Monday, October 19, 2009

EWWWW! Gross!

Ok while taking a walk this afternoon, I was enjoying the Beautiful Fall Weather until I ran into to these two! Snakes EWWWWWWWWW!!


Let's just say that they stopped me dead in my tracks, and as I kept one eye on the snakes all the while looking for a stick or a rock to throw to hopefully scare them away, I prayed frantically! I was on a time crunch so thankfully God answers quickly and the big one slithered off and I was able to pass by! I guess I better stick to the YMCA for my work outs!

Have a Beautiful Day!

Christina

Thursday, October 15, 2009

* The Thorns in Our Life*

* The Thorns in Our Life*
~*~Unknown Author~*~Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes when she pulled open the florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a "minor" automobile accident stole her joy.

This was Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant son. She grieved over their loss.

Troubles had multiplied.

Her husband's company "threatened" to transfer his job to a new location. Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit. What's worse, Sandra's friend suggested that Sandra's grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder. "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered. "For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life, but took her child's?"

"Good afternoon, can I help you?"

Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk. "I . . . I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra.

"For Thanksgiving? I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer, "Hi, Barbara, let me get your order." She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.


"Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched - was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

"Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said, as she gently tapped her chest. Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with . . . uh . . . she left with no flowers!"

"That's right," said the clerk "I cut off the flowers. That's the 'Special'. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet. Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had just lost her father to cancer; the family business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery. That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk. "For the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby,and too much debt to allow any travel."

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the cle rk quietly. "I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and I never questioned Him why those good things happened to me, but when the bad stuff hit, I cried out, 'Why? Why me?!' It took time for me to learn that the dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort! You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."


Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about what her friend had tried to tell
her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" the clerk greeted the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement . . . twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?"

"Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced," Phil replied. "After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem, the Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me
she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from "thorny" times. That was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"
"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life" Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."


Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment.

"I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me."

The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first."

It read:
"My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that,through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.




I hope you will be thankful for the thorns in your life as well as the roses! Have a Beautiful Day!

Christina

Friday, October 9, 2009

One of those Days! UGHHHHHHHHHHH!

Ever have one of those day, you know the kind that make you wish you had never gotten out of bed! You know the Calgon take me away days.


You know the ones that make you wish you could hop on a plane and get away to a warm secluded beach alone! NO KIDS NO HUBBY! and No One staring at your bathing suit! :)

Well yesterday was that day for me!

I had great intentions for Thursday my laundry was almost done (and put away) it was rainy and dreay but I wasn't gonna let that bring me down as we all know intention doesn't determine destination (or something like that)Anyway I was putting the last load inand our sweet (HA) youngest child KJ had decided earlier this week she wanted to clean and reorganize her room on her own. Lets just say it's not working out so well! I yelled and threw things and cried!

It was not pretty! So I am asking my sweet KJ for forgiveness, and will work harder today to make my intentions and my path for today to be the same!

I can always tell when I've put God on the back burner, or allowed busyness to take over my life. How do I find that balance? First I know I need to intentionally be in God's word and that has been scarce this week. Don't get me wrong I've been reading a lot of "GOOD" for you books but I haven't dove into His word and allowed it to really speak to me! So I am determined to do that each day! I am reading through James and praying that my heart and mind will be opened to the truths in this book of scripture. Have you read James lately, it's like a little kick in the but! (EXACTLY what I need!)

So here is something I read this morning : James 1:22-24 Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. So my bible has a note on this particular passage of scripture and it says: It is important to listen to what God's word says, but it is much more important to obey it, to do what it says. We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible Study time by the effect it has on our behavior and attitudes.

WOW! Guess my behavior (yelling, throwing etc..) and attitude aren't being a very good example to my children or others around me! So the only way to make this a reality for me is to be in the Word, studying it absorbing it, living it!

So I have no other words of wisdom, I gotta go read some more in James!

Have a Beautiful Day!

Christina

Monday, October 5, 2009

A few of my favorite things.... Fall


I love the FALL!




Leaves Changing Colors...




Pick your own pumpkin, Pumpkin Patches...




Halloween....




Thanksgiving....




Carmel Apples...




Soups & Chili's...




Cooler Weather...




it's football Season... (ok so that one isn't my favorite I really don't care who wins or loses, I just love going to the games and people watching) I do like to root for the Buckeye's of Ohio State to beat the Michigan Wolverines.



So What are some of your favorite things? Let me know... I am off to have some yummy Taco Soup.

Have a Beautiful Day!

Christina