Tag Archives: humor

The Meaning of LIFE

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“The God who is infinitely high is also intimately nigh.”

 

Recently, one of my children asked me, “What is the meaning of life, mama?”img_6387

 

There it was, that age-old, deep philosophical question everyone eventually asks themselves. The answer came easily and quickly. And it is true. The answer is JESUS.

His love and grace are always the answer to every question, every dilemma, every challenge, every stress, every fight, every longing, or pain. It sounds so simple I know, and my child looked at me like I was crazy.

The next question I got was, “So is that going to be the answer you always give if I ask you again?” and I said, “Yes. Because it’s true. Do you want me to lie to you or tell you the truth?”

Jesus will help you find things. He will lead you where you need to go. 100_0751Remind you why you walked into that room. He will guide you into your future career and all the big things in life.img_5518  He will tell you the things and people to avoid getting close to. He will listen when you cry, He will be with you in every detail,img_3103 and every joy…img_5207Even when you think you are alone, you aren’t . He is there, wanting to hang out with you. He is in everywhere.beach pics (266)

It’s all about HIM. The Old Testament is Jesus concealed. The New Testament is Him revealed.

Everything we do or think or say is a reflection of where He is in our lives. Are we close to Him? Are we far? Do we need to spend more time thinking about what He says and less time focused on TV and games or reading romances or watching You tube tutorials or pinning ideas on our Pinterest boards or painting? Uh hem. Oopsie. 05-img_3518

How much do we reflect Him? Do people around us see Him in us? Or do they see us freaking out on our kids at Wal-Mart instead? Uh hem. Not that I do that. Ever. Uh hem Uh hem. Seriously. Do our kids see His mercy in our eyes or condemnation? How about our tone of voice? Am I consumed by me, me, me?

These are tough questions. I know. I am asking myself. Where is Jesus in my life right now? I can’t ride on the coat tails of my conversion fire. I have to daily go to Him and refill my spiritual tank. He is always there. Twenty four seven. And it’s all free for the taking.img_4934

Toby Mac has a wonderful line in his encouraging song, Move. “I can hold your hand but I can’t turn your eyes to freedom.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzYsrAcuS0s

And it’s true. We all have to turn our own eyes toward freedom in Christ. It is for freedom that Christ set us free. (Romans 5:1) I wish we could unzip people stuff them full of Jesus, and zip them back up. But it doesn’t work that way. So let me encourage you to move closer to Him. You will be refreshed. He Promised. img_4243

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The MARY Choice

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Another Mary I want to share with you is Martha’s sister.

We all understand Martha.

We want to get it right.

Whether the Christmas meal is at our house, or a pot luck at our sister in law’s, we want our squash casserole to rock their world. We want our Oreo pie plate licked clean before we pack up and leave.

But Christmas is about JESUS.IMG_5753

We have to reprogram our brains to remember this fact. Jesus did NOT come to bring us stress in the kitchen, or at Mama’s house, or in line at Wal-Mart. He came to give us peace on Earth, and blessed rest.02-img_4810

Invitations and service opportunities abound this time of year. It’s easy to over book the calendar and forfeit Christmas peace and joy.

I’m pretty sure that crying at the stove because Uncle Tommy’s favorite fudge won’t set up is NOT what God had in mind when He sent His Only Begotten Son.

It has been said, that “The hardest choices are not between good and bad, but between good and best.”

Martha’s Mary made the best choice. When Martha started griping, Jesus said, “ Martha, Martha…. Only one thing is needed…Mary has chosen the good part and it will not be taken away from her.”

That One thing is Jesus.         We all need more JESUSRelated image

I have been making conscious decisions lately to make the Mary choice. I’d rather leave the house a wreck and spend time with the Lord before leaving it.

I’m taking deep breaths and praying out loud when the kids start fussing, instead of biting their heads off.

I am practicing choosing kindness over frustration when someone cuts me off in traffic or butts in front of me out there in the maze of shopping.

Baby steps still get us there. Let’s make the Mary choice. Let’s choose MORE JESUS and Have a very Mary Christmas.

PRAYER: Lord, help us remember that JESUS is Christmas. Help us to choose the best things over the good things. Remind us we can keep our peace.
Let us be like Mary, who chose the One thing that mattered. YOU.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

MY FAVORITE THANKSGIVING PROJECT

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Pick someone you love. (I chose my husband but you could certainly choose a child, parent, sibling, or friend)44-img_0003

Create a Thanksgiving Journal for this person.

You need a notebook. We were in our poverty chapter when I did this, so I had to get creative. I used a recycled three ringed binder with a clear sleeve on front and back. I wrote on plain ole lined notebook paper. You could use anything. Just don’t let yourself get stuck trying to find the perfect book. It’s about your heart, not the packaging.

Begin on Thanksgiving Day (or close to it) and present the journal to your SWEETIE the following Thanksgiving. 365 reasons why you are thankful for them. Yes, it is a year-long project, but don’t let that deter you. We all know how fast a year goes by. Date entries or number them and do a few extra when you get behind. No legalism allowed!

Here’s the plan:
Once a day, write something you are thankful for about that person. The entries don’t need to be long. Some will be, but no pressure! For example, “I am thankful that you love me.” That is a great entry. See how short that was? And keep this project a secret. No spoilers!05-img_3518

When I created mine, it was the most difficult year of our lives.I’m NOT kidding: Bankrupt, carless, homeless, living on the good graces of my father-in-law in NC. Uprooted from our home state, I lost custody of my oldest son and had to leave him with his father in Florida. Jobless with no prospects with four small children. Then, we lost our baby when I was six months pregnant. AND my husband had to have emergency surgery! So… finding things to be thankful for that year was a stretch. Sometimes, I just wrote, “I am thankful you took out the trash today.”img_4801-001

But I am telling you, God used this little project to FLOOD me with HIS JOY (which is my strength, and yours too. Neh. 8:10).Winter didn't get the memo.

By the end of that year, I had my perspective back. God cleared the fog from my heart and my husband and I moved into a deeper love, far richer than we had ever known before the chaos of life threatened to swallow us both. daniel-with-1-2

Keeping my eyes on being thankful for my man, rather than on the difficulties and emotional turmoil in our life, changed me.It’s funny. When I started the project, I thought I was doing it for him.

XO

Happy Thanksgiving!

FEEDING MY TRIBE

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FEEDING MY TRIBE

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.                                                                                                                                                              1 Corinthians 10:31

I have picky eaters. Well, five out of seven anyway. They just don’t get the whole “variety is the spice of life” cliché somehow. Sure, it’s my fault, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I keep waiting for those “7 year taste bud changes” that I’ve heard so much about to kick in, but I guess that is just for other people’s children.

I have one who won’t eat cheese, potatoes or beans. Another one who wants to be a vegetarian, except she doesn’t really like a lot of veggies….hmmmm. My hubby won’t eat condiments, raw veggies or fruit. And my youngest prefers junk food to anything real. I do have one teenage boy who will eat pretty much anything, so he keeps me sane. And my oldest occasionally goes on a vegan tangent but he lives down the road so I can work around that.

Honestly, I used to try really hard. I would whip up all kinds of nutritious feasts and sometimes a sandwich or two on the side to meet the specs of one or two children…a bowl of PJ and J mixed together w/ crumbled up bread, or the millionth bowl of canned chili.

But one day I snapped. I had had enough of throwing away food and time for a clan who would walk into the kitchen asking, “Ew, what is that smell?”

I began feeding them frozen meals and buying way too many five dollar pizzas. Then I discovered Costco. Aisles full of prepared food without preservatives, often organic, and I knew I had found my answer. No more slaving away at the stove to feed my people, all I had to do was pop something in the oven, and I got my whole night back! Everyone raved about the amazing new food. We were all so happy finally. Except for the bill of course. But we must all adjust, right? I guess I am in my “whatever you do” chapter right now. I am certainly praising God for Costco!

BONUS IDEA: A fun trick I have learned is never throw liquids away. If I find a cup of abandoned juice sitting around, I stick it in the freezer and voila! Instant joy for the kid who finds it a few hours later. Same thing with yogurt. I find half eaten containers of the pricey goo getting hot on the counter. I slide it into the freezer and Tada! I’m a superstar when one of my grazers happens upon it in its frozen glory. I’ve even been known to freeze their cereal milk. They think it’s heavenly ice cream. At least I understand the cliché’ waste not, want not, right?