Monthly Archives: August 2011

GOD IS GOOD!!!

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“God is good!!”

You know the area up in the upper right hand corner of your Facebook page that occasionally tells statuses from the past that you’ve posted?  The sentence above is my status from one year ago today and it “just happened” to pop on my page when I was checking it just now.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Today has been a good day and I could not have had a more timely reminder.  I had two important calls today regarding possible income opportunities that could work together to be at least a part of a “perfect storm”, in my mind at least, to allow me to work from home, on my own and not have to try to jump back into “the corporate world”.  They seem to have gone really well and I have a second call scheduled for one of them again tomorrow.

But you know what?  Even if it hadn’t been what I consider to be a “good day”, God is still good!  He has sent WONDERFUL friends and family who are far more supportive than I could ever hope for and who genuinely care!  I’ve had people I hardly know checking up on me at church and online.  I KNOW that I am loved by THEM and more importantly I KNOW that I am loved by my Heavenly Father and that He is and will provide my every need.

Yep, GOD IS GOOD!!!  ALL the time!

How has He shown Himself good to you this week???  I want to know!  Encourage others by sharing below.

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Gift Cards from God

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Today was my day this week to run errands.

I woke up and started early and stopped at a fundraiser for sweet friends who are adopting from Ethiopia, then I started “running around”.  On my list for the day were Target, Petsmart (I’m petsitting for a friend.  The puppies outside were a major distraction of sweetness…), Polka Dotz, Walgreens and a Rummage Sale/Car Wash for the theater group at one of our local High Schools where a couple of my friends were working.  Between Polka Dotz and Walgreens I had “hankerin'” for something cold.  More specifically, something “Starbucks”.  I went through a mental argument with myself about the wisdom of Starbucks and then remembered I had a gift card in my wallet.  Problem solved!

THEN I went into Walgreens for a couple of good deals that I had discovered on things I knew I would be needing in the next couple of weeks.  I gathered my things and went to the checkout counter, where I presented my items and of COURSE my coupons.  Those of you who know me know that I very seldom purchase ANYTHING without a coupon, and if I don’t have one in my handy dandy notebook of coupons, I know where to look to see if one exists.  ANYWAY, I presented my items and my coupons and stood back to watch as the clerk checked me out.

She scanned all of my items and my first three coupons with no issues and THEN it happened.  The last two wouldn’t scan.  (Now, one thing that is important in this story is to know that I had already done a transaction earlier in the week with ALL of the same items, using all of the same coupons, so I KNEW it was possible!)  The clerk looked at me and said, “These won’t work because you have more than one coupon for these two items.”  Then I became “the crazy coupon lady”.  You know, the one that shuts down the entire counter to use her coupons.  Yep!  That was me!  To make a long story short, I KNEW the policies for the store and KNEW that what I expected fell within the rules, so I stood my ground.  She called for management and the assistant manager came, looked over my items carefully and completed my transaction, no questions asked.

On my way out of the store, for just a quick moment I thought, “Is this REALLY worth it?”  I HATE to be the center of attention that everyone is looking at.  I mean I REALLY HATE IT!

Then I heard it.  That little “nudging from the Lord”.  As I was jumping back into the car and trying to decide where to head next, the Lord said to me, “THINK about what couponing has done for you.  THINK about how I have provided for you!  THINK about what is in your wallet!”

That’s when I REALIZED once again what God has done for me.  Several things appear to be falling into place that I hope will work together to provide the income I need to be able to work from home and not have to enter back into “Corporate America”, for the time being at least.  I realize that doing that might mean that there are a few “short” times while things are getting underway and funds might be a little lean.  But guess what’s in my wallet?

For several months now, I’ve just had a “niggling” to save any gift cards that I get.  I didn’t know really why, I just sensed that I should, so I did.  I’ve gotten ALL of these cards because of deals that I’ve gotten while couponing.  In there right now are cards for Kroger, Target, Olive Garden, Starbucks, a gas card and others!  Once again, God has provided NOT ONLY the “needs” of life, but also the “little extras” that are really WANTS but sometimes make for a “pick-me-up”!

I really hope that I don’t NEED any of them.  But if I do, I KNOW WHO provided them for me!!

My Father owns not only the cattle on a thousand hills, but some gift cards and coupons as well!  And for that, once again, I’m grateful.

Once again I ask you, HOW is God working in your “world” for your good and His glory?  I’d love to hear your stories!

The Unpublished Major News Story

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One of the purposes of a personal blog is to allow people to get to know the blog owner/writer better.  If you’re going to follow my blog, you will quickly find out that one of my passions is for babies and their mothers and other family members involved in what are often called “crisis pregnancies”.  Most often these are “unexpected” babies.  There is MUCH I could say about those terms, but that is not the purpose of my post today.  Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you one of the many reason that I have the passion and take the stand that I do.

I realize that not all of my family and friends and readers of this blog agree with my stand, but I DO ask that you take the time to read my thoughts.  This was originally a note that I posted on Facebook a couple of years ago after a significant piece of legislation passed that my friends at TN Right to Life had been fighting for over a period of several years.  I think the rest is self-explanatory:

Today should have been a day of great rejoicing for me.  I, along with my dedicated Pro-Life friends in the state of Tennessee, had much to celebrate today as we saw significant legislation passed that we have worked diligently for over the past several years.  But instead of truly being able to celebrate this victory, my heart is heavy.

It is heavy because of a text that I received from a friend this afternoon.    That text broke what, under different circumstances, would have been a HUGE news story that would have been heard all over the United States.  But that news story will never be heard.  It won’t be heard because it told a story that could be repeated DAILY in cities across this country.  My friend was standing outside of an abortion clinic praying for 28 women who went into the clinic this morning, all of them apparently with the intent of aborting their babies today.

What if the story was changed just slightly?  What if a couple of years had passed, all of those women had carried their babies to term and those sweet children were all playing together in a daycare facility that was attacked?  THAT news headline would be splashed across the headlines of news reports all across our country tomorrow morning.  What if, while in that facility this morning, it had been attacked and one or more of those inside had been injured or harmed?  THAT headline would also be heard all across this country.

But instead, because abortion is still legal in this country, most, if not all of those 28 babies were brutally murdered today and not one news outlet will ever hear about it.  There is an entire classroom full of future kindergartners that will never go to their first day of school.  There are 28 women who will deal with the after-effects of their choice today in spite of the lies that they have been told that there are none.

I have not had personal experience with abortion.  But I DID watch a friend wrestle with what some call that “option” during our Senior year of High School.  I HAVE experienced the sorrow of many women who, years later, are still trying to forget “that day”.   I have stood at many informational booths for Pro-Life organizations with fetal models and photographs.  Not the graphic ones that so often are portrayed when you think of “Pro-Life People”, but simple informational brochures and life-like models that portray the various stages of development during pregnancy.  Even the smallest of children, when they see the “models”, want to see and hold the “babies”.

I recently had the heart-wrenching experience of watching and then standing alongside of a woman at one of these booths while she came to grips with the decision she had made years before.  She wept bitterly as she came to the realization of what she had done while she cried, “I’m so sorry.  I didn’t know!”  You can’t tell ME that abortion is a decision that does not have after-effects.  I’ve seen them.  They’re ugly.  Many of them are permanent, such as infertility caused by abortion, breast cancer, guilt and other emotional and physical problems.

This is why I grieve.  And this is why my commitment to doing everything that I personally can to stop the tragedy of abortion is strong.

Will you join me or will you do nothing while days like today are repeated?  Are you interested in learning what you can actively do to get involved?  Please comment below or send me a message via the contact page and I will GLADLY help you join the fight!  

 

I wish everyone had friends like mine!

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My family has been absolutely wonderful during this time, as anyone who knows them would expect!  I am incredibly blessed to have all of them in my life.  They answer when I call and help when I need it.  They show concern and pray for me consistently.  I don’t take for granted the fact that I have a loving family that, while we have our bumps and bruises, works together well.

It’s also at times like this that I am reminded how blessed I am by the friends that I have.  Each one of them “brings something different to the table”.   I wish that I could somehow gift to everyone (without giving them up, of course – they’re mine after all!  🙂 the friends that I have!  Why?  Well, let me tell you!

There’s Dori.  Dori and I have only been friends for a couple of years.  We don’t get together often.  We don’t just pick up the phone and talk to each other.  We are in very different stages of life right now, but she has been where I am recently enough to remember and knows just how to “speak my language”.  We get together every couple of months for lunch to catch up and EVERY SINGLE TIME I walk away refreshed and renewed.  She challenges me spiritually, vocationally and in many other ways.  Within 24 hours after she heard about my job loss, she sent me a Facebook message and an email letting me know that she had a lead for me.  It was a GREAT lead – EXACTLY what I would have liked to do.  Unfortunately, it was already filled by the time I got the info, but just what I needed to remind me that there’s a job out there for me and I have friends watching out for me!

Then there’s Kris.  I don’t really know her very well.  Her husband plays the piano and keyboards for the choir that I sing in at church.  I’ve had both of her kiddos in Jungle Journey, our preschool version of Children’s Church.  I sent ONE message to Kris and she jumped right into action praying for me and as soon as possible she made a phone call to help me make a contact and offer a recommendation for the job mentioned above.  She has assured me that I’m in her prayers and I have no doubt that she continues!

There’s Brian.  Brian and I have been friends for a long time.  As many long-time friends do, we’ve had our ups and downs and ups and downs and ups!  😉  Brian is the friend that I’m pretty sure, even a week and a half AFTER it happened, would probably still kick my former boss, and others at the company, in the shins and tell them TO THEIR FACE that letting go of me was probably the dumbest thing they’ve ever done.  I don’t know that that is REALLY true, but it sure is nice to know he thinks so!  He checks in often to see how things are going, what new leads I’ve had and how phone calls and meetings have gone.  He somehow knows when I need to talk about it and when to talk about something entirely different.  He has also helped keep me busy and give me a sense of purpose while I wait on my next adventure.

And then there are Sarah and Peggy.  These two are my friends that just let me “be”.  They check in from time to time.  They ask for updates.  They make suggestions.  But more than that, they just sit with me and talk as if nothing possibly earth-shattering is going on.  They are my friends and I know that NOTHING I could say is going to change that.  They challenge me and love me and I hope that I can be half the friend that they have been to me!

And Kevin.  Kevin has set about to single-handedly get me a new job!  He has distributed more resumes already than I have sent out myself.  I know he cares, and that matters.

Judy and Teresa and Debi and Michelle and Debbie and Leighann and so many, many others have assured me of their prayers.

And my new friend Nicole.  I just met Nicole the weekend before I lost my job.  We had emailed and talked on the phone a couple of times before that, but that weekend we worked together at a booth at the MOPs Convention here in Nashville.  She is truly a “kindred spirit”.  She has already called, emailed and sent Facebook messages to check on me.  She is networking for me like a long-time friend would do.   She’s assured me that she’s there to “ride the wave” with me and I am grateful.

I am grateful and blessed to have each of these people in my life.  I wouldn’t trade any one of them for the world!  They have challenged me to be a better friend and taught me how without ever once discussing it with me!

What kind of friend are you?  Do your friends know how much you care?

PS:  I KNOW that I left many people out.  I wish I could list everyone, but good grief, REALLY??  Would YOU read a post that was that long?  Sorry if I missed you.  I promise I don’t mean anything by it!  Love you ALL!!

A Steak Dinner that Spoke!

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A week ago Monday I lost my job.

While it wasn’t completely unexpected, it was still a surprise.  While I was warned a couple of months earlier that there was a possibility, I thought the danger had passed.  Honestly, I knew what the danger was and had been encouraged that there were things that I could do to “make it really hard” for my boss to let me go even if the worst happened and we lost the speaker that he was afraid we were going to lose.

When the “loss” happened, no amount of “stepping up” my efforts could make up for the income lost and I became the casualty.  I could have gotten really angry.  I did everything (and more) that my boss encouraged me to do and it still wasn’t enough.

But when my boss came in, sat down and said, “We need to talk,” I KNEW in my spirit immediately what we were “talking” about.  Thinking back, I don’t really remember  even once thinking, “But this isn’t fair!”  I felt sorry for my boss.  It was obvious that he didn’t WANT the outcome to be what it was.  I also remember thinking to myself, “I don’t have ONE DOUBT that God knew this was going to happen and has a plan.  He ‘has my back’.”  I knew that then, and He has done MANY things since to confirm that thought.

On Monday, I had about two hours between the time that I left my office for the last time as a full-time employee and my next “assignment” – a shift at a booth at our local county fair.  That meant that it was Tuesday before it really even started to sink in that I had lost my primary means of income.  I had been delinquent in buying papers on Sunday to get my coupons, so had to go to a couple of stores on Tuesday to try to find one that still had any Sunday papers left.  When I finally found them at our local Kroger store, I did what I often do and took a quick tour through the meat department to see if there were any mark-downs.  I don’t eat a lot of meat.  I am by no means a “vegetarian”, but there are times when I could really take or leave meat.  I buy it when I find it on sale and freeze it until I want some.

Breezing through the meat department I found some of those little packages of individual filets wrapped in bacon.  You know, the REALLY YUMMY ones that are usually $5 each?  I could NOT pass them up when I saw that they were on mark-down for $1.76 a piece, so I dug around and found five of them.  The expiration date was several days away yet, so I knew that I could take them home to freeze and enjoy later.

While I was there, I also grabbed a couple of ears of fresh corn on the cob, checked the other produce, used the self-scan and headed home to see what else I could get accomplished on my first “official day off”.  I sat down to eat my dinner later and then it struck me.  Just the day before I had lost a job that I had worked at for almost six and a half years – a job I absolutely LOVED.  Not only that, but it also struck me that this is NOT the time that I really should be excited about being unemployed.  At the same time that those thoughts were crossing my mind, I looked down at my plate and thought to myself, “I have no job and have about six weeks to find one before I have no income, but I am sitting and looking at a plate with a GREAT tasting steak, fresh corn on the cob and an absolutely delicious fresh peach that cost lest than $3.00 for the entire meal.  IS THERE ANY DOUBT THAT GOD CAN TAKE CARE OF ME IF HE CAN PROVIDE THIS????”

I’m not saying that there haven’t been and won’t be hard days, but God and I have a history.  He provided a pink flannel nightgown when I was little and a steak dinner now that I’m not and SO MUCH MORE in between.  He’s got my back!  He knows!  He cares!  AND He has promised to provide my every need!

Psalm 23:1 –  1The LORD is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) ?

 

He’s done it for me and He wants to do it for you also!  What are you trusting Him for?  How can I pray for YOU?? Please let me know by sending me a private message or commenting below.

Welcome to “A Pink Flannel Nightgown (and Other Evidence of God’s Goodness)!

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Welcome!!

For a LLLLLOOONNNNGGGG time now, I’ve thought about blogging, but thought, “WHO would want to read a blog by me?”

With the current events in my life, I’ve come to the realization that first of all, it’s not about ME!  (It’s more about what God is doing and how He is working in and through my life…)  I also started thinking about the fact that I am REALLY bad about keeping records of the events of my life.  I don’t keep a diary.  I don’t journal.  I used to send a lot of emails to friends relating some of the events of my life, but I don’t even do that any more.   So, within the past couple of days I’ve realized that this offers an opportunity for me to keep a record of events AND keep those who care updated on “what’s up”!

Why is this called “A Pink Flannel Nightgown (and Other Evidence of God’s Goodness!)?  THAT goes WAAYYY back.  If you’ve known me a long time, I’m about to bore you again with the story.  If you haven’t, here you go:  When I was seven years old, my Dad left a successful career in the Air Force to become a Missionary to secular college students here in the U.S.  He left a decent salary as a Captain in the Air Force for a known $100 a month and the hopes that other churches would join in their endeavors to increase that amount.  In the late winter after they joined the mission agency, when my mom was putting me to bed one night in the late winter/early spring, I announced to her that I wanted a pink flannel nightgown!

There were MULTIPLE problems with that request:  It was the end of the “flannel nightgown season”.  Mom knew I wouldn’t be wearing one much longer that year.  There was NO money to buy a nightgown or the material to make one.  AND I was right in the middle of a major growth spurt – by the time I was eight I was as tall as I am now…  Mom, without hinting to me about her skepticism, suggested that we pray about it as she put me to bed, said a short prayer, tucked me in and went about her business.

Fast-forward to the next day:  I went to school.  While I was there mom checked the mail.   That day in the mail there was a box from the sewing circle at Mom and Dad’s home church in Iowa.  I have absolutely no idea what else was in that box.  It was filled of several items, but at the very bottom of that box was my PINK FLANNEL NIGHTGOWN and it was big enough that I wore it for several years afterward!  (And just in case you missed this detail, that means it was made AND mailed before it was even an idea in my little mind!)

That was the first of my many reminders in life that God knows and has it covered!    In my current season of looking for a new job and trying to determine what God has for me next, He has already been “showing up and showing out”, but those are stories  for another day…

Thanks for joining me on my journey!

How has God “shown up and out in YOUR life?