Snow Gifts

Good morning from snowy Missouri!  Last night we went to bed and the snow was coming down hard.

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This morning we woke to this.

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Aren’t God’s gifts wonderful? :)

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gifts!  2 Corinthians 9:15

Have a blessed Sunday!

Terri

 

Instead of Panicking About it, Talk to God About it!

2 Corinthians 129

Have you ever found yourself feeling completely overwhelmed by what God has asked you to do?

Do you feel not big enough, strong enough, or smart enough?

Sometimes the tasks God puts in front of us seem huge and very overwhelming.  They may seem way bigger than us and that’s because they ARE way bigger than us!

Our God is BIG and He does BIG things! And guess what? Sometimes He uses people like us to help Him do them!

Still feeling overwhelmed and unequipped?

I know that overwhelmed and unequipped feeling all to well. Over the past few years I have felt it way more times than I would like to have felt it, but something I have learned is you don’t have to feel that way.

Because if God asks you to do something he will equip you to do it.

So instead of panicking about it, talk to God about it!

Let us come boldly to the throne of our Gracious God. There we will receive His mercy and we will find Grace to help us when we need it most.  Hebrews 4:16

He will help us. He knows what we need and when we need it. All we have to do is ask!  Just ask Him to help you and then breathe His peace in. When you give all that nervousness and panic to your Father, you will feel His strength flow through you equipping you for the job He has asked you to do.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

If it is something God asked you to do then trust in Him that it will be done.

Do you have something bigger than you weighing you down today? Remember your God is Huge!

With man this is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible.  Matthew 19:26

Have a blessed day,

Terri

God is Everywhere

DR-Blogger-Badge-160x300I told you all that this week I would be sharing posts from the Compassion Bloggers Dominican Republic trip.  It seems like lately I have a whole lot of stuff going on and I haven’t had much time to write or to get over and read many of my favorite blogs.  I finally sat down to write last night but couldn’t write because last night I had panic about my eyesight again.  Over the past few days I seem to have developed a glow around the blind spot in my eye.  Every since I had the retinal vein occlusion 4 years ago I’ve had a blind spot that I can’t see with both eyes open.  But last night there it was, a glowing ring around the blind spot.

Once the panic set in and I found my self praying for God to just help me go back to the way it used to be. Back to the way it used to be before I had the eye issues, back to the way it was when I didn’t notice my eyes much or even think of them at all.

Right in the middle of my prayer I realized that will never be possible again, because things are different now. Before the eye issues I just woke up every day never paying to much thought to my eyesight but nowadays the minute I open my eyes in the morning I immediately check to see that I still can see and then I say a prayer of thanks because nowadays I am so grateful for my eyesight,  which is something I never thought about until I lost part of it.

Four years ago I went to bed seeing normal and woke up in the morning with a blind spot in my eye.  Just like that…I went to bed fine and I woke up not fine. We just never know what is waiting around the bend for us.

Nothing on this earth is guaranteed except for God.

When we go to bed God is here and when we wake up He is still here. No matter what, God is always here. I am not really sure what my eyesight has to do with the Compassion Bloggers in the Dominican Republic. Maybe it’s the fact that I could have been born there instead of here and life just looks so extremely hard there. Sometimes I think my life is hard here but then as I have followed along with the Compassion bloggers stories this week, some I read in anguish because of the hardships they have seen there. But something I have noticed is though they have seen hardship they all also have seen something else. GOD… God is there in the Dominican Republic and somehow in the middle of it all , even in the anguish,  there is hope to be found. No matter where we live we never know what is around the bend for us and  nothing is guaranteed except for God AND he is the source of our hope.

At the beginning of the blogger trip I had planned that I would share a post a day but there are just to many posts that are so good I can’t seem to decide on which ones to share,  so today I am sharing a link to all the posts so that you can read every single one of them if you’d like.–> Compassion Bloggers in Dominican Republic. I am going to warn you to get the box of tissues out before you start reading!

Before I leave I have one more thing I want to share with you today. Compassion has set up a special page that shows the children who are sponsored from the blog posts, tweets, Facebook, Pinterest etc. during this trip. If you would like to see the children who now have new sponsors click the link below.  So far 133 children have new sponsors! Yay!

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Click here to see the children who now have new sponsors!

 

 

 

 

When I read a ‘Lump in My Throat” It Put a Lump In My Throat

Hi everyone! This week on the blog we are following a group of bloggers who are traveling with Compassion International in the Dominican Republic. Today I am sharing a post by Lisa and Stephen Leonard.  If you ever wonder if child sponsorship works then this is the post for you.

The title of the post today is “the lump in my throat” and I will warn you when you finish reading it you will have a lump in your throat.

The Lump in My Throat – by Lisa and Stephen Leonard

Today we visited with Josefina and her daughter, Hilde. They invited us into their freshly painted home with wall patched together with brick, found wood and cardboard. Their entire home is smaller than a typical bedroom in the US.

photo courtesy of Lisa Leornard Blog

photo courtesy of Lisa Leornard Blog


While I’m here in the DR, I want to learn first hand how Compassion is impacting lives. I want the mothers to tell me how life is different now that their child has a sponsor.

Continue reading at –> Lisa Leonard Designs

I hope it blesses you like it did me, see you tomorrow!

Terri

If you would like to follow along click this picture and it will take you to all of the blogger’s posts DR-Blogger-Badge-160x300

God With Us

 

DR-Blogger-Badge-160x300“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23

They have arrived! Today the Compassion bloggers have arrived in the Dominican Republic and as promised I will be posting some of their blog posts.

Though I am not on the trip with them I almost feel as if I am still somehow going to be a part of their adventure.

When I saw their picture this morning it brought tears to my eyes.  I know that sounds crazy and I can’t really place my finger on what it is that makes me want to cry when I see them or why I want to cry as I type this post.

(photo courtesy of Compassion international)

Could it be because I have been in the Dominican Republic several times myself and the people who live there are still close to my heart?

Or could it be that familiar van in the background reminds me of my trip with Compassion to Haiti and I know they are getting ready to embark on a journey of a life time?

Bonnie said in her post, “I’m afraid I’ll cry so hard. And I don’t want to.”  As I read her words I found myself once again holding back tears because I truly know that feeling.

The feeling of trying to hold back tears of heartbreak because what you just saw makes you want to roll yourself up in a ball and just make the world go away.

And then there are the other tears, the ones that spring forth because just when you think all hope is lost, what you see or feel causes your heart to swell so full of joy that it pours out from your eyes.

I am excited to follow along with these bloggers and I just can’t wait to see what God has in store for them!

As I am writing this, my memory goes back to a bus ride I was on in the Dominican Republic four years ago.  I was a fairly new Christian at that time and still struggling with who God wanted me to be.  As I sat on the bus that day I was thinking about God and my thoughts were full of doubt and fear.  As I sat there deep in thought a young Dominican man said hello to me.  I returned his hello back and he reached out his hand to shake mine.  As I placed my hand in his he told me his name was Immanuel… at the same time he said his name the words “God with us” came to my mind and I said them out loud.  Just as the words left my lips I realized that at the exact same time I said them he had said them simultaneously with me.  At that moment I realized that God had set up our meeting.  I also knew at that very moment that God was with me and that he had always been with me.  Today as this Group of bloggers head out on their adventure in the Dominican Republic God is with them too!

Today we begin this adventure along with them, I can’t wait to see what God has planned!

DR-Blogger-Badge-160x300Follow along by clicking this link

What is one thing Compassion Bloggers Have in Common?

Have a wonderful day!

Terri

This is My Love Story, What’s Yours?

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Do you believe in Love at first sight?? I do and this is why…

In 1981 I was a 17 years old and in 11th grade in high school. I had just gotten a part time job after school working in a purse factory. The factory had just started an evening shift so every day they were hiring more new people.  One evening as I was working I saw my boss walking into our department with another new guy which was a pretty normal occurrence but today something felt different.  As they walked by my station I felt instantly curious about the new guy and after they went by I just couldn’t stop thinking about the new guy.

I spent the next hour trying to peak at the new guy without him seeing me looking. For some reason I just could not focus on my job any longer and then suddenly this crazy notion came into my head to make up some lame question to ask my boss just so I could… I am not sure what….see the new guy closer?… Get him to notice me?… Just go stand by him? I really am not sure what my motive was but back then I was a pretty shy girl so this was not something I would have normally done.  Eventually I mustered up my courage and went over to where they were working.  The rest is a bit of a blur,  I remember asking my question, turning about five different shades of red and walking back to my station feeling rather silly.

For the next couple of weeks I said hi to the new guy in passing and he said hi back to me but that was really the extent of it.  I wasn’t sure if he even noticed me at all like I noticed him.

I usually got off work at 10:30 pm and the new guy would get off several hours after I did. One night after work as I was heading across the parking lot to my car a guy that I had had a bad experience with, who was now stalking me (another story for another day) stepped out of the shadows and grabbed me by the arm. I was trying to pull away from him just as I heard someone say “Hey leave her alone!”  Stalker guy immediately let go and I stood there kind of cowering behind … you guessed it… The new guy at work .

The new guy stood there like my night in shining armor protecting me until the stalker guy left. New guy then walked me to my car and then said he had to go home and that he had been leaving work early that night  because he was not feeling well.  He turned to walk away but then he stopped, turned back and asked me if I would like to go ‘party’ sometime.  I still remember  the sound of his voice and the look of shyness on his face as he asked me. I could tell he was a very sweet guy and  I was not sure if party meant a date but hey I was happy he asked me to go anywhere with him!  A week later we ‘Partied’ sat and talked for hours.  After that date we began ‘partying’ every chance we could and a few short months later we were married.  Looking back today I see that back then we were a just couple of kids and way to young to get married, but we were in love and to us that is all that mattered.

As I sit here today I realize that no matter how young we were it was meant to be. This year is our 33rd Valentine’s Day together and  I still enjoy ‘partying’  with the new guy after all these years. Over the years we have had a few rough times but we have mostly good times and our love has now grown even stronger.  We have now added 3 kids and 3 grand-kids to our lives and it has been a really good life. As I look back over my life with the Mark (new guy’s name is Mark) this Valentine’s Day and I can see that God orchestrated it all.  I am thankful for my husband and so blessed to be sharing this life with him.

In the beginning of this post I asked the question. “Do you believe in love at first sight? to which I answered with “I do.”

Now it’s your turn.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

What’s your love story?  I’d love to hear it, post your story in the comment section below or  if you have posted your love story on your blog share your link.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

T

Compassion Bloggers In The Dominican Republic

Next week a group of Compassion Bloggers will be traveling to the Dominican Republic.

I have a child that I sponsor who lives in the Dominican Republic so this really is exciting for me to get to follow along on their trip and I am looking forward to finding out more about where she lives, her culture and what Compassion is doing in her country.

This is Walkiris :)walkiris

Sponsoring her has been such a huge blessing in my life that I never expected but am so thankful I received .

Next week I will be sharing several of blog posts from the blogger trip and today I am sharing a post with you from Compassion International’s blog that is full of great Info about the Dominican Republic.

I hope you enjoy…

Dios, Patria, Libertad: An Intro to the Dominican Republic

With a team of Compassion Bloggers heading to the Dominican Republic next week, we thought it’d be a great time to learn more about the beautiful island country, its customs and its people before you experience it with the bloggers. So to buff up your knowledge of the Dominican Republic and our work there, here are some great resources for you.

Dominican Republic Boat Boy

Courtesy of Compassion International: continue reading ->  http://blog.compassion.com/dios-patria-libertad-intro-dominican-republic/#ixzz3RXKCeZLI

Have a wonderful Thursday! :)

T

Christmas Time is My Favorite Season Because We Give Many Hugs to Each Other

ericka letter 2

A few days ago I received a letter from my Compassion sponsor child Ericka. In her letter she wrote -“Christmas time is my favorite season because we give many hugs to each other.”

Ericka didn’t say Christmas time was her favorite season because of what she got for Christmas, she said it was her favorite season because of what they gave to each other… many Hugs.

I give and receive hugs all the time and I never really thought much about the impact of a hug until Ericka’s letter.  Her letter has had me thinking about hugs all week and how a hug is something that seems rather small but really is something quite big.

We hug when we’re happy to see one another, we hug when we say hello and goodbye. We hug to say thank you, we hug to say I am sorry or I care. Hugs can be given away in many different forms ranging anywhere from a quick squeeze to holding one another for a long period of time. Nowadays a hug can even be given in an email like this >:D<

A hug shows love and it says “I care about you.”  When a hug is given away it can help someone who is having a bad day to begin to have a better day.

A hug is a gift that doesn’t cost us a thing. Hugs are free, and not only are they free but we can give away as many hugs as we want to give away and we will never run out.

In Ericka’s family they give each other many hugs at Christmas time. Her family doesn’t have much money, actually Ericka’s family lives in extreme poverty.  She writes further down in her letter that they like to share presents at Christmas. She did not write that they like to ‘get’ presents, she wrote they like to ‘share’ presents. That statement caused me to think even more about the gift of a hug, no matter how little money we have we can always afford to give someone the gift of a hug. In Ericka’s case her letter reads to me that she is happy and very content with what she has.  Hugs make her happy and she loves to give them away.  Sometimes when I read the letters I receive from my sponsor children it makes me see where true wealth really is.  Wealth is not in what we get, it’s in what we give, and sometimes the things that are free are really what is worth the most.  

Have you given someone the gift of hug today?

Have a great day!

T

P.S. When you leave today why not check out the link below and find out how you can help put an end to extreme poverty.

 

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Why Did I Doubt?

Matthew 14:25-33

Five years ago this month, on January 22, 2010 my father in-law passed away.  That was the day I realized God was real and I began searching for more information about Him. A few months later I gave my life to Jesus.

About a year after I became a Christian I started having health problem after health problem.  Over the past few years I have had a bit of everything…heart issues, a problem with my esophagus, 4 knee surgeries, a hysterectomy and some very serious eye issues.  January of 2011 I had a blood clot in my right eye and at one point I was almost totally blind in that eye.  That was eventually healed I now have most of the vision back in that eye and what is missing I do not notice with both eyes open.  After that healed a few months later other eye problems started and over the past 4 years I have had a lot of eye issues. When one thing heals something else usually starts.

This Past September I had a macular hole in my left eye a few days after the Doctor diagnosed it I started seeing better suddenly one day and when I went back to see the doctor I found out that it had just just vanished… healed all by itself by God, surprising my doctor. I was not surprised it had healed because God told me as I lay on a beach that it would be alright. (See  Leaving Panic Behind Under Palapa #39 ). I did not know at that time if alright meant that He would heal my eye or that I would go blind but I still knew no matter what the outcome it was going to be alright.  By this point in my life I had realized that no matter what has happened over the past few years God has always been there for me showing me that he has everything under control. when He said it would be alright I fully had peace and I believed and trusted Him.

Most of my life before God I never really trusted anyone to much.  When I was a kid we moved all the time and people were not so nice to me.  I spent my childhood building up a lot of walls of protection. I didn’t really plan to be that way or realize it at the time but now looking back I can see it well.

When Jesus came into my life those barrier walls gradually started crumbling down, but I will admit I still struggle with the trust thing at times.

By now I fully know what God is capable of and not just because of the miracles he has brought about in my own life.  The complexity of life itself, and things like the roar of the ocean, a sunrise or a sunset is proof enough that He is fully in control.

So now after telling you how much I trust God I am going to tell you how I recently failed at trusting God…..

Shortly after the macular hole in my eye was healed by God I was asked to be the missions chair at my church. To me that felt like something huge and scary but I prayed about it and I accepted the position knowing fully that it was what God wanted me to do.  Even though it felt big and pretty scary I still felt confident that if God gave me the job that He was going to lead me in it.  When I said yes to the job I was truly at peace about it.

Shorty after I accepted some things happened that totally blew my confidence out of the water.  There were few things that were said to me that left me feeling like maybe I was off track or did not hear God correctly.  I prayed and prayed about it and eventually I thought I had put it away, I was good for a few weeks but then insecurity started creeping back in.  I  went back and forth for several weeks feeling as if I was caught in a whirl wind.  I would feel like it was okay and then something would happen and I would go back down again.

Things kept running through my head like – ‘what do I think I am doing being head of missions?’ ‘I still feel like I barely know my Bible, maybe I should go learn more about God first,’ ‘I am just too new at this God thing to be doing anything like this when there are so many more people in my church who probably would be better for the job,’ ‘people won’t agree with or believe that the ideas God puts in my head are what what he wants me to do,’ you name it and I am sure it crossed my mind.

Thankfully this past Friday things suddenly changed….

I am the person at our church that puts together the slides for our church’s service each week.   This past week I was working on the sermon slides for the church service and the sermon was titled ‘Why Did You Doubt?’  The scripture used was Matthew 14:25-33.

Matthew 14:25-33

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,”they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

As I read the scripture suddenly all of the past weeks came rushing in and I realized that I have been behaving like Peter. In the beginning I had my eyes focused on Jesus as I stepped out of the boat to accept the missions position, but somewhere along the line I had let a few things somebody said shake my confidence and then I had allowed lies to started pouring in, eventually filling me with insecurity and fear and I now I was sinking.

There I was sitting in the sanctuary of my church working on sermon slides and suddenly it was like Jesus just reached out his hand and caught me saying “hey T, I’ve been here all along guiding you! Why did you take your eyes off of me? Why did you doubt?”

Whoa…After all I have been through these past 4 years with God showing me time and time again he is in charge, showing me his power, and his peace,  I know these things and yet I had doubted! How had I let this happen?!

Suddenly it was like a lightning bolt went off in my head and I was like I was filled with some sort of great knowledge and then peace washed over me.  My confidence was back again. Not confidence in me but confidence that because God brought me to this and it is HIS will, He has this all under control.  All I have to do is follow where he leads and He will make sure His plan happens.

When Sunday finally came around and my pastor gave his sermon, as I was sitting there in the audience listening I realized I was getting the same sermon again that God had given me on Friday. It was like God was reminding me once again, “I got this T”

I wonder how many times I will have to hear this same sermon before I stop doing things like this. Peter saw Jesus feed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and yet he still doubted! I have read this before and thought how could he do that??? But now that the ball is in my own court I did exactly the same thing, God healed my eye of a macular hole without the doctor doing a thing and yet I still had doubted!

Looking back over the past five years I realize that God has totally changed my life.  I never would have believed this life I live right now would be my life if someone had tried to tell me five years ago, just that fact alone is so much proof of what God can do.

Five years ago I was pretty mixed up messed up person, I can’t really say that I will ever have it all together as long as I live on this earth, but today I do have Jesus along as my guide and I do feel as if I have finally reached the right path in life and as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus and let Him be my guide.

Do you feel as if you are sinking today?  I think we all find from time to time we feel as if we are sinking. I do know that Jesus has the power to keep us above the things that make us feel as if we are sinking.

But if we still find ourselves beginning to go down all we have to do is put our eyes on Him and He will catch us and pull us back up.

My prayer today…

Dear Lord,

Please take from me anything that takes my eyes off of you.  I know that I can boldly walk wherever you may lead, confident in the fact that as long as my eyes stay focused on you, you will keep me from sinking.   I pray this prayer to you today not just for me, but also for anyone else who may feel as if they are sinking. Please catch them and lift them up.

Thank you Father for all that you do, Amen.

Love, T

The Hope In Haiti

Hi and Happy Friday!

I am excited to share with you that I am blogging over at Compassion International‘s blog today. Check it out here – The Hope in Haiti .

Have a great day!

Terri