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Just because something looks like fun it doesn’t mean it is a good idea

 This is something I wrote for the “Whatever Girls” site today.  If you are a mom of a teenage girl you need to check this site out.

About 5 years ago I watched my daughter and her friend do something they thought was going to be fun but turned out to be a bad idea.  Let me set the stage: I was busy inside the house and saw my daughter and her friend outside when I passed by the window.  They seemed to be trying to figure something out.  I went on with my work inside not thinking much about it.  Little did I know they had come up with some hare-brained idea to tie a rope from the back of my daughter’s bike to my grandmother’s wheel chair (No my grandmother was not in the wheel chair).  Looking back, it all seemed like it was moving in slow motion when I realized what was happening.  I remember yelling, “Nooooo ssstopp!!” and diving at the door with my cat like reflexes when I saw what was going down in my driveway.  Due to the fact that I was inside they could not hear me and I was too late to stop what was happening.

They went flying down the driveway.  My daughter’s friend was on the bike and my daughter was in the wheel chair.  Thankfully after all my years of harping on the kids about helmets both girls had them on.   What seemed like a good idea at first became a bad idea when the driveway ran out and they had to turn into the street.  The bike made the turn but the wheel chair did not.  The wheel chair dumped my girl like a rock skipping across a pond and she thankfully only had a few scrapes.

How often do we grab a hold of or “tie ourselves” to something that seems like a good idea?  The girls figured they had on “helmets” to protect them and it looked like fun so why not?  Today I am writing to teens but there is a lesson in this is for us adults as well. Teens today are faced with far more drug choices than ever before.  Technology has opened the door to many harmful things from sexting to cyber bullying. Teens are pushed to feel that if they are not having sex than there is something wrong with them.  Even those kids that are grounded in the Lord are finding themselves “holding onto or tying themselves” to what is of the world in order to fit in.

not a good idea

The crazy idea my daughter and her friend had is a perfect analogy for what peer pressure can do to you.  Let’s say peer pressure is the bike. Your friends are saying, “Come on everyone does it”.  Wanting to fit in you say yes to what your peers are saying is okay (you have now tied yourself to the bike).  Most likely you are still not sure but you have said, “yes” so you follow your friends. You are now in the wheel chair with no control of where the bike or peer pressure is taking you.  It wont’ take long before you realize things are out of control and you are picking yourself up with a much deeper hurt than the scratches my daughter got when she crashed.

As I said before, the girls had on their helmets and they figured they were protected if anything was going to happen. The same is true when we choose to do things that the world sees as good or acceptable.  In other words we cannot just assume that because we have on our “helmets” of salvation (Eph 6:17) nothing can happen.  There will always consequences and we can get hurt when we are not careful what we tie ourselves too.

The Whatever Girls verse is bouncing around in may head as I type this.  It is perfect for what I am trying to convey: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV).

Tie yourself to those things!!  Hold on to God’s truth so that when you are faced with the temptations of the world no matter how fun they look you will be able to stand firm in The Lord. Choose wisely so that you do not get hurt.  Don’t leave God yelling “NOOOO SSSTOPPP!!!” like I had to do with the girls.  You never know who is watching you.  Actions sometimes speak louder than words so choosing to go honor God in your actions just might encourage others to choose what is good also.   Remember just because something looks like fun it doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

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1-800-GOD

I can’t stand when you call a company and instead of a person you get the computer:

Thank you for calling… whatever it may be…

Then the list of selections begins. Press 1 if, 2 if, 3 if and so on.

Who has time for that and whatever happened with the basic idea of customer service?  If I want to talk to a computer I’ll get on Facebook.

I dread calling Sears to fix an appliance. I have been lost in the land of “if you want to speak to someone about … press….” until I thought I would scream. I have called a company before and the selection I wanted wasn’t even on the list. I just sit pressing “0” in hopes someone would pick up and get me where I want to be.   I am guessing you know what I mean.  I almost expect it to say, “if you are calling and you want to talk to a real person, good luck because we are enjoying your frustration,” or “Oh, did you need help?”  When we’re done making you crazy, we’ll pick up.” There are also the companies that have you speak your selection rather than press a button. Let me just say that “put me through to a person you stupid computer” is not something it recognizes. When I said that once it answered back, “I am sorry we didn’t get what you were saying.” At which point I have found myself looking like a cartoon character with steam coming out my ears as I yelled into the phone “operator!” By that time I had forgotten why I called in the first place.

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Can you imagine if that was how God ran things?  Picture it, you are overwhelmed, you don’t think you can go on anymore and broken is an understatement. You fall to your knees (which is like picking up the phone) you cry out to God (which is like dialing the number) and you hear…

Thank you for calling God. Please choose from the following selections:

 If you have praise, press 1 and leave a message. God will check it soon.

If this is an emergency and you are hurting and need help press 2.

If you pressed 2 you then you hear:

Thank you to better serve you please choose from the following selections

 If you are sick and need healing press 1    

 If you need strength press 2

If you need forgiveness press 3

If you need wisdom press 4

If you need rest press 5

If you need clarity, which falls under wisdom so press 6

To hear these choices again press 7

Now picture this, if you find the selection you need can you imagine if you finally get through and you hear. “We are sorry God is busy right now–please hold and when He has time He’ll be right with you.” Can you imagine being placed on hold and given what is to be angelic music to listen to?  Every once in a while, the music cuts out so you can receive a message, “We are sorry for your wait but God is busy right now. We know you have a problem that seems important to you and we hope to be with you soon. Thank you for your patience and you may feel free to call back at another time. Thanks, and God’s blessings.”

Wow, if God were like that would you really ever want to call out to Him if that was all you got. Thank goodness that is not how God works. 24/7 we have an open line to Him for everything.  He hears it all and He never is too busy to listen. Whether it is times of happiness or times of trouble I have learned to “run to the throne before I run to the phone.” Be it in times of weakness or whatever it is that is in front of me, I call on God first. Than I can ask my friends to pray with me but God is always my first call.  There has never been a busy signal when I call Him and I have never been asked to leave a voice mail. I know that I am just one prayer away from the best customer service ever. God has even given us an owner’s manual to guide us. Think of it as your phone directory to God. It is the Bible. It’s the living and breathing word of our loving God. Just knowing that I never have to call during certain business hours, that I even have a helpful directory at my fingertips, is soothing to my soul. God is good and he will never leave you on hold.

Philippians 4:6 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Now that brings joy to my heart and it is something to be truly thankful for.

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Transitions, Helping women, Changing lives

So excited to be a part of such a great organization that makes such a huge impact of the lives of women and their children.  You can also help by contacting them at http://www.help4women.org.

If you have found your way to my site while at the Transitions breakfast or lunch today, I hope you take a moment to check out my heartfelt ramblings.  If you like what you see you can sign up to get updates when I enter a new blog post.  (just look to your right and you will see the link to sign up by email)

You can also follow me on Facebook and on Twitter (simply go to the links to the right)

If you are at the Transitions breakfast or lunch today, I hope you are able to help with this amazing program.

Blessings,

The midlife domestic goddess 1388109_10202302994480110_1214369269_n

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We all need a hero

I don’t know a lady that didn’t play dress up at least once as a little girl. As little girls we all dream of our wedding day, we plan that day out in our mind right down to the last detail. We see ourselves marrying the perfect man. A Hero, a Knight in shining armor. As women, we all have our favorite movies and most likely in our top movies choices there is a woman who needs to be saved, romanced and made to feel beautiful.

Robin Hood and The Last of the Mohicans are at the top of my list in that department. The fact is that they are movies and not real life. I am happily married but my husband has never swung through a window on a rope to rescue me, there has never been a need for him to carry a bow and arrow or a sword. We have never ridden off into the sunset on a white horse with my beautiful long hair blowing in the wind, and my perfect body tucked tightly in his arms. (I know this because I don’t have long hair and I am not a super model)

The song by Bonnie Tyler goes:

I need a hero

I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night

He’s gotta be strong

And he’s gotta be fast

And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

Come on, ladies, admit it–you all know what I am talking about, we are romantic at heart. Why do you think we have chick flicks and romance novels?  One of the best romance novels I have ever read was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. My daughter and her friends have passed the book around also.  Face it, ladies; it is how we are built. Our feminine side cries out to be protected, loved and treated as if we are the only girl in the world.

Unfortunately, we live in a broken world and many of us never had fathers who protected us, many of us have had unhealthy marriages, and we feel we don’t deserve any better. It is sad, but many of us feel that. Women and girls have been fed a mixed up version of what womanhood is. We have been told to be strong, we don’t need a man, and we can take care of ourselves. We have had the world’s view of a beautiful woman ingrained into us and have been taught by the media, that sex is where it is. We often strive so hard to be perfect in the world’s eyes, independent and strong, that we have forgotten how to be feminine and how to let the men in our lives be masculine and be our heroes.

We dive into the romance novels and movies to fill that sense of loss. As I was reading the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge for my book group at church (it is about finding the beauty that Jesus sees in all of us as women and letting our men be our heroes) it became very clear to me that I was trying so hard to be strong that I was in a sense taking away my husband’s manhood. I wasn’t letting him romance me, protect me and lead me. I was doing everything that went against what I wanted as a little girl and was acting in the way the world saw acceptable for a woman. I had a meeting with God and I asked Him to change my heart, to show me how to be the woman that he had planned for me to be, not what I thought was best. My husband was out of town and I sent him a text. (He wasn’t able to take calls at that time.)  I told him, he was my strength, that I believed in him and that I needed to tell him that more. I ended with I Love you and I got a response back so fast. It blessed me to send that text and to have him respond so fast.  It was a reality check that if I didn’t change my heart and let my husband be my hero I was going to miss out on a even deeper love for him, and in return a love that would also be poured back on me.

It is time I close my mouth more, and when I do speak I need to find kinder and gentler words. Titus 3:2 Teaches us “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” I am guessing all of you ladies that are in a relationship must have also done this to your other half at some time. I am not saying I am a bad wife, I just think I could be better and if I am willing to change, I think my husband will become an even better husband than he is already by doing this. I tell others how lucky I am to have him but I don’t always tell him that.

Ladies, God made us different from men; he had a perfect plan for a man and woman–why do we make it so hard, and try to change his plan?  I have to be honest, I want my doors opened, I want a strong man, and I want my heart to be protected. I don’t need to be rushed away on a horse and live some fun and exciting life. I just need to know my husband loves me with all his heart. I have to stop being afraid to say I need you and I have to learn that my way is not always the right way!  I have had a reality check–I don’t want the idea of a hero from the movies, I want a hero that comes from a deeper way of loving and respecting the man that God has chosen for me. My husband has protected me in many situations where I could have been hurt; he has stood up for me and made me feel safe. I know he would love to be the protector of my heart as well if I would let him.   While proof reading this, my husband told me that if you allow a man to be the man that God intended him to be, he would swim through shark infested water to bring his wife a glass of lemonade. (I don’t mean to be picky but I wonder if he would bring me a bottle of wine also). He told me that, that is how men are wired.

One day while at our book group for Captivating, a beautiful young mom and wife came to our meeting after a night that had to have been one of the most painful nights. Her mom became sick, was rushed to the hospital and before the night was over she was faced with the responsibility of taking her mom off life support. She sat there, tired and grieving. We laid hands on her and prayed for her. She shared with us that her husband had very tenderly told her that she was not going to have to go through this alone. He loves her so much and he told her that they were one. He was willing to protect her and help her carry her burdens. He was being her hero. I used to think the line “you complete me” from Jerry McGuire was one of the most romantic things ever but “we are one” is hands down the most romantic things I have ever heard. The icing on the cake was that it was real life, not some line in a movie, and the man who said it wasn’t wielding a sword or returning from the battle all rough and full of testosterone. He was a man who was pushing into his faith and ready to take whatever was thrown his way to protect the heart of the woman he loved.

A couple of us told him that he was a hero the next day at church and you could see the love he felt for his wife well up in his eyes as we told him what we thought of his words. Ladies! this man is a hero because his wife lets him be one. She is tender and allows him to rescue her. Add that with his love for the Lord and she has got the whole package. She told us that as a girl that she began praying for her husband. Okay this just keeps getting better than any romantic movie could ever be! I hope it moves your heart to want more in your marriage.

Ladies, if we would start sharing our vulnerability with our husbands I think they would be more than willing to pour out their love and passion on us. We don’t need to have the body of movie star or the hair of Julia Roberts for our husbands to love us with passion and to be our heroes. Our husbands don’t need to be some muscle bound, tough guys to be our heroes either. We just have step back and let them be men. God had a perfect plan when he made us women so different than he made men. We need to stop trying to change his plan.

My husband is that hero that I need; I am going to work on changing my heart to not be so bossy and, to stop thinking my way is the only way. Most important I am going to faithfully pray for my husband. I am so fast to pray for everyone else, I even pray for my friend’s husbands when they ask but I don’t pray for my own husband on a regular basis. That is going to change today and I pray that you will do the same for your husband. If you are in a rocky marriage and feel there is not hope left, I pray that you will push into God and start to pray for your husband and for a new and stronger love. If you are a single woman or a young lady and you are reading this, I pray that you will start praying now for the man that God has chosen for you. I have a few women in my life who don’t have a significant other but it has blessed my heart to hear one of them say that for now it is Jesus who is her boyfriend and her hero. He is all she needs and I have to say I find that downright beautiful.

Ladies heroes are not just in books and movies. Heroes are in our lives. They are our husbands our, sons, our brothers, and our friends.  They are waiting to be heroes if we would just get out of the way and allow them to be the men God intended them to be. What a blessing it would be to each of us if the men in our lives could be as God had planned and we women would be a happy to let them.

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Formed in his image

I am more than a Full-time mother and Housewife; I am the Daughter of the One True King, predestined for great things for His Kingdom. Jeremiah 1:5 is such a fantastic illustration of this, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…(NIV).” Sometimes as a mother with young children it is easy to forget that life is happening outside the four walls of your home and in different parts of the city other than your route while taking the kids to school.

Last night while with a wonderful group of ladies at our Women’s Bible Study, I was reminded of something I learned a long time ago; I am a one of Christ’s Precious Creations.  This morning, I am thankful to God that His mercies are new each day.CassiesCornerButton

I was reminded that God created each of us as a special individual with a specific purpose. Just because one person may talk more than another, may look a certain way, or act in a manner that differs from the “norm” does not mean one is more valuable than the other. Psalm 139:13-14 clearly states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my motherʼs womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (NIV).”

Praise God that we were all created specifically for Him and no one else. Simply knowing that the beauty within enthralls Him makes my heart overwhelmed with peace. Each day, we get to walk out a life predestined and designed just for each of us. I (We) was created to be a Woman of God.

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What if Christ were like that?

As believers in Christ we are the first impression as to whom he is that a non-believer gets. As Christians we are given a chance to show Christ to those around us in our words and in our actions. It is sad the image that believers often portray to the world. I have heard, “Those Christians are……rude, hypocritical, judgmental” and so on.

(WARNING: If you read on you will see that this mid-life domestic goddess is a bit fired up and to really share this story I will need to use some harsh wording as I quote someone)

My heart is sickened still today, as the words I heard yesterday ring in my ears. I was waiting for my daughter while she was seeing the doctor. A mom and her daughter (whom looked to be about my age were sitting across from me). I was trying as hard as I could to not listen to their conversation but short of putting in earplugs I could not avoid it. They were arguing and the mother spoke something that sickened my heart. She told her daughter that she needed to tell the person they were talking about, “I will pray for you, if you will pray for me”. What came out of the mother’s mouth next shocked and saddened me. She said, “If she won’t pray for you than tell her to F#@% it!” Really? It is no wonder believers have such a bad image.

Can you imagine if Christ said, “I will die for your sins so you can be free from all condemnation and have eternal life in heaven? However if you don’t understand it and take it to heart the first time you hear of this than F&@% it!” Or, what if Christ said, “I’ll die for you but you must first die for me?” My husband raised a great point and a very sad one at that. He said, “where did Christianity go wrong for her to feel that praying is a two way obligation?”

I was so stunned at what I heard today and I had no idea what to say. They were already arguing so I just sat there. It was so uncomfortable. Thankfully I was the only one with in earshot of that statement. As believers we really need to think before we speak. We have no idea who may be listening and it may be our one time to show the love of Christ. I know that what I saw yesterday is not a Christ honoring way and certainly not a good picture of how the body is to function. For the mother’s sake I am glad that Christ is not a “first chance only” savior. As I type this I am convicted to pray for her and thank God for his grace. My prayer for her is much better than any judgement I could give my sister in Christ. I am only posting this to show how careful we must be. All who believe are reflections of Christ.

As you go about your day-to-day routine. Remember you are a reflection of Christ. What is that reflection showing? I hope it is showing love, forgiveness, grace, gentleness and so on.

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:35

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

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Are you working with a trainer?

I like watching the “Biggest Loser” and the determination in the contestants really speaks to me. They are pushed so hard in their training and in one night’s episode they were bungee jumping and throwing themselves off cliffs. Talk about taking a leap of faith!

The trainer’s push, they encourage, and they support the contestants. I have worked with a trainer before; sometimes the trainer he me mad when he pushed and pushed me to reach new goals. There were times when I thought I was not going to make it and my trainer would get in my face and say keep it up, you can do it, don’t stop, keep going.

I see God as my trainer; He is the trainer of my heart, my soul and my life. I don’t meet Him in the gym and there are no outrageous fees. With God my workout consists of time in the word, time in prayer, and time in fellowship with my church. I am running the race of life and there are times when I don’t feel like I can go on anymore. Sometimes the race of life is overwhelming and when it gets there God’s word begins to scream into my life in the most encouraging way. Romans 5:3-5 has spoken to me many times in my life since I have allowed God to become my trainer. It says,

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that sufferings produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”  

God’s word and His love give us the strength to persevere when we want to give up. Sometimes I am mad at how He is pushing me because it hurts. Sometimes when He pulls me out of a nice and comfy place I act like a spoiled child. Many times, I have gotten mad when things don’t go how I wanted them to go and I have fought against God. When I do that He gently guides me where I need to be. He is big enough to handle my anger and He picks me up when I fall down. He is with me in all my highs and lows and He is my biggest fan.

There have been times when I have had to take a leap of faith—no, God hasn’t asked me to bungee jump or cliff jump like the contestants on the Biggest Loser but I have had to trust and take a leap of faith in a new direction that He may be moving me, there have been some difficult times that I have had to jump out in faith and trust. The contestants on the Biggest Loser were tied to all kinds of safety harness when they jumped; I am safe in the hands of God and the promise of his love and forgiveness that was given that day on the cross when his Son gave His life for me. The blood of Christ is my safety harness and I would much rather jump with that as my lifeline than what the contestants had to do on the show.

With God as my trainer, the race of life is much easier to run and the reward at the end of the race is the biggest prize ever!  We are all running that race. The question is; are you doing it on your own or is God your trainer?

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Jesus had his own “free will”

Jesus had his own “free will” but He came to do the will of the Father. We can see Jesus being tempted in his flesh just as we are tempted by the enemy. In His free will He could have chosen the easy path but he choose his father’s will. “He choose the cross, no one forced him to”—Altar’d by Jennifer Kennedy Dean http://www.prayinglife.org/bookstore/altard/

John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, But I lay it down on my own accord. I have the authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.

We too have free will, we can choose to do the will of God or not. We can actively Choose to live by the spirit or by the flesh. “He knew the crucifixion was the path to resurrection. He surrendered to the crucifixion with His eyes on the promise of the resurrection. When we surrender our flesh to His crucifixion, we join Him in his resurrection.”—Altar’d by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. As I said, it is our choice to do God’s will or to do the will of our flesh. Sometimes choosing to do the will of the Lord may seem hard to us but, we can hold on to this to always be true…. If we choose to do the will of our Father in heaven, He will ALWAYS PROVIDE FOR US HIS STRENGTH to do his will.

So your will or His will? I am learning to let go of my free will that comes from my flesh and do His that comes from the Spirit!!!

Have a blessed day 🙂

 

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