November 29, 2004

Be Happy

Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design.


Whatever the situation, you are the only one who determines your happiness. Sure, others may contribute to your being miserable. But you are the only one who settles into happiness or misery.

Happiness is shaped and molded from your well-being. Moreover, happiness is a feeling. Aha! We have the choice to decided whether we will feel happy or sad.

Be happy!

November 27, 2004

Romance

After seven years of marriage, romance had pretty much become a funny, weird word in my vocabulary. No longer did I get butterflies in my stomach. Nervous jitters were a thing of the distant past.

Something strange has happened.

Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder.

I watched Raising Helen tonight, which stars one of my favorite actresses, Kate Hudson. It was a light comedy, sprinkled with a bit of sadness. There was just enough romance there to put the butterflutters in my tummy again.

Another really good romantic comedy that Kate Hudson stars in is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. This one stars another of my favorites, Matthew McConaughey, who is a cutie pie with a southern accent. This movie will be my next purchase. I rarely buy movies, but every now and then I find a really good one that is worth watching over and over until the tape wears out. This is one of those.

It's funny because I thought romance was gone from my life forever. After several years of marriage and several children later, you tend to forget about the romantic, sexy side of you. You sort of put that person on the shelf and only dust it off every now and then but not too often.

I love it when something sparks that inside me once again. Plus, the fact that I've been seperated from my Hunny Bunny (not by choice) since August only adds to the sweet expectation of seeing one another again!


I have decided to go through The Artist's Way once more. I will begin in January. Why wait until January? Well, you see, I have TONS going on in January, including:

  • Launching a new magazine, Mother Devoted
  • Printing the THIRD issue of Cup of Hope (print edition)
  • Robert leaves for Iraq
  • I'm going back to school
  • and much, MUCH more

So why add something else to all that? Because The Artist's Way will actually give me a break. It will be my "release" from everything else. I think it would be a perfect way to begin each year, as a matter of fact.

So now I'm off to find a special journal to use for my second round of The Artist's Way!

November 25, 2004

Abundant Living

Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.
- John Petit-Senn, 1792 - 1870


You can hold all the riches this world contains, but if you are not happy with yourself and the simple things in life, you are yet a poor person.

As you spend time with family today, remember to stop and take notice of the small things in your life. What do you overlook? What do you take for granted? Do you "get" and "get" and still find yourself feeling unhappy?

Enjoy your simple abundance!

November 23, 2004

Bible Alive

The writer in me loves reading different versions of the bible. They make the stories come alive. While studying this morning, I read this passage of scripture. If you are ever in the mood for dramatic action and suspense, you need not run out and buy a new novel (although that is great!). All you need to do is pick up your bible and read a bit. Before long, you'll uncover some action!

For instance, read this story of Ishmael:


"But in the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, came. He had royal blood in his veins and had been one of the king's high-ranking officers. He paid a visit to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah with ten of his men. As they were eating together, Ishmael and his ten men jumped to their feet and knocked Gedaliah down and killed him, killed the man the king of Babylon had appointed governor of the land.

Ishmael also killed all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah in Mizpah, as well as the Chaldean soldiers who were stationed there. On the second day after the murder of Gedaliah - no one yet knew of it - men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, eighty of them, with their beards shaved, their clothing ripped, and gashes on their bodies. They were pilgrims carrying grain offerings and incense on their way to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem.

Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to welcome them, weeping ostentatiously. When he greeted them he invited them in: "Come and meet Gedaliah son of Ahikam." But as soon as they were inside the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and his henchmen slaughtered the pilgrims and dumped the bodies in a cistern.

Ten of the men talked their way out of the massacre. They bargained with Ishmael, "Don't kill us. We have a hidden store of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey out in the fields." So he held back and didn't kill them with their fellow pilgrims.

Ishmael's reason for dumping the bodies into a cistern was to cover up the earlier murder of Gedaliah. The cistern had been built by king Asa as a defense against Baasha king of Israel. This was the cistern that Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled with the slaughtered men.

Ishmael then took everyone else in Mizpah, including the king's daughters entrusted to the care of Gedaliah son of Ahikam by Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, as prisoners. Rounding up the prisoners, Ishmael son of Nethaniah proceeded to take them over into the country of Ammon."

-- Jeremiah 41:1-10

November 22, 2004

Christmas is coming!

Have you started your shopping yet? I have about half of mine done. I decided that this year we are keeping Christmas in the family. As in our immediate family. Christmas is expensive enough without adding pressure on myself to buy something for everyone.

Jesus is the reason for the season!

And by the way, how is it that halloween and Christmas are two of the biggest celebrated holidays, and Thanksgiving is practically skipped over? Ever thought of that?

November 20, 2004

Simple Pleasures

I love simple pleasures. I relish the joy that I find in small, silly things. Here are a few of my simple pleasures:

  • Pink & Purple ink pens (actually, I love any funky-colored ink pens)
  • Note pads (the small ones you can carry in your purse)
  • Bright post-it notes
  • Cute tablets (small ones--great for notes)
  • Bold, bright Sharpie markers
  • Heartsong books (inexpensive & perfect size for carrying in purse or in glove box)
  • Daily devotionals (again, quick reading & fast inspiration)
  • Circle-a-Word puzzle books
  • Stickers
  • Yummy-scented candles (Petals & Pears from Home Interiors is my current fave)
  • Chai Latte
  • Iced hazelnut coffee

What's your simple pleasures?

November 19, 2004

Busy, busy

This has been a long, eventful, busy, crazy week. I realize I haven't written much here. Maybe you have taken this time to backtrack through the archives to find something meaningful for you. Or perhaps you've discovered another terrific blog to read. In any case, I will be back next week with lots of great stuff for ya!!

Have a great weekend!

November 17, 2004

The love of God

Psalm 91:1-4
You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
Say this: "GOD, you're my refuge.I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right--he rescues you from hidden traps,shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you--under them you're perfectly safe;his arms fend off all harm.


Just when it seemed like I didn't know what else to do, God swooped in and rescued me. When I couldn't feel Him anymore, when I thought I'd walked too far from His grace, He was still right there beside me.

He held me in His arms. He told me He'd seen every day that had been filled with anguish and pain. He told me that He saw the painful tears I cried in private that nobody else knows about. He told me that He is going to take it all and turn it around to be used for something other than pain.

I could literally feel His arms of love wrap around me. They encompassed me. They made me feel safe and loved and cared for. And I knew in that very moment that He really was there all the time. He had never once left my side. It was I who had turned my face from Him.

If you are searching for tangible support or love, remember that God is the only One who can love you unconditionally. His love never fails. He will be there with and for you when nobody else is. When all your friends abandon you, when you have no family to turn to, God will be there. Trust in Him!

November 16, 2004

Mother Devoted

If you are a Christian mother, I would like to invite you to join my new online magazine, MOTHER DEVOTED.

Beginning in January, Mother Devoted brings articles and information for today's Christian mothers. It is our desire to equip today's mothers with timely knowledge, power from the Word, and Godly friendship with other Christian mothers.

We encourage you to pray for us as we embark on this wonderful journey together. Hand in hand, heart to heart, together we will create a network of strong, supportive Christian mothers.

Bookmark our website =>MOTHER DEVOTED.COM
Sign up for FREE updates =>Join TODAY!


We are building a strong community and would love for you to join us in our endeavors.

P.S. Don't forget to pass the word on to your friends!

November 15, 2004

On-time God

The woman said, "I don't know about that. I do know that the Messiah is coming. When he arrives, we'll get the whole story."

"I am he," said Jesus. "You don't have to wait any longer or look any further."
--John 4:25-26


How many times have you reached a place in your walk with God that felt like He was nowhere around? Or that He wasn't listening to your prayers anymore? Or that perhaps all the things you did wrong piled so high and wide that you could never be forgiven for them?

The Samaritan woman stood at the well that day talking to Jesus. He was right there. Right in front of her. Talking to her. Yet, she didn't even know it.

He didn't get angry. He didn't walk away. He stayed right there, and let her know that He was there.

How awesome!

He loving, patient and kind. His mercy abounds forever and ever, with grace trailing along. Oh, to be like Him!!

If you're feeling down, discouraged, or hopeless I have a message for you. Jesus wants you to know that He loves you. He cares about you. Nothing can ever seperate you from the love of God! He is there, even if you can't feel Him. Be still and know that everything is going to be okay. Just keep trusting. Keep believing. The answers will come. He's an on-time God!!

Inspiration

I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning.
- Peter De Vries


I have often asked myself why I can't seem to make myself write when I don't feel inspired to write. The answer is quite simple. Inspiration isn't a huge brick that slaps me across the head and wakes me up. Inspiration is simply me sitting down and doing the work. If it is to be, then it's up to me!

It's 9:26--time to be inspired...

November 14, 2004

Cup of Hope -- Issue #2

The second print edition of Cup of Hope is now available! Use this button to purchase via Paypal, or email me for other purchase options.












Use the button below to purchase your annual subscription. (ONLY $6!)










November 12, 2004

Hope

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, "You're going to have a big family, Abraham!".
--Romans 4:18


This verse encourages me this morning. It is so easy to be quickly swept up by cares of this life. Sometimes it feels like I'm trapped in a whirlwind, swirling round and round, and no matter how hard I struggle, scratch and claw to pull myself out of it, I just can't.

Hope is so easily lost. One small incidence can crumble away every ounce of hope we hold on to. Physical, tangible things are much easier to believe in. It's easier to trust in what you can see, feel, touch, taste. The hard part comes when you can't see your path, and you can't feel God's presence. But even when we don't feel Him, we can rest assured knowing that He is there with us.

Obstacles block our vision. Obstacles are illusions. They make us think we can't overcome them or find a way around them. They are mirages. If we only will trust in the promises God has already assured us, we can walk through anything at any time. The trick is believing in God more than false hinderances that stand in our way.

Today's Takeaway:
When nothing seems possible, when it seems like there's no way you can win, stop and remember what God said. He promised that He would never leave, nor forsake us. Center yourself in Christ and know that His hand is on this. Don't believe in what you see you can't do, but rather in what you know God can do!!

November 11, 2004

A Rose

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
- Hadia Bejar
*


Kindness. Compassion. Laughter. Joy. Forgiveness. Understanding.

These are roses in our hand. When we are able to release our rose and give it to another, the sweetness of that simple act will remain with us forever.

What rose do you hold in your hand? To whom can you give it today?

*Thanks to Daddy for sending me this quote.

November 09, 2004

On Break...

Robert is home on a 3-day pass. Blogging will resume here on Thursday. See you then!

November 05, 2004

Be A Hero
Continuation of the "Courage" series

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson



When I think of the word hero, I think about a person who stands head and shoulders above everyone else. Distinguished. Different. Great.

There is a hero inside each of us. Unfortunately, we don't always allow that hero exposure to the rest of the world.

A hero does uncommon things. A hero surpasses the thought process of an average human being and climbs to a higher level. A hero takes the different path. She surpasses what is expected of her by the rest of the world and does the uncommon, unusual thing instead, thereby displaying great strength, courage, and nobility. Character shines through in a moment of heroism.

The wonderful thing about being a hero doesn't mean that you have to commit some huge, outrageous act (although that is wonderful, too!). It simply means moving yourself to action where you see something more that can be done, but isn't being done by anyone else. You really can be a hero in five minutes.

It only takes five more minutes to:

  • Speak a kind word.
  • Extend sympathy/empathy.
  • Listen.
  • Smile.
  • Give a child a hug and tell them how special they are.
  • Call someone and tell them they've been on your mind.
  • Secretly give an anonymous gift to someone who is feeling down.
  • Make a new friend.


ACTION POINT: Be a hero today!

November 03, 2004

Courage

How much courage does it take to change your life? Only an ounce.

Steps to Courage:

Fearlessness
What is your greatest fear? The first thing you must do is recognize and acknowledge that fear. No, don't embrace it. Rather, put your finger right on the middle of its nose and say, "Hey, YOU! I know who you are. You can't scare me anymore!"

Once you recognize that fear, you can then declare your freedom from it. The path to freedom is action. Take one step at a time against that fear. You will conquer it!


Bravery
When you stomp all over your fears, the next step is bravery. Now that you have mastered your fear(s), your spirit will soar, allowing you to rise to the occasion and do anything and everything you've been longing to do. You will find strength during this time. You will believe in yourself.


Courageousness
During this final phase in your trek to discovering courage, you will possess and embody courage itself. You will realize your potential. Everything that seemed so cloudy and negative will suddenly become unlimited possibilities. Not only will you do this, but you will face and deal with every obstacle henceforth without shrinking in doubt and fear.

Now the power has been shifted back into your hands!!

November 02, 2004

Be heard

I was going to avoid the subject of Election 2004 today, simply because this will be a hot topic everywhere. However, I feel that it is important to voice what I feel this morning.

You see, this will be the first time I have voted in ten years. Voting has always intimidated me. To know that your vote can make the difference one way or the other (yes, I firmly believe that) is a powerful thing.

This year is different. This year I watched as my husband left for war. I stood with my five-year-old daughter and nine-month-old son and said, "Good-bye."

This election is different for me. Different because I will make my voice heard this time. I will vote. I will stand for what I believe in.

Please do the same. Weigh the options. Yes, things in this world are terribly crazy these days. But don't slack on your duty as an American citizen. Get to the polls today and be heard.

Today I will cast my vote. For my country. For my husband. For my children.

November 01, 2004

The Choice is Yours

The difficulty in life is the choice.
- George Moore


There are many things in this life that we have no control over. War and famine and poverty. But the one thing we do have control over is ourchoice.

How we decide to act towards a situation is ultimately the determining factor of our character.

Choice controls:

  • Our actions
  • Our words
  • Our destiny


What choice will you make today?