What are you thankful for this week? Does it take something big to bring you to a moment of thanks or do recognize the small things too? Sometimes the “small” things are not as miniscule as we once thought…in the right perspective.
Not so “small” things I am thankful for:
- For a stomach that digests my food as it is supposed to
- For not taking any medications at the fabulous age of forty
- A daughter who trust God
- Boldness to advocate for my child
- A mom willing to drive us to the doctor’s today
- A friend willing to loan me her car so I could take Mary to the doctors
- Prayer warriors lifting not only me, but my entire family in prayer
- Wisdom given to scientist to develop new medications
- Wisdom of my daughter’s doctor to make a diagnosis
- And prescribe the right medication
- To join the middle school band on the field trip ~ as planned!
- To watch the doctor interact with my daughter “woman-to-girl” using her personal experiences to bring comfort and assurance to a very nervous young thirteen year old
- To see my daughter smile after listening to the doctor
- To watch the stress lines leave my parent’s cheeks when the doctor’s words are shared
- A husband who responds via text ~ “Yeah, BOSTON!!!!” then calls to share in the good news
- Perseverance to endure
- Hope in Jesus as our strength
- To serve the Great Physician
- For doctors who serve the same God and principles
- A doctor’s willingness to listen and help plan a more “natural” treatment versus heavy doses of medications and treatments
- Cindy’s Josbena’s Wellness class…her faith and knowledge
- For the cellular phone to call and text family/friends before we even started the car in North Syracuse
I am thankful for each of you. I bet next week’s “Monday With Mags” will be one of her best. A new perspective on life through this trial. Thank you for being you, for your prayers, love, and support! You are all considered a blessing in our lives.
“To lose is to learn.”
Who or what have you lost in your life?
What lesson or lessons have learned
because of this loss?
I encourage you to share because there is someone walking through this same journey in their life who will benefit from your decision to share.
Feel free to respond "anonymously" in the name section.
(Today's photograph is used with permission from The Palladium Times, Oswego,
New York, photographer Dennis Nett in 1995)
This weekend will be a time of family gatherings, reunions, and celebrations. Regardless of your age, you have cause to join in the fun. Do you know what this Sunday is?
It is Mother’s Day! If you are reading this blog then you probably already started to think about your Mom. Your mother may have passed away or she might live around the corner. Either way, she was, is, and always will by the woman who brought you into this world and/or raised you. You were a gift to your mother so it only makes sense for us to bless her with gifts on Mother’s Day, right? WRONG!
Before you click the “x” to close this blog, hear me out. I am blessed with an amazing Mom. Each year as the stores and even the Internet attempt to guilt me into buying my mother gifts in order to show my appreciation and love for her…I sweat.
What could I possibly buy my mother to express my gratitude and love?
How can one item or a bouquet of them prove worthy of forty-plus years of parenting?
What gift could replace the heartache of living the past eighteen –plus years wondering where her youngest daughter is?
Is it even possible to spoil, love, and appreciate my mother even a tenth of what she deserves in one solitary day of the year? I think not.
Instead of focusing on this one day, I try to live as if each day is Mother’s Day (or Father’s Day for that matter) because I don’t know when tomorrow with my Mom might not be there. If we choose to wait for the calendar to tell us “appreciate your mother today”, your “today” may never arrive.
Of course I wish my Mom a “Happy Mother’s Day” and treat her to some kind of gift yet my goal is to make sure my Mom knows all 365 days of the year how important, appreciated, and blessed I am to have her as my mother. I pray daily for my parents’ biggest weight to be lifted, to know where their precious Heidi is. I strive to make my Mom proud and model being a good Mom, so she knows I was paying attention.
Little things I do throughout the year to let my Mom know I appreciate and love her:
*sneak her grocery list into my pocket and return with the items crossed off and everything put away before she knows I did it
*notice a BOGO deal…give the extra to my parents
*in the mood to shop, call Mom
*call daily just to say “Hi, how are you?” (Of course, this is only a couple hours after leaving their house, lol)
*green M & M’s magically appear next to her computer
*hours and hours of conversation with one of my best friends
As for Sunday, I planned to secretly download Jeanette Levellie’s new book to her Kindle but she beat me to it. Isn’t that funny? Maybe I’ll just make a chocolate cake with peanut frosting.
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Are you doing anything special this week in preparation for Sunday’s day of recognition? I look forward to hearing from you.
I don’t wait for a holiday to celebrate my parents…each day is a holiday when the people we love are in our lives. Thankfully, through a relationship with Jesus…our time doesn’t have to end ~ I have hope for eternity!
Okay, so Easter is over and bunny and chic shaped Peeps have been removed from the shelves at most stores. As a child, Peeps were only available around Easter but today, thankfully (for all us Peep lovers anyway) you can find them for most holidays. Their shape and color might be different yet the Peep logo is on the box.
For those of you that might not know, I LOVE PEEPS! Always have. If the only thing the Easter bunny left in my basket was an assortment of colored marshmallow treats, I was a happy little girl. I am still just as easily pleased today. This Easter I learned I have a friend who LOVES her Peeps too. One more thing in common.
As we chatted online the other night she typed the following after sharing she wiped the shelves at the local store clean of half-price peeps:
“I poked holes in one box; got them to exactly the right dehydration level, and then we had two days of rain. Those Peeps just poof themselves back up in high humidity.”
Oh my gosh, no sooner than I read her response this blog came to mind. Are you ready for today’s point…We need to have the elasticity and “re-poofing” ability of a marshmallow Peep, especially in the high humidity of life!
My paraphrase of Merriam Webster definition of “elasticity” is the ability to recover after deformation, adaptable, and changes when influenced by various factors in life. Isn’t this what Jesus has called us to do, in His strength?
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
Iwill fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
I have yet to find a sentence in the Bible to say, “You will have NO trouble if you believe in God.” Or “If you trust your life to me, you are exempt from change, trials, and tribulations.” Nevertheless, there are many places I have read a statement like this, “…I walk THROUGH the darkest valley…” Did you hear that, we go THROUGH it. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that THROUGH the ENDURANCE taught in the Scriptures and the ENCOURAGEMENT they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
A Peep at the perfect dehydration level for its demise as our snack has the elasticity during the storm to beat the odds and POOF itself back into shape. Each of us has a storm or two in our life but we call it by a different name: unemployment, grief, death, tragedy, unforgiveness, and the list could continue much longer than you care to read.
What storms are you dealing with in your life right now? Do you feel like a dehydrated Peep?
If so, then guess what, during the storms of life if you trust Jesus to help you through it then the high humidity produced from this bad weather will only POOF YOU UP in God’s strength to get THROUGH the storm with more puffiness than you ever thought possible.
The next time you are in the store looking at those holiday Peeps, think of Jesus. He has the ability to POOF you up no matter the circumstances in your life. Life might poke holes in the plastic and cause you to dehydrate but God is one powerful burst of humidity to hydrate you beyond anything you could imagine.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20 -21
Think of a time when you felt like a dehydrated Peep on the verge of being eaten by the world around you BUT then God used the humidity to make you stronger and more resilient in the end. Will you share with us today?
Today’s blog is dedicated to V.H.
One of my favorite aspects of writing has become writing this blog. I find such joy in sharing the various ways God is working in my life or how sometime simple items cause me to stop and think about Him. Our old picnic table is one of these things.
Have you ever felt like this picnic table?
Stuck in the mud…
I believe each of us has felt this way at one point or another in our lives. Think about it, even Pollyanna, Job and Jesus had their moments. It is the human nature in us. To have a bad day doesn’t make us a sinner and neither does expressing our inner most feelings to God. This is called communication.
Pollyanna moved in with her stuffy and uptight Aunt Polly after her parent’s unfortunate death. Pollyanna is a breath of sunshine and chooses to see the positive side of everything in life until she falls from a tree and faces permanent paralysis. Even the “Glad Girl” struggled when she was broken. Thankfully, the town she shared her joy with was the first to return the blessing. Even Aunt Polly recognized her own stubbornness and asks Pollyanna to give her another chance.
As for Job, “…He was a man of perfect integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil.” (Job 1:1b HCSB) God allows Job to be tested by satan with the condition “…you must not lay a hand on Job himself.” Job’s trials were so devastating there is an entire book in the Bible dedicated to him. First Job curses the day he was born then transitions to questions of why his prayers aren’t granted, and then gives God praise – “God is wise and all-powerful…I could only beg my Judge for mercy.” (Job 9:4a and 15b HCSB) and more, with a little expression of disgust for his life, and more questions to God.
The important thing to note here, Job NEVER loses sight of God as his healer and protector. He keeps the communication open, continues to trust, and waits for God to answer his prayers. Communication is prayer. Trust is faith. Waiting…evidence of both. Although alone, broken, chipped, and abused – Job keeps his eyes on God and not the people in his life telling him otherwise.
As I think of communion tomorrow, Jesus’ words, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 HCSB) Jesus knew His mission when God sent Him from heaven to be born a baby in Bethlehem yet when faced with the weight of the sins for all humankind, even He, Jesus, called out to His Father. As should we, call out when in trouble, instead of running in the other direction as I did for more than a decade after Heidi’s disappearance.
For ten years, I lived as if the abandoned picnic table but thanks to one child’s boldness, I recognized I needed Jesus. He has the strength to endure and triumph and He shares this with you and me through His death on the cross. Although I was baptized alongside my sister as a teen, it was for the wrong reasons so in 2006 I experienced a spiritual dunking I could have never imagined. A few seconds submerged the baptismal water felt like hours in heaven.
When I emerged from the water, there was a great sense of peace and renewal. I truly was a new person! I still have the scrapes, bruises, and brokenness BUT instead of pain and sorrow, I have joy, hope, and gladness!
An out-of-the-box thinker and fun loving pastor’s wife has written Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top: Sweet, Funny Reminders of God’s Heart for You. Jeanette Levellie’s honesty coated with humor will put you at ease to accept the lessons she teaches, most masked as hysterical antics of the not so typical preacher’s wife.
One chapter’s title sums up Jeanette, “I’ve Fallen Off the Pedestal and I Refuse to Climb Back Up” Throughout the book it is Jeanette’s authentic approach to handling life’s situations that anyone reading the book can relate to. She even backs up her shenanigans with verses from the Bible for an added “Aha…” or “Ah, I hadn’t thought about it that way” effect. I love that!
“God placed into every heart a need to look up to and adore Him. We often try to fill that need with another person, however, instead of God. …When we aren’t expecting it, they tumble down from their spire and crash at our feet. Whether it is jaywalking, losing their temper, or simply acting immature, something will cause the fall. No one can live up to others’ unrealistic expectations of them. Life on a pedestal qualifies as unrealistic. Even for ministry leaders.” Pg. 200
While Jeanette uses mistaken bulls and too many pits in the cherry pie to make vital points about life, she still recognizes the importance of reflection at the end of each chapter with her “Two Scoops & A Sprinkle” section. For the chapter listed above, a point to ponder, “The more time we spend worshipping the one true God, the less we are tempted to adore humans.” Pg. 202
Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough, too this or too that, or possibly unworthy of God’s love? If so, you need to read this book. Auntie M’s words of wisdom prior to my daughter’s birth were “Keep a good book in the fifteen minute reading room. This is the only place you’ll have time to yourself to read.” Jeanette Levellie’s chapters are short and full of punch, a perfect fit for my aunt’s recommendation if you are one of those readers.
You could absorb this book on a Saturday afternoon with sore cheeks from laughing so hard or you could spread it out and read a chapter a day as more of a devotional. The choice is yours. A lot of valuable information, tidbits, and oodles and oodles of humor. I started sharing the title with friends before I even finished the book.
If you want to learn more from behind the scenes of one pastor’s wife, visit Jeanette’s website or go to Amazon.com to make your purchase.
Traditional Book: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Scoops-Grace-Chuckles-Top/dp/0983319618/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336091940&sr=8-1
Kindle Version: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Scoops-Grace-Chuckles-ebook/dp/B007SY032Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1336091940&sr=8-2
About the Author
A spunky pastor’s wife of thirty-plus years, Jeanette Levellie authors a bi-weekly humor/inspirational column, God is Bigger, a popular feature in the Paris Beacon News since 2001. She has published stories in Guideposts anthologies, stories in Love is a Verb Devotional with Gary Chapman, articles in Christian and secular magazines, greeting card verses, and poems for calendars. She is also a prolific speaker for both Christian and secular groups, and loves to make people laugh while sharing her love for God and life.
Jeanette is the mother of two grown children, three grandchildren, and servant to four cats. She lives in Paris (not the French one), IL. with her husband, Kevin. Her hobbies include dining out, talking baby talk to her cats, avoiding housework, reading, and watching old classic movies.
To visit Jeanette on her blog, On Wings of Mirth and Worth, click on her picture to the left or copy and past the link below:www.jeanettelevellie.com
About the Book
What do drive-by diaper stores and God have in common? When is blabbing an acceptable habit? Why should you beware of moths and sligs? In her entertaining, uplifting style, award-winning author and humorist Jeanette Levellie weaves 72 amusing stories with affirming Biblical truths. These soul-nourishing examples of God’s favor and grace will help you:
You can win one of ten free downloads of my debut humor devotional, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top for your eReader. Here are the very simple rules: For each share of this post link on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, you will receive one entry.
For each like on Jeanette’s Author Page or my Two Scoops Book Page on Facebook, or follow on my Twitter page or this blog, you will receive one entry. If you already like and/or follow me, mention that and I will count it.
Please send me ONE comment at the end of this post to tell me how many times you shared, liked, or followed, so I can give you the correct amount of entries. I reserve the right to verify all information given me, and disqualify anyone from the drawing who falsifies information. (Do not leave comments here to be entered, you MUST go to Jeanette’s blog post for the giveaway.)
Contest starts today and ends midnight, May 10, 2012. Jeanette will announce the winners in a blog post Sunday, May 13, 2012.
….and a $100 Gift Card Drawing~~~WOWZA!!!
Click on the Book Cover above to link to Jeanette's Blog Tour Listing!
Happy National Day of Prayer! President Harry S. Truman and our United States Congress established this precious day in 1952 through a joint resolution. People of all faiths join on the first Thursday of May to pray for our nation. A nation built on Christian principles, praising and worshipping God. To learn more about this national observance, click on the photo above.
Is prayer a part of your daily life? Is it simply a blessing over the food on your table each night? Do you avoid prayer at all costs?
Regardless of your current prayer life, I would like to challenge you to set aside a few moments to pray for our country today. Will join fellow Americans and beyond to pray for our leadership, the people, and our future?
God hears our prayers and answers. He ALWAYS answers. God might not always say yes but He does answer, even it might be a “no” or “not right now”. He sees the bigger picture and we need to trust Him.
Will you trust God with a simple prayer today? I hope you will.
If you are looking for an opportunity to come together with others in prayer, check your local newspapers. A lot of churches and organizations host prayer services in honor of this blessed day. A freedom many do not have in other countries.
Exercise your rights and enjoy some sweet time with God in the process.
How good and pleasant
it is when God’s people
live together in unity!
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
I have so much to be thankful for this week and every day. The Spring Refresh was amazing. The speakers, missionary moments, and all the women in attendance were vibrant and full of joy. Many great testimonies encourage d and uplifted near three-hundred women in attendance.
From our Spring Refresh with the Alliance Women:
Mags old enough to attend with me
Equal number of adults to teens this year!
Safety while traveling
A growing church
Authentic women of God
Indoor swimming pool
Hugs from FB friends
To meet a FB friend in person (go figure)
Time to get away
Deck boards lay when I returned home (Thanks Dad, Ed, Scott, Josh, and Mom!)
Sunday through today:
A purple heart for the tough days
A daughter wishing to serve
Children’s church lesson planned and taught…by Mags
Blessed to work with friends
Words written in obedience to God change my heart
Clothes in dryer when I left, folded and put away when I return
Great ORC team
Doctors who care
Doctors willing to work together
Healed in His name
Hope for tomorrow
Lemon water in the morning
A green salad each day
Equal a healthier version of me
Dar…for joining me on Monday night
A six year old’s giggle
Smiling is contagious
Thankful Mags trust Him to care for her!!
These are only a few of the things I am thankful for this week. There are so many. Each day I wake up is cause for thanks and praise because has blessed me with another day here on earth. Yet as I write this, I think of a statement made by one of the girls at youth group a few weeks ago.
A discussion question during one of our youth group icebreaker activities the wisdom expressed through one of our teens triggered a fabulous conversation. I cannot remember the exact “scenario” on the paper but it had something to do with “the worst thing to happen” and “death”. One of the girls said, “If the worst thing is death and going to heaven, is it really that bad?” The conversation that ensued lifted my heart. If children are our future, things are looking good.
This past weekend, Alliance Women challenged us to think about the signature scent we wear on a daily basis. I remember the summer before my daughter entered seventh grade I declared, “Mags, it’s time to go shopping. My treat, for your junior high signature scent.” Her smile and excitement enhanced the aroma of our day together. She left Bath and Body Works with the “Forever Sunshine” collection in her tote with the sweet smelling aroma spritzed on her person catching the attention of those we passed.
“Excuse me, what are you wearing? It is so refreshing.” One woman asked.
Mags told her the name and where she could purchase some for herself but before the women left, she explained why she smelled so beautiful.
“My mom treated me to a signature scent for my first year of Junior High. Isn’t it great?”
I was a proud mom, not for the praise she had given me but for the joy and excitement in her voice to have her own scent. The theme for this year’s retreat, “Simply Fragrant” hit home and left me to reflect on this shopping excursion with my teen daughter.
Last week someone told me, “Lisa, you are a good person.” I wasn’t sure how to respond to this statement. Her intent of course was to compliment me yet I felt awkward. I understood where she was coming from, appreciated her taking the time to share with me, yet, I was a bit perplexed in how I should respond. I don’t think of myself as a “good person” but I do try to do what is right and make wise decisions as it pertains to life.
It wasn’t until Sunday school this morning that the unease started to make sense. Of course, my parent’s raised me to use common sense, think of others, make wise decisions, and other moral and ethical things but as an adult I have the responsibility to not only continue these wonderful attributes but to model them for others.
I’ve spent a lifetime striving to be a “good” kid and then young woman BUT my motive was different than it is today. Growing up my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and teachers’ approval was important to me. I wanted to be the best friend, neighbor or relative I could be, and I still do. Today, I also want those around me to see a changed and renewed spirit in the Lisa they have always known.
I’m thankful for others to think I am a good person but I can’t do it in my strength or knowhow. It is only through the relationship with Jesus that I can do ALL I do. Instead of someone saying, “You always smell like cinnamon and spice.” I want them to recognize the aroma of Jesus in my life.
Instead of “Lisa, you are a good person”, I pray to hear “Lisa, there is something different about you, why do you do what you do?” and I pray to respond “Because of Jesus.” Moreover, the conversation begins, leaving a sweet smell wherever He might lead me in this life.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
2 Corinthians 2:14b – 15
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323