I have a great Christmas gift idea

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I hate to jinx myself but I think it’s safe to finally go public with some exciting news.

I am publishing a devotional book.

No, really, I am. For reals. This is the real deal. Really.

I know, I’ve said this a million times, but thankfully God will not let me give up on this dream. Since I’ve been off work the past … well almost 2 months, God has continued to bring it to my mind and has allowed me time to finish the final editing and all the other stuff needed to get it done. My in-house editor, aka Pat, is doing one last look over and then it will be ready for purchase!

I am using a self-publishing company – one that I was reminded of by mom and dad after they died. That’s right, after.

The Christmas before they died they got me a gift certificate to Blurb. They knew I wanted to publish a devotional book and thought I could do a mini one as a sort of trial. Well, of course, I never did use the gift certificate.

Last year I was cleaning out files or boxes or something and I came across the gift certificate. I couldn’t believe I still had it. And imagine my surprise when I go to their website and they do self-publishing and will handle all the selling and processing and all that fun stuff.

Thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you, Jesus.

The title of the book is Bigger Than Overwhelmtion and it will be $10. I’m hoping to eventually have them available for sale at my church and possibly Crossroads (not sure how that works). Otherwise, they will be available on the Blurb website.

I will keep you posted when it’s ready for purchase. It won’t be anything fancy and I won’t be making much on it, but my heart’s desire is for even just one person to be encouraged and find hope and healing through whatever overwhelmtion they may be facing. God has already turned my ashes into beauty and I pray through this book, He will do so even more.

Thank you to so many who have continued to pray for me and encourage me over the years. You know who you are and I love you much!

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There’s a bee in the ceiling of my car

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So we were on our way to school this morning. The kids were in the back not fighting or yelling and I was enjoying listening to the radio music.

And then I saw it.

Right above my head, just a few inches from me where the ceiling of the car meets the windshield, I saw a wing. Thinking it was probably a fly, I look closer, only to see that it was a bee.

I force myself to not scream or say or do anything for that matter. Angel is deathly afraid of bees and I knew if she saw or realized what was going on, she could completely freak out and then Caleb would freak out and then I would freak out and then we’d probably crash, and hello Jesus.

He didn’t move much so I figured I was safe. And then he started crawling out from the little gap and onto the ceiling. I leaned as far back in my seat as I could, again, trying not to alarm Angel or the bee.

Holding my breath for what seemed like a hour, I prayed to Jesus that the bee wouldn’t fly into my face or fly anywhere for that matter. And just like that, the bee walked back to the edge of the ceiling and windshield. And then he disappeared.

We finally arrived at school and I told the kids goodbye, I love you, have a good day, and I couldn’t believe they didn’t see the bee or figure out what was going on. Thank you Lord for small miracles.

After the kids were gone, I stuck my head up close to the windshield and I couldn’t see anything. Where in the world… and then I realized that little bugger crawled into the ceiling. Who knows who else was up there with him. He probably had an entire family in the ceiling planning how they were going to destroy my family.

I texted Pat, “There’s a bee in the ceiling of my car.”

He replied back, “K.”

Really?

Ok, so maybe this wasn’t as big an ordeal as I thought it was. And hopefully the bee and his family would stay in their comfy, warm home until Pat got off work tonight.

Now don’t go anywhere, I think there is more to this story than the bee and my high level of crazy.

I was thinking about that bee and how he snuck up on me. Before I knew it, he was right in front of my face. Who knows how long he had been hiding in my car ceiling.

I think temptation and sin is a lot like that. The bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

I’ve always been amazed at that verse and the picture it paints. Normally a roaring lion would be pretty hard to miss – but we are told to be alert and of sober mind. I think that’s because we allow so many things to distract us and before we know it the devil is right there ready to pounce.

We will all face temptation. Don’t be misled to think you won’t. That’s the first way the devil tricks us. And then we need to be alert and realize that in our temptation, there is a way out. Jesus provides us with strength and protection, when we trust in him.

So I’m trusting in Jesus today that he will lead me. I’m also praying that whatever temptation you may face today, or maybe are facing right this minute, that you will call out to Jesus. He is there.

And thank you Mr Bee for the good lesson today. But you’re still dead when my husband gets home.

 

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Let go of the steering wheel

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On the way to bring kids to school this morning I started thinking about, aka freaking out about, our financial situation. What could I sell, what could we do, to get by another week?

I’ve been off work that past six weeks and we’ve fallen deeper and deeper into holy crap how are we going to pay rent/utilities/car payment, etc. mode. Thankfully I started a new job yesterday, so that is good, but for today and the next and the next, things are still really tough.

As I was freaking out, God spoke to me. Just one word: trust.

I looked down at my hands on the steering wheel and they were tightly clenched. God told me to just let go. Figuratively, of course. But I did let go for a few seconds, just to feel the release.

Questions and doubt and fear ran through my mind. But God spoke just one word: trust.

He wants to drive me through this crazy thing called life. Just let go of the steering wheel. I envisioned myself completing letting go and stretching my arms out. Releasing my questions and doubt and fear.

I can do this. I can trust. By His strength. Even when nothing makes sense. Even when I just want to run and hide. Even when life is hard and questions go unanswered. Even when you think you’ve done everything right but everything still turns out wrong.

Trust.

I continued to loosen my hands on the steering wheel. Let go. God is in control. He walks with me. He will provide.

I turned on the radio and a song by Lauren Daigle came on.

Of course it did. Thank you Jesus.

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Shoes

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I’ve never walked in the shoes of a police officer. I’ve never walked in the shoes of a black man.

Twitter and Facebook and the morning news tell me how to react, how to think, how to feel. But I’ve never walked in their shoes. So how is it possible, how is it right for me to judge the actions of a police officer or a black man?

There are so many shoes that I walk in. There are also so many shoes I don’t walk in. I’m often quick to judge, especially those whose shoes I’ve never walked in.

I’ve never walked in the shoes of a homeless person. I’ve never walked in the shoes of an addict. I’ve never walked in the shoes of a young pregnant girl facing the most difficult decision of her life. I’ve never walked in the shoes of a mama losing her baby too early. I’ve never walked in the shoes of a gay man or woman. I’ve never walked in the shoes of a police officer. I’ve never walked in the shoes of a black man.

I have walked in the shoes of indescribable grief. I’ve walked in the shoes of despair and depression. I’ve walked in the shoes of defiant sin and rebellion.

I’ve also walked in the shoes of someone loved, despite my grief, despair, depression or sin. I’ve walked in the shoes of a child of a faithful God. I’ve walked in the shoes of someone pulled up from the darkest pit into the arms of Jesus.

What do I do with all the shoes that are around me? Shoes I’ve walked in? Shoes I haven’t? Twitter and Facebook and the morning news tell me how to react, how to think, how to feel about all these shoes.

But God tells me something different. He tells me, “See the love you have received as you have walked in your shoes? See this love? Give it away. Even if the shoes are different. Even if you’ve never walked in them. Give away my love. Let me take care of the rest.”

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