Lemonade N’ Lessons: Week 2

FAC9DB04-1128-4AC8-9723-C4056ED7434F

This week I’m drinking my lemon water in a different spot as I take advantage of Summer Days to explore new areas… EVEN WINDY ONES!

 

TRUTH BOMB
DB949709-F7DA-4980-8058-BC21DB241CBD
 
WHEN WE LET GO AND LET GOD, WE DON’T LET GO OF GOD
It’s Summertime! The days are long and the the sun is bright! As we take the opportunity to “Let Go, and Let God” take control of what we have been holding on too tightly to, we must take hold of God’s Word for it is the KEY to our life!
Take hold of my instructions: don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.” Proverbs 4:13
A key is what unlocks something that is locked and prohibiting us from entering.
 
A key affords our means of access. It is something that secures or controls entrance to a place.
A key is something that affords a means of clarifying a problem. It can be the system, the method or pattern to decode or “unlock” that which we could not unlock on our own.
Without the “KEY”, we remain  captive to the worries, anxieties, fears, and yes, even the schedules, that hold us captive.
So, let’s turn the key, and enter into the peace and promise that God offers when we “take hold of His teachings.”
 
LEMON DROP🍋
TAKE HOLD, (HOLD FAST), TO GOD AND HIS TEACHINGS EVEN WHEN YOU TAKE A BREAK.
 
DIGGING DEEPER
What is it that you find hard to let go of? Is there something that you are hanging on so tightly to, that it now has a grip on you?
And while that ‘thing” you find virtually impossible to let go of has a hold on you so strong you can’t let go, is there something vital to your life that you barely have a grip on?
 
This destructive pattern seems to be the way the majority of us live. We hold so tightly to what we are comfortable with, to what makes us feel good, and to what we can control. The problem with that is, much of the time those elements are worry, schedules, anxiety, fear, and phobias.
These words may sound “clinical”, but they come in all shapes and sizes!
Worry-worrying about something we cannot change or fix. Our sure source of freedom from worry is PRAYER! It may not produce the outcome we immediately desire, but it does produce peace, the kind of peace that we do not understand.
Schedules? It’s Summer, remember! Are we continuing to allow our schedules to dictate the way we spend our days, hours or even minutes? Summer offers warmer, longer days. Take advantage of eating dinner outside. Take a long evening walk while the sun sets. Visit a nearby park and walk quietly through God’s creation while silently thanking Him for it. Don’t allow your regular schedule to stop you from taking a break in your routine.
Anxieties-allowing stress to overtake our bodies. When you feel anxious, take a deep breath and slowly let it out. With each exhale thank God for something good in your life. The shift may pleasantly surprise you and bring you a peace and calm.
Fears and phobias, they will immobilize you if you let them. Use this Summer as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe a new class at the gym, or maybe sign up for an art class or a cooking class. Try an online class in a subject that interests you or join a new Bible study group. Take a drive to a new location and try a new food.
You will be surprised at how each new experience will develop strength and courage in your character.
Letting Go of destructive patterns are good and healthy for us, but they must be replaced with something positive.
 
When we “let go and let God”, we must take hold of His teachings!
 
Read and write Proverbs 4:13 below:
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________.
Now read the entire chapter of Proverbs 4. Read it through slowly and carefully one time, then read it a second time and record below all of the “WISE ADVICE” the Father is speaking to His child.
You are that child friend! Your Heavenly Father is speaking His love, truth and direction to you!
It is the KEY to living your life!
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
WRAP-UP:
 
Now soak up the sweet days of Summer while sipping your “lemonade,” and let go of everything that holds you captive and ties you down. But remember to also take a firm hold of God’s word and His instructions to you!
You are dearly loved child of God!
Speak Truth Love

Lemonade N’ Lessons: Week 1

GET READY FOR YOUR FIRST…Lemon Drop!
TRUTH BOMB
2E815892-E8E3-43B3-8413-96F8C9D06579
IF YOU WANT THE FRUIT YOU HAVE GOT TO HAVE ROOTS!
Isn’t it just like us to bounce into the lazy days of Summer, and want to enjoy all of the goodness without any of the effort?
I know that can be my tendency. I want to sip the sweet tangy lemonade without putting in the effort it takes to make it. Oh, I have the enjoyment part down!  I like to create a warm, sun soaked spot where I can sit and sip the tasty deliciousness. But I want what I want, when I want it, and the sooner the better. So instead of putting out the labor myself, I reach for a jar of instant powder and swirl it together with a bit of water and assume it will produce the same result!
It doesn’t!!
I sit down in my beautiful spot, and sip shear disappointment! Oh, it’s sweet and it’s wet, but that’s about the extent of it. I guess I was spoiled by my sister-in-law making fresh squeezed lemonade from the lemons off of her backyard tree! There is truly nothing like it!
The smell of strong citrus hits your nostrils as you slice the fresh lemon in half. You hear the sour juice flow from the lemon half as you squeeze every ounce of juice from it. Your mouth puckers and sallivates at the same time. You pour fresh cold water over the lemon juice and watch as it mixes together in a perfect swirl of yellow. You add just the right amount of sugar to produce that tart/sweet flavor that is unmatched by any artificial source. Finally, you pour that delectable liquid over a tall glass of ice and sip the true taste of Summer! IT IS SO WORTH THE EFFORT!

Why am I so willing to put forth the effort to create the “perfect glass of lemonade”, and not so willing to put out the effort it takes to grow my roots down deep in Jesus?

So let’s Dig Deep and put down strong roots this Summer!
If you are with me, let’s Dig Deeper!
DIGGING DEEPER
LEMON DROP🍋
KEEP YOURSELF IN GOD’S WORD SO THAT YOUR ROOTS WILL GROW DOWN STRONG EVEN WHEN YOU TAKE A BREAK.
NOW, Sip some Lemonade or summer beverage of your choice, and keep yourself in The Word while enjoying the Lucious Days of Summer.
**Read Colossians Chapter 3. Read it through once or twice, and ask God to speak His Truth to you through it.
Ask God: What is this passage saying to me, right now, in my circumstances and in my season?
Be Still With God and let Him speak His Truth to you.
Now, write down Colossians 2:7 in the space below:
Let’s dissect these words from verse 7 a bit…
“Let your roots grow down deep into Him and let your lives be built on Him. COL. 2:7a
In a plant a root has four major functions:
Number 1, The root absorbs water and nutrients; in other words “the root feeds the plant!
Number 2, The root anchors the plant to the ground and supports it. In other words, “the root is the support system and stability of the plant!”
Number 3, The root stores food and nutrients for the plant. In other words, “The root sustains the plant!”
Number 4, The root is the vegetative reproduction of  the plant. “In other words, “The root makes it possible for the plant to reproduce itself!”
What are the four major functions of a root in the life of a plant:
1)______________________________________________________________________
2)______________________________________________________________________
3)______________________________________________________________________
4)______________________________________________________________________
According to the first part of Colossians 2: 7, this means that if we grow our “Spiritual Roots” deep down into HIM, our lives will be built on HIM as we are;
1) FED BY HIM
2) ANCHORED TO AND SUPPORTED BY HIM
3) SUSTAINED BY HIM
4)AND HIS CHARACTER IS PRODUCED IN US
“Then your faith will grow strong in the Truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Col. 2:7b
The ‘RADICLE’ is the first part of the root to emerge. It is what is seen. It is the strength and essence of the plant.
When our lives are deeply rooted in God’s Word, we will live “RADICAL” lives for God!
WRAP- UP:
 
As you continue to sip some lemonade this week, continue to read one or two verses of Colossians chapter 2. There are 23 verses in this chapter, divide them up and spend time reflecting on them as you enjoy these lazy days of Summer.
Speak Truth Love

 

SUMMER SERIES: LEMONADE AND LESSONS!

Happy Summer!

Even though the calendar isn’t officially Summer yet, June sparks that thrill that
we feel, as it’s time to dip our toes into cool water and sit and watch the
butterflies flutter and the bees buzz by.  Summer brings on the promise of “free time.”
Time away from our calendars, our schedules, and our routines.  Even if it’s a day away, a weekend away, or a week away. Summer is the time of vacations,
Summer camps, Summer barbeques, etc!

As Summer comes into my life this year, it brings with it the promise of longer days as the weather gets warmer and the sun stays out longer, and inevitable change.  With the heat comes to desire to have a nice cool glass of lemonade.  I have a lemon tree in my backyard: in fact I have two!  And one of them is producing lemons year round!  As I pull the lemons from the tree, bring them inside and cut them in half, the juice it produces is strong and sour.
That by itself doesn’t taste very good.  It takes the addition of a sweetener,
combined with fresh cold water, and several ice cubes to produce the flavor that I want to sip. This reminds me that some of my Summer days will be sweet, and some will be sour. What I have in “my glass” will determine the direction of those days.

Hebrews 5:14 says,
Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Constant use means that, although there will be times of refreshing and taking a break–much like Summer can be–in order to be a mature Christian, I need to keep my prayers and the filling of God’s word a daily habit in my life.

TRUTH BOMB

4337F400-2195-46D8-84E4-340332ADD812

 A daily dose of God’s Word sweetens a sour day.

So while I sit at my patio table and sip my cool refreshing lemonade through a straw, I will open the Word of God, read His truth, thank Him for it, and be prepared to face the sweet and sour days of Summer.

As we enter in this refreshing season of change called Summer, I hope you’ll jump in with me with both feet as we savor this series on Lemonade and Lessons.  Hoping your week is sweet!

All my love!

Speak Truth Love

A MOTHER’S HEART, Week 5-The Conclusion

As we come to the end of our series on ‘A Mother’s Heart’, we can clearly see that the heart of a Mother loves before she thinks. She leaps into action like a modern day Super Hero, to meet the needs of those she loves!

A mother’s heart believes, protects treasures and is selfless! In a word a mother’s heart LOVES!
As we conclude our series on a mother’s heart, it becomes crystal clear, that a mother’s heart reflects the love of God!
If you are a biological mother or a spiritual mother, you are called to reflect the LOVE of God to those He has placed in your life. Some of those relationships are easy, and some may stretch you to the limits of yourself. But the matchless, endless, all powerful Love of God will supply you with everything you need to Love the way He loves! Bottom Line:
A MOTHER’S LOVE NEVER GIVES UP!

God spells it out for us in bold print in the letter of First Corinthians;

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand it’s own way. It is not irritable, and it it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, it is always hopeful and endured through every circumstance.” I Corinthians 13:4-7

Ultimately, LOVE NEVER FAILS!

God’s love, filling our hearts, accomplishes His great purpose of loving others above ourselves!
When we fill ourselves with His great Love we will have the hearts that love like He loves, and be able to demonstrate His Love to everyone He has placed in our lives!

TRUTH BOMB

140625EA-8F16-4474-BEC3-5EAFBA60AA91

A MOTHER’S LOVE NEVER GIVES UP!

So hang in there! Keep trying, keep filling yourself daily with God’s Love, and allowing His love to be demonstrated through your life!

After all, GOD’S LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Meet you back here on the Blog next week as we kick off our Summer Series!

Speak Truth Love

 

A MOTHER’S HEART, Week 4

Today holds a very special place in this Mother’s heart. Thirty one years ago today, I became a MOM! My precious baby girl, Christina Nicole was born, and life changed as I knew it!

F15524CB-3C8A-4AC7-86CA-4F8AC0258768

I never imagined I could love anyone, like I loved this baby! I never pictured myself content to hold her and stare at her for hours on end. I never realized how selfish I was until I could only think of her and her needs, never considering mine. I never believed a heart could hold this much love and not burst!
I actually considered not having any more children because I thought it would not be fair. I didn’t see how I could love her so much, and share that love with another child. After my son was born two and a half years later, I realized that God in His amazing plan, allowed my heart to expand and love both equally with the same capacity and passion!

I am so blessed to be their Mother, and thank God for the privilege daily!

When my daughter was born, I would have done anything to protect her and make sure she was safe and taken care of. I remember, like it was yesterday, taking her home from the hospital. I wrapped her securely in a blanket and held her close to me in my arms as they pushed us out to the front of the hospital in a wheel chair. My husband pulled the car around and suddenly, without warning, I felt a surge of panic race through my body. My defenseless, tiny baby was going to be put inside that huge piece of metal, and driven out onto the open highway! I have never felt a sense of protection and responsibility like I did that day! I got into the backseat, placed her as gently as I could, into that car seat, that suddenly felt incredibly insufficient, and buckled her up. I remained in the backseat with her all the way home, and never took my eyes off of her. I felt a sense of relief when we pulled into the driveway, took her out of the car and into the house.

Another mother in the Bible also had a baby, but this baby was a boy. Her boy was born in a time when Egypt ruled over the Israelites, God’s chosen people. This mother was from the tribe of Levi. She saw from the beginning that this boy was a special baby. This mother was living under the oppression of the King of Egypt who had made a decree that each Hebrew baby boy born was to be killed.

Having a true mother’s heart that cared more for her baby than herself, this mother hid her baby for three months. She protected her baby from death, at the cost of putting herself in jeopardy of being put to death. When she realized she could no longer keep him hidden, she took a big risk to continue protecting her child.

She got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch.”  Exodus 2:3a

She was the original “DIYer!”

She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River.” Exodus 2:3b

The rest of the story is the original “from rags to riches” story, or “from the hut to the palace” story.

Baby Moses is plucked up out of the Nile River by the Pharaoh’s daughter herself. She realizes the baby needs nursed as he is crying, and she feels sorry for him. She sends for a “wet nurse”, and his very own mother comes to offer her services.

The same Mother’s heart that risked her very own life to protect the life of her baby, nurses her son for several years, and keeps him safe and close.

This however, is not the end of this mother’s story. Because she desired to protect her son, regardless of the cost to herself, she brings her child back to Pharaoh’s daughter when he is weaned.

Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son.”                 Exodus 2:10

This faithful, selfless mother, protected her son ultimately by giving him to another woman to raise!

I don’t know about you, but that brings tears to my eyes, and causes this mother’s heart to melt. This picture of a Mother’s sacrifice to provide protection for her child is a beautiful picture of selfless love.

TRUTH BOMB

E171BEF5-9D1A-41FC-9AD3-B5F9668E7080

A MOTHER’S HEART PROTECTS, NO MATTER THE COST!

Today I wish my beautiful daughter the happiest of birthdays! I want to thank her for starting out as my daughter, and becoming my best friend. If you do not know her, I wish that you did. All who know her are blessed. She has a strong heart that loves Jesus faithfully and consistently, and loves others with the same passion. She is the most intelligent person I know, (she gets that from her father!), yet she has a true sense of humility that considers all people equal. She is kind, caring, and giving. She is confident, strong and trustworthy! She is an incredible wife and an amazing Mommy. She is my treasure and my gift from God. I love her with my whole heart!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL! YOU ARE LOVED!!!

F8D97303-B567-4299-A5B2-72DB1F7361EB

Speak Truth Love

 

A MOTHER’S HEART, Week 3

What do you most TREASURE?

Is it time away, a vacation perhaps? Is it time alone, taking a long bath or reading a good book in silence? Is it a relationship, and spending time with that person? Or maybe it is a material possession: a car, a home, a piece of jewelry?

When we treasure something we hold it close, we value it above other possessions, we contemplate it, and have warm feelings inside when we think about it.

I’m not sure where the rest of you find yourselves in your stage of life, but I am what is fondly referred to as an ‘Empty Nester.’ That’s right, my chicks have flown the coop. The feathers that now fill my “nest” are memories and treasures of time well spent.

I miss my children, AKA “chicks,” that have flown each and every day. I am not unhappy and I am not depressed or sad. I hold the memories we have made and shared close in my heart. I treasure each and every one of them, and look forward to each moment we spend together creating more memories.

My children are growing in wisdom and grace as they are spreading their own wings. I would not want it any other way! I thank God for them and am proud of the choices they have made and are making with their lives. But I do continue to treasure them, think about them(ponder them), and hold them close in my heart daily. This “treasuring”, pondering if you will, brings me to my Father daily in prayer for them. Holding them close in my heart keeps them forever with me!

Understanding and knowing that they belong to God, and He has a will and purpose for them at this stage of their lives, apart from me. I am ever thankful to God that they are forever in my heart!

The mother of Jesus knew this discipline well. She was listed by God and told she would be the mother of the Son of God. She embraced this with confident faith and trust in her heavenly Father saying to Him;

“I am The Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.
Luke 1:38

As Jesus grows, Mary continues to grow and learn her role as his mother…

Even though she did not always fully understand Him and His purposes, she faithfully held Him in her heart.

In Luke 2:50, Jesus parents did not understand what he was saying,

But they didn’t understand what He meant.

Have you ever been there? I sure have! As close as I may be to my children, I do not always understand them or their choices. And I am quite sure they do not always understand mine!
Still, we see the faithful heart of a mother, “TREASURING” her child in her heart.

His mother treasured all of these things in her heart.” Luke 2:51

TRUTH BOMB

81E02F4E-465E-41E6-9AD0-8A2826B8707E

A MOTHER TREAUSRES HER CHILDREN IN HER HEART ALWAYS.

In the good times of compliance, and in the difficult times of rebellion. In the fun times of recreation, and in the dutiful times of following through on commitments. In the joyous times of being together, and in the painful times of separation, in season and out of season, A MOTHER TREASURES AND KEEPS HER CHILDREN IN HER HEART.

Holding those we love closely in our hearts, is a gift from God. They are never more than a prayer or a heartbeat away!

Treasure those you love!
I treasure you!

Blessings,
Speak Truth Love

 

A MOTHER’S HEART, Week 2

A Mother’s Heart Believes!
When no one else thinks you can do it, a Mother’s Heart believes that you can!

I remember being scared and afraid to try out for cheerleading in Jr. High School. My mom had been a cheerleader, and it seemed like the “normal” course for me to take. I had previously had no formal dance experience of any kind, but I was after all an athlete. I had played sports with my dad since I could walk, talk or throw a ball. None of this proved to help me in any way.

I failed at my first attempt in 7th grade, and went on to repeat the failure in 8th grade, 9th grade and 10th grade. What kept me trying? What put my disappointed and broken heart back together again? What gave me the confidence to feel that I could make it, even after four failed attempts?
The belief my mother had in me.

She encouraged me, supported me and truly believed I was good enough to make it! She assured me that it was the lack of wisdom of the judges, and not my lack of talent.
So, I kept trying, and in my 11th year of High School I made the dance/drill team. I was a proud “Raiderette” for both my Junior and Senior year.
The belief my mother had in me, made me believe that I could do it!

Elizabeth believed that God could give her a son, even in her old age and inability to conceive earlier in her life. Even though her husband, Zechariah took some greater convincing and laughed at the thought, Elizabeth believed!

God allowed Elizabeth to conceive and she became pregnant with John the Baptist.

Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months.
Luke 1:24

Elizabeth shows even greater belief when her cousin Mary, visits her and she sees that she is also pregnant.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.”         Luke 1:42

Elizabeth had the heart of a Mother, and spoke belief into the heart of another Mother.

When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed the Lord would do what He said.” Luke 1:44-45

A Mother’s heart BELIEVES and pours that belief into the heart of others.
My mom poured her belief into my heart and I was able to BELIEVE!
Elizabeth poured her belief into Mary’s heart and she BELIEVED!

If you are a Mom, who are you pouring your heart of belief into? Maybe you have stopped “BELIEVING” yourself, and you need to have your heart of believe encouraged by the heart of God?

There is no greater love, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

God believes in you and loves you SO much that He layed down His life for you! Now, that’s believing in you to the greatest degree!

Are you sharing that same belief with someone you love?

To believe in someone is to have confidence in the truth that they are as important to God as you are. That God also layed down His life for them. Believing and knowing that Truth, gives us the ability to believe in them regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

No amount of failures, no age limits, and no obstacles, can stand in the way of true belief.

TRUTH BOMB

6FA1A848-1D83-478A-BDB8-498BB23036B6
A Mother’s Heart Believes that God can and will accomplish His purpose in her loved ones.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this coming weekend, let’s be sure to thank all those special Moms who have believed in us!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOM’S!

Speak Truth Love