Dear Moms…


Dear Moms,

If you were shopping for school supplies at the wild Walmart at the last minute on the night before school. I was with you. I managed to snag supplies in a picked over school supply area. Granted my middle schooler will have to deal with Silly Scent Crayola Colored pencils, but who doesn’t love a little fake fragrance?

If you are worried about your high schooler driving to school today. I am with you. Our son will drive on the crazy I-4 daily twice a day, and I know he’s got this! But, I worry about the hundreds of cars that travel that same road with him. Please Dear Jesus guide them safely to their destinations.

If you’re realizing you may not have enough ziploc bags for the week. Rejoice in the fact that you likely have other containers that they can use even if they don’t want to. It may not be “cool” but we do have some re-usable options. Even though that may consist of odds and ends that don’t match one bit.

If you’re starting YOUR first day of school today too. I am with you. As a teacher you have faith that your middle schooler can launch with Dad’s help even if you forgot to set up the bus app for him to get on the dang bus! It was due Aug 4th and we missed that memo. We did it last night on Aug 9th and the hotline was defunct. Dear Jesus, Help Ms. Gilbert Bus #5 that’s he’s ridden since K let the poor boy on the bus this morning and this afternoon so that dad doesn’t have to shuffle him to the middle school. Remember, I’ll be working AT a different school.

If you’re counting on your spouse to go on this adventure with you. I’m with you. I thank God my husband is better about checking Skyward than me to monitor our kids’ grades. I have the fingerprint accessed app on my phone but gosh darn it I forget to check it and hardly can naviagate this tech that works better on a PC instead of the more used smart phone.

If you’re hoping the first 1/2 week of school goes well. I’m with you. There will be no first day of school pics here as my kids are too camera shy/”cool” for that anymore. I DO enjoy all of your kid pics though so keep ’em coming!

Dear Moms, We’ve got this. With Jesus’ help.

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But, but, but God…


Exodus 4:10

Moses raised another objection to God: “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.”

https://www.nationalshrine.org/blog/the-story-of-moses-part-i-gods-strength-in-our-weakness/

As a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) I work with children who stutter. It is called a fluency disorder. It’s a hard one. It’s an emotionally charged one. Can you imagine Moses as a stutterer? He was one. He likely said…

But, but, but God…why me? I may not be your best choice to talk in front of others and lead them. But, but, but God…used him. Moses was a legend.

As I work as an SLP with a teen who stutters presently, I know his mom well. She also stutters. These are relationships that thrive best when you listen. A stutterer is doing their best. If you remain calm and don’t interrupt or talk over them they become more confident and fluent. It’s amazing. Just listen. Just allow God to move through their mouths. It isn’t a bad thing to stutter. It’s just a thing. It’s just a thing that some people deal with. We ALL deal with something.

What is your but, but, but God…excuse?

What is holding you back from being a speaker for God?

Dear God,

You are One who calls ANYONE. Forgive me when I think it’s “not me.” Give us ears to hear Your calls. Thank you for calling us to what You need us to do. Help us not give any BUT, God messages to You. Give us the words that say, “YES God!”

Amen.

Reviewing One’s Goal(s)


Philippians 3:14

Focused on the Goal

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

Do you have a goal(s) set?

I recently found a goal list that I’d made back in 2014. I’d completed “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson and felt inspired. I created a list that included categories: family, influential, experiential, physical, and travel. I’ve met a few and others are longer term. It was fun and entertaining to see what I found important that year. I modified a few and checked off a few. Got to be realistic you know!

One of the key points in the goals was Jesus. Including prayer into your goals is critical. If it doesn’t glorify God it probably isn’t a good goal. If it would make Jesus smile then it probably is a better goal than one that glorifies man(woman).

https://www.sandler.com/blog/how-succeed-goal-setting/

Here are the few goals that I did check off:

Celebrate a birthday in London and watching Wimbledon. Summer 2019

Write and publish a non-fiction book. 2021

Hike the Grand Canyon with Daniel. Summer 2022

Go paddle boarding in fresh water. Summer 2022

Go paddle boarding in the ocean. Summer 2012

Go snow skiing in Utah. Not sure the year completed but we did it about 6 years ago!

Run a half marathon post children. 2014

Pay for our kid’s college education. Florida Pre-Paid fully funded in 2021

Pay back some of the college scholarships given to me privately. Gave money back to the Women’s Club of WP.

A travel goal was to go to Yellowstone. That is on the docket for summer 2023!

Join me in making some goals or reviewing some old ones. Pray about it. Dream a bit!

Dear God,

You are the Divine. Forgive me when I try to go this life alone or on my own steam. Give me the heart that talks to you about life and my goal(s). Thank you for helping me discover them, dream them, and do them!

Amen.

Through the Word We are Put Together


2 Timothy 3:14-17

But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

This week’s Five Minute Friday word prompt is “together.” I found this passage in 2 Timothy. The Timothy chapters are some of my favorites! I know the Bible is a big ole book of many stories and verses. We learned one this week in our class “I am wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14…and this one ties in…

Through the Word we are put together (made) and shaped up (grown) for the tasks God has for us!

Do you see yourself through the Word?

I don’t think I use that lens very much. I see myself through my own eyes…not the eyes of God. We are teaching our preschool friends that they are seen through God’s eyes and He loves us all SO much! We are wonderfully made! We are put together just right. God made us each unique and beautiful.

Do you feel that?

Do you feel the love of the Father?

Do you know that Christ died for you (and me, and everyone)?

Let’s try to see ourselves through this lens. Let’s open up the cap on the telescope lens and bring it out to look through! There are miracles of light to see in the day and in the night. He has put ALL things together for good and for His glory!

https://www.amazon.com/Made-God-Celebrating-Gloriously-Diverse/dp/0736984445

Dear God,

You are the one who puts us together. Forgive me for trying to put MYSELF together without thinking about the Divine nature of things. Give me eyes to see You and to see myself like You see me. Thank you for this day. Guide me on my travels whether big or small.

Amen.

Blindness


John 9The Message

True Blindness

1-2 Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

3-5 Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”

6-7 He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw.

Soon the town was buzzing. His relatives and those who year after year had seen him as a blind man begging were saying, “Why, isn’t this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?”

Others said, “It’s him all right!”

But others objected, “It’s not the same man at all. It just looks like him.”

He said, “It’s me, the very one.”

10 They said, “How did your eyes get opened?”

11 “A man named Jesus made a paste and rubbed it on my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ I did what he said. When I washed, I saw.”

12 “So where is he?”

“I don’t know.”

13-15 They marched the man to the Pharisees. This day when Jesus made the paste and healed his blindness was the Sabbath. The Pharisees grilled him again on how he had come to see. He said, “He put a clay paste on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “Obviously, this man can’t be from God. He doesn’t keep the Sabbath.”

Others countered, “How can a bad man do miraculous, God-revealing things like this?” There was a split in their ranks.

17 They came back at the blind man, “You’re the expert. He opened your eyes. What do you say about him?”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

18-19 The Jews didn’t believe it, didn’t believe the man was blind to begin with. So they called the parents of the man now bright-eyed with sight. They asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? So how is it that he now sees?”

20-23 His parents said, “We know he is our son, and we know he was born blind. But we don’t know how he came to see—haven’t a clue about who opened his eyes. Why don’t you ask him? He’s a grown man and can speak for himself.” (His parents were talking like this because they were intimidated by the Jewish leaders, who had already decided that anyone who took a stand that this was the Messiah would be kicked out of the meeting place. That’s why his parents said, “Ask him. He’s a grown man.”)

24 They called the man back a second time—the man who had been blind—and told him, “Give credit to God. We know this man is an impostor.”

25 He replied, “I know nothing about that one way or the other. But I know one thing for sure: I was blind . . . I now see.”

26 They said, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

27 “I’ve told you over and over and you haven’t listened. Why do you want to hear it again? Are you so eager to become his disciples?”

28-29 With that they jumped all over him. “You might be a disciple of that man, but we’re disciples of Moses. We know for sure that God spoke to Moses, but we have no idea where this man even comes from.”

30-33 The man replied, “This is amazing! You claim to know nothing about him, but the fact is, he opened my eyes! It’s well known that God isn’t at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will. That someone opened the eyes of a man born blind has never been heard of—ever. If this man didn’t come from God, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.”

34 They said, “You’re nothing but dirt! How dare you take that tone with us!” Then they threw him out in the street.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and went and found him. He asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 The man said, “Point him out to me, sir, so that I can believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You’re looking right at him. Don’t you recognize my voice?”

38 “Master, I believe,” the man said, and worshiped him.

39 Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.”

40 Some Pharisees overheard him and said, “Does that mean you’re calling us blind?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.”

Dear God,

You hold us accountable and You help us “see.” Forgive me when we fail to recognize You and Your blessings, Your healing. Thank you for all You reveal to us. Heal our own “Blindness.” Give us open eyes when often it’s easier to keep them closed to the Light of You, Our Lord. We love You. We need You. We don’t want to stay “blind.”

Amen.

Is it a Want or a Need?


Matthew 6:19

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen.

My grandpa Hank would say “Do you want it? Or, do you need it?” in descibing discernment about purchases. I try to use that wisdom. I don’t always though. Our sermon yesterday in church touched on consumerism. We want more and more “STUFF.” Why? What legacy will it leave?

I’m trying to budget better now that I’m working more I have more income, but it is tempting to spend more right along with that cash flow in comes cash flow out. I went to the bank with my husband so I could take out cash. Cash helps me budget better, and when it’s gone it’s gone.

This is more difficult with online shopping. A quick click here and there and your debit/credit card has a transaction and something is coming to your doorstep soon! YAY!

iStock

Do you struggle with storing treasure here on earth?

I sure do!

Dear God,

You are our true Treasure. Forgive us when we crave more stuff versus more of You and Your will for what we need to accrue. Give me wisdom as I shop. Give me a frugal mindset so that I can give more too. Amen.

Just Be


Job 37:19-22

“If you’re so smart, give us a lesson in how to address God. We’re in the dark and can’t figure it out. Do you think I’m dumb enough to challenge God? Wouldn’t that just be asking for trouble? No one in his right mind stares straight at the sun on a clear and cloudless day. As gold comes from the northern mountains, so a terrible beauty streams from God….”

Five Mintue Friday word: “BE.”

Do we challenge God? If so, wouldn’t that just BE asking for trouble?

I love this verse! It’s so plain. It’s so simple. It also has me wondering why I’ve never heard these verses before?! The Bible is full of surprises!

God has a terrible beauty. Terrible meaning great here I do believe. He has a great beauty…too great for our eyes at times. We will only truly see his full wonder and grace and presence when we pass from this life onto the next life in Heaven with him and with Jesus. We will BE with Him one day if we believe in HIM and HIS SON.

If you’re smart…the verses start in Job…are we smart? Do we act too smart in front of others who may/may not believe in God? I suggest to myself and to you that we carefully present ourselves to others. Showing love. Showing grace. Showing strength. Don’t just BE a Christian. Act like one. Carefully.

We don’t want to challenge others or challenge God. It is much better if we can be peaceful in our presentations. We can carefully present our testimony. It’s ours. It’s unique to us, and it is God given. Will we bravely share pieces of ourselves that God has kissed? The moments in our lives when we know God’s hand was moving to nudge us into a path or a person?

Will we just BE open to that?

Dear God, You are the Great I Am!! Forgive us when we forget how glorious it is to BE in Your presence. Give us open eyes and open hearts. Thank you for BEING with us always. You are amazing, and we SEE you at work all around us. We love You this day and always. Amen.

Available at Target and Publix

Cheers to you friends from my homemade chai tea latte with almond milk and cinnamon and sugar on top!

Jenn

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