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A Thankful Heart | Day 5.

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Today I am thankful for technology.

We use technology for so many things – life saving equipment, photography sharing, communications, etc. So often we use it that we don’t even realize it anymore. The word technology contrives images of computers and smart phones but there’s so much more than that.

With the use of technology I’m able to snap pictures of my boys, load them to my computer, and either upload them to Facebook or email them globally. With a few clicks of the mouse images are sent around the word. Literally. It still kind of blows my mind how fast things travel in today’s society.

Families who are rarely in the same state {or even country} can communicate easier today than ever before – phones, online chat services {think Skype, Facetime, & other such companies}, and of course there’s Facebook.

It amazes me the advances made in technology just during my lifetime. Computers have gone from being these ugly monstrosities to these handheld devices about the size of a magazine. Mobile phones have gone from these massive blocks that plug into the car to these slim-lined, smaller than your palm, fits in your pocket size gadget that most parents now use to appease their children.

Oh and then there’s GPS in nearly everything – cars, computers, phones. Nice little tracking devices that not only give you directions when you’re lost but help people find you if necessary.

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A Thankful Heart | Day 4.

Friendship.

Something we all take lightly until we learn the true meaning of friendship and what it takes to be a real friend to those around us. I’ve had many friends throughout the years – as is evidenced by the number of friends currently listed on my Facebook page. However, it usually takes a personal tragedy in order for us to discover those we love enough to call friends.

I consider myself a pretty loyal person. It’s not easy for me to walk away from friendships or relationships but over the years I’ve developed a system of accomplishing exactly that. Basically if a person is a danger to themselves or a potential danger to my kids they’re gone – no questions asked.

There are very few people I trust enough to take care of my kids when I need help with them. Those are the ones I can go to about anything {positive or negative} AND they’re the ones I’m there for in good times or bad.

There’s a saying that goes

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words

I love that saying because it is so very true.

Today I’m thankful for my friends – you know who you are.


Boys vs. Girls.

Not long ago I was in the doctor’s office with ZigZag and was struck by something I’d never truly considered before. Here was my son, waiting for his appointment, being a bit rowdy with the toy trucks and completely oblivious to the fact he’d taken over the waiting room from a quiet little girl who ran to her mom as soon as ZigZag began to play. Fortunately it was a slow day and we were the only people in the office aside from this little girl and her mom.

Maybe it’s because I have boys.

Most of the girls we know have brothers so they can hold their own but boys and girls are so different! I know. I know. That’s kind of a ‘duh’ moment for most of you.

This little girl was so completely shy. She hid under her momma’s legs and played with one of the smaller cars. By the time she was called back for her appointment she had stepped out a bit – she was playing ‘catch’ with ZigZag by rolling the cars back and forth to each other.

But it dawned on me, my son didn’t even notice her until I pointed her out. Not that I’m trying to marry him off at the age of five or anything like that but that he was so wrapped up in his world that he couldn’t spare even a moment to see someone else.

Often times we, as Christians even, get so entirely wrapped up in what’s going on around us – in our own little worlds – that we don’t notice those around us. Those people we love to keep up with on Facebook but only if their status update shows up in our news feeds. Or those who we see only at holidays or birthdays, family reunions or funerals. Or those we talk to only when it pertains to our own dire need right at that moment.

When is the last time you called someone just to say hello?

and truly meant it in a ‘just saying hi’ kind of way?

Or smiled at a stranger?

Or helped someone carry their items?

Some things I’ve learned recently by stepping outside of myself to check on the well-being of others:

Two amazing people are officially parents and bringing their son to his forever home as I type this.

One amazing young woman left her home for Wales to spend the next nine months training in a foreign country to be a missionary to Africa permanently at the end of that time.

Many of my friends are engaged or pregnant – too many to count at this point! (Thank you Oklahoma Blizzard!)

The point is

the world is bigger than you and me

Period.

It’s bigger than all of us and it’s time we set aside our own agenda’s and started actually caring about those around us.

I can hear you now, “but what can I do? I’m just one person”.

So is Jesus.


Shallow. Hollow. Empty.

Those words describe how I’m feeling at the moment. There are lots and lots and lots of thoughts running around in my head at the moment. Most of them asking, in some form or another, “What have I done with my life?!” And it’s not in a good way necessarily. Maybe the thoughts are more accurately asking, “How has my life influenced other people?”

Does my life influence others to live for God?

Does my life and my actions encourage others in a Godly and uplifting way?

Am I edifying?

I read a blog tonight written by a woman I consider a good friend, minus the fact we’re a bazillion miles apart and only had a few months of hanging out to get to  know each other. She is amazing. And her post tonight was incredibly thought-provoking, as it usually is.

It made me wonder what kind of person I have allowed myself to become. I sit here at the moment ready to have a blank slate and start over completely in order to allow God to mold me into the person I’m supposed to be. Because I truly don’t believe I’m there.

I’ve spent the last few minutes going through my twitter account and looking at who I’m following – all 2000 of them – and trying to remember why I chose to follow that person. I noticed there are quite a few baseball or other sports related people and teams I follow and I’m truly not a huge sports fan unless it’s football, or a team my own children are on. There’s no reason for me to follow most of them. I will be doing some revamping to my twitter account in the near future.

And don’t get me started on Facebook. In recent weeks I have gone through my friends list to remove people I don’t want influencing me any longer – there are still quite a few to go. But, that doesn’t mean I’m on Facebook any less. This has got to change. If I had a dollar for every minute I’ve spent on Facebook this year alone I’d probably have several hundred thousand dollars to my name. How sad is that?!

I’ve noticed recently how often I’ve said, “I can’t” or “We can’t”. That is so NOT how I believe but I’ve let it in and now that’s what’s coming out. It’s never been more true that what you allow into your life, heart, and soul is what comes out. I am incredibly picky of what i allow my children to watch because I know this. As a mom and as a Christian I know that my children will repeat whatever they hear. And, they repeat things I don’t always hear so that I end up questioning them on where they heard it. But, if I know how important it is for my children to have their games, movies, books, etc filtered why don’t I filter my own life anymore? When did if become okay that the world is so screwed up and to not actually do anything to try and change it? When has it ever been okay to look the other way when things go wrong? To write things off as, “that’s just how the world functions”?

When did my life become about me? It’s not about me. It’s never supposed to have been about me. Okay, don’t get me wrong on this. It is about me in the sense I have a family to raise and to provide for but aside from that it’s about Jesus. Why have I not seen this before now? Why haven’t I allowed myself to step out of my life long enough to see someone else’s life?

When did I become such a shallow, cynical person? I do know that in my chosen career field I need to be able to weed out the ‘seekers’ from those who truly need the help offered to them or the resources available. And I do remember an instance where a patient turned out to be an old ‘friend’ from high school. A good guy, who also turned out to be a ‘seeker’ and was just there to get something rather than being truly hurt/injured, etc. I can pretty much pinpoint that incident as my “going cynical” moment but I was headed that way before then.

How do I change this? How do I get back to being that person I once knew? The person who knew how to love deeply and passionately, who didn’t take, “no” for an answer?

When did I start believing that my reality is my reality? Did that make sense? I’m a single mom. So what?! So are 60-75% of single women out there. When did I start letting that influence God’s ability in my life?

For the last year, since I started a blog over here on WordPress really, I’ve been trying to document living a life of passion. That’s been my theme. My mantra. Even the name of my photography studio. A Life of Passion. Somewhere along the way I lost that. Or maybe I never had it to begin with and it’s just wishful thinking on my part. But, as of this moment, I am determined to take over my life again and get things back where they should be. Starting with Jesus.


10 Day Challenge. Day 1.

So, way over on my facebook page a friend challenged me to a 10 day challenge. Normally I won’t do these things but this one piqued my interest. It’s a quite a bit different than your normal “challenges”. At least what’s considered normal for Facebook these day! 🙂

Here’s the rules:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

Day Seven: Four turn offs.

Day Eight: Three turn ons.

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

Day Ten: One confession.

Here’s my Day 1 –

Ten things I want to say to ten different people right now.

1. You didn’t take the road less traveled. You just fooled yourself into thinking that.

2. I know you mean well but sometimes you need to just let me be me instead of who you think I should be.

3. You’re a lot stronger than you let people see – even yourself.

4. Do your own job – I’m tired of doing it for you.

5. You’re a grown man – start acting like it.

6. You are one of the most incredible people I know.

7. You really aggravate me at times but I love you so very much and I know you’re only little once.

8. You can’t be everyone’s friend AND the boss. Pick one.

9. I love you so very much but you’re not allowed to be a teenager just yet.

10. If you ever figure out that I exist, you will have totally made my day!

Feel free to join me in this Ten Day Challenge. If you decide to do this leave a comment so I know you’re playing too.


Worth.

When I was 16 I spent a month, with a ministry team, travelling to various parts of Mexico. From Mexico City to the teeniest, most remote mountain villages. In that time there were many things that stuck out to me, both from our preparation time prior to the trip and in our time actually spent in ministry. One of the most important things I learned was not to ask how much something costs but to ask how much it is worth.

I makes me wonder about us, as humans. How much do we value ourselves? And are we doing ourselves justice or are we just settling for what we think might be our best offer? Or our last offer? Not just that, but how much stock do we put in other people’s opinion of ourselves when God’s opinion of us is the only one that truly matters?

Several months ago I made this statement my status update on Facebook, “Having high standards doesn’t mean being high-maintenance. It means I know my worth.”. Many of my friends put that in the “dating” box but reality is that’s it’s true in every aspect of life.
Do you know what you’re worth?
God does.
You are worth so much to God that he sacrificed HIS ONLY SON so that your life might be spared from the perils of Hell.
Think about that for a minute. Could you sacrifice your child to save someone else’s life? I have two sons and there is no way I could choose one over the other. Nor could I let go of one to save someone else. But God did. Because He loves you that much.
The story of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible (Genesis 22) where God told Abraham to sacrifice  Isaac to him as if he were a lamb. Abraham loved and trusted God so much that he didn’t argue. They got their stuff together and set out on their journey. Every time Isaac asked where the lamb for their sacrifice Abraham replied, “God will provide one”. Jehova Jireh. God my provider. Abraham got as far as getting Isaac laid out on the altar and ready to kill him when God stopped him and gave a ram for sacrificed instead. Abraham never doubted God would provide as long as he followed God’s plan.
God loves us so much that He allowed His son to be beaten and nailed to a cross so that we might live an everlasting life.

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