Monday’s Makes Me Smile

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Monday’s Makes Me Smile!!!  It’s not because I’ve not been smiling, though, I promise!  See?  :-)  :-)  :-)

It’s mostly because Mississippi College keeps posting pictures this one below on their timeline every day (thanks a lot, MC!)… and this family has been coming and going in all directions… and I’m doing the best I can to keep my head out of my computer and my eyes feasting on them during these last days of what we’ve known as “normal” for the past 18 years.

I’m smiling because I know this is good and right. {But there are also a few tear drops that fall every once in a while too… like now… but I digress… So again, thanks, Mississippi College, for the daily reminder of how much more time I have left with my baby at home…boo hoo, and haha ;-)}


Enough of that!  – but along those lines… because our children are in the season of leaving the nest, and we needed another vehicle, and I am still driving the “mini-van from their kindergarten/first grade years”… I want to brag on God and show you what He provided for me to drive around town.  It’s the perfect empty nester car and I L.O.V.E. driving it!!  For those of you who know me personally, you know that I don’t enjoy driving, so for me to say that I actually like driving now – this is a huge statement on this little car.

Everyone, meet my little 2003 VW Beetle, affectionately named “Lucy”

Lucy, the Beetle.  SmellingCoffee.com
Of course, she has eye lashes and a flower, and a wonderfully powerful air conditioner!  James said he’s never seen a car more made for a woman! haha. You should see me back up and parallel park these days. 😉  She will sport some of my “I Love Lucy” parafanialia and we will tool around town together as part of my Empty Nest Survival Team: Jesus, Lucy, and Zoe – All of which make me smile! :-)

Zoe in sunglasses.  SmellingCoffee.com
This little girl makes me smile too.  She turned 17 this month.

Abigail's 17th bday.  SmellingCoffee.com
So, for her birthday-day-out, I love the dichotomy of what she wanted to do.  First, she and her friends shopped at Pink Door, the official Lilly Pulitzer store, buying “grown up” things, planners, etc… (we took my niece, Ella, too – who acted just as grown up, btw).

Then, they enjoyed acting like children and jumped and played and squealed and laughed and tumbled and wore themselves out at Sky Zone.

Sky Zone Jumping.  SmellingCoffee.com
Being able to embrace the transition between growing up and still enjoying the fun of childhood… that makes me smile! 😉

And so do these other pictures I’ve been collecting over the past few weeks to share with you.  In whatever you are facing, and in whatever it is that you need… You have a faith-FULL God who is All-Knowing, All-Powerful, and All-Able because He Owns everything!  He is always at work around us, always working for our good and His glory, and if He so clothes and feeds the lilies of the field that bloom today, and are gone tomorrow… how much more will He take care of us, His beloved children?

I pray that these pieces of word art bring a reminding and encouraging smile to your face today, my friends.  :-)




With love and gratitude for each of you, and praying that you will see the Lord in the midst of your needs this week~

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Are You Struggling With Sending A Child to School This Year?

 If so, I pray that you’ll be encouraged by this story of Moses and his mama and God’s perfect provision and protection. 

Word of the Day. An encouraging word from God's Word. SmellingCoffee.com

Do you know anyone who is sending a precious baby off to all day Preschool or Kindergarten this year? Or to middle school? Or to high school? Or to college?  Maybe it’s you and your baby. Whether it’s the first, middle, or last child in the family, sending a little one to a full-day-full-room-school-situation is a huge and somewhat fearful experience. It’s been 13 and 14 years since my babies started going to school, but I well remember those thoughts and feelings of that first kindergarten year. {And tbh, I’m having them all over again as I prepare to send my firstborn off to college!}

Over the years of praying through this post and hearing from other moms who have prayed for their children in this way, I’ve come to realize that the truths God gave me fourteen years ago perfectly apply to any school situation – from Pre-K/Kindergarten to College!

The Lord gave me a gift the summer before Nathan started Kindergarten. God had called us to place our children in public school. I thought for sure that I would homeschool, but that was not God’s plan for my family. Even though we knew God called us to public school, my heart was still heavy with concern over “letting go.”

One day I was studying in Exodus and came upon the passage about baby Moses and his mother. As I prayed through that passage, The Lord brought me great rest and peace about what He had called us to do.

If God has called you to send your “baby” to school this year, I pray that He’ll use His Words to guide you in your prayers for your child, and bring you peace as you trust Him in your obedience.  This is what He gave to me so many years ago – and it’s still a comforting truth for me as each new school year begins.

PS: Though it’s entitled “…and the Public School System” of course, it applies to any school situation.  This was my personal struggle at the time, so this is how God so graciously addressed it to me. Now that that’s settled… read on. 😉

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My children, Baby Moses,
and the Public School System

Exodus 2:2-10 (God’s Words are in bold, my prayer response is in italics.)

2) And the women became pregnant and bore a son; and when she saw that he was exceedingly beautiful she hid him for three months.

She kept her child to herself because she saw the beauty in him, and knew that the “world” would neither see nor nurture her precious child.“O Jesus, you know how much I love my children, and how I want the very best for them. They are beautiful not only to me, but also to You. You have blessed me beyond my ability to describe when you allowed me to stay at home and “hide” my children these early years of their lives. Thank you, Jesus.”

3) And when she could no longer hide him

In other words, it was time for him to go to Kindergarten… (or middle school, high school, or college…)

“Lord, the time to put ‘faith into action’ is at hand. You have called my family to public school, and we can no longer ‘hide’ from it. Just less than two more weeks…Help us, dear Jesus, to trust You.”

she took for him an ark or basket made of bulrushes or papyrus,

She built a basket of protection for him with great care.

“Jesus, you have led me to build that basket every day as I love and invest in my children. Thank You that You have helped me build this basket with Scripture prayers for them, time, patience, play, laughter, Godly teachings, acceptance, and joy in my children. Because of You, my son’s basket is almost ready. Thank you!”

making it watertight by daubing it with bitumen and pitch

She made the basket “watertight” where no outside element could easily harm him.

“O Jesus, because of Your love and training of me, You have graciously allowed me to train and love and build healthy self esteem, based on the teachings of Your Word, in my children. Please help them to be ‘watertight’ and ‘insulated’ from the worldly influences trying to seep into their hearts and lives. Please call them to know you at an early age and to be ‘sealed’ by the redemption of Your blood.”

Then she put the child in it

With her heart wrenching, she placed her son in the basket, making him secure in the surroundings she had built for him, trusting that she had done all she could for him.

“Jesus, you know how my heart wrenches when I realize that now is the time to place my son in this basket we have built together. Please help me to believe – I mean REALLY BELIEVE- Your Word that promises You will “never leave, nor forsake” my baby. I am placing him in the basket with You, and covering him with a blanket of prayer.”

and laid it among the rushes (reeds) by the brink of the Nile river.

The reeds: Webster defines “reeds” as the grass stems growing at the edge of the river, and/or “a person or thing too weak to rely on; one easily swayed or overcome.” She placed her cherished child in the midst of, at best, a weak support system.

The brink: The beginning – in my case, Kindergarten.

The river: The public school system influenced heavily by the currents of the “world”.

“I lay my precious child at your feet, surrounded by the ‘reeds, brink, and river’. Thank You that You are going with him, before him, behind him, between him, and through him in this new era of his life. Thank You for the deep peace, joy, and great expectations that this knowledge brings to my wrenching heart!”

4) And his sister stood some distance away to learn what would be done to him.
“Lord, please give me ‘sisters’ in You to watch out for and over my children in every one of their schools.”

5) Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked along the bank;

Pharoah’s daughter and maidens: The teachers and assistants at the school.

she saw the ark among the rushes and sent her maid to fetch it

She saw the basket and rescued it.

“O Jesus, please help my children’s teachers to see the treasure-filled baskets we have placed in the river. Please help them to be drawn to those baskets, seek them out and rescue them.”

6) When she opened it, she saw the child; and behold, the baby cried. And she took pity on him and said, this is one of the Hebrew’s children!

“Jesus, help the teachers to really see our children, their personalities, their strengths, weaknesses and needs. Help them to hear the individual cries of our children, take sweet pity on them, and to realize how valuable they are to You, to us, and to Your work in this world.”

7) Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call a nurse of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?
8) Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the girl went and called the child’s mother.
9) Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages. So the woman took the child and nursed it.

The mother is given an unexpected opportunity to have additional influence on her child’s life.

“Lord Jesus, please help me to see and obediently take every additional opportunity You give me to ‘nurse’ my children. Jesus, please help me with my priorities. Please show me the way that I should go (Ex. 33:13), and help me to walk in it. Please help me not to get ‘side-tracked’ and miss the ‘best’ by being distracted with the ‘good’. Please help my focus to be off of me and onto You and Your best for our lives. Please help me to remember that time spent investing in my children’s lives is a ‘gift’ of great ‘wages’ or value”.

10) And the child grew,

“You know the plans You have for my children. Plans to prosper them and not harm them. Plans to give them a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11) Jesus, I know now that my children will grow through this, and they will be O.K. They will be even better than “O.K.” – they will be victorious! (PTL!!!) They will have been where You instructed us to place them – insulated by us, and protected by Your hands upon their lives. It will all be for their good, and for Your glory (Rom. 8:28). For You and for the remembrance of Your Name – this is our heartfelt desire! (Isaiah 26:8)”

and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son.

“Jesus, I realize that a day will come when we will be asked to release our children to stronger ‘waters’ than elementary school. But when that day comes, Lord, I trust that You will help us to be ready. O Please help our children not to become ‘sons’ of the world, but of You.”

And she called him Moses, for she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

“Lord Jesus, please help our children’s lives to be significant for You, because of Your instructions to us to place them at this tender age into the ‘water’. Please help them to be known by Your name because YOU have drawn them out of the water and called them Your own. A men.”

God used Moses’ life in mighty ways, and did things through him that He did through no one else. I want God to use my children this way – their lives lived to His power and glory. Baby Moses, kindergarten, and God’s faithfulness ~ What a Trustworthy God we serve! :-)

I’m praying for all of you who are sending children off to school this month.

“And the Lord said, My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:13

“And when they had done everything according to the Law of the Lord…the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor and spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:39-40

 

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AND – if you’re so inclined, here is a Smelling Coffee TV episode about this very subject.  The video is is below.  If you can’t see it below, it is on YouTube at this link.

Smelling Coffee TV – Sending Our Children To School With Peace and Prayers

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Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?

Word of the Day.  An encouraging word from God's Word.  SmellingCoffee.com

This summer I’ve been enjoying praising God through Romans 11:33-36 (from the New Living Translation) each morning.  Aren’t these the most praiseworthy of truths?

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions
and his ways!

For who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
    Who knows enough to give him advice?
And who has given him so much
    that he needs to pay it back?

For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36   (NLT)

 

To me, it’s so comforting to be reminded everyday of several things that put me back in my place (or “back in my britches” as my daddy would say) before the day begins:

1) I don’t have to understand God’s decisions and His ways.  Whew!  That really is a load-lifter… especially as I lie awake at night trying to figure out what God is “up to” in certain circumstances!

2) It’s impossible to understand, anyway!  

3) No one knows and understands the Lord’s thoughts – so I ought to stop worrying over trying to figure them out – and just stick to what I do know of His thoughts and ways that He HAS chosen to reveal through His WORD. 😉

4) {WARNING – PREPARE FOR BIG SHOCK} God doesn’t need my advice.  There.  I said it.  Can you believe this?  God does NOT need our advice?  DID I JUST GO THERE? As good and wise as our advice may be… God actually knows more than we do, and knows better how to handle things (our husbands, children, coworkers, neighbors, church situations, financial decisions, even politics – gasp!) better than we know how to handle these people and situations.  I think… just maybe…instead of giving God advice, He is waiting for us to ask Him for it??? What say you?

5.  {ANOTHER SHOCKER ON THE WAY} God doesn’t OWE me ANYTHING!  Not a single one of us have out-given God.  None of us have given Him so much of ourselves or our lives, our treasures, our hearts, our families, our obedience, our sacrifices, or our everythings that we would put Him in the position of needing to pay us back.  Think about that.  But if we are honest, don’t we sometimes begin to feel like He owes us something for our sufferings?  I have.  And sometimes now, if I’m indulging in a cycle of selfishness, I’ll catch myself with this stinky, demanding, entitlement attitude that sickens the heart of the Father!  What spoiled brats we are to think that our filthy rags are enough to demand a righteous reward!

~

That’s why I love this passage so much!  It reminds me that there is NO WAY that I can figure out what God is doing, or manipulate Him, or understand God’s ways, or demand of Him, or control Him.  And honestly, in the strangest of ways, that is a comfort to me.  If I had the responsibility of controlling God, I’d be stressed all of the time.  But since He is Wisdom and Power itself, along with also being Love… I can relax and trust that even the most difficult days God allows/allowed me to walk on this somewhat shaky ground are days that have been purposed and empowered by Him for His glory.

“For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.”  Romans 11:36

This frees me to look to God (instead of to myself) for answers and for help.  And that’s a good thing!  Because… I might fool myself and others in thinking and acting like I have all the answers, and pretending that when push comes to shove I’ll be able to deliver… but when it comes right down to it, I’m a lot like Prissy from Gone With the Wind.

“I know how to do it.  I’s done it lots and lots.  Let me, Doctor.  Let me.  I can do everythin’.”  

~hours later, when the real need arises~

“I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies.”

Haha!  And then, if I’m not careful, I’ll be just like her after it’s all over – check out the bottom of this pic:

haha!

Anyway… all that is to say this:

It’s a wonderful thing to awaken every morning and be reminded that we don’t know God’s thoughts for the day – and that’s why we must seek Him!  His Ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

It’s a beautiful release to begin each day remembering that God isn’t waiting on our advice.

And it’s a humbling freedom to not be looking over our shoulders all day wondering when God is going to “pay up” all that is “owed” us. (Whew!  That’s a relief – think about all of the “bad” that is “owed” us that, Praise God, Jesus already covered!!!)

What Wisdom, what Knowledge, what Love God has poured into and over us!

“The Lord by skillful and godly Wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding He has established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up, and the skies distill the dew…For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught in a trap or some hidden danger.” Proverbs 3:19-20, 26 (AMP)

What Peace!

All glory to him forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36)

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How are you doing with your 365?

What will you do with the rest of your 365? SmellingCoffee.com

Which, btw, we have already lived 194 of them with just 171 of them left to live.  Can you believe it???   I mean… It’s already Christmas in July on the Hallmark channel! 😉 My calendar book was a MESS and needed a total make-over, so {never mind that my house was, too} as any […]

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A Comforting Reminder for Today

2 Chron 16:9 SmellingCoffee.com

Blessings to you on this Lord’s Day, my friends!  

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Encouragement to and for The Body of Christ

Encouragement to and for the Body of Christ. SmellingCoffee.com

I didn’t even mean to be there this morning, but that’s often how the Lord works, isn’t it?  Instead of moving forward in Scripture, the Holy Spirit kept pulling me backward page by page until I reached the beginning of Ephesians, even to the notes preceding chapter one, verse one, where this phrase caught my […]

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In case you’re not busy Tuesday night…

Simply Summer Flyer 2015 FBC Batesville, MS. SmellingCoffee.com

  Hi friends ~ It’s a little late to be sharing this… (sorry for that!) but if you are local to here or in the Batesville MS area, I did want to let you know that I’ll be speaking this coming Tuesday night at FBC in Batesville.  If you knew today that you wanted to […]

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My “Official” Statement

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My dear friends, I’ve been silent here lately because like most of us, I’ve been sorting through the tornado of emotions, thoughts, words, pictures, posts, news reports, celebrations, sermons, and sound bites, the hatred, the venom, the slurs, the lifting up and the tearing down of one another in multiple given scenarios just this month… […]

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