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/

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The Miracle of Answered Prayer

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

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Hello my sweet Grandgirls,

I got off track after I told you I was going to share some miracles God has performed in my life.  I’m back on track and ready to share.

Miracles happen when God steps in and does what only He can do.  God has answered my prayers, so many times and so specifically that I know that I know that I know, He did it.

When God answers prayer in a big and miraculous way it touches our lives and we are never the same.

Prayer Miracles

I was 15 years old when I came to know Jesus.  I was a new creation. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops – It didn’t take long for me to learn nobody, in my world, really wanted to know or hear about Him. Not only were they not interested but many took offense when I tried to tell them.

I did not understand their reactions. Why wouldn’t everyone want to know the good news about the one who created them and loved them so much. What caused this revulsion when I spoke the name of Jesus?

As I began to grow as a child of God, my understanding of the enemy’s tricks grew too. He was the enemy of God and of God’s kids and he causes blindness and revulsion toward God’s son. It was then I knew I needed to talk less and pray more for those I loved, those who turned deaf ears to the message of God’s love and Jesus sacrifice. There is power in going to our Father, in prayer, because he hears and longs to answer our prayers of faith.

Prayers for Family

I experienced a deep peace and joy for the first time in my young life. My family didn’t get it. In fact, some gave me a rough time. I got made fun of and they called me a religious fanatic. As the tears burned my eyes, they laughed. My greatest grief, though, was that they didn’t get it.  I wanted them to know Jesus, they needed him just as much as I did.

I’ve shared with you the miracle of provision for College, right? God made a way for me to attend a Christian College.  A group of people from my Church promised to give money each month to make my first year possible.  Talk about humbling!!  Carried away by the love of God, I also carried the weight of leaving my family. Who would be Jesus to my family?

Once at college, I continued to pray consistently and urgently. I was no longer at home, there was no more opportunity to share God’s love.

After being involved in college life for awhile, I began receiving letters from my Dad. He was telling me some amazing happenings. He told me the plumber, carpenter, the insurance man and an old friend were telling him about personal faith in Jesus Christ.

It was absolutely miraculous! All of these people were being sent by God to tell my family the good news. I have no doubt about it. You see, in all of my life, before I heard about Jesus, no one had ever shared the story of salvation.  It was like Christians were coming from everywhere and into my parent’s lives. Only God could do this.

Prayers for my Son

danielThen there’s the story ya’all know.  The story about my handsome boy, your Dad and your Uncle Daniel, who went through a crazy walk of rebellion. I thought my mother’s heart would break. I cried out to God over and over again. I prayed was God would send believers into Daniels life. Once again the answer was mind blowing.
Dan told me that believers were everywhere. Christians shared their faith with him at work, at appointments, in restaurants, and in the most uncanny places. These children of God, were all holding out hope to my one and only son. Honestly kids, I  have never known anyone who was so chased by God. It was another miraculous answer to prayer that eventually led to your Dad and Uncle surrendering to God’s will.  JOY!!
 

Prayers for my Daughter

Renee was a quiet kid.  She was a trusting child. As a teen I was grew worried because she was interested in the bad boy types. I prayed and asked God to help me in guiding her.

One night Papa and I went to a concert at a Christian Conference Center. We sat across from a Doctor and his wife.  As the Doctor talked he pointed toward the banquet table at a handsome young man with a beautiful smile. The doctor beamed saying, that’s my son. As he continued to brag on his son, I sent prayers up. I prayed, “God, please give Renee a young man like this one. She doesn’t know what a ‘good guy’ looks like.  

It was the following year that Renee met a young man who came to our Church as the leader of the college-aged youth group. Soon, he showed an interest in Renee and began to hang out with the family. One of the things he liked to do was cook for the family. One night as he was doing his thing, I asked him about his family. He told me his Dad was a Doctor and his mom, a nurse. He went on to tell me they spent alot of time, in the summer, at a Christian Conference ground near their house. The bell went off!!  Oh my goodness, this was the young man the Doctor had bragged about. Here he was – right before me. God did not send me someone ‘like’ David, he sent me David! I looked at David and said, “David, I don’t know what role you will take in my daughter’s life, but I do know God sent you.” I then revealed how God sent him to Renee as a direct answer to my prayer.

David married Renee two years later. David is excellent loving your mom, Aunt Renee, and he provides such a stabilizing effect on her life.  She needed that – God supplied it. Only God!

Prayers for my Youngest

christyThis writing would not be complete without mentioning your mom and Aunt Christy. This, my youngest child, has possessed a heart for God from the time she was little.  We did not experience the struggles with her that we had with her siblings.

My prayers for Christy were answered as I watched her make hard choices. She even had a whole youth group come against her when she confronted them on their heart issues.  It broke her heart, she did not budge from her convictions.

Though she too, was strong willed, she took her orders from her Loving Father and chose to follow in His footprints. At a very young age, she brought her friends to me so I could share Jesus with them.

I share these miracles of answered prayer, within our family because I want you to know how specifically and lovingly God has blessed our lives.

You girls are blessed to be born into a family where God is actively at work. You have a family that pulls together to speak into your lives and to love you well.  It’s rare these days girls!

May these words give you a reason to pause and offer thanksgiving to the God who answers miraculous prayers and bestows blessings on our family.

I love you forever and always,

 Nana

Love Cups Need to be Filled

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

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Good Morning Girlies,

In this post, I’m opening a piece of my heart to you. It is a piece that I tucked away in the recesses of my mind.  Today, the Lord brought it to a conscious level so I could remember a small yet significant piece of all He has done for me.

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I grew up in a family where affection was not given. I never felt loved as a child.  My parent’s had so many problems and their problems were the focus in our home. Heated arguments were ‘normal’ and they took place on a daily basis.

At night, as I tried desperately to sleep, I could not. Instead, I was captive to hateful words, accusations, and drunken banter

Many times I would intervene by pulling my little Mother out of the room as my Dad screamed, “Get her out of here!”

I have no memories of feeling special. I did not receive hugs, kisses or words of affirmation.  I wondered what was wrong with me.

During our dating years, God used Papa to help me see it wasn’t me, it was my parent’s who failed to care for me.

A huge weight lifted when I realized It wasn’t me it was them

When the Father reached out to save me, I was only 15 years old. I was lost and so alone. My life was changed the moment I received the message of salvation. I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and the deepest joy I had ever known. When I heard about Jesus sacrifice, it blew my mind that He would actually give up His life so I could live eternally. “Greater love has no man than this; that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

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I had never in my life, known such love

In the Church I attended, as a young believer, the people were wonderfully warm and God fearing. They took me in and tried to love me.  I was prickly.  I did not know how to receive hugs. I bet you find that hard to believe ;).  I did not feel worthy of a hug. When someone wrapped their arms around me, my body stiffened, I could not relax to receive their embrace.

I did not feel worthy of a hug

God healed those wounds. It took time but bit by bit, His love was poured into my ‘love cup’ and it overflowed. Do you see how miraculous it is that today I receive and give hugs freely?

Since you all were tiny, I talked to you about your love cup. When you were sad, or angry or out of sorts, I asked you if you needed your love cup filled. You all delighted in those words and eagerly opened your arms to receive a hug from Nana.

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Kristin told me that she actually thought she had a coffee cup in her heart that I filled up when she needed love

Do you girls ever think about how BLESSED you are?  As I watch you, I revel in the love you have for each other. I have soaked in all of the treasured memories of you, growing up, hugging each other and delighting in time spent together as cousins. To this day, the first thing our family does when we see each other is to exchange enthusiastic hugs.

I share this with you to give you just a peek at what God has done in my life and how much He has blessed me through all of YOU!

Thank God for the love of family, girls.  Never take it for granted. Remember there are children everywhere who do not feel loved and have no one to hug them.

Spread the gift of being cherished by your family.  Thank God, and know that you are deeply loved.

because I love you,

Nana

p.s.  and as for the rest of the story … both of my parents came to know Christ and our relationship was reconciled. They are in Heaven now, enjoying God’s love like we’ve never experienced it. I can’t wait to see them again.😉

Raising Polar Opposites

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes Image result for free page divider clipart

Good Morning Girlies,

My article about raising Polar Opposites is published today on The Glorious Table.  I wonder if you can pick out your parent by my description?

I never took my role as a parent lightly.  My favorite role in life was in being a Mom, and when God gave me Grands, it is in being a Nana.

As I watch you living out your lives, I pray that each of you will grow in your love for God and for each other.  God has important work to do through you.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Click below to read my post over at The Glorious Table: 

Parenting Your Unique Children with Grace

because I love you,

Nana

About Being Quarrelsome

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

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How are my girly’s today?

Did you think I forgot you?  Not on your life!  😉   Been busy with writing and book stuff, but YOU my dears, are more important than ALL of that.

Today, I’ll share a very vivid word picture through this verse:

Proverbs 21:9  It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

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It’s really true girls; A man would rather live in a small corner of an attic than to live with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely, even orderly home.

I want my husband to be happy to come home.  I want him to feel that being in my presence is SAFE.

The title, quarrelsome is not something I want as a descriptor connected to me.  I looked up some synonyms for a better grasp of the word. Listen to these unattractive labels girls; argumentative, nagging, confrontational, hotheaded, combative, antagonistic, snappy, belligerent, cantankerous, scrappy.

Even though I don’t want to be quarrelsome, to be honest, sometimes I slip into that mode of behavior.  It’s not pleasant for your Papa or me.

When I see this enemy of peace through God’s lens, I realize how totally self-centered it is. Here are some attitudes that stick out of a quarrelsome spirit.

When I am quarrelsome, I’m saying, me before you. When I am argumentative I care more about being right, than about being loving. When I am obstinate I take on an attitude of superiority and become my fella’s worst critic.

Girls,  an attitude that is constantly quarrelsome has the power to emasculate a man. He may seek peace at all costs thereby taking a back seat instead of the leading role God intends.

Nagging is deflating, frustrating, annoying, unkind, and just plain wrong. “A constant dripping on a day of steady rain And a contentious woman are alike;” Proverbs 27:5

Jesus is our example. He placed himself last. He gave himself up for us, he loved when it was inconvenient and he served when he was beyond tired.

Selfishness comes out of a heart of pride (as with most sins). Self-importance happens when we think much too highly of ourselves and much too lowly of everyone else.

When my mind is set on pleasing God, I look for ways to show respect to my husband. When I am set on getting my own way I fail at being the woman God created me to be. I also fail to love my husband and be the helpmate he so desperately needs.

So, my girls, let’s read some attributes God wants to cultivate in the hearts of His girls:

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”             I Peter 3:3-4

“Gracious (friendly, kind, tender) words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” Proverbs 16:24

The best time to practice graciousness is before you marry. Learn to be gracious with your family and friends.

Remember, without Him, we can do nothing.  It is Jesus that does the work in our hearts. Don’t carry the weight of change BUT don’t ever think change is impossible. Surrender to Jesus and have faith to trust that He is at work in you, to perfect you.  Surrender and trust Him, He will bring the change that will make you pleasing to God and so desirable to the man you will someday marry.

GO to Jesus, HE longs for you to ask Him to work graciousness into your heart.

“I can do ALL things through Christ, who gives me strength.”  Phil. 4:13

because I love you,

Nana

 

Jesus in my Place

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

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Hi my girls,

I am thinking about and praying for you all today. I wish I could convey to each of you how priceless you are to me. I feel so blessed to be your Nana.

As much as I want you to grasp your value to me, I want you to know, even more, your value to Christ.

Whenever I take communion at Church, as I hold that bread in my hand, a pain stabs at my heart. Tears well up in my eyes as I think about what Jesus did for me.  Jesus, the one who knew NO sin became sin for me.

Looking down at the bread, I am grieved, yet so thankful, that His body was broken for me.

He didn’t have to do it but His unabashed, boundless love compelled Him to do it for you and for me. We would not go to Heaven if He did not give up His life, Jesus in my Place.

The penalty for sin is death. Yet, our own death could not pay for our sins. Only a sinless, spotless God could pay that price. “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Col. 2:14 NLT

As I look down at the cup I hold in my hand, again pain stabs at my heart. Why did He do it?  Why would He do it? I am so humbled. It was His Love.

He shed His blood for me, for you! His precious blood paid the price for our sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

He took our black sins in his body and nailed them to the cross. He paid the price we should have paid for our sins. He gave us spotless, radiant, white garments in return.

Though we did nothing to deserve it, He laid down His life to save ours. “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.” Isa. 53:6 NLT 

There is a song I hear in my heart when I think about Jesus sacrifice for me. Perhaps you remember our Family Christmas a few years ago when we viewed this video together:

What can I give Him – Give Him my heart. What does that look like for you?

What does it look like to be wholly surrendered to Jesus? Is there anything in your life, more important than honoring the one who gave His life for you?  You can trust Him, girls. He made you, He’s a good, good Father.

My girlies, as much as I love you, it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the Love Jesus has for you. Let that thought fill your mind today as you worship Him.

Allow His thoughts to replace your earthly clutches. May you be brave enough to lay it all down and be counted as a follower of Jesus!

Because I love you,

Nana

Hidden Treasures

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

The inspiration for my first note comes from Proverbs 2.

“IF you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding IF you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures … then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord GIVES wisdom, he stores up sound wisdom for the upright he is a shield to those who walk in integrity.”

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Good morning girlies,

As I was reading my Bible this morning, I thought of you.  My prayer for you is the same prayer I prayed for my kids, (your parents). I pray that you will grow in your understanding of Father God and that you find your identity in Him.

When you find your identity in Christ, you are free to be ALL God created you to be.  You are a child of the King, His princess.

I also pray that our family’s next generation (YOU) will seek God and that God will use the light that shines within you to reflect His glory and His love to a very dark world.

I will be emailing you love notes to encourage you in your walk with Jesus. As I share the Love of God and the wisdom He imparts, I hope it encourages you. I also hope it creates a hunger for His word which will lead you to dig for truth as for hidden treasures.

When I was a brand new Christian (15 years old) I read the verses below.  My heart welled up with the deepest longing and I begged God for wisdom:

“IF you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding IF you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures … then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord GIVES wisdom, he stores up sound wisdom for the upright he is a shield to those who walk in integrity.” Prov. 2:1-7

“Ask and it will be given you seek and you will find knock and the door will be open to you.” Luke 11:9  Jesus

God loves you, my girls, He is waiting for you to dig for the gold nuggets found in His word. Call out to Him, He is waiting and He longs to give you His wisdom.

Because I love you,

Nana 

Nana’s Lovenotes

I am Nana to eleven extraordinary grandkids. The oldest eight are granddaughters who span the years of preteen to the early twenties.  Each of these grandgirls have embraced the faith of their family. They have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  I am deeply thankful because it is the most important decision they will ever make.

As I was contemplating my grandgirls plight in today’s world, I was struck by how much our world has changed.

It’s not easy being a Jesus Follower. Peer pressure and assaults on their Faith occur on a daily basis.  Their peers are partiers, disrespectful, attention seekers, rebellious and set against authority. My Granddaughters are growing up in an age of entitlement. This generation holds an unrealistic expectation that life is to be handed to them on a silver platter.

As their Nana, I want to point them to Jesus.  I believe, as the scriptures say, that the older women are to teach the younger women. I take that charge seriously, especially when it comes to family.  I have always had an active role in my grandchildren’s lives.  I study them, laugh with them, pray for them and love them with all of my heart.

I choose to be a constant in their lives.  One of the ways I do this is by sending love notes to each of my older Grands via email.  The writings of my heart are delivered to their personal email box filled with encouragement, love, and lessons. As I write my girls I share inspirational stories and  personal experiences. I pray over the lovenotes, that God will use them to impart wisdom and conviction.

I am so grateful the girls have received my love notes with graciousness and appreciation. My heart sings when I hear, “Nana, I loved your email” or “When will we get another note?” or “I went to my email today hoping to hear from you.” Sometimes a simple “thank you and I love you,” is confirmation that I’m on the right track.

In the coming days, with full permission from my grandgirls, I will be sharing some of the love notes I have sent to them.  I pray God will use my writings to inspire you to connect and pour into the younger generation.

I always end each love note with

Because I love you,

Nana