Tuesday, January 01, 2008

505 - Review and Look Ahead... LONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heavenly Father, we are off and running in a new year, 2008. Wow, I can hardly believe it. Both my husband and I are 35 and my kids are 9, 8, 6, and 4. Times flies when you are having fun and yet it still flies when things are not so fun. But thank you Lord that I can never really get ahead of you. I can get away from plans and purposes, but I can never get away from you. Oh Lord, thank you and praise you.

The last couple of weeks have been quite a struggle. I have longed to feel your breath, but have struggled to even hear from You. Once again in your faithfulness You have given me a BUSY schedule of speaking for this Spring. I have a lot of new messages to write and I think Satan has put a stopper in my ear. I have had the biggest speaker's block ever. I would have said writer's block, but I don't consider myself a writer AT ALL. So I am trusting God is going to give me a break through in just a few days... He has to! And this is a very common problem when I am writing new things.

This year the word that keeps coming up in my mind is GRACE. I am not sure why - will I need to dispense it more than ever, will i be in need of more...more than ever, will I see it displayed to my family for some reason, will I get the opportunity to speak it into lives more than usual???? I don't know... But here is my year verse - I am surprised I haven't gotten a call or email from Rae Deal asking what my verse is for this year. She is usually always on top of that - Prov. 22:11 "He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend." And why should my speech be gracious especially to others..............because Is. 30:18 "the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice."

I was with a group of girls one time that would throw up the phrase "grace, grace, grace" whenever they needed a pardon for messing something up or saying the wrong thing or even sinning. I want my grace to be more than just a silly phrase when I am looking for an excuse to be pardoned. Yes, their intentions where good in the beginning, but just like anything including a diet we can quickly excuse one another lightly in a joking manner - finding excuses for one another instead of true grace when it truly needs to be dispensed. So as the Lord longs to be gracious to me, I am hoping to find opportunities when I can be gracious to another even when they are least expecting it. And this can only be done in a manner that pleases Him and brings honor to Him with a pure heart.

So here are just some random thoughts about the year past and looking forward.

1) We moved into our Norris City home on Dec. 28. It has been a perfect home for our time being here. A little or rather a lot squooshed, but very content. Perfectly located for this town and will be a wonderful home for the new owners - I am believing they are coming soon!

2) Emmajoy has now had 2 birthdays here on Dec. 29. She is now 8 years old and just as sweet from the day she was born. I feel sorry for her about the time of her birthday, but she is the one out of all the kids that can handle it the best. Here are some pictures from her party.

What an awesome day and all night of fun!!! The girls were so, so, so, so good!

3) Grace is something I not only want to give much to my kids, but also want to teach them to display as well. I became aware of very displeasing attitude in the girls as we walked around the mall. Of course I want to teach my kids to dress appropriately and act respectful, etc. But what I saw displayed made my skin crawl. As we walked through the mall all the girls were commenting on the dress of other girls and how it was terrible to see. I can appreciate them knowing all that, but the attitude and the looks that came from their faces said - I am better than you because I don't dress like that. Their faces and whispers said you are trash and God loves me more. Now I know my girls don't say that and probably don't think that, but that is what it looked like and appeared to anyone that may have been watching. "My momma said that store is bad. My momma says little girls should not wear those earrings. My momma said you can not wear those shoes. My momma said you should never spend that much on a shirt. My momma said we can not watch that. My momma said we can't believe in this or that. " It goes on and on. Yes, I can appreciate and do agree with many of those things, but somewhere in the mix of it all we or I have taught our girls to think NOT that it doesn't honor God, but because they don't or are not allowed that THEY are better. Oh it crawled all over me and it was nothing I could address at that moment.

I want my kids to know that we choose certain beliefs and adhere to certain rules not because we are better than others, but because of God's grace. He has lavished so greatly His grace on us and we are trying our best to live a life to please Him. Our convictions can not be everyone else's, but that does not make anyone less than me or us and does not make anyone restricted from grace either. Oh Lord, please help me to teach this. Your grace is great and apparent in my life and I want my kids to understand that as well. Oh Lord, Help.

I have so many more thoughts of the year past and upcoming, but that is all for now. Maybe if i get a few more minutes today I will continue, but until then Grace to you!!! I love you Lord!


Fran said...

Happy New Year Leigh! I pray for you continually and ask that His favor be upon you and His love embrace you always.

Blessings in 2008~

Fran said...

Happy New Year Leigh! I pray for you continually and ask that His favor be upon you and His love embrace you always.

Blessings in 2008~

Nicki said...

Leigh, Thanks for your idea I think it sounds great!!

I could SOOOO identify to this post......this little girl stuff is HARD. I have struggled a great deal with these issues because believe it or not, I don't allow my girls to do, watch, or wear a lot and sometimes I feel as though other mom's think I think I'm better than them, which is never my intentions. I will be praying for this with you....it's very hard to find a balance or so it seems in our society!

Happy new year!

Nise' said...

Happy New Year! What a great reminder that what we do does not and never will make us any better than anyone else. It is HIS Grace alone helps us.

Lindsee said...

Happy Birthday to Emmajoy! She is just precious and her party looked especially fun! (Wish I could have been there. A mani and pedi are always a delight!)

Happy New Year, Mrs. Leigh! I hope your holidays were just fabulous! :)


Heather said...

Happy New year! Love the pictures. Looks like tons of fun.

Kim said...

Please tell Emma Joy that Sam says Happy Birthday! (Remind her that she and Sam share the same birthday.) I used to feel sorry for Sam for having a birthday so close to Christmas but I actually think he comes out ahead because we make an extra effort to make his day special. Happy New Year!