Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good Bye 2013! Hello 2014

You shall not go out with haste....for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:12

Security from Yesterday. At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays.  Our present enjoyment of God's grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday's sins and blunders.  But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.
Oswald Chambers

Security for Tomorrow. This is a gracious revelation - that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our "rear guard."
Oswald Chambers

Security for Today.  As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be with the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtfulness.  But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future.
Oswald Chambers

I leave 2013 with the words from Utmost for His Highest.  They seemed to wrap up my year in the words I couldn't find.  My blogging year has been up and down.  Who knows what 2014 will hold.  I want to say...Thanks! your words, your prayers, your cheers and rejoicing with me, they have been priceless.  Blessings to you and yours in 2014!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Shoes, More Importantly, Walking in Them

Last January, I posted that my accessory for the year was shoes.  I was in need of shoes.  Shoes had been an area of my wardrobe I had sorely neglected.  Did you know that the shoes you wear to an interview can make or break the deal for your hiring?  I had no clue that shoes could say that much to other people and, to be honest, I didn't care.

This past year, shoes were added to my closet.  My dear friend (aka. Ethel!) bought me my first pair of new shoes for the year.  I posted them on the header of my blog, and (below) those shoes are a train track leading to who-knows-where... prophetically, that train track became my year.

In March, I bought some shoes for our daughter's wedding at a huge savings.  In the summer, I bought tennis shoes for my cleaning business.  In August, I bought wedding shoes for our son's wedding in Italy.  I also bought shoes to walk the cobblestone streets of Florence and Rome.

My first pair of shoes became my designer shoes. I would step into them before a meeting with a client.  Of course, my friend "the buyer" (aka.Ethel!) is also a designer, so I felt she was going with me when I stepped back into this business.

As I thought about my shoes from this past year and where they have taken me, I had to stop.  It wasn't the shoes that God wanted me to focus on, it was the lesson. I now have "walked in other peoples' shoes," understanding things I could have never understood before this year.

I have now walked in shoes of poverty.  I now know what it is like to find a charity in order to keep the electricity on for your family.  I now know what it is like to have food from a food pantry or government-provided assistance for food.  I now know what it is like to be at the receiving end from the wonderful Body of Christ...people who put their hands and feet to their faith. I now know what it is like to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" and literally know that verse. I now know what it is like to be in such need that you couldn't imagine life ever getting better.  I now know what it feels like to want to walk away from your marriage, because it is all too much to handle.  I now know how to empathize, not just sympathize... because I have walked in other peoples' shoes.

More than the look of my shoes....interview or not, I have stood in my shoes before my Savior.  I have felt what others have felt. I know what it is like to go through a long period of financial hardship.  I know what it is like to see some light at the end of the tunnel, yet still wonder if the next thing coming will crush you.

I thought my shoes were to adorn my feet, but that isn't the lesson God had for me at the end of the year. My real accessory was for my heart.  God wanted my feet to learn how to walk in areas I had never been, so that I can minister to others in ways I never could have before.  He wanted me to meet Him in a new way... Jehovah Jireh.

I will never look at shoes in the same way.  I pray my interviewer (God) feels I am ready for the job.

Ephesians 6:15 ESV / 

And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Did I Pick Those Words?

I glanced back at my post for January of 2013. (  http://janettessage.blogspot.com/2013/01/reflections-in-rear-view-mirror.html )  I was stunned.  Did I really pick those words for the new year and that accessory?  I sure did! God must have been smiling when He saw me type out the words - Transition and Joy, with shoes for my accessory.  My mind went off with how those words were literally walked out in 2013.  I will be back to ponder the manifestations of those words, while looking forward to the word God has already given me for 2014.  After last year, I know I will not be able to comprehend how my new word will play out in 2014.  So this week I put away all my business supplies, stop and grab my cooking supplies, to go enjoy making cookies with Benjamin. This Christmas season, with all my jobs, has been very short and I am determined to not short change my last born child.

Merry Christmas to you all from our family and our unreal year 2013!!!
I bow in awe at the manger, but lift all my hope in the cross and His resurrection.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Tis the Season for Good Movies

I am not a big movie goer, but I do love a good movie.  This time of year I always watch for something that is worth the price of the ticket.  We started a tradition when the children were little.  After our huge Christmas morning and Christmas lunch, we would all pile in the car and go see a movie.  This one movie was the only movie we usually all saw together each year.  We have seen all three Toy Story Movies, as our Christmas movie and again this year I looked for one that ages 59 to 7 would enjoy.  We will be seeing Walt Disney's  Saving Mr Banks.

Yet there is always a seasonal movie that I pick out for myself.  If I don't see it during the holidays, I see it for my birthday the first part of January. This year we had a date and saw a wonderful movie during Thanksgiving break.  A movie that keeps me thinking for weeks is worth the $8.00 ticket price.  This by far was worth the price and I will buy a copy.  I will not spoil the movie or book for you. I will just say, it is a must see.

The Book Thief

Have you seen a movie lately that has impacted and inspired you?  I will be reading the book this movie is based on.  I was so moved, once again, by the power of the written word. Truly inspiring.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The WAX Hit the Wall

Combine cold weather, no school, lots of energy, cabin fever, all building up in a seven-year-old Texas boy, and you just might get a combination that becomes explosive.  Such was the combination on our first round of winter weather.

Bouncing through the game room with excessive energy, my son heard my voice repeatedly say, "calm down, don't throw that, find something to do."  His energized ears became deaf to my commands.  Nothing he was doing was very harmful...just tossing a bean bag type pillow up and down in the air.  I was repeating what all mothers say, "don't throw things in the house, you might break something."

Strolling downstairs to fix dinner I heard the voice. "Mom I am soooooooooo sorry.  I didn't mean to do it!"

What was "IT"?

The small, "Cars" bean bag pillow went sailing through the air.  It should have harmlessly made it across the stairs opening to land softly on the ground, had it not first clipped the edge of my Scentsy, melted wax-filled dish.  Who knew such little wax could hit so many surfaces?

I came up the stairs. To my horror, there were four walls dotted with red wax, carpet dotted with wax, the trim of a picture covered with wax, the frame around a mirror turned red and both stair handrails coated with red wax!

It was one of those times where you breathe in very slowly, as not to implode or explode.

My "can-make-lemonade-out-of-lemons" son said, "I think I like the mirror better that way!  I will help clean it up."

Then started the lesson for both of us.  He began to say over and over and over again, "Mom, it was just an accident."  I began saying over and over again, "this was disobedience."

As we started attacking the cleanup, I continued to teach my son and myself.  There are reasons for obedience that we can't see.  An accident isn't an accident when you were told NOT to do something.  He asked when things would be "back to normal"?  To be truthful, the reality is that things don't go back to "normal" after our sin... there are always consequences for our sins.  We might remove the evidence of the sin and be forgiven for it, but the scars of the sin remain.

As my older son and I literally ironed the wax from the wall, I went back in time.   The Lord reminded me that this lesson is one that my youngest son and I will continue to have to learn.  It began in the Garden of Eden.

Gen. 3

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?
12 The man said, The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.

How many times do I excuse my own sin?  How often do I  justify my own sin?  How many times do I call something by another name, instead of admitting it is sin?

We cleaned most of the wax off the walls... and carpet... and mirror... and picture frame... and hand railings. There is still some in a corner, the hard to reach place that shows evidence of disobedience. I think I will leave it for awhile...it is right beside my mirror that says "Courage.  Jesus died for my sins".  His blood did it all.  It takes courage to repent and allow His blood to cleanse me of my sins.  I did nothing.  It is His gift.

Pretty good lesson for this time of the year.  This past year has shown me my heart.  Not all of it has been good....and I too, have made excuses for my sin.

(cleaning hint - you iron the wax off the wall with an iron and paper bag over the wax...you freeze the wax on the carpet and then iron it off the carpet as well - the paper bag lifts the wax right off!... first time for this Mom... and hopefully the ONLY time!)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What Can Happen in a Year?

I couldn't have ever imagined our year would have been so fully packed.  How could I have ever imagined what all would be in store for 2013?  Thank you, God, for not allowing me to see the road ahead.

Look at my header.  Somehow I picked pictures that would walk me through a year in which I had no idea of the fullness that awaited me.

November 2012 - Announcements of two of our children's engagements
                             Announcement of the process of adoption to begin for my first Grandbaby

November 2013 - Both adult children were married - March 3, 2013
                                                                                  September 1, 2013
                             Joshua was brought into the family - March 2013
                             Pregnancies were announced for daughter-in-law and daughter - March 2013
                             Both grandsons were born 2 days apart - November 16th and 18th, 2013!

We added five family members in one year.  We supernaturally survived seven months of unemployment.  We attended the weddings of both of our children, one in Italy.  I saw my grandsons at birth or minutes later.  I had my heart won over by a little guy who will always be my first grandchild...Joshua.

My blog header shows shoes and a road where you can't see the ending.  I am walking in many new shoes and still not clear where I am headed.  If 2013 has taught me anything, it has taught me that sometimes life just holds more than we could ever imagine.  My God is a faithful God who knows when holding back information is one the greatest love gifts He can give His daughter.  I end the Thanksgiving season with an overflowing heart.  I enter the Christmas season with a humble heart, gratefully kneeling before the King of Kings.

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