Saturday, December 31, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

It's New Year's Eve and tomorrow will be a day of new beginnings. It's a new year and people generally use this to make a new start with any number of things...weight loss, spending more time with family, exercise goals, reading goals, ending bad habits. But what about tonight? I remember growing up and hearing the song "1999" by Prince (or whatever his name is now) and AWESOME is it going to be when that happens?!? When the time came it was fun don't get me wrong, but the build up did not lead up to how it "was supposed to be". Isn't that what makes us unhappy the majority of the time? The fact that we have expectations and then real life doesn't meet them? I'm not saying it NEVER happens, but most of  the time (my life anyway) it's a journey with bumps, crossroads, mountain tops and valleys. How we deal with these "changes" has a little something to do with our perspective.

I know most of you have heard the song "Auld Lang Syne" that many people sing on New Year's Eve. I grew up spending most new year's at my grandmother's house with her and my 3 aunts. They would always sing this song and I knew the words, but had no clue what they meant. Literally translated they mean "old long since". Another translation is "times gone by". Basically what this means to me is that I shouldn't forget my past; I should learn from it.When I learn from the past, new growth is possible. I glance back to glean information and understanding from what has occurred, and then I move forward with the understanding that God has a plan for my life and it is a good plan. No. An awesome plan! I don't know all of the answers, but I know the One who has them. It is VERY HARD to trust sometimes. After all, I'm not perfect and never will be this side of Glory. But when I trust in Him and have the right perspective I have HOPE for my future.

I'm going to put my New Year's Resolutions out there.
1. Do No Harm
2. Do Good
3. Stay in Love With God
These are not original. I was first introduced to them when a friend so thoughtfully sent me a copy of a book called Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living. I think these principles can be applied to any life and help make the world a better place for us all. These 3 things are SOOO simple you say...I can do these things without trying. Hold on. Slow down. Over the next few weeks I am going to expound on these three resolutions so that you know exactly what my goals are and how to help me be accountable for meeting them. This new year IS a time for new growth, new birth, new attitude, new EVERYTHING! God can make a way where there seems to be no way. He can make water spring forth in the desert. He can turn water into wine, make the blind see, raise the dead. He can bring hope where there was none. See you all in the new year! 

P.S. Fitness Friday will make a come back every other week in the new year. :)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"   2Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fitness Friday

Yesterday I was thinking...Man! It is already Friday again and I didn't write a blog last Friday. I think I will wait until tomorrow since it is late (like 10:30pm). Went to sleep peacefully...woke up at 2:45am and noticed message on phone..."No blog today? I was looking for it." Sometimes it can really suck to have accountability in your life...sigh. I really am self motivated to do a lot of things. However, there is one thing that keeps me in line like nothing else...knowing that other people are holding me to my "goal". I'm not talking about someone who will literally slap a piece of cake out of your hand as you try and eat it (this HAS actually happened to me)or make you spit out a peppermint after you vowed not to eat sugar for a time (yes, this too). I am talking about people who you know without a doubt love you unconditionally and call you out on your bull malarkey (Lord, I hope this is spelled correctly). A biblical story that comes to mind is David and Bathsheeba. If you don't know this story, here is the Cliff Notes version... David is a king. David sees Bathsheeba and he lusts for her. She is married to someone else. David knows this. He sleeps with her anyway. He takes it a step further and sends her husband into the front lines of a battle to be killed. Uriah is killed in battle and David and Bathsheeba live happily ever after, right? WRONG! David indeed suffers for his transgressions, but at first he thinks he is going to get away with this indiscretion. Enter Nathan the prophet into the situation. Nathan is going to call a brother out! He is going to hold David accountable! Do you have a "Nathan" in your life? If you are interested in reading the entire account of this story you can find it in 2 Samuel chapter 11 and 12. My point is...I NEED you people who truly love me and want to see me succeed to HELP me. I can't do it without you. God doesn't want us to travel this way alone.

H is for HIM: Prayer time...copious and regular. Scripture reading...check. Joy in my salvation...check. Score 9/10

E is for Exercise and Eating Right: Can we do a HEART check as a "HART check" this week? I have not exercised ONE time this past week unless you count cleaning house or walking my sister's dogs, which I don't. I have also taken down multiple containers of Nutella, drank regular coke, eaten doritos, etc. You might have a problem when your five year old asks you why you bought the small jar of Nutella this time! (Because it was the only one the store had!!)The fitness train is off of the tracks and headed into dangerous territory! HELP! Score 0/10

A is for All About Family: Loving being at home with my kids during the holiday season! We have made (yes, MADE) crafts, cookies and gifts for people we love this year, watched holiday movies and seen some beautiful Christmas lights. It has been so nice! Last year I don't remember doing any of these things. Score 8/10

R is for Reaching Out to Others: Along with spending more time with my family, I've had the opportunity to reach out to others more this past week. I truly enjoy doing things for other people. I need to focus more on people who might be a little harder to love than others. 7/10

T is for Transparency and Truthfulness: Sinner...check. Saved by grace...check. Gonna live my life and love like I mean it...check. 9/10 (there is always room for improvement)

God truly wants us to have meaningful relationships with each other full of agape love. This week has been a hard one for me emotionally and there have been moments that I have felt alone, unappreciated and unloved. I have a Facebook friend that is always posting about how God always comes through for her family financially. I am always rolling my eyes (I swear it's involuntary) when her post is about some miraculous check that has shown up in her mailbox. I wonder why said check doesn't show up in my mailbox?!? Hellooo God...have you ever heard of Publisher's Clearing House?? Seriously, God has provided abundantly for myself and my family and I sincerely trust that He will continue to do so. This week, I received a Christmas card from a sweet friend. When I opened it up, something fell out. I read her heartfelt words and at that moment I realized that God had not forgotten about Kelly Bass in Cairo, Ga... I wept tears of joy and thankfulness that this friend had acted on the prompting of the Holy Spirit to reach out to me. I sought confirmation from Him and I got it. He uses His people to serve each other and to bring messages of joy and hope to each other. I am so glad that my friend chose to answer His call. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her love, her willingness and her gift to me.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hate the sin...not the sinner?

     This week I read a blog titled “I’m a Christian…unless you’re gay” and I started thinking about how, when and why Christians (and more importantly ME) show love to others. Have you ever felt judged by others? Now, I know we all judge people, it is human nature and part of our fleshly make up….but does it have to be that way? People are judged for the color of their skin, the way they talk, the way they dress, their sexual orientation, their weight, their income….see what I mean? Society labels us…fat, poor, addict, ugly, worthless, trashy, rich, slutty, stuck up. Some of these things we can change and some of these things we cannot. I have learned that if someone looks or acts different, they are not better or worse than me or anybody else…they are just different. That person is God’s creation…just like I am. He loves each of us because we are His.

     Most of us know that Jesus outlined the 2 most important commandments to all who follow Him. The first is to love God with all of your heart, mind and soul. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. Who are my neighbors? They are illegal immigrants, homosexuals, unmarried mothers with 3 kids by 3 different fathers, alcoholics….or the person sitting next to you in church that would “NEVER” do anything wrong.  Some of these people are not necessarily easy to love. Trust me…I know. But I also know that I am not easy to love either. I am flesh. Human. Sinful.

     Now, what about the phrase…”Hate the sin, love the sinner”? I think that this phrase is often used as a cover up for bigotry. People use it as an excuse to not have to love those people who are different from them. Is it Biblical? Well, we already covered what Jesus wants us to do. The Bible also tells us to flee from sin. Who’s sin are we fleeing from? I think that He wants us to flee from OUR sin. To hate OUR sin. In Romans 12:9 the author tells us to “Hate what is wrong”. There is that “hate” word again. But, let’s look at the first part of that verse…”Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” (New Living Translation) I am not a theologian and certainly do not profess to know a lot about the Bible. But what I do know is that if I spend my time hating MY OWN sin, I won’t have much time to hate, judge or look down on other people.

     Genuine love requires concentration and effort. It isn’t easy, but I have found that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. For me to show Biblical love requires me to look at myself…to uncover my sin…to confess it and ask for forgiveness that is undeserved. Am I worth it? He thinks so. Is the homeless alcoholic ex-con worth it? He thinks so.

 If you are interested in reading the blog post in the first paragraph, go to

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fitness Friday

     OK, I know that it is really Saturday, but it has been a busy week for a lot of reasons. Currently, there are six girls running through my house playing "Glow in the dark Hide and Seek". They have made fairy wands, had their faces painted, played dress up, eaten cookie cake, had pedicures and played Dance Party and Karaoke on the Wii. At one point, one of them was rapping to "Ice, Ice Baby" while wearing a green Power Ranger costume, and she actually knew almost all of the words (No, it was not my child)!! I. Am. Exhausted! I will post some party pics at the end of this post. I will say that I had fun in planning and decorating, but now it's time for Fitness Friday!
     H is for Him: This week I have felt closer to Him than I have in a while. Circumstances brought me face to face with my lack of control over my life and why I need to rely totally on Him. A sweet friend sent me a Bible verse and I have been meditating on it for days. Here it is..."Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19 It means more to me each day. Giving myself a 9/10 here this week.

E is for Exercise and Eating Right: Boot Camp is over for this cycle, so I'm trying to decide what my next exercise adventure will be. I only exercised once this past week. However, I have been eating A LOT better and have actually seen a drop on the scale for the first time in a while. Score: 6/10

A is for All About the Family: Had some alone time with each of my kids this week - yay! That can be so rare with 3 children vying for your attention. The girls helped with all of the party preparations and cleaning and had fun doing it! Many stories read and kisses upon kisses given this week! Score: 9/10

R is for Reaching Out to Others: This one is probably the most lacking this week. I have been focusing on myself and my family and guess what? Others have been reaching out to me this week and supporting me with texts, emails, phone calls and lunch dates. I'm very thankful to have such awesome friends! Score: 5/10

T is for Transparency and Truthfulness: I am still the same me. A broken, scarred and imperfect sinner who by the grace of God is a treasured, beloved, daughter of the most high God. 'Nuff said. Score: 8/10

     Check out my "Martha Stewart" decorations. The Dollar Tree supplied some and the cute banner I printed from for FREE!! I love free. Free is my favorite. I printed it, cut it out and used twine to string the banner together. can be used again!

     I bought "wine glasses" from the Dollar Tree and painted the girls' initials on them. It's hard to see, but I dipped double stuffed Oreo's in pink candy coating and added a sucker stick for "fancy" milk and cookies.

     My father in law bought some face paint for the party girls. I was the only "artist" in residence, but some of them don't look too bad! We had everything from a vampire to a butterfly and I tried my best to make them happy. Score one for my father in law!

     Heaven help me...they are still awake!!