Tag: #makeadifferenceeveryday

Make A Difference Monday!

For Make A Difference Monday, I am challenging you (and me) to send a card to someone every day this week.  “No one has a birthday” you may say.  “Who could I send a card to?”  Dr. Seuss says “Oh the places we could go.”  Dr. Deanna says, “Oh the places we could send.”  🙂

Here are some ideas:

*the working mom who needs a little encouragement that she is doing great.
*the single dad who plays the role of both parents with grace.
*the worship leader at church who put together a great service on Sunday.
*the pastor who works tirelessly to serve the congregation.
*the coworker who put forth extra effort to make the project complete on time.
*the friend you haven’t seen for a while.
*the cousin you used to play with every Sunday at grandma’s house.
*the author of a good book you just read.
*the newspaper columnist who wrote a great article you enjoyed.
*the neighbor who needs to know you care.
*the student who received a special award.
*the nurse who gave special care to your mom.
*the doctor who calmed your child during stitches.
*the teacher who took extra time with your son.
*the coach who knew it was more than about the win.

There are many opportunities to send cards to people who sometimes we don’t remember could use some encouragement.  Take time this week to think about some of those people and then go make a difference to someone by encouraging them with a card.  Let’s go change the world, one act of kindness at a time!

God Speaks Through A Word.

BELIEVE.  RELAX.   JOY.   SIMPLIFY.

Each year for the last several years I have chosen a word to be my “theme” for the year.  This year I chose SIMPLIFY.  On January 1 I woke up feeling a little unsettled.  And I kept singing that song, “I surrender all” over and over.  I don’t even really like that song.  Why am I singing it?

Did I have a dream?  Why is that song and that word so heavy on my mind?  As the morning went on that word SURRENDER would not go away.  So I stopped my morning routine of “work as fast as you can to be productive” and just sat….quietly…and prayed.

I asked God why I had that word on my mind.  And I believe He revealed to me that SIMPLIFY is my word for the year but I needed a second “S” word and that was SURRENDER.  I felt Him telling me that I have made my life so complicated by trying to control so many things that the word SIMPLIFY was a natural choice for a word to help me improve.  But the natural choice word needed a spiritual choice word – SURRENDER.

I need to surrender my worries, my control, my manipulation of trying to make things turn out how I think is best for everyone; my obsession with trying to protect everyone from harm.   God told me to SURRENDER in order to SIMPLIFY.

So this year my word for 2018 is actually an equation.  SIMPLIFY+SURRENDER=PEACE.

Yes, Lord, I’m going to try really hard to SURRENDER ALL so that I may have a more simplified life in order to feel Your peace every day.

It’s Goal Time Again!

New Year’s Resolutions.  Phoooweeeee!

We start with not planning to eat sugar and planning to exercise 6 days a week.  We plan to be a better spouse, parent and co-worker.  We are going to declutter the house by spending 15 minutes each day getting rid of the unwanted and then being so organized we will always be able to find our latest tax return and the receipt for the sweater we bought our friend for Christmas.

Then January 15th rolls around and we realize we had cookies this week, yelled at the kids, and snapped at a co-worker.  The house is worse than it was before we made the resolution and the exercise equipment is still in the box.

So we give up.  Heck with it.  Resolutions failed.  Give up.  Right?  Wrong!
What if we had a different plan?

What if we set “goals” instead of “resolutions”?  Goals we have all year to accomplish.  Resolutions can make us feel like a failure if broken.  But goals give us the opportunity to start over multiple times without feeling like we have failed or giving us an option to quit.

This year I want to pray more, write more, speak to groups more about making a difference to someone every day.

I want to read more books and read more of my Bible.  I want to increase my exercise and keep going with my weight loss plan.  I want to encourage people more and do more intentional acts of kindness.

All of these things are great to put on paper but without a plan nothing will be accomplished.  Take a few minutes today and write down what you hope to accomplish in 2018.   Then think about how you want to accomplish those goals and make a plan.

What is your biggest goal for 2018?  I would love to hear about your goals so we can work together to make 2018 the best year yet!

Dinner’s Ready!

I walked in the door to an invitation to come straight to the kitchen to sit down.  Morgan and Roger had prepared dinner for me.  The table was set; the water glasses were full; ranch chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls were waiting for me.  What a wonderful welcome!

It was like heaven on earth.  I  didn’t have to do anything except sit down and enjoy what those two had prepared for me.  What a gift it was!

Jesus gives us the same invitation only instead of food, it is eternity in the real heaven.  We come just as we are.  It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, where we’ve been or who we were with.  He just wants us to come to His table and dine with Him.  He’s done all the work for us.  It truly is a gift.  Accept the invitation and you can dine with Christ in heaven for eternity.  You can talk to Him day and night and He will be with you every moment from right now and forever in eternity helping you through each day.

Dinner’s ready.  Will you join us?

There is a Season…

An elderly friend was not doing so well after emergency surgery to alleviate pressure from a blood clot that was slowly cutting off her airway.  One of our pastors prayed over her that God would perform a miracle and heal her so that God could be glorified.  God answered that prayer and within hours she was taken off all the machines and was smiling and breathing without the trachea. WOW, God is so awesome.

Within a couple of hours of hearing this wonderful news, I received a text that another lady (my dear friend’s sister) that we had been praying for since December 6th went home to be with the Lord.  She had been dealing with complications from not being treated properly for pneumonia by the first hospital she visited and complications set in causing a domino affect of additional health issues.

I don’t understand it.  I don’t understand why God answers some prayers and doesn’t answer others.  I don’t know how to explain it when people ask that question and I don’t know how to comfort when they don’t understand.

What I do know is that Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heaven including a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.

I also know that Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.

I don’t understand and I can’t explain it to someone to help them understand.  The only thing I know is that God is faithful, true and loving and hates to see us hurt.  But when we do, He is there to comfort and use every single thing to bring good to us through Him.  Trust in Him through all seasons.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

‘Twas The Night Before the First Christmas

‘Twas the night before the first Christmas and all through the town
Folks were sleeping in hotel beds while Mary and Joseph walked around.

The people were ready for the census to be done
In hopes to return soon to their precious homes.

The animals were nestled all snug in the hay
Just minding their own business on this particular day.

And Mary in her nightgown and Joseph with his staff
Were settling in for a long night with no naps.

When out in the field there arose such a clatter.
The shepherds fell to their knees for a message that would matter.

The angel told them to be calm for he had an announcement to make.
And the shepherds bowed down as their bodies began to shake.

“You should go to Bethlehem even though it may be far.
A king has been born.  You must follow the star.”

The shepherds arose, to their sheep gave a whistle;
And away they all went, walking fast as a missile.

They followed the star to Bethlehem town
Where animals were feeding and all lying down.

When what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a baby wrapped in rags with straw up to his ears.

With mom and dad and a baby with no bling
They knew in a moment it was the prophesied King.

Mary invited them in to hold his sweet little hand.
“His name is Jesus,” she said.  “He’s a special little man.”

The shepherds wanted to shout and tell all the nations.
So they left with their hearts filled and lots of inspiration.

This same little baby is today’s reason for Christmas cheer.
Invite Him into your heart and you, too, can celebrate Christmas all year.

Snow Day!

Covers pulled up around my neck, listening to the sound of slow traffic, praying for the phone to ring and the person on the other end to give me the news of the day.  “NO SCHOOL.  SNOW DAY!”

Do you remember that feeling?  This was well before cell phones and auto text wire messages announcing school cancellations.  We would have the radio on two hours before school was to start just hoping we would hear our school name announced so we could stay in our PJs a little longer and then gather friends to play in the snow.

Mom would bake cookies and we would have hot chocolate.  We would stay out until our toes wouldn’t move and our fingers felt like they would break off.  Then we would come in for a snack and a stint by the warm heater.  Wet clothes would go in the dryer preparing to do it all over again!

No pressure.  Just baking, eating, laughing and playing in the snow.

Oh how I long for a “snow day”!   If snow emergencies are announced and we can’t travel to work, never fear, with today’s technology we can still work from home.  Kids have their school-issued computer devices and homework is doled out from the comfort of the teacher’s couch.  We can never get away.

We just need a snow day.  A day of no emails and cell phones.  A day of  fun with family and friends with no feelings of guilt.  A day full of hot chocolate and homemade cookies.  A day just  sitting by the fire warming up to go play in the snow.

Take time out during this busy season for a snow day – even if there is no snow.  Grab a friend and a cup of hot cocoa and relax.  Go ahead.  Have a snow day.  I double dog dare you!

No Manger Mattress.

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.
The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky look down where He lay.
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

It’s hard to imagine putting a baby on sticky, prickly straw.

As we prepare for our newborn babies to enter this world, we scope out every baby specialty store in the country to find just the perfect crib and matching sheet sets.  The crib has to be ergonomically correct with no lead paint on the finish.

The mattress must have three-inch thick foam and be waterproof.  The sheets must be all cotton, hand sewn and made in the USA.  The crib sheet needs to match the comforter and bumper pad which should coordinate with the wall hanging and the character mobile.

The bedding should all be washed in chemical-free laundry detergent and hung to dry in the fresh air and spritzed with lavender essential oil made from the organic lavender grown in the field that has been “naturally fertilized” by the range-free chickens.

But Jesus, the King of the World, the one who can save us from our sinful self; the One who can change our heart and life with the snap of a finger, was born in a barn, wrapped with soft rags and gently placed on sticky, prickly straw.  No crib.  No mattress.  No matching comforter.  No lavender-spritzed sheet.  Yet it was good enough for a King.  Our King.

That baby lying on that sticky straw is why we even have Christmas to celebrate.  Let us remember Him as we go through this Christmas season and maybe think a little differently as we sing “away in a manger, no crib for a bed”.

Sometimes Things Just Sell Themselves.

Have you ever loved something so much you just wanted to tell everyone about it so they could be excited, too?  Maybe it’s a new household hack you saw on a TV show or a new product that makes your life easier and saves valuable time.

Maybe it’s a new recipe that is healthy yet tastes good (I doubt it but maybe!  hahah)  Maybe it’s an essential oil or vitamin that has cured an ache or ailment.

Whatever the case, you want to tell everyone about it even though you aren’t selling it!  You know that if people would just give it a try, it would sell itself and they could be excited, too.  You want everyone to have the same good experiences that you have had, but until someone uses the technique or product, they can’t see the benefits personally.

That’s how it is with Jesus.  We can live the life, tell others about Him, reap the rewards and share the blessings but until someone can personally experience Him, they will never know the awesome joy and reap all of the benefits He has for them.

If we live our life for Jesus, people will see there is something different about us.  They will want to know our secret to joy.  We don’t have to work hard to “sell” Him because once someone hears about Him and gets to know Him, He just sells Himself.  No Jesus.  No Peace.  Know Jesus.  Know Peace.

Dear Santa…

The real Santa was always at my Uncle Joe’s house.  We would take our girls there to see the Christmas lights display that those from near and far would come to see.  But we were special.  We got to go inside and have a one-on-one visit with the real Santa.

He knew everything Kiersten and Morgan had asked for in their Santa letter because he had really received it (via a little help from Elf Joe).  Their eyes were wide with excitement and amazement as he would personally address their wish list and spend special time with just the two of them.

How fun it is to watch a child visit Santa and offer up their wish list to him.  Some children receive letters back from the North Pole.  Some children send their wish list to Santa by phone, fax or email now.  WOW we’ve come a long way!

I often wonder if children send thank you notes to Santa.  I don’t believe we ever remembered to do that.  Getting the wish list out there was very important but once the wish was granted, I’m not sure a thank you ever went back to the North Pole.

Sometimes we are like that with Jesus, too.  We send up our wish lists of wants and prayer requests.  We promise to be good little Christians if He will just give us our desires.  Then we receive answers to our prayers, responses to our wants and needs and sometimes we forget to thank Him.

Let’s stop today and send up a prayer of thanksgiving for the most important gift ever received.

Dear Santa, thank you for giving me the gift of Jesus.