Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Choosing Joyfulness by Counting Your Blessing

Interrupting our regularly scheduled programming to share from right where I am. 

The story begins, once upon a time, a husband and wife decide to purchase bicycle boot. These boots promised to keep hubby’s feet warm on his cold dark ride through the woods to work.

The next morning at 5:30 a.m. hubby set off for work on his eleven mile hike through the woods, when out of now where a truck leaped into his path. Unable to stop in time, hubby went flying off bike landing on his right hand.

At home wife is thinking how warm and happy hubby must be. Imaging how much faster he is riding as she completes her morning chores. What is that!

The boys call “Dad is calling, can we talk.”

I rush to the phone “Are you coming home early?”

“I have some bad news honey, I fell off my bike and might have broken my arm.”

Concerned I replied, “Any thing I can do?”

“No, a friend is bring me home, I will find out later if it’s broken.”

I just miss my days of writing fiction, but although I engaged in a bit of poetic license the story is true. 

The day after my post entitled: Searching for Compassion about my hubby and his bike, he fell off said bike. I did see the irony, I walked closer to God in my compassion and now my husband arm although not broken it very much swollen and very painful.

My question is what is my response?

Response: In every situation there is a right and spiritual way to think.

When I face trials I always count my blessings

James 1:2
 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

My blessings:
  • Every day with Jesus is a good day  
  • An uneventful life is not a Christ lead life. Good or unpleasant something must happen.  
  • Thankful for his friend who drove him home
  • Thankful I did not have to upset the children by rushing out to the hospital
  • Thankful for the heart felt compassion the boys showed for their dad, is this not why disaster strikes, so we can see the beauty in others
  • Thankful for his choice to ride his bike eleven miles to work
  • Thankful that the fall did not discourage him  
  • Thankful for having him home even though he is injured
  • Thankful for his recognition of all I do
  • Thankful for my blogger community who prays for me
  • And most of all thankful his hand although still swollen and painful is not broken

A fitting verse:
Psalms 145:14
The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down

What are you choosing to consider a blessing today?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Inspiration Cards

The beauty that God created and then used to touch our hearts. If you look at the care He took in creating nature can not even imagine how well He takes care of us. We just need to Choose to rely on Him for our everything.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Searching For Compassion

In my heart check post last week I talked about compassion. God has been calling me to this heart check for a time now. I never fully understood what compassion meant and I really struggle with being compassionate under certain circumstances.

If you knew me before God took control of my life, this would make complete sense.

A Command:
Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, 
holy and dearly loved, 
clothe yourselves with compassion
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

The funny thing about compassion is I am blessed.  When I close my eyes and think about those with less I have compassion. Is compassion not feeling sorry and wanting to help those less fortunate than me?

How sad it must make god that I can be compassionate about a stranger suffering and miss the mark so much with my family?

Psalm 145:9
The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.

Jesus was compassionate no matter a person’s position in life.  Rich, poor, homeless, sinner and all had his compassion. Jesus was not born to the Kings and Queens of this world but He humbly came into this world as a carpenter’s son.

Mark 1:40-42
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, 
“If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Filled with compassion
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 
“I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 
Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

A Look at my glaring lack of compassions:

We were going to the bike store, since he has been faithfully riding eleven miles to work each day we have decided to get booties for his bicycle shoes.

Yes, it seemed to me like a frivolous purchase to me. We were considering paying money for plastic covers for his bicycle shoes when other things could be done with that money.

Luke 7:37-38
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

My husband rides his bike eleven miles one-way. It is an hour ride. He leaves for work at 5:30 a.m.  It is usually cold and dark. He does this so he can provide a comfortable life for his wife and children. He does this so I can stay home with the boys and we can have choices.

Matthew 15:32
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 
I have compassion for these people
they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 
I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

His perception is different from mine, I tend to be a bit extreme, and he balances me. He deserves my compassion and God is teaching me how to give it.

Mark 6:34
 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, 
he had compassion on them, 
because they were like sheep without a shepherd. 
So he began teaching them many things.

Jesus had compassion on me in my blessed life. He died on the cross so that I could have life to the full. In this season of lent we are doing a spending fast, the essential only. Still I need to compassion.

I may tow a hard line but when I repent I just do it. Here are some of the things God lead me to do to find my compassion. 

Tens ways to be more compassionate:

1. Know the true meaning of compassion. Use a dictionary to define the word.

2. Study Jesus' example of compassion, they are eight verses that use compassion in reference to Jesus.

3. Do a bible word study of compassion. In the NIV there are 74 references for compassion.

4. Pray for a compassionate heart toward those in your life. We over come so many things only by the power of pray.

5. Respect the other's person point of view. You will never know what life is like for another person.   

6. Love them where they are. Not every one is ready to cut off their arm and throw it into the fire to be saved.
Hebrews 5:12-14
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, 
you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. 
You need milk, not solid food! 
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, 
is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 
But solid food is for the mature, 
who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

7. Stop judging based on what they have
 Luke 6:37   
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. 
Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. 
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

8. Stop and listen to the trials of others.
Matthew 20:32-34
Jesus stopped and called them. 
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes
Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

9. Be honest. Jesus also shared his perspective on our world as he taught.
Ephesians 4:14-16
Then we will no longer be infants, 
tossed back and forth by the waves, 
and blown here and there by every wind of teaching 
and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 
Instead, speaking the truth in love, 
we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 
From him the whole body, 
joined and held together by every supporting ligament, 
grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

10. Allow yourself some grace.

Choosing to be more compassionate at home, what about you! 

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 9 Goals

My focus scripture for this week is

On going Projects:
1. Meal planning - creating a basic guide menu
2. Creating a weekly routine
3. Rebuilding and super gluing the boys Lego. 
4. My Homemakers Challenge monthly post
5. Putting together our two thousand pieces Coca-Cola puzzle
Motivation 101: teaching my boys. You do not quit because an activity requires more work from us that expected. I shall be posting pictures of my progress. I was really happy to get the frame all most done. I am missing three pieces from the edge. I am now working on all the words but there are a lot of words.

My goals for this week are:

1. For my time in the Word:
My focus scripture for this week is from Psalm 145, which has taken on new meaning for me. This chapter has really been impacting my heart. The verse of the week is:

8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love. 

9 The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.

This past week Psalms 103 lead me to do a heart check. Looking at God compassion for me lead me to question my compassion for my family.

As I mediate Psalm 145, I am asking a hard question. 

Am I compassionate to my family?
Does my family see my compassion for them? 
Within every choice am I judging them or showing them Godly compassion?
 2. For my time in Prayer:       
      IntentionalByGrace.comPraying daily for my hubby with accountability from LeighAnn at Intentional by Grace. You can join us or just read about her journey at A Surrendered Marriage.
  •    For the new relationships that we are all building and that we are all open to sharing our hearts and lives.
  •       Praying for my children that they may build great friendship. The continual softening of my children's hearts.  
  •       Praying for the women in Group 95 Hello Morning Challenge that they may have an awesome morning time with our Lord.       
  •       Praying for friends and extended family that have needs. 
  • For God to open my eyes to the learning and growing opportunities before me.
3. As an AC for the Hello Morning Challenge with Inspired to Action I will be sharing a verse from Psalms each day that goes with the Run to Him bible study. This week Psalms are 63, 35, & 145.  

4. Homeschooling: Completing our school schedule daily

5. Meal planning: there is finally a guide menu on the refrigerator but now I have to make a grocery list that matches our plan.

6. Blogging daily 

Last week blog roll:
1. My elusive seventh post is still eluding me.
7. Week 8 Goals  

7. Continuing de-cluttering my home: this week’s task is the home school supplies.

8. I finished reading
Source: via Eileen on Pinterest

This book was painful to read. I did not enjoy the tone of the book. 

This week I will start reading:
Source: via Eileen on Pinterest

This book is about changing and starting over, so I think it will give me some perspective on our new adventure here in Virginia. 

I am also starting to listen to audio books; this week’s challenge will be listening to
Source: via Eileen on Pinterest
I am trying this to accomplish more but I have a hard listening to books much prefer the process of reading.

My basic goal for 2012 is to finish reading a book per week. 

9. Working out for an hour each day. I am trying different programs for this. This week I will be comparing the WII active to the Xbox 360 Your Shape to see which one I will keep. They both seem to be a lot of fun, but the active is a bit temperamental with the remotes. 

10. Organizing my computer files.  It is amazing how easy it is to collect Internet clutter. This is turning into a bigger project than I thought.

What are you motivated to accomplish this week?

Linking with: Becolorful  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Run to Him: God is but Am I

My favorite thing about the Bible is that it speaks to me right where I am. The Bible does not require me to change anything about who or where I am in life. Like a good friend, the Word comforts, accepts and advises me right where I am. Then and only then, if I am willing and choose to heed the advise, from my good friend, does the Word bring me to a different place. A place of restoration, change and choices.

The Psalm from the Run to His study that really called on my heart was Psalms 103. I am a mother after all so I heard my Father’s love and wondered how well loved are the children He entrusted to me.

Comparing the Father’s love for me to that I carry for my Boys.

The Lord is:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, 
slow to anger, 
abounding in love.

Am I:
Showing concern for them
Pleasant and slow to anger
Loving them in large numbers 

The Lord is:
9 He will not always accuse, 
nor will he harbor his anger forever; 

Am I:

Repeatedly and annoyingly, accusing them 
or am I 
quickly effectively handling their training and discipline.

The use of the word “harbor” in this verse really hit home with me. Harbor means to carry the germs of. That is a powerful image, which brings to mind how anger can spread and infect our lives. Harbor anger towards our children will definitely destroy our relationships.  

The Lord is:

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve 
or repay us according to our iniquities.

Am I:
Providing for my children at my own expense
Favoring them and not counting their unfair behavior against them.

The Lord is:
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, 
so great is his love for those who fear him; 

Am I: 


Do I have a great love for my children?

I mean a 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. 
It does not envy, it does not boast, 
it is not proud. It is not rude, 
it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. 

Does my love fit this scripture?
Is it patient
Is it Kind
Is it not envious,
Is it not boastful,
Is it not proud,
Is it not rude,
Is it not self-seeking,
Is it not easily angered,
And Is it not keeping records of wrongs.
Is it protecting them
Is it trusting them
Is it hopeful
Is it persevering
Is it a love that will never fail? Is my love a Jesus love?

The Lord is:

12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 

Am I:
Do I remove their mistakes or acts that goes against the code of conduct?  

Once we accept responsibility and ask for forgiveness God removes our sins. He remembers them no more.

Isaiah 43:25
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.

The Lord is:
13 As a father has compassion on his children, 
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 

Am I: 
Concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of my children.

Note that I do believe that my children are very blessed, but they have perceived suffering and as with every life they do have misfortunes. Now should I be less compassionate because they are not huge issues? No! Imagine how petty our problems are to our almightily God who assures us in Matthew 6 that he will take care of us. Still He has compassion on us.

The Lord is:

14 for he knows how we are formed, 
he remembers that we are dust.

Am I:
God knows me. How well do I know my children? How invested am I in my relationship with them?

Choosing to do a heart check. 

It is fruitful to examine how God treats us and in turn how we treat others. How do your relationships match up with these verses?

Other post in this series:
Run to Him for He Delivers

Beholding Glory

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Blogs

And–what are your favorite book blogs?

I love most books and because they are so many books and very little time to read them I do appreciate a good book review. I like to read reviews before I invest in reading a book. The things most important to me about a book blog should be the honesty of the review and knowing that I can trust the person that the book will be worth my time.

When reading a book blog I unfortunately will only stay to read a review if I can stand looking at the page. I have found that many book blogs just have too much going on, lots of bells and whistles, making the post difficult to read. When the beauty of your page attracts me then you have my attention to read the reviews and see if I will stay.

Book blogs that I love:

BWS tips button and by far my most loved design Carabosse’s Library

and please check out my fourth book review: Pursuit of Proverbs31

Choosing to be more of a book lover....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A random List of Thankfulness

What brought me to a deeper understanding of Matthew 6? We spent two months last year staying with friends while in transition to our new home. I felt that God helped me to see the value of living with less and how it was just a matter of my heart. This was my second time living without personal effects and it was very relaxing. There is much freedom is not having to clean, pick up or worry about a bunch of things.

In the mix of this move I was blessed with an IPod touch, and the hope that it would keep me more organized.  To be honest I have not had much success with setting it up, but I am thankful that it allows me to get more reading and blogging done. No matter the thought process I was reminded that every new item added to our lives takes time and effort. Things never truly simplify our lives.

1 Corinthians 10:23
“I have the right to do anything,” 
you say—
but not everything is beneficial. 
“I have the right to do anything”
—but not everything is constructive.

I also found that shopping in the apps store was like visiting Walmart without a list. You just end up feeling lost and with a bunch of stuff you do not want. This past week I was thankful to Heather of Do Not Depart for her post of helpful spiritual apps. I love the Biblicious app it allows my boys to test their bible knowledge. I also love the Prayer list app, making keeping track of my prayers a little easier.

I am thankful for my boys and just appreciate of how God has placed our family together. We are all different but it works so well. If you are a mother of more than one child you get my logic. I am thankful for this because Children seem to get ill all at the same time and if they both responded the same, it would be difficult to show them the love of Christ. Having the boys under the weather this week has shown me what a blessing our differences are.

1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything God created is good, 
and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 
because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

I am thankful for patience. I have committed to working on our Coca-Cola puzzle, and I am grateful for its calming effect and the amount of quiet time required putting it together.

James 5:7-8
Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. 
See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop 
and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

I am thankful to be simplifying my life, removing the clutter and relying more closely on God. I am not just getting rid of my stuff but I am not leaving any area of my life untouched by the change. I will not be infected by clutter in any area of my life.

Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a pure heart, O God, 
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.   
Do not cast me from your presence 
or take your Holy Spirit from me. 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation 
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

I was thankful today for the encouragement from reading about Herbert at and Zelmyra Fisher of North Carolina who have been married for 85 years. Not only are they are adorable but they give me hope that marriage is sustainable and with God we can grow old together if we obey. They credited their success to praying with and for each other every day. Prayer is such a small yet powerful thing.

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Choosing to make my Lord the third strand in my life.