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Archive for October, 2012

{Joy Dare} Day 290

Unless we call our attention to what passes before our eyes, we simply won’t see it. Ann Voskamp

My list of joy found today, in the midst of a simple life, thank You, God:

~bacon and eggs, Freddo makes the best breakfast

~doing a few days worth of Bible study

~finding two Bible studies I am excited to do

~pumpkin spice coffee

~ordering business supplies

~making headway on two projects

~quick trip to town

~lantern type lights for the deck, that didn’t cost much

~several truths and encouragement from God’s Word tonight, even if I got there a bit late

~laughter

~list for the next three days made, tomorrow the work continues

 

{Joy Dare} 3 gifts enjoying:

~lunch with a friend, a salad I have wanted for a long time

~getting our home organized

~the thought of God allowing me to share and bless other women in our home with how He changed me through this year, all because God taught to find JOY, right where I am.

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{Joy Dare} Day 298

There are so many things these days that we have to be grateful for, as so many are suffering greatly in this life. So many testifying strongly for the cause of Christ within those sufferings. Thank You, Lord for the big and small gifts within this day:

 

~being able to get out of bed at 5 am, by God’s grace alone

~encouraging conversation while cleaning

~birds singing and leaves slowly falling beautifully as I took a short walk

~Mom’s tenacity to complete a huge project she bit off, trusting God to give her all that she needs each day that she is left here on this earth with God by her side, but without her companion, her lover, her friend…

~moments to get much done today

~trim and doors painted, only one door left to finish painting

~pizza for supper and some for lunch tomorrow

~God being glorified through a friend’s life, as she and her family trust God with His outcome

~hearing that a friend will be able to join us on a trip in a week or so

~hearing today that our friend’s son, now at home healing from something that should have taken his life, has the use of both of his legs, when the doctor said today he should have lost one of them due to the time that he was without blood to that leg. What a miraculous God we serve!!

~seeing youth real enough to say, “Please pray for me, as I am struggling in this culture that wants to pull me from Christ”

{Joy Dare} 3 gifts accomplished (some days some gifts seem so insignificant in comparison to others, but still choosing to thank God for all):

~God bringing a friend’s Mom safely through surgery today

~prayers being lifted for my friend’s husband who is very, very sick. His name is Gary, please pray for God’s healing for him and rest for he and his wife, Tami.

~cleaning and painting louvered doors

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{Joy Dare} Day 297

Blessings God allowed today, thanking Him for all:

~remembering all throughout the day as I am sorting, pitching and organizing that my dad always used to say, “A job worth doing is worth doing well”…yes, I can hear you, Dad! Lol

~dinner in a pumpkin that Mom made

~so much organization done today, bringing about an awesome encouragement to my heart

~encouraging conversations with friends today, so glad that one of them made it home safely after a fun week with family

~Freddo getting a window all trimmed out, only one left!

~Salty Sweet Chex Mix

~talking with my upline, getting things lined out for my Blessings Unlimited gathering October 29th.

~cool evening

 

{Joy Dare} 3 gifts begun:

~new journey of ministry

~overhaul of re-organizing our home

~God’s Word encouraging my heart, hastening me to share this encouragement with others that need it also.

 

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The last two days I have managed to get my 3 {Joy Dare} gifts written, but things have been a bit busy, so I didn’t take the time to write down all of the other blessings from my life I pray that tonight I will make time to do it, but in the mean time I found something that I wrote in 2010 that I wanted to share.

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     Some days my tears flow easily.  Maybe it is because I am feeling overwhelmed with things that are going on, or maybe because someone hurt my feelings, or perhaps I feel misunderstood, or convicted about my sin, there could be a host of reasons.  There are times when I want to cry and it is totally okay to do so, and yet there are times that I need to hold back the tears for one reason or another.  A friend once told me that when you are crying and need to quit, stop and take a drink of water…it usually helped her to stop crying.  And honestly, it really does help.

 

Today has been one of those days, I am feeling overwhelmed with many things of this life, saddened by the thought of what will happen to those that don’t know Jesus when they die.  As I went to the kitchen to get a drink of water to stop my tears, a thought came into my head.  Oh, it was not a thought of mine, cause this one made sense ( many of my thoughts don’t…lol).  The thought was this, “When life gets overwhelming and it hurts to go on, why don’t you stop and come to Me?  Come let me give you a “drink” of my Word  (Bible).  Why do you keep trying to this on your own?  Don’t you know by now that on your own you are going to fail every time?  But with Me you will find hope, with Me you will find peace, with Me you will find the solitude from the waves that seek to drown you. Sheila, I am the Rock that is higher than you.”

 

I am so grateful to have a Savior that loves me enough to correct me when I am wrong, even though it sure hurts my pride.  I don’t know if you are feeling overwhelmed today, perhaps by the things that overwhelm me or maybe it is by circumstances that look totally different than mine, all I can tell you is, Jesus is the answer.  Look to Him, read the Bible.  All of the answers to life’s questions are in there.  Seek Him and He will be found by you…I know cause I sought Him today and found Him.  🙂

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For years I have been seeking joy, real joy, the kind that is a lifestyle,  so I can can smile and be content no matter what is going on around me. Not the happiness feeling that arises strong from good, fun and exciting moments, but then in the next breath rejects anything that might disrupt that good feeling of the flesh being momentarily satisfied.

No, I am referring to joy, that way of life that comes from the heart of God, the kind of life that can smile even in the midst of the worse storm ever imagined, not because joy is happy, but because it is elusive outside of complete trust in a sovereign God that always has my good and His glory at heart.

Joy comes and stays because it knows that all God does is good, even if it has to wait until this life is over to understand the how and whys of it all, yes, even then it continues to trust in Him.

Trusting not because it is easy, or because it is enjoyable, but because it is aware that sometimes God has to allow tough, painful things in life so that we seek Him.

I do not know if there are other ways to attain joy, but one way that Ann Voskamp has taught me to find joy is to count gifts in the day. Gifts. Things that God allows in each day, big and small, good and bad, thanking Him for each one.

This counting changes my focus from my circumstance to my Savior. It encourages me to hope in Him alone, and all of the sudden even when life is hard, joy comes, mixing with the pain, or the sorrow of life…ushering in His peace. So I go on counting every day and thanking Him all the while…

~finding other Lewy Body Dementia blogs, reading them, feeling God to begin to give me the courage to start writing about Dad’s journey with this horrific disease, praying that in time God will use me to offer others on this same journey some encouragement. Learn about Lewy Body Dementia by clicking here.

~the sun warming up the day nicely

~spending a bit of time talking with a friend

~smell of BBQ

~God giving me strength to not allow that temptation to take root in my heart and bloom into sin, grace, His grace alone

~Freddo getting home in time for us to get the bedroom walls almost finished

~paint and paint brushes, trim almost complete, then we will be on to the next project…one day at a time…

~Freddo being able to fix our tire, love being married to a handy man

~Momma bringing us supper and spending some time with us

~beautiful Mum she brought for our front porch…picture tomorrow, as the sun set before I could get a shot of it

{Joy Dare} 3 gifts unconventional:

~husband and wife working together through whatever comes into their marriage, not just every now and then, but every time the road gets tough

~pouring soapy water on a tire to find the hole

~painting trim in my good clothes, not getting anything on me was a blessing

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Not all days go as well as we would like, and not all days are as bad as they could be, so with that, I am grateful for the day God allowed with its ups and downs…

 

~weather helping me decide what to do tonight…nothing

~antibiotics

~my doctor sharing with me about how God has blessed her life, tears came easily as I listened to her story

~soup

~flavored pretzels

~having a husband who stands in any gap for me, encouraging me all the while

~having a sister in Christ meet our heavenly Father today

~warmth of our home

~flexibility of plans

~a friend braving the cold this weekend at the Anchor City Cook Off for the benefit of children and women in Africa. Check out Back To Africa’s website, they have some amazing jewelry that has been handmade by African women! I’m sure you will love their products.

~Freddo and I getting so much done and organized today, despite how I felt…so grateful

~getting to open the second box from Blessings Unlimited…finding some neat products

~cookie dough ice cream

~smiling as I think of the excitement so many of my friends that love Cardinal baseball have and how I could just care less about it.(just being honest…)  It does bring me joy though, to know how much fun they have watching/listening to these games. It causes me to smile also, due to the fact Dad watched baseball for the first time ever in his life last year. He watched the World Series as he spent time at the Veteran’s Home in 2011. That is something that I thought would never happen. It also makes me smile to remember that he thought the Cardinals played just outside of the nursing home on the baseball field out there. Oh, how I miss that ol’ man!

 

 

{Joy Dare} 3 gifts unexpected:

~getting all the bathroom cabinets and drawers cleaned out and organized before 8am

~finding snack mix on clearance

~finding a Be Compassionate t-shirt in my Blessings Unlimited kit box

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As I was doing my Bible study this morning, I studied James 4:1-17. This day in the study comes at an interesting time for me, since I am in the process of trying to get a new business off the ground.

Luke 12:15 really put things into perspective for me. It says, “Then He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.’”   This is such an interesting verse to me, considering for the last 20 plus years, we have lived on one income. All through this time I have struggled like a yo-yo, between I want this or that and seeking to be content with what we have.

I have always known that “stuff”, consumerism isn’t for me. Why? Well, I am so easily distracted from the plan God has for me, that I simply must be alert to where my focus is and where it should be. I truly enjoy ‘things’, but my real love is people and relationships. I would rather spend an hour with you then have you give me some monetary gift. I guess my love language is ‘Time’.

Knowing this and more about myself, makes it incredibly funny that God would lead me to a job of selling stuff, especially because my friend nominated me, Sheila A. Bias, to be the “president of WASP” (Women Against Stupid Parties).  lol

Truly I have never really liked parties. Oh, they are fun, and the fellowship is great, but I always came home from them feeling discontent with what I had, wishing we had more. Being on one income was tough when so many of my friends were working. But I must say that that they never once put any pressure on me to buy things; instead they have blessed me greatly, even going so far as to share things with me that blessed my heart so much. But despite their kindness, I decided in my heart that I couldn’t go to the parties, because honestly, it created discontentment in my heart.

And then last week, God opens this door for me to become a consultant with Blessings Unlimited?? I was overwhelmed the day that God brought that opportunity to me; I just could not believe it. But I laughed as I thought of me, the “president of WASP”, selling products. lol  God really does have a way of humbling us, doesn’t He?

Well, back to my Bible study from this morning and what God showed me about how I should be running my business. From the beginning of this short journey to begin this business, I have struggled with asking others to spend money so that I could have money. Honestly, I truly understand the value of a dollar and I sure didn’t want to put anyone in a difficult spot. So I asked God to reconcile in my heart the tug of war that was going on within me.

Yesterday, as I was listening to a corporate training call, the first 5-7 minutes were spent talking about our ‘ministry in the marketplace’ and then praying about the opportunities God has given us to minister to women. During this time I realized that my business will only succeed if I put God first in it.

After reading the verse in Luke 12:15, God gave me the following statement that I wrote out, as a motto of a sort: I desire my journey in Blessings Unlimited to be more about ministry to others rather than gaining money from others.  Well, “That is a nice little motto, but it sure isn’t going to make you very much money, Sheila”, you might say.  Well, God and I, we had that talk as I stood by the stove, warming myself this morning. I told Him that if I was to make a go of this business, He was going to have to lead. He was going to have to be the one to bring the money in, because I could not allow that to be my focus on this journey. No, the women that He brings into my life, they will be my focus. Encouraging their hearts, that will be my drive. Helping them encourage others, will be my purpose. Yes, if they desire to decorate their own homes with some of these products, I will help them with that too, but I would always remind them to think of another before they think of themselves. I am absolutely aware that this is not a normal approach to business, but if you know me at all, you will know that I don’t really approach much of life in a normal way.

My main prayer for myself at this point is that I remain so focused on encouraging the hearts of others in the Lord, that I will not become greedy or distracted by stuff. So pray with me will you? That I will remain true to the calling of ministering to others in the marketplace, putting their needs before mine. Trusting the Lord to take care of my needs, as He always has been so faithful to do. So when you look at the products on the Blessings Unlimited website, be thinking of what person in your life God is asking you to share a bit of love and encouragement with, not just what might fit nicely into your own home.
Today’s list of gifts in my day that I am thanking God for:

~liquid vitamins

~totally organized closet

~being reminded in my Bible study that God allows all things that He does in my life so I will seek Him

~Freddo’s wisdom that said, “Perhaps you should stay home tonight and rest”

~finding a planning calendar in my box of papers

~opening one of my Blessings Unlimited boxes today…excited to get even more done from my list tomorrow so I can open the other box…incentives, they keep me focused, grateful for the products that I have seen so far

~warm quilt just out of the dryer to cuddle up with

~encouraging conversations with a few people today

~more Bomb Pops, sure help the sore throat

 

{Joy Dare} a gift shared, saved and surrendered:

~shared: my thoughts on how God is working in my heart, encouragement and Scripture a friend sent back to me

~saved: a musical and lighted birthday card from my parents at the last birthday party my dad had for me before he passed away in June. I found it today as I was cleaning out a box of stuff. Dad was excited all that day to have a birthday party for his little girl. That was when, in his mind, he thought I was still a child…so many memories that I pray never fade from my mind.

~surrendered: my “ministry in the marketplace” for His glory

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