Do you have a word to let go of?

Hi again friends!

 

I listened to a podcast today and it really made me think. Many of us set goals, resolutions, or words for the new year. My word/words for this year are joy and abundance. I want to really discover the abundant life Jesus promises in His word. This abundance, I believe, is directly related to real joy.

 

This podcast focused on having an “un-word” for this year. A word to let go of, if you will. I thought this was very interesting and not something I had ever thought about before.

 

After giving it some consideration, I believe my “un-word” will be carry.

 

All to often, I feel some sort of burden I’m carrying that may not be mine to carry. Perhaps that looks like feelings of frustration at not being able to please everyone. Maybe it’s having an idea to use in ministry but someone thinks it should be done their way instead. It could be feeling like I’ve failed because I couldn’t be there for everyone. Have you felt these feelings?

 

Even if I can’t physically be there for everyone, or I implemented the ideas I feel were inspired by God instead of pacifying someones ego, and the bottom line is… we can’t please everyone… as long as I’m following Jesus and doing the best I can, I’m no longer going to “carry” others opinions.

 

The burden of worrying about how others see us is not ours to carry. Following Jesus is what we need to focus on. So will you choose an “un-word” for this new year, something you want to put down and walk away from? Will you share it with me and our fellow table mates? Let’s start a conversation about this. I’m very intrigued by this concept. Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

I don’t know what to write about this week…

Father in Heaven, whatever words You have for me, let them be a direct reflection of you. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Hello my faithful table talkers! I hope you all are well. we are full on into the new year now and I know some of you have had some serious trials over the holidays. I think of you often and pray all is on the mend.

 

I’m sitting here typing this without any idea of what to write. That’s not a good place to be in as a writer. Or is it?

 

Does this leave more room for Gods’ idea to fully develop? I have been in this place before where I sit down to write and it’s like sitting in front of a white board and no marker in sight.

 

This can make me question if writing is really what I’m supposed to do. Shouldn’t I be brimming with ideas, jotting down notes as thoughts and words flood my mind? That’s what seems normal for any qualified writer. At least that’s what I always believed.

 

But as I’ve studied and learned, many writers actually hate the process of writing. HUH? That seems counter-productive. But I know that feeling. I am familiar with the blank canvas effect (That’s what I call it). I have closed my computer, with no words written and feelings of defeat.

 

But as I think about this defeat, I realize that my blank canvas effect, gives God a clean canvas to draw on.

 

Have you ever felt like this? You may not be a writer or painter or sculptor… but maybe you’ve felt unproductive in your job or role as a Mom or in your position at church. Maybe you feel fresh out of ideas and ready to throw away the proverbial pen, paint brush, or sculpting tool.

 

This can be the very place God needs us to be in order to better carry out the plans He has for our lives. If we have only our own thoughts and ideas swirling around in our minds, how will there be room for God’s thoughts and ideas?

 

So perhaps we should not be concerned with feeling uninspired or deflated in our jobs, homes, or churches. God has so much He longs to accomplish in our lives, so many more plans then we could ever fill a notebook with or storage we have on a computer or time we have in a day. Hand over the tools to Him and let His words, colors, clay, blueprints, activities…

be the ideas that flow. Let Gods’ plans unfold and see where He takes you!

 

I am on the verge of creating my first video for YouTube. I am very nervous to start this new adventure, but I’m going to hand over the tools and see what God is going to do. Are you ready to hand over the tools in your life too?

Will you close the door and not look back?

Father in Heaven, let these words be real and honest and let them be bricks that build a pathway to You. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

It’s 12:45 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning. My husband has been uncomfortable for days now. I feel a touch on my arm and hear his exhausted voice…

 

“I have to go to the ER, I can’t take this pain any more.”

 

He had been experiencing pain, numbness, and tingling in his neck and down his left arm for several days. He wasn’t able to sleep or get any relief that night and the only option was the emergency room at our local hospital.

 

Getting dressed and grabbing his keys, he told me he would call me when he knew something. This is when my frustration with not being able to drive comes in with force. My husband was hurting and tired and I couldn’t drive him to the hospital. No, I stayed home while he drove himself. We didn’t want to wake up our kids and all that, so I stayed and he went.

 

I dozed back off for what I thought was just a few minutes, thirty at most. Picking up my phone to check the time, it revealed that it was now 4:43 a.m.

 

Sitting up abruptly, I checked for a missed call or text… none. I quickly texted him and waited for the response. Mind swirling with thoughts of a possible heart attack, stroke, or anything that they would have rushed him into surgery for. It took only seconds to hear the jingle of my sleigh bell text tone I set for Christmas.

 

“Still waiting.” the text read. Slumping a little with relief yet exasperation, I replied with asking if they were really busy. He had said that they were but he should be next.

 

After about an hour and a half and a CT scan, they said he had a bulging disk between C6 and C7 vertebrae in his neck. This may require surgery. Under normal circumstances this would be inconvenient. But for my husband who is a master carpenter and heavy lifting is the name of the game… I feared he may not work again in this field he loves so much. How in the world would he… the sole provider, find another job at his age and at the same pay if he can’t work anymore?

 

My mind raced and my tears fell. I got out of bed and headed to the shower. I remembered standing in there eight months ago letting the shower spray mingle with my stream of tears as I mourned the loss of our family dream to move south and possibly put an end to the heavy lifting aspect of my husbands job.

 

Here I stood again, letting the water and tears flood my face. How would we do this? How could I make a career happen for myself and contribute to our family. As I strive and pray for my writing and speaking career to take shape, I wanted… needed it to happen over night. This is how I felt anyway. I asked God why we had to face such a life altering thing… again. I reflected on the year of 2019. We are coming to a close on this year and I spent a few minutes screenshotting all the things that had taken place.

 

We had;

 

Lost three friends, one of which was who I considered to be my own kid sister.

 

Two of our four pets died.

 

We had a fifteen year dream come true then come crashing down.

 

Both my parents had serious surgeries.

 

My daughter graduated.

 

We sold items we wouldn’t have sold, due to moving.

 

and many more things in between on a smaller, but not less impactful scale. I grouped my daughters graduation in there because this was bitter sweet for me. She is my baby. I now have adult children! This can be eye-opening and life-changing for a stay at home parent. It makes you think “what now?”

 

Now, I suppose, I can focus on my writing and speaking career. But then there is the  “Am I to old to try and start a career” way of thinking. So this in turn adds to the stress level and mental exhaustion.

 

Now I felt faced with no other choice but to push harder and harder to build this chosen career path.

 

My son took me up to the hospital where I sat with my husband who was now in observation and we waited for the next test to be done. This would be an MRI to get a better look at the situation. They couldn’t seem to get his pain under control and he tried various cocktails of pain medicines to regulate the pain but it took all day to do. My husband, I’ve learned, has an extremely high pain threshold. His pain stayed pretty much at a seven or and eight on the pain scale. So needless to say, I knew he was very uncomfortable. This, as many of you probably know, isn’t easy to watch. Your loved one being in pain.

 

But after some time up there in that hospital room, I began to feel the power of God. I just knew that whatever the test results revealed, we would remain in Gods’ protective embrace.

 

I knelt by my husbands bed while he slept and prayed over him. I asked God to do the unexplainable. I asked Him to take away what was causing the pain and restore my husband to health. I was then reminded of some church friends who are facing a life threatening diagnosis. The kind that needs Gods’ miraculous intervention. I praised God for however He was going to work this out.

 

Though this situation may be life changing, it isn’t life threatening. I knelt there pouring out my concerns to God, unashamed and unaware if anyone could see me. I felt, at first, a little nervous about kneeling and praying in case his nurse had to come in for meds or vitals. But I remembered the verse in Luke 9:26 which says,

 

“If anyone is ashamed of Me and My message, the Son of man will be ashamed of that person when He returns in His glory and in the glory of the Father and  the Holy Angels.”

 

I don’t want to ever be nervous about praying. I know it’s out of the norm sometimes, but if Jesus can take spikes in His hands and feet, thorns in His brow, and stripes on His back for me… I can handle being out of the norm for Him.

 

So as we bring in this new year, I’m going to be intentional about putting all of 2019 and it’s heartbreaks and disappointments behind me and look ahead. I want “2020” vision for this new year! I want to live bold and unashamed for Christ. With old wounds healing, and disappointments mending, I step forward into the plans God has for me and my family this year. My focus will be on joy and living the abundant life God promised in His word.

 

I will seek to move ahead with writing, speaking, and trying to be an inspiration wherever and however I can. Here’s to 2020 and all it has to offer! Happy New Year to all of you! XOXO

 

P.S. My hubby is home and doing better. More treatments to come but he is back to work and moving ahead. We will trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding. Much love from our table to yours!

 

It’s Foodie Friday! (Bacon Wrapped Sausages)

Hi all and Merry Christmas once again. I wanted to share another party favorite with you in case you are looking for something to bring to those Christmas parties.

 

I know some of you are going through some very difficult times right now and after this recipe, I will offer a prayer for you. But I’d like to try and give a little cheer if I can with a yummy snack style treat for all of you…

 

Bacon Wrapped Sausages

 

Now we don’t eat pork around here so I’ll be using turkey bacon and turkey sausages.

 

1 pkg. little smokey’s  or regular turkey sausages cut in half

 

1 pkg. bacon

 

1 stick butter

 

about a half a cup brown sugar

 

You will need to cut the bacon into thirds. If you are using regular turkey bacon, cut those in half. Sometimes it can be hard to find the little smokey’s in my neck of the woods. If you can find them, just leave those whole. Wrap 1/3 of a bacon strip around the smokey or sausage. Lay it seem side down in a large sprayed lasagna pan. Repeat this step until all your sausages are wrapped. Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove top on low, pour it over the sausages, coating all of them. Sprinkle on the brown sugar over all of them. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes. People tend to snarf these up in no time. I bring them to my family party on Christmas eve and there isn’t a one of them left. Enjoy.

 

Now may I offer a prayer…

 

Father in Heaven, I know there are some who are going through terrible loss right now and Christmas looks very different for them. I lift them up to You right now Lord and ask that you give them an extra measure of comfort and joy this season. Father many are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed because of the approaching day of celebrating Your sons birth. I pray Lord that You help us all remember why we celebrate and let go of the stress. Bring us peace Father. I just ask for Your Holy presents to be seen and felt. Let us not forget to invite You into our celebrations. Help us to keep our hearts and minds focused on You. Bring a special blessing for those who are struggling this Christmas Lord and remind us of the reason we celebrate. In Jesus Holy name we pray, Amen.

 

Have yourselves a Merry little Christmas and I’ll see you on New Years Day!

 

 

I’m sick of ME!

Father in Heaven, I ask You Lord to coat these words with Your paint so as to cover the flaws my words show. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Well Well, here we are just one week before Christmas. Yikes! Honestly it has flown up on me way to quickly. I don’t feel like I have been able to just observe and enjoy all the festivities this holiday has to offer. The Hallmark movies, the baking, the endless mugs of hot coco.

 

I took on making holiday throw pillows this year and decided to put them up for sale. I really had no idea that they would end up being so popular! I’ll get a  jump on it much sooner next year for sure.

 

My in-home book club just finished a book that we’ve been reading for a few months. This is also why things have been a little harry too, I wanted to finish this book before Christmas so everyone could have the time off and not worry about squeezing one more thing in.

 

So this will be a little plug for this particular book. We read and studied “Sick of Me” by Whitney Capps. It’s a book that in a summed up version, invites the reader to not just stop at recognizing the “broken” areas of our lives, but to also move into the sanctification process. Allowing God to work on that brokenness if you will.

 

This is something that has hit home for me because I’m very good at confessing and being transparent. But exercising real change… not so much.

 

Change is uncomfortable and messy. I typically want familiar and easy. How about you?

 

I don’t want to want the easy and familiar anymore. This is the key I have discovered in change. We don’t, by nature, usually like change. We are creatures of habit. So therefore we must ask God for the desire to change the habits we know need changing.

 

Paul says in Romans 7:15, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

 

This is very much how I feel every time I say “I’m not going to say this, do that, think the worst… ”

 

My very desire to want to change those habits has to come from God, so doesn’t it stand to reason that we should ask Him for that desire?

 

Many people now a days will agree that there is nothing magical about January first. By this they mean there is no real reason to wait until then to begin again with a new goal.

 

Having said that, I do think there is a mind set that goes along with “new year, new you” kind of concept. New beginnings bring fresh goal setting.

 

Though I will be asking God to plant the desire in my heart now to want a change in behavior or habit, I will be more focused on it at the beginning of the new year. I want to assume the best about others just as I want them to assume the best about me. I want to have a more positive attitude about people and events. I don’t want to have anymore room in my life for negativity and downers. I have put up some boundaries in this area but I need more bricks and mortar.

 

I desire to have the heart of God. The fruits of the spirit! Joy, love, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Honestly, there are a couple of these that are not my strong points. I struggle with patients and self control.

 

But I want to desire to have A L L of the fruits. Because truly… I’m “Sick of Me”. I don’t want to just recognize my brokenness, no… I want to let God do His miraculous work in me and let others see that work. Not for my sake, but so they can feel like God can do it for them too!

 

I really enjoyed this book by Whitney and I think if you are looking for something that takes your spiritual growth to the next level, you’ll enjoy it too.

 

I will be taking next week off for the Christmas celebrations my family has but I’m sure I’ll be popping into your in-box between Christmas and new years.

 

From the bottom of my heart and the center of my table I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and I pray you have comfort and joy. My love to all of you!!!

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Just Wanted to Tell Ya a Little Somethin’

Hi there and happy Sunday to you! I just felt impressed to send off a little note of encouragement.

 

So often we get caught up in the busyness of life and we speed up even more at this time of year.

 

Sometimes the Christmas season isn’t filled with yuletide cheer for many people who may be facing their first holiday without a loved one. Maybe they have no family near them and wake up on Christmas morning alone with no one to share a holiday feast with. Maybe financially they are feeling left out of the over abundance of gifts given and received during this time. There may not be any parties, celebrations, family gatherings or trees to partake of. Even if there were these events available… it might be just to emotionally painful to be a part of them.

 

I recognize that.

 

May I just remind you of Jesus birth in a lonely manger and Mary having no one to support her during the birth other than Joseph. Where it is important and vital to have her husband present, there would be no mother to hold Mary’s hand or talk her through the pain or help her after the baby came. There would be no family around to celebrate with, no baby showers, no congratulatory parties, no well wishers coming by.

 

But still even as a baby, Jesus was there… and He is there with you now too.

 

The world can build up the Christmas holiday to be all about gifts, trees, feasts, garlands, ornaments, bows, and Santa. Jesus longs to remind us that it’s all about Him. Not to be selfish or boastful, but to offer His love and support to those who are lonely and hurting.

 

I will not pretend to know how you feel if you fall into one of these categories, but I will offer this prayer for you…

 

Father in Heaven, will You come near to the lonely and heartbroken this Christmas season. Will you bring the comfort and joy that only You can bring. Will You make the silent nights ring loudly with the sound of Your Angels singing about the first Noel to those who feel empty. Will You make every night of the season an oh so Holy night. Will You remind those who feel that they are forgotten that You came from far away in a manger to bring joy to the world. Let all of us hear the Angels on high sweetly singing the news of salvation for each of us. Father wrap those who feel so lost this Christmas in Your loving arms. May they feel Your Holy presents Lord In Jesus name, Amen.

 

I hope this note finds you well and brings a little smile to your face. See you all Wednesday!