We’re Only Here for a Little While

Posted by Shelley on Apr 29, 2007 in bible study

My poor family has endured my love of country music for quite some time now. The kids, even the little 2 year old, will tell me, “don’t like it mommy” although he WILL know who Dolly Parton is before he is 3 years old. Melodi knows who she is… she even has the classic song “9-5″ stashed on her shuffle mix (we all agree that is a GREAT song).

Okay, so country music is a little different… but you can always count on it to tell a story. I am not a deep person so having something completely spelled out for me is really okay. The biggest problem I’ve had is when country music stars decide they need to reinvent themselves… take for instance Garth Brooks. I was a devoted fan until he came up with some alter ego and made an album completely under a different name. Mike defended him to an extent, something about artistic creative rights and abilities… I just got plain mad. Don’t get me started.

But last week, listening to a gospel/country station (yes, it’s cruel but when you’re in my car you are subject to many, many radio stations) I heard an oldie but a goodie. Take out the steel guitar and just read the words and let them soak in for a minute. I’d say Billy Dean hit the nail on the head. Are you holdin’? Are you mendin’? Are you walkin’ though it means an extra mile? Cause like the song says, we’re only here for a little while.

Today I stood singin’ songs and sayin’ Amen, Saying goodbye to an old friend who seemed so young, He spent his life workin’ hard to chase a dollar, Putting off until tomorrow the things he should have done, Made me start thinking “What’s the hurry, why the runnin’? I don’t like what I’m becoming, gonna change my style. Take my time and I take it all for granted, Cause we’re only here for a little while


Soaking Up the Sun

Posted by Shelley on Apr 24, 2007 in songs

From the great theologian Sheryl Crow…

It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got…


Putting Things in Perspective

Posted by Shelley on Apr 19, 2007 in bible study

Luke 18: 27 He replied, “What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God.”

This week has been all about perspective. The culmination of many events, both in the world and in my personal life, have helped me find a place to compare something to other things so that it can be accurately and fairly judged. Allowing myself to think about a situation or problem in a wise and reasonable way has always been tough for me; but as Jesus states in the above verse, with God’s help whatever seems impossible from our point of view can be entirely possible in and through Him.


Fight the Good Fight!

Posted by Shelley on Apr 10, 2007 in kids

It’s Easter morning and my 2 year old son is padding down the hall in his footed pajamas… so cute and sweet and quiet. Until I hear this clunking sound. It’s not the cats, it’s not the gerbils, it’s coming from my son’s pjs.

I quickly stop and kneel down to his level, “what are on earth is going on?” I wonder outloud. More clunking. As he walks there is this noise with every step he makes. I immediately unzip the footed pajamas… he exclaims, “My weapons!” All this stuff falls out. I mean, a BUNCH of stuff. He had slept all night with random household stuff shoved in his pjs, as he stated, his weapons from whatever bedtime game had been going on 12 hours earlier.

At this point, I am just cracking up. He was so serious. How uncomfortable had that child been as he slumbered? How did I put him to bed with all this stuff in his pjs? Crazy. Just absolutely crazy! As I thought about this and continued laughing about it (honestly, his expression was INTENSE when it came to these “weapons”) another thought occurred to me. What weapons do us grown ups have stashed in our footed pjs… the uncomfortable ones that we tolerate because they seem to offer a great deal of therapy to our hurting souls? Alright, we all know the Sunday School answers here… gossip, backstabbing, drugs, sex and rock and roll. But really, what else are we toting around, ready to use to our advantage when the opportunity presents itself? Many people see the way they were raised, their life circumstances, or their emotions as being just too big to overcome. These “things” quickly become weapons, fighting off any good that might come from these situations. They are classified as strongholds that keep us in a gridlock, anticipating the battle but never allowing it to be fought.

I believe spiritual battles are fought over random household stuff we stuff in our jammies. They are only won when God unzips us and offers freedom a fighting chance.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4


Mom, what does redeemed mean?

Posted by Shelley on Apr 6, 2007 in kids

While listening to some Good Friday music in the car my daughter asked me the above question. How very wonderful it was to answer her… “you know what Jesus did on that cross? that’s what it means to be redeemed,” was my reply.

From Merriam Webster’s Dictionary
Redeemed: to get or win back
2 : to free from what distresses or harms: as a : to free from captivity by payment of ransom b : to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental c : to release from blame or debt : CLEAR d : to free from the consequences of sin

His favorite song of all
Is the song of the redeemed
When lost sinners now made clean
Lift their voices loud and strong
When those purchased by His blood
Lift to Him a song of love
There’s nothing more He’d rather hear
Nor so pleasing to His ear
As His favorite song of all

lyrcis from Phillips, Craig and Dean


Iron Sharpening Iron

Posted by Shelley on Apr 3, 2007 in Real Life Stories

A little over a year ago Mike sent me a link to the Johari window. The Johari Window was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness. By describing yourself from a fixed list of adjectives, then asking your friends and colleagues to describe you from the same list, a grid of overlap and difference can be built up. This link became a defining moment in my life. Everything became obvious and somewhat complicated all at the same time.

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

There is nothing quite like having someone that loves you give you a fair estimation of what you can work on. I know my personality flaws; Mike is my best friend and that’s what they do – they help you confront some things that you can’t do alone. I have been a stay at home mom for years now and just when you think children are the antidote for personal development, well, that is a topic for another post. I was ready to tackle some issues… but needed a vehicle to make the change. Just prior to that email with the link I had spent quite some time praying about how to address the things I was ready to change about myself. In God’s perfect timing He delivered the springboard I needed.

A year later I am looking at my list of the good, the bad and the ugly formed on that Johari window. I am happy to say I am on the other side of some of what I wanted to change. Praying for change, realizing you need it but then not knowing what to do about it is where most of us find ourselves. Allow me to encourage you here… if you are asking in earnest for God to work on YOU (and not everybody else which is what is more common, right girls?) I believe He will provide an opportunity that will take you from one level to the next, sharpening whatever it is about you that just doesn’t “cut it”. He has blessed me in abundance with a host of people, situations and circumstances to secure personal development and success in areas I didn’t even know existed. To see more about this Johari Window go to http://kevan.org/johari. Maybe we can share our results!

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