February 27, 2015

What does spending time with Jesus look like?

For much of my Christian life (a total of twenty years this July), I have beat myself up - metaphorically speaking - over my inability to have a consistent quiet time with God.

I have tried to establish my quiet time in the morning right when I wake up; I have tried to have it right before I go to bed. For many reasons, neither time has proven to foster a regular devotional time with my Savior.

Now when I say "quiet time with God," I am talking about a designated time where it is just me, my bible, and my Jesus.  You might not think that should be so hard; however, for this busy working mom of two children, finding time for a "quiet" time has eluded me!  ;-)

But lately, God is showing me that time spent with Him can - and should - look like many different things!  In other words, I've been too narrow in constructing my definition of what consists of quality time with Jesus.

Now, don't get me wrong.  You can - and should - make time to be alone with God, reading your bible and praying for an undefined amount of time, but you shouldn't limit your time with God to moments like these.  Moments that, for some, can oftentimes be hard to come by and cause major self-esteem issues when day after day you fail to attain them! #me

Thankfully, God has lead me to a verse from His Word I have read a million times, but for whatever reason, now speaks to me a different truth upon reading it.  God knew I desperately needed to hear this at the start of 2015:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Do you see it?  These verses encourage the believer to have an ongoing relationship with Jesus, 24/7, so time spent with God should not be limited to a scheduled moment in solitude with the Savior because He doesn't mean for us to only communicate with Him to meet a daily appointment. Spending time with Jesus looks like many things because our minutes are filled with many different moments, and He wants to be a part of each one.

So if we are living the message found in 1 Thessalonians 5, some days may have moments where we are able to have a scheduled "quiet time" with God while others may not, but always, we should be in direct communication with our Lord.

So, time spent with Jesus can look like many things!

It looks like a person intently listening... to a song that elevates the Lord Jesus, all the while a slight smile on her face as her soul worships her Savior.

It looks like a runner with eyes fixed on the horizon... and all the while having an internal conversation with God about the day ahead or behind.

It looks like someone staring at her phone... and scrolling through BibleGateway or The Bible App and drinking in God's living Word while listening to what He has to say to her that day.

It looks like a person standing still and peering into a forest or gazing up into the sky - for just a minute or two...  in a spirit of thanksgiving to her Creator.

It's looks like a writer - or blogger - sitting at her computer and typing... all that God has shown her that day while listening to Him for direction and inspiration.

Jesus wants all these moments and more! Isn't that beautiful?!

Let me leave you with something my Pastor shared with us a few Sundays ago...

Revelation 3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and he with Me."

This verse is typically used as an evangelistic tool to draw non-believers into a relationship with Jesus; however, in context, the verse is really a call to Christians.  Re-read it again; this time with YOU in mind.

Do you hear Him?  He's knocking.  Let's throw open every "door" we have and invite in Jesus.

What are some areas of your life where you can make space for Jesus?

Today's forget-me-not: Jesus wants to spend time with you - all the time. Share your every waking moment with Him - and then some.
1 Chronicles 16:11 Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.

February 19, 2015

Father knows best

I was asked to speak at a rally near our state capitol orchestrated by a few teachers’ organizations.  One group in particular asked me to be its representative and deliver a speech on behalf of its members.  It is an organization near and dear to my heart dealing with teachers and state benefits.  I spoke at a rally they put together on the state capitol steps around this time last year shortly after they formed.  So when I was asked to speak again, there was no hesitation; I wanted to help.  I had the day off from work (we’re on winter break), and I knew the local daycare could watch the girls, because hubby would be working, so I said yes.
The speech was sent to me, and after I revised and edited it somewhat, I practiced it.  Despite my nervousness and being way out of my comfort zone (I teach high school English for crying out loud, not how to talk politics!), I was going to deliver this speech as best I could!

Even after all my preparation to give this speech, I still felt uneasy about my trip into the city.  Truly, I’m an introvert (believe it or not), and thoughts of meeting new people and of discussing political topics were making my stomach ache.  I reached out to others and asked them to pray for me.  And then I prayed.  I prayed in the words of Proverbs chapter three…

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I prayed, “Lord, you know what I’m going to do tomorrow.  I’m going to speak and try to help those that are being treated unjustly.  God I need your blessing.  I need you to make my path straight.  Be in this endeavor and in these words I speak tomorrow.”

I asked for God to give me strength, boldness, and courage.

Then, the night before I was to give the speech, an ice storm hit. And while the icy weather didn’t seem to be adversely affecting the roadways, the ice began to coat everything else: including trees and power lines.  Soon, our power went out.  And then, it was reported that the power at the daycare was out. And the morning I was to go into the capitol, the daycare director announced they would be closed for the day.  Suddenly, I had no one to watch my girls so I could go give the speech!

And just as suddenly, due to work closures because of the weather, the Lord made it possible for someone else to go instead of me.

And while my introverted self breathed a sigh of relief, I was left feeling stunned.

I had prayed for a straight path to be made. I had acknowledged Him - I was going to do a good and noble thing in His name, as He is always the reason I put myself out there for causes like this.  So why not facilitate this, Lord?  Why give this task to another?  I was willing! Scared to death, but willing.

Why not me?!

And I heard Him say, “Trust in Me, with all your heart.  Lean not on your own understanding.”
I can’t claim to fully understand why I was deterred from speaking at this rally; however, I do feel as if I received a bit of a revelation from this experience:

Although you may be willing and ready to help, and the cause is noble, you may not be the one He wants to use.

There have been other moments in my life where I have seen that truth played out.  I have this desire to help whenever and wherever there is a need, if at all possible, but there have been plenty of times when God has deterred me from doing so.  Times when God tells me, "No."

And although I am initially disappointed that I couldn't have been the one to satisfy a need or provide relief for someone who is struggling, it never fails that I see God use someone else mightily to fill that void. 

And all is well.  And I hear Him say, “Trust me.”

And I heard Him say, “I haven’t called you to this.  Rest. There will be times when I call you to act. Rest until then.”

It’s hard for a doer to rest.  But I’m learning there are times we are called to simply just do that - rest in Him.  To be still and know that He is God.

And truth be told, I need more of that – physical and spiritual rest - in my life right now.  So in hindsight,  I can confidently say that my Father knew what was best when He deterred me from giving that speech.  Truly, my Father always knows best!

sacred, holy flame
mighty, unshakable God
my refuge, my rest

Today's forget-me-not:  Trust that God has everything under control.  Follow His lead. Therein lies true joy!

February 13, 2015

GUEST POST: When God Says No

"What kind of a God would let me lose a baby, miss out on important ministry opportunities, and make me stand on the outside while others lived out what I wanted to do?"

Today, I want to share with you a post written by a friend of mine: Carol.  This post asks an excellent question and provides an excellent answer.  When God says, "No," what do you do?  And if you are a baby loss momma, you've heard His "No" in the most heartbreaking way. Is there life after baby loss? Or after a dream is destroyed?  Keep reading and be comforted: He has a plan for you!

Today's forget me not...    

This past summer, after a miscarriage and surgery, I went home and immediately felt something wasn’t right in my body. I called up the nurse, and she rationalized that I was most likely experiencing side effects from the drugs administered in the emergency room.

But I still felt really funny.

My heart raced uncontrollably even when I was lying down. I felt so out of breath, foggy — I couldn’t think clearly, and my heartbeat pulsated in a painful way right at the top of my skull.

A few days later, I tried to make an effort to go out for my birthday — just pizza and shopping at a local outlet mall. “Something is wrong with me,” I told my husband as I struggled to walk the distance of the parking lot. I just didn’t feel good. My body felt so sluggish — my mind in a fuzzy cloud.

A doctor’s visit the next week revealed the problem: my hemoglobin levels had dropped very low, and my heart was working overtime to circulate oxygen. I couldn’t get out of bed without feeling like I would collapse. My doctor’s office wanted to set up a blood transfusion, but when I discussed it with my husband, he didn’t like all the risks.

We made the difficult decision for me to let my body heal itself in a slow process over the next few months. I rested at home for several weeks, and when I did finally get enough strength to go back to church, I was devastated. My first Sunday back corresponded with the release date of our church worship team’s first single.

My dream had always been to sing and write music. But I had walked away from the worship team a year before that to enroll in a Hope ministry training when God had asked me to give up music. Not only that, another opportunity had already shattered and fallen at my feet.

I had been asked to volunteer to serve on a leadership team for a brand new women’s ministry for young moms. Comprised of many of my close friends, the team was a perfect fit for me. Or so I thought. I had been praying for a long time that God would open a door for me into ministry.

However, the women’s event was scheduled just a few weeks after my surgery. I kept praying and hoping God would let me get well enough to help. But that didn’t happen. I was too sick — I couldn’t stay on my feet for long periods of time, much less go anywhere without the support of my husband’s arm. The avenue that I thought God was opening for me wasn’t really an avenue at all — my health made it impossible for me to take part in the event.

As I left church early that first Sunday back — mostly to avoid sympathetic friends and suffocating stares, I drove home and went straight up to my room, fell on my bed and cried.

I picked up the book I had been reading on my bedside table, Love, Skip, Jump by Shelene Bryan, and I happened to turn to a chapter in which Bryan describes the rejection of a pitch for a new show she had worked so hard to present to several prominent television networks. She relates: “I couldn’t understand it. I couldn’t help but ask God, ‘Lord what was that all about? Why did You have me walk into all those networks and pitch this idea that you placed on my heart if it was going to be a Big Fat No?’ ”

I didn’t like the passage I was reading. I wanted Bryan to provide me the answer I wanted to hear — that I was going to be well and all of the hopes I had were going to come to pass. But as if to further pound the truth that God was moving me into the background for a season, I opened my Facebook to these words by Nikki Koziarz: “Sometimes we look to follow someone else’s path toward our calling. But maybe today God is saying, ‘Don’t follow them, follow me.’ His way is unique and unstoppable” (Psalms 32:8).

To be honest, I was angry. What kind of a God would let me lose a baby, miss out on important ministry opportunities and stand on the outside while others lived out what I wanted to do?

However, as much as I could feel stuff breaking inside me as I experienced the pain of watching others get to joyfully participate in that which I wanted to be a part of, I felt some truths resonate in my heart:

1.  I don’t have the right to do anything but the will of the Father: Jesus often said that He only came to do the will of the One who sent Him. This meant that He was selective in the choices and decisions He made. He didn’t jump into every opportunity that came His way, and He didn’t make decisions to please Himself or achieve His own selfish goals. He even asked on occasion for there to be a different way when He knew the path would be difficult, as when He prayed for the “cup to pass from Him” in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42).

2.  What I give up, He may give back to me: There have been times that I have passed up on a chance when I felt a “no” in my spirit only to find that God gives me the very thing I wanted at a later time — in a way beyond what I could have imagined or planned. Even though Bryan had to give up her dream of her reality show idea, she realized after some prayer that God was asking her to still implement her village makeover idea without the cameras. He gave her a “yes” in a way that was different than she anticipated — and she would have missed it if she continued to plow ahead with her reality show vision.

3.  All promotion comes from the Lord. So many times, I am trapped into thinking that the doors are closed in my face because I am not liked by certain individuals, but God has continually shown me that promotion comes from Him (Psalm 75:6). If He truly wants me in a place of ministry, He will place me there in His timing, and He will show me the path He has for me to get there.

4.  When I’m stuck, I should do what’s in front of me. By looking only ahead at my goal, I may miss the obvious opportunity or step I am to take right in front of me. As Bryan concludes in her chapter: “Sometimes I can get so excited to do something that I’ll bust down a wall in the name of Jesus. Then God kindly points out the door that He already placed for me to walk through. Oops.”

If you’re anything like me, I can get so overwhelmed looking at how far away I am from my desired destination that I start to panic and forget what I can be doing in the moment. I can miss the assignment that Jesus has put in my lap for today in my anxious desire to get to tomorrow. As Sarah Young says in her Jesus Calling devotion:
When things seem to be going all wrong, stop and affirm your trust in Me. Calmly bring these matters to Me, and leave them in My capable hands. Then, simply do the next thing. Stay in touch with Me through thankful, trusting prayers, resting in My sovereign control. Rejoice in Me — exult in the God of your salvation! As you trust in Me, I make your feel like the feet of a deer, I enable you to walk and make progress upon your places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility. Be blessed and keep trusting!”
Young encourages me that when the promise hasn’t come true, when I am not in the place I want to be, I need to do the task that is in front of me right now. It may have nothing to do with my calling or may not even be what I feel is the future God has for me, but it is what God is calling me to in this moment.

And the other truth I know is this: Deep inside of me a little voice whispers that some of His promises, particularly about music, haven’t come true yet because I’m not finished. He wants me working on something I would rather not work on — a different project that I’ve left undone. I’ve skipped some steps, pushed off some things for another day. And I need to complete God’s assignment in order to obtain His blessings.

Consider George Matheson’s prayer from Streams in the Desert:
Dear Holy Spirit, my desire is to be led by You. Nevertheless, my opportunities for usefulness seem to be disappointed, for today the door appears open in to a life of service for You but tomorrow it closes before me just as I am about to enter. Teach me to see another door even in the midst of the inaction of this time. Help me to find, even in the area of service where You have closed a door, a new entrance into Your service. Inspire me with the knowledge that a person may sometimes be called to serve by doing nothing, by staying still, or by waiting. And when I remember the power of Your ‘gentle whisper’ (1 Kings 19:12), I will not complain that sometimes the Spirit allows me not to go.”
Related Bible Verses:

Psalm 32:8: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Luke 22:42: ” ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ ”

Psalm 75:6: “No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.”

1 Kings 19:12: “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

Recommended Resources:

Love, Skip, Jump: The Adventure of Yes by Shelene Bryan is about knowing how to discern God’s will for your life and taking the plunge into the exciting future He has for you. Bryan talks about displaying the love of God to others, skipping conveniences to minister to others, and jumping into your calling.

Streams in the Desert is a devotional by L.B. Cowman that specifically speaks to and encourages Christians in tough spiritual desert places. Cowman includes her own writings as well as a compilation of excerpts from well-known preachers and writers.

 Carol is a fellow sister-in-Christ who blogs at Beulah Girl: a spiritual life/emotional health blog filled with stories and lessons God has taught her.  She has a heart for helping women find their identity in Christ. Check out her inspirational prose!

February 6, 2015

We are a family of five.

It has been almost five years since my miscarriage, and there are still moments when I feel the loss as if it were yesterday.

Last Friday, as I drove my oldest daughter, Beth, to meet  up with a friend for a sleepover, the conversation somehow turned to Angel.  She asked me again - she's asked before - what we would have named the baby. I told her. Then she asked why we didn't name Hannah by that name. A legitimate question.  But I explained to her, the baby deserved her own name. And cue a pang of sadness.

Then she said, as if it just occurred to her, "I would have had two sisters! There would have been five of us!" And she smiled and giggled at the thought of it.

I didn't correct her because at the time I didn't really think about it as I was still in shock after hearing her astute questions and innocent reaction to her own observations, but I should have corrected her.  

There are five of us in this family.  One of which just isn't here right now but awaiting us in heaven.

We are a family of five.

Later on that same day, I clicked on a Facebook page a friend shared called Amazing Grace.  It's a page put up in honor of baby Grace - a baby with Trisonomy 18.  A fatal condition. Fifty percent of babies with this condition are born still, and most others pass soon after birth.  

I began following the page, and it was posted this week that Grace had been born - alive.  There was a beautiful picture of the momma holding her baby girl.  More pictures followed with Grace's dad and younger sister soaking up every possible minute that they could get with her.  And then, 22 hours after her birth, Grace was gone. 

Grace's sister may innocently say one day, "I would have had a sister!  There would have been four of us!"

And I'm sure her momma will reply, "Oh, but sweet girl, you do have a sister!  And there are four of us!  We are a family of four."

Losing a child, a sibling, that baby that was here but is no longer, it's a unique type of grief that creates a unique dynamic in families.  It's hard to explain.  But if you are a baby loss momma, you know what I mean.

I can say this, my heart rejoices that Grace's momma shared her with us and celebrated her birth with us.  And my heart rejoices that my Beth feels comfortable talking about her sister Angel.  

Together, Grace's mom and I, we're changing the current off-limits status on this subject to one of open-discussion. And my heart rejoices to know it.

My Friday concluded with yet another venture into the topic of baby loss.  I had just finished watching the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy.  In it, a pregnant mother is told that her baby has osteogenesis imperfecta, and she knows this means that, most likely, her baby will die upon birth.  And as she told her husband that the baby is a boy, they hugged each other and cried.  And I cried.  And for the third time that day, I felt my loss all over again.

And yet, I rejoiced - I am rejoicing - because a major TV show is talking about baby loss! 

Here's the message people:  talk about it.  TALK ABOUT THEM.  Let's celebrate these babies, because they lived.  Let's do this by talking about them.  

If you or someone you know has recently experienced a loss, encourage her to talk about her baby.  Encourage her to write down her story.  It helps - in so many ways.  And then encourage  her to share her story - to share her baby.  

Reconceiving Loss and Return to Zero (the movie) have put together an electronic archive to commemorate our babies.  Click HERE and consider sharing or encourage someone else to share. Because it will help - it will help the momma, other mommas, and those in the dark about this topic. 

We need to spread the word!  It's okay to acknowledge that baby. He or she was here.  

Today's forget-me-not:  There are five of us in our family.  How many are in yours?

Here is the scene from Grey's that got my tears flowing.  Get tissues before you click on it!

January 30, 2015

chocolate and perspective are beautiful things

I ran a sweet race (literally) this past Saturday - the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15K/5K!

I ran the 5K, and my hubby ran the 15K.  But, let me tell you, after I accomplish my new year's goal of running three 10Ks this year, I am going to ready myself to run this 15K in January 2016.  "What sparked this desire," you ask?  Well, I have one word for you - BLING!  Check out the medal my hubby got upon finishing the 15K!!!

It's shaped like a chocolate bar!
I am totally jealous!

I just had to hold the medal!
Overall, it was a great race!

I approached this 5K with a couple things in mind: first, I wanted to slow my pace and really enjoy the run, and second, kinda related to the first goal, I wanted to run/walk it instead of run it straight through.

Slowing my pace to better enjoy my run was inspired by my new year's resolutions.  Slowing down to enjoy what is right in front of me - Lord, knows I overlook a lot in life - is something I'm trying to do more of and something I have decided to extend to my running as well.  This year, you are not going to read in my racing posts a huge desire for improving my 5K time or for placing in my age group at a race.  That's not to say I'm going to run EVERY race without those things in mind.  There will be times when I will run in 2015 and make those things my aim, but it won't be often.  I'm slowing down, looking around more, and taking time to appreciate all that makes up a great race.

On that note, let me share with you my day! My running buddy, Jaimee, and I ran a great race!

Pre-run selfie! It was cold!
Early in the race, I decided to run with Jaimee instead of establishing my own separate pace, and I'm glad I did.  We got to experience the "sweetest" 5K together. It was great!

We got to run through Atlanta together, see some of the sights, and eat some chocolate at a chocolate chips pit stop half-way through the race!

Turner Field - Home of the Atlanta Braves!

The 1996 Olympic Rings in the distance!
At the end of the race, I felt like I could run another 5K with no problem!  I began running this year using Galloway's run/walk method of racing, and I love it!  I can't wait until my first 10K at the end of March!  I got this!!

Overall, it was a great day!  I loved slowing down and running with a friend. I loved commenting with her on the other runners' awesome tutus and running pants.  I loved taking the time to pay attention to my surroundings and drink in the race day atmosphere. I especially loved stopping half-way through to eat some chocolate chips!  It all felt great. I felt great.

As for how long it took me to run this 5K, that doesn't matter.

What matters is that we finished.  And we had this waiting for us at the finish line...

I couldn't be happier to have started off the 2015 race season in this way and with this race!

With running love from us to you!
Today's forget-me-not: Slow down. Enjoy the race.  Whether it be an actual race or the metaphorical race of life! ;-)

January 23, 2015

this conversation with my 8-year-old daughter

How do you teach an 8-year-old to put others before herself?

Well, I'll tell you what I did, but if you have any words of wisdom on this subject, feel free to leave them in the comments section! Please!!

Here's the story.  Last Saturday morning, after I witnessed my oldest daughter be particularly nasty to her little sister and then proceed to cop an attitude with me when I tried to correct her, I broke out the Bible (yep, I went there) and made her read the following verses:

Mark 12:31 "Love your neighbor as yourself."


Matthew 7:12 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." 

I wish I could tell you that her attitude immediately improved and she instantly saw the error of her way.  Sadly, I cannot report that. In fact, she became even more nasty (rolling her eyes, whining) and claimed she had no idea what those verses meant.  (FYI: The child has been in Sunday school virtually every Sunday since she was in diapers - literally - so I KNOW she knows what these verses mean!)

Much to her delight (#not), I explained to her what the verses meant.  I told her they illustrate for us how Jesus expects us to live.  He expects us to live loving others - Him first and then our "neighbors." We should live to love. And whatever the circumstances, we are to love everyone as we love ourselves.    

She responded with a question... Why?

To more accurately quote her, "Why should I do THAT?"

And my answer made tears unexpectedly well up in my eyes.  With a shaky voice I said, "Because that is how Jesus loved us."  And I quoted a verse she had recently learned in Awana:

Romans 5:8 "But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us."


What a GREAT love He has lavished upon us!  WHILE we were STILL sinners, Christ loved us so much He DIED for us!!!

I tried to explain to my reluctant audience of one that the very least we could do in repayment for such a sacrifice is to obey His commands and be loving toward others as He was toward us.

Well, I'm sorry to say I did not see an immediate turn around in her behavior after our conversation.  Although, the removal of her new notebook all day Saturday did inspire a good bit of time to reflect on her actions, and she is now attempting to be more "gracious."  That's her one word for 2015.  We have a lot of conversations using that word lately. ;-)

What I can tell you though is this:  God used that conversation with my 8-year-old daughter to remind me of the magnitude of God's love for me - for US.

While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.  Say that slowly three times!  Dwell on that one!!  And praise His great name!!!

Today's forget-me-not: Romans 5:8  "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!" Praise Him!

Warning: Clicking on the video below will result in an outburst of praise and worship! Do it!!

So we cry out Your name, El Shaddai, God of grace
Lord most High, Jesus Christ
We rely on your grace, Adonai crowned in praise,
Lord most High, Jesus Christ

Read more: Kari Jobe - We Cry Out Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

January 16, 2015

My One Word for 2015 AND My first giveaway!

Bonnie Gray - blogger at Faith Barista and author of Spiritual Whitespace - is launching a linkup:
We’re launching our first Beloved Brews LinkupLet’s become the Beloved in 2015. Writing intentionally with Jesus — with our whole heart. Every Thursday here.
I am super excited to participate in Bonnie's linkup this week!  Here is the topic:

What is your One Word for 2015?

Beloved Brews Linkup


As soon as I read the above question, that word popped into my head.  Joy.

I have already blogged about my need to slow down and look for joy in a post about my New Year's Resolutions, and lately, God has been teaching me how to do this.

Matthew 25:23 "Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Share your master's joy!"

Jesus wants me to share His joy!  Each day is filled with His joy, but I have to learn to slow down, look for it, and take hold of it. I know He wants me to have it; He died so I could have it!

Romans 15:12-14 And again, Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope." May the God of hope fill you with all JOY and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Slow down. Enjoy rest. Trust in Him. Give Him your worries and fears. Be obedient in this.  That's how you find and obtain joy.

Look for the joy in the journey. It's there.  He's there. Grab Joy!

Put down the smartphone and talk to the person beside you.
Put aside the day's tasks to play with your children a few extra minutes.
Push away your worries and fears.  Rejoice always and pray without ceasing (1Thess. 5:17).
Push to embrace whatever the day holds for "this is the day the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24).

Slow down and enjoy the race of life. It's not a sprint; it's a marathon - pace yourself, take breaks, stop and drink when need be. No worries. You can do this!  For joy, He did it.  For joy, you can do this too!

Hebrews 12:2 For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Today's forget-me-not:  Take the time to enter into the joy of the Lord!

Thank you, Bonnie Gray, for inspiring so many of us to make more room for Jesus in our lives!  And to express my gratitude to you for your efforts, I want to host my first blog giveaway. I want to give away a copy of Spiritual Whitespace!

*cue happy dance*

If you are intereted in having a copy of Bonnie's book, here's what you have to do:
1 - Log in using the rafflecopter below.
2 - Complete one or more of the activities listed on the rafflecopter.
3 - After you complete an action, click to submit an entry into the raffle via the rafflecopter.
4 - Complete all four activities to get multiple entries in the raffle!
5 - Come back to Forget-me-not, Oh Lord on Monday (1/19), and I will announce the winner by noon that day in the comments section below.  I will also announce the winner on Facebook and Twitter.

Contest goes from Friday, January 16 (12:00am) to Monday, January 19 (12:00am).

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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