Some Prayers are Answered Imediately! God is Very Real and no one will EVER Convince me Otherwise!!!

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This last week has been incredibly busy.  I’ve thought about listing the hours I worked, activities, meetings, etc… I have had, but some details are unnecessary and a bit boring.  What I will explain is that I am very tired and pretty well feel like I am losing my mind with all that I need to remember.  Sunday morning I found out I needed to get my daughter’s passport to church to have copies made for an upcoming mission trip.  Sunday afternoon I hurriedly obtained it from the safe place it has been kept for the last six months and was quite sure I had placed it in my purse.  The plan was to have it copied while I was in with the rest of the choir preparing for our patriotic musical.  Well the person that was going to copy it and myself both forgot.  That evening after the musical we had the church youth group over to our house and the next morning I got up for work at 4:20 am as usual.  Upon arriving to work I found out I had arrived an hour earlier than I was actually scheduled.  The fact that I unknowingly sacrificed an hour longer sleep should demonstrate my state of mind and the fact that I am losing it completely.

The passport was now long forgotten until this evening when my daughters and I went shopping at Target.  My youngest had a gift card burning a hole in her pocket and the oldest needed a pouch to carry her passport for her upcoming trip.  With the thought of the passport retrieved from the depths of my memory I now started to look for it in my purse not having remembered seeing it over the last two days.  We got to the car and I emptied my purse.  Each daughter looked through my purse.   No passport found.  The entire car ride home I started retracing my steps in my mind trying to think if I laid it down somewhere stupid instead of putting it in my purse or if it had fallen out of my purse.  I had only been to church, work, and home until our Target trip.

As we continued home my chest had become tight and I was now nauseous thinking that all the anticipation, prayers,  preparation and cost of this life changing trip for my oldest daughter was all pending on locating the now lost passport.

As we neared our home I silently prayed very hard pleading with God to help me find this passport.  Come to find out my youngest daughter was in the back seat doing the same as she could tell her mom was growing close to losing it!  I had promised my oldest that she could start practicing driving the car down our private lane when we come and go.  She drove down our lane when we left and it was now with the very last ounce of patience that was left in me I kept my word to let her drive down our lane back to the house.

It was through keeping my promise God answered my prayer.  Her passport apparently had fallen out of my purse at some time while driving over the last few days and had slid between the passenger seat and door.  As I walked over to the passenger side of the car there it was.  I think I actually heard a heavenly choir sing as I bent down and scooped up that precious passport!

God hears our prayers.  He is faithful.  He cares about every detail of our lives.  He is very real and every bit of my sustainer, redeemer, best friend, Lord, Savior, and my Heavenly FATHER!!!    His presence is so evident to me everyday!!!

My Purpose is to Love and Serve Others

Life gets so confusing.  Life feels like a continuous battle some days.  So often there are so many things being forced by others without seeming to even really have a choice.  With that being said God continues to remind me that I always have a choice.  That I can choose to love and to serve everyone in all circumstances.  No matter what seems unfair nothing is more unfair than what my Savior Jesus endured for my sin on that cross.  So I will press on and continue to focus on Jesus and loving and serving others.   This is why God gave me life.  My goal in life is for when my time ends on this earth is for others to say that if anyone truly believed in Jesus, followed him, and was a true Christian…Anita did and was…

1 Peter 3:15-18 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

Riots, the Duggars, Jenner, Dolezal, Mass Murders… Sigh

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Even with avoiding the news as much as I can the majority of what media has highly publicized still reaches me eyes.   My heart gets so sad for this hurting world we live in.  At times I feel anger stirring in me over lies and unfairness.  Anymore I consider news media “Sin on Parade” as I watch personal agendas flooding the airways across our country and the world.   Some sin is being applauded and some condemned.  The world has decided it is the judge of what is wrong or right which has led us into deeper confusion and turmoil.  This blog has been prayerfully on my mind for sometime as each week there is a new story defining our culture and the times we live in.

What I continue to see are people hurting and desperate.    I see people pushing their opinions with selfish gain as their motivation.  What I see are a lot of excuses being made for behaviors masked with fancy words and terms.   I see a world trying to find healing in medications legal and illegal to provide a band aid for much deeper wounds.  If a person claims to follow Jesus I see a world searching for any sin in their life to provide the excuse of “see they are no different”.  As I see our government turn their backs on God the leaders of our country have taken on the image of a three ring circus ran by immature two year olds.  These days it seems like no one is really interested in actually getting to the root of our problems.

Within my own life I have found that the only way to fix anything is to find the root, the source of the problem.  When I weed my garden if I just pull the leaves of a weed it just comes back bigger and stronger.  It must be pulled out by the root to stop the growth of a pesky weed.   It seems the more “educated and scientific” we are the more we just pull at the leaves of problems instead of stopping them at their source.

What is the true source of all of the worlds problems?   The answer can truly be summed up in one little three letter word.  It is a word that no one wants to hear or use these days.   Our pride and arrogance cringes at the sound of this word.  It is SIN.  We are all born with the nature to sin.  Our sin starts as a thought we then have the choice to feed that thought and allow it to develop into action or to stop the thought at its beginning.   These people who would gun down, bomb, or poison the innocent started with a thought.  They build up excuses and reasons in their mind to justify actions they want to take and then act.  They have become deceived.  You can see the empty darkness in the eyes of these killers as their mug shots flash onto media screens.

Have you ever listened to a person who is having an affair talk?  Just sit and listen to excuse after excuse.  Justification after justification.  It starts with a sinful thought and then action.  There is a reason for their choice.  It is sin.

Hang around with preschool children for a day and you will see that sin starts immediately in our lives.  We come into this world selfish and greedy.  There is evidence proving this point as one of the favorite and first words of a toddler is “mine”.

Our sinful nature is so powerful and pulls us to go the exact opposite direction God has planned and desires for us.  The message of God’s word is consistent in the fact that we are to love God and others, serve others, be kind, gentle, forgiving, and thankful.  The life of Jesus shows us the perfect example of a life lived out with these qualities.   Our human sin drives us to be selfish, self serving, blaming, judging, prideful, arrogant, and pleasure seeking.  In reality what kind of person do we want to be around?  What we all desire to have in our life is someone that has the very attributes of God, but we shut out God and His word that provides instruction of how to have a life of joy, peace, hope, and a life that is everlasting.  We shut out the source of peace and expect to have peace.   The difference between someone who is a true follower of Jesus Christ and someone who is not is only the fact that a believer realizes how sinful they are, has been forgiven by the only one who can forgive sins, Jesus, and chooses to follow Jesus.  Desiring to sin less and less in their life through the only power and strength that can help us with this weakness, Jesus.

To sum up the turmoil and confusion we see in the news media everyday is that “we are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23  We can not cure ourselves.  We can try to change physically.  We can try medications to mask our deep emotional wounds.  We can try to fill our void with material goods and addictions.  We are lost confused people separated from our creator by our sinful nature.  The good news is that Jesus is the answer to every single problem that is in the world today.  The problem is sin and the answer is Jesus.  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   Come to know Jesus today.  Experience real love and allow Jesus’ love to live through your life in a desperate and hurting world.  He is our hope and our future!!!

When it is not Necessarily the Best that is Chosen

This has been a struggle for our family this week.  What appears to be the best?  Who appeared to be the best from our narrow perspective?  What is everyone else saying is the best?  We are continuously bombarded with choices in our lives.  What school to apply for and where to attend, what job to apply for and take, what activities to be involved in, what sports to play and who to play for, who to date, who to marry…  the decisions go on our entire lifetime.  We continue to make them for ourselves our whole life.   After becoming parents we are a part of our children’s decisions.  Depending on the age of the child we may have to sit back and pray about the decisions of our children.

I purposely left out typing the only opinion that truly matters up above.  What and who does God say is the best?  With jobs, activities, and sports we have found that there are always politics and personal agenda’s involved with the bosses and coaches that are making the final decisions.   This week a member of our family has faced the hurt of rejection.  As a parent this is always hard.  I have found that I can handle my own rejections in life much better than one of my children being rejected.  It is hard to see them work hard and the hard work not always pay off.  At least we don’t always see an immediate pay off or what we see on the surface is defeat.  As I spoke the words “When God closes a door he always opens SOMETHING, it may be just a window or it could be a wide open door” I had to ask myself do you really believe that?  This week has been a test on my own faith that God truly knows what is best.  He knows what people He wants my child and our family’s lives to cross paths with.  As a window opened wide and quickly this week we still waited for a peep hole in the old door to open.  As time passed I found myself growing uncomfortable and edgy waiting on this tiny peep hole of an opportunity to give our daughter an answer.   Finally the thought “No, my child is worth more than this and this other window recognizes her potential”  crossed my mind.

It is not always the bigger flashier names,  what looks the prettiest, or most appealing that God does great things through.  I am excited to see what my daughter’s new opportunity will bring and how God will work things together for her good and for His glory.   Her excitement and relief about the unanimous decision said it all.

Right before her disappointment we had watched the movie “Soul Surfer”  Bethany Hamilton’s story for about the 100th time.  Bethany Hamilton has been a hero to both of my girls since the movie came out and we love watching her life unfold on social media.   After watching this movie I reminded the girls to find their passion in life, work hard, and give God all the glory.  I went on to say to them “allow God to work through you and use what your passionate about as your platform to share the love of Jesus”.

There will always be rejection, unfairness, and disappointments in life.  God never rejects those who seek him, He is the only true fair judge with no politics, and he will never disappoint as He always keeps his promises.

Jeremiah 29:11 ” 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.”

Attention to Details

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Sunday evening our town had a memorial and tree dedication service for those who had trees donated to the town parks in memory of a loved one.  There were many small details that I noticed God paid particular attention to.  Our church usually has an evening service at 6 pm the same time as this service.  We had a special schedule this Sunday that allowed our family this time free.  I was also on call for work and was not needed at the hospital during this time.  The service was held at the rose garden.  My picture above was snapped quickly with my cell phone, but I actually like the vintage blur given in the photo.  Some friends of the family donated a tree in honor of my husband’s father and he loved roses.  What a great detail.  My own father loved roses and caring for them so this was a nice time for his remembrance as well.   When we walked under the pergola a momma bird had built a next that had a least three baby birds.  We had a nice “birds eye” view under the pergola of these young ones.

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These baby birds reminded me of new life with Christ when we accept his gift of salvation.  They reminded me of eternal life in heaven and the hope of seeing our loved ones again.

Another detail was that my father-in-law’s tree was planted right next to a fellow church member’s who lost his wife this year.  This gentleman and my husband are buddies driving the church bus to pick up children and those unable to drive.

It was a great reflection of how God always pays attention to the fine details.  He knew of this little ceremony long before our church staff planned the calendar.  I am so grateful God pays attention to the details and that his timing is perfect.

Romans 8:28 ” For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

If I Would Just Remember to Look UP First

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Just a few minutes ago I was out piddling in our yard feeling a bit overwhelmed with a lot of things truthfully.   I sighed as I looked at this tree from the outside trying to see what branches should be trimmed to make mowing around it easier.  As I stepped underneath it I felt like I was in a whole new little world.  As the sun shown down through the green leaves I felt like I was in a beautiful protective green bubble of life.  It was a whole new perspective of this tree I had never known.  I took another picture looking out from the protective green branches.  That view somehow made our large yard less daunting.   As I stepped all the way out from under my green little hut I was looking eye to eye with this beauty.

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Had I not taken the time to step under the protective shield of this tree and look up I am quite sure I would have missed the eye contact made with this beautiful creature.   Yet another reminder from my Heavenly Father God to step into His protective loving arms, look up, and then look out with His perspective at what is before me.

Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”  Psalm 42:5 “Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him my Savior and my God.”

Just Five or Six More Summers

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Eight years ago my sister gave me a call and a lady at her work was giving away a twenty one foot round above ground pool to whoever wanted it and that would come and take it down.   There is actually nothing “FREE” about a pool, but it did significantly cut the costs of having a pool for some summertime fun for the kids.  The last couple of summers I have kept in the back of my mind that the liner would soon bite the dust.   This year is the year.  We have had seven full seasons with our “FREE” pool.  We have been weighing the costs of replacing the liner or just taking it down.  The kids still really like it and it is something fun for when they have friends over during the summer.  This prompted us to have a family meeting and to actually listen to each other which I feel is a positive.   Alas whatever the fate of our “FREE” pool my mind has gone to thinking about “just five or six more summers”.   This was my input to my husband as far as lets just replace the liner and get five or six more summers with it because after that the kids will be grown.   In just five or six more summers oh how much our lives will change.  Of course we never know what life surprises God has up his glorious sleeves.   As it now stands our children will be out of high school in that time.  With the normal life expectancy of canines our family dogs will most likely no longer be with us.  We could have a very quiet and empty house in just five or six more summers.

My focus is not actually on the pool, but the memories and time spent together.   It is just merely a tool or a gathering place to make us stop and enjoy time with family and friends.   Adults can hang out and children can swim.  It is time outdoors away from technology.   This of course is hitting at a not so great financial time for us so I am just doing a lot of praying for guidance as to what is best.  No matter what we choose it will cost.

Everything in life has its season.  Each season has its costs and its joys.  This has just been a reminder for me to just enjoy our season and to seek God’s guidance in making our decisions.  It has been a reminder to listen to our children because we have a limited time to invest in their precious lives before they are adults.

Ecclesiastes 3:1  ” There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:”