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Peace

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phillipians 4: 6 – 7

These words are ringing so true in my life right now.  I have always liked this scripture.  Anxiety used to consume me and these were words of comfort, words that got me through.  Now, though, I am seeing them in a little bit of a different light.  “…The peace of God, which transcends all understanding…” IS guarding my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.  There is no other explanation, no other way that I could be strong through all that has been going on recently.  In reality, the details of what I am going through or you are going through don’t really matter (don’t get me wrong – they do matter but they don’t always need to be shared).  It’s our God that matters.  He is Faithful, He is my Comfort, He is Just.  He wraps His arms of comfort around me and soothes my soul.  In the midst of the upheaval, yes, there have been tears and pain, but the peace I feel knowing God is in control is what gets me through and allows me to stop crying and to move forward. 

I urge anyone that doubts to give Him a try, He is Real and He is Good.

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Pretty Things

I love pretty things! Whether it’s a bag, dish, shoes, sunsets, paintings, whatever. I recently went to a jewelry party at a friend’s house and I indulged more than I probably should have! My friend delivered my order to me and I was like a kid in a candy store! Oh, the beauty of the pieces I had chosen! There was one bracelet that just really stood out to me. Stones in various shades of purple, carved beads of silver and just some plain ol’ bling!

Oh and the hat I found for Rylie – talk about pretty – I fell in love with the hat when I saw it at our church’s craft show and then once Rylie put it on I was head over heels!!

It’s the simple things of beauty that just give me a little boost in my mood!

Just like I was so enthralled with my simple bracelet and Rylie’s hat, the Bible says in Psalm 45: 11 that “the King is enthralled by your beauty”.  Imagine how freeing that could be if we let that soak in.  If we really believe it.  That God, the Creator of ALL things, is enthralled by our beauty!  This is something that has taken me a long time to realize and it still doesn’t always sink in.  But no matter how we feel about ourselves, our true worth is found in Him and Him alone.  Thanks be to God for that!

Simple Pleasures

A few years ago Eric and I went to a food show in DC and I stumbled upon some amazing peanut butter!  It wasn’t just ANY peanut butter – it was … Mighty Maple!  I thought about that peanut butter for days.  I looked for it in stores.  I looked online (and couldn’t bring myself to spend as much on the shipping as the jar of peanut butter – I was close though!). 

My memory of the scrumptious peanut butter remained with me.  As I went to different stores than I usually shop, I would look to see if maybe, just maybe, they would have my dreamy peanut butter.  But as time went by, I thought about it less and less until one day a simple glance at the peanut butter section of the store reunited me with my Mighty Maple!!  I was at Wegman’s (I love Wegman’s!) and you would have thought I had found a million dollars!  No, just the Mighty Maple peanut butter that I craved long ago. 

I probably should have bought more than one jar – I have eaten almost the whole thing and I have been really trying to limit myself each day.  I have eaten it in the traditional PB & J sandwich as well as on an apple, on a tortilla with a banana and honestly with a spoon straight from the jar!  It’s the simple pleasures of finding a jar of Mighty Maple peanut butter that make life even more special.  You hear people say “God is in the little things” and (call me crazy!) I believe that day God was in that aisle at Wegman’s just waiting for me to look over to the peanut butter section so He could give me a little boost in my day and surprise me with my Mighty Maple!

Out of my Hands

I was thinking about some situations that are coming up in the near future and dreading them because they are out of my hands.  Other people are controlling them and making choices for me.  It is not something I like AT ALL!  Then a still small voice inside reminded me:  everything is out of your hands.  Wow.  Even when I think things are in my hands, that I have ALL the control, I really don’t.  It’s when I try to control and try to have things MY way, that anxiety comes.  Stress comes.  Anger comes.

But when I hand it over to God a sense of peace washes over me.  HE is trustworthy.  HE is in control.  If I follow HIS lead, I will be right where I need to be and in the end that’s right where I want to be as well.

As I head into the upcoming situations, I pray for the grace and peace of God which He gives me each and every day.  I pray that He works through me and that my old, controlling self will be covered with Him.

What are You trying to say, God?

Last night my professional organizer, Cheryl Osterhouse (of In Order For Life, LLC) spoke at the Women’s Ministry Event at my church.  She spoke about being good stewards of our time and mentioned Elisabeth Elliot and her writings and one of the things she took away from her writings.  It was to “do the next thing”.  When you are overwhelmed with life, do the next thing. 

This morning I was on my way to an appointment, in the car by myself, able to listen to whatever I want and decided to listen to a cd on creating schedules.  The speaker mentioned treating time like money and she challenged listeners to consider thinking of how a schedule for your time is like a budget for your money.  She then goes on to mention Elisabeth Elliot and “do the next thing”.  Wow – so, I am hearing the same message 2 times in less than 24 hours ~ I think I better pay attention!  I think God is trying to tell me something.

Then I heard a question in my head, “are you using your time for God worthy things?”  Is spending 10, 15, 20+ minutes on Facebook reading about everyone else’s lives and opinions a God worthy use of my time – the time God has entrusted me with?  Do I spend that much time sitting and talking to my own children and husband, hearing about their day and their thoughts?  OUCH!  That really hit me.  I need to start really thinking of my time as a gift from God and really think and pray over how I can be a better steward of that blessing of time. 

I pray that God will guide my thoughts and actions as I go through this process.

Decisions…Decisions

Last Sunday, my Pastor made a statement that really stuck with me.  His message was on “God, Parents, and Kids” and the statement he made that really stuck with me was that as we are living our lives and raising our children (if we have them) as well as just interacting with others around us, we have a decision to make.  The decision is to be Christian Principle Driven or Secular Trends Driven.  Will we be driven by the ways of Jesus, His commands and the example of His life?  Or will be driven by the way of the world, looking out for ourselves above everyone else and living in the ways of the world? 

His message from this past Sunday was really a continuation for me.  It was called “Living an Abundant Life”.  Unlike the Secular Trends Driven way of life which looks at how much you earn, how much you have or who you know, living a truly abundant life is accomplished by being Christian Principle Driven.  It’s about complete commitment to Jesus Christ.  It’s about having Him as your focus, trusting Him, living for Him.  It’s about joy, peace and hope.  The joy, peace and hope that only a relationship with Christ can provide.  It’s not always easy but it’s the ultimate goal. 

I pray that as I continue to write and others join me along the way, we can share with each other how we are going about trying to accomplish living a Christian Principle Driven life which really is living simply in Jesus.

Hello world!

The world of blogging intrigues me.  So much information, so much encouragement, so much camaraderie.  I want to join the blogging world but I don’t know how.  I don’t think I would have anything to say (write) worth blogging about.  This is my start.  I plan to let the Lord guide me, to be the subject of my blogging, to be the reason I blog.  My goal is to live a simple life, one that allows my family and I time to breathe, one that is not consumed with the pressures of the world.  Maybe that is what I should blog about, my goal of a simple life and how we are working toward that in our family!  I pray over this venture – that the Lord guides it, that I share what He wants me to share, no more and no less.  If I am able to touch just one person with this venture, it will be well worth it!  Welcome to my journey – I would appreciate you coming along with me!  Life’s always more fun with friends and family by your side!