RSS

Tag Archives: thankful

Day 3 of November Thankfulness: Grace….In A Textfully Speaking Kind of Way

Several years ago right around Christmas time,  I had a very interesting cell phone bill.  Texting had just caught on in our household and we had allowed our daughter the privilege of going from a pay as you go phone to being on a fixed monthly plan along with the adults in the house.   Believe it or not, I’m a texter more than a talker now, but this incident was during the early stages of texting in our household.   My daughter was becoming quite fast with her texting and her communication with friends now became conversations with no purpose….

Messages such as this:

Daughter:  Wut r u doing

Friend: texting

Daughter:  Oh Haha

Daughter: me too

Friend: Have you seen that movie that they were talking about at lunch?

Daughter:  No, but want to this weekend?

Friend: Yes!

Daughter: Me too!

Friend: K

Daughter: K

Daughter: 🙂

Daughter: See ya tomorrow and we’ll make plans

Friend:  ttyl

At that time we had a limited texting plan and overage was a quarter a text.   Now, she thought that a whole conversation such as that would cost a quarter, when in reality it cost $3.25. So now multiply that by some 2500 texts over our limit and you have a phone bill that is not only unbelievably outrageous, but also as thick as a book!  And that was what we had.. our bill…$600+ with another one on the way for over $300 AND it was nearing Christmas… Needless to say, our phone carrier received a nicer gift than our family did that year.

Anyway, several asked me if we punished our daughter only to be shocked that we didn’t.  We disciplined but not punished….  We paid the phone bill and she had to work to earn the money for her upcoming mission trip of the same cost.  She earned her money,  learned her lesson, became aware of how money really works and grew in wisdom throughout it all.  This is the part of the story when we get the most blank stares and then we get the “what I would have done” scenarios which almost always include taking the phone away.

Maybe we should have taken the phone away but instead chose not to “punish” because it wasn’t a defiant act, it was accidental.  I guess to some degree, we showed her grace.

I was talking with a friend the other day and the topic of grace came up in our conversation… God’s grace is an amazing thing.  My friend reminded me that the Greek meaning of grace is a translation of “a superior stooping, bending or reaching down in kindness to an inferior.”  In a word picture of that, you can imagine that God bends down, looks you in the eye and hugs and holds you just like a child…grace.  Wow, God’s grace is a choice and it is more than just grace in certain circumstances… but rather, grace in all things.

I’ve messed up so many times, even when I knew better…. even when I knew completely what I was doing was against what God would desire from me…. Even if He had reminded me over and over again of what I should NOT do… His grace doesn’t give me what I deserve.  Whew!  What a gift.

When my husband and I chose grace for our daughter, we not only did it because we love her and we knew she didn’t do it intentionally, but we also did it because we have experienced grace ourselves…. we passed it on in hopes she would and will too.

Today, I am thankful for grace-  the Grace of God and the grace that I see exemplified by others.

John 1:15-17 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Day 2 of November Thankfulness- Laughter; the Best Medicine

Laughter has always been a big part of my life…Always in my home… from a child until today.  I think it is genetic.  Today, I  am thankful for humor and laughter….. It can make a bad day better, an illness bearable, a stressful day relieved, a worry forgotten…. it is just good medicine.

Here is a portion of conversations that my family and I have had over the past year and I have written them down…. enjoy!

Conversation with my 9-year-old after she returned from a Parent’s Night Out at church-which was to help our Student ministry area earn money for a summer trip and of course, my co-worker, our Student Ministries Pastor, Matt.
Me: Have a good time?

Leah: Yeah, it was fun. Matt played “Rip My Throat”. That was cool.

Me: “Rip My Throat”?!? That’s a horrible name for a game! Especially for kids! Wonder why Matt didn’t give it another name?! That’s horrible. “Rip My Throat?!”

Leah: (Shaking her head and laughing) Mom, I said, “Matt gave us ROOT BEER FLOATS!”

Me: Oh…..

Image

Conversation with my daughter at the grocery store….

Allison: Mom, we need more onions and peppers.
Me: We shouldn’t. I just bought some.
Allison: I know but they are funky looking now.

So I picture rotten produce and begin to grumble about lack of quality produce at a certain grocery, etc while I load my cart with more onions and green bell peppers.

When we get home I look on the counter only to see perfectly good onions and peppers.

Me:(to Allison) Now what did you say was wrong with the onions and peppers again?
Allison: That they weren’t good.
Me: How? In what way?
Allison: I don’t know, they are funky looking. The onions have purple on them and something growing out of them and the peppers are turning red.
Me: Allison, these are red bell peppers and the onions you are referring to are turnips!
Allison: Oh…..

Image

Conversation while homeschooling my 17-year-old..yes, you read that correctly… Homeschooling…

Me: Okay, go back and correct these and then do this one writing assignment.

Allison: No!

Me: What?!?!

Allison: Sorry, it’s just that I’ve always wanted to talk back to my teacher.

We laugh…

Image
Conversation while watching The X-Factor…

Allison: (interrupting me as I’m singing a song between contestants) Mom… Stop! You don’t have the X-Factor!

Me: I don’t?

Allison: No, You have the Y-Factor…. It’s like “Why?!? Do you keep singing?”

Conversation in the car with my 10-year-old…

Leah: Mom, do you realize that I haven’t missed one day of school yet.

Me: Yep!

Leah: I think I’m the only one in my class who hasn’t missed.

Me: Wow!

Leah: I’m pretty sure that most of them have missed at least three days but not me.

Me: That is great, Leah!

Leah: No…. That’s a hint, Mom.

Conversation in the car:
My 17-year-old had “taken” my cell phone because she thought I wasn’t paying attention. ( I wasn’t driving at the time) I demanded it back…
Me: Give me my phone now!
Allison: Why?
Me: Because I’m the mom and YOU’RE the daughter..
Leah:(10-year-old in back seat) Great Mom, way to put labels on us…
BTW-I got my phone backImage

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Fun, Life Stories

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Day 1 of November Thankfulness-Don’t Box Me In

There used to be a skit on Saturday Night Live about a couple named Doug and Wendy Whiner.  The skit was based around this couple who spoke in a whiny voice all of the time.  I can remember traveling in Panama as a teenager and while doing a little sightseeing, my friend and I began saying things in our Doug and Wendy Whiner voices.  Looking back, we cracked ourselves up but were probably annoying everyone else.

So, now it is time for me to divulge a truth……I’m often like Doug and Wendy.  I whine. I suppose the reality of it is that I’m a pretty thankful person.  I realize that I have been blessed with a great husband, great kids (even if they do roll their eyes at me at times) and a great family.  I love my job and my co-workers. I have some precious friends. My kids never have to go without needs. (I am stressing needs… wants are a totally different thing.) I’m thankful to God  for all of these things and so much more.  BUT…. I’m also still a whiner.  Not so much of one out loud and to people (okay, maybe a few get to hear me) but in the quietness of my life, wherever that may be, I whine to God about what I don’t have or what I don’t want.

Last spring, I took a day long personal retreat.  It wasn’t much of anything other than a hike all by myself to a rock that overlooks a river.  I took my walking stick, a backpack, some music on my phone and my Bible.  The intention of the retreat was to spend my time with God….. whining.  I had been dealing with a perpetual thorn in my side… as much as I have done and as hard as I have tried, I couldn’t (still can’t) get that thing out of my side.  So, my retreat time was going to be me and God…. I totally had planned on him showing up at that rock with me.  I sat down, prayed some, opened my Bible, read some….. nothing.  No God.  I did those things again.  Still, no God.  For whatever reason, though I know I am always in his presence, he chose to be quiet.  And my reaction… I was disappointed…. I wanted to complain about this thorn in my side… I wanted answers….. It was a great day for it to be removed! Still nothing but silence.

I basked on the rock for several hours, reading, waiting….. I was at the point of putting God in a box and of believing that He was also annoyed with my whining, so I finally gave up and decided to leave.  Now being a girl that grew up on a farm, with a tad of hippie inside and lack of desire to be like others, I decided a hike without shoes would be great….  I put my shoes in my backpack and began hiking through mud, rocks and grass… It was wonderful.  The smells of fresh mud and grass, the feel of walking on gravel and squishing through mud, the sounds of a running creek and singing birds… I was instantly taken back to my childhood.

I made it through the rough terrain and back to a concrete sidewalk and was watching a group of kids in the distance when I looked down and caught myself in mid-step.  I almost stepped on the biggest thorn I’d ever seen in my life.  It was huge… at least to me it was.  It was probably three inches long and the thorns on the side were sticking a good two inches outward.  It looked much like a cross.  I thought in my mind that thorn would be great to show the kids at church because it was probably the size of the thorns placed on Jesus’ head.  I looked around to find more but there were none.  The only ones I saw were about 40 feet in the air, wrapped around a large tree.  So, I picked it up and decided since God wasn’t meeting me that I would listen to some music.
I put in my ear buds and without looking, clicked on my music.  A song began to play and as I sat down in my car, I heard the words in a whole new way….

The song was, Don’t Give Up by Shawn McDonald…. These are the words that I heard….

Sometimes it is hard to go on
It’s hard to see the reasons
For breathing, living, letting love guide the way
But you must hold on

 
Don’t give up
Don’t give up
Hold on for one more day

 

Sometimes we fall down
We get ourselves in trouble
But it’s OK
Cause we still have another chance to get it right
To get it right

 

I’ve come too far
I’ve seen so much
I’ve heard the call and felt the touch
I’ve tasted love that I cannot deny

 
Don’t give up
Don’t give up
Hold on for one more day

 
I remembered the words that had been spoken to me just days before, ” Maybe the thorn in your side is to keep you relying on God.  If you didn’t have it would you depend on God as much as you have to with it? Maybe not” … I looked at the thorn… it was a souvenir…God waited until I was like a child and spoke to me in a way that was creative and miraculous….. I wept…

I’ve kept that thorn. It sits on my desk as a reminder of that day.   I still don’t like the thorn in my side and it still bothers me a lot, but at least I have an understanding and that understanding came in such a loving and beautiful way.

 

 

Day 1: I’m thankful for a God that cannot be put in a box, desires a personal relationship with me (and you) and speaks in beautiful ways.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NLT)

even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young-

Grow strong in the Light of My Presence. Your weakness does not repel Me. On the contrary, it attracts My Power, which is always available to flow into a yielded heart. Do not condemn yourself for your constant need of help. Instead, come to Me with your gaping neediness; let the Light of My Love fill you.

A yielded heart does not whine or rebel when the going gets rough. It musters the courage to thank Me even during hard times. Yielding yourself to My will is ultimately an act of trust. In quietness and trust is your strength.

 

Don’t Give Up- Shawn McDonald

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Very Own Personal Oscars…. And the winner is…..

CB056255I’m not a fan of all the Hollywood Hoopla and hype and often feel like it is way out of control so watching the Oscars is not on my list of things to do…I do however, find some value in honoring some highlights in life.. so I created my own Personal Oscars… Same categories, real people and no one competes against the late Heath Ledger. Here are the winners in each category

Actor in a Leading Role- My husband! Chris told our friend Jeff, who was not in a position to watch a recent college basketball game, that the UK Wildcats were down by 20 points. Chris was amazing as he kept a straight face while watching Jeff in anguish until I blew the whole scene when I revealed that Kentucky was actually winning by 18. uk

Actor in a Supporting Role- My husband! There are so many times when I know my husband is tired or doesn’t feel good but yet is always doing things around the house to help…and almost 100 percent without complaining.

  • Actress in a Leading Role – My neighbor, Alex! Alex planned a wonderful surprise anniversary party for her mom and dad. She planned the whole event, ordered the cake, prepared a cookout at a friend’s house, got everything in order then called her parents to come get her because her car was “broken down”….. Not bad at all for an 18 year old young lady. It was too bad that her parents couldn’t be there though. They were actually at a fundraising event and couldn’t leave. So we all had the anniversary party without them. We did take a picture of everything for them though and later her mom was able to get away and come by. Alex was excellent in not only her call to her parents for car help but in hiding her frustration throughout the whole situation.
  • Actress in a Supporting Role- My daughter Allison! Allison was in the local middle school production of “The Lunch Bunch”. This was the first year that she had the courage to audition and came out with flying colors. Hopefully more stage limelight for her!
  • Animated Feature Film- my daughter Leah! If stop motion is considered animated then she gets the award for “Barbie doll Zombie” (not the original title) on my Iphone
  • Art Direction- My husband! Chris is an amazing behind the scenes kind of guy. He is incredibly creative and often is my go to guy when I need direction in my creativity
  • Cinematography – My friend Marcia! This was a tough one because during our recent ice storm there were so many incredible photos taken of beautiful scenes with great lighting and settings but it was one of Marcia’s photos that inspired me to go take some for myself.
  • Costume Design- Libby Lou’s! My 6 year old spent the day at the mall with her older sisters. I went to pick them up only to find her with pink streaks in her hair, glitter and sparkly hearts and stars on her face.  She was also sporting a Libby Lou’s pink sash along with other Libby Lou paraphernalia… I don’t know why that place is going out of business… We are one of the many who should have paid enough to keep it open.
  • Directing- My daughter, Allison! She is great at directing her little sister to do things and some she herself could even do.
  • Film Editing- My husband and myself! Key phrase, “Turn that off!”
  • Foreign Language Film My daughter Catie! Catie is often known for her ability to make people tilt their heads and ask, “What did she just say?” A few months ago in my attempt to go “greener” I bought a pack of bottled water in which the plastic bottles were made from corn. Catie took one to school for lunch and her friends were commenting about how hippie-like Catie was with her “green” bottled water. Catie said, ” Well, I’m just saving the fresh water so there will be more for others.” All of her friends stopped talking and looked at her in silence with question marks on their faces. “What?” they all asked. Catie, very proudly, chimed back in, “The water is made from corn so therefore others can have the fresh water.” Her friends all had a good laugh when they finally explained to her that it was not the water but the bottle that was made from corn. The girl does make really good grades… really.
  • Makeup- My friend, Robin! This past summer our church had a Family Adventure. The theme was Adventure Island and we took on a theme similar to Pirates of the Caribbean. Robin’s son Alex was a nightly actor and his eye makeup creeped out some and the others of us  laughing until we cried!  Johnny Depp’s makeup artist has nothing on Robin.alex-mobley-eyes
  • Music (Score)My car riders! While listening to music in the car we concoct “Life Soundtracks.” These are songs that play as we see people walking on the sidewalk, jogging/running or doing other activities. So often the song will match the beat they are walking to, making it seem as if that song was meant for them… their “Life Soundtrack.” Try it.. you’ll be amazed and it will probably bring a smile to your face.
  • Music (Song)My daughter Catie! She finally showed the world her beautiful voice by singing a solo in the State Traveling Youth Choir.
  • Best Picture- My daughter, Allison! Normally I love school pictures but this year Allison forgot it was picture day…. and so did her hair. When she brought the proofs home we were pleasantly amazed and humored as we looked at her hair, pulled back and sticking out all over….. matching her cocked smile… oh if I could just show you!
  • Short Film (Animated)My daughter, Allison! She is amazingly animated when telling a story… just ask her to act out Bon Qui Qui at King Burger… Su-curity!
  • Short Film (Live Action)My daughter, Allison! An incredible Stunt Person … read here to find out why this Live “action” award would go to her.
  • Sound Editing- My daughter, Catie! When picking her up from school she is barely in the car 2 minutes before she asks one of two questions, “Can I put my music in?” or “Can I change the channel?”
  • Sound Mixing- Me! I often call my daughter Allison, Catie…..my daughter Leah, Allison … my daughter Catie, Allison and ashamed to say it but sometimes I have called our dog, Moe, Leah.
  • Visual Effects-All of my girls! It is amazing how clean their rooms get when they really want to go somewhere… very visually appealing and almost just as if it was a magical special effect of sorts
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay)- My friends Melissa and Stephanie! They took a script and made it into something incredible for our Family Adventure… Oh, Snap
  • Writing (Original Screenplay) My daughter Catie! She wrote a children’s book about a cabin boy on the Mayflower.

There you have it… my 2009 Personal Oscars…. And as every good award winner says…. “I want to thank my family, my friends but most of all I want to thank God for making all of this possible.  Thank you.” And you know, I actually mean it!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Fun, Life Stories

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: