Ordinary People

An ordinary people… that’s what I am.

*WARNING: transparent post ahead*

Todd and I were talking this morning, about many things … well, about everything, really. It is one of my most favorite things to do… to just sit in the stillness of the morning and spend time with one another discussing life.

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is my little side hustle with Young Living. To be honest, I truly don’t like referring to it as ‘my side hustle’ because it has become a lifestyle for me. Actually, it’s not even a lifestyle but rather a large part of my life. I have incorporated this wellness lifestyle into my life journey so much so that it is just the ‘norm’ for me and my hubby.

Having said that, one of the thoughts that has plagued me recently is that there are so many ‘oilers’ I’m connect to or follow that are doing so well building their businesses, and it just seems effortless for them. (‘Seems’ being the key word.) Many are already well-known bloggers or influencers who already have such a large following that it appears to be so easy for them to reach so many people and be able to touch and educate a vast group about the benefits of these natural, 100% pure products. That is truly wonderful, seriously, because I feel that as many people as possible SHOULD be informed about these God-given remedies.

However, this is an area of discouragement for me because I can’t reach that many people. I feel like I am stuck in my own little IG community with an open door that leads to nowhere.

I am one person.

I don’t have a vast following.

I am not an influencer, per say.

I am a blogger (part-time) but I am not successful, per say.

Do you know what ‘per say’ means?

It means ‘by itself.’

I am not these things I mentioned above, per say, but with God, I am. Todd reminded me of that this morning.

When I mentioned my discouragement, he immediately responded without hesitation, “God used ordinary people to be His disciples and do great things.”

*drop the mic 🎤

Let’s face it… these successful bloggers and influencers that I speak of are most likely those ordinary people whom Todd spoke of that God is using for His glory!!

How quickly I have forgotten why I wear my mustard seed bracelet 24/7… I never take it off! (Purchased from Marianne at Gracefully Wrapped.) My ‘faith as a mustard seed’ should not be compartmentalized and practiced only in certain areas but it should consume every area of concern in my life.

No… I am not all these things, but with God, I am.

I am what HE calls me to be for such a time as this.

I absolutely CANNOT take my eyes off of Him for one minute, because when I do, I make it all about me.

It’s not about me but rather about the God I serve.

I am not… but I know ‘I Am.’

Thank you, Todd, for that reminder.

Go out today and be ordinary, but allow yourself to be open to God and do great things for His glory.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

A.S.A.P.

I got a very late start to my quiet time this morning.

I hate that!

It makes my day ‘off’ for the rest of the day. Anybody feelin me??

The thing is…hubby is out of town, and I don’t sleep very well when he is gone. It was almost 2:30 before my mind would allow me to settle in for the night, and only after I rubbed myself down with Lavender and Stress Away.

I would have grabbed those oils earlier but, truthfully, I didn’t want to. I’m a scaredy cat when he is gone and I imagine all kinds of noises and burglars and fires and all kinds of crazy stuff that could happen, and I wanted to be awake should any of it happen so I could RUN!! lol

Ludicrous, I know. 😑🤦🏻‍♀️

But as my mind was running 100 miles an hour this morning thinking of the million things I had to do, I walked by this tiny wooden plaque that was gifted to me reminding me that there is ALWAYS time to stop and pray.

I will not rush through my quiet time, and I will savor it.

It is THE most important priority of EVERY day.

Afterwards, I’ll prioritize my list making sure to tackle the most important first and leave the rest for another day.

I’m glad hubby was only gone one day, but had he not, the little plaque that stopped my thoughts reminded me that “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

Fear is a liar.

And I shall not be afraid.

Now… on to diffusing some Frankincense and Lavendar as I soak up God’s word!

A Little Bit of Mustard Goes A Long Way

I pxfgvqatjsfvipybkfrzwas reminded this morning that a little bit of mustard goes a long way.  Just a Lil dab ‘il do ya!  Now, I love mustard, A LOT, and I can use quite a bit on a hot dog or a burger and never miss a beat — it’s soooo good! But have you ever just put mustard on your food of choice and it ends up getting everywhere unnoticed?!?

 

Our staff prepared lunch for our church members one day this week – burgers and hot dogs – and as I was eating mine, it seemed like the mustard just multiplied like the bread and the fish!!  I mean….it was oozing out the side of my sandwich, was all over my fingers – on both hands, mind you – was on the palms of my hands, it covered my napkin – front and back – and STILL had the promise of landing in places I wouldn’t find until later that day!  I love mustard, but puh-lease!! Somehow it always seems to find a way to multiply!

Yes…mustard does seem to multiply, but I’m not actually talking about the kind you spread on your food.

Mustard seedAs much as this is the case for yellow mustard, so is the case for the simple mustard seed.  I wasn’t just blowing smoke when I said I was reminded this morning that a little mustard goes a long way.

 

My Bible reading this morning took me back to the lunch this week and reinforced the promise that a little mustard (seed) goes a long way.

IMG_4157-03-11-18-10-10This is just one of the Bibles I use during my quiet time, and it has been my favorite for years. You may not can tell, but the Bible cover is basically what is holding it together. It is the New Century Version with devotions by Max Lucado.

As I picked it up to read out of Matthew this morning, I found Matthew 17:20 underlined with a name and a date written beside it.

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This took me back to February 2007 when we were praying for a dear lady who was every bit on the brink of death, but the faith of those who steadily prayed for her on this tough journey was enough for God to let us know that He still had plans for her on this earth! Praise God, she is alive and well today and a daily walking testimony of His healing!

Jesus began this verse in Matthew by saying “Your faith is too small,” but in verse 17 above it, he says “You people have no faith…how long must I be patient with you?”

Did you get that? —>>  “...NO faith…”

He then continues in verse 20 by saying that “if your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. All things will be possible for you.”

I’m no theologian, but my take on this scripture that claims ‘your faith is too small’ means ‘you have no faith at all’!  If all it takes is the faith of a mustard seed, as small as it is, then having too little faith means we don’t have any faith at all.

Why don’t we trust God more?

I’m guilty as charged.

There are many things in which I’ve been trusting God for a while now, and there will continue to be those things that only He can make come to fruition. After all, it is Him who is in ultimate control, but I confess that my faith waivers at times. When things don’t happen soon enough, I tend to let my flesh take over and fail to be “… joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” as we are commanded to do in Romans 12:12.  Allowing your flesh to take over is dangerous, for then you are not working in God’s power but your own…and you have no power.  This can only end up one way:  disastrous.

About a year ago, I purchased a couple of items from Marianne at ‘Gracefully Wrapped‘, a site that I happened upon around that time on Instagram.  I made the purchase, a mustard seed necklace, for a friend who found out that there were multiple complications with her unborn child.  I bought it for her as a reminder that we would be praying for her child and her family during this difficult season of life.  I am a visual person, so I bought that to serve as a visual reminder to give her a bit of hope every time she looked at it.  I am happy to say that a year later, this little miracle is at home and doing well.  She still has to be under 24/7 medical care, but the fact that she is home with her family is nothing short of a miracle!  And, might I add, she is the most precious, adorable little miracle … with a face that brightens any room and a smile like a cup of sunshine!  We are praising God for what He has done in her life and the testimony she is speaking on a daily basis without even saying a word!

While I was making the purchase for my friend, I decided that I could always use a visual reminder for myself as well.  My item of choice was this mustard seed bracelet.

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I wanted something that I could see every moment of the day…not just when I put it around my neck.  I know the item itself has no powers at all, of course, but mine has served as a daily reminder of that little piece of faith that is required to please God, for ‘without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). I use this bracelet DAILY as this specific reminder and have found it very useful in grounding me for the moment and bringing me back to God’s promise that all things are possible with Him.

I never take this bracelet off.  I even shower with it on, but I don’t suggest that for everyone! (haha)  I do put coconut oil on it afterward to help keep it conditioned, but I keep anticipating the day it will fall off my arm! Hopefully, Marianne will have plenty in stock for me to replace it!  I love Marianne’s products so much, I’d like to put in a little plug for her Gracefully Wrapped Etsy shop.  It isn’t just her products I love so much, I love what she stands for and her sweet, gentle spirit, and you can see that in every piece she makes.

So, with the help of Marianne and her mustard seed bracelet, I am reminded every day that I must have faith in God for those things which I petition in prayer daily.

Whether it be yellow mustard or a mustard seed … it doesn’t take much.

A little mustard goes a long way.

Do you find your faith waivers when it seems like an answer isn’t in the near future?

For what are you trusting God in your life today?

Blessings to you today,

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Big Hands

img_3190When both my boys were born, their Dad and I dedicated them to the Lord, knowing that God gave them to us to raise for His glory.  The older they’ve become, the more I’ve had to remind myself that I must release them into God’s care.  That is hard for an involved parent!! But, watching them grow into the young men they have become has been so very rewarding and I thank God for keeping His hand on them and on our family.

We are still trying to raise them in the Lord and help guide them where we can, even at  (soon to be) 22 & 20 years old.  No matter how old a child is… a parent never quits parenting.  It’s not something you can just give up – it’s a part of you and, even though you watch them grow a year older and develop into very capable independent children, you will always want the best for them.

There are still some growing pains ahead, I’m sure, but in good times and in bad, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. What a comfort to know that you can put your trust in a God who has it all figured out when there are things over which you have no control.

A dear man who is with Jesus now, when asked how he was doing on that fine day, once said to me: “I’m great! I take care of those things I can, and I give God the rest!”

Great words of wisdom by which to live.

Great words of wisdom by which to live, not only when raising your children, but in every facet of your life.

What are some things you need to let God take off your shoulders to help lighten your load? Give it to God, put your trust in Him today, and wait for Him to work it out for His glory.

His plans are always better than anything we could ever ask or imagine, and His hands are bigger than ours, so He can handle so much more! Further more, His hands are reaching out welcoming us to lean on Him and put our complete trust in Him.

“In God I will praise His Word, in God I have put my Trust;..” (Psalm 56:4a).

♫ When we walk with the Lord ♫
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
2
Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
3
Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
4
But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
5
Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

The Praying Mantis and a Parking Sign


Don’t give up. 

Be persistent in prayer; pray without ceasing! 

“…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:28). 

Pray through and never give up.

 I feel God reminded me of this through His little creature, the praying mantis, who has been following me over the last couple of weeks. 

I’ve been struggling with faith and trust in God in the form of ‘worry’ over the last few weeks/months.  I am usually pretty good about letting go and letting God do His thing, but there are 2 main areas that have given me anxiety recently.  One, of which, the praying mantis more than spelled it out for me!

There is a ‘thing’ I’ve been wanting to happen for a long time now…for several years. I have wanted it so badly that it has become an area of frustration in my life.  I have felt, for so long now, that this thing, or project (for lack of a better word), has been needed and would open doors that have not yet been explored or even thought about.  The process has begun, but the good ol’ devil is trying to hinder it any way possible!  For reasons out of our control, we are at a stand still – at least for such a time as this.  This hurts my heart, as I was so extremely excited that it was finally coming to fruition, or at least, the beginning stages of the project were starting to unfold.  

When the process came to a standstill, my heart just ached and frustration set in again.  No one is at fault in this delay….it just is what it is. God has allowed this, for such a time as this, so I know He has plans underway that far exceed my expectations!

It’s like building a house….once the process gets started, you are sooooo excited that it is finally happening!  Then….you run into snags over and over and over again … sometimes you feel overwhelmed, and then frustration and discouragement set in and you think it will never happen.  

Another area of anxiety is my boys’ future.  It seems the older they get, the more I worry.  Right now I worry about their chosing the right profession, choosing the right college, so on and so forth….the list goes on and on and on.

My heart has just been in a holding place….a place of worry and anxiety…
Until now.

Look at this…..


Where did this praying mantis land??  Right smack dab in the middle of a Handicapped Parking sign! 

No, I didn’t ‘get it’ right away.  It took several visits from this praying mantis for me to finally realize that I could glean a spiritual lesson from God’s little creature!

  


He started out in the parking lot, but as I was going about my business, I realized he kept moving closer and closer to my office.  Here, you can see him on the column that is located under the awning right outside my office window.  

He then decided he liked it so much he’d just hang out around that area.

  

Here he is on a bed of flowers close to the front door.



And here, my last sighting of him (in hopes there will be more), he is seen right in front of the front office window, just peeking in!  

After seeing him a couple of times, my mind went back to my first sighting of him on the Handicapped Parking sign; and THAT’S when it hit me….  sometimes we handicap ourselves by our own ‘stinkin’ thinkin’ and thwart those areas of prosperity that God has in store for us, basically, because we do not have faith, or we have lost faith.

After stopping and thinking about this praying mantis, I said to myself, “you stupid girl….cast all your cares (anxieties) upon the Lord, for He cares for you!” (1 Peter 5:7)  
“You have been praying to Him, but you haven’t CAST your anxieties upon Him!”

There are 7 different definitions of the verb ‘cast’ in the Webster’s dictionary, all of which use a form of the verb ‘throw’ to define it.  So, in essence, to cast your care upon the Lord means to throw it in His direction as if to send off/away or to get rid of.

Rather than worry about this project, and rather than worry about my boys’ future, I need to throw those worries to God, let HIM handle it in HIS own timing and in HIS own way, rather than getting anxious and frustrated if I don’t see the future clearly or if something doesn’t happen in MY time frame.  I must TRUST in His plans, for HIS plans are far better than I could ever ask or imagine!
Yes, I do have my quiet time every day.  Yes, I am in communion with God on a daily basis…every day all through the day and sometimes through the night.  However, I have gotten caught up in my own desires rather than focusing on the desires of HIS heart, and this has allowed worry to creep in slowly, but oh, so surely!  

I looked up the facts on the praying mantis and his defensive tactics:  The praying mantis will either flee from danger if necessary, or he will confront his enemy by putting up his dukes and fighting like a boxer. 

The fact that the praying mantis will stand his ground by putting up his front legs and fighting has reminded me that I may not see a quick answer to my prayers, but I must stand my ground by being persistent in prayer and never giving up until I see the answer, whatever it may be.  I must flee from the devil – from the worry – by putting on the whole armor of God – DAILY.  

God is a patient God. 
God is a faithful God.
God is a loving God.

I must be patient.
I must persevere! 

“…though he will not rise and give to him…, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs” (Luke 11:5-8). 

Just keep asking in prayer.  “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

And, whenever you see a praying mantis, remember….it’s time to keep praying!!
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Trust Without Borders

It’s been a while since I’ve put my ponders to pen, and a lot more thoughts have been swarming around in my head since my last post.  I’ve penned a total of 5 posts in the year 2015, a year that has proven to bring about major life changes in my family.  It’s just part of the natural ebb and flow which the tides of life bring about.

The biggest change in our immediate family has been our first born, Grant, graduated high school in May.

About six months have passed, and many adjustments have been made.

#1)  College life is an adjustment in itself, with the biggest adjustment being made by the graduate; but it is an adjustment, also, for the whole family.  College life is a whole new world, so to speak, and we are adjusting to living in and around this new world.  Life as he knew it, and as we knew it, no longer exists.

Friends fly off to their new nests as they attend their respective colleges in different states, never to flock together in their group of ‘peeps’ as they had so grown accustomed to over the last 2-3 years.
So what do you do when the people you have known over the last 12 years, sometimes 18 years (for those who experienced daycare together) are no longer a part of your life?  You start wondering where you belong.  The autonomy of adulthood is sometimes not so appealing, but it is oh so essential for learning to live and survive in this world. 

One thing is for certain: this new-found independence challenges one to grow up, develop wings, and fly!  I am proud to say that Grant is doing a great job adjusting to his new wings!  I would say he is soaring!

#2)  Realizing that your child has now become the young man you’ve prayed he would become is bittersweet and humbling.  I am confident that he will have many successes.  I am confident he will make mistakes, but I am also confident that he will learn from them and will thrive!

I have lived (hopefully, at least) half my life and I STILL make mistakes!  When you stop making mistakes, you stop learning.

As time has passed over these last few months,  ‘TRUST’ has been THE word for me.  I am learning that this little word encompasses not only a vast space in my world but also covers a multitude of areas.  

Todd & I, as parents, are learning how to trust this new world in which Grant is living with his new environment, new hopes & ideas, new circumstances and new guidelines (so to speak), which are different for him than they were in high school.  Giving him a little bit more rope, a/k/a freedom, in this new world tends to send me over the edge a bit at times….not because I don’t trust him, but because he is not the little boy I still sometimes want to imagine he is.

Grant is learning how to trust that the path he is currently travelling is the one God is mapping out for him.  He is learning who to trust, how to trust, and what trust really means in this new world of his since he is looking through a totally different set of lenses than the ones he’d worn for so long.

As we enter yet another phase of our children’s lives, we enter another phase of trust.

Every phase of trust is reduced to but one thing:  Trust in God.

With each new phase of life we encounter a deeper trust in God, and we experience a different level of trust in our children and in the decisions they make for their life.  That’s just it….it’s THEIR life, not ours.  We can help them, guide them and give them wisdom from our past sucesses and learned mistakes alike, but we cannot live their life for them.

We must trust in God’s promise that if we “train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

We’ve had our time of discipleship with Grant.  I know it will continue as long as he seeks our guidance, but for the most part, WE are done being in control. (With some exceptions, Grant, if you read this! ☺)

It is time now for him to trust God as he seeks Him first and all of His righteousness, so that everything God has in store for him will come to fruition as he steps into this journey of manhood.

It is time, now, for us to trust God and His promises and put feet to our prayers as we trust in faith.

Through all of the ebbs and flows of  my life thus far, I see God’s hand not only in my life but in the lives of my children.  For every disappointment, God has spoken to us, in one way or another:  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” … “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)  —    And HIS plans are much better than any plan we could ever imagine.
I’ve seen it.
I’ve lived it.

In every situation, His promises have declared to us that His plans are not for harm but to give us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

It’s all about Trust.

For all of the ebbs and flows of life that come my way…..
May my trust be without borders!! (See video below.♫)

Some trust in chariots and others in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” ~ Psalm 20:7
“O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.” ~ Psalm 84:12