flashthoughts

Archive for December 2011

Last year I read a blog that someone posted about choosing a one word prayer for the upcoming year (2011). I prayed about it and felt the word for me was “Listen”. I felt I needed to learn to listen more, not only to God, but to others as well. Not just ‘hear’ what they were saying, but to take the time to really LISTEN – there IS a difference. I have been working on becoming a better listener and I believe I made some progress but I still have a long way to go, too. Just because 2011 is coming to an end doesn’t mean that I am going to stop working on it. I will continue.

I had not planned, however, on having a one word prayer for 2012. I felt I didn’t really understand it and felt I didn’t actually PRAY it enough. To be completely honest, it just seemed like yet another area where I had “dropped the ball” and had failed. Of course, as most anyone reading this probably knows, God had other plans. I suppose I should have known something was up when, seemingly out of the blue, that thought had just popped in my head one day. The thought that I just shouldn’t bother with it next year. I should have recognized that as my first clue – but I’m still a bit dense most of the time – LOL. It was sometime in November, around Thanksgiving actually, that I had that thought. Then things began to happen.

The first weekend in December, I was blessed to be a volunteer at the Beth Moore Living Proof Live Event in Pensacola, Florida. I was a helper for Lifeway Bookstores as a cashier. Several ladies were coming through my line buying the same kind of perpetual calendar. I decided I wanted one of them also and, when I had a chance, I went to look for it. However, I could not find that particular calendar anywhere. Apparently, it had been sold out. I did see one that immediately caught my eye as I was searching though and I remember thinking to myself, “Well, I DO need to familiarize myself with more of these”. So, I bought it instead. (No, I can’t tell you the name yet because that would TOTALLY ruin you trying to figure out my word on your own *insert wry smile*) Looking back, I now recognize that as one more step in the direction of my one word for 2012; but, I sure didn’t realize it then.

Over the last couple of weeks, I began to hear some ‘rumblings’ from others about the one word thing but each time I just thought, “Nope. Not messing with that this year.” Even though, somewhere in the back of my brain, it just kept nagging at me.

On Dec. 13 my sweet friend, Ayla, posted about her one word for 2011. You can read it here. I could never write a post as eloquent about my one word for 2011 as she did. You can tell from reading her post that she truly “pursued” her word and let it work in her life. After reading her post, I thought, “See! That’s why I don’t need to worry with it next year. I obviously didn’t ‘pursue’ my word this past year as I should have because I really couldn’t even find two good sentences to write about how it made a difference in my year.” So, once again, I was okay with not having ‘one word’ for this year.

About a week later, I received my new issue of Guideposts in the mail. I could not believe what was on the cover! Let me just show you……..

Coincidence? You can believe that, if you want, but, personally, I don’t believe in coincidence! No, His message was beginning to get through LOUD and CLEAR! I read Debbie Macomber’s article, which you can read here, and began to get a much better understanding of this ‘one word’ idea. I loved reading how she said she uses the word in her prayers, writes about it in her journal and discusses it with her friends. I was thinking as I was reading her article, THAT is something even I could do! I think this past year I tried to make it more difficult than it was meant to be. Reading her article had a tremendous impact on me. I said a prayer and said, “Okay, Father. If You want me to have one word this year, I need You to show me beyond the shadow of a doubt that the word I think You’ve given me is the correct word.”

A couple days later, I had time to weed through my emails – with all the crazy schedules lately and being off work a few days – I had let my emails pile up again. I am subscribed to quite a few blogs and it doesn’t take long for my emails (notifying me of new blog posts) to pile up. Before I opened the first email, I said a little prayer: “Lord, You know which word I think You have given me for 2012. If I am correct, please show me this word in at least two or three of these emails. That will be my confirmation.”

I opened Melissa Taylor’s post, Refresh and Satisfy, where I saw the word in her third paragraph! Then I opened the email that I receive from Sheri Rose Shepherd every day. It was titled, I Always Keep My Promises, and I saw the word again THREE times! On to the next blog, written by Renee Swope, where in the last paragraph she included a sentence with this word in it. By this time, I was sure of the word but somewhere in the back of my mind, I was still having some doubt about committing to choosing ONE WORD for 2012.

The very next day, another sweet friend, Donna Sumrall, posted a new blog on her website. If you want to know how this FINALLY convinced me that YES! I AM TO HAVE ONE WORD FOR 2012, then click here and read her post. And while you’re on her site, go ahead and subscribe to her blog because I can promise you, you will NOT be disappointed! That woman can write!!!

Oh – and looky there (as we say in the South) – I just used the word myself in that last sentence. Have you figured out yet what MY ONE WORD for 2012 is? Oh – one last hint – the name of the perpetual calendar that I bought? Promises from God’s Word

My one word for 2012 is PROMISE and one thing I know that I want to do is get in HIS Word and explore all of HIS promises and what is required of me to have each one. Did you ever notice that with each promise there is something required on our part? But that’s a blog for another day and this one has been long enough already!

I would love to know if YOU are going to choose ONE WORD for 2012. Would you leave a comment here sharing your word and how you came to know it is your word for 2012? Oh – and then go visit this site and read other’s stories about their word, too.

Blessings to all of you in this New Year! Love ya!

The words that every female (I believe from birth right on up to old age) longs to hear – I LOVE YOU! Those three words seem to hold so much power over our lives. When we are little, we long to hear our Daddy say it to us and it can drastically change our lives depending on whether or not we hear it from him. If we don’t hear it from him, as we get older, it can cause us to go in search of it from anyone and everyone thinking, if we can just find the one that will say it to us, it will make us feel so much better. If we do hear it from our Daddy, it can help us to realize that we are valuable, we do have worth and we are special. That is why, for a little girl, it is so important to know her Daddy loves her. Whether he says it in words or in actions, a little girl needs to know and feel her Daddy loves and cares for her and that he is there to protect her. It will help her, as she gets older, to be better able to accept God’s love for her.

However, sometimes, even though we were blessed with having a Daddy we know loved and cared for us, other things happen still making it hard for us to believe anyone, especially God, could ever, truly love us. If you read My Story, you know why I had trouble with this. However, in reading My Testimony you get to see how wonderful it was when God revealed to me that He does indeed love me and I actually GOT it!

Since that time, I have come to realize He shows me in so many ways every day just how much He truly loves me, if only I take the time to pay attention and be aware. Some days it may be something as simple as my cats snuggling close and loving on me or seeing a beautiful sunrise in the sky or having a friend give a compliment that seems to make the day brighter. But then, every once in a while, He tells me in a really big, huge, GOD kind of way. A way that leaves absolutely NO misunderstanding that it is Him saying very loudly and clearly to me – I LOVE YOU!

In fact, this happened very recently and I wanted to share this on my blog last Monday but, to be honest, I was still in such awe and wonderment from it that I truly could not even put two words together. Even remembering and thinking about it as I’m trying to write this has me overcome once again with the enormity of His love for ME making it still hard to write, so please be patient as I try to tell you how it came about.

My sister is the music minister at her church about 35 miles away from  where I live but only about 10 miles from where I work. They are a very small church with a very small choir. A few months ago she was telling me about having the choir over to her house so they could select the Christmas Cantata they wanted to do at their church this year. Once they had selected their cantata, she asked if I would like to help them out. Since they were going to practice on Wednesday nights and our church doesn’t have service on Wednesday nights, and since they were going to have the cantata on a Sunday night and our church doesn’t have Sunday night service, I told her I would.

Then, I became a part of a new Life Group that was starting at my church. I wish I had time to tell you all the things that have happened to bring all this together in such a GOD way, but you will just have to trust me when I tell you I know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, God Himself ordained this group and He knew exactly who He wanted to be a part of it. Our group consists of six married couples, one lady (who is married but her husband can’t attend church due to disability) and two women who have recently been through divorce through no choosing of their own.

We meet on the second and fourth Sunday evenings each month. When we met on Nov. 27, I was planning to suggest that we have our next meeting at my sister’s church – in other words, I was going to invite them to come hear the cantata since it would be our night to get together. However, before I had a chance to do that, our group leader announced that for our next meeting we would be caroling and handing out the flyers to gather information from people that needed Christmas dinner delivered to them. After caroling, they would be going to fellowship at Don and Phyllis’ home. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed – but mostly because I couldn’t be there to help out and take part in the caroling. I told them I wouldn’t be able to help and told them why and I thought no more about it.

Little did I know what God had planted in their hearts and minds! I truly wish that someone could have taken a picture of my face when I saw it because I KNOW it was full of surprise! I was at my sister’s church and we were getting ready for the cantata to start. It was still a few minutes til time to begin and people were still coming in. I looked up and I know my chin must have almost hit the floor as my mouth opened wide in amazement! Every person in our Life Group was walking in the door!!! I guess it’s a good thing I was so surprised or I would have been crying my eyes out! Never in my life did I expect that to happen. Seems they all got together (behind my back) and decided to surprise me. They came up with a new plan to head straight for the cantata as soon as they finished caroling. They will never know how much it touched my heart to know they would drive that distance. Not one person stayed behind. They ALL came to show their love and support for me.

While I know they did this because we all truly love and care for each other in this group, I know it was also God’s way of showing me yet again how much HE truly loves me. I believe that is one of THE biggest “I love you”s that He has ever given me and I just had to share it.

What are some ways that God tells or shows you that He loves you? Do you take time to notice the small things He does to try and show you? Would you share it here in a comment? Maybe He told you in a special way, even as recently as today, that He loves you? I hope you will take a minute to share what He’s been doing in your life. I’d love to hear about it.

I think this is my most favorite speech of all time. The fact that it is done by a cartoon character makes no difference to me. I believe it is THE most important speech ever and I pray that you truly know the One that makes Christmas, Christmas. Now, take a minute out of your busy schedule, sit back, relax and breathe for a moment as you listen and are reminded what Christmas IS all about…….

 


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