His Mercies: A Birthday Prayer

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself,
“The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to
those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him.
~Lamentations 3:21-25
      Another year has passed, slipping quietly into the memory of my mind. It’s pretty busy in that place. My mind, that is. Some days more than others. I have found only one way to quiet the many voices competing for my attention in my own mind as well as allowing me wisdom for the one’s clamoring for my attention outside myself. Sitting in His presence. Basking in His love. Letting His mercies wash over me. I am needy of those. Desperately so. You see, I am a woman of many passions and desires. Big dreams and many ambitions. I am one who would fall into sin with all my good intentions, if it wasn’t for the realization of my own wretchedness and more importantly recognition of His mercies and tender graces. I am talking of the kind that makes people wag their tongues and shake their heads. We all are guilty of hidden sins (what you think in your mind, God sees it as clearly as if it has been done and with piercingly accurate perception of motive and intent-Hebrews 4:13) and it is so easy to look at the outward sins that can be seen and judge from our place of perceived superiority. Well I have been guilty of all. I have fallen flat on my face and battled in the spiritual realm and failed. I have also learned to rely on His strength and let Him fight my battles instead in life and the spiritual realm. (Zechariah 4:6) I am still learning and growing in the grace and knowledge of my beautiful, Lord and Savior.
     Today, I am grateful for His mercies more than ever. I am aware that, although my life is far from perfect,  (that expectation is happily crucified) my hope is properly placed. Today is the celebration of my physical birth, my birthday. I like to reflect and consider the past, and check my expectations for the future. I am grateful that He is greater than all of my past, present and future and He holds all in the palm of His hands. Every year I come to the same conclusion…I need Him more than ever to go on. I need His mercies EVERY morning. Some days more than others. He never fails to give them. (1Corinthians 13:8, 1 John 3:16) For this I am grateful. 
Dear Lord, I thank you that your love is faithful,
and will never fail for all eternity. It is this love I fully believe and rely on.
Let me call to mind this great love and hope when I am weak and let me trust You completely.
I praise You and thank you that your mercies are new every morning.

Proverbs Challenge Invitation

Fight Spiritual Flab! Take the Proverbs Challenge!
I sought the Lord the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34: 4

     I confess I have been feeling a little flabby. Physically and spiritually. Although I have been enjoying the lovely days of Summer, I know that routine and discipline have taken a back seat to rest & relaxation. My Personal Trainer personality has suddenly  been alerted. I must have crossed into a relaxation danger zone. So here I am to invite you, whoever would like to join me, in this simple exercise in self-discipline as we ease our way back into the routines, regimens and schedules of Fall. I came up with it this morning as I was having my quiet time and feeling well…spiritually malnourished. Somehow in the Summer we slip into such a state of bliss and happiness with the weather, cookouts, beach, vacation we don’t recognize that we may be getting a little flabby spiritually. At least this is the case for me. So in my training mentality I immediately start think of getting back to basics. Physically and spiritually. When I work with clients who have had an injury, taken time off or are beginners, I love to keep the protocol simple and basic. So that is my plan. Would you like to join me? Physical and Spiritual training are so much more fun when shared.

If you decide to take the challenge, find a way to link up with me as I will be posting daily on Facebook (you can “like” my page, if you would like to get the daily Proverbs Challenge directly to your newsfeeds). Or leave a comment below or via E-Mail and let me know your joining my little challenge!

Oh, and here is my little game plan, you know there had to be a game plan, right? I love to make things creative, fun and interesting so I decided instead of reading in order I would choose daily a random number (1-31) and read that chapter. I punched some squares and numbered them, and will be putting them in a jar on my desk. Each morning I will shake that jar and pick one out. This will be the chapter for the day! Now if you prefer to read in order 1-31 that is fine, too. Or if you would like to read your chapter at night, that will work. The Proverbs Challenge is 1 chapter a day. Simple, easy and good.

Challenge Begins:
Monday, August 22, 2011- That’s this Monday!


 

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together
Psalm 34:3
Enthusiastically,

A Magical Day



All glorious is the princess within her chamber;
her gown is interwoven with gold.
~Psalm 45:13
 It started out as an ordinary day. It was supposed to be one of those “productive me” days. The kind you know needs to happen because, it’s that time of year again. The word vacation has less power over me as the last few weeks of Summer have been squeezed slowly out of my planner pages. That next month (September) keeps appearing as I plan the days ahead and all that needs to be done by D-Day (1st day of school). So with all this in my mind, of course I had my TO DOs for today completely mapped out. After all, I am, if nothing else, obsessively, compulsively organized. In a most disorganized way. At least on paper I look pretty organized, thanks to my Planner. But somehow paper planning and reality have a way of missing each other and leaving me miffed in the midst of it all. Today that was a beautiful gift. Today, my planner had not accounted for the magical day that would unfold, to my wonder and joy.
“Mom, will you please let me see your wedding dress?” pleaded my daughter as she looked at me with what I call her Junior Mint eyes. Um, I am thinking…not in the plan…warning, warning. I flashback to Robot in “Lost In Space” (doesn’t take much for me). She has become a fan of the program “Say Yes To The Dress” and she wanted to see how mine measured up. Until today it has been hanging in our garage. It has been in the zipped tight gown bag since our honeymoon. Today that gown emerged and made our mundane day a very magical one, indeed! Of course she wanted to try it on. The excitement and pure glee my daughter displayed as she posed, primped, giggled and posed some more were absolutely priceless. It is amazing to me how a wedding gown makes every girl feel beautiful, precious and royal. Like a princess. Special. Prized.
Princess Katherine Grace
Even if she is all or any of those things…there is something intoxicating, wonderful and heady about a wedding dress. It has a power to make the one wearing FEEL embraced by beauty.
When I text-ed the pics to my hub, he almost had a stroke! But my girl and I had a million laughs as our afternoon became magical.
The day got more interesting later when my mom returned home and wanted to know why my dress was hanging in the hall. After looking at the pictures we had taken, she mentioned her gown and I immediately
(me being the Keeper of the Photos) retrieved her wedding photos to show Katherine.

Mom poses with her Wedding Gown photos

You know, we never did make it out for all the errands. But what my planner can’t show, my heart does reveal. It is well with my soul. Today I had a plan. I had my To Do Lists written. But today instead of my plans I received a better thing. A beautiful gift. A magical day…and for that I am thankful.

 

The Dress on the Big Day!



We topped our magical day off with an appropriate movie
 tonight: Cinderella! It was just the way that we rolled!
On my scale of great Mother/Daughter days,
this one will go down as memorable!
The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord.
~Psalm 45:11

Extreme Blog Makeover

Out with the old and in with the new!

Talk about your perfect timing and God’s Providence. As a new blogger I couldn’t help but notice that my Blog-Site was lacking a few bells and whistles. It’s not that I wanted it to be the biggest, baddest Blog Spot in the Blogosphere, I just felt like there were some things I did not know how to make happen in this brave new world. Enter Heather ( http://www.creative-bliss.net/ ). She had made a post which I happened to catch on a Christian Bloggers network site (Facebook) that she would be taking on a handful of free Blog re-designs or new blog designs to kick off her latest endeavor in the Blogosphere.
Funny, I had just sent an e-mail for a price quote on  having a a Site Button made. However,since at the moment I am not working (just happily blogging away) I really did not think it was fair to be investing in what is currently a free enterprise, and an (sigh) exceedingly gratifying pastime. Not to mention the fact that there is not an excessive demand for a site button for my Blog at this time. Ok, let’s be real: forget demand, not even a request. In other words, I am pretty sure my Hubby (gracious, generous and kind though he is) was not going to appreciate me finding new and exciting ways to Bling my Blog at this point in time with some rationalization, “But Honey, Everybody in the Blogosphere has a Button for their Blog”. Well to my great surprise, I was one of the recipients who happened to be in the right place, at the right time and before I could say “Bling”, my blog went from something that was coming along to looking like something I dreamed. Can you hear the music ? Listen, it’s Cinderella playing in the background: “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”.



 This current faith journey God has me on is truly full of surprises! Heather listened and created my new site design with attention to the details and vision I could see in my mind but not produce myself. I love the new look and even got my own cute little Site Button. So, hey grab, one if you’d like! I am still “dreaming” about tweeking some of the details and parts of the site are under construction, but take a peak and also check out her work on her site (below)! When I return to my full-time profession in Fitness I will be letting Heather work on my site, God willing! If you are looking for a fresh new design, stop by and visit!
One final giant thank you to Heather, for all and especially for my “rock” signature!

You Have Now Entered Another Dimension…

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

     Like Columbus, I too have discovered a strange, new world. One that I had no idea was out there. You see I thought the recent slammed door in my face, with the sudden loss of my job, was where the world ended. Instead I have found another dimension I did not even know existed. I can visualize, Rod Serling standing- with me in the background hunched over, tapping away on my computer keyboard…and speaking “she thought her life was over, instead she entered another dimension, blogging, in…The Twilight Zone”- (enter eerie background music here). I have often heard people say “One door closes, another opens” as they smile and offer such cliche type lines, and of course I have whipped that one liner out myself. But late in the wee night hours and sometimes during the pre-dawn morning I can now be found tap-tap-tapping away with my heart on fire and a door that has swung wide open and allowed me to travel from one end of the world to another via the Blogosphere. I am not sure that is even a valid word, but it is the one I imagine when I think of this amazing place I am beginning to explore. It is not like I have left my career entirely but I have been on a bit of a sabbatical since the end of May of this year. I have come to the end of the perceived flat Earth and hover at the edge.  (See prior post: Letting Go Means Letting God)  It seems as if God had led me to the proverbial “fork in the road”. I believe he has led me there before. Sometimes I sit at the fork and refuse to budge. Sometimes I stare down both roads and don’t know which way to go. I listen to too many voices and that is when I usually get the proverbial “kick in the pants”. Ok, that is my own interpretation but it usually means, in my personal experience that he removes the distraction or the thing I won’t release. He is a faithful Father, friend and He is God. He knows what’s best. It’s best for me to believe Him…but I waver, doubt and second guess myself…so He does what is needful to help me move ahead. He reminds me of my true identity. He encourages me with His everlasting love and a few gentle words from others. He leads me besides still waters, for sure, but also it seems currently… He is leading me into a busy, blossoming, Blogosphere. A place I did not know before. A place I am exploring with new zeal and excitement as I connect with like minded bloggers in a network of faith, love and testimony! Who can keep up with such an amazing God such as this? He leads me to forks, edges and the ends of the earth…or at least the end of myself. That is a wonderful place to be. I am learning that coming to the end of myself often means that when I jump, he will catch me or I will fly. Or maybe He will let me be completely immersed beneath the surface…breathing in a deeper breath of faith than ever before…going deeper with Him and coming out stronger, better, and more like Him than I ever could have imagined!

So, Twilight Zone or Blogosphere,
at home, or in my career –
it makes no difference to me
 because ultimately…
He is there!

 Care to join me in the Twilight Zone?

My Prayer for my fellow Bloggers in the great Blogosphere Today:
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
~ Romans 15: 5-6

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