Roxanne's Gratitude Log (GLOG)

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2/9/2015: So thankful God is immutable. He never changes. He is my Rock and my Shield.
1/30/2015: Sometimes life stinks. But it is in those moments we see where we are in our relationship with God. This past week was horrible. But God was in me, and I could see the changes that He has made in me over the years in a tangible way. Very pleased with the godly, good friends who help me get through the hard times.
1/20/2015: Grateful for the self-control God puts in His children when they accept Jesus as the Lord of their lives.
1/19/2015: Finally got to use my new roller skates! Enjoyed the time with my boys and husband at the local rink. Big thanks to my hubby for taking time to do things I enjoy.
7/1/2014-12/31/2014: This GLOG was not updated these months because God did some amazing things in my life and kept me quite "fruitful." Here is a quick list of all that I am grateful for:
- 2 new businesses opportunites (that makes 4!)
- A new home (beautiful and closer to in-laws!)
- Lots of wonderful gigs
- Placing in many races within my age group (yep, I am a runner!)
- Homeschooling my boys another year
- Seeing and serving at 2 Joyce Meyer Conferences

6/28/2014: If you know me at all, you know how much I love to read. I always love to share the books that are part of my journey in life as a disciple of Christ. I just finished "The Spritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" by Donald Whitney. What an amazing book to grow in godliness. Highly recommend to those who want to grow in their walk with Christ. I want to thank God for my church home, New Pointe Community Church, which suggested this book.
6/22/2014: One of my favorite ways to study God's Word is through a word study. I have done these before and some are mentioned in this glog. This study was on the word "continue". I was amazed at the scriptures that surround this word and how God guides us in so many ways with through His Word. I am grateful for the little Concordance I bought long ago that helps me in these word adventures and the lessons God teaches me through them.
6/20/2014: So thankful for the gig at the Bistro Lightouse at Atwood Lake tonight. First summer gig of 2014!
4/1/2014: I just finished reading and studying the book "Embraced by the Spirit" by Chuck Swindoll. What an amazing book. I highly recommend it if you want to learn about the following:
-How the Holy Spirit transforms believers in Christ from the inside out.
-How believers can live like Christ.
-Who the Holy Spirit is.
-How the Holy Spirit works in a believer and among us.
-How the Spirit of God provides complete power to live a life that those without Christ can't imagine.
-What happens in a believer when he/she is filled with the Spirit.
-How to be led by the Spirit of God.
-How to deal with closed doors in life.
-How the Spirit frees believers from sin.
-Why believers in Christ are not helpless victims of urges and sinful desires.
-The 5 suffering laws (understanding suffering in our lives).
-Practical evidences of God's Spirit.
-and so much more...

I am so appreciative of the many teachers of God's Word such as Chuck Swindoll. What a blessing they are in the lives of Christians who want to grow in Christlikeness.
2/4/2014: Unable to express how thankful I am that Jesus offered Himself once for ALL (see Hebrews 7:27).
2/2/2014: "May your life become one of glad and unending praise to the Lord as you journey through this world, and in the world that is to come. -Teresa of Avila I appreciate that God is teaching me to be glad through this journey of life.
2/1/2014: WhooHoo! God is immutable! Unable to change!
1/30/2014: God tells us in His Word not to be sluggish. Oh, Lord, thank you for helping me to not be lazy. I fail often, yet you pick me up and encourage me forward.
1/24/2013 We learn obedience by the things which we suffer. Father, help me to learn from each difficult experience. Thank you for each opportunity to grow in faith, love, and obedience.
1/21/2014: I can come to God and receive mercy and grace when I am tempted. That is awesome!
1/20/2014: Help me, Lord, to show by my outward profession the genuineness of my inward reality. Thank you for all Your help, Father.
1/18/2014: Hebrews 4:11 says that there is no creature hidden from God's sight. WOW! My hope is not dashed for those who do not know God, for they are still in His sight.
1/15/2014: Joshua brought Isreal into Canaan, but Jesus will bring believers into the eternal resting place of heaven. Beautiful!
12/31/2013: Very thankful for another wonderful year. The ups and downs make up the beautiful tapestry of the life God has blessed me with while here on earth.
11/2/2013: Almost every night since my boys were born, I have read to them. I read constantly, and I love learning. Super grateful for books and the wisdom God teaches me through them.
11/1/2013: I love fall days and watching the leaves change. When the weather is great, I love my long walks on the beautiful country roads around my home. I appreciate how God uses the seasons to show His awesomeness.
10/29/2013: Our church does not have Sunday School, instead we have small groups. Groups that meet throughout the month to learn, grow, and encourage one another in our walk with Christ in full confidence. I am so grateful I can share what is on my heart with those who love me and love God.
10/18/2013: This week our mom and pop shop reached a HUGE milestone. One that, without God, would never have come to pass. I love that God uses those who seem unqualified to do something of great quality (and quantity, as in this case).
10/18/2013: Thankful for the awesome time at Roscoe Village's Apple Butter Stirrin' Festival.
10/17/2013: God's love for even those who try and run from Him.
10/16/2013: Thankful for the comfort God provides when people hurt us.
10/14/2013: Being able to talk to God about even the little things that seem huge at the moment.
9/13/2013: I finished my kindness study this month. The scriptures on kindness and lovingkindness were amazing, of course. "Kindness is not a natural human reaction. It must be developed in order for you to minister to others in the name of a loving God." (Woman's Study Bible, Nelson) The inspiration and awesomeness of God's Word on that subject led me to write a new song as well. My favorite scriptures on kindness included:

1. She opens her mouth with wisdom. And on her tongue is the law of kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)

2. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

3. Love suffers long and is kind... (1 Corinthians 13:4)

4. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and heart. For your lovingkindess is before my eyes and I have walked in your truth. (Psalm 26:2-3)

5. Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindess of the Lord. (Psalm 107:43)

6. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies...kindness, humility, meekness and longsuffering. (Colossians 3:12)

7. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared...that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4)

8. ...add to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love. (1 Peter 1:7)

9. Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jeremiah 31:3b)

10. Cause me to hear your lovingkindness in the morning, for in you do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you. (Psalm 143:8)

So grateful for God's amazing lovingkindness.
8/19/2013: Very thankful to get 2 copies of Mountain Home magazine. This month's issue (August 2013) has a great article about my dad and his Sculpture Garden.
8/17/2013: Tonight I heard one of my songs on the local FM Christian radio station. It was a first for me. On The Light 95.9 ( they recently started an Undiscovered Christian Artists Radio Show (Saturday nights 10-11). One of my dear friends saw the ad looking for artists and thought I might want to submit my songs. I did, and I was so excited when they were accepted. When my song "Pick a Way" was played tonight, my son was there with me (he is 9) and he was really excited to hear his Mom on the radio. What a fun and memorable moment. I am totally grateful to God for the opportunity, as well as my friend taking the time to think about me and something that would be a great fit for my music.
8/10/2013: After I finished my peace study, I continued on with patience. (Patience and peace are on the same page in my now worn P section of my concordance!) There are far less patience scriptures than peace scriptures but the study was no less interesting. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (2 Thes 3:5)

2. Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:7)

3. patient with all... (see 1 Thes 14)

4. ...patient in tribulation... (See Romans 12:12)

5. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Eccl 7:8b)

6. The testing of your faith produces patience, but let patience have its perfect work. (See James 1:3-4)

7. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (Hebrews 6:15)

8. But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. (1 Peter 2:20b)

There are many more worth discovering...check out Romans, 2 Corinthians, Hebrews and Luke. I am thankful God helps with practical things like patience!
7/10/2013: For the last 40+ days, I have been in a in-depth study of one of the Fruit of the Spirit: Peace. If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, then God has put His peace within you. But when we get that peace, it is like a seed that must grow. I would like to share 10 verses today from God's word that help grow that seed of peace:

1. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

2. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

3. {through prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving)...the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

4. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

5. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33a)

6. ...Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. (Romans 14:19)

7. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body, and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)

8. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:18)

9. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me (Jesus) you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

10. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18)

So thankful God gives practical help for living in a fallen (sinful) world.
6/20/2013: Ah, the start of summer. Baseball and soccer has ended and many activities are on break. Thank God for time off. Time to regroup and refocus.
5/31/2013: God is not the author of confusion. AWESOME!
5/30/2013: Our self-talk is very important. I am less-negative and more encouraging to myself every day!
5/29/2013: God's Holy Spirit comes to live inside a person when they accept Christ. I don't have to understand how it works to know that my life was drastically changed when it happened to me...and that it DID happen.
5/24/2013: I continue to be amazed at God's awesomeness. I am so thankful He has given me emotions. He has also given me a human will. I am slowly learning that my human will is to rule over my emotions. Yet for so long, my emotions have ruled over everything. Jesus is my peace and with the Holy Spirit's help I am changing and growing toward a more consistent life of godly behavior. With God all things are possible.
5/23/2013: God gives so much help in His Word for every problem we face in life.
5/17/2013: I am so thankful that Jesus loves and cares about me. He is not up in heaven with a chart that tracks my church attendance, Bible reading, or minutes in prayer. He is walking with me, watching, always available to help, and convicting me about what I do or don't do with what I know of Him. Am I kind, loving, gracious, telling others about his grace, growing in my relationship with Him? Am I standing up for what is right and just? God looks at the heart not church attendance. Church attendance is for me. Not for God. It benefits me. As does reading the Bible and praying. They are all for my benefit; not to win God's love.
5/16/2013: God works in me. He wants the best for me. He is no respecter of persons so for ALL that love Him, He works in them. For all that know and accept Him, He want the best for them. So grateful that God is loving and is no respecter of persons.
5/13/2013: So thankful God is teaching me to bring sweetness to the soul that is hurting. A few years back I was having a very hard time emotionally. I was in a new state with two young children. I was being persecuted by family for everything I cared about, and I had lost all my church family and closest friend with the move. I needed encouragement badly. When I see a mom who is struggling, God directs me to bring sweetness to her soul. I try to encourage them that it will get easier as the kids get older (an encouragement no one gave me). For the mom who is moving here with her family for job reasons, I try and extend kindness, ideas, encouragement, and assistance during a very rough transition. It doesn't take much to encourage people. I aim to do my best and not walk as the rest of the world walks in negativity and hopelessness for I have Christ--the Light of the World.

5/12/2013: God has a "maternal loving-kindness as well as a paternal power and glory. When I am weak with hurts too great for me, I call upon my Holy Father-Mother God and Savior who sustains those who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down." -Marie Chapian Thanks be to God who is all I need.
5/11/2013: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." -1 John 1:8 I am very glad that God is doing a mighty work in me and that I am nothing without Him.
5/10/2013: I am no better than anyone else. Why? Because I am a sinner. What have I done that would keep me out of heaven? Oh, the list is long. What's on it?

-I've lied; therefore I am a liar.
-I've stolen; therefore, I am a thief.
-I've taken God's name in vain; therefore, I am a blasphemer.
-I've put everything before God; therefore, I am an idolater.
-I've looked upon someone with lust in my heart; therefore, I am an adulterer.
-I've hated another; therefore, I am a murderer.
-I've not done what I was told; therefore I am disobedient.
-I've been anxious; therefore, I have been unfaithful.
...and the list continues.

So who am I that I am better than anyone else? I am a lost creature. But God sent Jesus so that through Him I would not be separated forever from God. What separates me from God? Sin! What now connects me forever to God? Jesus. Because Jesus was sinless he took my sins upon Himself. He paid the penalty. It is nothing I did. I am a sinner saved by God's grace. AWESOME!!
5/7/2013: "Speak when you are angry--and you will make the best speech you'll ever regret." Laurence J. Peter Thanks be to God who is helping me control my anger and, in turn, my tongue.
5/6/2013: An unforgiving attitude allows Satan to gain more ground in the lives of believers than any other thing." Joyce Meyer Grateful that God helps me to forgive those who have hurt me.
5/3/2013: So thankful that I can daily adjust my priorities so that I stay in balance. The pressures of the world can easily take over to try and push God, family, love, and serving aside.
5/2/2013: Is teaching children from the Bible child abuse? Some would say so. Prominent atheists (and even people in my own family) believe that when Christianity is taught in the home it is a form of child abuse and Christianity itself is a virus that must be cured. I am so grateful that God called me and has given me life. Life sucked without Him. I wouldn't go back to my days as an atheist for all the treasures in the world, and I would never raise my children without the love of Jesus. He is the truth and the life. My life is a testimony to the power of knowing and trusting in Him.
5/1/2013: Watching a child fail at something is very hard to do as a parent. I am just learning this as my kids are not even teenagers yet. But I am so grateful that I can turn to God and lift my cares and my kids to Him. My kids already love God and my job is to teach them to lean on Him during all times and He will give them strength and peace.
4/30/2013: 41% of all pregnancies in NYC end in abortion; 20% nationwide. Over the last 2 decades the national numbers have dropped from one in three to one in five. I am thankful the numbers are reduced and people are seeing that an unborn baby is a person. Less than 2% of abortions are done to save the life of a mother or due to rape/incest. That means that 98% is for the convenience of the mother or some other similar reason. I fear for our country. God is just.
4/29/2013: One of the biggest blessings in my life is my time with God almost every day over the past 12+ years. My walk with Christ continues to grow and bear awesome fruit that can only be explained as "a God thing!" My quiet time with Him varies (I am not stuck in some religious set of rules), and it is not unusual for me to put what I am learning into simpler terms so I can understand. Here is one:

Here is another based on James 3:18 "Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

So thankful I can spend time with God every day in many different ways.

4/28/2013: This week I did a study on "expectation". I used my concordance and found all the times when it is used in God's word, the bible. What a blessing I discovered in Acts chapter 3! A beggar, lame from birth, begs at the gates of the temple for alms. And one day, Peter and John come for prayer and the beggar "expecting" silver or gold from them because they approach him gets something quite unexpected: "Peter says, I do not have silver or gold but what I do have I give you." And Peter heals the man in Jesus' name. Wow! God, I am so glad that you bless me beyond what I can ever expect or hope! Help me to not be disappointed or offended when my own limited expectations are not met.
4/27/2013: At the library the other day I found a book called "25 Books every Christian Should Read." Some of the books I have read and are permanent fixtures in my "library" but it opened me up to some very old books that I have never heard of. In particular, a book written in the 3rd century to proclaim evidence of Jesus' deity to those who were speaking against it. So many of the same "conversations" we have in life now happened so long ago. I can't wait to read the books. I did take a picture of the index for my personal use, but I will not post it here as I think that it may break a copyright law. Plus the reader would miss out on reading why the specific books were chosen.

Thank you, God, for all the wonderful books we have to dive deeper in our relationship with you. But ultimately, thank You for the Holy Bible; that it is without contradiction and error written by Your breath through man.

4/24/2013: I am so glad that when I die, my prayers won't. They will live on in a life of their own via God's power.
4/23/2013: After just finishing a small vacation with my family, I am home getting settled back into our family routine. We had a great time together and it makes me think about how heaven will be. Taking our best day and multiplying it by 100 still will not equal the amazingness of a moment in heaven with God. Thank you, God, for glimpses of beauty and awesomeness here on earth which make me eager for forever with You in heaven.
4/22/2013: Salvation is never based on behavior of individuals (good or bad). It is never based on human works. It is based on our response to what God has done. Thank you, God, for loving us ALL so much that you made a way for us to be with you forever through your son, Jesus.
4/21/2013: "God is greater than any human box we can design." -Ray Stedman So thankful God doesn't fit comfortably into the pattern others and myself try to make for him.
4/20/2013: I am so glad that God is sovereign. He is in complete control. "The divine detour soften get us where God wants us to go." -Mark Batterson, author of The Circle Maker
4/19/2013: "Thank God for unanswered prayers! Our heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for." -Mark Batterson
4/18/2013: I am very glad that God gives everyone the same amount of time in each day. I hope to use small bits of time faithfully to accomplish great things.
4/12/2013: I came to know Christ at the age of 24. So long I had an emptiness in my life and I had no idea why. When I met Jesus, everything changed. And if I could say one thing to those who don't know Him it would be this verse from the Bible:

O taste and you will see the Lord is good!
How happy is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:8)

Thank you, God, for being patient with me and waiting for me to taste You and see how good You really are.
4/5/2013: Thank you, God, for giving me beauty for ashes.
4/4/2013: I am thankful that God is not the author of confusion.
4/3/2013: When I am overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done, I remember that God has not created a "to do" list for me. He has given me peace and wisdom so that I can be wise with what I do each day. So grateful that God helps me balance every aspect of my life.
4/2/2013: I am so thankful that each failure is a new opportunity for growth.
4/1/2013: I partner with an organization called Alliance Defending Freedom. I give financially to them because they are pursuing legal efforts to preserve marriage and religious freedom in our country. I am grateful that there are organizations who recognize that marriage and family is the foundation of our nation and society.
3/31/2013: Truth is not by consensus. Not believing that there is "sin" does not negate that there is sin and that all of us are sinners. Believing there is no "hell" does not make hell disappear. It is a real place and is the destination for those who choose to bear the punishment for their own sins (whether they feel they have any or not). But this doesn't have to be their fate. On the Cross, Jesus bore the punishment for our sins, in our place, so that we don't have to go to hell.
3/30/2013: Environmentalists have pushed and have succeeded in getting into the school systems their assumption that humans cannot improve on the natural state of earth. But this denies the truth of Genesis 1:28: "God gave mankind a mission to fill and rule the earth, to enhance its fruitfulness, beauty, and the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbors." Schools will soon introduce through Common Core the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which will teach our children "idolatry" through earth worship. But we can fight back and I am grateful that God has given me a voice to make people aware of the idolatry that extreme environmentalism teaches our children.
3/7/2013: Siblings can be super difficult. But it is through our sibling relationships that we are given the "unique opportunity to give and receive love and develop tolerance, an appreciation for others, communication skills, an ability to forgive, and an understanding of genuine companionship." I have a wonderful study Bible (Woman's Study Bible by Thomas Nelson) that helps me locate the verses and topics that I need so much in my life and helps me with insight like the above quote. So even though I have failed a recent test when it comes to my sibling, I am thankful that God gave me siblings to help me grow in my walk with Christ.
3/6/2013: Last year I did a huge study on Not Taking Offense. It was one of the best studies I have ever done. God led me to do that study when he showed me how much offense I had been taking at others' comments. I am grateful that God leads me to new areas of growth and doesn't overwhelm me with all my weaknesses at once.
3/5/2013: The devil perverts everything. In my own life, I am always up and moving around and rest only when necessary. But soon I was resting daily for hours and it was interrupting my schedule. It was becoming a serious problem. Sounds crazy, right? Too much sleep. But after many medical tests and a clean bill of health, I realized I was addicted to resting/napping and it was leading to laziness. If you can't NOT do something for 7 days, then it is a problem. So I am fasting naps right now for 40 days until Easter. And it has been the most awesome experience. I am half way through and God gives me the strength and wisdom to get through my days. My life is no longer interrupted by too much sleep! Thankful that God can show us where we are out of balance in our lives which can give the devil a foothold.
3/4/2013: Very thankful for my husband and all the hard work he does for us!
3/3/2013: I attend an awesome and amazing church. I am being encouraged and challenged there. So grateful for Godly mentors and leaders.
3/2/2013: So grateful for the best month ever in our little family business. Even as a short month, February was record-breaking for our store. I give God all the credit.
2/12/2013: Thankful to know the King of Kings.
2/11/2013: Grateful for new opportunities to try again. There are some tests in my life I fail over and over again.
2/10/2013: I am very happy to have a brother!
2/9/2013: I have new and awesome Brothers and Sisters in Christ I can go to at anytime and ask for prayer. So glad God has put these people on my path.
2/5/2013: Thankful to see my album hit the online music sites. Amazing! God is great and blesses me beyond words.
2/4/2013: So pleased to see how God is helping me be balanced in my love for myself. I love myself because I am loved by Him and He lives in me through His Spirit, but I am not to be IN LOVE with myself. Thanks, God, for helping me be less selfish.
2/2/2013: So excited to see my boys growing up knowing that they are loved not only by me, who will die someday, but from a Father in heaven who cannot die. Who cannot lie. Who is just and not fair. Who is loving and not cruel.
2/1/2013: I sing because that is the gift God has given me. I use it to tell others of how awesome He is. What do you use your talents or gifts for? Thank you, God, for giving a gift to everyone to be used to glorify You.
1/31/2013: Are you waiting to be perfect to come and get to know God? That is never going to happen. Why not come to Him as you are? He made you and is not surprised by anything you have done or have said. And guess what? He still loves you and wants to have a relationship with you! Let's shout for joy that God knows us and still loves us! Learn more by talking to someone you know who is on fire for Jesus. Or read the Gospel of John if you don't have anyone in your life you can talk to.
1/30/2013: When I am hurting, I am not alone. There is a healer who is waiting to comfort me. Oh, thank you, Jesus, for being there for me whenever I need you.
1/29/2013: I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to homeschool my children. Love it!!!
1/28/2013: January has been filled with sickness, large to-do lists, and even a mini-vacation. Maintaining joy during each event in life can be super difficult. BUT GOD is with me every step of the way and for that I am very grateful.
1/27/2013: I took time to paint on canvas today for the first time ever. As far as I know, painting is not a gift I have received. But the subject matter was love, and I think that as long as I paint, quilt, or sing the characteristics of my God then my projects will turn out "very good." They just wont be winning any art shows any time soon. So grateful for my Mom who answers all my paint related questions!
1/26/2013: I hate to see my kids sick. But I have to admit: I love the snuggle time that it brings. They are growing up so fast.
1/25/2013: I am reading a book by Jerry Bridges called The Pursuit of Holiness. There are so many acceptable sins in our culture today and this book is a great look at how and why holiness is so important in my walk with Christ. Very thankful that God called me to be holy because He is holy.
1/24/2013: One of my favorite scriptures is Hebrews 12:14a: "Make every effort to live at peace with all men..." Thank you, God, for this reminder of how important it is to live at peace with everyone as much as it depends on me. I do have some people in my life who refuse to talk to me and that may never change. But what is important is if I have done all I can do to heal that relationship and bring peace to the situation.
1/23/2013: So thankful that God created my inmost being. That he knit me together in my mother's womb.
1/22/2013: Can 50 million babies be killed through legal abortion and God just looks the other way? No, he is a just God. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
1/21/2013: I do not plan on passing religion to my kids. If I do that, they will never walk into a church service on their own as adults. I plan on passing them relationship. To show them the sweet and awesome relationship with a loving and amazing God. Very thankful that God walks and talks with me. And my kids are seeing what true relationship is all about.
1/3/2013: God wants me to be thankful in all circumstances. Very glad God gave me His Spirit when I accepted Him as my Savior to help me and give me the opportunity to be thankful in all circumstances. I definitely can't do it on my own.
1/2/2013: Yesterday in my quiet time with God I read through Proverbs 1. Why do I spend time with God everyday? "A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel." (Proverbs 1:5) I am grateful that I have the opportunity to go straight to God's Word, the Bible, which contains all I need to know about who I am, why I am here, how to live on this earth, and what to expect after my short life here.
1/1/2013: I love that I don't have to wait for a new year to start something new. But a new year it is! This is the time when I take a look at the goals I set and see how they are coming along. Most of my goals are yearly or for the entire decade. Sometimes I need to readjust because I accomplished unexpected and different things than my goal list even touched. My new album has a song on it called New Day! I encourage you to listen to it and hear how I struggle with the every day stuff. So thankful for new opportunities that God gives.
12/30/2012: I appreciate the teachable spirit God is building within me.
12/28/2012: I have made so many mistakes. Who hasn't? I am learning to learn all I can from each mistake. So thankful God is showing me that just because I fail doesn't mean I am a failure.
12/27/2012: So thankful that God is helping me learn to not complain.
12/26/2012: God gives us power during difficult days. So grateful that God knows every difficult day and does not look away.
12/25/2012: Thank you, God, for Jesus! Your Son. My Savior. Our Hope.
12/24/2012: Thankful for counting the blessings God has given me during times of sadness and also for His understanding of all my thoughts and feelings.
12/23/2012: Grateful for wonderful conversations about an amazing Lord who left Heaven for me and you.
12/21/2012: So thankful for an awesome God who blessed me with a sweet boy.
12/20/2012: I am thankful that God does not despise us for our honest questions. He welcomes us to pour out our troubled hearts before His throne.
12/19/2012: I am so grateful that God gives beauty for ashes. Is there a hurt, loss, or pain in your life that dominates your spirit? God wants the best for you. He wants you to lift your cares up to Him because HE CARES FOR YOU! Right now, wherever you are, ask God to take that pain and hurt and He will replace your ashes with beauty, peace, and hope. Giving it up to God does not mean you will forget; it means you will give over what you are not meant to carry: burdens and pain. He wants to carry it for you! Just as we don't want our children to be buried in pain or guilt so we do our best to rid those feelings from them, God wants you to come to Him and let Him help you. (Just FYI: When I give my cares up to God I usually take them back sometime's the control freak in me. So what do I do??? I give them to Him again! He's ok with my weaknesses. They don't surprise Him! That is another thing I am grateful for!)
12/18/2012: So thankful for my cute little boy and the two "toothes" he lost.
12/17/2012: Does your intelligence and reason keep you from believing in God? I thought this as well, before I acknowledged God's existence, and understand the thought. But when I fully grasp that intelligence and reason, then I must admit that I do not know everything and to think that I do know everything is to proclaim myself a god. I don't know how many hairs are on the head of a young girl somewhere in China. But God does. I did not put the stars into the sky and tilt the Earth just right for beautiful seasons. To say that I know all about everything (including that there is not a God) is to say that I am a god. It was pride that kept me from acknowledging Him. What keeps you from Him? I am thankful that God gave me intelligence and reason to recognize His beauty.
12/15/2012: In the wake of the tragic event yesterday in Connecticut, I wrote the following lyrics. I am thankful God comforts us with His sweet Spirit.

One by one - All done.
The pain begins for many
But one had some for God knows how long.

We try to piece it all together.
Blame objects and not the heart of the matter.
But You were there - God - You saw!

Little ones screaming.
Little ones crying.
Little ones wondering is this just a game.
Little ones scrambling
Yelling for mom and hoping
Will she walk in right now and save the day?

But lights out - they are with You and we cry.
Lights out - they are joyful and we pray.
No more tears for them but the world tries to explain
What You have told us in so many ways - SEEK ME.

12/14/2012: I have heard many people say that they don't like Christianity because of some of the Christians they have met. Unfortunately, this is very common. However, a lack of understanding is at the heart of this comment. Why are some people who call themselves Christians mean to other people or hypocritical? Here are my thoughts: They do not yet fully understand God's love for them and so they cannot love themselves and others as God would like. It is wrong to judge Christ based on one or more people who are Christ followers. If you want to know who Christ really is you have to start in His Word: The Bible. Then you need to understand that no one but Him is perfect. It is not an excuse for Christians to have bad behavior, it is just reality that knowing Christ does not always mean instant Christlikeness (some are blessed to learn lessons a little faster than others). The relationship needs time to grow and mature. I am thankful that there are mature Christians that love me and others. I am also thankful that I am growing in maturity as I understand God's love for me.
12/13/2012: One thing I think is so cool is that God knows how foolish we can be so He makes some things pretty clear:

"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now CHOOSE LIFE,
so that you and your children may life. (Deuteronomy 30:19b, NIV, emphasis mine)

Thanks, God, for caring about everyone.

Gossip is as wrong as stealing. Slander is as wrong as murder. Sin is sin. I am to love people for who they are...children of God...not what they do. Thank you, God, for helping me love others equally because we are all equally significant to You.


For some reason, I really enjoy talking about controversial subjects. Considering I hate confrontation, it is probably not the best habit to have. But through the years, I have learned to get a better grip on when when it is the right time to go into a conversation about a tender subject. There is a time to talk about Christ, abortion, homosexuality, guns, education, vampires, Harry Potter, etc. (The last 2 are usually tender conversations in Christian circles.) Bringing these subjects up in family circles can be even more...consequential. I believe I can engage in conversations with people of peace (those who are interested in conversing and not yelling their point), in a very healthy way that is beneficial to both parties of the conversation. Thank you, God, for helping me learn to have important conversations without loss of relationship. Sometimes I fail, but I am grateful for each new test, which come frequently since you made my personality to be so chatty!


We watch a lot of family shows in my house. Today it was Touched by an Angel. This particular episode dealt well with the problem of pornography and pedophiles. I teach my boys that the internet is not evil. Just like money is not evil. It is what we do with those things that are good or evil. I hate that I have to teach my boys that there are evil people who mean incredible harm even over the internet, but it is important that they understand so they can keep the devil from taking hold of them when they are on the web or away from home. Satan, or the Devil, is the Prince of this World and a liar, as God Himself has said and warned us. Do not be fooled. Satan loves to ruin people and marriages and he will use any way to do it: including the internet. So today I am grateful for filters on all the computers!


Last week I heard my husband say to our 2 boys, "Stop creating conflict!" I thought, YES! That is a great way to put it. I usually say to the boys "Pick your battles wisely!" But I think my husband's comment hits the mark. How many conflicts have I created in the past? So many. One was just last week. I do try and live in peace with everyone like God says; however, I don't always pass the tests I am given. I do live in more peace now than at any other time, but it is a struggle. I usually have to choose to not have my way, not care if I am right, and assume a person who offends me did not mean to be cruel. I don't want people to walk on eggshells around me. For years I would get angry SO easily. I am thankful that I am no longer easily offended and that I create far less conflict than I use to.


I remember 12 years ago, when I first accepted Jesus as my Savior, someone in my family asked me if I was a "born-again Christian". I was such a new, baby Christian that I had no idea what that meant! I have learned many Christian "terms" since that day. My vocabulary grew along with my faith. Sometimes I still get confused: like when I am called a fundamentalist. All I know is that I love God and He loves me. You know what I love? How God described himself to Moses: I AM! That's it. No big gigantic words. I AM! Wow. So when someone calls me something and I am unsure if I "fit" the word, I just think, and try to remember to say,: I don't know, but I do know Jesus is my God, He loves me, and I hope to love you as He does. Thanks, God, for showing me that You being my focus is more important than the right vocabulary.


I had someone tell me a couple years back that I was wrong in thinking I could pray to Jesus. This rocked my world. Not pray to my Lord? That seemed nuts to me. So I spent many a months in God's Word, the Bible, with this thought on my heart. I reached out to wise counsel and the results of that one conversation were astounding: Not only was this person wrong (he didn't believe Christ was God and so that was the basis for his comment), but I most definitely could pray to my Lord. All things were created for Christ and by Christ. Yes, most prayers are to the Father in Jesus' name, but Jesus knows each tear I cry and each smile I give. And sometimes the most heartfelt prayer I can say is one word: JESUS! From this conversation, study, and counsel came an amazing 2 years. I started mentoring and helping others who were confused about God's Word. I started and lead classes based on our significance in Christ and gained a greater amount of mercy from God toward others. I am thankful for the conversations I have with other people because you never know what God will do with them.


What do we tell our kids about the friends that they choose? What did your parents tell you about the friends that you hang out with? Choose your friends wisely! You become who you hang out with! So...why is it important to spend time with God everyday in His Word, the Bible? Because when you hang out with Him, you become like Him. He is holy, gracious, loving, kind, gentle, and full of love, joy, peace, and patience. I try and start everyday with God. I am not stuck in some "rule" driven time with Him. Sometimes I read on certain topics or maybe a certain book. Maybe 10 minutes; maybe 40. If there is an area I am struggling with, I check out a concordance and go to those specific scriptures throughout the week. Spending time with God is necessary so we can grow in Christ-likeness. I am grateful that God gave us His Word and that we can grow to be like Him while here on earth.


I am grateful that God hears the prayers hidden within flowing tears.


I had some dear friends tell me recently that they don't go to church because they can worship and pray at home. Yes, you can worship and pray anywhere...BUT, I told my friend that God instructs us to meet together and to encourage eachother in the book of Hebrews. Take the time to find a church that will build you up with God's Word. If you leave Sunday morning without thinking how you can apply what you have heard, then it is probably not a good church for you to grow in. I attend New Pointe in Dover, Ohio, and they are not opposed to talking about any important issue. I get practical teaching there for my life, and I learn how to grow in Christ. Check out a service here. I am thankful I can worship God at home and with my fellow Sisters and Brothers in Christ.


I have to admit that when I see my dreams come true in other peoples lives it really shows me the evil that is in my heart. Jealousy wants to take control and anger fills me up. Although I have God's Spirit within me, I still also have my own: and it is fallen (meaning it is sinful and not holy). More and more God is working on this area of my life. When those jealous thoughts come up I now fight them with words: God has said that "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." And then I try and pray for that person and thank God for the blessings they have received. I am grateful that God knows exactly when to help me in a specific area. I am excited to have less of my sinful nature and more of His loving kindness in my heart.


This past Thanksgiving week was full of blessings and some unexpected difficulties. What week isn't, right? Unfortunately, the difficulties were completely my fault and guilt had set in. My online business was currently down because of my failure to renew a vital contract; and it was the busiest time of the year for our company. As of right now it is still down--going on 7 days. There is nothing I can do to get it back up and worrying and feeling guilty isn't fixing it either. Sometimes mistakes are opportunities to trust God. I definitely did not purposely fail to renew the contract but the result was ample opportunity to remember that because I love God everything will work out for good. I am thankful for God's promises like this one: All things work out for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.


This weekend I have a gig and a half-marathon to run. I am looking forward to both events; but I have a bad cold and it is interrupting my plans. It is during these unplanned, annoying situations (like sickness) that I learn so much about myself. God says in Matthew that "out of the heart comes evil thoughts". I know that when I don't get my way...evil thoughts are not far off. I get easily agitated, annoyed, short-tempered, and impatient. What does that mean? All that came from my heart. It was already in me. I ask my kids, when you squeeze the toothpaste what comes out? Toothpaste. When you are squeezed (i.e. inconvenienced, pressured) what comes out? Peace? Patience? Anger? Whatever comes out was already in you and trials are opportunities to learn what is in your heart. I am grateful God is showing me what is in my heart and giving me opportunity to grow with His help.


Last week I was in a meeting and made a complete idiot of myself. My comments were funny and received the intended reaction but very much unnecessary and ungodly. I would love to say it was the first time; however, it is an area I have struggled with for years. God says in 2 Timothy 2:15-16 to "avoid all empty (vain, useless, idle) talk, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness." Wow! How many useless words did I say today? I am so thankful God forgives my sin of useless, idle talk and will give me many opportunities to work on this area of weakness.


I had a dear friend recently ask me how I know when God is telling me to do something. What a great question. I had just told him how God told me to fast a particular thing: in this case it was to fast speaking about someone who had hurt me. The fast would last 40 days. I told my friend that I spend time with God each day in His Word: the Bible. It is during those times that He lays on my heart something I need to improve or work on in my life: not complaining, giving of my time, not slandering, growing in mercy, etc. And He confirms those "promptings" during my prayer times and throughout the following days by the thought coming up in God's Spirit within me. When a person accepts Christ, God puts His Spirit in that person and the Spirit helps us to grow in Christ-likeness. I am so thankful that this person took the time to ask me how I hear from God, and I am also thankful that our great and mighty God is never to busy to help me grow in any area of my life.


I recently had a dear family member tell me that we are just a bunch of cells. It's something we hear all the time: Babies in the womb are just cells and so cutting their life short is no big deal. But is it true? Absolutely not. How do I know? There are many reasons but the biggest is that all of creation shouts that it has a Creator! When I find something on the ground, like glasses, I don't think that over time it just became a pair of glasses right there. No, someone created those glasses with their hands and intelligence. And so inside each human is a soul and a spirit that was created. And for those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, they have one more thing inside themselves: God Himself via the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful that God has shown His magnificence in His creation, and I pray that those who do not see themselves as a creation of a loving God will one day take notice using the proof that is all around and in them.


Accepting where you are and in what state of use your talents are can be very difficult. I know I often want to "get on" with all the ideas that God has put on my heart but doors are closed and windows are jammed. Are all these dreams going to come true? I am coming to understand more and more that God prunes us, or makes us ready, for the fulfillment of those dreams. I know if they would have come true when I wanted, I would not have been ready emotionally or spiritually. Sometimes He is taking that extra time to grow and prepare us. I am so happy and grateful that God knows when the best timing for everything is for me.


Some days anxiety hits. Depression follows. Time to get away and pray is an urgent must. God is there...waiting for me to talk to Him. He calms my fears and comforts me while my mind wants to uselessly worry about something. He lets me know that He is there for everything. Nothing is to big or to small to talk to Him about. He will work out everything for good because I love Him. I am so thankful that God is with me during the ups and the downs.


When I go to visit my dad, I don't have to stop somewhere and perform some ritual to make him want to see me. When I call up my mom to chat, I don't have to wait until I am perfect for her to want to talk to me. Why? Because they are my parents. They love me and want to talk to me. They want the best for me. That is exactly what God wants too. He is my Father in Heaven and my Creator. He wants to hear from me, help me, and hold me when I am sad or happy. I am so thankful that God loves me where I am...imperfections and all. He does not want me to "do" something first before I come to Him for help and love.


When the big storms of life hit, who is going to be there for you? Some think the government. But what is the first thing that happens when a disaster is on its way and hits? The government shuts down. All the workers go home. When I go through horrible events, I am so thankful that God is always with me. He is the one that is always in control: during the good times and the bad ones. Our help comes from the Lord, not the government.


Tonight I was listening to the radio and the host was introducing the next song and artist. I can't remember the song or the artist now, only what he said about her: "She says her guitar is her best friend." I was so sad to hear that this person had decided that her best friend was her guitar. I didn't hear the song because in my head I was rehearsing what I would say if I had 2 minutes with her: "Don't you know that God created you and He wants to be your best friend? His name is Jesus and He loves you. Yes, people are going to let you down and so it is easier to have a best friend that is an inanimate object but there is Someone who wants to talk to you, help you, lift you up when you are sad and celebrate with you when your dreams come true. People are going to hurt us and that is why loving Jesus and having Him in your life will fill that God Shaped Hole in your heart that no guitar can fill. God loves you, girl. Seek Him and you shall find!" I am so thankful that Jesus is my best friend.