HIStory: What’s Your Favorite Part of Your Day (Part 4)

As they are talking, another gentleman and I strike up a short conversation. His order gets called up, so he had to go mid-conversation.

Simultaneously, as we had been talking, another man had caught my eye. He was older, and he had a cane. The younger gentleman I was sitting next to offered his seat, but the older one declined. He waited until the seat became available and plopped down next to me.

By then, most people had cleared out. The older gentleman with the cane very clearly knew the owner. They made jabs at each other back and forth, laughing, and then in between, he would make conversation with me.

During this time, I got to learn a little about the gentleman with the cane, how he had known the owner’s father. But the owner’s father had passed away a month before. He had been sick for a long time. He, himself, had known the owner for a long time.

As we were talking, I get a message from the customer:

“Thank you for being patient. It’s is appreciated and your tip will reflect that.”

“It is my pleasure. Thank you, sir”

As I was telling my husband this story, my eyes welled up…and my voice broke.

Here I was worried about our situation. I was worried and anxious. I, additionally-in my eyes, messed up by canceling this guy’s order. Yet, I got the opportunity to redeem it, and while I waited I got to strike up two conversations. One of them being just the sweetest of conversations. And, I got to bless this man by taking his order to him while he had to work.

And God showed up in so many ways that day.

It is days like that day, that I am glad we have the habit of asking each about our days. I am glad that I got to share what happened in the sweetest moment of that day.

Because on a day where I had a hard time only thinking about myself, and my problems, God opened my eyes. He helped me to slow down, that day. To take time to connect with other people, listen to their stories, and learn about them.

And it’s these stories..the ones that start off with a “me mindset”, that move to an “others mindset”, and eventually the glory goes to a “God mindset”. He gets the focus off of me, back on others and Him…and reminds me that there’s a bigger picture. There’s a story greater than myself. Greater than I could ever imagine or comprehend. A love story. A God story. It’s HISstory.

HIStory: What’s Your Favorite Part of Your Day (Part 3)

I turned around, and headed back to the restaurant.

As I was driving, I got a message from the customer.

He said “I know the line is probably long in the drive-thru. It may be quicker to go inside.”

I messaged back: “Thank you. I went inside, but the line was still long. Do you think it will still go quicker even though the line is really long inside?”

“In my experience, it has.” He replied.

“Ok! I will do that. Thank you for the advice.”

So, I drive into the parking lot. Still no place to park.

But, I see one spot next to the dumpster and the exit to the alley way. I pull in, make sure the tail of the bed of the truck is out of the way, and I walk inside.

As I make my way in, I can see a gentleman walking in front of me. He’s a little older, and clearly physically disabled in some way. He peacefully opens up the order, and insists that I go ahead of him.

“Thank you, sir”. As we walked inside, I motion…”Please, go ahead”

“No, you go ahead.”

“Thanks”

I wait in line. And, finally get the customer’s meal ordered.

As people’s orders come in, and they leave…more room opens up in a crowded waiting space.

I make my way to sit on a bench where a young man is talking to an older woman he is sitting with.

HIStory: What’s Your Favorite Part of Your Day (Part 2)

This particular visit was hard. We were tight on money. My husband’s grandpa had just passed away, so he had taken 3 days off of his extra part-time work. So, there was a little more month left at the end of our money.

Before we left, I worked my part-time delivery job. One that I can do to run errands for other people, and still be able to choose when I work.

During my hours, I was ready to get through these few hours and I was heart broken.

One delivery came a long towards the end of my hours. It was a place I had never been to before. We drive a big truck…and there were no places to park. So, I went in the drive thru. As I was waiting in the drive through, I sent an text letting the customer know I would have their order to them shortly. Well, I barely moved in the drive thru for ten minutes. So, I got out of line and parked on the side behind another car. I walked inside…and the line was just as long inside as it was out.

I walked out to my car, realizing that I had really messed up.

So, I gave up my order in hopes that someone else would come behind me and be able to fulfill this order quickly for the customer. I felt this was the best option.

However, when I drove off, not two minutes later the same order popped up. Usually, when I have had to cancel an order, it does not come back….

So, I thanked God for the opportunity to correct my mistake.

HIStory: What’s your favorite part of your day? (Part 1)

Most days, I ask everyone in our family a variety of questions. Sometimes, it depends on the day, how many and which ones I ask.

Usually, I start with “What’s your favorite part of today?”

I love hearing my husband and my kids’ responses. I can usually have a guess at what each person will say but sometimes, they surprise me.

And sometimes, they ask me back “What was your favorite part of the day?”

One day, my husband and I were getting ready to pick up our kids from school.

We were scrambling to get ready to head out of town for a weekend to head up to my sister and brother in-law’s house.

It’s become a tradition to head up there in November and go to Silver Dollar City and a festival at a local farm, Sycamore Creek Family Ranch ( https://sycamorecreekfamilyranch.com)

Family Encouragement and Edification

A lot of things that we do in our family have resulted, because of some sort of tension. There’s a problem that isn’t working anymore, and so we’ve had to come up with a new solution.

One week, my boys were constantly fighting…saying not nice things to each other, and would not apologize and forgive each other.

One tip I had read about was how this one family edifies each other. They go around in a circle, and they say something nice about each person.

So, that’s what we did one day.

The boys were fighting, extra that day.

So, I stopped them. Walked them through the problem. Had them apologize and work on forgiving each other.

Then, I said: “Ok, ya’ll are going to look at each other. Hold hands. And, ya’ll are going to say 3 things nice to each other. (And then I gave examples).

So, my youngest son went first. Did his thing, and was waiting for his brother.

And then it was my oldest son’s turn.

He absolutely would not say even one thing nice. He cried. He threw a fit. And he would not say anything.

So, I had my youngest go play, while I had a talk with my oldest.

“Get a piece of paper out. We are going to sit here, and you are going to think of 10 nice things to say about your brother.”

“I don’t want to. Other families don’t do this. I’m too big for this.”

“No sir. You are not. Other families do this. People do this at their jobs, and you are going to think of nice things to say about your brother.”

So, I pulled up a list of characteristics.

And we went through several. I would say “What about ______ is your brother _____?”

“Yes”

Give me an example of a time when he was _____.

1-10.

And we finally got them. Then, I had his brother come back. They sat back down, held hands, again, and he read his list off to his brother.

The next day, we went around the table at supper. We all took time to say something nice, or that we noticed about each other that day.

We did that for a week, or so, until the atmosphere in our house changed.

Now, we don’t always do it every night. But, we still do it. And they love it.

Family Encouragement and Edification has become a special part of our days.

HIStory Intro

A while back, and inspired by HONY author, Brandon…I had the idea of a series that I wanted to write.

I wanted to write stories about small towns in Texas, and maybe even across the US.

I wanted to interview people in the small towns, get pictures of them similarly to that of what Brandon of HONY does, and as I interviewed them…I wanted to be in search of stories that were God Stories. They were His Stories. Stories of God’s goodness.

Fast forward through discipleship school, life, and learning.

I was typing out a story I wanted to share with you all. As I was writing, I began to realize that this was one of those God stories.

Except, it just happened. And it happened in my day to day.

So, I thought I would share.

This first story is a little long, so I will break it up.

I also didn’t get to document it with photos, as I had originally wanted.

But that’s ok, because when it comes straight down to it…its not really that important.

What is important is how God is moving. Every day. His word is alive. And He is still writing stories today and every day.

As these stories come out, they will be titled “HIStory:______”.

I hope you enjoy them..but more so, I hope you see stories of hope, love, kindness, and God showing up.

This isn’t bible replacement. Having a relationship with Jesus means reading your bible and more.

These are more like testimonies of Who God is, and how He moves. He is still ALIVE.

Giving God Control

Giving God control is one of the hardest things to do.

By human nature…we all want to have control over our circumstances in life.

Add any kind of anxiety…and multiply that by ten.

When I have a situation that I am hoping will change…it usually doesn’t happen as quickly as I would like. So, I get impatient. I start grasping at everything, and try to control the situation. And…9x out of 10...I only make matters worse.

I....

*just end up making myself more anxious..leaving no space for peace.

*causing problems in my relationships…often times, unaware that I’ve even done so.

* put my promises on hold.

This week, I had a light bulb moment.

As I was going through devotionals in my you version bible app, and towards the end of the week, I gave up a few things.

I’m no expert on fasting. In fact..I’m quite the novice.

But, I felt led to give up these things for certain periods of time during the end of the week.

And just today, I gained some clarity on something I was seeking wisdom for.

But first, I had to give up control. And that was extremely hard to do.

You have to go through your own journey with giving God control…but, I love to forward resources that have helped me.

In the comments, I’ll leave links to the Bible devotionals that I went through this week. I’m not really tech savvy, so if I can’t get it to work…I’ll post the names of the devotionals and the authors..and hopefully that’ll make it easier.

They are really great. I hope you are blessed by them.

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 1

Day 1: Top Button Bottoned

In 2014 I went to the first of many conferences my church, at the time, held. And one of the speakers was telling her story…in her illustration, she referred to her relationship with God being like that of putting on a man’s buttoned-down shirt. Once you get the top button buttoned, and the rest fall into place.

To this day, that story comes to mind often.

So, in spirit of the Holiday season…I want to take this first day to get my top button buttoned.

Will you join in with me?

Feel free to post, write in a journal, or share with someone today why you are thankful for God. Or perhaps, something else weighs on your heart to be thankful for. Share that!

Today, I am thankful for the character of God and who He is.

I’m thankful he is a loving, kind, unchanging, gracious God.

#30daysofthanksgiving

Photo of the Day

Photography is one of my greatest passions….I love capturing stories and just love sharing the beauty of photography.

So…I’m going to start sharing a photo of the day.

Today’s photo of the day comes to you from one of my favorite spots. It’s brought to you by #iphonephotography (haha), because #momlife.

I love sitting by the river. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. And it’s also one of my favorite places to sit and think.

It’s where ideas come to me.

And where I sit and talk with God.

Comment with one of your favorite places to just sit and be.

One Thing: Budgeting/Finances

Background:

Finances. Eck. Not my favorite subject…people get weird when finances get brought up.

My finances have gone something like this…

(From the time I moved out of my parents house and into my own apartment)

Work 3 jobs, go to school, eat. sleep.repeat. Just like I didn’t make time to go through all of the stuff I had accumulated…I also didn’t make time and attention for my finances.

I struggled…just like every other person, starting out living on their own.

When my husband and I got married…it is by the grace of God that every need was met.

And, as we continued on in our marriage…we did ok.

For a couple of years.

Then, as I started working part-time and eventually stayed home for a year…our financial situation has slowly grown into a giant needing to be slayed.

But, if you rewind a year or two…you will see that I had prayed for this…

And looking back now….I just laugh…and shake my head…because that’s all you can do. I literally asked for this giant.

A couple of years ago, as I was pursing a Network Marketing business…you would hear stories about how people were in this financial situation. They were hurting financially, and when they made the jump into Network Marketing…they needed a God miracle.

And one night…I remember praying to God. “Break my finances, God….and put me in a place where I need you. Break my finances and put our situation back together, help us start over from ground zero.”

I knew that I have never really been in that place of need and hurt. So, I never really jumped in like they did…because they had been in a different place than I had.

I also knew that, we honestly hadn’t been faithful with the little things. We hadn’t been faithful with the little bit we had been given, and if we couldn’t do that…how could we be trusted with the big blessings? If we weren’t faithful with the little, then when the big blessings came…it still wouldn’t be enough.

So, I wanted to be able to be trusted with the big, so that we could help others.

The Bible says: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. “ Luke 16:17

As I have mentioned before…I dream BIG. There is no small dream that crosses my mind.

And so, in that moment, I knew that I never really needed to depend on God in our finances in such a way that I had to worry in any way that it really hurt. I never needed to take a leap of faith, because I always leaned back on what was given in the natural.

Up until that point, we struggled, but we were comfortable- and God did always provide in some way or another, just when we needed it.

Over the last 2-3 years, God has shown us so much. We have learned so much.

And now, we are in a position where we are making the changes to set us up for long-term success.

And, waiting on God to slay this giant, once and for all.

Because, with prayer, action, and the Holy Spirit…God will have all the glory when this giant is slayed.

This is another one of those growth areas….

But, here is what we have done, so far…One Thing at a Time.

* A couple of years ago, my husband started working an extra part-time, work-from-home job so that I could stay home with our youngest when she was born.

* I went back to work for a year.

* We sold our house and downsized to Tiny Living. (There are other reasons for this, but that story is for another time.)

* I have started working jobs that can be on our time, flexible, and still contribute to household income. While also allowing for space to write, volunteer, and many others things that I love.

* Get rid of all monthly subscriptions or monthly bills that are not necessary and get back down to just the basics.

* Partner with referral and affiliate opportunities that come up- and I have to believe in their companies and products. I’m a big believer in multiple streams of income, and residual income. So, any chance I can take on that, and not have to invest a ton of money. I’m down. Again, as long as I love the product and company. What I love about these, is that they still take time to build. You have to put in hard work for reward…just like anything else. Anything worthwhile, takes time to build. And, as I do the hard work, the residual effect will take place in the long run. And if I do the hard work now, I don’t give up…the residual benefit will pay out later.

* I bought a budget wallet. If you want to know more about that-look up Dave Ramsey. Then look up a budget wallet on Amazon. Boom and done.

*Pray and allow God to do His thing. I literally asked to be in this position…(someone remind me next time to make sure I know what I’m asking for) and when He does…give the glory to God. (Again…I’m still learning how to do just that)

*Give faithfully- there’s a time and place for giving a God gift. A gift that is outside of what you can see there is room for. An outside of your comfort, I don’t see how God will make this work, but I’m going to do it, because He told me to gift. And then, there’s giving faithfully and consistently within your means. I’ve got the riskier one down-that one was hard. Now, it’s time to learn the latter. Equally hard, but in a different way.

There’s no way we could have taken all of this on at one time. We made changes slowly, over time.

If you find yourself walking along side me in this season, and you’re overwhelmed…

Remember…just one thing. Look up. Take a breath….seek God. And focus in on one thing you can change right now. Let God do the rest.