Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday

Today's post was a wonderful surprise from Sharlyn at Dancing on Rainbows. If you haven't had a chance to visit her blog yet, please do! It's wonderful, motivational and inspirational as well! When you visit, tell her that Kat sent you! Have a most wonderful Wednesday!

  • Here are the instructions for 8 Things:

    Mention the person that tagged you
    Complete the list of 8 things
    Tag some wonderful bloggy friends
    Go tell them you tagged them

    8 Things I Look Forward To:

    • My daughter graduating in May
    • Vacation sometime very soon, hopefully in the deep, dark forest somewhere
    • Summer vacation
    • Nights and days off with my hubby
    • My daughter joining ASB and planning her future prom.
    • Beach days relaxing and reading lots of books
    • Day when all the bills are paid
    • Heaven

    8 Things I Did Yesterday
  • Had lunch with both my daughters, Girls Day!!
    • Gave my oldest daughter her birthday present!
    • Got my hubby some new shirts
    • Went to dinner with my man!
    • Watched American Idol
    • Watered my garden
    • Blogged to some wonderful people and commented as well
    • Talked all night long with my man!

    8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
  • Play the piano
    • Cook like a gourmet for my family
    • Scuba dive and see the underwater world
    • Lose some weight
    • Minister to the teens in our community
    • Move to the Pacific Northwest
    • Fix my computer when it doesn't want to cooperate! Been tempted too many times to toss it over the fence into oncoming traffic.
    • Build a log cabin home to retire in.

    8 Shows I Watch:

  • Grey's Anatomy - Yes I deal weekly with Mer and Der drama, I am a hopeful romantic!

  • Survivor - Ever since the first episode where I almost tried out!

  • The Celebrity Apprentice - Got love hearing Trump fire the biggest celebrity names!

  • American Idol - Yes I am rooting for Adam to win, gotta love the uniqueness he brings to the show, and still trying to figure out what is in Paula's drink!

  • The Mentalist - Love a man that can see right through people! So charming as well.

  • Heroes - Now who hasn't wanted super powers at some point in their life?

  • Hell's Kitchen - For those who can't cook, we watch others try!
  • Ghost Whisperer - Yes I love Jennifer Hewitt and still believe in true love forever!

Rather than tag someone, if you want to run with this idea, then go for it. I know so many people whose blog's I follow have already completed this. If you haven't, it helps for us to know just a little bit what you're like on the inside and outside as well. Me, I am kinda like a grilled cheese sandwich, something that you're just comfortable with and nothing really ever changes!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's Time For A Pop Quiz!!!

Remember when we went to high school or even Junior High while waiting for class to begin we would talk to our friends or share something that happened that day to someone we knew, then all of a sudden the teacher would walk in. Put their books down and smile?

We would look up and wonder why the smile? Then the teacher would say the words most of us would dread, “Pop Quiz!”

Groans and moans would be heard all around the class as we slid our books to the floor and waited with horror for the paper to be passed out. Of course, there were the kid or kids sitting in the class with the same smile the teacher exhibited and like they were hungry would anxiously await that same piece of paper, but with different results? Yeah, we called them ‘nerds’, ‘geeks’ and of course now, ‘boss’!

How differently each student views that ‘pop quiz’, some love it while others are hoping to spell their name correctly on the test, others wishing they would have stayed home and pretending to be sick.

God brings ‘pop quizzes’ into to our life. He does it, so He can see if we are learning the material He has given us up to that point.

God doesn’t announce them ahead of time, they just come.

God does this so we will learn the material. If when we encourage others through tough times, how do we handle it when we are faced with similar challenges or do we fail?

Why is it that the first thing we ask ourselves in the midst of difficulties in life is, “Why Me?” “What have I done to deserve this?” “Why is God allowing this to happen to me?”

Our response should be, ask God!

James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

There is nothing wrong with asking, “Is there something, you’re trying to teach me?” “Is there something you want me to know?”

Because we honestly want to learn it as quickly as possible, don’t we? We don’t want to have to endure this one-second longer than we have to.

Sometimes God wants us to learn, and we often times think we know more than what we do. Thus, the need for ‘pop quizzes’.

Do you know how mother eagles will teach their young how to fly? They begin by building their nests from 70-200 feet into the air. When the mother eagle believes the baby is ready, she kicks it out of the nest. The baby eagle falls and if it looks as if it won’t make it, the mom will swoop down and bring it back to the nest.

Try again tomorrow right? Wrong! Once back in the nest, the mom will kick it out again, until the baby tries it’s wings and flies!

Sometimes this is how God chooses to deal with us. He kicks us out.

In John 6:5, when Jesus is looking for a way to feed the multitudes, He begins His ‘pop quiz’ with his disciples and asks, ” When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

So how does Philip respond, (verse 7) “Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages[a] would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" He failed.

Then Jesus asks Andrew in verse 8-9, “Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"

He is closer, and almost got it.

What Jesus wanted them to say was, “We aren’t sure Lord, but we believe you will do it” Right answer!

It’s so easy to tell others, “Trust God, He will provide.”, but what if you had a huge unexpected expense, a death in the family, lost your job, your home, how would you deal with it?

God will supply all your needs, not all your greeds!

It is amazing to see how far you can get by on, when you only have so much. God provides.

James 1:2 tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,”

You will be tested. No one goes untested. The truth is whether you will pass or fail.

God’s ultimate purpose in facing trials in life is that we will be more like the image of Jesus Christ. He wants to produce a family likeness.

Sometimes through our trials, we can immediately see what we have learned. It’s as clear as day. Other times, we have no idea, we are just happy its over. We may not be sure we have learned anything, but we may have learned more than we thought.

The word oops is not in God’s vocabulary. He knows what He is doing. If He puts you in the furnace, He always keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.

If we rebel, He may have to reset the clock, but if we submit, He will not permit us to suffer one minute too long.

The point of this pop quiz for me was that yesterday I shared with all of you my difficulties of dealing with another of my hubby’s business trips. Guess what? I just heard, God announce, “It’s pop quiz time!”

God allows trials in our life so we might grow up. Guess I am still growing, and I hope I pass this time!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Worry. Be HAPPY!

Here we go again!

Another business trip is looming on the ever- nearing horizon.

Steve is being sent out again, last minute with no preparation to head to all places, Las Vegas, for a few weeks to complete a project.

I am struggling with finding the smallest bit of happiness with this bombshell after it was dropped on me last night.

Immediately my mood changed, not for the worse, but more melancholy.

Like the air was just let out of my balloon that I had just had blown up. Not popped thankfully, but like, the spitting sound that it makes when you let go of it, just after you got it blown up.

Then you watch it scatter all over the air and then land in a flop on the floor.

Yup, that’s me.

The balloon flopped on the floor.

God has been preparing me, often times in the harshest of ways for this time once again.

Call me co-dependent, but I honestly love having my husband home at the end of the workday.

I could live with a trip through the weekend, I am still OK. Missing him terribly but still OK.

Then God expanded that thinking for me. He stretched it out for two weeks.

Yikes, I often questioned God’s ability to know just how much I could take without popping. Exploding all over the first person who became my pin. Miraculously I dealt with it.

It wasn’t so hard and I loved the feeling of him coming home. Wait God isn’t finished yet.

Then Steve came home for 4 days only to leave again for three more weeks. Get out the padded cell, Mom’s going in!!!

Yet, I came out of it alive. I got phone calls daily and I think we as a family made it through a tough war, scarred but still intact. Time away changes things. You have to deal with all the little things alone.

You don’t have that extra pair of hands to help you when you need it.

You have to regroup and deal without dad. Everyone does. Until he comes home.

God eventually stretched this out to a full 5 weeks before we saw that it was straining our marriage a little too much and church counseling was necessary. Mostly because I couldn’t deal with the fact of talking to friends only to hear the same old excuses, “be happy your hubby is working when so many aren’t” “It’s just a few days away, others have done it.”, “at least it will pay your bills and you’ll still have a home?”

What we needed was our pastor to tell us that the sacrifices we were making for our marriage were too great.

It doesn’t really help. The excuses, part.

I already know all those things, it just doesn’t make it any easier to watch my hubby leave, and we aren’t sure exactly when he will be headed home.

So we prayed a lot! Daily, nightly, two or three times, or whenever we had a low moment. God answered and kept him home for a little bit.

Now we are at the crossroads again.

Just when things are starting to seem like a family again, we stand at the door and knock.

At this point, I believe I am pounding on the door, pleading and begging for God to tell us, what to do? Does my husband continue with this job and we trust God to know when enough is enough for our family? Or do we try and find something else that will pay the bills and still keep us together as a family?

I feel that we are to wait at this point. Wait for God to open that door for us, or to close it entirely.

So until that time, we wait.

I learn to deal with things.

I try hard to imitate the Proverbs 31 woman, and be all that I can be to him while he is home.

I lift him up in prayer and ask for God’s hand in dealing with this.

I trust.

I trust God knows what He is doing.

I trust that God will work this out for us.

I trust that all the temptations that may face him in Las Vegas, he will overcome thanks to God.

I pray that God will remove him from that situation as soon as he can, but for now I believe in God.

I believe in what is written, "that all things work for the good of those that love the Lord". I hold onto to that and trust God.

What else can I do? I believe it is enough for now.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Asset or Liability?

I am dealing with aphids in my roses lately. I have tried all the various solutions from an organic perspective because I have pets that frequent my yard from time to time, to enjoy the sun. So I can't have pets harmed in the process to rid my beautiful roses from the pesky, green, bud suckers, known as aphids!

I have tried the soap and water solution, but it only leaves my buds ugly once they actually bud, almost like they have been burnt.

I have tried a science experiment with coffee grounds and so far it is helping although they aren't completely gone.

I have tried rinsing them off with a garden hose but they just seem to crawl right on back.

I have tried fertilizer that promises to rid my roses of aphids but I still see them every morning, having a great meal on me!

So what's a gardener to do??? Aphids, they are my roses liability. They aren't killing my plants just making the buds harder to form, and if I were a bee looking for some much needed pollen, I am not going any where need that ugly bud.

So I continue to search, and you know what I can across scattered like little red drops of paint in my lawn, while I was out watering??? You guessed it! Lady Bugs!

I think I found about 10 this morning, and each time, I found one, I would gently pick it up and place it on a rose bush, and let them have a free meal on me! Satisfaction!

I have read on the internet where you can purchase these in great quantities but how do you keep them from flying away? It has to do with the sun. They will stay in the dawn and just before a full sunset. Where they go after that? Who knows?

I saw it as a small sign this morning that God knew was troubling me. He knew for weeks now I was having issues with the aphids and quietly and gently offered me a solution, if only I were to look for it. Ladybugs!

The lady bugs are now the asset I was searching for. They don't harm my roses, they look beautiful and soon my roses will be aphid free!

We are like that as well in our walk with God. We read the Bible so we know how we are supposed to be living our lives but we don't always do it. We take a vacation. We may skip church, skip a time where we could have spent a few minutes with God, or instead of sharing the great news of salvation with someone, we simply walk away. We become a liability! We aren't doing what we know we should be doing and we feel guilty at the end of the day.

When we don't spend time with God, it's like telling our earth father, you know, not today dad. I know you were really looking to talking, or just hanging out, but I am kinda busy today. Maybe next weekend. God smiles and then waits. He waits to see when we will have time for Him. He waits like a parent whose kids have moved out and living on their own, waiting for a phone call, a letter or better yet an actual visit from us.

But as long as we don't need dad, or mom for that matter, we don't call. We don't write and we postpone that visit. However, the first sign of trouble that we can't handle on our own, where do we turn? Yup, that father we pushed off. Dad, I need to borrow some money or dad, can you help me move, or dad, can you bail me out of jail?

Sometimes though, dad doesn't always come through. Sometimes his heart gets hardened by our treatment of him. Those promises we made and never fulfilled. Those debts we have never repaid, and yet he sits there alone with his thoughts. The thought that maybe just this once if he helps, we will change. Sometimes we do and sometimes we don't.

Thankfully our God, our Heavenly Father, is not like that. He sees every opportunity to reunite with us and help us in our time of need like the first time we ask. Even it's the 100th time. He never grows tired. He is our biggest asset though we can remain the biggest liability.

It's time we took inventory now that it's spring. Time for a little cleaning house. Is there a family member you made promises to and never found the time to fulfill them? A debt to be repaid, a kindness to be given. I think it's time that we stop becoming a liability for God's purpose for us being here, and start becoming the asset He sees in us everyday.

What will you choose?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Super Highway of Life

"Be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time." 1 Peter 5:6

I remember when I was in my teens, I was so anxious to 'grow up', to be 'older', to be considered an adult. Now that I am in my mid 40's I want to go back. I want to enjoy the carefree lifestyle of my teens.

Have you noticed that we are on the super highway of life? Everything is moving at such a fast, rapid pace that we don't seem to have time to even catch our breath? We struggle in the course of our day just to find time to get it all done. Is there a goal for us achieve at the end of our day? Is that why we always ask ourselves the same question, 'Why isn't their more hours in our day?'

It seems like we are constantly being pushed to do more. More in our jobs, I believe they call it "multi-tasking", but the real definition is doing the job of more than one person, the more jobs you can handle the better and all without hiring any more people. The down side is that they rarely ever pay you the salary of what you should be paid, despite the fact you're working yourself to death.

Why then do we even do it? Is it for some sort of glory or recognition by our peers or upper management? As parents, we are pushed for more as well. Besides working full time jobs, there are the kids to consider. If we don't buy more for them, won't they feel less than adequate in front of their peers? We need them to be actively involved in sports, or after school clubs, why? Because they need social skills to enable them to deal with people later in life after the schooling ends?

Then we are the super parents, the parents who will do everything possible so our family will be perfect. We will bend over to the most incredible length, volunteering for every possible school, church or family function, and then at the end of our oh so busy weeks, wonder where it all went? Why do we push ourselves to the extremes these days?

It seems like the pace is almost never ending. I have had my friends tell me that they can't say "No" anymore, because they feel guilty of hurting someone who is depending on them. We over schedule ourselves and then realize at some point, we've gone too far. We don't know how to get out, to slow down. Even vacations become something full of stress instead of the peace and relaxation we were hoping it would all bring.

It's because we as a nation believe we can have it all. We believe we can be better people than our parents. Here are some alarming statistics if you don't believe me....

In 1950, American families owned one car and were diligently saving for the second one. In 2000, nearly 1 in 5 families owned three cars or more...Americans shell out more for garbage bags than 90 of the worlds 210 countries spend for everything. America has double the number of shopping malls as it does high schools.

In 1900, the average person living in the United States wanted 72 things and considered 18 of them essential. Today the average person wants 500 things and considers 100 of them essential. Who can even keep up with the Joneses anymore? It's one simple word....GREED!

For that reason Jesus warns, "Be on your guard against every form of greed" (Luke 12:15 NASB.

Greed isn't just in the form of things you can buy. It can be greed for approval. Greed for applause. Greed for status. Greed for the best office, the fastest car, the prettiest date. Greed has many faces but speaks one language: the language of more.

We need to learn a valuable lesson during these tough economic times where people are now at risk of losing everything they ever owned, because they spent more than they had. "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." (Phil. 4:11)

Before you change your job title, examine your perspective toward life. Success is not defined by position or pay but by this: doing the most what you do the best.

Pursue the virtue of contentment. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Tim 6:6 NIV). When choosing or changing jobs, be careful. Consult what you are great at. Consult God. But never consult your greed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Puppy Size

I had this sent to me and wanted to share something warm and fuzzy to make you have a wonderful Friday and an even better start to your weekend. Enjoy! Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Puppy Size

This is one of the neatest stories you will ever hear. You will know
precisely what this little girl is talking about at the end (you'll
want to share this one with your loved ones and special friends)!

' Danielle keeps repeating it over and over again. We've been back to
this animal shel ter at least five times. It has been weeks now since
we started all of this,' the mother told the volunteer.

'What is it she keeps asking for the volunteer asked?

'Puppy size!' replied the mother.

'Well, we have plenty of puppies, if that's what she's looking for.'

'I know... we have seen most of them, ' the mom said in frustration...

Just then Danielle came walking into the office

'Well, did you find one?' asked her mom. 'No, not this time,'
Danielle said with sadness in her voice. 'Can we come back on the

The two women looked at each other, shook their heads and laughed.

'You never know when we will get more dogs. Unfortunately, there's
always a supply,' the volunteer said.

Danielle took her mother by the hand and headed to the door. 'Don't
worry, I'll find one this weekend,' she said.

Over the next few days both Mom and Dad had long conversations with her.

They both felt she was being too particular. 'It's this weekend or
we're not looking any more,' Dad finally said in frustration.

'We don't want to hear anything more about puppy size, either,' Mom added.

Sure enough, they were the first ones in the shelter on Saturday
morning. By now Danielle knew her way around, so she ran right for the
section that housed the smaller dogs.

Tired of the routine, mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of
the first row of cages. There was an observation window so you could
see the animals during times when visitors weren't permitted.

Danielle walked slowly from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to
take a closer look. One by one the dogs were brought out and she held each one

One by one she said, 'Sorry, but you're not the one.'

It was the last cage on this last day in search of the perfect pup.

The volunteer opened the cage door and the child carefully picked up
the dog and held it closely. This time she took a little longer.

'Mom, that's it! I found the right puppy! He's the one! I know it!'
She screamed with joy. 'It's the puppy size! '

'But it's the same size as all the other puppies you held over the
last few weeks,' Mom said..

'No not size... The sighs. When I held him in my arms, he sighed,' she said.

'Don't you remember? When I asked you one day what love is,
you told me love depends on the sighs of your heart.
The more you love, the bigger the sigh!'

The two women looked at each other for a moment. Mom didn't know
whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug the child, she did
a little of both.

'Mom, every time you hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home
from work and hug each other, you both sigh. I knew I would find the
right puppy if it sighed when I held it in my arms,' she said.

Then, holding the puppy up close to her face, she said, 'Mom, he loves me.
I heard the sighs of his heart!'

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the love that makes you
sigh. I not only find it in the arms of my loved ones, but in the
caress of a sunset, the kiss of the moonlight and the gentle brush of
cool air on a hot day.

They are the sighs of God.
Take the time to stop and listen; you will
be surprised at what you hear.
'Life is not measured by the breaths we
take, but by the moments that take our breath away.'
I hope your life is filled with "sighs" !!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday Participation

It's Thursday again and almost ready for the weekend. So I thought I would take some time and share just a few things that I am super grateful for this week.

1. I am thankful for God's never ending patience, love, grace and mercy! Some days you just feel like you need an extra dose of His love and to not walk too far from Him. I am thankful that He is always there when I need Him and He reminds me not too put too much fair in people as they can sometimes disappoint even when they don't mean too, but God never does.

2. I am thankful that my hubby is working locally in Chino. It means he can come home every night and we can enjoy weekends together again for now. We truly have come to realize that after 13 years together sometimes you have a tendency to take advantage of each other always being there. Since August, he has been on the road constantly, so we treasure moments together as a family and moments alone.

3. I am thankful for my many friends I have made during my recent blogging began in January. Who would have guessed I would be so encouraged and loved by my fellow bloggers and they become personal cheerleaders when the days can turn grey!

4. I am thankful for the change in the weather, we have had some super, hot and sunny days lately in the 100's and the winds have returned sweeping the heat back out to the deserts! I love the cool, crisp days and icy, cold, clear nights.

5. I am thankful I am seeing the light and school for the kids is drawing to a close. As a homeschool mom it's like getting an extended vacation even though the learning technically doesn't end. We are trying to plan our first family vacation in awhile, someplace in the mountains, where it's cold, dark and mossy!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Second Mile Club

I hate running. I don’t like the fact that there are people that can wake up at the first sign of the sun and throw on their running clothes and go out for a jog or a run. Why? Just because they love doing it! They also don’t just run one mile. They run lots of miles. For me, to get down the end of the block without grasping for air, and clutching my chest, would be a major miracle. I am what you would call a walker.

I don’t have anything against runners; I just hate the fact I can’t do it. I would love to do it. To put my iPod on to some upbeat tune, and just feel the wind rush through my hair. A bounce in my step and the occasional wave to the neighbors you pass by. Runners most of the time look happy. I am a walker. So I have resolved to walk. I am happy with walking.

Most runners run for miles at least, more than the one mile I would see as a ‘lifetime achievement award mile’! Some run marathons. My hats off to you! I am a walker. There are some people however in life, we call “one milers”.

They are the people that do just what they need to and quit. No more for me thanks. I am done!

These are the students who study just enough to get a passing grade on the test when just a little more effort would get them a better grade.

These are the people that do just enough around the house and no more. They do just what is asked and nothing extra.

The employees who show up and just do what they were hired to do and then leave precisely at 5pm.

The people who show up at church to put their time in and leave when it’s over.

The people who see others hurting and walk away.

They are only willing to go one mile.

But what happens when you do go the extra mile? When you are willing to do just a little bit more. Doesn’t something inside you change? Your attitude, your heart, your soul change just a little bit for the better. Here are classic examples of “second milers”.

They are the person who serves in the ministry at church, but is also willing to help clean the bathrooms because they need it. No one asked them to do it.

The parent who chooses a better school for their children, over a career advancing promotion. The children usually will never know.

The student who eats lunch with the neglected kids instead of the cool ones.

The daughter who spends her day off visiting her sick mom instead of hanging out at the mall with her friends.

We make all kinds of decisions everyday on which fork in the road we will chose to take. All of them fall under the category of who comes first; do they or do I?

If we turn away from personal dreams for the sake of others, you are, in Christ’s words, denying yourself. “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 NLT.

The most surprising ingredient to any great day is self-denial.

The world’s expectation of a great day is just the opposite. It is a day filled with self-indulgence, self-expression and self-celebration. Isn’t that the reason for day spas? The way to pamper yourself, feel good about yourself and indulge yourself. I am not in any way putting down spa treatments, but what if we were to think about someone else. Like taking a friend who really needs a relaxing day, then we would be second milers. It’s the ones that see it as a deserved reward. I am entitled to it, I need it, and I have to have it. Watch that attitude.

My challenge for you, “Daily do a deed for which you cannot be repaid.” It will get the ball rolling. There is a joy in the second mile. Trust me. Try it.

There is an elderly man in your community who just lost his wife. An hour of your time would mean the world to him.

Some kids in your city have no dad. No father takes then to the movies or ball games. Maybe you can. They can’t pay you back. They can’t afford popcorn or sodas. But their smiles and memories you create with them will be beyond what words could ever convey.

Down the hall from your bedroom is a person who shares your last name. Shock that person with kindness. Something outlandish. Your homework done without any complaints. Coffee served before he awakens. A love letter written to her for no special reason. Just because you went that second mile.

The world needs more people willing to go that extra mile. I want to be counted among those that do, even if it means I walk to that second mile instead of run. I want to be a “second miler”!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Song of the Soul

Ever wake up out of bed one morning or even every morning and have a song in your head?? I find that the closer we are to God in our daily walks, the more the songs have meaning in our life. I also notice the older I get, the more I am drawn to classical music, instrumentals and oldies as my kids call it.

Things I wouldn't even admit to listening to when I was a teenager. I think I referred to them as my parents music. No one wanted to hear "that" kind of music.

OK, I also grew up listening to records, you know the ones, with the hole in the middle made of plastic, no, dear, not CD's, much, much bigger. I would have to show them to you. Then we went from records, to 8 track tapes, remember those too???

Then we finally think we have revolutionized the world with cassette tapes. More smaller than an 8 track and more portable. Who was kidding who back then? I mean how many times did you have to retrieve your favorite cassette out from being eaten from your tape player??? I know I did, thank goodness most of them faired well enough to be played again.

Then someone invented the CD. Virtually indestructable, nothing can harm them. So everyone rushed right out and got one. Guess what??? The slightest smudge on the CD or worse yet, a scratch and it was completely worthless. The music marketing people have it made. Perhaps that is one of the ways some of this economic crisis was started, the need for something better.

However I like the songs that stick in my head. The songs that I can play my favorite parts over and over and never get tired. No scratches, no tapes to wind back in, and the best part, no money to spend.

I found that the Lord calls these "soul songs". They are songs my soul sings out throughout the day if I am quiet enough to hear them. Like right now, I am listening to "In the Hands of God". It plays over and over again. I often wonder if God uses those soul songs to speak to us. How relevant it was to me in typing this that I would be listening to that song, while I am writing this blog to you.

Sometimes God changes the station on me, like "How Great Thou Art" is the song going on now. I just smile and sometimes to the horrors of my children, yup, I sing along! OUT LOUD!!! So everyone can hear me!

Those are often the most happiest moments in my day. Lots of times, I just hum along with my daughter, who is often working along side me as she is emailing friends. Then I pause and wait. Yup, there she goes, she is humming it too!

I look up and tell her, "Got you!" She often looks bewildered because she forgets what I meant because it becomes subliminal like that sometimes. I reached out and touched her soul! It's usually followed by some eye rolling and then moments later, she is still singing it or humming it.

Gotta love God, gotta love His humor and love! Gotta love the songs He gives up to play in our heart and soul. Whatever it takes to keep our minds and thoughts on Him.

What song is playing in your soul at this very moment?? Can't wait to hear if any of you are tuned into the same station.

Psalm 57:7, "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music." NLT

Monday, April 20, 2009

Break Out the Red Pen!

When I was a corporate trainer for one of the top communications companies, after we had completed our 6 to 7 week New Hire training class, we had a graduation day. It was something I felt was owed to these hard working individuals who had made it through training for customer service representatives. They had to endure long hours and no time off for illness or any reason. If they did, we had to let them go due to the intense and compacted training they needed to do the job.

So we usually had a class of about 40 people and we’re lucky to have 15 left by the close of our 6-week class. So on graduation day, I would give them a chance to provide feedback on my training, being as honest as they felt, and no names needed to be provided. I wanted the brutal honesty. If I was a bad trainer, I wanted to know it but also what they felt I did wrong and suggestions on how to improve my training.

It was something I looked forward to the most. Most of what I got was great, but occasionally I did get the brutal honest feedback, and I feel it made me a better person. I wasn’t out to get the person who gave it to me, but I felt, others could sometimes see things you are often to close to see. That’s where I believe we can all use some brutal honesty.

However, I think we have to be in the mood to hear it. Sometimes others want to offer their dose of brutal honesty to us, but we aren’t ready to hear it. I think a warning is in order. You have to mentally be prepared to deal with their honesty. You have to see it also for what it is, honest feedback based on their perceived opinion of you at that moment. A hard pill to swallow for some of us. We don’t want to hear any negative. All we look for is praise and compliments.

It’s like the red pen circling our errors we have made in life. Remember when you received your paper back from your teacher in school, only to find it riddled with red pen, marks of correction? How did you handle it? If you were like me, a perfectionist in every sense of the word, I hated it. I didn’t see it until my high school years, that it was a way to improve. A way to better yourself. A way to be a better person to those around you.

In high school, I looked forward to the red pen marks. I was always looking for how to be a better person, and the people, who could provide that kind of feedback for me, were the experts in their field, my teachers. Who better to provide feedback and correction on my English paper than my English teacher? My parents could offer some suggestions but unless they had an English degree, I had to wait for the red pen! I knew I was getting better when the red pen marks became so few, that they didn’t appear any longer.

I didn’t know it then but I do now, how those red pen marks made me a better student. It’s all about not so much pointing out the negative things, but on how to improve on the positive things. That is where God spends so much loving time with us.

Many times we are faced with similar situations in life. Times where I believe, God breaks out the red pen in our lives. Sometimes we are so stubborn, we choose to look at a difficult situation God has placed in our life, and all we choose to see is the red pen, all over our paper. We don’t want to go back and fix it, we don’t want to hear what is wrong, we simply want to see a great grade on top and move on to something else.

When we take that attitude of refusing to fix things that God wants us to fix, He may allow the situation to pass, but brings it back to us in a different form.

Many times as a teacher for my daughter, when she gets frustrated learning something new, and wants to quit rather than see the lesson before her, I try again. Many times, I have to see that my attitude or method of teaching her that new concept isn’t getting through to her. I have to change my approach so she learns without me losing my patience with her, or having her end up in tears. I have to try a different way of teaching her that concept. My methods weren’t able to reach her in the manner I needed it to, so she was missing the point. The goal is to get her to learn something new. Something, that will make her a better student and move up a level.

God is the same; He presents situations to us, many times in different manners so we can learn what He needs us to before we can move up another level. We may get frustrated and cry. We may run from our situation, but God keeps lovingly bringing it back to us, until we see that situation or red pen for what it is. A lesson to be learned. A way to make us into the wonderful person God sees. It is His goal for us. We are on that path to becoming better people! We simply must change our hearts, and our attitudes, and be willing to see the red pen marks for what they are in our life.

God, please continue to use the red pen, until I achieve all you want me to be in Your life!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Make A Big Deal Out of Your Life!

I love gardens! Ever since I can remember I have always loved hanging out in them. When I was a child about 9, my dad planted this huge vegetable garden in my backyard. He made a clubhouse for me out of cornstalks where I could just sit and hang out in the garden.

For some reason it gives me peace just sitting among God’s creations. To see the beauty and colors of the many flowers and how it attracts bird, bees and flitterbys! When we bought our first house, I had a great imagination for what kind of garden I wanted in my backyard. Half of it was landscaped and the rest remained dirt. I knew I wanted a place where I could find solace and serenity, a place for quiet time for me, but also a time to enjoy with the family.

So I began by planting roses, they had to be all different colors and extremely fragrant. The best I have found are Jackson and Perkins, which Lowe’s used to sell. Now for some reason they don’t. I have about 12 rose bushes. I told my hubby long ago before he bought me flowers to just buy a rose bush, that way; I can enjoy the beauty of the flowers all year long and not just the time that a dozen will last in a vase. They never do smell quite the same.

Then we added marigolds, and lavender to attract hummingbirds and flitterbys to our garden. Just this year we added a small vegetable garden with strawberries, chocolate mint, cilantro and soon again, tomatoes. Nothing tastes quite as good as a freshly grown tomato. We also have apple trees as well and I am searching for something that grows well in the shade. My hubby also added to fountains so we can enjoy the sound of water when the weather is nice on the patio. I guess I am creating my own heaven on earth for now, til I make it home to the real heaven at some point.

My garden is my sweetest spot in my home. Do you have a sweet spot? “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is. “ 1 Corinthians 12:7.

Too often as I pass through and read so many blogs, I find people questioning their own self worth lately. I began explaining it to my kids in the car while we went to pick up my daughter’s boyfriend from school. I told my daughters that for years I wondered what God’s purpose was in my life, since I was no longer contributing to our finances by not working any longer, and yet not doing anything besides being a mom, had also left me feeling empty for many years.

I always felt that God was calling me to a higher purpose. I told them I finally got peace about my current place in life, not only as a stay at home mom and wife, but what I believe God’s gift to me was. I honestly believe I am an “encourager”, someone who will hopefully make you feel better if you are doubting yourself. If you are down and out, I am hopefully a little bit of God’s sunlight to make your day a bit brighter.

I have always been that way, for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to be used in a bigger capacity but God has revealed that He is using me this way. Sometimes I am merely the stepping stone in someone’s life on the way to God. Sometimes, He may use me to lead someone to God, but I believe He uses me when the seed has been planted and people begin to doubt whether they are worthy enough. God is using my talents in the way. He also uses me when people are feeling low and discouraged. He uses me to make them feel better about themselves and to keep the enemy from sneaking in. I am happy with my gift and with God’s help I plan to use it everyday in every way to glorify Him!

So how do you know what God has called you to do? How can you find out if the light isn’t all that clear? When God gives you an assignment, He also gives you the skills. So study your skills, then to reveal your assignment.

What do you do best that others would struggle with, Your uncanny ability to organize the mess in your home. Your ability to nurture and help others. Your ability to be creative, to paint, to write, to take pictures. Heed that inner music. No one else hears it the way you do. Our Maker gives assignments to people, “to each according to each one’s unique ability. (Matthew 25:15). As he calls, he equips. Look back over your life. What have you consistently done well? What have you loved to do? Stand at the intersection of your affections and successes and find your uniqueness.

You have one. A divine spark. “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.” 1 Corinthians 12:7. So each of us has something special to offer. Don’t worry about the skills you don’t have. Don’t covet strengths others do have. Just extract your uniqueness. “Kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you.” (2 Tim. 1:6). And do so to….make a big deal out of God…..every day of your life!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Life on the Other Side

Ever fall in love to one of those age-old timeless classic fairy tales when you were a child. The same ones that promised us all at the end of the story, that it would all end happily ever after? Do you believe life ends that way? If you are a believer in Christ, we have that absolute faith in our future. It just won’t happen why we are here. Earth can’t deliver on those promises only heaven can, and in the presence of God. I have been thinking about this ever since I have heard our current President Obama mention again with his talks in Turkey that our nation is not a Christian nation. It's another reminder, that I believe, we are residing in the final days here on Earth. So it's about time we start talking about our home that appears to be getting closer and closer to us.

It’s so amazing since I have brought up the topic of heaven in one of my other posts, that if you don’t know what heaven is like, I would like to share some insight on one of the many studies I have been doing on it.

I guess like most people we all wonder if it is in fact a real place. Absolutely it is! Jesus said, when he was leaving is disciples; he told them he was going to prepare a place for them, for us all. Just where would that be, certainly not here on earth.

One of my most favorite of all Bible verses is this from Revelation 21: 1-5, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”NLT

So this is not a moment of the Bible that has already happened but one that will happen in, I believe, the very near future. The second question for most people is will we know each other in heaven? Again I believe without a doubt. When James, John and Peter went with Jesus to the Mount of Transfiguration, and they saw Moses and Elijah standing with Jesus, they knew them already. They didn’t have a discussion with themselves, saying, I know the one in the middle is Jesus, but who are the other two? It was something they guessed either. Many years had come and gone in the days of Moses and Elijah, and there were no history books for Peter, James and John to see pictures of the previous prophets of God. So they knew them.

In 1 Corinthians 13:12, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” We will remember things. We will remember what our lives were like, but we won’t deal with certain aspects of our former lives. We won’t forget. How many times have you forgotten things like your keys, where you parked your car or where you left your purse? No more in heaven! Thank God for that alone. It seems the older I get, the worse it becomes. We will still love in heaven, but it will be a perfected love, a sweeter kind of love!

We will also have new bodies. They will resemble our former selves but in a glorified state. No more dying, decaying, aging, weak, or diseased. They will be full of strength! Our resurrected bodies will be like Jesus. When he appeared to the disciples after the crucifixion, he still bore His marks of the cross. He still ate food with the disciples, but He was also able to appear and disappear at will and also ascend to heaven, kinda like flying. I don’t know about you but I am hoping that flight will be possible between the new heaven and the new earth!

I guess the most important thing, we as Christians need to be doing at this time, is making sure we are running the race for Christ, because we never know for sure when our time is up!

Are you ready to meet Jesus? Do you know where you are going with certainty when you die? Remember if you don’t know for sure on either of those, you can. You can ask God to come into your life, right now where you are sitting here and reading this. You can ask Him to forgive you of your sins. You can thank Him for dying on the cross for you and your sins, and rising on the third day, so that by believing in Him, you shall not die, but have life everlasting. You will also need to stop sinning and turn to God and ask Him to lead your path in life now ~ Amen!

God hears our prayers, when we pray, all of heaven falls silent, and there is no greater joy and rejoicing that happens in heaven, than when someone turns their life to God or even recommits their life back to Him. Let make a party in heaven today!

Remember you can’t live a compromised life and continue to live in both worlds. You have to take a stand and make a choice. You don’t know if you have tomorrow, only this moment now! Won’t you choice life in heaven forever?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thursday's are a great way to reflect on what we are so thankful for, and I think it makes us stop and think so we are not so caught up in other things. If you haven't do so already, stop by Sonya's blog, Truth 4 The Journey to find out how you too can become part of the Thankful Thursday group.

Here is my thanks for the week:

1. I am thankful that I never take God's grace and love for granted. Too often when things are going great, we have a tendency to forget about God because we don't "need" Him, but I am thankful He is always looking out for us to make sure things are going His way in our life. So when things go right, it's that time you should take to say, Hey Lord, thanks for the blessings you are giving me today!

2. I am thankful I have a wonderful husband and best friend in Steve. There are just times when I need him to be my friend and help me deal with life and other times I need his love and support as a husband. He is a classic example on a daily basis on all the goodness that God has given me through him. He is also the kind that will go to the store at 9pm just to get you a heat pack because you are in pain, after a long day at work for him.

3. I am thankful for Spring Break. It's so nice as a homeschool mom to get mini vacations. Mornings when I am not running all over town taking and dropping kids off somewhere, where mornings consist of long, slow starts, pajamas til 11 or all day, relaxing days where we just get to be together without obligations. It's so nice, can't wait for summer vacation!

4. I am thankful for the windy 55-75mph winds that are on their way out of town. We are expecting 90 degree temps by the weekend, but it will be short lived. Time to find something relaxing to do, like beach combing this weekend perhaps. Thanks God, for clearing the skies!

5. I am thankful that my oldest daughter was able to sign up for sign language classes at church. It's something she has wanted to do for some time and we thought she would be taking them at the college in the fall. God just blessed us with timing and price. $5.00 isn't bad at all.

May everything good or bad that happens today, glorify God in all His goodness and mercy! He alone is in control of everything!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wanting More Out of Life

Have you ever experienced something so good in this life that you want more? Like a beautiful moment in our life, the birth of a child, an amazing sunset, a panoramic view of a beach or mountain that lives on in your memory. One so vivid that you can sit back and close your eyes, and virtually relive that time again. The smells, the sounds, even the surroundings! I find myself taking lot's of virtual vacations back to times in my life when I was so happy.

I used to think that at that moment, nothing could be better. Then I found myself wanting more...more times and vacations like that, more letters filled with heart felt sentiment, more chocolate in the box of See's candies.

Those moments are usually followed by the "If onlys.." You know the ones! Fill in the blank, If only I had _______, I would be more happier. Here are the words I have filled in as I think back, a better job, more money, more time, more kids, a bigger house, a job that kept me home, or hubby had a job that would keep me home, better relations with family members, a nicer car, better get the picture. It's OK, if you used some of mine.

The question is...what happened when you got any of those? Here's my answer again, now I want more! It's didn't make me as happy as I thought. I need more followers on my blog, more comments, more people emailing me asking me to try free things so I can give them away, oh just the winning lotto numbers so I can help people in need more....more...just more thing!

Ever wonder why nothing really satisfies us and we always have that hunger for something more? I know I do. No matter how much money I make or how much I spend, it never satisfies and never makes me happy for long. I always want more!

God did it! Yup it's all His fault! OK, before you stop following my blog any further, here it is. God gave us a longing once we became believers and even it exists for the non believers as well for something more than this Earth could ever hope to give us. God has placed within us the desire for our heavenly home. Our eternal home. So no matter what we experience here in Earth, we will always want more.

Philippians 3:20 states it this way to us believers in Jesus Christ, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body." NLT

So when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we become citizens of heaven, it's our real home and not Earth. That's why we have this longing for something that Earth can never deliver. We will always be a bit "out of tune" with everything going on in the world or what the world has to offer. It leaves us feeling cold and empty on the inside and we still want.....more? Much More!! C.S. Lewis called it, " an inconsolable longing."

Ever wonder how migrating animals make it back to their homes. You've read the stories right of Fluffy, the dog, and how he got separated from his family, only to walk thousands of miles to find his home again? Like the prodigal son? Or even how the whales will migrate from one ocean clear across to another side of the world into an entirely different ocean. They know where home is. Their instinct or internal GPS if you will tells them the direction to go.

We are a lot like those animals. That is why though we may constantly search daily for happiness in this life on Earth, we have our eternal GPS programmed to our heavenly home. This Earth, is just a copy. A really bad copy if you see it in some ways. However I am talking about beautiful sunsets, pristine forests, wonderful scenic vistas or breath-taking beaches. They are a mere shadow of heaven.

C.S. Lewis again writes of heaven this way, "Earth is a shadow of heaven. The hills and valleys we know here on Earth, are only copies of the originals, which are in heaven now." Doesn't that take your breath away?

Therefore, we as Christians, should be 'heavenly-minded. It means this, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:1-2.

I hope once again, this post has inspired you, made you think about the direction your life may be taking you at this point. I remind you that you need to keep looking up if you find yourself discouraged today. Home awaits you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Finding Our Purpose in Life Part One

It's funny because too often as bloggers, I think we sit for hours and think up ideas for a cool blog post. I often find mine in the midst of a Bible study or a church sermon. That doesn't mean I am not paying attention to the message at hand, simply, I believe, I am receiving divine inspiration, at that particular moment.

I used to think, oh well, I remember that idea later, and then later, I would forget it. I would only remember it was a really great idea. Now I find, when I receive my thoughts for blogs, I capture them any way I can. All it usually is, is a title and the idea forms as I begin to write.

The idea of a geode has been hovering around since I went with my family to Knott's Berry Farm, here in Southern California. We haven't really went anywhere since the economy has been horrible and hubby has been traveling out of state. I personally felt we needed some serious family bonding time. So we found some tickets online that saved us about $13.00 per ticket. Now that's what I call savings.

There are certain things I must have when attending an outing at Knott's Berry Farm. One of these is funnel cakes, with boysenberry filling on the side. Ever since I can remember, we never went to Knott's without funnel cake. It's just something special to get it there. Never mind all the powdered sugar mess.

The second must have, and it can only be found there is Boysenberry Punch. Ice cold, with my own personal cup. P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E!!! Last, you can't go to Knott's without their chicken dinner. Besides the boysenberries, it is what made Knott's famous today and yes, despite the early 1930's, Knott's is still using the same old recipe. Yes, you have to stand in line for over an hour just to get seated, but so worth the wait.

After we all had our chicken dinner, my daughter, Kailee, 10, is studying rocks and minerals in our homeschool class for science. We stopped by this shop in Ghost Town and saw all these really ugly rocks in a bin with tons of prices on them. They started at $10 and went all the way up to $400. Uh, $400.00 for a rock? A ugly rock? Besides the sanity of the $400.00 cost, what do you do with a $400.00 rock?

That's where the beauty comes in. These geodes are made from volcanic bubbles made when volcanoes erupt and become trapped near the cooling of a stream or river. Depending on the mineral content at the time in the water is what cause the crystalization to begin inside the rock. Over time, these vocanic bubbles, get buried by layers of sediment and pressure, and begins the process of what goes on inside. After, billions of years, yeah right, I am no evolutionist, I am a Christian, and after some time, God is the only one who really knows how long, the geodes are found and harvested.

The real treasure is what is on the inside. Kinda like us, right, it's what is on the inside that counts, the outside can be all yucky and covered with years of debris, pain, and whatever life throws at us. Even our faces can show the ravages of what life has handed us, and scare some away. However, if you only take the time to discover what is on the inside, you find a thing of beauty. A treasure!

We waited in anticipation to see what the result would be of our geode find. We decided since my 10 year old had saved her money, she would purchase one of the geodes from Mexico, guaranteed to have a hollow center and large crystal formations. She spent $ 42.00. Yikes, I know a lot of money, but you honestly never know what you'll get.

So the employee of the shop, takes her geode and cuts it in half to reveal the inside. Once it's cut open, she rinses it off and cleans out some of the dirt and debris. Since she is a science teacher herself and works part time at Knott's, because she loves seeing what the money spent on these geodes will reveal. Feeling the climax to our discovery yet?

OK, besides all the other lesser minerals inside, we find out hers is filled with Amethyst crystals! Light purple at first because no air has reached them to oxidize them yet, but will turn a royal purple after about three days. We are then told, our value of the geode is about $130 to $165 depending on who buys them. They are all over eBay! Trust me I checked, after paying the $42.00.

It wasn't so much what we paid for it, it was more the look on the store employee's face and my daughters when they saw all the amethysts inside this palm sized rock. It's beautiful.

It just reminds me, that even though outward appearances can be deceiving to most, those that are willing to invest the time in getting to know us, see the real person for what we are, our soul, I believe. Much like the crystals being hidden inside the geode, the only person who knows what lies beneath the outside, is God and whomever goes seeking! Just think the only other person who knew what was inside that geode, was God! It's amazing to think of it that way!

I hope this post has inspired you to look beyond the superficial of the people we meet and even see in church sometimes. Labels have a tendency of attaching themselves before we get to see the real treasure, often hidden deep inside someone. It's worth the effort to discover what lies beneath! God certainly thinks so and so do I.

Thanks God for my geode lesson and my 3 treasures at Knott's that day! Part Two will follow tomorrow!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Marvelous Monday!

Well, what a weekend! I couldn't believe our good luck in having a super, beautiful blue sky day for a Resurrection Sunday. Lately here in the desert, we are often faced with high and heavy winds that last for 3-4 days while high or low pressure systems often blow through. We get very little rain but I can't beat the beautiful crystal clear blue skies most days. OK, we get them a lot. It's hardly ever we get some rain clouds.

The other day I decided to help my daughter with her science project involving coffee grinds as a cheap organic fertilizer and was noticing while out watering the fluffy, white popcorn clouds meandering through the blue sky. I took some time and noticed the shapes of an elephant and a turtle as they passed over head. I wondered if God was drawing using the blue sky as His art pad and the clouds and His pencil lines.

It is interesting what we miss but looking down all the time. God's miracles are all over the place everyday. I would encourage you this week to find the time to give three random acts of kindness to friends or strangers. It could be something as simple as a kind word, a smile that is returned or a small favor. I will use Thursday's blog to have you comment what you did, but most of all, how it made you feel?!!

I do owe a huge thank you to a few people that were kind enough to remember me when some blogging awards came out. Here they are in the order I got them. First the Spanish Dart Award!

Then the "His Light Shines Award"

and most recently, "I am a Fan of Your Site".

I owe these thanks to Sitka at "All Gods Creatures". His mom, Andrea writes a heart warming blog from a dogs perspective and how he would view things. Great inspiration and a dog after his mom's own heart. Check it out.

I also want to thank the time to pass these awards along to the following as well, in no particular order.

1. Samm's Inspirations, a blog from a 15 year old teenager girl that has been best friends with my daughter for 4 years. Her posts are an inspiration from her heart and if you get a chance, stop by and give her some encouragement. Love you Samm!

2. Dear Craisin, my 15 soon to be 16 year old daughter's first blog. She is really been blessed to be given a gift from God on how well she writes. We have even submitted some of her work to publishers and we are waiting to see what they have to say. I would hope she will continue to use these gifts to bring glory to God with His gift to her.

3. Heather at *Beautiful Self*. I found her joining my blog recently and honestly can't wait to see the wonderful things she posts daily! I honestly feel God's presence in opening her beautiful page every morning. Thanks Heather.

4. Lisa from Mommy Squared! Lisa shares her daily insights from being a super busy mom and still loving the Lord everyday! Thanks Lisa for constantly sharing your inspirations of both a mom and sister in Christ!

5. Laurie at Supernatural Living. Like Andrea at Arise 2 Write, she inspires me daily with her blog. I can't wait each day over my coffee to see how God will pour forth His word through her writings each day. Love you! I know you may have already received these but I wanted to thank you for your blog and lovely comments.

Many of you who read these may not understand the importance of commenting a bloggers blog, but it's so nice to read how our writings for the day have impacted you, made you think, or changed your day. Hope you join me in finding time to comment and follow the blogs listed above. We'd love to hear from you.

May God bless everyone who comes here and may He continue to inspire me daily to share His thoughts with you!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Son Rise Sunday

Allelujia! He is RiSon! I love that play on words. I tried today to drag my 45 year old body to attempt to go to sunrise service this morning at 6:15am. What that entails is getting my lovely two daughters out of bed and ready as well. One takes about 45 minutes to get ready and thats if she even comprehends, 'Time to Get Up' when I tell her. More than half the time, I have to go and wake her back up again, because I think she fell asleep thinking she must have been dreaming because it's still dark outside.

My teenager, gotta love her, alone just takes 1 1/2 to get ready and all that is, is showered, dressed, make up, hair done just right, because you just never know who may be there, and that doesn't even include breakfast. That is, if she hears your voice in her dreamland somewhere and even remotely responds to your voice to get up.

Not only that to top it all off, I stayed up way to late, watching, "The Greatest Story Ever Told", which lasted til 12:00am. I personally felt tasked to watch this from start to end, even though my mother made me watch it ever Easter when I was little. So I have seen it a lot, let's just say. I felt like I owed it to Jesus to watch whatever portrayl Hollywood put together during the time when Bible based movies weren't unheard of. I felt like I was watching TV with my Lord and wanted to be with him first thing before anyone in my household on Easter morning. Let me tell you I was, and wide awake. It took me another hour or so to finally fall asleep, but I had some last minute Easter things to take care of as well. I do have a 10 year old that still loves her "Easter Baskets", and I haven't the heart to tell her otherwise just yet.

So you guessed it, I was preparing for Easter morning so we could at least make it to Easter service at church, even if it was the later morning service. We were glad we did. The morning to me, was spent the way I wanted it to be spent, with Jesus reliving the most miraculous time on Earth and I didn't want to spend it asleep.

Not only that, our morning went smoothly. No arguing, everyone in a great mood, even though Mom is barely coherent, I went about singing the Hallelujia chorus all morning long! Starting first thing. I think my family must think it due to a lack of some serious sleep on my behalf. I was off to a great start with some caramel coffee and I was ready to go.

Troops marched off to their respective showers, got their chores out the way, house and rooms picked up, breakfast made, and time to get to church with minutes to spare. The message, as always very inspiring. We read about the resurrection of Jesus.

The interesting part of our sermon today, was that after witnessing all that Jesus had to show them, after Mary claiming to have been told by angels that Jesus was alive, and others claiming to have the same story of the empty tomb, two disciples were heading out of town despite what Jesus had told them. He reminded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem, when they heard and witnessed his resurrection. However, some still had their doubts. Some still didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah the prophecy had foretold, they thought somehow that Jesus would change their current circumstances and probably fix all their problems in Rome. So after feeling yet even more discouraged they left.

They were joined, later after some grumbling about how let down they felt that Jesus didn't fix things, by Jesus himself, although He prevented them from knowing who He really was. Imagine that, complaining about Jesus to Jesus, Himself. Amazing! Then the two disciples share their story with Jesus, their expectations and let down and Jesus reminds them of all the things fulfilled based on Jesus' presence all this time.

After a time, the disciples arrive at their location for the evening and Jesus bids them farewell, only they insist He must stay with them, it's night after all. Jesus agrees and after breaking bread and offering thanks with them, He reveals who He really is to them and then disappears. Wonder what they were thinking? I know for me, I would feel so ashamed about my grumbling and complaining, I would lose it.

In that moment, they immediately left and headed back to Jerusalem, in a hurry to share the good news with everyone. It's at that moment in time, we find ourselves with the remainder of the disciples in the Upper Room when Jesus returns again to share His resurrection with the rest. I often wonder what transpired in both heaven and hell that day.

You know that when Jesus uttered those words, "It is finished!" that Satan panicked big time, and all of heaven fell silent! I couldn't imagine as a parent watching my only child die for someone else.

Yet even death could not contain Him, and it never will again! He is Alive and He has come to save us all from certain and everlasting death. He is preparing a place in heaven for each of us, where there will be no more pain, no more tears, no more death, just an eternal celebration where I will spend my entire eternity thanking my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all He did for me that day!

I must tell you that I would feel as the disciples did that day when Jesus reappeared to them after His resurrection. The joy can not be contained. Jesus blessed me today with an abundant amount of joy that no matter what anyone said or did, had no effect. My Lord Lives!

....and He shall reign forever and ever!!....Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Solemn Saturday

Today I woke up and realized in my weekend reflection that today would have represented the day after Jesus' death. I spent the morning wondering what life was like for the disciples that day. I would have guessed that for some, they wondered if Jesus was really dead, "Did it really happen?". Some probably still in denial that our Savior was dead and the loneliness that day must have been overwhelming.

You spent so many years with this person witnessing all His miracles and the many blessings that followed. To just have had the opportunity to walk with Jesus and talk with Him, to hear what really interested Him during all His travels. Then to have that all taken away in a day.

I wonder how Peter felt the day after his denial of Jesus. I wonder just how many "what if's" he played out in his mind. I personally feel that Peter felt the worst. He was now living the life of regrets. A life he probably felt he could take back and wished he could. I see Peter sitting among the rest of the disciplines in the Upper Room but isolated from the others in tears.

I am certain they spent the day wondering how they could have possibly changed the events that happened the night before, wondering if they could have saved Jesus. I am also sure that at some point in the day, they spent time sharing all the stories of what they remembered most about Jesus. I would guess at times, there would be a great memory shared that would bring about a smile and laughter, only to have it suddenly removed, when they realized those moments were no more.

I can imagine how somber and sullen that day would have been. A day of reflection and remembrance of Jesus' life on Earth and the impact he made in so many lives.

Little however did the disciples now the majesty of what would await them in the morning. But for now, I am choosing to reflect and remember just what Jesus has done in my life today and how if it weren't for Him, I would be hopeless and lost.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday!

Today holds such significance! I woke up this morning to the most amazing thought and I wanted to share it with you. I get emails from Max Lucado, one of my most favorite authors and wanted to share with you, his meaning of why as Christians the cross remains our symbol for Christ.

The article begins by analyzing why as Christians would we take the cross as a symbol of our Savior's torture device. Why would we want to remember that? Take any symbol and make it mean something. A mini electric chair, a guillotine, an ax? Basically we are taking something, like a cross, and using it to signify our religion and our beliefs. Many don't see that way.

Crosses are everywhere, they are on the top of churches, engraved on tombstones, hung on our walls in our homes, and even worn as jewelry around the neck. Yet besides the significance that the cross did not kill our Savior, we choose to hold it as a way to remember. A way to remember the ultimate sacrifice that was paid for everyone of us that has lived, so that we can share in the abundance of life everlasting, provided to us by Jesus Christ and our belief in Him. How sad to think how many people go through life without true faith and hope in something better than this life. My heart goes out to people lost in this world, bound by their own self inadequacies, faults, mistakes that they have made or currently making, and living a shell of existence as they go through life each day.

How different is the life of a believer especially this weekend! We have hope, joy, peace, love and all the gifts of the spirit. We also have the added benefit of knowing that this life is temporary, our suffering in it, is nothing compared the suffering Jesus Christ took upon His perfect body and soul for us! We should be happy even in the midst of crisis because we didn't have to endure what Christ did for us.

I believe today is a time to reflect on that day. To review and read the gospels stories of Jesus' final days. It's a time to realize that our bad days are nothing compared to the days Jesus faced in his final hours. It's time to remember that this life is temporary and we are just visitors in the place, designed to make sure we add to the very population of our eternal home, by taking as many believers with us as possible. Heaven has no capacity limits, and then again neither does hell. However, I would rather spread the news about hope and joy, than eternal damnation and suffering that nothing here on earth, could ever imagine.

This Easter, it's about life! Eternal life! Just those two words are enough for me!

Now here is what Max had to say about what he believes the cross truly means. Love his definition! "Why is the cross the symbol of our faith? To find the answer look no farther than the cross itself. Its design couldn't be simpler. One beam horizontal--the other vertical. One reaches out--like God's love. The other reaches up--as does God's holiness. One represents the width of his love; the other reflects the height of his holiness. The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave his children without lowering his standards."

May you all have a truly wonderful and blessed Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Got Coffee?

I found an interesting suggestion the other day that my hubby and I were off shopping for Easter candy. We stopped by Starbucks inside of Target and I noticed a sign that said if you ask for coffee grinds, they will gladly supply you with some. It struck me as odd since I couldn't figure out what you would use them for.

So a couple of days past by and I googled for what to do with coffee grounds and perhaps gardening since that was all I could think you could use them for. Well low and behold I found a ton of interesting information out. Seems like if you ask for them, Starbucks has about 50-100 pounds of coffee grinds to pass out. You place them around the base of your plants and they do a couple of things.

1. They increase the PH in your soil, especially if you have a clay-based soil like we have in the desert. Funny but it looks more like sand.

2. It repels pests from your plants along with broken egg shells. Yes I am planning on saving those and try adding them to my garden as well.

3. It helps promote worm growth. Worms in your garden equal amazing soil. You want worms, just in your garden however.

4. It helps your plants produce more blooms, fruits, veggies, shiny leaves and more growth.

5. Its cheaper than Miracle Grow and it's completely organic.

So my daughter and I are going to try it and she is going to document the results for her Science Project. I will keep you posted and let you know how it's going. You can also dilute the extra coffee you have left in the pot in the morning and water your plants with it.

So it dawned on me this morning with all the talk about gardening, that spring with all it's new life, blossoms and potential fruit just waiting to pop out, that it reminded me of Christ. This time of the year is so amazing that despite getting lost in marshmallow peeps and chocolate bunnies, that we lose sight of our amazing savior who pledged the ultimate sacrifice and gave us His life, so that we can have life, only more abundantly. Spring is the time for new life to begin and what a great way to celebrate Christ's resurrection, then everytime you notice a new bud on your flowers or a new piece of fruit growing on your trees or even new leaves beginning to burst on your trees, take a moment and remember Jesus. He is the ultimate Life and spring is just full of signs to remind us of His resurrection. Just look at my wonderful apple blossoms pictured above! Gotta love that smell!

May your garden's be full with life and color and take a moment to thank God for His gifts this Easter.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring is in the Air

Good Spring Evening!

I found again, being so busy with homeschooling not only my two daughters now, but trying to get my nephew, a junior to understand the importance of not falling behind in your work so that you have to use your vacation time or weekend hours to catch up. The reason for his lack of time management and games! Yes, he says for the last two weeks he has spent over 6 hours plus playing games, from the WII to things on the computer when he was supposed to be completing his schoolwork. All of his classes were F's and his dad doesn't care because he believes his job at this time is to focus on earning a living.

Let's just say that he makes almost six figures, sitting from the comfort of his home, talking on the phone for most of the day, while attending the gym daily with his new girlfriend.

I know for almost two weeks I felt that he deserved whatever consequences came his way based on his lack of work, however, God kept pulling at my heart, with the WWJD saying. I know God would do what He could to make sure that this child did not feel abandoned. I mean if his dad felt this way, then doesn't it rub off on the child. I am already beginning to see the pattern forming and I don't want him to wind up the same. Not to say that earning six figures from the comfort of your couch doesn't sound appealing, but not everyone is so lucky.

So I struggle with adding this to my already busy schedule. Here is some great news however. I have hubby home, after 8 weeks of being gone in central California and only talking to him in the evenings since he works at night, while we sleep at malls. I watch everytime he leaves, only to come home, half the person he was, exhausted since he has no days off and works on average 14-21 hours a day. Not sure how he does it but we have to heal him each time when he returns. Got to get plenty of rest and some home cooking after all those fast food meals.

So spring vacation is just a day away and like most teachers this time of year, I am waiting in anticipation and seeing a light break in my schedule and I get some free time again. No more taking my oldest to school, track and other events in her free time, but no more waking up early, except for trash day Thursdays when no one gets any sleep.

I will post again tomorrow and tell you about my great new gardening tips I have discovered and my wonderful blogging awards I just received. Please give me your ideas on my nephew thing as well. Would love to get your imput!

God Bless and Have a Wonderful Evening!