God is My Happy Place #25

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is:

“Word of the Day: Focus. What do you need to focus on today?”

Focus.

Straight ahead.
No worry about the past.
All that woulda shoulda coulda.
Leave it behind.
Lose my past identity.

Think life changing thoughts.

Goals to become healthier.
Think healthier.

Writing goals.
Set aside time to work on it.

Relationship goals.
Define & work on what needs to be done

Spiritual goals.
Seek the Lord

Striving towards them, instead of apathetically letting life happen.

God is the primary goal.
His will be done.
Focus on Him.
Everything else will come.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/mat.6.33.NIV

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/rom.12.2.NIV

God is My Happy Place #24

The next writing prompt from “God is My Happy Place” is the following verse.

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
2 Corinthians 3:5 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/2co.3.5.NIV

I’m not good at things, by myself. As the verse states, my competence comes from God. If I’m doing things right, it is because of Him. I can never be good enough by myself. I can do nothing without Him. If I have any talents, they are from Him. He gave them to me.

In the past I have worried about doing things right or being competent. I would have panic attacks & fear severe consequences for not knowing things or doing something wrong. About 6 months to a year into my relationship with God, I asked Him to take away the anxiety attacks & He did.

I still have anxiety from time to time, but it is nothing like it used to be. I don’t have to have a lot of accolades, but I do like to know I’m on the right track & doing things correctly.

However, I know I’m not perfect. God is. As long as I rely on Him for my competence, then all will be fine. It is actually comforting to know I don’t have to do it alone. Jesus is right there with me. He is my friend who never leaves me.

God is My Happy Place #23

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is:

“Who is the most intriguing person you have read or heard about? Why?”

I know this is the typical Sunday school answer, but it’s true. I think Jesus is the most intriguing person ever. 💜💜💜

He is perfect. He died for me & you. He always did what God asked Him to do. He never wavered. He is the same yesterday, today, & forever. He loves no matter what.

This is so at odds with the world.

I have read stories about many people that are intriguing. I enjoy reading biographies. But none of them are as intriguing as Jesus.

And I get to have a relationship with Jesus. I get to know Him more & more each day. I don’t want to let a day go by that I don’t talk to Him. I don’t have to be in a specific place or at a certain time. I can talk to Him anywhere anytime.

I can study Him as much as I want & follow Him all my days. I’m free to serve Him. There is no such thing as too much Jesus.

Never Touch a Cactus

I know you may be thinking “well, duh…”

But is it always that simple?

I once made a mistake of touching a cactus. I was fascinated by the fruit that grows on them. I wanted to see what they felt like, so I delicately tried to put my fingers between the spikes to avoid getting poked. Well, that didn’t work. I still got stuck a little. They were small ones & I was able to get them out pretty quickly on my own. I got to the car & noticed I missed one. It was small, but I didn’t have tweezers on me. So, I drove all the way home holding my finger out. When I got home I used the tweezers, which only partially worked. I couldnt figure out how to get to the tiny piece so I decided to do a chore or two & figure out what to do. The rest of it came out while I was doing dishes some how.

I learned a few things from this.

Sometimes we want to flirt with sin. Maybe just see what it feels like to do or touch something we shouldn’t. You know, just dip the toe in the water.

Then we follow through with the desire.

Sometimes there can be good things that come. Such as answers to questions and learning from our mistakes. Ot can also feel good in the moment.

But was it worth it? All the pain to get the answers to your questions or momentary pleasure.

Even a little sin can corrupt.

“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”
Galatians 5:9 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/gal.5.9.NIV

Even though there is no intention to get hurt, there always seems to be something. I didn’t plan on getting hurt, but I ended up with a little more than I bargained for.

I didn’t get hurt very badly by the cactus, but there are plenty of times when I have just wanted to try something I knew I shouldn’t do. Some of those things include bad relationship decisions & bad financial choices. I have been taken for rides I did not anticipate, simply because I was blinded by desire.

When we realize we have sinned & need to get out. We need to go back to God & continue going after Him & He will help us get out of it. God always knows what to do. Following Him is the best way to go.

And there is always prevention. Put on the full armor of God in order to stop it before it starts.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:11 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.6.11.NIV

I’m not saying that everything we desire is bad. But we do need to put desire aside in order to make wiser decisions.

Reading & rain

God blessed me last week with one of my favorite things to do.

I believe it was Monday evening. God brought rain. I was at home with a book. I got to read & listen to the rain. 😁 I was a happy person. I really enjoy reading while it rains. It was a blessing. He knows what I like to do & He provides those things for me. Even when I least expect it.

I know it doesn’t seem like much, but He cares about the little things too.

Sunday

Last Sunday after getting back from vacation was amazing.

It was good to be back at church. Seeing our church family.

It was also the last Sunday that Sofie would be there for a while. She is our pastor’s oldest daughter. She left for college a couple of days later.

As it turned out she was our special guest speaker. Or should I say worship leader extraordinaire. We had our normal worship time, which was wonderful. Then Sofie was introduced as our guest speaker & she lead us further into the presence of God.

Now emotions were high, since it was her last Sunday for a while. But the presence of the Lord was there so strongly. I know I needed the worship service. I left service with such joy & peace.

It was a great day to end vacation on & a great way to start the week.

We love you Sofie! We wish you many blessings on your new journey. God is with you. You will do amazing things for God.

I’m including the video from service here. I do not own rights to the video or anything in the video.

If you can’t get to the video through the link, go to the One Church Scottsdale page on Facebook & it is there.

Also, if you’re ever in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, come join us on Sunday at 9 am for Sunday University & 1015am for church service. We would love for you to come.

Vacay & Anniversary

Well, I had an amazing vacation & I would like to share with you the amazing week God blessed me with.

It started off with no alarm clock on Saturday. We weren’t going that far, so there was no rush to get out the door with our luggage. We did leave the house on that Saturday morning around 11 or so.

We went through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru & got our lunch to eat as we drove. I think my husband & I were both ready to get out of town for a few days. To have no adult responsibilities. Just relaxation, fun, & relaxation.

We drove for the couple of hours it took to get to Tucson, AZ from Phoenix. We called our parents to let them know we were on our way for vacation & they wished us a great trip.

We were so grateful to be able to take a trip for just the 2 of us. We didn’t think we would get to take this vacation with all the car troubles we had a couple of months back, but God provided.

We arrived at our resort.

(All pictures are mine.)

We were a little to early for check in, so we drove around and came back.

We discovered we were next door to Family Life Radio (FLR). We felt like that was a good sign.

About an hour later, we got checked in & took our bags to the room.

It was so hot outside. We sat in the cool room and just enjoyed being there together. God blessed us with a suite, which was much like a mini apartment.

We stayed until dinner time, just relaxing and planning what we wanted to do that evening.

While we were relaxing, the rain came. It stormed for a short time.

Then we went to Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria. After the storm, it was so cool outside. We sat out on their patio to eat. I had never had Chicago deep dish pizza before. It was amazing. We had great conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.

We then went back to our room for the evening and planned our next day. We discovered that several of the restaurants we were contemplating eating at were closed on mondays, so we rearranged our plans a little.

We enjoy going to the restaurants that have appeared on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (DDD). We have a goal of going to all of the restaurants that have appeared on the show (about 1100 at this time) over our lifetime. It’s something fun to do. We wanted to go to a few while we were in Tucson. Rocco’s was one of them.

Then Sunday arrived. Our 12th wedding Anniversary. It is a little hard to believe that it’s been that long.

We both slept in. Neither of us are really early risers.

We had church together in our suite. We listened to a message online & discussed it/life.

We left around lunch time and ate at Chef Alisah’s for some European/Bosnian food. This was another DDD. I had the sausage & my husband had lamb. Delicious food.

Then we did a little shopping. I always have to go to a Ross on my vacation. I got a pajama shirt.

We walked around the mall that the store was in for a few minutes. Then left. It was so hot. We went to get some gelato & cool off.

Then we were feeling a bit tired already, probably because of the heat. So we went back to our room & watched a little TV. I may have even taken a short nap.

We went out for dinner at Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine, another DDD. The food was amazing. I had fish & my husband had steak. We shared ice cream & cookies for dessert.

It rained while we were eating. It had stopped by the time we left, but it cooled down by 30 degrees. It felt so good outside.

We went back to our room for relaxation.

Monday came around all too soon. We slept in again. We checked out of our room & had brunch at Gourmet Girls Gluten free Bakery, which was recommended to us by a friend. It was so good. You wouldn’t know stuff was gluten free by the taste. We both had biscuits and gravy & got cupcakes to go.

Then we headed back to Phoenix.

When we got home, we relaxed at home for a bit.

We got back out & went to get some groceries & brought Wingstop back to the house for dinner. We stayed in for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday was my husband’s last day off & we just enjoyed spending time together not going anywhere.

Wednesday, my husband went back to work and I had the rest of the week off. I stayed home & relaxed.

Then, Saturday I did some cooking. I made falafel for the first time. It turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I didn’t do everything I had planned to do. I would like to say that I got a lot of writing done or that I was productive in some way. But that is not the case.

But I suppose that is what vacations are for. I got some much needed rest. Now I’m ready to go. I have lots of writing to do. Many things to share.

God is so good!

Thank you, Lord for all your many blessings!

God Is My Happy Place #21

The next writing prompt from “God Is My Happy Place” is:

“It’s important to have boundaries in life. What are some things you are learning to say no to?”

I sometimes think I have too many boundaries or not the right boundaries. Even in some areas not enough. I used to think I had some decent boundaries, but in reality, not so much.

Right now I’m starting to put boundaries in my life around food. Because I need to work on my weight. I have let it go for way too long.

Too many boundaries come in the form of walls I have built around me, because I’m either afraid to be hurt or just simply afraid. I hide behind them.

Not having the right boundaries, for example, is not putting boundaries on the world & putting boundaries on God. I try to put God in a box & let the world have too much say in my life, when it should be the other way around.

It’s time for some new thinking.

Fearless Playlist

I have another playlist that I’d like to share. This one I have entitled my Fearless Playlist. I love to listen to these songs when I’m nervous, anxious, afraid, or fearful. I hope you enjoy.

I am posting the links to their YouTube videos. I do not own or have any rights to these songs.

1. The Breakup Song by Francesca Battastelli

2. Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams

3. Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

4. Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship

5. You Are More by Tenth Avenue North

6. We Won’t Be Shaken by Building 429

7. Whom Shall I Fear (The God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin

8. Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray

9. Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson

10. Stand in Your Love by Bethel Music

11. Fix My Eyes by For King & Country

12. Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by UpperRoom

13. Symphony by Switch

14. Trust in You by Lauren Daigle

15. You Say by Lauren Daigle

16. Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns

17. Just Be Held by Casting Crowns

18. God of Miracles by Chris McClarney

19. You Make Me Brave by Amanda Cook & Bethel Music