Thursday, October 30, 2014


Tonight at Bible study, I sat around a table with some dear women and watched Beth Moore (via DVD) speak on the "mystery of lawlessness" and the "mystery of righteousness" and the anti-Christ and other end times topics.  At first, as she talked, my mind wandered.  I think I let the idea of end times overwhelm me and figured I wouldn't be able to understand hardly anything she was saying in the first place.  BUT, as she continued, she captured my attention.

Several things she mentioned stuck out to me BIG time, and so I thought I would share them with you before I go to bed and forget, or get sidetracked with all my mom responsibilities that I never get around to it:

*Just as we do not know the day or the hour that Jesus will return, nor does Satan.  And thus, he must always be ready.  He didn't know how God was going to restore His relationship with fallen man.  He didn't know how God was going to pay the penalty for our sin.  He didn't know these precious secrets God had hidden in His heart from before time ever began.  So, Satan had to be on his toes at all times, ready to attack, to destroy, to thwart any attempt God made to offer salvation, to prevent us from receiving this gracious gift.

*Satan still does not know how God will fulfill His plans and promises.  But you can bet your bottom dollar he is on the look out every single day.

*As Satan watches what God is doing, he does his best to imitate it.  God tells His disciples to "go into all the world and preach the gospel," and so Satan sends out his deceivers to lead people astray, to distract them from the Truth, to corrupt their minds, to harden their hearts.

*Whatever God intends for good, Satan has to counteract with evil.  This evil, this lawlessness is being held back, however.  The Holy Spirit, via the work of the church (which includes me and YOU if you are a believer in Jesus Christ), is not allowing Satan to unleash his full potential of wickedness.  As scary and vile and dark as the world may seem now, it's only going to get worse.  Much worse.  That can be extremely disheartening.  BUT, we must not forget how the story will finally end.  God WILL prevail!

*Beth shared how her grandson, a first-grader, would go ahead shouting, "OMG!"  His mom, Beth's oldest daughter, finally asked her young son what he meant when he said "OMG," and with a confused look on his face, the little boy responded by sounding out the "word" OMG makes.  He had no idea the letters are an abbreviation for the phrase, "Oh my God!" or even "Oh my goodness."  As we laughed, she then commented how casually people use God's name in this way.  She assured us this is NOT how God intended His name to be spoken and immediately showed us in Scripture how it is to be proclaimed:

Psalm 3:7
"Arise, O Lord!  Save me, O MY GOD!  For You strike all my enemies on the cheek; You break the teeth of the wicked."

Psalm 25:1-3
"To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  O MY GOD, in You I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for You will be put to shame."

Psalm 38:21
"Do not forsake me, O Lord!  O MY GOD, be not far from me!  Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!"

THAT is how God wants His name to be used.
And boy when He responds to our call, you better believe people will be saying, "OMG!"

*Beth ended the session by reminding us yet again that the Gospel WILL win.  God will prevail.  "The day of the Lord will dawn with the appearance of Christ."  Not only that, but get this:

"The Lord Jesus will kill the lawless one with His breath and bring him to nothing."

With His BREATH.
Think about that.
In the very beginning, God breathed life into man (Genesis 2:7)
Later, Jesus breathed on His disciples and told them to receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:21-22).
At the final chapter, He will once again use His breath, but this time to utterly destroy Satan.

No huffing or puffing necessary.
Though I can picture God filling His lungs with air and letting out a deep breath, maybe even a huge sigh of frustration mixed with relief, and knocking Satan over with the wind pouring out from His mouth and nostrils.

I don't know about you, but that gave me chills.
Talk about OMG!

The next time you hear someone say this all-too-common phrase or see someone type those letters in a post on Facebook or hashtag it on Twitter, remember what those words REALLY mean.

Fall to your knees and WORSHIP this God who created the universe out of nothing, who loves you and cares about even the tiniest of details in your life, who sent His Son to die for you that you may have everlasting life, who invites you to enter into His very presence, who promises to work all things together for good, and who guarantees your place in heaven if you just believe in Him. 

MARVEL at who this God is and what He wants to do in your life.

Let Him in.
Give Him free access to your heart, mind, and soul.
Surrender to Him.
And watch to see what He does in and through you.

"No eye has seen; no ear has heard; no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him."  ~1 Corinthians 2:9

"Now all glory to Him who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to do immeasurably more/infinitely more than we could ask or think or imagine." ~Ephesians 3:20

Once again, talk about OMG!
That right there is the epitome of the phrase...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wonderfully Made

Ever have those days when you feel like you are on top of the world?

Your jeans fit great.
Your hair does what you want it to do.
You wear your favorite t-shirt.

I'm having one of those days.
I actually liked the way I looked in the mirror this morning.
Not only am I feeling good, but truly BEAUTIFUL.
I can sense God's presence in my life.
I feel like He's talking to me, teaching me about life and my relationship with Him.
I am bubbling over with passion.
I believe God has a plan for me.
I know I am here for a reason.
My life has purpose.
And I am on a mission to fulfill the hopes and dreams God has laid on my heart.

It feels GOOD!!!

Not sure if wearing my new t-shirt sparked this new-found joy and confidence or not, but I know for a fact my shirt plays a MAJOR role in my attitude and perspective today.

I think it actually has more to do with me BELIEVING the words on my t-shirt than anything...

I saw this shirt when my friend Vera brought some things over to my house for a Girls' Day.  I knew immediately that I not only wanted this shirt, but that I *needed* it.  I am not usually one to get things for myself, but I decided that this could be an exception.

First, I knew that buying the shirt was actually helping a fellow mama in Haiti or Uganda provide for her family.  And that is something I can DEFINITELY get behind. (Check out GoExchange to see if they have anything you simply can't live without either - or that might be on your Christmas list and you could shop for a good cause!)

Second, I knew I NEEDED to see these words often.
And let them sink in.
Deep to my heart.
And believe them.
Even on days when I don't feel like I am on top of the world.
Even on days when I feel like the world is crushing me.
Especially on those days.

You see the words from Psalm 139 are ALWAYS true, no matter how I am feeling on any particular day for whatever reason:

"I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

I want you to read that again.
This time, put YOUR name at the beginning and talk to yourself.
Actually, you're LISTENING to God talk to you, speaking love and TRUTH into your heart...

While you're listening, go ahead and read the surrounding verses from the chapter:

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it.
You watched as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed."

That's more than eloquent poetry.
That's TRUTH.
About YOU.

All too often we let the world dictate how we feel about ourselves.
We listen to the lies.
We fall for Satan's tricks.
He deceives us.
And we get so used to his disguises that we no longer recognize the TRUTH.

We begin to feel like the flowers on my front porch.

I have to defend myself first.
I was gone all weekend.
I had been very faithful and diligent to water our beautiful mums this fall.
They had been looking quite lovely.
But then, I was gone and didn't water them for several days.
I came back to this...

Seemingly lifeless flowers.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has ever felt like these poor mums.
Out of place.
Passed over.

That is exactly how our enemy wants us to feel.
He works hard every day to get us to believe that our life has no purpose, that no one loves us, that we're not good enough, that we'll never measure up, that our life is pointless.

We MUST plug our ears to his voice.
And listen only to the One who loves us.  

The One who made us. 
The One who thinks we are beautiful and wonderful.  
The One who has a plan and purpose for us, plans for hope and a future (see Jeremiah 29:11).  
The One who delights in us and dances over us (see Zephaniah 3:17).  
The One who longs for us to spend time with Him and invites us into His presence.  
The One who will never let us go.
The One who will lead us every step of the way.
The One who turns darkness into light.
The One who can make beauty from ashes.

The One who showed me this lone rose on the other side of my front porch this morning.

This pretty little flower was hiding behind some leaves, near the ground, and I almost missed it.
Then, God opened my eyes so I could see.
And as He did, He reminded me that I can find beauty all around me.
That HE makes that beauty.
That He NEVER gives up on His creation.

All the other buds on the rosebush were dead.
Or my young girls had plucked them off to use their petals for "birthday cakes."
But this flower hung on.
And bloomed.
And declared the glory and majesty and faithfulness and love and grace and goodness of my God.

I challenge each of us to do the same.
Dare to grow.
Dare to bloom.
Dare to shine.
Even in the midst of heartache and pain and grief and sorrow.
Even when we are tired and weary.
Even when we have lost hope and can't see the way ahead of us.
Even when we feel as though our lives have no point or purpose.

Especially then.

For even then, are the words from Psalm 139 still true.
Or as Doctor Suess would say, "truer than true."
"There's no one more youer than you."
And YOU are...

"fearfully and wonderfully made."

You don't need a t-shirt to tell you that.
Though I am still pretty sure wearing these words is doing something to my heart.

Don't worry, I won't wear my shirt every day.
Instead, I will do something we can ALL do.
I will engrave God's Words on my very heart and wear them with me wherever I go, however I feel...

"I have hidden your words in my heart..."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Things That Make a Mom Cry

Loads of dirty laundry.
Loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away.

A sink full of dirty dishes.
A husband who unloads and reloads the dishwasher without being asked.

Play rooms that look like an EF5 tornado tore through them.
Children who whine and complain about cleaning up the mess THEY made (with no grumbling whatsoever at the time of destruction).

Precious girlies who run up to you in the morning, give you a big hug and a kiss, and whisper in your ear, "I love you, Mommy."

A daughter who, out of the blue, asks her friend, while picking up sticks at the park, if he has asked Jesus into his heart like she did - and then proceeds to them him so was scared and didn't know what to say but her mommy and daddy helped her.

Driving past the WIC building where you used to have to go every month to get "coupons" so you could feed your family.

Passing the same building on your way home from watching your oldest daughter have a blast in her gymnastics class, knowing that 2 years ago you were scrambling to find enough money to pay the bills and put gas in the cars and food on the table and realizing that now you have "extra" to do fun things like put your little girl in a gymnastics class.

Coming home to find your husband's car parked in the driveway when you didn't expect to see him until after 11 pm.

Hearing your girls giggle and laugh as they hug their daddy and tell them they love him.

Putting your girls in the bath tub and watching them play together and call each other movie stars as they pile bubbles on their heads.

Reading a Bible story to your girls and having them ask you questions about Jesus.

Getting good-night kisses from all 3 of your girls.
The slobbery ones from the wide-mouthed baby might have been my favorite.

Coming downstairs to a quiet house.

Watching "Parenthood." (I still have 29 minutes, as I write, but I know that I will be crying at some point, if not multiple times, during the show.)

Knowing that this episode takes you one night closer to the final episode of the season, and of the show entirely.

Understanding that the topics and issues the TV show addresses are VERY real and taking place in families all around the world at this very moment.

Recognizing that people are hurting - people I know and love - and I can't personally do anything to "fix" the problems.

Hearing God whisper in my ear, "I know...I will take care of them...all things work together for good of those who love Me..."

Resting in God's strong arms and trusting Him to carry my friends, my family, ME every step of the way as we travel along the paths He has carefully and lovingly prepared for us.

Today, I will have cried all of these tears.
You would think I wouldn't have any tears left to cry.
But, my guess is that I will cry all these and more again tomorrow...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Irony of All Ironies

This morning I am dealing with an ironic situation...

I sent a message to a former cheerleader who was not exactly in my circle of friends during my high school days, two girls I have never met and live on opposite sides of the United States, a girl I haven't seen since we were in the same high school Physics class (cough - 12 years ago), a girl I haven't seen since we were RAs together in college (cough, cough - 10 years ago), and a girl I have only met once - she's the cousin of a good friend from high school and college.

Why did I share my heart with these women?
Why did I open myself up and lay myself bare before them?
Why did I turn to them for help before anyone else?

Because they are my team mates.
Because they are my friends.
Because they are my SISTERS in Christ.

I needed prayer.
I was feeling the enemy attack.
I couldn't stand alone.
I needed help.
I needed support.
I needed someone to stand with me on the front lines, to help hold up my shield of faith, to put our shields TOGETHER and block the fiery arrows being shot at me.

I was feeling discouraged.

But I wasn't giving up.
I wasn't giving in.
I wasn't going to let Satan win, not on my life.

So, in desperation and with great humility, I admitted I that I was weak.
I acknowledged I couldn't make it through the day alone.
I knew my sisters would gather around me, from separate corners of the country, and stand shoulder to shoulder with me, and face our common enemy TOGETHER.

I knew as we did, we would stand strong.
I knew we would be victorious.

Yes, we would take some nasty blows.
Yes, Satan would try all the dirty tricks up his sleeve.

BUT, I also knew God would be fighting for us.
I knew He would not let us slip or fall.
I knew He would surround us and protect us and uplift us.
I knew He would defend us.
I knew He would come out on TOP with us, bringing Him massive amounts of glory as He showed His faithfulness and power.

After I sent my message to my 5 sisters, I loaded up my 3 young girls to run some errands.  I turn the radio from the Sports Station (been listening to the Royals' games in the car) to Air 1...

"Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world..." blasts through the speakers and straight to my heart.

Point - God.

Immediately after the song was over, the DJs came on explaining that it was "Celebrate the Little Things" Friday.  They encouraged people to call in and share something SMALL that was good, that called for celebration (even if it was silly or seemingly insignificant).  The male DJ (don't know his name because I don't listen to this particular station all that often, but obviously God knew it was where the knob needed to be today) told how his son had taken out the trash without being asked.  "Come on and celebrate good times - come on!" played and I couldn't help but smile.  The female DJ exclaimed that she and her husband were going on a date that night.  "Come on and celebrate good times - come on!" blasted again.  And I was reminded that even though I might be having a rough morning, I had MANY things to celebrate, MANY blessings to count, MANY incidents of God's ongoing work in my life.

Point - God.

More music started to play...

I don't remember all the other songs that came on the radio, but I know the volume was turned up and I was having a private worship session in the front seat.  My girls might have wondered why the music was blaring or why I was singing along and lifting one hand in the air from time to time, but that's okay.

I do know at one point Francesa Battistelli's "He Knows My Name" came on and again spoke to me at the very place I was, reminding me of the Truth with one of the very issues I was struggling with this morning.

Point - GOD.

Again, I can't recall every single song I heard while in the car, but I do know God was choosing them and using them to help me dig in and fight back.  As listened and sang along, something happened deep within me.

My heart was strengthened.
I was encouraged.
My hope was restored.
My joy was renewed.
My energy was replenished.
I went from slumped shoulders to standing straight and tall, confident in the Lord and the GOOD plans He has for me.

Point - GOD!

Almost as soon as we got home, we had to get back in the car to run yet another errand.  Again, God was in control of the song selection.  Once more, "Greater is He who is in me than he who is the world..." was on.  As if God knew I needed the reminder once more!

The very next song was point on as well - a new one to me, but oh so good!!!  I Am They's "From the Day" must have been written with me in mind!!!

I surrendered myself and my situation to God - again - and could almost instantly feel my heart begin to overflow.  I was stepping out of the darkness and into the light.  God was opening my eyes, and my heart, reminding me that He has already saved me and secured the victory.  I could rest my heart in His arms.  I could sing and dance.

Point - GOD!!!

Not sure when, but "We Believe" by the Newsboys played and reminded me of all the Truths I know but sometimes forget when I am being attacked and beaten down.  As I recalled these promises from God's Word and filled my mind with descriptions of His character, it was as if my shield of faith was lifted so I could once more block those fiery darts and arrows the evil one was relentlessly hurtling at me one after another.  He had been on target for sure - he has a great aim - and had wounded me.  BUT, my sisters were praying (all 5 had sent me messages by this point to let me know they had my back!).  God was moving.  He was extinguishing the flames in one sense and adding coals to the fire in another.  He was working in my heart, getting me pumped, excited, ready to march into battle and be on the OFFENSIVE for a change.  He was leading the attack, and I was running with Him, sword lifted high and screaming at the top of my lungs, "Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world!!!"

Not sure if you've been keeping score, but God is DEFINITELY winning!!!
He always does.

Maybe you are in the middle of a battle yourself.
Maybe you feel defeated.
Maybe you fear you have already lost.

I assure you that is NOT the case.
Take heart.

"So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you."  ~James 4:7-8

"The Lord Himself will fight for you.  Just stay calm." ~ Exodus 14:14

"The Lord your God is going on ahead of you.  He will fight for you..."  ~Deuteronomy 1:30

"For the Lord your God is going with you!!  He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will give you victory!"  ~ Deuteronomy 20:4

"For the Lord your God is living among you.  He is a mighty Savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness.  With His love, He will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."  ~Zephaniah 3:17

"But you belong to God, my dear children.  You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world!"  ~1 John 4:4

Just as God used my sisters to help me this morning, I am here to support and encourage YOU.  2 shields are better than 1, so let's put ours together and stand our ground against Satan, side by side.

We can't do this alone.
We weren't meant to.

Rather, we are called to come together.
And as we do, we are stronger.
We are better.
We are victorious!!!!

And the best part is that God can use anyone to help you in your time of need, even the people you would least expect.

Like He did with me this morning.

I messaged a former high school, not only was she NOT in my circle of friends, she was someone I looked down on and made fun of and treated with contempt.  Not my best moment, but true.  If God can change my heart and make this former cheerleader one of my closest friends and one of the first people I go to for help, than God can use anyone...

I messaged 2 girls I have never met in person.  Yet, they too are some of my closest friends, my go-to's for prayer when I am feeling discouraged or overwhelmed as a wife and mother.  If God can use them in my life, than He can use anyone in yours...

I messaged 2 girls I haven't seen for over 10 years.
I messaged a girl I have met once, and only then because she was my friend's cousin.
If God can use these girls, He can use anyone in your life too...

I do find it quite ironic that these are the 5 sisters I turned to first.
By now I shouldn't be surprised at how God works, and yet He never ceases to amaze me.

As He did with every song on the radio this morning.
I can't even sing a single note on tune, and here He is using music to speak to my heart and restore my spirit all day long.

Yes, it's the irony of all ironies, but the fact of the matter is that's how God works more times than not.  And I am totally okay with that, because His ways are always better than mine, and He ALWAYS wins!!!

So take that, Satan!

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[d] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[e] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[f]17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Baby Steps

I must have blinked too many times because my baby girls are growing up and aren't babies anymore!

My oldest daughter - the one who first made me a mommy - turned 5 this month!!!

Coralyn's party launches our family into "Birthday Season" in our house.  In November, my youngest will be ONE!  And then, in December, we'll have a 3 year old on our hands as well.  Kellah, the soon-to-be-3-year-old has determined she will have a Zebra Party to celebrate.  Kyiah, the baby, doesn't really have an opinion on her birthday party theme, so I have chosen to go with BUTTERFLIES.  Butterflies signify new beginnings, fresh starts, hope, and the beauty of life (at least they do to me).

As I was thinking about my girls growing up, God seemed to use specifically my baby to teach me a lesson about life...

Kyiah is only 10 months old, but she is walking all around the house like she owns the place these days.  She's been taking steps and getting more and more comfortable over the past month, BUT she still falls quite often.  As I said, she's only 10 months old and is new at this whole getting around on 2 feet thing.  Kyiah doesn't let anything stop her though.  She trips or loses her footing or falls down for whatever reason, but she NEVER stays down for long.  Within seconds she is back on her feet and ready to go again.  There's no stopping her from getting where she wants to go or doing what she's put her mind to doing...

The best part is her smile.
And the FIERCENESS with which she goes about getting around.
She's ALL IN.

If I am close to her, she'll get up and basically race towards me as fast as she can.
If she is on something and I reach out to get her, she simply "jumps" into my arms, no fears or worries that she'll fall or that I would drop her.  Complete trust.  And joy, as she smiles from ear to ear and lets out a precious baby giggle!
If she is around her older sisters, she will do her best to keep up with them, not caring that she is still just a baby and they are more than 3 times her size!

We were at the park the other day and little Kyiah was doing her best to get in on all the action.  She looked so small in comparison to the big park area...

Yesterday, as I was watching my girls play and then later down on the floor stacking blocks with them, God spoke to me.

You know how Kyiah just goes for it?  Be like her.

You know how Kyiah can be wobbly on her feet, but she keeps getting better?  You will too.

You know how Kyiah falls down and then gets right back up?  Follow her example.

You know how Kyiah trusts you to help her, to lead her, to catch her?  Do the same with Me.

You know how you encouraged Kyiah over and over to take that first step, and waited with outstretched arms for her to come to  you?  I am the same way.

You know how you cheered and celebrated when Kyiah took those first shaky steps, not caring that she wasn't a master walker right from the start?  I am like that too.

You know how Kyiah gets better and better as she takes more and more steps and gets steadier and steadier on her feet?  You will too, as you walk with Me.

Maybe you are in a place where you need to take a FIRST step, a BABY step.
But you're scared.
You're unsteady on your feet.
You're wobbly.

Maybe you took that step, but fell down.
Get back up.
You'll get stronger and steadier as you take more steps.

God is right there with you.
He will hold your hand and help you learn how to walk.
He will guide you each step of the way.

Just don't sit there.
Don't even stand still.
Take that first step, a BABY step.
And see where God will lead you....

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What a Day

Yesterday was a remarkable day.

Nothing truly spectacular or out of this world happened.
Rather, a series of several "little" things took place all throughout the day that reminded me once again how very blessed I am.

To start, I woke up healthy.  I was able to work out and go for a run.  I enjoyed some "alone time" as I made my way through the neighborhood streets and prayed and let God fill my heart with His presence and the peace that comes with knowing He is WITH me.

I returned home and took a shower, with clean, hot water.
I ate breakfast - choosing from a myriad of foods in my fridge and pantry.
I read my Bible, on my phone, in my language, without fear of being discovered or arrested.

I nursed and cuddled by baby girl.
I prepared snacks for my 2 older girls - again choosing from a variety of fresh, healthy foods.
I got everything ready so we could head to the zoo, where we would meet up with some friends.
I fed my 2 older girls breakfast - once more having plenty of food to offer them.
I helped my girls get dressed, letting them pick out clothes from an overflowing closet.
We loaded up in our Yukon, which was full of gas and in great working condition.
We drove to the zoo on paved roads, following traffic rules all drivers knew and understood are in place for our safety.

We walked around the zoo with good friends.
We saw otters, polar bears, monkeys, orangutans, tigers, kangaroos, camels, llamas, penguins, snakes, and quite a few other animals.

We rode a carousel.

We sat down on a picnic table in a shaded area to enjoy the lunches we had packed.

We said good-bye and loaded back up into our Yukon to head home.

I got a Facebook message from a team mate saying she was enrolling a new distributor on her team.  She was beyond excited that her friend was going to join us on this incredible, life-changing journey!

We played and rested.
Then, we went out again, this time to a nearby park to hang out with more friends.
The girls swang and slid and ran around collecting walnuts and acorns.
I chatted with a fellow mom, encouraging each other that our kids are eating enough and learning and growing and interacting well with other boys and girls their age.
We enjoyed berry chillers from Starbucks.

I got another Facebook message from another team mate saying she was enrolling a new loyal customer and needed to know how to place her under a distributor on her team to help her out and to get closer to promoting herself.  She was super excited about how God was bringing people to her and having them celebrate with her as she sees some amazing results from using the natural health products herself.

When it was time to go home, we loaded up in the Yukon yet again.
We stopped by the grocery store to get a gift card for a friend in the hospital.
We finally got home and sat down to eat supper, which had been cooking all day in the crockpot.

As I put the meat, potatoes, and carrots on the girls' plates, I talked with a fellow mama on the phone and signed her up to be on my It Works team.

Yet another team mate sent me a message letting me know she would be enrolling a new customer and placing her under a team mate.  That order would mean she promoted to the next rank in our company, and she was delighted to say the least.  She was just as excited about the fact that the order would also mean that another girl on her team was promoting too.

By now, I was in tears - of joy - as I watched God knock down obstacles, move barriers, and answer prayers.  I was filled with awe at how He was working.  BUT, He wasn't done...

I made a quick trip to the hospital to visit a friend recovering from surgery.  We chatted.  We prayed, knowing that only God could completely heal her and restore her to full health.  Quickly.  So she could be with her 2 girls again.  We hugged and I went back home.

My husband and I put the girls to bed, all dressed in comfy pajamas and tucked in under their favorite blankets and surrounded by their most precious stuffed animals.  Then, we went back downstairs to enjoy a little snack and catch the rest of the baseball game...

The Royals were playing a Wild Card game and needed the win to continue in the postseason.  They were down 7 to 3 in the bottom of the 8th inning.  You would have thought all hope of winning was lost.  BUT, the fans put on their rally caps and cheered their team to victory.  That's right, after TWELVE innings the Royals pulled off the win, defeating the Oakland A's and advancing to the postseason for the first time since 1985!!!

As my husband and I watched the game from the comfort of our couch, I got a text message from a fellow mama wanting to know if there was still time to enroll and be eligible for the $10,000 bonus?  Again, I was moved to tears.  This mama friend had been thinking about joining my team for over a YEAR and was finally ready to go for it.  I cried as I put her info in and signed her up and then sent her my welcome packet in a Facebook message.

Finally, around midnight, my husband and I climbed our stairs and flopped down into bed, exhausted from a long, but GOOD, day.

Even as my baby girl decided to celebrate the Royals' victory at 1 am and then again from 3-4, I couldn't complain.

I was indeed tired when she woke up at 6 and wanted to nurse AGAIN and then crawl all over me rather than going back to sleep.  Yet, as I laid there in bed trying my best to get in some precious snuggles, I had to smile.

I didn't have to get up.
I didn't have to rush around.
I didn't have to wake my older 2 girls who were thankfully still sound asleep.

Instead, I crawled out of bed once my baby girl would no longer stay put.  We went downstairs, made breakfast, cleaned up the counters, loaded the dishwasher and let it take care of the dirty dishes for us, got supper ready, and read some encouraging devotionals on my phone.

As my older girls came downstairs, one at a time, I got breakfast ready for them.
They all played with the plethora of toys we have in our room set aside just for that purpose.

I read a chapter from Daniel and was amazed at what God was teaching me.  I shared those thoughts on Facebook and checked in on some team pages to see what was happening in the It Works family.

My baby girl is presently in her crib taking a much-needed nap after her restless night and early morning.  My 2 older girls are using the empty cereal box to make a wonderful creation that they will use all day to carry out the stories in their wild imaginations.

I will attempt to get a work out in, then shower - again with clean, hot water.
We will all get dressed - in different clothes than yesterday.
We will load up in the Yukon and drive to multiple stores to pick up items for my oldest daughter's birthday party that is on Saturday.
We will come home and eat lunch - picking whatever we want and not worrying about having enough to go around or fill everyone's tummy.
We will play and rest and read books.  We might watch a little mini movie on Netflix.
We will eat supper.
We will change and go to a local church so our girls can participate in the AWANA program, learning God's Word and having fun with friends their age.
We will come home, brush our teeth, get into our pajamas, and climb into our beds.

We will do all of this without much thought.
We won't realize how blessed we are to have electricity, paved roads, running water, food, clothes, and so much more that far too many people in the world DON'T have access to today, or any day.
We might take our freedoms for granted.
We might think we are entitled to this "luxurious" lifestyle.
And if something doesn't go exactly the way we planned or intended, we might get upset.

"What a day!" we might sigh.

Rather, "What a day!" we should praise God for His abundant blessings He is lavishly pouring out on us day after day after day.

I for one am completely overwhelmed with the ways He has made Himself known to me in the past couple days.

As I reflect on my perfectly ordinary day yesterday, I would be remiss to thank God for bringing It Works into my life.

For without that "job," I wouldn't have been able to spend the day at the zoo yesterday and see my girls exclaim in wonder as they watched the polar bear do back flips in the water or try to give the penguins high fives through the glass window.

Without that "job," I would have never met my friend we hung out with at the park.  I wouldn't have gotten out of my comfort zone and introduced myself to a random stranger at the library, nor joined the Moms Club she told me about, or followed up to have a separate play date with just her.

Without that "job," I would have never met my friend I visited in the hospital either.  I wouldn't have handed her a coupon at the splash park that led to a conversation that lead to another play date that led to an amazing friendship only God could create.

Without that "job," I wouldn't have had extra cash to use to get her family a gift card for the grocery store so they would have one less thing to worry about financially this week.

Without that "job," I wouldn't have gotten encouraging messages all throughout the day from my team mates letting me know how excited they were about new customers, new team mates, promotions, and the joy they had from helping others.

Without that "job," I wouldn't have had the opportunity to welcome 2 more mamas to my team.  I wouldn't have had the tools or resources to equip them to make extra money for their families so they can stay home with their babies and pay off debt and enjoy life to the fullest.

Without that "job," I wouldn't have been able to sleep in this morning after a long night.  I wouldn't have been able to get up at my leisure, fix breakfast for my girls, plan a special birthday party for my daughter who is so excited to turn 5, or do any of the other "normal" things I do all day every day without a second thought.

You see, this "job" is so much more than that.
This "job" is what makes it possible for me to say with tears of joy, "What a day!"