Friday, January 28, 2011

For my Sweet Friends who are still waiting on their Miracle...

I love this devotional. Love it! If you need a little bit of encouragement (who can't), then look in to subscribing to it. Here is todays:

Waiting in My WingsTags: Courage, Everyday Faith, Hope, Prayer

Waiting has been terribly sweet.

“Because sometimes in the waiting for what we long for, we praise God long when the gift comes at long last. Sometimes God has his people wait long, so our gratitude becomes deeper and wider.” – Ann Voskamp, The Jesse Tree Journey

It was chosen for me – the waiting.

I choose my response.

I grew weary at the amount of “In God’s timing. . .” I’ve heard after these last 5 and half years of deep desire to be called “Mommy.” I know it’s true and best, but those words stirred up ugly responses, like a rake to my tender heart.

But God. . . He has shown me grace, a bent down hug when I stumbled into a pit. He gives me revelation that His perfect timing was not only for me, but my future children – His little children. That someday their story will be in the Book with Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin, Samson, Samuel, and John. All prayed for and believed for by their parents. All appointed for a miraculous time. All chosen before birth by Our Creator, to a specific job in The Kingdom.

All of these, the ones that were prayed for, longed for, waited for – they all point to Messiah – the One we all waited for. Who has come as promised and will come again. The waiting for His return is long-suffering, but Revelation imagery tells us is worth the wait. More-than-I-can-imagine worthy.

So I wait.

For my gut-wrenching prayers to bathe my sweet babes. . . of knowing, pleasing, revealing Our Father from birth to death, the moment of entrance matters. Every moment matters — the first cry, the best friend, the favorite teacher, the split second almost car wreck, the lifetime kiss that tingles, the True Love of Eternity, the life.

I can step back and know that my years of waiting are only a blink. A wink in the eye of The Lover of My Soul. I can – without seeing – love my children, bless them, and expect them. My first act as mother – to release them to God’s timing. All In God’s Timing.

So I wait.

God’s writers don’t share what these future Mamas, of such pivotal people like Jacob and John, did while they waited. I’m assuming they felt like me. Hopefully expectant, fingers white from gripping truth, faith like a roller coaster, with visions of family around their fire, knowing God will come through on His promises. . . struggling at moments, wondering if they heard correctly when their life looks so different from those surrounding them.

The Soul Counselor tells me it’s worth the wait – for us, for the child, for His Kingdom. The longer I wait the more hope God provides, the closer He becomes, and the more grand the praise is when our child arrives.

To be grouped in with women such as Sarah, Hannah, Rachel, Elizabeth and others is an honor. Friends, neighbors, and the town folk all knew their little miracle was from God. There were no other explanations.

But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly on wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31

It’s an effortless moment to soar. Gliding on His plan-winds.

So, for now, I soar. On wings that God Himself has given. Him imparting strength and dignity, full of surprise and blessings. Moments planned when my Momma prayed for me.

I wait. Full of watchful, patient expectation. I trust God. . . and praise Him for the gift I can not yet see, but believe is coming.

By Stephanie Bryant, Co-Founder of (in)courage & Creative Mastermind at S Bryant Social Marketing

Tagged as: faith, hope, trusting God

Monday, January 17, 2011


I'm a few days late posting this, but here is the second verse I have chosen for the SSMT 2011:

"Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the firstfruits of all thine increase." Proverbs 3:9

Honor the Lord with thy substance--your wealth--and with the firstfruits of all thine increase--the BEST part of everything your land produces.

Again, "Honor the Lord with your wealth..." I've struggled over the years with tithing. I'll be honest, the $ just wasn't there. No matter how I budgeted, I couldn't account for paying our bills and giving 10% of our funds in tithes. I understand now that this is my lack of faith in God's ability to provide for my family's needs. He's working with me on this, and 2011 I will chose to honor him with my wealth. Over the past few weeks, I've really cut back on our excess spending. I have packed my lunch every day for work. We've been cooking more at home. I can see the difference in our bank acct which will allow for me to give 10% to God.

As a side note, I had to share something with you all that happened to me this week. When I received my weekly pay check, I noticed that it was $50 more than it should have been. I sat at my desk contemplating on whether to question HR about it. The arguement with my conscience went something like this:

Me: "It's not that much money."
Conscience: "It may not be your's."
Me: "I work for a multi-million dollar company."
Conscience: "It's stealing."
Me: "I feel under-appreciated as an employee. What's the harm?"
Conscience: "Call HR. It's wrong not to question it."
Me: "What if I didn't call HR and I am reprimanded once this error is caught?"
Conscience: "Make the call."
Me: "Okay, I'll make the call."

It was a battle of good vs. evil. Ultimately, I followed my gut and did call. Turns out that the money was actually owed to me--a payroll error from when my maternity leave began. I felt so relieved (and proud of myself) for calling--not to mention excited to have $50 I wasn't expecting. You guys will call me crazy, but it was worth it to give it back if it wasn't mine. I would be stealing, and I know how displeasing that would be to the Lord.

The strangest thing happened after that. The same day, I received a check from my obgyn office for $250 where we overpaid for my last pregnancy. Who says honest people finish last? Perhaps we would have gotten this check whether I called HR or not. But, I chose to believe that by following my instincts on my payroll check that the Lord chose to reward me 5 fold.

He's an amazing God.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Reading Journal

I started a new blog in 2010 to keep record of books I had read. You can find it here. This blog is more of a journal than book review website.

These days, I am finding myself reading mostly young adolescent/young adult literature. My interest is not out of my explicit refusal to embrace my thirty's. I do, however, find YA novels facinating. As a future Language Arts educator I feel it is my reponsibilty to be knowledgeable about some of the books my students will be reading. I also make notes of any parental concerns (sexual content, explicit language, etc.) My reviews are not nearly as detailed as some of the book blogs I've researched. There aren't character narratives or plot spoilers. It's mostly my overall reaction to the novels and any quotes which stood out to me. I document books to keep me reading and improve my writing skills. However, it's still evolving with every novel I add.

I just finished The Hunger Games this week. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...

The eastern United States is being pelted by snow. I experienced my first white Christmas in 2010. It was nice.

However, anyone who loves snow has obviously never worked in groceries... banking... or healthcare. I work for a large food distributor in the southeastern US. We NEVER close due to weather conditions. That's just the way it is. We are forced to use what little vacation time we are given for weather... and doctor appointments... and sick kids... and holidays... and any other life circumstances. So, after ten years of employment, I have learned to pick my battles.

I awoke to two, possibly three inches of snow this morning. After much debate and a lot of self-convincing, I decided to work today. However, had I not taken time off last week for my dad's surgery, I would be snuggled in my bed right now. I couldn't afford to use more vacation time so soon. I only have 3 weeks, which may seem like a lot, but I'm here to tell you it isn't. Never-the-less, I have a job, so for that alone I am thankful (and continually reminding myself of since four hours have passed and three more inches of snow have dropped).

Kyle works for a bank who is also open today, albeit they were at least delayed. So, don't worry friends. I will keep you supplied in bread and milk while Kyle oversees your ability to purchase them. Together we can get through the treacherous weather of Winter 2011 :)

By the way, do you ever wonder why its bread and milk? The two staple must-have items for any weather conditions. Odd, yes?

I hope you read that with the sarcasm in which it was written. There may be some *slight* truth to it, but its just the mood I am in today. Aaahhh! If only I could be a child who is giddy at the first sight of flakes! Perhaps as my boys get older my love for snow will reemerge. But for now, friends, it's buried beneath the cold.

My dad's surgery went well last week. His carotid artery was 80% blocked which is the likely culprit of his stroke back in Dec 2010. I am so blessed that he is still here. I wonder if he--the hardest working man I know--is enjoying a snow day? Did I just find my silver lining? Maybe (just maybe) this is God's way of making my dad rest today. For his rest, I too will be thankful.

Stay warm!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sweet Revelations of 2011...

Wow! If you haven't read this post, you should. I will be first to say I am guilty of the same sin. Thank you Jill, for sharing your heart with us. I love the simplicity of your post and the sincerity of your words. It was a powerful way to remind us all that God frowns upon this type of behavior even when our intentions mean well.

Just moments after I read this post, I was approached by a co-worker who shared something very private with me. I found it so ironic how God immediately chose to test me. If Jill's post hadn't been fresh on my heart, I imagine that my reaction would have been much different.

I will not fail this test, Lord.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011!

Happy New Year Friends!

I am really looking forward to 2011 and the possibilities that it brings with it, not only for my family but for all of your families. I set some goals for 2011 which I will share with you all below:

For starters, I am participating in this for the FIRST time! While I was out on maternity leave, I fell in love with the 700 Club. I found myself watching it often, and it really encouraged me in areas I needed. I decided that 2011 would be a year of growing closer to the Lord for me. I know memorizing scripture will be stepping stones into that type of relationship with the Lord. So, I found what I feel is the perfect first verse (for me):

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." --Joshua 1:8, KJV

I also really like the NIV version of the same verse. It seems a little more simplified:

"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

Another goal for 2011 is to make alone time for myself and Kyle. With daycare costs, I don't foresee the ability to take an extended extravagant vacation in the near future. However, we have surmised a compromise of sorts. For instance, Feb 4 we will be attending the Jason Aldean concert and staying overnight here. Greensboro is only about 2 hours away from where we live, but it will be a night away for just the two of us. I can't begin to tell you how excited we are! We really hope to take several mini-vacations in 2011.

My classes start back up next week. My goal is to do my best this semester and stop fretting over an imperfect GPA. My absolute best is good enough.

Every year, I set a goal of drinking more water. I fail miserably, but I feel compelled to include it again this year. I am drinking a bottle of water now, so that's a descent start, right?

Given the events as of late with my daddy's health, I also hope that Kyle and I will eat better, healthier in 2011. So, I kissed goodbye to fast food for a while. I was sad at first, but I have survived.

There are other trivial goals, but I'll bore you no longer. Wishing you all a prosperous, healthy 2011.