Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life Is A Series of Tests

Over the weekend, I have had the opportunity to be provided with a challenge of sorts in my personal spiritual walk which has been changing lately. My goal this year was to work on my thoughts>words>actions as each leads to a progression in my walk good or bad.

I wanted to share with you what God showed me during two specific examples of this. On Thursday evening just after we had gone to bed early knowing that we would all get up early to head to Disneyland to celebrate Kailee's 12th birthday, our oldest daughter entered our darkened bedroom. She wanted to know if we had a gas can.

When my husband who had been dealing with severe neck and back problems all week arose to revive the gas can from the garage, she explained that one of her friends had run out of gas not too far from our home and wanted to come pick it up. My husband kindly left it out on the porch for him and turned on the lights.

He then returned upstairs to bed. In my mind were the words, "you do, because you can." In that moment watching my poor husband attempt to lie down, I asked him if it were possible to not only just leave the gas can out, but to take it to the poor teen who had run out of gas, take him to the gas station, fill it up and return him back to his car to make sure that everything worked out and he could get home.

When he went to my daughter to ask if she could call him and let him know of the change of plans, we were told that a nice man already provided him with gas and he was on his way to the gas station.

Our second situation occurred on Friday night while we were waiting outside Disneyland for the World of Color water show which Kailee requested to see as part of her birthday trip. Earlier in the day, we had to retrieve "Fast Passes" which would allow us to get better seats and be seated before the general public to the show. While we were waiting, Steve asked Kailee for the passes and when she looked into her purse, the stuffed animal she had stuck the passes in were gone.

We went into panic mode at that point and attempted to retrace all our steps to locate where she may have laid them down. We went to the bathrooms and checked the stalls, we checked the park benches where we had stopped to sit, and in the process tempers got out of control and tears began to fall.

God again uttered those words, "We do because we can." In that moment the most important thing wasn't really about seeing the show, even though I knew Kailee really wanted to see it. It was important to let her see love in action and to end her birthday the way we had planned with more memories created and smiles. When she returned in tears saying she remembered where she left her stuffed animal, on a vendor cart selling light up roses, but that it was now long gone in the park somewhere and it was dark, she was devastated. No more smiles lit her face and all the memories we tried to create that day were lost on a vendor cart in the dark.

When I explained that it was no big deal, we could come again at a later date thanks to annual passes to see the show, she was concerned that the stuffed animal she had come to love that morning held much more sentimental value since it had been a gift. When again I explained that it could be replaced much more easily than the tears that continued to fall, she cried even more. Our goal in the day was to make memories that would last for years and this was not the way to let it end.

Steve appeared at that point and explained our situation to a park employee that agreed to let us in without the passes but once more the lost stuffed animal was still a concern. At that moment, God sent the vendor cart right in front of us and Kailee shouted out, "That's the cart where I left it!" and she raced back to the cart. Sure enough the employees were headed back to see if they could locate Kailee and return her stuffed animal to a birthday girl!

She raced back to us with stuffed animal in hand, unzipped the backpack it was caring and handed us the fast passes to the show.

I guess the lesson in all of this I found was when we do the right thing in these situations, God restores what would have been lost. It's when we struggle with our own selfish desires that not only does the enemy win, but we lose as well the happiness and love that God so richly wants to pour forth on us. We all realized this over the weekend and saw the hand of God so eloquently at work to right the things that had gone wrong. He truly does care about all the little things as well as the bigger ones.

I hope this story has blessed you in some way and please share your thoughts with me. I'd love to hear how God's message has touched you today.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Southwest Comes to Aid of Dying Child

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it. --Albert Einstein

Good News of the Day:
Time was running out, and Mark Dickinson wasn't sure whether he'd get to see his dying 2-year-old grandson one last time. A long line in security had kept him from getting to his gate on time. In a desperate last attempt, Dickinson's wife called the airline to ask them to hold the plane for him. That's when the pilot stepped up and held the flight at the gate until Dickinson arrived, running in socks, so rushed that he just grabbed his shoes at security and ran through the terminal. While most airlines punish any staff member who holds up a flight, this remarkable display of empathy and discernment had this one celebrating. [ more ]

Be The Change:
When faced with a challenging decision, take a step back from the protocols and listen to your conscience.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Bridge to Life

I had to share this video this morning with all of you as it really made me think today how every action I make, affects someone else. I hope it touches you the very same way. If you have difficulties viewing it, please double click on it and view it directly from YouTube. I think it's one you won't want to miss.

This video serves as a symbolic reminder that the decisions we make today effect not only ourselves, but countless others as well as our eternal future.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

X Marks the Spot

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." - Matthew 6:19

I had the great pleasure of reading an exceptional book yesterday that got me thinking about today's topic of treasure and the subsequent scriptures pertaining to "treasure".

The book was called The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman and goes to tell the story of a marriage that is literally falling apart for the sake of keeping up appearances. In the end as the wife prepares to leave her husband, he confides in her that he is dying of cancer.

In life, we are all pursuing a better life for ourselves, one better than our parents had before us and one that we hope our children will make better for themselves. Yet in the search for that "something better" we lose heart. What we seek in this life and in this world often come back empty, like sand falling between the cracks of our hands or trying to keep water in your palm.

No matter how grand our efforts we are rarely ever satisfied. Does it dawn on us that the life Jesus prepared for us wasn't supposed to be about striving after good deeds or works. That alone will never get us into our heavenly home, just the gift of grace from God does that. Nothing we do, will provide lasting happiness. No amount of money, homes, vacations, married spouses, children, or volunteering.

No the only happiness can come from believing in God, and walking in His ways, listening to His word, and abiding in His laws as best as we can. So while people will spend their lives searching for treasure, Jesus is the only treasure in which "X" marks the True Treasure and lasting happiness.

Don't believe me, wondering if it can all be real, try to Bible for 30 days. Read the book of John and keep going from there until you reach the end of your 30 days. In that time, I pray that any of you that take this journey for real treasure will not be disappointed and God will reveal Himself to you and you will never be the same. Welcome to the treasure hunt!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Snow Day 2011

I know for most of you living in the north and east, to hear about snow falling isn't a major deal. It's almost like people living in Southern California claiming to have a sunny, warm day. Yet here in the high desert where snow is a rarity, we were granted with a lovely surprise yesterday evening until late this afternoon.

We received 5 inches of snow! That's enough for the cities to close all the local schools and cause kids to scream and parents to cry. We had an official snow day.

Not like the incredible one that was discovered in the wonderful book by Billy Coffey, by the way, if you haven't read it, truly you are missing out on life's greatest storytellers.

No, ours was a day filled with living in a snow globe for most of the day. While at night, it was truly a silent night, filled with what I call, the cone of silence. It's where you step outside and there is a hush to everything, no cars racing down the street in a hurry to get home, no noise at all, just the silent wonder of watching snow fall.

By 4pm, most of it had melted away when the sun came out briefly, but here and there in patches facing the north, and in the shade you could still see the signs that snow had come. It's often sad to think how many people drove on by in a hurry to get somewhere and completely missed the miracle that happened today. Miracles happen everyday if you are willing to slow down and look. Thank you God for this lovely escape today.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Why No Cure?

Here we are in the 21st century and still no cure for the common cold. I've heard all the excuses that each cold is like DNA, unique and hard to come up with a cure for. Yet I begin to wonder if perhaps there is a cure and they don't want to release it for fear of putting all the drug companies out of business.

Think about it, when you begin to get the sniffles, sneeze more than you usually do, and get the itchy feeling in the back of your throat, you reach over and grab a pill and in a few hours, presto, you are back to your old self again.

No more sick days to use at work because you know when you get sick those 5 or 8 days a year don't go quite as far as you would like. Plus if you take more than 3 days in a row, you have to bring in a doctor's note to validate that you are really sick and not taking extended time off work.

Just think of what the stores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens would look like with no cold remedies for sale over the counter. Have you noticed just how many versions of cold medicine there are?

What did they do back in the times before Nyquil and Theraflu were around? Something makes me wonder if they even caught colds back then. Are we becoming sick from our own environment? Are we the ones who make ourselves sick with all the chemicals, artificial flavorings and colors and most preservatives that requires a degree in English to pronounce?

Today marks the 5th day of battling one of the worst colds I've had in quite a while. No amount of Nyquil, chicken soup or hot tea with honey and lemon seems to put me at ease. Just good old fashion time and prayer, along with drinking plenty of water and staying warm. My house remains empty because my hubby and kids got bored of staying home after so many days and needed to get out of the house.

Yet the silence feels good. It gives me time to just listen for the sound of the rain to begin if it ever gets here, to turn up my electric blanket and share my thoughts with you, my faithful readers. At least I can rest one more day, before life returns to the normal grind with school beginning again and the house will be filled with the hustle and bustle of vacations long gone.

How are you all spending your last day of Christmas vacation?

Here's hoping that

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Beginning with 1

Did anyone find it odd that today's actual date is 1/1/11??

I've seen so many posts and status updates on Facebook where people are simply sick of the same old life they've been living day after day. Looking back and seeing nothing but things they wanted to change but didn't and things they didn't want to change did.

So many people start of with a great vision of what the year will accomplish and then fall short before they reach the finish line. Why?

We've read all the books, gotten advice from everyone we know, seen at the latest products and shows to gear us up, but what we truly lack is determine, drive and desire.

This year I challenge to you finally do something about what you've been saying you want to do with your life. Everyone dreams the dream but so few ever make it a reality. With God's help, anything is possible. No dream is too far fetched, well that is if you are expecting pigs to really fly and niagra falls stops falling.

It's time to be accountable. For Steve and I, we've lived our lives for everyone else, living in certain places to make being with family and friends more accessible, but the reality is, once we moved, nothing changed. The visits didn't increase, in fact, people are just different now. At least the ones I know. People are becoming more reclusive, not social. They are forgetting how to live life and instead simply exist from day to day, hoping this day will be different.

So this is the year of making plans to make things different, whether it may be a change in location, a change in our weekend plans, or simply just getting out. No more looking back in regret with a heavy sigh and seeing your dreams slide backwards. With God's help, this year, we are pushing forward.

We look forward to all the new beginnings and we embrace the change that's coming. The sooner we can adapt to that change, the sooner it becomes normal and no longer a struggle. It's like fighting a riptide by swimming to show, instead of swimming to the side away from the pull and then safely back to shore.

Seeing at today is the beginning of new opportunities, new possibilities and new horizons, I stand boldly and take a giant leap forward. What are your plans for the 2011 year? Stop dreaming the dream and make it real!