Use What You’ve Got

Becoming All God Wants You to Be

God is doing some tremendous things in my life lately, and some of that overflow is going to end up on this blog. While it’s very easy to become mired in the cancer of “can’t, sir,” it takes a special courage to use what you’ve got and watch God make it into something wonderful. I pray we all have even just a little ember of that courage.

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One day, God gave a huge responsability to a very reluctant man. “Go and speak to my people,” He told the him. The man was confused. “What if they won’t listen to me? What if they don’t believe me?” he questioned. God’s response is absolutely striking: “What is that in thing hand?” Moses looked in his hand and saw nothing unusual, nothing worth mentioning. But God saw differently. He saw something He could use, if only Moses would use it. Moses’ simple staff became his mighty tool throughout the decades as he led the Israelites out of slavery and to the brink of the Promised Land. His common staff – that weathered, worn, piece of wood – became the centerpiece of the miracles of God.

It’s easy to neglect what we have and concentrate on what we DON’T have. How do I know? I’ve been there, done that. Sometimes I even think I write the blog about it!

But life is full of opportunities, and people are full of needs. How can we help folks? How can we be everything God want us to be? Even more, how can we help our own families?

By using what we have.

Right now, I have 3 teenage girls at home (and of course the Rocket Boy is 10) and I want to find ways for them to earn money, especially without having to go get a job. Funny thing…I’ve been telling them for years that they need to find something they love to do and start their own business, and I’ve been praying for The Lord to open some doors.

Well, I realized the other day that I need to put some feet to those prayers and help them.

I thought to myself, How can I help my girls so they can earn some money? I wondered what I had that could inspire them to launch out to start getting business on their own. I may not have much, I reasoned, but I do have time, and I can get behind them so that they will feel confident in trying. It may not be much, but at least it’s something.

So the other day we sat down last week at Starbucks and had a brainstorming session. It wasn’t long, but it was long enough and encouraging enough for one of my girls to go ahead and courageously post her new photography business online. And wouldn’t you know, she’s been swamped with requests! Now she’s got folks booked for the next few weeks, and she’ll be busy doing something she loves, making money at the same time. Isn’t God good?

The moral of the story? If we just use what we have, and work with our own assets, we can be what God wants us to be, and bless our families tremendously.

Using what we have means that we don’t waste the talent God has given us. Have you ever given someone a Christmas present, only to find out later that they stuck it in their closet and never even used it once? Your thought is, Well, that didn’t go over well. Guess they don’t care. And sometimes we’re tempted to think, Apparently they don’t think very much of ME. God has given us many tremendous gifts, and it shows our gratefulness to Him when we use what He has given us.

Using what we have means we’re willing to obey. How many of us are tempted to think, Well, because I don’t have such-and-such a talent, I can’t do anything useful. I’ll just sit here like a lump. It’s easy to get into that mindset, especially when we’re not stellar in an area, we’re more like Average Janes. But if God wanted us to use out talents, would we? Would we be willing to obey, even if we’re not the best? Our simple obedience is more important to The Lord than blasting fireworks.

Using what we have guarentees that we’ll have more! It’s almost as though The Lord says, If you’re going to use what I give you, I’ll go ahead and bless you even more! In fact, He even says in His Word, “Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will put thee over many things!”

We’ve seen that work in our lives. As a family, we’re working on getting out of debt. It’s no small task, and especially requires diligence in even the smallest expenditures. It’s been difficult to sometimes say No when we’d much rather say Yes, but I’ve noticed that as we’ve been faithful with our pennies, we’ve been blessed with little bits more here and there. What a blessing!

I could give many examples of this: we’re not a talented family, but we love to sing together. As we sing more and more, it sounds better and better, and, though we’ll never be “rich and famous” (who wants that?!?) we can glorify The Lord with the voices He’s given us.

Today, God is asking you and me a question, “What is that in thine hand?” Is it just an ordinary staff? Is it a common everyday piece of equipment? God can use it as a mighty tool in His Hand, if we’re willing to let it be used.

So, I’m going to work more on using what I have, even here on this blog. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy research, so I can use what I have and do what I love, and bless others at the same time.

Question: What has God given you that you can use for His glory? Or, have you ever seen The Lord bless you in a special way because you used a talent He has given you?

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word,  Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

Getting Along with Others

We all need help in getting along with others! This is a lesson which I’ve been teaching to my children, as The Lord allows. It’s been a great study so far, and I think has been a help to us in gettng along with each other as a family, and getting along with others in our daily contacts.

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The other day, I was gone for a few hours, and the hubby and kids were left to themselves for awhile. When it was time to get dinner ready, my man organized a big cleanup, and, with everyone working together, got the place neat as a library in just a few minutes! Teamwork was the key!

Getting along is extremely important in life. If we understood the necessity of learning to get along, it will help us realize how good it really can be. Here are some of my thoughts about why we should learn to get along:

1. No man is an island – we are in constant contact with others, and need others to help us go through life

2. The lost world is watching us as Christians, looking to see if we get along better than the rest of humanity.

3. The Lord taught us to “live at peace with one another,” and to “love one another.”

4. We get many benefits by learning to get along with others. Here are just a few: fewer fights, less arguments, more friends, get included in activities more often, more fun, have better relationships, enjoy life more, etc. etc. etc.

Like I said, I’ve been working with my family about these things, and it has helped us get along better. If you take a few minutes to share them with your family, I’d love to know how it goes!

Question: Can you think of any more benefits of learning to get along with others? Have you taught your children any lessons on getting along? What did you tell them?

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word,  Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

Making Excellent Choices

I prepared for a Military Wives’ Bible study on this topic, and, although we had to cancel it due to sickness, I still think it’s important to learn how to make excellent choices. Today’s post (and the Bible study) is based on the book by Terry Chappell, The Choice is Yours. It’s an excellent resource! …and, no, that’s not a paid advertisement, I just love their stuff!

 

First, let me congratulate the winner of my giveaway: Kerry!! I’ll be in touch with you in the next few days to get your address! Congrats!!

Making Excellent Choices

 

Our family doesn’t often go to Burger King, but when we did a few months ago, we were astonished at the new soda machine they got not long before. After placing my order and getting my cup, I walked up to this “one machine makes all” sort of machine, and stared at it for awhile. Finally, I began timidly pressing buttons, and it wasn’t long before I got what I wanted – Diet Mellow Yellow! I know, it’s not quite as good as Diet Mountain Dew, but it’s the best they had.

We live in a culture that caters to our choices. Baskin Robbins has its 31 flavors, Burger King tells us to “Have it Your Way,” and even the new Coca-Cola Freestyle machine has over 100 drink choices! I checked the Sonic website, and according to them, they have 1,063,953 fountain and slush choices!! (Not like I will go there and spend about $3,000,000 to try each one of them!)

We need to understand that the choices we make today affect our happiness tomorrow.

The POWER of Accumulated Choices

When I was 16, my Dad bought an old mail Jeep which had the steering wheel put back into its proper location. But the inside of the jeep was just a boring steely gray, and one day I had the bright idea that I would paint it a nice sparkly blue. I went to KMart, and with my own money, bought one can of blue spray paint. Excitedly, I came home and began spraying the inside. It looked great…until I ran out of spray paint about 1/4 of the way through! Paint was a bit too expensive for my measly income, and I was not at all prepared for how hard painting really was….so it remained 1/4 painted until the day it was sold.

Just as each ignorant or foolish choice in a project leads to an undesired outcome, so each choice in our lives leads us in a direction. In the end, our lives will reflect the series of choices we make.

The GUIDES to Excellent Choices

The GPS is a sort of guide as we travel, but we’ve had our share of mishaps with those guidance systems. Once all 9 of us were in the 15-passenger van, driving through Texas, when we realized the road was getting a little rough. It eventually turned into a dirt road, and then two tracks through a bumpy field, and finally no pathway at all! We found ourselves following the GPS right into the middle of a ranch!

Navigating through life can be a challenge. But thankfully, God has given us two infallible guides:

          GOD’s WORD

                    Our own reasoning can often be based on our emotions, and can often lead us astray. (see Jeremiah 17:9)

          The HOLY SPIRIT

John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

When we obey the Spirit with the things we say, it can be very helpful. For me, it’s so tempting to say, “I told you so!” but holding my tongue is better than that feeling of being right.

The best planning begins with the end in mind. Think of your future, and what you would like it to hold. A strong walk with God? A fulfilling marriage? A happy family? It all begins as we choose today to be guided by the Word of God and His Holy Spirit!

What are some other guides God has given us? If you have some ideas to share, leave a comment!

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and A Mama’s Story Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

De-Lurking Day & GIVEAWAY!

It’s De-Lurking time…hat time of year when those of you who lurk around will finally reveal yourselves and let us all know you’re there. As a birthday gift to me, I ask that you comment below, letting me know you exist! One of those of you who comment will receive a free copy of my new book, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil!

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Well, folks, it’s been a special time for me these past few days. Last week was my birthday!! But it wasn’t just any birthday, mind you – it was my 50th birthday!! (Did I really say that?? Online??)

I guess I must say that, though I easily breezed into my 40’s, I’m not really very fond of turning 50. I know it’s just a  number, but it’s a BIG number! But I can tell you that I feel much healthier and better at 50 than I did at 40. For some of you that have read my fitness story, you know that after I had my youngest child, my body was in terrible shape, and I was a real couch potato. Finally, a few years after he was born, I decided to start getting myself back into some sort of shape so I’d be useful to my family and the Lord.

So I slowly began first to walk, and then to run. I tell folks now that I’m a endorphin junkie! I praise the Lord for the ability to run.

I’ve also added weight training, something which I do about 4 days a week. I can tell you that it sure has helped this old girl stay sane and injury-free, for which I’m very thankful.

The eve of my birthday, I did something I’ve never done before. I laid in my bed and very ceremoniously “turned the page” in my mind from my 40’s to my 50’s. I’m entering a new chapter in my life, and I wanted to thank the Lord for His goodness to me in my 40’s, and dedicate my next decade to the Lord. It was a special time, with just me and God.

I’m also entering my 8th year of blogging! I think it has helped me grow as a person, and enabled me to express some things that otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do. Hopefully somewhere along the line it has been a blessing to you, as well.

This year, for my birthday, I’m asking everyone who reads this blog, even occasionally, to comment and let me know a few things. Tell me who you are, how old you are (approximate) and a topic that you really enjoy reading about. If you want, I would love to know what country you live in, as well.

And this year, I’m going to do something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do: I’m going to do a GIVEAWAY for my birthday!! One of the commenters will receive a free copy of my newest book, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil!!

I’m so looking forward to reading your comments, and getting to know who you are!

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and A Mama’s Story Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum