Tuesday, August 4, 2020

showing up for opportunities the Lord brings

I shared some pictures on social media that led to a few questions for more details, so I thought I'd share it here with anyone who is interested—it's so much easier just to address it on my teeny tiny phone. (My eyes are getting worse, can you tell?!)

I love to write, most people know that about me, and ever since I started this blog fourteen years ago, people keep telling me that I need to write a book. I don't say that to brag, I'm just sharing what they've said to me over the years. My answer to that is always the same: If the Lord gives me an idea for a whole book to write, than I'd be glad to write one. If not, then I'll keep on doing this. Nothing has stood out in my mind in these years regarding that, so I've kept up at writing on my blog. A few years ago, I began to pray specifically for God to give me opportunities to write for Him. Again, nothing seemed to come from that prayer, so I had to just trust the Lord in His timing and on whether or not that was His will.

Fast forward a year or so, in talking with a friend at church, she mentioned someday wanting to have a writing team in place at our church. Of course, my ears perked up, but I had no idea when that would happen. Another year or so went by before it actually happened...and I don't remember how it all got started exactly, but as I sat in on that meeting, I was amazed at how God had orchestrated it all. Our first meeting was over four hours, and most of it was spent getting to know one another. There were six of us in a room and we had lunch together, then prayed and decided our first study would be on the book of Hosea.

That is now written and is in the process of being published and printed. Each of us had at least two chapters of the book to write the study guide on, and two of the ladies had three chapters each. It was very intimidating, writing on that prophetic and symbollic book in the Old Testament, but the Lord was gracious as always, and helped us all through our portions. Here is what it will look like once the book is out and check out the title.


Hosea: Beyond Any Love Story You Could Ever Imagine. We'll start taking this as a women's group on September 2. There will be a Wednesday morning and a Wednesday evening option on campus, and there will also be an online option for those who are still staying mostly at home.

Just yesterday our newest assignments were handed out. It looks like there are five of us on the team this time (one had to temporarily take a step back) and our writing time is up by the end of September. It shouldn't be too hard, but that allows us plenty of time to read it all, take it all, let the team members read it and to revise and make edits. We have a professional editor who is so wonderful at his job. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him through our women's ministry leader Amy and loved all of his comments and suggestions. I feel like I learned a lot through that process and look forward to working on this project with what he taught me under my belt, so to speak.

Yesterday, I pulled out my trusty study companions.



I asked for this Bible for Christmas a couple of years ago. It's the nicest Bible I have ever had! My dad bought it for me for my birthday and Christmas and it's genuine leather. It's a key word study Bible with a Strong's dictionary in the back. You know when I pull this big boy out that I'm about to really dig in to start studying. I spent an hour looking at three verses within my assigned portion yesterday and had to force myself to put it down, because I needed to start dinner and let my eyes have a break. 

We will finish the writing portion by the end of September, then we will hand it all off to be edited. It'll be published and printed by the first week or so of January, Lord willing. And we will take this as a group of women for the spring semester of 2021. 

In addition to helping write these Bible studies, the Lord has also given me the opportunity to write a few times a month for an online magazine called Tirzah. Google it and read a few of the articles, they are all so good! I'm not saying that because I'm one of the writers, I'm saying it because more people should read from the talented group of women who contribute monthly. I write from home and share it with the editors of the magazine as a Google document. (Oddly enough, that's also how I'm going to start writing for our Bible studies, because you can write, edit, highlight and make notes on it and the others can see it with you. It's very handy.) 

I was reading Isaiah recently, when a portion of a verse jumped out to me. It's Isaiah 6:8, which I'll write out for you below.

Then I heard the voice of the LORD asking: Who should I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me.

I am not a missionary living in a dangerous place, and right now I have no plans to travel to one such place to help spread the Gospel of Jesus to any of those type places. If the Lord wants me to go, I will certainly go and I would trust that He would provide the way for that to happen. But what I am doing every single day of my life is spending time on social media. If you haven't noticed, our world is a crazy mess of a place right now; more than ever before, people all around us need some good news. I have some to share—His name is Jesus. I just want to keep my heart and my eyes fixed upon Him and I want to keep showing up for the opportunities that He brings to me. The Lord keeps bringing me opportunities to write, so I'm keeping up at my love and talent of writing. I ask Him to give me the words He wants me to say and to lead me in this, and every single time, the Lord has been faithful to answer that request. 

He also keeps bringing me opportunities to pour into the lives of others after a time of stagnancy. I've only met once with one young lady and the other young lady I've only had the oportunity to pray for her and text her, but we're getting to know each other over that way of communication and I'm okay with that. I've asked her to meet with me and so far she hasn't had the time, but she knows I am here for her when she's ready. The Lord also set up a divine appointment with a friend I've known about for years, but just a few weeks ago we talked for hours on the phone and met a couple of weeks after that for lunch and talked another two hours almost. I was at her house last night for a Bible study for young people and I plan on going back next week. I don't know exactly what I'll be doing, but I plan to keep showing up. I'm here and I'm ready for the Lord to use any way He sees fit.

Just a couple more things and I'll wrap this up: we are living in a very different time and people are mean and hard to live with. More than ever before, we need to be looking for opportunities to serve other people as believers in and followers of Jesus. We need to be digging into the Word of God on our own so much that when we're squeezed by the pressures of this world, Jesus is what the world sees in us. That statement is not my own, but one a wise young man said last night at Bible study. We don't need another opinion or another statement about how wrong or right you think everyone is, we need Jesus. We need to trust in Him and to remember that if He can care for the birds of the air or the flowers of the field, how much more will He take care of us? (That comes from one of my favorite passages in the Bible: Matthew 6:25-34. You should go there and read it for yourself, it's so good!) 

I pray that this inspires you to be on the lookout for opportunities to serve the Lord and to serve others around you. All of us can do something. It can be as simple as making eye contact and smiling with your eyes behind your facemask—greet the cashier by name and ask about her day. Be encouraging! Don't be a downer all the time on social media, be an uplifting encourager. If you have a song you love or watch a video that is precious, share it with everyone; I love seeing things like that. Pray for others and tell them or don't tell them. Pray Scripture over those you know personally. Set aside a special time for this; I've been doing this since the first of July and let me tell you that I have since seen the hand of God upon the lives of those I know and love. I've been amazed at how much my prayer life has changed since setting aside that specific time one day each week. 

If you need something lighthearted to help you through, pick up a great series of books by a Christian author and read some fictional fluffy stories. I'm currently making my way through my third series of books since the middle of March. 

Share what you love with other people. I have books that I love to read and I share them with my best friends. I know it's brought them joy to read them like they did for me, and it's given us something to talk about together. 

When you look for opportunities, they're all around; if you need some inspiration, ask the Lord for some ideas. I promise, He will give you some ideas. 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 



Monday, August 3, 2020

weekending and Hello Monday linkup




Happy Monday, Friends! I'm linking up with Tanya over at The Other Side of the Road for this blog post. 

It was a really good weekend! 

It was the perfect amount of fun, busy and relaxed. I got it kicked off on Friday with my dad—he came over for a visit and we ate lunch here at home, then we sat and solved all the world's problems for the next few hours. Maybe someday we'll get back out again, but we've just been staying here since he's been coming around again. Trish came by and said hello, then shortly after that, I left with him to take him home. I stayed and visited with Sandy once I got him home, so it was good catching up with her as well. Friday was her birthday, so I got to see all her cards and we talked about how much she'd been blessed on her special day. 

Once I left Dad's, I called my mom and after finding out that Todd and Jonah were working on vehicle stuff here outside, I asked if they minded if I went to Mom's that night for dinner and to hang out. Of course nobody cared what I did, so I headed out to the country again and enjoyed myself thoroughly. 

Bill made a yummy dinner and then we just enjoyed laughing and catching up. Eventually, Trish and I went outside and we ended up going to pick some veggies from the neighbor's garden. They're out of town and asked them to do this, but LOOK!

How beautiful are all these tomatoes? We love tomatoes around here and eat them as snacks. I was picking the little ones off the vines and eating them, they were so good. I also came home with cucumbers and okra, but the okra is gone. (If you've never sliced and roasted your okra, you are missing out! Season with olive oil and salt and/or cajun seasoning and roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes—it tastes JUST LIKE fried okra.) 


It was so nice out that night. The air was cooler and God gave us a beautiful sunset to enjoy. When I came home, they had just finished working on the truck, so I was glad that I went to Mom's and Bill's. 

On Saturday, I read all day long. I brushed my teeth and made my bed, put on moisturizer and stayed in leggings and a tee shirt all day. I read books (finished two and started a third), did laundry, vacuumed, straightened up messes and stayed put while everyone else left and came back. It was glorious. 

Here are all the books I read. This series is so good! I'm on book four right now, and I only started them last Tuesday. I love to read and I need to make the time to do it even more, instead of reaching for my phone. 

We had church on Sunday, but I cheated and watched from home. That afternoon we went back to having choir practice! It wasn't at all a choir and more like an ensemble, but you've gotta start somewhere. I am looking forward to beginning again at the end of August. All of us on the praise team  have continued to meet and rehearse each week, but this is the first time we've had choir since the beginning of March. 

Last night my hubby worked with the sherrif's department, so I was at home mostly alone after choir. I had oatmeal and wheat toast for dinner and I watched three episodes of The Crown. (I started over at season 1, because I had forgotten so much—I'd watched all the way through the first season.) 

How was your weekend? I highlighted more of mine on my Instagram stories, so if you're interested, follow me on there! You can find me as JenLloydGoodwin. I love making new friends on Instagram...anyone else? I promise that I only post things that are encouraging and uplifting. Thanks for reading along about my weekend! Love to all. 


Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday Favorites




Happy Friday, Friends! I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this blog post. 

If you're new here, or if you haven't read my blog before, this past week and a half was not my favorite. Two of my four sons had their wisdom teeth extracted last week. Jonah had SIX teeth removed last Monday and Drew had his four removed on Friday. This is not for the faint of heart! You know who is my favorite, throughout all of this? My husband. He made things so much easier. I don't remember when I've been so thankful for him...and I try to always be thankful for this man of mine. He's the best.

They're much better now, the two of them and are almost completely back to normal and eating just about anything they want. 


Scripture writing is my favorite, and Shannon from Swtblessings.com posted the new August plan. Would you like to join me in this? I have been doing this for at least five years now, and I can honestly say that sometimes the days that I read the passage before I write, it's like the Lord Himself reached out and picked the verses out just for me. The Word of God is living and active! I love what my Pastor says—that as a believer reads the Word, the Word reads the believer. That's what that "living and active" means...it's able to perceive our thoughts and intentions.

I know from experience in doing this that the more you write out Bible verses, the more you remember them.



My favorite author is Robin Jones Gunn, and that top book you see pictured is maybe the best series of books I have ever read. That's saying a lot, because I love series of books. I flew through that book way too fast. The second one you see pictured is an older series by her, and this book in particular, Secrets, was her first adult fiction novel! It has a bunch more in the series and I already owned the first three books, but barely remember reading them. I bought the other books to finish out my series the other night, and they're on their way to me as I write this. Books are my favorite and I love receiving copies of them that are new to me.


This is my favorite brand of spiced chai tea. I've been on a kick with this lately in the afternoon. It reminds me of Christmas! 

I needed to get out of my house on Wednesday, so my mom came and picked me up and we spent the morning together. She needed to run an errand and I needed to run an errand, so we did that and ate lunch at my favorite Mexican food place. Our days out together are always some of my favorite times. 



These are a couple of my favorite verses I came across last week. I love creating images for them on my YouVersion app on my phone. I have a whole file in the photo section of my phones for these, and I love sending them to people in a text.


This is one of my favorite pictures of my niece Erika, taken the night before she delivered her second set of twin girls! Isn't that something?! I cannot wait to report to you about these little angels that are new to our family, but out of respect and privacy for Erika and Kyle, I'll wait until after the weekend is over before I share about them. 

Other favorites from the week: 

I love the current color on my nails, it's my favorite magenta-pink. I love getting my nails done every few weeks, it's definitely a treat for me.

We've had some good dinners this week—hamburgers, which are always a favorite for all of us, and grilled chicken with veggies. My husband has perfected the grill over these hotter months. It's been nice not having to depend upon the stove or oven for dinner a few nights a week. 

I bought a new immersion blender this week from Amazon. I've mentioned my favorite coffee drink on here beofre that I love to make at night...well, I needed a new immersion blender to make them, because I accidentally fried the motor in our old one. Also, it was 24 years old, so it was time for an upgrade. This one came with attachments, including a milk frother! I can't wait to use that part.

For anyone who is interested, my favorite coffee drink is low calorie and tastes somewhat like a milkshake. All I do is pour leftover coffee into a big plastic cup, add in a few ice cubes, a splash of milk and a tablespoon of chocolate syrup and blend it all together. It gets all frothy on top, then I add in a few more ice cubes, one more tablespoon of chocolate syrup and stir it together. It's so good! If I had to guess on the amount of leftover coffee, I would guess it was two cups worth of leftover, room temperature coffee. Not two mugs—two actual cups as in the measurement. You should try it, it's delicious.

Well, that's about all I've got for this week. Thanks for reading along! Love to all. 

P.s. If you're new, follow me on Instagram! My username is jenlloydgoodwin.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

thoughts and goings on


Last week when I mentioned that two of my sons were having wisdom teeth removed this week, I didn't think that it would occupy me to the point of not writing on my blog. This post is a catch up of sorts and for the sake of my own memories. 

Jonah was first with the wisdom teeth, and oh the videos! They did not disappoint after they got him into the vehicle. I have to stop there and tell you how grateful I am for my husband. He is always a great guy, but this week, he was a lifesaver. He stayed home all of Monday and all of Tuesday. We tag teamed that afternoon and night while he had to have ice packs every half hour or so. We laughed at the end of the night and we acknowledged that we were exhausted. I'm laughing as I wite that.


On Monday while I was waiting on them to get back home, I worked on Bible study homework. Let me tell you, the timing of the Lord is perfect. I knew the Scripture I studied that morning and I needed it right then. The Lord knew that and is sovereign over time.


I've been having a bit of a moment with people being rude lately, both online and in person. I've witnessed several moments of this just this week alone, and I think this reminder above is a good one for all of us. Let's all stop being mean about people and masks—either wear yours and be quiet about it or don't wear yours and be quiet about it and let's remember we are not in control of everyone on this planet, praise God for that. Let's all live out our own convictions whatever they may be and leave everyone else alone! My nerves cannot handle confrontation and meanness. As a believer and follower of Jesus, my job is to love and to be kind...compassionate, humble and patient. I've had some setbacks this week and at one point I said something online and then was attacked and called every name in the book but a godly woman. I deleted my comment and moved on with life...I try to live that way all the time, but I had one slip and BAM. All kinds of thoughts and feelings arose and I found myself being sucked in to what people were saying. It happens to all of us, I know that, but it was good to witness that kind of attack. It reminds me of the enemy who is very real, just waiting to do the same. This reminder above is for me as well, though I was never mean or rude; I have to remember this "be kind even when I don't feel like being kind" thing.


Just days before that happened, I posted this picture of my dining room that I've been working on here and there lately. I love to "shop my house" and move things from one place to another, and this room has been my currrent focus. I think I finally have it the way I like it for now, but on Instagram this week here is what I said about it: This has been the year of being forced to do things, both negative and positive. I'll leave the negative things alone, because everyone is focusing on that right now. I'll look at all the good things from this year: this was the year we did all the projects in our home, it was the year of organizing and purging and repurposing things, it was the year the boys showed to us they're capable of things we didn't know they could do—deck building and demolition. It's been the year of being at home a lot and spending quality time together and it's been a year of taking back our health, both for me and for Drew. It's been the year of buying all the things from Lowe's and enjoying our labor and it's the year that even though we had to look a little harder for the good things, good was there to be found. It's been a year that more than I've witnessed in a long time, that the Lord has shown up and shown out for me as my strength, my Deliverer, my Helper, my Lord.

He is right there for all of us who know Him and love Him, and He can be there for you as well. Do you know Him? I'm easy to find if you'd like to talk—just reach out!

On a lighter note, about this picture of my dining room, would you believe this is the most well‒loved and used table in my home? The boys all eat lunch at this table every single day. I kid you not. I, on the other hand, do not ever sit in there and prefer the kitchen table for the light and the blue tooth speaker.



Friday was Drew's turn at the oral surgeon and his experience was so different. The biggest pain about his was that his sockets wouldn't stop bleeding—once that happened, he was in very little pain. He's taken less medicine and has kept completely to himself since these pictures on Friday. Also, everyone should get them a husband like mine. I moved him to superstar status in our home and never would have survived this without him. He had to change the gauze for both sons because neither had feeling back yet and needed help. That's not my forte. I love that Crash was there beside  Drew while he slept on the couch.


I got these new dog beds for the pups a couple of weekends ago and took this picture of Callie because she NEVER lays on one like this. She always prefers her kennel and she looks hilarious sitting on this. I wish she'd do this more, I love her being in here with us all the time.


I'm still trying to eat healthy. I say "trying" because I've hit a wall I feel like and am out of options of ideas that sound good to me. I'm still avoiding bread as much as possible, but this was whole grain wheat bread, which is better than just white. If you have suggestions, I'd love some. I drink a protein drink for breakfast every morning, then I usually have something similar to this for lunch, though yesterday I had a sweet potato. For dinner I mostly do meat and veggies, and if we have hamburgers, I just eat mine on lettuce with tomato and pickles and a fork and knife. I snack on Skinny Pop and if I'm craving a sweet something I eat either a healthier option of an ice cream treat or I'll eat a pudding cup. I eat all the fruits and veggies I want, though and I'm still trying to eat smaller meals and more often. Other things I'm eating are tortilla chips, a piece or two of sliced cheese (I buy the big blocks of cheese at the grocery store) and almonds or, on rare occasions, a spoon of peanut butter if I'm really hungry. Last week I made some cucumbers with red wine vinegar and a little of olive oil. It was so good! I love pickles and that's what it reminded me of.


Look how cute this picture is I found last week of my sisters and me. I'm the little one on Lisa's lap, then it's Trish and Debi.

Other things not related to dental work: I will miss all the fresh fruits and veggies that the summer months bring.

I am so glad we are already a homeschooling family—I don't say that in jest. I am witnessing all kinds of fear and turmoil on social media for all the friends I know and love who work full time (both parents) and are wondering how "hybrid school" will work. (Two days on campus learning, three days of learning remotely.) I am praying for my friends who are figuring things out and I cannot imagine what they must be feeling trying to navigate this crazy time.

I'm so glad for my Mom. She has been a lifesaver to me twice recently and I always appreciate her listening ear and advice.

Church has been so good lately and I'm so glad we're back in person. These times are strange and I need my church family right now more than ever. Choir practice for us starts back this coming Sunday and I can't wait! I may cry. We're all really close and I've missed them all!

I miss movies...anyone else? I don't go often, but I miss going and eating popcorn and laughing and sitting there with my best friend until they come and turn the lights on to clean up.

Todd brought Chip a new stuffed toy home, and he's the cutest thing ever. This dog loves a squeaky toy and he licks it, carries it around and sleeps with it beside him.

I read this book last week.


It was so good! Too good, actually, because now I'm mad that I'm done with it. If you've never read her books, what are you waiting on? I still need all the good fiction books I can read because the world has officially lost its collective mind.

Speaking of books, I'm starting on a new writing project next week! Our first Bible study as a writing team is in the process of being worked on with the final graphics and such, then it will be printed. I can't wait to hold it and smell it and run my hands over it. We've prayed and decided what to write on for the spring semester of 2021, but I can't say which book it is yet. I can't wait, though! I hope to start reading and studying this week and look forward to getting started next week. The good news is that it'll be our second Bible study as a writing team and it will get a little easier each time. Our Fall 2020 Bible study is open for registration, which is so exciting to me. I have missed being in Bible study with people. I've done it on my own, but it's not the same.

I think I've gotten all caught up. I will try to get back in the habit of blogging again this week in a regular way. If you read this and are on Instagram, look me up and let's be friends that way too! I am JenLloydGoodwin on there. I'll have to approve the request, and will send you one back. Thanks for reading! Love to all.



Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this blog post.

It was a great week...a little different that what I expected for the week, but I'll catch you up in a minute. I'm sharing some favorites from the week: both things that are useful and events or memories.


This is one of my current favorite songs. I had it on repeat most of Thursday. Here it is:


Also on repeat is the song Authority by Elevation Worship, and here's the song below.



I love music, I've mentioned that a time or two.

On a lighter note, this new purse is my current favorite.


I bought it last weekend at Ross' and paid $15 for it. I love a good bargain! Add to that the cute factor, and I'm happy.

I love a good memory, and thanks to Facebook, I get them daily.


One of my favorite things to do with my kids was summer camp. This is Jonah and Noah when they were in about the second grade, and they're still friends with these other boys Ben and Andy. I love long friendships like theirs and consider that a huge gift from the Lord.




Again with the quiet time theme this week...my time with Jesus each morning has been so sweet. I want to encourage you in this—do not neglect this time each day! If you're sick, if you're rushed, if you're frustrated with the world—take the time and spend it with Jesus. You'll never do anything more important. I've been in Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, Proverbs, Psalm...basically all over the place and I have loved every moment. This time with Jesus each morning is my favorite time of day.

Thursday mornings have become my new favorite weekday morning because I've set aside some time in the early morning hours to pray...other than that, it seems a little too sacred to mention anything else about that time with Jesus.

Once again, on a lighter note, coffee is my favorite.


Up until the quarantine, we bought and ground (grinded?) our own coffee beans from Costco. We've used the Don Pablo brand for years, and it's about $14 for a two pound bag. (Todd told me this after he checked—people were asking me on social media.)

Other favorite things from the week include the following:

I spent Saturday with Mom and Trish. Anytime I'm with them is a favorite time.

I listened to an entire podcast on Thursday about books from my childhood. I love Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle, and if you've never listened to their Big Boo Cast, do yourself a favor and listen. They're my favorites. So are all the books they talked about in episode 193—it makes me want to re-read all my childhood favorites like Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High.

My mom and dad-in-love came for dinner Thursday night. Spending time with is always a favorite time. We ate good food, we had good conversation...it was a good night.

I got to see Dad on Friday! I made us lunch again and we stayed here at my house. I love our Fridays.

Some not so favorite moments include Drew being in excruciating pain in his jaw and ear—he went to see our dentist Monday morning and was told he needed to get all four wisdom teeth pulled asap. As does Jonah, but Jonah is not in pain. Thursday morning found them and Todd at an oral surgeon's office and they've scheduled both procedures. Jonah will get his out on Monday morning and Drew on Friday morning. Drew was offered the Monday morning time slot first because he's in pain, but he doesn't want to miss work at all, if he can help it. He's hoping to be able to return on Monday after he recovers some over the weekend.

The Lord did some really cool things regarding all of this, but I'll save that for another day. Will you please join me in praying for them both? I'd love for the procedure to go smoothly and for their recovery to be normal. I am praying and hoping they don't get dry sockets—I had that and I still remember the horrible pain it was. I'd really appreciate your prayers for them both! I plan on stocking up on soft foods for them over the weekend.


Thanks for reading along, friends. Have a great weekend! Love to all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

women in the Word~quiet time edition


Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope your week has been good...as usual, I can't believe it's already Wednesday. I don't know how I manage to stay so busy without working outside of my home, but I do and the days fly by.

I love to share devotional type posts on these days, and I pray they somehow encourage you. I'm going to share a bit of how I have my quiet time each day, and I pray this inspires and encourages you to pray—I always say that prayer is the most under-used tool we have in our spiritual tool box. I really do mean this and the Lord has been faithful to show me the proof of this over my years of walking with Him.

Take this picture below, for instance. I was praying on Monday morning and the Lord caused me to remember this verse. {I believe with all my heart that because His word is in my heart, He often brings it to my mind. I love to memorize Scripture, and that also helps.}


I've written this before, but in case anyone is new here, I always prefer to start my quiet time with prayer. I believe that praying helps still my mind and my heart, and when I pray I like to start by thanking the Lord for the new day. I quickly turn that into praising Him for Who He is and I offer up more thanksgiving throughout that time of adoration—to me, that often goes hand in hand. After that I ask the Lord to show me any sin I have in my heart, like if I was gossipy or judgmental about someone, and I confess that to the Lord and ask Him to forgive me of that and to change me. I pray for myself after this and right off the bat, because as wives and mothers, we are the emotional barometer in the home. An older friend of mine told me this once, Mrs. Teresa, my friend Sunday's mom and I know it's true from being married for almost 24 years and from being a mom for a good portion of that.

How many of you have experienced something like this: your day start out great and you're in a great mood all day long, but then one of your kids smarts off to you and it makes you mad and that's all it takes. You snap and yell {well, this is what happens to me} and when your husband gets home, you're frustrated with the kid still, but instead of talking to him about it and communicating what's going on, he says one thing that you take the wrong way and you lose it on him.

Check out this passage in Ephesians 4:26-30a.

Be angry and do not sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, and odn't give the devil an opportunity. Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has somethign to share with anyone in need. No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. And don't grieve the Holy Spirit.

This is what happens, and this is why it's important to never neglect praying for yourself. An older friend of mine told me that once, because I used to feel selfish praying for myself. She compared it to the flight attendant's speech before the plane leaves the ground: she demonstrates how to use the gear in case of an emergency and they usually say something along the lines of helping yourself first, because if you miss that one step, you will be no good to anyone else. So it is with yourself and praying for yourself. Don't skip that, because nobody else knows what you go through everyday—and why would they? We don't go around broadcasting all of our "ugly".

After this, I pray for my husband, my sons and their future spouses, all the extended family, my faith family and pastor, my friends who are missionaries, and our governing officials. About praying for my husband, though, there are books that every married couple should read either on their own or go through on their own and then share about it together. I'd show you mine, but I don't know exactly where it is. Here's Todd's copy, not that he's ever read the book. 😂 My dad bought him this as a gift for one of our first Christmas events as a married couple.


I had this picture on my phone today because I shared it with a young friend of mine who's getting married next spring. I have worn my copy just about plum out. 

It's vitally important to pray for your husband—nobody else will ever know him like you know him and nobody else knows his business like you do. I feel like when you spend time with Jesus talking about your husband and pouring your heart out to Him about your spouse, that the time you spend doing that is sacred. Our marriages should represent the love of Jesus to others. We should treat each other better than we treat our ownselves and we should always be kind and loving, patient, compassionate and gentle. We should represent the Lord Jesus well to those who don't know Him, and we can do that by honoring God in our marriage. Nobody is perfect in this—I am the furthest from it, but the Lord is faithful to teach me from His word every single day on how I can improve in my role as a wife first, then as a mother, a daughter, sister and friend.

When I was praying on Monday morning, I was thanking the Lord that He is the Giver of every good gift {James 1:17} and everything we need required for life and godliness. That was what I prayed and the Lord reminded me of that verse in 2 Peter 1:3. And speaking of how the Lord reminded me of that verse, the Word of God is living and active—that is from Hebrews 4:12. My pastor says that as you read the Word of God, the Word of God is reading you. That's why a certain verse will jump out at you during your reading.

I like to have a journal or a notebook to help me stay focused when I pray. I don't always do this, but I've learned that I can pray easier when I have a prompt of things to remind me to pray for each day. I use a composition notebook for this, but you can use anything. I use the same list for a few weeks and try to update it once a month; I like to ask friends on social media how I can pray for them on those days when I think about it.

I don't always pray my entire list, but I sure do if I have the time. Did you know that as you draw near to God, He draws near to you? {That is according to James 4:8.} I'll give you an example: lately it seems as I go on and on in prayer, I can sense the presence of God. Now before you get off this page because of this statement, hang with me and read these next sentences. I love to pray God's Word back to Him and it's when I do that, that He seems right there with me. And He is! Read this verse below.


As I abide in Him, I am often reminded that He abides within me! I woke up troubled Saturday morning and I can't explain why, but I prayed Psalm 121 to the Lord as I sat at my kitchen table. Before I even realized it, tears were streaming down my face, because every word out of that Psalm is true—and I know that to be so, deep in my heart. I was humbled and honored that He would choose to sit and have this fellowship with me as I sit here in my kitchen, pouring my heart out to Him. There's nothing magic or mystical about this, by the way. The Lord knows what is in your heart and it's an overwhelming sense of peace and calm that I feel when I sense Him near. I almost feel as if He is wrapping me up tightly in His arms, like my dad used to do when I was a little girl.

Before I end my prayer time, I submit my plans for the day to the Lord, because I love and revere Him. His name is Holy and Awe-Inspiring, the Psalmist tells us. I ask the Lord to teach me from His Word that day, to help me understand what I read and to help me practically apply it to my life. He is always so sweet and faithful to answer this request. I continue to talk to Him all throughout the day and oftentimes, someone will walk in on me doing this. Just ask them if you don't believe me. They also "catch" me worshiping Him in the kitchen or talking to Him fairly loudly as I vacuum. I also pray every Thursday morning at 3:00 for thirty minutes and I've been known to walk my house at night and step into their rooms and pray over them, or at least pray for them at their doorway. I kid you not—just ask my husband and he would confirm all of this to you.

I'm going to wrap this up with all of Psalm 121—it's just a few verses.

I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? 

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.

Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.

The LORD protects you; the LORD is a shelter right by your side. 

The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night.

The LORD will protect you from all harm; he will protect your life.

The LORD will protect your coming and going both now and forever.

I know every word of this to be true. I have experienced it personally and on a very daily basis. There is something coming up for me later today that is way outside of my comfort zone, but I know the Lord will help me to navigate through it.


Thank you for reading this, if you're still here. Love to all.

P.s. I am going to leave you with some worship music that I currently love. I have some version of worship music playing all throughout the day, and some of these songs I listen to as I get dressed or shower or just sit about in the kitchen. I pray they're a blessing to you. The first one is The Blessing by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes, then it's Authority by Elevation Worship, and lastly Graves to Gardens by the same group.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tuesday and Life Lately


Happy Tuesday, friends!

It's been ages since I've done a blog post of random things. I feel like I have #allthethings in my head right now and I need to get them out.

① I am like most people, believe it or not—and like you, maybe, I have #allthethoughts and #alltheopinions on #allthethings going on lately in our world and especially in our country.  That being said, my best and oldest friend lost her dad recently. This is him in the picture below, on the left. Larry was exactly what this picture depicts—loving, hilariously funny, refreshing, always surprising, affectionate, the life of a party, the bright light that lit up a room just when by entering. I can see him in my mind and I can hear his laugh when I look at this picture. This was Dad with him almost one year ago to the day, when they buried my best friend's mom and Larry's wife.



And this is my best friend Stacy pictured with Dad and her sister Paige standing behind Dad. I love their whole family so much, and was so saddened to hear that funerals are still events that are being closed off to anyone but immediate family. I am not okay with not being able to attend the funerals of loved ones right now. I'm not okay with how "they", whoever "they" may be, let other nonsense go on and decide funerals will remain shut down. I think it's ridiculous, and this will probably not gain me any friends, but I am not here to debate about it—it's my blog and my own little private space of the interwebs, and I have the right to voice my own opinion.

Moving right along...

② This picture below shows my youngest son, Noah. He's the one with the white hoodie. In November of last year, his best friend Jacob asked him to go to California with him for about five days. It was the trip of a lifetime! I am so glad Noah got to do this—who'd have known it would be the last time he traveled for a long time? He traveled with Jacob, his mom Amy and Amy's sister in law. Noah worked hard to earn the money for his own plane tickets and to have souvenir money.


They left Memphis way before the crack of dawn and when they landed in LA, they hit the ground running. This is them at Warner Brothers and do you know what this kid told me? I'm laughing. Well, before I tell you what he said, know that he brought home gifts for all of us and mine was a beautiful picture of the skyline of LA. I love it and have it hanging where I see it often. But this is what he told me: that he knows I love the Gilmore Girls and he can't figure out why he didn't buy me a souvenir from that show since he walked through and saw the town of Stars Hollow. 😲

I don't know why either, Noah.

③ I miss my friends that I don't live near. Please note that we do live in the same city, I just stay close by my own home a lot. I'm not sure why I do this, but we go to church two minutes from my home, and I suppose I like to stay in my community. That makes me sound terrible. I just don't get out much.


In this picture above, this is one of my best friends Christa and me. I am pretty sure we met for lunch on this day at a Mexican restaurant and caught up with each other. We do have plans to see each other soon, and I can't wait. Also, on a related note, I miss Mexican food. I'm not going out much these days because it's too hot to wear a mask, and because masks are mandated in my county now. I have asthma and technically could get away with not wearing one, but I hate confrontation, so there you go.

④ I love my summer makeup routine. It's so light and easy. I was wearing a different brand, but I guess it felt a little heavy to me and I decided to stop wearing it for now at least, but maybe forever. After I brush my teeth, I put on my Cerave moisturizer and while that soaks in, I make my bed and fold a load of laundry. Then I use that Elf illuminating primer and let that soak in while I pick out my clothes and hang up things in our closet. I use blush next, then set it all with a tiny bit of powder. After that I do eyeshadow (the brown and then the cream color), eyebrow tint {to fill in where I'm losing them, hello mid-forties}, eyeliner and mascara. That may sound like a lot, but trust me—it's not. It all takes less than five minutes.


Sidenote: this blush that's the orange/peachy color is the best blush I've ever used and it cost $5 from Amazon.

⑤ This is my handsome nephew Austin. He and Mike (his dad and Debi's husband) hiked these mountains a couple of weeks ago, and Mike tagged me in this picture on Facebook. Seeing those mountains makes my lungs hurt, and they were at an altitude of above 13,000 feet. I don't know if you know this about me or not, but remember how I said I have asthma? I do, but I don't struggle with it all the time, I only battle it when I exercise. {I'm rolling my eyes.} Mike had a picture of the number of feet they were above sea level and just seeing that number made my eyes burn.


Also, how cute is he? I've always thought that he resembled Zac Effron. His eyes are beautiful and bright blue, just like his pretty mama's. I don't get to see Austin often, but everytime I do, he always gives me the biggest hug and we just talk and talk like we see each other everyday. {This is so random because I just saw his picture on FB—I'd forgotten all about it.}

⑥ I miss Christmas.


Anyone else? I tried to talk my husband into letting me go ahead and put the Christmas tree back up, but he won't let me. I'm laughing.

⑦ Does anyone other than me need to see this today?


No? Just me? I feel like our entire nation and world need to remember this right now.

⑧ I still love my new purse. I wore it as a crossbody on Sunday night when Noah took me grocery shopping. 💕


⑨ Does anyone need a pool sitter? I would love to swim again soon! I have had two chances so far this summer, one time that a friend nearby let me and a day I swam with my sister Trish a couple of weeks ago.

⑩ I mentioned above that Noah took me grocery shopping Sunday night. I think I had a genius moment and decided to go on Sunday night when the store was empty. The shelves were mostly stocked and there were very few people there. The downside to this is there was only one girl checking out, but on the bright side of that, she was really friendly and crazy fast. So was the young man who bagged my groceries. I love talking to the people at my grocery store and getting to know them.

Well, I think that's about all the random-ness I can handle for one day.  Thanks for reading along!

Love to all.


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