hope sign

hope sign

Friday, May 8, 2015

To Be Just Like My Mom

These are the words I have heard all my life. 

My mom on the floor with her Great Grands..
Henry and Presley

The older I get, the more I hear them and the more I cherish them.

Sunday is the day we honor our Mothers.  Today I am going to explore what the statement above means to me.

Me and my Mom at Juliana's bridal shower...2012

What does it mean to be just like my Mother, 
Lorraine Estep?

1- Strong...No matter what is thrown at her by her     kids, grand kids, extended family, friends, church...she stands strong.  Her position doesn't change because of her environment.

I love this photo of my Mom and Dad on our way to Ocracoke, NC

2- Compassionate...Her thoughts are ever full of others.  Even if they don't see it...she is always wanting to make life right for others.  She may give instruction that seems like she doesn't understand, when in fact, if we would just listen and take her encouragement and instruction...it would fix it.  

Me and Mom a couple of Easters ago

3- Loving...I cannot remember a time when she put herself first.  She is always putting others needs before her own.  Never really considering herself in the equation.  She is always serving God and others.

Mom and Henry...Love this

4- Faithful...She is always a faithful wife, mother, Pastor, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, friend. You never have to ask if she is going to show up because, she is faithful.  You never wonder if she is going to keep her word because, she is faithful.  She will pray for you when she says she will.  

Mom...she is just beautiful!!

5- FUNNY...My Mom is so funny.  She loves to laugh and I love that about her.  She is quick witted and she makes me laugh.  

Her Joy is contagious

These are just 5 things about my Mother that stand out to me.  So when people say that I am just like my mother...Thank you.  It is an honor.  

Kelcie, Henry and Mom

Mom and some of her grand daughters
Lauren, Tori, Kelcie, Scovia, Jenna and Juliana...
missing Autumn

Mom and Dad...in their happy place

Mom and Juliana

Mom and Autumn

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Lens of Offensive

My Grandsons Feet...
Kissable, chunky, wonderful feet.
 I wonder where they will take them someday

Some people choose to live their lives through a lens of offense.  Always looking around for a reason to be offended.  Questioning every one's motives, actions and words.  Even when offered a sincere apology, the offense continues and builds a wall of resentment, bitterness, division and strife.  

Why would we choose to live this way?  

We are poisoning ourselves from the inside out.  

How do we stop living life this way?

FORGIVENESS...we have to choose to forgive even before we are asked.  Choose to believe that most of the time, we are offended accidentally.  There was no intent of hurt or slight.  

THANKFULNESS...we have to choose to be thankful. Most of life disappointments and let downs are a sign of our unthankful hearts.  

We disobey, stir up strife, covet, lash out, build up walls, cheat, neglect worship, forget to pray (habitually), fill our own storehouses when others are lacking, compare ourselves and etc, because of our unthankful hearts.  

CHANGE OUR PERSPECTIVE...this is also a choice. When I am looking through the lens of my camera, I am not always at the correct angle for the best photo of the subject.  Sometimes, I have to adjust myself because I cannot adjust the subject.  So I adjust what I can control and leave what I cannot control alone. Then I can see the subject in the best light.  That will show in my final product.  We are like the photographer...most of the time, we need to adjust ourselves, to find the best light in someone else.  Oh, how hard that is.  We would much rather them do the adjusting.  After all, it is their responsibility how we see them...NOT true.  It is our choice.  

Truthfully, at times, the photographer has to get into some really uncomfortable, not flattering positions int order to obtain the best light...it's about the subject, not the photographer.  It's about others not about you.  

One of my favorite photos of Me and Henry

This is a subject that is dear to my heart because I have seen so many friendships and families destroyed because of offenses.  

Here is my prayer...

Lord, give me a heart for others.  Let me see them as you see them...through the eyes of love and compassion.  When I get offended, remind me that you love that person and so do I.  Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.  Let all that I do and say be with love.  Let all that I do and say bring honor to Your name because I am a reflection of You. In the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

A simple prayer it is and you may have something a little more flowery and poetic and that is wonderful. If you do, please share it with me.  I love poetry.  

I hope you adjust your prospective and live life in forgiveness and thankfulness.  It's a much better life.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday Lukie

Today my Lukie is ONE!!!  

So, I will celebrate this wonderful life that God has given our family.  

This boy is so very loved.

I love the way....

1- He grunts at me.  It is his hello, come here, I want that, look at me...I think he should have been on Home Improvement.  He loves to grunt.

2- He loves bread.  He was so excited to eat a hamburger bun at his party.  The boy can put away some bread.

Lukie and his roll...he cracks me up.

3- He loves to dance and music.  I can just start beating on the table.  If it sounds like music, Lukie starts shaking his booty!!  

4- He gives me love by putting his forehead on mine.  I love this.  He is so sweet.

5- He loves his big brothers but He is truly the boss!!  

So here are some photos of his birthday party.

Grammy and Lukie...I love this

Pop and Lukie...He loves his balloon

Lukie and Auntie Scovia

The Great Grandfathers and Lukie

Papa Estep and Lukie watching the bubbles Aunt Faith was blowing.

Ready for a cupcake

It's stuck on his fingers

Took care of that

Mommy Lukie Daddy...He's looking at Mommy

Mommy Lukie Daddy...He's looking at Daddy
Couldn't get him to look at Grammy

Boy's got wheels now!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

You Go Before Me

Isn't it a wonderful thing to know that He goes before us?

He is our very present help in times of need.

We are not alone in our need, in our worship, in our blessings...His Presence, His very real presence is with us.  

In my devotional today by Darlene Zschech, she wrote this prayer:

"God, renew my spiritual eyes to see you walk before me and beside me as I turn to you in every situation of life.  Thank you for being truly present in my worship to you!"

His presence is very real, He is with us.  Immanuel, "God is with us".  

Today, if you are feeling alone or forgotten...start to worship Him.  He is present in worship.  Call out to Him, he is with you.  

As I read my devotions this morning, I just began to sing "You go before me" over and over.  As I began to sing, my home became the sanctuary of God.  His presence entered into my home.  Worship where you are today.  "God, renew my spiritual eyes to see you walk before me."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Words Thoughts Actions

Sometimes I think that I set myself up with my "Word of the Year".  Why would I choose the word BRAVE? Am I crazy??  

Butterfly in the making...that is me

Let's truly think about it...

When does one have to be brave...not in times of relaxation or just chillin. 

What does it mean to be brave?  Well, lets look at what the dictionary says...

Bravery...the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening: the quality or state of being brave. link

Dangerous...Frightening...why would I choose the word BRAVE?

Henry being Brave...he makes me smile

I am a true believer that our words have significant power.  Our words come from our thoughts and grow into our actions.  So, why would I choose the word BRAVE for 2015?    

Believe it or not, I prayed about choosing a word for 2015.  I knew that my life was going to be altered this year.  I knew that God was going to require a little more of me.  I knew it was going to be a little scary (frightening).  So, knowing all that plus some things that I wont share...the Wednesday night Worship Team at church started singing this song by Bethel Music and it stirred something inside.  

Everyday while I was seeking the LORD about my "Word", I kept hearing, "You make me brave...you make me brave...you call me out beyond the shores into the waves".  Over and over the song filled me.  "You make me brave...You make me brave...no fear can hinder now the promises you made".  It became my mantra so to speak.  

Trust...No Fear...Just like Henry fully trusts Kirt here.

You see, I could have chosen another word and it probably wouldn't have made the world stop.  But since words have power, I needed a word to help me through the frightening times of 2015.  The times when I don't what to say to someone who has lost a loved one.  The moments when doubt tries to invade my thoughts and heart.  When my inability tries to override my calling.  When questions invade my mind and someone I love is unsure of the timing.  What about those times when I hear someone else would have been ideal for the calling but...?  

I don't pretend to understand it all or at all.  But I do know this...He is my peace in the midst of all the uncertainty and questions.  He is my rock.  He is the One who called me.  He is the One my heart desires to please all the time.  

So I will rest in Him.  I will take up my sword and stand my ground...relying on Him to make me brave when necessary.  I will do my best to walk in step with God.