Saturday, May 28, 2011

a great week

I've had a great week. We had VBS at our church and my girls and grandkids stayed here all week to make it easier for them to attend each morning since they live about 25 miles from my house. It was a week full of joy and a week full of lots of sweet but loud, small voices . What I like to refer to as joyful chaos. I think I swept my floor a thousand times, washed a million loads of clothes and bought a small fortune worth of groceries. At least. But it was a lot of fun and God used this week to speak to my heart in lots of ways.
I have a room that I do my bible study in and the smaller grandchildren call it my 'bible room'. I went in this morning to have my quiet time and saw this index card among the others.  Mercie had made a card just like Nana. You will never know how that touched my heart when I laid eyes on it.

Eli had called me outside yesterday afternoon to take a picture of him in a tree. He said, 'Nana, my second favorite thing to do is climb this tree. My first favorite thing to do is Praise Jesus.'  My heart just melted right then and there.

As I was reading in Hebrews this week, this verse ushered in strong conviction to my heart. 

"So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."
(Hebrews 3:19)

Oh, Lord, let me not be guilty of unbelief. Let me taste the goodness of You and see my worth made possible through the precious blood of your Son. May I trust only in You.

As we were unpacking Melissa's things from Baton Rouge and repacking them for her move to Boston, I found this letter that Mikaela had written her Aunt Melissa earlier this year. It just made me smile to realize how close our family is and how much love there is to go around. 

There were times this week when I was praying for some peace and quiet. But now that they have all gone home, I am left with a silence that reminds me of the joyfulness of the chaos! I found a little pair of Silas' overalls in the dryer this morning. I found a little stuffed dog that Sawyer left behind. I discovered Mikaela's American Girl horse on the bed where she slept.  I found multiple fingerprints on my glass tabletop.

 There are at least two ways you can tell if someone -  who will remain unnamed-  has been in the curio cabinet playing with the nativity sets. One way is that the donkey is in the spot where baby Jesus is supposed to be...

and another way is that the poor shepherd is taking an unscheduled nap beside the wise man.


We found Sawyer one morning wearing his papa's glasses and doing a good imitation of "Preacherman".  I pray that God will have a distinct calling upon his life and that he will hear and obey. If have four grandsons so far - perhaps one of them will be a preacher like their Papa.

I was overwhelmed several times during bible school at the graciousness of our Lord. As I saw 50 or more children each day coming to the church and having the privilege of learning about Jesus and not being afraid of persecution, my heart just filled up with such gratitude for God's mercy on our nation so far. I pray that our country will realize how blessed a people we are and that we will recognize our sin, turn from our wickedness and fall on our faces in repentance and in surrender to our God and King. He is truly worthy of our praise and our honor and all glory....

"And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen"
(Revelation 7:11-12)

Mikaela is such a great big sister. She is such a loving and sweet girl and I thank the Lord for her every day! She is a precious gift from God indeed!


Bryton did a great job during commencement last night. He got up on stage and sang his little heart out with his class and I was so proud! After Eli's class sang, he said "Nana, Eli did a great job!"

Any time I start to wonder "why?" I read this card. My heart has been so heavy for the people devastated this past week by tornadoes. We live in an area that is known for tornadoes and we were in the path of several ourselves and only by the grace of God missed any terrible destruction. I pray that those affected find peace and comfort in the loving arms of our Savior.


"My flesh and my heart faileth; but God
is the strength of my heart, and
 my portion for ever." 
(Psalm 73:26)
Thank you, Lord for the amazing privilege of being a wife, mother and grandmother. May I bring only honor to what you have called me to do and may I always show others You with my words and actions. Thank you for your grace and mercy in my life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

the Lord's purpose prevails

"But now, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay,
and thou our potter; and we all are the work
of thy Hand" (Isaiah 64:8)

I love the fact that our Potter is the Master Creator. He is the One who holds everything in the palms of His hands and everything that He makes is perfection.  As the works of His Hands, we simply have to be willing to be molded by Him into what He desires us to be. It's not always easy turning our lives over to Him and allowing His will to take precedence over our own but it really is the only choice.  Whatever it is that He has planned for our lives is always the best plan. 

When my daughter, Melissa, graduated from LSU with a degree in Biological Sciences 2 years ago, her immediate plan for her life was to go on two mission trips that summer and fall. She was going to Bolivia, South America for 6 weeks to work with Campus Crusade. Then she was headed to Cameroon, Africa, to volunteer at a Medical Mission hospital for 10 weeks. Upon her return, she was going to apply to medical school in Boston and would hopefully start the following summer. Being a mission doctor was her lifelong dream and she couldn't imagine anything else for her life.

 But after she returned from Africa and landed in ICU literally fighting for her life from a complicated case of P. Falciparum Malaria, things changed. It took her almost a year to fully recover from the damage done to her liver and red blood cells. She stayed so weak and her immune system was compromised so she stayed ill, but gradually the Lord brought her to a full recovery from this horrible disease.  The next year found her unsure of her calling as a doctor and fervently seeking God's will for her life.

She was working as a substitute teacher in Baton Rouge and began to have a real love for little children and a real desire to become an elementary teacher. As the Lord began to reveal to her what His plan for her life was, she began to move forward in that direction. She took her MAT (Millers Analogy Test), scored very well,  and applied to graduate school.  And God continued to work.

As the Lord just continued to pour out His blessings upon her, He began guiding her step-by-step and  provided for her needs at every turn. He has shown Himself faithful to Melissa and His goodness has just overwhelmed her. This morning she was here beside me and tonight, my sweet girl will lay her head down in Boston, Massachusetts. She will begin her new journey with the Lord by her side tomorrow.  

(Boston University)

Please pray for Melissa as she begins her first class in grad school tomorrow evening. She is enrolled in a one year master's program and this time next year will be a teacher. She is so excited at what the Lord has in store for her and is ready to place her life fully in His hands.

It's always exciting to go with God. Even when we don't know where He is taking us or what we are going to do when we get there! But just to know that we are in His hands and submitting to His plans is the greatest source of peace that we can have. He is faithful. He will never let us down. He will never lead us astray. He will always guide us down the correct path if we keep our eyes on Him and let Him lead the way.

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails"
(Proverbs 19:21)

Overwhelmed by Him and His goodness, 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the blessings money can't buy

I am so thankful for the life full of joy that God has so graciously granted me. He has bestowed good health upon me and I am able to enjoy my children and grandchildren to the fullest. At this time in our lives, my husband and I are blessed to live close to our grandkids and are able to part of their everyday lives.

They love to come to our house and play in the water. Even in the little bitty ladybug sandbox that they love to fill with water instead of sand and splash around. You're never too old to play in the water!


We have a good time going to the church and letting them preach and lead us in worship. It's fun to listen to them tell us about God and we always end with prayer time. I love those times in the house of God with my grandbabies. (That's one great thing about living in the church parking lot!)

It warms my heart to see my girls' children loving each other so much. There is nothing quite as sweet as cousin love.

I love this little guy. Silas has been such a huge blessing to me. He is the sweetest little thing and is so good natured. He is walking all over the place now and is growing up so fast!

Eli had his kindergarten graduation and he looked so adorable in his little cap and gown. His smile can melt my heart in an instant.

(My sweet daughter with her sweet little boy)
Eli, Mikaela, Mercie and I had fun making shadows on the carport.


I pray that I continue to focus on the things that are important. The things that money can't buy. The things that are not tangible. I want to invest my time into the things of Christ and the things that are eternal. You can't put a price on time spent with your children and grandchildren. I am so thankful that God has given me this privilege and blessing at this time in my life. His goodness overwhelms me.

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the
things that are not seen; for the things which are seen are 
temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal"
(2 Corinthians 4:18)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

expose the darkness

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works
of darkness, but rather reprove them"
(Ephesians 5:11)

Sadly, as I take a very close look at my life, I can see many times that I have been guilty of this scripture. Even though my life has been gloriously changed and eternally altered, I still have to take great strides in guarding my heart against the darkness of this world. It's a never ending process.

I can see evidence of unfruitful works in my life. And even though I am a child of the Light - a child of God - it is a daily struggle against the forces of evil that threaten me. A daily battle with my flesh that rises up to wage war with the Spirit of Truth.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers
of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places"
(Ephesians 6:12)

The darkness will always be a threat to the light in my life, but I can expose it for what it is and overcome it by the power of the Holy Spirit. But I can't do it on my own. When I try and depend upon my own strength and my own ability to resist this darkness, I fail  miserably. It is only through the power of God and by His sweet mercy that I am able to stand firm and overcome.

As my relationship with Jesus grows more intimate, and my walk becomes more 'in-step' with Him, I begin to see more clearly. I am able to take a more defensive stance against the enemy and be more prepared to resist.

The more I learn about Him, the more I love Him. The more I love Him, the more confident I am of His love for me. And as my confidence in Him grows, the clearer I see my own sin. As my relationship with Him deepens, the more He reveals to me about myself and the less veiled my inward gaze becomes.

I desire to look like Christ. I want to act like Him and be like Him in all things. As I allow my unfruitful works to be exposed, I begin to walk more confidently in the true light of His mercy and grace. I begin to produce more fruit of righteousness and holiness and walk worthy of my calling.

Thank you, Lord, that you so lovingly expose those things that are keeping me in the dark so I can move purposefully and confidently into the light of Your love and mercy. Help me to walk like you. Help me to look more like you. Empower me to walk in your ways and be all that you have called me to be. I love you, Father, and I give you all praise and glory for the mighty work you do through me and in me daily.

Monday, May 9, 2011

maintaining our focus in our pursuit of Him

In our pursuit of God, we must always keep our eyes focused on Him. It is imperative that we look to Him in all things and at all times. Galatians 2:12 is a good example of the importance of maintaining our gaze upon God and His sovereignty and His holiness.

In the passage of scripture, Peter had begun to isolate himself from the Gentiles for fear of defilement. He had taken his eyes off of Jesus and allowed them to instead settle on the Jews and their laws. He became something that he wasn't and proceeded to 'play the middle' to keep both sides appeased. He had unknowingly become entrenched deep into the confines of hypocrisy. When we allow the world to become our focus instead of Christ, we can quickly join the hypocrisy club.  When this happens to us, we lose our witness. We lose our effectiveness and become subject to rebuke just like Peter did with Paul.

Peter was good at taking his eyes off of Jesus. And it always got him into trouble. You will recall in Matthew's gospel when Jesus was walking on the water and He beckoned to Peter in the boat. Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk on water. He was able to do this because he had fixed his eyes on Jesus. But the instant that Peter lost his focus and took his eyes off of our Savior, the distraction of the world set in and he began to sink. The winds and the waves blew him off course and he faltered and fell.

As we pursue a deeper, closer walk with Christ, we must keep our eyes focused hard on Jesus. Let Him be our leader and our guide. Keep our gazed locked intently onto His. If we follow solely after Him, He will lead us carefully by the hand, down the correct path. He will never fail us. He will never forsake us. He will never, ever leave us alone. 

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk ye in Him"
(Colossians 2:6)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

what i've learned...

"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know
the LORD; his going forth is prepared as the
morning; and He shall come unto us as the
rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth"
(Hosea 6:3)

* God has been showing me how much He loves me lately in so many ways. In turn, it has really opened my eyes to the magnitude of His inexhaustible ability to love. It's who He is. It's what He does. God IS love.

* I've learned that the more I know Him, the more I want to know Him. The deeper I go in my relationship with Him, the deeper I desire to go. I'm never satisfied with where I am with God. I always want more. Thank you sweet Jesus...

* God has shown me that I have some really great friends that mean the whole world to me. Some in real life and some on-line friends. He has blessed me in both worlds with so many precious sisters in Christ.

* He has shown me the sweetness of moments like this. I enjoy seeing the love that Mikaela, Merci and Eli have for one another. I can't wait until little Silas is big enough to join in!


* I've learned that no matter how many grandchildren I see begin to walk, it never gets old. When they go from those tentative first steps to full blown walking, it gets me every time!


* God has shown me the infinite scope of His blessings. Every day, He opens my eyes a little wider to the limitless boundaries of His ability to bless me. As I wrote my gift # 330, I was just overcome by a feeling of awe that He has blessed me so! I truly have experienced a true downpour of His abundant grace and mercy in my life.


*  God has shown me that the closer I desire to get to Him, the more I have to rid myself of 'things' of this world. It's all about sacrifice of self and whether or not I am willing to deny those things that are temporal in exchange for the glorious riches of the eternal. Yes, Lord, I will give up whatever it is that is holding me back from a growing, dynamic relationship with You.

* I've seen God's goodness in little things such as 2 sweet grandbabies playing together in a little pool. 

(cousins Sawyer H. and Mercie R.)

* God showed me how blessed Jimbo and I are to have such close relationships with our sweet grandchildren. Bryton wanted to wear his papa's motorcycle helmet the other day while riding his bicycle. He was missing him and it made him feel a little closer to him. Thank you, Lord, for grandbabies.


* I've learned that I am so ready for a fresh encounter with my Lord. I am looking forward to a torrential downpour of His Spirit in my life and I am ready to be drenched in the revelation of His mighty Word.  Oh, Lord, saturate me with an ever increasing awareness and an unquenchable thirst for MORE of you. May each day bring me closer to you,  fill me with more knowledge and give me a yearning to go deeper still. Oh,  how I love you, Lord.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

thank you Lord...

Ever since I started keeping my '1000 gifts' journal, it has really opened my eyes to the multitude of blessings that God gifts me with every day. It has made me much more aware of the little things I take for granted.
I am so blessed with precious grandchildren. They fill me with more joy than I could ever imagine. Each one is so special and has their own place in my heart. 

(Eli, Silas, Mikaela and Mercie R.)

(Bryton and Sawyer H.)

I am so thankful for the precious little baby girl that is growing inside my youngest daughter Ashlie. As I see her stomach grow each week, I am filled with such awe at the goodness of God and the miracle of new life. 
(23 weeks)

I have enjoyed making all sorts of things for this little one and I am so thankful that He has given me the ability to sew and the resources to make it happen!

I just love it when God gives me a Word during my morning bible study time. I love it when a scripture just leaps off of the page and grabs my heart. 

"The Spirit of God hath made me, and the 
breath of the Almighty hath given me life"
(Job 33:4)

I read that yesterday and it just blew me away with the power of the message. Because of Him I have life through the amazing, powerful, mighty breath of God! Oh, breathe on me sweet Holy Spirit!

I am thankful that I can sit out on the patio and read a good book. And a good book is always better with coffee and cookies....

 I am deep into "Downpour" by James MacDonald and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, it is a book that you will want to read! It is about desiring and obtaining an encounter with Jesus like nothing you have ever experienced before. 

I am thankful that Jimbo was able to go to Las Vegas to see his friend John and minister to him and to Terrylyn. John did make a profession of faith on Saturday and when Jimbo asked him who it was that he asked to be the Lord of his life, John answered, "Jesus Christ". I got to talk to John on the phone for just a few minutes the other day (his attention span is very limited) and it was so good to hear his voice - he sounded just like I remember. I am praising God for the work that He is doing in John's spiritual life and I just know that it is just the beginning of a mighty work that He is going to continue doing! Please continue to pray for the healing of John's short term memory problem. 

(Jimbo and John - 4/29/11)

(Jimbo and John - Degray, Arkansas - November 1986. Our first weekend away from our oldest daughters who were then 6 months and 18 months old.)

(Me, Jimbo and Terrylyn)
Thank you, Lord, for friendship that spans the years.. Thank you for ordaining our relationship with John and Terrylyn 27 years ago. Even then You knew that this day would come and You have directed each step that has been taken on this path up until this very day for 'such a time as this'. I praise You for the miracle that has already taken place in John's life in the form of his Salvation. I ask that you continue to strengthen his body and increase his short-term memory. Ease the pain that every movement causes and  fill him with unspeakable joy at the indwelling of your Spirit.
I am thankful for:

my first cup of coffee in the morning,
Monday morning bible study,
a sweet husband,
God's magnificent Word,
the beauty of a sunrise and sunset,
the 'slumber party' I had at my daughter Megan's house the other night,
answered prayer,
the assurance of my salvation.