Let Your Mess Become Your Ministry

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls

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Hey Girls,

This is my last article writing for The Glorious Table.  We all come into this world the same.  We all face a multitude of messes during our lifetime.  What do you do with your mess?

What do you do with the messes of your life? Do you hide them? When your past pops up, do you push it down and away from your conscious mind? Do you think it’s easier to pretend certain things never happened?

When we encounter the messes of life, the temptation is to isolate, to go it alone and cover it up. Why do we do this? Some messes are merely embarrassing, but some are deeply painful. The Enemy tells us we’re foolish to think anyone will understand. He whispers, “You are not worthy.” It’s easier to bury our messes than to expose them.

We fool ourselves when we think it’s easier to hide our messes. Hiding is the Enemy’s idea. Satan wants us to isolate. He wants us to be all alone in the thunderstorm of our own thoughts. Keeping secrets in the darkness is his plan.

To read the rest of the article, click on The Glorious Table.

 

 

 

 

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Lilly’s Colorful Spots

Lilly’s Colorful Spots is the first book in my new kids series called, Love Lilly Series.

Hey Grandgirls, I posted the book cover and a promo of Lilly’s Colorful Spots on my kid’s blog. Do you like the cover? There are a lot more pictures inside.

To create the illustrations, throughout the book, I did a photo shoot with your little cousin, Brooklyn and then cartooned the pictures.  So, Lilly is actually Brooklyn. 🙂

Aunt Christy is even featured in one of the photos.  Thanks to those, who live nearby, and patiently listened, critiqued and helped me put the story of Lilly’s Colorful Spots into a Book. You’re the BEST encouragers!

Click below to read my process of creating my first Children’s Book.  Thanks in advance to ALL my friends who are willing to help me get the word out!  🙂  Feedback, I need lots of feedback and sharing.

Moral Stories for Kids

Find Lilly as an ebook on Amazon:  Lilly’s Colorful Spots 

What Makes a Woman Beautiful?

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

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Good Morning my sweet girls,

Today I am sharing an article on a very important topic.  This writing tells my story and struggle with the concept of true beauty.

Whenever it is my turn to write for The Glorious Table I pray God will chose my topic and use my words to touch people’s hearts.  I pray God speaks  to you, deep inside your soul, to give you a new appreciation for the wonder of you! You are wonderfully made!

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What makes a woman beautiful? Is it her flawless skin, dazzling white teeth, or her perfect size-6 figure? Hair is her crowning glory; the Bible even says so. Yet outward appearance distracts from true beauty, a beauty that abides deeper than the eye perceives.

While I was growing up, the pursuit of outward beauty drew me in. As a teen, I sought to make myself beautiful in the eyes of my peers. I was, however, painfully self-conscious in junior high because I had stick-straight blond hair, distinct blobs of freckles across my face, big front teeth, chipmunk cheeks, and a derriere too big in comparison to the rest of me. I held little hope of becoming one of the beautiful women of the world.

In high school, my shape began to evolve. I learned how to manage my hair and apply makeup to cover my freckles. My teeth fit perfectly in my mouth at last, and my booty was lining up proportionately with my frame. I even hung out with beautiful people.

I had noticed that a beautiful woman is looked upon favorably, even before proving who she is inside. When she goes to a job interview, for instance, there’s no doubt she holds an unfair advantage. Her looks can win over someone whose skills and competence surpass hers.

I knew there were many advantages to being outwardly attractive, and I understood the perks. Yet as God’s child, I heard an inner warning alerting me against focusing on outward appearance. I became keenly aware of the world of appearances. God’s Spirit gently warned, Don’t get comfortable.

Click here to read the rest of the story: Why You Should Seek to Have a Beautiful Heart

 

A Dating Story

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

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Hey, my sweet grandgirls, I just read an article by Lindsey Maestas that touched my heart …   Most of you are dating and I believe Lindsey’s story will touch your heart too.

The second most important decision you will make is choosing your husband.  Don’t get sidetracked by looks, feelings, or any other thing that draws you to a guy.

Trust me, if you choose a guy who loves God with all of his heart, he will love you well.

Here is Lindsey’s Story:

When I was 19, I was asked out on a date by a friend of mine who had no reason to be pursuing a girl like me. He was one of the good ones – the kind of man who gives you a glimpse into God’s love and kindness.

In my eyes, I was tarnished. I looked in the mirror and saw damaged goods by every definition of the word. But he still pursued me relentlessly – because he was one of the good ones.

He was honest. He wrote me a letter early on that said, “Lindsey, whatever you want to know, I will tell you. Whatever you want access to, I will show you. I want you to be able to know everything that you want about my life because I care about you.”

I wasn’t used to honest. I was used to working my way around the lies to find a portion of the truth.

This honest, kind & available man was the one who God had in store for me the entire time. And yet, I had forced other guys to fit like broken puzzle pieces because I just desperately wanted to be seen and loved.

Had I continued believing that ‘broken’ was all that God had for me, I never would have found a truly good man. And although he was imperfect and fell short in these areas at times, he would always strive for righteousness and goodness by God’s strength.

Sweet friends, you know that guy that you keep going back to, the one who you can’t seem to let go of no matter how badly he continues to hurt / ignore / damage you? Most of us have been with one. It’s time to let him go.

Read more here … http://www.sparrowsandlily.com/girl-settling-wrong-guy/

50 Things I want my Daughter to Know

Girls, I just read the MOST amazing blog.  I LOVE this and want to pass it on to you.

Here are three of the 50 things Rick Thomas want’s his daughter to know …  Nuggets of pure gold, and sound wisdom!  If she listens to this wisdom … she will be so fulfilled in her life and marriage.  Take a moment and let these thoughts permeate your being.  Pray God opens the eyes of your spiritual understanding:

1. Don’t just marry a Christian. Christians are a dime a dozen. Marry a person who acts like Jesus. When you line up the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), there should be little difference between your boyfriend and Jesus. That’s the guy of your dreams. Any other kind of man will be a nightmare.

2. Boys are not as strong and invincible as they would want you to believe. If you don’t learn the “book” before you fall in love with the “cover,” you’ll be disappointed with the content.

3. Don’t spend your teenage years primarily playing sports, or anything else that you will not be doing when you’re fifty. Spend the best part of your days practicing the things you will be doing (and should be doing) for the rest of your life. Your hobbies, whether in your teen or adult years, should not be your primary focus. (Unless you can make a living doing your hobby.)

Click the link below to read more …

https://rickthomas.net/50-things-i-want-my-daughter-to-know/

The Gift of Mercy

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

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Hey my sweet girls,

Today I wrote an article on Hubpages about The Gift of Mercy.  I have always been fascinated with the Gifts of the Spirit.  I think it is so awesome that God specifically chose gift(s) of the Spirit for each of his children.

When you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit gave you a gift.  It is a gift that enables you to minister to and bestow blessings on others.

As I think of you girls, I believe at least two of you have the Gift of Mercy.

If you are interested, hop on over to my article on Hubpages now to read more about The Gift of Mercy.

I love you more than you’ll ever know …

Nana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Sticks Together

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

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Hi my sweet Grandgirls,  It’s Nana coming to you out of some deep thoughtful places.  As I raised your parents, my desire was to parent them in the ways of the God I surrendered my whole life to. As you know I came to know Jesus when I was fifteen years old.  My home life was anything but Christian.  It was insecure, filled with turmoil and it messed with my sense of security, identity and purpose.

It was so clear to me that Jesus ways were totally opposite of the world.  Do you see that too?

Jesus changed my life!  I knew that Jesus died for me … for me!  I surrendered everything to Him. Before I was a lost child trying to find my way in the world. I was hearing messages that confused me, tempted me drew me in.

After accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my life was bent on pleasing Jesus and glorifying Him with all that is within me.  Do I fail, yes!  Do I receive conviction and great sorrow when I sin, absolutely! Do I repent, yes, because my heart is broken when I grieve Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

One of my deep concerns, as I raised your parents, was that my kids would not get the significance of His death and His claim on their life.  It is a concern I have for you too.

I considered the vast difference in their home life in comparison to my upbringing. My kids were surrounded with love and support.  Would they know they had a big hole in their life .. a hole that only God could fill?  Would they see the great sacrifice Jesus made in order to claim their heart, their lives, their everything?

It occurred to me today that growing up with support and love does not have to take away from the fact that Jesus died for you and wants your all.  Though you are surrounded with love, you also face trials of many kinds.  Living in the world brings with it many opportunities to see the world for what it is.  Self Serving, Deceptive and Empty!

You have each other. I delight in the bond I see between you. 🙂    I have watched you all struggle with the world, I have seen your pain. I have seen you give in to the world’s philosophies and prayed God would draw you back. But I have also watched you soar like an eagle as you choose to magnify Jesus with your lives. I cannot begin to tell you the JOY it brings to my heart when I see you walk away from sin and choose Jesus.

You, who have turned your eyes upon Jesus, have been changed. I see it and you shine brightly.

There is a grave responsibility for you ‘older’ girls.  The younger ones are watching you and they are learning, believe me they are.  They need you, they really do!  They love you and they desperately want to look up to you.

When Jesus died, he did it to set us all free from sin. I know each of you have learned this as you have grown up. When we receive Jesus .. Our life is not our own ..  It is no longer ‘I’  big capital ‘I’ but Christ who lives in me.

“God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.” I Corinthians 7:23

The world you are growing up in is filled with messages that are opposite of what Jesus teaches. Are you seeing the difference between God’s kids and those who have chosen to live the world’s way?  There are not many who choose Christ – so those who do stand out, they are different from the rest.

FRIENDSHIPS

When my kid’s were entering their teen years I prayed for God to send them godly friends.  I pray the same for you. When I refer to ‘godly’ peers, do you have someone in mind? Let me encourage you to know this person and pursue a friendship. Here’s why:

“He who walks with the wise will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20

and

“Do not be mislead, Bad company corrupts good morals.”  I Corinthians 15:33

GOD’s Word

I pray you spend time in His word because in it you will find purpose, peace, direction, fulfillment and great Joy.  His word is LIVING and it is HIS word to his children.

The Psalmist shares the heart of God’s child:

My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times” (Ps. 119:20) Not a popular thought in a world that hates rules, eh?

“Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them” (v. 129).  Convinced that His word is life, we willingly, gladly submit to His ways.

The greatest gift I can pass down to you, my beloved grandgirls, is to point you to Jesus through his word.  If you say you love him, you will obey him.

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Eccl. 12:14

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” John 14:23a

“If you love me, keep my commands.”  John 14:15

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  Matthew 16:24

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”  Matthew 10:38

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” Romans 12:2

I pray you will take up your cross and follow Jesus and never take for granted or reject the one who died to give you abundant life. May you chose Christ every time and soar like an Eagle.

That’s it for today girls.  Remember, I am your Nana! For better or for worse, I love you fiercely, I pray for you always.

Love,

Nana

 

 

 

 

 

Everything in Its Place

Hi Girlies,

It’s been awhile.  So much to do and life takes over.  Know that you never leave my heart and I love you deeply.

My post this month, on The Glorious Table, is up.  I thought I’d share it here with you.  Your Nana is far from perfect. This writing is a vulnerable peek into some of the messes I waded through in my younger years.

I pray God uses the messes of my life to be a message to you and all those who desire to live godly.

“The Christian mother has boundless opportunities to use her gifts and abilities. But how is she to know what God wants her to do with all the opportunities to serve Jesus and others in our busy and fast-paced world?

It’s enticing to choose admirable opportunities to serve, even though it might mean neglecting our God-given appointments. For example, as I raised my children, I allowed myself to be pulled in every direction imaginable. I was a wife, mom, teacher, counselor, pastor’s wife, friend, employee, leader, and more. I remember feeling confused about how to order my life. My home of origin had lacked order and been dysfunctional, and as a result, I often felt aimless as an adult, like a boat without a rudder.

I look back and think, Girl! What were you thinking? You didn’t have a clue.”

You can read the rest at The Glorious Table

picture credits: https://pixabay.com/en/baby-caucasian-child-daughter-20607/