"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12



“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats





Wednesday, July 2, 2014

this man



I'm pretty sure y'all know by now who this man is



Sweet hubby



He's an awesome husband.









A great father to many:







And a child of God who gently guides and leads his children down that narrow path, daily.






He's also a wonderful, hard working provider for his family.


That's why he did something so incredibly uncharacteristic of himself, that I believe only God could have initiated, for His glory.

This man quit his job.   

No reserve job in the wings.  

No plans for the future.  Just up and quit.

The only thing he had with him when he made this decision was my support, and the reassurance that the awesome God he serves was in the midst of it and has a plan for our lives..

He didn't walk out of a job.  He walked out of darkness and into the truth.  Sometimes, we have to do just that.   Walk by faith, and not by sight.   (2 Cor.5:7)


I'm not really going to go into details as to all the whys, but we've been in prayer for a while for God to shut doors where he wanted them shut, and open doors he wanted to open when it came to his job.

Work became increasingly difficult and circumstances put him in a position to have to decide between his beliefs, integrity and principles, or bowing down to the world and caving into the possibility that he would not be able to provide for his family if he didn't.  In other words, doing the right thing, or not trusting or believing that EVERY. SINGLE. THING. we have, comes from God, Himself.

He chose to be the man he is.   A man of character   A man of rectitude and a man of righteousness.   But most importantly, he chose to turn away from the ugliness the world was throwing at him. and instead to trust God, completely and without reservation.



Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. 
- Galatians 1:10

I'm not a man.  But, I do know that being a provider and taking care of the family, especially for a man who family means everything to, ranks pretty high up there, hence the reason I say it is so uncharacteristic for him.  It was not a decision he made lightly.  I could not be prouder of this man I am blessed to call my husband.

So, we are once again, another statistic for a nation with the highest unemployment record in decades, albeit not due to the economy this time.

But please, no condolences, because we are sharing this with blessed joy.  


Seriously. Blessed. Joy.

It's been a few days now.  We've loved waking up together and delving into God's Word over coffee, or sitting on the rockers out our front door and just taking in the beauty only God could create.  God has, every second of the day, reminded us that not only is He in control, but He has given us an unexpected and undefinable sense that something great is heading our way.

He has affirmed two scriptures, over and over.  These are Romans 8:28 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18.



"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, 
who have been called according to his purpose."

and

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."


So, as always, to God be the glory for this next twist in our roller coaster lives.  I can't wait to see where He leads us.



 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Greatest Gift

Do you remember the lyrics to that old hymn, "When we all get to Heaven?"

Those words are flowing through my mind and I am singing them loud and proud.  ♪ ♫ "What a day of rejoicing it will be!"  ♫ ♪

This is probably one of the happiest days of my life. Not because it happens to be Father's Day, but because today, God answered a prayer that every Christian Mama prays for their children.  


Mine has been prayed over and over for many years. 

My youngest big boy, Adam, at the age of 29, stood before the congregation at his church on this Father's Day, and gave his testimony. He has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of his life.  In two weeks, he will be baptized! : 

 Here are some excerpts from his testimony: 



"I knew nothing about Jesus or what he could do for me. I knew I was a sinner, but I attended church on Sundays, believed in God and was a good kid. So I thought when I died I would go to heaven. I was wrong." 



In reference to his cousin and her family, whom he moved in with several months after we had moved to NC, and who invited him on a mission trip to Jamaica: 


Adam giving his testimony at Pines Baptist Church.
"Four people helped change my life forever. Cristina, D.j. Madison, and Landyn accepted me and allowed me to live in their home. I asked, “Where will I stay?” They said, “Don’t worry, we’ll make room.” I don’t have a job or income. They said “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you until you do”. A quick seven days later I was on a plane with 23 other soon to be friends headed to Jamaica" "After that trip, my eyes were opened as to how Jesus can make a difference. Seeing what little possessions they owned and the conditions they lived in would be miserable here in the states, but they were still happy and full of life with God by their side." 


 "Over these past seven months I have seen a huge change in my life for Jesus. I see myself wanting to participate at church, going to mission trips, volunteering for events without any hesitation. I actually look forward to these things, not because I hang out with cool people, but because I see the power of God at work. To see the smile on a child’s face or talk about the Word to an elder who is a complete stranger is one of the best conversations I can have throughout my day." 


 "I can’t pin point the exact day or moment when Jesus was filled in my heart. I know around January or February I started to really see a change in myself" 


 "I have grown in my servitude toward sharing the gospel so much more than I could have ever imagined." 


 "I find myself turning down activities that I would have done in the past, to instead attend a church function or even stay at home, because I know it’s just not something I should do."


 "In conclusion, this is my testimony. With God as my Lord and Savior I truly know and believe in my heart that when my day is called I know I will go to Heaven. I don’t know what the future will hold for me, but I know as long as I keep my faith strong and walk with the Lord, all will be well." 


To God be the glory for his salvation!







::tears streaming down this Mama's face: 


THANK YOU, JESUS! To You be the glory! 


 Adam, 

Words can't describe how happy and proud I am of you!  Welcome into God's family, my precious son. I love you more than ever, and as I told you before, take that beacon of light shining in You and be a disciple for the One who created You.  Proclaim the Good News to all you meet.     

Thanking Him (and DJ and his family) for leading you onto that narrow path. How I wish I could have been there to support you, but you know our hearts were there in Spirit. 

I miss you and love you as much as the whole wide world, and back again! 

 Mom 

 XXXOOO 


Special thank you-s to my Mom and sister for taking pictures and being there to support my sweet boy!


 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?



I remember my year in 5th grade quite well. Mr. Whitley was my teacher. He was one of three male teachers in the school, but the only African-American. I remember he was pretty darn ‘fly’ with a big ole' Afro and bell bottom pants.

As for me, I wasn't  an outcast by any means, but in my mind, I certainly stood out, and not in a good way. I was a shy, lanky, tall girl, a head taller than the other girls in my class.  Even worse, I was so skinny that my knees looked like door knobs halfway down my legs. Ironic, isn't it?  Little did I know THAT wouldn't be a problem 40 years down the road. Heh.

I was always so self-conscience of how I looked. I studied hard to try to make up for it. I wasn't very social, and although I was never picked on, I was never part of the cliques formed by the cool girls.




Now that I have yet another daughter going into 4th grade, I think about the peer pressures and how at times, she reminds me a lot of me.

Me. Now.

Me, the adult.

Hmm.  If peer pressure gets to me now, at this age, that makes me so not ‘smarter than a fifth grader’.

For a few months now, especially since I began working outside of the home, I've been struggling with and wondering what people around me think of me, what they think of what I wear, how I talk, what I eat.   Maybe I'm being presumptuous, and no one thinks anything at all, but the thoughts are there.

The funny thing is, that it doesn't really matter. I know that. I’m very comfortable with ‘me’.  I'm a pretty well-rounded, confident woman.  Yet, the nagging thought remains.

I think sometimes people unintentionally make one feel that way. But it’s not something I can blame on someone else. As adults, self esteem is created by one’s SELF, not by those feeding it. Or it should be anyway.  I digress.

Even as that skinny, little 5th grade girl, I never enjoyed being part of the cliques. I thought they were self-centered and looked down upon people. It was mean. Almost 40 years later, I still feel the same way. It's a milder form of bullying, even through silence.




Not long ago, my sweet girl excitedly wore a new pair of shoes to school that were given to her by someone, She came home and told me that she was laughed at and told they were ‘boy shoes’. She said she didn't care, and it didn’t bother her. I know it did.

One of my boys went to school with a haircut that he wanted. A few kids laughed at him. He said he shrugged it off, that it didn’t matter. I know it did.

You see, we hide behind the ‘It doesn't matter”, yet it does. It shouldn't. But, it does.

Why is the opinion of others so important to us in this world?  We all know kids can be cruel, and adults can be even crueler sometimes.

It makes me sad. This type of peer pressure that pushes so hard to get the approval of others, for the smallest of things, is unhealthy. It is unhealthy to the body, to the heart, but mostly, to the soul.

Seeking the approval of others, quickly turns into seeking acceptance. They go hand in hand. And when we don’t receive that acceptance, we feel rejected and shaken. 

”Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” - Isaiah 54:10 

There is and will never be a love like the love we receive from Jesus. When we seek His acceptance, He reaches out to us and shows us that we don’t need to seek approval. We need to seek Him. He’s already accepted us. Fat, skinny, mean, nice, ugly, pretty, popular or an outcast. He doesn’t care. He wants our hearts. Yet, during times of trials, it is so easy to turn away from Him, when we should be RUNNING TOWARDS Him.

It’s interesting how often my blog posts sway so far from what I had in mind when I first sit down to write. This was to be a funny, make-fun-of-myself-to-make-me-feel-better kinda post, and God turned it into a “you need me and no one else” type of deal.

He often slaps me in the face with truth!

Dang! I hate it when He does that.  But, I am so glad He does.

As for my babies, this Mama is gonna make sure she does everything possible for her kids to see their self worth, not according to what the world thinks, but according to what God thinks about them.

In His eyes, they are a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), 

Oh, and in this Mama's eyes, they are also!

Be blessed, friends.

 

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