RSS

Category Archives: Love

The Epitome of a StepDaddy!

 

moving up to high school

moving up to high school

“Excuse me Scott, are you married?”

“No”

“Good, cause my mommy needs a husband”

This was the conversation nine years ago when my now husband came to my house to have dinner with me and my daughter for the FIRST time. The ground could have opened up and swallowed me whole! And all I could muster to say was “I did NOT tell her to say that!”

Katana was only five years old at the time and I managed not to choke on my homemade macaroni and cheese, broccoli and fried chicken….I still remember the exact meal πŸ™‚

I was a single mom at the time, having gone through a divorce from her biological father. I was dealing with all the emotions that comes with. I did not want a failed marriage. I did not want to be a single mother……didn’t want to be a stereotype. But I had a good career and I was determined to thrive and ensure that she did as well. Plus there was no need to dwell on what ‘didn’t’ work….it was what it was.

Scott and Katana 5

When Scott came into our lives, it was a while before he met Katana. I just believed that adults need to decide what they are going to do before children get involved. From the moment they met they have always had a very special connection. I saw it with him and I also saw she had the same connection with my father….her Papa.

Weird to say, but I felt as if I could give her everything within my power but I could not give her that connection or that special bond girls have with their father. She loved her Nana, but she looooved her Papa.

I don’t even know if it is articulable because both my sister and I are daddy’s girls.

Scott and Katana 2

school shenanigans

Anyway, Scott came into our lives and from day one (even as we ironed out the dynamics of our relationship), he was there! To give piggy back rides, pick her up from school, play video games, eat dinner, watch the first tooth get pulled, watch her ride her bike in ‘speed mode’ and fall and chip a tooth. To celebrate birthdays and every holiday, to be there for graduations and special events and to share their own father daughter dance at our wedding 5 years later πŸ˜‰

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements
 
11 Comments

Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Love

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

5 things my son taught me!

baby Jason

baby Jason

It’s been a while πŸ˜‰

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few months now….continually shuffling it around on my ‘to do’ list. Right now it is about 3 am and I have been up for about two hours now. Sleep is elusive.

I went to my spot and sat there talking to God. Asking Him why I haven’t been consistent with some of my responsibilities and why keeping up the momentum to keep on being productive is so hard? I even shed a few tears. God simply said “You already have the tools.”

Don’t you just love Him? You don’t get anything else until you complete that last thing.

So, I wiped my face, virtual pen in hand and now listening to the taps of my key board while my people are sleeping. Determined to cross this off the list.

On June 17th we welcomed to our family the sweetest baby boy πŸ™‚ He came promptly on his due date, which just happened to be my mother’s birthday (wonderful gift πŸ™‚ ) and he is my father’s name sake. There is a 13 year gap between him and his sister so this felt like a new and not merely different experience.

 

big sister...

just a few hours old with big sister…

one day old

one day old

Β image

Here are 5 things I’ve learned from his birth and since….

Read the rest of this entry »

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Daily Inspiration, Love

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

That thing about GIVING….

God loves a Cheerful giver

God loves a Cheerful giver

It’s offering time!!!

Many have been turned off or avoid the church because of methods employed for giving and offerings. Yes?

Sometime last year I took part in a focus study group for my pastor as he was completing his doctoral project on GIVING. We were given a handbook and a diary to write our reflections, thoughts, and feelings after every session. Like everyone else, the sacrifice of time was worth it to show support and love. As a Christian, the topic of giving is not unfamiliar, so I was expecting more information as a refresher. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

The first two sessions covered rudimentary information; Old Testament faithfuls like Abraham and Jacob, tithes, agrarian vs monetary systems etc. But I believe it was the third session that caused a massive struggle. We learned that Tithing was NOT required. Huh? What do you mean? I’ve always known about the 10% that I was supposed to give, and within the past few years had gotten to the point of giving that consistently, so what was this all about?

I looked at the scriptures in my handbook Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 14:22-29 and Malachi through different eyes. I felt a little flustered as I read because it is very nerve wrecking when something that one believes as foundational is challenged.

Leviticus 27 talked about being able to redeem one’s tithes if the giver so chose. In Deuteronomy the giver was to have a celebration with the tithe as thanksgiving to God. And also to take care of the Levites since they had no land (they served in the temple). In Malachi? Well, the key here is not “Will a man rob God?”…..but “How shall we return?” (v.7). God was done with the Priests and was not going to accept any offerings from their hands; they were bringing Him lame and sick animals etc. The priests were not upholding the laws of what was to be sacrificed to God. We no longer sacrifice animals….Jesus was our sacrificial lamb.

At this point I was thinking of every place in the bible that I could find something about tithing; Abraham and Jacob! Well, I looked at that and obviously they both chose to give a tithe before there was any law. Abraham in Genesis 14:20 and Jacob in Genesis 28:22. They both did it out of love for God and his faithfulness. I couldn’t find anything that substantiated mandatory tithing in the New Testament. There is nothing to redeem….Jesus already DID that!!

I went home grappling with what this meant. I did some more research and realized that this information is out there but I have NEVER heard anyone speak on this. Understandably so, because there is a fear that if people know they don’t HAVE to give, then they wouldn’t!

I sat on my little foot stool in my closet and thought to myself “Man, if I don’t HAVE to give I can save a lot of money!”. As soon as the thought left my mind God asked “Were you giving because you LOVE ME, or just because you thought you were obligated to?”

I sat there for a long time digesting this.

Obligation never equals love. Love is doing it when I have a clear choice not to.

I repented.

My heart changed in that moment. God has been so good to me! And especially faithful.

I have the opportunity to appreciate God just as Abraham and Jacob did when they decided what they would give without a legal standard.

I thanked God for the opportunity to check myself. It’s easy to SAY we love and trust God until we are faced with putting it to the test. I couldn’t imagine the courage, trust in and love for God that my Pastor had to work through to first embrace this information and then share it. He risked people stopping their giving, because they didn’t HAVE to. But, giving is a form of worship and must be as natural as singing, reading scripture and prayer. There is a basket at the door and you can drop an offering of your choosing (if you so choose), on the way in or on the way out.

Ten percent is merely a barometer. Some choose that as their minimum offering to God, but it can be more or less. Plus whatever the Holy Spirit prompts.

There is SO much to say in this post, but it is better summed up in the book Cheerfully. A book prompted by this study after more research and a compilation of the findings.

Our pastor graduated as scheduled but completed the doctoral process a changed man.

Graduation

We each completed the study, experiencing a myriad of emotions with this new knowledge. Some anger, some acceptance, some struggling with sharing this information to their own congregations.

The TRUTH is what it is: God loves a cheerful giver! Giving to God based on love is Worship. A cheerful giver is motivated from within not based on any external stimulation.

SO, that thing about GIVING…? Make sure you do it CHEERFULLY!!! πŸ™‚

Have a great week!

Blessings

JC

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Love, Worship

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Soul Detox 1

a moment of solitude...

a moment of solitude…

It was my second climb up Crowders Mountain for the year. But it was a solo trip this time. The day had no sun making a showing and lots of grey clouds, but they in no way reflected my mood. Just some me time, God time…..actually ‘time’ wasn’t even a factor πŸ™‚ I have come to realize that waiting for someone to do the things that I like to do might keep me waiting forever, or worse yet, give me an excuse not to do it at all….so I packed my backpack, camera and tripod in tow, and headed out.

Craig Groeschel’s ‘Soul Detox’ is at the top of my reading queue and this was one of the reasons I made this trip. A soul detox captivated my mind πŸ˜‰ Detox by definition is a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. Many of us detox our bodies, or if we don’t, we need to. It’s almost like a good ‘spring cleaning’. Giving our bodies a chance to reset and reboot.

my perch for the day...

my perch for the day…

A soul detox is a chance to get rid of soul pollutants. Negative emotions, negative thoughts, negative language, negative people and negative perspectives. Thoughts and feelings that go unchecked which cause anger, bitterness and resentment. Television shows that add nothing to your personal growth. People that drain you…who always have something negative going on. Busyness; never a moment to be still and reflect; to check in with your self and evaluate. To see if you’ve lost yourself in this thing called life.

Β A few weeks ago I was speaking to someone who was about to retire after 30 years. I asked her what was she going to do and she said “Find myself. I have lost myself over the years”. I didn’t want that. I wanted to learn to have all of me present in the moment.

view from 1700ft....

view from 1700ft….

Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your zeal, or as my partner at work puts it, being in a ‘rut’? Our soul is the essence of who we are. It is what makes us sing, dance, laugh, smile, love, glow, give, care, share, press on, keep hope alive, dream, our eyes sparkle…..

It doesn’t require a lot. Just taking a day or two to see how being around certain people make you feel, how listening to certain music makes you feel, how engaging in certain conversations make you feel. Do you feel positive and inspired, do you feel motivated, do you feel energized, do you feel closer to God? If not, Unplug.

Rest, walk, run, pray, swim, read, journal, cry, wonder, turn the TV off, turn off electronics, enjoy nature, take a vacation or a ‘stay’cation, make a gratitude list, date yourself, no more secrets, find accountability, surround yourself with positivity, embrace change and just be…..

Β Blessings always.

JC

just be....

just be….

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Love

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Flashback ~ Jerusalem~

 

The Golgotha Altar.....the crucifixion site.

The Golgotha Altar…..the crucifixion site.

Today we celebrate Good Friday….a ‘good’ Friday for us, but it was not so ‘good’ of a Β Friday for Christ. Sometimes I don’t think the magnitude of what Jesus did for us really sinks in.

About fourteen years ago I was able to take a tour of Jerusalem, Israel. I was deployed with the military and we had stopped in Haifa, Israel; I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tour Jerusalem.

In the past couple of months I have done more studying on the significance of this week than ever before, in preparation for a sermon on Palm Sunday and one last night; Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday.Β It really made me think back on this trip many years ago, being just a babe in Christ then.

the city of Jerusalem in the background....it was hot!

the city of Jerusalem in the background….it was hot!

Last night we celebrated Communion as Christ did with his disciples. But the gospel of John recorded that Jesus also washed the feet of his disciples (John 13). The one thing I remembered from my trip was that it was hot and dusty. Back then they wore sandals everywhere so foot washing was normal. But it was considered a menial task and one only the lowliest of slaves did. But Jesus, the ultimate servant, did it. Showing us that we are supposed to serve each other with humility. Like Rick Warren says, “humility is no thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less”.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher...

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher…

I guess I am in somewhat of a reflective mood at the moment. Because sometimes I don’t think watching the Passion movies and reading about the crucifixion really causes the magnitude of the price paid for our sins to sink in. I really think reflecting on what that personally means for each of us is what is most humbling.

It’s not just watching it unfold on the screen, but personally knowing that it’s my addiction on that cross, my lies on the cross, my fornication on the cross, my abortion on the cross, my hatred on the cross, my unforgiveness on the cross etc….and He paid it all! What does the cross mean to you?

May each of you have a wonderful celebration on Resurrection Sunday.

Blessings always

JC

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Daily Inspiration, Love

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The struggle of Acceptance….

waiting

“She slipped into a coma and she’s not breathing on her own.

She went in to get a blood clot removed and a piece of it traveled to her lungs. She was without oxygen for about an hour. She’s my best friend and I asked God not to take her. He could take whoever else he wanted, but not her!

She has been through so much, the loss of a child, a number of current ailments and as I looked at her on that bed, she looked so tired Jackie. I wanted God to heal her, I didn’t want to lose her, she has been a great friend to me from day one and I wanted her with me. But as I stood there, God said I was being selfish. Selfish!

She had actually received Christ a couple days prior. And God said to me “she’s saved”.Β I prayed for God to have His will. He is able to heal, but sometimes that’s not His will. I am at peace inside either way; I can’t even explain it, Jackie.”

I listened quietly. My mind recalling our bible study two days prior. My pastor had talked about being in sync with God’s will. Especially syncing with His will when a loved one is going through an affliction, when an elderly parent is sick and in pain, and when we have to watch our children endure growing pains etc.

While in that study, one of the brothers talked about his elderly mother being in the hospital. Every time she was admitted he would pray for God not take her. He didn’t want to lose his mother. She would be in pain, incoherent and out of it at times. But she finally told him, quite clearly, that she was tired. He said he knew what that meant.

I listened quietly on that day too. It is truly in these scenarios when my spirit is the calmest. I am sure footed on the sovereignty of God, but there is a finesse that only God has when He tells someone they are being selfish in such a situation.

I can honestly say I was thankful I was on the listening end; with soothing words and an I love you.

Sometimes we pray for a thing and the way God goes about it is most definitely not the way we want Him to.

Sometimes the answer to the prayer is no.

‘What if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears…what if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise? (Laura Story’s ‘Blessings’)

My heart aches with encouragement right now. For the praying friend who waits patiently for her best friend to awaken from her deep sleep. For the sister who just buried her mother a day ago. For the person struggling with a new diagnosis of pain. For the mother and father trying not to intervene on the process God is taking their child through.

I think on my talks with God when my own best friend was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I badly needed His perspective.

Accepting God’s will might pain us at times, but I truly can offer no better alternative.

Be a support today, smile, encourage, pray, give, be there, listen, hug and give an I love you. It makes a difference πŸ™‚

Blessings

JC

 
16 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Love

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Abstinence…..It’s Worth the Wait!!

Today my husband and I celebrate our first wedding anniversary; and let me say that the year has flown by! πŸ™‚ I reminisce to when we were dating. Being a single christian is a challenge for so many. It was a challenge for me. I remember when the conviction became strong because I was singing on the Praise team and sleeping with my husband (then boyfriend). The decision to become abstinent was not an easy one. It was not the popular decision and at that time marriage was no where in the future. I had to stand on what the word of God said regardless of what my flesh said.

I remember to this day when I told him that God was convicting me andΒ we should stop having sex. I really didn’t know what his reaction would be. He was raised the same way but he said he wasn’t as convicted as I was. After thinking it over for three days (three of the longest days of my life), he said “I am not as convicted as you are but what we have is valuable and for me to ask you to change your mind is to ask you to choose me over God and I can’t ask you to do that”…..God had already said he was a keeper πŸ™‚

The first year was challenging, we had one slip up. I realized that I had to surrender fully to this decision and focus. So I buckled down…the flesh is a beast if you don’t put some boundaries and parameters in place. That meant no kissing, no romance novels, no sleeping over, staying away from certain movies etc.

For two years before we got married, we remained abstinent. Our love and friendship deepened and I realize that this is what God intended the single/marriage process to be about. If your relationship is built on God, love, trust, respect and friendship,…then sex is just the icing on the cake.Jackie and Scott 15

Within those two years I taught the youth at my church. This held me even more accountable. I didn’t want to taint my testimony of the change God was working in me, neither did I want to be a hypocrite before them. We even started purity sessions with them; ‘true love waits’.

Jackie and Scott 1Well my husband surprised me with a beautiful diamond ringΒ on Christmas eve of 2011 πŸ™‚ It was worth the wait.I am typically laid back and didn’t want to make a big deal. But then I realized that so many of my brothers and sisters struggle in this area and it’s worth celebrating when we take a stand for God and God comes through (so many times the negative things get highlighted). It is worth the wait…and when we take a stand for God, He will always take a stand for us.

Christmas Eve engagement surprise :)

Christmas Eve engagement surprise πŸ™‚

This post is littered with photos taken through out my wedding process. I love photos!! My husband is not a big photo guy, so I used our free engagement shoot and the girls and I did a 70’s themed shoot. We had a blast πŸ™‚

70's photo shoot

70’s photo shoot

Photo shoot 1Photo shoot 4WeddingGod is awesome, my marriage is a blessing, God didn’t just give me the person that I needed, He gave me the person that I wanted as well. It’s truly a blessing. And I realize that the more I surrender to God the better my marriage is. I pray that God will enable me to continue to be his ‘good’ thing.

When we take a stand for God, He will take a stand for us πŸ™‚

Happy Anniversary to my forever guy, I love you. β™₯

 
55 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2013 in Love

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
LΓ­onel Lived.

πŸ™πŸΎ LΓ­onel was Strong, He Prospered and He is now in Perfect Health πŸ™πŸΎ

theintrovertaspect

Just an introvert surviving in a world of extroverts.

Beautiful Words

Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.

Untold Stories

A Skewed Glimpse of the World

Storing Hope

Stories about love to restore hope in people's hearts

Oyinda Honey

Faith +Life+ Style

Being Made Whole, INChrist !!!

1 Thessalonians 5:23

Making memories

inesemjphotography

badsphotoblog

The blog of Bryan Davis Photography

Sheri Lawrence de Grom

From the literary and legislative trenches.

Bring Bread

For the Spiritually Hungry

Faith, Hope, Love, Serve | Shine Your Light

There is something inside me that has made me new and set me free

Mihran Kalaydjian's Official Blog

Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s. Billy Wilder

Darla McDavid

Writer | Stories about family, friends, goodness, and God

Uplifting Christ

Safe with Jesus

In Flow with Otto

Creativity is within us all

WOMEN'S WINDOW

Poetry, Christian Devotionals, Recipes, Articles, Bible Studies, Thoughts and Prayers

Heather C. King - Room to Breathe

"He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul" Psalm 62:1-2 (MSG).

Kitties + Couture

A San Francisco Fashion Blog

Climbing Out Of The Well

Life of a Recovering Alcoholic, Food Addict, Schizoaffective, Complex-PTSD'er, Child Abuse Survivor, Christian who also follows A.C.I.M.

Uprooted Magnolia

I am a freelance Photographer born and raised in the Southeast. I have uprooted my life in Macon Georgia for a new life as an unlikely cowgirl in love with a handsome cowboy in Wyoming. I hope you enjoy my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming.

Faith Love n Desire

Only Jesus is your best friend....

Proverbs Way

Spreading faith, hope, and love, one word at a time

True Beauty Ministries

"You are beautiful in His sight"

osarobohenry

Just another WordPress.com site

Life In My Tin Can

Places in the heart

%d bloggers like this: