Monday, January 2, 2012

Goodbye For Now

Happy New Year to all of my dear friends! This post comes to you with real sadness, as this will be my last correspondence with you for awhile, perhaps for good. This blog has reached its year anniversary and it's been a tremendous year. I have met some of the dearest friends via this blog, who I will treasure for a lifetime. God has helped me muddle through some very deep and painful circumstances, as He has used you to bring me words of encouragement and love. He has also used you to celebrate with me in the good times...

As I seek to follow God's Star in 2012, He is directing me along a new path. I don't have all of the answers, but as He reveals Himself to me I desire to be faithful and I look forward to watching His plan for me unfold this year. As we know, when we are lead in new directions in life, we are sometimes asked to weed out any distractions that may deter us from accomplishing the goal. Sometimes those distractions may be positive (this blog), but nonetheless distracting.

Thank-you so much for your support, encouragement, and friendship this last year. God used you to bless me in so many ways. May this coming year be the best year yet for you and yours and may blessings abound as you journey through life with Him.

I will check in with your blogs from time to time. Please know you're in my thoughts and prayers...

Hugs!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Source!

Have you ever stopped to think about your source... the source from where you came? I have always known I came from God, but I watched a presentation by Dr. Wayne Dyer recently and it prompted me to reflect a little deeper about just what it means to be created by God... in His image.

Dr. Dyer used the analogy of an apple pie to make his point. He said if you slice a piece of that pie and remove it from its source and begin to ask it from where it came, the piece will respond, "I came from my source. I can't possibly be made from peaches or cherries. I have to be made of apples... so, the only explanation is I came from an apple pie."

Just as we cannot be anything but fearfully and wonderfully made because our Source is the Almighty God Himself! Not only did He create us, but He created us in HIS image! We can't get any more perfect than that.

The problem we face is over the years we have chosen to listen to what others say about us instead of listening to our Source. We have been told over and over again:

  • we're not worthy
  • we're not good enough
  • we're not pretty enough
  • we're not skinny enough
  • we're not athletic enough
  • we're not smart enough
... and the list goes on and on until one day we realize we've "checked" the baggage of everyone else and we're carrying around the burden of untruths and lies. We go through life imposing our nasty baggage onto others in hopes we can find some relief for ourselves. Satan has us spinning around and around on the conveyor belt of life handing off and receiving the heavy loads as if that's just "life"... the lot we've been given.

God has a different plan for our lives! He's begging you to listen to Him! When others tell us we're less than God created us to be, simply respond as that little piece of apple pie responded and say, "That's impossible! I can not be anything less than the very image of God, for He is the Source from which I came!" 

Let's turn our baggage over to God. He's willing to ease the load, to claim our baggage, so we can be rid of them once and for all. When others want to hand you their baggage, politely inform them that you are NOT their baggage claim and steer them in the direction of the One who is!

Follow the Star!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

To Save A Life

A year ago my husband and I attended a little country church in the Midwest to support my father's ministry. One blustery fall Sunday we were cleaning up in the kitchen after a potluck dinner when a gentleman peered out the window above the sink and chuckled. The rest of our curious eyes fell on a church sign propped against an exterior wall. Stenciled against a white background in black lettering was the name of our church with an arrow pointing downward... apparently an old road sign that hadn't yet been disposed. The gentleman jokingly said, "We really ought to turn that sign in the opposite direction!" At which we all giggled in agreement.

Though that was a light-hearted interchange, I'm reminded of the awesome responsibility we have as believers and followers of Christ. I remember conveying to my children as they were growing up that they may be the only link to Jesus for some people. Our actions, what we say, and our choices to be inclusive or exclusive have monumental effects on the lives of others.

I know this to be true because it hits too close to home. It was very important to me to raise my children in the church. My son, who suffers with learning disabilities and ADD attended church for 17 years. He was faithful in attending every event:

  • Sunday morning worship
  • Wednesday night Bible study
  • Activities
  • Conventions
  • Summer camps
...and after 17 years he walked away friendless and a promise to never step foot in church again. He is now 20 and has dabbled in destructive activities, has a tobacco addiction, listens to antisocial music, and sees Christians and the church as anything but desirable.

My husband said to me just a day or so ago, "Honey, there's something that simply won't escape me. God will forgive the church kids who have ostracized our son, but what will ever come of Josh?" Tears welled in both of our eyes as we were in the face of a grim reality. Josh is so unique and special, with a heart so big it covers the whole continent of Africa. That goofy guy who smiled and laughed at the mere thought of living... and wept while watching "Save the Children" on t.v. has been swallowed up by a sea of evil both in and outside of church.

Are we going to link up with God by stepping outside of our comfort zones to show others the love of God? Or, are we going to link up with satan by shunning those who don't fit into our neat and tiny boxes we've created? 

A simple random act of kindness like inviting someone to the movies, including an outsider in a group activity, or conveying to another how special they are just might save a life! Folks... there's a mission field in your own back yard!

What will ever come of Josh? There are 2 things I know to be true:
  1. God will NEVER forget Josh and the anguish he has suffered.
  2. God has a very special plan for Josh's life.
What about the rest of us? Let's join forces and link up for Heaven's sake! May the pain and suffering of another not be the result of our choices. God has freely given us His love and He loves us just the way we are... imperfections and all. The least we can do is love others... imperfections and all
  • The autistic adolescent with deficient social skills
  • The senior citizen with troubling dementia
  • The vagabond who makes his way to the church pew
  • The young adult with learning disabilities who has lost his faith in Christians, the church, and God
God loves us all...


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Better LIfe!


Many years ago God used a star to guide people to a new beginning... a better life plan and God inspires us to look at life anew and afresh today as well. 

When we are filled with agape love:
  • A rainy day can exude sunlight
  • A lost job can mean an open window leading to new ventures
  • The tears cried over the loss of a loved one can quench the thirst of another lost in a desert of pain. 
On the other side of our darkest hour shines a new dawn, a star awaiting our faithfulness to follow. God has promised us to never leave us and He also promised ALL things will work together for the good to those who love Him!

Am I going to settle for a life of darkness, or am I going to opt for a better plan, a better life by following God's star to a new beginning? 

There's a lot of hype over the "One-Word" Resolution for the upcoming New Year and I LOVE IT! My "One-Word" Resolution for 2012 is going to be "Star." I am ready to meet God on the other side of these dark alleys I've been muddling through to follow His vibrant light to a new life plan, to a better life, to my Heaven on earth... 

What will your "One-Word" Resolution be that will lead you to a better life? God desires great things for His children and YOU are no exception and I am no exception!

Michael Buble ushers in this Holiday season so beautifully with these words: 

It's a new dawn. 
It's a new day. 
It's a new life for me...
and I'm feeling GOOD! 

Follow God's star my friend toward a new beginning, a better life, and a life plan that has eternal value!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Organic Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte

I LOVE chai tea! No... let me rephrase that... I'm addicted to chai tea :) So, I thought what better way to begin my Thanksgiving than with a Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte! It is warm, soothing, and delicious along side of a biscotti or two and voilĂ  a perfect start to a perfect day :)


Mix a can of organic pumpkin puree, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 cup of raw agave, and 2 cups of chai tea in a medium sauce pan:







Steam organic vanilla soy milk until warm and foamy (it isn't necessary that you have a latte machine...)




I mixed one part pumpkin chai to one part steamed milk. You can add more agave if you like it sweeter (I like it sweet:) and there you have it! Enjoy!



My wish to you is a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Realize Your Dreams

Do you like to dream about the future? I sure do :) Often, however, there are road blocks that seem impenetrable to realizing my dreams. Do you find that to be true with you as well? Here are some of the obstacles I need to overcome to be able to move forward:
  • Lack of Confidence: Do I really believe I can do it? Do I really deserve to be both happy and successful?
  • Fear of Failure: My husband and I have hit the bottom a couple of times and when this happens, it's very difficult to dust ourselves off and try again. I know if I want to do something out of the ordinary I'm going to have to overcome this fear.
  • Feeling of Being Overwhelmed: The prospects of realizing my dreams can not only be exciting, but overwhelming as well, so it's easy to cower and settle back into the mundane of life.
  • Programming: As a result of living this life, I have been programmed to handle my fears, pains, and adversity. Can I make the adjustments necessary to be able to handle success?
If I'm ever going to combat these obstacles and tear down the walls preventing me from being creative and living an extraordinary life, I am going to have to use some, if not all, of the following strategies to take me from clustering with the chickens to soaring with the eagles:
  • Create Goals: Setting goals and benchmarks for various projects that will move me closer to attaining my dreams is essential to maintaining focus and keeping on track.
  • Start Small: Whatever dream I am working to fulfill, it's important to not set unrealistic expectations of myself. This threatens to squelch any dream of becoming a reality.
  • Being Confident: Giving myself permission to be both prosperous and happy is one of the biggest steps I can take toward fulfillment.
  • Make Dream a Priority: If I constantly push my dreams back under the surface I'm likely not going to take steps each day toward accomplishing my goals. It's important for me to recommit to my dream often to keep proper perspective and to keep it a priority.
I read a wonderful blog post by Stephen Cox on The Change Blog about the steps we can take to realize our dreams. He inspires us to imagine our lives as a ship, navigating the seas of life:

"I would like you to imagine your life as a ship, a great ocean liner navigating the stormy seas of life. Within this ship, which is your life, are three compartments. The first compartment at the rear is your past. It contains all your yesterdays, regrets, and could-have-been’s. The middle compartment is today. It is the endless right now of the present moment. The final compartment at the front of your life-ship is your future. It contains all your hopes, dreams, worries and paralyzing anxieties.



You will notice, as you picture your life-ship, that between each of these three compartments are enormously strong bulkheads. Right now those impenetrable steel doors between each compartment are open and cracks in your past compartment and your future compartment are causing your today compartment to flood. Because the bulkheads are open you are frantically working the pumps to keep your life-ship from sinking, to keep your head above the waters of the stormy seas of life.


Picture now, those impenetrable steel bulkheads closing and locking tight. Sealing off the torrent of worry and anxiety that was roaring into your today from the past and the future. You don’t have to worry about either of them any more. You’re safe and secure in the compartment of today. You no longer have to man the pumps. Instead, you can get down to the very pressing business of today. You can set to the things that you can do today that will bring you that one step closer to your dreams."

I don't want to go through life "drowning in a sea of anxiety and worry," do you? Let's let go of the worries of our past and the anxieties of our futures and live in the tight compartment of the here and now so we can successfully implement the strategies I've listed above and knock down the barriers that often hinder us from realizing our dreams.

Blessings today for a bright future ahead!
Marisa

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

The Farm Girl posted a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate that looks mighty tasty! Perhaps we will have to top off our pumpkin pie with this little, cozy, delectable mug! (I'm going to text my brother with this recipe since he's our Thanksgiving barista this year:)

Wishing you all a joyous Holiday!