EXERCISE- you must EXPERIENCE if for YOURSELF for it to CHANGE YOU!!!

shirt

This is the beginning of yet another summer vacation for me.  I have been an elementary school teacher for the past 18 years and I absolutely LOVE my job in the summertime!!!  😉

I enter each new summer break with BIG plans and BIG goals.  Those goals are normally centered around my health.  I tend to spend lots of my time THINKING  about working out.  I come up with “game plans”……  I buy cute new exercise outfits….. and I search Google looking for the PERFECT exercise regime!!!  It is amazing, but somehow I FEEL healthier through all this PLANNING!!!! By watching the snippets of the exercise DVDs and READING about how OTHERS found  success USING these programs I momentarily FEEL like I have actually DONE something!!!!

What happens next probably won’t surprise many of you.  After ALL of this, I normally DON’T actually EXPERIENCE the ACT of EXERCISING, and as a result I do not EXPERIENCE any CHANGE in my personal health!! Even though I FELT healthier momentarily by THINKING about getting active, I did not actually GET any healthier!!!!  I was still EXACTLY the SAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!

This summer WILL BE  the SUMMER!!!!  I WILL DO THIS!!!!!  As a first step, I ordered an exercise DVD from Amazon today.  I plan this week to get me a cute new exercise outfit….. GAME ON SUMMERTIME!!!!  This time I will finish VICTORIOUS!!!  😉

As I ordered my DVD I had a realization…….

Just as we HAVE to PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE the act of EXERCISING for it to actually CHANGE us.

We  have to ALSO PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE God’s LOVE and FORGIVENESS…………for IT to CHANGE US!!!!!

Experiencing IT for OURSELVES is VITAL!!!!

Think about it for a moment:  I WAS NOT changed by WATCHING other people exercise on the DVD snippets,

in the same way we are not CHANGED by simply WATCHING others experience God’s love.

We HAVE TO MAKE HIS LOVE OUR OWN…. let GOD  ENTER us PERSONALLY and CHANGE US!!!!!!

___________________________________________________________________________________

I am going to CONNECT this with parenting…..

Recently I have heard many worried parents of teenagers and young adults discuss the fact that their children seem to be “drifting” from God.  This is scary for a parent.  We ALL want the best for our children!  We WANT them to have DEEP meaningful relationships with God!  We LOVE THEM!!!  We worry about them!  We don’t want them to EVER hurt or stumble.

The more I reflect on this the more I realize that sometimes  they may need to stumble and hurt………

My reason comes from this thought:

In order for THEIR faith to be GENUINE and BELONG to THEM, they may need to “test” it occasionally.  Their relationship with God cannot be based on THEIR PARENT’S faith or experiences with God, our children MUST EXPERIENCE God for themselves!  This PERSONAL EXPERIENCE is needed….just like we CAN’T get HEALTHIER just by WATCHING exercises DVDs, our children CAN’T grow STRONGER in faith just from drawing from OUR FAITH!

Think about YOUR personal relationship with God.  How did it DEVELOP? How did it GROW STRONGER?  If you are like me you may have had to LOOK in all the WRONG places before you REALIZED how much you PERSONALLY NEEDED GOD!

It took my various stumbles and pain for me to  REALIZE how desperately I NEEDED GOD….  for me to finally admit that I  NEEDED Him to CHANGE ME!   I had seen the faith of my mom, and I appreciated it…..  BUT, her faith did not CHANGE me!

I had to EXPERIENCE God’s LOVE for me myself before I was genuinely CHANGED!!!

KEEP LOVING YOUR CHILD!  KEEP PRAYING!!!!  This season may be difficult, BUT it is just a SEASON!!!!

Our children may just leave this season STRONGER, HEALTHIER and EVEN CLOSER to God than they ever were before!!!

What are your thoughts?????

******  I am in NO means condoning bad decisions!  It is our job as parents to redirect our children when they go astray****

John 4:42

and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”

 

BEWARE of PIRATES!!!!

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

pirate

Recently I heard some fascinating trivia about pirates.  It involves pirate’s eye patches.  Have you ever wondered WHY pirates wore eye patches???? Well,  It was NOT because they were missing an eyeball (as I once thought)….  The reason for the patch was to help their EYES adapt to the DARKNESS easier….

Here is some info from the website….  mentalfloss.com

The fact that some pirates wore eye patches most likely had nothing to do with a missing eye, and everything to do with being able to see—specifically, above decks and below them.

Jim Sheedy, a doctor of vision science and director of the Vision Performance Institute at Oregon’s Pacific University, told the Wall Street Journal that while the eyes adapt quickly when going from darkness to light, studies have shown that it can take up to 25 minutes for them to adapt when going from bright light to darkness, which “requires the regeneration of photo pigments.”

Pirates frequently had to move above and below decks, from daylight to near darkness, and Sheedy says the smart ones “wore a patch over one eye to keep it dark-adapted outside.” When the pirate went below decks, he could switch the patch to the outdoor eye and see in the darkness easily (potentially to fight while boarding and plundering another vessel).

When I learned this trivia about pirates- I immediately connected it to PEOPLE of today!!!!  Our life may not consist of individuals sailing the seas looking for BOOTY, BUT we are STILL surrounded by PIRATES!!!  Not LITERALLY, of course- but more FIGURATIVELY… Some people wear an invisible eye patch!  They SEEM to live a Christian life, BUT if you watch closely…  their ACTIONS scream DARKNESS!!!! These people are VERY tricky!!  They have the ability to LURE you BELOW DECK before you can even say, AHOY MATE!!!  These pirates SEEM to care about YOU and appear to share the same VALUES you share- BUT their EYE PATCH tells a DIFFERENT story!!!!

What to LOOK for to IDENTIFY a PIRATE….

1.  IF the person DOES not care about THEIR relationship with God- they DEFINITELY DO NOT care about YOURS!……THEY ARE A PIRATE!!!

2. IF you are married seeking advice, BUT the person you are SEEKING it from DOES NOT CARE about their OWN marriage….  THEY ARE A PIRATE!!!

3.  IF you are single and you are wanting to find a HEALTHY relationship, BUT you are hanging out with people who DO NOT desire healthy relationships- YOU ARE HANGING OUT WITH PIRATES!!!!

Pirates today may SAY the right words….  they may be ever SO WILLING to listen to you, comfort you, entertain you…….  BUT-  WATCH CLOSELY…..keep your EYES OPEN- their “PATCH” will BE REVEALED!!!!

PRAY FOR THE PIRATES, BUT BY ALL MEANS….  STAY CLEAR of those “eye patch wearing men and women”… or YOU TOO may be WALKING THEIR PLANK!!!!!

What are your thoughts????

Twinkles, Blinks and………….. DEADLY Winks!!!!

firefly

Fireflies TWINKLE out of necessity.

It is their way to attract other fireflies and eventually mate.

According to the website:   http://insects.about.com/od/beetles/a/10-Cool-Facts-About-Fireflies.htm

Fireflies “talk” to each other using light signals.
Fireflies don’t put on those spectacular summer displays just to entertain us. You’re actually eavesdropping on the firefly singles bar. Male fireflies cruising for mates flash a species-specific pattern to announce their availability to receptive females. An interested female will reply, helping the male locate her where she’s perched, often on low vegetation.

This seems beautiful doesn’t it??  

BUT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

There is MORE to the story….  

There is a WARNING  in this next part that we MUST HEAR!

(imagine the theme of “Jaws” playing in the background as you read this next section)

DUN…. DUN….DUN… DUN… DUN…  DUN…. (that is the music)

Female fireflies sometimes mimic the flashes of other species.
The well-known femme fatales in the genus Photuris use a trick called aggressive mimicry to make meals of other fireflies. When a male firefly of another genus flashes its light signal, the female Photuris firefly replies with the male’s flash pattern, suggesting she is a receptive mate of his own species. She continues luring him in, closer and closer, until he’s within her reach. Then she eats him!

YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

THIS part SURELY WASN’T BEAUTIFUL!!!

What can WE possibly learn from all of this BUG-related  bloodshed you ask??!!??? 

There are TWO obvious lessons:

1. Not everyone who seems to TWINKLE at us has our best interest at heart!!!!

2. Some of them just want to EAT US!!!

How many times are we “lured” in by a TWINKLE????!!!??? A new potential friendship or romantic relationship may look SO tempting to us at first glance.  We may be drawn in for closer look  ….

THEN IN A BLINK- WE ARE DEAD…..

not literally…..

but  spiritually….

We need to BE AWARE of who is TWINKLING at us!

We need to take the time to look for the SOURCE of the LIGHT!!!

Consider the verse in the Bible….

2 Corinthians 11:14 : No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Are you SEEING the connection now????!!!???  Satan can DISGUISE himself as LIGHT!!!!

HE  CAN  TWINKLE!!!

We live in a “FOREST”, my friends!!! ……  a world full of deadly  TWINKLES, BLINKS and WINKS!!!  🙂

Be CAREFUL out there!!!!

DEEP thoughts on PRAYER…. and Toilet Paper!!!

dog tissue

I Have an ISSUE with the TISSUE!!!!

Did you know some of the biggest debates in history have occurred over TOILET PAPER???  Countless arguments and heated discussions have been documented about which way the much needed tissue should HANG on its holder. Marriages have CRUMBLED!!!  Cities have COLLAPSED!!!!

Proper tissue use is such a HUGE issue- it even has its own Wikipedia article!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper_orientation

Here is a snippet:

Toilet paper when used with a toilet roll holder with a horizontal axle parallel to the floor and also parallel to the wall has two possible orientations: the toilet paper may hang over (in front of) or under (behind) the roll; if perpendicular to the wall, the two orientations are right-left or near-away. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference, dictated by habit. In surveys of US consumers and of bath and kitchen specialists, 60–70 percent of respondents prefer over.[1]

While many people consider this topic unimportant, some hold strong opinions on the matter. Advice columnist Ann Landers said that the subject was the most controversial issue in her column’s history. Defenders of either position cite advantages ranging from aesthetics, hospitality, and cleanliness to paper conservation, the ease of detaching individual squares, and compatibility with a recreational vehicle or a cat. Celebrities are found on both sides. Some writers have proposed connections to age, sex, or political philosophy, and survey evidence has shown a correlation with socioeconomic status.

As I am reading all of this, I have a VERY DEEP AND IMPORTANT OBSERVATION…..

Even though people do NOT always agree about the proper METHOD and USE of toilet paper- EVERYONE STILL USES IT!!!!

NOBODY I know lets the hanging “details” stop them from WIPING!!!

This realization brings me to a question:

Why isn’t it the same with our PRAYER LIVES?????

TOILET PAPER is NO more IMPORTANT and NO more NEEDED than PRAYER!!!

So…..  Why do we let the “details” STOP us from praying???

Why do we get so caught up debating (with OURSELVES) the PROPER way to pray- that we end up NOT PRAYING AT ALL!!!!???

We get so worried about doing it wrong, so we just DON’T DO IT!!!!!

Now- Let’s relate this ISSUE to our tissue…

What IF we did THIS with our toilet paper, my friends!!!!????!!!!

What IF we got SO caught up in “doing” it properly that we just STOPPED doing it?

What if we discontinued WIPING altogether!!!!!???!!!!

I am laughing as I am considering this, BUT through This (T) ISSUE, I have learned an important lesson…  I get TOO caught up in the details!!  The Lord of the Universe has given me FREE access to talk to Him anytime I want to or NEED to!!!

I need to STOP concerning myself with thoughts that my prayers aren’t LONG enough, or ELOQUENT enough, or that my prayers may not have all the REQUIRED parts- I just need to PRAY!!!!

The prayer “roll” is hanging right there in front of me- and sometimes I DON’T “WIPE”. I spend A LOT of time thinking about WIPING- planning my WIPING, feeling guilty about NOT wiping- WHEN I should just GRAB the “ROLL” and WIPE!!!!

What are your thoughts????

What am I Doing With My Spoon?????!!!!!

spoon and bookls

I just had a fabulous weekend away with four of my dearest friends.  We spent 2 days in the beautiful mountains of Dillard, Ga. While there our time was focused on seeking God’s voice and direction for our futures.  Saturday morning we discussed what each of us was needing most from God at that moment.  My answer was His LOVE.  I spend so much time reading and studying His word in a quest to FIND His love.  I want my studies to bring me MORE than knowledge- I want my studies to bring me HIM!!!  I YEARN to FEEL God!  I want an INTIMATE relationship with Him!  I DESIRE to feel Him!!!!

As we walked around the town Saturday, we were intentionally LOOKING for what we needed most.  I was searching for LOVE.  There was an arts and crafts fair taking place in the heart of town- we decided to take our QUEST there!  If God was going to talk to us today, SURELY it would be through cute arts and crafts!  I mean we ARE girls.  Girls DO love to shop!  God is known to MEET you wherever you are- right??!!????  HE would surely know to FIND us at the arts and crafts fair!!!!!!  🙂 🙂 🙂

The more I looked, the more discouraged I became.  There was NOTHING talking to me!   I saw no hand-made soaps or beautifully crocheted kitchen dish towels that validated that my heavenly Father loved me. I was disappointed, I was hungry, I needed to go the the “ladies” room- SO we decided to end our quest.

As we were walking to our car, we spotted one last booth- it contained BEAUTIFUL antique jewelry and adorable spoon bracelets!  I was CAPTIVATED by the beauty!  The spoon bracelets were SO unique and GORGEOUS!!!  Each one different!!  Each one carrying a family’s heritage with it!  As I gazed at the beautiful bracelets, I imagined grandmothers surrounded by generations of their loved ones.  These bracelets were so much than spoons and pearls, they were HISTORY!  There was a STORY behind each one!!  I KNEW I HAD to have one!!!  I HAD to wear this part of history on my wrist!  I may not know the stories the spoon held, BUT I HAD to carry it on me at all times!!!!  It was not a sign that God loved me, BUT it did signify LOVE- the LOVE of families- past, present, and future!!!!

It is now Sunday morning, I am sitting in bed waiting for my friends to wake-up.  I am still focused on my bracelet.  Could the SPOON be even more significant than I first thought???  Did God guide me to the bracelet for a BIGGER purpose????  I decided to GOOGLE Biblical importance of spoons- I found a GREAT parable- not in the Bible, but with a Christian message.  Here it is:

The Parable of the Spoon

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, “Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like. “The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, “You have seen Hell.”

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, “I don’t understand.” “It is simple” said the Lord, “it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. While the greedy think only of themselves.”

– See more at: http://www.spiritual-short-stories.com/spiritual-short-story-360-Parable+of+the+Spoons.html#sthash.Wdr1HUBu.dpuf

As I read the parable I began thinking-

WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY SPOON????

Am I studying and searching ONLY to feed ME ??

I think God wants to remind me of the importance of FEEDING others.

As He SHOWS me more of His love (which He will)- I do NOT need to hoard it- I MUST share it!!!!  Love SHARED grows!  🙂 🙂 🙂

What are your thoughts??

What do YOU do with YOUR spoon????

Here is the website for spoon bracelets:  http://www.shelleysfamilyjewels.com/Home_Page.php