Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Life Disrupted



A week ago my life was interrupted and it only took seconds........



It started out as a regular Sunday. This particular morning, my son kept complaining of a belly ache but I didn't know why. Suddenly he hiccupped and I knew within my gut that he was getting sick to his stomach. To avoid a disaster over the rug, I ran him into the kitchen.



I slipped and in a split second, I was on the floor face down yelling for my husband.



The pain radiating from my face and foot brought me to tears. Kneeling down next to me was my baby boy. He was in my arms when I fell and the incident caused him to scream uncontrollably.


I was helpless. In that moment I was dependent on someone else. I could not help my son or myself.


When you are an independent person, it is hard to find yourself in a place where you must depend on others. Why did this have to happen now? I didn't have time for this in my life. Didn't God know I was a wife, mom, successful career woman, community and church volunteer along with training for a half-marathon? It's hard to believe that less than 24 hours before, I was supporting my husband in the hospital as he made the difficult decision to withdraw his father from life support.


Here I was, the very next day in the same hospital, except now my husband was wheeling me around in the emergency room for CAT scans and x-rays. All things considered, I would live; just with a black eye and broken toe. During the days that followed the accident, I reflected on the timing and reason why this happened.



  • I realized that it was a divine way of forcing me to rest.


For some he may allow a cold/flu, a weakend immune system, or a temporary injury to bring forth a season of relaxation and restoration. I would often hear my mom and sister tell me to slow down, but honestly, I wasn't really listening to their gentle words of advice. In my mind, God had equipped me with endurance for each movement through my life journey.



  • In my world, I could do it all.


Our bodies are not meant to endure seven days of rigourous schedules. When God created the world, on the seventh day he rested. It was the ultimate example of how He wants us to schedule our daily lives. Genesis 2:2 shares that on the seventh day of creation, God finished his work and rested from ALL his creation.



  • When was the last time you allowed your mind, body and soul to rest?

Find time to slow down and enjoy God's beauty and plan for your life. Reflect on the many blessings that he provides. Start TODAY! Observe the picture above while taking in a deep breath. Imagine yourself laying on the hammock beautifully nestled between the two palm trees. The warm breeze tenderly brushes across your face and toes. Hear the ocean waves crashing against the shore while you slowly close your eyes and take a catnap.


My prayer is that this will inspire you to take a day each week to rest from ALL your activity. Stay inspired! (Posted by Renee)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Last Time God Failed Me

~ Today's guest blogger is Paige Henry. She is an identical twin who hails from Detroit, MI. ~








At least for me, it's difficult to find things in this world to trust in. I long for something stable, something consistent to rely and trust in. If I were to ask you for a solution to this problem, I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that you would point me to Christ. After all, He is the obvious solution. So it amazes me how I, and I'm sure others, have developed trust issues with God. Often I find myself worrying about one issue or another. I find myself working hard to protect my own self.





If I am honest with myself, it is because I haven't fully surrendered every part of my being to God's will.





I must admit that there are times when I'm skeptical of God's plan for me. At times, my lack of wisdom leads me to believe that I may end up disappointed if I completely exchange my hopes, dreams and aspirations for His. Yet if you ask me for the reason of my distrust in Christ, I could not give you a reasonable response.





If one were to ask me about the last time God failed me, I would have to reply that He never has.





But for some, maybe you would have an experience where it felt as if God failed. A time when you were disappointed by the pain this world can sometimes bring. For me there were times where I felt unprotected. I was upset about bad experiences I had, and fearful because God didn't guarantee that I wouldn't have painful experiences again.





I was comforted by a story I read in a book awhile back. The story is about a true experience of a soldier in the army fighting in a tank during a battle. This soldier was a devout Christian.





Bold in his faith.





Bold enough to publicly profess God's power and anoint his tank with oil before going into battle. However, the soldier did not find the easy victory he expected. Instead his tank lost communication with his fellow troops and was blinded throughout the battle. This man later developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and decreased faith in God. His perception was distorted and he failed to realize that God still protected him. The soldier was unharmed, but God's protection came in a different form than he expected.





I had to change my perspective to realize that God is always protecting me and working on my behalf. He allows trials into my life to show me His power and to develop wisdom and my relationship with Him. The next time you begin to doubt God's plan for you, I would encourage you to reflect on the last time God failed you.





So what are you worried about again?





~ Paige Henry is school social worker and independent music artist. Check out her music at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/sydneyandpaige?sk=app_2405167945 or http://sydneyandpaige.com/. ~





















Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cast A Net

Have you ever been fishing? 

I am always intrigued by those that will stand for hours (usually in the hot sun) hoping to get a fresh catch.  Fishing is such a gamble and requires a ton of patience.  You wait for the perfect time, pick the perfect location, choose a bait, cast your line, and then wait for a bite. Finally, comes the moment of hooking the fish and reeling it in.
 
The thrill of reeling in those fish far outweigh the time and patience it takes to perfect this sport.  In South Florida you will find people fishing almost anywhere (a pier, canal, lake, etc.).  I  honestly find it easier to go to my local grocery store and buy that "fresh catch" of the day.  I love being able to reap the reward of someone else hard work.

God offers a way for us to "cast" our cares on Him.  Oftentimes, we try to do life alone. Away from the wisdom and guidance of our Creator-that's risky!  A perfect price was paid for us to be free and we can reap the reward of peace and clarity in our lives.

Here's a news flash:  We are NOT more capable than God. 

God offers us the perfect solution.  I Peter 5:7 simply states, "Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you."  The great, big God of the universe, that holds the stars in the skies and allows the sun to rise and set each day cares for YOU!  Let that thought soak in.  Much like the fisherman that cast their line, we can cast ALL our cares on God.  Throw him everything in your life and in return He promises to care for you.  Thankfully, in this process there is NO risk involved. 

This week try it-Throw God your fears, frustrations, finances, worries, health, children and trust the fact that He is powerful enough to handle it.  Don't limit His power by taking matters into your own hands.
 
"How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!" (Psalm 147:5) Posted by Roslyn

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Road Trip






During the summer months, road trips are common place for families everywhere. Roslyn and I recently headed north with our families for our annual family reunion. It's a time that we look forward to every year. We share three days filled with excitement, activities, and tons of food. The aroma of hotdogs, hamburgers, and ribs roasting perfectly on the grill provide the sweetest enticement to temporarily forget about any healthy eating plans.













Typical of summer weather, we encountered horrible storms on the way back home. Despite the fact that gray storm clouds covered the skies , we made a choice to keep driving. It didn't matter that cars were beginning to pull off on the side of the road to avoid driving in the rain, we were determined to press our way.





Every car on the road had the same ability as ours, but not all of them moved forward in that capability.





For those that stopped and pulled off on the side of the road, their storm lasted longer than it needed to. If only they knew that less than a mile up the road, there were rays of sunshine peeking through the clouds and the rain diminished to only a slight drizzle.





When you travel on the highway of life and the storm winds blow, you MUST make a decision. It will most likely be a split second decision because tragedy, crisis or disappointment can come with one call, knock at the door, or doctor's diagnosis.





You can choose to stop in the middle of the storm, seek shelter under an 'overpass', or continue moving forward.





For each of you reading this post, please understand that stopping during the storm will lengthen the journey. You will remain stuck when you don't have to. Seeking shelter under an 'overpass' will stop the rain from falling on your vehicle, but there will be limitations in your movement. The places you can travel are restricted to the depth and width of the covering you select to hide under.






Moving forward is the best option and it is a choice!





With the selection to move forward, there are adjustments that are necessary. You will have to slow down, become more focused and use extreme caution. The Bible tells us to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.



I leave you with a beautiful quote from my favorite poet, Maya Angelou:





God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us-in the dreariest and most dreaded moments-can see a possibility of hope.








Allow your faith to propel you forward. There is a destination to reach and a prize to claim. Don't stop one decision short of receiving it. Yesterday is gone and there is not anything you can do with the choices made in your past, BUT, you can choose today to move forward. (Posted by Renee)






We would love to hear how you have decided to move forward. Share your story at the link below: http://doubleportioninspiration.blogspot.com/






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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summertime!


Summer is finally here and many people will watch fireworks tonight to celebrate the 4th of July. Summer has the warmest temperatures, longest days and shortest nights. This season represents a time of no schedules, homework or bedtimes. Families plan vacations. They enjoy much needed rest and relaxation. In the famous words of Will Smith, "Summer, summer, summertime-time to sit back and unwind."

Who doesn't enjoy the many fruits of summer-ice cold watermelon, juicy peaches, and nectarines. Did you realize that the fruit you buy this time of the year was planted in the dead of winter? No one was thinking of juicy summer fruit when they were knee deep in snow. Before we can have a summer harvest, we must first plant a seed in winter.


What season of life are you in?

Do you feel alone and isolated like many people feel in winter? Do you keep facing storms like the blizzards of winter? Did you just start a new chapter in your life and feel as if you are just starting to bloom like the many plants and flowers of spring? Maybe you are enjoying the season of summer in your life and you are free from a bad relationship or habit.


Life is all about seasons.


You should never become content in a certain season of life because a new season might be just around the corner. As sure as a season comes into your life (whether it is good or bad) it will eventually leave. Don't ever give up, because before you know it you will be celebrating the freedom of summer.

We wish you a happy 4th of July! This holiday represents our nation declaring its freedom and independence from other nations.

Why don't you declare your freedom from depression, anxiety, confusion and frustration? Be free to live and love!

Click on the link to hear one of our favorite songs of summer: (Posted by Roslyn)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6WpvBHdk1c&feature=youtube_gdata_player