Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lessons Learned in the Storm

Last post I talked about the "storms" that I have been through in recent years and even months, what I have learned and discovered during those storms. I want to share a little more in detail some of those lessons learned in the Storm.
  1. I learned that God is always in the mist of these storms even if we don't see Him, feel Him or hear Him. The best illustration of this is the story of a man who had 3 children, his house caught on fire and he ran out with his wife and two of the children, the third child was upstairs. The father called to the son to jump into his arms, but the smoke was so thick that the son said, "I can't see you daddy!" but the father said to the son, " But I can see you Son!" jump and I will catch you. Sometimes during the storm we can't see God, but He always sees us and is waiting for us to jump into His arms.
  2. I learned the days I took the time to spend in God's presence and in His Word were that best days and that PRAYER WORKS!
  3. I learned that a lot of things I got angry and upset about really didn't matter. In the storm the little things stay the little things. I ask myself, "In five years, will this matter?"
  4. I learned what true humility is and I work daily to keep any kind of pride out of my life
  5. I learned to love unconditionally, be less judgemental and critical
  6. I learned to love people just as they are.
  7. I learned to be grateful and thankful for the little and simple things in life. A smile, a hug, a caring e-mail, an unexpected card in the mail, a child's laugh, a good laugh, a butterfly, just knowing you have family and friends that love and care about you and of course a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar. :)
  8. I learned that God really doesn't give us more than we can handle, it just feels like it at the time.
  9. I learned that I am stronger than I thought - 2 Corith. 13:9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong
  10. I learned life isn't always fair, but God is always Good.
  11. I learned life is too short to waste time being angry at anyone.
  12. I learned to have a good sense of humor even when there was nothing to laugh about.
  13. I learned not to take myself too seriously.
  14. I learned I don't have to win every argument.
  15. I learned not to compare my life to others because I really don't know what they are really going through.
  16. I learned no one is in charge of my happiness but me.
  17. I learned to forgive everyone of everything
  18. I learned to treasure every family member and friend in my life and to ask them for prayer support and help when I needed it.
  19. I learned that negative thoughts, people and attitudes could not be part of my life.
  20. I learned to help others in their storm during my storm.
I am certainly not perfect and have much, much, much more growing to do in my life, but I can honestly say that these hard, difficult, messy, long-term perplexing times of my life have changed me in ways that never would have happened if the storms were not there. I have said many times that although I would do anything to keep those in my life from suffering the pain of what the storms brought them, whether it was self-imposed or out of their control, I personally would not trade what those experiences have done in my life and the ways they have changed me.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8: 38,39

Next Post: 7 essential elements we need in our life to rise above the Storms of Life.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Life is Hard....But God is Good

I had the opportunity last week to be a breakout speaker for our church's woman's retreat. I am always thankful for any opportunity that God gives me to speak 'Hope" into anyone's life and that is always what my teachings are about.

One thing I noticed more at this retreat than any other was how many people where going through difficult almost overwhelming situations in their lives, more than I can ever remember.

My message last weekend was born out of the experience of going through, what for me, the most difficult years of my life. They were and are to me long-term perplexing problems. Long-term because there was no visible end to them and perplexing because I didn't understand why they were happening, it just didn't make sense to me in my human brain why these things were happening in my life.

But as I explained to the ladies in my class, although there are pieces of those situations that I still do not understand, nor will probably ever understand, I looked for and found purposes for those situations. I saw, as Joseph said in Genesis 50:20, "What was meant to harm me, God intended it for good.

As I have reflected back to those situations and some that I still live, I have come to realize a few things God has done in my life and my families lives that was intended for good to accomplish the things He wanted for me and my family. I couldn't see them in the mist of the storm but it all became very clear as the storm subsided in my life and I could see clearly all God has done. While the storm was raging in my life I also learned some principles that if I applied them daily to my life, I could walk through those long-term perplexing problems with victory, peace and joy. Maybe not every moment or every day but where the heavy hard days are not the norm but the exception.

I will share in the next few posts some of these thots and the 7 essential elements we need to walk through these very difficult places in life with God's strength and peace.

I want to end this post with some encouragement and Hope to anyone reading it that is going through a long- term perplexing problem:
Remember these promises from God's Word:
  • God is Good, Psalm 34:8
  • He will turn what was meant for bad in your life to good, Gen 50:20,
  • He has written your name on the palm of His hand, Isaiah 49:16,
  • He holds your tears in His bottle, Psalm 56:8,
  • God is our very present help in times of trouble, Psalm 46:1
And there is so much more that the Word tells us about Who God is and and how much and in what ways He loves us. Do a study on this and it will help you go through these hard times with with a greater level of Hope and Faith and with less fear and worry.

"The Scriptures give us HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled." Romans 15: 4,5 (NLT)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Weekend at Nana and Papa house

This last weekend, my daughter and son-in-law had an opportunity to get away for a couple days so our grandgirls, Kaitlyn and Anna came to stay for the weekend. I am of the belief that the purpose of going to your grandparents house for the weekend is to have a little less scheduled time and a little more fun than you may have at home. Parents have to keep schedules, discipline, teach and do all those tedious things parents must do to raise balanced children. But on the other hand just like mommy and daddy need a break from it all so do the that, in my opinion, is what staying a Nana and Papa's house should be like and
so it was......

Kaitlyn and Anna arrived on Friday afternoon and after Anna had a nice nap time we began to get ready to go to Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Sues house for dinner, we had great time and when we got home Papa as promised told the girls a bedtime story....
It was a story of a little boy who gave some tigers his clothes and the tigers were so greedy that they chased after each other trying to get the piece of clothing the other tigers had until they eventually turned into butter. So the little boys daddy gathered up the Tiger Butter to make pancakes in the morning. Well, the whole purpose to Papa telling this story is because one of the big events at our house when the grandgirls come over is waking up in the morning and having a big plate of Papas pancakes!
So in the morning as promised the girls were greeted to the heavenly smells of Papas pancakes cooking. Of course, we told them they were made with the tiger butter......

They each ate 5 pancakes each - I have no idea where they put it!

Then we got ready for a morning at the mall. First stop the playground,
which we had all to ourselves.
Then of course we shopped for clothes since the girls outnumbered the boys!
Exhausted from shopping for clothes we then went to Chick-fil-A,
our standard eating place at the mall
on to our last but not least important stop - dippin dots,
when your 2 and 5, it just doesn't get any better than that!

We got home played, napped, watched a little to much TV then got ready for church.
Putting on the new dresses we just bought at the mall, I explained to the girls that they are God's little princesses and going to church is like getting ready for the ball. (not sure if the is scripturally correct but they liked it) ;-)

Then another story before bed by one of the best storytellers - Papa

Next day Matthew joined us and we concluded the day with swimming,
Popsicles and tea parties. (oh, and just in case anyone knows any of Matthews friends,
he was a visiting pirate and did not use the tea cups)

It was a great weekend and oh so quiet when everyone went home.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The "Baby" of the Family

Yes, that is our family and yes I am that cute little baby girl. We look something like the Waltons don't we.

I could hardly wait to get to this one – the last born or the baby of the family. In today's society this is often the second child with so many families having only two children.

Dr. Lemen say’s the babies are the world’s cheerleaders. They usually have great people skills and love to entertain. This is because they have always had an audience and they usually have the least responsibility in the family so they have time to be fun.

They make friends easily and are good at making people feel at home. Last borns are also more likely to take risks – probably because they get bored quickly. They also fear rejection and have a fairly short attention span.

The babies are often charming, friendly manipulators who have a large desire to make their mark on the world. They are also rather absentminded and tend to have real highs and lows. People oriented jobs are best for them and they make great salespeople.

Last-borns can be cocky and they don’t worry about the after-effects of their actions or decisions. While they are uncomplicated and affectionate, they can also be rebellious, temperamental, spoiled and impatient.

Many last-borns capitalize on their position as smallest and weakest by elevating helplessness to a high art. They learn that they don't have to do housework, for example, if they can get others to do it for them. As adults, they may have difficulty keeping track of commitments and finishing what they start. Playing the "baby card" also allows them to avoid the consequences for wrongdoing, for example, breaking a sibling's toy.

Other youngest children, however, refuse to accept the helpless label. Instead, like determined terriers, they grab hold of a position and just hang on. The years of sticking up for themselves against the might of their older siblings prepares these children for careers as successful advocates, often championing the cause of -appropriately enough--the underdog.

This birth order could benefit by learning to be neat, accepting more responsibility, be less self-centered and admit their faults without blaming others.

Mmmmm, as a last born I can say there is a lot of truth to all that, thank goodness for God’s grace in our life. J

For more information about last borns go to:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:13, 14

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Middle Child

The classic middle child is a people pleaser who hates confrontation. They are usually calm, down to earth and great listeners. And they make excellent negotiators. Middle kids are usually less driven than their older sibling, but more eager to be liked - that's why they have trouble setting limits.

If you are a second or middle born you are probably the very opposite of the first-born. Behavior traits of the middle child are not as firmly etched as the first-born because their role model is usually not the parents as much as friends. Friends are very important to this birth order. Also, the middle will observe the first and pick up some traits there or decide to go in the opposite direction.

Middle children often feels their older sibling gets all the glory while their younger sibling escapes all the discipline. Because the middle child feels that the world pays him less attention, he tends to be secretive and does not openly share their thoughts and feelings.
There is actually a diagnosis that has been given to middle children called "middle child syndrome". This cause a lack of self-confidence, a tendency to be a follower and not to have a focus or drive in life. They tend to be shy and not like to be the center of attention. They are not good at working under pressure or doing monotonous work.

But all is not negative about the middle child. They can be extremely artistic and creative. They do best with a flexible schedule and a variety of projects in their life. The sibling they get along best with in usually the youngest.

Always remembering that just like personality, these are just possibilities and areas to be aware of but ultimately if we follow Christ we are becoming more and more like Him and He is changing those areas in our lives that need to be changed. He created us just like we are and knew what our personality would be and what family we would be part of. It is all part of His plan for us as we submit our lives more and more to Him.
" Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!" Psalm 139:16,17

For more information on the middle child go to: