Eyes to See

My precious pig-tailed girl filled a bucket with shells. It seemed that her little hands picked up everything she saw. At 6, I knew she meant to take each piece back home in Atlanta, adding to the growing pile already accumulated at our beach rental. 

Running to me holding up one more broken fragment of a shell, I gently suggested, “How about you only keep the pretty ones.” She turned her surprised green eyes upward and said, “This is pretty, Momma… you just can’t see it.”

Truer words were never spoken. As I swam in the ocean yesterday with this very same, nearly grown, young woman, I was reminded again of that day more than 10 years ago. How quick have I been to pass by and not notice beauty – God’s beauty? Whether in a person, or a day, or even an experience. 

Sometimes I need help to see all the priceless moments I’ve been given. Life is a gift, not something to get through, but something to unwrap. Monday’s that feel like drudgery,  unexpected interruptions, mundane chores, meeting someone new… all of these offer potential beauty if I will accept them as gifts from God, if  only I’ll look for His blessing.

God give me Your eyes to see all the pretty shells ❤️

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

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Renewal

I’m about to relish the last day of our annual trip… just me and my sweetheart. ❤️❤️❤️ Every year we try to get away without the children for a little honeymoon. What started about 10 years ago as a weekend, has grown by weeks. I can’t tell you how much it does for us!

Our only “rules” are that we pray daily to have fun and laugh and love. Work is put on hold, but we still have time for keeping up with kids, clearing out email as needed, reading and sometimes watching a movie. Together is the theme; remembering to notice what makes the other one smile is a goal. 

It takes practice -being friends and staying married. For us, uninterrupted time together has been key. Whenever we have asked God to help us get away He has. Whenever we have asked Him for help drawing us closer and having fun in the midst – He has. 

I remember long days in the hospital for several years, when David couldn’t take a break because of surgeries… even then, God answered our prayers with some small joy and a deeper love for each other. 

Our Father is for marriage! He’s a big ‘ol Romantic and a bigger sucker for a happy ending than I am (if it’s ok to call Him that). I love Him to pieces for it! I couldn’t imagine trying marriage without His divine assistance😉

 The lessons offered in the letters in Revelation are really helpful for marriage. God is serious about 1st Love!

“But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? … “Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste….” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭2:4 ‭The Message

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  
Going for 28 more…

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Winning the Faith Battle

What does it mean – God is faithful? …Will everything workout like I pray? …How can I tell He really cares if circumstances don’t change? …How can I know He’s listening if I don’t get what I want?  Why does He let me suffer?

Faith to believe is a lifetime affair. It’s a battle of the whits won moment by moment. Can I trust God? Will He prove faithful to me? Can He still do all the Bible says He can do? These are great faith questions -all having the answer, YES.

Then why doesn’t He do it? Today! For me? I’ve Certainly asked these things more than once! Slowly, slowly I have come to the realization that it’s just not all about me. It has taken time to see for myself,  that there’s a BIGGER plan and I’m only a piece of the puzzle. 

When my prayers haven’t been answered the way I prayed, I’ve needed large doses of scripture reading, crying out my woes to God and usually relying on another’s faith to encourage me, “Keep holding tight through the darkness.”

 Winning a right attitude can be an enormous challenge. When chaos strikes, It’s so hard for me to look past the “whys” (especially if someone I love is in pain). Peace has come little by little…. a surrendering of my will for His. It starts with a day by day choice (with the small stuff). 

I’ve always had to choose – it wasn’t just magic.

Reading God alone can see the whole picture, that He never loses control, nothing throws Him or surprises Him, He’s never overwhelmed, …only that He knows. He’s always known.

He is God and there Is NO OTHER! 

My Creator, my Savior, Jesus, teach us to let go and trust in Your infinite wisdom. And for what You do not change, when we ask…? The help to win the faith battle.

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:14-17‬ ‭MSG‬‬

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

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True Beauty

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:30‬ ‭

Believe me when I tell you, I have been as vain as they come. It’s a daily battle, though, now much much easier. I have come so far from where I was! 

When I say vanity- Im not talking about “wow, I look amazing.” I’m talking about obsessive self-awareness. It’s the “all I can concentrate on is how I look” syndrome… good-bad-or ugly. Image obsessions (like many other obsessions) are funny things,  however, especially if your aim is to reach perfection. The truth is they don’t really ever deliver. It’s always an unattainable goal… totally illusive. 

This game, as your worst enemy, keeps changing the silly rules. With each woman you see (photo or otherwise) the stakes get higher -in one area or another. There’s always someone out there looking better on any given day! You strive and you work and think, “maybe now…” only to cross paths with someone (or thing) better. Then comes the wallowing in self pity.

And on the flip side? The ugly truth… the only way to feel better about yourself is to find someone behind you in this made-up race for perfection, compare, and inwardly gloat. 

For me, in the world of ballet, it became all-encompassing; paralyzingly. Even at 14 it was all about bodyshape. If I could not get the triple piroette or land the coveted dance role… I at LEAST wanted to look the part! 

As I starved my way to a “better me,” inside I raged and seethed with jealousy. Pretty, huh? This lasted long after I left the ballet barre and stage. Old habits die hard,.

Thank God, He was willing to kill me over this one! “Death to vanity” seemed to be the theme of His lessons for years to come. And I am ecstatically joyful to say He HAS renewed my heart and mind in Christ Jesus -just like He promised!  

I am a transformed self-obsessive soul. I’ve trained (with God’s help!) my mind to turn… no, RUN (!) to Him when any “old thought patterns” creep up. For me it’s life or death. I will not be ruled by jealousy and empty conceit. “There is grace for me, there is grace for her.” Something I say to myself often. And, “Lord, be my rear-guard”... when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable. 

I’ve tasted freedom and it is delicious!!! There is more to come and I aim to enjoy that as well.

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

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What Are You Eating?

My grown kids come through the door on whatever break they’re having and wonder “what on earth are you eating now,mom??” I’m always changing and tweeting and finding something new to try in the way of diet, nutrition and exercise!

Lately it’s “low-carb/high protein,” still no sugar and I’m really into weight-lifting (using free weights). Because around 50 yrs old we lose muscle-mass everyday!!! I’m regulating any veggies (❤️❤️❤️) and any fruits high in carbs, but freely eat meat (!), cheese and low-carb dairy products, always careful to avoid chemicals and hormones. Go stevia!

This quickly brought my weight to where I wanted it to be for our son’s wedding (hooray) and is also helping me build muscle mass. One supplement I’ve added is a powder mixed with water called “BCAA” (on Amazon). It has no caffeine, no sugar, no chemicals – just simplified protein. A super pre or post workout drink that aids in “muscle recovery.” We love the watermelon flavor.

This exercise & diet change has been a good one for my body. At almost 50… I’ve been: vegetarian (younger years), fat-free (teenager), whole foodie (organic, all natural grains, sugar etc) while having children,  Vegan, Gluten-Free and now “low-glycemic-index” …being mindful of  the knowledge I’ve gained previously. 

Right now I like this plan best… However, next year might bring something new depending on what I feel my body needs. The important thing is general good nutrition, careful observation and staying close to nature (as in food in its most natural form). I’m very keen to try the “raw-food” plan or even “frutarian-ism”😉 Maybe next time.

Eat something healthy, God says you’re worth it!

ForGlorySake!Anna   

 Low carb snack favs: Savi seeds, , Lilly’s chocolates❤️ Quest Natural Bars (Amazon), Vega protein shakes (Costco), J&J Criiters pork rinds (their website on-line)…

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Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the Givers

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. ””‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I love this verse for many reasons. One of them is the guideline my mom brought me up with: “Don’t sell your extra things, Anna, give them away. You can never out-give God.” Her meaning was this, give away instead of sell and watch how God will give back to you as needed. It must be something like the law of gravity, because it’s still working! Bags of clothing continue to go in and out of our house.

Another reason this verse touches me so deeply is in regards to my children. In the giving of my life (personal time, energy, sleep, even my figure) for each of them I have gained so so much more! It has been more than worth the long pregnancies and precarious deliveries, more than worth the years of picking up, cleaning up and continual parenting, more than worth the varicose vein surgery and few (ok, several) extra pounds I carry around today.

God has been faithful and true to His word. In giving and giving my husband and I have received more. And by having more to give to, there has simply been x6 the blessings!! We are overwhelmed  today by all that God has given back. If you are raising little ones and wondering “How can I make it through this?” The answer is in giving. Hang on, more and more and more blessings are coming!

To all the mothers who give and give of themselves – As my mom would tell you, “Darlin, you can never out-give God.”

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

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The Process

I pray and pray until I’m out of words… And God says -be quiet now. I ask Him to hurry and do something… And He says -don’t rush me, it’s the process that matters. The steps to “completness” are blessed. He tells me there is Joy in the journey

But, how can this wandering-part be enjoyable? Don’t You see It’s messy and long and precarious. Don’t You see the potential disaster? …I don’t like waiting, I want to see this one I love be made whole. 

He tells me -before I began the world I knew how things would go… I did not make humans to be perfect. I stated only, “it is good.” I planned for human error, imperfection and choice. It’s in the mishaps that Glory shines. It’s in the mistakes that Grace takes over. I never planned on human perfection.

The process to maturity in Christ is the story. Each pain and trial is useful -this is what makes the testimony. 

Rest – pray – wait and see. God is working, The I AM is moving at His speed in His way, using EVERYTHING for His Glory, for our good.

“Oh patient, wooing, active God, stay jealous for us. Help me wait it out trusting that You have a plan to use each and every circumstance today to change and mold hearts. Give us a great story! In Jesus’ name”

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

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