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Monday, November 22, 2010

Higher Call

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll! Can you believe it's here? I SERIOUSLY can not. It just seems like fall has completely flown by and I have some how missed it! How does that happen!? I suppose with the busyness of school and work and everything else I just wake up one morning and it's Thanksgiving week!

Thanksgiving makes me all serious minded and reminiscent for some reason. I think I'm like my dad. At Christmas he always cries and thinks about his own parents and his life as a kid. He talks about how he misses those days and how he wishes that he had done some things differently. He can be seriously sentimental and he can make this kid of his tear up in a second! COME ON DAD!


The thing about Thanksgiving for me is that it somehow makes me think about the Higher Call that God has placed on my life. As a wife and mom I realize that I am so thankful for the man and baby girl that God has given me, but with that comes great responsibility to live my life more for Him. I have little eyes watching my every step and a husband that needs to know that he is loved and respected above all else in my home.

I am currently reading the book of Ezekiel for my Quiet Time and God has directly spoken to me through this verse: "Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman over the house of Israel..." (Ezekiel 3:17) Now I know that Ezekiel's responsibility was certainly different than mine, but it's that underlined part that keeps screaming at ME! " I have appointed YOU a watchman over the house..." It's totally out of context, but I don't think that God is calling my attention back to that phrase by accident.

As a part of the higher call that He is placing in my life I truly believe that it is my job to watch all that enters into my home. That includes MY OWN ATTITUDE AND MOUTH! It's funny how I can pick up on other attitudes that are not honoring God and other words that might be tearing others down, but my own? Uh, not so much. Man, do I have a lot of learning and growing to do.

This Thanksgiving we will probably spend our family time at the rehab hospital where my brother is currently recovering from a spinal cord injury. They say that the bulging discs have caused significant swelling around the cord and that he will need time to recover and get back on  his feet.

Not too long ago I told my husband, " You know, I wish we could do something different for Thanksgiving. Every year we just eat and lay around watching football and parades. It seems so self-indulgent." WELL, I guess God heard and He's fixin' that little situation! Unfortunately my brother won't be able to be home, but I am actually a little excited that maybe our family will be able to minister to those who might not have family there to be with them for this Thanksgiving Season! You just never know what God has in store for you as you walk through a little valley.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! What is the Higher Call that you are sensing God placing in your life? If you blawg about it... let me know!
Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 10 on the 13th~

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Today I am thankful for the special needs ministry at our church.

I love, love, love seeing these sweet faces come to church each week with so much love and joy in their hearts. 023 

We are so blessed to have a church that is ready and willing to open their doors to kids, and parents of kids, with varying degrees of abilities. We also have a class for adults and it is such a neat thing to see their class work each week.

The teachers love the students so much and they are always willing to do whatever they can to see them learn about Jesus.

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We have a lesson each week that is designed to help every student hear a story from the Bible and we do activities that reinforce the Bible story.. just like any other Sunday school class.

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Who says that every class at church needs to be just like every other class? We ALL need a place and we all have a place in the body of Christ.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 9 on the 12th!

Today I am thankful for fun things...

Laughter... and smiles....

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Mexican food, Sweet tea. New shoes. Friends...

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Funny faces... ice cream... sunshine...

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happy sounds... like leaves rustling and falling to the ground.

Silly pets that make us laugh...

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Hot pink boas and birthday cake... friends who call just to say hello...

Sliding boards and swing sets... bike rides and sunsets...

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Today I celebrate all things fun because life is WAYYY to serious most of the time!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 8 on the 11th!

My goal was to be thankful (and tell about it) every day in November. Well, I HAVE been thankful everyday, but blawgin' about it has been a different story. I am not plugged into the internet from my phone and I don't have a laptop so if I am not at home... well, the blawgin' don't get done!

My brother (who I wrote about on day one! My link thingy isn't working... sorry!) had surgery this week to correct the bulging discs that he had affecting his spinal cord. The discs were causing him to be unable to feel his feet and legs and he was really struggling to walk. 015

Once they did the surgery he was able to feel his legs and now, just two days later, he is able to stand on his own again and is walking better everyday.

Today, I am thankful for doctors and nurses. The man that walked into the pre-op room was a man with blood running through is veins just like any of the rest of us. He walked in with nurses who are moms and wives and who breathe one breath at a time just like us. But those people were confident in what they had learned and they were willing and ready to make a difference in the life of our family.

They talked with assurance about the procedure and asked repeatedly if we had any questions, knowing that we were getting ready to walk out of that room and leave our loved one in their hands.

Now, don't get me wrong. This was BATHED in prayer. I had everyone I knew rushing the throne room of God on his behalf. We do know that ultimately God has the final say and He was the one that directed that surgeon's hands.

I just mean that these people were willing to be used in the life of my family and brother to make a difference. What if they'd never been willing to go to school to learn how to do something like replacing a bulging disc with bone and then fusing it together with titanium? AND my brother was the second surgery that day!!

We truly do not realize how fortunate we are in our country to have facilities and trained professionals who attempt to care for those of us in need. Their caring hearts and compassion for life shined through that day.

Oooh... I know! They get paid a pretty penny to do what they do. Some of them drive big fancy cars and live in amazing houses. Thing is... I don't really care. That day that doctor kept my brother from an otherwise paralyzing condition. He also kept my mom and dad from literally losing their minds with worry. It was a miracle and we know that God allowed us to be there to have the help that day so that He might shine through.

I know it's Veteran's Day and I AM thankful for those who fought and continue to fight for our country and the freedoms that we have. Without our Vets the hospitals and healthcare that we have would not exist. (Now, what the government is doing with it all is a TOTAL different story! And a sad one at that!) But today I just need to be ultimately thankful for the men and women who were used to work a miracle in my brother's body!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankfulness Day 7

Today is Sunday and I am thankful for my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ.

I do not have a testimony that takes me down a long dark path or drugs or alcohol. I did not live an extremely wild life, but I AM a sinner. I believe that what He saved me FROM in this life is just as important as the salvation that I know that I have for eternity.

I asked Jesus into my heart when I was ten. Through out my life I have always longed for friendships and relationships that would fill me. As I got older I dated several guys and I so longed for those relationships to make me safe and secure. I put so much hope in man and when it didn't work out or when it was very apparent that we were NOT a good fit... well, my heart would just break.

In college I truly began to realize that my faith had to be my own. My parents brought me up in church and I loved singing and being active there, but it wasn't until I was faced with some serious situations and issues in school where I had to decide if God was real in MY life. It could not be about what my mom and dad said anymore, but it had to be about what God said and how I was going to decide to live for Him or for this world.

Now, more than 20 years later, I am sure that Jesus is Lord. He saved me from an uncertain future and He is my security. I am eternally grateful for His sacrifice for ME and I am no longer afraid of what the future holds.

Many people who do not know Christ think that being a Christian HAS to be the most boring life ever. Since I have truly started walking with the Lord it has been the biggest adventure of my life! He has such a wonderful plan for each of us and being obedient means doing things that I thought I'd never ever do! You never know where He will take you next and I love knowing that He is in control!! I don't have to worry about taking steps that will lead me down the wrong road as long as I am spending time with Him each day and praying. He WILL direct my path!!

So today I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is my Rock. He is my Salvation. He is my ALL in ALL! I can not imagine where I would be without His love and conviction and forgiveness,  and I praise His Name for saving my soul.

What about you? Do you know Christ as Savior? If not, I'd love to share how you can know for sure that your sins are forgiven and that one day YOU will go to heaven when you die.

The Bible says that ALL have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. It also says that the wages (or payment) for sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. I pray that if you are not sure of what your future holds that you will seek Him today!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankfulness Day 6

Today I am just thankful that it's the weekend! This has been a very busy and emotional week with my brother's need for care and my inability to be with my family. (By the way, he does not have a brain injury. He has a large bulging disc that they will be looking at more closely very soon. PRAISE THE LORD it's not his brain! Thanks for praying!)

On top of my heavy heart our church had a Home for the Holidays event and these girls were asked to sing!

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It was very busy, but a lot of fun and was a good distraction for me since I couldn't travel to be with my family.

I love being a part of a group that worships and sings together! Their friendship has been just a wonderful benefit of being part of such group. Each girl's unique walk with the Lord blesses me every time we are together!

Have a great weekend! I love making myself sit down and think about what I am thankful for! What are YOU thankful for??

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankfulness Day 5

Today I am thankful for my husband!

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To say that we are opposites would be an understatement, but somehow the Lord saw fit to put us together and I LOVE HIM TO PIECES!!!

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He is right by my side in helping me raise our girl and he is a very strong influence in both of our lives.

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Lately he and his dad and brother have started having lunch once a month to reconnect and establish some accountability. I love that. I love that he's willing to work at our family and that he cares about everyone of us. (That's our niece, Taylor with her uncle Steve!)

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He's a pretty serious guy, but I love that he's willing to step out of his shell and be involved in things that interest our girl.

Work has been pretty tough lately with this economy, but he has hung in there and he continues to work hard though some days are discouraging!

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Just a few minutes ago he left to go on an over night trip to share the love of Christ with a few friends from our Sunday school class in the mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky. I know that God is going to use his gentle spirit and willing heart to point people to Him.

So... today! I am proud and VERY THANKFUL for my sweet man!

I LOVE YOU STEVE!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankfulness Day 4

 

Today I am very, very thankful for this place:

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It is not the biggest or the fanciest... 004

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By no stretch of the imagination is it perfect...

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It is NOT always clean... 003

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It is not always put together, but it is our home.

We make memories here...005

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We live here and love one another here...

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We celebrate here!

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We laugh and we cry here...

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We are silly here and we enjoy our time together.

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We grow in our walks with the Lord here... and we are amazed

at His goodness to us...

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We are grateful that the Lord sees fit to allow us to live in such a place and we pray that our little family honors Him everyday as we live in this gift from Him.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 3

Today, and everyday, I am thankful for this face...

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She is growing so much and learning more and more everyday. I am so proud of some of the obstacles that she has overcome and some of the things that she's doing that no one was really sure she'd do! 

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She is so HILARIOUS and makes me laugh every single day. Sometimes she will just stop what she's doing and say, "Mom, I love you!" and it just melts my heart every single time!

I am so proud of her ability to read (the teachers say that she can read better than some 5th graders and she's in 2nd grade!) and I am so proud of her determination to be as much like any other kid without a mild disability. We still have a ways to go, but God is at work in her and I am ETERNALLY thankful to be her mom!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 2

Today I am thankful for the girls that God is growing in our Sunday School class.

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Lately we have truly seen God bring some wonderful new friends to our class. One of the things that I love about us is that we are a very diverse group. God has used different life situations and experiences to help each person see that they are truly not alone and that He can, and will, use us if we just open our hands and allow Him to do that.

For example, I have shared many times about my daughter and some of the special needs that she has. Well, recently God brought TWO of the women in this picture into my life, both with daughters with special needs, just to help us all see that He has a plan and that He can use us as support for each other. I have loved that they have been down the road that I am now walking and they truly understand when I share about the disappointments and the small victories that we have around here.

There are numerous stories of how God has brought one girl our way and we've immediately thought, "WOW! HER story sounds like HER story!" and we've been able to see God develop accountability and friendships that have been nothing short of amazing.

The picture is from a recent women's retreat that we planned for the class. God did some wonderful healing work that weekend and He has drawn us closer to Him and to each other since then. Some of the women are new believers and their perspectives and joy is so contagious that you just LOVE being around them! Some have loved Jesus for a long time and their wisdom and perspective encourages the new believers. It is so wonderful to see how God works!

So, today, I am thankful for the women that God is using to encourage me and that I get to share life with on a weekly basis! I love you all and I am praying for you!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness- Day 1

Well, the first of November does inspire one to begin to think of the things that we are thankful for and when I saw that my friend Jennifer at Homeward Bound was telling what she was thankful for... I thought I'd join in! Thanks Jen! I needed some inpiration today!

Today I am thankful for my brother. He had a heart attack this time last year and recovered pretty well. Recently, he fell at work and has injured himself. Initally we thought it was a back injury, but the doctors say that the fall has affected his brain. We are not sure what will happen next, but he has had the highest spirits and he is trusting that everything is going to be fine. The injury has affected his ability to walk and he is currently walking with a walker. He is waiting to see a neurosurgeon in the coming week. He has been through so much and I am diligently praying that the Lord will heal his body completely.


I am also thankful for my parents. Mom and dad have been with my brother through all of this and they are tirelessly working to help him get the care that he needs. Mom is such a positive light in our family and my dad prays, prays, prays. They have not always had it easy, but they try very hard to work together to make our family what it is. Since this accident they have done everything that they can for my brother, and though they are getting older, they do it all with such love and care.

I am thankful because I know that our lives could be so much worse. I am thankful that I have a family that loves Jesus and who sticks together through thick and thin.

If you have a moment would you pray for my family? We are trusting the Lord and the fact that He is Jehovah Raffae "The God Who Heals."