Posted by: simplyelizabeth | March 15, 2016

Today I Am Not Enough

I saw this as a post on Facebook from a sweet mama friend.  I asked if she would let me share and she agreed.  (Thank you. :))She stated the following: I am mostly grateful for what I have and I like to think I never expect more than I need.  Today I am not enough.  I need to be more so I can finish laundry, grocery shop, prepare meals, help with homework, referee fights, explain why a fit doesn’t change the answer to yes, try to organize the mess a house becomes and still show them I love them.  Lord please help me teach them to be a part of the solution or make me more. Amen.

Amen indeed.

I believe it’s the same cry for many of us – be it mother, father, husband, wife, daughter or son.

Today I am not enough.

Oh boy does this resonate deep within me to the core of my soul.

Today I am not enough.

Today I am not enough for my child that needs more attention than I have available.  Today I am not enough for another child that needs to know perfection is nothing we can accomplish on this Earth and that’s OK.  Today I am not enough for yet another one to help with school work and repeated assurance that they are smart enough, good enough.  Today I am not enough for my mama who relies on me for some of her daily needs and emotional support

.  Today I am not enough for my husband……….today I am not enough.

This all sounds so depressing, I know.  However, it is at this point, when we know we are not enough, that we can actually rejoice and revel in freedom.  Yes, I said freedom.

See, the truth is we are never, ever enough.  We were not meant to be enough.  When we come to that understanding, there is freedom like no other.  I struggle with it on a daily basis my sisters.  I whine about, compare myself to others that are better than I, complain, get depressed and woe is me with the best of them.  Why am I not enough?  Why is _____________ (fill in the blank of that woman you know that has a pristine house, children and husband that adores her) able to do it and I’m not?

Why? Why? Why?  Why can I be enough?

Hang with me.

This is going to be Earth shattering.

God made us that way.  Yes he did.  He made us incomplete beings.

I’m sure some of you are saying, “Oh Elizabeth, please!  He made us in his perfect image.  Where are you going to church?  What Bible are you reading?”

Raise your hand if you said it.  Uh huh.  I thought so.

God made us in a way that only he can complete us.  On our own, we will never be enough.  We were never meant to carry the burdens we do on a daily basis.  We were meant to give them to the Lord for Him to bear.  So why don’t we?

I believe we are all afflicted with brain damage.  Truly, we are.  And knowing is the first step to recovery……right?

We are all looking to be saved from something.  We are all looking to feel complete.  We are all looking for help.  God has made a way for us in all these things through Jesus.

When you’re not enough, Jesus is.

Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)  Jesus said his yoke is easy. (Matthew 11:30) Jesus said He is the bread of life and no one that comes to him shall thirst.(John 6:35)

When you’re not enough………you don’t have to be.

What a relief.

Go share the good news!

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

 

 

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | January 11, 2016

What Is Right

So there I was watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when I was struck with the truth.  It’s truth I’ve known before, but it was a fresh perspective.  I know it sounds corny, but it hit me and I’m still mulling it around in my mind.  Divine words of wisdom from the wizard Dumbledore.

Poo poo me if you like, but I firmly believe that while all divine inspiration comes from God, God can divinely inspire or speak to us through means other than the Bible.  God drew my attention to the words that Professor Dumbledore spoke to Harry at the end of the movie.  He said, “Harry, dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is right and what is easy.”

In a nut shell, I thought, “Wow.”  Choose between what is right, and what is easy.  So simple, yet so profound.

Choose between what is right and what is easy.  We usually talk about right and wrong, but I think Dumbledore hit the mark when he said right and easy.

Yes, our Lord tells us his yoke is easy, but what is not easy is letting go of our burdens.  This world we live in tells us to pull ourselves up by our boot straps and be self-sufficient.  This world tells us that is admirable and makes us successful.  Letting go is hard. Right is rarely easy. Can I get an Amen?

Right is rising up in prayer for someone who has wounded you and your family.  Right is hard.

Easy is holding a what you consider to be a justified grudge against the offender.

Right is standing alone for your convictions in this world where values are misplaced. Right is sometimes lonely.

Easy is joining the crowd so you can feel like you belong.

Right is doing your laundry instead of watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the 3rd time.  Right is, sometimes no fun at all, but saves you headache and hassle down the road.

Easy is sitting in bed watching a movie, drinking Pepsi and eating Taquitos because laundry sounds like no fun and lots of work.  What do you mean you need clean underwear and socks?

I think you get it.  I just wanted to share my perspective.  Thank you for your support.🙂

Oh!  And we’ll discuss the dark times lying ahead of us another time.

OK, I’m done now.

Go choose right, not easy.

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

 

 

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | November 11, 2015

It Could Have Been Yesterday Morning

Happy Veteran’s Day to all who served and are currently serving!  I have a long, proud line of service men in my family that served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War & Vietnam.  They are from the Marines, Army and Navy.

My dad was a Navy man.  Enlisting in the Navy enabled him to go to college.  It helped him become the man he was.  And that was a very, very good man.  Today has meaning to me because of that and because it will forever be linked with the anniversary of his death.

It really feels like it could have been yesterday morning that I spoke with him about a special gift he was having made for Katie. He was so excited about it.  I loved listening to him talk about it knowing the thought that went into it.  We chatted about what he was going to do that day and I told him about mine.  Before we hung up we said I love you to each other and we’d talk more later.

That was it.  It was normal, but it would turn out to be not so normal.

Later that evening I would get another phone call telling me that he was really sick and I needed to meet Mama at the hospital.

I went knowing this would not be a good trip.  The first  faces I saw confirmed my feelings.  You were gone and that was it.

That was nineteen years ago and I remember every detail of that day and night like it happened yesterday.

I don’t want to be a downer today.  I truly feel blessed by the time I had with my dad.

I was truly blessed.

And I’m thankful.

He shared so much love.  My heavenly father gave me an earthly father to teach me what unconditional love truly looks like.

Daddy left me with so many great memories.  He was a talker and a thinker.  We had some of the best conversations about life.

He liked to have fun and taught me that people are more important than things.

He like to champion people and encourage them.  His presence was not bigger than life, but he made you feel like there was nothing more important to him than what you had to say at that moment.  That made him hugely influential.  He was a cheerleader.  He was certainly my biggest cheerleader in life.

You would think after nineteen years the sting would be gone.  It is not.  There are many more good days than bad, but I still miss him terribly.  I miss his smile and just talking to him.  I miss his hugs.  He had really good, wrap his arms around you tight, I mean it, hugs.  I miss sharing things with him.  I miss his perspective on life, although I carry it with me in my heart.  I just miss his physical presence.

I am sorry that he missed seeing Katie grow up and that he never knew the boys.  He would have been so proud of them all.  He would have adored that Katie is “standing on her own two feet”, as he would have said, and becoming a 3D art major.  She is certainly not “following the crowd”.  He would have loved that Adam has artistic talent and he would have yelled louder than I do to see him run cross country and track.  He would have loved Aaron’s laugh and sense of humor as well as watching him play basketball.  He would have been so proud of Seth joining Boy Scouts and been right in the middle of helping him achieve badges.  He would have loved it all.  I am sorry that my kiddos missed out on him in their lives.

As I said before, I’m blessed and thankful.  What I’m most thankful for is that I know I will someday see him again.  I believe it with all my heart.  Right after I move on from this earth someday and see Jesus, I’m going to see my Daddy again.  I’m fairly certain I’ll see Jesus first.😉

The greatest gift he gave me was sharing his faith.  He was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  I could tell you some stories and I may someday.  But God is not looking for perfection.  He’s looking at our heart.  My dad knew that and shared it.

Today I try not to dwell on the fact that he is gone, but on the fact that he was here and the good things that were here because of him.

So go thank a vet, give thanks for a vet that’s gone on and go hug your parents.🙂

Hugs & Blessings,

Elizabeth

 

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | October 28, 2015

So, How Do You Conquer It?

What is it you ask? It is anything that ties you up, binds you and generally just stops you in your tracks.  It keeps you from moving forward.  It is that thing that drags you down.  It could be a person in your life or a circumstance you are in. It is that little voice that tells you to forget being that person God has called you to be. It distracts you from the work your Father has for you. It makes you think the abundant life is impossible.  It tells you your life will never change.  It wants you to get stuck in the mired muck of day to day  events.  It is a lie from the enemy.

All of us have it.  My it is different than yours, I’m sure.  It may have been living with you for so long that you don’t even recognize it for what it is.  It may have attached itself to you and spilled over into your family and work.

How do you slay it?  Pray fervently.  Isn’t fervently a great word!   I don’t know about you, but when I break down and cry out to my Father, I feel a burden lifted.  I may need to return to prayer the very next hour, maybe next minute, but I know He will lift it again.  Even if I cannot articulate it, the Holy Spirit will intercede for  me.  Holy Spirit, come fill me.

Hebrews 11:1 says “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”  I have this on a chalk board in my living room and saw it as I left my house this morning.  I see this everyday, but today it struck me.  It is not about what we see, it is about what we don’t see.  When we pray, we are reaching out to things unseen, but our faith is steadfast and sure that He is there.  What really matters is not the circumstance that our eyes see, but what we know to be true in the depths of our soul and praying fervently to Him who we do not see in this earthly realm.  We don’t need to see Him to feel his presence.  We know is is with us always because the Bible tells us so.

Amen?

Amen!

Hugs & Blessings,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | October 12, 2015

Happy 13th Birthday Aaron!

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I love this kid! The one in the black shirt with glasses.  He’s an awesome kid!

I love all my kids, but since it’s his birthday today, I’m going to tell you what is special about him.

This boy is Joy.  I capitalized it because he truly is J-O-Y.

His laugh is contagious.  I have often referred to it as carbonated joy because it bubbles up from his soul.  I love his laugh!  Now there have been some that say he laughs too much or have even had the audacity to say it’s annoying, but I say those people are sorely lacking some things in their lives.  And Lord help them if they approach me about it because this mama just may turn into a bear.  At that point I cannot be held responsible for my actions, so it’s just best if you politely nod your head and agree with me. Do we understand each other?  OK, great!🙂

He is full of happiness and really good at looking on the bright side – especially when he is in a less than ideal situation.  When life hands him lemons, or when I do, he says, “It’s OK mom, really.”  He’s like the Staples EASY button.

He is clever and witty.  He’s really good at one liners.

He is comfortable in his own skin. How many of you can say you are comfortable in yours?  (I plead the 5th)

He is helpful and loves working with younger kiddos at church.

He is a comforter when he knows someone is upset.  He tries to joke to distract from what’s upsetting, but he’s good at listening too.  Well, I should qualify this.  If I’m watching a Hallmark movie and start to tear up, he’s ruthless.  To the rest of the world, he’s great.   “Mom, are you crying again?”  I always say no.  :)

He tries to see the other side of the story.  When life is unfair, as it often can be, we discuss what would make someone act ugly.  He gets it more than not.

His smile radiates and warms people within no less than a 5 block radius.

He has not totally outgrown me emotionally.  He’s not ashamed to show me affection. He will come up behind me, put his arms around me and call me tiny mama or little woman since he’s taller than me now. (I love anyone that calls me tiny!)

He encourages those around him with words of affirmation.

Please don’t think I’m trying to tell you I have a perfect child, because I don’t.  None of us do.  However, I do feel I have been abundantly blessed by him and just want to celebrate him!

Happy Birthday Aaron! I love you more!

Blessings & Hugs,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | September 25, 2015

Membership Has It’s Privileges!

Last Sunday Pastor Paul spoke about being a true family and I loved it!  I love my church family and I can’t say that enough. I Love My Church Family! It truly is my family.  We celebrate together, cry together, lift each other up and watch out for each other.

I’ve preached this myself, in my own way before. Paul may have taken notes from me……don’t laugh, it’s possible.  As an only brat, I mean only child, I’ve always desired siblings.  Some of you may question my sanity, but I truly desired an older brother and younger sister growing up. Yes I did.  (My mother did not desire for me to have either one of those. Apparently I was enough for her. You can decide if she thought I was perfect and you shouldn’t fool with perfection or if I was all she could handle. ;))Once I became a Christian, I realized I acquired a whole new family with more brothers and sisters than I could count.  How exciting! I became a part of something so much bigger than myself.  I was a part of the family of God. WooHoo!

So now what?  What do you do after you become a child of God? Is that all there is?

That is not all there is.  There is more.  So much more!  It’s not like joining an organization so it will look good on your resume.  It’s not fire insurance.  If that’s all you think there is, then you are missing out on a great adventure.  You’re missing out on the best that God has to offer.  Really you are. Please don’t miss out.

What is it that you may miss?  Being a member.  Being a part in more than name only.  Being an instrument of God.  Yes, that sounds dramatic, but it’s the truth.  I wouldn’t lie to you about this.  My weight, in a New York minute, but not this.  This is BIG!

I’m going to plea with you to attend the New Members luncheon after church this Sunday.  Come connect. Come be a part of something bigger than yourself.  Who doesn’t want to be a part of something great?  I know I do.  I know that God is moving in our church and I do not want to miss what he’s doing.  Do you?

Let me tell you a little bit about being a member of the body of Christ.  Whether you are a member at our church or another, you need to plug yourself in.

What good is a pretty lamp if it’s not plugged in?  It looks good, but it’s purpose is to shine light in the darkness – not to just look good.

What good is a gym membership if you don’t use the equipment or exercise programs?  It’s not.  I would love to tell you that you can become a lean, mean, toned machine by virtue of owning a membership, but it’s just not true.  (Don’t laugh, but I’ve tried.  I bet some of you have too)

Can you get clean laundry by simply owning a washer and dryer?  No you cannot.  Sooner or later, you’re going to run out of clean underwear.  (Um, I know this to be true too.)

These things only work if you use them.

I know what you’re thinking.  Work is a 4 letter word and why should you work at church.

The answer to this is what your mom and dad told you a long time ago.  Anything worth having is worth working for. You work to show the gift of Christ’s kingdom that you’ve been given by providing what the kids need in Sunday School, Children’s Worship, AWANA and VBS.   You work to provide what your brothers and sisters need by helping with Adult Sunday School classes, Women’s Ministry, Men’s Ministry, WMU and so much more.  It really isn’t about these programs.  It’s all about building His kingdom and reaching the world for Christ.

I hope to see you Sunday afternoon!

Blessings & Hugs,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | September 23, 2015

The Only Way To Fail Is To Quit Trying

Yep – I’m back at it.  This is yet another restart for me.  I’m feeling called.  I’d tell you how many times I’ve restarted, but I lost count.  (Please don’t scroll back through to count and tell me how many.)🙂  Thank you for your support.

I’ve been doing some soul searching.  Actually I do that a lot.  I think about what I need to do to get the results I day dream about, but then that’s about as far as I go.  To make the changes that I know need done, well, that would take work.  Lots of work.  I’d probably have to give up some shows in the evening which means I wouldn’t be able to plop on the couch after dinner. If I’ve been at work all day, don’t I deserve to do nothing in the evening?  Why can’t the dishes and laundry take care of themselves?   I’d also have to plan ahead, like more than 30 minutes ahead. This too would mean giving up some of my guilty pleasures.  What can I say?  My flesh is sinful and likes to indulge in what it considers pleasure.  Or is it?

I should tell you I’m a great starter, but a lousy finisher.  For years I’ve been searching for the answer.  I’ve had help and support from friends and family.  I have prayed for an instantaneous change to rid me of my weaknesses.  Boy have I prayed.  I have not been rescued from myself.  I have continued on in my lack of ……what is the word I’m looking for……..oh!!!! I know.  It’s discipline.  That thing I try to instill in my children.  I try to instill it in them, but it seems to evade me.  Hmmmmm.

Today is as good a day as any to start again.  I need to remind myself, and maybe you need reminded, His mercies are new every single day.  New Every Day.  That alone should be enough to encourage me to forge ahead.  Or as Nike says, Just Do It!

I have lived in a world where I seem to think I’m going to be inspired to do dishes, laundry, cleaning or yard work.

Yes, I’m that disillusioned.

Apparently, after 44 years and 7 months, I’ve found out I’m wrong.  Only people who need years of therapy are inspired to do these things, or so I’ve heard.

I know. It’s disappointing.   It’s like when you have to tell your mom she was right.  ;)

Anyway, I’m just doing it.

Do I think this is some earth shattering post I’m sharing with you?

No.

Do I think it’s going to change your life?

No.

I do think that this is a place to start though.  It’s with new mercies.  What more could I ask for?

And Amen.

Blessings & Hugs,

Elizabeth

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | April 18, 2012

The Safety Lock

Last night when we were discussing triggers and truths, there was a lot of truth that got to through to me.  I very often find myself in a place of feeling inadequate where my home, marriage, finances, children and myself are concerned.  (the indequacies are listed in no particular order)

Yes, my mind is a twisted battlefield.

My mind runs amuck with all the things I should have done, I should be doing and what I need to do yet am not.  When my mind is running amuck,  feelings of inadequacy begin to overwhelm me.  I then hear the enemy’s lies say, “Why bother trying.  It’s never going to be good enough.  Don’t even start because you will just fail – again – like you have so many times before.”  All the good things that God has “lavished” us with seem to be out of my reach because I can only hear the enemy and his lies. 

I am here to tell you NO MORE sister!  And I do mean NO MORE! There is power in the name of the Lord and His Word and I don’t need to fight because the battle has already been won. 

Did you catch that sisters?  The battle is already won!  WooHoo!!!  Pump it up!

Can I get a big AMEN!

Whew!  What a relief to know I need not exert unneccessary energy because I can simply call out to Jesus.  I’m sure you’ve noticed I have no problem with speaking or anything that has to do with conversation so calling out to Him should be like second nature to me. 

I now have a plan.  It involves a safety lock to keep the trigger from being pulled.  I’m going to have several safety locks.  I plan to keep several verses on my phone and in my purse and in my bathroom and anyplace else I may need them.  His Word will guide me in the direction He needs me to go.  It will also keep me from temptation by reminding me what is real. 

We all want to keep it real, right?

If we don’t arm ourselves with God’s Word, then we are like loaded guns with a hair-trigger.  You wouldn’t keep guns in your house without a safety lock (I hope) so don’t let yourself run around like a loose cannon.

Now go find some verses and make yourself safe.  Come back and share what speaks to you.  I think we will all have verses that speak to us depending on where we are in life and what He has in store for us. 

My testimony for today is that fresh Square Donuts were brought into my place of work.  I’ve walked by them several times and they seriously don’t interest me at all.  Praise God for that today. 

Seriously, Square Donuts are not easy to dismiss.  It’s truly a work of God.

AND Praise God that I found my rings in a pocket as I was doing laundry last night.🙂 God is soooo Good!

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | April 10, 2012

Interupted By Life

I really do intend to do good things.  I let an extra day off, Easter and a field trip derail me.  I don’t know why, but I find it hard to plug in when it’s not a work day. 

So anyway, I’ll be back at it. 

Today I will share with you that I’m so looking forward to getting together with my sisters tonight.  I am in need of positive woman time. 

I bet you think I’ve got some spectactular news or break thru to share.  Sorry.  I don’t. 

I have noticed that I’m being more conscious of what I put in my mouth.  I also now have an accountability partner.  She let me off the hook for Easter dinner.  Yay!

Yesterday, I fell a bit.  I started out strong, but ended weak.  The positive to this is that it brought me to my knees to ask for His strength, not mine.  (I haven’t shared this with my partner yet, so shhhhh. )

What did I allow to stear me off course?  A field trip with my 5th grade son and a ride home  with 3 boys and 2 other mama’s.  The mama’s were great and so was one of the boys.  The other two boys were not of this world.  They were completely in their own world.  They were almost like giggly girls.  It was crazy.  They had us all laughing so hard we were crying at some points.  We stopped and ate dinner and I knowingly ate things to sooth my soul for the moment, not the long run. 

Would anybody like me to save a seat on the short bus for them?

Well, I have today to do better.  I’m focusing more on calories than what I eat right now. 

Hope you all had a great Easter! I love it when we say, “He is Risen!” with the reply, “He is Risen Indeed!”  O What A Savior!

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

Posted by: simplyelizabeth | April 5, 2012

Sisters

Last night I did the day one study.  It was to read chapter 4 in the Made to Crave book.  I know we don’t all have the book, but after last week I decided it would benefit me to get it. 

I’m going to be honest, again, girls.  I can’t say that in this study I feel God is calling me to give up bread and sugar.  This is where Lysa felt  God was calling her to be more disciplined. She knew this was an area in her life she was holding back from her Heavenly Father.

However, I see several areas in my life that I feel are OK to be off limits.  Why should I think anything is my life is off limits to God?  Possibly it’s the brain damage I spoke of yesterday.  It is quite laughable to think any one of us presumes we have the right to possess something all our own when God owns it all – the good, the bad and the ugly.  It’s kind of like when my Adam told me awhile back that I wasn’t fair and he felt like I was trying to control his life. 

Ha ha ha Heeee hee hee hee Oooo oooo oooo MY GOODNESS!  Adorable, isn’t he?  His father and I informed him that was the way it was going to be for the next 10 years or so.  Poor guy. 

So can you relate to Adam?  I can. 

I  feel God is calling me to be self controlled and to be more disciplined in several areas of my life.  One of those areas is definitely my food intake.  Another is my TV time.  I would be ashamed to tell you how much time I devote to the boob tube.  It lets me check out of the mess that surrounds me in my house.  It’s an avoidance tool for me.  If I would turn to the Word and Him in prayer when I have these feelings, there is no doubt in my mind I would be the conqueror He says I already am.

Now, this next part was my favorite section in the chapter.  It was about accountability.  I most certainly need accountability.  We all do.  When I was successful with Weight Watchers 3 years ago, it was that accountability of having to weigh in front of someone.  It was also the accountability I felt to the group as a whole.  Surprisingly enough, I didn’t feel judged.  It was freeing to have to answer to someone for my actions, be they good or bad. 

We are all sisters in Christ and we were made to support one another.  I’ve always been drawn to the fact that I have brothers and sisters in Christ.  I think because I’m an only brat and desired siblings.  After I became a Christian, I didn’t have to desire them anymore. 

I’m going to challenge you, if you have not already, to pick a sister, or a brother, and ask them to be your accountability partner in this journey that the Lord is leading.  You may need more than one.  Lysa had one that had gone on the journey before her and one that was traveling the same road with her at the same time.  Don’t be afraid to enlist your sisters to pray for you and lift you up.  Put out the call and I am sure it will be answered.  I know I will answer!

Decide what your plan is and put out a plea.  Each of our plans will be different, but it doesn’t matter.  We’re all in it together. 

I loved the conversation yesterday!  Comments make my heart sing.🙂

See you tomorrow!  I pray the Holy Spirit rain down on you today and bless you in ways you never thought possible. 

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

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