Saturday, December 22, 2012

Beyond Sunday Morning Update

Hello, friends.  Guess what?  A few things are changing with Beyond Sunday Morning, and I wanted to make sure you were aware, especially those of you who receive my posts or view them through your Blogger Reading List.  Future posts will be made at my new blog address:

beyondsundaymornings.weebly.com. 

I hope you will come and visit me there, I so much enjoy ministering to each of you through blogging.  You can sign up to receive future posts from me by email in the sidebar at my new address.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Blessings,

Amy
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

December to Remember Day 20

I Don't Like to Travel



Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him. -- Matthew 2:2

We talked about the journey for wisdom yesterday, and we are still on a journey, but our destination is different. The wise men had pursued wisdom which is how they knew to follow the star, but the journey itself was even more than a pursuit of wisdom, it was also for worship......
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December to Remember Day 19

Can It Really Be Found?



Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem if Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem -- Matthew 2:1

Who were these men called wise men? Who were the magi?

Some say they were astrologers, some say they were magicians, some say they interpreted dreams, and all of those things are probably true, but what catches my attention about who they were has to do with wisdom and what they did for it.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December to Remember Day 18

There's Nothing Like The Sound of Your Voice



Oh, my friends, we have made it to the manger.

We've made it to the feeding trough and there before us is the Bread of Life, the Righteous Branch oustretched, and at peace. The heart knows all is well in this moment. A calm delight wells up within. Stop and take it in for just a moment. You are there in the presence of His complete pureness.

It's time to worship.  How do we worship? 
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Monday, December 17, 2012

December to Remember Day 17

In Haste.

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Rush.

Rush.

Rush.

There are more things to do and more places to be than there are of you to go around.

Is that how you feel this time year?  Rush right here for more...
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

December to Remember Day 16

No Room. Maybe That Was A Good Thing.



Let's travel back just a few verses so that I can share something with you that occurred to me this week as I thought about the Christmas story. Let's rewind to Luke 2:7  Click Here for more...
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

December to Remember Day15

Outstretched

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And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. --Luke 2:12

Read more on Outstretched ...
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Friday, December 14, 2012

December to Remember Day 14

Even Today.

For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. --Luke 2:11
Today in the city of David.  Read On...
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

December to Remember Day 13

The Heart Knows All Is Well

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There are few things in this life that evoke the same emotions I feel when I look upon a sleeping baby, especially when I looked upon my own sleeping infants.  Read On.....
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December to Remember Day 12

As Different As Night and Day

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And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. -- Luke 2:8-9
Since we're all shepherds anyway, lets think for a minute what this must have been like.    Read On...
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December to Remember Day 11

Me? A Shepherd?

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And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. -- Luke 2:8
One year in the annual Christmas Program at church, our girls had parts in the play that, at first they thought unlikely.  Read on...
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Monday, December 10, 2012

December to Remember Day 10

The Feeding Trough

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...and she wrapped Him in cloths and laid HIm in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. --Luke 2:7
In a manger.  Read on...
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

December to Remember Day 9

While They Were There

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And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son..... -- Luke 2:6-7
While they were there.

While they were where? Far from home. Far from comfort. Far from preferred.Read more....
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Saturday, December 8, 2012

December to Remember Day 8

A Royal Bread Box

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Earlier in this series we learned what Nazareth meant, click here if you missed that day. I promise, you won't be sorry.



I loved learning about Nazareth, but today we are arriving in Bethlehem, Heaven's choice as a birthing center to welcome our matchless Savior. We broke down "Nazareth" to discover it's meaning, and we'll do just the same with Bethlehem. I hope you are in as
much awe over what you read here today as I was when I discovered it a few days ago.  I still get goosebumps over it.  Click here to keep reading
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Friday, December 7, 2012

December to Remember Day 7

Just Who Are You, Anyway?

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Yesterday we left off with Caesar Augustus issuing a decree that everyone had to participate in a census that ordered each person to return to the city of their
birth to register.  Read more.....
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

December to Remember Day 6

God's Plan Trumped All That

Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. -- Luke 2:1
Picture A decree went out.....

Just what is a decree, anyway? 

According to google, a decree is an official order issued by a legal authority.  When a decree is issued, what the person in authority says in that decree goes.  No questions.  No negotiation.  It is stated, therefore it is.  Read On.....
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December to Remember Day 5

Never Walk Alone

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Several weeks ago our family attended a birthday party hosted by dear friends of ours for their daughter. We had a blast playing all sorts of games, but I think the overall crowd favorite was the three-legged race.  Read on.....
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December to Remember Day 4


Did Someone Say My Name?

Question for you - What name do you go by? What I mean is, do you go by your real name or are you a person who is named one name, but everyone really knows you by another? Read on....
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Monday, December 3, 2012

December to Remember Day 3

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Any Other Name
Wouldn't Be As Sweet



As a young pregnant mother, I pondered name after name, searching for the one that was just right for our little one with both pregnancies. McKayla's first name wasn't so hard, since Todd had liked that name for a very long time, but her middle name was carefully chosen. Then, since we were just sure that our second was going to be a boy, we had some boy names in mind and almost finalized. We really hadn't given much thought to a name for a little girl until the ultrasound declared my mother's intuition to be wrong!

I panicked. Here we were, over half way through and we had no clue about what we would name this child, and we were no where near a conclusion. Several names came to mind and, well, ahemmmm.....they were vetoed by Todd. Nothing seemed to be "just right". He suggested we name her Breanna, which I really liked, except for the fact that Breanna was the number one baby name at that time.

Let me explain. My name is Amy. Apparently it was a very popular name in the year that I was born. As I went through my years in elementary and middle school, I attended a school in a rural community, which by most standards, would have been considered small. Even though my school was small, there were still 3 Amy's in my class. Amy M., Amy N., and Amy P. Now imagine us all seated in alphabetical order, which was often the case. Imagine turning in your paper without the last initial on the same day another Amy did the same. We also at one time had 3 Jennifers. Ugghhhh. I decided one day sitting in Mrs. Nanney's 7th grade Social Studies class that I would put a stop to this problem as far as I was concerned by naming my children something that was a little different.

So, you can understand when my sweet husband pops out with the oh so popular name Breanna, that I quickly vetoed him right back. We were in a stalemate. I would ask about the baby name and he would say, "I told you what I liked. Breanna." My mature response would always be something like, "And I told you we aren't naming her that." After several weeks, we did finally settle on a compromise and decided to name her Brenna. Close enough to what he wanted, and different enough for me.

Funny thing is, after all of the contemplating and discussing of names, I could not imagine either of my girls being called anything different.



And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. --Luke 1:31
In biblical times names weren't chosen for their popularity, they were chosen for their meaning. There were even times people changed their names to fit the circumstances of their lives. God saved Mary the trouble of picking a name. He had it all picked out for her. He told her what it should be and He didn't pick the name based on popularity or trends, He picked the name because of what it meant.

The name Jesus has a very significant meaning.

The name Jesus means just what He does for us.

It means "the Lord saves."

Can you imagine? The angel is speaking to Mary and says, "You shall name Him the Lord saves."

Wow, what mighty shoes to fill in a tender babe, especially when a name held meaning over a life.

My question for you is this -

If His name means the Lord saves, aside from eternal destruction, what has He saved you from?

You may not think of something right off the bat, but I challenge you today to reflect on the timeline of your life and look for things in this life that He saved you from.

When I look back on mine, I see his name all over it.

There are blocks of times, critical decisions where I can see it plain as day that if it weren't for Jesus, I don't know where I would be.

God gave Him the perfect name because any other name wouldn't be as sweet. Certainly not to me. His name itself is a gift to us, our third gift unwrapped this December.

The matchless name of Jesus, Father, I look back at my life and see that Jesus is still saving me today. Not only from an eternity of separation from you, but saving me from things in this life, often from even myself. Thank You that You continually have Your hand upon my life working it to your will. Jesus, your name is so sweet. It brings such power, it brings unspeakable peace. I couldn't think of a name that fits WHO YOU ARE more perfectly.
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

A December to Remember Day 2


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O Favored One

 
 
 
Yesterday we began in Luke 1, verse 26. The angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth with a special message. Let's pick up right where we left off.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! -- Luke 1:26-28
The angel addressed Mary as "favored one", I have always read this part of the story and looked upon Mary with such admiration. What an honor for God to send the angel Gabriel to speak with her and then to be called favored one.
When I think of a favored one, I think of being someone's favorite. Being really special above others to another person.

I have always thought, "Wow, God must have really liked her. She must have lived a godly life worthy of ushering the Savior into the world.....I wish I could be like that."

That is, until I researched favored one.

Favored one comes from a word charitoo (don't ask me to pronounce it, because I can't!). Charitoo means "to bestow grace, to highly honor". It was something extended to Mary, not something Mary achieved.

There are only 2 places where this word, charitoo, is used in the entire New Testament. The first one addressing Mary, and the second time in Ephesians 1.
....to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. --Ephesians 1:6
The phrase freely bestowed on, in the original language, is the same word charitoo. The same word he used when speaking to Mary, the one we think of as favored and special. Think with me for a moment. In the first verse He is speaking to Mary, but who do you think Ephesians 1:6 is speaking to?

You.

Yes, you.

If you are a believer, you are favored as well, my friend.

Not just Mary, but you too.

Rejoice and be glad! Receive your second gift in this series and make this a December to Remember. Mary didn't earn the favor, she received it and the same is true for you.


Giver of Gifts, it is nothing I can do on my own to be any more favored by You than I already am. What an unspeakable gift. To know that You think as much of me as you do Mary, brings glad tidings and joy to my heart. Thank you for unwrapping a second Christmas gift this season in your Word.
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

December to Remember Day 1

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As December is brand new this year, the Christmas story itself may not feel quite so new to many of us. But, no matter how many years we have known the Christmas story, God has a way of making something we have read over and over grab us in a way that causes roots to grow down just a little deeper. It causes our heart to be drawn a bit closer to His. I don't know about you, but I love those moments and treasure them in a way that is impossible for me to adequately describe. Those opportunities seem like I'm truly getting one on one time with the Almighty. Remember those times as a child when you got Mom or Dad, Grandma or Grandpa all to yourself? It made us feel so special. That's what it's like. Just me and Him. He's all mine. He has his pen and writes permanently upon my heart in those encounters.

I hope the days to come bring you moments like that. I pray your heart stirs with joy and excitement and even flutters at the thought of Him. I certainly have enjoyed studying these few verses, and I hope you do as well.

Let me preface where we are going today and in the days ahead with this - I am not a theologian. I'm just a Jesus girl who desires deeply to learn more about Him and His Word and I just CAN'T STAND to keep the good stuff to myself!

Let's start our journey in the book of Luke, the gospel with the most detailed account of the birth of Jesus.


Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth. Luke 1:26
Where was the angel, Gabriel, sent? He was sent to a city in Galilee called Nazareth.

Are you ready for your first Christmas gift? The name Nazareth is so neat! Let's unwrap it.

Do you know what the name Nazareth means?

I just love this, it makes my heart all goofy inside.......

Nazareth comes from a Hebrew word meaning a twig or branch, a shoot.

Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus, described in the Old Testament......
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch....Jeremiah 23:5
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot....Isaiah 53:2
Where did Jesus, our Righteous Branch, our Tender Shoot come from?

He came from Nazareth.

He was exactly what Nazareth means.

Nazareth the home of the Righteous Branch.

Our God is a God of details. I don't think it's a coincidence that He placed Jesus, our Savior, the Righteous Branch, the Tender Shoot, in a town whose name meant the same.


Father, I love how You tuck such wonderful surprises in what may seem ordinary. You certainly are no ordinary God, You are extraordinary. Simple places in your Word are often pregnant with meaning and that draws me to want to learn so much more. Thank You for this early Christmas gift that You allowed me to unwrap in your story of old.
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

A December to Remember


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Make this December one that you'll remember as familiar verses become as fresh as the evergreens of the Christmas season. I hope you will Join me beginning December 1, 2012 for a series of posts leading us right up to Christmas entitled:

"A December to Remember"
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Intermittent Amnesia

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I think my generation is responsible for the smart alek comeback "Duh!!", and on behalf of my generation, I apologize;) I've noticed that as my children have gotten a little older and oh so much wiser, duh has found its way into their vocabulary too.....

Not that I'm happy about it.

They even have their own little spins on how to deliver it now, as if I won't know what their really saying...

There's the simple "Duhhhh??" that you sling off your pointed tongue toward your sister when you're trying to make her look stupid and yourself look smart.

Then there's the emphatic NO DUH?!?! - still attempting to loft your intelligence high in the sky.


And the latest spin on this lovely phrase to boomerang around my kitchen has been, "No, durr, Brenna!" I'll just say, it wasn't the only thing spinning in my kitchen, I think my head spun too!


We have a few, ok, we have lots of things we are not supposed to say in our house. And No Duh and any form of No Duh is on that unwritten list, along with WHATEVER. Can I just tell you how I despise that word? Yes, you know, I can tell - you feel the same way.

What amazes me is that we tend to have intermittent amnesia in our house when it comes to things we aren't supposed to say or do. Anybody with me here?

That is, unless our sister is the one that does it, and then we're on that like white on rice.

Complete miraculous healing of the amnesia at the mere utterance of a forbidden word by one's own flesh and blood.

"Momma said we aren't supposed so say that, McKayla!" and make sure you emphasize the McKayla in hopes that Mom noticed that you, in fact, are the perfect child - this time.

Drives me insane.

But don't we sort of do the same thing to our Christian brothers and sisters?

It's sad to say, but I think we often do.

We forget the rules, so to speak, when it applies to us, but we are quick to point them out when it applies to someone else.

Ouch - that hurt my toes a bit.

We want His grace extended to us, but's when it comes to other people, we aren't as quick to extend the same.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Matthew 7:3
Ok, I don't necessarily like this verse either, but I did learn something new about it this week.

The original word for look, which is used in reference to us looking at others here, is blepo which means - to discern, to perceive, to understand, to keep on seeing. This word is also used when referring to the blind recovering their sight.

And the original word for notice, referring to when we look at ourselves in this particular verse, is katanoeo (don't ask me to pronounce that!) which translate to us as - to observe fully, to consider, to take notice accurately.

It could read this way-
Why do you keep on seeing the speck in your brother's eye, but do not take accurate notice of the log that is in your own eye?

Notice the difference?

When it comes to others, I am much more likely to ponder why they do what they do (blepo), but when it comes to myself, I stop short of taking accurate notice (katanoeo) of myself and my choices.

I get intermittent amnesia about my sin, the parts of me that aren't like Jesus yet, but the amnesia miraculously leaves when
someone else messes up and I sort of found myself saying "No DUH!" in my spirit.

It's alot easier for us to perceive something bad about another than it is to contemplate our own issues - I guess for us to be able to contemplate our own logs, we have to decide not to keep on seeing a fault in someone else.

Please still be my friends, y'all. I don't particularly like posting lessons like this, but I'm just sharing with you what He's sharing with me, and right now, He is very aware of my amnesia.......I think He just added No Duh to my list..

Really, please still be my friend ;)


Biggest Blessings,


 
Royal Princess Daughter Of The King


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Not Like God

Faults. I have many and today I am going to confess one of my many faults to all of you.

I say this like a little girl, face buried in Momma's belly from embarrassment. Here goes:

I am a quitter.
MmmHmm. I am.

And I am not proud of it.

I am terr - i - ble about attempting something and not finishing it. I always have these grand ideas about things like organizing cabinets, decorating, parenting, cleaing out closets, cooking, crafts,diets, exercise videos, and so on... I always have good intentions, but...something happens.

If I start cleaning out a closet and get interrupted, it is not a good thing. The plan never gets executed quite like I had envisioned in my mind. It's like I get bored with the whole idea and just do what it takes to "finish" it, but usually not finished like I had planned.

Crafts.

Then there's crafts.

I have done just about all of it. At least attempted it once, anyway.

Then that's it. I've accomplished the "how", and I'm ready to move on to something else. I think this must have driven my husband C.R.A.Z.Y. when we were newly married, but for the most part he has always been a good sport and supported whatever I wanted to try.

I have never understood how people that have booths at craft fairs don't just pluck out their eyebrows one by one after making 500 of the exact same Christmas ornaments.....Painful.

Please tell me that at least one person out there can identify with my "conquer it and then I'm done tendencies". Surely ONE of you understands me;)

This is an area where I'm not like God.

Not at all.

And I'm so glad He's different than me.

He never leaves a project unfinished. He never gets bored with cleaning out my closets or organizing my heart.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6


Isn't that wonderful news, my sweet friends?

It is so comforting to know that He doesn't put you or me on a shelf simply to move on to a new project.  Don't you agree?  

Did you notice in that verse that He doesn't just "finish" what He is doing, He perfects it.

He won't stop until the day of Christ Jesus and that is truth you can stand upon. So, even if you don't feel like He's making any progress, you can believe that truth instead of your feelings.

And, next time you get discouraged at yourself because you didn't finish something, let that unfinished projcet be a reminder to you that He is not like us. You may not have finished that project, but you are one project that will be perfectly completed by the Master Crafter.

So, please do tell...are you a unfinished project kinda girl like me? Really, it's ok if you are. I promise my list maker friends won't bite if you admit it, they're too busy being driven crazy by me;)


Biggest Blessings,
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Today's post can also be read at beyondsundaymornings.weebly.com.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Satisfied

We've all felt that feeling that something's missing.

That feeling that there must be something more.

Surely this will make me happy, or maybe that, or just maybe it's both.

A better job.

A nicer car.

A bigger home.

A better husband.

A baby, or even a second child.

A new church home.

Maybe it's something sweet, like chocolate that's missing.

Or maybe it's something salty.

Let's change paint color in the living room.

A new dress.

And those new high heels would look so good with the new dress while I'm driving my new car from my bigger house to my new church......Ok, I know, I'm being a bit dramatic here! And I bet you think I'm going to talk about "filling that void with God", don't you? But that's not where I'm going this time. It's not that He's not capable of filling our void, because He completely is.

What I want to tell you is that even spiritually, I have found that I am never satisified. It's like there is this constant unsettling to know more, to grow more, to go deeper.

It won't go away.

Have you ever found yourself wondering things like:
"Am I ever going to get this?"
"Will I ever not feel like a spiritual infant?"
"I just got this concept down, is there always going to be more for Him to uncover in my heart?"

If you have thought things like that and felt unsatisfied spiritually like I described, I'm glad.

Glad for two reasons
1-It's evidence of the Holy Spirit at work with in you, calling you deeper. It's evidence that you ARE HIS and that is great news!
2-It's evidence that I'm not in this boat alone!

If you have ever found yourself unsatisfied, read this:
.
Because I am righteous, I will see you.
When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.

Psalms 17:15

Isn't that a fantastic verse? We have never known true satisfaction on this side of Heaven, I don't think we completely understand what it really is, but we know there is more. We know that we long for something.

It's Him.

It's looking at Him face to face.

We will long no more.

We will be satisfied simply by seeing Him face to face.

Oh, I can't wait.

Sweet, loving Jesus, how I dream of looking into your face. I dream of your soft countenance and the gleam in your eye. I envision your gentle smile as you reach your hand, still nail scarred, to touch my face. Oh how satisfied I just know I will be when our eyes meet for the first time. I know that I will be captivated by You and there will no longer be a longing within me for absolutely anything else......What a day that really will be.

Biggest Blessings,
 
 
If you've got a second, please hop over to my new page I'm working on and let me know what you think.  You can click here or go to www.beyondsundaymornings.weebly.com
 
 
 
 
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And It Isn't Make Believe

It's a phrase Mom told us many times, and I find myself repeating it to my children often, especially when I'm busy. I'm quite sure, other than, "Stop that!", it's going to be one of the most repeated phrases by moms everywhere over the coming summer break. What phrase is that?

I don't know, honey, just use your imagination.

I was chatting with two of my lunch buddies today about our kids. One of them has a elementary aged son, and I have two girls. We were commenting to each other how creative they are, how astonishing their young minds are. Her son amazes her with the things he constructs with Legos and my oldest shocks me with the accessories she designs and creates for her dolls. My other daughter is just plain goofy and creative with the things she says. Sometimes she keeps us in stitches, leaving me asking, "Where did you come up with that?".

She and I both agreed that we used to be able to use our imaginations like they do, but now, it just seems like we can't. We both used to play Barbies for hours, dreaming up all kinds of story lines, but now, the stories and escapes from reality allude us.

I agreed with her and reminding myself that those days of using our imaginations were before we had to live in the "real world" where everything has to make sense to our logical minds. It seems, as moms, that everything has to be practical, and that dreaming - imagining, is pushed aside.

No, we may not be able to sit and play Barbies everyday as the rest of life screams for our attention, since Barbie's world isn't real, but we can use our imaginations and dream about our God.

My life seems so void of hope when I fail to imagine and dream about Him. If I don't reflect on His goodness, marvel at His power, read of His unending love, I feel so empty.

Like a bored child on a summer day with no one to play with.

Blah.

Indifferent.

I have to remember to use my imagination.

My world IS God's world.

He is real.
And, no, He doesn't have to make sense to my logical mind.

I can escape in the vastness of the I AM.

Imagining all that He has planned for us to do together when we meet face to face. Imagining His face. His smile. His laugh.

My, the tears are welling up as I sit typing. I could go on and on, but I'll let you use your imagination and take it from here.

That's my challenge to you my sisters, don't forget to use your imagination, you can trust it will certainly provide a healing escape from the chaos and ho hums of this life.

And it isn't make believe.

Biggest Blessings,

P.S.  As I mentioned last week, I am tinkering around with a new page, so I have added this post there too as a trial run. The page is still in its infant stages, so keep that in mind, but if you have a second, would you hop over there and take a look?  Let me know what you think.  It will help me decide what to do!
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Be Is A Verb

Not so long ago I wrote a post entitled Life Is A Highway. I wrote that post after I felt the Holy Spirit teaching me something very important through something very ordinary and practical. You see, I am a visual learner, and He knows that. Afterall, He made me this way, why wouldn't He know that?

Anyhow.

He knows I am a visual learner and He knows that I "get" things and tend to retain the lesson He is trying to teach me if He shows me from a scene in my life. A scene amongst what I see as very ordinary.

I mentioned in that post that waiting is very hard.

It's really hard when it seems as if nothing is happening.

It's even harder if you are a "do-er".

I. am. a. do-er.

If something needs to happen, I want to do whatever it takes to make it happen. I guess that means I'm not very patient, huh? Patience is one fruit of the Spirit that is a little sparse on my tree sometimes, if you get what I mean.

And when I am in a season of waiting, stuck in life's traffic, I often wonder why God just doesn't do something. I mean, we all know He can, right? Often, it's in the midst of my impatience, my tendency to want to do something, that it appears to me that He is doing absolutely nothing.

I can't stand to do absolutely nothing.

If something depends on me, or if I even think I can make a difference, I can't stand to do nothing.

Woven within my wonderings of late, woven within my traffic jam, so to speak, He's been teaching me another lesson. A great, but hard to learn lesson for someone like me. A profound lesson wrapped up in only four little words.

Be is a verb.

All you have to do right now, Amy, is just be.

Let Me.

He's been reminding me to just "be". He's been teaching me that when it seems I am doing nothing,in fact, I AM doing something. When I am willing to just be, I am doing something.

I am trusting.

Trusting Him.

I may be doing nothing, but the I AM is doing something

And for those of you who were a little nerdy in English class like me, just think about the other word forms of "be", two of those forms are IS and AM.

I can BE because He IS the I AM.

Biggest Blessings,


P.S.  I am tinkering around with a new page, so I have posted this post there too as a trial run. The page is still in its infant stages, so keep that in mind, but if you have a second, would you hop over there and take a look?  Let me know what you think.  It will help me decide what to do!
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wrinkles...Grey...They're Ok

Let's just say my nine-year-old has been a little traumatized a couple of times this week.  Well, maybe not quite traumatized, perhaps a better description would be deeply disturbed.  She was deeply disturbed by something that I had no idea mattered to her.

....these children of mine...they never cease to amaze me..

Sunday morning after attempting to make something presentable out of my hair and then moving on to hers, I had my "I am hurrying and concentrating at the same time" face on, and unbeknownst to me, she was watching that face in the bathroom mirror.

Suddenly Brenna spins around and spews emphatically,  "Mommy!  You're getting wrinkles by your mouth! AND I DON'T LIKE IT!"

I'll just tell you, that does wonders for your self confidence.  I mean, I know I'm not as young as I used to be, but I do use moisturizer people.

She went on to point out the specific trouble spots she had noticed, as I tried to pick up what was left of my severely-damaged-by-a-nine-year-old dignity.  I tried to explain to her that the wrinkles she noticed were from laughing and smiling, so I smiled just to prove it to her and she was satisfied.

For about 10 hours.

Then we had deeply disturbed situation #2.

We are sitting in Sunday evening services, I am digesting a sermon on Nehemiah and she begins forcefully tapping my left hand.  I turned to look at her with my this-better-be-important-bugged-out eyes only for her to point out wrinkles she had just discovered on my hand.

"Mommy, your hand, it has wrinkles too!" she whispered in desperation.  I reassured her that these had been there for a long time and were not new.

I thought she had recovered until we stumbled upon deeply disturbed situation #3 on Tuesday evening.   You see, I was totally living on the edge Tuesday morning when beating this hair o mine into submission, and decided to - -prepare yourselves- - part my hair on the opposite side.  The problem with this is, I have more grey on that side for some reason.  I have reluctantly come to accept this strip of wisdom on my scalp, at least until my next highlights anyway, and thought nothing else of it. 

You guessed it.  Tuesday evening when she was talking to me she noticed the grey.  She stopped mid- sentence.
MOMMY!  YOUR HAIR! as she grabs a chunk of my bangs. IT'S TURNING GREY!
Friends, I had not quite recovered from the wrinkle situations yet, and was feeling really good about myself as I removed my grey strands from her hands.  Seriously, I thought the child was going to cry!

She explained to me that this all upset her because she doesn't think I'm old and doesn't want that stuff to happen to me.  I know where she's coming from.  I don't like to like to think about my parents growing old either.  To think of my daddy, who personally went to deal with school bus bullies face to face, to think of my daddy who could do anything or fix anything, growing old and unable to fight my battles, saddens my heart. Even all grown up, the first place I want to go when I'm hurting is to Mom who loves unconditionally, no matter the situation. To think of my mom who could whip up an outfit on the sewing machine in no time flat, my mom who taught me everything I know about cooking and mothering not being there brings tears to my eyes at the slightest thought. 

I understand Brenna.

But I also understand this -  The God who created me, who knit me together in my mother's womb, is no older today than He was yesterday.  He is always strong.  He is always available. He will always be able to defend me against the bullies.  He will always be right there to listen when I am hurting. 


He will never wrinkle.  He will never grey.

Just think, He is completely unaffected by time.  He will continue just as He is right this moment forever.

Never changing.

That, my friends, is a wonderful place to find comfort.

Wrinkles...

Grey...

They're ok.  Just evidence that I am closer now than ever before to meeting Him face to face.


Skin cream recommendations anyone?



Royal Princess Daughter Of The King


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life Is A Highway

Sometimes the things of this life just don't make sense.  We pray and seek God, but it seems like forever before an answer comes. 

The waiting is so hard.

We go back to Him again and again for clarity, asking if we have "missed something".

Still nothing.

The waiting is still so hard.

The days pass, the quietness lingers long, and the waiting gets more difficult with each passing day.

It was in the midst of waiting that He taught me something.

It was late on a Saturday afternoon, the grocery shopping and errand running was complete, and I was on my way home.  Merging onto the interstate, I was relieved at the thought of getting away from some of the stop and go traffic, playing a favorite CD, and just moving on down the road.  In my mind I assumed I would be able to just drive.

Get to where I was going.

Make it to my destination.

Simply move on.

But it wasn't that easy. 

I found my little car clustered amongst several others, I moved to the outside lane as to pass slower traffic, following closely behind the car in front of me.  That car was closely following the one in front of it, but none of us were going anywhere very fast, or at least not at the speed we preferred.

The fast lane wasn't passing the slow lane very quickly, and the slow lane wasn't getting in any more of a hurry.

I was boxed in and forced to just go with the flow.  There was not a thing I could do about it, except continue at a safe speed with the cars around me.  Yes, I was going to get to my destination eventually, but maybe not quite as quickly as I had in mind, but even at this speed, I would still get there.

That's when I felt His nudge within - Your life is like kind of like this highway. 

Yes, I have been praying and waiting upon Him and He has heard me.

He is working.  He's very aware of where I am.

But sometimes I'm in traffic.

He is working in more lives than just mine, I'm not the only car on the road.

And maybe some of the traffic is moving a little slow, the others not in quite as much of a hurry as I am.

I will still eventually reach the destination, maybe just not as quickly as I had in mind. 

I can rest knowing that I am within His hand, never out of His reach.  I can rest knowing that He has heard me and that He is moving and working.  I am on the right road.


I will stay in my lane and wait for Him to clear the traffic. 

How beautiful that day will be.


God, I thank you that you still continue to show and teach me things through my everyday situations and experiences.  Yes, You are a God with thoughts far beyond my own; yet, You still make yourself simple so that we can learn from You.   



Royal Princess Daughter Of The King

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Delicate Strength

The Iris.......
every spring it's blossoms capture my eye.  Her blooms of gradient color are ruffled, seemingly airy, light, and delicate. The ink on her petals lighter on the tips grow deeper and more rich as you move toward her center.  As I look upon the flower, it appears that the slightest breeze or shower will rip her glory from her, but have you ever stooped down to cradle her dress in your hands?

If you haven't, I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you did.

What appears light and carefree, is really very sturdy and strong.  I have encountered people in my life who are like an iris.  Their demeanor is always gentle and delicate, their spirit welcoming and beautiful, and as I have gotten closer and actually touched the heart of who they are, I have found the color painted upon their lives deeper and richer the closer I get to their center.  

I have also found that those same people whose presence is light and joyful, are surprisingly strong and sturdy when the world brings its storms, winds, and rains. 

They possess a delicate strength.

Those people are as refreshing to me as gazing upon the beauty of God's creation, causing me to want to gaze upon Him longer and drink Him in more deeply and ask myself -

Does my life burst forth that delicate frame, gentle to others and as they get close enough to touch me, do they find someone beautiful, yet strong and sturdy, colored more deeply as they reach to my core?

Maybe not now, but someday soon......................Blooms will come.



Royal Princess Daughter Of The King


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Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Little Coffee With My Cream


When I was little I remember sipping coffee from Grandaddy's coffee cup.  He liked a little coffee with his cream and sugar.  It was tasty to me and I felt all big, but I never really remember taking more than a sip or two.

My parents both drink a little coffee with their cream and sugar too, but I, personally, have not really been a coffee drinker.  I'm more of cold Diet Dr Pepper girl in the morning to get me going, but I have from time to time drank a cup of coffee when I've been a little chilly.  That is, until the past few months. I don't know what has happened, but I have taken a liking to a cup of coffee when I get to work in the morning and sometimes I like a cup in the evening. 

The problem is, I'm kinda like Mom, Dad, and Grandaddy, I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar, and I have to get it "just right".

As I've brewed an occassional evening cup over the past several weeks, Brenna has pestered and begged me for a cup for herself, but I have managed to get around it.  The thought of giggly Brenna, who never stops talking, tanked up on a load of caffeinated coffee gave me much caution in this area.  I guess Grandaddy was a little more adventurous and carefree than I am, and I value going to bed sometime before midnight, therefore, I have refrained from allowing her indulgence. 

But, the other night, I had a weak moment, and she asked for a cup.  There was a little left in the pot,  I was sitting at the table reading, she asked, and I caved.  She poured herself a cup and added the cream and sugar on her own. 

She brought the cup to me and said, "Here, see if this tastes right."

Looking into her cup, almost white from cream, I asked, "Does it taste good to you?  I doesn't matter what it tastes like to me, as long as it tastes good to you." 

"But I want it to taste the way you like yours."

I sipped from her cup to sample her brew and found it to be just right.

She wants to be like me in many ways, and this was no different.  If her coffee tasted the way Momma drinks hers, then that's what she wanted.  The way Mom wanted it was right in her mind, no matter what it tasted like to her. 

If today were a cup of coffee, how would you have it?

Straight up, black?

Or would you have a little coffee with your cream?

Would your cup be filled with a brew the way it tastes good to you or the way it tastes good to Him?

Father, this is your day.  I want to serve this day to others the way it would taste good to You, which will taste good to the people You place in my path today.  Holy Spirit, remind me as the moments present themselves, to put aside my preferences and chose Yours, which are best.


Before we close, I want to let you know that today sort of a special day, or at least I think it is.  Beyond Sunday Morning is two years old today, and I want to thank all of you for reading and sharing in ministering with me at my little corner of the internet world.   If you have enjoyed reading the posts here, please share Beyond Sunday Morning with a friend so that they may be encouraged as well.

Happy Birthday Beyond Sunday Morning, and thank You, God, for using this small offering for Your Kingdom.  To You Be All Glory and Praise.



Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

When Words Seem Few

My words here have been few of late.  I've been praying and seeking and waiting to hear from God.  It has seemed that He has been so silent for what has felt like forever.  I don't like it when He seems silent, for I need Him so much.  It's like a winter of sorts in my soul.

As much as I dislike seasons of quiet, these seasons remind me of what my life would be like without Him ever near.  I don't know how those who do not know Him survive.   His seeming quietness leaves me breathless and lonely, and as much as I despise this feeling, I certainly would not trade this; for these feelings point me to those whispers I have heard from Him throughout my days and I can cling tightly to those for comfort.  They push me to seek Him more. 

Reminiscing of times I have encountered His presence, heard His voice within, felt His tug upon my heart reminds me that He loves me. 

Passionately.  The evidence prohibits my denial of it.

As I've compared this season of quiet to others in my life, I realized that although each quiet season I have experienced was difficult, those seasons have been the times in which He has done His greatest writing upon this paper heart of mine. 

Yes, my words here have been few of late - but - I am not the only one who writes.  He writes too.

He writes my story. 

On my paper heart.

And He is writing it even now.

I became even more aware today that it has been in seasons of quiet that He has written out for me the most moving pages of the story of my life.  Moving, not because they are written about me, but moving because of the influence He had upon those pages.

I am learning that when He is quiet, He is writing.

Pages that will soon unfold for me to read and understand.

Oh, sure, He already knows my story from back to front and front to back.  Psalms 139:16 tells me "in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them."

But - I don't know that story yet.   He wants me to read it.

The word written in this verse comes from an original root word which means "to grave".  Grave as an action word is not one I commonly encounter, and as I looked up the definition to better understand it, the quiet no longer seemed so silent.  Check out how Merriam-webster.com defines the verb grave:
1-dig, excavate
2-to carve or shape with a chisel:  sculpture
to carve or cut as letters into a hard surface
3-to impress or fix (as a thought) deeply
Those definitions describe exactly what it seems is going on in my family's life right now.  He is digging, He is carving - did you notice the part about the letters?  A story is made up of letters written on a page.  And He is definitely impressing, as it says, these days deeply upon my heart.

But, He isn't doing it because He doesn't know, He is doing it because I don't know.

Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
Ecclesiates 11:5
No, I don't know what He is doing, what He is writing, but I know He writes, for I can look back upon the pages He has already given me and know He is there and trust that since He does not change, He is still there.

Pen in hand.

The ink dripping from its tip red.

Ink permanent and unchanging. 

Jesus, His Name written on every beautiful page.

As difficult as quiet seasons may be, I will continue to trust Him while He writes my story - for  I can trust Him because He authored the Greatest Story Ever Told.

What has He been writing on the pages of your life lately?  I would love for you to share those special words with me.



Royal Princess Daughter Of The King

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

No More Dirty Laundry

Confession time - I am not a morning person.  Nope. Not a bit.  Since I am not, my morning routine to leave the house is very regimented, lest I self –destruct. Normally, the last thing I do before telling Todd goodbye, is to take the dirty clothes to the laundry room.

One day, I had gone through my usual morning schedule and it was time to head out for the day. I had my hands full in an attempt to make one trip from that end of the house to the laundry room instead of three, since the laundry room is right by the back door. I had empty hangers, a book, a dirty dish, dirty laundry, and who knows what else in my arms. I put up the hangers, put the dish in the dishwasher, stuffed the book in my purse, grabbed the door knob to step outside, and then realized I still had the dirty laundry in my arms. I had even went into the laundry room to hang up the hangers and not gotten rid of that laundry, it seemed perfectly natural for it to be in my arms.

Come visit me today over at Be The Domino, to read about all my dirty, or not-so-dirty laundry.....



Royal Princess Daughter Of The King



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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pin It?

Pinterest.....the world of Pinterest.  Have you experienced it yet? 

Oh, I have.  As much as I resisted, I finally partook several weeks ago. The ideas, recipes, thoughts, quotes, etc are practically endless.  Boring people like me enjoy the household cleaning tips, organization ideas, recipes, craft ideas, etc.  Because of the likelihood of addiction, I limited my pinteresting from the get go because I knew this could be a breeding ground for unproductivity, if you get my drift.  I mean, I get on there and with the very few people I follow, I could get lost for hours reading about their pins alone.

I really think I have internet A.D.D.

As I searched Pinterest for something specific last night, I thought about all the pins people have made, and all of the pins that have been repinned.  Some of the people on Pinterest have so many pins, there is no way they can remember what they have and haven't pinned.  I thought, these ideas are great and all, but how many of them are actually used.  In all my wisdom, I deducted that it was very likely that there was alot more pinning than there was doing....

Lots of good intentions....

...........but less implementations.

Here's a few examples from my friends who have graciously agreed for me to make spectacles out of their Pinterest habits.

There's me - I have 18 pins, not very many in the world of Pinterest, and of those 18, I have actually only used 3 of them.  Oh, sure, there are several on there that I intend to put to use, but I haven't.

Then there's my friend Brittany.  Well, she's still stuck in the "I don't get this" mode about Pinterest and she has no pins.  The whole concept makes no sense to her, and that's ok!  In her organizational, list making brain, when it clicks with her, she will LOVE it.

Camillia has 458 pins that are what I would call "usable" and she has actually put 151 of those things into use.

My baby sister, Andrea, well I'll just tell ya, between Andrea's and Camillia's pins, I never have to go to the main Pinterest board.  They keep me very well occupied.  Andrea has 495 pins and says she has actually only used about 15-20, which were mainly recipes.

I asked Leslie, she has a whopping 3 pins, but confesses to reading thousands and using only about 6.

And poor Angie, she doesn't even have her own Pinterest board, that's a story for another post.  She just lingers around the site reading pin after pin with no place to call home.   She admits to reading pins for countless hours and never using a single one of them.  We love you anyway, Angie.
Do you get where I'm going with this?  Without implementing any of the ideas that are so appealing to us, that's all they are - ideas.

.......and without implementing what we know about God and His Word, it's just knowledge.

In lots of situations we know what we "ought to do" or what we "should do".  We've got tools "pinned" in our hearts and minds, but often we have lots of good intentions.....but less implementation.

Friends, we can't approach our relationship with our Savior as if it were a spiritual Pinterest board.

If I want real change in my life, I have to do more than "pin it". 

I have to use it. 

I have to live it.

I have to believe it.

That's when the pin moves from being simply pinned in my head to permanently nailed to my heart, and forever becomes part of me.



Royal Princess Daughter Of The King

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Been There Before

It had been a hectic day, it was raining, and I had to stop at the store on my way home from work, and I was less than excited about it.  Creeping through the parking lot, I saw a parking space that brought a little delight to my heart on that messy evening.  I turned on my blinker and waited for an oncoming vehicle, who by the way, was not creeping through the parking lot. 

Yep, you guessed it, she whipped in the spot I was going for.  And yes, it was quite obvious.  I muttered something not so nice to myself and whipped into the space next to her.  First of all, how ridiculous was it that I was irritated at her snatch when there were 2 spaces to begin with?

I know.  Silly.  But hey, at least I'm being honest.

And while I'm being honest, yes, I gave her the you took my spot laser beam eyes.

I hopped out of my little car and bebopped my way into the store, never paying any more attention the the parking space stealer.

I got the few things I needed, which included 2 mammoth ferns for my porch.  Did I mention my car was little?  Just checking.

As I wrestle my Large ferns into my small car, I notice the vehicle is still parked in the space next to mine, and she was in her car.  At one point as I was trying to keep my buggy from rolling away, while not completely mauling my ferns, I noticed she was outside her vehicle.  I glanced that way and she looked over at me, so I politely smiled, grumbling to myself about my the parking place, and she smiled back.  Once I completed my wrestling match, she approached me.

"Would you mind to give me a jump?" she asked, checks flushing.  One arm in a sling, she stroked her forehead with her other hand and added, "I left my key on and now it won't start."

"I sure can.  Do you have cables?" I asked digging for my keys, immediately feeling guilty about the parking space grumbling.  She was obviously not having a good day.

"Yes," she answered, magically producing jumper cables within seconds. 

It was becoming apparent to me she had been in this boat before.

And so had I.

When I was young and actually wanted to be cool, we were by no means rich.  In the social sense, we were poor.  I was very lucky to even have a car, and the car I had was no luxury vehicle.  Before I was allowed to get my driver's license, my dad made me prove to him I could change the oil, the battery, and the spark plugs myself because "having a car brings responsibilities and if you're gonna have one, you need to know how to take care of it". 

This car. This car. This car.  Remember, I actually wanted to be cool at this point in my life and it was not cool to have a junky car.  It was the car that would never completely die.  It was a hypochondriac in the car sense, it always had something wrong with it. 

Jumping a dead battery - Piece. Of. Cake.  This was a problem I had doctored before.

You see, I had mastered that skill by at least age 12,  I'm sure.  There was always a lawn mower or a vehicle that wouldn't start, so I was no stranger to a set of jumper cables. 

Feeling proud that I knew how to help her, I pulled my car closer so the cables would reach, she hooked up her end and I hooked up mine.  With the connections made, she jumped in her car, turned the key, and it cranked right up.

The young lady thanked me several times and I assured her that it was no problem at all because I had been in her shoes before.

Smiling, she climbed into her car, I hopped into mine and drove away.  Immediately my mind began turning.  It was one of those many times I have been thankful that I grew up on the poorer side of the social spectrum.  If  I hadn't then I would have had no clue how to help her.

I felt that familiar nudge from the Spirit.  It's kind of like when we've been poor spiritually.  Even though I hated my not cool car and hated it breaking down aand having to know how to jump it, etc, I have used what I learned in those years many, many times.  I wouldn't trade them. 

Similarly, even though we wish we had never done some of the things we have done, even though we wish we had never been in some of the places we have been, wished we had never made some of our biggest mistakes, it's that poor past He can richly use to help someone else if we are willing to be transparent.

We all have different stories and different pasts, but let me encourage you, there is no shame in your past.  It can be an amazing tool for someone else. 

Big or small, what in your life can He use to help someone else?





Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Friday, March 16, 2012

A Destination In Mind

It was October 2006.  Todd and I had been very careful with our funds, scrimping and scraping with hopes for a dream vacation.  Our FIRST real vacation as a family.  We checked airline prices over and over, package deals a hundred times, ran the numbers backward and forward, then it was time. 

We dialed 407-WDisney.

And we kept it a secret from the girls. Well, sort of.

We told them we were going somewhere on fall break, but we didn't tell them we were going to Disney World.  We knew if we divulged our big secret, they would bug us about it non-stop. Y'all know exactly what I mean, don't you?   Mmmhmm.

Instead of telling them we were planning a trip to Disney on fall break, we told them we were going to the Louisville Science Center and spend a few days in Louisville.

Big difference, right?  We thought so.  I mean, weigh the options.  In one hand you have the science center, in the other, you have Disney.  Seems like a no brainer to me, especially if you're an elementary aged little girl and preschooler who believe wholeheartedly in Tinkerbell, Ariel, and Cinderella. 

We kept our secret a secret until just a couple of days before leaving.

We called the girls to the living room and sat them on the couch so we could make our BIG announcement.

This was their response:

video

And for those of you who don't have video capabilities, here's a few snapshots of the discussion, so you can get the full affect.


No, these are not tears of joy!

Complete and utter meltdowns.  They were NOT excited about going to Disney World, they had been to the science center once for a few hours and were perfectly content with visiting it again.  We were messing up the idea they had formulated in their minds of the perfect vacation.  They were familiar with the science center, they had no idea how grand Disney was and had no idea that there was no comparison, no idea what they were settling for.

After much convincing and coddling, they got over the science center and we had a blast on our first family vacation at Disney!



       Yes,  I promise, these ARE the same children.
  


I  read a similar story recently in God's word.  The kids were the Israelites, the parent was God.  You can read this story for yourself in Numbers 32.  God had been telling the Israelites for years and years about this place He was taking them to and how wonderful it was.

But guess what?

Just before they got there, with the intended destination just across the Jordan River, some of them decided the land where they were was "just right" for their needs.  It was perfect for their livestock, they thought. 

I mean, what does God know anyway, right?

Who needs a land flowing with milk and honey?  Who needs a prosperous land?  Who needs fortified cities?

Naaa - livestock pens would be fine with them.

They were settling for the Science Center when God had Disney in mind. 

They could see where they were, but they couldn't see the Promised Land.  They settled for what they could see themselves instead of trusting God for something more.

I know this describes some of my past choices.  I settled for what was known and familiar instead of waiting and trusting for something greater.

Has your life ever resembled this story?

Do you want the science center or do you want Disney?

Disney is what He has planned for you.




Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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