Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012

It’s December 31, 2011, and I’m thinking about my goals (some call them resolutions) for 2012. Oh, there are the “normal” goals which everyone makes, and not many keep: lose weight, exercise more, etc.

But what are my goals?
What do I want to accomplish
throughout 2012?

Okay, that’s not right—they shouldn’t be “MY” goals, rather the question should be:

“What does God want me to accomplish throughout 2012?”


That’s a much better perspective. Since God has a purpose and plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11) each goal I set, needs to fit into His plan. As I move forward in my life, I also have to look back and see all that God accomplished. Over the past eleven years, He has taught me amazing lessons, and has demonstrated His love in the most creative ways. I never would have imagined that a back injury in October 2000, would change my life so dramatically and at the same time present so many different opportunities.


So, as I reflect on the past, and prepare for the year ahead, the main thought which I can’t seem to ignore is “writing”. Oh, I mean more than on my blog. Perhaps it’s time to write a book: “It’s all in the details.” Even if I only write it for myself, I think it would be a wonderful blessing to see how God took care of each and every detail in my life.

As I think of where to begin on the details, it’s hard to know where to start. For so many of the situations, God worked years in advance to make sure everything was ready for me at the right time. But since I need a starting place, why not start in October 2000. For me, that’s when I began to personally notice how detail oriented God is. 

As of today, December 31, 2011, I believe that God’s 2012 goal for me is to WRITE.

If you have favorite stories, either from my blog, or from being part of my life, I’d like to hear what they are. You can email them to me, or comment on this blog post.


It’s all the details.


I'm looking forward to seeing God’s attention to details during 2012. And knowing that God is very detail oriented, He won’t miss a thing!
And that, my friends
will make 2012 a VERY POSITIVE year!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Reason for Christmas!

As the Christmas Season approaches,
this is the perfect song
to remember why
we celebrate Christmas.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Consider the Magnitude of this Fact

I'm studying the Book of Job. In Job 3, we learn some of Job's theology. Job wished that God forget the day Job was born, because of Job's anguish and pain. In order for someone to "forget" they have to know about it first! 
Job knew very well, that God knew the VERY moment Job was conceived. God knew all about Job—before Job was even formed. Consider the magnitude of that fact. God is very aware of our MOMENT of conception.

Psalms 139
O God, You know me inside and out, through and through. 
Everything I do, every thought that flits through my mind, every step I take, every plan that I make, every word that I speak,  You know, even before these things happen.

You know my past; You know my future.

Your enveloping presence covers my every move. Your knowledge of me sometimes comforts me, sometimes frightens me, but it is always far beyond my comprehension. 


There is no way to escape You, no place to hide.
If I ascend to the heights of joy, You are there before me. 
If I plunge into the depths of despair, You are there to meet me. 
I could fly to the other side of the world, and find You there to lead the way. 
I could walk into the darkest night, only to find You there to lighten its dismal hours.


You were present at my conception. You guided the molding of my unformed members within the body of my mother. 
Nothing about me, from beginning to end, has been hidden from Your eyes.
How frightfully, fantastically wonderful it all is! 


May Your all-knowing, everywhere present Spirit continue to search out my feelings and thoughts. 
Deliver me from that which my hurt or destroy me, and guide me along the paths of love and truth. 
Psalms Now by Leslie Brandt

Yes, Job wanted God to forget the day he was conceived. Job wanted to have that day not even exist, so that Job wouldn't have to endure his suffering. But Job did not curse God, because Job knew that God had a plan and purpose in mind.
I think also that Job found comfort in the fact that if God knew Job's moment of conception, God was also VERY aware of what Job was enduring at that very moment.



Consider the magnitude of that fact!


The fact that God knows exactly what is happening, what I'm going through, all the details of my life—and CARES about it all.... that makes a very positive day!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Year Designed by God-2011

As I've spent time reflecting
on the year God designed
I saw God's attention to detail and
many demonstrations of His amazing love.


January
Enjoyed continuing the Damaris Carbaugh Bible Study. Looking back over the study, I think the thing which amazed me the most was God's specific timing of each lesson. I'm grateful that the Leader, followed God's prompting in choosing the order of the songs for the Study. God knew exactly what I should be studying at a particular time, to keep me focused on Him as He worked in my life. 

February
20 inches of snow brought out demonstrations of neighbors helping neighbors. There was no way I could dig my car out of the snow drifts (the car was covered-see the green arrow to the right!). However, neighbors worked together to make sure my car was able to drive out of the pile of snow.

March
Since Jr. High, I've worn glasses and each year, I've needed a new prescription. Yet, this year, my prescription did not change! That was great news, since I didn't need to replace my prescription sunglasses. I only had to buy on pair of glasses to replace the pair I broke. I wonder if the vegan, gluten-free diet helped with improving my eyesight? I know that the diet is much healthier for me. 

April
On April 13th, God called my sister home to Heaven after a 4-year battle with cancer. Although I miss my sister, she is now rejoicing in Heaven with our Heavenly Father—that is the greatest blessing for us all! There were also additional blessings which God provided. A friend was able to drive me to Macon, so I could be there for the services. Both my brothers were able to attend, also. And my brothers and I were able to spend some time with our parents.

May
At first, the idea of having several apartment inspections didn't seem like much of a blessing. However, the reason for the inspections is a great blessing! These inspections are necessary so that I can receive reduced rent due to my disability. The reduce rent is just one way God supplies my needs. So, the inspections are blessings! 

June
This month had a "hidden blessing". I didn't know it was a blessing until August! On June 9th I took my car in for an oil change and get a "roar" investigated. I spoke with "my guys" at the garage that I didn't want to put much money into fixing this car, as I was looking for a newer one. The roar didn't need to be fixed; however, my brakes were too bad to leave the garage. That was NOT in my plans as I was trying to SAVE money for a down payment. That would mean I'd have to delay the purchase of a new car by several months. Well, in August, I learned that God had a VERY good reason to delay my purchase! (see August for more details!). 

July
Friends. God has blessed me with some AWESOME, godly friends. God provided me with exactly the perfect people to help me grow in grace and knowledge of God. 

August
This month was an OVERFLOWING BLESSINGS month. God really went ALL-OUT this month!!
God made it possible for me to spend a week with some very dear friends. It was a much needed vacation for my body, soul, and spirit. It was an amazing "JOY-CATION!"
 
God also had a very wonderful blessing waiting for me. God provided a NEW CAR. Not just a "newer" car, but a BRAND NEW 2012 Ford Fiesta. I never thought that I'd have a new car. However, back in June, when I had to spend money on the brakes, God knew that this car wouldn't be ready until August, so He created a way to delay upgrading the car. God's timing is ALWAYS perfect!

September
I started my annual Blessings Celebration early this year. A friend and I were able to attend "My Fair Lady". God's blessings included in this "package" were: 1. a perfect parking spot. 2. a vegan, gluten-free lunch 3. discounted tickets. 4. a wonderful performance of "My Fair Lady". 5. enjoying it all with a wonderful friend. 

October
Eleven years. WOW. Eleven years ago, I injured my back. October 2000. From a totally human perspective, the back injury followed by eleven years of chronic pain is definitely NOT a blessing. Yet, God has used my disability and pain to share His amazing love with others. People from ALL over the world read this blog. And I've developed a deeper and greater love for my God. He has shown OVER and OVER His care and love for me. I love seeing God's attention to detail and His creativity in caring for me. He constantly amazes me with His goodness. Would I like less pain? Yes. But, as God told Paul 2 Cor 12 "My (God's) grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness."

November
 
This month God's blessing was made possible with the help of many people. 45 Soldiers will be receiving Bibles for Christmas. It was an wonderful blessing to be able to wrap each Bible, thinking of the wonderful message contained therein—God's great gift of eternal life.


Looking back over the past year, since my 2010 Blessings Celebration, once again, God has showered me with more of His amazing blessings. All I can think to say is "God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good." And that fact make each and every day very positive!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This morning after Max's shower,
his feathers were sticking straight up.
Guess Max decided he wanted to dress up for Halloween. 


The inset is Max as his cute normal self. 
When Max does silly things like this,
creating a positive day is simple!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011 Blessings Celebration!

Wow! Where did the past year go? It seems like I was JUST writing about all the awesome things God planned for my 2010 Blessings Celebration—the Damaris Carbaugh concert and the Grill prize pack.
 
This year, my celebration started early. On Sept 28th, a friend and I attended "My Fair Lady" at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, IL.
As I was planning this part of my Blessings Celebration, once again God sent His special blessings! First, the Theatre was able to accommodate my need to stand. Secondly, they gave me a great deal on the tickets. I thought it would be nice to enjoy something to eat before our show, I went online and found the River's Edge Cafe. They graciously responded to my email concerning my diet (vegan, gluten-free) with, "yes, we have several vegan and gluten-free options!". YEAH! God is so good at taking care of ALL the details!

So, the Blessings Celebration was set. 


On Sept 28th, my friend and I arrived in Aurora and the first thing God provided was the PERFECT parking spot! It was as close as you could get to the theatre, and just a short block from the Cafe. And since it was a Handicap spot, we didn't have a meter to feed.


We parked and enjoyed the short walk to River's Edge Cafe. What a wonderful place to enjoy a meal! I highly recommend it. Their hummus is the best I've tasted. WOW— what a great meal. And yes, there was even a "high" table for me. God doesn't miss a single detail.

After we ate, we walked over to the Theatre and picked up our tickets at the box office. 

"My Fair Lady" was amazing. The live orchestra, the set design, and the performers all did such a professional, and "spot on" job. WOW!

Pictures courtesy of Paramount Theatre.





I couldn't think of a better way to Celebrate God's wonderful blessings—great company, yummy food, and an awesome (& I mean AWESOME) performance of "My Fair Lady". Pain level was extreme by the end of the day, but it was so much fun celebrating!
Can't believe that was already a month ago. Now that it is Oct 25th and as I reflect over this past year, there have been times of pain & sadness, but there have also been times of overwhelming joy because of God's amazing blessings. Watch for a post soon with more details.
Take a moment to reflect on God's blessings in your life—you may actually be surprised at how many He has sent your way! There is no better way to create a positive day, than to praise God for His goodness to you!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Like" TJ!


ΤJ Bell 
is a NASCAR racer 
who supports Soldiers' Angels
and The Hero Organization!


TJ does a great job spreading the word about our Heroes, let's show our support for TJ and "like" his Facebook fan page!

It's an honor to be a fan of someone who does so much to support our Heroes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Headache—a blessing. Really?

Last night my headache started to increase in intensity. I did all my normal tricks to lower it, but nothing worked. This morning, I was hoping it would be back to its normal level, but it's still intense. Trying to get ready, so I can run a few errands today, is somewhat hindered by the headache.

As I was reclining on the Daybed resting, I realized that my headache even is a blessing. Really? Yes. Since my headache is more intense, the TV and radio are turned off. Usually, I have one or the other on—my brain usually functions better when there is "noise". However, today, it's quiet and that has allowed me to realize more blessings God has given me. 

Here are some blessings
which God has provided—
which I may have missed
if I didn't have a headache!
  1. My apartment building. It's very quiet. I don't hear my neighbors, and since I'm in the building furthest from the main street, I don't hear much traffic. 
  2. My apartment. Being on the 2nd floor makes me at "tree top level". The birds enjoy sitting on the trees right outside my windows. The songs the birds sing keep Max and me company and are reminders of God's creative hand.
  3. The stillness. God says, “Cease striving and know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NASB) When I'm "forced" to be still or "cease striving" I am able to spend quality time with God—meditating on His Word and talking with Him.
  4. Better days. Living with chronic pain is at times overwhelming. Yet, when I have a "worse day", it makes me more thankful for my "normal" pain level days. I'm thankful that God knows what I can endure and gives me strength for each day—whether it is a "normal" or "worse" day.
  5. God's attention to detail. As a "detail" person myself, I love how God takes care of each and every detail. I've posted before about how God makes sure Max is aware of my headache and pain levels. Yesterday, Max woke up "talking and chatting" and it lasted much of the day. However, today, Max woke up and said a few "happys" and has been quiet since. Today, is also the day I see my Chiropractor. His treatments often help lower my headache intensity. So, what better day to have a "bad headache" (although I've never had a 'good' headache), then on a day I see my Chiropractor? God's timing is perfect. 
  6. Prayerful friends. It's so comforting to know that no matter my headache or pain level, friends are talking with God about me. It's so cool to realize that the Creator of all things, is hearing MY NAME! And God knows exactly who I am. WOW!

Can a headache be a blessing. Yes! It's all a matter of perspective. And since I want to create a positive day—even with a bad headache—I can find many blessings surrounding me.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Max Calculating—a special blessing!

One of today's blessing is God's gift of Max. God made sure that Max is very aware of me. Max knows when my headache is bad & will simply sit quietly on my shoulder. If my pain level is high, Max will "talk" & do silly things to distract me & make me laugh.
Only God would think of giving me a little bird to remind me of God's constant love & care. God is so amazing!
 
 
On the days when I have a harder time creating a positive day, God sends His love and blessings to help me along.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Annual Blessings Celebration!

Each year near the anniversary of my back injury, I have a "Blessings Celebration". This year, I'm beginning my celebration a little early. Today, a friend and I are going to enjoy lunch and see a musical (more details to come).

As I was reading Psalms this morning, I thought these verses were perfect to begin my "Blessings Celebration"

Psalm 105:1-5 The Message (MSG)

    Hallelujah! Thank God! Pray to Him by name!
      Tell everyone you meet what He has done!
   Sing Him songs, belt out hymns,
      translate His wonders into music!
   Honor His holy name with Hallelujahs,
      you who seek God. Live a happy life!
   Keep your eyes open for God, watch for His works;
      be alert for signs of His presence.
   Remember the world of wonders He has made,

 His miracles, and the verdicts He's rendered. 
I'd like to challenge you to "keep your eyes open for God and watch for His works and be alert for signs of His presence". God is awesome!
In the next few weeks, I'll be posting some of the blessings God has given me over the past year. I'd like to hear about some of the blessings God has given you.
Creating a positive day
begins with thanking God and
praising Him for His goodness!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blessings = Responsibilities

What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? I'll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God! I'll pray in the name of God; I'll complete what I promised God I'd do, & I'll do it together with his people....Oh, God, here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! I'm ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice & pray in the name of God. I'll complete what I promised God I'd do.....Hallelujah! Psalm 116:12-19 (The Message)
The other day I was reviewing the blessings God gave me during the month of August. WOW! I'm so amazed with all the blessings that God continues to send my way.  The two highlights from August's blessings were my Joy-cation with very dear friends in Michigan, and the new car. Both of these blessings are multiplying blessings! Each day I'm grateful for the wonderful godly friends God has provided and the new car is not only fun to drive, but provides safe transportation. 
As I read Psalm 116, it made me once again realize that with blessings come responsibilities. I am to be praising God and sharing His love with each and every person with whom I have contact. God has used the new car to provide many opportunities to share about God's goodness. It's so much fun sharing what God did to make the new car purchase possible. I'm overwhelmed at His goodness to me. 
October is just around the corner, and I'm preparing for my yearly "Blessings Celebration". (Each year near the anniversary of my back injury, I take time to celebrate all the wonderful blessings God gave me during the year.) Not sure yet, what I'll do this year. It's always fun to see what God works out for the celebration. The past few years, the Celebrations have been filled with wonderful gifts from God. (If you look at the blog posts dated in October near the 25th you can read the previous years' celebrations.)
Some continue to wonder how I can celebrate and rejoice when I live with chronic pain. My response, "How can I not?" Pain is part of my life. It's always there. However, just because the pain is there, doesn't mean I have to allow it to totally rule my thoughts and emotions. Pain has too much control in my life as it is (preventing/limiting me from doing some things),—why would I want pain to have TOTAL control? 
In October 2000, God introduced pain into my life. And over the past 11 years, I've seen how God has used the pain to open doors for me to share His love with others. Pain has allowed me access to people whom I never would have had contact. Would I have chosen pain? No! However, I made a commitment to God in college—"I would be WHATEVER God wanted me to be, WHEREVER He wanted me to go." I realized that as a servant of God, I was to give my life to Him so that I could accomplish His will for my life. 
Just as it says in Psalm 116, I want to complete the promise I made to God and be His faithful servant. The past 11 years has been difficult as I've learned to live with chronic pain and adjust to a new way of life. But it's been filled with God's wonderful blessings! 
What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? One thing which I can do is continue to praise God for His goodness and that is the key to creating a positive day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Gift from God: 2012 Ford Fiesta

Here are some pictures of the wonderful new car God provided for me.
If you haven't yet read the previous post, "Details. It's all in the details." please read it. That post shares some of the specific details which God took care of to provide me with a 2012 Ford Fiesta. 
August 24, 2011 about 7:30 am, dew still on the windows.

Inside front.

Mileage when I arrived home from buying the car.

Front dash board.

Back seats.

Color is Violet-Grey. Depending on the light, it's shades of grey, purple, and even blue.

In this light, you see more of the violet/purple coloring.

In this light, it's more of the violet-grey.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Details. It's all in the Details.

I'm very tired tonight, however, I'm so overwhelmed with joy that I can't sleep. I just keep thinking through all the details God took care of in providing the new car–a 2012 Ford Fiesta.

The Cars God provided over the past 16 years. 2012 Fiesta on the left. 1995 Escort on the right.

Let's look back
at some of the details
God worked out.
If you click on the name of the blog post,
it will take you to the full text of the blog.

1. Back on June 11, 2011, I posted about My Plans vs God's Plan. I was working very hard at getting together a down payment for a newer car, and I was very close. Then it happened, I had to put more money into my old car—new brakes. At the time I didn't understand why God would want to "waste money" in fixing the old car—He knew I was planning on getting a newer car. 
But no detail escapes God. God knew very well, that He had something FAR GREATER planned than just a "newer" car. He wanted to delay my purchase because He had a NEW car which wasn't even built yet—but would be ready at the PERFECT time. 

2. In my search for a newer car, I went online. That seems to be the way to shop these days. I created my "search parameters" on one dealership known for their deals on used cars. Since I bought my Escort from Friendly Ford, I thought I'd contact them too. Over the next few months, I received daily email updates from the Used dealership with cars that matched my parameters. I also received a few phone calls and a few emails from Friendly Ford. 
As I worked back an forth online/phone calls, I realized that I was much more at peace when dealing with Friendly, compared to the other place. God gives peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 So, my first stop was Friendly Ford.

3. I had planned to wait a few more months before actually shopping for a newer car. However, I thought my car had developed another problem. I either had to get things fixed, or get a newer car. So, off to Friendly Ford I went. Looked at several used cars, but nothing I really liked. Then my friend who was with me (it's always more fun to shop with a friend!), asked about the price of a new car. Mark said it would be possible. So, we went back inside to see what might work. I sat in the Focus, which was very nice, but the price was too high. What about the Fiesta? Would have to sit in it, to make sure it would be comfortable for my back. However, they didn't have any in stock. (In fact no dealer in the area did!) Yet there was a rental that would be back in a day or so, I could test drive that. I went back for the test drive and it was perfect. The seat reclines enough and plenty of room for me. Yes, I like this car. 
A 2012 Fiesta was due in to the showroom in a few days. They'd hold it for me. It would be Violet Gray. Uggg a PURPLE car??? I'm not a purple person. But if I didn't like it, then I could wait until the next batch of cars came—perhaps near December. 
Received a call on Monday, Aug 22nd the Fiesta had arrived and would be ready to see on Tuesday, Aug. 23rd. Tuesday morning I was talking with God about a "purple car". I really couldn't see myself in a purple car, but God knows what I like and don't like, He created me! Just as I was discussing this with God I received an email. It was advertising a new shirt: "Real Men Wear Purple" (w/a Purple Heart). It's a shirt honoring the brave Soldiers who have been wounded or killed while serving our Country. Now, I in no way have gone through what those brave Soldiers have! But I think it was God's way of saying, "Hey Rhonda, you have been wounded and have served me faithfully, so I'll give you a "purple heart car". Seeing the "purple heart car" each day would be a great reminder that I have a job to do for God—I'm to be serving Him, and giving Him my all. Maybe having a purple car wouldn't be so bad after all!

4. On August 22, 2011, I posted Details. I was trying to figure a way to reach the down payment necessary to get the best financing. Things weren't going as I had planned. A few days ago, I had found some old coins and I got them appraised this morning. Did God want me to sell them. As I prayed about it. I had no peace in selling the coins. So, I thought back over the budget and when bills would be due. After crunching the numbers, I learned that yes, I could meet the down payment. Still not sure how that all worked out! All I can say is that God made sure the money was in the bank. He definitely took care of all the details in this area.
Since I am financing the car, I was a bit concerned about the rate. Oh I have great credit, so I wasn't worried about that. It was my income amount which might be a problem. Being on disability does limit the inflow of money. However, God continues to watch over my expenses to make sure each bill is paid. God provided a GREAT rate, even lower than I had thought I'd receive. God doesn't miss a single detail!

5. On August 18, 2011, I posted God-thing, not a Rhonda-thing. "The desires of good people lead straight to the best" Proverbs 11:23a (The Message). Over the past few months I've researched used cars. Even today, I went to a place and checked out their inventory of used cars. One car I looked at, had a detail which I really liked—an arm rest for the drivers right arm. That made sitting so comfortable for me. As I sat in the car I thought over the price/payments, the age of the car, the mileage—no this would not be a wise use of my money—but sure did like that arm rest.
Tonight when I arrived at Friendly Ford to see the Fiesta (it just arrived from the factory the day before!), I liked the color—Violet Grey and all the aspects of the car. It wasn't until on the way home, that I realized that God had a surprise for me! The Fiesta also has an arm rest for the drivers right arm!! Not sure if I just missed that on the test drive of the other Fiesta, or that particular model didn't have it. Doesn't matter–God made sure it was on the specific car He had for me! I'd say, that God led me to the BEST car!

The Details. It's all the details. I'm sure as I think back over the past few months, I'll begin to see even more details which God dealt with regarding this car. All I can say is that my God takes awesome care of me! And that folks, makes each and every day a very positive day!


Check back to see more pictures of the car God so graciously provided for me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words!

God worked out all the details!

In the picture below:
Eddie and Mark from Friendly Ford
who were a great help with my purchase
of a new 2012 Ford Fiesta!

The white car to the right, is my old 1995 Ford Escort,
which I bought from Friendly on June 2, 1995.

(Will post more pictures of the car in the next few days.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Details.

Details. I tend to like details—when I can be in control of them. However, when it's a "hands off" situation, I have a tough time sitting back and letting go. God is using my newer car search to teach me that I have to relinquish all the details to Him. He after all, is the Creator and He is the Master of details. 

As I work on the details for buying a newer car—just when I think a detail is taken care of and I can cross it off my list—I learn that it is NOT done. Most often when I think a detail is done, it is me getting ahead of God and thinking I know with how the details should be dealt.

One aspect of getting a newer car is selling my old car. I thought I had a buyer. However, it doesn't look like that will happen. Just as I was getting frustrated, God led me to another place that may buy my car. Will check with them this week.
Since I may not get the amount for my old car as I had planned, I was beginning to fret on how I'd meet the necessary down payment.  
But God had something waiting for me! 
I went to get the car title out of the safe, and came across some coins. One very special coin, I knew was there—at this point, I plan to keep that one. 
But the other coins, I had forgotten about them. I've had them for over 7 years. Does God want me to sell the coins at this point? I have no idea. However, I will take them to a dealer and see what I can get. The coins won't provide the total amount I need, but God knows that too. Perhaps this is how God wants to help meet my need this time. As I've said before, God is VERY creative!

Throughout the Bible God tells us that He will take care of things. We are not to worry. As I said, I like details. However, my attention is NOT to be on the details—rather, my attention is to be on what God is doing! My job is to be a good steward of His provisions, follow His leading, and let Him take care of all the details.

"Give your entire attention
to what God is doing right now,
and don't get worked up
about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with
whatever hard things come up
when the time comes."
Matthew 6:34 The Message

The day is much more positive when I give my entire attention to God and what He is doing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

God-thing, not a Rhonda-thing

This week, I went car shopping. Test drove one car, which I do like. There are so many details that need to be sorted out.

Just of few of the details include:
1. How much can I get for my old car?
Need this to help increase my down payment.
2. Can I get the necessary financing at a good rate?
3. Do I like the color?
This is really important. ;>)

I think the hard part in all this is that so much is "out of my control". There is only so much I can do in each area, and there are many details that other people control.

God continues to teach me. My goal in purchasing a newer car is to be a good steward of the resources God provides. There are some details which I MUST leave with God. I don't know what the future holds. God does. 

The day I went car shopping, I read this verse:
"The desires of good people
lead straight to the best"
Proverbs 11:23a (The Message).

Looking back to when I purchased my 1995 Ford Escort, I can see how God directed me to the right car which would be the BEST for me, especially the past 10 years with my disability. When I was considering which car to buy back in 1995, I almost bought a 2-door Mustang! That would have made getting in and out, and driving much more difficult with my back injury. God made sure I wasn't caught up with the "look" and idea of having a Mustang, and bought the more "sensible" Escort. 

Since God never changes, the same God who helped me buy the BEST car in June 1995, will be there to help me buy the BEST car in 2011. Please continue to pray with me as I move forward with buying a newer car. I want to make sure this is a "God-thing" and not a "Rhonda-thing".

And if the details don't work out for me to get a car now, I will continue to trust God as He provides to keep the old car working. God isn't limited by old or new cars. He takes care of each of my needs in His way, in His time. If He wants me to continue driving my Escort, then He'll keep it running. And if He wants me to drive a newer car, He will work out all the details to make that possible.

If I allow the details to overwhelm me, I'll lose focus and my thoughts will be anything but positive. Yet, if I continue to keep my focus on God and what He is doing and His leading, then my thoughts and attitude will be positive. Creating a positive day is allowing God to control all the details.

Monday, August 15, 2011

$4 x 4 = $16

Last week I had planned to buy ink for my computer. However, I had forgotten my rebate coupon, so I waited until this week. As I was looking through the store's ad, something caught my eye—this week, I'll get $6 back on each old ink cartridge rather than the usual $2. That's an extra $4 on each cartridge!

$4 x 4 = $16. 

Once again God used an object lesson to remind me that He will take care of each and every need I have. On Saturday, June 11, 2011 I posted My PlanS vs God's Plan regarding buying a newer car. This past week, my car developed a new leak. So, I have a decision to make—spend the money to fix the old car, or buy a newer car now.

It's times like this, that I'd like to open my Bible and read, "Rhonda, today you will do this...." and have the details spelled out simply and plainly. However, that's not how God works. God does however, give me the wisdom and knowledge to make the right decisions—if I seek Him and His will. 

This week, God once again demonstrated that He is able to provide in unique ways. Whether it be $16 saved on ink, or the money for a newer car. My responsibility is to be a good steward of the money God provides. When I first bought my current car in June 1995, I realized that it was not MY car—but God's car. Over the past 16 years, God has provided a great bunch of guys to fix my car at Roselle Tire and Auto, and God has provided the money to keep the car running. 

If God wants to spend more money to fix this car, He'll supply that too. And if He thinks it's time to buy a newer car, He'll supply that money too. How? I have no idea. However, this week, God supplied $16 with the ink deal.
To God it doesn't matter
if it's $16 or $26,000.
God's resources are endless.

I'm thankful that God continues to teach me using object lessons. I usually remember lessons longer when I'm "shown" rather than just told. Guess, God knows that too!

Remembering that God is caring for my needs,
sure creates many reasons for a positive day!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Joy-cation!

The new catch-phrase heard often in Summer is “stay-cation”. Many people are changing their ideas of vacations due to finances. People are having fun doing simple activities all from their home. People are returning to the simple things in life. This got me thinking, if those people enjoying “stay-cations” can change their vacation plans—I can too! I’m calling mine a “joy-cation”.


What’s a “joy-cation”?

This Summer, I was able to take my first vacation since my back injury. As I was packing for the trip, there was one thing which I didn’t want to pack—my pain. If only I could turn off my pain for a week. That would be refreshing. However, rather than shutting off my pain for the week, I had to prepare for more pain. Every movement I make increases my pain. So, I knew that during my vacation my pain would increase.

Living with an invisible illness or chronic pain makes one change their lifestyle. There are activities which illness and/or pain prevent one from doing. I have worked hard making sure that my pain doesn’t prevent me from enjoying life on a daily basis.

So what if a vacation doesn’t include body surfing in the ocean, or attending sporting events, or concerts—that’s okay! I can enjoy a wonderful vacation with friends doing simple things, such as enjoying a lemon sorbet on a hot summer day. Or spending the evening watching a DVD enjoying popcorn and laughing with friends.

When living with an illness or pain, one must learn to rethink how to enjoy life and have fun. Don’t waste time grieving the past activities that can’t be done anymore. Rather, look for new activities which can be done!

My “joy-cation”
has been just that—a JOY!

Just because I live with chronic pain and headaches, doesn’t mean that I can’t have a wonderful time and break in my normal routine. I’d highly recommend that you begin planning your “joy-cation” ASAP!

Whether I'm on a "joy-cation" or just going through the normal routine at home—I'm learning that God provides joy and blessings each and every day. Noticing those blessings and relishing the joy, sure helps create a positive day!

For more on living with invisible illness and/or chronic pain visit www.invisibleillnessweek.com/.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

God's perfect placement

Once again God had some surprises
for me as I ran errands this past week.

I have been looking for new dress pants for a while, with no luck. On Tuesday, I stopped at Kohl's and looked around—nothing. On the way home from my Chiropractor's, I stopped at the Goodwill and looked through their racks of dress pants. Found a few I thought would work. I went to try them on and I asked the Sales Associate if I could use the handicap fitting room—which I normally don't use. However, trying to maneuver with crutches in the smaller rooms can be a challenge on a good day—and my pain level was a bit higher, so I asked to use the larger room.

I tried on the pants I had found—with no luck. As I was hanging the "unwanteds" on the rack—which is RIGHT OUTSIDE the handicap fitting room door—I saw a pair of navy blue dress pants on the rack. I checked the size, yep, that was right. Tried them on and they fit PERFECTLY!
God had the pants hanging RIGHT outside the handicap fitting room door waiting for me! God's placement was PERFECT! I couldn't miss the pants—they were hanging right on the end—almost falling off into my hands (literally!).  So for $4.99 I got a very nice pair of dress pants.

 
After leaving the Goodwill, I stopped at Fruitful Yield health store to pick up Sunshine Burgers. As I walked in the store, one of the workers welcomed me and asked if I was there for more Sunshine Burgers—"Yes, I was!" The Manager was standing near by and said, "We have coupons for those". So, I saved $5.00 on the Sunshine Burgers—the cost of my dress pants! ;>)

 

God is good all the time! 
I love it when God does little things—
which are so very special—
to remind me of how much He loves me
and that He is watching over me.
Each day I take time to notice the special things
God does for me is a very positive day! 

What blessings and surprises
has God given you lately? 
Let me know by adding a comment on this post.