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,

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