Daily Walking with God

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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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cotton fieldI’m not even sure what to write at this time. My thoughts, over the past couple of weeks, seem too deep and transparent for them to be penned on a page. Yet, in this time of quietness, I feel compelled to urge you to pray.

C.H. Spurgeon once said, “True prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fulness of prayer in it then a fine oration of great length.” The weight of my heart is heavy. It is heavy for self, family, friends, and our country.

I was grateful for Romans 8:26 last night, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” There are those times you just have to say, “God, it’s (you fill in your own blank) Yours. I don’t even know what and how to pray right now. Take this and mold it and me how You desire.”

Spurgeon also stated, “Prayer can never be in excess.”

Do you ever feel that you are conversing with God ALL DAY? I have been, do, and I’m not planning on stopping. Prayer is what often gets me through various situations in life.

When you pray for God’s will to be done, mean it. Don’t pray it, and then think, “Oh, that’s not right, I can do it better.” Believe it. Pray it. Wait.

Ugh, that’s the tough part. The waiting. Yet in the waiting, that is when we are truly relying on God. Faith in action. Lessons are being taught in those moments. Just breathe. (I actually exhaled deeply then. I think I’m reminding myself of this too.)

To quote another famous person, Mother Theresa spoke these beautiful words, “God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” Listen, my friend, to God’s voice.

Here’s a prayer to get your started in your prayer life with God today:

Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

Can I get a hearty, or even a sweet sigh of, “Amen”?

Take a slow deep breath, imagine yourself at the feet of Jesus, either look directly into His eyes or bow to His feet, and repeat Psalm 25:4-5. Believe in Him. God will show, teach, and guide you all day, when you place your hope and trust in Him.

Have a beautiful day!

Many blessing to you and yours.

Much love,

Stephanie

MONDAY MORNINGOn the way to taking Cole to school, the sky was stunning, just absolutely stunning. The drive was peaceful, and then…it happened.

This past weekend, and this morning, you would think that our small town is having a massive festival or concert. The interstate, and three main roads, no…make that four, have been at a slow crawl or dead-stop the past several days. The Strawberry Festival doesn’t even cause this much traffic complications. What’s the problem? FEMA.

FEMA has set-up headquarters in Plant City for ALL of Hillsborough County assistance for the victims needing food services since the hurricane.

On social media and in conversations, you can definitely sense the frustration in people’s words.

Businesses are losing profits because people are not able to reach them. Employees are being late to work. What would normally take someone ten minutes to reach their destination, it is now taking over one hour.

This morning, I took my son to the high school and headed to our Publix grocery store around 7:30. Traffic was already being gridlocked. I heard that those needing assistance, have been in line since 3:30 this morning. Wow!!

So, I thought to myself…I have a choice to make. I can either get frustrated and judgmental and critical, OR do something. The latter was my preference.

I pondered to myself, “This could be an opportunity for churches or groups to pass out comforting notes of scripture, or mints, or water or something.” Then, I wasn’t sure of the legal ramifications to the whole concept.

My mind began to think about: how fortunate our town was through the hurricane, praying for those who were affected, grateful that our town to open up its roads to assist others, and so on.

Choosing to do something was the much better alternative for my psyche, and my blood pressure.

First of all, I ask that you pray for all people. Ask God to bless them and give them what they need. And give thanks. 1 Timothy 2:1

I chose to pray. Pray for the town, the people waiting in line, their families, for the local businesses who are suffering to be blessed in the coming days, for local folks to just breathe and know that we only have ONE MORE DAY of this discombobulation which is causing disruption to people’s routines. But…we need to count our blessings that we have a solid home, food, water, and good health.

Pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready. Never give up. Always pray for all of God’s people. Ephesians 6:18

Blessings to you and yours. And count those blessings (*wink*smile).

Love, Stephanie

 

simple things in lifeAppreciate the simplicity of life.

You know the phrase “Stop and smell the roses”. Well, the past couple of days, this has been the mentality that the Lord has pressed upon me.

A vine of chickweed (I’ll just say a precious wild daisy) captured my attention, as it was crawling its way up the fence, at the front entrance to our property. That dainty flower…made me smile.

Tim and I are in the stage of parenting adult children. At times, they make me want to “slap them silly”/”knock some sense into them”, yet I’m grateful that I have them in my life to drive me crazy. That (and they)…makes me smile.

About children, when I see our kiddos smile, and make little successes in their lives, or discover a passion for themselves, this…makes me smile.

I was recently shopping in one of our downtown stores. There was decorative tin piece that simply said, Hi. That’s the word hi with a period at the end of it. For some reason, it made me giggle, even now thinking about it does. That simply stated Hi….made me smile. (I should have purchased it.)

We had some friends over to watch the college football games yesterday. Although our Florida Gators didn’t come away with the win, having dear friends over and enjoying their fellowship…made me smile.

When our Saturday football guests departed, Tim and I sat on the swing, under the moon, with the beginning of a fall temperature lingering in the air, we (as we often do) chatted about life and danced under the night lights. This…made me smile.

As the sun was greeting me this morning, it had cast a glorious salmon color throughout the atmosphere. This…made me smile.

With so much busyness, chaos, and tribulations cowering over our lives, I implore you to:

  • “Stop and smell the roses”.
  • Find joy in the simple gestures in life.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Give a smile to someone.

And now, I must go indulge myself in a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast. Yes…that makes me smile.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.  Psalm 103:2

Have a beautiful and peaceful day.

Many blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

me and mike

“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.”

Proverbs 27:2 was one of my scripture reads this morning. As I was praying for the Lord to speak to me and through me, this verse and a name popped into my mind.

Mike Parker. That is the name that came to mind while I was praying.

So, let me tell you a little bit about Mike Parker.

Mike, and his twin brother Kevin, were born with obstacles. On August 5, 1960, in Plant City, Florida, these twin boys entered the world six weeks earlier than their due date. Kevin weighed 3 pounds and 5 ounces, and was 16” long, and Mike weighed 2 pounds and 13 ½ ounces, and was 15 ½” long. I had baby dolls larger than they were when they were born.

They're not so mini anymore. LOL!!!

They’re not so mini anymore. LOL!!!

These two miniature babies, remained in the hospital for five and a half weeks. While they were gaining strength, and growing in the hospital, there was something else gaining strength and growing. A Tropical Wave, off the coast of Africa, was noticed on August 29th, 1960. This system rapidly intensified as it moved over the Atlantic. Hurricane Donna devastated the US and British Virgin Islands, The southeastern portion of the Bahaman islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida. The eye of Hurricane Donna graced its presence over the hometown of these twin boys. Remember…this was in 1960, in a small town, technology nowhere near the capabilities of today, and these precious boys continued to thrive, and survive.

Even though Mike had a complicated start to life, God wasn’t finished with him.

Through his adolescence, Mike grew to be a young man who loved sports, the outdoors, and was greatly involved in The Future Farmers of America. Through his affiliation with the FFA, Mike refined his skills as a public speaker. This is a talent that Mike has utilized throughout his life as a motivator, teacher, administrator, Sunday School teacher, and guest preacher.

Much like God wasn’t finished with Mike in those first weeks of his life, I believe God isn’t finished with him yet, still.

“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2

Mike is a humble man who isn’t about to praise himself, because he would much rather praise His Savior, so…I’ll praise him instead.

I may not be an outsider to Michael Louis Parker, he is my brother.

Mike is not only my brother, but he is one of the most compassionate, straight-forward, fun-loving, and godly men I know.

So, why am I praising him now? I am so stinkin’ proud of my brother, turned author. He has beautifully written a book titled, My Emmaus: God is Faithful 24/7. In this book, Mike has been transparent in his stories of how God has intervened in his life. “Fasting for children, the American adventure of a Muslim teenager, intercession experiences, crazy spiritual warfare, and finding a godly wife are just a sampling of what awaits you.”

Weaved throughout the stories is the importance of praying AND fasting. My husband jokes (well, probably serious) that I couldn’t last a day of fasting. But if I (we) get the results Mike gets in the end, fasting sounds like it should be added to my prayer life.

Do you need a Christmas or birthday gift, stocking stuffer, a good read, an encouragement in life, or have your eyes opened to a Christ-like-life? Please do yourself a favor and purchase My Emmaus.

Do your church, youth group, small group, or organization an indulgence, and contact Mike to speak to your group! God gave him the talent to entertain through his gift of public speaking, book him now!

“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2

I love you, Mike! Thank you for being an inspiration to me!!

Blessings to all.

Love to you and yours, Stephanie

mike and jan

Mike and my beautiful sister-in-love, Jan.

USA Flag 1992Last week Tim and I attended a Zac Brown Band concert. Our seats were in the first two seats beside the aisle. Mid-way into the concert, we noticed the paramedics rushing a young girl down the aisle (late teens or early twenties…and appeared to be highly intoxicated), on a gurney. Her friend was hastily following her, and with panic in her voice, you could hear the friend saying to the young girl, with her eyes rolling into the back of her head, “Look at me! Stay with me!”

My heart ached, as I told Tim, “I couldn’t imagine being the parent of that girl, and receiving a phone call that my child is in the hospital due to over-consuming alcohol at a concert.”

I’ve always been the parent who reminds my children that we are not promised tomorrow. Morbid? Maybe, but truth.

This morning, I turned on the news and was sickened by what I heard and the footage I observed.

At that time, a gun-man had killed over forty people, and over 200 were injured. (At the time of me typing this, there are now over 55 dead, and over 500 injured.) These folks were attending an outdoor music concert, The Route 91 Harvest Festival. What should have been the ending of a three-day event, filled with fun and songs still billowing through one’s mind in the end of it all, was now filled with terror of gunshots and a fatal scene forever engrained in their minds.

Again, I just couldn’t imagine being the one receiving a call of my loved one being injured or killed due to the evilness and cowardness of someone.

I went into my eldest son’s room to tell of the news (which he was already informed of), and asked if he had any friends at the concert. He, thankfully, responded by shaking his head no.

With our country drawing together directly after three major hurricanes, and other natural disasters around our world, we are being tested.

I was proud of my President when he spoke to our country, shortly after this devastation. He said many encouraging words and empathetically communicated to our nation.

President Trump quoted Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

The POTUS urged us to call upon the bonds between us: faith, family, and our shared values. He called upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.

President Trump mentioned, amongst many other heartfelt words, that he is praying for the nation to find unity and peace.

I sent a text to all three of mine and Tim’s children this morning which read, “In view of this morning’s tragedy, I want you three to know that I love you so very much. I’m so proud of each of you! You are a blessing to me and dad. We are not promised tomorrow. Live each day full of love and laughter. Put God first in all you do. Tell and show those you love that you do love them. Count your blessings. Serve others. Be a person of integrity. Love, love, love you!!!”

Can we please all put political differences aside, and become a unified nation?

Can we please put pride aside, and become prayerful?

Can we please put selfishness aside, and become serving?

Can we please put hatred aside, and become helpful?

Can we please put all hostility aside, and become harmonious?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are instructed to “Pray continually”. When I dropped my youngest son off at golf this afternoon, I overheard Sarah Huckabee, on my XM radio station, stating that the President, Vice President, and their spouses were leading a moment of silence in sixteen minutes. I look at my clock, and noted that 2:45pm would be the designated time. I quickly ran into the Publix grocery store to grab dinner ingredients, and informed the cashier that there was going to be a nationwide moment of silence at 2:45.

As I rushed back to my car and started driving home, an announcement came across the air waves that the moment of silence is going to now take place. The time was 2:40pm. I pulled my car over to the side of the road, and tearfully prayed for our nation, the families, and the gunman’s’ family as well. The radio station was honoring that moment of stillness too.

The point I’m trying to make regarding the times is…it doesn’t matter if you partook in a prayer at 2:45PM, 2:40PM, or 11:00PM, just pray.

I want to encourage you all to pray for the first responders (who did such a phenomenal job responding during this catastrophic event), the medical personal who have dealt with and are continuing to work to save lives, for the families and friends of loved ones now deceased or injured, for the family of the gunman who were in utter disbelief, for our nation, The President, and yourself too.

#GodBlessAmerica #PrayingForVegas #AmericaStrong #PrayingForOurNation

Blessings to you all, Stephanie

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He choose for His inheritance.” Psalm 33:12

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” Romans 12:12

seek first

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV

“What you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what He wants you to do. Then He will give you all these other things you need.” ERV

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” NLT

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” MSG

I see it!

That is the title to the new sermon series my pastor is preaching at church. While I was pondering on what to write and being still to hear God’s guidance, those three words came to mind.

I see it. I see it. I see it, every day! I see it in my life, my family’s life, friends, and our world. I see that when we do NOT Seek God first, well…let’s just say that I (we) tend to get selfish, amongst other not-so-good-for-us frames of mind, and we begin playing our own god, even without knowing it, and maybe even with the best intentions.

We have an infinite amount of choices we make each day. I want to challenge you to seek God first.

No matter how tremendous or trivial your situation or options may be, seek God first.

His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8). Nope. His way is perfect and flawless! (Psalm 18:30). Seek God first.

I’m telling you. I’m telling you. I’m telling you…when I seek God first, the result in joyous, glorious, and perfect.

I may not get the answer or insight right away, but when I “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10), and “wait patiently for the Lord, and wait confidently for Him” (Psalm 37:7)…the answer is true and best. Seek God first.

So, take a deep breath, be prayerful in all you do, trust in Him, be obedient to His will, and know that it will all be okay in the end when we seek God first.

As my pastor would say at the end of the sermon, “Do you see it?”

I hope that you will not only see it, but know that when you seek God first life is sweeter.

Now, my thoughts are rushing…does it mean that our life will be easier? No. Does it mean that when I seek God first I will have a no troubles in life? No. Does it mean that when I seek God first the consequences to my actions (by God, not man) will be rewarded or smiled upon by Him? Yes!

Okay, I think I’m done now. Have a glorious day! Seek God first!

Many blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

#seekHimfirst  #priorities #Godknowsbest

 

 

 

stand up for our flagOn August 26, 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.

Look. What. He. Started!

Emotions and opinions from NFL fans, and all citizens, are being displayed and heard all over all forms of media.

In Proverbs 17:14 we read, The start of an argument is like a small leak in a dam. Stop it before a big fight breaks out. Well, I believe the dam has broken. Even as quiet as Kaepernick started it, his actions spoke volumes.

I feel certain that the message from Kaepernick has even gotten somewhat lost for some, and this protest has reared another ugly head of its own. But, when you mess with an iconic and such a symbolic form patriotism as standing for our National Anthem, you’ve taken your “silent protest” to another level.

I heard from a friend who served our country as a United States Navy Seal. He bleeds red, white, and blue. In our messages, he displayed two photos for me. The first picture depicted a young child being handed his parent’s folded flag at their funeral. My friend commented, “I want the NFL in all its wisdom to explain to young minds like this why it’s ok to upstage a moment of respect for our military in exchange for social justice. Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Well said, my friend.child with flag

In the second photo, the caption states, “What taking a knee for your country actually looks like.”

taking a knee

If these photos and comments didn’t hit you in the gut, I don’t know what will.

I observe the numerous men and women who have not only lost a leg, arm, the capability to walk, hear, or see, or even their minds, but too many to count have lost their lives. Why? Because they volunteer to serve our great country so that WE can remain brave, strong, and free.

I spoke with another friend and former Navy Seal, Steve Solomon, and he said that he has no problem with citizens having the freedom to protest, but…during our National Anthem…that’s BS. He agrees with my husband and says that if you want to protest, then do something. For example, form an outreach program. Do something. Create a mechanism where you can educate the youth and people in general. It’s simple to just take a knee. But to do so during our National Anthem is the wrong stage. Not negotiable.

Steve also declared that the rules of the game state, helmet in left hand, stand, right hand on heart (see below). Rules are rules. My buddy, Steve, said, “No one is perfect. The only One (Jesus) who was perfect died at the age of 33. And…Talk to Job. He didn’t protest, and Job lost much more than what these players are protesting.” Again, well said, my friend.

The game operations manual pronounces regarding the National Anthem: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.” http://time.com/4955704/nfl-league-rulebook-a62-63-national-anthem-rule/

I came across an interesting read on the internet. This article highlights where and why this song was written. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard this story. Good read. (Click here to read.) In the article, they posted all four phrases of our anthem, with side notes:

Star Spangled Banner

Oh! say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there. Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? (“Ramparts,” in case you don’t know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a Fort. The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer. )

On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep. As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream. ‘Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! (“The towering steep” is again, the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure. In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise. During World War II, when the British were our staunchest allies, this third stanza was not sung. However, I know it, so here it is)

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

(The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three, and with even deeper feeling. )

Oh! Thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand, Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation, Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n – rescued land, > Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, for our cause is just, And this be our motto – “In God is our trust.” And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Powerful words!

In school, we have the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, followed by a moment of silence. (Yes, in our public school system! Thank You, Jesus!) During that moment of silence, I always encouraged the students to pray, meditate, think about, be grateful, or whatever during that moment, but remain silent. As the students stood in silence, I would pray for them and the day ahead. Yet, during the pledge, we all stood, with our right hand over our hearts, and recited the pledge to our flag. I’d often remind them of the men and women who have and are still serving our country, and the sacrifices they make for us to live in The Land of the Free. Maybe that’s one thing we can bring to our NFL. ALL stand for the National Anthem, then…you can have your silent “protest” during a moment of silence. I feel confident that many prayers for our country, the players, and many injustices would be said during that time, whether folks are kneeling, sitting, or remain standing.

One of my favorite verses comes from Micah 6:8. In it we learn what The Lord requires of us: “to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Let’s do the right thing. Don’t disrespect our flag by kneeling. Be compassionate towards others, and simply obey the Lord.

Also in Micah, we read in chapter 6 verse one, Listen to what the Lord is saying: “Stand up and state your case against me. Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaints.” The emphasis was mine. STAND UP.

Take a stand! Don’t disrespect our nation by kneeling during our National Anthem.

Take a stand! You have an issue, DO SOMETHING, not just take a knee. DO SOMETHING!

Take a stand! We are supposed to be a country of indivisibility, and one nation under God. Mr. Colin Kaepernick’s stance has created much division in our country. We need to come together to solve problems, not create them.

Take a stand! Pray. I want to encourage you to KNEEL in prayer. Even put your face to the ground, if you’re able, and pray for our country, your own heart and attitude, and any injustices.

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

 

Let’s get back to some decorating ideas.

First of all, I must confess…I truly felt guilty about posting ideas for decorating, when 1) I wasn’t sure if we would have a home after Hurricane Irma, or at least a roof and other structural damage, and 2) there are so many folks who were affected by the wind, rain, and tornadoes of Harvey and Irma to their homes, and they have to completely rebuild. My heart just wasn’t in it. (The last decorating post was on September 5th!)

Secondly, since many of us have or are persevering through the aftermath, it’s definitely time for this next post!

I’d like to remind you that our taste in décor may differ, maybe about as much as our opinions on various subjects vary. Yet, I hope you will take away from this mini-series:

  • To decorate your home with things that you love
  • To show your personality in your style
  • To share your love for Christ through various avenues of décor.
  • To NOT decorate just because of an empty space, but to wait to fill a space with something that speaks to you
  • Inspiration comes from all over…I hope our home inspires you.

I know when I travel, thumb through magazines, watch decorating shows, or even simply visiting a friend’s home, I get inspired. I may see some things that look great, but not necessarily for me, or say, “I totally want to try this in my home!”. When friends come to my home and ask, “Would you mind if I did this too?” or “Where did you get this, so I can do the same?” I take that as a complete compliment and am humbled.

Here we go…Volume 4…The master bathroom.

Some may question, “Why would she say it’s definitely time for this next post when she wants to share her bathroom?” Well, after all the laboring of getting one’s home back in order after a storm, doesn’t a nice hot bath sound relaxing? I know it sure does for me.

IMG_1151

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.” John 14:1

We had a clawfoot tub in our last home. I believe our dog got more baths in it than I did. Since we’ve moved to our newly renovated home, I was forced to bathe in the tub due to an accident the day before Thanksgiving. That habit has stuck with me throughout the months that followed. #lovemytub. When I soak in that tub, it feels as if all my troubles are washed away.

“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Ephesians 4:13

Like me, those curtains are a work in progress. I wasn’t finding the window panels that just spoke to me, so I visited a fabric store and saw this material. The colors were perfect to coordinate with the décor in my master bath. I purchased the material and got busy cutting and gluing. Yep, you read that correctly…gluing. I’m not one who sews. So, my “work in progress” is this…maybe you can give me your opinion…the curtains have plenty of extra material, draping the floor, so should I: use it to cover shades for the iron chandelier, trim enough so that’s barely touching the floor, or don’t worry about it at all?

IMG_1149

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.” Psalm 62:5

The wall plaque above my tub comforts and encourages me. It is well with my soul. Yes! No matter the challenges that come my way, it is well with my soul, as long as I’m with Jesus in and through it all.

IMG_1152

 

From this time on we don’t think of anyone as the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. But we don’t think that way now.  When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new! 2 Corinthians 5:16-17

Think outside-of-the-box. I just knew that I did not desire for the ordinary bathroom cabinet. I searched furniture stores, thrift shops, online, and any place that may give me inspiration for a vanity. After a few months on my cabinet mission, I was meandering through the aisles (and this was not the first time here) of my local home décor and furniture store, Southern Hospitality. When I saw this entertainment center, I took a double take, pulled out my measuring tape, and measured the size for the space in our master bath. PERFECT! This piece of furniture that was originally intended to house a television and electronics, is now graced with a ceramic sink from Mexico, towels, soap, and all things bath. “Suddenly, everything is new!” OH…here’s a good tidbit…people often comment on this one…notice the container of small cups and mouthwash…it’s a hit.  I have this combo in each bathroom, even the outdoor bath.

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Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

While putting on makeup, or doing my hair, I sit at my vanity and glance at a few women in my life who fear the Lord. My mom, late mother-in-law, daughter, grandmother, great-grandma, and friends are thought of each day and appreciated. These women have taught me about beauty (inside and out). Yea, I did throw in some guys into the “ladies zone”, but my husband and sons are pretty special to me. There’s room for more photos under the glass. This is an easy decorating idea to display those memories of loved ones, and they make me smile too.

I encourage you to:

  • Relax, and allow God to wash your troubles away.
  • Keep growing and maturing in your walk with Christ.
  • Put your hope in Him, and know that it is well with your soul.
  • Look at things in a new light.
  • Cherish those who have helped mold you into who you are today.

I hope you will find inspiration as you read these posts. Not only inspiration for your home, but your walk with Christ as well.

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

#decoratingideas #decoatewithlove #inspiration #ahomenotahouse #relax

 

 

 

 

joy and peace

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

I prayed this verse for my children today. And you know what? I prayed it for you too!

Dear Lord, You are The God of hope! I pray that you will fill my family, friends, and myself with Your abundant joy and peace today as we trust in You. May we be brimming with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Have a beautiful weekend!  Be joyful!

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

#bejoyful  #filledwithHislove #brimmingwithpeace

 

stormWith clean-ups, clean-outs, and all things that deal with Hurricane Irma, and on top of Harvey and Irma…the catastrophic earthquake in Mexico and another fatal hurricane named Maria…I’ve been quiet and reflective. My heart and prayers go out to all.

Heartaches and heartbreaks happen in life. Troubles and trials WILL come our way.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

That stinks! Yet it is required. Events, such as these, are required to build character in ourselves, collaborate for a purpose with others, and to demonstrate Christ’s love in desperate times.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”  Romans 5:3-5

Yesterday, I heard a news reporter mention that some say that our world will end on September 23, 2017. Well, I do agree with people that we are in the end-times, but I must also agree with God’s Word. In Matthew 24:36, 42, and 44 the Bible repeats to us that we do NOT know the date, day, time, or anything of such specifics when Jesus is coming again.

36“No one knows when that day or time will be. The Son and the angels in heaven don’t know when it will be. Only the Father knows…42 “So always be ready. You don’t know the day your Lord will come… 44 So you also must be ready. The Son of Man will come at a time when you don’t expect Him.”

So, let’s say that man is smarter than Jesus and that man does know that September 23rd is indeed the last day. (“Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”1 Corinthians 1:25. ) Are you ready? Is your heart right with God? Do you believe in Him with all your heart?

Yes, our world is showing true signs of the end-of-times:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. Matthew 24:7

Agree?

But…we do NOT know when. So…while we wait for that glorious day:

  • Love others
  • Help others
  • ­­­­Be kind
  • Be humble
  • Obey
  • Show gratitude
  • Be holy
  • Forgive
  • Have self-control
  • Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength
  • Share and show His love with others
  • Pray

Can you? Will you? You’ve got this…with God.

Have a beautiful day. Enjoy soaking up The Son wherever you are.

Love to you and yours, Stephanie

#theendtimes  #liveforGod #shareHislove