Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm tired of fighting...

I’m tired of fighting, everything. My flesh, this world, this world system…I’m tired of fighting people and philosophies. I’m just plain tired. Do I need to say more?

Why does it seem like this time of the year, the supposed “most wonderful time of the year” seems to be filled with more internal fighting each year? I just don’t get it! I want to just be at ease and go with the flow and be happy, for crying out loud- "it's the most wonderful time of the year!" or is it? Instead I just feel an inner turmoil- I’m fighting.

Is it my expectations? Or lack of them? Ok, realistically, I don’t think I ever struggle with LACK of expectations! I’m really not trying to be a total scrooge but is it horrible that I just want the holiday’s to be over!? Don’t tell my family!

SOOOOOOO, as I’m purging here, I realize how much of a perspective shift I need. How much I need to continue, even in ALLLLLL the busyness, to look up! To live up. Or should I say, because of Ephesians 2:6 where Paul says, as believers we are “seated in the heavenly places, In Christ”…I need to live looking down.

I need to live, by faith, where in reality I really am- in Him, in the heavenly places. I guess that does give me a much bigger perspective about this fighting feeling, huh? It gives me a bigger perspective, in general. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Christmas! Can you believe Christmas is here again…already!? Where does the time go? Honestly, this year has been a blur-the older I get the faster it goes. I know this principal is true, I’ve heard it all my life and now that I’m middle aged, I see the reality of it! Time flies and not just when you are having fun. It flies regardless.

I wonder if it seemed to fly as fast 2400ish years ago when the recorded “word of the Lord” ceased and there was 400 years of silence in the nation of Israel. Did time seem to stand still or fly when this people were seemingly abandoned by YHWH as the Greeks and Romans ruled? Sure, false prophets spoke in the name of the Lord but He was silent- for 400 years.

Until…the exact right time! Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoptions as sons.” God spoke through His One and Only Begotten Son- He spoke the ultimate message of Grace, Mercy and Hope. God’s wrath against sin and His Holiness would be met by Himself- by a baby born to die…born under the Law in order to grow into a man to fulfill the Law and then die under the penalty of the Law. He died to sin. He became the sin.

Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” These are the last days…God spoke through Jesus, His message of Truth. He is over all and He redeemed us- He finished it all. A baby, under the Law…grown into a man- fully God and fully man…the Way, Truth and Life. In these last days, may we remember God’s message of Grace and Truth- His message to a lost and dying world, His message of Hope and Peace. Time flies. May we remember our lives are simply a vapor or a mist, here and then gone. May we be women who live in these last days with the Hope, Grace and Peace only He can give. Merry Christmas, in this His Season!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Stew

I have always and will always hate stew. Sorry for all your stew fans but from my earliest memories of stew I have hated it! My dad and I even came up with a code when it was “stew night” and we managed to almost ALWAYS avoid it…that is probably why my mom still has cool whip containers filled with stew in the freezer while we speak/write! Just kidding, kinda! Well, I’ve been thinking about stew. The question is what kind of stew!

So, this past weekend I had the privilege of going to the TieUsTogether Conference in Valparaiso and it was great! (Thanks Jackie for all your hard work!) Jan Silvious was the Keynote speaker and she talked a lot about wisdom and how that applies to our life, she did a great job too! (Thanks Jan too) She talked about Joshua 6 and the idea of needing to “Pay attention, you have never been this way before.” Meaning, every day…every situation really is new and we need to always pay attention to the Lord because WE haven’t been there before, He has though. (I know you are wondering what in the world this has to do with stew! I’m getting there!)

Anyway, she posed the question in her last session, “what can we run into when we have ‘never been this way before’?” This first thing she mentioned was our family issue…or if I may, the “pot we stewed in”.  See my stew thoughts?? I’ve been pondering it since Saturday…how many things, maybe family things, or church things, emotional things, default reactions in my life are just beliefs or knee-jerk reactions to the things I have “stewed” in?

You know, “things have just always been that way or this is just how I am” kind of thinking, it just all kind of melds together and mushes together…like stew. All the parts just kind of cling to the flavor of the stew. How much of how I live life is a reflection on my flavor of stew?

I’ve really been thinking on that…does my flavor taste like me or my family or my denomination OR of Jesus? I don’t hate the “Jesus Stew” but I do want to reflect on what other “flavors” my life might be giving the flavor of….just me thinking!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kinda Creepy...

This past Monday I got to do the “wrap up” for Middle School Campus Life. I’ll be honest, 20 or so middle school kids is NOT my normal teaching venue and slightly out of my comfort zone, but we have a lot of fun!

For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about who we are and how God made us. This week our topic was; God knows us. He knows you. I used Psalm 139:1-6, that Psalm is a personal favorite of mine…check it out if you don’t know it!

Anyway, as we were discussing how God knows EVERYTHING, including what we do, think, feel and so on. Two boys, almost at the same time say; “That’s just kinda creepy!” It made me laugh, but you know what? I can totally see why it seems kinda creepy. Especially, if you don’t know His Character.

It would be creepy if He wasn’t a relational, loving God. It would be creepy if He was just watching…but He is a God who is constantly interacting. Initiating. Knowing. Creepy? Kinda, but as we get to know Him and His character the creepiness lessens and it turns to cool.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption...

I had a simply sweet and wonderful day…I heard my Mom speak for Ladies Bible Study and she did a wonderful job!! Ok, it was the Lord in her but still it was a huge inspiration to me. My Mom turned 80 this year and she is still…still serving. What an example to me and to all of us! He wants to use us until the day we draw our last breath!

She spoke on Joshua Chapter 2, the story of Rahab, the harlot. She spoke of God wooing (calling her to love Him) her to Himself and the scarlet thread of redemption, just like the scarlet cord that hung from her window. It is a wonderful story of faith and redemption! I have to share one quick thing. My mom and I worked together for 15 years in the family business and we had a blast together. In the last couple of years we were open to the public (we started out as a wholesale only company) and we made great friends along the way with lots of women!

Anyway, this morning a former customer was at Bible Study and heard my Mom speak. She shared with me afterwards that she needed the timely and encouraging word and it ministered to her heart. That ministry started years ago…when she was our customer! How cool is that? My Mom was used years ago in this women’s life as a store-owner and now as a speaker! What a wonderful scarlet thread of redemption…of the story of Christ meeting people right where they are, of wooing them. He is wooing our friend! He is wooing you. Whether you know it or not, He has a scarlet thread of redemption in your life too. In your life and in the lives of those you touch…He wants to use you, until you draw your last breath!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This morning I drove around Laporte…seeing the Pole. Today was the national “See you at the Pole”, student led prayer around the flagpole event. I always get teary…it deeply touches my heart to see 100+ kids gathered around the flagpole to pray at a public school.

This year’s theme was…engage. I’ve thought about that word all day. Honestly, I’m struggling. I have kids in 11th, 7th and 2nd grade and honestly, ENGAGING is the last thing on my motherly mind…DISENGAGING is more like it! I want to build walls and protect. I want to see them come through their teen years unscathed…you know no drugs, no alcohol, no sex…hard working, good grades and so on and so forth. Hear my heart, those are not bad things, of course they are not bad things BUT what about being Godly? What about loving what our Lord loves? What about engaging with a really lost and dying world…engaging a sea of faces, with names?

What am I teaching my kids as I engage or disengage in my world…my sea of faces, with names? Engage. Is my goal just to be unscathed by the world…or to engage the world, with the only True message of Hope? I loved this morning. It inspires me. My heart is so full with the desire to see those kids engage- being in the world, engaging BUT not of the world…to see them know exactly who they are in Christ. Engage.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Bag...

I must tell you a sweet, sweet story- 17 years ago or so I sat in a Chinese restaurant in Minnesota, with my Mom and 2 sisters…celebrating my oldest sister’s 40th Birthday. We ate well and sat drinking our “Birthday” tea. As we enjoyed the time…the conversation turned to gifts. What would she LOVE to have? What would be a great “marker” for her 40th Birthday? In a moment of sheer unguarded clarity she spoke…”A Coach purse.” We laughed and oohhhh and ahhhhhed and then…my mother said, “Let’s go get one, right now.”

Now, you have to understand, my mother is a Great Depression Era child, she is a seriously NON-frivolous person. She re-uses foil! Not knocking the foil re-use…I do it too, sometimes. But you have to understand, the last person IN THE WORLD who would buy a $200ish purse would be my Mom! That was simply unheard of!

No joke, we paid the bill at the restaurant and we marched right up to the Couch counter, in Macy’s (I think it was Macy’s, or some department store) and my mother plunked down the money for a brand new Coach purse for my sister’s 40th. Unbelievable.

That was the beginning of a family tradition…we did the same thing 2 years later for my other sister’s 40th. And baby Mandi? She wouldn’t be turning 40 for quite some time, so she got a knock-off at a flea market. :) I must tell you, I’m really not that big of a Coach fan, or a $200 purse fan.

Anyway, this summer I turned 40 and low and behold my Mom, sisters and I found ourselves at the Coach outlet. HMMMM….honestly, we were there because of my niece and I really had no idea we would be looking for me! As my Mom came up to me and said, “Well, which one do you want? “ I was really quite dumbfounded…not to sound ungrateful but I really didn’t WANT a Coach purse!

I looked around…handled a few purses and was getting ready to settle for one when my sister brought me a sleek black Coach briefcase-satchel-like-thing, she said; “Wouldn’t this be great for all your Bible Study stuff?” My Mom looked at me and said to me something like, “That’s the one.”

I don’t think I can put into words what it meant to me to have my mom buy something so extravagant for what I have been called to do. To Teach. We talked about it later…she was so pleased to “invest” in a bag that would carry the Word and be a help to me, as I minister the Word to women.

My Mom turned 80 this year, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have her in my life, but her extravagant purchase of tradition, for my 40th, meant the world to me. I’ll think of her always as I carry my bag week by week. When you see me in class don’t notice the bag, but remember what the bag contains. What it contains is worth all the investment in the world. Had to tell you my sweet, sweet story…thanks Mom.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fall 2009 Bible Study..."The Relationship"

Fall 2009 Bible Study "The Relationship"....5 distinct parts, yet all connected! Trying out the web-cam and no I don't have anything in my eye...evidently I just like to blink and talk with my eyes! I don't really think anyone looks at this anyway, so I'm going out on a limb and posting it! I need to seriously work on my promo skills! By the way, at the end...I meant to say "join me" but I crossed it with "enjoy" and got..."en-join me!" LOL!! Seriously though, I am excited about Bible Study this year. Obviously...there is no video. Darn. It wouldn't upload. You'll just have to trust me, it was a hoot! Still excited about Bible Study, hope you can come!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A child will lead them...

I must say, we all know kids can be, well…kids. Cute. Funny. Annoying. Kids. I have a unique relationship in my life with a 56 year old adult, who has the mental capacity of about a 4-5 year old. My friend “Lilly”. Lilly comes to church with us every Sunday as long as the weather is ok, otherwise she’s on “vacation”.

Lilly has been “dropped in my lap”, by the Lord, and honestly I’ve struggled with that. Please don’t get me wrong, I love Lilly but I have my own kiddos to take care of and sometimes I struggle resenting the fact that I have another. Honestly (I’m ashamed to admit it) I’ve thought to myself, “what is the point of all this?”

Until on a Sunday a few months ago, I picked up Lilly for church and we were driving along talking about her week. She mentioned something she was “teaching” her little 2 yr old niece…something that was not appropriate at all. Lilly thought it was SO very funny and I gently mentioned that teaching her niece that particular song/action could really teach her something wrong. Not much was said but as you would correct a kindergartner…I corrected Lilly, end of story…so I thought.

We went to Sunday school and Church as usual and I “watched” Lilly…again, slightly annoyed at times. At the end of the service, Lilly broke down in tears, hung her head, and cried into her arms…it was really quite heart-breaking. I put my arm around her (lots of times she cries over things she wants, or people who might be sick in her family) and said…”Lilly, what’s wrong?” She looked up at me….”Mandi, I don’t want to teach *Carrie bad things. I want to teach her good things…things about Jesus. I want her to grow up and be a good girl.”

In a span of just a few hours I saw such genuine, beautiful, and authentic brokenness in this 56 yr old/ 5 yr old. She understood what she taught her niece mattered. So was torn up and broken before God that she might led her niece away from the things of the Lord. That hit me like a ton of bricks…Lilly led me. Simply, sweetly, not even being aware….she taught me about brokenness over sin and softness toward others. What we do, matters…what we teach with our lives, matters. I was in danger of teaching my children that all people, don't matter-as I can be impatient with Lilly. What we teach by our brokenness over our own sin or lack of it, matters. A little child, in a 56 yr old body can and….will lead them. That morning, Lilly led me to my own brokenness over how I treat her. It was quite beautiful!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Mom...

My Mom turned 80 today…amazing, how did she get that old!? I just hope I’m a lot like her in 40 years. She is sharp, active, loves life-family and Jesus. She is truly an amazing woman. I spent the day celebrating, watching, asking reminiscent questions and listening to her answers. Wow, it was fun and I loved it. I have heard all this before, but listening to her again, my how things have changed in 80 years.

Here is a few things that she shared...She was born in the year of the stock market crash 1929, the year the Great Depression hit our country. They had no telephone…they “shared” with a neighbor. They did have running water and electricity but no refrigerator, just an icebox….a literal box that held ice! My grandmother had 3 sons and the nun at the hospital promised my grandmother if she had the baby before midnight it would be a girl and if after midnight a boy. Well, my mom was born at 11:54pm….and my grandmother had her girl! Go figure!

Life was simple and my mom has seen so much in 80 years…I can only imagine that I will see and have seen so much too. Life and time just flies by. Only a few things last…may we be like my Mom and invest in things that WILL last.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Just thinkin...

I’ve spent 20 years “preparing” for an event….dreading an event. And you know what? I’m not prepared. I wonder how much time I have wasted over the last 20 years in my “preparing”, ok, I’ll call it what it is. Worry.

Ugg. This is a lesson I really need to learn, and the Lord is patiently teaching me. It struck me like a 2x4 today…all that “preparing” did nothing; I’m not prepared at all, at least not prepared because of the worrying.

I have a tendency to be a “glass half empty” kind of gal and a “let’s just be prepared” worrier. It’s a chronic kind of condition for me. I’m not justifying (ok maybe I am) or just saying that is the way I am and I can’t help it. I’m confessing. I was reminded very clearly today…

Matthew 6: 27, 33-34 says…
27"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
33"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I’ve been thinking on the merge of theology and practicality lately, because honestly there seems to be such a gap for me sometimes. Where what I believe and what I live don’t really match. Thus speaking to what I truly believe.

I tend to justify my chronic sin issues in the lane of indecision between my theology and my life. There lies the problem. That doesn’t speak very highly of the relationship that was purchased for me on Calvary, by Jesus, does it? This relationship He purchased is living, breathing, changing, growing…in spite of me. Maybe my focus should be more on the “preparing” of that eternal relationship, instead of “preparing” for all that life has? Worrying. Just me thinkin….

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Who's Leading Who?

The Cornett's are dog people, but usually we are "used" dog people. In our 19 years of marriage we have had 3 fully grown "used" Airedale's- all loved and then buried...until now. We have a puppy from the pound. My how different puppies are, needless to say, we were not prepared.

I usually give Oliver his morning walk, in my PJ's and a coat and I'll tell you, the real question is; who is leading who on our walks? He tries to lead me, or should I say...he drags, pulls, yanks, and runs his way around the block. I hold tight of the leash and give him only so much rope. We have tried the "spike collar", it has helped but boy...he has a mind of his own.

Sound familiar at all to your life? I sure act like Oliver sometimes...OK, more than I'd like to admit. The Lord is leading and I'm running around the block, pulling and yanking. Sometimes I think I need "spike collar" yet what I receive is grace and mercy. God is so good, so patient, so faithful. He is an ever capable "Trainer". He knows what He is doing, where He is leading. He fully supplies all that is needed. I think I just need to get a grip and maybe a bit less distracted...and follow.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Don't "One Two"!

My daughter is almost 7 and I was just reminiscing about her young life this morning. When she was just a toddler one of her cute phrases was..."I don't one two". What she really meant was "I don't want to." Well, the phrase, "I don't one two" stuck and John and I laugh thinking about her sweet voice saying it to this day.  Funny how those cute phrases from childhood stick with you!

I was just telling the Lord this morning something...."I don't one two" do. I don't want to love a particular person.  I don't want to. I know I need to. I know I'm called to but the fact of the matter is...I don't want to. Sometimes we need, like I did this morning, to ask the Lord for the "want to" in things. Things that, I don't want to obey. I don't want to wait in. I don't want fill in the blank. 

 It made me think of Maggie's "I don't one two" phrase.  One....I need to see the need to "want to" in the first place and Two...I need to acknowledge the fact that I can't just suck up the "want to". I need Him to give me the "want to" of this Christian life.  It's His work in me and we have the "one two" He wants to impart to all of us? Are we in the pattern of asking Him to give us His "one two"?  

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is He Alive Today?

Well, we just celebrated the most important holiday on the Christian calendar yesterday...Easter. He is alive! Churches were packed, bells were ringing. So many acknowledging the fact that He is risen...Jesus is alive!

So, I've been thinking and I question; Is He alive today? Of course, He is, that's the obvious answer but what does my life really say? What does my life testify too today? Yesterday my mouth testified that He is alive...but how about my life today?

Fundamentally speaking, what we believe is what we act upon. Think about it...what we truly believe is what we do. Belief and actions are directly connected. If I think I won't get caught, I just fill in the blank. If I think I can, I will. If I don't think I can, I won't. If I believe I'm going to go for a walk later....I'll eat those jelly beans now. Whatever. What we do is directly connected to what we believe about something.

So, we need to ask ourselves....what do we believe about the resurrection of Jesus, today? Is He alive? What we believe about who Jesus is and if He is alive, today is directly connected to how we will live out our lives. The resurrection is not about a holiday we celebrate once a is a reality that is suppose to transform how we view the world and transform us 24/7 ....365 days a year. What does my life speak really speak about what I say I believe? Not what I know about. Is He alive today? Yes. The question is; what do our lives say that we truly believe?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pea soup...

I hate pea soup...always have. It looks, how shall I say it, like baby poop and the smell of it? Well, let's just say, I've had my issues with pea soup. I know I sound childish but I'd rather eat practically anything other than pea soup.

Earlier this year, I was at a weekend retreat where all the women involved were to make a won't believe it, at lunch one day, it was pea soup. I had seen her making it, I had desperately hoped two choices would be available, but no. The lunch menu was pea soup. This was a small gathering of ladies, no flying under the radar here, so I did the only polite thing I could think of; I took as little of it as I could to still look like I was eating and grateful. The childhood memories of pea soup and the hope of pea soup escape over-took me as I sat down for lunch... no way of escape. We prayed, I prayed harder that I would not shame myself at the table. Taking my spoon and with a "MMMMM" smile took a bite.

What happened next totally floored me...I liked it. This pea soup tasted nothing like the pea soup I have had in the past. This was good, it wasn't only tasted great. I actually enjoyed it. I went back for more. I asked for the recipe. I went home and bought split peas for the first time in my life. In my book, pea soup has been redeemed. Wow. Never, ever thought I would think that! Pea Soup.

So, what does this have to do with anything? It made me stop and consider, how many things in my life, in my circumstances, or even a few people, I can tend to look at and even treat like pea soup. Yuck. There are things in my life that make my stomach twist and turn, I dread...things and issues that I hate, just like pea soup. Things that I have conditioned with a response, just like my pea soup response.

But, what if the Lord is able to make things that we have issues about, preconceived opinions about...even unpleasant experiences we have had and change the "taste"? What if He could make them "taste" different? What if these people or circumstances could be transformed into something other than what they are...what if I am transformed? What if my "taste" for these things changed...and it was great? Or am I just so conditoned with my response of "Yuck" I don't even give them a try? Do I just asumme it's the same old, same old. Ummmmm....

Isaiah 43:18-19

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

Our God is in the business of making and re-making. He makes things new....even a pea soup life. How am I viewing my pea soup?

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hebrews 1:1; "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not yet seen."

Do I really hope/trust/anticipate that I will really be completed in Christ? Am I convinced and convicted that it will be a reality? Am I convinced that He is enough? That He is able? Faith has such a high price tag to in Him. He knows exactly Who He is and what He is doing. He is supremely confident that He is able, that He is enough. I'm the one who doubts, who walks so often in that doubt- not by faith but by sight.

Philippians 1:6; "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began the good work in you will carry it out into completion in the day of Christ Jesus."

I need to operate today in the reality of the faith, not by sight...not by feelings or circumstances not by what seems to be my current reality of life and situation. By faith in Him and in what He accomplished in His finished work on the Cross. He purchased my freedom and my completion. He is supremely confident He is enough and able and that I am not. He "betting" on Himself and not on me. I guess there really is a lot of freedom, grace, love, and assurance in that- now faith needs to be applied. I once heard Beth Moore say that we need to be Christ followers living lives of "faithing" is a verb. I like that. I need that. Faith.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Where does the time go?

Where does the time go? I haven't posted since January and now it is the middle of February! What's up? Life. Busy, busy life. All is well but honestly a little crazy and more crazy. I'm not even sure anyone notices...know what I mean? This whole cyber-world thing is actually a bit creepy. Who is watching? Is anyone there? Hee, Hee...I crack myself up.

Well, one thing is for sure. The Lord is always there...check out Genesis 16, the account of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. God reveals Himself as El-Roi, the God who sees. He sees. Hebrews 4 also says that all things are laid out before Him. He sees.

I need to be reminded that He sees. Not just for the sake of Him seeing all things I might try to hide but to know that I am seen. He sees me. He more than just notices. He sees.

Thank you Lord, that although I try to hide I'm seen but also thank you that you just plain see me. All of me. He is more than just aware or around...He sees.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Carrying the Weight of the Groceries…and the World.

Went to the grocery store last week, it was just an average trip but boy, was it cold! With that in mind, I decided that I needed to make as few trips as possible into the house. SO I decided to make one trip…I piled and spaced the plastic bags up my arms and on each finger. I was determined. Finally, I looped my small suitcase sized purse (in other words, my very large purse) over my last finger and headed to the door.

The first problem was to get the sliding door of the van closed…with much shoving, pushing and “foot tactics” I was able to get the door shut. Up the steps and to the door- literally arms extended, every muscle and finger strained and feeling like I was dying, I tottered. Really, this is not JUST a case of being out of shape; it was just a really bad plan- way too much stuff! No joke, my fingers were pinched and hurt for an hour!

Needless to say, I looked burdened and heavy-laden, which I was. Frankly, I looked like an over zealous idiot! It wasn’t until I realized that I didn’t have a plan to get the house door open that it hit me. This is what my life feels like, more often than I care to admit. It can feel like I’m carrying everything, in one trip. I can be heavy with life, with worry, with stress, with the lack of control- heavy with everything, even good things! Are you hearing me? It hit me, as I had to PUT DOWN all the groceries…

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy- laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

What a lesson to learn and re-learn. How’s it going carrying the weigh of the world and all the groceries? It’s not a great plan. Lay down your burdens; exchange them for His light load. He already carried it all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eating Peanut Butter on a Rice Cake, in the Car, on a Snowy Day...

Eating peanut butter on a rice cake, in the car, on a snowy day...that is how my morning started. I was on my way to teach class this morning and I usually eat my breakfast in the car (yes, I am always late and multitasking). This morning was no exception. Except, I choose a rice cake and it was a very snowy day. Driving slowly and carefully and eating my peanut butter rice cake. Not a good scenario. Why you might ask? Well, rice cakes are... how shall we say...rather crumbly. And as I'm driving and eating my rice cake, crumblies (is that a word?) are falling all around. I was rather distracted by this...I hope you seeing my dilemma, on a snowy day.

Silly? Yes, I know. But I do have a point, really. I had to literally tell my self, "Let the crumblies go!" (I spoke to myself in my head...I'm not totally crazy!) I can deal with the mess later, when I'm safe and not driving on a snowy day. So I did just that and made it to Bible Study just fine and on time. Whew. The crumblies got taken care of and all was well.

Does life ever throw you a few "crumblies"? At a particularly difficult time or place...or "inclement weather" season of life? Can you relate to being totally sidetracked with cleaning up the "crumblies" turn, putting real serious issues at risk? Do you need to hear the words;"Let it go". There are so many things in my everyday life that I really need to treat as a "crumblie". I need to let them go...they will be there later. So few things really last and so much is at stake.

Friday, January 9, 2009

When God says "No"...

Has God said "No" to you on any particular issue lately? I have recently had a confirmed "No" from the Lord and honestly, I'm learning to be grateful. I thought I would be devastated but I wasn't. I'm learning that "No"s are not all bad...yes, it has taken me 40 years to discover that! That doesn't mean we always like it or enjoy the "No" but we can trust God and then, even in the "No"...

Psalm 37:3-5, "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it."

Trust, Do, Dwell, Cultivate, Delight, Commit, and more Trust...all verbs. All surrounding "getting" the desires of our heart. How does a "No" from the Lord work into this? Well, when I receive a "No", I'm tempted to drop in a heap and stop...Trusting, Doing, Dwelling, Cultivating, Committing and so on. My tendenacy is lack of faith in the midst of a "No".

He is good and He is God and He is actively and accurately designing a change in our desires. He is enough. Am I desiring Him, even in the "No"? Am I dropping in a spiritual heap to throw a spiritual fit? Sometimes. Today, though, I'll choose to thank Him for the "No" and continue to Trust, Do, Dwell, Cultivate, Delight and then Trust some more...

Friday, January 2, 2009

A New Year...

Can you believe it? 2009, another New Year. Where does the time go? I've been reflecting on 2008 and trying not to "look" too far into 2009- a general problem I have. I like guarantees, I want the promise that this year holds only wonderful things. What do you feel as you "look" into this New Year? Hope? Fear? Certainty? Uncertainty? Faith? Or, like me, all of the above and then some?

Proverbs 31:25 " Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future."

Honestly, that seems to sting a little...ok, a lot. I'm not so sure I'm smiling at the future and strength and dignity? I think my holiday pounds are causing me to not fit into that clothing, right now! LOL.

Where am I going to find the strength and the dignity to wear for the smiling at the future part of the New Year? 2008 left me exhausted...unless. Unless. Yes, that is it. It is His Strength. His Dignity or should I say my identity in Him, that gives me dignity, that I need to wear- holiday pounds or not!

Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."

2009 a New Year...trusting, revering the One who is Redeeming. Trusting the One who is the Strength and who always smiles at the future. Happy New Year. May our eyes be on Him this year, no matter what the year brings.