Jesus in the Center

C954C19E-2714-4638-8D6E-B18DB7ABCBCDAround the Easter holiday I came across an article where the author wrote: “Sorry Christians, but there’s only one reason I get excited about Easter, and it has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with those chocolate eggs filled with caramel in the center!”

…Hmmm, okay, those are pretty tasty, I’ll give you that, I thought to myself…

Not wanting to stir up any trouble, I quietly backed out of the website without making a “peep”…yes, I’ve included a few puns:/ lol.

But I couldn’t shake what I’d read, mainly because (forgive me while I challenge this mindset) mouth-watering, delicate chocolates can be bought year-round in any given grocery store—like there are whole isles devoted to sweet treats in a variety of chocolate smothered choices!! And Ghirardelli chocolates with the creamy caramel inside are available any day of the year and in my opinion they have it figured out just right, and they “beat” chocolate caramel Easter eggs anytime; so to get incredibly excited and hyped up over these “cheap” eggs I guess I don’t understand that. Further yet, to give more credit and recognition to chocolate eggs over Jesus during the Easter celebration or ANYTIME, I just can’t process that.

Realistically speaking, I just think it’s sad.

Obviously this person is far from Jesus, but it doesn’t mean he or she is unreachable. The truth is there are millions of others out there who are more excited over “chocolate” than Jesus, it may just be in a more subtle manner.

As a Christian I’m optimistic and realize everyone is capable of being saved if they’re willing. No one is too far from saving; it’s just some are looking for life to satisfy through a “chocolate-fix” rather than relishing in the everlasting sweetness that Jesus provides.

Where is the hope found when you function in a facade that way?

When I look back at my life before I came to Christ, I see a mess of “chocolate fixes.” As a teen and in my twenties I only knew and believed in Jesus as God’s son, but I was so far away from a genuine relationship with Him at that time. Continue reading “Jesus in the Center”

More Grace

Mother’s Day has just passed and although I enjoyed my day, this past week has challenged me to consider that perhaps I expect too much from my kids.
It’s good to want to see my children make right choices, to want them to try harder in school, and to do well in life, and love Jesus like crazy. But sometimes my expectations reach beyond what really matters and other times I fail to adequately communicate what I expect and just assume they already know.

Within the past few weeks my oldest daughter has misplaced the new jacket her dad and I recently bought her, and I’ve been annoyed by this; not just a little annoyed either. I’ve managed to get my daughter annoyed now also with my constant nagging, “did you leave it at school?” I’ll ask her one day, and then the next day, “maybe it got left at church?!”…“how about in the vehicle?!”

More than likely at this point, my poor girl (mentally) eats, sleeps, and drinks this jacket because of all my harping.
Chalk up another “mom-fail.”
Can I make matters worse?…Yes!!! Because let me not forget to mention that I’m ridiculously frugal and the jacket was an Old Navy clearance and cost only $5.97. I know you’re reading this and probably thinking ‘then just go buy a new one’ and I would…maybe, but we live a few hours away from the store, so whining about it seems like the logical and mature adult-way to handle this situation…
Now if there wasn’t a lesson to be learned in this I wouldn’t waste my time writing about it of course….sooooo guess who recently lost their water bottle? (the water bottle they’re obsessed with—the one they take everywhere—the water bottle that if two fills of it are drank each day, her daily water-drinking goal is met…)
Me!!!!

Continue reading “More Grace”

Spring Cleaning: Out Satan!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write due to a combination of super busy and miserably sick, and learning a new phone system!!!! (I’m still not even sure this will show correctly to my ‘email followers’; if you’re interested you may need to click into the link and read it from the blog’s website).

In the midst of all of the crazy, some really cool things have been happening…

I began guitar lessons a few weeks ago, something I have wanted to do for years now. I’m hoping one day I’ll hear my husband say, “good job honey!”…instead of, “it sounds like you’re strangling a cat.” He’s right though!! I’ll be strumming along nice and lovely…and then all of a sudden out of nowhere, “rrrreerrr”…not music to my ears or anyone else’s to say the least, but I have a fantastic guitar instructor and therefore I’m hopeful this will all get “harmonized” in due time.

Also I took a spiritual gifts test recently with the rest of my co-youth group leaders and discovered that my top strong points are exhortation (encouragement), serving, and hospitality. This has helped me know myself just a little more!

ENCOURAGEMENT seems fitting since I’ve referred to myself as my kids’ biggest cheerleader, including my husband’s. I’ve even poured that encouragement out on my classroom kids as I sub and my youth kids as I help lead them—kids and adults alike need rooted on!!

SERVING comes in as I get involved in mission trips, community service projects, and local outreach programs.

And HOSPITALITY has shown up as our family has held youth group events at our home, hosted the most amazing foreign exchange student, and entertained numerous guests between large birthday parties and dinner dates.

I have provided a link if anyone is interested in taking this spiritual gifts test: http://ebcrochester.org/misc/php/LifeWaySpiritualGiftsSurvey.php

**side note: there’s a huge difference between spiritual gifts and talents! In quick summary, God gives both; a talent can be possessed by anyone as the result of genetics and/or training, whereas a spiritual gift is the result of the Holy Spirit’s power at work in a believer. Romans 12:6-8, 1st Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 4:11-13

Next, since garage sale season is among us, I browsed a few the other day. I was set out for mason jars to use for canning purposes and found NOT a single one; however, nearing the end of my search I came across what resembled more of a “garbage sale” than a garage sale and I spotted this little gem: Continue reading “Spring Cleaning: Out Satan!”

The Other Day I Substitute Taught…

20161118_102321I haven’t written a poem in years…in fact I wasn’t even sure I remembered how!

But recently I’d been thinking about how it’d be sweet to set just a little time aside and see what I could come up with…I just wasn’t sure I’d make time to do so.

I’ve been substitute teaching a lot these days and although I love it (MOST DAYS)… there are some that seem as though they’re going to refuse to end!!

And yesterday was one of those days…

I subbed, I came home exhausted, and when I JUST wanted to sleep in the early morning hours of the night—I lay awake…with rhyming words bouncing in my head…(oh and someone’s dog barking wildly).

Seriously?…I thought to myself…

I considered grabbing my phone and taking notes at 3 A.M. because that’s what I’ve done in the past when words have come to me…but not this time!

I forced my mind to shut down and somehow I fell asleep…at last…

…And a few hours later I woke up to a combination of alarm clock noise and rhyming words and phrases streaming through my head..

Kids loud, too proud…

Time better tick,                                  it better move quick.

Hmm…I could go somewhere with this I began to think. Continue reading “The Other Day I Substitute Taught…”

It Starts With a Seed

1521722526173-294873206During my freshman year of college I was given an assignment in my Expository Writing class. We were to write a descriptive essay—I had lost my father to a car accident just one year prior and had been coping by writing poems and journal entries…so this time I chose to write specifically regarding the car accident.

I would describe the accident in detail. I felt like I needed to, in order to process the reality and maybe to help push through the flashbacks. I needed the whole thing to just make sense in my mind.

I completed the assignment, handed it in, and went on to receive an ‘A’. I felt very connected to that writing, but eventually it was physically misplaced. Throughout the years, the absence of that paper has caused me some distress.

Now ever since I was a teen I’ve been storing collectibles, pictures, and memorabilia in a cedar chest my parents bought me for my sixteenth birthday.

Last year I rummaged through that large wooden box as I have many other times, only this time I came across a folder that hadn’t been opened for years. I peered inside and much to my surprise I came across writings—journal entries from that college Expository Writing class.

Continue reading “It Starts With a Seed”

Let Go and Let God…my husband says so

IMG_7656Cuddled up on the couch with my two youngest children on each side of me, and a blanket draped across our laps, we finally finished a novel we had slowly been reading through.

Empty containers once filled with popcorn and half drank cups of hot chocolate with shrunken marshmallows sat on the worn wooden table before us, alongside the thick-paged children’s novel.

Moments before my boy and girl urged me, “read on mommy, keep going.” …And now here we were another book done, the last words fresh in our minds, but discontent spread across each of their young faces.

They both agreed they didn’t like how the story had ended. They didn’t think it was fair that over the many times this book had excitedly left them in suspense as we’d finish a chapter and wait a day or two to start the next—the ending had now done the same, but this time left them unsettled instead of satisfied.

I understood their feelings all too well. I thought about the many times a certain situation has come my way and the ending details have left me uneasy, with hollow emotions… Continue reading “Let Go and Let God…my husband says so”

First Jesus, then coffee…for His Purpose: Part 1

 

IMG_7284(1)
Adelina, thanks for having me do your senior photo shoot, sooo fun!!           Blessings for your future…Psalm 46:5

 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

    “I can’t believe you use to be wild, you don’t seem like the type”…….That’s the typical statement I hear after sharing my testimony (my story of coming to faith). And it humbles me, it’s a sure-sign indicator that I must be doing something right these days! Whew!!!

Recently I’ve been mentally preparing to give my testimony to a group of high school teenage girls from my church.

When my sweet friend and also fellow youth leader asked if I’d share my story with these girls I wish I could say my first thought was, ‘this is the group that meets at a coffee shop for bible study every Saturday morning… there’s going to be an abundance of flavored creamer for a little bit of coffee…why, YES I’ll speak for  you gals!’ BUT that’s far-fetched from my initial reaction…it was more so, ‘you want me to do what???, these girls are going to reject me, what do I include and what do I somewhat sugar-coat???, where do I start and how much needs to be said?’…

There’s a reason I volunteer to help with the jr. high youth group (only)—they’re fun, crazy, and most impressionable…but the high school group I’m not real familiar with and I’ve somewhat distanced myself, not because I don’t care for them but more so because when I was that age I was (regretfully) a mess of a girl, so perhaps I feel somewhat unable to connect with a majority of them…

Continue reading “First Jesus, then coffee…for His Purpose: Part 1”