Friday, January 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday (or Friday...again!)

Not exactly sure why I can't seem to remember Thankful Thursday (which phonetically makes much more sense than Thankful Friday). Nevertheless, here goes my list for this week. I'm thankful for...

  • Curling up in a warm blanket with a good book on a rainy day (like today!)
  • Having the freedom to be out and about during the day and choose your own work hours (something I've recently discovered is quite a luxury).
  • freedom.
  • grace.
  • having an extra refigerator in our garage when our indoor frig broke. (Sometimes it takes going without a conveniently located refrigerator to really appreciate it!)
  • Jimmy's success at getting a new account which is allowing us to expand the business.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. I Chronicles 16:24

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Everywhere I go I see You

Have you ever known something, but you really didn't know it? Or you thought you knew it until you really knew it? Or thought you understood something until it ...okay, okay, you get the point. I'm doing a Bible study right now called "Left of Matthew"- really neat study on the highlights of the Old Testament. It appropriately starts with God creating the earth and it's fullness- a study on the first chapters of Genesis. I taught a semester of biology, environmental science, have been saved for a number of years, read the Bible, grew up in Sunday School...I should have a solid understanding of creationism, right? Not until I really knew it!

I've mentioned Job before in my blogging and think of his story often, particularly when everything in my life seems to be going to pot. What a man, right? To go through losing everything in your life (except your life) and never turn your back on God. That doesn't mean Job never questioned God or that he never cried out, "God, what are you doing??!!" If fact, he did...and God answered him. God answered Job with a series of questions that could be summed up, "Are you, Job, seriously questioning, me, God?" In a much lengthier version, God says, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?...Who determined its measurements...or who shut in the sea with doors?" He almost sarcastically asks Job if he created and ordered this laundry list of things; if he knows the meticulous details of all of the creatures; if he can accomplish divine tasks like sending out lightning with his voice. I can hear Job now... "well, uh, uh, no, but, uh, no..." God was saying, "DUH!!! You aren't God; I am. And if I created all of these things, and master over them, what makes you think I'm not capable of mastering over the forces behind your problems?!" Great point, huh?

Okay, back to creationism...(women. we do that sometimes. belaboring the point.) So, the thing that really got me in that passage- God's answer to Job (Job 38-41) was how intricately he knew the animals. He talks about how He didn't give the ostrich wisdom or understanding, which is why she lays her eggs in the sand only covered by dust (an environment not conducive to successful egg hatching). And how the horse in all of its might and splendor, born ready for battle, is scared of a locust. (I'm sure many of us can attest to the spookiness of horses- bees, noises, trash on the ground- they're scared of anything that can't harm them ;) As I read these things and the many other details I found myself truly knowing for the first time. God really did create each of these creatures "according to their own kind". He knows what makes each of them different. After all, he designed their differences, their idiosyncrasies, their color, shape, height, purpose, life cycle, feeding patterns, behaviors... And creatures are just a portion of creation. He has a purpose and design for all weather patterns (which after teaching earth science really amazes me!)

I ended the first chapter of my new Bible study with a commitment to acknowledge God in His creation more. To remember that He created ALL of the things surrounding me and that His glory is revealed through each detail! With that in mind, I came to church this morning and a BIG grin swept across my face as we sang the following song. I looked for the lyrics on the Internet and came across this amazing video! I encourage you to take 5 minutes to watch it, listen to the words, and reflect on His greatness.

(You'll have to scroll down to my music box on the right and pause it in order to hear this song. And it might need a minute to buffer.)

Everywhere I Go, I See You

Everywhere I Go, I See You

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday (or Friday)

Okay, my intentions were good, but I missed the Thankful Thursday bandwagon (great idea Heather...or Heather's friend). Jimmy is out of town this weekend and here I am up at almost midnight trying to do anything but go to sleep alone (I hate that). Sounds like a good time to catch up to the Thankful Thursday bandwagon and jump on.

What am I thankful for? Hmmm...let's see.

  • Getting to sleep beside my husband every night. (Had to start with that one).
  • Good friends.
  • Living in Florida and getting to enjoy the sun on my skin so often. (I felt it today for the first time in a while!)
  • Dogs that love me and offer unconditional companionship.
  • Saturdays to do whatever makes me happy (which lately has included all kinds of silly things like belly dancing cardio- Yeah!)
  • Learning...always learning. "Aha" moments.

That felt good. To give thanks. So much is praiseworthy. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Teach me Lord, Teach me Lord, to wait"

It's funny how God works sometimes, isn't it? I've been in a slump lately- which is not my usual New Year mentality, but nevertheless, 2009 did not start the way I planned. As probably way too many of you know, Jimmy and I are eager to get pregnant again and planned to "get it on" New Year's eve and enter the new year with a happy, healthy, and SUCCESSFUL pregnancy. Unbeknownst to me, God's plan was not exactly the same. It also didn't help that January 13th, a difficult day (a difficult month), was the due date of our first baby. So, anyway, where was I? a slump. So, one of my great friends in Christ (love you, Kristy- what a joy to be a tool in His hands) called me the other day for a short but inspiring and loving chat that left me in total awe of our Lord and how much He loves me. She said the words of a popular Christian song, which are also from a verse in Isaiah, "our strength shall rise as we wait upon the Lord." When I got off the phone with her I began to sing the song and tears began to flow. God was meeting me in my pain right then and there. It was like he was wrapping his big, comforting hands around my heart. And in that moment I was sitting in my Daddy's arms letting Him wipe away every tear. I realized He was there all along waiting for me to rest in his comfort.

The story gets better from here... I decided to add the song to my blog playlist, but wasn't sure of the exact title or artist. I googled the words quoted above, clicked on one of the search results, and was led to the blogspot of a random family who posted the lyrics of the song in response to a great trial in their lives. Back in February of last year they lost their newborn baby boy at birth. The son that she carried and nurtured for 9 long months was not able to come home with them...and my heart ached for her. I try to not minimize my own pain, but it sure puts things in perspective when you hear something like that!

I am waiting... and learning what it means to wait upon the Lord. I've heard a few different sermons on that popular phrase from the Bible, but to me it now has a whole new meaning. To wait on the Lord is to rest in the moment of trial or uncertainty, knowing that He is ultimately in control of all things, working all things for my good, and that in a matter of His timing He will show himself strong and faithful. It's like watching a game that is head to head, waiting for the ending because you know your team will be victorious! And as I wait, my strength will rise.

-Isaiah 40: 27-31
Why do you say, O _____ (put your name here), and speak O _________, "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God"?

[I like to read this next part really loud with great enthusiasm ;)]
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.

His understanding is unsearchable. he gives power to the weak and to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youth shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.
But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary. They shall walk and not faint.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 BCS National Championship Game

Last Thursday, Jimmy and I were so blessed to be invited to the National Championship game to watch the Gators school the Sooners. Here we are in our Gator garb, ready for one exciting football game! The atmosphere was electric, the fans were awesome, and the time with friends was memorable. It was an amazing experience we won't soon forget.

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"Can this be real? Am I really holding tickets to the National Championship game? And I didn't have to mortgage my house to pay for them? I must take a picture!"


Tickets to the National Championship Game: Too much
New Gator Garb: $75
100 Hot Wings: $50
Tailgating with friends: Priceless!

Miss Donna, Me, Jimmy, Michael, Brandy, and Leon

Go Gators, Come on Gators, Get up and Go!

The view from my seat... 18 rows up, 50 yard line. I don't think it gets much better than this. If fact, I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

The #1 Florida Gators

24-14 Gators

It's Great to Be a Florida Gator!

All smiles for a victory! Here we are sporting our Gator colors, #1's, and Tebow eye blacks, which say "Phil 4:13". (Phillipians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Jimmy and I have spent every New Year's together for the past 9 years! Jimmy actually asked me to be his wife New Year's Eve 5 years ago on Ft. Myers Beach. Fireworks, champagne, music, a blanket on the beach...It was a night to remember! Needless to say, we have many great memories celebrating New Years together.

This year instead of traveling, we decided to ring in the New Year with friends here in Lake Wales. We met up with Amanda, Ryan, precious little Gianna, Chuck, Bobby, and Brittany at the bowling alley in the mall. I'm sure it wasn't the most exciting New Year's bash, but we made the most of it and had fun with friends! We are looking forward to many great blessings and adventures in 09!

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There's nothin' like ringing in the new year with an enthusiastic five year old!
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