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/

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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

 

 

 

 

 

How to find a Good Man, Personality Traits Vs. Character

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

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Hi Girlies,  It’s been a busy season.  A season filled with family time, birthdays and lots of fun!  I so enjoyed being with you and celebrating the JOY we experience because we serve Jesus.

Today I want to share an article I just read by one of my favorite Christian writers, Henry Cloud. I’ve highlighted some of his really awesome comments in this post. As you read this article, make sure you don’t only look at the person you are dating or want to date.  Open your eyes, evaluate your own heart.  Do you see the character qualities needed to sustain a long-term relationship?

Henry’s words are pure gold girlies.  You’ll need to click on the link below to read more.

“Most people who date are looking for preferences rather than character. I hear people say, I want someone who’s witty. I want someone who likes to hike. I want someone who is ambitious in their career. I want someone who is good looking. I want someone who reads a lot. I want someone who is physically strong. These preferences are superficial and will not hold a couple together.

The types of things that cause relationships to end are things like being a bad listener. Having unrealistic expectations. Irresponsible spending. Lack of emotional identification. Inability to just be real. Temper flare-ups. Perfectionism. Tendencies toward controlling behavior.

We often rationalize these character flaws as personality quirks even though they are BIG RED FLAGS. When you contrast that with the comparatively lightweight nature of the criteria that we select people by — the kind of superficial traits that comprise our tastes — it starts to seem like dangerously shortsighted behavior.

What good is a witty person who can’t make you feel safe?

What good is an ambitious, career-driven person if they can’t be real with you?

What good is a person who reads a lot but doesn’t hear a word you say?

What good is a handsome or beautiful person if they are conceited, self-centered or blow up every time they don’t get their way?

Are your concrete, but ultimately superficial preferences preventing you from dating someone who could be really good for you?

You will save yourself a whole lot of heartache if you consider the kinds of things that you’re NOT looking for with the same weight of the things that you find attractive.”

Above all girls, pray that God opens your eyes to the man He has for you.  A man filled with character with a passion for God.

To read the rest of Henry Cloud’s wise words go to his article entitled:

The Difference Between What You Want And What You Think You Want In Dating

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.

heart-broken

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

greater-love

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.

coffee-cup-heart-love-favim-com-267461

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.😉

What are the Words Coming Out of your Mouth?

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

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“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Good morning my precious girls,

As I was getting ready this morning, the Lord dropped His word into my heart and my thoughts. It is the verse you read above.

Allow me a moment to personalize this verse, will you? What if Jesus showed up and said, “Hey Kristin or Hey Jessie, Hey  Mya, Hey Kenzie, Hey Maddi, Hey Bri, Hey Bethy let’s have lunch.”

What if your Savior had a heart to heart talk with you. What if He played back all of the words you used last week?  What if He flashed all the thoughts you had the previous week up on a big screen?

Ahhhhhhh that would be revealing, wouldn’t it?

The truth is girls, Jesus does hear your words.  He knows your every thought.

The Psalmist David, talking to His Lord says, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”  Ps. 139:2  and  “Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.” Ps. 139:4

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let no filthy talk be heard from your mouths, but only what is good for building up people and meeting the need of the moment.[a] This way you will administer grace to those who hear you.” Eph:4:29  and “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Col. 3:8

I pray you will always choose to walk in His steps and obey His will.

He has given us boundaries because He knows what is best for us. When we live within those boundaries we find peace and fulfillment!

You are the light of the world girls, you are set apart by your Father, He has called you to be His kid. God’s children must not act like, talk like or look like the world.

because I love you,

Nana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose a Man After God’s Heart

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

Hello my girls,

It’s been awhile since I’ve sent you a note.  Life has been busy and my writer’s brain seems set on off. 😉

But my heart for you never goes off.  I pray throughout the week that God will drop a message for you in my lap.  When the words formulate in my brain, I begin to write.  Such is the case today. 🙂

As I watch each of you living out your lives, my heart fills with JOY sometimes, and at other times sadness.  How I wish there was a fast forward button so you could see how each little choice, you make today, will affect your future.

As an older woman “Let the older women teach the younger women,” referred to in Titus 2, I come to you in humility.  I come to you as a Nana fully invested in you.  I pray you flourish, that your life shines for Jesus in this dark world.

Today’s topic, A man after God’s own heart, is heavy on my heart.  I want you to marry a godly man.  Not a good man, or a man who treats you good (while you are dating) but a man whose heart is on fire for God.

a-man-after-gods-heartDo you know why I want this for you?  Because I know that a man who loves God will ALWAYS love you.  He will love you with the Love God puts in His heart. He will lead you because he knows his role is to be your rock. Marriage is hard, make no mistake about it. A man who loves God will weather each storm and love you through it.

Years ago, God laid it on my heart to break up with my high school boyfriend because he was not a spiritual leader. Oh, he was tall, dark, handsome, he spoiled me and was so good to me.  But God kept whispering in my heart.  He does not love God like you do.  This is not my choice.

Breaking up with my boy was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I agonized, argued, pleaded with God to change His mind.  But He was telling me, “Choose me, trust me, allow me to lead you to a man such as you never dreamed possible. You all know him as  Papa.  His love for God and his unshakeable convictions attracted me to him … well, that and his extremely good looks. LOL

Jesus gave His life for you, there is NO greater sacrifice. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”  This is what He asks of you.

Taking it one step further; don’t be fooled.  You should know that a man’s heart is revealed through his choices, his conduct, his actions. Does he give lip service to being a Christian? OR is his life transformed by the power of God.  Has he been redeemed and is he growing in his Faith?

As I ask you these questions, let me urge you to turn that light on your own heart.  A godly man seeks a godly girl.  It’s that simple.

God’s ways are not our ways, NO, they are better than anything we could ever imagine or hope for.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” Isa. 55:8

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isa. 55:6

I love you, girls, I will always love you.  I cannot choose for you.  God has given each of us a free will, otherwise, we would be puppets.  I pray you choose God;  and choose a man after His heart.

because I love you,

Nana

 

Finding My Father

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

Ya’all have been on my heart today. Sometimes I get so tickled when I think how much God has blessed me with you grandgirls. You are each so unique with your own set of special gifts. You add so much interest, value, and love to the family. I treasure you!

I have a story to share with you today. I may have previously shared bits and pieces with you, but today, I’m writing it down in hopes that you will see God’s hand in drawing me to His heart.

My Childhood

I grew up in a very dysfunctional, unstable home. My parents were alcoholics and they fought all of the time.  My father had an explosive temper. We never knew what would trigger it. It was a very scary and insecure world for my mom, my siblings and me. I wondered why no one rescued me. I longed to be rescued.

When I was only fourteen, I had seen enough of life to wish I hadn’t been born. I did not want to grow up and live the life my parents were living. I felt no hope, no joy and no purpose for my life.

A Longing to Know God

One day, as I was folding clothes, I began to think about the existence of God. I reasoned that If there was a God who made the world and everything in it, there must be a way to know him.

The more I thought about it the more I wanted to know if he was real. If he was the creator, did he care about me? After all, he wouldn’t create me, throw me on this earth place and say, “Now, go fend for yourself! would he?”  Suddenly a desperate yearning welled up deep inside my heart.

Next thing I knew I was laying face down on the floor. I was crying out, “God, if you are real, I need you!  I’m afraid and I feel abandoned and all alone. I want to know you but I don’t know how to find you, will you please show yourself to me?”  I lay there a long time as the silence surrounded me.

Confusion, Disillusionment and Deep Sadness

A year later God revealed Himself to me but not before he took me through a year where he showed me that life apart from God is meaningless. That year was  filled with disillusionment, confusion, and deep sadness.

I  sought to fill the God-shaped void in my heart. The void only God could fill.

The way I went about doing that was to seek significance through popularity.  I wanted so badly to be noticed and accepted.  After observing the apparent happiness of all the popular kid’s at school, I made it my goal to become one of them.

Well, I got my wish and it was empty! The popular kids, whom I thought were my friends, proved to be extremely self-centered.  They only cared about being number one. Being popular did not fill my hearts cry for meaning or purpose.

I was consumed with emptiness.

What next?

Was there no purpose in this life?

A Friend Who Cared

As I was struggling with deep emotional pain, one of my friends, from Junior High, was observing me. Debbie was concerned when I pulled away from everyone.

As Debbie’s concern for me grew, she decided to talk to her Mom about me.  As a result of that talk, Debbie asked me to spend the night at her house. I turned her down.

I didn’t want to be anywhere or with anyone.

Debbie persisted and kept urging me to stay at her house. She would not take no for an answer so eventually, I caved and reluctantly accepted her invitation.

Finding my Father

That night I observed a different home life from mine. There was a sweetness in the atmosphere.  My heart warmed as I watched Debbie’s Dad take the youngest kids to bed, piggyback style. After all the kids were tucked in, he made his way to his favorite chair.

Sitting comfortably, with a big black book in his hand, he turned to me. There was a world of kindness in his eyes. He spoke to me gently as he said he had something very important to share with me.

I was taken back thinking, “Who me?” At the same time, I felt an unfamiliar sense of endearment. A sense of being valued washed over me. “Who am I that he should care for me?” I thought.

Sitting in anticipation, Dad Haworth opened God’s word and spoke words of truth and life. He explained to me that God did indeed exist and He was the creator of the whole universe. I felt the darkness lifting. My heart filled with excitement and Joy … “Oh, thank you, God, you ARE real!”  

Goosebumps ran down my spine.

He continued, “Susie, God created everything and every person. He created you on purpose for a purpose.” (tears welled in my eyes and the deepest longings to know God squeezed at my heart).

He said that the Lord God is a Holy God who cannot tolerate sin in His heaven, “Oh, I knew all about the ugliness of sin – though I didn’t call it sin.” 

He opened the word to John 3:jesus-hugging16 and explained that because God so loved me, He gave His only son to die for my sins so that I could live eternally with Him.

The only one who could die in my place was the spotless son of God, He who knew no sin became sin for us. 2 Cor. 5:21.  It was Jesus in my place.

That night I could barely wait to ask Jesus to wash my sins away. I accepted God’s gift, the gift of His son Jesus who willingly gave up His life to pay the price for my sin.

He chose death on that cruel cross so I could live with him eternally.

I opened my heart eagerly to the one who had given His all to redeem me. I prayed asking God to forgive me for my sins. He did. I invited Him to be the Lord of my life.

As I prayed I felt an immediate awakening in my Spirit and I experienced what scripture describes as ,“Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.”

My whole world changed that night. The despair was gone and I knew I would never again walk alone. I belonged to God. He  adopted me as a daughter into His family.

My desperate prayer to know God was answered; my soul came to rest and I was fully at peace. I knew that the creator God loved me, pursued me and had a plan for my life here on Earth.

Rescued

Girls, if you ask your parent’s they will tell you that one of their favorite groups, in their growing up years, was Acapella.  I’m including a link, by Acapella, for you to hear a song that expresses my heart that night and to this day.

From a life filled with fear, despair, and purposelessness … God came to my Rescue!

p.s. Play this out loud and watch your parent’s reaction, I guarantee they’ll look at you like, What???  It will be a BLAST from their past.

You Came to My Rescue By Acapella

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.

nagging-wife

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