Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Do You Not Know? Have You Not Heard?

...The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. 
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power."
Isaiah 40:28-29 (NAS)

Monday evening's gorgeous sunset as seen from 290
I have been struggling with My One Word this past week, wondering if I was even aware of it most days.  Where was Shalom and what did it really mean?
The week before, I was really honed in to the 'satisfaction' part of it's meaning and I saw the Lord fill my heart with sweet reminders of His love and care.  This past week...very little trickled into my heart. 
Then yesterday, Danielle and I finally made it out for a lunchtime walk at a nearby park.  We had been talking about it for over a week, but the weather or our schedules just didn't allow us the opportunity.  It was a great walk, which is always more enjoyable with a companion.  But I have been having issues with my left foot for the past month and a half, and though it didn't bother me at the time we were was killing me when I got up this morning. 
I could barely step on it, the pain just shooting through my heel.  I honestly considered waking Jim and asking him to go get the crutches so that I could make it into the bathroom.  It eased up a little as I struggled to take the necessary steps, so I made my way into the kitchen to make coffee.  As I approached the coffee pot I cried out to the Lord for healing (preferably without the aid of surgery!)  It was as I walked to the kitchen sink that my eyes landed on another of the definitions of Shalom -- 'healing'.
I nearly cried right then and there!
I had called out, He had heard and He reminded me that He already knew my condition.  (Why does it take me so long to ask?!?!)
Later this morning I was emailing with a friend about the Bible study we attended last night.  We were discussing the word we received through Beth Moore's lesson and how to apply it to our individual lives. 
You want to hear something totally cool?  As I was typing my response to her, I came to see three of the four verses I have been memorizing in 2013 working themselves out right before my eyes.  Talk about His peace...His compassion...His willingness to make me whole...His ability to give me His strength.  I wanted to shout 'hallelujah'.
I think I have found the reason for my foot pain.  WebMD is weighing in strongly on it being plantar fascitis.  Everything fits: the symptoms, the frequency, the onset of it.  So, I am making an effort to do everything I can over the next week to help it begin the healing process.  If that doesn't work, I will make an appointment with a podiatrist because I do not want to be hobbled up for my next Grandmas Trip in late February.
While I am thankful to the LORD for giving me hope that this foot pain may soon be resolved, I have a strong feeling that He is about to do a healing much deeper than my heel.  I think this one is going to be a heart issue...and it is going to hurt...possibly a lot.  And I am going to need to hold fast to this week's memory verse.  I think I will be asked to embrace some pain and allow Him to bring a healing that makes the idea of someone splitting open the bottom of my foot and scraping the bone seem like a day at Disneyland in comparison.
And so it is that I close today's post with a plea for your prayers. 
  1. That I would not try to decide what area needs the healing, but be open to His leading.
  2. That His strength would be revealed in my weakness.
  3. That I would fully embrace His way as what is best for me.
  4. That He would cover me with His hands of mercy when fear begins to consume me.
  5. That my holes will be filled with His wholeness and holiness.
Thanks for your love...and for allowing me to 'be real' with you.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Meet 'Hobbit'

At least that is what my father-in-law called him.

We made annual pilgrimage to Northeast Arkansas the weekend after Christmas. Jim's mom and dad had received 10" of snow on Christmas Day and this much was left on our arrival.

Will and I vowed to make a snowman before we left. Unfortunately our schedule and the weather only allowed for the last 15 minutes before leaving. But we made the most of it.

He was tiny (thus the nickname from Poppy), but we sure had fun!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Letter For My Parents

Dear Mom & Dad,

I am writing to let you know that I am doing well this morning. Here is picture proof.

Dolly and I are having a wonderful visit with Nonna and Pappaw.

We have been playing with singing bear...

...and keeping Nonna from getting bored around the house.

Last night we watched the news with Pappaw while Nonna made dinner.

Then we took a long 10 hour nap. (We were so exhausted!)

For some reason Nonna doesn't look like she got much beauty sleep though. She kept waking me up by putting her hand on my chest to check my breathing. Silly Nonna!

Well, I've been up for a couple hours now so I think I'll catch another catnap before you get here. I want to make sure that I am well rested and ready to play with Daddy when we get home.

See you later!


PS. Y'all are coming to get me today, RIGHT??? These people kiss on me too much!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Now May the God of Peace...

...make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.  1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NLT)

That is my memory verse for this week and it is proving to be the perfect one.  I haven't necessarily chosen verses on peace, but they have all come from my morning devotional time on peace.  At least so far.

I wanted to give you all a little update on My One Word project for 2013.  An accounting if you wish, to stay accountable.  It is pretty easy this time as I have had a pretty good time of it overall.

  1. I finished the book (My One Word by Mark Ashcraft) and loved it.  It has such great ideas and the stories are very encouraging.  I think I will need to read it again about halfway through this year so that I can glean from the 'hard things' I haven't yet forgetting my word, or feeling like I have hit a plateau.
  2. I used Christmas money from my in laws to order a few things that will help me to remember Shalom in 2013.  I already had a coffee cup from my mother-in-law with 'Peace' written across it...I ordered two more.  And for my office, I ordered the 5 tile set from Dayspring that spell it out. (They are beautiful!)
  3. One of the areas where I have been lacking peace lately is with our Bible study group.  The ladies are great and are dear friends, but I was in no spiritual shape to continue leading.  I finally came clean and told them that I couldn't continue to meet with them on Wednesday's at lunch.  I hesitantly offered up the substitute of attending Beth Moore's Tuesday night Bible study at Houston's First Baptist instead and they ALL SAID YES!!!!  Last night was our first one and, boy, did the Lord speak.  I even had the added pleasure of another friend joining us.
  4. I stepped outside of my comfort zone weekend before last and attended the Sunday night service at a church near us.  I had planned to attend Sunday morning, but didn't get up in time.  Through a conversation with a friend of mine, I was reminded that I needed to stop putting off community and start right where I was.  (Of course, I was telling her all of this when the Lord turned the finger around the other way.)  I had missed Sunday morning, that was true.  But Sunday morning is not the only service they have.  I showed up to a whopping group of 5, including me and the pastor.  Last week I intended to make Sunday School, but only made it to service (the same reminder in my head) and it was wonderful.  The pastor had set aside his planned sermon for a time of praise and worship and giving thanks through testimonies.  My heart was so full!
  5. The Lord blessed me with a miracle.  It would sound so trivial if I told you about it so I won't, but for me it was something my heart desired but that I thought was impossible.  In His great mercy, and for reasons I cannot fathom, He blessed!
This week has not been as 'on target' as last though, so I would be thankful for any prayers.  I have so much to learn about true peace.  During a time of disagreement this past weekend, I totally let old habits invade and steal all of my peace.  Thankfully the Lord brought me back to the correct lens and allowed me a time of repentance and an opportunity to have a 'do over'...but I saw how just one thing out of place can send me reeling.  I hope that by the end of 2013 I have a stronger sense of His peace despite the circumstances that may surround me. 

"Shalom conveys the idea of peace; tranquility; satisfaction"... etc.  That is where I am camping in this definition right now.  Learning to be satisfied in Him.  I am asking Him to make me holy in every way; to keep my whole spirit and soul and body blameless until my Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

I pray you all are having a wonderful week.

Shalom, y'all!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Guess Who Turned 18?

That's right...our baby turned 18 YESTERDAY!
Jim and I are now parents to adults only!  Where in the world did all of the time go?
We met the family at Pappadeaux Seafood Restaurant last night to celebrate.  It is his favorite.
Happy Birthday, Will!  Your dad and I are so proud of the young man that you have grown to be.  We look forward to sharing this next chapter with you.  We love you to the moon and back.
I wanted to post this picture on his birthday, but I was having problems with Blogger. Turns out the problem is actually with Internet Explorer.  Thank goodness for Google or I would still be scratching my head on how to get this up!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My One Word For 2013

I have been trying for days to load more Christmas pictures to share with all of you, but for whatever reason I have been unable to do so.  I think it is because I am supposed to share the following with you instead.  Please bear with my ramblings.

I have long admired disciplined people who can set goals and see them through to the finish.  I have never been one of those people, but I have long admired them.

I have also been fascinated over people who can align their focus to one thought or word for an entire year.  My friend Stacy likes to use rhyming statements like "A Bovine in '09" (which she accomplished by the way with not one but three bovine in 2009).   At Wilcrest Baptist, Rodney themed every year.  The last full year I was there was the Year of Revival which was rich and deeply personal to me. 

As you all know, I have tried setting monthly goals (2010 - didn't make it out of January with those); quarterly goals (2011 - didn't make it to May); and last year I tried just listing six year long goals (I saw one all the way through the year and one other through 'most' of the year).  Improvement?  Yes.  But still not able to make the changes that I so desired.

When the time came to make a list of goals for 2013 I just couldn't do it.  I have tried and failed so many times before that I just couldn't bear to write down 'lose weight' or 'find a home church' another time.  Well, actually I did make the list...but it depressed me so I tore it out and threw it in the trash.

I opened my new devotional instead and began to read. 

{the following few paragraphs are a rabbit trail to be sure...but an important part of the story as well}

One of our new traditions with grown children is that I place a new devotional in each of their stockings.  Last year I bought the same one for myself and the girls, but I bought for the boys according to their individual taste.  I wasn't a big fan of the one I bought for us girls last year and ended up purchasing a new one for myself by the time February rolled around. 

This year I really wanted a certain one for me and the girls, but I forgot to order them and had to settle for what was in stock.  Let me tell you that it is not easy to find four of the same devotional anywhere and this year I needed seven copies (some were for other gifts).  After circling Lifeway for what must have been the tenth time, my eyes fell on an end cap display with more than enough and from a name that I had used before and enjoyed.  So, I bought seven copies of The One Year devotions for Women: Becoming a Woman at Peace by Ann Spangler.  I had read her devotional on the names of God years ago and got a lot out of it.  (By the way, I also purchased one devotional for all the guys because trying to remember what I had given each one last year was way too hard!  Theirs is Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado.  And yes, this note is so that I have a record for next year!)

Back to my original story...

As I read the acknowledgments and introductions, a phrase caught my eye.  It was much like the quote from Ann Voskamp that I found last January and that spent the whole year on my kitchen chalkboard as a reminder.  So I replaced one Ann's words with the other:

One of the most important Hebrew words in the Bible, shalom conveys the idea of peace, tranquility, satisfaction, success, prosperity, healing, completeness, safety, well-being, and good relationships between people and nations.  Rich and multi-faceted, shalom sums up all the blessings God gives to those he loves.
Ann Spangler 'Becoming a Woman at Peace' Introduction
A few days later I came across Ann Voskamp's post about her word for 2013 (which is {with} IN, just in case you were wondering).  In that post she had a photo of the book My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen.  The thought so intrigued me that I immediately went online to see if there was a copy available at my local Barnes and Noble.  I picked it up on the way home. 
I began to read the story behind how this 'movement' began.  It is a fascinating concept to me.  Mr. Ashcraft begins the book with the story of how he decided to keep a list of all the things he needed to start doing or stop doing as was given over just one week of watching a morning news show.  By week's end the list was overwhelming, to say the least.  But somewhere in the back of his mind one word kept impressing itself on him so that he tossed out the list and wrote it down instead.  After several months of living with this word he states, "In looking through the lens of a single chosen work, I found a new approach to personal change and spiritual formation - one that is doable, memorable, effective, and sticky.  The results have been greater than I expected."
That sounds exactly like what I need.  Something doable...memorable (past week 2 of 2013)...effective...sticky.  So, I began reading the process of how to choose My One Word.  It was then that I realized that My One Word had already chosen me. 
Or rather that the Lord had chosen My One Word for me...way back in the middle of December as I struggled through Lifeway for the tenth time to find seven copies of the same devotional.  (I had already made phone calls and Internet searches to locate seven copies of the one I went in to purchase to no avail.  While in the store, no less!)  I was praying and asking God to lead me to the right one, which I was sure was the one I already had in mind.  But He had other plans. 
And so, My One Word for 2013 is this:
= Peace
I hesitate to share this with you all, not because I fear what someone might say or that I want to keep a secret.  I hesitate because I have an awful habit of failing to keep up with something once it is brought into the 'open'.  If I exercise five times a week for three weeks in a row and happen to mention it to a friend at lunch -- I never go again.  If I read the Word every morning for months on end and then post something about it on Facebook, I can assure you that by the following week I am off the wagon.  And so it is that I ask you all for your prayers in this endeavor.  That 'Shalom' would be ever present in my mind and on my heart and that the end of 2013 would find me to be 'A Woman At Peace'.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree (Home Edition)

I have had these pictures uploaded for weeks but no time to sit and write the post. So, here are our pictures from decorating the tree at home. Hope you enjoy!
Meagan and Delayne with her first ornament

Bri and Josh adding their 'First Christmas Together" ornament


Will flexing his muscles

Our sweet Desi's remembrance butterfly

Derrick and Delayne hanging his golfing bear

Jim and Fonda hanging their 'First Christmas Together" ornament for the thirty-second time!

Because this is his Senior Year of high school, Will gets to place the star on the tree

We even decked out the gemsbok in holiday ribbon...

...and the kudu in a Santa hat!
Hope you and yours had a most joyous Christmas holiday!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

My ears are ringing, my head aches and feels a little swimmy. I'm sure there are others that can relate to my symptoms today...but they probably had a much more exciting night than me. You see, I am suffering from a NyQuil hangover.

We made it in from Northeast Arkansas around 7:30 last night with plans to head over to Josh & Bri's to bring in the New Year. I made it to my bedroom and decided that it was probably in my best interest to stay there. So I took a dose of NyQuil and hit my pillow...all before 8!

I woke up about 11:45 for another dose and thought about waking Jim to wish him a Happy New Year...but all I remember is lying back down and pulling up the covers. I awoke to daylight about 9:30 this morning.

I'm pretty sure it is nothing contagious. Just my body's reaction to traveling from daytime temperatures in the low 30's to 63 degrees after sunset!

So, please forgive me for not responding to texts and Facebook posts wishing us a Happy New Year.

From our home to yours..."May 2013 bring you God's peace, lots of love and more than enough!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad