Sunday, April 26, 2015

Plan vs. Purpose

Today's verse - Proverbs 16:9 

'In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.'
Amen! If I hadn't grasped this by now - I would be a wreck. 
There's only so much we can plan, prepare, or control. Without asking God for direction, it can get pretty dicey. 
This past week I prayed, 'Lord, show me your will. Prepare me.' 
And not 10 minutes later, something changed drastically in my life. This 'thing' that changed could have been devastating in normal circumstances - but a peace washed over me. It was a direct answer to prayer.
Instead of getting upset - I embraced the change, anxious to see what he was preparing. 
I can't control my life. I can't prepare for every outcome. I can only give God each day and look to Him for direction, as I go about it. 
It's okay to have a plan - but look to Him for your purpose!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Small Things That Make Me Smile

There are days when you truly feel God's presence, and know He's answering a prayer.  Then there are days when you are coasting, not really giving it much thought.  And ... there are days when you're recovering from a huge trial and are emotionally spent.

Yesterday, I prayed for God to restore my soul - as my day was about as bad as I've had since I was in college, where things got pretty rough in my walk.  Now, I'm not saying my walk was negatively effected yesterday.  What I'm saying is the devil was doing his best to shake me up and rattle my cage.  And if my walk wasn't solid - my world could have turned upside down.

Without giving you details (as they're a bit to crazy to post here) I will say that by the time it was all said and done - my head was spinning.  I wondered just how in the world I'd gotten to where I was, and started on a slippery slope that led to a pity party for about 20 minutes.

Until I realized, that God has everything under control.  I just needed to look to Him for guidance and reassurance.  Yesterday's result was not a miraculous perfect ending, tied up in a pretty bow.  I faced some serious consequences, but through it all I asked God to show me where He was ... to show up ... to give me something good from the day.

Two things happened that were absolute gifts from Him. And with them, He expressed how much He loved me. Even though I was dealt a bad hand, He was with me through it and sending blessings my way.

Blessing #1:

  • After asking my tax attorney to file for an extension (my grandmother died last week and I knew I'd never get everything turned into him in time), he called me around 4 p.m. and took it upon himself to work out my taxes (I had already turned my w2's and 1099's).  He told me that he'd hate for me to waste money on an extension, and asked if I could find time to get my expenses and mileage to him by the 14th.
--------> Okay ... who does that?  A tax accountant/attorney in the middle of tax season, who is slammed with everyone's taxes -- takes extra time to do what he can for me and ask for me to get him the rest to help me get my refund faster.  

Blessing #2:

  • I had to buy a couple work polo's for an event, so I drove to Dick's Sporting Goods today.  I walked in thinking,  'I hope I can get two but may only be able to afford one'.    (stay with me)  After walking through - checking prices - and trying a few on ... I decided I could only afford one and was thankful to find one on sale for 28.00.  I thought this was my blessing, and was so grateful.
The real blessing behind curtain #2:

  • When I got to the register, the sales associate accidentally rang it up twice. He gave the register a blank stare, and looked at me with amusement, saying, "These are buy one get one free.  Go pick out another one on sale."   I blinked with surprise, and found only one more on sale that was my size.  Did you catch that?  There were only two in my size, and I got one for free.  God knew my needs, and He provided.  

Now, I know these aren't huge things in the grand scheme of things. Most people wouldn't say they add up to much, but the fact that my accountant felt led to take the lead on my taxes to save me money was a sweet gesture.  (And the refund isn't a kick in the teeth either)

And, it turns out the sales associate who 'accidentally' scanned my polo twice, is a youth minister.  He was very open about his faith once I thanked him for his mistake, and gave credit to God for my blessing (some call it good fortune).  

God's hand was in all of this - to show me that He works in even the smallest details.  I may have had a disastrous day yesterday (we're not promised an easy life ... Jesus states that we will suffer in this world) but God is with us through all things good and bad.  And if we turn to Him, and thank him throughout the chaos, He will show up in the most unexpected ways.

God is good ... All. The. Time.  And He not only restores my soul, but encourages me to spread His good name with others.  This is why I just had to share this with you.  

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Kick This Idea Onto Others

Some of you may have heard of Kickstarter, a social media platform which helps people raise funds, but have you heard of 'Kick Your Idea'?

It's a social media platform design to boost awareness, without any funds required. Did you hear that? It's FREE!

Many of you have emailed me telling me that my characters have given you hope ... that they've made you aware of things you'd long forgotten ... and even motivated you to do things you'd not done in a while, like go back to Church or buy your kids a Bible. This is because I write about characters who make you feel.

 Today, I invite you (for the next 7 days) to help support the characters you love so much by allowing others a glimpse into their world. Allow others to put themselves in the shoes of my characters, by spreading the awareness of my books.

All you have to do is go to this page - here - where a pop up window will appear. It will say, 'Support This Campaign For A Chance To Win One Of Five $1,000 Amazon Gift Cards', and will give you four social media options to choose, with how you want to support me.

Simply click one (or all of them) ... and I get boosted. Once it reaches 100 supporters, they will have given me access to 100,000+ people. That means more eyeballs on the opportunity to get hooked on Chasatity's journey, Timothy's tumble head first into a love that will last a lifetime, and Anne's adventure on her trip into the reality of what means in her life.

Hey guys ... it's not rocket science. It's simple, easy, and FREE ... it's just about spreading the word. If you've got a few minutes ... please click the link above and help a sister out.

Thank you so much. Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Since January

Since January, I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round that just keeps spinning faster and faster ...

Just a few of the things that have happened:

As of Friday, my mom will have had 2 surgeries.
My son has had 2 ER visits, and as of tomorrow 2 specialist visits.
My grandmother has been in the ER twice and this last weekend had a hip surgery, from which she's not recovering very well.  She's not got fluid on her lungs and she's having to be restrained, because she's not aware enough to understand to be still.  She's a danger to her own recovery.

Through it all - I think I might have gone a little crazy if it weren't for the peace that Jesus gives.  And trust me when I say that the above list is just a small portion of things that have been occurring in my family's life.

So right now, I'm taking a very deep breath, and thanking God for his peace and assurance.  I am blessed by a wonderful family and knowing he is in control is my anchor through the storm.

Remember, no matter what you're going through - you have choices.  You can either sit and say 'woe is me' wondering where God is ... or you can give Him glory through the chaos, knowing He is there to comfort and lead you.

If you're facing your own crazy merry-go-round, wondering where you can get off and stop spinning - trust me, I feel you.  Keep looking up and ask for reassurance through the rough times, and He'll give it to you.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Revelations ...

When looking for a certain pen for T the other tonight, I pulled open a desk drawer as the whiff of waxy crayons met me - instantly taking me back to his younger years. It hit me that he's not used a crayon in forever and I'd forgotten how long it had been until just then.

Each year I feel that time slips through my fingers like water.  And it really hits home when I see a photo of my child from when he still had his little baby face, or when I open up a drawer to find the familiar scent of a past-time he's grown out of ... like coloring.

Although I loved the stages he went through as a little boy, I am enjoying this stage in his life the most.  This 'tween' of mine - although going through the normal growing pains - is full of life.  He is still tender hearted - but doesn't put up with things that aren't right.  He is a fighter while still being kind - and I for one love that he has struck that balance in life.

So, I'm sad to see the crayons go ... but I love seeing how he's grown into so many more interesting things.

I love being his mom.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Holy Smokes - The Mike Mitchener Story

Do you ever wonder about Heaven? If so, I highly encourage you to watch this testimony from Mike Mitchener. To give you an overview of what this video will share ... Mike's heart stopped 4 times one Sept 11, 2014 - and his widow maker heart attack had complications that were mind blowing. What's more spell-binding is how God's perfecting timing and will wound around him, giving him the opportunity for healing, survival, and one heck of an experience in heaven before bringing him back to life.

This is about 30 minutes but is a MUST WATCH!

Monday, January 26, 2015

An Allergy Diary - Like Father Like Son

Recently I posted here about the anaphylaxis campaign and my friend, John, and his life changing experience.  I posted to promote the awareness of allergies and the use of Epipens.  I relate to his story all to well, in that my husband has had life threatening anaphylactic attacks, and my son had serious allergies as a toddler.

Thankfully my son outgrew his egg allergy when he was four and has only suffered with overzealous external allergies ... until now.

Tuesday his lip swelled up twice its size, and he felt some tingling along his mouth and eventually in his throat.  To make a long story short - we dialed 911 as my EpiPens were expired and I didn't want to waste precious seconds in a car traveling to the ER.  I immediately administered Benedryl and waited for EMSA and the fire department to arrive.

I could tell my lil guy was trying hard to stay calm.  He could feel his chest getting tight and kept clearing his throat, all the while asking me if he was going to make it.  I told him he'd be okay, and to keep his breathing low and slow.  I held him and promised him he'd be fine.  By the time the fire department arrived, the Benedryl had done all the hard work.  My son's breathing and heart rate were normal - and no more swelling had progressed.  We were advised to get into our primary care doctor's  office for further evaluation.

After some blood tests, to which he passed out (this just added to the stress we all felt), we found out he was allergic to wheat, the same thing my husband severely reacts to.  Like father ... like son. Although not a great circumstance, I still felt blessed that I could handle this one as I was an expert of wheat free in my home - with 15 years of helping my husband avoid wheat.

Currently, seven days later, my son is still swelling up and having welts - even with gluten free items.  So, needless to say, I'm highly concerned that we can't feed him anything without a reaction.  I'm literally afraid to give him food.  Anyone else out there in my shoes?  And I know I have to send him back to school, where no one will know what to do for him like we would.

Please send up prayers if you're willing, that we can get into an allergist ASAP to narrow down what is going on with my child's system.  The hardest thing in the world is watching your child suffer without having any control over the outcome.

I know God has this - as his guidance and reassurance has gotten us this far without fail - but that doesn't mean the mom in me is any less concerned for my child.