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Monday, January 31, 2011

Bloghop Fever

 Happy Monday everyone ;P

Bear with me as I try to learn my way around this blog thing. Above I've put in a picture I wanted to share with some of my new friends who say they are freezing their fingers, toes and unmentionables off. Its a picture taken on our last vacation to our sister isle Tobago by my husband. Isn't it gorgeous?... a famous Tobago sunset on Store Bay.. a local beach. Hope you enjoy it and it warms you from the inside even as you're surrounded by the white stuff (which I think looks so beautiful, but I know it must get tedious eventually).

This is the link to an old post by someone I met on the Blizzard Blog Hop.


 It was a great blog and I was so inspired by it that I thought I'd share it with you all. I think you will love Traci Michelle's site as much as I do. She has a little bit of everything and is so fresh and fun.. I guess its the reason she has over 600 followers!

She's also doing The Love Dare- A 14 Day  Challenge as I mentioned on Friday in my blog which I wrote to link up with that. A-Z Feelin Pretty is just the thing I believe we need to get us  in the right frame of mind for romance... after all how can we feel attractive if we don't take care of ourselves. I'm a big 'fail' as my children would say... where this is concerned. Everybody else gets taken care of but I ignore my own needs. I shave when I HAVE to, I pluck when my eyebrows when they've grown out so much I have trouble reshaping them. The only thing I do regularly is shampoo my hair and paint on toenail polish (usually several layers before I take it off and start from scratch!) So hop on over to Ordinary Inspirations and be inspired! Then hop on over to Women Living Well and see how to apply all the new beautiful you to romancing your husband this week. (You'll see why when you see what the Challenge entails this week!)

I've 'met' so many wonderful women of God through the Blizzard Bloghop. There are so many great blogs out there, I could never read them all (and get my chores done lol!!). I also need to mention Sherry at Lamp Unto My Feet. I really enjoyed her Friday Funnies. I could see how addictive this blogging thing could be... where do people find the time? One lady I met had what looked like 30+ blogs she was following. I can't imagine finding the time to read that much.... though I'd dearly love to! I have 'followed' (boy we sure are recreating the english dictionary lol!) a few because I couldn't resist and I hope that I can keep up!

Today, Darlene at Time Warp Wife is starting a bible study on the Book of Ruth, I'm excited about that and I also continue studying the Book of James with the Good Morning Girls... I've never truly gotten into the Word as much as I am now. Thank you to Courtney, Angela and Darlene for this great opportunity. Between my bible studies and the two Valentine's challenges, I'm going to be pretty busy these next few weeks!  I look forward to learning and sharing and I wish all of you a great week ahead!

May God's grace and blessings be upon you always!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Its Friday again! I don't know anyone who doesn't love Fridays. For me, its the start of the weekend, I get to have my husband and children home and we get to spend it as we choose (unless of course there's some thing that we MUST go to either individually or together).

Why do I love Fridays so  much? Well, apart from the obvious above, I've had a long tradition of making Fridays special. When my children were all, the first three that is,  in primary school (I think you'd call it elementary school?), I'd take the day off from chores and spend it helping out at their school library.  After school  we'd head over to Mc Donald's and have a little bite and the youngest back  then, would play in the kiddie gym they had.

I wouldn't rush home. I didn't cook. It was a great start to the weekend. The children were happy because I was happy (since I love books so much I really enjoyed my time in the library, plus I got a chance to do something besides the normal chores .. and speak to ADULTS too! lol!). Their father would come home around 7:30 after playing tennis after work and he'd bring us some KFC or something else for dinner. The children LOVED Fridays.. as you can see.. so did I!

As the children got older and life got more complex, it became more challenging to make Fridays enjoyable.  There are times when one or more of the children may have something to do that doesn't involve the rest of us. Still, we like to make Fridays special, so we have Family Game Night or Family Movie Night. Its our chance to unwind together after a long, hectic week. We don't eat so much KFC anymore and Mc Donalds is no longer available in our country... now our Movie or Game Night Food is more along the lines of  wantons and pows (chinese dim sum)

I don't help out in a library anymore (geez I do miss it!) but I do something even better. I spend my morning with the Lord. I go to morning mass and then I do a Holy Hour of Reparation (offering the hour to God for all the outrages by which He is offended) and I get to have that wonderful time with Him to be refreshed and rejuvenated. When I get back home I prepare my menu and shopping list for the next week so I can do the shopping later on.

My favourite thing about Fridays though, is that I know that I'll get to have time with my husband.  I can look forward to maybe sharing a glass of wine with him, cuddle on the couch while we watch the movie, or be on the opposing team for Game Night just so I can tease him. Just knowing that we can sleep in a bit on Saturday (Sunday Mass is early) and knowing that I get to be around him makes me happy. All week long I manage things on my own, more or less, its nice to have him around, even if its just to have him say "Everything's going to be alright". Seeing his smile and getting his hugs makes everything feel okay.. I'm sure you know what I mean ;-)

So, I'm supposed to be writing a blog to enter The Love Dare 14 Day Valentine Challenge (and yes I'm doing Courtney's as well.. isn't my man lucky?) over at Traci's Ordinary Inspirations. I can't think of a better way than to say that for the next fourteen days I will try to live each day like its Friday! LOL!!

I will be joyful and look forward to sharing each evening with my husband and, hopefully, I will be able to make the next two weeks memorable and enjoyable for him. Heck between these two challenges.. I'll be killing him with love! Better take your vitamins honey! (Yeah, he's going to read my blog... he does all the time). There's very little, if anything at all, that I don't share with my hubby. He's been blushing all week cause he's had a starring role in most of my blogs. What can I say... he's a part of everything I do because he's in my heart always. (Of course he knows about the Challenge I'm doing, but I'm happy to say that I don't have to go far beyond what's normal for us lately, so he knows I'm being sincere and not just pulling out the big guns) Next week... the big cannons do come out! (Check out Courtney's blog and you'll see why ;-). Now I'll really get him thinking!

Well, that's how I intend to journey .... hope you like it. Looking forward to the next two weeks!

God Bless!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blizzard Blog Hop from Girl in the Sun

Hi, I'm Lisa

I found this blog through Courtney's Women Living Well blog which I follow and thought I'd join in. 

I'm really new to blogging and learning as I go along.. still don't know alot but the best way to learn is to just jump right in! I've been married for 21 years next month and I have four beautiful daughters, between the ages of almost 20 and 4 (yes I did say 4!). I have to mention that I live in the Caribbean and therefore I'm blistering in the sun here and not "snowed in". (Hey, don't be jealous.. I'd love to see snow someday ;-)

I've been a homemaker for 18 years now and still discovering that there's something new to learn everyday. My blog is my way of  sharing and learning from others on my faith, homemaking, parenting, anything to do with the kitchen.  So far, I've only been sharing on my faith and enjoying the experience of being able to write. I've always dabbled in writing since I was a child and just never followed through with anything I wrote.

My favourite thing to do is to curl up with  a good book and something to snack on and lose myself. After that, I guess my passion is in the kitchen - that's been my outlet for creativity. I love to try new recipes and the fulfilling feeling that comes with knowing you are making something that everyone cant wait to eat! I love when the whole house is filled with the aroma of something good in the oven. My four year old will stand at the top of the stairs and shout "I smell cinnamon buns!" She's got a nose for these things!

As I feel my way around, I hope to get better and improve on my blog.  Some of you have such beautiful layouts and pictures. It's useless asking my children for help, they laugh at my helplessness in front of a computer. I guess they get a kick out of knowing something that their "know it all" mom doesn't. lol! I have faith that I'll figure it out eventually.

Well, that's me in a nutshell. I think its exciting to be a part of something that reaches so many people and I look forward to 'meeting' more people.

Take care and God bless

A Woman's Wiles

I was reflecting yesterday on my meditation of the Book of Job. As I said before, this book has so much to learn from I could write a lot about it.

One of the things that struck me was that Job persevered and kept his faith and trust in God, through the loss of all his worldly possessions, even his children and his health. He persisted until his wife said to him Job 2:9 "Then his wife said to him, 'Why do you persist in this integrity of yours? Curse God and die!" Can you imagine a wife saying those words to her husband? Even in these modern days it would be unacceptable, but in biblical times? It demonstrates,  not only  her lack of  caring and compassion for him, but also her lack of respect.

We are told that Job discounted his wife's words but, sometime afterward, he did turn from God and cursed his birth. I cannot help but wonder if Job might have persisted in his faith if he had had his wife's support. Perhaps he gave up because he had lost the respect of his wife, which I would imagine would have been even more painful than losing the respect of his peers in those days, in any day for that matter.

We are taught in biblical womanhood to submit to our fathers/husbands, but that doesn't mean that we do not influence them.  In 1 Peter 3:1-2, St Peter addresses women as follows: "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands, so that if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of the wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives" 

Check out this phrase "without words". Our husbands know when something is wrong with us, even when we don't say a thing, don't they? I don't know about you but I give off some kind of "aura" and my husband just knows. ;-)

St Peter understood how a woman can influence her husband's actions and choices, how her behavior can invoke a positive or negative response. Throughout the bible are examples of how a woman used her wiles on men.. notably Delilah, Rebekah, Judith.. how I love Judith!  And what of Eve.. the most infamous of all. The downfall of man came about when Eve persuaded Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if he had refused and Eve alone had disobeyed?

 God created woman and put something into her to draw man. That influence could be used for bad  or for the good... to glorify God, as Judith did.  Let's look at the woman most honoured in the bible.. Mary the mother of Jesus. At the wedding in Cana, Mary asked Jesus to save the bridal couple embarrassment because their wine had run out.  Jesus replied in John 2:4"Woman, why do you involve  me? My time has not yet come". Yet Mary told the servants to do whatever he told them, trusting that he would do it to please her. The fact that Jesus wanted to please his mother tells of his great love for her.  Here is an example of how positive  a woman's influence can be. .My husband tells me all the time that it was my own journey with God that made him want to do the same. (Personally,  I believe that God was just not going to take no for an answer any more! He pursued him and captured his heart, if I had anything to do with it, then Praise God!)

As we continue Week 2 of  The 25 Day Praise Plan Marriage Challenge, I want to challenge you to  not only build him up your husband as a man, but to build him up as a man of God. I plan, even while being romantic and lavishing praises upon him, to make sure that my behavior influences him the right way. I plan to support him and encourage him with the  Word and, by shining brightly for Jesus, to inspire him to let his light shine too.

Let's use our womanly wiles in a positive way, to influence our men to be upright, God-fearing and to be strong in their faith.  Let's support them with the kind of strength that God gives to woman... to fulfill our roles as their helpmates.

May His Graces and Blessings be with you always!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saying Yes to God! (even in adversity)

As I sit here typing this, I'm reflecting on how wonderful our God is. He can turn any potentially bad situation into something that, if we co-operate, will glorify Him and bring so many blessings to us.

I started off my day yesterday giving Him praise and worship. I went to Mass and spent an hour in the chapel with Him, just absorbing His Grace and meditating. When I left there, I had all the good intentions to make my day a worthy offering to the Lord,  I had promised to do all and accept all for love of Him. I had asked Him to give me zeal for my work and to let my caring for my family be as though it were Himself I was caring for.

First I had a long stop at the bank. While waiting, I was running through the long list of things I had to do (I'm still playing catch up, remember?) and feeling a little impatient. As I got home the phone rang and I spent 15 minutes on a phone call with my mother in law. As I hung up, my husband called and said he had to come home to pick up a document for a bank transaction .  I decided, reluctantly,  to meet him at the bank to save him the trip home in the traffic because my conscience wouldn't be quiet about it.  I had just changed into my "working at home" clothes and I was feeling a bit disgruntled that I had to, once again, abandon my chores.

Oh, but Jesus is so sweet and loving!  As I was driving, grumbling to myself about all the time I was wasting and what I wouldn't be able to do today, He gently whispered. "Didn't you just offer me your service to your family? Didn't you just give to me your day as a sacrifice? You are not in control.. I am! Are your chores more important than the people I have put into your life to care for and love?" Oh what a gentle tap on the wrist! How beautifully He touches my heart and elicits a response "Yes Lord! How could I forget.. we just had this lesson last week. Being there for my family when they need me is more important than the chores."

It turned out that God probably ordained that I should give up the day's chores as I did. My husband had had some discouraging news about our finances and needed to have my support. We also had an impromptu lunch with my mother and sister who we met at the mall where our bank is located. It turned out to be a huge blessing, as we commiserated with each other and were able to offer each other support in each others' trials.

I was able to share the meditation I had done on the Book of Job that morning. It ties in so perfectly with what I read recently in my Book of James bible study. Monday's verse was:

James1:12 "Blessed is anyone who perseveres when trials come. Such a person is of proven worth and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him" New Jerusalem Bible.

My husband, when learning about the new trial that faced us, thought "Lord, what next? What else is going to happen to us? We've been struggling along for a while now, this seems like too much to bear."  I praise God!  He obviously had a plan when He gave me that reading in the Book of Job today. I shared with my husband that Job was considered by God to be incomparable among men for his honesty and God-fearing ways, yet when adversity became unbearable, he turned against God. He became bitter, angry, filled with self-pity and even remonstrated with God. (I know I've done the same at times!) God did not restore to him his health or finances until he acknowledged that he was wrong and gave to God his complete worship and faith again. Then God gave to him even more than he had had before!

What James 1:12 is saying to me is that, if Job had continued to be steadfast in his faith and trust in God, to persevere,  even through all his adversity, God would have granted him restoration much sooner. We, too,  are called to do the same. This topic has so much to expound on, I could write a post that you'd be reading all week long on it! My meditation on the book of Job was so deep that I'll definitely have to come back to this another time.

For now, I want to give you a little testimony. I witnessed to my husband yesterday and gave him some comfort, support and encouragement through God's word. After this, he felt stronger, his faith was renewed and he felt a zeal to persevere. (I cant count the number of times he's done the same for me in my weak moments)  A few hours later, he received a phone call with some really good news for us concerning one of our daughters. I felt like shouting to the rooftops "See how great  our God is.. true to His promises, faithful to His people!" 

Oh how truly blessed I feel! That little voice of my conscience was the Holy Spirit Himself, guiding me. I could have said no to the prompting and then, perhaps,  God's work would have been put on hold. Instead, I was able to be a vessel that He used to be a blessing to others and I was blessed too in the process.  By saying yes to God, in whatever He asks us to do, we can benefit from all the Graces and blessings He has to pour out on us.

Let us pray that we will be people of steadfast faith, who persevere through our trials, trusting in Him to do what is best for us, in the full knowledge that we are loved and never abandoned by Him. (except by our own sinfulness, but that's another topic)

May His Grace and Blessings be upon you always!

P.S. When I started telling  my daughter the story of how my day started, she interrupted and exclaimed "You had a wonderful day!" I asked her how she could say that when I'd only related to her so far up to where I had to abandon my chores and met her father, grandmother and aunt at the mall. Her reply was "You got to see most of our family today AND you got to have lunch with them too!"  Very often, our youth are wiser than we give them credit for... she didn't see the vision I was looking at before God spoke to my heart, of undone chores to complete and the hassle, she was looking at the "people principle", exactly what God wanted me to see as well! I pray that I can 'see' with that kind of heart more often in the future and save myself some taps on the wrist by our Lord ;-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dealing with the Messy Stuff

I'm still on my housekeeping theme. I mentioned last week that I was behind on so many chores and I'm still trying to play catch up. My Monday blues took a decidedly creepy-crawly  turn yesterday and resulted in me having to abandon my schedule, again ;-), to deal with the unexpected.

I had decided to tackle this one cupboard in my kitchen that I'd really neglected, the one under my kitchen sink. I have a piece of linoleum under there that I remove to make cleaning easier. I can just take the linoleum outside and clean it.

Having been inspired by all the great housekeeping advice from "Time Warp Wife" and "Raising Homemakers" etc, and deciding to be a good Proverbs 31 woman, I was going to give that linoleum a good scrubbing! When I lifted up the linoleum, there was this HUGE cockroach! Ok, I freaked! I didn't jump on the furniture but he got sprayed with everything I had.. bleach, ammonia, dishwashing liquid (talk about green insecticide lol!) I'm generally not a faint-hearted woman and I've dealt with all kinds of creatures, having grown up in a little-developed area in the suburbs, but I HATE roaches! My skin crawled for ages afterward.

Needless to say I now had extra work, because I felt the need to check ALL the kitchen cupboards. While doing this, I chastised myself for having neglected the cleaning for so long. I told myself that I'd practically invited the roaches to move in.

I got to thinking that our souls are pretty much like our homes/cupboards etc in that respect. If we don't regularly check ourselves to see what sin (garbage) we are not dealing with, we could end up inviting vermin (complacency, bad habits etc) to come and live in our souls. Eventually, those will hatch new little sins too. Last week I was reminded that I have to stay in a state of grace, to be holy as God is holy( 1 Peter 1:16). We must avoid the occasion of sin . We constantly need to identify our sinfulness, confess and repent of them. Only then can His canopy of Grace be over us, His protection and His blessings.

I'm off to the store to get me some cockroach hotels to put around my home, hopefully that'll keep them out. Just as we protect our homes, we need to protect our souls. Let's try setting up some "sin traps" around our souls. Let's plead the blood of Jesus on every area of our lives that are weak areas and ask Him to help us in these areas. Scripture tell us in 1 Peter 5:8 that we must be vigilant because the evil one wants to destroy us.. the only way he can is when we allow him access through our sinfulness.

So, what vermin are you allowing to breed in your soul? I plan on doing some serious introspection later... after I deal with the real vermin!

God Bless!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Those Monday Morning Blues

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Is anyone surprised that  I have ALWAYS hated Mondays?  It's always been my heaviest cleaning day. With everyone at home all weekend long and the inevitable traffic through the house, it gets pretty messy. Especially with little ones running around to pick up after.

When my older girls were little I had a rule about not doing anything on a weekend except to enjoy the family time. We'd go to the beach, visit relatives etc. and by Monday morning you can just imagine what the house looked like! As they got older, it was all the different activities that had us running around on a Saturday and sometimes a Sunday too when my second born had gymnastics meets.

Life is a little different now, with my eldest away at university, the second on the verge of doing the same and my last two, 14 and 4 respectively keeping things interesting at home. As you can imagine, its quite a balancing act with such a large age difference between the three of  them, but I'm lucky because my used-to-be baby still loves to play dolls etc with her little sister and my second-born acts like a second mother!  Praise God!

Last week I mentioned feeling overwhelmed by housework piling up. Well, Mondays always make me a little blue still. The housework and laundry have piled up over the weekend and, even though I cherish my alone time to get chores done and have a little peace and quiet, I do miss having  my family around.

My husband gave me a wonderful little book for Christmas called Grace Cafe - Serving up Recipes for Faithful Mothering (Donna-Marie Cooper O-Boyle).   It's basically a little treasure trove of encouragement and words of wisdom for mothers. I'd been so busy since Christmas I'd barely cracked it open, but decided to read the introduction recently and found that the author had made mention of her observance, through her own minstry to mothers, that Christian women everywhere are looking for support and ways to improve their faith and prayer lives. She noted that this was obvious in the number of blogs popping up on the internet and said that women are feeling a "vital and even urgent" need to connect with one another.

I felt like God was giving me a little wink there as I read these words and almost laughed out loud since, here again, he had used someone, my husband, to present me with a little affirmation of where I needed to be. I had, indeed, felt that "urgent" need to connect with other women who share my values and live the same way I choose to live. Before I came upon the "women living well" blog I never realised how many people exist who choose to be homemakers and have Christian values, who seek to please God and see their motherhood/wifehood as a vocation. It was truly exciting for me to discover them.

I do digress, however, the point I really wanted to make about this book is that before I'd read the introduction, I had discovered a chapter called "A Mother's Call to Holiness". I saw this at a time when I had been feeling a bit burnt out, questioning my choices in life, wondering if I was in a dormant place (I've been a homemaker for 18 years). I felt stuck in a routine of doing laundry, cleaning house, chauffeuring children, spending hours in the kitchen. I felt unappreciated and wondered if I was really making a difference.

This chapter addressed those very feelings, acknowledging that a mother gets caught up in the monotony of routine, trying to catch up with all her chores and the hectic, full days that leave her exhausted. Not wanting to step on any copyright toes, I wont go into detail, but within this chapter the author points out that God's grace and "a mother's loving acts of selfless service", when she does everything with love and offers it to the Father on behalf of her family is the key to the family's salvation.

Upon reading this I was reminded of an old priest to whom I used to confess who once told me that wherever I work in my home is my altar, that the service I give to my family is given to God, that all I do must be with love for Him. When I complained about not having time to pray, he said to me that my work is a prayer when done with the correct attitude of love and sacrifice. It's a beautiful message and one I struggled to remember when doing the seemingly-endless picking up after everyone! Having had this reminder, its one I'll stick up on my fridge for encouragement in the future.

I recently checked in with  Courtney's Proverbs 31 Series that she did last year. Unfortunately, I had not yet known about her blog so I didn't participate, but I did make my notes as I read through it. It was a wonderful series and I wish that I had been a part of it, but I have learned from it nonetheless.

In Prov 31:19 we learn that the Proverbs 31 woman had to do mundane tasks just as we do. As Courtney phrased it "mundane, meaningless and repetitive", sounds like me cleaning up after my four year old ;-).

Here is Courtney's take on it, which basically sums up what I have offered above. "Mundane tasks are the hidden treasure to creating a home that is a haven".

Do you get the Monday blues too? Let's remember that we're not just doing any job, we're doing the job of raising beautiful souls and teaching the next generation. Let's remember that, even when it's exhausting, frustrating and repetitive, we're doing the Lord's work, so let's be like the Proverbs 31 woman and do everything with love and in sacrifice. Even if you think nobody's appreciative.. The One who truly matters is seeing all!

Coincidentally, after I'd typed up this post, I was reading  mail I hadn't touched all weekend and and saw that Raising Homemakers' topic for Friday was almost the same... titled  "What Housework is Really About". Talk about great minds thinking alike! Check it out for yourself at http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/01/what-housework-is-really-about/. It was a really great post!

God bless and shine bright!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Women Living Well Blog: The 25 Day Praise Plan - Marriage Challenge

Women Living Well Blog: The 25 Day Praise Plan - Marriage Challenge

Hello everyone, I'm still feeling my way around the whole blog thing. Learning as I go along! I probably did this all wrong but I wanted to post a link to this challenge, which I have started.

As usual, whenever we try to do something good for others, our marriages or something that glorifies God, the enemy steps in and starts trying to create havoc. Yesterday, I was reminded to keep my guard up at all times because he prowls about like a jackal, snapping at our heels. And boy, did he ever start snapping at my heels!  I had to call to mind James 4:7 "..resist the devil and he will flee from you".. that guy has no power except that which we give to him...I have to always keep that in mind, its so easy to allow myself to be trodden down instead of taking control!

I've read quite a few ladies' comments in the past few months about their marriages and their husbands' faults etc. I've read about serious trials and heartache. I know that for many it may seem like everyone else has a dream marriage, the fairytale come true. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all have trials, we all have faults, we all have heartaches.

I want to encourage you to take this challenge and see what God can do in your marriage. I've just come over the top of the peak, after a long, arduous climb. I've been in that place where you feel like maybe there's no chance of getting over the top, the heartache seems like its too much, the trials too burdensome. I was encouraged by Jesus to keep climbing - with Him. He held my hand, He comforted me, He encouraged me, He gave me strength. More importantly, He was true to His promises. I saw so much change wrought in such a short space of time. I saw miracles as He promised to make all things new... AND HE DID!

Ladies, don't ever let anyone tell you that anything is impossible... Our God is the God of the impossible and He can and will work wonders in your life, if you let Him. So open up your heart today, give him the reins to your marriage and see where He leads you.. there's no better place to start than with this challenge.

A lot of the things that Courtney suggests you do are things that I had started doing, prompted by the Spirit, as well as on the good advice of people like Dr Emerson Eggerich  (Love and Respect series) and Dr Scott Haltzman (The Secrets of Happily Married Men/Women). Good recommended reading if you are interested in improving the quality of your relationship and marriage.

So, thanks to Courtney for this wonderful opportunity to be blessings to our husbands and to build up the romance, drama and excitement as we head into Valentine's Day. I'm a hopeless romantic myself so I love any excuse to drag out the big cannons ;-) Its even more special for me because my husband and I celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary just after Valentine's Day.. so I'll be keeping the ball rolling for a little while longer than you ladies.

God be with all of you and I hope the weekend is a wonderful one full of good family fun, love and laughter.

God bless

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shine Where You're Planted

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with how much you have to do? I've been feeling like that lately. All  my chores just piled up this week because I had a few hiccups in my usual routine. I've been feeling like a disorganised failure. I've been frazzled and short-tempered and not sure where to start attacking the mountain in front of me. I've just felt like giving up.

Until this morning, I haven't been able to go to my quiet place and spend time with Jesus,  my source of comfort, counsel, peace and strength. Well, I went to visit Him today and got a little tap on my wrist! As I was pouring out all that has been troubling me, the chaos in the house, the children's behaviour, the bills to pay, the decisions my husband and I have to make, He ministered to me, gently, with wisdom and kindness and I received so much counsel. Then... I felt Him saying to me, "Go be my light, shine on the many dark areas that you come upon.. begin in your home.. be a light to your husband and children - your light is for them first, then for others.

BOING!!! Big lightbulb goes off in my brain!
Am I being a  light to my family? What do they see when they look at me. My behaviour lately has been so lacking in gentleness and kindness. I've been criticizing their behaviour and becoming angry at them when they don't do what they are supposed to. I've judged them. I grumble when things don't go my way. They've heard me complaining about how much I have to do and cant do because of x or y. I am impatient and intolerant of the bad drivers on the roads and I say derogatory things about them in front of my children.

Am I teaching them by my example? Am I showing them how to shine brightly for Jesus? I had to acknowledge that I'm not! Back to the potter's kiln for me! Jesus in His usual gentle manner, doesn't actually reprimand me, He lets me figure it out for myself and draws me to Himself for healing after I've recognised my faults. Jesus is saying to me I'm not SUPERWOMAN! I can't do everything... but having a perfectly cleaned house and ordered lifestyle, while desirable, is not what being a light is all about.

It's my relationships and how I treat my family and others. Its the responsibility He has called me to, to create a loving home environment and to nurture those little souls he's blessed me with and put into my charge for a short while. My children are not going to remember whether the floors were clean, but they may just remember the day Mom and Dad had a game of  "Toilet Paper Wars" with them. (my youngest, the four year old, came up with this one... throwing rolls of toilet paper at each other). It's how I can touch other people's lives by my example... and I've just been reminded that it all starts at home. You've heard the saying "bloom where you're planted", well my version is "Shine where you're planted".

Lord, forgive me for not being a light right where you've planted me. Help me, Lord, as I surrender this to you now. I place myself back into your potter's kiln. Mold me and shape me, remove from me the impurities of impatience, intolerance, lack of gentleness and kindness, self-righteousness, ignorance, resentment, anger - all that keeps me from being your light. Help me to change my attitude to my family and others, yes, even those who are inconsiderate drivers of the road. Help me to reflect your light so that I can truly shine brightly for you and be a light to my family and others and an example for them that will lead them all to you, the Source of all Light. Amen

After I said this prayer I went to the bible for instruction, confirmation and God's direction. Guess what I got... Proverbs 31:10-31 The Perfect Housewife! I sure do recommend that you read this one, though I'm sure quite a few people follow along with the Proverbs 31 Series.

Among all the ways in which a wife is valued by her husband and, certainly not to minimize the capable, efficient, hardworking traits, are these:

Proverbs 31:11 "Her husband's heart has confidence in her, from her he will derive no little profit"
Proverbs 31:12 "Advantage and not hurt she brings him all the days of her life"
Proverbs31:18 "She knows that her affairs are going well, her lamp does not go out at night"
Proverbs31:25 "She is clothed in strength and dignity , she can laugh at the day to come"
Proverbs 31:26 "When she opens her mouth she does so wisely, on her tongue is kindly instruction"

My take on it is this, I can have all the great organisational skills, be thrifty, manage my home with an iron hand but what good does it do if  I execute it without kindness, gentleness, without joy, without bringing peace and happiness to my family? 

Serious food for thought...

Thanks for joining me today and I hope that you will be able to shine where you're planted today.

God Bless!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

God's Marvellous Plan

You know when you have one of those "ah ha!" moments? When you feel like a lightbulb goes off in your brain and you "see the light"   I had one of those "lightbulb" moments just today. It has shown me that God has a marvellous plan for us, long before we have an inkling of what's to come.

I've been following the Good Morning Girls' study of the book of James. Its lead me to check out different biblical translations. I have a New Jerusalem bible, a New Jerusalem pocket edition (for when I want to slip it into my handbag) and I also have a bible that my grandmother gave to me before she died,  more than 25 years ago.

Believe it or not, the pocket edition's translation is sometimes different to the larger book. I've even googled the passages to see the translations of other bibles... I find it interesting and it gives me a more well-rounded view, so to speak.

Anyway, back to my story. I've always loved the bible my grandmother gave to me. Its smells like old leather and has a variety of added features, like biblical scenes painted by renowned artists through the centuries, the beatitudes and ten commandments printed separately on colourful and glossy pages, stations of the cross, rosary (I'm catholic) and a family tree... which I have yet to fill in. I also have a love for the old english used and I love to try and translate for myself the meaning behind what is printed.

At the front of my bible is an image engraved into the leather, the same image is on one of the first pages. It's an image of Christ knocking at a door with a lantern in his hand... the title? The Light of the World. Inscribed on the inside cover and first page are two biblical quotations :

John 8:12 "I am the light of the world"

Matt 5:16 "..Even so let your light shine before men, in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven..."

I have had this bible for all these years, though I must confess that I have not used it as religiously as I should have and I suppose, though I knew what it looked like never once did I  truly "see" it. Just yesterday, I felt that God had led me to create my own blog and that He himself gave to me the name. For years I've believed that I felt God calling me to be his light. I have created internet accounts using names like sunshine and light of love etc.

Today, like a lightning bolt, as a picked up my grandmother's bible.. I truly saw for the first time the absolute and incredible fact that I have had in my possession a positive proof that indeed God is calling me to be His light. I don't think it was a coincidence that I received this particular bible. My grandmother had more than 30 grandchildren. She could have given this bible to any one of them, including one of  my own sisters, yet she gave it to me. Perhaps, she was moved by God to do so, an all-seeing God who knows what each future is supposed to be. A God who has been gently guiding me to a particular path.

Upon reflecting on James 1:1-4, which is where the bible study has taken me, I have to say that its taken me a while to get to this point and I thank God for every trial that got me here, for testing me in the fires and purifying me and continuing to mold and shape me through each difficulty, each cross. I know that each day I say yes to him, I am being drawn higher and higher. Trials may come and go, but I know that He remains with me because His promise is that He is with us forever... even until the end of time.

By the way, the name of my grandmother's bible is... Holy Bible, New Catholic Version, Light of the World Edition... coincidence? I think not!

Til next time...

God bless you all abundantly

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Light is Dawning

Hi, I'm Lisa.

Just a little bit about me. I'm 43 years old and married for 21 years. I have four beautiful daughters and I am blessed to have been a homemaker for the past 18 years.

My husband suggested I start my own blog since I've been communicating with others via forums etc. and I do feel like I could make a difference. Its been a few years now that I've felt called to be a light for Jesus.. hence the name of  my blog.

My hope is that I can inspire other people to continue to walk in the Light and to be lights for Him. As I have gone through the highs and lows of life, I have felt God's presence with me and His Spirit guiding me and so I feel called to share my experiences of how God has worked and continues to work in my life.

I have to say that it was interesting how I got put on this path. I had been going through a really rough time and, in searching for some support, I was reading lots of stuff on the internet and came upon the MarriageUncensored tv show coming out of Canada, I believe? As I looked at a couple of their videos, they had Dr Scott Haltzman as one of their guests. I really liked what he had to say so I searched him up.

I went on to Dr Scott's website and found a video from a Rachael Ray show. Now, I love cooking and baking so I'm a huge Food Network fan and I happen to like Rachael, so I looked at it. I was so surprised to see that the programme was on "Time Warp Wives". I consider myself to be one of those, of course! It was so exciting to see young people taking such a stand in modern times.

I discovered Courtney's women living well blog and subscribed and got introduced to a whole new world that I never knew existed. I never realised that there was a whole bunch of women who lived like I did! It was so inspiring and I felt happy to be able to get support just by reading these other women's blogs. I've since subscribed to several and wish I had the time to spend reading ALL of the others as well!

So, this is an official thank you to Courtney for inspiring me. Somehow, I feel that, since God does everything for a purpose, then I have to believe that my coming across her blog was no accident. So, here I am, poised on the brink of a new adventure.. I hope that you will join me.