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30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 16} Cream-Filled Goodness

17 Nov hostess-cupcakes

I can’t help myself.  With the news of the Hostess demise, I feel compelled to share my thankfulness for the many cream-filled wonders I have consumed.

I have been lol’ing at all the memes floating around Facebook, namely about how well-timed the downfall of Hostess is in relation to the Mayan’s prediction of the end of the world.

It’s hard to imagine a world where my children may never know the joy of a Hostess Cupcake or Twinkie.

When I heard the sad news, I had a few thoughts: Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 6} Freedom

6 Nov

I voted!

No, I will not reveal who I voted for.  I learned that lesson the first time I voted in 2000.  It can turn ugly when one reveals who they vote for.  The important thing is that I voted.

We have the privilege and duty in our country to freely vote for who we want and even if we feel like our vote might not make a difference, we need to make our voice heard.

While this country has many problems, it is a country built on freedom, and I freely choose to vote and help decide the future of the U.S.

I am grateful to have the freedom to vote without fear of retribution, intimidation, or worse.  It is great to see long, long lines of voters turning out to help exercise our freedom.  Aaron and I have discussed that the future of voting may change with the rapid rise and prevalence of social media.  Imagine if all you had to do was click “Like” for President in 2016!

What about you?  Did you vote?  What do you think about the future of voting in this country?

Gracefully~~Heather

Let Your Light Radiate Love: Day 30: Lent Journey

27 Mar

1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
5 Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy;”

-Isaiah 60: 1-5

Many people are familiar with the song, “This Little Light of Mine.”  It is a Sunday School staple but it also one that has made its way into popular culture through quotes, movies, and other media.  It is a song to help teach children that they should hold the light of Christ that is within them, up high for all to see.  They are taught not to hide it under a bush or a basket, or to let the light go out.

What light? Continue reading

He Knows Your Name: Day 29: Lent Journey

26 Mar Name Tag

9 “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.   10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.  11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9: 9-13

Name

Seven days old in the icu tonight

Little baby boy, they don’t want to have to say goodbye

Your mother’s on the phone

Your father’s in the hall

Prayin’ “God,save this life”

He sees you

He’s near you

He knows your name

He knows your pain

He sees you and He loves you

He knows your name

He knows your name

Four doors down there’s a man who just won’t wake up

He crashed so hard

And the doctor’s want to pull the plug

Your wife is by your side sayin’ “Not tonight”

Prayin’ God will just show up.

He sees you

He’s near you

He knows your name

He knows your pain

He sees you and He loves you

He knows your name

He knows your name

Maybe you’re alone

In a corner of an empty house

Or maybe you’re the one

No one notices in the crowd

He sees you

He’s near you

He knows your name

He knows your pain

He sees you and He loves you

He knows your name

He knows your name

He knows your name

He knows your name

NAME LYRICS – FIREFLIGHT

A hospital is a place where we expect to encounter pain. It is a place of the sick and the dying, but it is also a place of healing and recovery.  Even in the midst of terrible pain, you can find hope. Continue reading

Career Change in Store for Peyton? Day 13: Lent Journey

7 Mar

 

 

1” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

Breaking News: On the heels of the recent news conference, announcing his release from the Indianapolis Colts, quarterback Peyton Manning decided to go for broke and announced he will be turning down the numerous offers pouring in as the most coveted free agent, and instead will be pursuing a second career in the NBA.  Through his agent, Manning released a statement:

“I have fulfilled my dreams these past 14 years as Quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.  As much as football will always be my first love, I feel I have other talents that I need to share with my fans.  I’ve always admired professional basketball players and feel that I have numerous skills to offer.  I hope my football fans will fully support me and the NBA team I join.  I’ve always said, “I wanna be like Mike!” Thank you.” Continue reading

Marvelous Me, Unique You: Day 12: Lent Journey

6 Mar Courtesy of kidsdogsandchaos.blogspot.com

“And I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt. With your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.”

Psalm 139:14, (CEV)

Hi.  My name is Heather and I have a history of low self-esteem,  (Enter your name and self-image issue here.) Hi!

I guess I will share first.  I don’t know when I started comparing myself to others, but I have done it as long as I can remember.  I know my mom got gets tired of telling me that I can’t and shouldn’t compare myself with others; I just have to be myself and that is good enough.  As a perfectionist as well, (Yep, I’m one of those too), I suppose I often feel like I can never measure up or be good enough; there is always someone better than me. It is a daily battle that I fight in trying to accept and love who I am, and stop struggling to be someone other than me.

Why do we do measure our worth by what others think? Our society is so driven to be the best, brightest, prettiest, thinnest, richest, and happiest, that we trample each other and ourselves in our climb to the top. The sad part is that most of us get trampled along the way, and those that reach the top are quickly tossed aside and forgotten when someone better comes along. This is our cultural mindset.

This kind of thinking though is incredibly destructive to our well-being and completely against how God wants us to view ourselves.

Is there a better way? Continue reading

Have you Friend Requested Jesus? Day 11:Lent Journey

5 Mar friend request

 

 

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

 

John 15:15 (NIV)

It’s obvious by the sheer amount of social media available today, that people are desperate to connect with each other.  Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or a slew of dating sites, we want to feel connected to others.  This is a part of our created being.  God created us to be in relationship; with others and with Him. As Jon Bon Jovi said, “No man (or woman) is an island.” We are not meant to live life alone. The good news is, our very creator and savior wants to be our friend.

So how do we “friend request” Jesus?  Continue reading

One Step at a Time: Day 8: Lent Journey

1 Mar Lantern

 

 

 

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:105, Amplified

 

I am a child of the 80’s.  MTV and I were born the same year.  (Cool, right?!) Needless to say, but my focus in the 80’s centered on the kid culture.  I had the original Cabbage Patch Dolls, Teddy Ruxpin, Pound Puppies, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, My Little Ponies, and a Glo-Worm to cuddle up to each night.  I was up early every Saturday to watch my friends, The Smurfs, Thunder Cats, Masters of the Universe, She-Ra, Muppet Babies, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Disney’s The Gummy Bears, Fraggle Rock, and as the decade ended, Saved by the Bell.  I am was a New Kids on the Block fanatic, and my wonderful mother braved a concert with screaming 8 & 9 year old girls in tow when they came to Tulsa, OK.  I made a sign for Jordan and proudly displayed it high above my 4 ft something head.  I was going to marry him.  Guess he didn’t see me?

Image Courtesy of liketotally80's.com

I still have the original green Glo Worm in the back.

Image courtest of liketotally80's.com

Yes, I had the castle too!

I could keep going and allow myself and all to reminisce about jean jackets, puff paint, neon leggings, popped collars, poofed hair, and the rise of the mullet.  However, 80’s fashion trends seem to be creeping back in (really?) so just run on down to the local mall to see for yourself.  We have more important things to illuminate. Continue reading

Sexier?

28 Feb

I was checking my email when I noticed this image in an ad banner.  I almost gagged.

Image from Victoria's Secret Ad

I am sure that some of you think there is nothing wrong with this image.  Some of you will see nothing but a beautiful woman in lingerie (creeps), and come of you will see what I see; something scary.

Please, hear me.  I’m sure the model is a fine person, and this is not an attack on her.  She is a product of the fashion industry, reduced to skin and bones.  While she is very pretty, her form is sickly skeletal.  This type of image is everything that is wrong with our culture and the persisting images that ultra-skinny= sexy.  This is one major reason eating disorders are so dangerously rising in teens and tweens.  When you can LITERALLY see ribs and other bones jutting awkwardly from a person’s frame, they are too skinny.  There is nothing wrong with being fit, thin, and in-shape. I think we all need to find the healthy weight and shape that best fits us individually.  There is something wrong with this degree of skinny being hailed as “Very sexy, now sexier.”

Yes, the ad is supposed to be about the lingerie, which is really cute.  However, you can’t ignore the model wearing the items.  Despite the fashion industry’s best efforts to create models who are mere “hangers” for fashion, we do still see the models behind the clothes.  The image projected tells millions of females that unless you strive to look like this model, you aren’t sexy enough.

This image just makes me sick and very sad for the state of our society, and all those who will see images like this and think, “I’m not good enough.”

Hear me:  Yes, you are.

 

Heart of Worship: Day 4: My 40 Day Lent Journey

25 Feb Courtesy of Valley Community Baptist Church

“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”

Psalm 100:2, NIV

I love a great time of worship; praising God for all He has done, is doing, and will do.  The writer of Psalm 100 writes about worshiping the Lord with gladness.  What does that mean?  Worship by definition is paying reverent honor and homage to someone or something regarded as sacred.  So we are to give honor or pay homage, or tribute, to God by worshiping Him.  But how?  With offerings or material gifts?  While there is a place and time to give of our material gifts, in this instance and most frequently we should worship God with our thanks, joyful praise, and most importantly our presence.

I’m afraid the word gladness has lost some of its luster over the years.  I’ve heard it uttered and used it myself as a glib remark such as, “Yes, I’m so glad to do that for you.” (Now imagine that being said with tones of sarcasm throughout.)  Even when it is used sincerely, “I am very glad to meet you,” I’m not sure if we fully understand what we are saying.  Gladness is about feeling and expressing joy, pleasure, and delight at something or someone.  It’s more than a nice, fuzzy feeling.  Think about it. When was the last time you used the word glad to define how you felt?  Did you really mean that you were filled with joy and expressing your delight and pleasure?  Or, were you just a shade of happy?  Nothing wrong with that.  I just think that the type of gladness the Psalmist is referring to comes from a place of deep, abiding joy that wells up from our very soul and can’t help but be poured forth from our lips; an overwhelming sense of gratitude for God.

I can only say these things because I have experienced them.  I have substituted shades of happy and tried to convince myself I was glad.  I have entered into a time of worship and brought only feelings of obligation and not joy at the chance to express my gratitude and love to God.

Now, I know that there are seasons in our lives where joy and gladness are much harder to come by, and sometimes completely void from our presence.  I have known those seasons and am aware of their lurking shadows.  Are we to worship in those times as well?  Yes!  It is in those times that we need to worship the most.  God wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth, no matter the season of our soul.  If we come into worship with a weak smile plastered to our face, yet our soul cries within us, it is our soul that God hears and sees.  We can fool those around us by our outward appearance, but God looks and sees our heart, and He beckons us to come.  Continue reading