Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm Glad I know Who Jesus Is

  As a wife and mother, I am fiercely protective!  Just ask my husband and children.  Here is what I often say about me at this stage of life - hurt my kids and you better look out.  Hurt my husband and you better be on a dead run somewhere.  I know - doesn't sound very Christ-like does it?  It's just words right?  But there is something profoundly protective in mother that she wants to protect her family.  And I for one believe we can do it in a right way. 
But -----------Today, my heart is broken. I have read some of the most awful things on Facebook this morning and I feel something that I can't remember ever feeling before. The things I read were about my Jesus. Horrible, awful things.
I feel more strongly than ever the NEED and the DESIRE to defend my Jesus.  My heart is burdened, broken, crushed - whatever else you want to say.  Someone has been so very mean and ugly about my Jesus.  I feel a deep, deep longing to defend Him because of what He is to me.  Where oh where would I be without Him?  How can anyone turn their back on Him? 
I know that everyone has been given the ability to make choices on their own.  No one is forced to serve or love my Jesus.  That is the neat thing about this relationship we have - we can do it because we WANT to. 
Jesus is everything to me!  I cannot imagine my life without Him in it!  My entire life has been surrounded with Him.  I learned of Him from the very beginning of my life.  I wasn't taught to fear Him or to love and serve Him out of fear.  It is because it is right and it is what I WANT to do. 
When we have friends and family that are being hurt by others, our natural reaction is to want to protect them.  We want to make sure whoever is doing the hurting KNOWS it is not acceptable.  Why oh why are we not that way even more so with Jesus??  I did my very best to stand up for Him today in a loving and kind way yet firmly so there would be no mistaking where I stood. 
I stopped and prayed with the tears flowing that God would see fit to rebuke Satan and the deceit he is sowing in these lives.  I asked my Jesus to forgive me for my lazy approach to defending Him and His reputation as my Savior.
And then, I promptly sent all "six" of my kids and text and told them that they absolutely HAD to make sure they were where they needed to be spiritually in the eyes of God.  I also reminded them to make sure NOTHING could ever make them doubt Him!  See - I am just that kind of mom.  I will do whatever I can do to make sure my kids make it to heaven!  And, they all know this already!   :)
So - if there has been any doubt before, let me make it clear!  I love my Jesus and am so thankful I KNOW who Jesus is!
In a little town of Bethlehem so many years ago,
They told Him there was no room in the inn.
But they had no way of knowing Who they had turned away -
The Lamb of God Who would take away their sins.
    I'm glad I know Who Jesus is!
    I'm glad I know Who Jesus is!
    He's more than just a story;
    He is the King of Glory.
    I'm glad I know Who Jesus is.
So many people still today don't know who Jesus is;
They've never felt His peace within their souls.
But I want my life to show them how His love can set them free
He's the only One Who can cleanse and make me whole!
    I'm glad I know Who Jesus is!
    I'm glad I know who Jesus is!
    He's more than just a story;
    He is the King of Glory.
    I'm glad I know Who Jesus is.
    He's the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End;
    He's Counsellor, Deliverer to me.
    He's the Everlasting Father; He is the King of Glory,
    I'm glad I know Who Jesus is!

Monday, June 30, 2014

"I desire that my life shall be ordered by Thee"

Sunday evening our church dismissed service so we could attend the last night of Pilgrim camp here in Frankfort.  One of the songs in the pre-service was a medley centered around "I Want to Be Like Jesus".  Since then, this phrase from the hymn "My Wonderful Lord" has been going through my mind over and over. 
I desire that my life shall be ordered by Thee!
What exactly does this mean?  I think a common misconception by Christians is that as long as we live a sinless life, go to church, dress appropriately, and "follow the rules", it will all be fine.  But, to go along with this phrase, we have the verse in Psalm 37:23 that says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord".  "Ordered" is a word that usually has a negative connotation to it.  Just ask my son David about being "ordered" in the Marine Corp.  As soon as I typed that, a thought came to me - do we feel that way about God?  That He is like a drill sergeant yelling out His instructions to us?  Oh my - I sure hope not! 
No, here is what I think instead.  When we live in full surrender to God, it won't matter what He asks of us.  His words, His leadings, His guidance, His direction - these do not come about by "orders" but by a loving Father who sees exactly what we need to do. 
Here would be the best example I can give you.  Sometimes wives have a hard time with this whole word of "submission".  I would confess this hasn't always been easy for me.  However, I have learned a valuable lesson.  This will probably sound weird but following my husbands "orders" gives me a sense of relief.  I trust him, trust his leadership, trust his Christ-centered spirit and know that what he asks of me is best for me.  And, it also takes a load of my shoulders - because I trust him, I don't have to fret and stew and worry as much.  To me, that translates to my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  His "orders" are in my best interest.  He knows what is best, what is right, what is needed, what is necessary.  I can trust Him, trust His leadership, trust that He will not lead me astray.  I am not sure if my analogy makes sense to anyone but it does me so.....:)
The part of this phrase that really stands out though is this....."I desire".  There are a lot of things I desire - vacation, date nights, time with my kids and grandkids, a new car, a remodeled kitchen, new shoes, new purses, to not work anymore, to go to London - this list could get pretty long.  I desire a lot but, do I really desire that my life be ordered by Jesus?  The meaning of the word desire is to wish or long for, to want or to crave.  Do I long for my life to be ordered by Christ? 
For me personally, to dig a little deeper means that I desire EVERY area of my life to be ordered by Him no matter what it is.  What I wear, how I comb my hair (I know, that one is weird but not for me), my home, and a big one for me - what I eat.  I think every area of my life would be much better if I allowed it to be ordered by my Jesus.  How much better off would we all be and our world would be if we allowed every step in our lives to be ordered by Him!! 

My prayer today is that Jesus will help me ask for His leadership and guidance and then to follow as He says.  I pray that my ears will be in tune with His voice in EVERY area of my life.  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

This is my daddy.  He is currently celebrating year number 19 in heaven.  Oh the memories we have of him!  From my earliest memories, Dad was a huge presence in my life in more ways than one.  I remember the first time I went to the altar at our church in Ohio and Daddy standing over me patting my head while I cried my little 3 year old eyes out.  And, I am pretty sure no one could hit a softball like my dad.  He would stand around home plate, tell us all to "back up", toss a ball in the air and hit it with one hand - usually waaaaaaaaaay over our heads.  Most people don't know this but my dad had an ornery streak about him.  If you don't believe me, ask the people who went to youth camps with him!  :)  He had a very healthy fear of snakes and water.  For proof of that, the only time he came close to bopping David Jr. upside the head was when he tossed a rubber snake at Dad.  Naturally, I was cracking up but one look at Dad's face reminded me I had better "gently" remind my son to NOT EVER do that again.  I think the thing I am most grateful for that my Dad taught me was about the power of prayer.  I can't answer for my siblings but for me, when Dad prayed about something I quit thinking and worrying about it because it just seemed like Dad had this "direct connection" to Jesus.  He prayed for something, it happened - plain and simple.  Now, if he were here he would probably correct that but in my mind that is the way it happened.  I miss him.  I miss taking him a cup of coffee and hearing him say, "Sis, quit watching the cup you are going to spill it".  :)  I miss him NEVER getting beat at "mercy" with my brothers!  :)  I miss his loud, usually on tune singing.  I miss his preaching.  I miss his hugs.  BUT, he makes heaven sweeter and for that I am grateful!
This is my father-in-law.  I should probably explain a bit......Dad has Parkinson's.  We always said that Dad Fulton would never be able to get any slower.  Oh man, were we ever wrong!  :)  At Christmas a couple years ago, we set up the Wii and convinced Dad to bowl.  There was a problem with this.  He beat everyone.  And, I do mean everyone.  It didn't matter who he played - kids, grandkids....he beat them.  Do you know what I get from this?  That man lets nothing get him down.  Yes, he is slowing down and things are getting more difficult and life just isn't as easy as it used to be BUT, he is still going at it.  His body is failing but his mind is sharper than ever it seems.  One of my favorite things to do around him is to get his two boys telling stories and watch him laugh so hard but never make a sound. :)  A couple weeks ago, without him know it, he taught me a lesson.  His voice is much more quiet than it has ever been but, he ALWAYS has something to say that you need to hear.  So many of his qualities have been passed to his son that make me love and appreciate this man more every single day. 

This is my husband - and if you read this blog, you already know that!  :)  We are the proud parents of three kids, have three "in-law" kids, and 4 completely wonderful grandchildren.  When I think of this family, I thank God every single day that we have this man in our lives.  He is the best husband, dad and Papaw we could ask for and we love him.  Dave loves his kids.  He loves being with them although it "looks" a lot different now than it did a few years back.  :)  But, here is what I know.  My children have always known that their dad loved their mom.  Always.  They always know that God is first.  Always.  When they were little, they could always count on a wrestling match at some point before bedtime.  Always.  They know that Dad loves Adventures in Odyssey.  Always.  They could always count on Old Time Radio at some point on a trip.  Always.  They can always count on a long discussion EVERY Christmas while reading the Christmas story.  Always.  (Yes, that drives certain members of our family crazy!!!)  They know if they ever ask what's "wrong" with something he will ask them what's "right" with it.  Always.  They always know that Dad is there for them.  Always.  They know that Dad prays for them every single day.  Always.  They know that Dad can pretty much fix anything that is broken.  Always.  There is so much more to this man that there will ever be blogger room.  But, this I know - between me, my kids, their spouses and their babies - we will definitely make sure that he knows what we think of him tomorrow.  And, you know what I think is pretty neat??  We actually try to tell him that ALL YEAR LONG! 

So there you have it - my thoughts on Dad's.  What a heritage we have and how awesome that we get the wonderful privilege to pass it on!


Friday, May 9, 2014

My Favorite Time of Year

This is my favorite time of the year!  You know how so many people come up with all these changes and goals they want to make for themselves on January 1st called New Years Resolutions?  Well, for me - that usually happens about right now.  Spring and summer and warm weather do that to me.  :)
Monday evening after work, Dave got our garden planted with a small amount of help from me and a few onlookers from the edges in the form of our kids and a couple babies who could have cared less!  I love looking out our window and seeing the garden back there knowing that in a few weeks we will be seeing such wonderful things coming from that garden!  Fresh tomatoes for salsa and juice and just plain ol' slicing to eat!  Cucumbers to eat, carrots to freeze for the winter, onions and green peppers to eat AND freeze for later!  And, plenty of green beans to eat and can!  See?  It's just a lovely time of year!  New growth in the garden!
And - you know what else it makes me think of?  New growth in me.  This is when I tend to think about the things in my life I want to change and work on.  I come up with all kinds of deep cleaning projects around my house.  I usually try to move around furniture much to the dismay of my husband and whatever kids are around who get roped into helping me!  I like a fresh new look at this time!  I go one another diet - always thinking this one will be more successful than the last one!  :)  I want to be outside and often look longingly out my office window at the sunshine!  I find new "self-help" books to read and buy a new notebook for all the notes I like to write.  And, I think more about my spiritual life and where I can change and grow in this area.  It's just my favorite time of year and I look forward to what God is going to help me do this Spring and Summer.  While we get out and take care of the weeds in the garden, we water it, we care for it, we work hard towards a bountiful harvest - that is what I am looking forward to doing in me.  Take care of the junk in my life and look forward to the harvest!  :)
Happy Spring and Summer everyone!  Now go grow something!  :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Daybook April 27th, 2014

Outside my window:
It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the sun is shining, the windows are open and the breeze is blowing my curtains around.

Out in the kitchen:
Confessing that there are some dirty dishes in the sink but they aren't calling my name right now. There is more food in the fridge and sitting around than we are used to but the explanation to that will be somewhere in this blog!  :)  I must confess that my eating habits are not all that great right now but I am seriously hoping to change that soon.  And, my new favorite meat is a pork roast cooked overnight in the crock pot!

The rest of my house:
So the reason for the extra food is the same reason there is baby stuff sitting everywhere.  Josh and Carrie  moved back to Frankfort a little over a week ago and have been staying here until their apartment is ready. That means Andrew and Ashley have been here more frequently.  So - I have a baby swing borrowed from a neighbor, a stroller, a little rocker bed (because I have no idea what it is really called), a pink little tykes car, a bag of toys, and that is just what I can see from my spot!  And just in case you misunderstand me or or in the off chance one of my kids reads this blog - I am NOT complaining in the least!  I am glad we can help our kids but I am pretty sure they are MORE than ready to get settled in their own place!

What I am reading:
I am still working my way through my Bible chronologically with an app on my phone.  I will admit that I have missed a few days here or there and clicked on the button to "catch me up" more than once.  Strange thing - I ended up reading the Easter story the week leading up to Easter.  It was so special to me!  And now, I am reading the book of Acts and must admit I am preferring it by far over the book of Chronicles!  :)

What I am looking forward to:
Dave has tilled up the garden spot and will be getting it all planted in the next day and a half before he heads out for a revival.  I LOVE looking out my bedroom window and watching all that lovely produce growing in my back yard!  And, I am so excited about spring and summer!  Love, love being outside and I am trying desperately to figure out more ways I can be out there even with working full time!

New at church:
We are getting ready to say goodbye to dear Pastor Mowery and his wonderful wife!  I don't think they are going far because there is no way they would want to leave their next door neighbors!  :)  But, we are also saying a hello (of sorts since they are already here) to our new Pastor Fry and family.  Looking forward to what is happening here!

News of the family:
Dave is busy as usual with all his many jobs but NEVER, and I do mean NEVER too busy to play with his grandbabies!  David and Christa along with Addison and David are plugging merrily along in Florida!  I think they should come live close to me and while I am in serious discussions with God about that, HE is telling me to mind my own business!  :)  Josh, Carrie and Molly are here now and having LOTS of adjustments to make but I will admit that my heart rejoices at them following God's will.  Andrew, Ashley and Estaley are are entering the world of very mobile toddlerhood and attitude "adjustments" and I promise I only laugh when no one is looking!  :)  I text my six "kids" on a frequent basis to remind them to follow God with their whole heart and leave the devil no room to cause trouble!  Ask them - they will tell you I am GOOD at passing on that advice!  :)

What I am learning:
Trusting God for big things, setting aside ANYTHING that takes my time from HIM, living clear in HIS eyes at work while taking care of "issues" that come up, making sure my lifestyle, standards and convictions are glorifying to HIM and not others, remembering that my kids and grandkids will not forget the TIME I spent with them.  And, that prayer is THE answer!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Daybook April 5th, 2014

Outside my window - The sun is desperately trying to shine, the clouds are hopefully moving out, the grass is finally starting to turn green, the trees have little buds on them and everyone is hurrying somewhere today.

What I am reading - I have several books on my iPhone by Beth Moore and for now I am reading "A Heart Like His" which is the story of David.  So far, it has been very good.  Also on my iPhone is the devotional for "Daily Streams in the Desert" and I can't tell you how many times that has spoken to me specifically on a given day.

What I am eating - unfortunately, everything in sight.  And whoever the person was that invented the individual chocolate chip cookie needs to be hanged.  :)  Made my first one the other day and that is pretty much all I think about!  My mantra is the less I have to cook, the better I am!  :)

What I am learning - to be patient and understand that God works things out in HIS time and not mine.  To NEVER forget that HIS mercy endures forever!  That breaking my constant connection to technology and social media is NOT a bad thing.  That some relationships are not good for me and it is ok with me and God that distance is there.  That some relationships need to be more important and that takes work on my part. That gut wrenching pain deep in my heart and soul can be both good and bad for me.  And, that God is more dear to me with each passing day. 

In my house - things are the same.  I love the paint colors in my living room and am pretty sure I will enjoy that room more when the carpet is replaced!  I went bold in my bedroom with a dark blue and yellow.  I am loving the colors but am just needing to get the rest done.  There is nothing on my walls and no curtains at my window but I can't decide about those things either!  :)

My work - hasn't changed but yet it has.  Cryptic sounding huh?  In my line of work though - cryptic is the key.  :)  I like my job and am thankful for it!  I like having my own office - just don't care that I have two pictures of farm equipment hanging on my walls!  :)

The family - love my kids, love my grandbabies more!  How's that for honesty??  Addison is 4 and loving preschool!  David is 18 months old and his favorite thing to say is "Whasat"?  In other words, "what's that".  It's hilarious!  Estaley will be the big "1" in a little over a week.  She has been walking everywhere for at least a month and brings sunshine everywhere she goes!  Molly is almost 4 months old and cute as a button which is what her Papaw calls her!  Oh and the parents of these blessed children are fine too!  They would tell you they are just "chopped liver" since they had children.  That's probably true!  :)

In my church - our beloved Pastor Mowery and his lovely wife are retiring and David & Sarah Fry are taking their place.  While my heart is sad for the Mowery's are special people, I am excited for the future as well.  David and Sarah are awesome people and I know that God will continue to use them!

My favorite person - has always been and will always be my hubby.  Life with him is better than I ever dreamed and I thank God every day for him and his Godly example to me and those around him.  We have so much fun no matter what we are doing - unless I am asking him to move furniture around in my house! :) 


Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Own Scary Friday

Today, I am in a grateful yet somewhat unsettled mood so my blog is the result of that.  Time will tell if it is a good thing or not!  :)

Yesterday morning I was sleeping soundly when my dear hubby woke me around 6:00 with the news that he was rather dizzy and could not lift his head off the pillow.  Apparently, he had gotten up around 5:00 and was very dizzy on his trip to the restroom.  He made it quietly back to bed so as to not wake me (silly man) but finally around 6:00 could stand it no more.  I took his blood pressure and nearly had my own heart attack when it registered at 180/120.  I called my wonderful sister who is an RN and she suggested I give him his blood pressure pill, let him rest and check it again in an hour.  I did that and hurried to get ready for a day I had no clue what would hold for us.  An hour later I checked it again and it was still the same.  I called her back and we decided to hold off until the doctor's office opened at 8 and go from there.  But then, Dave decided he needed to go back to the restroom so I helped him sit up on the side of the bed where he promptly passed out.  As I watched his eyes glaze over and he would not respond to me, my heart and mind went to places which scared me senseless.  I made the decision to take him down to Indy to the hospital where my sister works because I knew if there was a problem, Sandy would be able to help decipher all the medical jargon.  Bless Andrew's heart, he flew in here and helped me get Dave in the car and off we headed to ER.

Dave always has a sense of humor and this time was no exception.  I am pretty sure the nurses and doctors there felt this patient was clearly off his rocker.  Pretty much everyone who walked into the room was promptly asked some question that had to do with pizza.  I knew this was the real Dave but I am convinced the doctor felt there had to be something serious going on because of that, his slurred speech and his inability to touch his nose with his right hand.  On his second try at that little chore, he asked the doctor who moved his nose.  Yes, I am quite serious about that! 

I shall digress here to say that a young girl from the reception area stopped in to just make sure she had all his correct information.  She asked me what my name was and Dave promptly corrected my by saying, "Her name is Pretty Girl" because that is what he calls me.  I looked down at him with one of my "looks" and he said, "Well at least I didn't call you a loser like the last time".  All air got sucked out of the room AGAIN.  See, several years ago Dave had surgery and to say he did not tolerate the anesthesia well is an understatement.  When a nurse from our church came to get me and I walked up to his bed, he looked at the nurses and said, "That's my wife - she is such a loser".  Every ounce of oxygen was sucked out of that room!  I was given the wonderful opportunity to explain that I was going to Weight Watchers and after every weigh in, I would call him to tell him what I lost and he always said "You are such a loser".  It was NEVER meant in a mean, ugly way but rather his way of being proud of me.  Once I explained it to the nurses they saw the humor in it as well.  This time, I was pretty sure that young girl came close to having a heart attack!  :)

On to the rest of the story....the doctor ordered some blood work and an MRI which thankfully all came back normal.  What we finally determined was that Dave had become severely dehydrated which caused his blood pressure to go dangerously high which caused severe dizziness.  It took a few hours for everything to calm down and we were back home by 3:00 in the afternoon.  He will be seeing his regular doctor for some follow up and to hopefully get some answers to a few remaining questions we have but all is well at this point and for that we are grateful! 

This whole scenario has me thinking about how blessed I truly am.  Earlier in the day as we were waiting for Dave to be taken for his MRI, I heard these words from across the hall - "Yes he will survive but he will be paralyzed".  I was so worried and nervous about Dave and yes, there were the thoughts of what could have been or what might have happened but instead, we were walking out the door.  It was a scary day and one that I am glad is over but yet has taught me to slow down and remember the things that matter!