Tuesday, July 29, 2014

God IS in ALL the Details

Yes, I look like I'd been through a hard day's ride to get there -
oh, just look at that flat hair, LOL. That's what 3 hours on
the freeway in LA traffic will do to you!

It’s been such a busy few weeks. God has been faithful in numerous ways and I’ve sensed His presence in every situation.

He brought about an opportunity for me to meet my sweet and wonderful friend, Nancy Sullivan (who is also a regular contributor to CW Voice Magazine). She is a Certified Health Coach with Take Shape for Life and she came all the way out to California from Oklahoma to attend the National Convention in Anaheim. She, her beautiful daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandsons made a long road trip out of it and it was certainly a highlight of my summer to finally meet them all.

It was also a great surprise to see another CW Voice contributor, Pamela Johnson, who is also a TSFL Health Coach!

God also gave me one huge WOW moment the other day – I’ve made about 3 attempts to share this in a blog post but wasn’t happy with the way the words came out (or didn’t), so I’m just going to spill it, LOL.

Let me explain: we released the new issue of the magazine July 1st and, for some reason, even though I think this is our best issue EVER, I was feeling very frustrated and uneasy about it. I was in the middle of what you might call a rant – OK, truth be told, it was one big teary-eyed pity party complete with running mascara an' all. There I stood venting my frustrations and feelings of “this is completely hopeless” to my amazing, attentive husband who sat on the back patio “cooling off” from a 6-mile jog (a.k.a. drinking water and trying to breathe while our dogs below him busied themselves dodging the many sweat beads as they dropped).

Anyway, I’d just finished my soap-box moment, turned back into the house and the phone rang. The caller ID indicated it was my mother-in-law. How I adore her, but my forehead wrinkled with confusion. “She knows I’m getting ready for work at this hour – why would she call my cell phone at 8am?” I puzzled.

“Hello, my dear,” she started in her beautiful accent.
“Hi there!” I shot back with a bit of ‘hurry up’ in my voice.
In the next 5 minutes that wonderful woman, whom I’ve had the privilege of calling ‘mother-in-law’ for the past 25 years, spoke as a vessel for the Lord. It was as though she’d been there in the conversation on the patio just moments before. She brought encouragement and hope and a "you'd better keep on keepin' on" talk.

She hit on absolutely EVERY SINGLE thing I’d just shared with my husband. Every frustration, every fear, every concern…God used her in a miraculous way as though He were reaching through the clouds with His mighty hand straight for my heart.

Within moments, she had me in tears and I instantly knew I was in the middle of a God moment.

That’s when the peace came.

That’s when I remembered who’s REALLY in control of all my efforts, dreams and goals. My family, my marriage, my home, my ministry; all that I am belongs to God.

Like yesterday at the grocery store. A man put his shopping cart away and left a bag of briquettes in the bottom. He started to walk away, and I called to him, “Sir, I think you left something.”

“Oh, thank you! Well, you’ve done your good deed for the day. I’m sure something wonderful is bound to happen to you today,” he smiled.

I smiled back and answered, “It already has!”

Indeed! I’ve been given one more glorious day to be used by God!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Before and After

I’m a dog lover and I’m very thankful God created precious little fur-friends to enjoy and love who love us right back. It’s my pleasure to share articles from National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR ) in each issue of Christian Women’s Voice Magazine. But it sure tugs at my heart to see the “before” photos on Facebook taken of the dogs at the puppy mills; proof of precious animals suffering deplorable conditions.

I always look for the “After” pics to quickly follow – that Hallelujah moment after they’ve been rescued, fed, bathed, loved and in the arms of their “forever families.”

I can relate.

Maybe you can, too.

I often consider the state of my heart before Jesus took hold of it. Before He rescued me I looked and felt like those sad and bedraggled “before” pics. I was definitely a soul in need of cleansing and belonging, to be spiritually fed and held in the arms of my Savior. I was ragged on the inside. Closed in, stifled and miserable in my conditions with little to no vision of the future or what life might be like outside the bars that caged my soul. In my vanity and selfishness, I relied fully on my own strength, my own desires, never giving thought to a plan larger than my own.

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"  Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:25-26

I’m so thankful for the contrast of before and after. It’s quite a journey getting from one to the other, but the rewards are unexplainable. Having the peace of Jesus in my heart and knowing that He loved me first makes each and every day a precious gift to be lived with gratitude.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8


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