Delight yourself in the Lord

Oh, my precious Jesus, I love You so much.

Over the weekend, I was talking with my family about the incredible power of God… the truly amazing things that He has done in our lives. I’ve lived long enough to have seen some pretty ridiculous things that seemed impossible come to fruition, and I want so much for them to know that when life is hard, to know that Romans 8:28 is true. God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.

I am delighting myself in Him, for He alone is worthy of my praise. I don’t know how or why He has chosen me, but for right now, I seem to have found favor in His eyes and He is giving me the desires of my heart.

Oh, for those who are in a dark place, how much I want to tell you to “hold on!” Trust that He loves you. Trust that He cares for you. Trust that He knows what you need.

The weeping lasts only for a nighttime but joy comes in the morning. Wake up, my friends, it is morning.

Loving Him more each day

Blessings to you,

SB

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Mom, do I have to hang out with my friends?

There are few blessings in my life greater than my kids, who aren’t so little anymore.  The two oldest are 21 and 20 now (which is hard enough to believe when I can remember their delivery like it was yesterday).  We can, and do, have deep conversations about the meaning of life (quite literally) as well as many other topics..

During their teenage years, as friends of mine were complaining about the tumultuous drama that often accompanies those years, I felt awkwardly blessed that we seemed to skip that phase.   Our home has always been the “hang out” home, and we’ve hosted countless bon-fire / flashlight tag events over the years, where it seemed the kids and their friends enjoyed themselves.  In all of these events, I typically hang out right with the kids.   I remember one event where one girl was dropped of at our house by her older brother.  As they pulled up, I invited him to stay, and he gave me that look that said, “really?  I’m going to hang out with my little sister and her friends?”  He politely declined, but before leaving, struck up a conversation with some of the other kids who were there.   He ended up staying the whole time, and had a great time.  I kidded him about coming back sometime and he said, in all seriousness, that he would – that he had an amazing time.  “You people are cool” is what he said.  His sister was mortified, but I was flattered.

Yep, your mom is the “cool mom”, their friends would tell them.  I found it so amazing that their friends would often hang out with me when they were at our house.

As many of my readers will know, I like to have fun – to that end, several years ago, my kids and I created an Amusement Park Bucket List, and have begun working our way through visiting all of the Cedar Fair and Six Flags amusement parks in the domestic US.  This summer, I will be attending a conference with my youngest daughter and our youth group in Orlando, and will be visiting Universal Studios – later in the year, we have a day-trip planned for Cedar Point (our favorite Cedar Fair park).   In discussion with my youngest daughter (14) one night, she literally said, “mom, do I have to hang out with my friends at the park, or can I just hang out with you?”

At first I thought she was being facetious, but as we talked, I realized she was entirely serious.  She knows that when I DO a park, I DO a park – and what we’ve learned from other trips is that most people don’t do amusement parks the way we do – open to closed, 110% committed to every thrill ride, stay hydrated and fed just enough to not get sick, and ride til you can’t ride no mo!   We’ve learned that most people aren’t like that.

Beautiful.  just beautiful.  it warmed my heart.    I thought the initial conversation was the end of it, but as we were talking about the concert I’m taking her to for her birthday (21 Pilots), she remarked again that she’s looking forward to hanging out with me at the park, too.

Im not so naïve to think my kids won’t grow up and have their own lives… but am so incredibly blessed that each of them still think I’m a cool mom.’ I will enjoy every minute of it.

‘Blessed beyond belief,

SB

Chasing Daylight…

As my avid followers already know, my two favorite inspirational authors are Mark Batterson and Erwin MacManus. I’ve read (and re-read) nearly every book they’ve each authored and find myself just as inspired as the first.

Each of them pastor churches in the United States, one on the east coast and one on the west coast. A few months ago, I was honored to attend MacManus’ church, Mosaic, in Hollywood, CA. One day, I hope to attend Batterson’s church in Washington, DC.

On my most recent business trip, just before I left my house at 4 am for my early morning flight, I downloaded Erwin’s book, Chasing Daylight on my Audible App so I could listen during the flight.

Like the other books I’ve read, I found myself with tears welled up on multiple times throughout the flight as his words resonated deep within my soul.

I’ve finished only the first two chapters and had to go back and listen again, this time capturing a few of the nuggets to share. I would actually encourage you to get the book yourself and read it, but will share the nuggets I take away…

“The greatest tragedy is not the sins we commit but the life we fail to live. We cannot follow God in neutral. He has created you for something … He created you to do good. And doing this requires initiative. There is a subtle danger in hiding apathy behind piety. Getting rid of the sin in your life? Great. Now it’s time to do something”. Erwin Raphael MacManus

“What God makes clear is that when we’re committed to seizing His divine moments, He’ll make sure He’ll get us to the right place at the right time. What God can do with a person who’s willing to act is limitless”

Jesus considered it wicked, the person who leaves his talents unused”

My Lord, and my Savior, I am so completely humbled at Your blessings. I am deeply committed to seizing Your divine moments. I am passionately committed to living a life to do good to honor You. I commit to use every gift and talent You’ve given me for Your glory. I can see so clearly Your hand before me, pouring out blessings to bring the ideas You’ve given to me to fruition. It honestly seems like a dream.

 

Blessings,

SB

In His Time…

To think that the God of the Universe is interested in each and every one of the details of our lives is unfathomable at times, but that’s exactly who God is.   I am being so deeply blessed by Him right now that it is literally hard for me to wrap my brain around all that is happening.

I have been on an incredible journey throughout my lifetime – a journey filled with ups and downs like everyone else… filled with not-so-good choices and better choices, good times, challenging times, depressing times, elated times.

About a year ago, someone told me, “I can see the evidence of God all over your life”  At the time, I couldn’t fully appreciate what they were saying.

Back in the early 90’s, I was the accompanist for a small church where I became very close with the pastor and his wife.  One of choruses we used to sing was called, “In His Time”…   I was much younger then, ((LOL)) but as I sit and look back on events in my life, I can see so clearly that God’s hand was in all of it.

In his time, in his time
He makes all things beautiful
In his time

Lord please show me everyday
As you’re teaching me your way
That you do just what you say
In your time

In your time, in your time
You make all things beautiful
In your time

Lord my life to you I bring
May each song I have to sing
Be to you a lovely thing
In your time

Lord please show me everyday
As you teaching me your way
That you do just what you say
In your time

In your time (in your time), in your time (in your time lord)
You make all things beautiful
In your time

At the risk of sounding like a lunatic, I will say that I am so deeply in love with the Creator of the Universe – I honestly don’t quite know where to begin in articulating the ways in which He’s blessed me, but am trusting that He will give me the words to day when the time is right.
As I mentor several young people, some of whom are struggling to find their faith and/or believe that God loves them, I find myself wanting to shake them and say, “Just HOLD ON!  Have Faith – He will ALWAYS honor those who honor Him!!!”    They can’t see it now… as I couldn’t see it at their age.  My prayer is that they will have a life-changing experience where the God of the Universe shows up for them in a close, personal way…. a way that will make them want to share their story with the world too.
For now, I would ask you all to keep me in your prayers – this journey is a wild one.
Blessings,
SB
delight