Thursday, September 24, 2009

How's your prayer life?

Honestly, sometimes I struggle in this realm....sure, I offer up the obligatory thank yous, please pray for so and so, forgive me for my sins...blah, blah, blah. I wonder if that's what God hears sometimes from us? I know He doesn't, but I know He longs for us to really have meaningful prayer time. Communication with Him is how we learn more about Him. Sometimes, it is a one-way conversation. I don't take the time to BE QUIET and listen to what He has to say to me!!

Webster's defines prayer as a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession; a devout petition to God.

Spiritual communion? I need lots of practice! What I learned today....prayerless lives = powerless lives. Prayerful lives = powerful lives (thanks Beth Moore!). Prayer turns cowards into conquerors, and constant (get that, constant) communication with Christ give me a continual supply of spiritual strength.

In Matthew 6 Jesus goes out to pray all night - imagine, praying all night. The Greek word for this is dianuktereuo which translates to endure a task through the night; staying/toiling at a task all night.

Have you ever endured praying through the night? Or for even more than 5 minutes? My prayer this week is that I will endure; that I will be on my knees, humbling myself, releasing my pride, and communicate with my Creator. I suppose I'll even be quiet and listen!

In His Grip,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Have you ever tried to catch a hummingbird?

Seriously - have you ever tried to catch a hummingbird? This morning I had the opportunity to practice this fine art. And, let me tell you, it is not easy trying to catch one of these things! They are also not the smartest birds - beautiful, but no brains in that wee little head!

It began when I opened the doors to our screened in deck; apparently, when I let the dogs out, I left the door to the outside open. I was playing with O and I kept hearing this banging noise behind the sofa by the printer. Then our little Jack Russell Terrier, Sparky, started acting nuts. He was running around acting crazy - usually this means one of two things - a thunderstorm is coming or a creature is in his space. Since we've had a lot of storms over the last week, I just ignored him. After 15 minutes I went to investigate.

This is what I found - a hummingbird beating himself to death at my window in the living room trying to get out. Somehow he not only got on the deck but then into the house. This is NOT the first time this has happened, so I knew I was in for a long struggle to get him out. On several occasions we've had to let them die, b/c they just don't want to cooperate; or,perhaps, they don't understand you're trying to help them.

At any rate - this is how you catch a hummingbird inside your house:

Grab a strainer/colander and a flat surface object (I use a cutting board!). When the land, place the strainer over the bird (mind you this is a slow process). Slide the strainer to the edge and have the cutting board ready - the bird/colander should slide right onto the cutting board making a make-shift "trap". Take the bird outside, lift the colander and fly, birdy fly. This whole process can take be as short as 15 minutes or as long as all day -just depends on how rambunctious your bird is. Warning: it can be dangerous, funny, maddening and wild all at the same time.

I tried to get a picture of my adventure this morning but with a crying baby, a wild acting dog, a loose hummingbird and the phone ringing - it just wasn't possible. I can multi-task with the best of them, but that was just too much!

Poor Sparky, no hummingbird snack today.

In His Grip,
Kandi :0)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Quick Post

Just a quick post today - I've been pondering over the last several days our move to the mountains. Here are some quick thoughts....

We moved in March of 2006 - can't believe it has been 3.5 (wonderful) years!

God took our good family situation and made it better - even by moving us away from our families! I'm more equipped to be a mom, and Al is a great, involved dad.

Al struggled to pass his pharmacy test - the source of our income. But, when he (we) both fully put our trust in Him who provides, he passed. The emotional roller-coaster was terrifying, but ended up to be thrilling!

God always provides a way - even if we don't see it OR don't like it!

The mountains are such a beautiful part of God's creation! Every day I marvel at the differences and beauty of each one. And how the clouds are sometimes LOWER than the mountains. I appreciate each season for their own reasons. The beauty and splendor of it all literally leaves me speechless when I comprehend them.

Blessed Olivia - who would have thought! And me, a stay at home mom. What a great joy! Joy unspeakable!

And, friends - friends dear enough to tell you how it is with love and respect. Friends to laugh, cry, get mad with and share with. To enjoy a cup of coffee (tea for me, please, unless of course it is a Spanish Latte!), a shopping trip to Aville, or a cry session. Friends who love me in spite of my sometimes negative attitude, my outspoken manner, my legalism, and my penchant to interrupt. I love them all.

Thank you to all my friends who have made this one of the best decisions we could have ever made! And, most especially, thanks to our Creator, who led us to this small, quiet, and amazing location!

In His Grip,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 it or....

I am a fairly organized person; ok, borderline OCD is more like it! I've tried hard over the years to categorize almost everything in my life into lists; or at least, general ideas of how I think things should go.

In walks Olivia.....throw out the lists, schedules and organization. It has taken me nearly 4 months to get some reasonable organization (read: discipline) back into my life.

In particular, I have struggled to maintain a consistent quiet time with God each day. I know I need to discipline myself into this habit, and it has been difficult. However, we have started Beth Moore's Breaking Free study at church. I have committed to having daily quiet time with God. I NEED this study, but more than the study, I NEED God to communicate with God consistently. It can no longer be a one-way street of my wants as I'm just "passing through" a certain task. Although, I do think it is great to throw those prayers out there when I'm changing diapers, doing laundry, trying to cook or loving a fussy baby.

I have prayed that I will make time each morning for God and to do my homework. I know satan is lurking his ugly head around (notice I said around not in!)my home, but he will NOT prevail! I'm gonna do it with God's help!

Day 1 - Olivia slept like a charm - actually, I woke up at 6, did part of my study, she woke up, nursed her and then put her back down. Finished my study and started working on my memory is good, but I knew it wasn't gonna continue to be so easy!

Day 2 - Olivia woke up at 4:30a - no problem - nursed her, put her back down, did my study, back in bed by 6:30a! Love it....

Day 3 - Not sleeping good, Olivia woke up twice during the night (which she hasn't done in FOREVER)-satan is that you knocking? Go away - we are protected! Struggled to get up and 6:30 to do study, but I DID it! Dragging big time today, but so glad I'm learning about Isaiah.

Day 4 - what will you bring? It doesn't matter, because no weapon formed against me will prevail!!

Maybe this sounds a little legalistic, but I do believe discipline is important. I know after a while, discipline will become habit and habit is my goal once again! An item to be added to my daily list.

In His Grip,

Isaiah 61:1 - The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chonda Pierce

Several of us girlfriends went to see the Chonda Pierce show in Franklin last night. It was a great night with friends, and a wonderful opportunity to hear clean, Christian comedy.

Chonda is a PK (preacher's kid) who grew up in Ashland City, Tn. Her new tour is title "This ain't Prettyville" and she sang a song with this title....needless to say, it was hysterical. Chonda throws no pretenses and tells you like it is.

She grew up Nazarene, married a Baptist, and goes to a Pentecostal church! Now, if that's not funny, I don't know what is! She claims she has been saved 342 times! lol

Her jokes had us laughing so hard we were crying. My cheeks hurt so bad from laughing at one point! One of my favorite jokes is when she calls her husband's GPS "Jezebell 1500"! Too funny....

She had 3 other guest speakers who were equally funny. I was impressed that the show lasted 3.5 hours...can you imagine laughing for almost a full 3.5 hours? That's what we did!

My favorite part of the show is when she shares her testimony....this woman was physically, mentally and sexually abused by her father, a preacher. She committed herself to rehab 4 years ago and is "Breaking Free" from her past. And, how she can take something so serious and life shattering and make it funny is beyond me. All I know is God has blessed this woman with a gift of laughter, which has helped her in the healing process.

One important point she made was that churches need to realize that people in their congregations are suffering - sexual abuse, pornography, alcohol, drugs, etc. And, as a church we need to not only help these people BUT also "WALK WITH THEM THROUGH THE RECOVERY". So many times the church pushes these things under the rug and attaches stigmas to people. God loves us just the way we are; his love makes us want to change to be more like him. Help the people around you, don't just speak the words - SHOW them the love of Christ.

Now, the evening would not be complete if I didn't share our own funny little story. I know God is gracious and has a sense of humor, and I know he has forgiven us for our momentary lapse of seriousness. At the end of the show, Chonda says a wonderful prayer - she talks about Christ on the cross at Calvary, what we can do to become one of his, etc....very beautiful words....BUT....I'm afraid we missed some of it. You see the gentleman in front of us "passed gas" right at the beginning of the prayer when everyone was just getting quiet. Let me back up and explain that it was myself, Alicia, Alicia's mom, Vickie, and Val. Well, Alicia, Val and I just cracked up laughing - we were crying and not fully paying attention to the prayer. And poor Vickie, just thought we were being so disrespectful during the prayer. She even leaned over and was patting us like she would some young kids to get us to behave....which of course made us laugh even harder. We were able to explain it to her later, but oh my, it was too funny!

I encourage you to check out Chonda's website, cd's, videos, etc and to go and see her if she is ever in your area. I promise you, you will have a great time!

In His Grip,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am so blessed.....

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. It was a wonderful day! I began my day with a mani and a pedi - how relaxing! Then I took a nap with my spouse and the O Show. After a nice relaxing nap we went to the park by the river. Despite the gnats, it was an amazing afternoon! Above are a few pics from our time at the park.

After the park, we went to church where I helped with the youth; teenage girls to be exact. They are a great group, but will wear you out! I'm excited at the opportunity to work with them this year!

The O Show went with the babysitter while Al and I went out to eat. Imagine my disappointment when I found out my favorite dining place was closed! Bummer! I assumed they were closed for the holiday week as they were last year. Nope - they are closed for good! They had the best steak in town to me. After a mediocre steak at another local place and a $90 tab (with no drinks! or dessert!), we headed to the grocery store.

Al assumed we would get dessert at dinner, so he did not plan for a cake. Knowing my desire for buttercream icing, I bought some double stuffed oreos and some buttercream icing....the next best thing to Brad's cake. (A friend who is a caterer and makes THE best cakes ever!).

After we picked up the O Show and got her to bed, we sat out on the deck - me and my oreos and buttercream icing.....I asked Al to stick a candle in the icing, but he just laughed. Go figure!

Today, my best girlfriends took me to lunch - it was great to get everyone together, and the best part of all, was I got a Brad cake!!! Chocolate mousse raspberry with vanilla buttercream icing! Oh my - it was all so fantastic.

Thank you Lord for the blessings of great family, good food, great friends, and GREAT cake!!

In His Grip,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What? It's not about me???

Why is it so hard for me to comprehend that this whole parenting thing isn't about me? my schedule? my wants? or my needs? I KNOW that it is not about me internally, but somehow the message doesn't quite reach my brain!

I'm reading a book by Stormie Omartian on how to become a praying parent....what an eye opening book! I can't make it past chapter 2!! I struggle to give up everything, and I mean EVERYTHING to God. I have to quit trying to make things about me, my life, and my worries, fears and anxieties (and my schedule!).

I'm learning that it is ok, that we don't do the same things at the same time each day, that nap time is totally precious, and that sometimes O just wants to be held, to be held!

I'm learning to be flexible, follow cues, and thank God for EACH moment; even the trying when I couldn't figure out the poor kid had gas! I would love to know what goes through her brains at times like those!

My prayer today is to learn not to be upset when my schedule and plans don't follow what I think they should; and to learn to turn ALL things over to God in the rearing of this child. He has entrusted her care to us, and we can do it with HIS blessing and help.

In His Grip,