Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wonderful and Tasteful Book

This isn't the typical book that I write about... no thought-provoking words of wisdom. Well, maybe some. :)

For Christmas, I received this gift as a stocking stuffer from my sister-in-law. I did not take offense because of it's contents, and in fact, I am obsessed with this book. I highly recommend it!

It's called "Eat This, Not That" and was featured on an episode of The Biggest Loser. It highlights simple food "swaps" that can save you calories... and therefore pounds! I like it because it's not always the obvious "Eat grilled chicken, not pepperoni pizza." Some of them are a little surprising. For instance, it is better to have a 2-scoop Hot Fudge Sundae from Baskin Robbins, than 2 scoops French Vanilla and Peanut Butter on a sugar cone. (See, that's what I call a good swap!) The book contains the obvious categorizies: Restaurant, (the only restuarant that received an A+ is Chick-Fil-A, my favorite!), Best Foods, Worst Foods, Etc. But it has some fun, and surprising categories: The best and worst Salad Dressings, Cheeses, Breads, Beers, Crackers, Soups, Frozen Treats, Etc.

I like the shock factors: Did you know that "espresso has 35% less caffeine than a cup of brewed coffee." or that a "Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll has 813 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 117 grams of carbs"!!!!! I thought I loved those!!!

Anyway, it's an easy-to-read, and fun book. I'm a visual person, so when I'm walking through the grocery store, I mentally picture some foods on the right hand page of the book, and I automatically know, it's a "not that" item!!

I highly recommend that y'all pick it up!!

post signature

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thought of the Day

I was listening to the Word 100.7 the other day. It’s a Christian, talk radio station and for the most part, I like it. It’s actually pretty controversial at times, and not your typical, extremely conservative station – which is probably why I enjoy it. You get the occasional person who calls in with their ultra-conservative view and sometimes there is an on-air fight.

Anyway, I was listening to it over the weekend, and even though I didn’t hear the preacher’s name, I did hear a little nugget that he threw out: “Compassion is kindness in Action.” Many of us have kindness in our hearts, but do we show compassion? He spoke about how we often “feel sorry” for someone, but rarely do anything about it. We see the little starving kids on tv and “feel sorry” enough for them that we usually change the channel to avoid taking action. We see a homeless person on the street and might “feel sorry” for them for a little while, but I’m willing to admit that my typical reaction is to reach down and make sure my door is locked, and then quickly pick up my phone to pretend I’m talking to someone so that I don’t have to make eye contact with them. Yes, I agree, that it may not always be safe to just roll down your window and give a desperate stranger money. But, do we can still do something. We can earnestly pray for their souls… that they would come in to relationship with Jesus Christ. That God would send someone along their path who isn’t scared to give them money, help them out, or show compassion by hugging and helping them. I’m as guilty as anyone.

Sometimes, we can’t physically do anything, but we can always do something… even if it’s little. And most importantly, even if it’s prayer.

Here's a great link I found to a word on Compassion.

post signature

Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Easy Read

This isn't my typical, long, heart-felt post. It's quite the opposite - I'm just sharing a little decorating idea that I stole from the Ritz-Carlton foyer while my husband and I were there for a Christmas Party. :)

Quick story though - This is the first year we haven't had a Christmas tree. I'm actually ok with it. We don't have alot of room for a tree, and honestly, I didn't want the mess. Plus, the money I would have spent on a tree, I instead spent on decorations. (So, next year, when I have a house, I will have the best of both worlds, a tree and great decorations.)

So - this is what I saw at the Ritz... and I thought it was such a cute idea. I wish I would have taken a pic of the whole table, because it was FULL of vases of different sizes.

So, this is what I came up with to put on my table. (Oddly enough, the marble on my table is almost exactly like the marble on their table). Next year, I would like to add more vases and sizes to the collection.

(Vases and fake flowers from Hobby Lobby for under $15 total. Most of the Christmas bulbs are from last year's tree.)

Not as fancy - and not real flowers, but I think when I add more to the collection, it will look really cool.
Can't wait for next year!!!!

post signature

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Walking in Obedience

So, I’ve decided that I need to walk in obedience more than I do. How often is someone else waiting on the other end of my decision to be obedient to God?

Last Friday was my husband’s work Christmas party – usually an exciting event, but since I was out of town for 2 weeks, and so sick that I couldn’t talk, I didn’t have a chance to go dress shopping until the night before the party. So, my shopping on Thursday turned out typical… nothing fit. Ok, well, actually they did fit, they just wouldn’t zip over particular assets (if you know what I mean.) Stuff like this is always so frustrating for me. So, on Friday, I decided to leave work a little early and try again. The party was 2 hours away – I was a little stressed. So, I attempt the Galleria – several stores; Banana Republic, Betsey Johnson, Katie (Kate?) Miller, Macy’s, the list goes on. No luck. I finally ran over to Terri Costa. They had lots of really cute dresses. They are pretty fancy though; wedding dresses, prom dresses, pageant dresses, but they also had some very cute, inexpensive dresses too. But still, no stinking luck.

In a last-ditch effort, I run over to a store that I have seen a few times, but never actually been in: Whatchamacalit Fashions. Weird name, but great store. I walked in and prayed that God would help me find a dress and that he would give me favor in that place. (Hey, God cares about the little things too.) Again, I found fancy dresses, but this time, very few of them were actually in my price range. (I mean, this is a one-night event, and even though it was at the Ritz-Carlton, I wasn’t planning on wearing this dress again). So, I’m in the back of the shop looking at the clearance dresses and I only find TWO in my price-range. Seriously? They had a $99 rack and there were 2 in my size – and guess what? They did NOT fit!!! By this time it is almost 5:30 (and we are leaving for the party at 7:00). I kept looking at my staticky hair sticking up in the mirror and I realize that I still had so much to do to get ready and I still didn’t have a dress. On top of that, I had been dealing with a major sinus infection and my voice was gone. The sweet little lady helping me saw me finally give up and I started walking out the front door. I heard her say something to the owner of the store, and she yelled for me to come back. The owner said, “Honey, your party is in an hour – we have to find you a dress!” With as much voice as I could muster up, I politely told her that I would just wear my dress from last year. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. So then I politely told her that I didn’t plan on spending much on a dress and that I was really fine wearing my dress from last year. She told me to come back in and she would “work with me” on the price. (I’m in sales, I know what “work with me” means.) I was a little disgruntled and panicked and impatient, but for some reason I agreed. I went in to the dressing room and the owner and associate proceede to start throwing me every dress in my size. I still had a hard time fitting some things in, but as I’m putting them on, I realize that the price tags say $300, $400, $500. I was thinking “NO WAY!” to myself. I finally opened the door with this amazing, long black dress on, that fit so perfectly (and it was long enough to wear heals with!) and it was so great for a fancy Christmas party. The owner of the store and sales associate loved it. I loved it too, but knew the price was too much. She said she would give me 50% off. Nice offer, but still not spending $150 on a dress. I told her my budget was more like $100 max and again, started to politely tell her that I was fine with wearing last year’s Christmas dress. She looked at me and said, “Ok. You can have it for $100.” I was like “What!?” No way. I felt so guilty and I almost didn’t want to accept it, but then she said, “You be blessed and you take it for $100.” I started crying. I looked at her and told her that she was obeying the Holy Spirit because I had prayed for favor in that place.” She grabbed my hand, and obviously knew exactly what I meant by my statement because while she was walking me to the register (squeezing me tight), she prayed over me! She prayed peace and joy over me and asked God to heal my sickness! She gave me a big hug and told me that she loved me and that God was watching out for me because I had asked for His favor.

It was so amazing. God knew my spirit needed lifted (and I needed a dress), and he provided for both. But, this lady’s obedience reminded me that so often, I ignore the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Sometimes I just think that it’s my own flesh thinking it and not Christ. But so what?! What’s the downside of blessing someone whether or not it’s really from God!? The end result is that they still get blessed.

Anyway, I wanted to share that story – not so that you will go to Whatchamacalit and try to cheat the owner out of money, but to tell you that the owner (and the associate who was saying “Yes, Jesus” all the way to the register), are amazing women of God and they deserve your business for your next event. Also, to remind you that God desires to bless His children and pour out His favor on our lives. I don’t deserve any good thing, but God still wants to give them to me. How amazing.

post signature

Monday, November 17, 2008

God Can Do What He Says He Can Do

The key word here is “can”. Yes, He can do what He says He can do, but often, much to our dismay, and sometimes beyond reasons we may never know, He doesn’t do what He says He can do. This is the topic of my blogging today. How do we continue to have faith and believe God for miracles, and yet not be offended when He doesn’t answer the way that we know He can?

The following notes are from the Believing God Bible Study by Beth Moore. I highly recommend reading this book, and watching her study. I only wish I had the enthusiasm and conviction she did about this subject! Let me also preface by saying: This study came to me at a time when I needed it severely. In March of 2007, my step-mom found out she had cancer. By the time she was diagnosed, they gave her little time to live; her heart and lungs were surrounded and intertwined with tumors and it was grim. When I saw her in March, her hopes were high and so were mine. I had just started this Bible study, and I KNEW, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was supposed to pray for her and believe God for a miraculous healing. My intentions were all pure… I wanted this lovely woman healed, but I also knew that God would be glorified and that this would bring my father and other family members to a deeper relationship with Him. So, during the hour-long ride to meet my step mom, my (amazing, woman-of-much-faith) sister-in-law and I talked and prayed and believed together, that this was going to be a miraculous night of healing… we FELT it. Deep inside of me, I FELT it. I was ready. I anticipated the best. I KNEW a miracle was going to occur. We prayed and believed – and then no healing. MY step-mom passed away only 3 months later. This definitely tested my faith. I wondered if I had heard wrong. But how could I hear wrong, when I know it’s God’s desire to bring healing and perform miracles?! Not only that, but how could I let my other family members down who were sitting there with me, possibly thinking I was crazy for this outrageous faith? How does this make God look to them!? My faith was partially devastated, especially the part where I was going to step out in faith and start believing God for healing miracles. In addition to this recent blow to my faith, in 1995 I had the experience of watching my mom believe God for an amazing healing of her cancer, and yet she passed away too. (That’s a short sentence to describe my mom’s battle, so read more about her story here.)

And so begins the purpose of my Blog. At the time my step-mom passed away, I had already begun the “Believing God” study, which was part of my confidence in praying for her healing in the first place. However, after she passed away, I was devastated, and God knew just what I needed for my diminished faith. The next Chapter in the series was called: “Believing God can Do What He Says He Can Do.” WOW! I needed this, and it was so life-changing and it was God speaking to me right where I was in my weakness. [He’s so good like that!]

So, everything below this paragraph, are pieces [literally, taken from here-and-there to piece together my point and encouragement to you] from Beth Moore’s study, and even though it’s long, I encourage you to read all of it, and let God speak to your spirit. Maybe it’s a crushed spirit He will be speaking to. Maybe it’s a confident and assured spirit. Either way, be encouraged, and soak in the goodness of our God.

Psalm 77:14: “You are the God Who performs miracles; You display your power
among the peoples.”

As supreme as they are, accreditation and glorification are not the only reasons why Christ performed miracles. Christ also performed miracles:

  • Because He saw Great faith;
  • Because He saw great need;
  • Because He was moved with compassion
  • Because God sovereignly appointed it;
  • For reasons beyond our understanding.

There other possible explanations as to why God chooses not to intervene with a miracle in an earnestly seeking Christian’s life. God often uses difficulty and suffering to complete His good work in us. We can clearly see the role of suffering in the New Testament from the Book of Matthew to the Book of Revelation. Don’t get the feeling that we signed up for suffering when we received Jesus. Beloved, we live in a fallen world where every human being suffers to some extent. The difference is that our suffering need never been in vain. As we allow God to minister to us in our fiery trials, He is glorified, the church is edified, and we are qualified for greater reward.

When believers think of miracles, our thoughts often turn to miracles of healing. When you consider the prevalence of sickness and disease, no wonder some our most fervent prayers are for physical healing. Although I pray that you and I will learn to think far more broadly than miracles of healing, I am very aware of our desperate hope in this area. The need is overwhelming, and the seasons are rare when I haven’t joined other believers in earnest intercession for God to heal someone physically.

[Beth goes on to shares the story of 3 different people (Rick, Belinda, and Becky) who were diagnosed with “incurable” diseases, only to be miraculously healed by God!] Each of these people believed that God is in the business of healing if it is His sovereign desire in a particular case. Each of the 3 would have testified to God’s love and faithfulness even if He had not granted physical healing. Each of them believed that God continued to compel them not to accept the diagnosis. Each of them was surrounded by numbers of others who were willing to pray big prayers and believe God would physically heal them until He said or proved otherwise. However, each of them still received the treatment prescribed to them by wise physicians.

In contrast to these healings, we see other great men of faith who did not receive what they prayed for. 2 Timothy 4:20 says, “Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus.” Can you imagine how frustrated Paul must have been to leave Trophimus sick after he had seen so many others miraculously healed? Surely Paul prayed over him with all his might, and he certainly wasn’t short on faith!

In addition, take Moses and Elijah as described in James 5:14-18. These two men experienced our same feelings and passions. They also had insecurities, fears, disappointment… They were like us... Elijah was flesh and blood who chose to believe God. Because he did, many of his prayers were powerfully answered. Keep in mind that Moses and Elijah were tremendously used by God, but neither got everything he asked. Just the same, we are not likely going to get everything we ask. You will be hard pressed to find anyone in Scripture who did. Including Christ. Check out the Garden Gethsemane. What if these men of God hadn’t asked anything because they couldn’t have everything? Can you imagine the loss?

“We can’t let our fear that God may not affirmatively answer our prayer keep us from praying!”

Lastly, John’s lifelong devotion to God and his calling is unparalleled in Scripture… He poured out his life like a drink offering for one purpose: to prepare the way of the Lord. In many ways this partnership of sorts started well. In John 1:29-34, John was certain that Christ was the One for whom he prepared the way. From a windowless cell, however, things did not look nearly as clear. Imagine John’s predicament. If he had been wrong about Jesus, he had either sacrificed all for nothing or missed the real Messiah. And if he had been right? Then Jesus had the power to free him from prison and death. He simply wasn’t using it. Have you ever had a time when none of your multiple-choice answers were good options?

John experienced the most excruciating dilemma any devoted child of God ever faces. If I may pickpocket Edwards, surely no pain is like the searing of the heart when “your God has not lived up to your expectations.” Even writing these words makes me want to sob. I have loved my God so much. He has far exceeded the expectations of this simple-minded former pit-dweller that I can hardly bring up the subject. But I must. Why? Because all of us called to faith will have this knife-sharp experience in some form and at some point. I will not dare avoid this subject and insult some of you who have lost loved ones… to disease or accident, having pleaded with God to deliver them. I’d go so far as to suggest that the deeper we have loved God, the deeper the potential for devastation when He doesn’t intervene as we know He can.


Matthew 11:6 says, “Blessed are you if you are not offended because of Me.”

Beloved, our God is a God of wonders. Will we not ask because we are afraid of being offended? Embarrassed? Disappointed? Or will we ask, knowing that He is able, but trusting that He is good even if He doesn’t act? Blessed are we if we are not offended with Jesus.

…In all honesty, we just do not know why God physically heals some and not others. But, we can know without a shadow of a doubt that the issue is not a lack of divine love or kindness. Many eternal factors are involved that we won’t understand until we see Christ face-to-face.
Until then, we must not lack faith for the healing of many because we do not see the healing of all.

"His ways are beyond our ways, but they are always good, always right, and
always for the kingdom.”

post signature

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm a winner - and so are some of you!

I got a blog award from the very fabulous Penny Lane Designs! You can read the nice things she said about me here. She's family, and a best friend, so she had extra pressure to say something nice. :)

Here's a little about the award: The "UBER AMAZING BLOG AWARD" is given to blogs who: inspire you, make you laugh & smile, give amazing information, are a great read and/or have an amazing design.The rules of the award: Put the logo on your blog and/or post, nominate a minimum of 5 blogs, let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog, share some "link love" and link the post back to the person's blog that nominated you.

And now, my list of nominees {in no particular order}. Drum roll please.... and please forgive me, because I don't know a lot of bloggers yet.

1. Living in His Arms: This is my amazing, sister-in-laws blog. She is one of those tender-hearted people who is so in-tune to what God is speaking to her. I love reading what God is doing in her life. She is amazing and always knows just what to say to brighten my day. Thanks for always sharing your heart, Jenni!

2. Living in the "Nutt" House: This Blog belongs to an old friend from high-school and even though I must admit that we haven't really kept in touch since those days, I do enjoy catching up on her family outings and what God is doing in her life through her super cute blog.

3. The Purple Pea: The Purple Pea is a friend from work. I enjoy reading her blog and seeing how she has turned her great house into an even greater, chic home! If it wasn't for reading her blog, I wouldn't have fallen completely in love with the amazing show, "John and Kate Plus Eight."

4. Journey Josh: Also a friend from high school. I love reading Josh's blog because he always takes those everyday happenings, going to the gym, writing a paper, etc., and creates a parallel to our relationship with Christ. I always like to hear how these things correlate - very creative and very inspirational.

5. Ok, seriously - I only know 6 bloggers, and 2 of them have already been tagged, so I'm stuck at 4. Sorry!

post signature

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Words of Love

I came across a couple verses this morning while I was reading my Bible that really hit me where I am. I wanted to share them with you, and hope that they encourage you like they did me.

In true Shanen style, I’ve given them in a few different versions, and encourage you to read, and soak in, all three.

1 John 3:18-20

(New Living Translation)

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

(The Message Translation)

My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

(Amplified Translation)

Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). By this we shall come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence, Whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God's hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him].

post signature

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A few things I am learning about commitment…

Here are a few quotes that I heard recently regarding “Commitment.” I think these are all important to remember in many areas of life; marriage, work, and personal goals/passions, just to name a few.

1. Commitment starts in your heart
2. Commitment is tested by action
3. Commitment always precedes achievement

I know these aren’t life-changing quotes, but they were really good for me to hear today.

post signature

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fun Idea!

Ok, one of my friends directed me to this awesome website where you can get very creative with your pictures…Photofunia. You MUST check it out! I can’t quit playing with my pictures now!

post signature

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Verse of the Week (or maybe Month!)

Ephesians 6:10-13 (New Living Translation)

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

I also love it in this translation:

Ephesians 6:10-13 (The Message)

A Fight to the Finish

10-12And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

13-18Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

post signature

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How Creative

Well, well. I learned a little secret last night from modern eve. She's so cute, and one of those people that I look at and think, "I bet she has good advice for that." Sure enough. We were talking about Blogs (aka: B***). I was telling her about how I enjoy blogging, but don't have time at work, and quite frankly feel guilty for B***ging at work. She told me about "scheduling" a blog. I'm sure most of you knew about this option, but I never really put much thought to it. There are some days where I have more than one thing to blog about, but I want to spread it out over a couple days, but then I don't find the time to blog about it the next day. So... now I can write my blogs and schedule them to be posted on different days. (To do this, click "Post Option" as you are writing your post... simply choose the date and time you want it posted!)

Sounds so simple, and I hope I'm not letting out her secret... but I'm pretty excited about this. Hopefully I will be (seem like) a better blogger than I really am!
Thanks, modern eve!

post signature

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Quiz of Fours

I was tagged by my sweet friend, The Lavender Lily to fill out these fun facts...

Four wishes:

1) That I lived closer to my family... They are so far away in Ohio! But if I moved to Ohio, then I would miss Sean's family, so I need either my family to move to Texas, or Sean's fam to move to Ohio. I'd be happy either way, but I'm not sure Sean would. ;)
2) That I was in a better mood more often than I am. (I'll leave it at that.)
3) That I was changing more lives and impacting more people in an amazing way; showing more grace and compassion and leading others to Christ by my actions. (Could you imagine? People "seeing your good works and glorifying your Father in Heaven" simply because of your holy lifestyle!?) I want to be better at this.
4) That I was living in my "Sweet Spot".

Four places I want to travel to:

1) Italy - I've heard it's "ah-mazing". Plus, I'd love to taste their wine.
2) Israel, Bethlehem (other Bible places) - I would love to walk the same streets Jesus did!!
3) Maui - We were on the island of O'ahu for our honeymoon and loved it so much. We have always wanted to check out Maui to see all the beautiful waterfalls!
4) New York - yes, I know I was just there, but I want to go back. I miss it already. I was going through my NY pics the other day and I really miss it.

Four careers I would like to be involved in:

1) Self-employed, entrepreneur doing something that I'm passionate about. Somewhere inside of me lives a person who loves to be her own boss and own her own company.
2) Real estate - well, I do have my real estate license, so I guess technically, I am "involved" in it. But, I wish I had time to be more involved. I really LOVED it and MISS it.
3) Some type of hospital or clinic where I can minister to people with cancer or other diseases. Somewhere where I can have hope for people who have lost theirs.
4) "Sweet Spot" career- (If you're not sure what I mean by this, then this must be the first time you've read my blog). I'm not sure what God has planned for me down the road, but I really want to be doing something that I feel is changing the lives of others.

Four things I would like God to say to me at the gates of Heaven:

1) Well done, my good and faithful servant.
2) Come, I have someone for you to see (my mommy)
3) I'm proud of you!
4) Look at all the lives that were saved and changed because of you.

Four people I tag to complete this quiz:
1) Living in His Arms
2) Journey Josh
3) Living in the "nutt" House
4) The Purple Pea

(Wow. that was hard thinking of 4 people to tag - I only have 3 readers!)

post signature

Leading Ladies

Ok, so I like this… Thanks Penny Lane Designs for helping me think of a continuing theme to blog about. I like blogging, but usually need a pretty good theme (or book) to keep me blogging on a regular basis. (Oh, yes. And the time to blog!)

So, in continuation of What I’m Thankful For, I am blogging about 2 leading ladies in my life.

My first Leading Lady is my Grandma Gloria. It’s hard to put her in to words. She is crazy, fun-loving, compassionate, strong-willed, and silly (Yes, silly. She used to get on the floor and leg-wrestle with me!). When I was younger, I thought of her almost like a guardian angel. She tried to protect us grandkids from a lot of unnecessary things, and often she succeeded. The things that she wasn’t able to protect us from are the things that have made us stronger and more able to relate to those who have been through the same things. But, my grandma is one of those extra-special people in my life that I have seriously asked God to let her live forever. My mom was the only girl with three brothers, and I was the only girl with two brothers. So, my mom, grandma, and I were the “girls” in the family. The Three Generations. Now, with my mom gone, I feel like my grandma is such a part of her too, and we have this special bond because we have those memories of my mom and her life. We both carry the Toni-genes and are so close because of it. I can call my grandma and tell her anything, and she always has the right words to say - I can't explain it, but I guess it's just grandma-wisdom. I can’t imagine not having her and I am so thankful for her love. She has been through so, so much, and yet she is still the strongest, most loving, witty person that I know!

Leading Lady #2…. Sundy (Mana) Simmons. I met Sundy and her husband, Mike, when I was 12. (The picture below is the first pic of us together - I was 12 and shy and dorky - and barely knew Sundy). At the time I first met them, they were my youth pastors at a new church that my mom and I were attending. Over the course of 3 years – God would take our relationship to a level that we never would have imagined, or that any “man” would have been able to orchestrate. Sundy was one of my mom’s prayer warriors while she was battling cancer. Not only was she a spiritual warrior for my mom, but I know that many times, she was a warrior for me. At the age of 15, I was often confused, and immature, about the way I handled my mom’s sickness. You don’t receive a manual at birth called, “Read This When you’re 15 and Your Mom is Diagnosed with Cancer”, so many times, I reacted in the way that any typical 15 year old would; selfishly and stupid. During all this, Sundy was there for me – praying for me, believing with me for my mom’s healing, praying that mine and my mom’s relationship would grow during this time instead of dissipate. For several months my mom was in and out of the hospital, and I stayed with Mike and Sundy during this time. While my mom’s time in the hospital or Hospice became longer and longer, I found that more of my clothes and personal items ended up at Mike and Sundy’s house. Finally, there was a point where it became evident that this was not just a hospitable, “we’ll take care of Shanen while her mom’s in the hospital” type action. When you go through such an agonizing experience with people you care about and are so deeply, spiritually invested, it can only bring you closer. I mean, Mike and Sundy were the 2 people who KNEW and FELT my pain in a unique way. They drove me home from Hospice in Columbus every night while I laid in the backseat crying because my mom was dying! They saw me question God’s goodness and rebel against my authorities.

Finally, my mom was at a point where she felt like God was leading her to find a place for me to live if she passed away. She still believed for a healing, but also felt it would be diligent of her to find a place for me if she were to pass. At the same time, God had spoken to Mike and Sundy’s heart and they knew that I had already become a part of their family. Long story short, there was a phone call made, and the words weren’t even there to explain what either party was asking for – it was just the Holy Spirit and three people walking in obedience and being blessed with indescribable peace. My mom’s desire was that I would become a part of someone’s family since my brothers were both grown and had moved away. I can’t even tell you how true that is today (but their family is for another blog!) So, Sundy has been my “mana” (not manna), now for over 13 years. God has done a beautiful work in our relationship and I am so thankful for that. Most of all, I am so thankful that Sundy opened her house to a 15 year old – at first out of love for a teenager in her youth group, but then opened her family to me, out of love for her new daughter.

post signature

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What I'm Thankful For... continued

Tada!! The continuation of What I'm Thankful For.

Ok, so after God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I am so very thankful for my family!! I have so much family that I can't name them all... but I want to mention 1 person in particular that I'm exceptionally thankful for. For those of you who know me, this will be of no surprise. I'm starting with Momma Toni (which is what I find myself referring to her as now that she's gone, but never when she was alive... not sure why.) Anyway - about her... She was amazing! There was a time in her life, when she was not walking with the Lord... and those are the times that I tend not to focus on too much. Instead, I choose to dwell on the happy, joyful, and loving mother that most importantly loved Jesus! (Although, she was always loving and happy, I think the true joy in her life was fulfilled in walking closely with Christ.) So - the JOYFUL, crazy-about-Jesus-Toni is who I want to remember her as, and who I long to be like. Even though she passed away 13 years ago when I was 15 - it seems like yesterday I was sitting next to her, talking with her, laughing with her. There aren't too many days that go by that I don't think of her. It's not a horrible, gut-wrenching feeling like it was when she first passed away. Instead, it's more of a slight smile and warmth that I get when a memory of her crosses my mind, or when I hear or see something that makes me think of her. I often wonder what she would be doing with her life if she were still alive. I think part of the reason I am such a stickler about being passionate about what you do in life, is because I saw my mom pass away without having fulfilled many of her dreams. She was so incredible and so creative, and I just wonder what she would have done had she had more time, resources, and faith to believe in herself. Don't get me wrong... she was a hard-worker and a strong woman of faith, but now that I'm "grown up" I often wonder what she would be now. I could see her as a model (yes, I'm bias), or a fashion designer (she loved clothes and accessories - yes, that's where I get it!), maybe an interior designer (she LOVED moving the furniture around all the time!!) Anyway, it's hard to go day-to-day and not think of someone who made such an impact on your life. I hear my friends talk about their moms, and how they call each other every day or once a week, how they went shopping with their moms, they stayed at their mom's house, etc. Yes, part of me is jealous - but not in a mean-spirited way. I'm SO glad that they have their moms, and I rejoice with them that they do. But I always think to myself, "I hope they know how blessed they are to be able to do that. I hope they cherish every single second that they have with their sweet mothers."

So, anyway, Momma Toni's faith was amazing. From the first moment she heard that she had cancer, she knew from that point, that Christ was her only hope - not just for healing, but for any hope! Through that 3-year battle, she became crazy about Jesus. I could go on and on about moments of faith that this woman displayed, but it would clog the blogger world! Let's just say that the biggest thing she instilled in me was to believe in our God for BIG things! When she first found out she had cancer, they said she had had it for 8-10 years (which would have made her 28-30 when she first got it) and they only gave her 6 months to live. She was basically covered in cancer; breast, leg, ribs, every vertebrae of her back! But you know what? She believed God for a healing. She believed, trusted, and hoped! After many months of chemotherapy and radiation, she had a check-up cat-scan and the doctors were astound to find that she had NO cancer in her body! None! They couldn't believe their eyes... they did another cat scan because they didn't believe the first one - they had NEVER seen anything like it before. The only answer for it was God! She KNEW that He had healed her completely! After about 2 years of being cancer-free, she went in for a routine check up, only to find out that the cancer was back. And in all the same places, except this time she also had a brain tumor. (Which made the experience so much different from the first, and so much worse.) So once again, she started her chemo, but continued to believe, hope, and trust God for healing. Her battle lasted for about 10 months, and then she did finally go home to be with her Jesus. But, I am confident in saying that during those 3 years (from when she found out she had cancer, to the time of her passing), she changed many lives and stretched many people to believe God for bigger things than they had ever seen. Because of this, I am changed. She has instilled in me the desire to pray for the sick and to believe God for healing. I feel so blessed, and I am so THANKFUL! Some people ask me why I think God healed her the first time she had cancer, but not the second. And, I can't speak for God - but I DO know that I had 3 more awesome, memory-filled years with my mom. She touched many more lives in 3 years with her testimony than she did with 1 year with cancer. My pastor, Matt Chandler, read a Scripture about 2 years ago (and even though I don't remember the exact sermon, this verse made me cry because it was God answering the question that so many people ask me.) He read from Hebrews 11 - the "Men and Women of Faith" chapter. Most people read the first 3/4 of that chapter and then stop. They read about all these men and women who believed God for miracles and they saw them come to pass. But, most people stop there. They don't read the last part of that chapter that talks about those who were beaten and persecuted, and never received the promise from God. This is where I pick it up:

Hebrews 11:39-40 (AMP): "And all of these, though they won divine approval by
means of their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of what was
promised, Because God had us in mind and had something better and greater
in view for us, so that they [these heroes and heroines of faith] should not
come to perfection apart from us..."

When I heard these words I almost fell out of my chair! God doesn't promise a life without pain or cancer... but I felt like when I read this, that God was reminding me that my mom’s faith was not in vain. My mom did not receive the "fulfillment of what was promised" because God had ME in mind. I feel like my mom's faith was imparted to me - the promise is for ME, for my kids, for THEIR kids. How amazing is that??!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What I'm Thankful For

So... I was checking out my friends Blog, Penny Lane Designs... and she was reminding us that it is good to give thanks! (Although, we should always be mindful to give thanks, this is definitely the season that people stop to actually think about it.)

So, in honor of her "thankful" spirit, I thought I would make a little mini-series of the things that I am thankful for (also because I am hard-pressed for finding something to Blog about). So, I'm not trying to be cliche in choosing this first thing to be thankful for - but as I started thinking... that's what I thought of first!

So.. foremost, I am so thankful for God... and thankful that He has always been so faithful to me. Faithful has always been my one word to describe God in my life. I've always thought that my childhood story could be a Lifetime movie. The kind where you laugh, cry, cringe, and walk away thinking, "that surely didn't happen." I often look back on it and think the same thing! But, it's not because I'm so emotionally mighty or because I have super powers to forget what I've been through, or because I have the sad ability to surpress my feelings... it's because despite what I've been through - I've always served a faithful God. One who held me often, cried with me, and mourned with me many times. He was also one to send others to hold me, cry with me, and mourn with me when He knew that I longed for the comfort of someone's physical touch. He's been my daddy when I didn't have one, my best friend when I felt like mine had betrayed me, and my all-in-all when I looked to other things to fulfill me. He is so kind in reminding me that He is the One who has always been there and never let me down. Looking back now, I see where God had His handprint in my life... all the time... in every situation. Anytime I've been at the brink of a meltdown - there He is. Reminding me that He is still "Him". The "Him" that I have grown to love more and more. The "Him" that is good, that is loving, that is caring, and that is faithful. And that is why I'm so thankful for Him!!

I could go on and on about the people in my life that I am thankful for, but I feel like for now - I just want to give my shout out to my Father. (Friends, family, co-workers... keep your eyes on the look out as I attempt to write about the different things I am thankful for!)

Oh, and be sure to check it out... Penny Lane Desings is giving away an awesome Blog Makeover!

post signature

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No More Dilema

I am happy to report that I have FINALLY adjusted to my new Bible... if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can view my previous post, Bible Dilema.

I have on numerous occasions, happily, (but ever so carelfully), underlined passages and made notes on a few Scriptures. Right now I am studying something specific which I have enjoyed researching in my Bible... all the additional references and notes in this Bible are amazing!

Just wanted to let you all know, that I am now the proud owner of an amazing "Shanen Bible". :)

post signature

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bible Dilema

This one’s kind of long, but I need some advice…

Well, I got a new Bible. It’s really kind of weird, because I’ve had it for 3 days, and after spending 3 hours (literally) picking out the “perfect Shanen Bible”, I am still not sure how I feel about it. This is why… In college I discovered the joy and intimacy with God that comes from digging in to His Word. I had an awesome Max Lucado Study Bible (my favorite author, as you can tell from looking at my Blog), that I literally tore to pieces from reading it so much. But now, it looks so sad; Isaiah is randomly placed in Psalms, Exodus lies between Obadiah and Jonah, Matthew follows the Book of Revelation – you get the point. So… as much as I love this Bible, I retired it when my parents blessed and surprised me with an Amplified Bible in 1999. Oh, how I’ve enjoyed this Bible too! I love how “amplified” it is; digging deeper into Scriptures to uncover the Greek or Hebrew meanings of specific words. So obviously, over the last 9 year, this became the new “Shanen Bible”… but once again I have torn it up (I promise I don’t do this on purpose.) Although each Chapter is still placed in the correct order as it should (unlike the other Bible), this one has still gone through the ringer; the paper binding has fallen off and is completely messed up. It looks like it was involved in a tug-of-war or run over by a car!

So, being a good steward of my favorite Bible, I did what I had to do - I took it to the Christian bookstore to have it re-bound… a nice pretty, leather-bound Bible with my name imprinted. I thought this would be perfect. Until, they called to let me know it would be over $100 to have this done. At first I thought, “I’ll pay any price. It’s my favorite Shanen Bible.” Then, I guess I realized that I could buy a new Bible (or a couple new ones!) for that same price, and I felt a little guilty for spending that much, even though it’s my favorite Bible, with all my favorite notes and references… So, while it’s been away at the Christian Bookstore I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. While I love the Amplified version, I realize also that it’s hard to follow along with in church, or with anyone who is reading Scripture. If you haven’t read anything from the Amplified version, it’s spectacular… but take this verse for instance, and imagine trying to read along with someone…

In a New King James Bible, Philippians 3:8 reads as this:

“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ”

My Amplified version reads like this:

“Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)”

From this verse, I hope you can see why I LOVE the Amplified so much (this is one of my favorite verses in that translation b/c that is so often how I feel, that knowing Jesus is a priceless privilege of surpassing worth, etc. etc.) But, you can probably also see how hard it would be to follow along with someone who is reading from the NKJ version, or almost any other version. (Many times when Erin and I are having our Bible study, I will read aloud, and I think it’s a distraction while I mentally skip over the brackets and parentheses.)

Anyway, this is how I found my self at an unexpected crossroad. Do I continue on and spend over $100 to have the Amplified Bible re-bound (I looked in to having the Max Lucado Bible rebound and it was even more than that because the entire spine needed re-threaded!), or do I find a new Bible for a new Chapter in my life? It was hard. Both of the other Bibles I have are filled with highlights, notes, quotes, and rhema from God. I love reading through them and seeing something that God spoke to me 4, 6, even 12 years ago!! I love thinking back to the exact moment that God spoke it to me – I can remember where I was, what I was doing, what was going on in my life. My Max Lucado Bible is over 12 years old and unfortunately the ink is bleeding through on some of the pages. So, while both of those Bibles hold unforgettable memories for me – I realized it was time for a [sturdy] Bible that I will have for a very, very long time. The others will always be there for me to refer back to and I hope to even pass them along to my children someday. (Of course, I would pay to have them fixed at that point.)

So, I gave myself a long pep-talk, I prayed, and the sweet employees at the Christian bookstore helped me look for 3 hours (no joke – I think I looked at EVERY Bible)... I mean, do you know how many different Bibles there are??! I looked at every Study, Inspirational, Devotional, and Worship Bible. Everyone’s Bible needs are different, but I’m definitely a Study Bible person; I love referencing things and connecting similar verses to each other, stuff like that. So, after so much pressure of finding the “Shanen Bible”, I finally walked away with a new one. It’s a nice, black leather one with a pretty design on it… but... it’s been an awkward transition for me. as I read this really amazing Study Bible, I catch myself thinking of my other Bibles, and I wonder if I have made the right decision. I haven’t been able to talk myself in to writing in it or making a note in it, because I still think, “What if this isn’t the perfect ‘Shanen Bible’ and I need to take it back?” Am I over-reacting??? This Bible has everything I was looking for; Scripture references, lots of study notes, Chronologies, (even online study material), etc., so why am I having such a hard time accepting this as my new Bible? Maybe it’s just that I’m not used to it yet?? It still seems so foreign, like I’m borrowing someone else’s Bible.

Let me know your thoughts… am I crazy?

post signature

Monday, September 8, 2008

Seek and ye shall find...

Last week I received an email from our pastor (not a personal one, but the global church blast)... anyway, Matt asked these words of us, "are you guilty of asking but not seeking?" Sure, maybe it's a simple, self-explanatory question... but it really got me thinking. My prayers so often begin with "Lord, I ask for..." I'm always asking! You would think it would count for something, because the rest of the sentence usually ends with "...wisdom in this situation, favor, direction, etc. etc." Maybe not bad stuff to ask for, but I just think it's funny that when I looked back on my prayers, I immediately thought, "Yep. I sure do "ask" alot! So (there is a point here), I decided that I need to start seeking more. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing to ask of God. In fact, God tells us to ask!

John 16:23 "I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."
John 16:24 "...Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
John 14:13 "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."
Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

...You get the point... But, we must maximize our asking with seeking. It's pretty funny that I've been asking God for wisdom in a particular area of my life for several months, and when I finally decided to seek, to crack my Bible open, the answers literally sprung at me from the pages!!!! In 2 instances, during the same sit-down, I was flipping around for another verse when several other verses jumped off the page, into my lap, and brought me the answers I had been asking for. Sometimes my answers require a little bit of digging on my end to find the answers, but I can imagine that sometimes God must be thinking, "If she would only open her Bible!!!"

It's not that God is so mysterious that He withholds answers from us... it's just that we are sometimes too lazy to find it in the Answer He has alreay given to us in His Word.

Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. "

Luke 11:9-10 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. "

post signature

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Book = Same Inspiration!

So, I'm reading a new book and I'm so excited about it. I know that my last book was the inspiration for this blog, however, this book is very complimentary to the one I was reading previously. And better yet, it goes along with the theme of my blog just fine.

Anyway... the name of the book is "Believing God" by Beth Moore. I've done the Bible study and now I want to read the book, because, well, I just can't get enough of Beth Moore. Plus, did you catch the title? It's not "Believing in God". It's BELIEVING GOD... that means believing Him at His word... that His promises are true for me... That I can stand on His Word in faith and watch expectantly for miracles to happen!! SO - I'm so excited.

Much love...

post signature

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm back!

I have not fallen off the face of the Blogger world! I was on vacation and then trying to catch up on everything! I finished my book "The Cure for the Common Life". Even though it was the thing that inspired me to start a blog, it was also very life-changing and therefore, will continue to inspire me in my bloggings.

Anywho - I'm working on another blog post now and will hopefully have it up today. I've missed you, friends.

post signature

Monday, August 11, 2008

Long Time No Blog...

So, I actually have been reading my book, however, I have just been so busy and have not had a chance to update my Blog.

So here is a great nugget I have taken from my readings...

"Men and women must work. This is as certain as the sun. But we may work
grudgingly or we may work gratefully. We may work as people or machines. There is no work so rude that we may not exalt it; no work so impassive that we may not breathe a soul into it; no work so dull that we may not enliven it if we
understand that what we are doing is service for our Lord Jesus Christ."

"Let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do." (Ps. 90:17 MSG)

"Let every detail in your lives - words, actions, whatever - be done in the name of the Master, Jesus." (Col. 3:17 MSG)

Chin up, Bloggers. Your hard work is not in vain.

post signature

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oprah Says it Best

I couldn’t have said it any better… “Doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” (Oprah)

It seems like lately, I have a daily, internal struggle with myself. I feel like there is an entirely different person on the inside of me, screaming to come out. I am battling feeling defeated and deflated. So what’s the problem? Well you see, I am a dreamer and I love to think big and imagine “what if” with my life. I can’t stand boring. I can’t stand stale. I can’t stand mediocrity. Most days, these questions run through my head: What if I really could achieve what no else believes I can? What if I really do beat the odds and make it? What if the unimaginable really is possible? I dare to ask myself these things, and I try, try, try hard to achieve them. But, I am constantly smacked in the face by the sometimes-ugly thing called REALITY. I’m not where I want to be yet. I have yet to achieve the crazy dreams that I have for myself. And that saddens my heart… Sometimes to the point of depression. Why? Because I KNOW I can do big things. I live for a God who WANTS me to believe for big things. I serve a Father who DELIGHTS in rewarding His children for their faith. But, time and time again, Reality leaves its ugly handprint on my face and says, “Hey, snap back – you are living in the here and now.”

So, what does this have to do with Oprah? I think her quote is very good in reminding me, that the place I am in right now is absolutely NECESSARY. The “here and now” is preparing me and molding me for that really crazy future I am believing God for. Looking back over my history of “occupations”, I see every position I have held has prepared me for the next. Each position has been a stepping stone. Luckily a stepping stone up… but still, those steps have not been without their downside. Being a receptionist or Customer Service rep was NOT my dream job. But they prepared me for my marketing position. Marketing prepared me for real estate. Real estate prepared me for Sales. And, God only knows what this Sales position is preparing me for. (Really, God only knows!) But, it’s nice to know that my work is not in vain. Doing my “best” at this moment is preparing me to be my “best” at the next moment. It’s easy for me to search for the next moment, and forget to live fully in the “now” moment.

Ok, so, you know me… I’m going to pull out the handy-dandy dictionary.

What is the definition of: Best

  1. of the highest quality, excellence, or standing
  2. the best effort that a person, group, or thing can make
  3. in or to the highest degree

So, for this “moment” I need to put my best foot forward, give it my best effort, and be excellent. Yes, it’s hard. And No, I don’t want to do it. But, through perseverance, prayer, faith, Christ… I know that I will one day look back on my life and say,

“Ah! So that’s what that moment was for!”

post signature

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Short and Sweet

I have a short and sweet blog today... I won't take credit for this one, but I saw it on a friends Facebook page and I really liked it. I'm not sure if he is quoting it from somewhere, so I apologize I don't have a source (besides Facebook.) But, I thought it was a really neat statement. Keep God's word hidden in your heart, and use it during battle!

"Even when you don't understand the Word of God,
the demons do, and they tremble. "

post signature

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'll Take an Extra Portion of That, Please...

So, maybe we’ve heard it said before in a song, or read a verse that says it… but what exactly does it mean when we say, “You are my portion.” I was listening to a song by Charlie Hall this morning and when I sang the part, “You are my portion”, I stopped and thought, “What am I really singing here?” So I decided to do a little research for those of you who are like me and often wonder, “What is the real meaning of that?!”

Before we get started… let’s look at a definition of the word.

Portion: (por·tion –noun)
1. a part of any whole, either separated from or integrated with it
2. an amount of food served for one person; serving; helping
3. the part of an estate that goes to an heir or a next of kin
4. Literary. something that is allotted to a person by God or fate
5. to furnish with a portion, as with an inheritance or a dowry

So, there are several things I can take from each of these definitions…

1. God COMPLETES me! Wow... that's pretty incredible to think about. How many of us try to complete ourselves? Or look to others to complete us? Pretty nice to know that I need to look no further than my heavenly Father.
2. He is my helping! (You know, like on Thanksgiving when you just can’t get enough of that really good casserole and you give yourself a huge helping of it? It’s kinda like that!)
3. I am an heir to the estate of Jesus! I will live forever in Christ’s kingdom, and enjoy the splendor of his majesty for all time!
4. Well, I could go on and on about this one… but consider all that has been “allotted” to us by God.
5. Think of our inheritance in Christ!! Really stop and think about it. (Did you really stop to think about it, or are you skipping ahead???)

Ok, now that you have REALLY stopped to think about it, I will wrap it all up with my opinion. I think that when we sing or read the words “You are my portion," we are saying this:

“God – YOU are my EVERYTHING. You make me whole and I can’t get enough of you! My inheritance is with you and I can’t wait until the day that I am face-to-face with you for eternity!”

Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Psalm 119:57 "You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey your words."

Psalm 142:5 "I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."

post signature

Friday, July 18, 2008

Check out my new blog design! I LOVE it. It's so me! The color and design inspire to me Blog more often because now I enjoy going to my page... and hopefully that means others will too!

Thanks to Penny Lane Designs for this wonderful Birthday surprise. You did a great job and really took the essence of "me" and incorporated it into this vibrant, colorful design.

You have such a gift... and I'm so thankful that you are using it and living in your sweet spot!

Love you, Penny Lane Designs.

post signature

P.S. Look at my new "updated" signature!!

Check it out!

Check out my new blog design! It's so me and I LOVE it! The whole thing inspires to me Blog more often because now I enjoy going to my Blog page... and hopefully that means others will too!

Thanks to Penny Lane Designs for this wonderful Birthday surprise. You did a great job and really took the essence of "me" and incorporated it into this vibrant, colorful design.

You have such a gift... I'm so thankful that you are using it and living in your Sweet Spot. Love you, Penny Lane Designs.

post signature

P.S. Look at my cute "updated" signature tag!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Baby Steps to Big Change

So, I’m making some changes in my life. Small changes that I think will have a drastic affect. I’ve been reading a couple books that are speaking to me emotionally, spiritually, and professionally. One book talks about our attitudes and how if we make small changes in our lives, our attitudes will adjust. A suggestion in one of the books was a little hard for me to grasp, but after much thought, I see the point. They suggest that if you are depressed and down in the dumps, then quit watching so much depressing TV! What a novel idea… what goes in, must come out. I will admit, I am slightly (ok, overly) addicted to the TV, and not that I think it’s bad to watch the news or my entertainment shows (wink), but I am a sucker for the depressing stuff too. I love Tru TV (formerly Court TV). I watch all the suspenseful “who-killed-who” shows. I watch “To Catch a Predator”. I love “Crimes Caught on Camera”… you get the point. You could say, I sorta feed on doom and gloom. Anyway, I totally see how all this garbage and depression going in my spirit could bring me down! So, while I’m not banning TV 100% (baby steps, people), I am going to consciously knock out the unnecessary, and depressing shows that bring me down.

That was what one book suggested. The other book, my Max Lucado book (yay!), spoke on another note, but I when I tied them together… it made a pretty, little bow. (Meaning: it made sense.) Anyway, Max’s suggestion was that we fill our hearts and minds with worship. True worship is the laying down of our desires, wants, and emotions, handing them over to God to take control, while basking in His peaceful presence. So, the second challenge for myself will be to incorporate more worship into my life. Sorry, KISS FM and George Michael… you are going on the back burner for a while. I am in NEED of God’s presence! I am in desperate need of an attitude adjustment. And, I truly WANT Him to take over my life, my emotions, my desires… and most of all my heart.

I have no doubt that these small changes will make a big change in my attitude! And, I’m definitely looking forward to it!!!!!

post signature

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Easier Said than Done

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight…” (PS. 19:14)

Easier said than done, David! Day after day, I struggle with this. I mean, I really struggle. So often, I regret my words right as they are flying from my mouth. There are certain people that I really struggle to say nice things about… and this should not be. I need God to break my heart. (I feel He slowly is, because I am starting to be disgusted by myself.) Anyway, fellow Bloggers, please pray that God will do what He has to do inside of me so that I will begin to see others as He sees them. That the words I say about them will be words of love and blessing, not cursing or hatred. Pray that my heart will be filled with peace, even when I think of those who make me want to go mad!

Oh, I feel as if I’m going to go crazy sometimes! Like I’m going to go bonkers and scream. Like if I don’t get away, far away, I’m going to beat the crap out of something. Yep, that’s how I REALLY feel.

Anyway, please say a prayer dear friends. God has lots of work to do.

post signature