The lame stool!

The Lame Stool!

“For the Lord your God is living among you.

He is a mighty savior.

He will take delight in you with gladness.

With his love, he will calm all your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17

This stepping stool has a story. It use to be a pile of left over pieces of wood from a box that Jessie built in his 8th grade woodshop class. (A box his mom still has today) He will tell you that when looking at the pile of extra wood pieces he did not see a purpose for them. However, he didn’t want the pieces to go to waste so he ended up building a stool that when finished he thought was “lame.” He finished the stool and brought it home to his mom who kept it. 20 years later, while visiting her grandparents, Ellie began using the stool to wash her hands at the bathroom sink. A stool, Jessie thought was “lame” and would end up in a box in the attic or worse the trash now serves a purpose for his little girl!

Do you ever feel like left over pieces in Gods plan? Have the following lies ever crossed your mind?

I do not matter!

I serve no purpose!

Nothing good can come from me!

These thoughts are not from God. These thoughts are lies from the enemy. Just like the stool Jessie built using leftover pieces, God has great plans for you. The difference between you and the stool is that you are not left over pieces. Even though you might feel too broken to be fixed, God can put the pieces back together! You are not too broken for Him! Even though we are broken God still takes great delight in us.

2019 Buddy the Elf visit!

Day one: Buddy showed up while we were on vacation and hid 6 candy canes around the room that Ellie had to look for! ❤️ Ellie picked him up using cups so she would not touch him them put him in a ziplock bag so she could carry him through the airport. 😂

Day Two: Ellie found Buddy dressed like a super hero. She officially made the pink cooking utensil her way of carrying him around.

Day three: Buddy fell asleep in Ellie’s sock!

Day 4: Buddy brought a gingerbread house!

Day Five: Christmas tree wrapping!

Day Six: Hot Coco!

Day 7: Elf Candy cane experiment!

Day 8: Woody and Elf have a snowball fight!

Day 9: Elf builds a Christmas tree!

Day 10: Grow a candy cane!

Buddy the Elf is teaching Ellie how to grow a candy cane. Buddy says first you need elf soil (AKA Marshmallows). Next you need to put in a mini candy cane and then cover with more elf soil. Last you sprinkle you elf soil and candy cane with elf water (AKA sprinkles). Now we wait. Will our candy cane grow?

Day 11: make a gingerbread man!

Day 12: candy cane experiment!

Day 13: Buddy brought a stocking!

Day 14: Buddy went sledding!

Day 15: Buddy makes an E with skittles!

Day 16: Buddy walks on stilts!

Day 17: Buddy builds a snowman castle for a snow fight!

Day 18: Buddy heats pancake run and wants tiki join!

Day 19: Buddy was caught drinking moms Diet Coke!

Better With The Pretzels!

Better with the pretzels!

“Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:15-26

I was watching from the window as Southwest Airlines brought the plane in and quickly began prepping it for the next flight. We fly Southwest because they have family seating and nothing beats family seating. There were so many people involved. There were individuals walking around checking the exterior of the plane, someone began to fill the plane with fuel, another individual pulled the bags off the conveyor belt as another scanned the bags going on. My favorite was the individual in charge of the pretzel truck. Yes! There is a truck that holds the pretzels and drinks. The pretzel guy was in charge of lifting the truck to a door and refilling the plane with pretzels and drinks. While watching, I began to wonder if the person in charge of pretzels ever questions his place on the Southwest Airlines team. Does he ever feel unimportant? Does he question his value? Does he compare his job to others around him? I wonder if he ever wakes up and second guesses going to work that day? Do they really need me?

Yes! They do. Let me tell you. I look forward to my complimentary pretzels and soda. I eat Jessie’s too. If I’m lucky Ellie let’s me have her pretzels. I would be one disappointed person on that flight if pretzel guy decided not to show up. His role, while it may seem small is so important to the big picture.

Do you see where I’m headed with this? It can be so easy to compare our purpose to someone else. Each of us has been given a purpose. God has designed a specific plan for our lives. He has given us a role to play in His plan but many of us have negative feelings about our role. We don’t see our value! We want the role that we see someone else playing. We can throw a pity party all day, begging Jesus to give us another role but I don’t believe He plays the pity party game. He chose you for your role for a specific purpose and your role matters. YOUR ROLE MATTERS! So, serve Jesus in your role 100%.

If you are feeling like you have no place in this world, or that your role is unimportant, or you are comparing your purpose to those around you please remember that in the bigger picture every pretzel matters to Jesus. He created you with a plan and a purpose in mind. You matter to Him. YOU MATTER TO HIM! He wants you to be a part of His plan. He wants you on His team. Your role, no matter how big or small is so important. Stop wishing you could play another role (unless Jesus is calling you) and be the best pretzel guy there is because every flight is better with the pretzels.

Let them come to me…

I love this picture. This is Ellie with her great grandma Mary! Don’t they resemble each other? We took this picture after Ellie prayed for grandma. She asked Jesus to bless grandma then continued by thanking Him for her favorite tv shows. 😂😂 She didn’t use big words and it wasn’t a long prayer but Jesus hears every prayer. I believe Jesus loves it so much when the littlest hearts talk to Him. He even says…”Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

Ellie really loves Jesus and sings about Him living in her heart. She asked Him into her heart this past July while sitting in the backseat. (I’ll share that story soon) ❤️❤️❤️ She’s not perfect but she knows Jesus and He is perfect in all His ways. We are blessed by Ellie’s love for Jesus and are so thankful that she chose to share His love through prayer with her great grandma Mary on thanksgiving day!

I’m here now…

Today Ellie met a new cousin. This beautiful girl ran straight up to Ellie, giving her a big hug and showing her where all the kids were playing. She did a great job making sure Ellie felt welcomed. During a game of tag, Ellie fell scratching her hand on the concrete. She began to cry. It was the cry that would make you think her arm fell off. 🙄 However, her arm is still attached to her body. Ellie’s cousin stayed by her the entire time, rubbing her back and saying… “it’s ok! I’m here now! You’re going to be ok!” What a reminder for when we go through hard times in life. Jesus sits beside us, reminding us that He is here and we will be ok! I’m so thankful for moments like this, when the love of Jesus shines from such a young heart.

The Attic!

The Attic!

Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

Ellie has just recently started boycotting bows! It’s been a month long mourning session for me. Luckily,it’s a slow boycott. If I can get the bow in her hair at just the right moment when she is distracted I get a few hours to bask in pure joy! And you bet I bask! Mostly, she just wants the bow out when she’s running around and it’s annoyingly flapping on her head. It wasn’t too long ago that she would wake up in a panic screaming that her bow fell out and begging me to put it back in. (check out my blog post Bow Cupcakes Tears)

I’ll link it in the comments.

This past week Ellie walked in the living room declaring that she was going to give all her bows to Abbie, a friend at church. While it’s a sweet gesture it ain’t about to happen. Sorry Abbie! I got some Jeremiah 29:11 kinda plans for her bow collection. I’m currently looking for a trunk for the end of her bed to fill up with all her bows and other accessories to one day pass down to the first girl grandchild in our family. However, there is a big chunk of my heart praying that this boycott is a phase. The bow season cannot be ending so soon! I can pass on clothes, shoes and toys to friends but I just simply can’t let go of the bows. To be totally honest, I dread the moment I carry them to the attic.

Isn’t it funny how tightly we hold on to certain things in life? We cling to things far greater than possessions like bows. We hold onto things like past hurt, unforgiveness, anger, regrets, secret struggles, fears and troubled relationships. Maybe worse! You name it and we have it stored in the attic of our hearts!

We hold on, filling up our attic with things that are only hurting us. We forget that there will soon be another generation who walk through our attic and possibly inherits all that is in it. They will inherit the anger, secret struggles, pain, regrets, troubled relationships and so on. We get to choose now to break the cycle. We get to choose what we will pass down to the ones who we love. What are we filling the attic in our hearts with? Every attic has “treasure.” Is your treasure worth being found by others? We can’t be perfect. We will struggle but let our children see us fight those battles with Jesus so as they grow they will know how to fight their battles with Him and Him alone. Dig deep in your heart and ask Jesus to show you any broken treasure that you have stored up. Then, let it go! Give it to Jesus. When those you love open the attic of your heart let them see healing, restoration, freedom, peace and wholeness. When they open your attic let them see that Jesus was there working!

Be the one!

Be the One!

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.” Psalms 107:1

Read Luke 17:11-19

This weekend in Elementary we watched the Thankful Leper by Saddleback Kids. The fun began when ten kids were given the opportunity to wrap themselves up as lepers using toilet paper and act out the story alongside our friend who played the part of Jesus! I was impressed with Joann and her on the spot hands on idea to help the kids better understand the lesson. They loved it! Afterwards, we talked about how Jesus must have felt when only one Leper who he healed came back to thank Him! We asked the question “will you be the one to thank Jesus?”

I wonder how many times God has blessed us and like the nine Lepers, we fail to thank him? I can count so many blessings that I have not thanked Jesus for. It can be easy to stop thanking Jesus for all He is doing in our life. We become so used to the good things that He does for us that we take for granted these many blessings. Often, we allow ourselves to believe that we have what we have because of the good we have done. Maybe, we believe that our hard work has finally paid off. This has some truth. We can’t sit back, do nothing and expect Jesus to get us where we desire to be. However, it is because of Jesus that we have what we need to do the work He has called us to do. Some of us begin to think about how life has been a challenge and we can’t see pass the challenges in life long enough to thank Jesus for the good that He is still doing. There is so much good that God is doing even in the midst of all the challenges of life. There is always a reason to be thankful. What keeps you from saying thanks?

I’ve realized lately that I haven’t been very thankful in my marriage. Anytime I get mad at Jessie I begin to list all the ways he is not helpful. I suddenly forget all the big ways that he does help. I recently felt convicted about this as Jesus said “think of all he does for you!” The first thing I thought was, I NEVER have to fill my car with gas. For me, this is HUGE and Im so thankful for a husband who is willing to take over in this area. This is not number one on my list but it was the first to come to mind. Now I am spending the month listing out all the ways that Jessie is a blessing to our family. It suddenly makes perfect sense. If I’m struggling to be thankful in my marriage or any other area in life, am I truly living a life of thanksgiving toward Jesus? If we find ourselves complaining more than thanking we should probably start a list of all that Jesus has done for us. Begin to thank Him for the many blessings in your life. We have so much to be thankful for.

We may all be in different seasons of life but in each season there is reason to be thankful. Also, in each season there are many individuals like the 9 lepers who never come back to thank Jesus. Which of the 10 lepers are you? I want to be like the Leper who came back to thank Jesus. I want to be the one who is thankful in all areas in my life. Will you be the one to thank Jesus for all that He has done for you? Will you be the one who comes back?