Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I want to thank you for what you have already done. I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards. I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better. I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears. I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me behind my back. I am not going to wait until my financial situation or the economy improves. I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet. I am not going to wait until a different season in my life unfolds. I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief. I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking you right now.
I am thanking you because I am alive. I am thanking you because I made it through the day's difficulties. I am thanking you because I have walked around the obstacles. I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I'm thanking you, Heavenly Father, because you haven't given up on me. You are good and you are good all the time.
Thank you for all the good you've done for me. Amen
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
- I don't know that I would say "giving up all hope," but to me it means accepting that we cannot change the past or a decision no matter how much we would like to.
- The "different past" could be my own decisions and sin, but it could also be the actions, words, and sin of another who hurt me. No matter how much I wish that person wouldn't have said this, done that, or hurt me in whatever way, it is what it is. I am doing myself no favor by holding on to unforgiveness - hoping for a different situation to have occurred.
- As has been said, "Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die." It doesn't work that way, when we don't forgive, we are the one that whithers and dies.
- Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. I know there are things in my past that I would love to go back and do over (responded differently, chosen better, not done, etc...), but I need to give up all hope of having done something differently and choose to forgive myself. If I say I accept God's forgiveness after confessing and repenting of my sin, I am, in a sense, turning my back on His gift if I don't forgive myself.
- I can't move forward in life unless I deal with areas of unforgiveness towards myself.
- And concerning unforgiveness towards others: even if a person(s) doesn't ask for forgiveness or acknowledge how they have hurt or damaged me or a relationship, I can make a choice to release them from my desire for justice. It does me no good to spend my time and life hoping that they will own up to their part in a hurtful situation. If I choose to forgive, I give myself permission to move forward. I will allow God to deal with that individual or persons, and even if I don't see any movement on their part towards accepting their part in a situation, I can be free from obsessing on the fact that I was wronged/hurt/etc...
- Forgiveness can sometimes be a process. We must make A CONSCIOUS CHOICE to forgive, and then when our emotions bring that situation back to mind with all those same, old feelings, we can CHOOSE AGAIN to forgive. We may have to do that many times at first, but as God allows us to experience His forgiveness immediately each and every time we need it, we can learn and move towards those times being farther and farther apart when those feeling rear their ugly heads.
Friday, October 30, 2009
As I was cleaning up my computer files the other day, I ran across my favorite quotes folder. Anytime I see or hear a quote that means something to me, I open my "Favorite Quotes" file and add that quote to the others. I've got an assortment of quotes saved - some are funny; some are thought-provoking; some are from famous people; some are from cartoon characters; some are worth sharing; some are not worth sharing. I ran across the following quote, and it spoke to me just as much as it did the first time I read it. Take some time to ponder this today."Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
~ From A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
Monday, October 12, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
In an attempt to actually interact with my children, I will be taking a break from posting for the summer. Unless something truly interesting happens (which, face it, 99.95% of my blog posts have not been about anything interesting), I won't be posting. I also will not be checking my email regularly; I plan to pick one day a week to check my emails (by then I'll have hundreds, but oh well). So.......if you would like to contact me, you'll have the old-fashioned choices of either picking up the phone to call me or (horror of horrors) writing me a letter and sending it snail mail.
Today I am posting something that I copied from a site on the internet a while ago. I had pasted it into a Word document, but for the life of me, I can't figure out the original source for it, so if someone knows, I'd be more than happy to give credit where credit is due. I googled several of the phrases, but never found the original site. Take a few minutes and read through the following list. What would our lives be like if we truly lived by these suggestions?
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2008.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7-8 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes’ walk every day. And while you walk, smile.
11. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't overdo. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you earn will last a life time.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.40. Don’t just read this; apply it to your life!
Monday, June 15, 2009
- If you have the time, Beth Moore wrote devotional for Life Today, and it would be well worth your read. You can check it out HERE.
- It was so exciting to hear about Jimmy Webb's cross country trek to raise money and awareness for Teen Challenge. You can check out his progress on his blog HERE. I love that he and Cindy have a quote of the day at the top of the posts.
- Dave would love for me to use iCal (a computer calendar system that lets us sync our individual calendars), but it just means extra work for me. I take my regular calendar with me everywhere to be able to make appointments and so forth, and then he wants me to come home, get on the computer, open the program, and put all those events on iCal. And.....I usually have many more events on my calendar because I am coordinating my schedule along with all the kids events. I've tried, really, I have, but it's a constant struggle for me and I really don't like having my calendar only on my computer. I'm old fashioned, I know, but I like a hard copy that's easy to take with me. Coordinating our schedules and keeping one another informed of our various activities, meetings, and events has been a pretty constant struggle for us throughout our marriage. How are you all handling that?
- Loving this weather! I guess the warm weather is on the way, though.
- Missing my Hannie.
- Praying that I can get my life more in alignment with Philippians 2:3-8. Dave spoke on these verses on Sunday. My "attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Ouch. Wish I could say that was true of me all the time, but I'm asking God to help me grow in that area. How about you?
- Happy Monday to you all.
Monday, June 1, 2009
- My boys LOVE being out of school! Eric slept on the trampoline last night and Peter has a friend over; oh yeah, it's Summatime!
- Dave and my older two are headed out to do some painting for a woman who needs some help; a sort of still-Servolution project.
- Dave's message yesterday was totally what the title of my blog is all about. He even titled his message something similar, "Loud Together." He should have just called it, "Traveling Together." ;-) It would have been a great plug for my blog; not that anyone would know that though..........except for you who are reading this......but then you already know I have a blog; oh my, circular thinking at its best! :-)
- Some thoughts from that message:
- I am broken and flawed, and I need a Savior. Boy, how well I know this.
- When we are grace receivers, we become grace givers. This is proven in relationships, and when we give grace, it leads to peace.
- "Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God." Phil 1:3 - Totally how I feel about my New Life family!
- God gives us confident hope. Thank you, Jesus!
- God's given us the church (the body of believers) so that His love can overflow into our lives. His people are the distributers of His love in our lives to keep the fire going.
- An ember pulled out of the fire, dies. An ember in the midst of the fire, revives. This is why we need one another.
- We can only learn to dispense grace if it is actually needed in a relationship. If there is never a situation that requires grace from us, how on earth would we ever learn it? I don't think Dave said this, but it was something I wrote down on my note-taking sheet. You do that, you know, when you sit through multiple services. You begin to add your own notes as you build on what you've heard already once or twice that morning.
- God has things to teach us that we can only learn through "the church," meaning other believers. (Wow! I had more notes written on my note-taking sheet than I thought! :-) It was good stuff, though, so I thought I'd share my take-aways.)
- Servolution post event meeting is tonight. It's where we give and get the lowdown on how everything went. There's always tons that went right to celebrate and tons that didn't go quite-so-right to be re-evaluated.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Some stats from this year:
500 Food Baskets given away
300 people were given community resources
117 people went through our health screening
73 haircuts given
1800 hot dogs eaten
70 people gave blood at the blood drive and.....
Approximately 15,000 man hours of work was donated by those who joined the Servolution!
Now THAT is love in action!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
After four and a half years of vigilantly fighting breast cancer, Rachel Barkey, a 37 year old wife and mother of two, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. But for Rachel, the essence of life is found in her relationship with God through Jesus. And that's why Rachel is convinced that death is not dying.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Time for another exciting edition of Mish Mash Mondays! (Humor me here, okay?) Lots of thoughts today:
- I love me some baptisms! Seriously, I cry every time we have baptisms and yesterday was no different. Seeing the life change that God has begun in so many people encourages me to continue in my pursuit of Him. I love hearing the stories of those who come to be baptized; they get me every time!
- I am hearing more and more about events that took place on Servolution. Yesterday at church, several people stopped me to say, "Did you hear.....?" and proceeded to fill me in on some great things that God did through Servolution.
- After church, we were able to spend some time with Dave's family, including his aunt and uncle from Clovis, and his cousins who are here from back east. We had a lovely lunch and a relaxing time visiting.
- It's HOT! It was so good to be able to jump in the pool last night to cool off.
- Today's To Do's? Going to the bank, grocery shopping, laundry, writing a few notecards to people, and work for a job I am doing. It's gonna be a great day!
Friday, May 15, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, it was "Birthday Brunch" time with my mom and sisters. Twice a year we get together at Mimi's to celebrate two of our birthdays. In April, it was my two sister's birthdays, in case the presents in front of them didn't give that away! Aren't they beautiful? I am so proud of the two of them. They are great women, fantastic moms, and the best, most fun and loving sisters I could ask for.
Monday, May 11, 2009
This post has needed to be written for a long time now. I’ve started it a couple of times, only to erase it all because I just couldn’t find the words to finish it. I’ve gone over and over what to say and how to say it, and I haven’t sensed any divine revelation, so I’m just going to wing it here.
You see, God has begun a mighty change in me and I find that for every step forward in faith, I take two steps back with fear and insecurity. I am embarrassed to write this post, to some degree, because I have to share a message that God has been trying to smack into me for quite some time. Okay, just being honest here, it’s been years that He’s been trying to break through to me in this area.
A couple of months ago, unbeknownst to me, a friend and fellow staff wife got a little bug up her sleeve to have a surprise for me at our Women’s Retreat. Many of you wrote wonderful and beautiful cards to me and, embarrassingly, gave of your hard earned money towards a gift for me – me of all people!
The last day of the retreat, my friend, Tricia, called me up to the front. I had no idea as to why she was calling me up there, and she proceeded to say some things that I can’t quite remember. (When I am standing in front of a group of grown ups, I usually have a sort of “out of body” experience because I am so embarrassed and insecure to be there).
The gift of the cards was such a sweet and unexpected surprise, and I was touched that so many women would make the time to write me a card. I was full to over-flowing with the love that I felt in the gift of those cards.
But then……Tricia proceeded to say something that my simple mind didn’t have a category for, and I didn’t even understand what she was saying at first. She told me that the women, along with their cards, had given money, towards a gift for me.
I simply cannot find the words to say how totally embarrassed I was that anyone would give in these difficult financial times towards a gift for me. I certainly haven’t “earned” it, I certainly don’t “deserve” it, and I certainly can’t believe it. I must have looked so silly in that moment because I truly did not understand what Tricia was trying to tell me.
Long story not so short, Tricia told me that there had been enough money to buy the club chairs that we had picked out when we had bought our sofa two years ago! I KNOW! What is up with that?
Well, after mumbling something (probably not at all intelligible), I headed back to my seat with the treasured box of cards in my hands. As I sat down, I was engulfed in the hugs of the two women sitting on either side of me, and in that moment…….something broke. I felt a love wash over me like a tidal wave and I “heard” the voice of the Lord speaking straight to the depths of my soul.
Now, there have been two times in my life that I clearly sensed God speaking straight to my heart in a way that was all but audible. In both of those times, I can tell you word-for-word what God spoke to my spirit because it was so vivid, real, and true. This time was no different; I remember word-for-word (it’s all but etched in my heart) what God said to me.
I’m a little hesitant to share what I heard because, well, I’m sure God speaks to you all in grand and eloquent ways, and me? Not so much.
Anyway, as I sat enveloped in the hugs of those two women and overwhelmed with the love that those cards represented, as clearly as anything, I heard these words, “Gena, it’s time to put your big girl panties on and step over all those danged insecurities you have hidden behind for so long.”
Yep. That’s it. That’s what I heard. To be fair, I also heard, “You can do all I’ve called you to do, and you can trust in this love.”
God gave me no grand discourse on His immutability, or why He sent his son, Jesus Christ, as propitiation for my sin, or His transcendent nature. Nope. None of that; just “Put your big girl panties on.”
I don’t mean to be flippant at all about the reality of the Lord speaking to me. I really don’t, but I simply can’t rephrase what I heard because that’s what I heard.
And you know how God has to say some things over and over for us to get it? Well, believe it or not, I recently attended a one-day conference with two speakers, and both, BOTH, women used that exact same phrase at one point during the day in their talks. I mean, what are the odds of that?
Well, those words have come back to me over and over again since the retreat and I continue to pray that I can truly accept what He told me. I desire to stay on the other side of my “danged” insecurities that I all to often willingly and fearfully hide behind. I want to trust in the love of those God has so graciously and wonderfully placed in my life. And, I want to feel free to release the deep, honest-to-goodness love that I have for others in our church.
Anyway, as I came home from the retreat to read all of those sweet and heartfelt cards, I was again amazed at the gifts God has given me in the women of our church. I will always keep that box of cards, and I will reread them every so often (especially on days when I wonder if I can do anything right!). I don’t deserve the love that was expressed in those cards, but you all gave it anyway. Do you even know how humbling that is?
And on top of that most precious gift, you all gave me some chairs. CHAIRS! I couldn’t believe it, and guess what? They are here! You all need to come over to see them and rest your little hienies in them! I like them just as much as I did two years ago; they match our sofa so well! And when I sit in them, I am amazed at the gift of love that they represent to me.
Yes, it took me until the chairs got here to post this because I’ve been embarrassed at your overly gracious and generous gift. I mean, how do you accept something like that? And yet, I am afraid that my inability to say thank you earlier might have been seen as being ungrateful. That wasn’t it at all! In fact, it was just the opposite; I was so grateful for the undeserved gift that I found it hard to accept. Why you all would bless me that way, I don’t know, but I want to let you know how very much I appreciate the gift and the love in which it was given.
So there you have it, a long overdue and heartfelt THANK YOU to you all who have dared to love me and bless me. I can only pray that I will be faithful with those gifts and that I will turn around and pour those gifts out to others. I love you and thank you with all that I am.