BIRTHDAY FUN AT THE MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Birthday celebrations are always so much fun and our family definitely knows how to celebrate! We recently celebrated my son, Travis’s birthday and my grandson, Jackson’s birthday in one evening. It had been a very busy day. It was the same day as Lobby Day when I went downtown to talk to lawmakers about some really important issues affecting those with cancer, and by that evening I was tired and needed some time to unwind. We decided to have a family dinner at our local Mexican Restaurant. It’s always a fun atmosphere and there is a lot of laughter going on. Besides that, it’s noisy and probably one of the only places that we can go and take so many loud kids without getting kicked out! When I got home that evening, being the writer that I am, I captured a few thoughts and decided to share them with you. I hope it brings a chuckle to your day, like it did mine!! I truly believe that laughter is one of the healthiest ways to enjoy life!

We had lots of fun celebrating Travis’s and Jackson’s birthdays tonight at the Mexican restaurant with our huge family! I’ve come to the conclusion that NO table would ever be big enough for our family! Jossy scared us all to death when she got her head stuck in the high chair. Don’t even ask!! It’s too hard to explain! Ha Ha! Kids; You’ve gotta love em! The craziest thing of all was that we were all so busy singing Happy Birthday that poor Josh was the only one that noticed. We were all in hysterics as the waiters and staff were so loud, with siren’s, rattles, tambourines and clapping and singing as they placed giant Sombreros on both Travis and Jackson. It’s been a long day! When I get home, I’m getting a Cat Scan! LOL!

One of these days I’m going to write a funny book, if I have enough brain cells left!!

I LOVE YOU GUYS!

BRENDA

You Have Stayed Long Enough At This Mountain

Most of us are familiar with the story in the bible when God used Moses to lead the Israelite’s out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. It wasn’t an easy journey. In fact, it was difficult in many ways. It required much faith and many trials along their way before they ever got to their destination. It was a forty year journey, when it should have taken eleven days! Now, you think things are moving slow for you!! It could always be worse!

What do you think it was that prolonged their journey so long? The bible said it was because of their grumbling, murmuring and complaining. They fought with their relatives. They weren’t thankful no matter what God did to please them. They turned away from him and worshiped idols. Many of them died along the way. This was never God’s plan from the very beginning, but because of their rebellion and their poor choices, they couldn’t move forward.

In the fortieth year, (can you imagine that?!), Moses proclaimed to the Israelite’s all that the Lord had commanded him, concerning them. (Deuteronomy 1: 6-8) He told them, The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers- to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to their descendants after them.

As I think over this, it seems to be a recurring problem for many of us, still, even to this day. So many of us aren’t moving forward at all. We have been going around the same mountain year after year; sometimes, more than forty years! Some of the things we face today are fear, negativity, anger, stubbornness, pride, past mistakes, bad attitudes, and the list could go on and on………

The wilderness is not a fun place to be. It’s lonely and dry there. It’s a barren place. There is a weariness there. It’s a place of unrest and a thirst that cannot be quenched. It’s a place of feeling hopeless and bone weary tired.

Does this describe the place you are in today? Well, if it does, I want to urge you to exchange your wilderness journey for the mountaintop experience. Are you afraid to try again? Have you become comfortable in this stagnant place, or are you ready to soar high above all of the madness and take possession of your Promised Land? Are you tired of that pit of despair? Have you made some past mistakes? Learn from them, but now is not the time to remember them. Instead, wrap them all up and lay them down. You’ve stayed too long here. Let go of the ashes. Yes, it’s a long and arduous journey. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but, oh so worth it! I will warn you; You have to go through the wilderness and the valley before you will reach the top of the mountain. It’s steep and definitely an uphill climb. You will get tired. It’s okay to stop and rest awhile. Rest is necessary, but only to renew your strength to start again. Once you gain your footing, and you get your second wind, take a deep breath and start again. Climb a little higher one step at a time. It’s hard to believe when your feet get tired and you feel like you are losing your footing, but you are making progress!

Keep pressing on. Today, I just want to tell some of you that you have stayed too long at this mountain. It’s time to move on. Never be content with the crumbs again. You are moving into a new fullness of life; a new passion! A new joy! From now on, you will be always growing, and changing for the better. This is your destiny that God has prepared for you since the day you were born. You are going to shine forth as gold and your days will grow brighter and brighter. Learn to hope again, and to love again. You are blessed. Enter into the rest that God has prepared for you from the beginning of time. You have a new exciting future full of new possibilities that are larger than life. Let your faith rise up from deep down inside. God will be brave for you until bravery become a part of who you are. You will find a new hope. Turn your face towards the sunrise and to a God who is all you need for everything that concerns you. No matter what the problem, He, alone, is the answer. Never lose sight of Him. Let Him hold your hand and lead you higher and higher. If you are afraid of falling, He will catch you and you will learn to fly.

One last word; Don’t look back. The view is beautiful from the top!

 

I love you guys!

Brenda

Tell Your Heart To Beat Again

Good Evening Beautiful Survivors!

Happy Spring to all of you!!! I absolutely love the Springtime! I always have! I have to say that Easter is my favorite time of the year. I love the newness of life that is everywhere around me; the chirping of birds, bunnies scurrying across my back yard with their little fluffy cotton ball like tails, the grass turning a beautiful shade of green, and the buds coming to life on my trees, while the daffodils peak their yellow heads through that cold, dark, and sometimes, still snowy, ground. They just seem to scream new life in the middle of the cold. It’s as if they are saying, “Move aside Winter! You’ve had your chance. Now it’s our time to come alive and bloom again!”

It’s usually right in the middle of winter, that the Springtime is the most inviting. It’s usually when we least expect it, that everything is transformed and brought to life even in the most turbulent of times.

It can be that way in our lives also. We can be going through the darkest time of our lives, with no clear picture of the sun ever shining again. It’s at that moment that God can do a mighty work, right smack in the middle of the darkest of days and turn everything around in a heartbeat!

Yes, life can get pretty bad sometimes. No matter who you are, there are just some seasons of our lives that we would rather not have to participate in, but life just doesn’t work that way. Everyone will have to endure some rocky waters once in a while. There’s no way around it.

What are you going through? Have you recently lost a loved one? Is your heart breaking tonight? You just can’t stand to see their empty chair one more time; Or have you recently been handed over those hurtful divorce papers? How could that one you loved and trusted so much do this to you? How can that unruly teen be so rebellious? You’ve loved them, spent years of your life praying for them, going to all of their ball games and you have such big dreams for their bright future, and they just want to throw it all away? Or how could you be losing your car or your home? You’ve worked too hard for all this to happen! Or is it you? Did you just receive that dreaded cancer diagnosis? Do you wonder what your future holds for you and your family?

I know these things can hurt so badly that they almost break you to the point that you don’t know how you will face one more day, but don’t lose heart. As hard as it seems, God is still in control and the sun will shine again. It’s times like this, in this winter season of your life, that you have to crawl across the dirt and reach for the hem of His garment. Let Him hold you close to His heart until He dispels all of the lingering shadows.

Sometimes, you feel like everything inside you has died, but it’s these times that you have to cheer yourself up and TELL YOUR HEART TO BEAT AGAIN!

I love the story in the bible how Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the grave. Do you know that Jesus really truly cares about everything that you are going through? You are not alone. Even though Jesus knew that he could resurrect Lazarus from the dead, He still wept. I’m sure you know the rest of the story. Jesus told Lazarus to come out of the grave. He came out with the grave clothes still on and Jesus told them to unbind the graves clothes and to let him go.

It’s time for you to take all of the old grave clothes off and come alive. Call out the dry bones to come alive! Rise up from the ashes and let Him give you new life and beauty for ashes. Sometimes, the scars we have are invisible, but the invisible ones can be the hardest to heal. Tell your heart to beat again. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Sometimes, what you think is dead, can come alive again and be resurrected. It’s time to get your hope back. Spring is here and there is newness of life all around you! Let God transform you into that beautiful butterfly that is just waiting to be set free!

Not too long ago, God gave me a beautiful vision of His glory. One day, I was driving my car and I was praying and I could picture Jesus smiling down on the earth. He had a beautiful crown on that sparkled with the most magnificent of colors and the rarest of jewels. He had a warm, inviting smile that just drew me in. It was enough to dispel every burden that I had ever known and heal every tear that I’ve ever shed. As He stood on heaven’s streets of purest gold, He had His nail-scarred hands pointing down as if to pour His richest blessings out on His children. So get ready! He is holding nothing back! It’s His perfect identity to lavish His children with the abundance of heaven’s richest glory! This is Who He is!!!!!

Give him all of your cares tonight. Let Him hold you in His lap like a little child. He loves you so much!! He is able to make a way where there is no way. Let Him dry your tears, lift you up, and give you the strength to stand once again. He will never let you down!!

 

I love you guys!

Brenda

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

John 11: 43-44