Praise Day 365: Today I praise God for a year FULL of reasons to praise Him, and for His developing inside of me an acute awareness of reasons to praise Him, no matter how big or small!
This last year has been an incredible journey for me. Although there were many days that I failed to get the days posted, God always gave me the ability and the honor of catching up! This last year has given me a chance to really reflect on the importance of family, friends, fellowship and reflection. I have looked at not only the huge things to praise Him for, but at the small and what would seem almost insignificant. I learned that these small things are sometimes just a big as the ones that are blatantly obvious! It has made me reach deep down beyond the obvious and for that I am so grateful. I also have learned to see the praise in the pain! This last year has been filled with great times......but also very painful times as well. Even in that deep pain.......God showed me the praise that was to be found in it. I pray that over this next year, each of you will take the time daily to find the praise in that day......in each moment that forms and impacts your life. God is great and He is greatly to be praised! I also praise God for the new direction for next year! The testimonies are slow to come in, but God WILL provide them when I need them......and when HE wants them! I am thinking that God is going to be teaching me a major lesson on faith! I am confident that many lives will be touched and I pray that God will use each and every testimony to reach those who need them......for HIS Glory! May God bless each and every one of you this upcoming year.......and I pray that He will show you every single day......a reason for praising HIM!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Today was a very special day! Today was the birthday of my baby sister, Luisa. Truth be known......Luisa is one of my Heroes! I praise God for every day that she has been here on earth! The picture posted here shows a beautiful, healthy looking YOUNG lady. Every single day Luisa fights a battle of chronic pain and unexplained health issues......and yet every single day she fights and goes on. My mind cannot even comprehend her daily battle, and yet she faces every day with grace, Gods grace! Luisa is a strong and opinionated woman.....and whether you agree with her or not, she is amazing! She has such great confidence in women.....especially strong godly women! Luisa is an incredible wife and mother who loves her family with a fierce love! She has also encouraged all of us who know and love her in one way or another. When I am down and struggling with my memory......she remembers for me.......when I am down and feeling worthless.....she reminds me of my worth......when I am down and feeling hopeless....she reminds me of the hope that is right there before me in Jesus! Don't get me wrong.....we can have our differences and on certain things we do not see eye to eye......but one thing I know without a doubt......she loves me unconditionally with a love that is like that of Christ! With Luisa, I don't have to be perfect......I just have to be me! God has given Luisa so many gifts that I have often wished I had, and yet the gifts he has given Me, Luisa......and our incredible sister Leslie, all seem to work together and are used when they are needed in each circumstance! P.S. Leslie is incredible too and I also thank God for her in more ways than she could ever imagine! She is an incredible teacher who loves her students in ways that EVERY teacher should love their students to help them learn! She also lives every day not knowing how her health issues will affect her, but she also just trudges through and makes the best she can of every day! I really don't know why God blessed me so greatly with these two women......but I am ever so thankful! As the oldest sister, I often failed them when we were growing up, but God has given me the chance to make up for my failures.......and I am thankful! I pray that God will work greatly in each of our lives and that He will extend His healing hand to touch their bodies in the way that He will receive ALL glory, honor and praise! I pray that each and every day, each of us will live our lives to the fullest and that our lives, our actions and our love will bring honor and glory to HIS name! Luisa.......Leslie.....you are my heroes.......and I thank you for loving me......your goofy older sister!
Today we were able to celebrate Christmas with our family! As you can see above I had four wonderful reasons to have a great day! The two little ones had fun with a yummy Sees Sucker from Santa Barbara, CA. God has blessed us incredibly with a beautiful family that loves each other. We have our hard times and we don't always agree......but we do always have a love that is deep and binding. It was not as much about presents, but it was more about love. With Candice and Josh being so far away, it is a blessing to be able to be all together. We had a huge pot of chilli on this cold winter day with a sausage cheese dip, pies, ice cream........and lots of tasty fixins! After being gone for a week, it was such a relief to have the ones we love close by. God is so great and greatly to be praised.......and I praise h
Praise Day 352-362: Today I praise God for blessing me way more than I deserve! As you can tell I have a lot of catching up to do.......so I will do it abbreviated....all in one post.....so here we go!
Day 352: Today I praise God for the chance to live near my wonderful middle sister, Leslie Fitzpatrick! I have gotten off on my days and so I want to praise God for things that are not necessarily day specific.....and my sister is definitely one I want to praise God for! Leslie is the middle child of three and I know that over the years she has felt the full force of being the middle child. I know that growing up I was not always the nicest sister, however don't mess with her because she is MY sister and I am the only one who can do that! Hehehe....Truth! Leslie is an incredible woman who has a great ability for teaching young minds. Due to health issues she has had to step down from teaching, but God has now given her the chance to help me work with Devon......and we are both excited about the task! Leslie is a great sister and I am so blessed to have her....and Luisa as sisters! Thank you Leslie for loving me....even when I am not lovable......I love you!!!!
Day 353: Today I praise God for two very funny bother in laws! Both of my sisters have married very different men.....but both have such a great sense of humor.....in different ways! I can be around both and just laugh my head off! One of Gods great gifts to us is humor and laughter. I wish we could put my two very funny bother in laws in with my very funny husband all at the same time......honestly I don't know if my bladder could handle it! I am so thankful that God gave us ALL great and funny husbands!
Day 354: Today I praise God for the opportunities that He has given me that could only come from Him! God gave me the chance to go and visit my sister in Malibu.....Me.....Country girl with my Country man and daughter.....in MALIBU! Hehehe......God is so good! He put certain opportunities in front of me and gave us the ability to go.....when really there should have been no way...and for that, I can't thank Him enough!
Day 355: Today I praise God for a safe day of travel and a blessed day of reunion! We started the day quite early.......5:00 early, and we did not stop until about 1:00 a.m. California time (that is 4:00 home time)! The plane ride was about 5 hours and a bit bumpy....but relatively uneventful....except for Chris.....he was on the isle seat with a jack in the box......hehehe! Once we arrived, we were met by Rob, my brother in law at the airport for the ride to the BU! I could hardly wait to see Luisa.....and Will.....and of course Rob too, but we were with him! It has been three very long years since we have seen them and I have missed them with all that is in me! The hugs when we arrived were PRICELESS! Will has grown so tall.....and turned into a young man for what seemed to me overnight! We had a wonderful evening eating diner across from the beach......almost getting run over (well, technically Rob almost hit Will....hehehe...not really but we gave him a hard time about it!), and catching up for hours! I was so greatly blessed and I praise God!
Day 356: Today I praise God for one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen! I praise Him for way more than that, but this was how my day started! I was first up, and my camera was quickly picked up! The colors were spectacular and they changed minute by minute! I posted the collage of pics I took from that morning.....and I have to tell you, very little editing was done! We had a wonderful first full day that was full of surfing, food, fellowship and FUN!!!!
Day 357: Today I praise God for the opportunity to Worship with the Shearer family! The church that Luisa, Rob and Will go to is a church on the beautiful campus of Pepperdine. We went to Church and we shared communion in celebration of the birth of Christ. They do their music accapella......which we all know I love! At some points in the music there was a beautiful four part harmony coming through! Will and Rob were both ushers and it made me quite proud to see them serving in the church. Their pastor is from Australia and he had a lovely accent as he preached the Word of God. When we let out, we had the chance to see part of the campus that you can't see from the road......and it was magnificent! God has really blessed Rob and Luisa with this job and their incredible home with one of the most stunning views I have ever seen! (I was trying not to covet my sister while there.......hehehe.....but I am sooooo happy for them and the beauty God has surrounded them with!) It was another incredible day and I was sooooooo blessed!
Praise Day 358: Today I praise God for the rain on this lovely Christmas Eve! Now, Luisa was terribly disappointed because it was raining, but we did not mind at all! It rained on and off several of the days we were there so I was not able to get pictures of the views since they were mostly in the clouds.....but to me....it did not stop the beauty! Because they have so little rain there, when it does.....the grass becomes the most beautiful green! They have deer that just walk around campus and don't run when they see you! We had another wonderful day of surfing, food and fun.....all while realizing how incredibly blessed we are!
Praise Day 359: Today I praise God for the Birthday of His Son Jesus! From the moment we woke up til the moment we went to bed......we celebrated! Luisa stared the day with her Happy Birthday hat and dance as we celebrated the birth of our Savior! It was one of the most incredible Christmases I have ever had.........and it revolved around celebrating with very few gifts that were monetary, but full of Christmas Merriment and Cheer! We played ping pong on the dining room table, a game that required teams and guessing (in other words, I forgot the name of the game, but it was fun!), an incredible steak, mashed potatoes and green bean dinner.......and watching CHRIS surf! I could not have been any more blessed, other than to have my WHOLE family with me! God is so great!
Praise Day 360: Today I praise God for a day that meant so much to Chris! Today Chris, Rob, Will and Chelsea went on a hike through the mountains to go see the location of the set where MASH was filmed! This was one of Chris's favorite shows and the set where the outdoors portions of the show were filmed was just a short drive away from where Luisa and Rob live. There were still parts of the set left like the signs and a few ambulances that were there. They all had a blast and were aptly whooped from the hike! This was one thing he really wanted to do, and God worked it all out!
Praise Day 361: Today I praise God for getting to see several different parts of California including Santa Barbara where Will goes to College, and downtown Santa Monica! Now, truth be told, I think we did some of this on different days, but we did so much I could not keep up with when it actually happened! In saying this, the one thing I am so thankful for is that I was able to see an incredibly beautiful school and know that my nephew is so happy in where God has led him to continue his education! Will is a wonderful young man and I know that God is going to use him greatly! Downtown Santa Monica is also a beautiful place! I have been so many different places in the US and in South America......and one thing I know for sure.......God has created such a beautiful world! I have seen sights that boast of the beauty of our God! He has blessed us beyond measure and although different areas can be vastly different.....they ALL have a beauty if you just open your eyes......and your heart! Even places that are not necessarily visually beautiful, you can see beautiful people with beautiful hearts! There is also a lot of ugly in our world, both visually and in some peoples hearts......but ALWAYS look for the beauty.....it IS there! Oh how blessed we are!
Praise Day 362: Today I praise God for a safe trip home and a chance to see ALL of our children and grandchildren all in the same day! The trip home was great, it just started really early......and my heart was sad at the same time because I had to leave my sisters family again, but God is good and gave us the chance to see each of our children, their spouses, and grandchildren! I have missed them so much and Christmas is coming a bit late with them., but it is coming tomorrow!!!! They are each so wonderful, beautiful, loving, and special in so many ways! We love our family and God just keeps on blessing us with an ability to see them and spend time with them! Today was a long and tiring day......full of emotion.....and full of blessing!!! May God bless you all and thank you for your patience with me as I caught up! Please do be praying about sharing your testimony for the 365 Days of Testimony starting on January 1, 2013! God is going to use it in a really big way......so please consider being used by God in a VERY special way! Just let me know if you need more in
Here is a pic of Tanner performing in his schools Christmas play! I am so thankful for my precious grandchildren and each ones unique personalities and talents! Tanner has always done such a wonderful job performing in front of other people! Today the kids sang several songs......and it was BEAUTIFUL!!! I have been blessed to see each of his plays and events that he has at school.....and that is one of the biggest praises that I love and look forward to! After the play......we went to the car wash and gave me beautiful car a nice bath with tender loving care from the workers who help! It was a blessed day......and I am thankful!!!
Today as I was working on laundry, I was reminded of the days when it was not quite so simple. We have always had a washer and dryer, but the condition was not always wonderful. I will never forget the day that Bud and Carolyn blessed Chris and I with a brand new washer and dryer! That was an incredible day. When we moved into our new house, the laundry room was in the basement....not exactly convenient.....but I had one! I always remember thinking, (especially when I got behind and took the big stuff with the other stuff to the laundry matt and got it done all at once), I really wish I had a triple loader at home! Then.......years later.......I got one! Well, not a triple loader.......but a beautiful front loader that held anything and everything I had! I just was thinking.....in Honduras.....they use concrete washboards in a big ole concrete sinky thingy! Chelsea actually used one when she was there for 3 months......and it was so funny! I praise God for my washer and dryer......no matter what kind I have!!!
Today when we checked the mail, there were several CHRISTmas Cards! It is so encouraging to get cards that lift up the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Getting the cards with beautiful pictures and incredible scripture is a joy and a wonderful reminder that the birth of Jesus is the most incredible miracle performed! It is sad that Christmas has become so commercialized and often brings out the greediness that can come from deep within our hearts. Although it may not seem like it.....less, well.....it is more! The more we get, the more we expect, the more we expect, the more we are let down when we don't get what we expect. Is this really what Christmas is supposed to be about? Wow, I seem to have gotten off track, but I have to say that God has really shown me over the years what Christmas is really about! Christmas is about Jesus first and foremost! The beautiful, miraculous virgin birth with God as His Father! Christmas is about LOVE! Love for Jesus.....love for mankind.....love of family......love in every way, for God loved us so much that He sent His Son! Christmas is about family......not just family giving presence and eating together.......but about family and their love of God and their love for each other! Christmas.......well......it is just flat out about Christ, after all, it is CHRISTmas! I am so blessed with friends and f
Today God blessed me with a photo shoot that was with and old friend from High School and her very special family!!! My praise today really revolves around how incredibly God works. I know that a lot of times, FB has been a tool that brings about anger, hurt and pain, however I have found in my case that the majority of what I use it for......has been such a great blessing from God! If it had not been for the way God has used it for me, I would probably never reconnected with this precious woman of God! We have connected of several different levels....one of them being our connection to Mercy Ministries......although for different reasons, it was one more thing we found in common! She so graciously contacted me about doing a Christmas photo shoot with her family......and extended family and I have to tell you......I had a blast! It was so nice to meet everyone, and to look through the lens of my camera and feel the precious hearts that I saw through the lens. I was nervous because indoor pics are not my specialty, but she had faith that God would guide and direct me as I took the pics! I am so privileged to have reconnected with people from my past and I pray that they will see the work God has done in my heart........and the love that I have for them and so many others! God is so incredibly precise in everything He does and sometimes for a season things don't always make sense......but eventually His plan starts fitting together and making sense! I know He has put us together for a reason.......and I can't wait to see how God is going to place all these pieces together for HIS Glory! I am soooooooooo blessed!!! May God bless you greatly today!!!!
Praise Day 347: Today I praise God for two things.......people who are willing to lay down their lives for their brothers........and consequences of sin that lead to redemption!
I am sitting her with my fingers on the keyboard just trying to think of how to start this Praise. I wanted to put a picture that would leave you with a peaceful feeling, and this was the first one I found as I looked in my files. I could not read what it said, but as I enlarged it, I could only sit here in awe knowing that this was chosen by God......not by me! The picture itself brings peace to my heart as I contemplate what to write about the first part of my praise. I re-posted a story today about a young teacher who hid her children in closets in her classroom and told the gunman that they were somewhere else......he then shot her, but her kids were safe. The principal of the school dove at him trying to stop him from hurting anyone, but she was shot and died as well. These were two of the wonderful people who gave their lives trying to protect the children. They laid down their lives for their brother........and it was just second nature to them, I am pretty sure they responded without even considering the possible consequence because there was no other option but to do what is right, honorable and true! It is times like these that you see the best and worst of people. I praise God for their love.......and for their sacrifice! The next part of my praise falls perfectly into the scripture on the picture! Tonight I went to go visit a young man in jail that I have known since he was very young. Due to some bad decisions, he will be headed to prison for two years. We talked about many things, but the one thing that gave me hope was him telling me that he did what he did for money because growing up he had none........then through illegal activity he had more than he ever could have imagined.......and now he has none..........BUT, after learning some very had life lessons......he would rather have no money than to have money and pay the price for what it does to you! This showed me that there is hope......he wants to follow the ways of the Lord and he wants to turn things around........and yet in the past the money was running his life through his decisions. I heard the shame in his voice and I saw it in his eyes. I hope that the one thing he took away from this visit was that God is a God of redemption! I told him that getting caught was actually a gift because it is through the consequences that we can truly find redemption! It is through the pain and shame of sin that has been realized and dealt with (in the Lord) that our testimony starts to be built. The beautiful scars are reminders of Gods perfect grace that we get freely because of HIS sacrifice! I will continue to pray for my young friend and I don't want to share his name with you at this time, but I will ask you to pray for this friend of our family! Pray for Gods protection as he goes into the Prison system.....pray for true repentance and realization of Gods love, grace and peace! Pray that He will find healing for addiction and that one day he will be able to share with others what he has learned! I am so thankful that I got to visit him before he goes away for a while.....my heart is broken, but it is also hopeful that God will transform his very precious life! What a MIGHTY GOD
Today was a wonderfully blessed day that I got to spend with Chelsea Bell. Chelsea has been a part of our lives now for just over three years and she is a blessing to us. First we went to Stonecrest Mall and took some cute Christmas pics of Chelsea for her Christmas Cards. Devon was with us and he was excited to see some of the Christmas decorations.......and especially the train! We then dropped Devon to his dad and proceeded to McDonalds to eat and use the internet to order the cards. We had quite the blast as we ate, talked, edited, created and ordered cards from Sams. After we were done we went on over to Sams to pic up the cards.......only to find out that the order went through......but had not gone through to the Sams there yet. We had fun as we killed time in Sams......way too many great things to look at! After the pics were done we came on home and she went back to her house. All this to say........God has truly given me so many great friends......young and old! Chelsea Bell, like so many other younguns, is like one of my own.......and I love it that God has blessed me with so many! It feels so good to laugh and to have such a fun day! I am thankful for the beauty of friendship, and for the joy that ensues when you allow it to! I praise God for loving us so much that He provides me with days like to day! (p.s. and mom and dad are here visiting.....that makes my day complete!)
I am a fun loving Honeygram, wife and mother who loves Jesus with my whole heart! If you have any questions.....just ask me and I will do what I can to answer them! May God Bless You All!