Monday, December 31, 2012

2012…Looking Back


2012...Looking Back
Part 1
Titles From The Year:

Graduate: Finished CollegePlus and Graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication.

Intern: Interned at the State Capitol in Senate.

Campaign Assistant: Helped run a state senate campaign – And the candidate won!

IT Director: Worked on a few different Facebook pages and groups, joined Twitter, and ran a website.

Parade Walker: Walked in 25 parades this summer and went to 6+ County fairs and festivals (while campaigning).

Auntie: This summer, I became an Auntie for the 12th time! 12 nieces and nephews!

Granddaughter: Also, this summer, my last grandparent went to be with Jesus. I will always miss all four of my grandparents.

Vacationer: Went on a mini-vacation to visit a friend from my childhood after not seeing each other much over the past few years! And went on a family vacation to Texas!

Daughter/Sister: In March, my sister and I attended a Father Daughter Ball with our Dad. My mom and I also got to attend some conventions together and spend time together.

Secretary: For a local group I am involved in.

Blogger: Continuing to blog here on Musings - http://musingsmadebymandy.blogspot.com/

Reader: Now that I have finished school, I am back to reading the books I haven't had time to read in the last couple of years!

Friend: I have met many new people over the last year! Happy to be able to call them friends.

Nanny: For two of my nieces and one of my nephews.

Christ Follower: As I look at this area of my life, this is what is most important to me. In all I do, I want to serve God. But when I look back over the last year, I did not strive to make this the most important. While I felt God was calling to each of these other things and I was able to use them as my ministry, I still feel like I needed to put more importance on Him. He was faithful to me throughout the year and I felt Him with me. As I go into the next year, I want Him to be first and foremost in everything I do, in every decision I make.

“So whether [I] eat or drink or whatever [I] do, [I want to] do it all for the glory of God.” 
(1 Corinthians 10:31)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Ounce Of Courage

Last night I watched the movie, Last Ounce of Courage

Here is part of the description: (The rest is in the link)

"When Christian is threatened with school suspension for bringing his bible to school, Bob notices that his country is headed in a dangerous direction and that freedom itself is on the line. Encouraged by his grandson Christian, who asks "what did his father die for?", Bob finally takes a stand for his beliefs and finds himself jailed for putting up the town's Christmas tree and refusing to take it down. In this beautiful story of love and forgiveness, they discover a way to unite and to make a difference in their community by claiming their freedom and standing up for their rights." 

The movie was very good and made a lot of good points about freedom, making an impact on the next generation, and standing up for what we believe in and in what is right. But some of my favorite parts were the two Reagan quotes in the movie. One was at the beginning and one was at the end.

The quote at the beginning:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
― Ronald Reagan


The quote at the ending:

"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done in the one moment allotted us here on earth."
-Ronald Reagan


In all that we do, we impact the next generation. What are you doing today that will make a positive impact on next generation?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Just Call Me Scarlett...


Just the other day, I made the comment to my mom, "Just call me Scarlett," after I had quoted the famous Scarlett O'Hara from "Gone With The Wind". We laughed and then I said I didn't have a red dress. Over the years, I have watched the movie, "Gone With The Wind". I first borrowed the movie on VHS from my grandmother and it took me days to watch the whole movie. But after that first time, I have watched the movie about once-a-year. And I have now bought my own copy on DVD.

Scarlett O'Hara on the cover of my DVD
I am not sure why I like the movie, every time after I finish watching it, I am angered by Scarlett. I think it is a movie I both love and hate. I like it because it is a classic, it tells a good story, but yet it annoys me because Scarlett never realizes who truly loved her and who she loved until it is too late. Maybe...it reminds me that we should treasure those we have around us and that make sure we let them know we love them...

My old edition of the book "Gone With The Wind"
 Whether I like the whole movie or not, there are a couple quotes that I like to use from the movie. This is what lead my mom to teasing me about being Scarlett. Below is a picture of Scarlett and the quotes I use...

 "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow".
and
"After all... tomorrow is another day". 
-Scarlett O'Hara

 
Scarlett on the cover of my book "Scarlett"




 Why do I quote Scarlett? Sometimes I wonder! Most of the time when I use the first quote that I mentioned it is because I don't want to deal with something at the moment. It is not my way of ignoring the issue or avoiding the problem, but instead it is my way of making light of the issue and remembering that I can focus on something else and then come back to the issue at hand. Sometimes things need to rest before we make decisions.

The second quote? Each day is a blessing and I need constant reminding of this fact. When I think of tomorrow, I think of a new day, a new beginning, another blessing.

Me in my Red Dress

For Christmas, I received a red dress. I love the color red and it was a special gift to me. I wore the dress on the Sunday before Christmas and the picture above is of me wearing it. Both of those quotes do have meaning for me...but mostly I use them for fun. They put a smile on my face. So while I don't strive to be like Scarlett, we can still learn lessons from her. One more lesson that I think of is that we can choose new beginning. Christ offers new life if we trust in Him. Scarlett was always able to pick herself up and start again and look for the hope of a new day. While it seems that she never found it, we have a Hope. In Christ, we have a real opportunity to find Hope and Faith, but only through Jesus. I want to live my life in a way that will always give glory to God. And I want to be able to see the blessings He gives me. And I want to live each day believing in that Hope and Faith.

So call me Scarlett...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve - Traditions (Blog post #200!)


Merry Christmas Everyone! It is Christmas Eve! And it is the day of the year that my family always celebrated Christmas with my grandparents and extended family. It was a tradition that I loved. I love my family and I love being able to spend time with them.

However, this year was different... This year, my grandparents are no longer with us. They are truly Home for Christmas and I miss them dearly. The song below reminds me of one of my sets of grandparents. In some ways, it reminds me of all four of my grandparents. It is a beautiful song!


When I began writing this post, I noticed it is the 200th post I have written on this blog. I would like to dedicate it to my grandparents. My grandparents were people who I felt completely loved by and I felt like I meant the world to them! They were my cheering squad. They always wanted to hear what I was doing and were always excited for me. They listened to me and were there for me. They were the best grandparents ever!

So each Christmas Eve, we celebrated with both sets of grandparents on this day. This is the first year without them here. My parents are carrying on the tradition with their children and grandchildren to celebrate Christ's birth on Christmas Eve. I am thankful for all of my family and thankful we can celebrate the birth of Jesus on this day and I am thankful for all of my family and friends. As we usher in these new traditions and a new generation, the change is difficult for us all, but I know that, with God's grace, He will get us through and will give us what we need. I pray that as you celebrate this Christmas, you will feel God's presence, His grace, salvation, love... Whether you are able to continue on with your current traditions, or are creating new ones this year because of life circumstances, you can believe that Jesus will be with you. Remember, He came for you. To save you.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 
Isaiah 9:6

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 
Luke 2:11


Sunday, December 16, 2012

My prayer for the families in CT

In recent days I have seen a lot of tragedy happening in our country. These tragedies, the recent shooting, have been hard to deal with. They are happening all over our country, in CT, in my home state, in my county, and even in my town.

While I have not been impacted by these on a level of losing someone I love, I believe we all have been affected in some way. For me, I see the amount of evil that is in the world. I don't believe it was the guns that killed the victims, instead the guns were the tools used by the shooters. Our human nature has a tendency to look for the reason why these people did what they did. I believe it is because we are sinful people. We need redemption and salvation from our sinful ways.

This time of year, we celebrate the birth of the One who came to save us. We celebrate Jesus and we look to the time when we celebrate what He ultimately came here to do - die on the cross, take our sins- past, present, and future sins- upon His shoulders and set us free. He wanted to make a way for us. Because of His work on the cross, we have access to the Father and true freedom from sin, if we are willing to accept Him.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4, 5 ESV)

My prayer...

Father,
I thank you for being who You are. Thank You for sending Your Son to die for us, so we might live. Lord, I think of the CT teacher that so recently gave her life to save all of the children in her classroom. She was an example of what Jesus did on the cross. I pray for her family as they are grieving her loss. I pray for comfort for all of the families of the CT children and school workers that lost lives on Friday. I ask for Your peace to be with them, especially as they go into this Christmas season. Be with all of the country as they grieve. Send revival, Lord.
In Jesus' Name I ask these things. Amen.

I saw this prayer from Max Lucado and I feel it is appropriate.***

Dear Jesus,

It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Hopefully,
Your Children

***http://m.christianpost.com/news/max-lucados-prayer-in-response-to-conn-school-shooting--86681/

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Need a Silent Night

Have you heard the song "I Need a Silent Night" this year? Amy Grant sings about how busy this time of year is and how we can easily let the chaos get in the way of the true meaning of Christmas. This song probably speaks to a lot of us. We are so busy - cooking, shopping, wrapping gifts, school finals, decorating, etc... We lose track of the reason we even celebrate.


Below are some of the lyrics to the songs (in Italics), the chorus and a few of the last verses of the song.***


I need a silent night, a holy night  
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise 
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night


December comes then disappears 
Faster and faster every year 
Did my own mother keep this pace 
Or was the world a different place?


What was it like back there in Bethlehem 
With peace on earth, good will toward men?
 
Every shepherd's out in the field 

Keeping watch over their clock by night 
And the glory of the Lord shone around them 
And they were so afraid
 

And the angels said fear not for behold 
I bring you good news of a great joy that shall be for all people 
For unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord 
And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace

I love how the song brings us back to the true meaning of Christmas. It is about Jesus. He is the reason we celebrate. And it is only through Him that we can have true Peace on Earth. Are you looking for peace this season? Are the situations in your life or the holiday busyness getting in the way of remembering the reason we celebrate? If you want true Peace, look to God. He sent His Son. For YOU! If you want that Peace, this website will help you on your journey: http://peacewithgod.jesus.net/

Merry Christmas! My prayer for you is that you will know true Peace through the Prince of Peace!

I Need a Silent Night by Amy Grant
A picture of the snow we got last night!




***Lyrics from: AMY GRANT - I NEED A SILENT NIGHT LYRICS

Friday, December 7, 2012

OFFER EXTENDED - College Plus Offer-Free Kindle with Enrollment

The offer has been extended! You now have one more week (until Dec. 14th) to enroll and receive your Kindle. What a great Christmas gift - a plan for college and a Kindle! 

College Plus Offer-Free Kindle with Enrollment

Just wanted to let you know, if you enroll in CollegePlus by Nov. 30th Dec. 14th, you will get a free Kindle Fire!

"If you enroll in a Bachelor's degree through the CollegePlus program by Saturday, December 1st, you will receive:

* A free Kindle Fire HD or a $200 Amazon Gift Card

But not just that, by enrolling before the end of the year, you will have the opportunity to begin 2013 on track to earn your Bachelor's degree on your own schedule, with little or no debt, and with the flexibility to discover and pursue your unique life purpose as part of your higher education."

Please use this Code: 7379
Or click this link: http://www.collegeplus.org/?requestinfo?tellafriend=7379 for more information. They will send you a packet of information. Or you can comment below with your questions.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hallettsville, TX

I recently got back from vacation. One of my favorite places that we went while on vacation was to a small town called, Hallettsville, TX. It was completely by accident, we took a wrong turn, but it turned out to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The town was centered around a beautiful building in the middle. This building was decorated for Christmas. The town, at least the part I got to see, was like a square with this building in the middle and then a road around it with the rest of the town around the main building (I think it is the courthouse). Below are the pictures of the beautiful town all lit up! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

One more thing to note, we got there about 1AM while driving through and there was no one around, but there was Christmas music playing! I loved everything about it!

1st side - Love

2nd side - Joy

3rd side - Hope

4th side- Peace

The town from a distance

Here is a short video clip so you can hear the music!

video

Monday, November 26, 2012

College Plus Offer-Free Kindle with Enrollment

Just wanted to let you know, if you enroll in CollegePlus by Nov. 30, you will get a free Kindle Fire!

"If you enroll in a Bachelor's degree through the CollegePlus program by Saturday, December 1st, you will receive:

* A free Kindle Fire HD or a $200 Amazon Gift Card

But not just that, by enrolling before the end of the year, you will have the opportunity to begin 2013 on track to earn your Bachelor's degree on your own schedule, with little or no debt, and with the flexibility to discover and pursue your unique life purpose as part of your higher education."

Please use this Code: 7379
Or click this link: http://www.collegeplus.org/?requestinfo?tellafriend=7379 for more information. They will send you a packet of information. Or you can comment below with your questions.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Give Thanks for...

This morning I was thinking about Thanksgiving as I was helping my family get ready for the holiday. Each year on Thanksgiving, before dinner, our family gathers around to pray. Before we pray, each one of us says something we are thankful for. So while I was helping get the house ready, I was contemplating what I will say I am thankful. In past years, I have said I am thankful for family, friends, freedoms, God's grace, among other things. I am truly thankful for all of those things, but what will I say this year?

One part of tradition that I like to remind everyone of is what they are thankful for can't be the same as everyone else. My point being- I don't want everyone to say the same thing, like family. I want everyone to be creative in telling what they are giving thanks for. And to make everyone really think about it before saying something.

But back to my original pondering...what will I say this year? What am I truly thankful for this year? How has God blessed me?

My family has gone through a lot this year. We have been very busy and we have had many things happen with our family this year, including the loss of my Grandpa this summer.

So at the top of my list, I am thankful for...

-God's faithfulness and love

-My family

-The years I was able to spend with my grandparents. I miss them a lot.

-My friends- My long time friends and my new ones. This year, I had the opportunity to meet many new friends, younger and older than me. You all are dear to me.

-My electronics. Laptop, Kindle, and cell phone.

-Finishing college and getting my diploma! (long awaited!)

-Memories. One in particular was last Thanksgiving when my family was gathered around. It was the last Thanksgiving with my grandpa, he had written a list of what he was thankful for. He had thought about it in preparation. The one thing I remember he said he was thankful for was each one of us family members that were gathered. It is a special memory.

-Books

-God's Word

I give thanks to God for all of these things listed here and all of the things I don't have room to list. God has blessed me greatly and it is my prayer that I see His blessings everyday, even in the hard times.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I pray you are able to spend time with loved ones this holiday and that you take time to give thanks to God for your blessings.

*What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Running the race

With the political season coming to a close here is the USA (14 days until Election Day), I thought I would share some Bible verses that came to mind.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1 NIV84)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV84)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV84)

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. (Acts 20:24 NIV84)

It is my prayer that while we are running the last part of this race(this political race), we will always keep in mind the great race. And that in all we do, we give the glory to God and be a witness for Him.

And...I encourage you to research candidates and then get out and VOTE!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

21 Days of Musings - Day 3

Day 3 - A habit that you wish you didn’t have

I know I have many bad habits and I wish I had more good habits. I would like to have a better habits of memorizing Scripture and reading my Bible daily and other things along these lines, but alas, I am a human being and these do not come as easily. So there are some habits I would like to switch.

So one of my worst bad habits is probably fidgeting... This is one that would be very helpful to be rid of. While fidgeting, I have broken a few things. Recently, I was fidgeting with my phone case and I broke this little stand off of it that made it possible to have the phone sit on its side so you could watch videos. Now I can no longer do that. I have found a little bit of a remedy though. I have found I do a lot less fidgeting, if I put my hands to good use. If I am watching a movie or talking with someone, I do much better if I am knitting, doing a craft, folding laundry, or practically anything with my hands. If I am at Church or in a class, I take notes. I am a hands-on learner, a kinesthetic learner. So by using my hands, I do better than trying to hold them still.

What habit would you like to be rid of?Have you found any "cures" for your bad habits?

Friday, October 5, 2012

21 Days of Musings - Day 2

Day 2 - The meaning behind your Blog name and why you decided to start blogging

I really like alliterations! Alliterations are "the repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables" (Merriam-Webster, alliteration). So when I originally decided to blog, I wanted to come up with a fun name for my blog. I wanted a place where I could blog random thoughts, journal, etc... My mom came up with the word "Musings" (She is great with words and she knew I was looking for an alliteration). The name "Musings Made by Mandy" was then born!

The original reason I started blogging was because I felt God was calling me to write for young women. I felt that I needed to provide a Christian alternative to the magazines that are out there for girls. Since I was not financially able to at the time produce a magazine for girls, God opened the door to blogging for me. I started JOY Blog. I blogged over at JOY Blog for almost 6 years. I started my Musings blog as a personal blog, without a format. JOY Blog had a format and was more of a monthly blog. This last Spring, I felt that I could not keep up both blogs. So as of right now, JOY Blog is inactive (but you can still check out the old articles if you would like). I am currently only blogging here on Musings. My goal is that my blog with always glorify God and that it will be a witness to those who read it. I try to be open and share real life stories. I want you to see the light of Jesus through me and my blog!



In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 (NIV1984)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

21 Days of Musings-Day 1

Day 1- 15 interesting facts about yourself
 (Disclaimer: These may only be interesting to me!)
  1. I am an auntie (12 times)
  2. I like to cook
  3. I like to read
  4. I love iced tea
  5. Summer is my favorite season, Winter is my least favorite.
  6. Cotton Candy is one of my favorite things!
  7. My favorite snack is popcorn
  8. I was homeschooled all my life until my Junior year and then I did two years of college before I finished high school!
  9. I finished all of my coursework for my B.A. degree before I was 20!
  10. I like volunteering. I have volunteered for MOPs, Awana, our homeschool co-op, and I interned at my state Capitol!
  11. I love getting mail, especially good, old-fashion, snail-mail!
  12. My favorite colors are red and blue
  13. The 4th of July is my 3rd favorite holiday! (Christmas and Easter come first)
  14. I love politics and am a political junkie :)
  15. I love reading quotes. I never remember to use them, but I enjoy learning from them!

A Blogging Challenge???

Blogging. A word that wasn't even around when I was just a kid, but today it is a big deal! And I have come to really enjoy blogging. I have to say though, I am not a very good blogger. I enjoy writing, but I just don't take the time to do it consistently (as you have probably realized). So I am going to attempt to do a condensed version of a 30-day challenge I found online. I am going to try for a 21-day. Below is my 21-day list and then I will post Day 1. 

Mandy's 21 Days of Musings!

  1. 15 interesting facts about yourself
  2. The meaning behind your Blog name and why you decided to start blogging
  3. A habit that you wish you didn’t have
  4. A picture of somewhere you’ve been to
  5. Favorite book/author
  6. A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
  7. Short term goals for this month and why
  8. Your Favorite Music Playlist
  9. From where or whom do your favorite quotes come
  10. Plans/dreams/goals you have
  11. Nicknames you have; why do you have them
  12. A picture of something that makes you happy
  13. What makes you different from everyone else
  14. Favorite movie and/or TV show
  15. A day in your life
  16. What I would find in your bag
  17. What are you learning right now
  18. Favorite blogs/websites
  19. Why are you doing this 30 day challenge
  20. What is your favorite Bible Verse and why
  21. In this past month, what have you learned

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Multi-tasking

How do you slow down in this day and age? There is so much happening and it seems like multi-tasking is a must. Last night I was thinking about the fact that I'm not sure I even know how to not multi-task. I was sitting there watching a movie and doing some things on my phone at the same time. Even on my "break," I still was not slowing down. All day yesterday I seemed to be doing more than one thing. It was go, go, go... In fact, the whole week seemed to be a flurry of events and running and busyness.

I feel like I have so much to get done and so many tasks, yet...at the same time I feel this need to slow down. But I am not sure how. How do you balance the busyness and trying to get things done, while taking time to slow down, to live in the moment? How do you make sure you "seize the day"?

I don't have the answers, but I do know I want to live my life in a way that glorifies God. I want to do all I do for Him. In the last week, I have been working harder to make God my first priority. I am working on having quiet time with Him each day. I am not sure how to slow down, but I do know I need to keep trusting Him. He will guide me. I just have to be willing to listen and obey.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday Musing - College Grad

After about 1 & 1/2 years of college post high school....drumroll please......I am now officially a college graduate!!! I can even begin to describe how excited I am! I felt like I waited sooo long for this day and now it is finally here!

Below is a picture of the special item I received in the mail on Monday.

My Diploma!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday!!! - Words

It is Friday! The beginning of the weekend!

In honor of Fridays, I thought it would start sharing:

Facts 
Something famous
Fitness related items
Fabulous Fables
Fashion 
Food items that make up a Feast (recipes)
Fantasies
Fiction
Or other random fun things!
 
 
For today's Friday fun, I thought I would share some websites that are great to look at if you like words! (I got to play Bananagrams with a friend this week! That game always makes me want to look up words. Especially words that have the letters: C, X, Y, Z, J, Q, U, and V.)

Adjectives that Start with

Scrabble Word Finder

What are some of your favorite words to use in word games?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shine

"Shine
Make 'em wonder what you've got
Make 'em wish that they were not
On the outside looking bored
Shine
Let it shine before all men
Let'em see good works, and then
Let 'em glorify the Lord"

Shine by Newsboys

I was just listening to the song, Shine, on the radio. In the intro of the song, it is just music, but pretty soon the lyrics of the chorus (the words above) were running through my head. One of my favorite Bible verses that I have memorized is in Matthew (5:16) where it says, let your light shine before men so they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven. This is a verse I want to live out each and every day.

Some days I find it hard to "shine", other days, it seems a little easier. I believe each day we must make the choice to shine so that God is glorified in our lives. If we choose to shine for Jesus, people will recognize the light, the light of the Son! And they will "wonder what you've got"!

Are you choosing to let your light shine? In what ways are you doing this?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Musings - Dead Skin

Three weeks ago today was the day I lost my fingernail (Out of Commission). So for the past three weeks, I haven't posted as much because I have been avoiding typing, writing, and well, anything that I need to use my right hand for... But now three weeks later, I can finally see that healing is happening. Up until this point, I have had my finger all bandaged up in big white gauze (you know the saying, "Stick out like a sore thumb?" I now know that feeling...). As of about three days ago, I have finally started to see the healing that is going on. Before that all I have seen is this finger that looks awful and in my mind will never be the same and doesn't seem like it could possibly heal. The outside healing that I am finally able to see is the dead skin peeling away (Let me tell you, I have never been so happy to have dead skin peeling). The skin that had been left was stained by the blood and even after scrubbing it, I wasn't able to get the stain off. Now today that dead skin has finally come off. Left underneath, is new skin, clean and undamaged.

While thinking about all of this, I have wondered why it has happened. I am thankful that I did not damage the finger and that the lost fingernail is the worst that happened. While it was painful and still hurts at times, it was not as severe an injury as it could have been. It could have been much worse. But I still wonder what God will teach me through this experience. So far, I have learned a few things.

The first became apparent rather quickly. God was showing me I needed to be patient. Patience is something I am not fond of and I am not very good at. I like to get things done and not wait for things. Yet I had to wait and be patient, even though I didn't do a very good job of it. I needed help bandaging the finger, I needed help opening jars, I needed help cutting up food, I needed help with basic, everyday things. Things I have been able to do by myself for some times now. I not only had to continue to learn patience, but I had to also learn how to ask for help and have others do things for me. I didn't like this, I felt like a child who needed help, and I didn't want to ask for help for such "little" things. After pondering, I realized that this kind of thing happens in our relationship with God as well as with those around us. Sometimes, we think we don't need help. We can do it on our own. But in truth, we need to pray and ask God for help, especially in those times when we think we can handle things on our own. Our Father in Heaven loves us and is there for us. We need to remember that when we think we can handle everything.

The other thing that God has shown me is that sometimes we need to peel back the dead skin in our lives in order to see the beauty underneath. We must remove the ugliness in our lives in order to let God in. When the dead skin on my finger stated peeling, I thought of the story in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. In that story, Eustace becomes a dragon, then he encounters Aslan, the lion. Here is that part of the story:

Photo Credit*

“The water was as clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg. but the lion told me I must undress first. Mind you, I don’t know if he said any words out loud or not.

I was just going to say that I couldn’t undress because I hadn’t any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that’s what the lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and , instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.

But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that’s all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I’ll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this underskin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe.

Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.

Then the lion said – but I don’t know if it spoke – ‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know – if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.

Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I was smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on – and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again.”

(Book quote from http://citylifecrossroads.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/eustace-the-dragon-meets-aslan/)

As this part of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader explains, the layers needed to be peeled back in order to be whole again. As much as Eustace tried to do it on his own, he needed help. In the same way, God uses situations in our lives to peel back the layers and to show us that He will help us through. As my finger heals, I am reminded constantly that He is the great Healer and that He will be there with me through it all.


*(photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jyllish/3096336030/">jyllish</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photo pin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Musings...Politics

While many believe that politics and faith does not go together, I disagree. I am very involved in politics and I feel it is very important to be involved and informed. It is about the future of our nation and the future generations. One of the things I have found out about politics is that many people I know in politics are very strong Christians. They are people who have faith and are not afraid to share it. They are praying people. In fact, just the other night I was at a political event and an older gentleman came up to me. He asked me if I was working on one of the campaigns. After I told him I was, he started praying for me. He prayed for wisdom for me and for discernment. It was truly amazing and I felt the Holy Spirit had led him to pray for me and had given him the words I needed to hear.

Below is a quote that I like from the movie, Amazing Grace. Whatever career path you choose, whether it is being a parent, teacher, businessman, salesperson, or anything else, if you choose to do it for the glory of God, you can and are doing both. The people I have met in politics are unashamed of their faith. They use their work in politics to witness to the people around them. As the quote says they do both!

‘Mr Wilberforce, we understand you are having problems deciding whether to do the work of God or the work of a political activist,’ says Clarkson. ‘We humbly suggest you can do both,’ adds Hannah More.

~From the Amazing Grace movie.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Free blog pictures

Hey friends and fellow bloggers!

photo credit


I wanted to share this link with you. The article I have linked is called, 11 Places to Get a Free and Legal Photo for Your Blog. In my experience with blogging, I have found that pictures add a lot to blog posts! I know I like reading a blog post when there is a picture included. Enjoy the article!



photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/2965186113/">Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photo pin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On the other side of the storm


I saw this picture on Facebook the other day! I thought it was share-worthy. I know that many times I get stuck in the "storm". I forget that God uses the trials in our lives to build us up and help us grow. I also need to remind myself sometimes that God is always with me, especially in those hard times. In the midst of the storms of life, we need to look ahead. Not only past the trial, but beyond. Because as a Christian, the sunshine that we are headed for is Heaven, where there is true Sonshine!


Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

James 1:2-4 (NIV1984)


  

Joy to you!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

My new mug - Keep Calm and Carry On
Since I am still not up to typing a bunch (more on that here), even though I would like to be doing just that, I thought I would post a YouTube video I found about the "Keep Calm and Carry On" message. This is something that has recently come back around, but it all started during WWII. I like the simplicity and the story behind it.

Enjoy the clip and "Keep Calm and Carry On"!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Out of Commission

In the last week I have sort of become "out of commission". On Monday evening, I was putting up a yard sign for the campaign I am working on. I was hammering the rod into the ground and instead of hitting the rod, I hit my finger. Ouch! My whole fingernail came off. So since then, it has been hard to type or write or doing anything at all with that hand. I am truly thankful that I only lost my fingernail and that it wasn't anything worse than that. I am also thankful that it is not as painful as it could be. Thank you Father! It is tough not to be able to do as much as I would like to this week, especially for the campaign.

Please pray for healing of my finger!

That is all for now, it is tough typing when two of my fingers are taped together... :)

Have a safe week!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Write about it!


I found this picture on Facebook from an author! I think it is appropriate! Sometimes, I try to talk through my feelings and thoughts, once in a while this works to help me sort through it out. But I have found it helps me a lot more when I write it down. I like to write down my thoughts, I like to work it out on paper, or in cyberspace - here on my blog. :)

Even when it comes to praying, I would rather write my prayers down. I keep a prayer journal and I find that it helps me to not be so distracted when I pray. Otherwise, when I pray, I feel like I pray in bits and pieces and my mind goes elsewhere. When I write down my prayers, I concentrate better on the One I am writing and talking to! 

While this blog may have a lot of random thoughts, I hope my musings will help you grow in Christ. Last night, I started thinking about the fact that people do read my blog and my writings. It shocks me. What do I have to say that anyone would want to read about? But then, it is not about me, it is about Him, Jesus Christ. Everything I do I want to be for His glory. I want His light to shine through me, so that you may see Him better. This is my prayer and hope. Thanks for reading!

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fried Green Beans

Tonight my mom made fried green beans and also cheese curds! Below is a picture of the green beans! They were really tasty! 

Fried Green Beans

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Writing...a part of life - God's grace


There was a point, about the time I had 3 weeks of school left, that I thought maybe I would never want to write again. I have written soooo many papers over the past 4 years that I didn't feel like writing again. But now, having been done with school for almost a month, I feel like writing again! And I just want to write and write! The best part is I get to write about what I want to write about! Most of what I write is just musings, random thoughts, but I am glad I have a little bit of time here and there to write again.

Here is a story of God’s blessing and grace over the weekend:

Yesterday, my mom and I were on the way to a parade that we were supposed to be in. I was driving and my mom was is the passenger seat. We were about 15 minutes away from the town when a tire came off of a camper that was going the opposite direction. All of a sudden, the tire was flying straight at us. I didn’t know what to do. I started braking…There was nowhere to go. The tire was coming from the left and heading to the right of our car and there was a whole stream of cars in the other lane. The wheel hit our car first on the right front bumper and then went to the left of the hood and then came straight at me…hitting the windshield right in front of me…but it didn’t go through the glass. It bounced off and continued on. Thankfully, God protected not only me and my mom, but the rest of the people who were driving. No one was hurt! God covered us with His angels and kept us safe (We even made it to the parade, just before it started). My mom and I were shaken afterwards, thinking of all of the “what-ifs”. We could have been seriously injured or worse. Again, I am grateful to God and I am thankful to be alive! Thank you Father!

Psalm 56:4
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?