Selah~Day Seventy Two

I was working my evening, summer shift at the Fronteir General Store at Broken Bow Lake that August night when I heard the news that Princess Diana was killed in a car crash. Immediately, I was struck with an overwhelming sadness at the loss of a Princess, the loss of a young mom, the loss of a humanitarian, the loss of a sister, a friend, and a public figure of compassion, hope, and love.

Personally, I was a big fan of the Princess. To me, she had a smile that could warm the coldest of hearts. I didn’t follow the royal family or read the tabloids. But, I always had a special liking for them. And, I felt sorry for the constant eye that lurked upon their every move. I remember thinking as a teenager how tough it must be for Prince William and Prince Harry to constantly be in the spotlight, their every move recorded or photographed or commented on.

So, the day after Princess Diana died, I wrote Prince William a letter. It was a short letter that expressed my sympathies. I never mailed the letter, of course. But, I did keep it for a while. I actually found it a couple of years ago when packing up some of my stuff to make a big move.

Now Today, I was so excited to hear that Prince William and Kate had a healthy baby boy. It may seem impossible, but their life just became even more adventurous. I won’t be writing any letters or sending any baby gifts. But, through this blog, I wish a big Congrats!

 

My 28 Thanks:

1. People who are powerful and use their power to do good.

2. Family.

3. Privacy.

4. I woke up early this morning and had time to snuggle with Judah before leaving for work. We have a special word to describe our hug.snuggle time…we call it HUGGLETIME!

5. Judah got to spend time playing with his cousins today.

6. Flexibility in my schedule.

7. I did so much before I left for vacation in order to be ahead of the game that I had VERY little to catch up on today.

8. I enjoy Mondays.

9. Brandon agreed with me today. Most of the time, I am always right:)

10. I had lunch with Danielle.

11. We had great lunch conversation.

12. I was able to give Danielle a book that I read 4 years ago. I love being able to share books with others.

13. My friend, Janelle, sent me a really sweet, hand written card. I still get so excited when I recieve hand written cards.

14. Words people use to encourage others.

15. Gary got to eat at IHOP for breakfast this morning. He loves IHOP and pancakes.

16. My friend Debby always pursues friendship. She never fails to encourage, contact, and show love.

17. Wanted to do something different in my teaching approach for tomorrow’s staff chapel. I think we are going to have fun with my idea.

18. Once you read something, you are responsible for the application of the information. I love to apply information.

19. My talented sister offered to give Judah swimming lessons this weekend. My sister is a jack of all trades…beauty queen, dancer, swim coach, dog lover, country bumpkin…

20. My mother-in-law lets the kids destroy her home because they are building forts, playing in boxes, and getting out all kinds of games. Her home is a fun house.

21. She invited me to dinner tonight and it was yummy and healthy.

22. My talented decorator, Holly, liked what I did in my home.

23. Hung out with two of my favorite young people tonight. Kaden and Peyton kept me company.

24. My sweet nephew, Kaden, is keeping me and Judah company tonight. He is such a great kids.

25. Coconut Banana Popsicles.

26. People you can share your heart with and trust them with the contents.

27. My mom sent me the sweetest of text messages. She is my biggest fan.

28. Honest Conversation.

 

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Selah~Day Seventy One

Today was a great day.

My 28 Thanks:

1. I took a walk this morning before getting ready for church. I was able to clear my mind and focus my thoughts for the day.

2. Early mornings are lovely, peaceful, and a breath of fresh air.

3. There is something really special about mornings. Everything smiles when it wakes from rest!

4. I felt relaxed today.

5. I was relaxed on stage today and it was noticeable. Several people commented. (I must be uptight most of the time! Ha Ha Ha!)

6. I enjoyed conversations with several kids today. They make me smile.

7. Two kids made me cards thanking me for being their pastor during the summer time. They had to go back the their real home in the Carolinas and were so sad to leave Kidz Ministry at Crossroads. Their cards touched my heart BIG TIME.

8. Pastor Marcia and Dorothy are having a great, restful vacation.

9. I get to worship Jesus with kids on a weekly basis.

10. Judah had a blast in Training Wheels this morning. He LOVES his orange flashlight. He is still holding it tonight.

11. Great lunch today with Great Friends.

12. I had the opportunity to encourage some people today.

13. The kids loved the small group activity. Yes, it involved candy, but they loved the game too.

14. Teaching kids always teaches me something about myself.

15. I had the priveledge of baptizing two precious kids tonight. I am proud of Bryson and Camden.

16. I got to be the first one in the baptism pool. (This is important people! Especially during times when there are 20+ people being baptized.)

17. I succumbed to the peer pressure and made a grand entrance into the baptism pool. Yes, I cannon ball jumped. I hit the bottom of that 4 ft. pool quickly!

18. I had lots of fun today visiting with different people.

19. My friend Holly and her kiddos are safe after having a wreck today.

20. I got to stop by a women’s Bible study for 10 minutes and see some really awesome ladies. I don’t always get to enjoy adult, female conversations. So, when I have them, I love them.

21. Gary is my number 1 helpmate in ministry. He has such a servant’s heart.

22. We reviewed the last 7 weeks of our summer series, Off the Rails, today. I was AMAZED at the memory of our kids. They were remembering details of our services and I couldn’t believe it. They have loved this series.

23. It was a great night for an outdoor service.

24. Free Ice Cream.

25. Tons of people commented on my haircut today. They all loved it. I had no idea cutting bangs would cause such a drastic change to my hair.

26. I received several spontaneous words of encouragement today from random people that I barely know.

27. God works in mysterious ways.

28. I took a detailed personality test about two weeks ago. Today, I spent some time studying the results more. I am an SI in the DISC test. So, the word that describes me in their formula is Advisor/Counselor. That’s who I am. So So thankful for this test. Before I took it, I had no idea who I was..(just being funny…I actually love tests like this)…God creates us all fearfully and wonderfully made!

Selah~Day Seventy

My 28 Thanks:

1. While Judah was giving me kisses, I asked him a question. “Judah, why are you giving me so many kisses?” He replied, “because Mommy, I know that I love you!” He makes my heart smile.

2. We had a great quick trip to Tulsa.

3. Safe Travels.

4. Valerie’s wedding was beautiful and so sweet.

5. Covenant marriage.

6. Vows.

7. Valerie’s husband loves Jesus too. He seems really sweet.

8. We saw some friends at the wedding that we haven’t seen in a long time.

9. Judah was so good at the wedding. He loved the fans that Valerie and Justin set at each table. We left with 5 fans. None of them are working now.

10. Gary and I held hands on our drive.

11. I read my book, Start, outloud so Gary could hear it too. He really enjoyed the read.

12. Pg. 117 of Start.

13. Pg. 124 of Start.

14. Our reading material started big conversation. I love sharing my heart with my husband and hearing his heart as well.

15. My husband is so sweet and caring. God spent a little more time on him.

16. The sound of my husband and Judah playing in the play room.

17. Judah loves to play wrestle. Glad that he prefers Gary as the counterpart. For a three year old, he packs a strong head lock.

18. My mom made it home safely.

19. In the Gospels, Jesus tells about watching a woman who had very little give it all in the offering.

20. People who give their all.

21. I got several compliments on my hair today.

22. Judah sang “My Best Friend, Jesus” to us in the car ride home.

23. Clean bathrooms at gas stations.

24. My vacation ends tonight. What a great week of rest.

25. I live close to an amazing grocery store. Milk runs are super fast and easy.

26. Humor.

27. Spontaneous laughter.

28. Making plans that think outside the box.

Selah~Day Sixty Nine

I read a great article today by Jon Acuff, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His article today was titled, “Three People You Need to Ignore Online: The Spectator, The Hater, and The Complainer.” I loved this article. He writes it to encourage online bloggers- encouraging them to not listen to critics who don’t provide constructive criticism, but rather only have the sole purpose of destroying their dreams. But, not only does this article apply to online voices, but can also apply to voices in our daily lives. I want to make sure I capture this article and reflect back on it from time to time.

Jon Acuff’s Article

Here are 3 people to stay away from:

    1. The Spectator


Do you know who the football coach never invites into the locker room for some advice during halftime? The spectators. The wide receiver never runs into the stand and asks for feedback from someone sitting in the 10th row.

Why? Because spectators aren’t on the field. They aren’t playing. They’re watching other people do it.

What does that mean for you? It means you need to ignore the person who hates your blog but doesn’t have their own. They’re just a spectator. Their hands aren’t dirty. Their knowledge has not been paid for with experience. Ignore them. Instead, get feedback from other bloggers, other people who are in the trenches where you are.

    1. The Hater


It’s time to require the “squeaky wheel gets the oil” theory. For years it caused many of us to ignore the people who liked our dream in order to focus our energy on the people who hated it. (I call this theory, “Critic’s Math,” which is “1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult.” We have the ability to receive 1,000 compliments and ignore them in the face of 1 insult.)

The truth is, you should never waste time trying to turn someone who hates you into someone who likes you. Instead focus on turning people who like your dream into people who love your dream.

So how do you know who a hater is? Simple, someone who hates on something without a solution to make it better is a hater. If they don’t have a fix, an idea, a spark of improvement, they’re just there to hate. That’s one of the main differences between hate and feedback.

Feedback’s goal is to cause improvements. Hate’s goal is to cause wounds. Let them go.

    1. The Complainer


A complainer is someone who won’t respond when you attempt to fix a problem. For example, let’s say you strongly disagree with something I wrote on my blog and I ask you a clarifying question. If you don’t respond, you’re a complainer.

If you respond, you’re a conversationalist and we can talk. That’s completely different. We can debate. We can go back and forth until we might even reach a resolution. That’s the beauty of the Internet, a simple question can clarify so many of the nuances that can be misinterpreted.

There are going to be a thousand people you can’t ignore as you chase a dream. Friends, family, supporters, helpful critics, you will never run out of people you need to make time for. And a lot of them will have great feedback for you.

But cut yourself some slack and ignore the three we talked about today. Nothing good will come of giving them your time.

 

My 28 Thanks:

1. Words that bring Wisdom.

2. Great writers. I have had the honor of reading several of their works.

3. An education.

4. A love of reading.

5. I can ignore negative voices who don’t offer any constuctive help.

6. A beautiful morning.

7. 45 minutes of reading time.

8. My mom came to town for a visit.

9. Lunch together at Panera Bread.

10. Gary made an amazing fruit salad and we munched on it!

11. I ended my staycation with Pastor on Call duties. But, I only got one call today. That is a good way to ease back into work.

12. Got everything set up for Sunday in a timely manner.

13. Gary and I had a conversation about our dreams today.

14. I learn something new about my husband all the time.

15. He has some really great dreams.

16. I think I could totally help him with them.

17. My mom reminded me of one of my favorite children’s books. It is a Little Golden Book entitled, Charlie. I loved that book. The alley cat, Charlie, found a new home in a courtyard and played tiger in the grass. I looked for a while and finally found it online. But, it is currently sold out. I must get that book.

18. Sharing childhood memories with my mom.

19. My mom takes great care of herself. She is a beautiful woman and so healthy.

20. If I sit down, Judah always wants to be in my lap.

21. My little boy gave me lots of kisses today.

22. Hide and Seek is never boring with a 3 year old. We love playing games together.

23. Judah has made up a new game that makes all our wood floors “hot lava.” If I step on the floors, he becomes the lava monster and gets to get me. It is impossible to walk around in my home and avoid the hot lava…fun times!

24. Gary took Judah for a walk and let my mom and me enjoy a Hallmark movie together.

25. My mom still asks questions while watching a movie! She makes me smile.

26. We were able to help a guy with his car at the gas station today.

27. I am excited about the Back 2 School Fuel services and a new Back 2 School series I am putting together entitled, Shine the Light.

28. Progress.

 

Selah~Day Sixty Eight

I had too much on my mind to record it late at night, so here are my thoughts and thanks for July 17:

 

I read the following words in the conclusion of my book and they spoke profoundly to me. I wanted to make sure and capture them, so here goes.

Your greatest source of motivation is finding untapped potential yet within you. You see, your future is not what lies ahead of you. It is what lies within you. 

Potential is everything you can be but haven’t become yet. It is everything you can do but haven’t done yet. It’s everywhere you can go but haven’t gone yet. Potential is the books you can write that you haven’t written yet. It is the life you’ve wanted to live but haven’t lived yet. It is like a huge engine–running idle. It is energy still underutilized, power yet unleashed, and strength yet unused…Potential always lies ahead of you, not behind you. It is found in what can still be done, not in what you have already done. 

As I end this great read, I am also coming to the end of my 8 day sabbatical. Time off was crucial for me in this season. I had come to a point in my personal and professional life where I didn’t “feel” that I had anything left to give. I was truly leading on empty. Simple tasks had become difficult. Creativity, out of the box thinking, and taking risks were no longer appealing. I was living each day with the goal of just making it through to the next one. Many factors, over the last year, have led to this depletion. Bottom line, I was tired and I needed rest. I needed to remove myself from all expectations outside of God, Gary, and Judah, and rediscover my potential. I needed to realize that I hadn’t used up all my potential.

Thankfully, God designed in His plan of creation a day of rest. Think about it…as humans, we can’t CREATE, but we can imitate one day of God’s amazing week and that is the seventh day… a day of REST! The sabbath is a declaration by God that His work was done and it was good. We don’t need to add to it. God’s people were instructed to keep His example by doing nothing to advance their own cause on that day. God, in all His intelligence, actually designed rest as part of His creation plan because He knew we needed it in order to remain FRUITFUL  and FAITHFUL.

Genesis 2:2-3 reads, “By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” Out of all the days of creation, He made the seventh day (rest day) a Holy day.

Often times, we say that we will rest when the work is done. But, let’s be honest, THE WORK WILL NEVER BE DONE. I am convinced that the needs in your life will always be great, people will always have an expectation of you, chores will always need to be done, decisions will always need to be made, groceries will always need to be bought, kids will always need to be shuffled to and fro, and on and on and on and on…but, you have to come to a place where you decide, you plan, you create, you determine, you schedule, and most importantly, you protect a sabbath day for you and your family.

You can’t base your life on the expectations of others…no matter who that “other” is. You have the power to control your pace. You have the power to control your rest. I believe that if you rest and pace yourself, you will always see your potential and you will always be hungry.

My 28 Thanks:

1. Your potential always lies ahead of you.

2. You can never deplete your God-given potential.

3. Even Paul, the Apostle, no longer a young lad was trapped in prison and facing the possibility of death and knew he still had potential. He writes in Phillipians 3:12, “I don’t mean to say that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.”

4. Your hunger can always be renewed.

5. The transparency of other people. Because they allow their story to be shared, people like me can learn great things of what to do and what not to do.

6. God rested.

7. God blessed the seventh day and SANCTIFIED IT!

8. Genesis 2:2-3. Pull it up right now and read it and figure out a way to practice it in your life if you are not.

9. I have the power to control my pace.

10. I have the power to call a rest.

11. Work will never be done…Job Security:)

12. Nehemiah 10.

13. Gary, Judah, and I had a family super hero dress up morning. I can’t believe I am sharing this over the World Wide Web. But, it was a ton of fun and Judah laughed a lot!

14. Gary still has his 1986 game, Mousetrap, and it is in great condition. We play it with Judah often. Judah gets sad when the mice get trapped. So sweet.

15. Gary takes care of EVERYTHING. Seriously, he still has a crayon collection from his childhood that is in mint condition. He folds his clothes in ways that preserve the quality. And, I could go on. I love this quality about him because he so cares for his family too. More than I can even express with words.

16. Gary has really funny quirks. And, I know them. I love this part of marriage. He knows mine too.

17. Gary doesn’t have a blog page to publicly declare my quirks! Ha Ha Ha.

18. I took a nap.

19. Judah had fun playing with his cousins.

20. I am already planning my next session of rest!

21. We took a walk around the neighborhood.

22. We live in a great, clean neighborhood.

23. Our neighborhood doesn’t have a ton of cars parked along both sides of the street. This is so much safer.

24. I have had some awesome changes in my health since I have been on this week of rest.

25. I have a job that allows me time off to rest.

26. Gary and I enjoyed a movie together.

27. Gary helped me do sound effects for the 3 Little Pigs. It took our bedtime story time to another level of fun. But, it didn’t help Judah settle down any at all!

28. My kidmin team is out of this world amazing. I have so many people in my life who know how to fill in gaps, make things happen, and go above and beyond in ministry. Thankful, very thankful, for teammates who I also call my family.

Selah~Day Sixty Seven

My 28 Thanks:

1. My morning began with a cute little finger tapping ever so gently on my cheek. Then, I heard the words, “Mommy, wake up. The sun is up.”

2. Every day is a new day for God to do something wonderful and new in your life.

3. Morning time.

4. Our little family went to the Zoo today and it was fun.

5. Morgan, our neice, joined us for the Zoo trip.

6. We rode the train all around the Zoo. It was my first time to do that and it is totally the way to see the Zoo.

7. Chiropractic adjustments. My brother is awesome and always works us in.

8. I felt much better after my adjustment.

9. I love natural health treatments like adjustments, honey and cinnamon, and coconut oil, and etc…

10. I learned today that a human brain is capable of processing up to 70,000 thoughts a day.

11. I am a learner.

12. The human body and mind astounds me. God is a great, indescribable God.

13. I know that the Giraffe has a heart the size of a basketball which weighs 23 lbs. The Giraffe has the highest blood pressure of all species. Hopefully, this information will be a trivial pursuit question one day and I will ace it!

14. Charlie did an awesome Back 2 School Fuel graphic for me.

15. We got an amazing, second row parking spot at the Zoo.

16. The Zoo wasn’t crowded at all.

17. Gary cooked dinner again while I played outside with Judah.

18. We got to enjoy the outdoors before the welcomed rain came again.

19. I am learning some important tools to put into practice that will help me modify the way I have been living.

20. My mother-in-law surprised Gary with his favorite cooking pan. He was so excited. He is truly a gadget/kitchen utensil guy.

21. My in-laws came over tonight for a chat. They are sweet, caring people.

22. Judah kept his shoes on for every car ride today…big accomplishment.

23. Jetted tub time.

24. Judah fell asleep as soon as I said, “The End” to  another one of my stories. He is so attentive while I tell them. I should record them and write children’s books. That would be fun.

25. Night time prayers with Judah.

26. God is love.

27. He can’t be anything else, but love.

28. His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.

Selah~Day Sixty Six

My 28 Thanks:

1. My grass is so green.

2. We have amazing July rainfall totals. I don’t remember ever getting this much rain in July.

3. We took Judah to his first movie today…He loved Despicable Me 2.

4. Gary and I laughed more than Judah during the movie.

5. My husband is a big kid at heart. He loves animation movies and I love what he loves…mostly:)

6. Judah loved eating a whole candy bar at the movies.

7. We saw old friends and their kids at the movies today.

8. We had Pei Wei for lunch. Judah loves their chicken and so do I!

9. We went shopping at TJ Maxx. We didn’t buy much, but had fun looking at all the gadgets.

10. Gary is a gadget guy. Any store that has gadgets provides me an opportunity to hold him accountable for purchases.

11. Judah has great influence on what I buy. Today, I purchased orange wash cloths, orange drawer organizers, and orange soap. Judah loves orange.

12. We all held hands while walking down the sidewalk today.

13. Gary made his amazing chicken pot pie for dinner.

14. We ate dinner outside.

15. My friend, Danielle, misses me. I miss her too. She makes people feel special and really gets to know people for who they are.

16. Received some sweet text from friends this week. Friends are so important in ones life!

17. Fresh cantaloupe.

18. I saw lots of dads at the movies with their kids. I love seeing dads spend special times with their kids.

19. Dads.

20. We had a family dance party tonight. Judah picked the music and we had a blast dancing to the music.

21. Enjoyed a much needed conversation with Bethany. I miss her so much.

22. Imagination play with my sweet Judah.

23. Popcorn and movie night with Gary.

24. Gary made the popcorn. His is the best.

25. God always has a plan to make all things new again.

26. Together is a wonderful place to be.

27. I am in a great place.

28. Saturation…physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental saturation in His rain.