Wednesday, August 16, 2017

God's Perfect Timing ~ Always

I am always amazed how the Lord puts things in my path 
to remind me over and over that He is in control
ALL the TIME!!

This morning the picture below showed up on my Facebook feed.
This was after I had walked the circle,
talking to the Lord about why little things seemed to be really 
bothering me this morning.
Music too loud ~ every morning we have to tell D to turn his music down
Repeating daily to L to clean his personal area and under his bed
Giving a 5 minute warning "5 minutes to leave for breakfast" and then 
still have to wait on R to get his shoes on...
...little things that seemed to be mounting
and not knowing the reason why.

I began to think about the past few days ~

Sunday ~ we have talked over and over that we need to get connected to a local body of believers, yet with our schedule would going only every other week really meet our needs and could we become a part of a family only part~time?  We wouldn't know unless we tried.

A few weeks back I was going to go to Heart of Texas Cowboy Church but having a boy refusing to put on church clothes changed those plans.  I had left a message on HOTCC phone and about 12:45 the pastor, Jeremy, called me.  We chatted for about 10 minutes and he said to come any time we could.  We would always be welcome.  His phone call ministered to me and I could just feel Jesus' love coming forth.

Working lots of overtime right now (down a set of home~parents) makes our time off even more precious.  We said and knew we needed to get into a body of believers, we need to fill our soul, to be able to love on these boys in our care.  So we set our alarm (both woke before the alarm ~ definitely a God thing) and got ready to go to church.  As we pulled into the parking area people waved to us and walking in the door we were greeted by so many people, welcoming us, thanking us for coming.  First impression was ~ yes, this feels like home!!

The same feeling the first time we walked into 
Open Door Community Church in Cedar Creek, MO
we just knew it was home!!

And the same feeling we had when we walked into 
that second Sunday in November 2001!

The sermon was titled "Ride for the Brand"
from my notes ~

Drag Riders ~ Adapt and Overcome

Image result for Galatians 6 4-5

Do I dance with the designer (God) or the world?

Loving the world leads to destruction
Loving Jesus leads us to peace

It's not about stuff! Stuff does not make you happy.
Love makes you happy

Struggles keep us faithful

Stop living for the future ~ we never know if we will make it to the future

God's perfection is better than anything I could ever imagine!

As we drove away from HOTCC we both talked about how much we felt at home,
felt welcomed and definitely want to go back.  We have made plans to go back on our next Sunday off, August 27 even though we will be up at Lake Whitney that week ~ but that's okay, it's just an hours drive and so we plan to go back!!!

Monday ~ received the following devotion from Refuge Devotional by Roy Howdyshell

THE BIBLE SPEAKS TO US

DEVOTION FROM THE BOOK OF ROMANS

Romans 7:14-20

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to
sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I
myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that
is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do
not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I
do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

The Beast Within

Trying to eat healthy food over the holidays drives me crazy, and to be honest
it drives me crazy to eat so called Healthy Foods anytime. My question is, is
there really any kind of food you don't grow yourself that is really healthy?
But on to our Devotional today.

It isn’t that I don’t know what to eat. I know how to read food labels. I know
the difference between good and bad foods. I know how many calories I am
supposed to have in a day. I even know that I need to exercise, even though I
don't care to exercise. But when I am confronted with a plate of Christmas
cookies or a candy dish full of M&Ms and could name many other good things,  my
plan goes out the window. I know the food I should be eating, but it is not what
I end up eating. My appetite for sugar takes over. Is it too strong of a
statement to say I struggle with an unhealthy food addiction?

But here we see the apostle Paul is struggling with something much more serious
than junk food when he writes these words to the Romans. He is sharing his
addiction, an addiction we all share. It is an addiction to sin. Paul knew this
addiction first hand. He tried to stop sinning many times. He tried to be kind
and loving and compassionate at all times. He had plans to put others first and
to control his thoughts of lust, envy, greed, selfishness and anger, to name a
few. He had a great plan, but he still found himself sinning.

Yes time after time he found himself right back where he started, doing things
that he knew God hated, things that were wrong. This sin hurt his relationships
with other people, and even worse, threatened to completely destroy his
relationship with God. You see, Paul knew that he didn’t need to just work on
“self-control”. He realized that he was the problem. He had a sinful nature.
And, as a result, that sin living inside of him took over the steering wheel of
his life at times. He wasn’t trying to make excuses; he was just trying to state
reality, he was just being honest with himself. I think all of us can relate to
his misery. We end up doing the things we wish not to do, and the things we wish
to do we don't.

The answer for sin addiction does not come from inside of us. It comes from God.
The first step to getting help is to do what Paul did. He confessed his sin and
his inability to control his life. He asked
God to help, and he did, by sending Jesus. With the seed of faith in Jesus
planted in his heart, Paul now had good inside of him - good that came from God.
And so he committed himself to the daily struggle against sin.

Please remember that sin is anything that falls short of the glory of God. Do
you have sin with which you struggle? Take heart. Jesus has won the victory, and
he offers strength to you for your daily battle. Go to Him and ask him to help
fight your battle with sin or sins.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I do things I don’t want to do all the time. Please forgive me. Take
away my guilt. Give me strength to continue to struggle to do what is right. Amen.

Need to talk to God?
He is only one knee-mail away

And I could see myself and so many of my struggles
of where I do the things I don't want to be doing
and not doing the things I need and want to do.

My prayer was that God would give me a redo ~ to start a fresh
just like God's mercies are new every day and I try to give that grace to our boys and I need to remember that God also gives those same mercies and grace to me.  To be aware of how I interact with the boys, 
to speak in love and remember the little things are just that, little.

And to focus on what's important.  
Is it really a big deal if their music is a bit loud,
if it's not bothering the other boys in their bedroom, why should it bother me,
and telling the same boy every morning to clean up his personal area
is really no different than reminding myself it's laundry day or time to do the dishes.

And then this morning,
this showed up
And I am reminded that life is full of little things,
yes we have rules and expectations,
but doesn't everyone?

And as I walked around the circle this morning,
I was reminded of God's beauty, seeing the cows out in the field,
the sun shining over the pond
and how precious life really is
and I prayed for the Lord to soften my heart 
a bit more, to not be so critical of the boys.

One of the new rules for the boys are no cell phones/accessories
at school ~ so Ron got a basket for those items, three of the four boys put their phones
and earbuds in the basket.  Ron explained if the boys lost their phone at school they would lose it for
24 hours here at home.  Three of them decided to put their phones in the basket.  

One of the things I am working on is not arguing with the boys about the rules.  Today is a good practice.  If D loses his phone at school, it just means he doesn't get it at home till tomorrow afternoon.

Here's to remembering 
in the big scheme of things
everything is a little thing!!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Celebrating August Special Days

Celebrations!

You think of parties, cake, smiles.
But what do you do when the special days are filled with not only
laughter, fun and joy
but also filled with
tears, what if?

Every August
my heart swarms with love for our boys that were born on 
August 8, 1977

Royce Alan
and 
Ronald James (Jamie), Jr.

Jamie turned 40! this year!!
Jamie and Ron, Missouri 2015
We were so glad that Jamie was able to join us in May 2015 for 5 days 
at the grand opening of GUMI Camp USA

So many memories of Jamie,
~ 110' the day he was born
~ his first plane ride when he was 4 months old!
~ first day of kindergarten, going by the name "Ronald"
~ first day of 1st grade, wouldn't answer when the teacher called him "Ronald"
~ the 2' Christmas story with his 3rd grade teacher, Cory Crawford
~ numerous wrecks in our cars
~ first dates, first cars,
~ soccer, wrestling, track & field in high school
~ going to the Job Corps
~ joining the Army
~ spending 13 months in Kuwait & Iraq
~ becoming a daddy
~ becoming a husband
~ buying his first home
~ tickets to concerts

and so many more!!!!

*******************************************************************

And then
August 11 comes

Full
of precious memories
your dark hair,
your chubby cheeks,
your soft skin

Image result for pencil drawing baby boy sleeping
but then
Image result for blink of an eye everything can change

Image result for memories losing a baby quotes and sayings

For 39 years we have let
Image result for white balloons in the sky

and messages off 
hoping somehow they might just reach you.

But this year was different ~
we wanted to take the focus off our pain
and bring joy to someone else
so we went shopping
for little boy clothes,
a car, some paci's
and blue socks
and delivered them to the local hospital
as a gift to someone 
celebrating their new baby boy!

Royce Alan
we will never forget you!!!


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hard Times and Good Times

Today got off to a rough start with the boys.  

I think we were all a bit tired from a late night last night and then jumping into a house meeting shortly after they got up did not make for a good mix.

Add in that Ron and I both had to do about five hours of online training so we would not be out of compliance with our training requirements.

It seemed like once everyone had lunch,
chores got done and everyone had some time to just relax the atmosphere 
seemed to settle down for everyone.

We were also able to have a short meeting with Bossman
about comments the boys were making
and not following the rules about shirts/socks in the common area.

We have a game plan
and that gives us hope.

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And I was reminded that my Hope is in the LORD ~
not in me.

Thank you Lord for a day that was filled with stressors but ending on a positive note.

Thank you Lord for friends who lift me up in prayers 
in my time of need.

And most of all 
thank you Lord for the 
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the reminder that 
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Month, New Day

As the alarm was going off this morning I thought about rolling over and going back to sleep.  Then I remembered that I really want to get back into having my quiet time before the boys are up, before hitting the ground each morning.  

So up I got.
Took a shower, talked to God ~ isn't that the best place to carry on a conversation with him?
Finished getting ready for the day,
grabbed my Bible and my journal
and then continued spending some time with  my Lord.

I don't know why I am surprised,
but alas God met me right where I needed him to be.

First up was 

which reminded me of 

which led me to thinking of my 
which seems to be ever ending but not much is getting crossed off
and gives my anxiety room to grow!!

I need to be content where I am and not allow myself to get so stressed 
over things that I can't control.

It doesn't mean I can't have goals,
it just means I need to keep them realistic.

So I have decided to have some daily goals, 
weekly goals,
and some long term goals.

I feel like I have just given myself permission
to take things one at a time,
not expecting to be 

I feel like I've been rambling on
and that's okay.

Sometimes that's just how I am.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Random Thoughts

Blog Posts ~ have had many on my mind yet never seeming to find the time to get them written.  Then realized I don't need the internet to write my posts ~ I can write them in Word and then do a Copy & Paste when we have internet ~ you see on our weeks off we try to get away, we take our travel trailer and go camping.  This week we are at Lake Tawakoni, two weeks ago we were at Lake Whitney.  And in a week and a half we will be back at Lake Whitney.

Today, we are sitting in the Family Center and I have been reading Facebook ~ love catching up with friends and family and little gems that come from Jesus just to me!!!

Like this one ~
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And this is what I wrote ~
I wanted to like this but at the same time my heart aches as I read through these as they are so true so that leaves me sad. The hardest part is trying to get others to understand ~ and there really isn't a way for them to understand. Thank you Pamela Richards-Woodall for sharing this. I am going to put it on my wall as well.
I wish I could share this with everyone I know, so just maybe they would understand me a bit more.
So often lately I have wished I could sit with Marla Tuski and just share from my heart. Or sharing with Deanna Walton Griffith so we can cry and then laugh together. I long for the little couch in Pastor Charles Gibson office to just ramble on and know that he would pray with me and for me and not judge me yet encourage me. And YES I am thankful for my hubby, Ron Workentin who loves me and tries to understand me, even when he has no clue what to do.
BUT most importantly I am thankful for Jesus who is always ready and willing to listen to me and wipe my tears.

And found myself thinking this would be a good lead into a blog post ~
I have found myself emotionally all over the place the last few weeks, dealing with anger, love, frustration, uncertainty, angst, happy, excited, scared, joyful, anticipating and dreading.
The list could go on and on.  
Struggling with finding time to be with the Lord,
be in His Word,
praying ~ I have prayers in my heart but can't seem to voice them.
Wanting, no needing some girl time yet my bestie is not here, emailing is not the same;
missing my talks with Marla, emailing is not the same;
wanting to just sit and drink coffee, solving the worlds problems, emailing is not the same;
Missing my Pastor, his seriousness and his jokes that only we understand, emailing is not the same;
And then I saw the post above, shared by my friend Pamela.  

Pamela is an author, we have so much in common and she understands and reads between those emails, yes the ones that are not the same.

I want to do so many things ~
write,
speak,
encourage others,
love my hubby in ways he deserves that I just can't seem to do,
make a difference in women's lives,
don't get me wrong, I love our boys here in Waco,
love that we are building relationships,
seeing positive changes in their lives
yet they are not the audience I believe God wants me to share with,
at least not the only audience.

I shared with a friend a few weeks ago via a video chat
what my heart desires are.
She encouraged me,
made me realize I have the best of both worlds.
Work one week, have off one week.
But that week off is just not happening like I dream about ~
time to write,
time to study God's Word,
encourage women in their daily lives as they struggle to deal with issues from the past,
sharing how God has healed me from such pain
because
I also want to spend time with my hubby,
enjoy the area we are in,
check out the new places we go,
work on crochet projects,
and I really need time at home ~
time to clean out closets and totes,
organize notebooks ~ write those notebooks into the computer, to lighten the load of stuff.
Do things with friends, make new friends, get involved in a church ~ so hard to do when time and circumstance don't allow for that involvement.
Build friendships but remembering and respecting boundaries of co-workers.
And SLEEP ~ I really do a lot of sleeping during our off weeks!!!
If you know me, you know I don't function well on 5 to 6 hours of  sleep and about day 7 of short sleep, I am ready to crash and sleep to get caught up and to plan ahead.
I want to have conversations with friends about "Hot Topics"
because emailing and Facebook are not necessarily the best way to do so ~
tone can't be heard, facial expressions can't be seen, dialogue just doesn't happen back and forth in a timely manner.
And then I read something, like above,
and the tears flow
and I write
and find peace inside.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Reflecting

After a long day of travel, 
a trip to the Post Office and grocery store
and then eating Chinese food
we are back home in our little apartment.

Ron is napping so I decided to read through some emails.

First one up was my daily devotion from Guideposts Daily Devotions

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. . . . ”
1 Peter 3:15 (niv)
John, how do you always stay so calm, even in the tough situations?” a colleague asked.
I was sitting across the desk from the division president of my company for one last meeting. We were chatting, wrapping things up, before I formally retired. Not expecting the question, I rambled, mentioning my faith and that I hadn’t always been calm. I talked about reading Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s books in my younger days and how they had helped me.
Later, I felt disappointed that my answer hadn’t come close to capturing God’s work within me to overcome the biggest struggle of my life: crippling fears and anxiety. I asked God to help me overcome all of my turmoil and inner conflict. I learned ways to live my faith. I began to pray and read the Bible daily. I used many of the action steps that Dr. Peale outlined to deal with daily life and to practice peacefulness. From that beginning, God guided me on an incredible journey, step by step, to a life of deep tranquility and quiet confidence.
I wasn’t prepared to give an answer when the question was asked. I missed an opportunity to tell firsthand what God had done for me. However, the conversation may have been another step that God intended for my journey. It caused me to look back and see more clearly than ever His presence and faithfulness throughout my life—and that He is “the reason for the hope” I have.

Digging Deeper: 

1 Chronicles 16:9; Psalms 13:5–6, 71:23
Dear Lord, help me be ready to boldly share stories of Your faithfulness whenever an opportunity comes. Amen.    
by John Dilworth
**************
I immediately went back to a conversation we had with our 9 year old grandson on Monday afternoon after spending a couple of hours swimming.  

He asked us why would someone choose an animal over their own family.  My heart ached as I wasn't quite sure how to answer him.  I stumbled through my reply ~ I'm not sure.  But what I am sure of is that God tells us in His word,


and even though we might be confused about some things that are said to us and about us we need to just keep putting our


and to remember that Mom and Dad will always have his back and do what is right for him and his brothers and their family.  

And so I sat here praying for him and his whole family 
along with asking God to give me the wisdom and words to share with him
and all those who I speak to 
reminding myself


and that we are never alone.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Home Again

We are safely back here in Waco.

What a great week we had
but like normal it went by super fast!

It was great to see both of our boys,
their sweet wives
and all five of our grands!!!

We spent lots of time swimming, 
played at the park two different days,
ate way too much ~ but the food was delicious!!

Had sleep overs with Grammy and Grandpa,
visited with our family,
shared lots of hugs and kisses!

We said "See ya later"
and can't wait till we see everyone again.

Thank goodness for Facetime!!!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Enjoying the Day!

Feeling Blessed Beyond Measure ~

We are so blessed and sometimes its just the little things that make that so clear in our lives.

A few weeks ago, I was seriously looking for a new job.
We love our boys at MCH but sometimes the administrators drive us crazy!!
But God has a way of showing us we are right where he wants us to be.

You may be asking "how does God show you these things?"
In this case we have had lots of encouraging things said to us and no doors opening on the horizon.
We have applied for about 10 different jobs over the past two months,
one was so promising
and then
doors were firmly closed in our faces.

Image result for THEN

a friend encouraged me out of the blue,
an admin called out of the blue,
our boss thanked me for something I thought was trivial
and most importantly,
peace reigned in my heart.

And today I am enjoying the blessings of being with grands!!
And doing something I have not been able to do in years ~~
PLAY on the playground and go down the slide!!!



Loving being with our family here in Gresham!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

God is Teaching Me

I woke this morning before the alarm went off thinking about today 
and all the things that need to be done
~ changeover meeting
~ all staff meeting
~ pick up boys from school (two trips)
~ boys to swim tests
~ house meeting to check in with the boys
~ watch the Survivor finale, something the boys and I have been enjoying 
together the past few months 
~ write daily reports

and then for me personally
~ shower & get ready for the day,
even put on makeup, something I haven't done in a long while
~ quiet time and how I want it to be

and once again God met me right where I am
I grabbed my coffee and banana,
sent Ron to the front porch so I could have some quiet
and opened my devotional

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is the word for the day!!

Psalm 86

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Image result for Psalm 86

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And I took this away

God you are full of compassion, graciousness, abundant in mercy and truth,
You are my strength when I can no longer hold myself up
And because You are these things to me I can be these things in others lives.

Closing in this
Image result for Proverbs 3 28

As I prepare to meet the day I am encouraged to be all that God wants me to be.
To consider all who I come into contact with today may be dealing with something I have no clue about BUT with the Lord I can be an
encourager and a listener
~ doing for others for what they need and not for what I can get out of it.

And then this came across my Facebook memories
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and I am encouraged for today I can choose to do the things I need to do for myself
~ eat breakfast (coffee and a banana)
~ drink lots of water, goal is 100 to 125 oz
~ extend grace to myself as I extend grace to others

Most of all be the woman God has created me to be!!!

How about you?
Do you have any goals for today?
It doesn't have to be giant grand goal, just a goal to accomplish one thing today.  
I would love to hear from each of you reading
and be able to encourage you along life's journey.


God's Perfect Timing ~ Always

I am always amazed how the Lord puts things in my path  to remind me over and over that He is in control ALL the TIME!! This mornin...