Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This whole conference deadline business is making me a wreck! I feel like I am in "hurry up and wait mode." Early bird registration ends tomorrow so I am sweating bullets looking for an answer from God. Every little thing makes me think, "is that a yes? or is that a not yet?"
It actually started last night as I was spending some one on One time with God and my journal. I had come to the conclusion that not only do I want to go to the conference, I believed God wanted me there as well. However, it costs a lot of money! So I journaled the following words: "I BELIEVE You can provide & I EXPECT You will provide. Thank you in advance Lord, I promise to glorify You through this experience." Now I am not one to buy into the whole "name it and claim it" thing, but I do know I can go confidently before His throne with confidence to ask, seek and knock. If He supplied the courage and desire, surely He could supply the money. So, I went to bed expecting to wake up and find a check from God under my pillow (well maybe not quite that obvious but close).
About mid-morning I was having a discussion with my husband about our new insurance coverage when he told me we would be saving a substantial amount on our premiums by changing plans. Like enough to cover the cost of the conference within a couple of months. Could that be my check from God?
Unfortunately, not an hour later, a plumber came to inspect a pipe that was leaking in our basement ceiling. OH NO! KA-CHING!$
AHH, then the mail came. C.C. is accepted into the Christian Camp this summer that she was on the waiting list for! YEA!! KA-CHING$
This afternoon was spent at the dentist where Sunshine got a cleaning (and an undisclosed number of cavities) and I expressed my terror of "the chair" with the hygenist. She tried to reassure me but after looking at my gums it appears I may be looking at some kind of "graft" in the near future! Ouch!! KA-CHING$
Tonight we celebrated belated birthdays for 3 of our kids since we have not been able to schedule a time any sooner, due to schedule conflicts. It was great to finally be able to see the grandparents, eat cake and give them their gifts! KA-CHING$
Tomorrow (Friday) we head out of town for the first of three travelling soccer tournaments this spring. Hotel, restaurant food, gas....KA-CHING$
Oh, I could go on like this, as I am sure you could as well. I am still waiting and I still believe God can provide the money I need in a big way. He is, after all, a BIG GOD and He is kinda known for doing big things in the most unexpected of ways (making a shepherd boy a King, coming as a baby in a manger, calling me into ministry.....)! It isn't like we don't have the money and I know we will come up with it if we are sure this is where God is leading, but if suddenly He drops a check under my pillow........Please God, drop a check under my pillow!!!
Thanks for praying this out with me, I owe you all!!! (ya'll for you Southern bloggers out there).
Y Thank You for the opportunity to serve such a BIG and awesome God!
Y Thank You for the gifts of encouragement I have received as I seek Your will for me,
timely words of scripture as well as words and prayers of others!
Y Thank You that You are in control even when everything around me says otherwise!
Y Thank You that You have ordained all my days and nothing in my life is a surprise or shock
Y Thank You for the amazing gift of prayer! And that You would desire a relationship with
Y Thank You for the for the gift of amazing grace!
Y Thank You for the gift of praise & worship!
Y Thank You for equipping me to do all the things You have called me to do!
Y Thank You for loving me in spite of all that I am!
Y Thank You for being a Faithful father and the comfort and knowledge that you will never
Y Thank You for the preservation of your word! Thank You that it is so available and
Y Thank You for transforming me and changing my "want to!"
Y Thank You for Jesus!
Also, Thank You to all of you who are encouraging me as well as praying with me and for me. I can feel the prayers and the fear is definitely not as intense. At this point, it is more the financial aspect of going that is hanging me up. However, I know God is my Jehova Jireh and is more than capable of providing the funds for me to go, after all He seems to have provided me the courage!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I must have slept wrong last night because I woke up this morning with a stiff neck. I took a little ibuprofen and it is feeling much better now but it has made me reflect on how God called the Israelites a "stiff necked" people. I did a little research and according to Biblegateway the words stiff-necked are used 19 times in the NIV to describe the people of Israel. So I got to thinking about what it really means to be stiff-necked.
Stiff = rigid or firm; difficult or impossible to bend or flex
Neck= the part of the body that connects the head to the trunk
According to this definition, if you have a stiff neck your entire being is rigid, unbendable and inflexible. Needless to say you can't get much done in this condition (believe me, I was there this morning!). Now, I know those Israelites were sleeping in some uncomfortable positions out in the desert but I don't think their physical bodies are what God is referring to when He calls them a "stiff necked" people. God had chosen them to be His people, He had delivered them from bondage in Egypt and was leading them to the promised land flowing with milk and honey. He had even let them see His glory! Yet every chance they got they were rebellious and resistant to God. They preferred their own thoughts and ways to those of God. Consider:
~~when they were hungry & thirsty in the desert they grumbled and complained against God. (Exodus 16:8; 17:3)
~~God sent Manna from heaven with specific instructions on how much to gather and when to gather it, yet some of them paid no attention & gathered extra (Exodus 16:20, 27)
~~After pledging their loyalty to God, the people begged for other gods to lead them when Moses was too long in coming back down from the mountain. (Exodus 32:1)
And this kind of disobedience and rejection has continued ever since. It is easy to sit back and say, "wow, those Israelites sure were stubborn", but then we have to ask ourselves, "have we examined our own necks lately?"
~~Has God given me provision or blessings that I have not recognized and thanked Him for?
~~Do I completely trust Him with my life or do I worry and complain about what my future holds?
~~Have I made Him the LORD of my life and rid myself of all idolatry and false gods?
~~Am I flexible enough to go wherever He leads? Even if it is outside of my comfort zone?
Yes, when I look a little deeper I find that I am a lot more like those Israelites than I would have thought! But here is the good news.......just like I took ibuprofen for my stiff-neck this morning, there is a remedy for having a spiritually stiff-neck as well. Dueteronomy 10:16 says: "circumcise your hearts therefore and do not be stiff necked any longer."
And how do we circumcise our hearts? Romans 2:29 tells us that circumcision of the heart is by the Spirit, not by the written code. The Israelites had been given many blessings, including the written Law of God, but that is not what they needed to circumcise their hearts and heal their stiff-necks. Only the Spirit of God can do that! So there you have it: God Himself has given us the prescription and remedy for a stiff neck. It is our choice whether or not to take it!
I do want to make clear that I am not talking about salvation here, but rather choosing to live in obedience to God and the blessings that come from that obedience. Though we are assured of salvation once we accept Christ, I do believe we need to make a choice to live in obedience and call upon the power of the Holy Spirit daily.
Friday, February 22, 2008
I really want to write something deep and meaningful today. I have been reading so many great stories and inspirational thoughts from other blogs that I am feeling more than a little shallow. However, with Cartoon Network blaring in the other room and the kids needing my attention every 2 minutes, I am not in a position to be too introspective right now. So if you are seeking spiritual nourishment you might want to bail now, but if shallow drivel is what you desire then by all means, read on.....
Today was the Nanny's last day. No not MY nanny but the nanny that the neighbors so generously share every Friday. It seems their son loves to play with mine and so their nanny comes to get Q-man every Friday morning. She has blessed me in a lot of ways; giving me extra time to myself, taking Q places he might not otherwise get to go, the discussions we have had about our faith and love for the Lord....I really feel like God gave us a treasure last summer when He led her into our lives (at Q's birthday party in the middle of Chuck E Cheese's-HA!). There will be a new nanny now, but it won't be Beta. I am so sad!
I got invited to coffee today! That feels like such a grown-up thing to do, meet a friend for coffee. I love those coffee places! It's where all the "important" people hang out on their lap-tops and cell phones while "grown-up" girlfriends meet for a cup of Southern Pecan coffee. I even got a free coffee with the purchase of a cookie! I thought about having a muffin but after reading Lysa Terkeurst's post on being a "muffin-top" I thought better of it. I wouldn't mind being an oatmeal/raisin cookie. They are sweet, relatively flat and full of fruit & fiber.
OK, well that is all of the shallow thinking I have for now but please come back, I am sure I will think of more soon! Actually I am going to try really hard to think in the deep end soon.... Meanwhile, I am so grateful for the encouraging thoughts and words I have read elsewhere!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able
to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Don't you just love getting a little unexpected "gift" from God? His timing never ceases to amaze me! After bible study this morning I took Q-Man to preschool and stopped by another Christian bookstore on my way home. I know, I know I don't need anything from there!!! We came to that conclusion yesterday but I went anyway. So as I walked into the bible section there was a table of red, Italian-leather, large print bibles on clearance for $9.99! These were originally $44.99! Now how could I pass up a deal like that? I also don't think it is a coincidence that on the way home Rich Mullins was singing "Our God is an Awesome God" on my car radio....
Blessed by a new bible~~~Kelley
Monday, February 18, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
16 years ago I took my oldest daughter to our first Kindergarten roundup. Baby #2 was at preschool, I had baby #3 in a stroller and was pregnant with #4. I remember the tears came as soon as she walked off with the teacher......and I cried till she came back! Oh she was fine, I was the wreck!
So here I am heading off to Kindergarten roundup once again, this time with baby #7--the last one! I have put it off as long as possible. He was 5 last July so there is no stopping him from heading off to elementary school this fall. Am I ready? Can I do this? I think the teachers have gotten wise, now instead of the child walking away with the teacher, you drop them in a classroom and you walk away. Somehow that seems easier to me and amazingly I got through the morning with no tears!
I listened to the principal, counselor, nurse and PTA President give their speeches and tried to stay interested, that isn't easy when you have heard it 6 times before. In fact, my husband bailed half-way through. But even though I have been here before, it is Quin's first time and he deserves parents who are just as interested this time as they were all of the other times! Now I am just praying they will have enough kids to form an afternoon class because I don't want to send him all day and if he goes in the morning he will have to miss going to CBS bible study with me 2 days a week. I have figured out that this little dilemma gives me something to focus on so I don't fall completely apart over my youngest bird sprouting his wings. Not to mention my oldest son (baby #3) will be a senior in high school next year. I don't stand a chance, come back to school time I will be a wreck......please pray!!!
Holding On To What I Can~~~Kelley
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
If you are visiting and notice that I have completely revamped the look of this blog, let me just say this is exactly why I can never get a tatoo; I wouldn't be able to decide on one certain design and stick with it. Before I know it I would end up with tatoos all over my body and when I am old, the workers at the nursing home would have all kinds of fun stretching out my wrinkled skin trying to tell what each one was. Yikes, that is not a pretty thought. I had better just stick with my blog design (plus, it is a lot less painful!).
Actually, I tend to have trouble making up my mind in most things I do. When I go to dinner it is helpful to get a copy of the menu a couple of hours ahead of time so I can be ready to order with everyone else. My house also shows my fickle side, I like traditional, but primitive antique is oh so inviting. Contemporary is fun and funky but shabby chic is quite lovely. The worst part is, I loved the "lived in" look but I hate clutter and mess (how do you reconcile that dilemma?). Needless to say my home is never quite there......
I envy people who can rattle off a list of their favorites; music, food, movies, color, vacation spot. I just can't think of a favorite, I like it all! Don't get me wrong I do have dislikes, I just don't have favorites. Now my kids will tell you I play favorites with them (isn't that always the way?). As far as that goes, I heard someone say once, "my favorite child is the one who needs me the most at the time. The one who is sick, hurt or scared." I love that!
I guess it all comes down to the fact that God gave me so many things to enjoy and I don't have to pick just one of any of them. I can love the whole rainbow if I want to (I don't have to pick just one color) and I can love all food (which I do) and I can listen to everything from Praise & Worship to Classic Rock! In fact, if I picked just one, that might insult God and I wouldn't want to do that....instead of thinking of myself as indecisive, I'll just say I'm eclectic!
Monday, February 4, 2008
Well, the bad news is I didn't win the scholarship to the She Speaks conference (not that I thought I would) but the good news is I have been talking about it and praying with friends and family as to whether or not I should go. It's funny because it took me a long time to even admit I want to be there (that lack of confidence thing) so at least I have cleared the first hurdle. I am anxious to see how God will lead and provide! Congratulations to Karla from Looking Towards Heaven for winning the scholarship!
It has also been fun to explore so many of the blogs out there and it appears that there were a few women who stopped by mine as well (thanks for the encouraging comments). I am such a social bug and LOVE meeting new friends, especially sisters who share a passion for the LORD! That can be difficult to find in this "worldly world"! That is another reason I want to go to the She Speaks conference (there, I said it again), so I can come away with new friends from all over the country! You know that is probably why I have so many children, it increases my social network tremendously! LOL
Anyway, today I am reminding myself that God wants to use me right now, right where I am! As a wife and mom, as a daughter, as a friend, as a shepherd, as a prayer warrior, and this week as a speaker at bible study (I am delivering a lecture on Romans 10 this Wednesday). Looking too far ahead is as much of a distraction as looking back when it comes to serving the Lord. As I said before, I want to concentrate on what He wants me to do today and wait expectantly for what He has in mind for the future!
In the Moment~~~Kelley
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
I read a story recently about a woman who had two pet mountain goats. Every day she would walk them up the path to the top of the mountain where they would romp, play and wrestle. They loved being on top of the mountain because that is what mountain goats were created for. Eventually they would tire and lie down next to her, completely content.
Unfortunately, there was a construction site next door and it was a big draw for the goats. They would wander off and play in the garbage and mud of the construction site which would leave them dirty, sick or injured. The woman would have to drag them out and sometimes carry them up the mountain road because they were so determined to play in the garbage.
Oh, how I am like those mountain goats! I have been to the top of the mountain and I know exactly where to find joy and fulfillment (in the presence of God) and I know what waits for me in the construction site (pain and shame). So why do I go back? What is so alluring that I find myself once again playing in the mud? How can I break this pattern of falling back into sinful habits?
First of all, I find comfort in the fact that I recognize the pit that I am in. So many people spend time there and don't even realize the dirt and danger that they are playing in. I know that is the Holy Spirit inside of me.
Secondly, I need to repent of my actions and be made clean by the blood of Christ. I cannot allow Satan to hold my sins over my head and beat me up with them. This is especially hard for me, when my own heart condemns me. But it is important to accept God's gift of grace and move forward with Him.
Finally, I must remember that God loves me and if I keep my eyes on Him at all times He will lead me to the top of the mountain. He knows where I will find true and lasting happiness and joy because He created me. I will never be perfect in this life but with God's guidance and leading I can outgrow my desire to play in the garbage!
I don't know what your "construction site" is. It could be anything from gossip to addiction, but whatever it is God wants to lead you out of it. And listen to this, if you can't follow Him out, He is willing to carry you. How humbling and amazing is that?! I may be a mountain goat but I am God's mountain goat and that is all I need to know!