Saturday, March 31, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 31

Saturday, March 31, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 31

WE DID IT...YAAAAAY!
Today is the last day of this M.O.M. Chalenge (Month of March)...Now that 31 those days went by since I issued this challenge, who is 31 days wiser? I am, I am! Accomplishing a goal just feels good! Especially when it is a goal that included hurdles, and challenges, distractions and boredom...yeah, I will admit that sometimes I get bored about midway through some challenging tasks, and I think "I got this, don't need to continue..." But it is in the finishing, the completion of a job well done with a fire-y passion (not half heartedly or luke-warm) that the sense of accomplishment is gained. Bravo, y'all! Mission accomplished!

Now on to journaling my thoughts for today's reading... THE FAMOUS PROVERBS 31...Woman, she is a work of art! I imagine that she is like a modern day photo shopped magazine cover model, because she appears to be flawless, doesn't she? I am such a Proverbs 31 Poser!!! Hahaha, I admit it... I'm a wanna be! How about you? I know that if you look at me you will see all of my flaws very easily, but no worries... I have decided that I will model myself after the best role model  of all times. I believe that the BIBLE has given us the Proverbs 31 woman, not to compare ourselves to in the sense that we don't measure up, but in the sense that she is a model of perfection. The Proverbs 31 woman is to me the plumb line of perfection...even though I may be a bit off kilter or outta' whack or crooked, I know that there is a plumb line out there that I can easily go back to when I need to re-focus my goals and center myself...Acutally I have never seen or heard of a better role model in my whole life. Just read here how the BIBLE defines a good wife: PROVERBS 31 (The Message Version)

"Proverbs 31:10-31

It is hard to find a good wife, because she is worth more than rubies.
Her husband trusts her completely. With her, he has everything he needs.
She does him good and not harm for as long as she lives.
She looks for wool and flax and likes to work with ther hands.
She is like a trader's ship, bringing food from far away.
She gets up while it is still dark and prepares food for her family and feeds her servant girls.
She inspects a field and buys it. With money she earned, she plants a vineyard.
She does her work with energy, and her arms are strong.
She knows that what she makes is good. Her lamp burns late into the night.
She makes thread with her hands and weaves her own cloth.
She welcomes the poor and helps the needy.
She does not worry about her family when it snows, because they all have fine clothes to keep them warm.
She makes coverings for herself; her clothes are made of linen and other expensive mateial.
Her husband is known at the city meetings, where he makes decisions as one of the leaders of the land.
She makes linen clothes and sells them and provides belts to the merchants.
She is strong and is respected by the people. She looks forward to the future with joy.
She speaks wise words and teaches others to be kind.
She watches over her family and never wastes her time.
Her children speak well of her. Her husband also praises her, saying, "There are many fine women, but you are better than all of them."
Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you, but a woman who respects the LORD should be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned; she should be praised in public for what she has done."

A day in the life of the Proverbs 31 woman looks like this: Her whole entire household is busy, so she gets up early to make breakfast. She works with energy and strength, and love...knowing that laziness will not feed her children. Then, after her kids are in bed, she spends hours and hours weaving. It's a time consuming task. She is not given to self pity or depression...she does not think thoughts like, "Hey, wait a minute...I am doing all the work around here!" She is tirelessly unselfish, because she knows that every work she puts her hand to doing, she does as if she was hired for the job by GOD, Himself!

She plans well, she plans ahead, she never stops planning! She is probably an extreme couponer, extremely organized and amazing cook...of course she prolly eats organic! I would imagine that she has a smokin' hot bod since she knows the importance of keeping herself fit in order to have a strong mind & a strong body. She does not need to wear flashy clothes or expensive make up, she radiates a natural beauty, and she knows how to enhance it.

Her children respect her, shoo...everyone respects her. When she speaks, it is only with words of wisdom or wit, encouragement or empathy... she never meets a stranger, and she loves everyone! She has taught her children to be kind, by her own example. Even though the task of raising kids is at times overwhelming, she generally meets each new day with expectant hope... knowing that the togetherness she shares with her family will produce an everlasting love. There is balance in her life. She looks toward the future with joy, knowing that there will be the blessing of sweet kisses from grandchildren. She looks forward to knitting socks, and making quilts to comfort them, and toys for them to play with. She looks forward to growing old with the only man she has ever been married to.

She does not let the busyness of her immediate family take her eyes off the poor. She helps the needy as she can. She stands up against the injustices that her neighbors face. She respects the wisdom of the elderly widow and enjoys spending time listening to her. She chooses to love the elderly one who has no one else to comfort her, as she offers her time and resources to lighten the load of the lonliness of old age.  She uses her time wisely! She is not a control freak, in fact she knows that she is not in control of her destiny, but she trusts in the one true GOD who is. She loves to learn at the feet of her KING, she knows she is a princess, she has a royalty mentality! She is radiantly confident, she is content.

She does not fear death, she is prepared for her eternal life, in fact she looks forward to it in faith.

I am so inspired by the Proverbs 31 woman. I can look to her example as I ask GOD to help me strengthen those areas where I know that I am weak. I am not intimidated by her in the least... because GOD has promised me HIS strength, and HE has filled me with HIS Spirit who is constantly working to instill HIS own loving character in me. HE is bending, and molding and shaping and filing me into the best version of PROVERBS 31 that I can be...YAAAY, GOD!

So, yeah...I am not perfect (yet!), but I am being perfected and that is way totally cool!
Blessings,
Shawnie

Friday, March 30, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 30

Friday, March 30, 2012
M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 30

Almost there... we have come a long way in our challenge this month. I love one verse in particular from today's reading that sounds like a promise to me... Proverbs 30:5 "Every Word of GOD proves true. He is a shield to all who come to HIM for protection." RELAX ON THAT PROMISE AND MARINATE IN THAT WORD FOR A LIL' BIT!

All month long now we have been reminded of the wise words of GOD given to Solomon for our personal edification. Makes me wanna shout, "Thank you, GOD!" I know that just knowing the wise choice does not always insure that I will choose the wise choice, though... & that is what I am really asking GOD to help me work on now. I realize that even though I don't want to admit it, I am sometimes rebellious. Ultimately though, I don't want to be that way...because GOD does not want me to be that way. I love GOD and I do want to obey HIM. I know that sometimes obeying HIM means not doing what I want to do, or not thinking I have the ability to do what HE wants me to do. I know that I am also weak sometimes.

I know that I talked a lot about fear of man yesterday...and that really got me thinking most of the day and well into the night...what do I fear? Who do I fear? I confessed a lot of my thoughts and fears yesterday, but I did not mention that I do fear GOD, not in the sense that I think that HE is out to get me, but it is more like I know that I do not please HIM, and it makes me fearful sometimes. When I get to this point in my thinking I can only focus on one thing... JESUS ALWAYS PLEASES GOD, AND JESUS IS MY ADVOCATE, HE IS ON MY SIDE.  Just re-reading that last sentence made me think that I am implying that GOD is not on my side...well duh... that can't be true because GOD SENT HIS SON JESUS TO BE MY ADVOCATE...GOD knew I would be unfaithful, and HE loved me anyway...man, if you could see me now...my eyes are welling up with tears and my whole body just got washed with liquid love... because what I just wrote is THE TRUTH...GOD LOVES ME (AND YOU) SO MUCH that HE set up a way for us to be saved from ourselves, from our enemies and from death.There is NO REASON for anyone to live eternally away from GOD, unless you do not love HIM and obey HIM...to obey HIS WORD is to believe that there is only one way to be with HIM eternally in HEAVEN, HIS WORD says that that one way is through the GATE of JESUS CHRIST. OH thank YOU GOD that it is not up to me. Thank YOU, JESUS that you made the way for me and that you are my SAVIOUR.

Proverbs 30:11-12 reads: "Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed." I know that I am clean, washed in the BLOOD OF JESUS... how about you? I did not ask if you were perfect, and I did not say that I was...but I know that I am clean...my spirit is clean. One of the ways to get clean is to wash, but there is no soap potent enough to clean my ugliness when I am thinking particularly hateful thoughts that come from unforgiveness. When there is unforgiveness in my heart or mind, could Ivory soap scrub that clean? Nope! Only Holy Spirit can bring my heart to the place of repentence, forgiveness and love... and HE does that when I submit myself to HIM.

Let's face it... it is easier to blame others for our problems than it is to admit them, right?. But when was the last time that worked out well for you? Have you ever won playing the blame game? No of course not!

Many of our problems do have their roots in the failures of others...I know mine do, and I am thinkin' yours probably do too...think about that for a minute... what problems are you facing right now, today? Did you cause those problems entirely on your own, or did you have a little help from a friend? When you have any type of relationship, you will have many opportunities to grow from problems that may come up...Isn't that interesting? No man is an island, ya know? Alhtough, there are people who become so broken and shattered by others that they try to build walls around themselves for protection, but in the end bitterness leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Who wants to be alone with bad breath! Life requires recovery from what ails us.

Maybe your parents failed to love and discipline you as they should have. But guess what? These problems have been compounded by bad decisions on your part... are you ready and willing to admit that? Are we ready to admit the mistakes that we have made? Sure things happen to us that are unjust, we have been hurt either by accident or on purpose by someone else's actions... but how we respond to those actions is totally our responsibility. HINT: FORGIVENESS MOVES YOU FORWARD, UNFORGIVENESS KEEPS YOU FROZEN.

Ask GOD right now if you are responding to  your life the way HE wants you to...go on... I dare ya'! That is what GOD is going to be looking at...how you respond to what is happening around you or what has happened to you. You can bank on the fact that HE will deal with the ones who  have hurt you, because remember...HE is jealous for you...YOU are HIS own.... so  KEEP CALM AND TRUST GOD!

Our sufferings are usually caused by a combination of factors, including the sins of others and our own sins.  Unforgiveness is rooted in pride, ask GOD if you don't believe me.

Pride says, "I am strong; I don't need anyone's help." Pride blinds us to our weaknesses and prevents us from seeking the people and the help we need... while humility says, "I need improvement; could you help me?" (Try asking that of GOD every morning as you are waking up and just watch your life change for the better!) Those of us who maintain a humble perspective, realizing that we are weak and vulnerable, will look for the help and support we need for a successful recovery. Humility will protect us from the devastation of the fall that comes from pride.

We cannot change the failures of others, now can we? But then we cannot blame our mother or father or anyone else for our wrong choices. Blame does nothing to speed up our recovery process. We can, however, change our own attitudes and actions that have perpetuated our suffering. Maturity comes as we take responsibility for our problems by forgiving those who have wronged us and by seeking forgiveness for our own sins.

By the way...You can forgive and forget. By saying. "I can forgive ____, but I will never forget what they did to me," is just another way of holding a grudge... (psst...it is not true forgiveness)... although it totally makes sense at the time you are still hurt to say that ("I can forgive, but I will never forget") to yourself or outloud, but really...guess what? It is NOT true forgivness. Can you see that?

When GOD forgives, HE wipes the slate clean...pure...done & over with...on the bottom of the ocean floor...never to be brought up again... If you have ever been betrayed, that may seem impossible, but I am here to tell you that with GOD all things are possible. LET IT GO. Don't hold on to the sharp, painful memories... be willing to forget... just forget about it and let it go. YOU will be free and GOD will be pleased. I have learned that forgiveness says, "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to love GOD by obeying HIM and forgiving you." It does not say, "It's o'kay (what you did)."

As I type this I am walking out the pure & loving act of forgiveness...I am not just letting go of or ignoring someone's bad behaviour, but willfully acknowledging that it happened. Telling them that I am hurt and that I know that they made a wrong choice (a very, very, very wrong choice) that I in turn choose to forgive and let go of it, by turning it over to GOD....it is a process, like grief, it takes a lil' while to get through it... and to get it right. Ha, maybe that is why I have had so many opportunities to forgive...so many "do-overs" and tests!

Anyway, I can tell you that forgiveness will be impossible without GOD...so if you are trying, trying, trying to forgive someone or yourself, keep taking it back to GOD, be persistant in asking HIM how to do it... HE will show you, and one day, just like that (snaps fingers!) you will finally be free. True forgiveness takes strength, not weakness... true forgiveness takes a close and intimate relationship with GOD.

Blessings,
Shawnie

Thursday, March 29, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 29

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 29

Wow, sorry it has been five days of no blogging on my part, I am committed to this blog, but I can only do what I can do, and without internet, I am kinda' out of the game. So, I am asking you to forgive me, and I hope no one dropped out of this reading of the Proverbs challenge due to that fact. The truth is though, if I have lost anyone in this challenge due to my lack of spoon feeding you, well then there was not much to you to begin with, was there? NO CONDEMNATION! I am not responsible for anyone's choices, but my own. There, I said it!

Now with my sincere, but brutal apology behind us let's move on...shall we? Anyone have any thoughts to add to mine? Please be sure to leave your comments below...I have been reading along to the Proverbs everyday, even though I have not been blogging, and I have hidden a few of these rich Proverbs in my heart...It is interesting really, how we learn the character of Father GOD through HIS WORD. Justice, and Love and Righeousness are defined and sketched out for us through these Proverbs...If we can apply these Proverbs to our life and truly understand them and live by them we will live well, but there would still be one thing missing even if we were the wisest person on Earth...Without JESUS CHRIST as our Saviour, our advocate, our contender...we are nothing, we are but a wisp of breath on the span of Eternity...We need HIM.  Have you asked JESUS to be your Saviour yet? Have you figured that part out yet? That you need HIM? That you are NOTHING without HIM? That HE bridges the gap between you and your Father? HE is our humbling thread that ties us to THE FATHER...yes, it is true...by rejecting JESUS you will seal your eternal fate... NO JESUS = NO PEACE, but KNOW JESUS = KNOW PEACE!

There are so many people who are still rejecting HIM, and they claim that as a Christian I am small minded or narrow minded or closed minded?  No matter, I don't need the false approval of men and women, or my peers or family even. I pray for those whose eyes of understanding are still sealed shut... that their eyes will be opened, that understanding will permeate their heart, soul and mind...that humility will take over their pride and they will submit to HOLY SPIRIT.

So many people are afraid of what the others will think of them...Proverbs 29:25 reads "The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that."  It is not hard really to trust in GOD, people will always let you down, but when you allow yourself to think bigger than what you can see (people & the world around you) you have an opportunity to become a part of something bigger than yourself...don't be trippin' over your own shoelaces your whole life...grow up & stop being so clumsy in your own body...let go of your self centeredness and be free of the cares of this world... dance in the freedom and LIGHT HEARTED relationship of LOVE. Get to know The SON of GOD who is JESUS CHRIST, and don't let anyone steal that TRUTH from you! He is GOD & HOLY SPIRIT, all rolled into one...like an apple has a core (seeds), the inner flesh, and the outer skin, but it is all one apple...GOD, JESUS AND HOLY SPIRIT are one. 

Hold on to what is right and ask HIM for HIS helping hand, HE is waiting to set you free...even if "freedom" does not look like what you thought it would...let go of your own contrived thoughts, free your mind and the rest will follow. I AM NOT SUGGESTING ANY DRUG HERE...NO MARIJUANA, NO ALCOHOL, NO OTHER DRUGS...NOTHING COMPARES TO THE FREEDOM I HAVE IN CHRIST JESUS...Freedom from fear of man, of death of life itself...NO DRUG INDUCED HIGH CAN COMPARE TO THE HIGH OF FREEDOM FROM CONDEMNATION OR FEAR...My favorite two words are so simple..."So What?"

I used to be compelled by fears. Fear of shadows, or the boogey man...fear of failure or death or pain... fear of being rejected...fear of being betrayed...fear of getting fat...fear of success, of winning of being in the limelight...fear of anything I have found is lack of FAITH! I have come to this TRUTH: I AIN'T AFRAIDA' NUTHIN'!!! My words are worth repeating: "SO WHAT?"

Shadows can't hurt me, neither can the boogey man...and I have failed before, so what? I have seen death and honestly, I totally believe that the death of this mortal body is no big deal, a relief actually since this mortal body is just my temporary home, HEAVEN must be so wonderful, I have read all about it and I am quite looking forward to it, when GOD says it is my turn, and I get to go forward.

Well then, what about pain? ha! pain is just a state of mind, if you think about it, really? If drugs can take away physical pain (or emotional pain) by blotting the feeling out...by numbing pain or anesthetizing pain we are just allowing that parto of our brain to obey those drugs, allowing them to have control over a part of our brain that we could allow GOD to control, really! A couple of times when I have been in pain, I have asked GOD to take control over that part of my brain that feels the pain, and I have asked HIM to let me stop thinking about it for a while...when I focus on HIM the pain takes a backseat to HIS greatness, bringing a merciful respite of control over the pain, (NOT A NUMBNESS TO IT, THOUGH).  Sure, the pain is still there, but by focusing on GOD, your brain mercifully allows you to forget about everything else...guess what...if drugs can take away the pain, how much greater is GOD able to take away the pain? If there are drugs that can do anything, don't you think it is possible to just will your brain to forget about the pain for a little while? I have done that before...I have had the opportunity to forget about pain, let's just say a few times...not only physical pain, but emotional pain as well...I am not talking about pretending it is not there or that it never happened, I have felt the pain, known it was there and then just willed it away...you can do that you know....your mind is a terrible thing to waste...don't waste it on drugs or hate or pain or fear.

So, yeah...back to the fear factor: I have been rejected, and while it was not a nice feeling I lived through it... so what? I have been betrayed, and I have been a betrayer...I prefer the former of the two to be honest...with out sounding like a martyr I would rather be betrayed than ever betray anyone ever again.... At least if I am the one being betrayed I know how to take the pain to GOD and I know how to forgive...I know how to choose love over hate, that is why I know that I have been humbled. I know GOD loves me, so...so what if nobody else does? So what? 

I do not fear losing anyone, so I don't hold on too tight to them and strangle them...I love people and I don't really care if they don't love me back...I don't need their love when I have GOD's love...so if I am rejected...so what? Which brings me to that silly fear of getting fat...really? So what? So I am a fat girl...I have been skinny, and I have been fat...so what? The fear of fat is rooted in the fear of rejection, and we have already dealt with that silly fear.... and you guess it, so what?

So then, there's the fear of success...the fear of winning...of being in the limelight...so what? I am a winner, 'nuff said! I don't care if people want to stop and stare at me....they are only looking at a reflection of GOD in me.... I DON'T CLAIM TO BE PERFECT...NEVER SAID THAT I AM GOD...I DON'T BELIEVE THAT I AM GOD, JUST THAT HIS SPIRIT LIVES IN MY HEART. HIS SPIRIT lives in my heart... side by side with my own spirit, yeah HE loves me enough to be there for me. I have a confession to make, I am weak, but HE is strong, and I am totally leaning on HIM for eternity... So what?

So, yeah...I am totally worth listening to, lingering around with...I am not full of myself, I am full of GOD! I am not my own. I was bought with a price and guess what? It appears as though I must have great value to GOD, HE values me and so what if no one else does?

 By the way, HE values all of HIS creation, & that includes you, do you believe that?  That is the first step, you know? Belief. FAITH. Believing that you were created, that you have value. Belief comes from simple faith, it does not really take much on our part to believe, especially with all of the signs and wonders that our wonderful Father has provided for us. WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD....but we can not even boast on the greatness of our faith, because THE WORD says that JESUS is the author and the finisher of our faith....JESUS is the only way to the FATHER! HE is the only bridge that hovers above the great gap of sin that seperates us from our FATHER. HE has invited us all to walk HIS path, have you R.S.V.P.'d on HIS ivitiation? Have you asked JESUS to personally hold your hand while you walk this path we call life? Without HIM I can assure you, you will get lost, but with HIM holding your hand you will find the greatest treasures on this path...you will not even begin to understand how great is HIS love for each of us...if HE loves you and the others that HE created, can you love others as well? After all that is a great way to show HIM that you love HIM. IF YOU LOVE HIM YOU WILL OBEY HIM. JESUS SAYS TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Be generous to the poor-you'll never go hungry, shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gaintlet of curses. Pride lands you flat on your face' humility prepares you for honors.

Two more days left of this challenge...these next two days ahead are gonna' be great...don't miss out!

"See" you tomorrow (GOD willing!)
Blessings,
Shawnie

Friday, March 23, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 231/2

March 23 24, 2012 1:21 a,m,

Isaiah 57:14
[ God Forgives the Repentant ] God says, “Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from captivity.”


Hmm...I was led to this verse tonight by my BFF (HOLY SPIRIT).

My Momma, Gigi, has just returned from Israel last weekend and she took me to lunch today so we could talk about her trip. She has mentioned several times about the fact that Israel has been building housing for all of the Jews (Israelites) who will be returning from where they have been scattered all over the world...it is happening now and this call was put forth in the BIBLE from the Old Testament book of Isaiah, which was written a really, really long time ago... and it is just now happening...sounds like some of GOD's peeps are finally starting to wise up and listen to HIM dirctly, and might I say....obeying HIM? Bravo Israelites...way to show Father GOD that you love HIM!

I am really interested in the building activity in Israel, and how it relates to the coming of JESUS back for the ones HE loves...I know that people for centuries have been proclaiming that "the end is near"...but really? Naw, it will be just the beginning... JESUS is coming back for HIS church, HIS bride one day..that is a promise from GOD... could we be getting close? I was gonna say "closer" but yeah, duh...every new day is a day closer to HEAVEN, and walking with JESUS face to face.. hand in hand. DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT? I do! Woo-hoo, come quickly, LORD, JESUS!
Blessings,
Shawnie

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 23

Friday, March 2, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 23

Good morning, y'all! I've gotta' make this blog brief, 'cause I have a lunch date with the most amazeballs woman on the planet... my momma (we all call her Gigi)! She just got back from a trip to Israel, and we have so much to talk about! So, sorry to give you the bum's rush, but I told you I was committed to this blog and (honestly) I am just finding that I do not want to will not start my day with out GOD & then sharing what I have learned from HIM with you!

So, today's Proverbz were sorta' like a fatherly pep talk from wise ole' Solomon... much like the other proverbs were, and it may seem like a lot of re-hashing going on...but like I mentioned yesterday about repetition... it usually means it is stuff we need to remember & GOD does not want us to miss the point!

Since I opened my Etsy shop back in September, I have been bustin' my humps "working" (giggle) on it. I love what I am doing so it does not feel like work most of the time. I have been realizing lately, that it does take most of my time, and there is a chance that I may possibly be getting a little out of balance... So Proverbs 23:4-5 really kind of hit me hard right in my thinker this morning... It also made me really glad I decided to ditch "work"/home school/ housework/husband & kids etc. today and go lunchin' with my sweet momma!  That said, I really do love what I do (home school/ housework/husband & kids etc), but I also know the value of getting away from my routine for the day, so that I can come back to it refreshed.

The Message version of Proverbz 23:4-5 reads like this: "Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich, restrain yourself! Riches disappear in the blink of an eye; wealth sprouts wings and flies off into the wild blue yonder." 

While the New Living Translation puts it like this: "Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich.  Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle."

The part that say's "Be wise enough to know when to quit"  is the part that got my attention... I think that is the part I will meditate on for the rest of today... since I have been staying up until sometimes 3 or 4 in the morning "working" on ideas and creativity... no wonder I get in a funk!  My husband used to get really angry with me for not turning out the lights and going to bed when he went to bed...but some nights that is when my brain is just waking up to creativity!  I wish I could rise at the crack O'dawn to greet each new day, but honestly...sometimes it is more like the crack o'7:16 a.m. I don't really know why I don't like my clocks set on the exact hour or half hour! Whatever?! I don't care much about time (can I say that before I am living in Heaven, GOD?) I mean really? I don't think much of time and worrying about it all...I try to be places when I am being counted on...I rather prefer my freedom though...I don't like phones, or leashes...I just like my freedom... I think that is one of  life's greatest gifts... I am free to be free! Does that even make any sense? Well I am rambling, but i know what I am talking about..I am following me! Sorry if your train jumped the track a few miles back (Jack), but I am stacked and that's the fact...so...wow, where the heck did all that just come from?  I think that is what they call "burning the candle at both ends"... So, yeah...I know that I need to "Be wise enough to know when to quit." I am going to have to work harder on that!

My Life Recovery Bible notes read: "Perhaps the most common and unrecognized addiction in our culture today is greed or materialism.  Many people weary themselves trying to get more and more money so they can buy more goods and do more things." (GUILTY!) "The pleasure that money buys is only temporary; it doesn't satisfy the longings of our heart. The wise learn the secret of delayed gratification and resist the greedy impulses that bring quick and fleeting pleasure. Instead they seek to have their needs met through a healthy relationship with GOD and with others." (UuuuH??? Yeah, that was singin' straight to my soul!!!) Learning to delay gratification is a discipline that I have to work on = No more eating when I am hungry, because my heart is able to deceive me...(and aparently so is my tummy!) they been tag teaming me, and trying to take me down!!!  They have done it before, and according to the BIBLE, my heart has to potential to deceive me again...I forgive her, but what if she is un-repentant? What does that even mean? Repentant or Un-repentant? That is a blog for another day...'cause it takes digging a pretty deep well to understand true repentance...maybe so deep only GOD truly knows if a heart can even be repentant. (wow, this is getting deeper still).  

Today's Proverbs have me thinkin'... I am so content with where I am in life...even though our finances are pitiful right now! The "Law of Attraction" tells me that if I focus on how bad things are they will prolly get worse. (what I focus on I draw myself nearer to..."as a man thinketh, so is he" is the way the BIBLE puts it). So Gigi offered to take me to lunch, and while I hate the idea of being a mooch, I'ma take her up on her wonderful offer! ~*~ FOR THE RECORD: my parents have NEVER made me feel like a "mooch" that just comes from the voice of the accuser, so I'ma take that thought captive and go enjoy today. ~*~ Days like this totally prove to me that GOD's got my back! HE is my provider, and when I focus on that how could I ever consider not being content in my life???

I realize that I want to draw healthy and GODly boundaries in my life and stick to them. That said, peace, out!

Blessings,
Shawnie

Thursday, March 22, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 22

Thursday, March 22, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE 22

"The Cure Comes Through Discipline"


Those are the words that stared back at me in my Message version of the BIBLE this morning... right there in black and white...so simple, yet such profound wisdom. It is the Truth... need a cure? Try applying discipline to whatever ails ya'...I know I sound like I am selling snake oil here, but according to Solomon, and my own life's experiences this simple truth truly is the TRUTH & the "cure all". 

You don't even really need to think about this, because it is so flippin' simple...but please... do think about it (discipline) ...think about it a lot ... but don't stop there because discipline requires much, much more than just thinkin' about it... although that is the best place to start:
                                            
                                                         DISCIPLINE REQUIRES ACTION

Drugs & alcohol require discipline to free yourself from their bondage...a foolish child requires discipline to become wise... physical strength comes from the discipline of resistance training...(shoo emotional strength comes from resistance training too, from what I have learned, I have had to resist the urge to give so often, proving to myself that I am no quitter)... a messy house becomes clean when you discipline yourself to just clean it... weight loss REQUIRES  discipline... financial freedom takes discipline... DISCIPLINE IS THE CURE ALL. (I could just stop here and that lesson would be enough for me to marinate in for the rest of this Month of March challenge... but of course I am gonna' elaborate while I marinate! (Bear with me I got very little sleep last night, and my Dr. Suess rhyming skills usually kick in pretty good when I am a lil' sleepy!) Weird? Yeah...I know, it's kinda' creepy!

STOP ...Back it on up a paragraph, and let me repeat something so you don't miss it:

                                                           DISCIPLINE REQUIRES ACTION

If we just read through these Proverbs this month and we do not apply them to our lives, they are just words in a book that we obviously do not believe, or put very much faith in...am I right? Well, where's the power in THE WORD if you do not apply it? KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!  The POWER is there peeps, so if you are lacking don't blame it on GOD, HE has given you everything you need to survive & thrive in your life. You just need to discipline youself to read, trust & obey! (Hint: HE will even help you out with that discipline thang if ya' just ask HIM to...HE will discipline you, trust me!)

Having full acces to the BIBLE & not reading it is like having a cure to the most deadly and venomous snake bite, and just not injecting it straight into your blood stream (duh!). FREEBASE THE WORD, MAN!!! (O'kay, sorry for the drugs references there, I may have just crossed a line!) Come on people...  don'tchya' get it??? These words are alive, and they can make you healthy if ingested and digested and they get into your blood and become a part of who you are... Just like what is happening to eachof us when we are reading the Proverbs on this M.O.M. challenge everyday...reading and journaling about what we are reading... and thinking on these words & ideas all day, meditating on them, marinating in them, elaborating them, tatooing them on our brains, tying them around our wrists... It is like full on SPRINGTIME in my soul right now... We are all blooming with wisdom, I don't know about you, but THE WORD is LIFE to this reader! Honey words for my heart! If I looked in the mirror and saw what I feel in my heart right now, I would be so beautiful...that is what GOD sees when HE looks at me through THE BLOOD GOGGLES.... Do I need to explain the blood goggles? Leave me a comment below and let me know if you wanna ask me what "THE BLOOD GOGGLES" are, I must admit... it is kinda out there....

ANYHOO... I have been learning so much about who GOD is throughout this M.O.M. challenge, HIS nature and what HE expects from me. I am also learning that I can not trust my own heart to guide me... my heart can deceive me. (and it has many times, Ouch.) If I can forgive others, (and I know for a fact that I can) then I can forgive my own deceitful heart.  I know that since even I can not be trusted, I have to have something solid to anchor myself to when things get outta' control. (That was what I was talkin' about for the last two days, remember..."What's my motivation"?)

When life seems like it's the darkest night, that is usually when the loudest & longest storm will thrash you until you don't know which way is the horizon...  that is also when life usually hits you like a TKO (total knock out), and then.................
......................................................Boom~boom: out~go~the~lights.... Phew... I am so glad I know that that is just a perception & not a reality....the lights don't really go out... the SON is always shining somewhere! When that TKO happens you need to know there is a solid ground that you can get back up and stand on so that you can bob & weave, bob & weave...during the next bazillion rounds.

But hey, it happens, sometimes we just get knocked down. Sucker punched. Life is not a fair fight, sometimes it hits you below the belt & knocks the wind right outta' ya'. When you have (or choose to begin to have) the discipline it takes to get  back up again, you will realize that you have someone right there who is gonna stick closer than a brother. HE loves you and hates to see you get back "in" HE wants to take your place, be your contender. Ya' just gotta let HIM... like I said yesterday, it is called "total surrender". The greatest relationship of all times (JESUS & you). HE is the only relationship that will breathe HIS breath of life into you when you surrender your own. It will feel like death, but it is just the beginning of the first day of the rest of you life! HIS love will fill you with all the life you will ever need. HOLY SPIRIT will love on you when you are down...Get this: "HE HEALS THE BROKEN HEARTED AND BINDS UP THEIR WOUNDS" psalm 147:3.... mmm...that is some delicious medicine, heart honey, soothing "Balm of Gilead". "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way" ~ Mary Poppins!

When you realize that you don't even have the strength to get up again, and you just wanna' lay there and play dead, its all good.... DON'T JUST JUMP RIGHT BACK UP, TAKE YOUR TIME, take as much time as you need...we're in no hurry...You are unique in everything, even in the time it takes you to bounce back ~ and you will bounce back, YOU WILL BOUNCE BACK!  "Today you are you, and that's truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you" ~ Dr. Suess.

GOD knows you, HE is patient with you, HE loves you, HE is on your side. Nightfall is inevitable, but you don't have to be afraid of the dark... "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." & "GOD IS BIGGER THAN THE BOOGEY MAN, AND HE'S WATCHIN' OUT FOR YOU AND ME!" ~Jr. Cucumber!

GOD loves you whether you live a disciplined life or not, I am just here to tell ya' that it will go a lot better the sooner you realize that DISCIPLINE REQUIRES ACTION, and DISCIPLINE IS THE CURE TO WHAT AILS YA'!

So, yeah... I am totally getting that this message is prolly just for me...y'all didn't even have to log on to read this...it has not "gone to waste" echoing throughout the corridors of cyber space.... Even though I am not defined by a number on the scale...this morning I stepped on the reality factor (my scale) and I realized in a really brutally, black and white, staring-me-in-the-face kinda' way that DISCIPLINE REQUIRES ACTION! Ugh. GOD, HELP ME. ...Why can't I just be skinny & rich? (My guess is that will require some discipline!) Hahaha!

I have to go make breakfast and prod a reluctant school boy into starting his day now because, yup:

                                                   DISCIPLINE REQUIRES ACTION 

Blessings,
Shawnie

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 21

Wednesday, Marsh 21, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 21

The Heart has its reasons...I know this blog may sound a lot like yesterday's blog (re-cycled) but the thoughts are worth re-iterating!

Proverbs 21:2 reads: "You may believe you are doing right, but the LORD judges your reasons." (Now that does sound a lot like the point of yesterday's blog, huh?) O'kay so when things get repeated, they are usually important, so you don't miss the point. Get it? So you don't miss the point?

"What's my motivation?" I have heard actors ask that question before playing a part...maybe we should all ask ourselves that question, or better yet, ask GOD that question...DAILY!!! Like I said yesterday, the heart is deep like an ocean. Sometimes we can be tricked by our own heart, and we might have mixed motives that we don't want to admit, not even to ourselves! But you can't deal with the stuff you won't admit...it is spring time now...a great time for spring cleaning of the heart!

Motives, although often hidden and unspoken, are the true reasons behind what we say and do. Maybe you offer to do something nice for someone, because you know they will surely repay you in kindess, somehow... so what was your motivation? Doing the kind act out of love, or the possiblity of the payback? Don't even bother to ask yourself that question...we all know what we are going to say, of course..."I just wanted to do the right thing." Like every Miss America pageant contestant wants to work for world peace! Sure, right! It is a standard, canned answer we all know that. But are you willing to ask GOD for the TRUTH?

If we're honest, we'd have to admit that our own motives are usually at least a little mixed. How often do you think about your own motivations? GOD thinks about them a lot. He knows all the sincere and not~so~sincere parts of you, and HE wants to weed out the less~than~genuine qualities so HE can refill the empty spaces with HIS goodness. Without HIM we are like the hollow chocolate Easter bunnies that are gracing the Wal-Mart shelves! We are empty, we are a disappointment, and we can crumble easily! Asking HIM to show you your motivation would be a really wise thing to do today.

So, yeah...I love getting all this wisdom this month... Did you happen to linger on Proverbs 21:1 (like I did) which reads: "The Lord can control a king's mind as HE controls a river; HE can direct it as HE pleases."? If not meditate on that one for a while today...marinate your heart in The Word, you will be so much more tender and tasty to the rest of the world around you! I am willing to ask HIM to control my thinking, how about you? I believe that is called "total surrender"! Its a good thing!

Blessings,
Shawnie Hendrix

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 20

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 20

WHAAA....Day 20??? Holey Mackeral...time flies (whether you're havin' fun or not!) Which leads me to a mini goal I had for today...have some fun! Go outside, step away from the computer, call my Mother & my Daughter, and smile!!! I went outside this morning to feed the chickens and my nostrils were pleasantly met with the most beautiful fragrance of our honeybelle orange tree blossoms. I LOVE NATURE. O Lord, You're beautiful!

Sooo... I already accomplished my daily M.O.M. challenge to read Proverbz 20, did you? My fav. verse for this day is Prov. 20:27 (The Message Version) "GOD is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out." YAY, so glad that it is not solely my responsibility to examine, cleanse and purify my heart!

Hmmm, now that verse is really speaking to me today, because I have been navel gazing a lot lately and you know what I have found (other than a ginornous muffin top & belly button lint?) I have found that no matter who we are, we really think we are something, don't we? I try to remain humble, really I do...but it seems that it is just human nature to find yourself doing something wonderful and thinkin' "Yeah, I am all that, & a bag of potato chips!" (not another reference to my muffin top, but really, it could be...hahaha!!!) 

As I shared with you earlier in this M.O.M. challenge my "word" for 2012 is "humility".  It is really interesting how I can not seem to become distracted from that word!!! (No matter how hard I try!!!) I was finding fault with myself so frequently at the start of the year that I thought I was just the biggest klutz in the world, and a total dork! Instead of shoutin' "Hallelujiah, I have found yet another thing that needs fixin'!!!" I made the heinous mistake though of falling into the self destruction mode mentally, and becoming overwhelmed with my faults... (Honestly, after making my mental list of things I need to change about myself, I got discouraged!) I think HOLY SPIRIT finally got through to me though, because I am no longer wallerin' (southern GA translation for "Wallowing") around in the mud pit of self destruction. Now...when I realize that I need to change something, I see it as an opportunity for growth. I am asking HOLY SPIRIT to help me make those changes. Because they are just too over whelming for me to make on my own, & besides, with GOD all things are possible, right? yeah, ALL THINGS.

NOTE: The heart is "Deep Water"...  Did you know that like the ocean, much of your heart has been uncharted territory? Prolly for good reason, if you tried to sail that vast sea or dive into the depths alone that would be very dangerous...life threatening actually.  Never navigate through rough waters alone...that would be foolish.... but do you realize that you can walk on water when you keep your focus on JESUS? It is worth mentioning again...The heart is deep. Maybe deeper than you realized. Did you know that serene seas never produce skillful sailors? (say that 10X really fast!) I think that when people rock my boat, I either have an opportunity to get some skills...because I know that I have to hold on tight so I don't get thrown overboard and drown in the depths of my own heart where I have found unforgiveness, bitterness and self pity (to name a few). Now that I put it that way, I am really thankful that JESUS has called me to walk on the water (of my heart). I feel like I have been trying to tread water for so most of my life, just keeping my head above the depths. But I am willing to go a little deeper and dive for the hidden treasures of Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control (a.k.a. Fruits of the Spirit). Do yourself a favor, make JESUS the Captain of your ship, just let go of the wheel and ask HIM!

I know we all SAY we are not perfect, but isn't it interesting how deep in our hearts we think, "at least I am still trying, not like so & so..." or let me put it this way... Do you find yourself thinking, "At least I don't ______________ (you fill in the blank again...steal, cuss, smoke crack)? Do we all have bit of Pharisee in us (maybe its just me)? I'll be honest here...I have found that it is easier for me to find fault with someone else than to find fault with myself, I'm just sayin'. Maybe that helps us  (o'kay, me) not think of the overwhelming things that need chaging in our own hearts and minds...am I alone the only "poser" out here?

I am trying to get us all thinking here, not to beat us up, but to bring us into a mild state of humility so that we can be teachable. Think about that for a moment...a person full of pride won't listen to anything anyone else has to say, of course 'cause they have that "My way or the highway" mentality whether they admit it or not.

 I can speak only for myself here: "I DON'T WANT TO BE THAT PERSON (anymore)!!!" I have never been so ridiculously obvious about being full of pride, (heh heh, at least I don't think so!) and some of you who know me who are reading this may think that I am making this up, but seriously...I have had issues with pride! When I drew the word "Humility" this year I was like, "Seriously, GOD, I think I am the most humble person I know? (yeah, it sounds a lot more like pride now than it did when that thought was bangin' around in my head!) Then I also drew the word "Asking" and I just knew it was going to be a great year!!! (Hahaha...guess what? Sarcasm is also rooted in pride if ya' think about it!) BUSTED out by my BFF (HOLY SPIRIT!) So you know what? I am really glad to know that GOD loves me enough to discipline me. HE really, really loves me!!!

Ever had the thought:"How dare they __________" (you fill in the blank)? Well guess what? That is a prideful thought. Offenses are rooted in pride. Think about that for a moment, if you are a person easily taken to offense, maybe you've got some pride issues you have not been honestly dealing with? (oooh, did that just offend you? Well....ummm.....) I read somewhere that an "unbridled mouth is an unbroken person"... ouch! If you feel like you just HAVE to make your point, you are unbroken. I pray that GOD continues to break me open and scoop out the junk inside.

A few years back something absolutely horrible happened to me, I'll spare ya' the gory details because it is now behind me...but during that season, my thoughts consistantly went to: "How could they do that to ME?" I really was naive. Now I realize that when someone or people in general do things that are really horrible, unless they are just plain evil, they are prolly not doin' it "TO ME", but they are just bein' selfish, and self centered. They are doing something for themselves, not thinking of the consequences... so, do I trust GOD enough to deal with them & their mistakes? I am learning to do that.... really, it does take practice...(forgiveness). I have been humbled a lot over the past few years, enough to see that we are all imperfect beings, and how we respond to other people's "imperfections" is what GOD is taking a good long look at in us... I come before HIM regularly asking, "How am I measureing up to your plumb line, GOD?" You see, I don't want to compare myself to people, anymore. I don't like what I see when I do that, and I end up feeling condemnation ~YUK~! I know I don't measure up to GOD's plumb line either, but instead of condemnation I have hope that HE loves me enough to show me what and how to change my heart & mind ... hint: the key is humility (and Loving HIM anough to obey HIM!)

In the book of Mark (particulary the 7th chapter) JESUS nonchalantly talks about the source of our pollution (our hearts). (The Message Version) puts it like this:

"1 The Pharisees, along with some religion scholars who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around him.  They noticed that some of His disciples weren't being careful with ritual washings before meals." ...so they whined to JESUS like little tattle tails, and JESUS read their mail! (HE examined their hearts & nailed them to the TRUTH!)

I won't quote the whole chapter here, I just wanted to set up the scene.... Then JESUS quoted Isaiah in verse 6-8 pretty much saying that the Parisees were just posers, ditching GOD's commands.... whew, that was pretty brutal, but JESUS spoke truth, because HE could look into their hearts and HE knew the truth... HE IS TRUTH...but we can not do that because we are not GOD. So when we are judging others, it is usually rooted in pride. 

Isn't it interesting, how we try to jusge the motives of others? I know now that that is sinful behaviour, but human nature none the less. How many times have you thought (and judged) another person's motives? BEWARE, GOD calls that sin! Jesus told the Pharisees that HE knew that they would "scratch out GOD's Word and scrawl a whim in its place. You do a lot of things like this!" (To which I cry out in response, "Search my heart o'GOD and show me what to repent for". (Trust me y'all, there is soooo much!)

See the disiples were not perfect either, they didn't "get" everything, JESUS said right off the bat... but they were willing to be taught. They were willing to admit to being narrow minded & change their minds from Religious stinkin' thinkin' to the TRUTH! The Pharisees were not... they had all those religious spirits stuck to them like ticks! The disciples were kinda' hung up on some of the laws too, that was all they knew at that time, and JESUS was trying to help them pick off those religious ticks.

JESUS disciples had a hard time trying to understand how to deal with some of the rules with out breaking them...like eating "clean" and JESUS told them in Mark 7:20-23 "It's what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness ~ all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your problem."

"...Vomit from the heart..." man~o~man, I think I need some spiritual Pepto~Bismol! I know that my heart has had a few boo~boos. Aww, shucks, it has been beaten to a pulp a few time since it started beating over 44 years ago... occasionally requiring emergency surgery from GOD's HOLY SPIRIT. And yeah, that has left some residual scarring and bruising that takes time to heal. The good news is that I know the HEALER! I also happen to know that when I realize I still have splinters in my heart that need to be carefully removed, I can take my wounded heart to JESUS and ask HIM to skillfully pluck them splinters out! Yup, it hurts, but I can tell you that the short term pain of removing the splinters is waaaaay less painful than the long term pain of an oozing, polluted, vomiting heart.

Tomorrow we will read how GOD examines our motives... don't miss it! Take the time to have daily open heart surgery with the only skillful surgeon who is able to purify and heal your heart. Set yourself up in a quiet place. Come on... seriously? You know you have at least 30-45 minutes per day to spend with GOD. Don't find the time, make the time for GOD, HE will reward you more than you can imagine right now!
Blessings,
Shawnie

Monday, March 19, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 19

Monday, March 19, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 19

I really like the Message Version of the Bible. It is a newer paraphrased translation. Some peeps get all hung up and stuck on the King James Version suggesting that it is the "only" version that we should be reading, but just between you and me... I think that's a lil' religious, stinkin' thinkin'!

I think that what ever version of the BIBLE you choose to read can edify... it is not the BIBLE alone that brings us closer to GOD, but the desire to get close to HIM that gets HIS attention. Draw near to HIM and HE will draw near to you, & that's a promise! (HIS not mine!)


That said, the Message uses today's slang sometimes and it might get a lil' offensive to some people, and I noticed that this weekend when I was telling my 13 year old son about one of the verses about "stupid children". Today there is another verse that mentions a stupid child...it is found in Proverbs 19:13 in the Message Version of the BIBLE: "A parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child, a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet." hmmm...how should I put this delicately? I read that verse again to Luke and he said, "Nice, Momma... so... you calling me stupid?"

To which I lovingly responded (in my best Forrest Gump voice), "Stupid izzz as stupid does, that's what my Momma used to say!" And then I talked with Luke about what he thought the true meaning was behind that verse. Of course I don't run around calling my kids stupid, but I shared the verse with him for the same reason that when I read the second half of that Proverb, I had to ask myself... "Am I a leaky faucet?"

I think of the BIBLE as a mirror.... I did an online BIBLE school a few years back entitled "The Way of The Master" and one of the things that I learned was exactly that...(the BIBLE is like a mirror).

So let's imagine for a minute that you are at a birhday party and they are serving chocolate cake...it is soooo delicious and you are kinda' getting into enjoying that cake by eating, ummm, unladylike bites. Feeling a little unreserved and out of control, you decide you want another piece, but you don't want anyone to notice you makin' a piggy of yourself, so you cut off another lil' piece while everyone else is deep into the good conversation, and you think no one will notice...o'kay, so you just crammed that yumminess in so fast it smears across your cheek, and the icing is kinda stuck on your front teeth. You know that you have just made a total pig of yourself, so do you just sit there at the table in front of everyone...talking, laughing and smiling with chocolate cake on your teeth and face? OR maybe you decide that you should excuse yourself and run to the ladie's room mirror and have a lil' look~see at the delicious mess you have made of yourself?

 Once you look into the mirror, you see that (oops, wow) uh, ya' even got some in your hair...what are you going to do? You gonna' leave it there and ignore it? Perhaps you will wash your face and squidgee your teeth with your finger trying to remove the cake imbedded in your teeth! Yeah, and how will you be feeling while you are tryiing to clean yourself up? Prolly not condemnation, right? Nah, of course not! You would most likely be thinkin'..."Wow, I actually enjoyed that a lil too much, but now it is time to make things right, and get myself cleaned up..."

At that point your best friend walks into the ladie's room, walks up behind you and picks the chocolate cake crumb out of your hair that you might have missed! It sure is good to have a friend, right? Well, your BFF can be HOLY SPIRIT. Would you get offended if your friend was trying to help you get cleaned up by pickin' chocolate cake crumbs outta' your hair or would you be thankful that you have her stickin' close by your side?

The BIBLE is like that mirror you were looking in...it tells you where the mess is. Just the facts, ma'am! And then you have to decide if you want the mess (you) cleaned up! No, you can not clean yourself up completely, that is one reason GOD sent us HOLY SPIRIT to stick closer than a brother. JESUS purifies us, period! In the BIBLE, JESUS says, "No one can come to the FATHER, but by ME." There is no other way to HEAVEN, no other way to get clean. Sure Self-Control is a good start (and did you know that Self-Control is a fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT??) Yup! So if you really think about it, the only way to get things right is just to surrender...look into the mirror of GOD's Word (The BIBLE) and do it often, and talk to GOD... ask HIM to fill you up with HIS HOLY SPIRIT now,right now! Since yeah, with no condemnation...today is the day of salvation!
Blessings,
Shawnie

Friday, March 16, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 16

Friday, March 16, 2012
M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 16

Still marching? I am too, and I have not grown weary, in fact I have gained so much emotional strength this month, and I know that it is not a coincidence that I am reading my Bible daily! Last month I was so blah~zay, so apathetic about life...I confess, I was downright depressed...for no aparent reason, just...SCHLUMPY! I did not even think about how reading my BIBLE and journaling daily could possibly affect me, but guess what? Now...I feel like I have swallowed the sunshine! While we are on this journey, we have many opportunities to take time to stop and smell the roses, right?  I think all of these Proverbs are amazing and loaded with potential to change our thinking or at least get our thoughts blossoming anyway.

I have found two of today's Proverbs to be particularly edifying:Proverbs 16:2 & 16:16... then there is Proverbs 16:15 which has encouraged me to be a good~tempered leader to invigorate my son's life today to be like a "spring rain and sunshine".  I had to go wake up "grumpy" this mornin' to start his school day. The pollen has done a number on him, poor little fella'... He has and itchy throat, watery eyes and bloody nose... he has been sneezing a lot, making him sleepy and grumpy... which in turn gives me ample opportunity to be patient and a "good tempered leader"

~* I love an opportunity to be a blessing *~

Back to my earlier thoughts on depression...I am not taking any medz (not judging though if there's anyone out there reading this who happens to be taking an anti-depressant...this information is just to give you hope, o'kay?!) Last month, when I realized that I was battling depression (again) because I just wasn't feeling myself...I considered going to our local health food store and at least getting a bottle of "Happy Camper" (it is an herb mix to help you snap out of it)!  I used that a few years back when the Dr. wanted to put me on an anti depressant...I had been depressed for about 3 months and could not seems to shake it...So I went to the Dr. and she did my blood work and offered to write me a prescription for anti-depressants...I asked for an alternative because I do not like taking any drugs if I can avoid them. I say all that to say, yeah I was "officially" depressed, but instead of taking the prescription drugs I prayed about it and at that time I though the answer was to take the "Happy Camper". Within a few days or a week I definitely felt remarkably different. I was happy even though my circumstances in life had not changed...I was sure that "Happy Camper" was the reason! The good thing about Happy Camper is that it was not something I had to take daily, just as needed and I was not something I had to ween myself off of when I wanted to stop taking it. I felt like it was a much better choice than the anti depressants. It worked for me, but I am not giving any medical advice here, just sharing what worked for me. I am glad that I talked to my Dr. even though I did not take her advice, because if I had been wrong about the "Happy Camper" my Dr. would have been my safety net! I would strongly advise keeping your doctor informed of what you are taking even if you would like to try "Happy Camper". O'kay, skip to last month...depression again, and this time no money for a doctor visit, and I didn't even have the money to buy the "Happy Camper", so GOD was my safety net! I believe HOLY SPIRIT challenged me to read the Proverbs daily, and now without taking anything (and again, nothing else in my life's circumstances have changed...except me, because I definitely have changed from depressed and schlumpy to happy camper!) I am a Happy Camper without having to take "Happy Camper!" Coincidence, or perhaps GODs Word is the best medicine! I believe that GOD led me to what was "good" instead of just settling for what I thought might be good for me. Maybe that info. is going to be helpful to someone, 'cause I don't know why I just went off down that bunny trail!

Anyhoo...I guess that last paragraph had something to do with what I read today in Proverbs 16:2 which reads: "Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good, GOD probes for what is good." I think that is kinda' what happened with the whole medz vs. herbs vs. THE WORD paragraph I just wrote about...I know that GOD could have supernaturally healed my body from what ever was the root cause of the depression, (and I believe that HE has done that now) but a few years ago I was delivered from that bout of depression, by means of herbs, and for years I was a happy camper even though I only took the "Happy Camper" herbs for a few months! Of course I totally give GOD the credit for delivering me from depression, and now I am taking a daily dose of HIS WORD and no herbs or medz and I am feeling like a happy camper... so, yeah GOD is good all the time. I am so glad I was not "satisfied" with the easy out of just taking a prescription drug... I have found what is THE BEST not just what is good. I have a relationship with GOD now because I read HIS WORD daily and I pray and talk to HIM... I am asking HIM daily for guidance... As I am getting "ready" for my day I will ask HIM..."What's in store for us today Father?"  I found a cute cartoon that I made a copy of and I am going to  frame it and hang it in my room...it says, "I think I will dress-up today, just in case YOU have a great surprise planned for me GOD!" I love that!

Also, one of today's verses confirmed what I wrote about yesterday: Proverbs 16:16 reads "Get Wisdom ~ it's worth more than money, choose insight over income every time." By reading the Proverbs daily and applying them to our lives we are getting Wisdom...So we'll just have to wait and see where this Wisdom leads us in the future! I have the faith to believe that GOD is leading us to the provision HE has made for us.  For me that be a job or maybe continuing with my Etsy shop... Maybe HE is preparing my heart to be a good steward of the abundance HE has in store for me. Either way I know that HE is leading me to the Promised land, and I know it is a land flowing with milk and honey! I am so enjoying this journey right now... Are you?

Blessings,
Shawnie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 15

Thursday, March 15, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 15

We're halfway there...still with me?  'Cause I have had no feed back online from anyone...I can hear my own echo out here in cyber space!!! Oh well, I am not doing this for recognition, it is Wisdom that I seek!!!! And there are sooo many great words of wisdom to live by in the Proverbs. It is almost hard to take them all in. I feel like I have been feasting on Wisdom so far this month and yet, I am still the same girl, making some of the same mistakes... Sometimes I feel like I am frittering away my time (sometimes)! I know that I can not listen to the voice of condemnation in my head (the thoughts I am thinkin'...'cause I don't really "hear" voices!!!) Some days the thoughts I'm thinkin' are really stinkin' thinkin'...and I have to take them captive...but I will save that thought  to discuss for another day!

Today I decided to read from THE MESSAGE version of Proverbz!!! (I also read the NCV and of course my favorite the NLT) So I really gorged on Proverbs today reading them again and again 3 different versions... Verse 15:9 in the Message version reads: "A life frittered away disgusts GOD, HE loves those who run straight for the finish line."

That verse really got me thinkin'...what I do all day, is that considered "frittering" away my life? I mean, I am Momma and wife, daughter and friend and I spend my life going from one thing to the next, and some days it seems there is no purpose...like I am just frittering it away...am I? I guess that is a question for GOD to answer...since Proverbs 15:3 reads "GOD doesn't miss a thing~ HE's alert to good and evil alike." I mean I don't think I am actually doing evil...but I wonder if the way I spend my time is really honoring HIM? or is it simply doing what I wanna' do?

I mean I really do enjoy this...reading my BIBLE and journaling about it... it does not at all feel like "work" (and of course I am not getting paid for doing it) so what's the point? I am choosing to believe that I am harvesting wisdom, that is my paycheck! So, yay!

I sensed that I was being "called" or "led" to do this (read Proverbs & then journal) at the beginning of this month of March, but ya' know what?  I wonder if that was just my own desire... Did GOD really call me to it? I watched a movie last night on Netflix about St. Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland). It was reallly interesting all historical and stuff.  The one thing that really stuck with me was that St. Patrick had a calling... he had visions which he obeyed, and even though they were visions, he had to have incredible faith to obey them. 

I don't know that I have ever had visions, but I do dream a lot at night. I do have a lot of thoughts and ides\as that I think must be coming from GOD. I wonder sometimes what my dreams mean and I have been trying to pay closer attention to them in case it is GOD speaking to me in my dreams...but still sometimes I feel like it could all just be my own thoughts and desires... maybe GOD is not really leading me to any of this, maybe its just me???

Wow...That reallly bothers me... I guess I could pray and ask HIM for confirmation of what I am supposed to be doing, because between you and me...I have no income, no money what so ever! That kinda sucks for me, but then again I am learning how to cope with that fact. I am learning how to be o'kay with depending totally on GOD for provision and wisdom and toilet paper!!! 

If it were up to my husband I would have chunked my Etsy shop, put Luke back in public school and started waiting tables... I have not contributed financially to our household ever...really!  I feel like I am just a sponge sometimes, but then I know that that is not true, those thoughts are not from GOD.  I am the wife and momma so there are other ways that I contribute to our home... I have learned to go through life with no money, and yet I have no needs, really...(although, I can't say the same for wants...good news though, I am learning how to not want as much stuff as I used to want, buying things that are just trinkets in a treasure box that moth and rust will destroy...I find myself not getting too attatched to the tangible things of this world that really mean nothing at all!)

I have found that when I need something it is provided for me...sewing machine, serger, beads, food, clothing, toilet paper, etc... Maybe I am not being a good steward of my serger, though.. I could spend more time working on making things and selling them in my Etsy shop. I don't want to entice others to spend money on things that moth and rust could destroy either though, to me that would make me like the woman in Proverbs who lures people into spending money...I am feeling kinda conflicted about myself today. Only GOD knows the answer to my questions, so that is why I need to talk to HIM daily, to process with HIM where my time is going. What my purpose is for each new day... but for today and the rest of this month I have committed myself to reading through the Proverbs and journaling "my take" and my thoughts on them, so I will continue with that challenge, because I am not a quitter!

It does not matter to me if I get paid cash money for doing any of the things I do, like being a Momma or wife, my time spent is a labor of love! God has given me a few friends over the years that are in need of someone to take them to their doctor appointments and to the grocery store...I have decided that I can make the time to be of service to them... again a labor of love.  One of my friends is going to be 95 on April 3, Miss Red Moon. The other friend, Miss Lucy, just turned 83 on January 5, 2012. I love these ladies, and I know that GOD brought them into my life...funnyhow these ladies are full of wisdom and they are up in age. I love to spend time with them, learning from them. They both love JESUS and have read their BIBLEs for most of their lives, until their eyesight made that impossible to do daily... they tell me cool stories about their lives and about their experiences with GOD. What a blessing it is to get to know them. 

I know that if there is something that I really need, GOD provides it for me, and I am truly content with knowing that.  Even when there are things that I desire so desperately, I can't think of any of them right now,... but a few months back it was my serger, and I got to buy one with last years income tax return... so yeah, I know that GOD provides. I am going to choose to believe that I am not "frittering away" my time by blogging my thoughts  here...the last thing I want to do is to "disgust GOD".  And like I said from the beginning, if I am the only one who benefits from this blog, then so be it! When this month's challenge is finished I will continue to read my BIBLE 'cause that is what I do, but I will also start to focus more of my time on making clothes and jewelry and stuff for my Etsy shop... Maybe I will begin to make some real money, and be more comfortable with my financial contribution to our household, maybe not...but one thing is for certain...I will continue to ask GOD how HE wants me to spend my time...I will not fritter it away!
Blessings,
Shawnie

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 14

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 14

Today's chapter in Proverbs starts out with "A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands." ~ Wow! The impact that verse had on my spirit the first time I ever read it (years ago) really hit me hard. I knew right then and there that I did not want to be a foolish woman... but what did that mean to me?

Well, to me it meant that building a home takes love and patience, brick by brick love is held together with the mortar of patience. Yeah, it does take two to tango, but there are three involved in my marriage: GOD, Chris and ME. So if I feel like Chris is slackin' I talk it over with GOD, I tango with the lover of my soul, and you know what? Often HE reminds me of where I am slackin'...HE encourages me to work on what needs fixing in me, then that totally takes my mind off of Chris!!! I have learned to trust GOD to deal with my husband. I trust GOD. Sure it takes many other things to build a house and a home, but Solomon does not talk about building a house here...anyone can live in a house, but a home implies a place where there is warmth and love. Togetherness.

Spiritually speaking I know that when I decided that I did not want to be the foolish woman, HOLY SPIRIT heard my heart's cry and HE has stood by me all of these years reminding me not to give up on my marriage, on my kids, on myself!  Altough there have been a few times when I didn't know if I could even survive. That was when I just had to endure.

Sometimes I have felt like a "silent partner" in this marriage...let me explain. There have been many times that I have had to retreat to a quiet place to pray, read my BIBLE or go off like an animal and lick my wounds. I have often used the "silent treatment" as a means of survival, which has worked out better for me in the long run, I believe, than arguing or being "mouthy". Had I been an "in your face" loud woman who had to be heard, (that's just not me) our marriage would never have survived! If I had had to be right or even heard we would have all been a lot more frustrated! I don't have to make my point. I don't have to be thought of as right. I have heard time and time again that "There are two sides to every story" and that is true, but ya' know what GOD told me once? HE said, "Yes, there are two sides to every story... but there is only one TRUTH," and HE  already knows the TRUTH...HE is the TRUTH! 

I don't have to fight with my husband or anyone else to be heard. But I am no door mat either! Even though on occasion that may appear to be the case, I don't care what it looks like...I don't have to look like a winner...I am a winner, because I know I am on a journey to HEAVEN. My story has a happy ending, because I know GOD is my Contender! And HE knows how to put the best "SMACK DOWN" on my enemies whether they be flesh and blood or spirits & principalities...Noooo, I am not in control, I am not a control freak, don't need to be! If I find that someone is trying to walk all over me, I just seperate myself from them, sometimes it is permanent or maybe just for a season, but I am not a glutton for punishment, and I will not be abused or manipulated! I don't have the need to be a martyr either, though.

The Martyr will use false humility as a counterfeit to manipulate people...she's like the "humility poser". My word for the year 2012 is "HUMILITY". I am learning what that truly is. It is a choice, like LOVE and I choose true humility. I don't have to talk louder than anyone else, or interrupt people, or dominate a conversation because I know the TRUTH and the TRUTH has set me free from all of that noise.

I know I am heard (by GOD) so what does it matter if anyone else is even listening? Sure, I have been wounded, but I have also wounded others, and honestly I would prefer to be the wounded one than to be the one doing all thw wounding... running around hurting others.  I can take a wound, because I know who to take it to...Daddy GOD.  I have found that to be the one running around hurting others requires me to be selfish, immature and insensitive. I confess I have been there, done that. I have learned that that is not who I am, it is not who I choose to be. I used to play that song (by JEWEL) over and over again..."I'm sensitive and I'd like to stay that way."  I really am.

I have found that because I have chosen to nurture my sensitivity, I can hear GOD's voice a little more clearly. Rather than having to communicate with GOD by shouting through a thunder storm, I go off to a quiet place and talk to HIM. He whispers encouraging thoughts to me. And when I felt like tearing down my home with my own two hands (or my words) HE would gently remind me of the choice I made years ago...  to chose love. Whenever the storms of life raged around me, HE brought me back to my center (in HIM).

JESUS CHRIST is my center, HE is the place of peace from which I can make the wise choice to build up instead of tear down. (Sometimes that process would take weeks, other times it happened faster) I know though that when things seem so bleak, and everything looks like it is over, there is still the possibility of life, no matter what the circumstances are. I have seen miracles with my own eyes... honestly, I saw a dead man who was drowned in a pool come back to life after we asked GOD to intervene. GOD restored my marriage when it was dying from cancer...actually it may have already been dead, but I believe that with GOD all things are posssible (to those who believe)! 

I can only speak for my experiences in building up my own home, and I can tell you honestly that I can look back and see that I could have done a better job if I had not focused on me sometimes. I confess I have grown weary in this marathon I call my life, but I have definitely found that through it all GOD has cultivated the fruit of the Spirit of Endurance in me (Yay GOD)! Along with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-Control...(o'kay HE is still working on the fruit of Self-Control in me!!!) But I know that my marriage, sanity and peace would definitely have been impossible without GOD. I trust GOD.

*Trusting God to direct us (through the advice of others) is an important step in life recovery. But we can not trust blindly... a healthy trust in others is developed gradually and carefully, over time. It is our responsibility to determine when it is safe to be vulnerable and if the guidance we are receiving is GODLY. If any advice is contrary to the TRUTH revealed in the BIBLE, it should be disregarded, no matter who gives it! (*LRC notes.) We have to learn to hear GOD's "voice" and to trust HIM to guide us. 

That is what this M.O.M. challenge is all about. I hope that I am encouraging you to put  your life on a shelf for a few minutes or an hour or so every day so that you can get to know GOD a lot better... through HIS Word. I am doing just that, and I would not ask for those moments back for anything.  I am singin' Sinead O'Connor's  song in my head right now..."NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU (GOD)!

Blessings,
Shawnie

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 13

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

M.O.M. CHALLENGE DAY 13

Today's reading challenge was a breeze...I guess wisdom is percolating through my spirit now like coffee thru my brewer! I thought about my morning routine, and how it seems to sometimes feel so...routine! Get up, make my bed, make the coffee, feed the dogs, read & study my BIBLE...and then the list goes on from there...the hard part is never getting up and getting me started, it is getting the kids started on their morning routines. Now I am not going to whine about this ongoing "routine", but I find that taking responsiblity for the success or failure of another human being results in condemnation. (NOT GONNA' HAVE IT!)

I know that as a parent it is my responsibility to motivate and coach the kiddos to greatness, but what happens when just getting thru the day is all the greatness I can seem to muster?  I find that somedays just getting the coffee started is my greatest accomplishment...until I get to go to my upper room and read my BIBLE...I have chores to do, BUT reading my BIBLE is not one of them... I love to read my BIBLE and study it, that is when I am at peace...the time I get to spend with GOD is my favorite part of my day...there is nothing "routine" about it! I find myself getting a lil upset when the kiddos don't get going in the right direction for their day and I have to take time away from reading my BIBLE to prod them like cattle to get moo-ving into school or whatever! That said, lemme tell ya' what I gleaned from today's reading...

Proverbs 13:20 says "Spend time with the wise and you will become wise, but the friends of fools will suffer."

I wish I could bottle up the wisdom I glean and the love I receive from spending time with GOD every day, cause I would dole it out to the ones I know who are lacking wisdom and love. But it's kinda like the "Cheezits" advertising says, "Get your own box"! Wait...is that from Cheezits or some other snack? Who knows, all I know is that I can not give it to you, you have to find it for yourself, and our cravings are only satisfied in CHRIST.  It is so simple though, but it begins with a routine. I can honestly say that there are some days that I know if I did not have the momentum of my routine going with my BIBLE reading and spending time in prayer and pondering what I have read that I would prolly just skip it...because my flesh sometimes fights it, and if my flesh is not fighting it, the enemy sends a perfectly synchronized ballet of distractions to try to keep me from my only HOPE...my longing. If I obeyed my feelings...or allowed the distractions the victory I would not become a "tree of life" producing good fruit...but since I know the benefits of pushing through the routine to get to the most HOLY PLACE, I know that there is a beautiful gift for me...waiting on me....patient with me. ...(Oh, Thank You GOD).

It has taken me a while to get to this place (& it did not just happen thru this M.O.M. challenge). For years I have been reading my BIBLE daily and I have been accused of being "lazy" because before I go anywhere, do anything (before I even shower!) I spend time in my BIBLE with the "WISE"...I know that anything else is foolishness.  Before I realize it, I have found that the few minutes I was going to spend in THE WORD have turned into half the day (the entire morning anyway) reading and studying my BIBLE...talkin' to GOD, Danicing with JESUS...I love it! I realize that it is necessary to work and earn a living, which is why some people claim that they "don't have time" to read the BIBLE. Since I have choices to make of how I am going to spend my time, I fight ferociously to protect that time...it is so worth it ...And GOD is my provider, I am obviously not lacking anything or starving...I may not always get what I want, but then maybe what I want is not what I need? Hmm? (To be o'kay with that fact takes an attitude adjustment that only GOD can give me...again, it happens when I spend time with HIM!) 

I frequently meditate on a very particular BIBLE verse which is found in today's reading. I got hung up on a while back on this verse which is Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life." (NLT)

"It is sad not to get what you hoped for. But wishes that come true are like eating fruit from the tree of life." (NCV)

12 "Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around." (The Message)


"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (NIV)


I often found myself "heartsick", sad, unrelentingly disappointed...(you get the picture) and I was not quite sure why?! I was not sure what I was hoping for exactly, it is like craving a food that you just can't seem to figure out what you are craving...when I get to this point I find that "A sudden break" comes when I force myself to get out of my routine, and do something different...sure I still read my BIBLE everyday because that is just who I am....but I have decided that I need to get out of the house more. I want to spend more time visiting friends at their homes, or going to the beach or just hanging out with Chris and the kids. I am not just waiting around "longing" for the sudden good break that can turn my life around...(not that it is a terribly bad life to begin with, since I do realize that I am so blessed!) But we have all had those seasons of longing for something, hoping for something...wishing upon a star!

Acutally therein hidden lies a law of the universe...the law of attraction...wishing for something leads your thoughts in that direction, and draws it to you good or bad! I wished for more time to read my BIBLE and I have found that in abundance! I found that by letting go of the other ways that I was "wasting" my time (like watching tv or movies) I could spend the time with GOD. I am accused of "wasting" my time when I sit and read my BIBLE, but no matter...I know what is most important to me, and I defend it and fight for it. Jesus said (regarding Mary & Martha) that "Mary (Shawnie) has chosen the better thing, and it will not be taken from her." I believe that JESUS himself defends our time together, after all, "HE is jealous for me"... I love that song...I picture myself as a tree and HE is the Hurricane...as a tree I may have planted myself in the wrong place, and my roots may have grown deep in that place I do not belong...but suddenly, HE comes and uproots me and dances around with me in the storms of life...as the cyclone swirls around us I am spinning and twirling with JESUS...roots exposed, the world around us a blur...HE IS JEALOUS FOR ME!

O'kay, I am just rambling on now...gushing actually...I am in love with a man, and His name is JESUS CHRIST!!!  I could go on and on about my relationship with JESUS, but I know that our relationship is ours...and I hope you find your relationship with Him to be just as fulfilling, just as rewarding...NOTHING COMPARES TO HIM!

Blessings,
Shawnie

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