Friday, December 19, 2008

Is it one of Santa's reindeer?

This is the scene from my office window one night last week. Did it get to cold in the North Pole for Santa's reindeer?
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


Today is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for but here are just a few of mine.

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.

I won

I am so excited I just won a prize from A Giveway A Day. She has all these wonderful items that different people donate to her from their blog and I won a set of JOY blocks from Ally's Attic Crafts and they are going to look wonderful on my coffee table with my other Christmas Decorations. Click here to see a picture of my prize.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Special Post and pray request.

I have learned that today on Oprah, the Mooney family will be sharing the story of their son Eliot (99 Balloons). If you are not familiar with his story, he was born with Trisomy 18 and lived on this earth for 99 days before our heavenly father took him home to be with him. One of my Son's friends (actually my son grew up in church with both the husband and wife) also had a son born with Trisomy 18 on December 3, 2007 and the Lord blessed them with Tristan for 56 days. I know that the segment has already been filmed but please join me in praying that it will be presented and received in a way that will give the honor and glory of this little boy's life to God.

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

Ms. Spirituality

Well, its Thursday not Tuesday but this week in our Yes to God Bible Study Lisa Whittle's Book 'Behind Those Eyes" hosted by Lelia Chealey we are looking at Ms. Spirituality. Text taken directly from the book will appear in blue. I put off reading this chapter until Monday night because I wasn't real sure I wanted to met her or hear what God wanted to reveal to me. On page 78 Lisa gave us a check list for Ms. Spirituality and as I read this list and also the 2nd list for when Ms. Spirituality really wanted to impress people I saw things on there that I am doing as I am sure we all did but as Lisa goes on to say "The point is not that she does these things, rather, why she does these things."

One item that really hit was 'knows proper "Christianese" and uses it frequently. This is something our ladies leadership team has been talking about lately how we use Christianese terms because we have been in church awhile and are familiar with them but many new Christian have no idea what they mean, so the thought that came to my mind are we using the terms because we are so familiar with them or is it to impress people. If asked to explain or define some of my "Christianese'' terms could I? Some I probably could but to quite honest I would also probably stumble over a few.

Have there been times in my life when I have said or done things so people would think I was walking closer to God then I really was, absolutely. I was raised in the church even though my parents did not always go, as a young girl in a small town in Virginia I remember walking home on Sunday night with my mother, brother and sister singing songs like "Jesus Loves Me" and This little light of mine". As a teenager my mother had to work a lot of Sundays or it was her only day off but she made sure that we went to church. I was in GA and sang in the choir, at 14 I walked the aisle and accepted Jesus as my savior but as I got older and graduated from HS I started wandering away from what I was taught. When my son was about 5 I though about the memories I had and I wanted him to have some of the same ones so we started going back to church. (Now I remind you I didn't really need to go because I new all the stories about Noah, Jonah, Jesus feeding the 5000 and him coming to earth as a baby and died for my sin. HA HA, was I ever wrong and thankfully Jesus showed me that not only did he want to be my savior but he wanted me have a relationship with him as well). I remember going out with my friends on Saturday to the bars for so we could dance and have a good time and then say "I got to go; I have to go to Church in the morning" somehow as I look back on that I do not really think that was giving God the glory but it was sure acting spiritual.

There is nothing wrong with being Spiritual we should all strive to be more like Jesus but as Lisa says "the problem comes when our performance of these characteristics takes precedence over the actual condition of our hearts" and nothing says it better then the quote she used from Ravi Zacharias book "RECAPTURE the WONDER": It is not about ritual; it is about a relationship. It is not about the posture of the body; it is about the need of the soul. It is not about the times of the day; it is about the timelessness of his presence. It is not about appeasing God; it is about resting in His provision. It is not about culture; it is about truth. It is not about earning peace; it is the wonder-working power of God.

Lisa also reminded us that the bible tells us in James 1:22 that some spiritual muscle is requred in our relationship with God. I looked this verse in several different verison but like the one in the messeage best 'Don't fool yourself into thinking you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear.' I know if I said that once to my son when he was growing up I must have said it 1000 times and I remember how fustrated I would get with him; as I sit here typing I am wondering how many times God has felt this way with me, when I have not listen or done things his way but "my way".

God revealed so much to me in the study of this chapter so if you're still reading this please bear with me a little longer. As I reread about the woman who had so much faith that she knew if she could just touch Jesus's garment she would be healed I saw her in a different light. ( I had always seen her as a woman of faith) As I read the verses 42-48 in the Message version of the bible like Lisa suggested I saw her differently. In verse 48 it reads "Jesus said; "Daugther, you took a risk trusting me, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed.'" I read that Tuesday morning before leaving for work and thought what risk, she was faithful and knew if she could just get to Jesus she would be healed. As I pondered on this all day, I saw her differently, I saw her as a woman who had tried all the world had to offer and found it lacking and unable to heal her; she knew Jesus was her last chance. The risk of being riduculed by the Religious(spiritual) leaders was far less to her then the risk on never reaching out and knowing his touch. She was ready for that real relationship with Jesus all she had to do was reach out and he was there waiting for her offering her the healing that she needed.

The other thing that keep coming to mind after I finished this chapter was the prable about the Pharisee and tax man in Luke 18:9-14 who were both in the temple praying. The Pharisee prayed bosting about himself and that he was not like others expecially the tax man after all he fasted twice a week and gave his tithe while the tax man humbled himself and asked for God's mercy. Jesus ends the parable is versse 14 with "for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted" NIV.

Jesus, please keep me humble (like the tax man) and resting in your presence and provision not boastful (like the Pharisee.). Help me to be real in my relationship with you and others, may they not see me as "Spiritual" but as someone different and the difference being you. Thank you for leading me to this study which is truly opening my eyes and drawing me closer to you. Amen.
Want to see what others have to say about Ms. Spirituality click here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ms. Happiness and Ms. Confidence

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

Ms. Prefection

This week we have met Ms Perfection. Parts of this post that are typed in blue will come directly from the book "Behind Those Eyes"

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 Truth Hurts

Today is the 1st week in our on-line bible study "Behind Those Eyes" that is being hosted by Lelia at Write from the Heart. The author is Lisa Whittle and she is actually taking part in the study with us. Text that is typed in Blue is directly taken from the book.

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.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Getting Better

Hey I am already getting better.

Why a Blog

My reason for starting this blog is that I have joined an on-line Bible Study on Tuesday and I want the other members to read my comments. Since I have several friends who are old hats at this blogging thing I will try to make this more appealing to the eye as I get use to the site. I want to add a link in the sidebar to the bible study , which is on "Behind These Eyes" by Liza Whittle. I have never done an on-line bible study so I am stepping out for two new adventures at the same time (please be patient with me, remember "God isn't through with me yet")