Two Tiaras and a Sword

Monday, January 1, 2018

Shhhh.

Do me a favor.  Stop for just a minute.  Sit still, and listen.  Just listen.  Think about what you hear.  It's okay.  I will wait.








So, what did you hear?  I hear the hum of the hairdryer as my daughter dries her hair.  I also hear the sounds of cars going by, and my two favorite men having a conversation downstairs.

For several months now, God has been working on my heart about picking my new word for 2018.  It started very subtly at first.  But the push toward this one word has become stronger and stronger in the past few weeks and days.  I thought about this word earlier in the year as I read books on the words we say and how we say them.  Thoughts of the same word surfaced more recently as I read about humility and how to have more of it in my life.  I thought about this word a lot and most recently as I pressed through the "busy" of the holiday season.

I asked my Facebook friends to humor me in a post yesterday.  I asked them to do as I asked you at the beginning of this blog.  To sit still for a few seconds and to share with me what they could hear.  I had about 30 different people respond.  Out of those who did respond, several mentioned hearing music, or the television, or the voices of loved ones.  Others mentioned things like ice makers, refrigerators, washing machines, and the sound of air from heaters.  Some mentioned husbands working or snoring.  Others heard the sound of loved ones helping someone.  Several mentioned the sounds that their pets were making.  But just as I had suspected.  No one mentioned the word that has been pressed by God on my heart. Well, one friend used my word to describe a sound that she heard, but no one only used my word.

We live in a noisy world.  There is activity and sound going on all around us constantly.  Did you know that noise is scientifically proven to raise blood pressure and stress levels?  My niece bought a game called Hearing Things.  It came with earphones for one player to wear while the other player read a phrase from a card.  The player with the earphones was supposed to try to figure out what the other player was reading from the card.  The earphones played a loud "crowd" type noise to keep the wearer from hearing what the other player was saying, and to cause them to depend only on lip reading skills to win the game.  Many of us had trouble getting past the distraction of the noise coming through the earphones in order to be able to focus on what was important - figuring out what the other player was saying - in order to win the game.

I think that Satan often uses noise to distract us from what is important.  I have read several articles on the benefits of just being quiet.  Many mention the health benefits.  One surprising benefit is that being quiet actually grows new brain cells - who knew!?!  And who of us would not benefit from new brain cells?  Quiet also helps with creativity.  Brain cells and creativity are a couple of things I feel I have been running short on for a few years now.

So, if you haven't figured it out by now.  My word for 2018, is quiet.  I plan to try to intentionally schedule some into every day.  I plan to quiet the noise around me.  I plan to "Be still" and "know" that He is God (Psalm 46:10).  I plan to tune out the world's noise, and to listen for what is important - His still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).

I also plan to work on quieting the noise within.  I'm really good at belittling myself.  I'm really good at beating myself up.  I'm really good at blaming myself.  I want to hear, and believe what God wants me to hear and believe.  I want to hear who He says that I am and soak it all in, instead of listening to the lies of Satan.  I want to hear His forgiveness and mercy instead of my self condemnation.  I want my identity to be in Him alone.  But to this, I must quiet the noise within.

I also want to work more on being quiet myself. I do not have to say everything that is on my heart or mind.  I have tried to practice this lately.  I have amusingly found that others have plenty to say.  So when I am quiet, there is usually someone to fill in the void.  I want my words to have an impact.  I want to say things that matter.  I am working on quality, not quantity, when it comes to sharing my words and what is on my heart.

So, in my very informal Facebook survey, no one said that they just heard quiet.  But guess what I hear now?  Quiet.  Since I started writing, everyone else has left the house with things to do.  I am home alone getting over the flu.  And I hear quiet.  And since that is the word that God has impressed on me to be the focus of 2018, and has provided me with the opportunity to start now, I am going to take it.  My prayer is that you too, are intentional about adding more quiet to your life this year.

Happy New Year!  I pray that you grow closer to God this year than ever before!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful Thursday 11/23/17

Certainly not an exhaustive list, because there are millions of things to be thankful for, but these are some of the things that stood out this week.

*A sweet friend who helped us by watching the Youngest Princess

*Two awesome ladies who worked together and subbed for me 

*Safe travels

*An exciting day for the Young Prince

*A chance to see a sweet “frienb” and spend a little time together

*Another great friend who kept the Youngest Princess after school

*Safe travels home

*Time to catch up on laundry

*Steps taken for the future

*A great (long overdue) talk with the Oldest Princess

*A great day in the house of the Lord - worshipping, learning and growing with a great group of people.

*A dinner with good friends

*A fun time for The Youngest Princess

*Time together around the fire pit

*A warm home 

*Quiet time and a lunch date for my Prince and I

*Safe travels for the Oldest Princess

*An answer to prayer

*Chances to work on some of the things God is    speaking to my heart about

*Family time with all of my children 

*Strength, when mine is all gone

*Calls and texts and Facebook posts from family and friends that brighten my day

*Seeing my children practice discernment 

*Acts of service that show love

*A happy, blessed, family filled day

*Playing in the yard with the kids

*S’mores and fire pits 

For all these things, and many many more, I am Thankful to the Lord.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thankful Thursday 11/16/17

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

*For safe travels for the Oldest Princess

*For a fun day irking with the Oldest Princess

*For my wonderful Prince who steps in and helps when I need him

*For the Youngest Princess getting to play a little in the first basketball game

*For the joy of watching the Youngest Princess cheer

*For a fun dinner out with my family

*For a quiet evening to work on a project after a loooong busy day

*For rest

*For time together for the whole family

*For little ones full of energy that bless my heart with their childlike faith

*For teamwork 

*For my girls sitting with me in church 

*For a great opportunity for the Young Prince

*For special times sharing and growing with ladies I love

*For people who show they care in big and in small ways

*For a much needed purchase, made possible by a generous donation

*For a fun evening with My Prince and the Youngest Princess

*For the Holy Spirit who guides me and helps me when my flesh is weak

*For the prayers of my Prince when I need backup 

*For being able to see the Youngest Princess cheer again

*For am answer to prayer

*For the privilege to help someone I love

*For a great book that is cutting me to the core and teaching me hard but much needed things

*For conversations that go beyond surface topics and drive me to think deeply

*For medicines that help the symptoms of allergies and allergic reactions 

*For hope

*For grace

*For health

*For laughter

*For unconditional love

*For God’s hand of protection for the Youngest Princess

For all these things, any many, many more, I am thankful to the Lord.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thankful Thursday 11/9/17

Some of the things that I am thankful for this week:

*That my works (which are pitiful), do not save me, but that Jesus' work on the cross is my salvation

*A fun evening out with a friend

*Words spoken by the Youngest Princess that my soul needed to hear

*Reconciliation

*A good solid night's rest

*A week that went by really fast

*A relaxed day at home

*A great morning with lots of people I love

*Enough food so that I could have a second plate - after accidentally dumping my first

*People who care enough to let us know they care

*An extravagant gift from special friends

*A chance to celebrate a life long lived

*A great hug from a sweet lady along with words that warmed my heart

*A great lesson taught by a sweet student

*The privilege of watching the Youngest Princess cheer

*A reminder that I am not alone - even though Satan would have me believe that I am

*Heart to heart talks with both my girls

*People and situations that God has put in our lives that cause us to seek Him more, and grow to be more like Him

*Chances to teach my girls about dealing with others/life situations in a godly manner

*The Holy Spirit who leads, guides and helps when I depend on Him

*A job where I get to work with children that I love and help them to grow mentally and spiritually each day

*A chance to sit down with ladies I love and talk about how God worked in our lives through reading and applying His Word throughout our week 

*A hard working husband who is out of this world wonderful

*Encouragement from the Lord in many shapes and forms 

And these are just a few things that stood out this week.  There are innumerable more things that I could add to the list.  God is SO good!  And I am thankful for all of His many, many blessings!







Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thankful Thursday - November 2, 2017

*A very special note from a very special person  

*A sweet surprise left on our porch

*Words spoken that I will treasure in my heart forever.

*A time of fellowship with good friends

*An unexpected blessing

*A quiet night at home with my Prince and the Youngest Princess

We have so very much to be thankful for!  Blessing abound everywhere in many different ways.  Take time to count some of your blessings this week, and she how quickly they add up.

*A surprise pulled off without a hitch

*For an exciting evening for family members

*For a win for two hometown teams

*A restful day at home 

*For safe travels for the Oldest Princess

*For the chance for us all to be together even if for a short time

*Fun times with a good friend and some awesome kindergarten students learning about God's Word

*A friend who kept her word, got out of her comfort zone, and warmed my heart with her gesture of kindness

*A good service with two baptisms

*Lunch with my two favorite guys - My Prince and the Young Prince

*Good friends who are gracious and kind to offer help

*For rest for the Youngest Princess

*For a thoughtful gift that made my day

*For friends who pray when I call on them

*For God's hand at work

*For a service opportunity, and fun times with friends old and new

*For a long talk with the Oldest Princess

*For laughter with my family

*For meeting new friends and learning their life story 

*For a Championship for my hometown team

*For a couple of chances to encourage the Youngest Princess

*For the encouragement of friends

*For communication

*For an answer to prayer

*For a hope for the future

I am so thankful to the Lord for these things and of course many more.  His goodness is overwhelming!  Praising Him today for all He is, all He has done, and all He is going to do.  





Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thankful Thursday 10/26/17

* For a long awaited day finally come

* For time with my favorite man

* For great food and warm fellowship

* For rest

* For a chance to share the Gospel with those hungry to learn it

* For the chance to hold a precious little one

* For the opportunity to serve and love on some sweet little ones in the church nursery

* For a new family joining our church

* For family and time together

* For lightbulb learning moments for my students

* For character growing moments for my students

* For people, places, things, and circumstances - both "comfortable" and "uncomfortable", that God used to grow and stretch me this week.

* For the Holy Spirit who leads and guides and helps and comforts

* For a physical reminder that I'm not completely self sufficient

* For the privilege of prayer and the blessing of praying friends

* For answered prayers

* For thoughtful things that made me smile

* For a reminder to keep my focus on what matters in the light of eternity

* For simple words spoken from a loving heart that were balm to a deep hurt

* For a renewed love for what I do

* For laughter

* For beautiful sunsets

* For one on one time with my girl

* For early morning quiet time

* For a yummy free dessert

* For confirmation on something my heart really needed confirmation on

* For safe travels for several people we know and love

 * For cooler, fire pit weather, and the conversations that come with such

* For roasted marshmallows, and hot chocolate

*For fun rivalries

* For another year of life for a good friend

* For people with a sense of humor

* For a husband who loves me way more than I deserve

For all these things and many, many more, I am thankful to the Lord!  It has been a week of lessons from the Lord straight to my heart.  How thankful I am that He does not give up on me, even when I am stubborn.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Thankful Thursday 9/14

Thankful Thursday - On Friday.  Yesterday was packed, with us running from one activity to another, and I woke up this morning realizing that I had let yesterday slurp away without posting my Thankful Thursday.  So, without any more delay, here are a few of the things that stood out this week that I am thankful for...

*Great news from a far country

*An evening and a movie at home with the Youngest Princess 

*A beautiful day 

*Not one, but two buckets of Sunflower seeds

*A Facebook post that opened up a ministry opportunity 

*An awesome FaceTime chat with the Young Prince

*Another ministry opportunity due to Irma

*Awesome church members who jump in an pitch in to help 

*New friends

*A sweet gift of appreciation 

*Getting everything done

*A good report from the dentist

*A good day for a friend I've been praying for

*A chance to help the Oldest Princess (and the fact that she asked for my help)

*Sunshine

*A friend who is willing to help 

*One week closer to seeing the Oldest Princess and the Young Prince

*An amazing husband who spoils me way too much