Posts filed under ‘Christianity’

Prayer for the Overwhelmed

There is so much going on in the world, in the community, in family…Lord.  I do not know how you deal with ALL this stuff, pretty much every day…seeing people hurt, suffer, make poor choices.

Just the small glimpses I’m seeing of it this week grieves my heart, almost to overwhelming.

I cannot stand.

I find a warm cup of coffee, a hot bath, a job done, and keep moving.

Yet my heart is not smiling.  Too much.  I am not you.  I cannot take it.  My heart cannot.

Lord, how can your people go forward with joy and some peace in the world unless you reign?!  Reign supremely, Lord!  I beg of you to reveal yourself in situations that are too big for me, too heavy for me…to much for me.  I am overwhelmed just watching, seeing impact, hurting people, all over the world, near and far.  I hurt!  It is like watching another woman in labor, which I cannot do as a casual observer.  It is too painful!

Protect us, bring your truth to light, bring your victory!

Cause us to rejoice in your protection, your provisions, your healing, your working! I long for true celebration!

We cannot just elicit a smile on our own.

We NEED you.

Come in power! Come quickly.

Be our salvation, day and night.

Shine your truth in the darkness.

Wake up those walking in darkness and untruth.

Do it big.

Let the world see and know that you love them, and you care, in whatever ways you can.

Restore our joy that we may shine for you more fully, Lord. Lift our heads.

Amen.

March 15, 2011 at 8:14 am 4 comments

Cup of Coffee on a Sunday Night and Some Burnt Toaster Struddles

Tonight, dark.  Stillness.  Fighting off a headache that hit at 1PM.

I woke this day, still battling the winter “blek”.  Virus after virus, strep, bronchitis…all since Dec. 1.  My feminine side can’t figure it out and takes revenge on me, too.  Wacky, mixed up, broken, self-crying-out-for-health.  Feeling the betrayal of being human.  Getting rested up, all for one event, then crashing low.  Time after time.  Wishing I were stronger.  Seeing myself in the frailty of weak people I detest, too weak to get better.  Get up!  Recover!  Rest!  Take care of yourself!  Slow down!  Watch balance!  Think well thoughts!  Eat and treat yourself!

And a micro step at a time, I feel some better.  And a lot of the time, I still feel tired, sick, and recovering from a long winter.  There were perks.  Time to take care of some quiet chores I save for such days.  Yet, there is a longing for eyes that don’t quint with pain from the new light of spring, but welcome it with the joy it deserves.

While the family is at church, I relish the intense quiet.  Dark.  Time to get real with God and pour it all out…what is bugging me.  Time to catch my breath.  To deal with me only.

I made some rich decaf, burnt some Toaster Struddels covered in self-made icing (why do the last two always fall out of the box into the recesses of the overstuffed freezer?) and sat down to a screen still open from earlier this week when I’d pulled it up, but not had time to read.  Waiting on me.  For this moment.

I have followed Ann V. for a long time and just feel in love with her heart.  Have talked with her by email several times.  The real deal.  Though our lives are different, our hearts our the same.  Always takes me back to center to read her strands of life.  I have thought often this week that I need to get back into the discipline of joy and thanksgiving.  No dread.  No fear.  No wondering what could possibly happen with my body next week to make me mad at it.  Our churches challenges to “God Sightings” is similar, and I will merge the two.

Though my head colds haven’t allowed me to enjoy much reading time, I get four changes to start over on the challenge to read the New Testament in a way:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.  Here we go with Mark.  I’ll try again this month.

I shared a thanks entry at Ann’s new Zondervan site tonight.  I’m so proud of what God is doing in Ann’s life and through her testimony.

“Be thankful in all things.”  Go, Ann!  God is with you!

For tonight, quiet worship, black and white keys, pecking out chords, searching for newness, for spring after winter.

Lord, help me to get there. To climb out, and go slow, and be willing to just keep moving, whatever the day brings. You are God. I am human. And it’s okay.

Amen.

February 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm 1 comment

What is Christmas? Part 1

So, I started making my Christmas cards in August this year.  Praise the Lord!    220 cards just about done.  Not all made.  About 80, I bought.  Necessity!

Lights up, thanks to my wonderful man.

Packages under the tree, thank you free internet shipping the first two weeks of December…caught onto that little trick last year.

Had my December cold, thanks to Thanksgiving with family.

Lost a few needed pounds, thanks to accountability partners who needed me.

Working out…until the head cold, thanks to a free treadmill that I requested be left in this house when we bought it.

House…not totally gross, not totally clean, thanks to all who live here.  🙂

Having family devotions with a lovely pewter candle holder with an engraved symbol that highlights each devotion, thanks to “The Jesse Tree”, and a yard sale earlier this year.

Giving Christmas clothes to kids younger than mine.  Cleaning out closets, by the grace of God.   Washing, delivering.

Getting kids to play practices, rescheduling for snow.  Snow days, school out.  Reschedules.

School parties…today!  Baking!

Finals:  first of the week to study for.

Christmas at my Dad’s this weekend.  Baking!  Finalizing gifts.

On track, for having been sick with a yucky cold.

So…my only regret is that by evening,  I am often short-tempered. Bothered by little things like redundant noises: chewing my ear while I’m on the computer, someone rummaging through a drawer beside me, digging through a cabinet, people munching on needless snacks (did I mention, while standing right behind my ear, while I’m at the computer?  Shopping?  Thinking?  Figuring out computer problems?)

Toilet paper not put on the roll, drawers left open, socks and coats still left all over the house after countless reminders.  Homework not done.

I can’t do it all!  UGH!  I’m feeling it again!!!

Irritability –perhaps due to overload.  Inexcusable.

What needs to be dropped next year to make room for more peace within?  Perhaps it’s not just about “getting ahead”, but doing LESS.

Commitments.

Late packages.

Bad news.

None help.  Still, irritability…inexcusable.

Looking for help, I read “The Love Chapter” again.  I Corinthians 13.  I love to go there when I’m “off”.

I Corinthians 13:4 leaps off the page:

Love endures long and is patient and kind.”

Yes.  This is what I’m looking for.

This is prayer for the rest of my season.

And I begin to pray: Lord, that I may endure long, and have your patience, your kindness.  You are SO patient and kind to me every day, not giving me as I deserve, but according to your love and faithfulness and mercy…you are so kind!

Help me, Lord to deal with all the added interuptions and demands.  Help me to somehow know when to play and enjoy people, to give the the hugs and kisses.  To flush the stresses.

A reminder I received today from a friend said, “This Christmas–STOP. Yes, just stop. Look around. You have a ton to be thankful for.  All the little things that may seem to be so important to get done so that your family can have the “perfect Christmas” really won’t make it so.  Sprinkle each day with love, laughter and lots of hugs. Tell your family you love them. Share the real reason for Christmas–LOVE. You’ll have a perfect one after all.

I heard a TV show say yesterday for the umpteenth time, “Family…being together!  That’s what Christmas is all about, after all!”  WRONG, I say!  I learned that the hard way last year when my Mom and step-Dad where in Iraq, being bombed over the holidays.  Thank God, they were never hurt, through other health emergencies arose shortly thereafter.  A very stressful time.

That’s not what Christmas is all about.

It’s not about traditions.

It’s not about family at all, though that is very important and should be very high on our priority list, because it’s very important to God.  Family is our grounding place, the basis of our makeup.  Family deserves our honor, help, and love.  We build one another up through the years, though others come and go.

But things come up.  Things interfere.  Schedules get whacked.  People get sick.  Feelings get hurt.  It all happens.  It’s not all holly jolly.  Details exist.  Reality happens.

Even in our priorities, it’s easy to forget…

It’s about Jesus, who came to help.

It’s about a baby born as a  Saviour –stepping into the darkest of days, a day no one looked forward to, that day’s “tax day”.  And he wasn’t born into lights, carols, and a decorated tree.  He was born in a hewn-out place of rock called a “barn”, an unsterilized, unprepared, stinky place.  He was born into controversy, uncertainty, “people talking”.  And yet, those looking saw him.

So no.  It’s not about the family gathering.  Not about the food.  Not about the little ones.  Not about the gifts.  Those are our responses to Him, but not “the reason”.  What truly blesses HIM.  Is it the stuffs, or is it our attitude?  Our humble response?

I was at one gathering last week where the host said, “To be honest, I just can’t wait until Christmas is over.”

And I felt like, “Then why did you do it?  I came for you.”

Instead, I said, “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

Do it out of the grace he offers, not out of obligation, or it doesn’t accomplish the intended effect.   None of it does.  It’s just “more stuff” to do.   Some years are just hard.  It’s okay.  He will be there for you, too.

Reading through the Old Testamant last year (only made it about a third of the way through, but hey, I’ll pick up there this year), I realized God is a God of celebration!  In the Old Testamant, he told the people to not forget or neglect their special celebration days.  He loved for them to remember what he’d done for them, and to celebrate!  Because when they didn’t remember, they got into all kinds of trouble, seeking after false gods and idols.

The festivities are important as they help us remember.  Take that time to celebrate.  But, it’s not in the stuff…he should be the reason FOR the stuff.  We get it so backward.

This year, having things as “in place” and “ahead of schedule” as they can be…still facing demands and irritability and “not enough time” feelings…I tend to think we forget the MOST IMPORTANT thing:  preparing our hearts to be giving people, to care for others, to take time to show we appreciate them, to be in “good grace”.   Yesterday, a teacher shared a kind word and a smile when I ran into the classroom looking for a math paper.  On my drive home, it brought warm tears to my eyes as I reflected on her kindnes,s as opposed to the glare I’ve often received for trying.   Undeserved favor and positive regard.  That’s grace.  People who are trying need it, crave it, long for it.  Do we give it?  Do we show them we care?  We love them?  We want them to experience joy?  Care?  Concern?  Take the time.  That’s Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  May Christ’s kindness fall on you daily, and may you walk in it, give it, cultivate it, and share it.

December 17, 2010 at 11:12 am 1 comment

Fall Cleaning

Back to school is here.  That means a house that needs “going through”.  It’s the quarterly job that I like having done, but so dislike the mess of the “doing”!

I’ve been taking a new approach this year.  I’m not asking the old quesitons I’ve used.  I’m asking myself, “What do I want in this space?”

That question makes it more irrelevant what is there now, especially if it’s not being used.  Everything else is currently in the floor, destiny yet undetermined.

It’s not really a good time for a friendly visit unless you’d like to break your neck.  Actually, it wasn’t a good time for a friendly visit before that…there’s just too much stuff shoved everywhere. The end result will likely not be the ipitomy of a fashion magazine, but the spaces will be pleasing for their purpose and decluttered.

I’ve been doing this all week.  It’s been tiring work.

This morning, I couldn’t help but wonder how this new approach applies  others aspects of life.  For instance, in my marriage, is what needs to be there in it’s right place?  Is what is “best” there?   It really doesn’t matter what is there now, why or how it got there, or if I like it there.  The question is…what SHOULD be there.

Hopefully, I can do the same this:  dump everything else out on the floor–get rid of it, and start putting things in order where they need to be.

And off I go…

August 14, 2010 at 10:19 am 2 comments

Calling?

If there was a teacher who was teaching three news classrooms with three different age students than she was used to…that person feels like me as a mom each year.  I am challenged, invigorated, and fatigued by the changing responsibilities all at the same time.

Right now, coming home from church or for the weekend and having everyone sit to watch TV while there are dishes to be emptied, re-filled, tables to be wiped a floor to be swept, clothes to be fluffed and folder…learning to keep working my job in joy is my job.

And training them to help.

I’m working on both.

And it’s taking all I’ve got.

No…I don’t know how working moms do it…at all.  Nor would I want to have to try.

I thought after they were out of diapers it would be easier, but the papers mound, the floor is still needing the same attention it always did, more or less, and the clutter and play of five is about enough to drive me bonkers.

Today the preacher talked about finding your calling.  I don’t know…I’ve had times in my life where I was called, and times where I asked God for things and he answered.  I don’t know if I’m walking in my ultimate calling or not, or what little thing I might have said or did really made a difference while all the jobs and roles may mean little.  A video we watched said that sometimes it’s not so much about what we do and or where we are as much as who we are and are becoming.  Perhaps that is true to some extent.  Right now, I know I am a mom and I’m becoming a mom, and it’s taking all I’ve got to be up for the job.

To have the laundry ready, surfaces cleaned for a meal, cooking done and cleaned and some odd jobs done for different ones…that’s all the time I have each day.

I volunteer here and there.  I help out here and there.  I teach some.  And whether than amounts to a calling or not, I don’t know.  I just know it’s all I can handle right now and then some.

Household manager…and lacking most days in all that needs to be done while I’m here.  But, hopefully I’m getting caught up, a bit at a time.  A drawer here, a closet there, a pile here, a refrigerator there.  Hopefully it will all get done eventually.  I can’t say I’m “finding joy” in doing it…but I feel like it’s my job and what I’m supposed to be focused on this season.  Much has not been gone through in a while and it’s starting to all feel heavy and crowded and is taxing.  So…that’s my great calling.  To just keep going.  I feel tired a lot of the day, and I’m drinking a lot of coffee and keeping a lot of mental lists.  All in all, it doesn’t matter.  And all-in-all, it does.

I read questions like, “If today was your last day to live, would it really matter?  Would you do the same thing you are doing today?”

I don’t think that’s a good question to ask.  I think I good question to ask is, “Lord, what work have you entrusted to me today, and what needs to be done next?”

Because, no…if it were my last day, I would not care about the dishes.  But, knowing it is my job and it’s the next thing that needs to be done, it is my act of worship and service to my family to wash the dishes.

So…in all the volunteering and serves and working and calling and ordinary…there is joy.  I find joy in knowing I’ve done a little…not so much in the realization that there is much to go.  Hopefully as I get caught up and spaces cleaned, there will be mounting joy in finishing.  And hopefully I will get some bonus things done in the meantime that are on my “etc.” lists and my “want to” lists and my “giving” list.

This week, I made and sent out eight cards.  That was a bonus thing that gave me joy.

I feel tired a lot lately and somewhat overwhelmed by all that must be done.  But, I am thankful to have the time, the health, and the support to be here to do it.  I hope it bears fruit and trust that it will.

In all that, knowing that people are first is a huge challenge because after tackling messes all day, loving people is the last thing on my mind.  Whipping them into shape seems to be the predominating thought!  Maintain it!  Hopefully that will also bear fruit, and they feel loved by the treats and order and just people doing what needs to be done around them faithfully and consistently.

For now, time to get out of these little 2″ pumps and out of this skirt and into some Sunday afternoon comfy clothes before hospital visits and worship planning and clothes folding.  {Whew.}  I make myself a little tired just talking about it lately, so there is more “doing” than “writing about the doing”!

Just touching base…

Maggie

August 16, 2009 at 11:54 am 3 comments

Mulling

Mulling James 1 this week:

  • prayerfulness

From the Message:  “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”

  • direction

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

  • single-mindedness

“6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (NIV)

  • no doubting/wavering

“But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” (The Message)

  • authenticity

“There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.”

  • joy and perseverance through hardship (not escapism)

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

April 28, 2009 at 11:44 am Leave a comment

No Greater Joy

no-greater-joy-2

November 26, 2008 at 4:42 pm 1 comment

Who’s Got the Weight?

Yesterday, just after our 7AM praise band rehearsal, I slipped in the back hallway behind the stage and laid on the floor, and to try to kick my feet back over my head so that I could roll the weight of my legs back down forward, one vertebrae at a time.  It seems to help.  So does rolling around on an exercise ball, but I didn’t have one handy.

My Navy brother is out of the navy now, finished with his commitment, and saw me back there.  He had already stretched my back and it just wasn’t releasing as much as I needed it to for a half hour of worship yet.  He came over and saw me laying on the floor, feet kicked back over my head, and he said, “Uh, sis, ya need some help?”

I said, “Naw, I just need to stretch out for a minute.”

He said, “Yeah, but your using your own weight.”

He grabbed my feet and pulled them back further over my head. I was a little afraid.

But, ah!  The release! He pulled and pulled upward and downward, and after fifteen seconds, I did feel better.

More than anything, the words he said continue to hit home today as much as they did then:  “Need help with that?”

“Naw, I can do it…I just need to…”

“Yeah, but you’re using your own weight.  Let me do it.”   And then, God takes hold.  He takes all the weight.  All the pressure.  All the pain.  And he gives sweet release, even when we are afraid of letting go.

August 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm 5 comments

There is Nothing to Wear!

This morning, Red got up and I sent him and his sister to get dressed.

He requested pancakes, so I got busy on that.  I was a little short on the Bisquick, so I was digging for some self-rising flour to make up the extra.

I was assessing the amount of oil I might need to add to make up for the shortage when I heard Red stomp to the kitchen disgustedly yelling, uncharacteristically:  “AGH!  I have NOTHING to wear!  None of my clothes are in there!  There is NOTHING to wear!  Mom, there is NOTHING in here that matches.”

I said, “Son, that is impossible.  I just washed everything you own this weekend.  You’ve had clothes to wear all summer.  What’s wrong?”

“There is nothing in there!” he cried, adding some tears and reducing himself to a heap on the floor.

This is not my child who is the first out of bed, and usually the first to get dressed.

I said, “We’ll go check on it together, okay?  Sister, see if you can pull down the top box of his shirts where he can see and see if that helps.”

She tried, bless her heart, but I could hear a small ruckus beginning, so I dropped by pancake ordeal and went in myself.

I soon realized the problem.  Last year, I sorted all his clothes for him by things that went together.  This year, in the new system, all his shorts are in one container, and his shirts in another.  Though there are TONS of clothes, he could not manipulate the sorting and matching.  So…we pulled EVERYTHING out and began pairing things quickly.  I put them together in a new way for him, as a smile began to wash over his face.  “Okay, so…can you find something you like now?  Better?”

He kept working on the leftover things while I finished pancakes.

I just got home and had to rearrange some things where he could now reach them better as well.

I shared with my oldest son, as I will now share with my readers, that my Mom last week was told of a position in Iraq that might suit her, working at the same base as Pop.  Let me just tell you, managing “going back to school”, losing my kids, and the prospect of losing my mom in the same week was quite the act of strength and dignity.  It is the Lord Jesus I serve, and none other, or that week would not have flown.  I basically had to put it on the back burner until I had all the kids settled and tended to on their big week.

We don’t know yet if they will hire her, but her resume has been sent in.

Yesterday in worship, the first song, it was mom and I only in my pew, worshiping together.  The Hub was at work, kids in children’s church.  When we got to “from shore to shore” in the song…that was the last straw.

By greeting time, I lost it.  I saw my SIL, and collapsed on her, not to let go.   I said, “I just don’t think I can do this.”

She ever so eloquently said, “Yeah, you can.  Let me get you out of here.”

Can I just say that I like those two sentences paired together.  Not, “Yeah, you can.  Stop sobbing on me.” or “Yeah, you can, toughen up.”  or “Yeah, you can, now let’s get back to worship.”  Nope, none of that.  “Yeah, you can…let’s get you out of here for a minute.”

We prayed, and she reminded me of all the things I knew, and I straightened up to teach my first new Sunday School class of the season with kid’s expectantly waiting on a teacher to wow then with fun and cheer.

I even had the opportunity at the end of the service to pray for my mom at the altar.  But, by then, I was ready.

Anyway, I woke to another day feeling weighted by this thing way too big for me to even begin to process in any lucid way.  And I walked back in to all the piles needing to be put together understandably for my Red, and I remembered a verse from The Message I read once a long time ago that I liked.  I just sat down to look it up.  It says,

“God, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!”

Jeremiah 17:14

I know that when I feel squeamish, like Red, and in those times when I am on a heap in the floor insisting nothing goes together, even getting tearful at times, not seeing it all…God is telling me, “But, that can’t be, I have it all ready for you!  I know it’s all there.”  I know He sends other to help me, and that even He himself, My Helper, comes to show me how it all fits together. And I know, that I too, in those moments, will feel a smile wash over me and joy return.  Countless times a day.

August 11, 2008 at 8:44 am 5 comments

What Is the Difference In Bearing Fruit and Seed?

My morning devotion several days ago said we are called to bear FRUIT, not just to bear seed.

The author’s point (Dr. Paul Brand, God’s Forever Feast) was that we can often become so focused on bearing or planting seed that we forget we are called to bear FRUIT.

What are the differences?  How does this translate to your life?  Does it change your thinking?

July 5, 2008 at 9:06 am 1 comment

Blog Spotlight (Sunday): “Home Sanctuary”

Tonight, we are taking a family night.  The kids are all there out jumping on the trampoline (happy sounds at the moment), a breeze is blowing through open windows–I need some simple REST. 

I’m so proud of our church…usually it is TOTALLY REFRESHING no matter how tired I am.  But, I will not look good on Monday unless I take a break from all activity.

Tonight, I did surf a blog Dori referred me to lately.  It’s Home Sanctuary.  It does have music if you are a night surfer…funny music on her topics…cracks me up.  But, you can subscribe in an RSS feeder if you can’t read and listen at the same time (or just turn down the music…it’s so entertaining, it’s hard!).  I have that trouble on occasion.

Here is an excerpt from one of her posts this week:

 

I often use the Blame Card to come up with plausible reasons for my own shortcomings:

My house doesn’t look nice because I can’t afford new furniture.

I can’t get a “real” job because I don’t have a college degree.

I can’t be a good mom because my kids are too needy.

I’m not a good cook because I don’t have nice pots and pans.

I don’t have many friends because I have to work so much.

I don’t manage money well because I wasn’t taught how to.

I can’t fix that because it’s not my job.

All this stress is making me short-tempered and irritable.

My house is messy because no one helps me.

The only problem with playing the Blame Game is that it leaves me in a state of inertia.  It blocks my mind from thinking big thoughts.  It binds me to the past.  It makes me bitter.  It affects my home sanctuary negatively.

But I don’t want to be like that.

Today’s Small Thing is to think about something in your life that you’re blaming someone or something for – that’s keeping you from taking responsibility and moving on. 

She gives a challenge every time she posts…it helps motivate me to know another mom needs to challenge herself each day, just to get the floor swept.  That’s me! 

Enjoy the rest of the blog entry at Home Sanctuary.

I love to be challenged by new directions and thoughts.

 

May 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm 1 comment

Follow Up to Last Post: Upward Soccer 2008

Well, I asked for prayer this morning, and here’s what happened.

First, my son showed up home 5 minutes after his game was supposed to start, getting his game and sis’s picture time mixed up –I was late, too.

Next, I got there and  Josh had locked his keys in his car and forgot to bring the newsletters from the church. 

He went and got them. 

Then, pictures weren’t scheduled for the kindergarten league.  Came up with a solution for that. 

Next, game times were scheduled to over-lap–they handled it. 

Personally, the fields were very wet and I had on sandles (ones I had to scrape dog poop off of before I left the house after stepping in it last night…what’s that SMELL?  Oh, it’s meNothing like the prospect of sharing the word of God with the strong smell of dog poop following you.) 

I still had my head held high.  I was ready. 

As I jumped puddles (literally) across the field, I fiddled with my keys–breaking off my special keychain cross Stacey gave me in my birthday card last year. 

I started to melt a bit.  Love that leather cross.

At that point, I saw Chris…walked a bee-line there and said, “I think you should start praying.”

He laughed and said, “Why, what’s going on?”  He was coaching, so I gave the Reader’s Digest version, but I made sure to tell him that my cross just broke.  (I think I can glue it…maybe).

Then, I remembered that I forgot the sunscreen for my red head–couldn’t find any anywhere. 

The newsletters showed up, and I made rounds, all went well.  Even some more rough looking men have come out this year, one perhaps drinking a non-soda substance (just a hunch) I saw reading it from start to finish.  Praise God.

I asked the kids to have no injuries or melt-downs today because it was an important day.  The did well.  Praise God. 

So, while I don’t know much about whether decisions were made today (I share the plan by newsletter), I saw a lot of people reading, and several told me today they enjoyed the newsletters.  A few I’d asked to pray as I walked by would give me cheerful words like “I know God would bless His work!”  Love those people!

Huge blessing:  my mom was led leave her work outside, check her computer this morning, and come lay hands on me.  No make-up, un-prepared…just obedient. 

That’s my mom. 

She even had a long distance wedding to go to today and everything. 

Meant the world.  I was charged back up. 

Made it through two more games, great weather. 

Boy Wonder cooled off from his game in the van. 

But, after the games, as I sighed that it was over and we’d made it, I realized he turned the key the wrong way for accesory.

…click, click, click.  Dead.

Thank goodness Coach Jarod knew how to jump a car and I had fresh cables somebody got up in a car kit for Christmas (I’m thanking my brothers, but don’t know for sure).  

I’m in good spirits–heaven knows missionaries around the world face much bigger obstacles than I did today. 

But, I’m writing just to let you know that when you try to do something rather simple in His name…expect a WILD kind of day, but a lot of fun blessings, too! 

Then, Sonic got the same plain hamburger order wrong THREE TIMES.  (But we are still thanking God for Sonic today).

Keep praying for these people.  One lady told me she enjoyed it, planned to read it again when she got home, and would ask me if she had questions later.  The one I had on my heart wasn’t there today.  I’ll have to try again.

May 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm 2 comments

I Need Your Prayers–Saturday

Ever Stretch Yourself? I think my skinny jeans should fit today, I’m stetching myself so much.  You know, wake up sick to your stomach, feeling a weight that you know shouldn’t be there, but you can’t help it, because it’s so important?

Today is the day I walk across the fields for the Upward soccer games and put the plan of salvation in the hands of the adults for the first time this season.  About 125. 

We’ve never had a result in soccer from the simplified ABCs version, so I took it just a little more personal a route this time.  I hope it connects with someone–specifically, with one I’ve been praying for.

Pray for strength and boldness for me. 

When I woke up, I walked by the computer, and a verse I was meditating on last week was up.  Why…I don’t know, I didn’t pull it up before I went to bed last night.  I must have closed a program and had this minimized behind it… 

“…at work within US,

to HIM be the glory IN THE CHURCH and IN CHRIST JESUS.”

I had written it out for myself.

My husband once taught that when he gets all the glory, it doesn’t matter if we fail or succeed.  We stand nothing to lose.  Might as well pour it all out.  No holds barred.  Lord, give me your eyes, your heart, help my kids (the hub has to work today…keep them uninjured and in good spirits).   

Be God.  Also, may the power of Jesus bind the enemy from those three fields and from anything that would keep those away who need to hear. 

Bring pray-ers out today. My writing deadline fell so late this week because Thursday was so full that I didn’t get to ask for prayer as much as I like to.  I know I can’t do it in my own strength.  I need your prayers…

 

 

May 17, 2008 at 8:40 am 3 comments

Good News in the Morning

Domain: 4stepstogod.mobi
Name: XXXXXXX

City: XXXXXXXXXX

State: XXXXXXX
Residence: Guyana
Age: 18-25
Gender: Female
Tell us about your spiritual journey: I just prayed to receive Christ as my Savior for the first time
Comment/Question: 

———–

Domain: 4stepstogod.mobi
Name: XXXXXXXXX
City: XXXXXXXX

State: XXXXXX

Residence: Qatar
Tell us about your spiritual journey: I just prayed to receive Christ as my Savior for the first time
Comment/Question: 

——————

This morning, like most, I’m greeted by exciting news!  Both of these decisions came by cell phone. 

This morning, I will be the first, and perhaps the only, person to send a message saying, “Welcome to God’s kingdom!  You’ve made the best decision of your life.  I know I’ve never regretted it.  Here are some tools…”

Praying about joining?  You won’t regret it.  

Here’s how:

They need to apply at GMOJoinUS.com (click on Volunteer then click the Application button at the bottom of the page). 

If you would like to be part of my community after your four week training period:

 On the application they are asked where they learned about this and they can put your name and say they want to be in your community.  They are asked for two spiritual references, if you want, one can be you and one can be someone else.   

Every community I’ve been part of (3-4 now) is great!

May 14, 2008 at 7:31 am 1 comment

China Earthquake: You can help!

An earthquake in China leaves countless dead.  Children at schools destroyed.  We await the tolls.  Me, with chills running down my arms. 

Just last week, a Cyclone in Asia left even more dead (Myanmar Cyclone: Relief Assessment Begins) with  latest death tool at 22,000, with another 41,000 missing.  Families grieve.  People across the globe ask, “Why?  If there is a God, how can he allow such devastation?”  People need clean water, sanitation, and shelter.  Disease begins to run rampant among the grieving survivors.  We mount efforts to help them. 

But, there are others hurting and wondering.  In times if international disaster, around the globe people begin ask questions:  “Where is God?”  “What would happen to me if a natural disaster struck?”

Online traffic to spiritual sites to share the gospel go way up in these times.  People are looking for truth, hope, comfort.  They are open to hearing about Jesus, who is the source of all hope. 

Would you consider sharing hope?  Click here to help with online counseling  with Campus Crusade for Christ’s Volunteer On-line Missionary hotline.  It’s one of the most fulfilling parts of my day.  It’s manageable, and you won’t regret it.

 

May 13, 2008 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

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ME: “MAGGIE”

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Sifting the joy from the mundane:

recording, photographing, learning, creating.

I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)

MAGNANIMOUS WORK

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"We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life, but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion." ~Mother Teresa

MAGNANIMOUS LIFE:

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"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa

MONTHS

MAGNANIMOUS ATTITUDE

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A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in it's vicinity freshen into smiles. --Washington Irving

WHERE I SHOP:

MAGNANIMOUS LIFE

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When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe

YOU CAME; I SMILED

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Please know that I am not posting as an expert, but as a fellow traveler. I recommend that you research and double check things on your own before taking any advice or instruction from this site.  Information is given in good faith for the time period in which it was written. I am also an affiliate of the Sure Cuts A Lot software, for Cricut, which means you don't need Cricut cartridges to cut any font or .jpg on your computer.  I get some pocket change for introducing you if you choose to buy it by clicking on my site.  And we all know I need more cardstock, so I do appreciate it.  I sometimes review other products for a fee, but I am not required to give a positive review, and post honestly as to my experience.  I hope you find this useful.

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