Friday, December 19, 2008
Actually it is a regular deer we see them from time to time as they come out of the woods behind out building. This is one of the Fog rolling in, we have had a lot of fog here in the last week.
If you double click on the pictures you can see the deer better.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
1. My Savior Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for me
2. My Mother, who is still living and who I will be spending some time with later today (I will be taking Lunch to her house for her, my brother and myself)
3. For my family which in addition to my Mother includes: an older sister, a younger brother, a niece along with her husband and their two wonderful boys (who are also my God sons), and a nephew.
4. My Aunts and Uncles and cousin who all live in Va and I don't get see much ( My mother has 5 brothers and sisters still living out of 14)
5. My friends whose families are like my extended families and you know who you are.
6. My Church family who is one of the best in the world.
7. The parents of the toddlers I teach on Sunday morning for being faithful in bringing them to Church.
8. My blogging friends.
9. The "Yes to God" Bible study group on Tuesday. I got a little behind and plan to finish the book before they star on the new one which is Jennifer Rothschild's Self Talk, Soul Talk.
10. That I have a job, food on my table and a roof over my head. ( I may struggle financially some days but I could be a lot worse off)
11. That I live in America where I am free to worship and express my opinion. (Not all people have that freedom).
12. For all the men and women of the Armed Forces, who have served and laid down their life that I may have the freedom I was thankful in number 11.
13. I would like to say a special thanks to some wonderful Ladies whose blogs I have been following for the last year as they have shown me God in a new light as they have lost babies and lifted each other up as they walk down a path that no parent should have to walk. They have been real; shared their hurts and blessing, their ups and downs, but through it all given God the Glory. Today even though these babies are with Jesus in heaven they are still touching lives on earth as people read their stories for the 1st time. If you have the time I urge you to go to Tristan Asher Hostetter's blog and read his family story that started back August 15, 2007 when they found out that Tristan would be born with Trisomy 18. From that blog you can link to many others that walked the road with them. (I don't want to start listing them for fear I will leave someone out). I warn you that you will need at least one big box of Kleenex with you but you will be blessed as you see how God has had his hand on their lives and used tiny babies to bring people closer to him. ( There is a relationship here in that all those years ago God sent a tiny baby to this earth; to grow up; be mocked and crucified on a cross so that you and I may have a heavenly home with him someday if we ask him to come live in our heart.) If you do not have time to read Tristan's blog would you please pray for his family as next week he would have been a year old and I know this is a hard time for them.
I didn't mean to start preaching so If you are still reading thank you for spending some time on my blog and maybe you can share something you are thankful for on this thanksgiving.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Also I am thankful that Trisomy 18 is be on the spotlighted on the show as until Tristan I had not heard of it. More people need to be made aware that is exist and that there are others who have walked the road that are willing to help them walk down it.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Ms Confidence was Chapter 3, which was last week and Ms. Happiness is Chapter 4 in "Behind Those Eyes" by Lisa Whittle. When I tried to post last week I had so many thoughts going through my head that they just wouldn't come out right when I tried to put them down. I thought I would get back to it later when my mind quieted down but this past weekend was our 4th annual Ladies Fall retreat, which is the one event that I am responsible for heading up. Usually I only handle reservations, child care and help with the publicity for our events but when it comes to the retreat, the buck stops with me. I actually think Ms Perfection, Ms. Confidence and Ms. Procrastination all met up and threw me in a tailspin.
God keep reminding me all week that he was in control and that my confidence came from him. You see I do not have a lot of self-confidence and I know that comes from being the middle child of an alcoholic father and hating conflict. There are some things I have a lot of confidence in; That Jesus saved me by dying on the cross; that he is in control if I will just let go. I think sometimes I appear confident because of my procrastination, when really I am not all that sure of myself. If I really know what I am talking about or doing I have a lot of confidence but if it is something new then I usually want a 2nd opinion on everything.
I found it funny last week that Lelia mention having a pajama party at Lisa, as we always have one at our retreat. It is a time for us to meet back together on Friday night, in the conference room , for sharing our thoughts and snacks that we have brought. This year to get the sharing started we asked each lady to finish the sentence "I feel God's presence in my life when______________"
Anyway on to Ms. Happiness, (quotes from the book will be in blue). What is true happiness, I don't know that there is really any such thing as true happiness because as Lisa says " A lot of things can make us feel happy for a time. But a lot of things can let us down almost as quickly as they perked us up." Happiness is just a feeling, like being sad, or lonely and if we are truthful we all have these feelings its just some days we feel one more than the other. The problem is that the world expects to always be happy, especially since we are Christian, so we feel that we have to act like we are happy all the time instead of showing our true feelings.
The one thing I am really enjoying about this study is that I am getting to know ladies that are not afraid to share their hurts and emotional needs with each other. God lead me to this study because he is trying to teach me something about being still and listening to him. About being real in him. I loved when Lisa pointed out that the Bible doesn't talk about Happiness but JOY. Our Joy does come in him and even when we are sad or lonely and we know he is walking right besides us and feeling those things right along with him. Being a christian doesn't mean that we will always be happy but it does mean we have a comforter walking beside us, holding our hand and yes even carrying us when he needs to.
There are a lot of things in life that make me happy, spending time with my family, teaching toddlers on Sunday morning, seeing a dear friend make a decision for Christ, knowing that people are praying for me, spending time with my friends.
Our retreat this weekend was on "Forever Faithful" and God is always "Forever Faithful" even when I feel like he has forgotten me. I would like to share some things that he revealed to me in a different light this past weekend.
1. His grace is sovereign; not only does it lift me it up but it also covers me (It is like he has me in the palm of his left hand and then he uses his right hand to cover me like a blanket.
2. We all know there are consequences to our choices; when we make the choice we want for our lives then we are responsible for all the consequences from that choice but if we make the choice God wants us to make then he is responsible for the consequences.
3. Nothing and I mean nothing takes God by surprise. It may take us by surprise but God already knows what is going to happen. (Our main speaker was rushed to the emergency room on Friday but God was in control and her daughter stepped in and shared God's Forever Faithfulness in her mother's life)
As a side note in one of my comments Amy asked if I created this blog just for this bible study and the answer is yes. I have been wanting to do a blog for a while but didn't feel like I had the time to keep it up but when I started this study I knew it was time, hence the name Pat's Tuesdays ( I couldn't come up with anything else that wasn't already being used. I am praying that God will led me to a more appropriate tittle but for now this is all he has given me.)
Thank you Jesus for being the Joy in my heart even when I don't feel particularly happy. As the song from this weekend keeps coming to mind "Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord" I pray that you will open the eyes of my heart to you wider that I may always keep you 1st in my life and that others will see the real me and that in seeing me they make get a glimpse of you.
To see what the other Ladies doing this study have to say about Ms. Happiness click here
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Does Ms Perfection live at your house well she does at mine but she doesn't show up in my house as much as she does in me when I am and about. I wonder after reading this chapter how many people who see me think I have "it all together" man would they be surprised. 1st of all I am a messie, (don't like housework) and then I am a procrastinator (so I put off the house work). Being Single this is not much of a problem since I only have to appear to be the perfect housekeeper when I am having a family or other function at my house.
Lisa talked about the Sunday Fakeout, you know the one where Satan attacks all Sunday morning as you are trying to get your family ready and the fights in the car on the way to church and then as soon as you get out of the car in the parking lot everyone is all smiles. I don't miss those days, I only had one son so mind were to bad a lot of silence, which can be a good thing. However I now have my a different type of Sunday Fakeout, especially if I don't come up with an activity I like for my Sunday school class until Saturday night. Then I am hurrying around Sunday morning trying to get everything ready and walk into church like I have just had a nice leisurely morning.
The perfect wife she doesn't live in this household no need for her although there are some days when I wouldn't mind the opportunity to see if I could make her exist but only if it is with God's man for this woman.
Now the perfect mom yea she lives here and she has had 39 years to practice but praise God he is taken care of her over the years. Now I just want to show my son unconditional love and be here when he needs me, unfortunately I know I step in sometimes when God wants me to keep my hands off.
The perfect daughter now she lives here in fulforce but it is different from when she was younger and growing up. My mother will be 86 this year and while I want to be there for her all the time I am realizing I can't and sometime Satan puts a guilt trip on me says "What will her neighbors think if you don't go by to check on her tonight" but my mother and I are working out those things. When I was younger I always tried to be the peace maker since I was the middle child and that trait has carried over to adulthood and shows up in Ms. Perfect.
Two things that Lisa said that stood out for me in this chapter are:
1. Appearance of perfection can be deceiving, especially in marriage.
I have dealt with this a lot when I was younger and I would see
other Single women who were more worldly settle down and have
what seemed like a perfect home and family.
2. Women the truth is that God doesn't have to prove anything to let
us see our imperfections, we can manage that all on our own.
The problem is that we don't want others to see them whereas God
wants others to see them so that we can point the way to him.
Now a note of honesty, since last week was my 1st week of ever doing an on-line blogging bible study I was worried that my post was too long when I wrote it so this week I wrote out what I wanted to say before typing it and when I got to the keyboard and started typing God changed it all around.
I love Lisa prayer for this week:
Heavenly Farther, thank you for seeing us from the inside out.
Thank you for desiring a relationship with your daughters that is
based on Love and Grace rather than perfectionism. May we, through
your power, break free from the trap of trying to be perfect. May we
replace our old efforts with with newer, more spiritually minded ones.
Jesus help me to be real, let people see you in me.
If you would like to see what others doing this study have to say click here
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The chapter for this week is entitled The Truth Hurts and it really does, sometimes more than others.
We were asked to define authenticity and what it means to us. To me being authentic means being real or genuine. I would love to say that I am real all the time but I know that I put on the mask and pretend that everything is fine. Why is that, is it because in our society we have been taught that when people ask "How are you?" they don't really want to know, but are just being polite so we just answer "fine". I love what Lisa said: "Women, our craving for chocolate is nothing in our comparison for our craving for love. Our craving for water after a sweaty workout is nothing in comparison to our craving for genuine acceptance." To me this is why we hide behind our different masks and pretend that we're OK; we fear that we will lose the love or acceptance of the people that are in our lives.
In question 5 Lisa talks about Judas betraying Jesus and the statement that "cover-ups meet a need to get us more of what we want at the time when we don't think the truth will." I recently bought a New Testament Message Bible,(my christian bookstore had them for 5.00) and I loved going back and reading the account of Judas betrayal and than Peter's in this version. When Judas came to kiss Jesus, Matt 26:49 & 50 "He went straight to Jesus, greeted him, 'How are you, Rabbi?' and kissed him. Jesus said, 'Friend, why this charade?'" Jesus knows the deepest parts of my heart and soul and I know there is no pretending with him so why do I put on a charade. Because I live in the real world and like Peter denied Jesus because he was fearful of what people would say or do, I am fearful of being rejected. (I think this comes from my Martha personality). Don't get me wrong all of my co-workers know I am a christian and so do my friends and family, but am I denying Jesus time I could be spending with him when I am watching TV or reading Christian fiction? The answer to that is yes but he is working on me and at least it is Christian fiction now instead of secular. I know he doesn't expect me to spend all my time in the word but I also knows he is aware I could give him more time than I am now.
The challenge question "What is my deepest soul craving" 1. growing closer to him 2. That lonely and hurting women may know God's unconditional Love and grace. ( I know every one needs this but I have a special heart for women who are looking for this in the wrong places becasue except by the grace of god I could be one of them)
I am looking forward to meeting Ms. Perfection next week.