Wellspring

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Release 27lbs of Fat This Month!

Yep. It caught my attention too.  This is what I saw as I was standing in line, waiting to check out, with my groceries.   Release it?  As in, set it free?  I really wasn’t aware of the fact that I was holding my fat hostage. Who would want to do that? If am keeping it against its will, it’s completely unintentional. Are you holding yours hostage?  At any moment I expected to hear a chorus of “We Shall Overcome” by the Fat Fannies Choir.

Looking at the magazines, I saw promises of amazing weight loss in a month, 5 easy steps to organizing your house, how to turn your finances into fortunes and the key to making your marriage sizzle.  There were also some hints and tips regarding make-up, coupon clipping and being fashion forward. Who couldn’t use some advice about that?

At this point all I could say to myself was, “Holy Cow!”, so I said it.  I said it several times, but not out loud. I said it because I started looking at all the things I could “correct” in my life.  Through the magazine covers I saw things wrong in my life that I wasn’t even aware were wrong. 

Could it be possible that a few magazines hold all the answers to  lifes issues? 

You don’t have to look very far to see the world has an answer for everything.  It’s all at our fingertips.  It’s all right there in the check out aisle.  If you would like your advice to go a little deeper than a two page article, then simply check out the Self Help section of your nearest book store or library.

Have you ever looked at those sections?  My goodness!  There is so much information.  I would need a self help book on how to navigate the self help section.  All in all, I would say that most of the information is good and can get you the results you are looking for. 

Why would you want to bother looking anyplace else?

And here in lies the heart of this little rambling. 

Any one of us can create the world we want. You may be poo pooing me, but we can.  If we take the right steps, we can lose weight if we need to, make our houses amazing and achieve financial freedom.  These are all good things in and of themselves – are they not? They show a life of discipline and success. 

Do they show something else? Do they show the desires of God or the desires of the world? 

Before I continue, I don’t want you to think I’m saying a healthy weight, your money and a great house are signs of disobedience to the Lord.  He calls us to be disciplined in our lives.  Yet, if all of these are all we want, then I wonder what is at the heart of them?  Are we doing these things for the glory of God or for the glory of self. 

I sit before you typing and tell you there are most certainly things I’ve done for the glory of Elizabeth.  I mean, who doesn’t like the affirmations of others for achievements? Who doesn’t want to “fit in” with those around us?  It is easier to join the crowd than walk away from it.  I am clothed in sinful human flesh, and it often cries out to go with the tide rather than swim against it.  (That just sounds like exercise and I find it unappealing even though I know it’s beneficial.  Can I get an Amen?)

Goodness, I’ve derailed the thought train.

Here’s the gist of all this.  Whatever we are called to, we have to know that our God has all the answers.  Articles and books with directions for our lives only apply to us if we put God first.  He’s everything we need.  And while I get a little high out of reading these things and thinking all the ails in my life can be “fixed” in 5 steps and thirty days, there is only one book I need to seek for help.  The Bible has it all. I truly does. 

I will leave you with this today.  May you find encouragement and comfort in

Psalm 16

1Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

He is our portion, our cup, our counselor and gives us an inheritance.  There is no need to worry about anything. 

Go boldly into what ever he’s calling you to.  He’s got it covered.

And if you have fat that is held hostage, release it. 

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

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Testy, Testy, Testy

James1:2-3     2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Testing that produces perseverance sounds like work that pays off.  What does that look like for you? The testing that is.  It’s not just one thing for me.  I have shared many times about being organizationally challenged and making food my golden calf.  Those are my daily workouts.  I see progress just on the horizon.

The enemy likes to shake it up though.  For me it’s not the same thing every day.

I like to think I’m a fairly laid back person.  Big things and most little things don’t ruffle me most of the time……most of the time.  (If I’ve been ruffled with any of you, please forgive me. 🙂 )  But there are times when I feel as if I’m going to lose my little mind that the good Lord gave me and I give in to my fickle feelings.

Monday morning tested me.  Remember it was icy and yucky and really cold.  I knew I’d need to start my van in plenty of time so the ice would melt off the windshield.   You know I’m quite the procrastinator, right?  This morning I knew it would take extra time to ready the van and there was no way I could scrape the windshield so I went out earlier than usual.

When I went out to start it, the doors were frozen shut. All of them.  I used my brute force to open the passenger door.  You probably would have enjoyed watching the show if you could have,  but by golly, I got it done.

We were all ready to go, me to work, the boys to school, and it was none too soon, and the only door that opened was still the passenger side.  My great brain went to work and I decided that I would pour warm water on the doors.  This was not ideal but I needed a quick fix and this seemed to be the way.

Adam and Seth were in the van because they climbed over the seats…..being the resourceful people they are. LOL

Let me back up just a bit. When I went out to start the van, I found I could not get back in the house because the handle to the storm door was frozen.

So back to the story.

As I was going out with the warm water, I told Aaron, “Don’t come outside.  You’ll need to let me back in the house.  The door is frozen and I can’t get back in.”

You know what happened less than 10 seconds later, right?

Bam!  The screen door shut and there stood Aaron.  I was slightly less than pleased.  I sent him around the back.  I told him to go thru the gate and back door to let me in.  In all my wisdom, I left the water on so it would stay hot. I was coming right back in.  AhHem.

So the water was running in my house and my boy was running around it.

I was waiting in front, not so patiently.  When I didn’t see him in what I thought was more than ample time, I started around the back.  What I found were frozen gates.

As Charlie Brown said, “AAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!”

He got in, finally.  He let me in, finally.  I was on my way, finally, 10 minutes late.

Aaaarrrrrgggghhh!  My tensions were at peak level.  Or so I thought my tensions were at peak level.

When I pulled out of the driveway and got half way to dropping off my little darlins, I saw that Adam was wearing no more than a pullover.

Really?

His teachers tell me he’s a good student.  He makes good grades but he didn’t put a coat on even though the world was frozen over, literally.  And never mind I said before we walked out the door the first time – “Go get your coats!”

It was at this point that I believe I completely lost control of my emotions.  I said something to the effect of, “What is wroooonnnnggg with yoooouuuuu?  I said get a coat on!  That is not a coat!  I tell Aaron don’t come out the door and he did.  Why is it when I open my mouth, you all shut your ears? Have you decided that whatever it is I’m saying is probably not worth listening to? I assure you IT IS worth listening to!”

Yes, it was pretty close to that.  Poor Seth was thrown under bus as well even though he did nothing.  It was guilt by association. It should be a good lesson for him to be careful of the company he keeps.  Wait – we all live together so he has no choice.  Bless his heart.

I’m pretty sure I threw in another snide comment about starting the day off right.

I considered none of this joy.

As I dropped them off and pulled away, I started feeling guilty about the way I had conducted myself.  Well, I started feeling guilty about 3 1/2 hours later when I finally calmed down from being late to work and getting over my children’s clear lack of listening skills. I’ve spoken with other mothers and they say this is not an unusual phenomenon.  I’m hanging on to that.

It occurred to me, that 3 1/2 hours later, that I had let the situation get the better of me and shown my kiddos that I was ruled by my emotions.

Ugghhh.  They are fickle little things, aren’t they?

So that test didn’t go so well for me.  But, I tried for redemption in the evening when I apologized for my actions.  We talked about things and they saw the error of their ways too – momentary as it may have been.  And I let Seth know I was wrong to include him in the mornings chaos.

Thank you Jesus for forgiveness!  And thank you for my normal, healthy kids. May we all find joy in our trials – big and little.

I will leave you with this.   Enjoy!

Francesca Bastistelli – “This is the Stuff”.

Blessings, Elizabeth

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Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Raise your hand if you love great quotes. 

Oh shoot!  I forgot I can’t see you.

Well I’m going to imagine that a lot of you raised your hand.  Quotes can be quite inspiring.  They can be eye-opening.  I would even say they could cause one to have and epiphany.  Yes, I’m going to be that bold and dramatic. 

The other day when I was perusing Pinterest (if you have yet to discover this wonderful website, tell me and I’ll introduce you) I saw a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  It immediately spoke to me. 

I thought to myself, how true is this.  Since I thought it, it must be. 🙂

How often do we let other people’s lives dictate our own by virtue of comparison?

You may be saying, “Elizabeth, what do you mean?” 

Are you saying that? 

What I mean is I know I am guilty of saying things like, “They’ve got it all together and I never will so why bother trying.”  Or something close to that anyway.  I’ve not tried new things because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to measure up to, well you fill in the blank of a name you’ve thought of before. 

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Comparison is just another disguise for the deceiver.  The enemy is constantly doing his darndest to undermine and paralyze us.  He wants to keep us from what the Lord has for us to do.  What better way to do this than to show us our short comings.  Our short comings are often the very things that God uses to grow us and shine through us. 

Nehemiah 8:10 says “Do not grieve, the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Got Joy? 

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

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You Are Your Father’s Daughter

On Saturday, Abigail was invited to a very special day. Her friend, Avery, was turning seven, and for her birthday, she and Abigail got to go with Avery’s mom for a girls’ day out that would leave any female, young or old, feeling envious. They got to lounge in pink butterfly-shaped chairs while getting manicures and pedicures. Then they went to Toys R Us where they each got a new stuffed animal. They went out to eat, complete with ice cream sundaes, and then went back to Avery’s house for cake and ice cream.  I’m pretty sure it trumped Abigail’s own 7th birthday, which was just a few weeks ago, even in Abigail’s eyes.  I mean, what a day!

This was the first time that Abigail had been away from us with a friend all day.  She has been to friends’ houses to play before, but has never gone for a day out without us along.  Of course, this is when every mother begins to think, What if she forgets everything I ever taught her?  What if she burps and doesn’t say “Excuse me”? What if she never says “Please” or “Thank you” the entire day?  What if Avery’s parents wonder who the barbarians are who have raised this girl for seven years?

So, in the car on Friday, she got The Talk. The Talk that drills everything into her little brain one more time so she can never say we didn’t tell her.  “Remember to say ‘Please and Thank you’ A LOT”…”Be Nice!”….”Be Polite!”….”Say ‘excuse me’!”….”Remember how we’ve raised you!!”  Of course, to all of these admonitions, I received several exaggerated, “I KNOW, Mommy! You’ve told me that a hundred times!”

(And I think she did fine….unless Avery’s mommy just didn’t want to tell me the truth.)

I just wanted her to understand, especially as she gets older, that she represents us as a family. She is not her own. She is one of us! Many principles are taught to us first by our parents, so that someday we will follow God’s principles in the same way.  I pray that she is learning what it means to follow our principles, our “family rules”.  As she grows in this knowledge, hopefully she will also understand what it means to represent Jesus….even when her Mama isn’t there.

Amy

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Hello Out There!

I’m so excited to be starting this!  Amy and I have been talking for a while about starting a blog for the women at Marshall Missionary Baptist and it is now coming to fruition.  (I love, love, love that phrase – coming to fruition!)  It is really for any woman or person that happens onto here.  It is for those who want to connect with each other, grow in the Lord and just have a good time. 🙂

So here we are.  We’re in a new year.  I know there are great things in store for our church this year.  I’m sure there are great things in store for each one of us. 

I’m declaring this year a year of change for me.  My biggest change is going to be that I will be a more responsible, adult like person.  Responsibility and discipline have never been my strong suits.  I read Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  and I realized I’ve been sorely lacking.  When things become unpleasant, I generally decide it’s not worth it.  Apparently I should persevere.  I think Pastor Paul said something about persevering this last Sunday.  Hmmmmm.  I will pray that His will be my will and that I am broken and made new……..and perservere 

I’m sure it will be a year of change for our church with the new building.   God has great plans in store for us.  Change is exciting, isn’t it?  It takes us to a place where we are totally dependent on Christ.  I can’t think of a better place to be.

From here on out you will find devotional type posts sprinkled with humor and humility.  We will post twice a week and shoot for Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

We will also keep you up to date on women’s events that are planned for the year.  This Friday, Jan 4th is a girls night out to celebrate Angie’s birthday with dinner and a movie .  Yay!!!!!!!   

The next Girls Night Out will be February 8th.  We will be starting out at the mall with a scavenger hunt having to do with LOVE and either Corinthians 13 or Song of Solomon.  wink, wink, nudge, nudge  Then we’ll go out to eat – of course.  What would a Girls Night Out be without food?  Really. 

Let us know if you want to see anything specific.  We love, love, love comments.  Spread the love sisters and comment. 

Hope you all have a great rest of the week and see ya soon!

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

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