Monday, November 30, 2009

For Such a Time as This

Esther had become Xerxes queen by a rare chance it seemed, but Haman had a plot to destroy her people. Esther was afraid to speak up and her cousin Mordecai told her "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:12-14)
God gives us the privledge of taking part when He is working out His plan for His glory. In times of testing of character, in times of perseverance, and in times of weakness, bask in such an opportunity to rise and meet the call of our King. We were created for such a time as this.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rough Day

Sometimes I have a tough time in this world of deception. I think I know who my teammates are, and then I wake up with tire marks on my back from where I was just thrown under the bus. It's time to take it to Jesus again, and ask for wisdom to be innocent as a dove and wise as a serpent.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bedtime Rituals

The following is a blog post from Staci Eldredge, co-author of "Captivating". This is a special nugget of wisdom to pass on blessing to our children. Eat it up!

Stasi's Blog
Bedtime Rituals
When our sons were young and it was time to get ready for bed, we would announce, “Time for jammies and teeth!” They used to wear John’s old T-shirts as jammies. They were soft and comfortable and fell to their knees or lower. Now, all three sons have outgrown my husband’s tees.

For some reason, they liked to brush their teeth in our bathroom, not theirs. So our sink was surrounded not only by our various accoutrements, but their three boyish toothbrushes and toothpaste as well. John’s a TOM’S man…something one son has inherited but at the time their toothpaste sparkled and had various super heroes on the cover. We wondered why they wouldn’t use their own sink…but understood that this was a sweet season that would pass all too quickly. We enjoyed the chaos.

Once tucked in bed, we would bless them. Every single night. And they would bless us right back.

“The LORD bless you and keep you.
The LORD make his face to shine upon you
And give you peace.”

Samuel initiated making the sign of the cross on the forehead at the beginning of the blessing and more than a decade later, the little ritual has stuck.

Often times, after blessing, one or more of our boys would ask to “snuggle”. This was the crucial moment. We would be exhausted. Done. Finished. Ready for bed ourselves. They would be ready to talk…share about their day, experiences, thoughts. Precious moments. Golden moments.

“Sure honey, we can snuggle” (pronounced schnuggle).

Sometimes, I would sing the blessing to them instead of speak it. Sometimes I would make up lullabies and sing those to them as well.

The other night, I was talking with our oldest son over the phone – he’s on a Europe semester traveling all over the continent, experiencing so much but so far away. As we were saying our goodbyes, I said, wait,

“The LORD bless you and keep you.
The LORD make his face to shine upon you
And give you peace.”

I could feel his smile.

I am so happy at the moment. My mother’s heart so full. Our youngest, Luke, 16 years old, after blessing him tonight, began to sing the blessing to me. I finished it up and then snuggled next to him and continued singing and humming to him– remembering the old lullabies from years past. He remembered. He loved it. I loved it.

Oh. It all matters!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oh how divine this bedroom looks to me; Shabby Chic, it's called. It is inviting, romantic, feminine, luxurious, but not too fussy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Deal with Manipulative People (from How-to.com)

Step 1
Identify manipulative behaviors. Manipulators are very good at what they do: controlling others. Their tactics vary, but the goal is always to get the manipulated to do what the manipulator wants. Manipulative behaviors can include threatening, flattering, giving you guilt or demeaning you. They may keep you guessing by alternating between excesses of affection and charm and coldness or anger. If you often feel stressed and resentful when dealing with someone, you may be enmeshed in a manipulative relationship.

Step 2
Look at ways in which you play into the manipulator's hands. List things you have done or not done to please the manipulator and how you felt when at the time.

Step 3
Figure out which buttons the manipulator is pressing. For example, if you are a giving and caring person, a manipulator might suggest that you are cold and selfish if you are start resisting the manipulator's schemes.

Step 4
Stop making excuses for the manipulator. If you blame the manipulative behavior on his insecurities or unhappy childhood, know that such excuses are a key part of his manipulative strategy. Be wary of anyone who regularly "plays the victim."

Step 5
Turn down "generous" offers of help, money, time, etc. To a manipulator, these are always "quid pro quo." Manipulators use "gifts" they give to get something out of you.

Step 6
Assert yourself. Say no to manipulative demands calmly and rationally.

Step 7
Establish and maintain boundaries. You need to distance yourself emotionally in order to deal with the manipulative comments and behaviors. Cultivate detachment and consider it necessary "tough love."

Step 8
Challenge lies and half-truths. Use logic instead of emotion to argue back. If necessary, end the battle by "agreeing to disagree." Hold your position. Be prepared to repeat yourself many times until the manipulator backs off.

Step 9
Prepare yourself for the manipulator to escalate her behavior. The manipulator will not give up control without a fight. You will hear how "mean" you are and how "hurt" she is by your "uncaring" behavior. The manipulator's behavior may become worse than ever or she may totally withdraw. Stand firm, don't get defensive and don't take the bait.

Step 10
See how the manipulator responds to the changes you have made. Some people see the error of their ways and come to appreciate the benefits of a more equitable relationship. Once you deal with the manipulator, you will feel more optimistic, more powerful and once again in control of your destiny.

And, after reviewing a few other notes on the subject, also avoid saying "I'm sorry...", instead say things like "It's a shame you feel that way, but here's what I am available to do". Also, remember to say "I'll get back to you" and "Let me think about it", so you can get away from the distorted situation and think clearly about what you are willing to do.

Remember, manipulators have often been manipulated and feel this is the only way to get ahead...always recognize they are unhealthy but pray for them.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I can honestly say I do not know how to handle this situation. "Hold fast, help is on the way" keeps ringing in my ears, but is the timing right? My flesh screams at me to run, but I cannot, there is too much at stake here. Father, Father, guide me. Here I go.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Persevering

Sometimes I feel like someone else owns my life. I feel like I am being drug along to do things that I really don't want to do. Most of the time I put on a smiling face, but inside I am a small child kicking and screaming "no, no, I don't want to!" And right now, I feel like God is really calling me to stick with this particular thing, and on almost a daily basis I feel fed up with the behavior of the people around me. I just want to say "forget it!" I don't always understand why, but this passage helped.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your fiath develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must not doubt, because he who doubts is...a double minded man". -James 1:2-8

I think God may be asking me to stick it out, and dare to be the one who will cause change. Dare to be real, and to address the issues at hand in a mature manner.

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him" - vs. 12

And I regularly have to ask for wisdom, because I do not know the wisest way to handle this situation. In James 3, he says Godly wisdom is pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, sincere, and humble.Worldly wisdom is bitterly envious, selfishly ambitious, boastful, and causes disorder.

Help me Lord to persevere and not to grow weary of doing your will. Help me not to run dry.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Daily Dose of Humility

Sometimes it seems that I always have to be the one to "rock the boat", and I don't want to be that person. I recognize something is not right, but I don't want to be the one bringing it up all the time. It's exhausting, and I don't feel like it lends to a great reputation. But perhaps God uses me because He knows I will - I can't stand to leave things unsettled when I am aware of the situation. And often, this holds me accountable too. And maybe God is using me here, but I just need my daily dose of humility to keep my head in the game.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Will Sing it to Fruition

"God is great, but sometimes life ain't good;
And when I pray, it doesn't always turn out like I think it should,
But I do it anyway.

I sing, I dream, I love, oh anyway"

-Martina McBride "Do It Anyway"

Amen girl!