Moving Forward, Going Backwards

As she stood at the doorway and told me one last time she didn’t want to go, I looked her in the eyes and told her the truth: Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Whether it is in your own mind or out of someone else’s mouth or actions, it is the devil and he is seeking to devour you!

Advertisements

My daughter has been taking gymnastics classes for a little over a year. She’s experienced joy, frustration, excitement and motivation. She’s experienced fear and has overcome some fears. She’s been encouraged and she has also been discouraged. This sounds like life and what we all experience throughout our days, doesn’t it?

I’ve never seen my daughter so passionate about something in her life as she is with gymnastics. She has set goals. She stretches and works on things every day and marks it off with a check on her calendar. She has learned self-discipline. For the past several months there is not a day that goes by that she doesn’t set aside time to do this.

20181005_122503.jpg

Although she is shy, she has become somewhat of a leader when it comes to this. Her friends that come over see her motivation and join her. Even family members have gotten on the mats and joined her in stretching and doing flips. (Myself included and it was not pretty haha.)

Last week when I picked her up from class, she said she didn’t want to go back. I haven’t seen her this frustrated since she started. This week, yesterday, after school she told me twice she wasn’t going to her gymnastics class. She made up excuses and gave her reasons but I said, “You’re going.”

Her big thing is she is afraid to go backwards. Of course I relate this to life and spiritual things with her, telling her we want to move forward in life and move forward with God, but in gymnastics it’s necessary to go backwards: that’s part of it.

20181005_120608

As she stood at the doorway and told me one last time she didn’t want to go, I looked her in the eyes and told her the truth: Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Whether it is in your own mind or out of someone else’s mouth or actions, it is the devil and he is seeking to devour you!

John 10:10 NKJV   “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 

1 Peter 5:8 NKJV  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeing whom he may devour. 

The devil wants to steal your joy. He wants to kill your dreams and motivation. He wants to destroy your goals- everything you’re working towards. He wants to devour you by taking away any confidence or hope you may have. It’s not you and it’s not anyone else- it’s the devil. He wants you to give up BUT God is greater and He wants you to succeed!

I’m not sure what else flew out of my mouth but I told her she was going and that the Lord would take care of her and He would be her strength. She surprisingly and quickly agreed. She wasn’t all that happy on the way to class but her whole attitude changed as she exited the car and walked toward the door of the gymnastics studio- all smiles and even laughter!

An hour later, I came back to pick her up. A woman was standing outside talking on her phone and she said, “Go look at your daughter! She got her back walkover!”

20181005_120240

I went inside and everyone was excited. I watched that young lady God blessed me with go backwards! And with such grace! I was in shock! I thought I was dreaming and was she ever beaming! I said, “Do it again!” And she did, ever so gracefully!

20181005_120010

She was smiling from ear to ear all the way home, as was I. It was a lesson for her, as well as for me.

I told her, “Now do you see? The devil wanted you to quit and you didn’t and look what happened! You moved forward, you pushed through, and you did what you didn’t think you could do!”

20181005_120355

Ironic enough, my niece called me later and I told her all about what had happened. Later in our conversation I told her it didn’t look like I was going to make it with a writing career. She quickly reminded me of what I had spoken only hours before- “That’s just the devil wanting you to quit. How is that any different than what Leah just went through? I mean, you’re writing for God.”

How quickly I forget!

I hope we will remember to apply this to our lives, even by the minute. Thank you for reading and God bless!

 

 

 

 

Nothing New Under the Sun

Although what you have to say may have already been said, you never know who might read your posts when others’ have gone unread.

I used to love to read Christian books. I loved finding deals at yard sales, thrift stores, book stores and anywhere else I could find them. I would come home and put them on a bookshelf. Any time I would walk by and look, one would catch my eye. I would pull it off the shelf, open it and it would be something that would speak to my heart.

20180926_215016

When I first started working on my own book, I quit reading other books. I even got rid of a bunch of them. I feared something would stick in my mind and I would unconsciously plagiarize. I didn’t want to be labeled “copycat” so I chose to stick with the Bible as being the only book I would read.

Although I read articles from time to time, I still haven’t touched but a handful of books over the past 4 years.

It’s been a little less than a month and a half since I started this journey in my life called blogging and it has been a roller coaster of a ride. I’ve had moments of excitement as well as moments of discouragement. Not long in, I even wished I’d never started so no one would know I had quit.

One night I was so discouraged, I desperately picked up my phone and “Googled” when you’re a discouraged blogger (or something to that effect). I read the first thing that popped up on my screen, which was a blog and just as the books I used to open, that post was exactly what I needed. It spoke to my heart.

Recently I ventured out onto the blogging site I use and read some fellow bloggers’ posts and even subscribed to some of their sites! I joined a social media group of blogging women. I have found a special community and they have welcomed me in with open arms. It has been a huge blessing to say the least!

And do you know what? I’ve read a post someone wrote about getting a speeding ticket (and they wrote theirs before I wrote mine). I’ve read posts about some things I wrote about in my book. I’ve read posts where someone used the same Bible verse last week that I used the other day. I’ve read posts about things that have been weighing on my mind and heart heavily. I’ve read good godly advice about blogging and the Christian life. I’ve read about our faults and His grace. And do you know what else I’ve read?

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 NKJV   9) That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.  10) Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.

20180920_182652.jpg

I have realized I’ve been robbing myself of blessings for quite some time now. As my friend Elizabeth told me- the root word of relationship is relate. When you can relate, it builds relationships. We understand one another! So, to all my newfound blogging friends, I want to thank you!

If you’re not a blogger and you have something to say, start a blog!

Although what you have to say may have already been said, you never know who might read your posts when others’ have gone unread.

Now I’m beginning to sound like Dr. Seuss so I’m signing off for now (haha).

Thank you for reading and God bless!

The Piano

…because He knows you’re doing it for Him.

When I was 7 years old, my brother and sister-in-law got married. The church building they were married in had a piano. My other brother sat down at it and messed around, then someone else came in and played it. I fell in love. It was absolutely the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.

Fast forward to the year 1997. My husband and I became friends before we dated. One day we were hanging out with my brother and another friend. We went to a state park not far from us and went inside a little church on the premises. I was shocked to see Jason, my husband, sit down at the piano and begin to play. What! He didn’t strike me as a pianist type but afterward he told me he took lessons when he was a kid.

After we married, I learned his mom played the piano at church. When I began to go to services where she attended, it made it even more special that she was the one playing.  We lived with them at the time and at night she would practice the music she would play the following day. It was a sound I still miss. One day she told me she couldn’t even play the piano until God taught her. I understood that but thought, surely there was something there to begin with.

I come from a musical family but it’s the men that hold those talents. My Dad, all 3 brothers and a couple of uncles and nephews can all sing, play something, or both. Us girls just never had it. Or at least I didn’t think we did.

Yesterday as I sat down to finish the blog post planned for the day, I decided to play some music. I love a song called “You Say” by Christian artist Lauren Daigle. As it began to play I realized I needed absolute quietness so I turned the music off. I sat there for a minute looking at my computer screen and said to myself, “I think I want to learn how to play that on the piano.” I pulled up a few videos to see what keys to put my fingers on, grabbed a dry erase marker, marked the keys and before I knew it, it sounded more like a song than noise! I was so excited! I couldn’t believe my ears (or my eyes or my fingers)!

I practiced for a while in the afternoon, last night and again this morning. I recorded it and sent it to my mother-in-law. After all, she passed this piano I was playing down to Jason. It popped in to my head about her saying God taught her how to play. Now I understood!

The video took a long time to load so I decided to call her and just play it for her over the phone. I messed up quite a bit but she encouraged me by saying, “Everyone does”. It wasn’t long before we were both crying. She knew the feeling. She knows I can’t play the piano. It’s still not perfect but I am amazed at what the Lord is allowing me to do. My mother-in-law, Pam, said, “because He knows you’re doing it for Him.” She said it even takes you to a deeper place of worship. I have to agree. I even notice when I start doing it on my own, I mess up.

I’m going to use Pam’s favorite verses of Scripture for this story.

Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV 5) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I have to say, I’m still astonished. I wish I had a before video to share. I could only peck around on the keys. Jason did teach me a part of the song “Heart and Soul” but I get really confused on just that, therefore I know this is ALL the Lord!

I hope what they say is true: the camera adds ten pounds. Or maybe it is those snack cakes (haha).

I hope you enjoyed reading and remember-If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. (Mark 9:23)

click on the link below to see:

Me playing the piano

To order the shirt I’m wearing (Just Believe) which is a song on my musical uncle, Jack Pearson’s, newly released CD “Are You Listening” (t-shirt available for a limited time):

Click here

And scroll to the bottom of the page

 

 

30 Mile Yard Sale

What about when it seems as if we are getting rained on and those that do wrong just go about their lives without a hitch.

Every year the town I live in has a 30 mile yard sale the weekend after Labor Day. It’s been a couple of years. I figure I have enough stuff, I should participate in the sale by selling, not buying, but I may go this year. With the big event coming up, I am reminded of a Saturday morning several years back. I was slowly dragging around the house drinking my morning coffee, but agreed to get ready and go check out a few of the sales around town with my family.

We stopped at the nearest gas station to fill up for the day. As we were under the canopy at the pump, the bottom dropped out of the sky. The rain began to beat down overhead. As we pulled out onto the highway, we saw people set up for the yard sale. One house in particular had about a dozen tables set up with tons of items and lots of furniture. It didn’t take long for all of it to become soaking wet. I then looked at the house next door. The yard was nicely manicured. And empty. Their vehicles were parked in the driveway. I pictured them inside- comfortable and dry.

It made me feel terrible for those that had done all that work to drag all those things out. I don’t know if rain was in the forecast or if everyone just hoped it would pass on by. We never know about the weather.

Today a lady I clean house for had me help her get things ready for this weekend’s annual event. She is having her sale under her carport. We sat some of the items out today, but some she kept inside in case the rain comes and blows in under the carport. Wet weather is in the forecast for this weekend.

Although this excerpt from the Bible is out of context for this particular situation, this verse is the verse that came to mind the day of the rainy sale, and again today with the weekend’s preparations. The Word of God is called the Living Word, therefore I would hope it is ok to say it can pertain to any situation that may come about in the life we live. As long as we study and remember what it’s pertaining to, we can allow it to help us along our way.

The second part of Matthew 5:45 NKJV says, “for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

These are the words of Jesus telling us about loving our enemies, how we should treat them and what we should do for them. (Of course sometimes the “downpours” in our lives are caused by our enemies.)

What about when it seems as if we are getting rained on and those that do wrong just go about their lives without a hitch. Last week there were several times it rained one place and just a piece down the road it was dry as a bone. We can’t look at our neighbor and wonder why their grass may not be wet just because ours is. It is whatever the Lord chooses. As we have probably heard many times, we need rain in our lives, just as the earth does, to make us grow.

The point is, whether we are walking with the Lord or not, we will all be rained on at some point and the sun will rise on us just as it does everyone else, as He sees fit of course.

So the next time the bottom drops out on us in life, Lord, help us to remember that you are growing us, just as the rain is needed for crops to grow. Remind us that you are filling us, just as you fill bodies of water to make them flow. Open our ears, Lord, to listen for You calling us to crawl up underneath Your canopy for shelter. No matter what, we will become bigger and stronger because of the rain You allow to pour down on us- if we only allow it.

Thank you for reading and God bless!

 

How to Catch a Flea

A few weeks ago my niece came over and wanted me to paint her toenails. She was sitting on the floor in my bedroom and all of a sudden she said she got bit by something. She asked if we had fleas. I said, “I hope not!” She went on to tell me she read there is a trick you can do to find out if you have them.

You put a bowl of water under a lamp overnight. The fleas are drawn to the light from the lamp. They try to jump towards the light, fall in the bowl of water and drown. I said, “So if I put a bowl of water under the lamp on the piano, I’ll find out if I have fleas?” She said, “No, you have to put the lamp on the floor.”

I never tried this trick because four of us live here and none of us have gotten bit by anything except mosquitos, and that is outside unless one makes it’s way in occasionally. I think she just got lucky (haha), or maybe the Lord knew I’d need something to write about one day.

The other night Leah and I were reading in the book of Matthew. As I was reading aloud, I was reminded of the conversation my niece and I had. In verses 15-16 NKJV, Jesus says:

15) Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify you Father in heaven.

I glanced over at the lamp that was giving off the light to read by on the bedside table.

Although the trick with the lamp may be a good way to determine if you have fleas, we normally want to put a lamp in a higher place to be able to see better- to light up a room. This parable in the Bible speaks of followers of Christ. We don’t want to cover our light, place it on the floor or even have a dimmer switch, but let it shine bright to light up a dark world. He wants us to be a shining example for Christ, that our Father might be glorified.

Thank you for reading.