Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oooh la la!

Check this out. My new blog makeover! It's everything that I wanted. Soft. Sweet. Sensational. And oh so dreamy. So definately oooh la la.

Did you notice how the words in the header are all shadowy and seem to float across the page?

And the color combination. Blue with black. And blue is my favorite. Cause my eyes are blue. The shapes. Polka dots. The entire layout. A perfect design.

And guess what? I've got that cute little button--you can grab it if you like; I won't mind. And I've got the little-you-can-send-me-an-E-mail-button-if-you'd-rather-not-post-a-comment-button. Just click on it. How cool!

Remember how I listed a new blog design at the top of my Christmas wish list? Well, my darlin' husband didn't read that post; therefore, I didn't get my makeover. :(

But guess what? eLisa at Extragvagant Grace did a blog makeover giveaway on her absolutely fab blog! I can hardly imagine someone GIVING away a blog makeover. Can you? I mean investing all that work. All that time. But that's exactly what she did.

So, who got blessed by eLisa's generosity? You are so right. I did!

This blog makeover of my dreams is a gift from my friend at Extravagant Grace. And I'm loving it.

Thank you, eLisa. You Rock!

Oh, and check out this little personalized signature below.

Just a little more Oooh la la. Don't you think?

post signature

Monday, January 18, 2010

Everyday Girls

She makes mistakes. Says things that she shouldn't. Occasionally, she gets stuck on stuff. Her faith? Oh, at times, she's fiery and fiercely faithful. But other times, her faith is frail. Fragile. Even faulty. Still, she's sweet. Just an everyday girl. I actually like her. You see, she struggles in loving God with all of her heart. Soul. Mind. And strength. She struggles with being still in His presence. Being obedient. Being faithful to Him. In her everyday. And so do I. You know, I've shared things about myself on this blog. Things that I never imagined I would share with anyone. Like times that I disobeyed God. Disappointed Him. Or disregarded His word. I may have shocked you with a few of these disclosures. Sorry, if I did. It's just that I want to be honest with you about my everyday life. And walk. And faith. I don't have it all together. No where close. I'm not perfect. I will never be perfect. I don't have to be perfect. And you don't have to be perfect either. I know, what a relief! Our God loves us. Right where we are. Just the way that we are. Anytime I goof up. Everytime I goof up. When I sin against the Lord who is holy and righteous and just and perfect, He convicts me about my sin. That means He loves me so much that He tells me what I've done wrong. And then my heart hurts because I've hurt my sweet Savior. So, I go to Him. I confess. I ask Him to forgive me. To strengthen me. To give me a heart fully devoted to Him. He's so good. So good to listen. To forgive. To strengthen. To shape my heart. You see, God doesn't love me only on my good days. When I see victories and success. When I make progress. He loves me on the bad days as well. When my faith turns flimsy. And I falter. And I flee instead of standing firm. He loves me in my everyday. When I worry about my family. Stress about work. Ponder what the future holds. Feel overwhelmed with responsibility. With guilt. When my good intentions don't materialize. When my mouth gets me into trouble. And I was thinking that you may have experienced some similar days in your everyday. Because maybe you're an everyday girl too. And I want you to know that our God. Eternal. Everlasting. Everloving. Is an everyday God. Who loves His everyday girls. Every day. By day the LORD directs His love, at night His song is with me--a prayer to the God of my life (Psalm 42:8). I really want to hear about your everyday. And how you're doing. Sweet dreams, Deb

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just Shut My Mouth

They strike. Slice. And slash. Like a sharp shooter. Ricocheting through the air before I realize what's happened. My words. Oh, so sassy. So hard to control. Why can't I just shut my mouth? And keep it that way. You're right, I'm dreaming the impossible dream. Again. I'll have to make a lot of changes if this one's gonna come true. Because I like to talk. Sometimes, I talk way too much. Even when I don't have anything to say, I'll say something just to hear myself say something. I guess I like to hear my voice. Or my words, maybe. Kind of like I'm doing right now. Except I'm writing, not talking. Know what I mean? Anyway, my most recent opportunity to display a total lack of finesse in mouth management started--of all places--at church on Sunday morning. A friend in our class asked a question. A simple question. So, I seized this perfect opportunity to state my like way, way extensive biblical knowledge of the subject. I went on. And on. And on. I even contradicted a statement that he had made. Made him feel uncomfortable. Unvalued. As I finished this diatribe, I glanced toward him. Saw his face. And the slight, split-second change in expression. Pain. Caused by my careless, cutting words. Words that I spoke because I wanted to look good. Be right. Show off. And I'm sorry to say that I could give you more scenarios from this week when I should have kept my mouth shut. I didn't, and I hurt some more people. I want my words to be sweet. Soft. Sensitive. Like we're instructed in this verse: He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend (Proverbs 22:11). Don't you love this verse? I do. I just have a hard time living these words in my everyday. But I want to hide these words--about pure hearts--about gracious speech--close in my heart. So that my thoughts and words and actions will show that I am truly a friend of the King. The King of all Kings. Jesus Christ. He forgives me. Helps me. Will never give up on me. Even when I should just shut my mouth but lack the willpower to do so. You know, there's no god like our God. Is there? Sweet dreams, Deb What suggestions do you have to master this monster? I'd love for you to share.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In Sync

Lately, I've been wanting to branch off from blogging a little bit. Write a few devos. An article or two. Get them published! See my name in print! Oh, yeah! I am so digging that. However.... Since God is actually the One who gave me this writing dream in the first place, I decided that I should ask Him about my brilliant idea. You know. Be sure that His plan is in sync with my plan. And all of that kind of stuff. Like now's the time. The right time. Best time. The only time. To make this transition. Probably not a problem. But I asked anyway. And this is the answer that I got: Be still before the LORD (Zechaiah 2:13a). Be still! You've got to be kidding! What happened to our harmonious plans? Does God really want me to be still? As in no motion. No action. Just be still. Before Him. And if I am still, how will I ever get to where I'm going? Where I want to go in my dreams. Obviously, He has other plans for me right now. At first, I was sad, but not now. I'm learning about being still before Him. Not just when I read the Bible and pray and write in my journal. But He's teaching me to be still during the day. At work. At home. Wherever I am. Whatever my circumstances. Even when things are beyond my control. I'm discovering the blessings that God gives to us as we get still before Him. His presence - so sweet and tender and loving. His peace - not the fractured, short-lived kind that the world offers, but a peace that passes all understanding and is eternal. His protection - nothing can touch us that hasn't been sifted through His nail-scarred hands. His preparation - on the mountain top, in the valley, in the wilderness, and, yes, even in the desert. Wherever we are. His plan - will be brought to perfect completion. His promise - that He the Dream Giver is our very great reward. Do I still want a little writing action? Sure. But if it doesn't happen, I'll be ok. Just wondering about you. Any stories about your plans being out of sync with God's plans? How did things turn out? Let me know. Sweet dreams, Deb

Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking Back.

Up late last night. Had a New Year's Eve party. Our Sunday School class came over. Friends. Food. Fun. A great way to bring in 2010. But today, I plan to look back. You know, take a trip down 2009 Memory Lane. Think about lessons learned. Blessings received. Mistakes made. However, I won't dwell on the negative. Because I made progress. I determined that 2009 would be the year that I started facing some of my fears. And they were plentiful. I faced my fear of running in a race. Ran my first 5K in January. Loved it. And have run several races since including an 8K. I hope to run a half marathon in the spring. I faced my fear of being a failure at writing. Stepped out in faith and began blogging. Now, that may seem like a baby step to you, but it was a big deal for me. I asked myself. Can I really write? Or am I just dreaming? Will anyone read what I write? Will they like me? Sounds like I was just a bit paranoid. I was. And then you came along. Generously giving feedback. Always encouraging. Always understanding. You changed me. Helped me to have some self-confidence. And you have prayed for me. Thank you. For everything. I appreciate that you take the time to come into my world. I consider you as a friend. Maybe it sounds wacky. Even weird to say that about someone I've never met face-to-face. But that's how I feel. The following verse is my prayer for you as we begin the coming year: You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance. (Psalm 65:11). As we enter 2010, may you experience God's grace and goodness. May each step that you take be blessed abundantly. I look forward to what God is going to do in this new year. Thanks for looking back with me, friend. Sweet dreams, Deb