Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

May 2009 be the best yet!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Blessing from God through Jan Silvious

The prison ministry Kara @ Mommy Dot Com and I volunteer for had a very special Christmas dinner for the ladies and volunteers. Jan Silvious came and spoke to the group. She had a very special blessing for each one attending as well. Read Kara's account here.

I did RSVP to attend but that day I woke up with a horrible migraine. It was the kind of migraine where I could not even move without my head throbbing terribly. I was so sad that I had to cancel being there. Actually my feelings were hurt about it. I could not understand why God would not take that illness away. If He did not there was no way that I could be there. The door was closed. I was sad but I determined to at least pray for the event and people.

After the event Kara called and told me that it was such a great night. So many women were so blessed. She told me that she had a prayer blessing to read for me. I had one written for me too because I was suppose to be there. It was amazing to me what it read:
"I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. The one who chose you can be trusted, and He will do this!" Based on 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

That was such a sweet confirmation that God has my health in His hands. He will kept me healthy in His ways. He chose me and can be trusted in all things. He will do it. I just have to rest in Him. He is teaching me to be content in all circumstances. That blessing meant much more in my current circumstances then it would have if I would have been present.

I knew this was God just showing me His love and reminding me to trust Him as He teaches me the things I need to know. Jan does not know me well enough to know that I constantly battle with my health. She didn't know these personal things. God does though and He used her in a special way to communicate that love to me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My Christmas Baking Attempts

First I went to Walmart and bought these two boxes. They were two for five dollars. But I did have to endure Walmart!

Then I opened them and poured them out on the baking sheet.

I even recruited help.

They tasted good!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mary - Devotional


I am over at Radical Revolution today. You can read the devotional here.

Merry Christmas!

Much love,

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Great Gift

"As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

One of my best friends went to Israel this past summer. She prayed and looked but could not find the perfect gift for me. There were many junky souvenirs sure but she wanted the right gift.

So then she had the thought of the widow's mite which is listed above. She brought this shekal back from Israel to remind me to always give all I have to Jesus. This is the most wonderful and thoughtful gift. And get this she was sure to tell me that this was not my birthday or Christmas present either. What a friend!

She knows me and knows what is important to me. She knows how much I love Israel. She is mindful of those things. Do you know God knows us even better than that? He is the giver of all good gifts and the perfect and most complete gift was given in Jesus--that is why we celebrate Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My New Look!

Welcome! If you came to Refresh My Soul Blog and thought you were at the wrong place you are mistaken! This is my new look. I hope you like it. I have some new fun surprises as well. I will unveil them as they come along. I am blessed to have a wonderful technical hubbie who can put this stuff together.

We just had an unexpected but wonderful visit with some good friends from Ohio. They were headed to Florida and spent some time with us on the way down. They may stop again on their way back and maybe I can get a picture to post. Then maybe tell you more about them.

We are anticipating a visit with my aunt and uncle and my cousin and his wife this week as well. I cannot wait because I have not seen my cousin and his wife for a long time! They flew in from Nevada.

Let me know what you think about the new look and what you are up too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

See You in the Funny Papers-A Book Review

I am late posting this book review. It was suppose to be posted last week and as you all know I am suffering from some nasty stuff. Anyway, to be quite honest, as the Bible states, laughter is good medicine. I have taken this book along with me to some doctors visits and you know waiting in that waiting room can take some time. So, it was a quite peaceful time for me to get my dose of medicine through getting my laugh on!

Pam is hilarious! She writes in such a friendly and real style that we all can relate to. Using everyday life situations Pam finds the funny out of them while expressing spiritual truths she learns. I LOVED it. Her style reminded me so much of Chondra Pierce. Hilarious. I highly recommend it.

Now, I have to be totally honest, I did not make my way through the entire book yet. This is the kind of book that you hold onto and just take doses at a time like medicine. It is great to have for that. To check out the book on Amazon go here.

To visit Pam's site go here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hanging with God in the MRI Machine


Please don't think I take the phrase "hanging with God" lightly. It does seem that too often these days we treat God in all His holiness and splendor as casual. There is a perfect balance in knowing the fear of the Lord in our relationship with Him. I am fully in awe of Him and aware of His greatness. He is just too much to grasp. His goodness is so amazing to me. Yet in all of Him He desires my friendship. Isn't that astounding? He wants yours too, dear one.

Back to the hanging part. I posted a bit back about having optic neuritis. Because of that and complicated migraines, I had to get another MRI. Strangely wearing a fake football helmet, lying on a hard table that is then inserted into a tight circular machine does not bother me much. Even in its constant noise and loud beats, it is a time of peace for me. I can lay there and be alone with God. It is those times in which I am thankful for.

It seems things get so fast paced, especially this time of year. The truth is this time of year especially we should be slowing down. Taking time to reflect on the greatness of our God. Time to remember how much He loved us to limit Himself to a fleshly body. Time to remember how He endured death on a cross because He loves us so. That poor baby we see in the manger knew He came to die. But His death beat our death. Three days later He arose. Then sending His Holy Spirit to always lead and guide us. Does that just amaze you or what?

I just wanted to encourage us to just take time to sit and hang out with God. Talk to Him and let Him speak back to you. What is on His mind? Do you take the time to just sit in His presence? I thought it was funny it took a forced MRI appointment to sink that thought into my head. So, let's make it a priority to start hanging out with God more voluntarily! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Divorce Hurts Everyone

No one ever thinks about explaining the act of divorce to their little children, that is until you are in the middle of it. My brother has been through this situation. He has a child who is the same age as my oldest daughter. They visit and play together about once a year.

Though they only get together once a year, Kaitlyn had to face the reality that not all things are permanent. She saw how marriages can be broken. She saw how her cousin had to go back and forth from living in one house to another. She saw the separation in her seven year old eyes. It has rocked her world more than I ever could know.

The problem now is that at any inclination of a disagreement between my husband and I, my sweet child talks to us about promising to stay together. She expresses not wanting to go back and forth to my house and daddy's house. We explain that nothing can separate us and that we will disagree and become upset with one another at times but that will not split us up. My heart breaks for the pain she feels about it. The worry she feels. She should not have to carry that weight.

I just had to make an entry about this because it has been on my heart and I have now seen the consequences in a place I never expected. I always thought divorce only effected the immediate families that were involved but now I see it effects so much more.

Monday, December 8, 2008

In The Spit Zone

Now, I just have to tell you that over the years I have attended various churches and I have sat in various places. I most always love to be in the back where I am not easily seen by others. I just at times want to be invisible. I am not sure why except that perhaps it is part of that introverted personality that I possess. Another story for another day is the fact that God did not make me to be invisible, you either. He made us to shine brightly for His glory.

As our current church has started to grow, our music minister asked for volunteers to move on up closer to the front to make room for others. (I guess everyone wants to sit in the back!) So my husband being the great helper that God designed him to be readily accepted and moved us up closer. I willingly, but dragging my feet, followed but felt a bit self-conscious.

Over the years I have gotten use to our spot, especially since it has filled up all around us. People have better things to do then to look at me anyway. Why would I even be so self-absorbed to think that they would anyway?

But yesterday was simply a place I never wanted to sit. We were in the spit zone. I am not even sure what possessed my husband to pick out those seats because there were others around us. We were in the second row.

What I realized was it is a little spacey up there. It is a little closer to the altar. It had a better view of what was going on up front and I did not get spit on after all. I guess it was not that bad.

In the Christian walk, God will always make a way to move us out of those comfortable places. He will not let us remain comfortable for long. Being comfortable mostly leads to complacency if we are there too long. We are living organisms and were meant to move and change as God leads.

Talk a look at your life today, are you flowing with God the refreshing river of life or are you sitting in the back row watching the river go by?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Optic What?

So, I have this condition now called optic neuritis. Essentially it means that both of my optic nerves, which are in the back of the eye, are inflamed. What does this mean? Unfortunately it means for me that I am seeing all kinds of strange spots in my visual field of sight. I am not sure how long it will last but it makes reading hard.

Now, knowing someone like me whose favorite thing to do is read, how do you cope? Talking about reading, I have been reading through a great book by the founder of the Voice of the Martyrs called, "Tortured for Christ." It is really good and addresses his story and much about the underground church around the world. It has driven me to pray harder for this group of our brothers and sisters.

It has also given me a new appreciation for even being able to read my Bible. Some of the false arrests that occurred happened with drugging and torture. In this hard time these people, our brothers and sisters in Christ, held tightly on to Christ. They endured unspeakable torture. They had no Bible to read from for encouragement. They just had Him. It reminded me that He is enough. Working eyes or not, at least I can hear the word anytime I want and for that I am thankful.

Please do not forget to pray for our brothers or sisters around the world who do not have the same privileges. Let us do all we can to help them. If you are interested in a free copy of this great book go here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Split Pants by Chance?


So this is a totally random post but I am just in the mood to start back up my consistency in blog world. Now everything I do does have spiritual significance so just bare with me.

I have a pair of pants that are so comfortable that I just love! They are Old Navy Cargo pants and I believe I got them the day after Thanksgiving a few years ago at a great price like around $10. Now nothing gets me more excited than a great deal. Their picture is above.

Well, unfortunately I got a rip on the back side of these near the top of the back pocket. I still wore them with a shirt that would cover it so no one would know. That was until yesterday!

I was on a play date at the mall. My precious child dropped something so I bent down in a strange way to get it and all I heard was, "RRRIIPPP." I thought oh know, the hole is now going to be noticeable. Thankfully I did have a longer shirt on than usual but when you are feeling a draft on a winter day in your pants then something is definitely wrong.

So, gracefully I tried to feel around for the damage on my backside not thinking it probably looked like I had a strange fascination with my backside. But to my horror I was correct in my thought. The hole was huge and not mendable.

I started praying about what to do and fast. My girlfriend with me said she could not see the hole but if my shirt slipped up it was way to obvious. One of my favorite stores was right next to us so I decided to go in there. STOP here for a moment with me. I have to confess that I have been really struggling with being a good steward of our money. I have been asking God to help me in this so I have stopped my buying of non-essentials for the most part. Back to the story.

I was so surprised to see a whole rack of $40 pants on sale for $9.99. I was so thankful and snatched up a pair to put on to cover myself from the draft! They fit perfect and I was so pleased with them. They were not my cargos but they were nice. Here is a picture of them.
Everything is fine up until this point. I got such a high from the great deal that I ended up buying two more pair of pants, a sweater and a vest. My total which should have been $10 now became $60! Now that is the problem. When will I ever learn?

Lord, please help us all to be good stewards of what You have given us. Forgive us when we are not. We love You and want to follow You with everything, even our blessings.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am back!

Hey sweet friends! Thanks for tolerating my sporatic posts. I am really hoping I am finally back! My writing project is now completed and off to the pilot group. I am so excited. If you are interested in participating in it as well please let me know. This study is a five week study for tween/teens called Girl Power, God's Way.

Thank you for all who prayed.

Oh, a new fun family thing we have been doing. We all adopted a webkinz animal and each one of us made our own account. We have family time where we can play games against each other and visit one another's virtual houses. It is a lot of fun for us.

Homeschooling is going good. I have a little catch up because I have been ill. I do believe things are looking up though. Finally!

We visited our family in Ohio for Thanksgiving. We had a great time with them. The day after Thanksgiving my brother and I took on the shopping craze. We had a blast. My best deal, I got the new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory DVD for $2! Now that is a good deal. :)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are doing well. I will be visiting around soon! Can't wait to catch up!
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