Monday, August 29, 2011

Close to Home

Our son Zachary, my husband and I have been away from home for almost a solid month now.  We have been to Oklahoma, then to New Mexico for a conference for five days and then to Oklahoma again.  At the conference in New Mexico, we learned that my mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly.  We have been in Oklahoma since the day after her passing.  Our almost month in Oklahoma/New Mexico has been both amazingly wonderful and terribly heart-breaking.

I'm ready to get back to my own home, to my own little town of West Chester, PA. However, I have enjoyed seeing all of my family so much throughout this month long trip.  I have enjoyed knowing my son has gotten to spend so much time with his aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa, great grandmas and great grandpas and family friends who all live so far from us.  We usually only get to see these family and friends who live in Oklahoma about twice a year and only about a few days at a time. So, all that to say, seeing family has been sweet.

My husband leaves for home tomorrow and my son and I will fly home on Wednesday. Prayers are appreciated for my husband's safety as he drives almost 24 hours (with stops along the way, of course) to get back to our town in Pennsylvania.  Also prayers are appreciated for my husband and his family as they will continue to grieve the loss of their mother.  My husband and I been so busy this passed week getting things put in order at my mother-in-law's home that there hasn't been much time for the two of us to really mourn her loss.  So, I expect once we get home and our lives flow back into the rhythm it once had before this long trip, the tears will flow again and the memories will be thick of my sweet mother-in-law Nola.  Those long moments of tears and deep sadness are not something I look forward to (obviously), but I know that it is absolutely necessary. I think we are still in shock and everything hasn't fully sunk in that she's actually gone.

Love you all. Sorry to end on a sad note. I hope to blog again soon.

May your day be filled with the knowledge of God's wonderful and amazing grace. May you know you are loved by God so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay your debts.....take the penalty for your sins (all our sins) by dying on a cross and to provide the only way to eternal life. May you find your refuge in Jesus Christ today and everyday. 
I don't know about you, but I desire to hide myself in Christ today and each day.  Remember, friends, Christ is a mighty fortress and the Great Shepherd. We can depend on Him to be a fortress around our lives and the best guide to lead us into places of peace and places of provision for all our needs.

God bless you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Truthful Ramblings

Some times I just can't seem to write my thoughts out in any creative way.  This is one of those times.  My mother-in-law passed away last week and I am just in a state of pause.  It is such a sad time to lose someone so dear.  I am taking lots of time this week along with my family to remember my mother-in-law throughout each day. I am just keeping to the basic tasks of the day: eating, being a mommy 24/7, visiting with family (since we are currently in Oklahoma), helping my husband as much as I can with whatever needs to be done at his mom's house and keeping the Lord at the forefront of my thoughts (which doesn't always happen, of course, but it is a good goal, right?).

Pursuing this concept I have begun discussing on this blog of being a woman of truth has been so interesting to me and very insightful.  Here's what's buzzing in my head lately.

So many times we are alone with our thoughts....not that those times are quiet or that we are actually alone, but hopefully you get my drift.  Some examples I'm thinking of are: those times we are in the shower, drying our hair, putting on our daily face cleanser and/or makeup, washing dishes, cooking dinner, driving from point A to point B, doing our daily walk around the neighborhood, standing in line at the coffee shop, book store, grocery store and so on.  These times of being "alone" with our thoughts, I can really see how much I desire or don't desire being a woman of truth.

Here are some examples I have of moments I think get in the way or become the twisted version of us being a women of truth:
>Each time, we look in the mirror and "diss" ourselves for not looking as good as So-and-So.
>Each time we compare our gifts and talents to a fellow co-worker, sister, brother, or friend from church and think we're less gifted or equipped to bless others in the world around us.
>Each time we see all that God has blessed us with and still wish for something different, better, bigger than whatever it is He has given us simply because the latest fad on the magazine racks at the grocery store states we are missing out.
In all of those times when we are tempted to see the negative in us or our circumstances, we can trust in our great God to help us see our world and circumstances in the right light.....His light. And His light IS the right light.

So, I am challenged by God's Word to pursue each thought as an act of worship to God. It makes sense to me when I take a moment to acknowledge He is the One giving me the brains to think, the heartbeat to move forward, and the very breathe I need to live each day.  I owe Him my all, thus the idea the Bible gives us about taking captive every thought and presenting it to Christ.  Pursuing truth in our minds, in the daily conversations we have in our heads that no one else knows about is JUST as important as all the truthfulness that should come out of our mouths each day.  Let us work truthfulness into our inner being so that the outer being will be women of truth that change our world as we go through it following our Savior.

Thanks, friends, for reading this blog.  I love all of you and look forward to hearing your thoughts and/or push-backs.  Have a great day knowing Jesus Christ loves you!

 Here are some Bible verses that have inspired my blogging today.

 "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."  -1 John 1:5-8


"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  -Romans 12:1-2

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  -2 Corinthians 10:5

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sittin' On the Fence Post, Chewin' my Bubble Gum...

"Doo Wop, Doo Wop!  And along came HERMAN THE WORM!"

Do you remember that silly song from your elementary school days?  It was always fun to sing that song with my friends while we were playing outside on the playground at school.  When we would say "Herman the worm" it was always with a funny voice. We'd say it with our tongue right behind our bottom lip in front of our teeth.  Ha!  Oh, I love those silly days of childhood.  I'm not a child anymore, but I'm definitely still silly.  Case in point......what I'm about to write. And what I'm about to write might even fall in the category of strange, extremely random.....well, I'll let you decide.  ha!

Did you ever have a fence in your yard that you could sit on or climb up on and walk it like a tight rope?  I had a fence sort of like that.  Sometimes when I was a little girl, I'd climb on it and look out over our back yard of 15 acres; just hang out with nature.  However, sitting or climbing on a fence is a fun experience only for a few minutes and then it's time to get back down on the solid ground.  I mean, really, there's only so much you can do on a fence, right?!  Stand, sit, climb....get down.

This week I have been at a conference for collegiate students from around the United States.  It's been a great experience to just enjoy God's beautiful creation here in New the mountains, and it has been great to go to so many inspiring seminars and large group meetings.  Today, while I was in one of the large group meetings, Mr. Michael Kelley was speaking, teaching some really great stuff and I was listening but also thinking about what to blog this afternoon.  For some reason I kept thinking about those statements we've all heard before about "riding the fence" or "sittin' on the fence" on such and such issue. Don't know why, but that's where my mind was tracking.

I just kept getting this image in my head of a white rail fence and there was a dark cloudy area on one side and a bright lighted area on the other.  I thought about how SO MANY times in my life I have lived on the fence between the two extremes.  I suppose I was thinking the dark cloudy area on one side of the fence to be without purpose, hope, victory, joy; life full of mystery (the bad kind of mystery), deception, confusion.  The bright lighted area on the other side of the fence seemed to represent Life.  The life that I have described in the previous blog posts.

So now, all I wanted to throw out there to all of you who read this is:
Why is it that so many times we find ourselves living on the fence; not sitting or "riding", but actually living there?  We find ourselves so many times balancing on the fence; one side of us exposed to this dark and confusing life-less life and the other side of us exposed to Life, hope, peace, joy and many more wonderful things and benefits of the life in the light.  All of us know that balancing on a fence cannot last forever.  Sooner or later, we all fall; and (pardon my frankness) decking ourselves in the fall. However, many times, those of us who live there on the fence, will just pull ourselves up, shaking from the crash and find ourselves once again walking the tight rope unwilling to get down.

Many times, in our world of juggling so many things: all of our responsibilities, all of our expectations that others tacked upon us, all of our family issues, all of our own personal heartaches and weaknesses, we seem to think that living with one side of our lives in the dark and one side in the light will keep us more centered.  Why?  I do not know.  However, most of us who profess to be people who seek Truth and Life and Light still end up tottering on the fence so close to destruction, things of harmful mystery, deception, temporary pleasure; when really life on the LIGHT side of the fence is SO whole and rich with hope and direction and purpose. What's up with that?!  ha!

Well, what I DO know is I am tempted to totter on a fence instead of enjoy the joyous living of a solid ground, an illuminated mind and clear perspective of the world and a hope for the future.  Are you with me on that?  I desire to make walking the fence a seldom occurrence in my life.  I desire life.....truth.....LIGHT.  It really helps to see when I'm in the light.  ha!

What keeps you from living consistently in the Light?
Have you ever even jumped the fence to be in the Light to begin with?
What is it that keeps you in the side of the fence where there is no light?
What keeps you on the fence?
How do you combat the desire to stay...balancing on the fence?

How crazy am I for writing all this about fences and dark places and light spaces?!!
I'll answer that.  Pretty crazy.
I didn't even clearly write what my thoughts were on what the Light really is. Someone please help me with that description.  My brain is fried today.  May you still be encouraged to be a woman of truth; a woman who daily looks into the core of who you are and seeks to be one of who is truthful (vulnerable, full of grace, self control, tact). One who's truthful even to yourself about who are and your journey in life.
Last question for today: Do you have Life and live in the light?  If you don't and want to know how to get Life, please let me know. My email is:
Thanks for reading. Please respond and help this thought process of mine go somewhere meaningful.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Time to Travel

I'm off on a journey today to go to Oklahoma with my little boy for a quick visit.  We're flying to Oklahoma City to see family and also to see family in other places around the state.  Since I'll be traveling tomorrow, I'll most likely not be blogging anything in terms of promoting a topic of discussion. However, please feel free to comment on this blog site in response to the things I've written thus far. I'd LOVE to get your thoughts, your push-backs, your feedback on the things I'm writing. Your comments will make this blog special. Thanks again for reading.  Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Deep Thinking for the Day

So I was thinking yesterday about what the phrase "woman of truth" really meant to me.  I had some positive thoughts toward it, but also some anxious thoughts. A woman of truth to me seems to be a gal who is determined to live in honesty with herself, her family, her friends, co-workers, teachers, boyfriend/husband, and even strangers.  Being a woman of truth to me also seems to mean that a gal needs to know what truth is.....even who Truth is (this second part "who Truth is" I will address at a later date).

To live honestly in front of others and ourselves is SUPER difficult on our own strength. However, to live like this is SUPER powerful in the way we live each day. 

One thing immediately comes to mind about this thought of being a woman of truth.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean that we just say whatever is on our minds to whoever is in ear shot of our words all for the sake of being honest or truthful.  That's being stupid.  A woman of truth is someone who bases her life on the teachings in God's Word. God's Word is FULL of insights and wisdom about how to be the best and most effective person in the company of others. The book of Proverbs is a great place to go for that topic. God doesn't want us to end up in the category of "stupid".  haha!

Since God made each of us so uniquely detailed in every other way, He cares about the details of us.....the details of our character.  He knows that our words can be powerfully injuring to others OR (this one I like much better) powerfully healing to others. Thus, God gave us a field guide, God's Word/the Holy Bible to help us out so we are becoming women of truth instead of women of confusion/deceit.  So, if we ground our thoughts and the basis of our actions in God's Word, it will help us know what to say where and in whose company to say it.  Also, we will know how to be honest with ourselves.

Being honest with ourselves is sometimes even more difficult than being honest with someone else.  We sometimes want to tell ourselves false truths to make ourselves feel better about things like: a huge blunder we might have just caused between two of our friends or about specific hang-ups or habits we have in our lives that are really not good for our minds/our bodies at all, but we choose to keep them as part of our daily routine. Well, I've been there, done that, in all the categories or areas that I mentioned above. It is NO FUN to be dishonest with myself. It may not seem that way at first, but give it time and I'd feel like junk.

Being honest with myself basically comes down to realizing I need Someone to rescue me.....from me.  I may be a silly redheaded gal that has a happy life of a great husband, wonderful family and friends and a rewarding job, but I know if all of you ever (which you won't) got a glimpse into the core of me....into my mind, you'd see that there is a need....a GREAT need for a Savior. And I'd wager you could say the same about you.
Last thought:  (whew! I write alot.)
Also being honest with ourselves doesn't mean that we puff ourselves up with pride because we are just being honest about our wonderful gifts and talents "and the whole world should know how stinkin' good I am at this....that...and the other".  It's very obvious that if we acted those kinds of thoughts out, immediately the "whole world" is going to wish they discovered those things about us on their own instead of us flaunting them.  So, being real with ourselves, we can acknowledge what we are good at or even great at doing, but we need to see that we are also fallen people. We are all people who really need significance to be found in something that never makes mistakes...Someone who never makes mistakes and is unchanging.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Fog is Lifting

These last four or five weeks have been so refreshing for me. I have been enjoying being outside in the summer sunshine each day; going on walks with my family to the park or into the historic downtown of West Chester where we live.  This past year has been quite an adventure for me and my family.  My husband and I became parents in March of 2010. We have a strong and happy baby boy.  He is so precious!!  Okay, back to my statement about these past few weeks being so refreshing. 

The months of May and June are so delightful to me. In May weather finally warms up here in Pennsylvania, flowers begin to sprout and trees bloom in bright reds, pinks, yellows and whites, the birds return to the neighborhood and find their routine of calling to one another very loudly at 5am each day, and the ice cream trucks make their melodic and very annoying rounds through the neighborhoods of our borough drawing all the little kiddos out to get pushup pops and other funny named ice cream treats. Also many of the people in our little neighborhood are daily out in the town walking their dogs, running, biking, skateboarding or cruising in their low rider cars throughout the streets of West Chester; all of them seem to have a goal of soaking up as much daylight as they can before the summer is over.  
West Chester, PA is kind of like a make-believe least to me it seems that way.  All of it's rhythms of life in West Chester make it a special place to be; especially in the summer. There seems to be a festival, an art show, a jazz/swing dance night, a parade, a bike race or a run happening every weekend of the summer.  The town will block off two of the main streets in downtown WC to have these festivities and thus all other traffic gets to learn how serious our town takes recreation in the summer.  And so, with that crazy description, THAT is why the fog in my head is lifting.  

No more gloomy winter days for me right now.  I'm gonna enjoy each and every moment of these summer and autumn months before the world of white returns. Not that snow and Christmas decor and holiday scented candles and four wheel drive and big winter coats with thick fluffy scarfs and awesome winter boots that zip up over my calves isn't some of the most wonderful things to experience each year.  But, right now, it's summer.  Right now, it's time for swimming and fresh strawberry eating and hiking and grilling and picnicking and taking long walks through our beautifully landscaped neighborhood and eating ice cream at some of our favorite cold treats places.  (Sigh)  Besides the heat and the fact we have no air conditioning in our Jeep, summer is the most wonderful time of the year......according to me......this year.  haha!  Next year, though, who knows what I'll say about that. 

Hope you have a great day being grateful for summer sun and summer fun.

I am so glad that you have joined me in my pursuit of truth; my pursuit of daily being honest with myself and all those around me.  I will be blogging the thoughts that are on my mind and heart (the truth of me) and hopefully you will take some time to comment and start discussions on this blog that could challenge me and possibly all others who read this page.  I desire for this to be a tool to encourage, admonish and challenge every woman who sees this blogsite.  Also, I desire to have this place for me to write my thoughts, keep them organized here on this blog so that I can look back periodically at my view point of this world around me and see how far I've come or how far I've fallen. ha!

Let it be known now; truth still exists.  Truth can save your life.  There is a life of deception and confusion and there is a life of truth and peace.  I pursue the second life I just described. Will you join me?  If not, will you be willing to read my blog, become a follower of my goofy stories and comment on them?  I would love to hear from all of you.  Even if it is small answers. Your thoughts, and frankly, your life is valuable to me and more importantly to the One who made you.
Life is too short to not take seriously.  Life is too amazing to let it slip by unnoticed. From the smallest to the biggest things/events in my life, I know that they are important to me because it proves I am alive....that I have really lived.
Just a random thought: I choose to live to the very last second of my life.
Let's be honest with ourselves that we are in need of LIFE in this life. Sometimes, we feel this life is mundane, routine, depressing, smuthering, confusing, pointless and terrifying even. However, life doesn't have to be that way. We have the choice to pursue a different outcome and change our perspective for the better. I invite you to join me in looking for truth in all that you do each day.  Join me in being a woman of truth in all that you do each day. Once we find that LIFE, being a woman of truth, let's really live for the rest of our lives!