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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Elephant

Picture source here

Ignoring it is not my style. Nor is sweeping it under the rug or walking around it in the center of the living room for so long it begins sitting in front of the couch with a plant on its back.

But I am setting it aside today. And asking it to stand and to lift each large leg as I vacuum under them and spray some Lysol where its hiney rests.

I intend to talk about the elephant in the room. Just not today. But I promise. I will. I will chat it up with you in true Glad Chatter fashion. I will spill the big, ugly truth right here on this blog where all seven of you who pop over to check on me from time to time will know where I’ve been for the last six months. **smiles**

I will take all the big ugly, spruce up each wrinkle, bling up the chub and we’ll sort and discuss until we all feel fuzzy warm inside and not just because we are sporting our velvety new Christmas scarves and  favorite furry slippers.

Today I am pretending having an elephant in your living room is the fanciest new Christmas decoration and hanging ornaments from its tusks and bedazzling its ears. I’m tying a giant sparkly bow to its tail and adding some gaudy rainbow blinky lights to its back. Then I’m giving it my favorite lepard earmuffs so it can’t hear me dish with you. About how I got here. Back online.

I’ve missed you, chatters. I’ve missed your hearts, your encouragement, your insight, your devotion to all things bloggy and all things Jesus. We Jesus gals needs to stick together, you know.

So today I’m sticking. I’m taking the fifty rolls of Scotch tape I just bought to wrap the gazillion gifts I have yet to buy and I’m sticking my heart right here on the screen. Its wrapped in a big bloggy hug and adorned with a sincere apology for just walking out on you, my seven faithful readers. **smiles**

Instead of introducing you to the elephant today, I’m taking a minute to pause in the panic of this holy season and thank Jesus for being with me. Even when I was not with you, He was. With you. And with me. And He is. With you. With me. With us.

God.With.Us. Emmanuel.

“Be silent, all mankind, before the Lord, for he has come to earth from heaven, from his holy home.” Zechariah 2:13

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Again, Daddy, Again

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change."--Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta


Do you have a part of your heart that's locked away from the world? From everyone, including yourself? Do you let God in those secret places?


This morning I asked God to let me see clearly. I prayed giving Him access to my innermost thoughts and beliefs. Praying like this can seem repetitious and humbling. I gave God all of my heart many years ago.


I just have a tendency to take it back. Snatch it out of God's hands and run. 


The result is I seem to struggle with the same junk. God heals me of my sin and then I find myself stuck smack dab in the middle of the old way of thinking before I even realize what I'm doing.


Today I read about Jesus healing a blind man in Mark 8. Jesus touches the sightless man and then asks him if he can see. The man says he sees people but they look like trees.


Jesus touches him again and the Scriptures say the man looked hard or intently and could see clearly.


I was reminded of my son, Palmer playing with his daddy.  Andrew tickles him until he can't breathe and when my husband thinks he can't take anymore, he stops. Palmer promptly take a deep breath and squeals, "Again, Daddy, again!" And Andrew tickles him some more. All Palmer wants is a second to catch his breath so he can play with his dad some more.


Sometimes it takes a second touch to see clearly. Sometimes we have to catch our breath so we can ask for more.


Today I asked for more. 


Then I opened my eyes and began to see clearly.


What about you? Are there areas you have been healed but may need a second (or third, or fourth) touch to see clearly? Leave a comment and I'd love to pray for Jesus to touch you.





Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The After

You may be wondering where I’ve been. That is, if you’re even still there at all. I’ve been in the after.

You get cancer and everybody is there. They bring you casseroles, hold your hand and ceaselessly encourage you. Then they see that you are good, healthy, moving on… and so do they.

It’s hard to tell people what you need when you don’t really know yourself. It’s been hard for me to put words to paper or sentences to prayer expressing my feelings for the last several months.

I’m living in the after. After the cancer. After the casseroles are gone. After the handholding ends because life’s crazy pace has picked back up and everything is back to normal—except it isn’t. It’s different. It’s after.

After the cancer.
After the junk.

Did you know, according to Google, aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that follow a larger one in the same area. They occur due to the area settling down and getting used to the new state of stress that was brought about by the mainshock.

I spent the last year adjusting. Adjusting kids to new schools, friends and schedules. Adjusting the husband to a new job, responsibilities and routines. A few months ago I realized they were all adjusted—but I wasn’t. At.all.

I got curious about aftershock so I Googled some more and I discovered that aftershocks can occur months even years after the main event.

I’m living through some aftershocks, y’all.

And I know that God is still here. In the after. I know that His promises are true. “Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

That passage goes on to say, “For it is good for the heart to be established and ennobled and strengthened by means of grace.” (13:9a)

I know God is asking one thing of me in the after: To trust the same God I trusted in the cancer.

To receive the same grace that carried us through the “stuff” to carry us through the “little” daily problems that “normal” life brings.

No matter what you have been through or are experiencing now, His grace is available to strengthen your heart. I would love to pray for you, just leave a comment.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Winner of A Confident Heart

And the winner is...

Holly. Commenter #1. Congratulations!! You win a signed copy of Renee's book. Please e-mail me your address and I'll send it right to ya!

To the rest of you wonderful ladies, click right on over to order your very own copy.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Confident Heart Give Away!

Have you ever read a book that changed you? A Confident Heart by Renee Swope is that book. Reading A Confident Heart and applying the truths has not only changed my heart, it has changed my life.

Renee candidly shares her story and own struggle with self-doubt and depression. Renee relates to readers as the girlfriend who understands. She will cry with you, laugh with you and tell how much you need God's truth! If  you have ever doubted God’s call on your life or lived in constant frustration, this book is for you too.

By using the scripture based prayers at the end of each chapter of A Confident Heart, you can replace self-doubt with God-fidence. You can lose the fear of failure by learning to fail forward. Failing forward has shown me how I can live freely as the me God created.

I am reading the book right now for the third time, tagging and highlighting each verse Renee uses. I pray each verse out loud over myself before I start my day.

Changes I’ve noticed in my own thinking include: accepting God’s forgiveness without meditating on my failures, seeing failure as a chance to grow and mature instead of as disappointing God and others, viewing myself as a worthy work-in-progress and utilizing grace and gratitude as the primary language of my heart, mouth and mind just to name a few.

Today I leave you with this prayer from chapter 2:
I want to know and rely on the love You have for me, Jesus, and live in that love. You say that whoever lives in love lives in You, and You in him. In this way, love is made complete in me, so that I can have confidence today and forever... I trust that because Your love is perfect, I don't have to be. Amen

If you’d like to jump on the Confident Heart bandwagon, leave a comment telling me why you want to read A Confident Heart and I’ll choose one random commenter to win a free autographed by Renee copy. Winner announced here on Friday, September 9. You can also go to Renee's website to register for the 7 Day Doubt Diet and other free Confident Heart related resources. You can order your own copy of the book here.

Available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Super thanks to Revell for providing me with a free copy of A Confident Heart which I am giving away to one of you!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Paybacks



Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of spectacular? There are times when a mere ‘thank you’ doesn’t cut it on the gratitude scale.

Last year God gave me life. He spared me vicious side effects of cancer and made me healthy in record time. The very breaths I breathe are evidence of His grace. All I want to do is give God a giant payback. In response to His saving miracle in my life, my heart cries, “Use me to change the world for You.”

All I want is to pay back God. Thus, I wrestle with grace.

Grace is life freely given by the innocent sacrificially shed blood of My Savior, Jesus.

No, friends, thank you isn’t enough.

For it is by grace my lungs inflate. And it is by grace my soul expands.

It is grace that causes my soul to sing no matter how small my role in life.

Grace—freely given—humbly accepted.

Paybacks not required.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Psalm 103:1

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Bloggy Vacation

This blog has been busy.

Playing cards, going swimming and enjoying the children.

Sharing with the needy from its closets, cabinets and clutter. 

Organizing the pantry!!!

Preparing to paint white walls.

Vacationing in Florida.

Packing for camp.

Playing All-stars.

And preparing for She Speaks.

But mostly this blog has just been looking and listening for Jesus. When life gets to be too much, He calls. And this blog answers.

After attending She Speaks.

And cancer check-ups.

And company.

And school shopping.

And another week of camp.

And a special and wonderful wedding.

And of course, a little more playing with the kids,

This blog will resume its regularly scheduled programming.

PS Once this blog finds its zip cord, pictures of the pantry will appear.


Monday, June 06, 2011

The Winner

Congrats to Jess S. winner of the $25 gift certificate to Ashley's shop. Email me your address and enjoy your bling!!!

Remember, I am taking some time to enjoy the kids, unpack the last few boxes, read good books, play board games, go to sleep at a decent hour and anything else my kids want to do. So subscribe so you won't miss a single installment of Glad Chatter!

Happy Summer!!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Give Away!!!

 It's not too late for the give away!! Simply subscribe to Glad Chatter in the upper left margin and leave a message saying you did and you get another chance. Since summer is a sketchy internet time and my kids need my attention, I'll probably go a little dark (I still heart Jack Bauer!!).  So subscribe and you won't get left out when I do login to bloggyland.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Celebrate!! Give away!!!


Lisa
To celebrate the end of our series, I'm hosting a give away! Yaay for free stuff! Especially cute stuff!

My sweet friend Ashley has graciously donated a $25 gift certificate to be used in her etsy shop. Just pop over to her site and leave a comment here telling me what you love. I'll draw a random winner Friday.

Thank you for sticking with me for 31 days. It's been a fun month with peeks into the minds and hearts of some of my favorite bloggy friends. Hope you've enjoyed it too. Go leave a comment for Sandy telling her how much.

Visit my other "31 Days" Friends:




Monday, May 30, 2011

Remember


Lisa




I saw this here this morning and it struck a chord with me. My Papa was on a ship in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. He fought. He survived. We live freely because of he fought courageously. My Papa is a man of valor. A brave hero.


My Dad served in the Army National Guard for many years. His training was part of our family. I missed him when he was gone but I was always proud. So proud. Although he never went to war, he prepared. Was ready. Trained others. I am always proud. So proud.

Today I’m remembering. Today I’m reminding my children to remember.

Will you join me in remembering?


PS Come back tomorrow for a give away!! Let's end this May series on a high note!

Visit my other "31 Days" Friends:




Friday, May 27, 2011

Fill bowls


Lisa
Did you know angels hold bowls filled with the prayers of God's people? I envision prayers going into these heavenly bowls until the bowls get so full they can't hold anything else. At that time, all the prayers pour out and God answers many prayers.


I honestly believe that's how God healed me. So many people were praying, the bowl filled and there it was. I was spared chemo, cancer has stayed away and now I'm praying with people instead of them praying for my healing. It is my greatest pleasure to pray God would heal others too.


Lisa Smith Glad Chatter

Today I am adding two sweet friends to my bowl.


My friend Courtney is moving to MD Anderson this weekend to prepare for a stem cell transplant that we pray will put her cancer in remission.


My friend Melinda is a sweet, young lady who is battling her second recurrence of brain cancer in the last three years. She's had four brain surgeries, radiation and cyber knife radiation to the speech/motor bed of her brain. She will soon start a trial chemotherapy to rid her brain of a cancer which has been historically chemo resistant. Please pray the enemy won't steal her voice. Pray the chemo works. Pray God works. A miracle.


Both of the lovely ladies love Jesus. They are filled with His presence, peace and desire to bring Him glory in any way they can. Please join me in praying God would heal them, use them and receive lots of applause for what He will do in their hearts and lives during their battles. Please pray for their precious husbands and children too.


And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. Revelation 5:8


Please leave a prayer request for someone you are focusing your intercessory efforts on so we can all pray too. Let's fill those heavenly bowls as quickly as possible!

Visit my other "31 Days" Friends:





Thursday, May 26, 2011

Choose to believe


Lisa
  

During my run last night I came face to face with something ugly. My doubt.

My natural frame of reference is more negative than I care to admit. I can be all Pollyanna to those around me, slightly more cynical to those closest to me and downright doom and gloom to myself.

Not pretty.

As I ran, I let life slough off me. The last few weeks have been rough. My husband’s been out of town, I had terrible crazy-woman PMS, I got sick, ate fast food, drank lots of coffee, worked out minimally and almost polished off a pound of M&Ms. Side note: I’m buying the almond kind next time so I get something healthy out of the deal.

I’ve fallen down the staircase of I’ll just stop writing this blog because I’ll never get published because I don’t have time to pursue anything but sick/needy/sloppy kids.

In the midst of playoffs, performances, projects, parties, ceremonies and graduations I realized we were peaking and I was having trouble enjoying this normal chaos that is May. I mean peaking as in my middle children are almost nine—halfway to being on their own. The peak of child raising. **sniff sniff**

So I shoved writing aside and threw myself into this end of the season celebrate until you drop hoopla. Today I decided enough is enough and went for a run.

That’s when God asked Lisa, do you believe I’m good?

Yes, Lord, of course, begged to come out because I was once a fourth grade Sunday school scholar.

But I knew what He meant. He meant Lisa, do you believe I’m good to you? Do you believe I love you with the extravagant love you struggle to show your loved ones today?

All I could choke out between sobs was
I’m.
Not.
Sure.

And then the fourth grade me quickly added, Lord, forgive my unbelief.

When God moved mountains for me to receive the cancer treatment I needed, I believed.

When God miraculously spared me from harsh chemo, I believed.

When God lined up lots of little ducks in a row so we could move, I believed.

When God began using my story to encourage others to seek Him, I believed.

When God showered me with favor at different times in my life at various jobs, I believed.

When God gave me perfectly healthy babies, I believed.

When God gave me a fairy tale wedding day, I believed.

But today when I was late to the dentist and my son needed more work than we thought, I doubted.

When my preschooler never took a breath today and I couldn’t either, I doubted.

When the miracle cancer treatment stretches us more financially than is comfortable, I doubt.

When the house I once thought was perfect seems to close in around me in all it’s disorganized cluttered glory, I doubt.

When it looks like I’ll be working instead of writing when school starts in the fall, I doubt.

When the fun commitments of a normal life begin to feel like drudgery, I doubt.

I’m not proud. I am full of doubt. 

I am in desperate need of extraordinary holy to invade ordinary routine. I am crying out for my Father’s holy fire to replace motherhood burnout.

As I confessed every area of doubt with the thud of feet to pavement, freedom came. I realized something: It’s easier to believe the best than think the worst. Truth overcomes doubt every time.

I realize I have issues. I need constant validation from Jesus about who I am in Him. I’m ridiculously needy. But today I believe the best.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 12:7