Friday, September 30, 2011

LACED WITH GRACE....moving day!

Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE where I have shared a devotion entitled, "Moving Day"! ...

"If you have ever moved from one house to another, you know how much work it is. This past summer we helped two of our sons move on two different occasions. We have lived in our current house for nearly 20 years and I had actually forgotten just how much work moving could be. The thing about moving is that almost everything needs to be boxed up. Not only boxed up but then when you get to the new place, unboxed. It is quite the work to figure out what is what and where it all belongs. If you don’t label the boxes, it could take days to figure it out. One of the things that I noticed about our moving adventures this past summer is that some of the boxes we moved came out of the storage area. To be quite honest, I think some of these boxes had not been opened since the last move. Isn’t that just like us to just move things from one place to another?" ...

CLICK HERE to read the entire post!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...burying the bone!

We have 3 dogs. We have a large dog (a black mixed lab), a medium sized dog (a beagle) and a small dog (a silky terrier). As you can imagine they all compete with each other over everything. If we pet one...we have to pet all of them. If we feed one...we have to feed all of them. When we give them a guessed it, we give all of them one.

I love watching the dogs when we give them treats, each one does something different. The large one inhales it in one breath, the medium sized dog sniffs it first and then very gingerly enjoys her treat but the small one, she is the funny one. What she does with her treat is rather smart - she doesn't smell it, she doesn't inhale it, in fact what she does is she takes it and goes and buries it!

The problem is she really isn't burying it. She takes it and places on the floor in the corner of the family room, takes her nose and acts like she is burying it and then she sits and guards her treat. If one of the other dogs come near it, she "digs" it up and places it somewhere else. Except the whole while her treat is in complete view of everyone. It really isn't buried at all.

We laugh but isn't that exactly what we do sometimes?

We try to bury some things that don't need to be in our lives, the only problem is we just go thru the motions of burying it. The act of burying it sometimes isn't enough. When we just attempt to bury something but make no changes in our life, then it is still in the wide open for all to see, just like my little doggie does.

We can think that those burdens are buried, but in reality, they are still very much visible in our life. Not only to us but to others as well.

Many of us have "bones" in our life that we are guarding. We think if we could just keep it all to ourselves, nobody will see our "secret" place. The bones that we try to hide are things like emotional hurts, financial troubles, mourning of a lost loved one, loneliness, depression, and sometimes even sin.

If we are not careful, we can become like my little silky terrier and become consumed with our treats (our bones) (our burdens). We miss out on the joy because our "bones" have us so worried and fretful.

"Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest...for My yoke is easy and my burden light." MATTHEW 11,28,30

What a great encouragement to know that instead of focusing on my bones (my problems), I can focus on Him and He will give me peace. I am so thankful for His rest and His peace!

Do you have some bones that need to get buried? Completely buried!

IRIS is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY this week. Please share your grateful heart with us over there today. Next week we will meet at Lynn's place for the month of October. What an awesome blessing to see so many thankful hearts...join us, won't you?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A PIECE OF MY HEART...changing my perspective

I have always heard the age old question..."Is the glass half empty or half full?" I usually saw it as half full, but yet many of you probably saw it different. You may have saw it half empty.

Which is right?

I don't know that either one is right or wrong. It is just different.

I think many times we encounter things and even people, that have different perspectives than we do. Its not that their way is right or is just different.

Often times, when we come across situations that cause differences of opinion, we look at it like strife or condemnation. We might even take on a judgemental attitude of judging the motives of others rather than looking at it like the glass illustration. Having differences of opinion is not wrong but how we handle those differences is what gets us in trouble most of the time.

I am a peacemaker. I struggle with people who run from making peace. The "it's my way or the highway" mentality just doesn't cut it in the Kingdom of God, this should never be our attitude. We are on the same team. If we cannot get along down here, how are we going to walk the streets of gold up there arm in arm?

It is amazing to me how two people can look at the same cloud in the sky but yet see something different. One sees a sheep, while the other sees an angel flapping its wings. It really just depends on their perspective, I guess. Once you point out that you see a sheep in the clouds, the other might change positions and then they too can see what the other saw...a sheep! What changed? Their perspective!

But we have to be willing. It is not pleasing to God to have his children quarrelling, disagreeing and just not on the same page with each other.

"If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Is your thinking so rigid that all you can see is a half empty glass? It just might be time to ask God to help you change your perspective..I am asking Him to help me see things like He sees things. Differently.

And this has been a piece of my heart today;

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meet me at the church!

At the young age of 17, her best friend asked her to meet him at the church. It was there that he took her hand and made a promise to love, honor and adore her for the rest of his days. That was 30 years ago and so far that promise has not been broken.

That 17 year old young girl was me, and my best friend is still my best friend after all of these years except now I also call him husband and father of our children.

30 years of marriage bliss. I know what you are thinking, 30 years of love, adoration and honor sounds almost too good to be true. It sounds like a fairy tale. I guess in a sort, it has been a fairy tale, except in my real life fairy tale, everything isn't always perfect.

Perfect isn't always what it is cracked up to be. After all, if things were always perfect, there would be nothing to work at or improve. Right? See, this might explain the high rate of divorce in our society. People are looking for a fairy tale that is perfect and if that is not what they get, they bail out. Instead of adhering to the godly principle for marriage as we see in the book of Genesis, society has given us excuses to break away from God's divine plan for man and woman...

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man." (Genesis 2:18-25)

I like what Matthew Henry has to say about this... "Not made out of his head to top him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved."

Matthew Henry in such an eloquent way summed up exactly what makes a marriage last 30 years and more. It not only takes love, honor and adoration but it also takes faithfulness, commitment and making good choices. The first and most important chose in marriage to ensure its longevity is choosing to put God at the head of your marriage.

When you combine all of these ingredients, your marriage can most certainly be fulfilling and even though not all of your days will be perfect, I can promise you it will be a beautiful fairy tale with a prince (your hubby) and a princess (you) and a King (God). Living happily ever after!


Happy Anniversary to my prince.
He is not only my rib but my life!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Beware .. Snakes present!

Earlier today, as my husband worked out in the back yard, he found a snake. It was slithering in the grass and because of the camouflage color of its skin it was almost difficult to recognize.

Once my husband spotted it, he was able to pick it up and while I was inside the house, I could still hear him hollering, "I caught a snake!" He wanted to show it to me and my daughter. Of course we weren't as interested in it as he was. He wasn't sure what kind of snake it was, so he found a container to put it in. I asked him why he just didn't kill it? He said, "I'm not gonna kill it until I find out what kind it is. If it is not poisonous, there is no reason to kill it."

I guess I see his reasoning. My reasoning would be different. It's a snake. In my yard. I don't like snakes. Kill it!

The Bible refers to the enemy as a serpent. A snake. And just like that slithering snake tried to camouflage himself in our grass, the serpent (the enemy) also deceives us by camouflaging himself as something else. He often slithers around and surprises us when we least expect it. How absurd would it be if the enemy pre announced his arrival..."Laurie, I am going to come and attack you tomorrow at noon. So be ready!" That's not how it works. The enemy lurks around to rob, steal and destroy. Most of the time people are not even aware of his work. He likes to camouflage his work. Many times in our mind, we can even justify his evil schemes. All along missing the mark that the serpent is leaving behind.

When it comes to dealing with the sneaky serpent, often times we are like my husband was with that little snake found in the grass. We want to hold onto it. Show it off. We don't want to dispose of it.

But do you know what kind of danger that puts you in when you do that? Poisonous or not, a snake is a snake. Snakes do what they are equipped to do and that is slither and hiss. There are no cute serpents slithering around you, your family and your ministry.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the authority of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you.

God has given us the authority to crush the sneaky ways of the devil. But we must be alert. Today after seeing that snake so close to my home, I have prayed and asked God to help me to have discernment in recognizing his sneaky ways. Often times he comes disguised as an "angel of light", it can be difficult to spot him among the saints. We must not rely upon our feelings, but only God's Word. Line everything up to God's Word, if it doesn't match up, then just may be a snake!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

LACED WITH GRACE...empty eggshells

Today I have shared a devotion with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE entitled "empty eggshells"...
Sometimes there is nothing else we can do besides accepting that the old is gone and the new is what is best. An old, cracked, empty eggshell is not going to make scrambled eggs, but a fresh, new supply of eggs will do the trick. In the book of Mark, there is a passage that speaks about this very thing. Laying aside the old and finding purpose in the new...

CLICK HERE to read todays devotion!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Staying in the moment

Have you ever had one of those moments in life that you wished would last forever?

The good, happy kind of moments are like that. When things are going great in our life, we have lots of friends, the job is going great, our marriage is solid, the kids are healthy...on and on we can go with happy moments. It would be awesome to freeze frame these kind of  moments and keep them forever.

But what about when the moments turn ugly, they turn bad, sad and lonely. The moments like receiving news of a loved ones death, or a loss of a job, or a repossession of your car. These are moments that we would like to see pass quickly from our life.

The thing about moments that I have learned, whether they are good or bad, is that all moments come and go. Often times we have to take the bad with the good, but in the end the crisis or the happy time will come to an end.

That's just life. Good times come. They go. Bad times come. They disappear also. It really isn't about the moment, as it is about how we allow the moments in our life to form us and define us.

If all we do is concentrate on the bad times in our life, no doubt we will be grumpy, distant and extremely unhappy. On the flip side of that, don't live in the world of  "use to be". If you "use to" be happily married, or you "use to" be a successful business person ... it may be time to press in and move beyond  your "moment of use to be's"!

Recently, God opened my eyes to see that sometimes I get caught up in my "use to be's". It has been hard for me to let go of something that has always been a part of me. I found myself caught up in the memories or "moments" that I shared in my past with certain people. Some of these moments (or memories) have been joyful and some have been hurtful. But even so, I kept going back to the moments that "use to be".

God had to show me, just like He showed Elisha that sometimes we have to move past the moments of our past and grab hold of the moments that await us. Elisha was holding onto the moments he shared with Elijah, until Elijah was caught up in a whirlwind to heaven. Just like that, the moment that Elisha was in quickly changed.

2 Kings 2:11 "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."

There is one thing I am sure of and that is that moments in my life are going to change, and when they do I must be sure that my attention is not on so much the people or the circumstances of such moments, but that my focus is on Jesus Christ. It would have been easy for me to be in Elisha's shoes and worry and grumble and complain that Elijah was no longer with me, instead of seeing the power and the opportunity that God was placing upon me to create new moments in my life.

May we always remember the moments in our life, both good and bad, but may we never remain there. God has so much more for us than to live in the past. Good and bad things is what makes us who we are, trusting God for what is to come is what moves us from moment to moment. Don't be afraid to move past your moments.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...change of seasons

This morning I woke up to something different. It seems that the hot, muggy nights of the southern summer has been altered. There was a coolness in the air that swept even thru the house. For the first time in months, I had to go turn the a/c down.

It is time for a season change. After a long hot and humid summer, it is a change that is very much welcomed.

Not every season change is welcomed. Some of us don't like cooler weather, for those who are like that, this season change will be difficult to embrace. It is no different than the seasons of life that we all encounter. Some are welcomed. And some are harder to embrace.

The weather is not the only thing changing around here. I have noticed a few changes when I look in the mirror every morning. The hair color is not what it use to be. Wrinkles have shown up in places that I never expected. Eating like I use to doesn't bring pleasure any longer, it just brings extra pounds to my hips.

I wouldn't say that some of these physical changes of becoming older is a welcomed change. But it is what it is. I can either embrace it and be happy and content or I can fight it, deny it and be miserable about it.

That's the thing about change. Whether it is the change in weather or change in our lives, change is bound to happen and there is not a whole lot that we can do about it. We can't control it. It is just something that happens. But what we can control is how we embrace change.

Change is not always a bad thing. It can be a good thing. It can propel us to do things that we never thought of before. It can take us out of our comfort zone. It can lead us to places and people that we never thought of before.

Alot of things change around us. The weather changes. Our jobs change. Friendships change. Life changes. Thru it all though, there is one thing that never changes and that is God. He never changes. He was. He is. And He always will be. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. He is God and He is ever present in all of the changes that come our way.

REVELATION 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega--the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. "I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come--the Almighty One."

Today I am thankful for the changes that He brings into my life that teaches, molds and corrects me. I am so thankful that even in these changes that He stands with me. Not just yesterday, but today and in all of my tomorrows.

Visit IRIS for THANKFUL THURSDAY and see what others are thankful for today!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wisdom isn't always age

I have always thought that the older you get, the wiser you will be. Until I got older and then I realized that age has nothing to do with the wisdom that you obtain. I know alot of 40 year old people who behave just as they did in their 20's. Wisdom often comes from hard knocks in life, making a choice to grow and depending upon the leading of the Holy Spirit

This can happen at any age.

7 I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ 8 But it is the spirit[a] in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. 9 It is not only the old[b] who are wise,    not only the aged who understand what is right."  Job 32:7-9

Just because someone is older, or more experienced does not necessarily make them wiser. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us wisdom and discernment. If we lose that connection of the Spirit that lives within us, then it doesn't matter where we are, what we do, or how many times we have done it! Without the Holy Spirit leading us, we lose a great cord of wisdom in our lives.

I don't know about you, but at age 47 I am not as wise as I need to be. I am leaning upon His understanding and leading to teach me wisdom. Even though age has nothing to do with wisdom, my obedience has everything to do with it.

Do you need some wisdom today? Ask Him, and see what He might teach you today!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


As I tackled the huge pile of laundry, I got thinking about how blessed we are to have the modern-day conveniences of a washer, a dryer, and most importantly SOAP! Think about what your daily life would be like without such priveleges!

Your children would have nasty clothes to wear to school. Your husband would look a mess on the job. Not to mention what kind of smell would be coming from those dirty, unwashed clothes. Have you ever taken time to just thank God for the opportunity to launder your clothes? Usually we complain about it. Besides me, I just don't know too many people who enjoy doing laundry.

I love doing laundry. It is probably one of my most favorite household chores. There is just something about taking something that is soiled and washing it and folding it like it was something brand new. There is joy in that.

I would imagine that it somewhat resembles the joy of the Lord when one of His children who was lost in sin comes home. Think of one of your children, who has been playing out in the dirt and when he comes in, you take some soap and wash the dirt right off of them. I can just imagine you wrapping that warm, soft towel around their clean body, laughing and smiling with your child with such joy that they are once again clean and smelling good!

Soap. It does us good. It takes the dirt and the smell away. It makes us refreshed and renewed.

Same is true with the spiritual soap that God washes us with. We make mistakes and many times mess things up. Sometimes the messes we find ourselves in are just stinky. The Bible says that we are ALL sinners...

ROMANS 8:28 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

But the good news is that we can be just like our little children who come in from playing outside, we can come to our Father, with all of our messes, with the dirt that the world has left on us and He can pour His loving, saving and cleasning soap all over us and we can be washed as white as snow. That means our sins are forgiven, we can live a new life...refreshed and renewed.

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." ISAIAH 1:18

Aren't you thankful for His Soap?

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY, join your grateful heart with ours over at . Iris is our host this month!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Missing sock!

Have you ever wondered what happens to all of the socks? Somewhere between the washing machine and the dryer, they get lost. We have a "sock basket" that all of the stray socks get thrown into. I don't even know why we throw the socks in there, most of them never get matched.

I've been thinking about throwing away those old, useless socks. After all, what good is just one sock anyhow?

I didn't think that mismatched socks had a purpose, until one day I read an article online about the possible uses for socks. "101 uses of old socks" ... did you know that the number one use for such socks is sock puppets, followed by using old socks for cleaning rags. There are some very unusual ideas of how to use those old mismatched socks, one company makes purses out of socks! Amazing! Another company fills socks with potpourri and sells them as shoe deodorizers.

"One man's junk is another man's treasure!"

When I look at my basket of mismatched socks, I see a bunch of worthless, useless and missing socks. But to someone else, they may see possibility, something of value or worth.

Do you ever feel like a mismatched sock? Like you are useless, have no value and have no purpose. I think sometimes our circumstances can leave us feeling that way. When relationships fail, or we lose a promotion at work or the enemy just perches on our shoulder whispering small lies in our ears.."You have always been a loser", "Nobody cares about you!"

When we look in the mirror, we see junk, but God sees something totally different. He sees beauty, value, opportunity. He takes that mismatched sock feeling and turns it around for good. We just have to look past what we see and focus on what God sees.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

What are you thinking on?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A PIECE OF MY HEART...the master of the wind

Today was a nice break from the blazing heat that we have endured here in the south. The temperatures dropped and there was a cool breeze outside. The effects of Storm Lee, no doubt. When I stepped outside, the wind was whipping around the leaves. Not only that, but the wind blew the papers out of my hand that I was holding. As I tried to grab the papers, a gush of wind blew them in a different direction. I must have darted to the left and then to the right at least 3 times before I was able to grab a hold of my papers.

It seems like the wind had control. Not only over my papers, but the wind had control over me.

I felt helpless (and even alittle embarrassed) as I was out in the yard dancing around in the wind. Sometimes this is also how I feel when the torrent winds of life come swirling around me. I feel helpless and sometimes even embarrassed that I cannot control the wind (the storms) in my life.

Just as I had no control over the wind blowing my papers all around, it is true that it is difficult to prevent the wind of adversity to blow also. It is virtually impossible to stop the storms from raging. The disciples found this out while out at sea. They discovered that Jesus does not always prevent storms from starting. But this does not mean that He is not in the storm with us.

"And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm." (Luke 8:24)

When I think about what it must have been like that day out on the water, I realize that without the winds and the storm, there would not have been anything for God to calm. The raging winds was the neccesary ingredient for the disciples to trust in God.

Same is true for the storms that you and I face. Without the thrashing wind and violent storms that come in and out of our lives, we would not be able to have a testimony of God's faithful promise that He is the Master of the wind.

There is no storm too fearsome that My God cannot calm. He is indeed the Master of the wind!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...the reason for living

As a Mom, I have had to answer a tough question, "What's the purpose of this Mom?"

When my children were small and I asked them to pick up their toys..."Mom, what is the purpose, I'm just going to get them out again!" When my children were alittle bit older, I would ask them, "Did you do your homework?" only to hear them say, "What for Mom? even that won't help me understand it."

Isn't that exactly what we do sometimes. We often look at our life and ask, "What is the purpose?" and often times we come up with excuses of why we don't do certain things. "Why try, it won't make a difference!" "I'm not going to apply for that job because I won't get it."

When we feel less than average, or have low self esteem or low expectations, many times we short change ourselves. When I come up on a situation that seems nearly impossible, I have to remind myself that I can do anything that God strengthens me to do.

The same is true spiritually, many times I have felt God's tug on my heart to start up a new ministry in my church, or teach a class, or go witness to a complete stranger, but what my heart tells me to do is often overturned by the lack of self confidence that my mind tells me. My mind tells me, "You can't do that!" "You are not qualified!" "Who do you think you are?"

It is during these moments that I have to ask myself, "What is the purpose?"
  • Am I really making a difference in my world?
  • Do I have what it takes to turn my generation towards God?
  • What does it really matter the little insignificant things that I do?
If you have ever asked these questions, let me reassure you that every small part that you do is important. There is no little seed when it comes to the Kingdom of God. From cleaning the toilets at your church to leading someone at the altar in a sinners prayer...each and every step is important. And everything that you contribute has a purpose.

As a Christian, I have asked God many times what His purpose is for my life. Sometimes God reveals to us alittle bit at a time what His purpose is, the important thing is that we keep seeking His purpose and remember that for every step that we take, it is leading us closer to Him. Each one of us has different gifts and talents, but the most important purpose that God has for each of us is to know Him in a personal way.

Philippians 1:6 "He Who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ."

What a wonderful promise to stand on! When we trust God with our life, He promises to reveal His ultimate purpose for our life! Not only does He promise it, but He gives us the power to live out His purpose.

He is the reason for living. When we fully realize that, we will no longer ask the question, "What is the purpose?" He not only can bring purpose to our life...He is the purpose for our life!

IRIS is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY this month. Please join your grateful heart with ours over at her place!