Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Legacy

One definition of the word legacy is something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.  A legacy is something that is handed down from generation to generation.  In some families legacies are a beautiful thing and in others, well, not so good.  I have been doing a lot of thinking about legacy in the past few days because of a funeral I attended at our church recently.  The funeral was for a man with quite a legacy and although I didn't know him very well personally, I do know several of his family members very well and so I went to show my support of their whole family.  This man that is now rejoicing in Heaven has an awesome legacy, that is very inspiring.  He was an Elder in our church.  He woke up every day and began each day in prayer.  He prayed for every family member by name (a family that had 5 children, 30 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren so far).  Then after he prayed for family members, he prayed for every church member by name and their families.  He didn't do anything without consulting The Lord in prayer.  He led his life by example and led his life for Jesus.  He led his life in such a way that his children all made the decision to accept Jesus as their personal savior.  He led his life in such a way that his grandchildren have made decisions to accept Jesus as their personal savior.  He led his life in such a way that as the great-grandchildren are growing up, they are making the decision to accept Jesus as their personal savior.  This man led his life in such a way that many people besides his family made the decision to accept Jesus as their personal savior because of the examples he set.  It was amazing to sit at his funeral and hear person after person tell how much he loved God, how he lived for God, how he passed God on to his family, and how he wasn't afraid to die because he knew he was, without a doubt, going to Heaven to be with God.  It was beautiful to hear this man's legacy and to think of all the times I have seen his family live it out.  At the end of the service our pastor challenged us with this thought...What is your legacy?  What are you passing on and leaving behind for your family?  After hearing all that was said at the funeral, I was lost in thought.  I know there are many things I am leaving my family, but am I teaching them enough about God, faith, and the Bible? Will they be able to say that I led my whole life for Jesus, that I left them a shining example to follow?  That thought just left me stunned.  I need to start living more for God and letting that shine through all I do.  I need to let the world see Jesus shining in me instead of just seeing me.  I want my legacy to be that I lived for God and served God to the best of my ability so that God will be able to tell me "Well done good and faithful servant."  What kind of legacy will you leave?  It is not too late to change your legacy if you are not living for God and accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Giving It Up

I have to tell you that God never ceases to amaze me.  His love and care for me is astounding, overwhelming, and pure.  God takes situations that are too big for us to handle and He handles them when we give them over to Him.  All we have to do is ask.  He will hear and He will provide answers.  You have to be ready for the answer because sometimes it is not the answer we were hoping for, but keep in mind that God can see the entire picture and He knows the best answer for us.

I was reminded of this just yesterday.  Recently we have been dealing with a situation with some property we own.  It seems like we have to deal with the property every few years and quite honestly this property has overwhelmed me and left a very bitter taste in my mouth.  It is something I have struggled with and been very negative about.  When we found out information about this property, I immediately started thinking about all the things that have come up with this property, all the things I have had to put on hold due to this property, and all the ways that it has been a thorn in my side.  All the bitterness and disappointment came rushing to the surface again and I fell apart.  My dear husband was so kind and calm about the situation and he just kept encouraging me to give everything (all my feelings, thoughts, and negativity) to God and ask God to help in this situation.  I knew he was right and that I had to find a way to give it to God because me hanging on to it, was not doing anyone any good.  That same day I prayed to God and asked for help to just let Him have the issue and to not feel the way I felt about it anymore.  The next morning, I really poured my heart out to God about this situation and I truly gave the whole mess over to Him because I knew that at this point it was bigger than me and there was just nothing I could do.  I have struggled in the past to give my burdens completely to God because I pray and then I continue to worry, which is not the way it should be.  When we do that (pray, ask for help, and then continue to worry and fret) we are telling God that He isn't big enough to handle our problem and that is a habit that I am trying to break.  So this time I really focused on truly giving the issue to God and letting it be.  Then about a week ago my husband asked me if I had taken the next step about this property and I told him no, but I was going to get to it.  My hubby kept asking and I kept putting him off, all the while knowing God was nudging me to be obedient to my husband and do what he had asked.  Finally on Sunday, I took the next step in the situation and did what my husband had requested to do with the property.  I received a couple of responses that night but I prayed that God would just continue taking care of it.  I woke up then next morning to an overwhelming amount of responses and all I could do was let the tears run  while I thanked God for providing answers.  I know, without a doubt, that God has really been trying to show me for a long time now that if I completely give Him my worries, burdens, fears, and doubts that He will show me that He can handle them.  I know He used this situation specifically to show me that He is in control and if I give up it up to Him, He can bring healing for the bitterness, answers for the situation, and He can open the doors that I just can't.  I know God is just showing me that He is here, He cares, and He is in control that I just need to lean into Him and give it all up.  It is a hard thing to do, but something I am really working on.  I want to be obedient to God and to do that means to Fully Rely On God (FROG).  Is there a situation that you can give to God today?    Nothing is impossible with God - Luke 1:37

Friday, March 8, 2013

Checking in on my Resolutions

It really seems like New Year's was just last week, but it is March already and I am not quite sure where the time has gone.  I thought today was a good day to check and see where I am at on the New Year's Resolutions I made.  I don't want to forget that I made them nor do I want to give up on them.  I plan to keep revisiting them and keep track of my progress and hopefully at the end of the year, I will be able to check them all off my list.

  • Continue working on losing my 50 pounds - If you want to know how I am doing, see my Weight-loss Wednesday posts where I am blogging my weight loss journey. - I have been working on this one even though I have temporarily stopped my Weight-loss Wednesday posts.  It is not that I don't want to share my journey with you because I do.  I decided to temporarily stop the weekly updates because my focus was off and I was getting way too obsessed with the numbers on the scale and not on making the process permanent.  I am committing to not step on the scale until the end of March in an effort to not be focused on the scale, but to instead focus on making good, healthy decisions and lasting changes.  
  • Finish my Thomas Kinkade Cross-Stitch - After working on this cross stitch off and on for 6 to 7 years, I am so very happy to report that I have finished it and it is ready to frame so that I can give it to my step dad.
  • Follow the FLYLady System - I have fluttered and almost started FLYing completely in 2012, but I didn't get all the way on the system like I wanted to.  I know that when I follow the FLYLady system, it works for me and in 2013 I plan to get completely back on track with the system. - I am still working on this one.  It is a week by week process for me and some weeks I do better than others.
  • Get Organized - This one goes with getting on the FLYLady system, but I am tired of thinking I know where something is only to search and search and finally find it somewhere completely unrelated.  I am also tired of realizing I have something to do or somewhere to be the day I have to be there and not having things ready for it.  I just have to get organized so I can function better. - We have been steadily de-cluttering since January and it feels really good.  There are a few more major areas that I need to de-clutter and then I will just have to work on maintaining areas which will help me stay organized.  I have also been working really hard on writing things down right away and if there is something I need to take care of, I try my best to get it done right away rather than procrastinate.  I am not completely organized yet, but each day seems to be better than the day before.
  • Craft More - I have a bazillion and one projects I want to do, but haven't gotten around to.  I am hoping by getting more organized and my schedule under control, I will have more time to craft. - I have been taking a little time each morning after reading my Bible, but before the kids get up to work on crafts.  So far this year I have finished a cross stitch project, a scarf, a hat, and I started a new cross stitch and a new scarf project.  I am working on completing projects as I go instead of just having fun starting new projects and not completing them.
  • Scrapbook More - I am realistic and I know that I will always be way behind in my scrapbooking, but I hope to have more time to scrapbook so I can at least feel like I am making progress. - I have been making an effort to attend some monthly scrapbooking crops and I have gotten about 30 layouts done so far this year.  That is a good number for me and I am continuing to work.  I have a goal of completing 213 layouts this year and I really do hope to complete them all.
  • Study my Bible and Pray More - I can always use more Bible and prayer time. - I do my best to get up and start every day with reading my Bible.  I tend to do better at this during than week than I do on the weekend, but I am really working on that.  I really want to be consistent with studying my Bible and my prayer life.  I find myself praying more and more throughout the day as thoughts and people pop into my mind so that is good and something I want to develop more and more.
  • Blog Regularly - I apologize to all my readers for this year.  I started off well and then somewhere along the way I got off track and got in a funk.  Then at the end of the year I started thinking about why I started blogging in the first place and my desire to blog came back.  I blog to get my thoughts written down somewhere.  I blog to let others know what works for me and what doesn't.  I blog as my journal.  Along the way I hope someone is reading and getting something from my blog, but if not that is okay too I'll keep writing. - I am still working on this one.  Some days I feel like I have a lot to say and then other days, I can't even think of one word to write about so I haven't quite lived up to writing more, but I will get there.