Who Needs Refreshing?

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Been thinking a lot about being refreshed this week. Probably because my daughter and I painted the kids' bathroom on Tuesday while they were out of school.

Walls need refreshing every so often. Especially when they have have covered with flat paint. A kids' bathroom of all places really needs a little gloss in order to look clean.

Otherwise, every splash of water will run down the wall and leave marks. Every scuff from every toy that has been dragged across the wall leaves its bold mark. And when one tries to clean a wall with flat paint...well, sometimes the paint comes off  along with the dirt.

So this week we made a refreshing change from dull, flat, dirty blue to bright, glossy, warm, vibrant orange!

And that evening, after we had worked tirelessly all day, I was wiped out.

Looking forward to crashing in my bed for a long night of slumber, instead I came down with a nasty stomach bug! I was up half the night, praying for it to stop...

And my husband has been out of town all week! So I was on my own with 3 kids. Thankfully, they did not have school the next day. However, my daughter did have a morning orthodontist appointment.

So who do I call when I need help? Mom and Dad.

My dad took my daughter to her appointment and my mom brought the necessary supplies to refresh the sick - ginger ale, chicken broth.

She also generously provided me with baked potatoes, bananas, and cans of chicken noodle soup for when my body was ready to endure more solid food.

A blessing from God, no one could have better parents. Looking back over my life, they have always been there when I need them.

How well I remember when I was a single mom with a toddler and a newborn, they were there. They were my support system. Help was, and still is, only a phone call away.

However, it made me think about others who may not have a good support system. My husband has been traveling a lot more over the last couple of weeks and I am reminded of what it feels like to be a single mom.

Perhaps God is allowing me to continue to taste the single mom life for a reason. It has become a distant memory for me, but I do not ever want to lose compassion for those who are struggling in this area.

I pray that instead of being dull like worn, flat paint, God will instead wake me up and give me fresh, bright eyes. Show me who needs refreshing. Direct me to reach out to someone who could use a little support.

How about you? Is God putting someone on your heart that may need some refreshment? We all know widows, single moms, and those suffering with an illness.

Life is busy and I am just as guilty as the next person for staying wrapped up in my own busyness, but let's be there for our sisters. Let's ask our Father in Heaven who we may refresh this week.

And in doing so, may we all be refreshed!

For His Glory,

Give Me New Eyes

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matthew 2:3 (NIV)

Taking down Christmas decorations is not my favorite thing. The excitement and anticipation makes getting them out, so much more fun than putting them away.

And every year it never fails that I leave some piece of Christmas decor out, after I have already put the others away. You know, after a month or so, I've just gotten so used to seeing the decorations that they begin to look normal in their place. A day or two later I will find an item that I accidentally left out which should have gone back in a box.

I was feeling quite proud of myself this year because I didn't think I had made that mistake. Having been under the weather with a sinus infection the week after Christmas, I didn't take my tree and decorations down until this past weekend. Finally, with my children's help, everything was hidden away in the closet and/or basement by Saturday evening. And I breathed a huge sigh of relief!

Funny then how critical I seemed to be on Sunday morning of other people's outside decorations. Wow, they really need to get those down! We're already a week into January, I thought.

I even made a comment as we pulled around the last curve on our road and began to turn into our driveway when...GASP!!!

What was that???

A red and green "Merry Christmas, Y'all!" was still magnetized to our mailbox!

How had I missed it? I was so certain I had taken care of all of my stuff! I was immediately embarrassed. Especially because it was showing on the outside!

Everyone who passed by our house could have said the exact same thing I had been saying about others. Perhaps a little something like, "It's January, Y'all! Time to take down the Christmas decorations!"

Made me think of the above verse and I felt a little convicted to say the least. So, I am asking God to give me new eyes for the new year.

How much of my own "stuff" shows on the outside that I never notice? Yet I can so easily spot other people's "stuff" that I believe needs attention.

How about you? Are we often times quick to judge others with a critical spirit? We don't always know what another individual is going through.

Heavenly Father, forgive me. Give me new eyes to see my own faults - to examine my own "house and yard" rather than my neighbor's, and put away any behavior that it unpleasing to You. May I become much quicker to confess and repent of the wrong that I do, rather than passing judgment.

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:2 (NIV)

Don't Ever Quit - Keep it Simple

January 7, 2012

A couple of days ago, I shared on my FB page my verse/passage for 2012.

2 Timothy 4 (The Message)

I can't impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don't ever quit. Just keep it simple. (verses 1-2) But you - keep your eye on what you're doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God's servant. (verse 5)

I must confess that after sharing on here in September that I had written my last blog post for a while, I felt relieved. As a busy mom with 3 kids and many domestic jobs that needed tending to (and still do!) it seemed best to give up blogging altogether.

Let's be honest. We have seasons in life when we are busier than others and I was putting too much pressure on myself. I believed that if I could not keep up by posting multiple times/week (as I had one time heard at a conference) I should just quit.

In fact, can I just be really honest and say that I beat myself up about a lot of things last year. Hardly keeping it simple. And I would be willing to bet that I'm not alone there.

The truth is I love to write. I may not do it every week, but when I do, I enjoy it. When God lays a verse, or a message on my heart and gives me something to share, why not?

So, in 2012, I'm making a fresh start! If you're following along, don't expect a new blog post every day or even every week, especially during baseball season! ;) But I will continue to proclaim the Message; challenge, warn, and urge; and try my best to do the thorough work of God's servant.

After all, Jesus could break through the clouds at any time and call us up in the air! (1 Thessalonians 4) And I would really hate for Him to say to me, "Hey, why did you quit?"

What about you? Is there a verse you're claiming this year? Maybe you're like me and need to stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Is there something you were at one time doing for God's Kingdom, a talent perhaps, that you have stopped? Maybe it's time for some prayer and self-evaluation. Could He be nudging you to simply read His Word more, attend church more regularly, or even find a church home?

Let's thank God for the fresh start He gives us each day and for His forgiveness when we mess up or get off track with His plan. Let's try to remember what's really important and just to keep it simple.

And whatever you do, don't ever quit!

May God bless you beyond measure this year!!!


(c) 2012 Christy Long.