Friday, February 28, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Choose

Five Minute Friday
Ready for a little Five Minute Friday???  I am.  So glad and blessed to be participating today.  Today’s word to write about is CHOOSE.  Will you choose to read on? I hope so.




So there was this conversation at lunch yesterday about a local coach who was dogged by his live in girlfriend for a choice that he had made. A coworker made the comment that she felt bad for him, the fact that the girlfriend did this public mockery of him on Facebook.  Another coworker thought she was crazy for feeling that way because she too had been cheated on and basically said that anyone who had been hurt in that way would want the same “revenge” (my words, not hers).
But here is my thought.

We have all been hurt. Maybe not cheated on by a spouse or lover, but we have all been hurt. By friends, family, coworkers, strangers. 

We have a choice in how we react to that hurt.

We can be bitter. We can seek revenge. We can let that hurt rage in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

Or we can choose to live. 

The bitterness we harbor can make us miserable people.  Why choose that?  Why choose to hate and rage and just be miserable?

I don’t want that in my life.   I choose joy. I choose life. I choose to live like Jesus would have me live.  I know that those who do wrong will be judged. They will be dealt with. 

Me too.

I will be judged based on how I treated those who hurt me.  God’s word talks about that.  I have to realize that I am no better than anyone else. I am a sinner just like everyone else.  But I choose love. I choose life. I choose joy. I choose Jesus.


In honor of today’s word, here’s a little George Jones and his song of living with the choices we make.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What a week! Oh, it's only Wednesday!

I totally had this moment in my class Monday.....

Yesterday brought this moment......

Today, I didn't realize a student was absent until 2 p.m.

I read somewhere that dancing can ease your stress.  So, I may try this.....

 I really want to walk away like this on Friday.....

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Small - Let Them Be Little

Five Minute Friday

It is time for a little Five Minute Friday on Saturday.  This week's word....small.  Here you go!

We don’t want small. We want big. The bigger the better. Right?

What about our kids? 

I remember when our first son was born, my husband made the comment, “I can’t wait until he starts walking.”  Boy, did he ever eat those words. 

We rush our kids into activities.  We busy their lives and push them.  I once heard a conversation about some parents telling their pee wee baseball child that if he didn’t get his act together, he would never get a baseball scholarship.

Grow up kids.

That’s what we tell them. Maybe not in those words, but in other ways.

But we need to let them be little. 

We need to let them stay small.  Growing up comes too fast these days for many children. They aren’t allowed to be children. They don’t know what it is to play, to pretend, to be a kid. 

Children have so many things adding pressure and anxiety to their lives.  We owe it to them as their parents to let them be little. We should take this small amount of time we have with them and let them live as children, not miniature versions of ourselves or what we wish we were.

let them be little from Natasha Grimes on Vimeo.

Five Minute Friday Confession: I have been working on this post since last night.  After I wrote for five minutes, I was inspired to create the video. Well, it wouldn't download. I tried and retried, deleted and recreated.  Whew!  It became a quest, but was a great trip down memory lane!  The boys were so funny watching it.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Mission Field

 "And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." Mark 16:15

There is a lot of talk about missions, foreign missions specifically.  There are people for it. There are people against it. 

As our church is about to send a team of missionaries to Haiti, I am reminded that we are all called to spread the gospel.


At our church, there is a sign above the door.  As you exit through that door, you read, “You are now entering your mission field.” That is our reminder that we are not to leave the story of Jesus at the church door.  We are to take him with us wherever we go. 

One of the things I distinctively remember is a comment made by someone when the church was contemplating expanding the building. The comment went something like this, “I like my little church the way it is.” 

Folks, that is frightening.  What if everyone felt that way?  We would cease to spread the love of Jesus to others.  His kingdom would stop growing.  How many of us would not know Jesus today if someone felt that their church was just fine the way it is?

I remember well a day many years ago, when I was invited to our church.  Jeff and I were at his parent’s house. Mr. George Crabtree visited them.  There we were painting the pool deck, and  Mr. Crabtree invited us to church.  Shortly after he left, the phone rang. It was my mom telling me that my grandfather had just passed away.  Now, you may see no connection here.  But for me, I see God coming into my life at this point.  A man I didn’t know invited me to church.  God calls my grandfather home.  I didn’t know Christ as my savior.  I see God working in all this. George is now our family’s deacon.  I thank God each day that he invited us to church.

Then there is Wanda Hale.  She is a retired teacher who was working in my school.  She would rave about this interim preacher and tell about how the church wanted him to be their next preacher, and we really must come hear him preach one Sunday. She didn’t nag me about it. She invited me again and again.  I thank God each day that she invited us to church. 

There is this friend of mine from high school, Amy Jo, that went to church all the time. I didn’t.  She had her Sunday school class pray for me.  I was furious with her because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me.  There was. I was a sinner who didn’t have a relationship with Jesus.  Years later, I sent this friend a letter telling her, “Thank you for praying for me.” 

There are countless others that have shown me Jesus in one way or another. Holly invited us to revival.  Glenda started a Sunday school class for young families just starting to get involved in church.  There are those that have led Bible studies, said prayers, and offered words of encouragement. There are those Gideon’s who handed out tiny New Testaments in school and on the street corner at college.  I am thankful for all of those people who were following their Christian calling:

"For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”" Romans 10:13-15

Those people were being missionaries in their own backyards.  But I honestly believe in my heart that people are called to be missionaries in foreign lands.  God’s word says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."(Matthew 28:19) God has called people to be foreign missionaries to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

Not all of us are called to do that.  Some of us are called to teach Sunday school or lead Bible studies.  Some of us are called to be worship leaders by singing or playing instruments. We are all called to do something. Somewhere. 

It is so important that we support those who are called to be foreign missionaries.  We can support them with money and prayer.  God has called them according to His purpose.

If you are not called to be a foreign missionary, you can do so many things in your own community.  Find a way to volunteer. Get involved with your church.  Do something that is going to spread the love of Jesus. 
If you don't support foreign missions, let me ask you this. What are you doing for local missions? 
I would like for you to pray for our Haiti mission team.  Each night at 8PM join in prayer with our church as we ask for their protection, guidance, and that soul's will be saved, lives will be changed.


The Uniform

I simply love my man in uniform.  I love him. I respect his uniform. 

When my husband reminisces about his childhood, he tells stories of playing army with his friends. When other boys his age were shopping for the latest toys at the toy store, he was shopping for the ultimate army gear at Major Weatherby’s.  Anybody from South Central Kentucky remember that place?

 When Jeff and I met as teenagers, he often talked about joining the military.  After we married, he still talked about it.  When he finally decided to follow that calling, I said, “It’s about time!” 

 There’s something I need you to know about my husband.  He is a humble man, a man that cares for others.  He has this amazing personality that draws people to him.  I think he is pretty awesome. 

 Because of his love for others, I think God has called him to the right position, Chaplain in the US Army.  It is an amazing job.  When people first asked us about this job, the best way to explain it was by saying, “He is like a preacher for the Army.”  But honestly, it is so much more than that.  I see him as a friend to his fellow soldiers.  When a relative passes away, he stays with the soldier through the night.  When the soldier is hurting, brokenhearted, he spends his time listening, giving words of comfort and encouragement.  If he can’t help, he finds those that can.  He preaches God’s Word and has had the privilege of leading soldiers to Christ and then later performing their baptisms to show their obedience to Christ. Being a Chaplain is one of the many amazing jobs held by our soldiers. 

Regardless of position, rank, or branch of service, there is something about that uniform.  To me, it is almost sacred.  It takes a special person to honorably wear the uniform.

There are men and women who put on the uniform every day because they have earned the right to wear it.  They have worked hard to earn that right.  I am able to sit back as the wife of a soldier and simply see things from my perspective.  I could try to tell you what it takes for a man or woman to earn that right to call themselves United States Soldiers, but I can’t.  Not even from “knowing” what my husband has gone through.  There is a personal sacrifice they make that none of us could ever imagine.

The first time I saw my husband in uniform, I was so proud of him.  I felt like it was an amazing accomplishment.  Each time I see him in uniform, serving God and Country, I feel so blessed to have a man in my life that would follow God’s calling.  That isn’t always easy to do.

I do love the way my husband looks in his uniform, but again, I respect his uniform.  As I am doing laundry today, folding and putting away his things from three weeks of training at Ft. Dix, I am reminded of the sacrifices that soldiers make to be able to wear the uniform with pride. 

 I am bothered by the people who sport the uniform because they like the way it looks. I am bothered by the people who play in the uniform, pretending they are in a warzone.  I am bothered by the local organizations that dress their law enforcement officers in the uniform. I am bothered by the people who are in love with the uniform, not knowing what it ultimately takes to be able to wear it with honor.

It is the uniform of the United States Soldier.  We should respect it and those who wear it. 

Monday, February 03, 2014

For the Brokenhearted

Yesterday in Sunday school, we talked a lot about how some things just aren't fair and how sometimes God just seems so far away from us. We were led into a conversation about choices and how those choices pull us away from God. 

It is hard to admit sometimes that we make choices that get us into a pit. We wonder how we got there and wonder why God allowed it to happen. 

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that God does not force himself on us.  He has blessed us with having a choice. 

However, recent events remind me that not everything that happens occurs because of something we did.  It is a matter of God and his timing and purpose.

We will never fully understand God's ways. We aren't meant to. There comes a time in our lives when we will be the brokenhearted.  For me, one of those times was losing my fourth child due to miscarriage.

I don't know why I (or any woman for that matter) was "allowed" to go through a miscarriage. As much as it still hurts, I believe, I must believe, that there was a purpose.  God uses everything for a higher purpose. 

Was it to teach me to pray more and follow God's plan before deciding on my own it was time to expand my family, to wait for Him for those big decisions?  Was it to teach me the frailty of life?  Was it to get me to slow down and grow closer to Him?  Was it to be able to be there for other women who go through the same thing, or open the hearts of those that have experienced it in the past so they may be willing to share their experience?

I simply don't know.

I do know that months later, it still hurts.  It sneaks up on you.  You see your pregnant friends walking, more like waddling around, awaiting the joy of the birth of their first child.  It dawns on you that you won't be having that moment.  You are driving in the car with your three boys and the instant replay of moment you truly lost that child fills your mind, and you fight back tears.  It is the sickening feeling you get when you pray, "God, what am I supposed to do? Do I try for another child or is my family complete the way it is?"  Sometimes I don't want to know the answer. It hurts too bad to think that my body will never nurture a new life, that my arms will never hold that newborn.  It hurts to think that my youngest son will never know the joy of seeing his baby brother or sister for the first times after months of wondering why mommy is getting so fat. 

That is one of my brokenhearted trials. 

But I know that there is good news in this hurt. 

God loves me and is there for me. 

That is enough.

Regardless of how badly I missed my husband and prayed for his safe return home from a war zone, God was enough.

Regardless of how scared I was as my middle child lay lethargic in my arms countless nights because he couldn't breath, God was enough.

Regardless of how I feared the word Cancer when I had my first mammogram, God was enough.

Regardless of how the unknown pains that could be caused by leukemia in my child, God was enough.

Regardless....God is enough.

Psalm 34:18 says that The Lord is close to the brokenhearted  In whatever dark moment I was in, I felt God near me.  I felt Him calm me as I held a sick child. I felt His peace when I knew my husband's compound was under attack at that moment. I felt His love and comfort as my weakened body lost a baby.   God got me through those moments. He provided everything I needed.

He did that for me.  He can do that for you. 

I know there are so many people that are broken in so many ways. I have friends that are going through their own personal hell. I lift them in prayer, so they will know that God is enough. 

If my words sound simple or easy, that knowing God is enough comes easily, let me be clear on one thing: It isn't easy.  I have spent a lot of time with the Lord.  I have spend time with Him through praise and worship at church and in the privacy of my home, car, or classroom. I have spent time in Christian fellowship with those who have lifted me in prayer. I have spent time in prayer, not only letting Him know my requests, but also in prayers of thanksgiving and listening to Him.  I have spent time in His Word.  I have asked for His guidance while reading and worked hard to understand scripture.  I am not claiming to be perfect in all of these things, but I am saying that the time I have spent with Him when things are blue skies and sunshine, have paved the way for Him to reveal himself to me in times of heartache and sorrow. 

Time spent with the Lord is not time wasted.  All to often we say we don't have time to pray, we don't have time to study scripture.  But we do.  We turn off the TV. We put down the cell phones. We turn away from the Internet. We spend that time on and with the Lord.  Those few moments that we dedicate to Him each day will have an eternal impact on our lives and the lives of others.

We will all experience a broken heart. Spending time with God now will help us through the difficult times that await us.