When Joe and I married, I didn’t ask him if he believed in Santa Claus or if he would want to teach our future children about him. But I did ask him if he believed in Jesus.
At the time, I was not as close to my Savior as I should have been, however, within a year of marriage, I began to miss going to church and that started a whole realization that Jesus is Lord of ALL. I had even said (didn’t tell Joe) that I didn’t want to have children, but this “opening all the closets of my heart” started a whole new direction in my life. I gave my whole heart to Jesus and asked Him what HE wanted for my life.
The trajectory of my life changed immediately as all my goals and deepest wants were about being pleasing to God. Within a few months, I was impressed by the Holy Spirit to quit my job with a local endodontist, get off birth control pills and in what I now call, getting ready for God’s plan, began to get more involved in Bible Studies, church events, and used my home time to listen to radio programs with awesome Bible scholars like J. Vernon McGee, and others who prepared me for the road ahead.
It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
My darling mom died two years ago. I miss her every day. I don’t think anything quite prepares you for saying goodbye to your mom. After her funeral in Scotland, I stayed several days to help my sister, Frances, go through Mom’s things. One treasure I brought home was the little Bible that always sat by her bed. She’d received it in December of 1942, when she was 13 years old. She wrote on one of the blank pages, “Grace is undeserved favor. It is love stooping.”
We spent several hours going through Mom’s big red box of family photographs. “Did you really mean to have purple hair?” my sister asked with a smile, holding up a photo that showed one of my more creative choices. “Yes,” I said, grinning back. “Sadly, that was intentional.”
I paused on a photograph from the day I graduated from seminary. I remember that day so well. I was 21 years old. My hair in that season was dark and very short. I had to have most of it cut off after a disastrous experiment with a perm. I looked at my smiling face, confident I would now go out and change the world for Jesus. I remember my mom saying to me that day: “God began this good work in you, Sheila, and He will continue His work until you see Him face-to-face.” I wish I’d listened to those words more carefully. I wish I’d understood the liberating truth that God is the one who begins His work in us, and He will complete it. I thought it was up to me.
8 Habits That Kill Your Metabolism (an article modified from My Fitness Pal)
I receive health and fitness emails regularly from multiple sources. How many of you grow weary and poor from the promises of this product or this diet that will finally get your body to respond miraculously and shed those mid-life crisis pounds that simply will not come off.
A My Fitness Pal email caught my attention today entitled “8 Habits That Kill Your Metabolism.” Although more recently I have been deleting and unsubscribing, I decided to read the 8 reasons and counter with my OWN 8 habits that I happen to know are inhibiting my weight loss. Let’s see which one you agree with more and let me know if you have your own ideas.
My Fitness Pal list (without descriptions) is as follows:
Eating the wrong breakfast
Sitting too much
Neglecting strength training
Not getting enough protein
Not getting enough sleep
Not drinking enough water
I’m a horrible neighbor. Well, I do wave when I pass someone out in their yard but gone are the days when parents sat outside as their children played, visited and even shared a glass of lemonade or iced tea. I can’t blame the culture but think about it, you must hurry home to fix supper or you have a project to work on. I know that’s been my excuse for years. There were times the power went out or a storm blew down some trees, then we saw the neighbors, but I’m extremely guilty of running into the house and doing my thing.
I don’t really remember what I was looking for, but the kitchen drawer was the spot I chose to start. Everyone has “that drawer” in the kitchen, be honest, everything paper and otherwise that you have saved is there. Addresses, recipes, pens, birthday candles, I could go on and on. As it turns out I found several recipes, some I had made before and some not. I picked three and decided to rustle up all the ingredients and make them.
After a hundred-dollar trip to the grocery store, I was ready to proceed. My son and his family were on the way home from a trip and I wanted to prepare a great meal, so I chose three out of the ordinary (for me) recipes to make. I will share these recipes at the end of this post.
There is a certain significance to these recipes in that my mother-in-law, Kathleen McDonald, who had a huge impact on my cooking and all-around housekeeping skills, wrote one of these recipes with her own hand. She’s been in Heaven for about ten years now, so it was particularly moving for me find this recipe. That was the Broccoli Salad. The Four Layer Pie, our all-time fave, was another recipe, although written by me, but was another family recipe I got from Grandma.
She was what I would call a precise cook. As I put these recipes together, I was reminded of her special and neat way she cooked, especially the Four Layer Pie, because you could see the layers both defined and beautiful. The Broccoli Salad was cut in tiny little pieces, again, precise and beautiful to behold. My daughter pointed this out when we ate mine, but, oh well, it’s me. As I was pressing the crust into the pan for the pie, and thinking of Grandma McDonald, I sized my cooking skills up as too good for “Worst Cooks in America,” yet not good enough for “Chopped.” Funny what you think about when you’re cooking.
That to-do list God has for you today most certainly includes prayer. And you can’t go wrong using the mnemonic device ACTS: Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication.
The word “adoration” reminds us that God is worthy of praise and his awesomeness should bring us to our knees. He’s not just more magnificent than the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, he is the Creator of those natural wonders. If we start our prayers with humble adoration to a glorious God, we’re headed in the right direction.
Confession breaks the hold of sin in our lives so we can pray from a clean slate. God already knows where we fall short of his glory, but doing our own personal inventory will surely lead to an attitude of repentance. Confessing our sins begins the process of breaking the pattern of sin. The exciting news is that when we come to God for forgiveness, he has already forgotten our sins, casting them away “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).Continue reading
5 Tips to Help Moms Cope with Stress
Even with a clear game plan in mind, raising kids properly is one of life’s richest challenges. It is not uncommon for a mother, particularly, to feel overwhelmed by the complexity of her parental assignment. In many homes, she is the primary protector for each child’s health, education, intellect, personality, character, and emotional stability. As such, she must serve as physician, nurse, psychologist, teacher, minister, cook, and policeman. Since in many cases she is with the children longer each day than her husband, she is the chief disciplinarian and main giver of security and love.
The reality is that she and her husband will not know whether or not she is handling these matters properly until it is too late to change her methodology. Furthermore, mom’s responsibilities extend far beyond her children. She must also meet her obligations to her husband, her church, her relatives, her friends, and often times, her employer. Each of these areas demands her best effort, and the conscientious mother often finds herself racing through the day in a breathless attempt to be all things to all people.
What Do You Want for Mother’s Day?
I ask my mom this question every year. But I know the answer. “Nothing.” So, as a mom myself, I know what she means. “Something.” By something, I mean, remember me, call me, send a card, send flowers, come for a visit, take me out to eat, write me a note, draw a picture, just something as a reminder of me being your mom.
If that wasn’t clear enough, allow me to elaborate. If you are blessed to have a mother on this earth, there is nothing she would like better than a call from you this Mother’s Day. FaceTime is even better. And a visit, well, that’s the coolest! We all get busy and the days blast by, however, Mom is special, and she deserves your undivided attention for at least a little while on this special day.
Here Today Gone Tomorrow
I don’t mean to be trite, but two funerals in two days, really? I have never been more aware of the frailty of life as I am right now. In reverse order, last Thursday our sweet friend, Tressa, breathed her last breath. When the cancer metastasized, she was doomed. No one more precious, a young mother, wife, lover of Jesus and just all-around good person.
A few weeks ago, our friend, “Brother Jim” was working on his computer one night after his wife went to bed and just died. He just peacefully died.
IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN!
Sunsets on Mobile Bay 2020 Calendar Volume IX!
|Experience the most beautiful South Alabama sunsets all year long with Sunsets on Mobile Bay, Volume IX 2020. Photos by Tommie Peterson, an award-winning photographer from our very own Gulf Coast. All proceeds, after printing, go to Joe McDonald Ministry (JoeMcDonaldMinistry.org)so be sure to give multiples for gifts! Order today! It takes up to 4 weeks to print and send, be sure to use any discount codes available on LULU.COM. Enjoy our NINTH year for calendars! Thanks in advance!|
Here's a sneak peek:
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