God Enjoys Watching My Life (plus a prayer request)

2013

2013! Happy New Year to you!!!

 

 

May it be the best year yet for you!

Psalm 37:23The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

I love this Scripture! God enjoys watching my life.  He has ordered my steps. I don’t know what 2013 holds for me, but I have faith in knowing Who holds my future.

Recently, our family talked about what it would be like to have Jesus grow up in our home as our son or as our brother.  Jesus’ eyes were on His parents and his siblings. They could also see the very eyes of God on them. Mary saw God (Jesus) constantly looking at her. Have you thought about what it would have been like to have God living in your home watching you? It is a bit strange for me to imagine.

Even though we cannot physically see God looking at us in our home as Mary did, God IS looking at us. Not only is God looking at us, God IS delighting in watching my life and in watching your life.

Mary encouraged Jesus to do His first public miracle while Miracle ~ Wedding Canaattending a wedding feast.  She gave the best advice ever to those there. “His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he (Jesus) saith unto you, do it.” ( John 2:5) “Do what Jesus says to do” is still the best advice for us today!

We all have decisions to make.  At this time in our lives, my husband and I have quite a few decisions to make. Some of the decisions are quite large decisions. God delights when I have a trusting heart. My steps are ordered by the LORD. Even when my heart is a worrying heart, God lets me know in His merciful way I need to repent from worry and trust in Him.  

In our everyday job of being a homemaker, God has ordered the clean housesteps of a homemaker. Everything about homemaking can be done to the glory of God.  I can teach, wash dishes, clean the house, cut up an onion, and wash my husband’s shirts all to the glory of God.  Now some things I do, such as cutting up an onion may make me cry, but I can still do it to the glory of God. God is interested in even the most mundane chores I have to do today.  He delights in me. He delights in you. What mundane job have we been putting off?  Do it now with a cheerful heart knowing God is delighting in watching you.   

Psalm 37: 24“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.”

What a big Hand my God has! I fall so often. He upholds me with His Hand. That beautiful nail pierced Hand keeps me from being completely cast down.

When others go through a tough time, it is easy to say, “Hang in there, and trust Jesus”. But when I go through a tough time, those words sometimes seem hard to follow. It is comforting to know my Creator upholds me if I fall.

What can we do today? God uses praying people.  God uses compassionate people.  “And he (God) said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”  (Acts 10:4)

Everyone is going through something, so let us remember to give the gift of compassion. What we give to others, we will get in return.  If we need prayer, pray for others.  If we need compassion, give compassion to others. 

By the way, this heavenbound homemaker could use your prayers right now about a big decision we need to make. We want to be in the center of God’s will.

I have a prayer request: It is so comforting to know when others pray for me. Please pray for us: to make a wise decision (God knows). Please let us know if you just prayed for us by simply commenting at the end of this post, “I prayed for you.” Thank you, thank you, thank you, my praying friends! Lord willing, very soon in a future post, I will let you know how God answers this prayer.

I believe in the power of prayer! If you need prayer right now, please add in the comment section that you need me to pray for you also. I will pray for you! God knows the need, but still delights in hearing us talk to Him about that need. He delights in answering our prayer too.

We are all in this together, and we can make life brighter for one another when we pray for one another. It is also a ginormous bright spot in my life when I know someone is praying for me.  Thank you so much!~Hugs! ~XOXOX

5 Ways To Keep New Year Resolutions

I decided to look at last years survey on resolutions and found out the following information:

  • According to the survey, 41% of people in America made New Years Resolutions.
  • Only half of the people who made resolutions are keeping them one month later.
  • And this survey recorded that only 19% are sticking to them one year later.

Could the problem be that we are relying on our own strength?

Back to the survey:

  •  Out of these Resolutions, the top New Year Resolution related to weight, diet and health (30%). I took an exercise class for years at a ladies health club until we moved recently. I can remember how the numbers increased dramatically at the gym at the first of the year. The attendance dropped significantly by March.
  • Money, debt and finances (15%)
  • Personal improvement (13%) many included resolutions towards their addictions, 4% of the  responses of personal improvement included being a better person; giving more; having more personal or leisure time; organizing their life or home; and having a better life in general.
  •  Job and career (5%)
  •  Spiritual or church-related (5%) Less than 1% mentioned their objective was to get closer to God.  Even in the rare instance when people mentioned spiritual goals, it is often about activity undertaken for God, rather than a personal pursuit of God.

Only a few Americans said they wanted to improve relationships with others.

It was surprising that there were only a handful of resolutions about improving marriage or improving parenting.

On a brighter note, most people who make resolutions desire to do better in certain areas and become a better person.

The making of wise resolutions are Biblical.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” Proverbs 4:26

5 Helps to Keeping New Year Resolutions:

1. Depend on Resurrection Power: We are to consider prayerfully what we are doing and where we want to be. We are to ponder and pray on how to get to that goal.  To make lasting changes in our lifestyle, we must have a vision. Our resolutions need to be focused on the vision of Christ dying for our sins and on His resurrection power working in us. His death on the cross takes away the punishment for sin; His resurrection brings into our lives a new power for daily living. Are you and I depending on Christ’s resurrection power working the resolutions in and through us?
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection…” Philippians 3:10

If the vision we put in our mind and heart is the vision of Christ’s resurrection power, we draw upon all His resurrection power, love and strength to shape our lives. He lives in you and me! I Can Do All Things through Christ which strengthens me.

2. Accountability: It helps to have an accountability partner who encourages us to move forward with our New Years Resolutions.

3. Determine a plan: Have step-by-step ways to achieve resolutions. Get very specific.

4. Record the Resolutions and Daily Read them aloud while praying.Lord, I need Your resurrection power working in and through me to ___________.”

5. Schedule: Make the time to daily fulfill your New Years Resolutions. What is a time waster in the schedule, and what can be cut from the daily routine in order to achieve the goals?

As we approach the end of 2012 and stand on the threshold of 2013, let us think of the beautiful words of Frances Havergal:

Another year is dawning;
Dear Father let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with thee.

Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness,
The glory of thy face.

Another year of leaning
Upon thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting,
Of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service,
Of witness for thy love,
Another year of training
For holier work above.

Another year is dawning,
Dear Father, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven,
Another year for thee.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR, MY FRIENDS!

I love you all! Thank you for encouraging me with my new website!

We will be going on vacation to be with family for the next couple of weeks, so I plan to  repost some oldie but goodie posts. I hope you don’t mind.

I am praying Abundant Blessings in 2013 for each of you!!!

4 Foundations For a Fresh Face

Let me begin by saying that there is nothing wrong with a lady wearing a little makeup. I just have an alternative suggestion to wearing foundation makeup. In the pursuit of trying to look fabulous, many ladies spend top dollars on topical makeup foundation to apply to their complexion. We could save all that money on makeup, because the beautiful radiant fresh looking countenance comes from graciousness within. Most of the time, I choose not to wear foundation makeup. I asked my husband what he liked best. My husband is fine with me not wearing foundation makeup, so I feel better letting my skin breathe.

The photo in the upper right is of the most joyful person I know, Kristen, our daughter. She is beautiful on the inside which radiates through and through. Kristen is so pleasant to be around! I learn much from her. She knows the secret to having a fresh face.
“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”  Psalm 90:17

One of the prettiest ladies I know has freckles all over her face. Her radiant inner beauty shines through making her face glow with gorgeousness. I am so glad this lady does not put foundation over her beautiful skin. I love her freckles. They are part of her unique fresh face.

Did you know there is a correlation between the internal organ, the liver and the external organ, the skin?

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. The liver is the largest solid organ in the human body, weighing on average about 3.5 pounds. The liver performs more than 400 functions each day to keep the body healthy. It helps distribute the nutrients found in food and helps “clean” the blood by removing toxins.  Too many toxins harm the liver.

The good thing is that we can start today in healing our liver. God designed the liver to heal itself naturally when we properly nourish our bodies and our minds.  A healthy liver contributes to healthy looking skin. A healthy liver contributes to a fresh face.

4 Foundations for a Fresh Face:

  1. Eat Right/ Drink plenty of water:  The first foundation for a fresh face is to eat a rainbow of God’s fresh fruits and vegetables daily for cleansing of the liver. The main part of the diet should be fresh vegetables. Vegetables provide a wonderful variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for your healthy skin. Substitute fresh fruits for that candy or brownie. I do treat myself to a little dessert every once in a while. There is a limit though to the total amount of sugars and fats that the liver can process. Fried foods and other high-fat foods such as processed foods containing hydrogenated oils are hard on the liver. Limit fast foods. Drink plenty of water daily to hydrate the skin; more water if active. Many years ago, I got into the habit of drinking only water. When I eat out, I order water. Now, I prefer water over any beverage. Water is the best hydrating agent and is considered a fountain of youth.
  2. Exercise: The second foundation for a fresh face is to exercise. Your liver operates in much the same way as the engine in a car. Like a car engine, your liver performs a number of functions that ensure other body processes run smoothly. The internal cleansing that occurs when a person walks, bicycles or swims 25 minutes a day for 5 days a week is very effective to detox the liver.  If you walk to exercise, walk with a purpose. Shoulders back and down, abs tight (like you are ready to cough, but don’t forget to breathe) and if possible speed walk with upper body slightly twisting. Trick the body by walking fast, slow, fast, slow etc. I thought about how Jesus walked most of the time to get to his destinations. Modern conveniences are nice, but we can become out of shape if we don’t plan to exercise. Get natural vitamin D from being outside a little each day. I like bicycling.  I bought a grandma type bike with a comfortable seat. Exercising can be fun.  Walk with your children or ride bikes with your children. Kristen, our daughter is very disciplined. One area of discipline she has developed is that of exercising to stay fit. Jodi, our daughter-in-law is disciplined in exercising too. I got Jodi to flex her muscles and do military push-ups when the family was together.  Amazing how many she did… maybe 30 something? I lost count of how many she did! One reason Jodi exercises is to be strong so she won’t tire out, and to be the best mom possible. She pulls her three children around in a wagon for exercise too. I want to be strong and fit to “keep up” with our grandchildren. Getting tired playing with grandchildren and feeling weak when lifting them is not my goal in life.  Exercise is the answer for the strength I need to be a fun grandma who has stamina.  Melinda, our daughter actually enjoys exercising. You know the lady I mentioned who has radiant skin with freckles?  She loves exercising too. She is in her 50’s and has so much energy. Lately I have been doing total body workouts with a DVD. I wished I loved to do all exercises, but I don’t love to do stomach crunches and push-ups. I have to just make myself do those kinds of exercises. Let me put it this way, “I love when I am finished exercising for the day.”
  3. Forgive, Forgive, Forgive:   The third foundation for a fresh face is to forgive. We would never think of drinking poison. Many people ruin their health and their lives by drinking the poison of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. Holding onto hurts and rehashing hurts will harm our liver and other internal organs. Unforgiveness will eventually show up on our face. Why should I not forgive another person when Christ forgave me for all I have done to Him?  My sins alone nailed Him to the cross. A lady who is unforgiving is like a fighter who takes her own fist and punches her own face. Bitterness hardens the soft facial features.  An unforgiving person does not age gracefully.  Forgiveness is only a decision away.  It is amazing how praying for those who hurt us frees us from the bondage of bitterness.  It does not make sense, but it makes God sense. God’s ways work well.  “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”  (Job 42:10)     In the Bible, a lady named Abigail had a horrific husband. I am amazed that Abigail was not consumed with bitterness because of her husband’s cruel nature.  Instead of bitterness, Abigail had good understanding and a beautiful countenance.   Even though Abigail had a ferocious husband, she had a fresh face! I believe Abigail had a beautiful countenance as a result of her good understanding of God. One attribute of God is that of forgiveness.  “Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish (cruel,stubborn); and evil in his doings.” 1Sam.25:34 
  4. Don’t worry.  Be Happy.                                                                                                  Fear produces stress and worry which is linked to liver disease. Worry causes unhappiness and ungratefulness. In her husband’s eyes, a happy, grateful wife is a prize. Worry means to divide the mind. Worry is unnecessary stress we put ourselves under. Worry is sin. Yes, I worry at times! It shows on my face when I worry.  Usually my eyebrows give me away. Prayer is the remedy. Prayer is the place where burdens change shoulders. A happy face is a radiant face, a fresh face. The photo to the right is of our daughter, Melinda, who teaches me so much by her kindness to everyone.

Confession of heaven bound homemaker:  Recently, we have had major changes in our lives. They are not bad changes, but changes that seem a little uncertain to me. Sometimes, change can spell danger. I would daily get a sick feeling within  that I never had before.  I did not know why that sick feeling would come, but I knew I felt sad when it came.  After months of this, I asked the Lord what was the matter with me and cried out to Him for help. The Lord showed me in His loving and kind way that I was fretting because of FEAR! I was fearful of my unknown future as a result of changes in my life.  I was playing the miserable mind game: “What if.”

Once the problem was pinpointed that was causing my stress and that sick feeling, I made a decision. I was not going to be empowered by the emotion of fear which led to the emotion of worry which led to feeling sick.  I was not going to be fear led, but Spirit led.  I am now happy and relieved and grateful again.  That sick feeling is completely gone.  Amazing how stress can take all your energy away.  God has humongous shoulders. Have my circumstances changed? No, they have not changed, but I now gladly anticipate my uncertain future. I may not know my future, but I know Who holds my future. God is always good.

We met an elderly couple. They were adorable. The husband, who was 90 said he was healthy and feeling great. He attributed his health to never worrying.  His younger wife, laughingly said she had all the health problems because she was realistic and “someone had to worry.” She said that someone had to handle the problems.

Now, God never intended for us to be like ostriches hiding our heads in the sand ignoring real problems. With every real problem there is a God-given solution, and that solution must be sought.  Worry is seeing a problem without God. Being concerned in finding a God-given solution to a real problem is wise.  Being worried over the “not yet” is foolish. Fear of the “not yet” causes worry which imprisons, paralyzes, disheartens and sickens. Faith in God causes strength which frees, empowers, encourages and heals. Faith is the confidence that gives hope and assurance about things we cannot see.

Did I say 4 foundations for a fresh face? Faith in God is the bonus foundation for a fresh face! Trust Him and smile!

The Power of Negative Thinking

One day, our three children and I returned home from piano lessons.  It was just a routine day, so I thought.  I drove our van up to our back door. To my shock, our door was kicked in and our cats that were supposed to be outside were staring back at us from inside the house.  If only cats could speak and tell all!  We had been burglarized; I knew that much!

Now, it is perfectly normal to initially have negative thoughts when something traumatic happens. The thoughts about someone spying on you for the sole purpose of determining what time you leave your house so they can steal your stuff is unnerving. Yes, we were initially angry and felt the pains of intrusion. We felt creepy knowing someone was watching our every move. It made us angry someone walked into our home and stole from us.

We didn’t feel that way for long though.  Soon, we got on with our lives and did not think much about the burglar.  It could have been so much worse. Later, when the bandit was caught, the detective told me he was a big mean fellow who cursed out the police. What if our daughter happened to stay home that day?  What if… we were just grateful no one was hurt and just our stuff was taken.

I changed my negative thinking to positive thinking almost immediately.  I could have stayed paralyzed in fear thinking we are always being watched by criminals.  I could have become a prisoner in our own home, thinking someone was going to break in at any time. I could have worried myself sick about our safety. I could have made our lives miserable with my fearful negative thinking.

The result of negative thinking is a miserable life. With the grace of God, we can choose to press on by using the power of positive thinking. Having a positive attitude is more fun!

In everyday life, we face one or more of these 5 issues.

  1. Discouragement
  2. Change
  3. Problems
  4. Fear
  5. Failure

First, tell the Lord your feelings.  Give Him charge of them. Prayer is how you spell RELIEF! Faith is the ingredient needed to think positive. We must trust the Lord to work out what we think is the impossible, to provide what we don’t have, to give us strength when we are weary so we can do the job of being a wife, mother and homemaker.

Did your husband do something hurtful? Instead of feeling unloved and fussing over hurts, it is more fun to believe your husband loves you and to enjoy one another! Picture in your mind how he has shown love for you throughout the years. Because a spouse longs for encouraging words, negative thinking can tear up a marriage. What are your husband’s dreams? Get on board and encourage him to pursue the job of his dreams. Picture your husband as a success.

 

 

 

Do you have a pile of laundry? Instead of crying and collapsing over the clothes pile, it is more fun to smile as you picture how you are going to feel when the laundry is folded neatly and put away. As you handle the clothes, thank the Lord for each family member. There are others who would love to have a family such as you have.

 

Do you feel like you are drowning with a heavy work load? Instead of going under, swim ashore and make a list, then do the next best thing.  It is more fun picturing your enjoyment as you start checking off your list and saying “Yes” with heartfelt emotion. Who knows, making a list and checking it off may become as fun to you as it is to me! You will feel so accomplished with all those check marks! Picture yourself as a Royal Princess in your neat home, because you are just that; you are the daughter of the KING of Kings!

Do you feel like your children are not doing well in certain areas? Instead of nagging them, treat your children as if they are honor students. When I was in Honors English in school, I felt very special! I strove to do well, because the teacher praised me for my writing and stories. The teacher gave me confidence in that one area because of praising me. Children will usually live up to praise. Praise children for who they are, for good character qualities and reward them for trying to do their best. Leave expectations of perfection at the cross. If they don’t make the bed perfect because of their age, encourage them. A child’s confidence is torn down from a mother’s negative critical thinking. When addressing an area that needs improvement, try using the sandwich approach.  Sandwich corrective instruction between 2 slices of praise. I made notes of positive character qualities I noticed in each child and praised them for these qualities. If I didn’t write it down, I would forget to praise them. Reread the post I wrote on “There is a King that Kid”. Picture all your children as having King potential, because they do!

Do you feel unloved by others? Instead of having a pity party which sends others running in the opposite direction and causes even more unloved feelings, have a ministry of helping others and doing kind deeds for others. Only tell your problems to those who may have a solution. We all need counsel at times. God has a ministry for every family. Ask Him what He would have you do and get busy helping others and forgetting about your woes.

The power of negative thinking is worrying instead of trusting, turmoil instead of peace, grumbling instead of gratefulness, and complaining instead of rejoicing.  In my home, I have Scriptures posted on the walls and elsewhere which help me focus on the Lord and my many blessings. Negative thinking has power. Negative thinking is exhausting and the devil loves to wear out Christians so they are too tired to do any good.  Negative thinking destroys relationships. Negative thinking clouds the presence of God in a person’s life.

Philippians 4:8 is the Scripture I am memorizing and meditating this month to stay positive and upbeat. Positive thinking does not come natural to most people. Most people, such as myself have to work at staying positive.  Who would like to join me in putting Philippians 4:8 in their hearts so we can make a positive difference in our lives and in the lives we touch?

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true (God’s Word), whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil. 4:8

 

You Don’t Have to Carry the Heavy Load by Yourself

There is an old tale about a man walking slowly toward home in a small Irish town. He was carrying a heavy load; a huge bag of potatoes. Along came a man in a horse-drawn wagon. “You look weary carrying that heavy load, so climb on up into this wagon to get relief,” he invited the weary man.  The man climbed up and sat down in the wagon. He continued holding the bag of potatoes on his lap surrounded by his arms. He continued holding on tight to his burden.

The wagon owner suggested to the man that the bag of potatoes could be set down. The passenger replied, “I don’t want to trouble you too much. You’re giving me a ride for which I am thankful, but I could never ask you to carry my burden too.”

“How foolish of him!” we say. Yet sometimes we do the same thing when we attempt to bear the burdens of our lives in our own strength. No wonder we become weary and overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. Carrying a heavy load when we have received a caring lift is very unwise and burdensome.

In Psalm 55, David was being attacked verbally by others. He felt fearful and overwhelmed. What really cut deep were the hurts from a trusted church friend. He enjoyed sweet fellowship with this friend who was now betraying him. Psalm 55:12-14. “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it…We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.”

Have you ever carried the burden of hurtful words or betrayal from someone you trusted?  I know the deep hurt, personally.  If you are in ministry and leadership, you definitely know this deep hurt. Sometimes best friends and family members hurt us deeply. Sometimes the very person we are trying to help, hurts us deeply. We should not carry the heavy burden of hurtful words and betrayal! If we do, sin is not far behind.

David, the giant conquering, unbeatable king of Israel, gives his secret to having security in this situation. Psalm 55:22 “Cast thy burden (hurts, worries, concerns) upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Prayer delivers!

What is the result of Casting our burdens on the Lord? Jesus lifts our burden and we have peace of mind! Yes! How I desire peace of mind! How about you?
“As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
He hath delivered my soul (mind, will emotions) in peace from the battle that was against me:” Psalm 55:16-18

Giving our worries and concerns to the Lord renews our hope and confidence!

Peter was the example of a person restored by Jesus who became the spokesman for the victorious believers of the New Testament Church. He had learned the worthiness of divine care.  First Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” God cares about you and me. That is why He wants to relieve us of our burdens.

You are not helpless and alone. Rather than trying to bear your burdens by yourself, set them down in God’s hands.

Give to Jesus each problem,

All our needs to Him make known;

If we give Jesus our daily burdens,

we will never carry them alone!

God invites us to burden Him with what burdens us.

We may as well relax and drop that heavy load onto Jesus, so we can have peace of mind, joy of heart and confidence that it’s going to be alright on the journey of life.