Sunday, January 27, 2013

His Voice...

Good morning!
This is my favorite kind of morning.  Overcast.  When I wake up and see gray skies, I get up and turn on every (and I mean every) little lamp in our house.  And then I feel cozy.  Cozy is one of my most favorite feelings in the whole wide world.  
And on a weekend, I love waking up when my body is ready to wake up.  Not when his is.

This is Newmis.  He looks cute, but not around 5 am.  He likes to meow about 75 times in less than a minute to tell me he's hungry.  But thanks to him, once I was up, I couldn't go back to sleep.  

So I did something this morning that I rarely do.  After I showered, I went into the backyard and slipped into our jacuzzi.  So unbelievably peaceful.  The whole neighborhood was still asleep, the birds were just starting to stir, and it was truly just so peaceful.

(This was my view.  See all those little nests up there?)

When I got in, the jets were already on as they're on a timer that I don't know how to turn off.  But as soon as they shut off, I heard nothing but the subtle sounds of nature.

Where I grew up, all we had were little brown sparrows.  And the only time we saw them was when we were eating outside at McDonalds.  We would break off pieces of our French fries and toss them to the awaiting birds.  But where we live now, there's an abundance of different kinds of birds.

I heard the pecking of a woodpecker in the tree behind my fence.  Once I heard his little taps on the tree, I saw him doing his thing.  So neat.  I heard a hummingbird zip by my head and onto the branch above me.  When they sit still, it's amazing to see how long their little beaks are.  I heard a squirrel scratching himself relentlessly as if he had a case of poison ivy.   I even heard the cackle (is that what they do?) as ducks flew over me probably from the lake near our home.  And this was all in just a few early morning minutes.

But it got me thinking.  I'm in my backyard a lot.  And I rarely hear any of this.  The radio is playing on our patio, this guy is chomping on his bones

loudly, I might add,

or there's a construction crew somewhere cutting down a tree. 

But that doesn't mean that these sounds aren't there.  It just means that I don't hear them.    

And that thought made me want to blog.  

I hear from God when I'm quiet.  Not when I'm buzzing around from errand to errand, but when I sit with Him, just the two of us without any distractions. That's when I hear Him the most. 

If we went out into our backyard tomorrow when the kids at school across the street are out at recess, when my neighbor's construction crew is putting in their new pool and my Chris Tomlin CD is blaring a little too loudly on our backyard speakers, we most likely would never hear the woodpecker's little taps.  They're there.  We just woudn't hear them.

I think it's the same with God's voice.  We can't hear it when its competing with so many other sounds.  Voices.  Stuff.

But when we take His hand and bring Him to the shores of a beach, to the top of a hill, to the pews of a church or to a chair in your backyard, and lay our needs at His feet, He will hear you.  And in His time, you will hear Him.

I have.  
And there's nothing I love and crave more than His voice.  

So if you have a hard time waking up before your family and need a little nudge to find some quiet time with God, I can always drop this guy off at your house.



Thursday, January 17, 2013


Happy belated New Year!
Anyone stay awake to ring in the new year?  I've only met two people who did.  Our family was out cold by 9 pm.  We're so fun.

So, I just wanted to get caught up a bit.  I've received lots of emails asking how I'm doing.  I think some of my friends get a bit nervous when I'm not blogging.  Maybe they think something's wrong.  Well, rest assured dear friends, I'm doing great.  My latest cat scan revealed that all of my lesions have shrunk by 50 percent on this new regimen.  My doctor, after reviewing the scan said, "That's exciting!"  Nothing better than making your oncologist excited!  My tumor markers are elevated, but they assure me that a good scan trumps blood work, so all is good.   The only bummer is that I ended up in the ER with a horrific migraine last week.  A side effect of one of the drugs I'm taking.  It was rough.  But I'm now equipped with heavy drugs to combat that should another one creep into my head.  

On to better news.  
I titled this post "Opportunities" because there's an abundance of them on the horizon.  

Last month, we were asked to speak at Inspired31's mother/daughter retreat.  We were asked to teach a break-out session on our class His Flower Girls.  We're condensing our 4-hour monthly class into 50 minutes.  We've never done this before, but we're very excited to give it a shot.  We've also been asked to decorate the cake table at the event.  Everyone is to bring a bundt cake and a glass cake pedastal.  We thought it would be cute to sprinkle the table with a few chalkboards that read, Nothing "bundt" love for Him! and Nothing "bundt" praise for Him!  Of course, I will do my best to resist trying them all!  

We've also been asked to speak at Chelsea Cameron's 24/7 Family Class in February.  So many of her students came to our Christmas home tour.  And as they were walking around, I thought to myself, "You guys are the perfect students for our class.  Young moms, with little kids, and new homes.  You need to take our class and become Flower Girls!"  So we're looking forward to sharing our testimonies and decorating tips with them.  

And one of the coolest opportunities that may come our way is that the founder of Inspired31 has asked to feature our home (and Teri's) in her upcoming new book on hospitality.  I am in awe of how God is using this home for His glory.

At our class just this past Saturday, I had a thought.  I told the girls that when I was in the sixth grade, I bought a gold necklace and wore it around my waist as a belt.  The very next day, another girl did the same thing.  I was devastated!  I HATED when people copied me.  My mom would always say, "It's a compliment, a form of flattery."  I never saw it that way.  Fast forward 40 years (I mean 20 - wink, wink) and now I beam with joy when I hear someone has copied something that I've done.  I encourage these girls to take pictures of our home, to run out to the store where I bought something they like and see if there's another one.  Who woulda' thought!   

That God of ours can change hearts. 
 I know that because he's working on mine.

So before January comes to a close, what can you lay before the Lord?   How do you want Him to use your gifts?  What opportunities do you want to ask Him to bring your way?  

You two could make an amazing team this year.  Give it a try!
(Then I want to hear all about it!)