Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May Quests: Good Deeds and Prayer

Can you believe today is the last day of April?  As fast as time is flying by, one comfort I have is being able to look back on the year and know I did something every day.  That is definitely a fun perk to this 2013 Year Long Adventure of my Heart & Spirit Monthly Quests.

April's Quests have been my favorite so far this year.  I didn't expect that they would have the deeply profound effect they have had on me...but...indeed they have.  As a super fun surprise, my readers have participated with me this month by sharing requests for prayers for themselves or their loved ones.  That has been a delightful surprise!

Praying For Someone Every Day has connected me with my readers in a way I had not been connected with y'all before.  It has truly been a huge blessing to me to have the honor to pray.  I have been touched by your trust in me to share your cares and worries.  It has been a delight to see God work through the lives of friends, family, and even strangers through this Quest process.

Pray For Someone
Today I prayed for my friend Southern Belle's daughter.  She has had a terrible time recovering from a foot injury. After months of appointments, treatments, and wearing a boot, it has been decided surgery will be required. She is an active teenager and I know this is disappointing news for her.

She has plans for an upcoming choir tour, so that makes the timing of the surgery and recovery quite important.  Of course, God knows all of this, and I trust in His perfect timing.  I pray she will be able to get through the operation soon and to quickly be on a road to complete recovery with this whole ordeal behind her.

Encouraging Someone Every Day also provided a wonderful connection to others in a very sweet way.  I have enjoyed the conversations this Quest has started.  It has been fun and fulfilling in a way I never expected. 

With both of my April Quests, I just wanted to do something for Someone else, but God provided opportunities for me to grow and learn as well.  Isn't that just like God?

Encourage Someone
Today I spent time chatting with Someone important to me that needed some encouragement.  I was touched she came to me and felt comfortable enough to share some pretty big stuff with me.  I pray our conversation was God-honoring and in step with His plan.  I pray she was encouraged.

May Quests
So tomorrow is May 1st and I will begin my Quests for the month.  I am excited to share with you the two Quests I will be working on the next 30 days.

First, I do plan to continue to Pray For Someone Every Day.  As I mentioned above, this has been an amazing and favorite Quest of mine and I have decided to continue it for another month.  Thank you to my readers who sent sweet notes encouraging me to do this Quest for another month.  I'm glad to do it and I'm also glad you enjoy reading about it.

Second, I want to Do A Good Deed Every Day.  The other day I happened to be at Target....and I happened upon a very unique journal.

Have you ever seen a journal like this?  I haven't.  Not only is it specially made to jot down Good Deed experiences, but it is also filled with prompts or ideas of Good Deeds you can do for others.  How fun is that?

I have a feeling this is going to be a delightful daily Quest!


As always...please feel free to contact me and let me know if you have a Prayer request.  Do you have a Good Deed idea?  Please feel free to share any ideas you have for that as well! 

Be sure to check in each day in May because sometime during the month, I plan to do a Good Deed for my readers and do my very first GIVE AWAY!!  You won't want to miss the opportunity to win something GOOD in May!

Monday, April 29, 2013

An Unexpected Someone

What a beautiful sunny warm day we enjoyed in the Midwest today!  But guess what? There is a crazy forecast of "chance of snow" by the weekend!  I have to say...if it snows....here....in May...I'm thinking I'll be booking a ticket to my favorite palm tree lined town - where the sun always shines and the snow never falls somewhere out in the Southwest.

Oh well...our weather is going to do whatever it is going to do and seriously...I have more important tasks to focus on today - my April Quests.

Pray for Someone
This morning two different friends were at the hospital.  One friend was there with her daughter.  The other with her son.  Both children were having outpatient surgery today.  Hubby and I know how that feels.

We have been through surgery with both of our boys.  We know exactly what it feels like to be the parent...getting them there...getting them ready...praying over them...putting them into the hands of doctors and nurses...praying some more...waiting....praying...sitting with them during recovery...and praising God with thankfulness when it's all over.  Yes.  We know that feeling well.

So this morning these children and their parents were my Someones for today.  I prayed for them before...during...and after the surgeries.  Thankfully both children are back home with their families tonight, but I'll keep praying for them as they manage the pain during recovery.  I pray for their dads and moms as they tend to the needs of their children.  I remember well being in that role and I ask God to sustain them through this time of healing.

Encourage Someone
Yesterday, you may recall, I prayed for family and friends of four accident victims.  Today, I ran to the store to get some groceries and the young man who bagged my groceries also helped me to the car with them.  As he loaded the bags into the back of my van he asked me about my weekend.

I replied that I had a good weekend.  He dropped his head and said that he did not.  He then went on to share that he had lost a good friend over the weekend.  As we stood in the parking lot chatting I realized his friend was one of those who had passed away in the accident I had prayed about yesterday.

I shared with him that I had prayed for him...even though I didn't know him or his friend.  I told him I had prayed for those left behind to grieve.  He seemed comforted by my words and thanked me.  I got in the van with tears in my eyes.  I felt so sad for him and his great loss, but I hope he felt encouraged today knowing there are people praying for him to get through these difficult days.

I felt blessed to meet him...to put a face to my prayers...and I will continue to pray for this young man and the other friends and family left behind by this tragedy. 

Tomorrow is the last day of April and it will be time to announce my new Quests for May.  I do have one idea already...but I'm thinking maybe I should continue the Pray For Someone Quest for another month.  What do you think?  Please share your thoughts as I consider continuing this Quest for another 30 days.

This past month has been an amazing journey of prayer and encouragement.  God has done so much more than I could have ever expected and I am changed forever by the experiences of the past 29 days. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Always There With Us

It's Sunday and I'm snuggled in my warm cozy Hug Chair.  It has been rainy and gloomy the past couple days and there is...once again...a chill in the air.  It's a bit crazy to think we are literally days away from May and the air is so brisk.  While enjoying a little quiet time, I thought I would share with you my April Quests from the past couple days.

Encourage Someone
Friday night we enjoyed a laughter filled visit with some great friends.  My friend, the Crazy Cat Woman, came over with her hubby and we dined on pizza, salad and ice cream.  We enjoy hanging out with them because it's always casual, comfortable, and relaxing. 

Crazy Cat Woman (who named herself for this blog...by the way) really does loves her cats...and family...and friends.  She is a long time friend...since grade school.  While we have always stayed in touch, it has been such a blessing to reconnect with her face to face since moving back to the Midwest.  Hubby and I have truly enjoyed getting to know her husband better as well. 

Crazy Cat Woman and I are bonded in many ways...through our small town upbringing...our families who know each other...through our faith....through our raising teens/near adult children....and, of course, through our long time friendship.  Friday night, we encouraged each other as we laughed and chatted about parenting, pets, and families. I am so thankful for her life long friendship! 

Saturday was a very exciting day for me.  Finally...after months of training and preparing...I did my first 5k race with my niece, the Producer.  Since my knee is still giving me problems, I did walk/run this race, but I was so pleased I was able to complete it! 

I did this run with the Producer and two of her friends, and I was happy I was able to hang in there with three twentysomethings!  They were so kind to go slow with me!  My nephew and his special girl ran the race as well, which added to the fun! 

It was a Color Run, plus it was cold and rainy yesterday morning...so we ended the race covered in color, just a bit wet, and a tad chilled...but so glad we did it!  I have checked "run a 5k" off my bucket list! 

It really was a day of encouragement.  I encouraged those who ran with me, and they encouraged me as well.  Hubby was also there to send us off and greet us at the finish.  He was, of course, another source of awesome encouragement.

The race was also a fundraiser for Autism Speaks, which I happily support in honor of our friends who have children on the spectrum.  Did you know that April is Autism Awareness month?  With this month coming to a close, please, if you feel lead to do so...today, I encourage you to go to the website and donate to this worthy cause. 

If you have a little extra that you could send, I believe they will do great work with whatever you can give.  As I have shared before...I have such a heart for those who raise children living on the spectrum of Autism.

Pray For Someone
Yesterday, I prayed for a family I do not know, but who recently lost two members of their family in a very sad accident.  It left two young adult children without parents and a family and community in grief. 

A friend asked me to pray for this family as she and her husband knew the parents and are heartbroken for their family.  While I do not know them, of course my heart goes out to them, and I pray God will guide and comfort them in the days ahead.

This morning another request came from another friend.  She shared the news of another accident that lead to the death of four people.  Again, I do not know those involved in the accident or those grieving their passing, but I prayed for their families as they deal with this sudden and difficult loss.

This accident has affected many who knew them and I pray for them as well.  It is so heartbreaking and unfathomable when an accident occurs and young lives are lost.  I spent time today in prayer for those who are left to carry on...for those who feel the loss deeply....for those broken hearts.  Again I asked God for comfort and guidance in the days to come.

There are some days when there just isn't any understanding for what has happened.  All I can offer is God is still there.  I truly believes he grieves with us.  Our hurts are His hurts, and our Lord is most certainly there to love us, guide us, comfort us, and sustain us through such times. 

From laughter with friends...to running with family...to heartache with friends....God will see us through.  He laughs with us....runs with us....and grieves with us.  God really is always there with us.

Please remember...I will pray for you or someone you know.  Just contact me if you would like me to do so.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Just For Fun Friday: Don't Make Your Bed Edition

Well...here it is Friday and I haven't posted since Tuesday!  How did that happen?  Sometimes life really does get too busy.  Today is indeed Friday...so it's JUST FOR FUN FRIDAY!  But before we can get to that, I have to get you caught up on my April Quests for the past few days.

Pray for Someone
My Someone on Wednesday was my dear sweet tea-loving friend, Tea Queen.  She sent her husband off on a long military deployment that day.  Sigh.  I know she is under a great deal of stress now and for the next several months.  There is so much heartache and uncertainty that goes with a military deployment. 

I prayed for her and her children, but of course the prayers do not end there.  I will be praying for this very special friend until her husband returns safe and sound to their little family. 

I made a promise to her the other day that I would be there with her through the entire deployment.  We don't live near each other...there are actually quite a few states sitting between us right now, but that will not stop me from being "there" for her in every possible way.  And one of those ways is to pray - every day.

Thursday, my Someone was my dear animal-loving friend, the Dog Whisperer.  She has had a lot of tough stuff going on in her life these past several months.  The heartache just piled on...every week something else became a struggle.  My heart went out to her during this dark time.

But she has persevered through it all with her faith in God intact.  She has called on Him to get her through these difficult days and He has.  Good has come among the bad.  So while I prayed for the terrible pain in her back...and in her heart, I also thanked God for the recent good news that came with promises for better days ahead for her family.

Today's Someones came from an event last night.  Yesterday, a group of homeschooling moms loaded up a van and car full of homeschooling high schoolers and traveled over the river and through the big city to Prom. 

We dropped our dashing and darling teens off to dance the night away.  Then we headed to our own Mom Prom Dinner with huge plates of pasta, good conversation, and lots of laughter.  We didn't all know each other.  Some of us had met before...some had never met, but we bonded over the most simple of things....being moms.

Intertwined in a evening of carb overload and laughter...there were deep moments of open-hearted sharing.  It was amazing really...most of us were strangers!  Even if we knew each other...most of us didn't really know each other.  We certainly found that out last night. 

The surprising evening left me with two deep memories.  One is of a much needed night of laughter.  And since I'm all about honesty on this blog...I admit...I wasn't really looking forward to going.   I was crabby (for no good reason), I had a headache, I was a bit tired, and I really just wanted to stay home.  But I went..and I'm really glad I did.  We laughed so much.  It was a joy-filled night.

So having said that...it might seem strange to say that the other big takeaway for me from the night was the heartfelt sharing of very real heartache that each woman freely conveyed.  As I thought about it later...it was so very touching.  So these ladies are my Someones today.  I am praying for each of them and the struggles that they shared.

What I witnessed last night is what all women should be doing for each other: supporting.  There wasn't any judgement or embarrassment.  There was only love and support.  It's so crazy...really...considering we are women...and were practically strangers....and did I mention we are women? I will never forget last night or these ladies.  It was just love and support.  Exactly what it should be.

Today I pray for their concerns.  I think of each one of them as we sat around that table last night.  I think of what they so openly and honestly shared.  I pray for them by name and worry.  I lift them up to God and ask Him to touch their situations...to ease their pain...to comfort them...to restore their relationships that are struggling...to guide and direct them....to give them peace. 

And I thank our Heavenly Father for bringing them into my life last night.  I thank Him for opening my eyes and showing me that there are women...just like me...going through struggles....who are willing to get to know me...willing to share with me...laugh with me....and even though they may not know me...even support me.  It left me feeling convicted for my crabbiness and blessed by my new friendships.

Encourage Someone
Wednesday, my Someone was the same person I prayed for that day.  Tea Queen needed some encouragement as she got through the difficult day of seeing her husband off on deployment.  We sent messages back and forth all day as I supported her while she supported him.

Last night, during our fun Mom Prom Dinner, the ladies were so gracious to allow me to share with them about this very blog.  I told them about the Blue Hue that had lead me to a need to make some changes in my life.  I shared my idea of monthly Quests to create a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit. 

They were all so kind to listen to my story, and then one of the moms said the sweetest thing.  She told me that I had encouraged her.  So, my Someone last night was a new friend....a mother of seven children...some with special needs...who is so inspiring to me...and she felt encouraged by my words.  What a blessing to be able to encourage Someone who amazes me!

As for my Someone for today?  It hasn't happened yet, so you will have to turn in next time to find out about my Someone to Encourage today.

Just For Fun
In the mean time I will leave you with something fun...because it's Friday!

According to the Gourmet Hostess, we can all quit making our beds in the morning! 

Last week, she let me know she read an article in the May issue of Health Magazine that said:
"SKIP Making the Bed. Ongoing research from London suggests that leaving sheets open to air dries them out, depriving dust mites of the humidity they need to survive." 

So there you go!  One less thing for your to do list tomorrow!

And because I don't always get the bed made every day...I found this new information to be quite fun!

Please, feel free to contact me if you or someone you know is in need of encouragement or prayer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chicken Pie Memories

Today, our Engineer asked me to make Grandma Gem's Chicken Pie recipe.  Not only is it so very tasty, but each time I make it, the memories of Grandma serving steaming pans of this deliciousness in her warm homey kitchen come flooding back to me like it was yesterday.

It's those kind of memories that bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eye at the same time.

I'm so glad our Engineer asked me to make that yummy-memory-filled dish tonight.  As I pulled it out of the oven, his eyes sparkled in anticipation, and he thanked me.  After devouring a plateful, he sweetly thanked me again.  As I relished the hug that came next, all I could think was...no...thank you, Engineer. 

He made me a happy momma tonight.

Today was a busy day.  I had shopping that had to be done, five loads of laundry to wash, dry, and fold, school with our Engineer, plus a Chicken Pie to make.  I even had more errands to run tonight.  Of course, that didn't stop me from my April Quests today.

Pray for Someone
This morning I didn't have Someone picked out to pray for.  This might be the first time all month that I didn't have a person already penciled in for the day.  I popped onto Facebook and saw that one of my dear friend's daughter isn't feeling well today.  I knew right then she would be my Someone for today.

Her daughter is finishing up her freshman year of college.  It's been a year filled with so many changes and firsts.  She has had her ups and downs, but she is on track to finish the year strong.  And now...just as the final projects, papers, and tests are looming she is battling a bit of a health issue. 

So today, I lifted her up in prayer. I asked God to give her relief from the pain and to please heal her quickly, so that she can keep her focus on completing all that she needs to accomplish in the next few weeks.  Bless her heart.  

Encourage Someone
My Someone to encourage today is a Someone who has been through some huge changes in the last two years.  He's not the type to enjoy change...of any kind.  And this change was...well...life changing change. 

He struggled with it in the beginning, but as the days turned into weeks...that turned into months...and soon will turn into years, he has found his footing and done an amazing job of balancing all the new and different parts of this changed life.

I know some days it might not feel like he's done anything that impressive, but I certainly think he has.  Today I shared with him what I have noticed about all he has accomplished.  It was good to see him smile and take it in.  He was so touched that someone would notice and tell him so, it really made me glad I took the time to share it with him.

Please ~ don't hesitate...if you or someone you know would like some prayer or encouragement, please contact me!  I would be honored to do so.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Peace Like A River


Tonight ~ just take a moment ~
Enjoy this delightful snapshot of our Creator's Beautiful Handiwork.
 
 
Does this image leave you with a sweet feeling of our Lord's Precious Peace?
Oh I do so pray that for YOU right now.
 
When the Gourmet Hostess sent me this gorgeous photo of the Potomac River this afternoon, the first thing that came to mind was a happy childhood memory of joyfully singing around the camp fire at summer church camp:
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river in my soul (down in my soul)
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river
I've got peace like a river in my soul (in my soul)

Just in case you have never heard this fun little praise song, here's a great version I found on YouTube:  I've Got Peace Like A River - Harvest Church

Receiving this snapshot blessed me today because at this very moment in time I can honestly say I am a woman at peace.  Now...tomorrow I may be taking a screaming plunge on the log flume ride that is my life...but for now...I am floating along the flat peaceful part of this journey. 

I am enjoying this bit of peace because it was just days ago my log was creaking up one of those little mountains.  I was nervous...wondering if there was a big drop over the top, but thankfully when we got there, it was just a flat peaceful little windy ride through the treetops.  Thank you for Peace, dear Lord. 

Yes, today I have peace...the kind you feel looking at a quiet lazy little river...with the sun shining down...in the early morning hours.

My prayer for each of my readers today is that you feel a deep wonderful God-given peace in your own situation today.  Hopefully you are not creaking up a mountain or taking a screaming plunge today.  Hopefully you are floating along in the log behind mine.

As I drifted along enjoying the ride these past couple of days, I did take some time to do my April Quests.

Pray for Someone
Yesterday, I prayed for a dear sweet friend who has recently had hip surgery.  It didn't go as well as she had hoped and now she has a difficult recovery and possibly more surgery ahead of her.  I feel so deeply for her, because she is a very busy fast-paced lady who doesn't do well when she is forced to slow down and take it easy.  She just doesn't have time for such things!

My friend is a wonderful wife and mother (to four children) and has many duties that keep her on her feet and at a crazy run most of the time.  I know having issues with her hip has to be frustrating and disappointing for her. 

So, yesterday she was my Someone and I spent the day asking God to bless her with a quick recovery and whole healing.  I asked Him to be with her in the days to come; that she might not require another surgery.  I asked God for peace for my spunky friend.

Today, I prayed for Someone who is battling many health issues.  It seems quite unfair that she would have to endure so many health concerns when dealing with just one is difficult enough.  While praying today I went as boldly as I think I ever have to God. 

After a slight hesitation, I took a deep break and called out to not only God, but to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as well.  I really did.  I don't remember ever doing this before, but I prayed to all three at once and asked for Them to use Their mighty power to heal her.  I asked Them to just take the sickness away.  Then I asked above all else, that God's plan be THE PLAN for her life.

I truly hope the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will grant my request, but in trusting in His Plan always, I also know that this might not be the perfect time to fulfil that plan.  I went boldly before the Lord today on behalf of my Someone.  I love her dearly and I would love love love to see God do a mighty work in healing her of so many of her health problems.  In the mean time...I asked God to please grant her peace...like a still quiet river.

Encourage Someone
Yesterday I had the blessing of spending the evening chatting with another dear friend.  I hope our conversation was an encouragement to her.  She is so special to me.  I have seen her through some really sad and difficult times and last night was a precious time for both of us as we celebrated all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed upon her this past year. 

It was truly a delight to listen to her giggle in happiness.  I believe we both hung up the phone feeling encouraged...and peaceful.

Today I had the opportunity to encourage a young mom battling a strong-willed toddler.  I shared some tips with her, but mostly I wanted her to know others have been where she finds herself now.  I shared with her that children I know who acted just like hers are all grown up now...successful and well adjusted to life. 

She's in a tough season of life at the moment...but she will get through it faster than she might think.  There may even be a season on down the road where she will miss these days.  Today I reassured her their family will get through this.  I know because I have see it happen.  I am sure she will find sweet peace again. 

Are You or Someone you know in need of some peace only Jesus can bring?  If so, please contact me and I will be happy to pray for You or your Someone for that blessed peace.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Paying Attention To The Good News

The last few days the news has been filled with such bad stories.  We've had bombings in Boston, tainted mail in Washington DC, an explosion that devastated a small town in Texas, storms and flooding in the Midwest, then the entire city of Boston on lock-down, firefights and more bombings, and many many unanswered questions. 

So many lives lost in a matter of just a few days.  Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by it all?

As I may have mentioned before, I'm what Hubby calls a "wallower".  When stuff like this happens I think about it...a lot.  I watch the news...too much.  I get so sad about it...and worry.  It's hard for me sometimes to let it go and think on all the good around me instead.

But yesterday, as I dwelt on all of this a bit, I realized that all the news this week wasn't bad.  It really wasn't.

For me, in my little part of the world, interspersed with the bad news headlining these days, I have also heard some good news....really really good news.  So maybe this good news didn't make national headlines...no...even better...it came from people I love and care about.

The good news swirling around me this week included: a long awaited, much needed job offer, the birth of a precious baby, good results from a cancer treatment, a wedding date set, a prayer answered, a second chance given, and even a first car purchased. 

While the bad news crashes down around me...there is still good news happening lifting me up.  I just had to get my focus off the bad stuff, so that I could recognize and enjoy the good!  And truly life just felt a lot better when I did.

And during all of this these past two days, I continued to work on my April Quests.

Pray for Someone
Friday, I spent some time praying for a friend's friend.  My sweet southern friend sent me a request to pray for her friend fighting breast cancer.  Friday's Someone has completed treatment and underwent a mastectomy on Friday.  I spent the day praying for her.  I prayed for her surgery and her recovery.  I prayed for her family and friends supporting her.  I prayed for the days to come.  I prayed for the years to come. 

Years ago my own Grandma Gem underwent a mastectomy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  As you know, I pray for two friends currently fighting this awful disease.  I pray for many other friends who year after year celebrate each wonderful cancer free report.

Whenever I hear of someone fighting breast cancer, I think of my Grandma and how much the prayers of others meant to our family.  It's important to me to pray for anyone dealing with it and Friday, it was important for me to spend the day praying for my friend's friend with breast cancer.

Today, I prayed for a family I know.  A few months ago they lost their little boy to cancer.  It was a very long journey...five years...almost his entire childhood.  His father, mother, and big brother worked tirelessly to do any and every thing to help him through the battle. 

It's something that for me is truly unimaginable and my heart absolutely goes out to them.  Another friend who also knows this family shared with me how difficult these days since the passing of their little guy have been.  She and I agreed that all three members of this little family needed to be my Someones today. 

So I spent the day lifting this family up to our Lord.  I can't imagine all that they have experienced or what they are going through in these days of mourning, but I do hurt with them.  Many others hurt with them as well, and I pray for God to comfort them and see them through these difficult days.

Oh how I wish there were no cancer...

Encourage Someone
Yesterday I spent a little time in the afternoon sitting in the sun and chatting with a friend on the phone.  We are dear close friends and it was so good to spend some time together.  She is hurting.  Life if very difficult right now. 

She has so much on her plate and many many unresolved issues.  I know it feels like the weight of the world (or at least her slice of the world) is on her shoulders right now.  Bless her heart.  I wish I could just take it all away.

We talked about many of the unknowns facing her and her family right now.  We talked about ways to maybe make it better.  We talked a lot about prayer, our faith, and the trust we have in God to see her through. 

I did my best to encourage her.  The blessing is she has a strong faith and I know that will help her with whatever is to come in the future. 

Today, I sent a note to a dear sweet friend that has meant so much to me for a very long time and I wanted to let her know.  My friend is my Someone for today.  She is the type of person that is always, happy, joyful, positive, and loving. 

She is also the most supportive friend you could meet.  I know without a doubt that she will always be there for me, just as she is for all her friends.  She touches so many lives and is truly special to so many people.  I needed her to know that today.  Sometimes it's really encouraging to hear what others believe, and I wanted to do that for her today.

Please, if you or someone you know is in need of prayer or encouragement, let me know.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All The Feelings ~ Part II

Today my April Quests focus on three ladies I have come to know and love all because our Scientist went far far away to college.  In January I introduced you to the Nurse and a favorite family phrase - "all the feelings".  Today I will share with you the next chapter in this story.

Pray for Someone
Our Scientist and the Nurse met soon after they arrived on campus their college freshman year.  Hubby, our Engineer, and I were happy to get to meet the Nurse face to face when we traveled out for a visit the following spring.  Not only did we meet her then, but her precious family warmly welcomed us to their home for an amazing family dinner. 

That warm spring afternoon while the wildflowers danced in the wind on the high meadow, we got to know the Nurse's mother, sister, grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins. It was a very blessed afternoon as we lunched with this family and realized we had much in common. 

We were thrilled to discover that they adored our son almost as much as we did.  They too saw the kind, intelligent, warm, funny, helpful young man that has brought us such joy since the day he was born.

In the year beyond that first visit, our relationships have grown through phone calls, email, and more visits.  The Nurse's mother, Grace Mom, has become a special friend of mine. Grace Mom truly is a women of such quiet grace. 

She's also a momma of two girls.  Since I'm a momma of two boys, it's fun to spend time with her and hear about what it's like to be the momma of girls...which is clearly very very different than being a momma of boys.

This week, the Nurse sent me a message and asked me to pray for her mom.  It so happens that Grace Mom was already on my prayer list of Someones.  She is a strong woman of faith who trusts our Heavenly Father to see her through her life struggles.  And believe me..she has had some pretty tough struggles in this life...including a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). 

She has lived with this difficult disease for a long time, but she doesn't let it stop her from being a mom, taking care of her students in an important college campus job, worshipping at church, shopping for shoes, lunching with the girls, driving her van, or caring for her puppy.

I am blessed to know her, touched by her loving, caring spirit, and amazed by all she handles daily.  And she does it all with such grace.  The Nurse asked me to pray for her mom and today I did. 

I asked the Lord to comfort Grace Mom, ease her worries, and to take care of her medical needs.  I prayed she would adjust quickly to her new treatment plan.  And knowing how hard the heat of summer can be for her, I asked the Lord for a mild summer that would not be so stressful for her. 

I also asked God to be with Grace Mom's family.  As her family members travel this journey of MS right along with her, it can be weary from time to time.  I pray for her family as they come along side her and see her through the tough days.

I prayed especially for Grace Mom and the Nurse as they navigate their roles as adult mom and young adult daughter.  This season for them is such a gloriously, wonderful, delicately, challenging time in their lives.  There are so many new experiences for them and they both have to relearn how to be mother and daughter a bit. 

I pray for them as they settle into these new roles and this next level of their relationship.  I have such a heart for them as Hubby and I gingerly step through this process with our Scientist as well.  Parenting twentysomethings is a whole new ballgame.  Being a twentysomething is too.  It is beautiful and painful at the same time...for all of us. 

Throughout this day, I prayed for my friend Grace Mom.

Encourage Someone
The third lady in this story is the Feisty Flower.  She is a sweet friend of mine and also happens to be mother to Grace Mom and grandmother to the Nurse.  She is a bundle of flower tending, photo taking, card making, family loving joy.  I was just taken in by her the minute I met her.  My first thought was, "Wow, she is a real go-getter!" 

As I watched her buzz around her kitchen putting together a marvelous feast, talking a mile a minute, I knew Feisty Flower was my kind of woman.  She is a godly servant - caring for the ailing husband she has loved forever, her beloved daughter, and each of her grandchildren. 

If anyone in her family needs her, she is either there in a flash or she opens her home and warmly welcomes them into her care.  She tirelessly serves her family and friends without complaint.  It is just amazing to know her. 

Today, Feisty Flower is my Someone to encourage.  I sat down to write her a note, letting her know what a blessing she is to our family and all those who know her.  I wanted her to know I see how hard she works to love and care for those important to her.  There's just so much going on around her right now, I thought she might enjoy opening her mailbox and getting a little note of encouragement.

Today, I am thankful for the friendship of these three ladies.  I am delighted that we share a love of God and our Scientist.  I am richer for knowing them and I pray God will bless them greatly as they walk the path God has paved for them.

Please contact me if you or Someone you know is in need of prayer...or encouragement...or both!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Be Like A Daffodil

Oh to be as strong and beautiful as a daffodil...  I'm not sure what got me to thinking about that this morning, but I do want to be like the daffodils that live in my front yard.

As you know, our Midwest weather couldn't decide if it was winter or spring throughout the last couple months and we teetered back and forth between snow covered, freezing gray cloudy days and windy, warm sunshiny days. 

During one of the warm sunny days, my daffodils started poking up all along the flower beds around our front yard.  Just a couple days later, a chill filled the air and the temperatures began to drop rapidly.  I watched those little shoots carefully - as the weather swung back and forth -wondering if they would make it to the beautiful blossoming stage.

Well, those hardy sprouts grew tall.  The buds began to form and I anxiously awaited the beauty that would soon burst forth.  Then...the temperature dropped again...and snow fell from the sky.  The final blast of wintry mix dumped nearly a foot of flakes on top of those precious blooms.  You couldn't even see them.  I was sure they were done.

Thankfully, I was totally wrong.  They were stronger than they looked.  They were daffodils after all, and they were going to persevere into the beautiful Easter treat they were meant to be.

Once they open up and bloom, daffodils display a delicate beauty that gives joy to all those who see them.  And while the petals are soft, these flowers are made of much tougher stuff.  The stem that holds the beautiful part up for all to see is strong and resilient. 

And then there's the part you can't even see.  The foundation of the flower...buried deep in the ground is the bulb.  It's the strongest part.  It's the part where the firm stem and beautiful delicate flower came from.  It is what the flower stands on.  It is what feeds the flower.  The daffodil couldn't be the glorious beauty it is without the strength of the bulb beneath.

You know, we come from God.  He is our strength...He takes cares of our needs...We live because of Him.  We each have a delicate beauty that is inside us waiting for the precise moment to unfold and bloom for all to see.  Through this beauty we can offer joy to others.

That's why I want to be like a daffodil.  I want to remain strong during the cold cloudy times.  And then, when the good days come, I want to open up, enjoy the sunshine, and share a beauty that will bring joy to others.

I'll admit, in the wake of the heartache in Boston, it's harder to maintain a Rosie Outlook.  It's easy to let fear, sadness, and anger take hold of our thoughts.  But then I think about those beautiful daffodils that brought me such happiness as I shrugged off the cold chills of winter and welcomed the warm sun-filled days of spring. 

I don't want those who work to cause us pain to win.  I don't want them to have control of my thoughts and feelings.  Instead...I want to be strong with a joyful beauty...like a daffodil.

While these thoughts ran through my mind these past two days, I prayed for all those affected in Boston, and I worked on my April Quests.

Pray for Someone
My Someone for yesterday is the mother of one of my sweet friends.  Her momma has had some health concerns and was going to the doctor looking for some answers.  I asked God to be with her and her daughter as they waited for those answers.  Her daughter lives far away from her mom and couldn't be there with her.  I know she is concerned and feels a bit helpless as to how to support her mother from so far away.  I lifted them both up all day.

Today, I prayed for a friend of Mom's.  Mom called the other day with great concern for a friend very dear to her and many others around them.  Her friend also has health concerns and is waiting for answers from doctors.  She has battled health issues in the past, so there is of course, worry that she will have to go through it again. Today I prayed for God to hold her tightly in the palm of His hand.

It is such a difficult time when you have to wait and wonder about health issues.  Both of these ladies will continue to be in my prayers each day as they wait.

Encourage Someone
For the last two days I have spent time chatting with two people dear to me that both were in need of encouragement.  We chatted...talked through some stuff...worked out some solutions...and laughed a little too.  Both conversations were as encouraging to me as they were to these two Someones.  I am blessed to have them in my life and blessed to be able to share some encouragement with them!  Truth be told, I think they are a couple of daffodils.

If You or Someone you know is in need of prayer or encouragement, please contact me.  It would be my pleasure. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Good Will Always Overcome Evil ~ Always

Taking a couple days off during a busy weekend means I have a lot to tell you today...but before I get to my April Quests for these past three days, I have to say how sad my heart is with today's news of the bombings in Boston.

Just like you, my prayers go out to the victims and their families of yet another senseless tragedy.  It's heartbreaking...hard to comprehend...horrific.  I don't understand.  I know you don't either.  I've seen a lot of people posting on Facebook a simple question: "What is wrong with people?"  Maybe you've asked that question as well. 

Then I saw one post with a different perspective.  It basically said something like this: "Bad people are a tiny little percent of humanity...the good in people far outshines the bad."  More good is done in a day than bad.  And...when that terrifying bomb went off - what did people there do?  If you saw the blast caught on camera - you saw it.  They didn't run away...no...they turned and ran toward the blast to aid those who were injured. 

Amazing.  I saw it.  They must have been so afraid, and yet...they stayed there...they went to those in need...they did good.  Today there were WAY more good people than bad people in Boston and it was captured in action for all to see. 

God promises us that good will always win over evil.  I believe it to be true...because God said it...because God has shown it to us...because if we look for it, we see it everyday in our lives...because God is still God and He is still in control...even when bad people do bad things. 

And when they do...God calls on his good people to spring into action.  And they always do.  Because good will always overcome evil.  It will.  Today was proof of that.  I saw it.  I'm sure you saw it too.  Tonight, right along with you, I pray for the people of Boston - the good and the bad.

Now I would like to share my April Quests for the past few days, because these stories are filled with good stuff.  And I'm thinking it would be best to focus on good stuff tonight.

Pray For Someone
Saturday and Sunday I prayed for the same person.  This Someone I know well and I knew he needed a lot of prayer.  He's at a point in his life where major decisions are being made that will affect his future and I knew the best way to help would be to pray for him. 

I asked God to give him clarity in which direction he should go, guidance on how to accomplish it, and peace once the decision was made.  Since he is calling on our Heavenly Father to see him through this time of uncertainty, I am confident that in the end, he will follow God's plan to a bright future that brings glory to our Lord.

Of course, I will continue to pray for him...just as I have all the people I have prayed for this month, but Saturday and Sunday were his days to be lifted up to the Lord.  I hope he feels the peace of God's grace today.

Today, I prayed for a friend from days when we lived in the Buckle of the Bible Belt.  We spent five wonderful years there and during that time we met many special friends - including this gentleman.  He was not only a friend, but he, along with his wife, were true mentors to Hubby and I during the early years of our marriage with little bitty boys. 

Yesterday, I found out he is battling some health issues, and I spent today asking God to help him return to full health.  He has a loving family that we truly adore and I pray God's blessings on him and his family today.  They mean a lot to us.

Encourage Someone
Saturday, I spent the day encouraging Someone I love dearly through words and effort.  We had a long talk that was very positive and uplifting.  Later I helped him with some things he is trying to figure out in his life.  This one was a bit different, because most of my other Someones have been encouraged through words, but this time I backed them up with actions as well. 

Ironically, yesterday, I did almost the exact same thing for another Someone.  I didn't plan it, but it worked out that way, and it was a blessing to me to be able to help and encourage both of these Someones this past weekend.

Today, was a bit of twist for me.  Today...I honestly was in need of a bit of encouragement myself...and wouldn't you know it?  God just stepped in and made me His Someone today.  Several very special sweet friends sent me messages and texts that were such a huge encouragement to me.  It was a few minutes out of their day, but it meant the world to me. 

Not only that, but an issue that has been hanging heavy over our family seems to be working out in an amazingly peaceful way.  Several things lined up today, including finding information we needed, feeling like we have been doused with a bit of Divine Intervention, and one kind stranger taking the time to answer questions and point us in the right direction. 

Today, I felt so encouraged and was able to pass this encouragement on to my family.  I'm so thankful for the encouragement our family received today.  Thank you to those who had a hand in it!  And thank you Heavenly Father for loving my family so.

Please...if you are in need of prayer or encouragement...or you know Someone else who is in need...please, email or message me.  It would be my honor to be some of the good in this world.

I leave you with this one last thought today:  Good will always overcome evil...always!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Just For Fun Friday: Grilled Cheese Edition

Today, I have something to share Just For Fun....because  it's FRIDAY!  But before we get to that, I want to tell you about today's April Quests.

Pray For Someone
My prayers today were for an entire family of Someones.  A wonderful friend sent me a quick text asking me to pray for a family under great stress with an ill baby.  I don't know much more about the family than that, but I know that God knows them well and He knows exactly what their needs are, so today I dedicated my day to praying for this family. 

Encourage Someone
Today's encouragement is actually for YOU - my readers.  My cousin, Pastor Cousin who was my Someone for both Quests on Tuesday, wrote such an encouraging post on Facebook today.  It has really touched those who have read it because it was shared by at least four people (including me).  I decided I wanted to share it with all of you.  I do hope it encourages YOU!

Pastor Cousin wrote:
Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (Ps. 55:22 NLT)

Are you feeling burdened today? Are you troubled, discouraged, or frustrated? Talk to God. 
He knows how you feel anyway. It's alright to tell Him what's bothering or worrying you. He says here that He will take care of you and He won't allow you to slip or fall if you're His child. 
 
Sometimes we worry about what lies in the future, how ends are going to meet, or how things are going to work out. This verse tells us God has it under control. He knows the end from the beginning. He's going ahead of us lining up people and the things we need for His plan to be accomplished in us.
 
Trust God. Trust His plan. He's helping you and guiding you up that steep slope. If you'll keep your trust in Him, He will raise you up higher.   Those things Satan and others meant to keep you down, Christ will use to take you to new heights.  Leave your burdens with God and climb to unseen heights!
 
"He knows the end from the beginning."  Isn't that encouraging?  Yes, I thought so too.
 
 
Now...Just For Fun Friday:
 
Happy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day! 
Yes, it's true...today, April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day!  Yum!
 
 
Something else I find amazingly fun is Praying for Someone and Encouraging Someone each day.  If you would like to be my Someone or know Someone who could use some prayer or encouragement, please email or message me with a first name and the request.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In The Bad Times & In The Good Times

Last night, I was just getting ready to write my post when a big storm blew in and we ended up hanging out in the basement for awhile.  After the tornado sirens quieted down, we headed upstairs to bed with the wind howling and lightning flashing.  We turned out the lights fulling expecting to be awakened with more sirens and another trip to the basement before morning. 

Thankfully, that was not the case.  The storm moved on, and the only real damage we woke up to this morning was my smashed daffodils.  Those poor flowers popped up out of the ground too early and suffered through a few rounds of snow, including having a foot of snow dumped on them a few weeks ago just as they were beginning to bud.  They proved to be strong hearty flowers though, and I quietly blessed whoever lived here before me and spent the time planting all those bulbs! 

Those delightful yellow beauties were so special to me this year as our long awaited spring finally arrived and they were allowed to flourish in the warm spring sun.  I'm grateful I got to enjoy them because this morning...they didn't look so good.  Last night's storms really did them in and I'm so glad I snapped a few shots of them a few days ago before they were destroyed.
Thank you so very much to whoever planted all of these bulbs and the many others around our yard!

Yesterday and today I did my April Quests in very different fashions.  Yesterday was a day full of excited busyness and I found myself offering up prayer throughout the day in "snippets".  Today there wasn't nearly as much on the schedule, so I took a long walk on the treadmill and prayed and prayed and prayed the entire walk. 

Pray for Someone
My Someone for yesterday was my pick.  She is my dear friend, Praise Girl, who has really seen her fair share of difficult times.  My heart goes out to her because even through all the very tough stuff, she continues to praise God and she knows at her core that He is in control and will take care of her every need.

Praise Girl has a very strong desire to do something that at this present time she cannot do.  It's so frustrating for her and is weighing heavy on her heart.  She has begged God to fulfill this desire and yet He has not opened that door.  As her friend I totally understand the request that she continues to petition God for each day, and my heart hurts with her.

Praise Girl and I both know that God is a loving God who only wants the best for us and His Plan is always the best.  It seems like this topic has come up a lot lately on this blog in several different stories.  It's interesting that I happen to be waiting on God for a clear picture of His Plan in my own life and I also happen to know a fair number of people who are in the same Waiting On God's Plan To Be Revealed boat. 

This boat is getting a bit crowded, but we all keep comforting each other and reassuring each other that we are in the right boat, going the right direction.  Because honestly, even if we have no idea where this boat is going to dock, we need to be on this boat.  Can I get an Amen? 

Praise Girl is already on my daily prayer list, but yesterday, I spent the entire day chatting with God about her and her needs.  I just love her so much and I can't wait to see what God's Plan will be for her and her family!

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Today, I have been praying for Two Someones that are dear dear friends of our Aunt Love and Uncle Jayhawk.  Aunt Love sent me a request to pray for them.  I have met these dear friends of theirs and I was honored to pray for them today.  While traveling this winter, the husband suffered numerous health problems and they are currently working on getting him well enough to make the trip back home.

Thinking about them today, I was struck with how difficult this must be.  Dealing with health issues is tough enough, but for it to happen while away from the comforts of home and loved ones makes it an even more challenging ordeal. 

This morning during a long walk on the treadmill, I prayed for this sweet couple.  Throughout the day, I have asked God to comfort them, encourage them, strengthen them, and heal him.  I pray they will be able to return home soon where they will have friends and family to support them, encourage them, and just be there for them. 

Encourage Someone
Last night, I was able to encourage a friend through text messages.  We chatted back and forth for a while during a time when my friend was struggling with a situation.  I am thankful that she came to me and we had the opportunity to talk a bit.  Happily, I heard from her again today and she was feeling better.  A few text messages were just the boost she needed to continue on her journey with a lighter heart.

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Tonight I plan to write a note to a Someone that I have had on my mind lately and want to encourage.  I haven't seen him in a long while, but I have heard that he is doing remarkably well and has achieved several great successes lately.  I need to let him know how proud I am of him and all that he has accomplished.  I want to encourage him as he works toward his next goal.

Many of my prayers and encouragements have been for people who are struggling.  There are plenty of people going through troubles and sometimes prayer or a word of encouragement is all I know to do to try to help them through it.  It is nice to be able to celebrate the good things in life too and I am happy today to share a word of encouragement with Someone who is doing well at this point in his life. 

One of the most wonderful things about God is that He is always there with us...in the bad times...and in the good times.  He hurts when we have sorrows and He cheers when we have joys. 

Do you have a hurt?  Do you have a joy?  Do you know Someone else that does?  Please, feel free to share with me (email or message) and I will pray for you - good...or bad...or both! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Waiting on God's Plan

Today, both of my April Quests are for the same person.  I haven't done that before, but I felt a strong tug at my heart last night to not only pray for, but also encourage Someone I love and care about very much: my cousin, Pastor Cousin.

Pastor Cousin is the author of the rewards for obedience to God blog at Christ First Ministry.  Just because he is a minister does not mean he is without struggles.  As a matter of fact...there might be a valid argument for the idea that maybe pastors struggle even more.  This is just a theory of mine, but I have been around a fair number of people in ministry in my life, and I think there might be something to this theory. 

I feel deeply for my cousin as he navigates the waters of ministry and seeks to do God's will in his life.  He has a wife and two children that rely on him.  He works in the family business, a restaurant owned by his parents, and they rely on him.  He also has this budding ministry and I'm sure some days it can feel quite overwhelming. 

And yet, he feels called to share God's story of Salvation through Jesus Christ to as many people as he can.  I support him in this ministry through encouragement and prayer because I see the heart he has for serving God.  It isn't easy in today's world to step out in faith and proclaim it on a blog or in a Facebook post. 

Thankfully, as I have mentioned before, we have had some wonderful examples of ministry in our family.  Pastor Cousin and I grew up in a family that has been dedicated to serving God.  Our Grandpa Pastor served God at several churches during his years of ministry.  Grandma Gem was our very first Sunday School teacher. 

Pastor Cousin's parents, as well as my own, serve today in the very church where both couples met, fell in love, were married, and raised their children in the faith of Jesus Christ.  Many of our family members have had a heart for serving in the church and it's been an excellent example to us.

Pastor Cousin and I know that sometimes it's a struggle waiting on God to fulfill the desires of our hearts.  Even when our desire is to serve Him and His people, we have to wait on His perfect timing, circumstances, and plan. 

Today, I spent the day in prayer for my cousin and his ministry.  I also wrote him a note of encouragement.  I know that he is doing good work in the name of Jesus Christ and I believe that God will use his talents and abilities to reach others.  And I am excited to see what God's plan will be for Pastor Cousin and his ministry.

Please send me a message or an email if you would like me to pray over you or someone you know.  I would love to spend my day chatting with God on your behalf.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Just A Little Effort

It's Monday and truthfully it's felt like it all day!  We had such a lovely weekend, it was difficult this morning to admit it was over.  However, it turned out to be another beautiful spring day here in the Midwest and I did my April Quests with a joyful heart anyway.

Encourage Someone
Sunday, I didn't write a blog post because I was busy enjoying the day with Hubby and our Engineer.  I did, however, make a phone call to encourage Someone I love who needed a little love.  It was a good conversation and I think we were both feeling better as we hung up the phone. 

This morning I sent a message to Someone who had a difficult day ahead of her.  I knew she was going to be facing something she was dreading and I wanted her to know I remembered and was thinking of her. 

Sometimes it doesn't take a huge amount of time or effort to let someone know you care.  That's what I tried to do these last two days.

Pray for Someone
One of my dearest friends sent me two prayer requests for two friends this week.  I have become friends with both of these gals because they were friends with my sweet friend and she introduced us.  Yesterday, I prayed for one of them. 

Sunday's Someone is a loving caring sister, friend, mom, wife, and grandma.  She is always doing for others.  Sometimes this can be a bit stressful and my friend asked me to spend a day praying for her.  She seems to be always worrying and taking care of everyone else around her.  I'm sure many of you can relate! 

Yesterday, I lifted her name up to the Lord, praying for her as she loves and cares for her family and friends.  I pray she felt the comfort that only prayer can bring.

The extra cool part of this request was that this friend I prayed for on Sunday had already sent me a couple of requests for two other people I prayed for last week.  Then, someone else sent me a request to pray for her.  How fun is that?

Today, I prayed for our other friend.  Although I have never met her in person, I have come to know her online and I am thankful for that opportunity.  She is a loving mother, wife, friend, and daughter.  She is currently dealing with life while her husband is on a long military deployment.

She is raising their two children while she supports her husband from afar.  I know that is not easy.  I think of her often, especially in the evenings when he would normally be home with her and the children.  My heart goes out to her.  I am thankful for the sacrificie her husband is making for this country.  I am also thankful for the sacrifice she and her children are making for this country. 

I know today was an especially hard day for her and her children and I prayed for them throughout the day.  I asked God to sustain them for these next few months until he finally returns home.  My heart is with this family.  My heart is with all the military families that wait for their loved ones to return home from deployment.

Do you know a family dealing with a deployment or preparing for one?  If so, I encourage you to take a few minutes and lift them up in prayer and maybe even look for a way to encourage them during the deployment time. 

Do you know Someone you would like me to spend a day praying over?  Do you know Someone who could use some encouragement?  If so, please email or message me with a first name and the request.  I have several of the coming days open, so please feel free to contact me.  It doesn't matter what the concern is...everything that concerns us matters to God.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Couple Causes Close to My Heart

Tonight as I sit down to write about my April Quests, I have to say...
While some of the prayer requests I have received have been heavy-hearted concerns, I am overwhelmed by the sweet responses sent to me by those who have asked me to pray.  I am truly thankful for this opportunity to go to the Lord on behalf of others.

Pray for Someone
Yesterday, my Someone for the day was a person I do not know, but I do know her good friend who sent me the request.  My Friday Someone lives with Cystic Fibrosis.  As if that isn't enough to pray about on it's own, she is also currently waiting for a lung transplant.  In the words of her friend, she's "not doing so great". 

I immediately had such a heart for this request because we know two sweet little guys with Cystic Fibrosis.  We have had a tiny glimpse into their lives and what their parents go through every day to help them live with this difficult disease. 

Although we had heard of Cystic Fibrosis, we didn't really know much about it.  Since meeting this sweet family, we have come to learn so much more about it.  Learning what they face each day, we began to pray for them and support their efforts in working toward finding a cure.

So, all day yesterday, I prayed for my friend's friend with Cystic Fibrosis.  I asked God to provide strength for her as she awaits a new lung.  I prayed for her current and future health.  I prayed for her entire situation, the doctors involved, the donor's family and all they would be going through, and her recovery.  My prayers were that God would comfort both my Someone for the day, and her friend who shared the request with me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Today, I prayed for my friend, Heart Mom, who is raising an Autistic child with her husband and two other sons.  We have known this family for many years.  Since the day we met them, we have prayed for them.  Over time we came to realize a bit of the daily difficulties they deal with in raising a child that cannot talk or progress in ways children without Autism may. 

Heart Mom's faith has sustained her through many sad and exhausting days.  She has shown such courage and grace in her role of mother to her son with very special needs.  I have admired her since I first met her.  She is such a shining example of a mother's love. 

I spent this Saturday in prayer for her.  I prayed over Heart Mom throughout the day asking God to give her peace, comfort, and strength.  I thanked Him for the opportunity to be her friend.  I have been blessed to know and learn from her.  Praying our Lord would bless her especially today, I just smiled as I thought of this wonderful friend. 

Encourage Someone
The last two days I also encouraged Someone.  Yesterday I reached out to a woman I don't know, but was asked by a friend to step out of my comfort zone, and bless.  Calling this lady has been on my "to do" list for a while, and yesterday, I finally picked up the phone, made the call, and shared some words of encouragement.

                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today, I had two Someones on my list that I have been wanting to reach out to for a quite some time.  I was excited to have the opportunity to do a little something for them that I knew they would appreciate.  It didn't take a lot of time or effort, but I know it touched them.

Even though I have been a praying girl for a long time, this experience has given me a new perspective about the time I spend with the Lord and the time I give to others.  For me personally, I feel like I am focusing on what really matters in this life by taking time each day to reach out to Someone else.  I am letting go of my worries for the moment and spending more time chatting with God about the needs of others.

With that in mind...is there something I can do for you? Do you have a prayer request...need some encouragement...or know Someone else who does? If so, please email me or message me, and I will be blessed to have the opportunity to pray for you.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Just For Fun Friday: Tim Hawkins

Tonight I was thinking of something fun to post and decided I would share one of my favorite Tim Hawkins videos.  It's an oldie...but a goody!  He's one of our favorite comedians and I believe this video was our introduction to him.

Last December, Hubby, our Scientist, our Engineer, and I got to see him in person for the first time. We had a wonderful time!  He was hilarious and we enjoyed his show immensely.

While I did do my April Quests today, I'll have to share with you about them tomorrow.  Until then..

Just For Fun....here's Tim Hawkins:



Thursday, April 4, 2013

There's Nothing Rosie About Cancer

Cancer. 
Well...there's certainly nothing Rosie you can say about that word. 

It's heartbreaking.  It's life changing.  It's one of the most dreaded and painful parts of life. 

Today, my April Quests focused on two Someones living with cancer.

Pray for Someone
A few days ago I got a request to pray for Someone with cancer.  I was happy to make this gentleman my Someone to pray for today, but I was sad to hear why he needed prayer.  The request came from a friend asking for prayer for her brother.

I had no idea that her family was supporting her brother through cancer.  I immediately felt heartache for the entire family.  Our family has been affected by cancer.  We have friends who have fought it.  We have seen victory over it and we have seen people fight until they could no longer fight. 

And all the while we supported....we hurt...we prayed

Maybe you have been the caregiver and have seen it up close and personal through supporting, loving, learning, and helping.  Maybe you drove to appointments, picked up medications, made meals, took care of the home and family needs, or held a hand.

Maybe you have been the fighter - working every day to beat this awful evil disease through treatments, doctors, and surgeries.  Maybe you had astronomical decisions to make.  Maybe you were worn out both physically and mentally, but you had to press on and fight.

For those with faith in our Heavenly Father, no doubt you prayed as well.  Maybe you prayed and prayed and prayed...wholeheartedly.  Maybe you made deals with God.  Maybe you saw miraculous healing. Maybe you didn't see the answers you begged God to provide.  Maybe you wondered why. Maybe you struggled with God. 

After all - he is God.  Sovereign.  Sometimes it is incredibly hard to understand.  But believers in Christ know there is a plan.  We have to believe His way is better.  Even....yes, even in times of cancer.

I will admit this is a tough one for me because I am currently praying for two friends with breast cancer and I think they both should get to have miraculous healings.  I pray for it.  I beg God for it.

Thankfully, my friend's brother is doing well with his treatment.  In her words, "My brother has just finished up chemo and platelet treatment...he is doing so much better. But one can never have enough prayers!!!!" 

It is so true.  One can never have enough prayers - especially when one is fighting cancer. 

So today, I prayed for her brother.  I spent the day: thanking God for the good news (his chemo and platelet treatment are finished!), asking God for strength, renewal of his health, and clean reports from his doctors, and praising God for being the Ruler Over Cancer. 

Cancer is evil.  True fact.  God, however, is bigger, stronger, more powerful than any cancer.  He is the One who can heal and strengthen.  He is the One who can perform miracles.  He is the One who comforts.  He is the One that is always against evil.  Always.

God is the victor over cancer.  God is the victor over evil.

I could fill pages and pages on this blog of cancer stories that I have witnessed, read about, heard about, and lived through.  Everyone knows someone with a cancer story to tell.  I believe each and every one of them is important to God.  No one gets lost in the crowd with God.  No one "slips through the cracks" with Him. 

He created each of us.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows our past.  He knows our future.  He knows how our lives will be affected by cancer and He knows how the entire story will play out.  And in the end, He wants to be there to see us through the good times and the evil cancer times. 

Encourage Someone
As I mentioned above, I have a friend, Faithful Warrior, who is living with cancer at this very moment.  She is going through treatments, and admittedly, fighting it is a huge focus in her life right now.  But it isn't her whole life.  She has two children, a husband, family, friends, and her faith.  That is her life.  Cancer is an issue that she has to deal with daily, but she is not allowing it to take over her life.  She is living with it.

She is still a mom.  She is still a wife.  She is still a daughter.  She is still a friend.  She is still a Believer.  She has not allowed cancer to take away any of these important parts of her life.  I am inspired by her strength, perseverance, faith, and the joy she finds in living even during these difficult days. 

I am in awe and today I'm going to tell her so.  It's something I have never said to her.  When I realized this fact today, I decided today was the perfect day to remedy that.  And I know...I truly know I am not the only one who sees all that she has handled and the wonderful attitude in which she takes on each day. 

She knows I pray for her every day, but does she know that I admire her?  That I am inspired to be stronger in my faith because of her example?  Today...she will, because she is my Someone and I'm going to send her a message to let her know all of this right now.

*Please email or message me if you would like to be one of my Someones next week.  Several people have sent me requests for others as well.  All I need is a first name and what the prayer need is.  I will respond and let you know what day I can meet your request.*

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Every Once In Awhile

It's day three of my April Quests and I feel as sunny as the SUN that streamed in the windows this afternoon.  It was a beautiful day in the Midwest and I soaked up the sunshine as I went about my day and worked on my Quests. 

Pray for Someone
This morning I headed downstairs for a run on the treadmill and my Someone for the day was already on my mind.  I had prayed for her this morning before I even lifted my head off the pillow.  As I stepped onto the treadmill, I decided to turn on my little laptop and pull up the message she sent me. 

Once again I found myself so thankful for Hubby's efforts in fixing up our treadmill area in the basement, because I had just found another use for it.  While I ran, I pulled up her message, and prayed out loud the very words she sent me as I read them from the screen. 

I asked God to comfort her, show her encouragement today through the people she works with, to offer her opportunities where she can be a blessing to others, to strengthen her where she wants to grow stronger in her faith, and to sustain her as she does what she does not want to do, but feels she must. 

I spent a good part of my run praying for her and the needs she shared with me.  I also prayed for the concerns she did not share, but God knows what those are.  I have continued to pray for her throughout this day.  I am grateful that even though she doesn't know me well, she shared her requests with me, and asked me to pray for her today.  I hope she feels extra blessed.

Encourage Someone
This afternoon as school was winding down with our Engineer, I grabbed a specially chosen card, and laid it on my desk to write to my friend, Heart Mom, who lives far away.   I haven't seen her in nearly two years.  I wanted to let her know I was thinking of her and that I was also choosing her to be my Someone to pray for this weekend.

I'll share more of Heart Mom's story then, but today, I wrote to her to let her know that I valued her friendship, missed her, and admired her.  I really wanted to make sure she knew those three things.  God brought her to mind today and I just knew she had to be my Someone to encourage.

I'm sure you have had those days...when God brings someone to mind.  Maybe you haven't thought about that person in awhile and it makes you wonder how they are doing.  Maybe you run across an old photo, letter, or memento that reminds you of the person and it brings back memories. 

Because we have lived in many different places in several different states, I have a long list of people that were in my daily life for a season...but then they moved on...or we moved on...and now they are no longer in my day to day life.  I am so grateful for those times when God brings them to my mind, and for a bit of time they are back in my life again.

When this happens, I usually spend some time thinking about them and remembering.  Then I will pray for them and maybe even contact them through a card, note, message, text, or phone call. 

And every once in awhile...I might even write about them in a blog post....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

When It's Least Expected...

I'm feeling thankful today.  Humbled.  Touched.  And it's all because of my April Quests.  And I'm only on Day 2.  Wow God....

Encourage Someone
First of all...I have to admit, I did not get my Encourage note written last night.  I wasn't feeling the best.  I was very tired, so shortly after posting my blog, I went to bed.  However, I did have the card and person picked out.  This afternoon, I sat down, penned yesterday's note, and wrote the one for today as well.  They will both go out in the mail tomorrow.

After that, I made a list of the prayer requests I have gotten so far and chose a date for each of them on my calendar.  While I was at it, I added a few names I plan to pray for when I don't have a request.  Then, I made a list of those I want to encourage at some point as well. 

I like the idea of having my two Someones picked out the night before.  Then, when I wake up each day, I can start the day off with prayer for the one Someone and an idea of how I will encourage the other Someone.

Pray for Someone
I have spent time in prayer throughout the day for a sweet young lady I know. Like yesterday, a person in her life that loves her, asked me to pray for her. Again, I was very happy to do so. This request was made by a dear friend and while we were discussing her prayer request for her Someone, I shared a concern I had as well.

That's when she offered me a deal. She asked me to prayer for her Someone today and she would pray for my concern. Well...I wasn't expecting that, but of course, I made the deal!

Throughout the day, I have been chatting with God about today's Someone, and when I would stop to think about the person that requested the prayer, I knew she was praying for my worry as well. Pretty cool. 

This Quest was really just a way for me to do something for Someone else. I know there are plenty of people who kindly pray for me, and I wanted to reach out and make the offer to anyone who would like prayer.

It wasn't about anything I could get...just something I was hoping to give - a bit of time in prayer. But isn't it just like God to bless someone when it's least expected...or deserved?

Thankful.  Humbled.  Touched.  Yeah...that's where I am today. 

How about you?   Do you have a prayer request or need some encouragement or know Someone else who does?  If so, please email me or message me, and I will be honored to have the opportunity to pray for you.