Jun 8, 2012

Friday SHINE....


Today's Reading: Job 37

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls!

Wow, what a week!

I cannot even begin to tell you how I have tried to be "intentional" in everything that I did this week!I Girls, being intentional makes a difference! Big time! I could post on this every single day for the rest of my life! Truly, I could.

Being intentional changes everything. It give us purpose each day. It reminds us to pray, serve, give, worship, have fun, etc!

As I surrounded myself with small reminders this week to pray; by the second day, the reminders were not needed. My mind was already programmed on auto-pray. It was fantastic! Who knew?!

Oh, and how about the intentional serving! Wow! I have heard from many of you. I have heard  your incredibly inspiring stories about how YOU served yesterday!  I am blown away by your intentional serving little hearts! YOU are making a difference! Yes, YOU!

Today, our Fun Friday Challenge:

Be intentional about Gratitude. 


Daily, I try to pound this into my children's little blonde heads. I could certainly use some SHINE-ing up in the gratitude department as well.

Thank the Lord today for your LIFE! Thank Him for another day to be intentional!

Tell a friend, spouse, or your child how GRATEFUL you are for them! Even if you tell them every single day already...tell them again! (it never gets old!)

Gratitude truly changes everything around you. It changes your perspective  and it is completely contagious. I love hanging out with a humble, gratuitous girl! It inspires me! Every.Single.Time.

Speaking of gratitude, my incredibly awesome friend, Rebekah, will be posting today. I am grateful for her willingness to always share her heart with all of us. She is always truthful and forthright, and I could not be MORE grateful for this friend!

Be blessed, my SHINE friends.



Be kind, Rewind
by: Rebekah Vepraskas

Do you have the mommy overload?  Kids are home for the summer and you are wondering if you are going to have time to do your job.  To start with: clean the kitchen, fold clothes, make dinner, clean some more, take everyone swimming, pack for vacation, unpack from vacation, more laundry, entertain your kids again, everyone to the park! Outta juice, outta bread, outta milk, again. How did the toilet get so dirty? Did I already put sunscreen on the kids? When is vacation Bible school…?  (>insert a mini-mommy-melt-down here.<)

Even during the school year, it is always tough on momma to get it all done.  Where is the smile on my face?  Where is the awareness to soak it all in and enjoy these little booger bears?  Even as single folks, married women without kids and grandparents, we all get bogged down by life.  We do!!!  Satan wants us to be drowning in our own quick sand.

I received an email from a fellow mother and friend who is now a mom of 2 kiddos this weekend.  My friend’s second child is just a few months old.  She is drowning.  She is.  She doesn’t like how she is feeling, she feels like she isn’t the person, mom, housekeeper and wife she wishes she was.  Her email sounded so familiar.  She sounded like me. She is defeated each morning before she even gets started. Don’t you know that Satan is doing the happy dance when we get to that point as women?  Defeated.  I think as our children get older, we get used to this feeling and let it rest in our lives and affect every aspect of who we are.  Not every day, but when it gets us, it gets us.  It’s true.

A week or two ago I felt totally overwhelmed by the ending of school.  There were too many gifts to purchase, special events to attend, and sweet, dear details to remember.  I love details so this overwhelming feeling and not being able to enjoy these moments, stole my joy.  Also, I have been working nights, for about 3 months now, so mere sleep deprivation complicated each day and increased my defeated feeling.
This is the clincher.  I woke up on a Thursday of this particular week and I heard in my spirit, “you haven’t taken time to be grateful all week.” Whoa Nelly! That hurt. . . It was true. I had my mommy, defeated, gotta-get-it-done, stop watch timed blinders on. (I use these blinders so much that I should probably have some pretty fancy, “blingy” blinders by now, sequined, rhinestoned, monogrammed.) You know what I am talking about?!

Soaking in Job that week, I read this over and over again:

“How I long for the months gone by,
    for the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone on my head
    and by his light I walked through darkness!
 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
    when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
 when the Almighty was still with me
    and my children were around me,
 when my path was drenched with cream
    and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil. . .”
Job 29:2-6

In Job’s moment of despair, all he wanted was his life back.  You know, the normal, same-same life Job had before the testing of his faith. (Although it was pretty fantastic, it was Job’s ordinary life.)
It made me think, modern-day, about my friend, David Boyd.  All he wanted was his health back and his life back, to be cancer free. He reminded others of this, quietly and in an encouraging way, but it always fell on me with a thud.  Mostly because I realized that I was generally pretty ungrateful to be in my own cancer free life.

When we are ungrateful with blinders, we aren’t praying for others and engaged in God’s goodness. It’s a spiritual standstill.

So, when we have everything that God has blessed us with “when my path is drenched with cream” and we have our health or at least we are still alive to enjoy those gifts, are we grateful?  Are we mindful and aware of our gratitude and gifts? Are we able to rest in that and let the details of 2012 fall away.  Because in the end, those details that plague me, tell me I am not a good mother, not a good wife, not a good friend, and that everyone else does it better than me—all of those details will be forgotten one day.  They don’t matter at all. My kids will remember if I was kind, mindful and aware of them and their needs.  I am pretty sure the laundry and toilets won’t care too much.

It’s worth pointing out that we don’t have to be in a reverent moment of prayer to express gratitude. We can talk to God all day long and thank Him for every detail that is good. He provided them ALL. He loves our expressions of praise and gratitude. We can and should thank Him. Let’s rewind and start with gratitude.
James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change.”

With love and blinder free,
Rebekah

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous6/08/2012

    I love you Rebekah and your heart to make a difference!! Each day is a gift, a good and perfect gift:) When we choose to live life with eyes wide open, we are more aware of others. We are stopped during the day. We are reminded of God's goodness. Thank you for always inspiring us to rewind our mind--to think daily about our purpose here on Earth and to be grateful for all things! MAy God shower you today with love and stop you to see His blessings pouring over you and yours!! <3 love you always! erin <3

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  2. Taking my blinders off.....thank u friend<3!

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  3. Anonymous6/08/2012

    What an awesome post by both of you! Couldn't be better timing for us all I'm sure! And the freedom that comes with taking those blinders off is worth every bit. Just last night I was thinking of David and how he would give anything to be here to watch his babies grow and be with his wife and family. Can't tell you how thankful I am that we are all going through this together, and making the MOST of each day!!!! That is what He wants us to do. Thank y'all and love y'all!!! Love, Sarah

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  4. I am truly blessed by this today! Thank you!
    Erin D.

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  5. Anonymous6/08/2012

    Being Grateful for my Life and what GOD has blessed me with. This website has helped my relationship with the LORD grow so much. Thank you so much for starting the SHINE group and I am so grateful for this website and my friend Elizabeth who sent that email asking people to join. Thank you all!!! I LOVE this group!!! It inspires me everday!!! MeLissa Allen

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  6. Give thanks with a grateful heart...haven't heard that wonderful hymn in awhile. Love it that Holy Spirit said..."you haven't taken time to be grateful all week." Love that He loves you so much that He told you that He missed your normal gratefulness! Love it that when you heard Him and did what He said to do that there was that wonderful peace and joy that comes when we obey Him! There's only one cure for depression or anxiety or just plain dissatisfaction and that is JOY!! And, how do we get it? That simple child's song..."If you want joy, you must clap for it...or dance for it ... or shout for it...Rejoicing may be easy when all is going my way, but He tells us to rejoice always and again He says REJOICE!!! How? I mean how, when we have the blues...when we are down...when we have suffered loss...?? By "intentionally" ...love this word, Jill...I mean we have to intentionally make a joyful sound. David said it so well in the Psalm 103...Bless the LORD, O my soul!!! and all that is within me...Bless His Holy Name!!! Whether I sing it or say...speak aloud...the louder the better...through the house...in every room...while I'm doing the things I don't want to do...the spirit of heaviness...leaves...why? Because I have put on the garment of praise!!! The LORD inhabits our praise...and the enemy has to flee..Give thanks with a grateful heart!! Woo Hoo!!! Thanks Beka!!!

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  7. Melissa Martin6/10/2012

    Great post, Rebekah! It couldn't have come at a better time for me - we are moving this weekend & my detail-oriented self is feeling a bit too ungrateful. I am going to start today being grateful for all of the things I have to pack and unpack :) Let's get our grateful hearts together with Jill and do something fun soon! Melissa

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  8. Anonymous6/10/2012

    Bek, this was a wonderful "Stop and smell the roses" moment. It is such a good reminder for all of us ladies from age 13 to age 80 and beyond. Every day is precious even if it did not go the way we wanted it to or planned it. One day a nice man said something very meaningful to me - the mama who was busy with a houseful of children, laundry to do, dishes to wash, and bills to pay. He realized that I was overloaded with responsibilities and many duties. He was married for the second time to a very nice woman and he loved her. But he said, "The happiest time of my life was when my first wife, the mother of my children, was still alive and we were struggling to pay the bills and raise our kids, and feeling overloaded with cares." I have never forgotten what he said. I pray that we will let our light so SHINE that others may see Jesus in us and glorify our Father in Heaven. Every day I want to wake up thankful to be alive and able to go places and do things and to be grateful to God for His blessings. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow". O, Father God, rewind us up today and fill us with overflowing praise as you fill us with joy in our children and grandchildren and all the "chores" that must be done. Grant us grace to lay aside the worries of tomorrow and just relish and enjoy today. Gloria Hudgins

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  9. Ashley Moon6/13/2012

    I'm catching up today!! Love your post!!!

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Your comments are welcome!