Followers

30 10 2011

Visiting other people’s blogs and communities can be addictive.  It’s been wonderful meeting other Christians online.
Reading about how they live their faith in their families, at work,
during daily routines is encouraging.  It’s a fun pastime.

Since I’m fairly new at social networking, I don’t have many followers.
It takes work to get more followers. That kinda made me
feel frustrated.

But during my devotions one morning, I felt much better about the concept of following.

I’ve been reading A. W. Tozer’s books.  I just finished Experiencing the Presence of God and started The Pursuit of God.

In The Pursuit of God, Tozer speaks of diligently following after
God.  I considered the blessings I’d have if I put the same amount of time and energy into following after God as I do in trying to build my social networking followers.

Many parents speak the same language as their tech-savvy kids.  So,
here’s a social networking analogy.

Heavenly Networking:

‘Follow’ Christ

“Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me’”     Mark 8:34

“‘Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.””  John 12:26

Heavenly ‘Friend’

“And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham
believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend’”   James 2:23

“When Jesus saw their faith, He said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’”  Luke 5:20

“You are My friends if you do what I command.”  John 15:14

‘Like’ Him

Cling to Him:

“I cling to you; Your right hand upholds me.”  Psalm 63:8

Fellowship with Him:

“Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”  1
John 1:3

“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord”  1 Corinthians 1:9





The Magic of a Smile

21 10 2011

Why are we drawn to people who smile?  Probably because a smile is contagious, affirming, reassuring, attractive, and inviting. 

Children love a teacher who smiles a lot.  That makes them feel safe. 

 At the end of the school year, educators evaluate the year.  They consider the highlights, and reflect on what could be improved.  When I was an administrator, I used to ask the teachers to complete a brief questionnaire.  The form was a way of gathering feedback regarding what went well, what could be changed for the coming year, and how I could better help them in the future.   

Regarding how I could better assist them, I was surprised to read the same remark from several teachers. “Keep smiling.”

I reflected on what message I was sending when I smiled.  I communicated that I was pleased with them, all was going well, and learning was fun.

I love to imagine God pleased with me. Smiling at me in approval. 

What pleases God?

Here are some verses that give us a hint of what might make Him smile at us.

“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”  Psalm 147:11

“For the Lord takes delight in his people; He crowns the humble with victory.”  Psalm 149:4

“…but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:24

“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  1 Peter 3:4

**********************

Most children get one negative comment to five positive comments each day.

Children with ADHD get five negative comments to one positive comment each day.

Imagine what a sincere smile could do for a child with ADHD.

Share a smile!





ADHD Awareness Week

16 10 2011

Check out the wonderful YouTube video created by ADHD Aware

It’s wonderful that there are so many resources for parents nowadays. 

Years ago, I traveled a lonely path.

My son (now 31 yrs. old) was identified with ADHD in 1985.  Most people never heard of ADHD.  Hyperactive behavior was considered the result of poor parenting.  So, the logical treatment was to judge the parent…give them advice whether they asked for it or not.

The CHADD support group was cancelled in 1987 due to lack of participation – not a single parent attended!  Fortunately, I knew about the disorder because I began my career in special ed. in 1976. Even when I was a child in the ‘60’s I knew about minimal brain dysfunction (what ADHD was called back then: http://www.adders.org/drbilly3.htm).  My uncle worked for CIBA, so I knew about Ritalin.

 I’m grateful there is growing awareness of girls who have ADHD. 

Andi’s Antics is a charming children’s book about a girl who discovers she has ADD and learns how it affects her. 

Andi's Antics





Grateful for Routine Things

16 10 2011

Many of the ordinary things we do throughout each day can feel like drudgery.  Maybe some of the necessary tasks feel like punishment at times.

Is it possible to enjoy food shopping?  I’m sure it depends on who you’re with (or not with), if you have money, if you’re trying to diet…

Nowadays, I enjoy food shopping. Thanks to Wegmans. 

I even started a discussion about Wegmans in my community.  It’s my favorite food store.  There are TONS of choices! The customer service is unsurpassed.  It’s a fun and surprisingly quiet place to have a meeting.  I could go on. 

No, I’m not related to the owner.  I just love it.  I enjoy doing the weekly food shopping with my husband.  I’m grateful we have money to buy food during these tough economic times.

Do you have a routine task that’s also a simple joy in your life?

Wegmans Food Store

 

 

 





Soaring Self-Esteem

14 10 2011

In my community I started a discussion about ‘Soaring Self-Esteem.’   When one of our sons was suffering from low self-esteem a counselor shared a biblical truth that transformed my thinking.

 He said that Chris will find his esteem in the knowledge that the God of the universe created him perfectly, sent His son to die for him, and has a purpose for his life. 

 What a concept!  God-Esteem is the solution to low self-esteem.  It’s all about our focus.  If we simply focus on how much God loves us, our self-esteem will soar.

 So often we feel helpless to heal our child’s hurting heart.  This is something you do to minister to your child.  Sharing this truth will help his/her self-esteem soar!

 This simple and biblical solution to poor self-esteem led me to publish a book entitled God Esteem, Not Self Esteem.

 





I put it in a safe place.

11 10 2011

Our son and his wife will soon be adoptive parents of a baby girl.  When my son was a toddler his favorite stuffed animal was Kitty.  He had a zoo of other stuffed animals, in addition to several characters from The Cat in the Hat books and several Popples.  I’ve saved Kitty for 29 years. 

For some reason I was keeping Kitty and several other valuable stuffed animals in the trunk of my car (in a black trash bag). So, I moved them to a safe place – a place where I knew I’d find them. Guess what…

I was SURE we put the black trash above our garage. My husband climbed up and looked all around. No Kitty.

No problem…on to the shed.  My other son and I looked for 3½ hours. No Kitty. But the shed was all organized.

No problem…on to the garage. I looked for 4 hours. No Kitty. But the garage was all organized.

No problem…on to my son’s old bedroom.  I looked in there. No Kitty.  [It was already organized by my son.]

Now it’s almost a problem. I’m running out of places to look. I should have left Kitty in the trunk of my car!

Meanwhile, I’ve been reunited with lots of things I haven’t seen for a while.

Why do we put our greatest treasures in those elusive ‘safe’ places?

I’m glad God’s keeping track of my treasures in heaven.  I’m doing a lousy job keeping track of some of my earthly treasures.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has misplaced a valuable item by storing it in a ‘safe’ place?!!!





A New Perspective

7 10 2011

Fall is my favorite season.  The lower humidity is easier for me to tolerate with my MS (since high humidity weakens me and makes my aches more painful).  I love to take pictures of the beautiful foliage. 

In high school I was given an assignment to photograph beauty.  The challenge was to find it from different perspectives: looking closely at a blade of grass dripping with dew, looking up to the sky through trees, finding beauty in unusual lighting…

Morris Arboretum

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My walk to the bus stop was a whole new adventure.  It made me realize I had been missing beauty all around me.  Even a network of worms would be transformed into a lovely lace design (when I mentally framed it). 

That assignment not only opened my eyes to previously unseen beauty, it opened the eyes of my heart.  How much beauty do I miss in others?  What can God show me if I shift my perspective upward? 

There is so much beauty to find in others.  Oh the joy of a heavenward perspective!  There is so much to learn about God’s love.

 

  
 
 




Trouble Walking

3 10 2011

I recently found out about Rest Ministries – an online ministry for people who have or know of loved ones with chronic illness.  Their mission: ‘Turning Your Illness Detour Into a Pilgrimage of Hope’ 

They are an affiliate ministry with Joni & Friends International Disability Ministry. 

Below is a devotional I wrote for Rest Ministries (which should be posted soon at: http://restministries.com/category/devotionals/)

Trouble Walking

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”  (Psalm 23:4).

 To slow the progression of my multiple sclerosis, my husband gives me weekly interferon injections.  Tuesdays are ‘shot days.’  I used to dread Tuesdays.  After my shot I’d wait to see if I’d get flu-like symptoms. 

 Often I’d be awakened by a terrible achy feeling.  Then I knew I’d have that feeling for 24 hours.  Yuk!  My choices were to lie in bed feeling the horrible symptoms or try to ignore them and function. 

 Sometimes I’d wake up without flu-like symptoms. Yay!   I was desperate to know if there was anything I could do to avoid the dreadful feelings.  My doctor recommended getting the shot in an area where I have the most muscles. 

 The problem is that I don’t have many muscles.  My arms are weak.  My legs are stronger. Three times a week I manage to do water walking.

 A friend of mine who suffers with similar pain and fatigue asked me, “How are you able to exercise?”  I told her it’s a series of victories: getting out of bed, driving to the gym, and then exercising.     

 Water walking has built up my thigh muscles.  They became the preferred targets for the needle.  Ever since I began following my doctor’s advice I haven’t experienced flu-like symptoms.  That’s motivation enough to continue water walking! 

 There are big payoffs for faithfully walking.  No flu-like symptoms and I maintain my mobility. 

 I used to take walking for granted.  Now I’m grateful for that ability.  I realized I take walking with the Lord for granted.  Why aren’t I as disciplined in my walk with Him as I am with my pool exercises? 

 There are huge benefits for faithfully walking with the Lord.  Psalm 23 tells us of God’s comfort as we walk with Him in dark valleys.  Psalm 89 tells us that those who walk with the Lord are blessed.

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, Lord.”  (Psalm 89:15). 

 Focusing on physical benefits helps me walk in water.  Focusing more on Him will help me walk closer with my Lord. 

 Heavenly Father,

Forgive me for not having a closer walk with You.  How I love spending time in Your presence!  Help me to keep my focus on You, walking with you each day.

Why is it so hard to find time to be alone with God?