read something on social media or overhear something that makes me want to respond. This week, though, I was reminded of that old phrase What Would Jesus Do... and the answer was love. Forgive.  Hold my tongue.  Pray. 

Respond in kindness and love, and keep on loving... focusing on Him as my strength.  Lord, help me be committed to You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength... sold out so that the world can't help but want what I have- more of You.  P31 OBS Blog Hop

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Possibly Broken Nose and a Spiritual Battle

He's been so excited all week.  Practically bouncing off the walls. When his class went to the Bounce place for a field trip, he loved it.  Had all kinds of videos with his friends.  He was ready to go back.  Could.  Not. Wait.

He hit the ground running, shoes off and sliding up and down and climbing and bouncing.  And about 15 minutes in, I got the nod from one of the grandmas... that look that you know can't be good.

And there he was, crying, with a bloody lip.  After further assessing the damages, I noticed some bruising on his nose, and a little hump that made me think that it just may be broke. 

With some ice and Motrin, though, the swelling went down some.  He was able to enjoy a little bit of pizza and birthday cake, and by the time we were in Campton he and his Dad were busting moves in the front seat of the truck. 

I hate to see him cry.  Sometimes, I lose patience and forget that he is just ten.  Today wasn't one of those days... I just wanted to hug him and take the pain away so he could go back to bouncing. 

And it makes me think of my Heavenly Father.  I'm sure there are days when He absolutely shakes his head in frustration with me and all of my endless whining.  But then there are days when I'm truly hurt, and He knows.  He cares.  And He loves me extra special on those days. 

Caleb will go back to school tomorrow with a bruised nose... and some days we limp back into battle at work or in our homelife or whatever we are doing at that moment worse for the wear. 

But appearances aren't everything... and we told him he needed to tell them, if you think this looks bad? You should have seen the other guy.

And in our case, in our spiritual war, that is so going to be good.  If we look bad right now, just wait and see what the other guy looks like for forever.

Cause our God wins the fight =)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Even in the Small Things

Most of the time, I feel small.  Insignificant. 

I just finished Kisses From Katie, about a young girl who gave up everything to go to Africa and make a difference.

I feel small. 

I read stories of missionaries around the world, serving God and sharing His love with others.

I feel small.

I am tired.  Its been a long week.  The phone is ringing and the washer is running its never ending cycle of towels and I feel small in comparison.

Small in this big world.  Small in my life. Small in my reach.

But I'm not.  Jesus said that those who were last will be made first, and while I know I'm not last, I take comfort in that.  He said that if you give to the least of these, even a cup of cold water in His name, it is as if doing it for Him.

A cup of water is small, but it can bring HIm glory.  Letting someone pull out in front of me in the Walmart parking lot is small.  Not yelling at my son when everything inside of me  is grating is small.  Being patient is small (even though it seems big!)

Today I met with my Mom and a friend and prayed for our kids and our schools.  While we were small, prayer can change thing.

A friendly word.  A smile.  A hug.  Taking time out of your schedule to help someone out. Small things... but they mean so much. 
Today, I'm going to stop thinking I'm small, because I've been created by a big God with big purposes, even if I'm only fulfilling them in small ways. 

For this season =)
LInking up with Lisa Jo Baker at her blog for Five Minute Fridays, one prompt, five minutes, unedited. Today's word? Small... Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Paying Attention

Ever sit down to write, really wanting to, but then not had anything to say?  That was me last night.  I really wanted to blog.  Really wanted to talk about saying yes and what God is doing in my life... but then the words just wouldn't come.

I was exhausted.  Now I know I am going to come across whiny, and there are so many women out there that are going to shake their head at this... but work wears me out.  It may have something to do with the fact that I spent the summer doing absolutely nothing, so 6 AM mornings (I know, that isn't even that early) and running long until 9 PM has left its toll.  Don't tell anyone, but I even snoozed past my quiet time this morning... I know, I know.  After that was one thing that I had said yes to last week.

Last night, our Wednesday lesson was about mercy.  New mercies every morning.  And as I sat there, listening with one ear about His loving mercy and allowing my brain to run away with me thinking of all the things that needed to be done before the weekend, and sending up silent prayers for God to talk to me through this study, because I'm seeing what He's doing with other people and I don't want to be left out...

Well, He spoke.  Not out loud.  Maybe not even Him, but I have to think it was at least His urging.  Because there I sat, smart  phone in hand, not thinking about mercy.  And He said, "How can I speak to you if you don't pay attention?"

Yes, the five questions Lysa Terkeurst presents in Chapter 2 of her book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God are needed, because a lot of the time, we're not sure.  I'm not sure.  What seems like a good idea is not always a God idea.  Lysa tells us to ask ourselves if what we're hearing lines up with scripture, if it is consistent with God's character, if it is being confirmed through messages we're hearing other places (church or quiet time), if it is beyond me (my favorite... because there is no way that I could come up with some things, and no way I could possibly do them, but God..), and if it would please God.

Great questions to use... but first we have to stop.  Pause.  Pay attention.  In the middle of this hurry up world with texts ringing and email notifications beeping, with DVR where we hurry through commericals, with constant noise and information overload... we have to get quiet.  Because it's only when we are paying attention that we will truly hear Him. 

Lord, forgive me... even though You've given me this message over and over and over again.  Help me remember.  Help me pause, and listen, and stop talking all the time.  Help me focus on right now, this moment, because that's where You'll meet me. 
Thank You, Lord, for new mercies, and that You'll keep talking, even when I'm not always paying attention.
P31 OBS Blog HopLinking up with the P31 OBS blog where over 23,000 women are saying yes to God! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Gift of Love- 40 Years Worth

I can remember as a child thinking that 40 was old.  It seemed like a lifetime, and to many it is, or may be. 

You can fit a lot of living into 40 years.  A lot of laughter. A lot of tears.  A lot of struggles and fighting and smiling and making up. 

I've only been around for 33 and 11/12... but I can tell you about the last 40 years.

They've included hot rods and small trailers and married housing at Morehead.  They've included one head-strong infant in a brick house with a Care Bear bedroom, driving that baby around at midnight when she just wouldn't give it up and go to sleep, a bundled up little girl in a snowsuit to build snowmen while the dad wore a blue Michelin coat and gave beardy kisses to the delight of that little girl.  They've included stitches when that little girl dropped a pepsi bottle on the concrete and a trip to the doctor when the Daddy decided it might not have been a bad idea to ride a bicycle down Buckhorn Dam  hill.  They've included a totaled car pulled onto Picnic Hill, a mama chasing the car frantically down the hill as her four year old balled up in the driver's side floorboard.

12 years later involved a new baby, a happy, laughing baby, who endured lots of stomping and slamming of doors.  Of a old house made new and a broken leg and sprained ankle and moving...

Years passed and those girls grew up and the family went to ballgames and church.  And ballgames and church.  And ballgames and church.  Mom and Dad working and playing and trips to the beach and Disney World and Tennessee. 

Taking in kids who needed a roof over their head and love in their hearts.  Always love... 40 years of love. Even in the difficulties. Even when it was hard.  Especially then.

And halfway into that marriage, just when the oldest was a headstrong teenager and the youngest was coming into her own, a new baby came into the picture that really completed the family.  Those chubby cheeks and dark brown eyes...

Twenty years later that baby is in college and the oldest has kind of come into her own (although she still has her moments when the fruit of the Spirit doesn't bloom and bud quite as obvious) and the middle baby makes a difference in the lives of everyone she meets and they've got two sons-in-laws and a grandson...

And there is still that love.

Forty years is a lifetime, but I hope it is just the beginning.  Not everyone can say they have been blessed with the gift of this legacy of love, but I can.  Love that says I'm sorry. Love that accepts the apology even when it wasn't spoken.  Love that goes without so that someone else doesn't have to. Love that leans heavily on the Father when they realize they can't do it alone.  Love that keeps loving, that still sees that beautiful girl forty years later, that makes it hard for a guy to live up to the expectations because I've seen how good it can be. 

Noone is perfect, and they don't claim to be, but they can become perfected, complete, and that is what Christ is doing for us each and every day... perfecting, making complete.  Just as we are made complete when we meet that certain someone that is made for us.

Counting gifts... I would be remiss if I didn't include my parents and their Godly legacy of love and acceptance and perseverance.  This gift has helped me recognize the importance of the other gifts in my life, and recognize that without Him, none of it would be possible.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.  I'm still learning... but I've had some pretty good teachers.  Happy 40th Anniversary!

Friday, August 9, 2013


Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday where we write for five minutes, unedited, on a prompt.  Today's word? Lonely...
Five Minute Friday

Lonely... even in a crowd of people.

Lonely... even with family that loves.

Lonely... feeling like no one understands.

Lonely... is such a lonely word.

Lonely is longing for companionship, searching for words to say to connect, feeling like your heart is bared on your sleeve with no one to care for it.

Lonely is crying tears with no one to help you wipe them away.

How can we be lonely in this hurry up world of social media and facebook statuses and blogging and tweets and pinterest perfect homes and instagram to see what all our "friends" are up to...

Comparision and lonely because we aren't as good.  We aren't as perfect. We don't live an exciting life and we are stuck in the mundane and we only see our failures...

Lonely because we long for true connections that aren't available in 140 words or less. 

The remedy is Jesus, the time-tested friend and comforter, the One who knows what we were made for and knows we are imperfect, sees those imperfections and lovingly works on them to perfect us and make us all we were meant to be...

So we don't have to be lonely any more.  And when we meet Him and really get to know Him He comes into our hearts so we are not lonely, and because He is so great in there and His Spirit is so strong we become a conduit, reaching out to others who may be just as lonely, helping them see that their loneliness is really just a deep longing for the God who longs to be our best friend and our all in all.

May You know His comfort today, wherever you are, friend.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Say Yes... Forget the Mundane

Wednesday, middle of the week.  Third day of school for Caleb.  My second week back to work from a summer of sheer laziness.  Orientation for my new nursing students, and checking off my to do list...

All recipes for a meltdown.  For panic mode.  For me being overwhelmed and exhausted...

But I'm not.  Even though I'm getting up earlier every morning than I have in two months, filling my days with work and more work and helping with homework and exercising... some days.

Because those early mornings have been spent in His Word, letting Him speak to me... or at least opening my mind and heart.

I'm slowly learning to say yes.

In the Proverbs 31 Online Bible study of Lysa  Terkeurst's What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, we are learning about saying yes.  Being radically obedient.  Coming to Him with our palms up, ready to receive. 

This has to be an intentional action.  On page 14 of her book, Lysa says, "You see, we have become so familiar with God yet so unaware of Him."  He is everywhere, true, and even as our government and other entities push Him out, His name is on our lips.  We have more access to information about God than at any other time in the history of mankind.  Television, radio, internet... bookstores... Bible studies and prayer groups and prayer pages on social media.  We know all about God... but it is easy to never really know Him.

You see, He is a gentleman.  He quietly sits back and observes us, never pushing us.  He is just waiting...

For us to say yes.  Yes, God, I need You.  Yes, God, I want You to have control.  Yes, God, I'll step aside, even though it is killing me. 

Yes, God... I'm willing to step out of my mundane existence, and even  in the midst of my everyday activities, see You.  See You working at my job and seeing You work in my kids and seeing You save me and rescue me every. single.  day. 

Yes, God... I'm pursuing You just like You have been pursuing me, and I'm standing here, Palms up, ready to receive all You have for me. 

If you're reading this, you can say yes, too.  All you have to do is ask for forgiveness.  Ask Him into your heart.  Confess your sins.  Get to know Jesus. 

You'll be so happy you said yes... and He will take your mundane and make it more than you can ever imagine. 

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Monday, August 5, 2013

One of My Greatest Gifts

This weekend I ran across a couple of old videos of Caleb.  He has those glasses that slide down his nose and I can't tell for sure but I think he is missing a couple of front teeth.  In the throes of speech therapy, you have to listen really close to understand just what he's saying.  He's lying on Holly's bed, driving the school bus. How my baby did love cars, trucks, tractors and buses!

Not long ago, I snapped a picture of him at the front door, his backpack bigger than him.  He's on his way to preschool, the first day of many adventures. 

I could cry looking at this picture.  I can hear his little voice in my head.  That backpack is a Go, Diego, Go backpack... he used to watch Dora and Diego constantly.  He's wearing a polo shirt "like his daddy" and that smile contains a front tooth with a tiny chip in it, even though you can't see it. 

My boy didn't like school, but he sure loved Ms. Charlene and Ms. Nora and Ms. Judy.  I'd go in many a day to pick him up and find him in one of their laps.  He never wanted to stay for naptime, because he was too busy to nap, so Papaw William would make the 17 mile drive to pick up his boy.

So many mornings of walking him into school, of him holding my hand, of tears shed (mine included).  Of sitting in bleachers at Highland Turner and walking him to class.  Of me having to whisper prayers of 2 Timothy 1:7 and Philippians 4:13 as we walked in...

And then this morning.  No holding hands, no tears, no whispered words of encouragement.  This man-child running off and leaving me as we walked into the building.  Him not even really looking back as he climbed the bleachers to sit with his new old friends.

And while I'm glad, a part of this Mama's heart hurts just a little, because it seems he doesn't need me quite as much...

But I know that is a good thing. 

All this year I've been counting gifts... I'm well over 1,000 now.  Gifts like sunshine and good books and family, laundry detergent and my spot on the couch, kind words and His Word...

But this right here just might be one of the greatest gifts of all.  A mama seeing her baby grow up, anxious for all that this new school year has to offer.  And He understands that, because He has a son, too. 

"For God so loved the world that He gave HIs only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

And that is the greatest gift.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August Reading... and An End of Summer Mourning Session

Ahhh... the end of summer.  Back to work.  Back to school, with two classes instead of just one.  Back to lecture notes and care plans. Goodbye to reading...

Well, not totally goodbye. 

I'd love to have a full-time job that allowed me to read books all the time.  I wouldn't be a good editor, because I like to read for pleasure.  Nor would I be a good critic, because I tend to think most books have some good quality to them.  So I guess I'll just stick to teaching nursing and read in my spare time.

Three recommendations before I jump into August :  The Wishing Tree, or anything by Mary Beth Whelan.  Lighthearted comedy with just enough family drama to make things interesting.  Also, Crazy Love.... one of the best Christian books I've ever read.  Ever.  Kisses From Katie... another one of the best Christian books I've ever read.  This young girl puts things into a whole new light. 

Now, what I'm reading.

Getting ready to dig into What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.  So excited.  Also plugging along with the The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell... I actually didn't read this in July (I was reading so much other fun stuff) so got to play catchup. 

On my Kindle, I'm reading The Firebird... it was the July selection for, but I've lagged behind.  It's over 500 pages long, though!  I also just started Slammed by Colleen Hoover.  It's the first in a series, and my friend Jenna recommended it a long time ago, and I just never got it started... pretty good so far.  And then there is the Sweet Life... a grown up version of Sweet Valley High.  Yep!  I was so excited when I found Sweet Valley Confidential, 10 years later, a while back, and read the first one of this e-series, and am now reading Lies and Omissions.  Makes me feel young, but they are a little more racier. 

I'm reading The Kite Runner.  Heavy stuff, but good.  And I know I'm behind most of the world, as this is an older book...  It just takes me awhile.  Also reading Letters to God.  Loved the movie but don't really remember much about it, so it's good to go back.  And my drive-thru read is Wicked Business, by Janet Evanovich.  Lizzie and Diesel are trying to find who killed The Professor Reedy... funny and light. 

On my to read list coming up? After The Leaves Fall by Nicole Baart, a selection by the book club I'm in on Facebook.  Grace by Max Lucado and Unconditional by Eva Marie Everson, also selections from a Facebook book club (yes, I realize I may be addicted. I think this was established long ago).  The other books in the Sweet Life series and Slammed series.  When Dreams Cross by Terri Blackstock... I read the first in this series in July for a book club and it was good.  It's a four part series.  Auschwitz.  Notorious Nineteen.  And then there are lots and lots more...

As always, comment below with any suggestions for me.  I may not read them until this time next year but I'll definitely look into them

Saturday, August 3, 2013

July in Review

August 1st- wow!  Back to work... and what a day!  12 hours filled with a CPR overview at Jackson, another CPR class at the college, and 8 hours at the office trying to figure out which direction is up...

But a good day... and the beginning of a good month.  Now, for last month...

 Weight loss- Not even going to talk about it.  Or exercise... because it has been nonexistent.  Tomorrow is another day. Grace.  That's all going to say.

I'm still behind on my Bible reading... Haven't read much in my Chronological Bible.  Same for memorizing Scripture... but I've been reading, and internalizing.  I love how God speaks to me and makes sure I read just what I need.  For example the verse I chose for August 1 is the basis of this blog... His grace is sufficient. And just today, I finished up Priscilla Shirer's Gideon, two weeks behind Beth Moore's study group... but guess what verse the video session was about.  You got it!

Doing some better on pictures.  Took about two weeks off of blogging, just writing every now and then... but I spent a lot of time with my boys so that's ok. Still enjoying linkups such as Multitudes on Mondays and Five Minute Fridays.  ..  

Finished Gideon (2 make my second in-depth study this year) and am on week 7 of  Beth Moore's David: A Heart Like His with a group of friends on Facebook (I'm behind).  Gearing up to start What Happens When Women Say Yes to God on Sunday Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies on Facebook, leading a group of amazing ladies. Over 21,000 women have signed up and I am so excited...and honored to get to be just a small part.   I read 15 books in July for a total of 68 out of my 80 books; 12 to go. . More on what I'm reading now later...

Participating in the Joy Dare and counting 1000 gifts... counted a total of 1181 as of today.  I haven't stayed up to date but I do play catch up... and I see things every day that I'm thankful for.  How can I not help but "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.  Join us at

Sleep... Last month I said that I wanted to have a pattern in place and that's not worked out.  In fact, when I got back from vacation I started sleeping later!  I'm setting a goal to get in the bed by 11 and get up at 6, for 7 hours a night, and take it from there.  Fingers crossed!

August is a time of new beginnings with the start of a new school year.  I'm claiming Isaiah 43:18-19 for myself, my family, my coworkers, and my students.  Do not remember the past events,
pay no attention to things of old.
19 Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers[e] in the desert.
And... as always... grace. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Story of Our Life

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Fridays... todays word? Story...


Caleb loves stories at night.  As were are getting ready for bed, "Mom, tell me another story."

And I usually don't have any.  I had a great childhood, got to do lots of fun stuff, had a wonderful family and good memories... but I've about told them out. I usually draw a blank.  I usually put myself to sleep...

But I am a story that God is writing.  While I'm compiled of all of these events that make up who I am, it's all part of a plot that is intricately wound together.  He's the Creator, and His story is good...even as I hold my breath sometimes in anticipation of where the plot is going next.

We each have a unique story. And while He is writing it, He is also sharing with us.  Each day, we're given the opportunity to add another line. We develop new chapters, closing out old ones.  And He is there, painstakingly editing and ensuring that it all works together.

One of my favorite quotes... not sure who said it... but its true.  Every life is a story.  Make yours worth reading. Five Minute Friday