He Speaks to Me {Through Kathy Ferguson Litton}

The Lord has given me a gift that I didn’t know I needed. Her name is Kathy Litton. She doesn’t know she is such a source of wisdom for me. She doesn’t live anywhere near me. I’ve had a handful of conversations with her. (You’re probably wondering how this person can be such a source of wisdom for me. Trust me, she can.)

The Lord has put Josh in a position that puts me in a position to hear Kathy teach a few times a year. 
I could probably write a small book on what I’ve learned from her….and it would really then be HER book because it’s what she has shared with me, so let me just recap some of the Nuggets that have been so useful to me. 
1) Let God Deal. (Especially when you’ve got grown kids who live in their own houses!)
2) Know Yourself well Enough to Distrust Yourself. 
3) Life Sometimes Allows things to come into your life that put you in a trajectory that you never saw coming. You’ll meet people you would have otherwise not met. You’ll go places you’d otherwise not have gone. Trust God even in the painful times of life. 
4) Your muscle of trust grows when you’re pushed into circumstances that cause your faith to grow….and those are usually very difficult circumstances. Trust brings peace. 
Faith all grown up is TRUST. 
5) She has a talk on Intimacy as it relates to marriage. Every point she makes is very thought-provoking. My favorite two quotes in the lesson are, “Every night is not going to be the 4th of July” and “Do you initiate? You should.” 
I love her heart for pastor wives. I love her wit and fun, and I love her transparency even when it is uncomfortable or causes her to go to hard places in her past. She is simply amazing and is being used by God in amazing ways, and I only see a small percentage of that!  

The baby is 8!

  

Our baby is 8 years old today. Not sure how that can possibly be, but it is. I walked the streets of Gatlinburg with this cutie hunting down a canteen. He found the Davey Crockett hat on his own. He still loves costumes, particularly Cowboy and detective paraphernalia. He is mastering his skills in his role as “little brother,” meaning he knows how to push his sisters buttons.  Bodily noises crack him up. And he talks more than Ruby and Molly combined….somewhat of a social butterfly, which totally cracks me up. His love language is unashamedly GIFT-GETTING. He can hardly stand the thought that there is a gift for him and he doesn’t know what it is (ie, wrapped presents under the tree at Christmas make him crazy!!!!, the surprise that is at home waiting on him is making for a long ride home right now…pictures to come later.) 

We absolutely love all that Mack brings to our family. Thankful to God for the gift of Mack!

  

  

He Speaks to Me {through others}

He Speaks to Me {through others}

One evening I was sitting at a table at a restaurant with six other people;  my pastor and his wife, another godly couple we’ve gotten to know over the past two years, and two new friends that I don’t know extremely well were there.  Someone asked what we thought was the key to raising godly children. Considering the ages of our kids (only 10, 9, and 8 years old), Josh and I probably should have kept our mouths closed.  We did share our opinion, but we did more listening than talking. 

The conversation seemed to boil down to three main ideas. 

1) PRAY for your kids.   Take every concern or desire you have for your children to The Lord. I have really enjoyed using The Power of A Praying Parent by Stormie  Omartian as a guide. One of my favorite prayers to pray is that, as their parent, I would see their giftedness and encourage them in it in ways that give God glory.  

2) TIME with your kids. Look them in the eyes.  Spend one-on-one time with them. Listen to them talk….about big things or little things….let them know you want to hear from them about anything. 

3) HUMBLE yourself and apologize when you blow it…and you will blow it. Letting your kids know that you know you were wrong and seeking their forgiveness is HUGE. It gives them a picture of the gospel. God knew there would be times that we would mess up….yell…be impatient…respond selfishly….so He made a way through Jesus to be forgiven and made right with God and others. 

While I enjoyed the food and the atmosphere was delightful, I greatly appreciated the conversation. I hope I find myself surrounded with godly people often, and that while I am with them I will ask good questions and listen intently. God often uses other people to speak into my life. 

C’mon Now.

So we’ve been enjoying warmer weather. It’s beautiful outside, and I love it when the kids can just throw open the back door and go play. 

Inevitably, though, we quickly start to realize that most of our warm weather clothes no longer fit!  The flip flops (that we can find) are faded and a tad too small. The shorts are too short or won’t button, and even the dresses are proving to be too short!  

I spent some time on Old Navy’s website trying to figure out an amount to ask Josh to budget for the summer wardrobe overhaul for the girls. In the process I thought I would click over to the Women’s page and see what kind of deals were out there. And when this came up on my screen, 



I was SURE that I had clicked on the “girls” tab by accident. I mean, don’t these models look about 14 years old?????? Maybe 16.   But, nooooo, I had indeed pulled up the “women’s” tab.  

Ridiculous. That’s all I really have to say about that. 😁😁😁 

March Brings Back Memories

in March of 2011, our family was going through lots of change. We had been going through quite a little journey for months before, and I tried to share some of it on the blog because I didn’t want to forget!! And every March I spend some time remembering….so if you’re interested in reading a true story about God weaving His truth in a regular family’s life….

You can go here: https://dorminyanecdotes.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/what-a-difference-a-year-makes/

And then here:  https://dorminyanecdotes.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/what-a-difference-a-year-makes-part-two/

It’s partly painful to read, but also encouraging. I’m so glad we’re not at that particular point in life….though God is still teaching us so much day by day. The  journey continues!  And I still have so far to go. 

He Speaks to Me {hospitality}



He Speaks To Me {hospitality}

A wonderful Bible teacher came to my house to speak to the ladies in our Sunday School class. Everyone who knows her loves her and spoke so highly of her. Many have asked me what I learned….so let me share!

She spoke to us on the topic of hospitality. When I first found out she was speaking on hospitality at my house, I got a bit nervous. I thought about all the things I may be doing wrong. Was I dressed appropriately?  Will I be friendly enough?  Do I have enough seating?  Are there enough food options?  Aaaaaaahhhhh!  I don’t want to break any hospitality rules straight out of the shoot!!!!!  

Pat Harley walked us to where the word hospitality is mentioned in the Bible. She gave us a definition of it— “love of strangers” (that has nothing to do with my outfit or my dated white kitchen cabinets).  Love of strangers. 

We discussed why we should be hospitable, what keeps us from being hospitable and the benefits of being hospitable. 

We looked at Romans 12, I Timothy 5:9-10, I Peter 4:9, Luke 14:12, among other passages. 

I spent my time with the Lord in Romans 12 for a couple of mornings after she spoke. There is so much in this chapter, and I felt drawn to spend some more time there. 

Verse 10 says, “ Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”

That is such a great truth that goes against human nature. 

Devoted to another in love.  Giving preference to another. 

My side note in my Bible says that giving preference to one another in honor could be translated, “outdo one another in showing honor.”

Not “outdo one another in how big your house is” or “outdo one another in who serves the most expensive meal.”  

Instead, how can I outdo someone in showing honor to them?  How can I give preference to them?  

This is the heart of hospitality…..showing love and honoring someone.

Verse 13 encourages the believer to contribute to the needs of the saints and practice hospitality. My notes say that it could read,”pursuing hospitality.”  Go after, be intentional, look for opportunities to be hospitable. Is there someone in my world that needs to be loved on and encouraged? 

Could it be there’s a strained relationship that could be relieved by sharing a meal together and showing honor to them?

Could it be there is a new family in our Sunday School class that could really use some time in your home to get to know you and to be known by someone?

Is there’s lady who is hurting and needs to meet over coffee and have someone listen to her?  

Loving others. Honoring others. 

When we understand God’s call to hospitality and we become intentional about pursuing people to love and honor, you better know there will be multiple ways Satan would like to discourage you from actually following through. 

“My carpet is so old and worn. I’d be embarrassed for anyone to come over.”

“What if my meal tastes horrible ??”

“What if their kids are rambunctious and ruin something?”

“What if we don’t have much to talk about?”

Those reasons are grounded in pride and fear, neither are from God.

Besides being called to be hospitable as believers, another huge reason for showing love to others in your home is YOUR KIDS ARE WATCHING!  I want to model hospitality for my kids. One evening we had a couple over for dinner and asked them to share their testimony with our family. They each shared how God rescued them from a life of drugs and lies. My kids were enthralled; I’m sure they won’t forget that dinner.  Another night we had a missionary couple from Iran in our home. We didn’t “shew” the kids away while the adults talked. We made sure the kids knew that this night was a night to listen and learn from this couple. One of my favorite hospitality moments was hosting the elementary staff in our home for lunch. All three kids participated and served and helped with the cleanup. Where else will my kids learn how to love people and honor them by showing preference to others?  

While I love opening up my home to people, I also got to thinking that if hospitality is “love of strangers,” then we certainly aren’t limited to being hospitable in our homes. I can show hospitality any where I find myself!  The grocery store. Church. Zaxby’s. The Post Office.  The neighborhood pool. The airport. There’s really no limit to where or when you can show love and give preference to someone else. What a gift we can give!  And trust me, it would be a welcome gift to most people. Have you noticed how lacking our world is of genuine kindness or helpfulness?  It’s become what is expected, so a warm, hospitable smile or holding the door open for someone can really go a long way. Who knows?  They may even ask you why you would be so kind and open the door for you to share Jesus with them. Because, honestly, without Him, we wouldn’t be able to give preference to one another in honor.  We would not be devoted to anyone except ourselves. 

Lets all pursue hospitality! Love a stranger today. 

He Speaks To Me {drawing near}

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8a

Josh taught from the book of James this morning in Sunday School. It was a good lesson that he spent much time preparing. It challenged me in a couple of ways:

1) I was challenged in my repentance. There are too many days that I don’t spend time in confession of my sins and allow God to cleanse my hands and purify my heart. 

2) I was challenged to examine my walk. Are there areas in which I need to sacrifice in order to draw near to God?

I realize Jesus loves me and there’s nothing I can do to diminish His love for me. That’s a settled fact. He drew me near to Him first. He loved me first. I get that. And that WHY is the foundation for desiring to draw near to God.

There is, inside me, a desire to love Him back and to “draw near to Him.”  I want to recommit myself to waking up well before the kids. They are with me all day, so if I don’t have time alone with God in the early morning hours, it’s challenging to have that kind of time any other time of the day. Do I pray all throughout the day?  Yes. Do I practice my scripture memory at different times of the day?  Yes. But the uninterrupted time in God’s Word in the morning is priceless. I need to hear from Him. I need wisdom and guidance. I need to spend time with Him. I want to! So I’m recommitting to be consistent in my waking up earlier. It’s worth sacrificing sleep to be with God. Or maybe sacrificing reading another chapter of a book the night before so I can get enough sleep to wake up!  I love being up so early that there’s nothing else I can do besides spend time with God—you know, when the grocery store is closed, no one will answer the phone at the doctor’ office if I called because they aren’t there, when it’s too early to cook or clean—I think you get my point. 

And then throughout my day I need to allow for moments of quiet and reflection….instead of filling any down time with Facebook or blog articles or even books. Maybe God has something to speak to me about or maybe He wants to bring a verse to mind for a certain situation.  I won’t hear that in my day if I am constantly absorbing mindless entertainment.  

How does that practically look in my life?  How do I intentionally draw near to God?  It most definitely looks different for each person, but it’s vital for me to have a plan…to think ahead and prepare for these times.  From setting my alarm to maybe purchasing a commentary or Bible dictionary or downloading a scripture memory app. 

Here’s an example of having a heart for something and putting it into action:  Whenever I talk with someone considering home schooling their children, I tell them they must know and write out and believe in their “why.” I know my personal “why” for home schooling, BUT I can’t just tell you why I am going to homeschool my kids and then not have a plan in place to teach them!  That would be ludicrous and that type of reasoning won’t fly in any job or career!

Or what if you knew why you should save money, but you never actually planned and budgeted ways to do that?  Would only knowing why help you?  No. The practical application of what you know helps you get somewhere financially. 

I can see that same principle holding true spiritually. 

Do I know why I should draw near to God?  Yes. 

Do I know some “right” things to do to draw near to God?  Yes.

Am I DOING them?

“Anyone who knows the right thing to do, but doesn’t do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17