Friday, October 30, 2009

Healing Salt; Being Salt

Well, as I said before, the Dr. office wanted me to bring DD back in again. When the nurse called me back to confirm this, I told her that I was not going to bring her in to risk getting the flu. That I would keep an eye on her symptoms a bit longer. If they worsened further, then I would.

This nurse was wonderful!!! She gave me a natural remedy. We previously did the salt water gargles for DD's throat, but not thought of doing this nasally.

The nurse suggested to sterilize an old nose spray bottle, then make a mixture of 1/2 c. warm water to 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of table salt. Then put her in a steaming shower while she is using the nose spray. She said that will thin, loosen the mucus, and thin the membranes in her nose.

Friends, it worked!! :))

The day we called the Dr., DD was running a high fever, and so congested. The very next morning, she felt like a new person!!! I believe it was also answers to prayers, because a lot of folks have been praying for her. I also believe God used this natural remedy to aid in her healing as well.

This got me thinking about the neti pot. I've see this on some TV shows in the past months. Husband and I have discussed it because he has allergy and sinus issues quite often.

Recently, my friend Andrea has been sick with similar symptoms this past week. She began using the neti pot and it has helped her.

So, we may purchase one, and begin cleaning out our sinuses. Seriously (being the germ-a-phob that I am) can't help but wonder about all the garbage we are breathing in!! YUK!

Salt is such a healing agent. No wonder the Bible mentions salt so often.

We all have a lot of healing to be done in our lives; Must be why God reminded us in His word to be salt. It changes things for the better...

What the dictionary says about Salt:
an ingredient that gives savor, piquancy, or zest : flavor a people…full of life, vigor, and the salt of personality — Clifton Fadiman b : sharpness of wit : pungency c : common sense d : reserve, skepticism —usually used in the phrases with a grain of salt and with a pinch of salt e : a dependable steadfast person or group of people —usually used in the phrase salt of the earth.

What the Word of God says about being salt:
Matthew 5:13 (New International Version)

Salt and Light

13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

Colossians 4:5-7 (New International Version)

5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

James 3:10-12 (New International Version)

10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

God is really working on me about being salt.

As I read James, this really jumped out at me. "deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom"
James 3:13
13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Sometimes good deeds are not born out of God's wisdom, but out of our own. So often we think God is telling us to do this or that for others, or for our own selves. However, if we take an honest look at it after time with the Lord and His is more of WE are telling God what we think.

When we get alone with God and the Bible, as we read it, He reveals what "His" truth is for us really is.

Basically, requires to put our vain and frivolous notions aside, in order to hear a word from the Lord on situations at hand. :) Not always easy for human nature to do. We think we know the solutions for our lives, or someone else's life, but we don't know the whole story...only God does.

Lord, as I put my thoughts and agendas aside, you come and be the full director of my life. Teach me what it truly means to serve and do your will. Not my will but Your will be done as I am fully surrendered to You alone and now one else.

Psalm 40:8 (New International Version)

8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

Psalm 143:10 (New International Version)

10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

Hebrews 10:7 (New International Version)
7Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.'

Revelation 4:11 (New International Version)
11"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."

Matthew 6:9-17 (New International Version)
9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.[a]'
14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Miss Teen NC USA

Our niece is going for it! She is going to be in the Miss Teen NC USA pageant 2009. Approaching...only a few weeks away!!

This is the photo she submitted for the photogenic portion of this upcoming pageant:

Such a beauty, and we know she is going to do very well! This will be her second pageant ever.

She was recently in a local County Fair pageant in her hometown, where she placed 1st runner up as well as awarded best talent.


Autism Speaks-Sensory Integration Dysfunction

A link of information on Autism, and to encourage those who deal with it in more intensity.

Sensory Integration Dysfunction is what our DD was diagnosed with. There are some aspects of it where she has improved some, and others that haven't. Thankfully what we deal with pales in comparison to others. However, she needs lots of understanding and encouragement. Dealing with clothes and shoes that feel ok to her are still a huge challenge. She isn't trying to be difficult, it is a real stress for her. The occupational therapist was a huge asset.

This is a helpful site on awareness for Autism in all forms. :)

A Few Pumpkin Carving Pics

I still can't get my photos to upload. So I took these from ones our friends shared with our children on FB. :/

Oh, our crew did the large pumpkin in the middle (with the angry eyebrows), and DD designed the BOO small one and DS got the guts out of it. The fancy ones on the outer ends were done by our friends. :)

Thanks Anne for posting these up for us.

We've got some more cute ones of the kids, once I can get this computer situated. Apple says I need to dump everything onto my external hard drive...aka the time machine. Then, reformat the computer. Uh...ok....hahahaha. I'm pretty good on the computer, but not THAT good!

Bring Her Back In???

Ahhh! DD (darling daughter) still has nasal congestion after 12-13 days. This morning she woke up with a fever. Her pediatrician told me to call if she had a fever.

This morning she woke up with a fever, so I called first thing. At about 10:30 I got a call back from the nurse.

Now, even though she has no other symptoms (except the fever, only the bad nasal congestion and occasional headache), they will probably be having me bring her in again!! She had those symptoms before when she saw her. They did a strep test, etc...said it was viral.

At this point, I really believe it is sinus infection. Or some type of bacterial infection.

Poor thing has been sick for over 3 wks now with intestinal flu, and now this for over 2 wks!

I'm not the kind of mom who likes to rush to put my kids on an antibiotic, unless it is absolutely necessary. Taking her in again will be like playing russian roulette with the flu.

Thankfully last Mon. when I took her in, we didn't catch anything. That office is seeing a lot of flu cases though...if we have to go back again, we are increasing chances.


Their pediatrician back home (who has known them since they were babies) would have called them in an antibiotic if they had already seen them once for the same symptoms. We have been so healthy for the most part! They can see by our children's charts that we are not antibiotic junkies!! lol.

Ok, sorry to spill there for a moment. Only want us to stay healthy, so we can all have a good time when we are together with our FL family over Thanksgiving! We're so excited and can't wait to get there!!!

Oh, I'm working on getting our pumpkin carving photos up! :))) Something to brings smiles.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Creative Carving; Hiatus

Last night we got together with our neighbors and carved pumpkins. We had a great time, and our son was so skilled at scooping out the pumpkin guts! Thanks son!!

It was neat how he enjoyed that, while our daughter worked on our pumpkin designing. He also added his last minute touches to the design.

DD (darling daughter) came up with the eyes and mouth. DS (darling son) came up with the eyebrows and adding in the nose.

Our neighbors created a bit more elaborate pumpkins; A cool looking pirate...totally designed from scratch by the husband Bart. It was detailed!! Also, an adorable detailed monster from Monster's Inc, that was carved by his wife Anne.

They served us some delicious "boo" sugar cookies. Oh, and our DD designed a "Boo" pumpkin for one of their "baby" pumpkins.

We have photos. However, the memory on my computer is getting so backed up from RAW photo files. I had trouble uploading the prints from our p&s camera...mainly due to videos being on their as well. For some reason it is too much for iPhoto to import (I have a 3-4 yr old macbook) So when I can get our system cleaned up and tuned up a bit, I'll post some photos from last night. If our friends get their copies posted first, I'll link you to their blog. :)

Hiatus concerning Facebook:
I've gotten to some of you already, but I don't think everyone. Then I realized...perhaps some folks are reading my blog, and can let them know that way.

I've deleted my Facebook. No big deal. Not sure when or if I will return. There were some things going on concerning the photography end where God said, "take a time out from it".

Mainly, questioning where my energy needs to be most focused on.

For now, it is family, teaching, learning keyboard and learning more about subjects I am teaching the children, singing to the Lord, writing songs when inspired to do so (which usually comes without trying when I am having quality time with is birthed from spending deep and precious times with the His word and in soaking prayer where I am being still before the Lord), as well as more learning of technical aspects of photography.

Also, keeping in remembrance the purpose of the photography. It is easy to get the "big head" when doing something like photography. I have a natural eye for it, however, I've got plenty to learn. Before I put myself out there as an "expert", or one who knows a lot about it, I'd better DEFINITELY "know it" and know my camera!

I want to be certain that I am not feeding off of compliments, but being fueled ONLY by my passion and love of the art of photography. :)

I've got this newer Canon 30d...still have so much to read up on about it. It really is different than shooting with the 10d. Not to mention, still have so much to learn about photography! Having the natural eye is only part of it.

So.... friends and family...don't think I "nixed" you as a friend on FB. I've deleted my acct. That's all. :) You can still reach me the old fashioned phone, email(funny to think that email is becoming old fashioned), or keep up with me through my blog.

I'm still doing photography. I've still got my jennography blog and will post occasional photos there from time to time. :) So feel free to ask if interested in me doing photos for you.

Oh, and I still have Flickr. Only, it is marked private for friends and family only. You'll need to have an account, and I'll have to approve you before you can see my work there. I can also send you guest passes to see my work if you don't have an account there.

If I return to FB, I'll not be as concerned about posting up a bunch of photos there. Only 1-3 from the shoots for the client to get a sneak peak, and for them to use one as a profile photo (if they want). In the future, I'm going to do client proofing in person.

This may not make any sense to anyone else, yet it is between the Lord and I. Something He is working out in me. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Monday-Something to Make You Smile...

Ok...the kids and I got a chuckle out of this. Heehee...Enjoy!

Oh...It is difficult to hear the last statement at the end...but the mom sea lion says to the two baby sea lions (who are fighting), "Tuck it in, you know I'm working nights". Had to listen to that twice to make sure it was not a bad word. It's clean though. lol!

This vid is so cute!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

No Antibiotics

My husband ended up taking our son to church this morning, while I stayed home with our girl. She was the most excited about all of us being together at church this morning! She was soooo wanting to see her youth friends, and check on our youth pastor's wife (who injured her finger recently). Yet, her sweet and almost to tears sad face walks into our room and says, "mom, my throat is very sore again today". :*-(

Soooooooooooo, this morning husband was approached at church and asked, "Why isn't she on an antibiotic?". I'm thinking...hmmmm, This is a person I had already thoroughly explained this whole situation/scenario with. Funny to me. But, I'm notorious for "checking out" when people are talking with me. I'm not doing it intentionally, it just happens. Therefore, I'll give this person the benefit of the doubt. ;)

Anywhooooo...For those who read my blog, family and friends who are from our church here or back home...anyone's the deal...

Last Monday, I took our daughter to her pediatrician. Who thoroughly checked her over, and gave her a strep test (which came back negative). The Dr. tells me that there is a virus going around, and she has seen it a lot in their office. It starts with a bad sore throat (which our girl explained as being as painful as knives in her throat) that is the kind of pain, bad headache, some body aches, fatigue, then congestion. The congestion can last for weeks. Seriously, the snot or mucus (either sounds gross to me!) keeps coming and coming...from nowhere!

We were told the virus symptoms may even come and go (which they did this morning); symptoms can reoccur for up to 14 days. If she has symptoms, she is contagious.

She is going on day 11 with this. Prior to that, she had an intestinal flu...our whole family did! So for a week we were sick with that, prior to getting the crud. We've had illness going on for 3 wks...and people, I'm totally over it! lol ;)

We've hardly been anywhere. When I go out to the grocery store, I have my hand sanitizer within reach (thanks to 3M-and our Aunt who keeps us in supply)

Our Dr. has seen a lot of this type of virus. We are only to call back if she begins to run a high fever. So, for now we have to trust the physician that we have entrusted our children with. First and foremost, I trust the Great Physician!

It is that time of year though. Our little family has been so healthy in the past 2 yrs as far as colds and virus stuff. We are thankful to have been so well in past years. Unfortunately, now we are taking a turn at it...and it keeps us a bit shut in.

I've always heard after 10 days it must be bacterial, and there needs to be an antibiotic prescribed. Lately, we are seeing other bugs and infections that are new, and that are even resistant to antibiotics. I'd rather allow my child to fight it off and build their immune system (as long as the child is not getting dangerous symptoms), rather than put them on antibiotics. That is what I feel is best for us. I'm sure someone might beg to differ. That is ok, to each his/her own though. :)

My theory: One reason why the flu and all of these new viruses are so rampant, could very well be that some are not taking their Dr's advise, and staying in the length necessary to "not be" contagious. I realize it is difficult for some out there...single moms and so many situations that keep others from being able to rest when needed. For those who CAN stay in a rest...and not spread more germs...that is the better choice in my opinion.

Call me a germ-a-phob, I don't care. ;) I know it, and proud of it! I come from a long line of them. lol

Oh, the Dr. told us that they are seeing several cases of the swine flu in children here. On the Today show this morning, every single state with the exception of two...had severe outbreaks of the swine flu. Another good reason for staying out of public places for now. Germs Germs Germs! lol Doesn't mean I don't allow them to be outside though. It is good for the immune system to get fresh air. So even if our two are out tossing a ball back and forth for a little while... they are getting a little exercise, sunshine and fresh air.

By the way...she just came in and told me that her sore throat is already feeling better than it was when she woke up! Thank you Lord! I still had her gargle with warm salt water. :p

We are going to meet our Florida family in GA next month for my birthday. YAY!!! Our family is praying that we ALL stay well, so we can enjoy our time together. It is rare that we get to see each other! Please Lord keep us well!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dreaming...Santa Baby...

Hurry down the chimney tonight! ;) Never hurts to dream...

Wish list:
iMac desktop Computer (probably the most needful thing right now...trying to share a small laptop among a family of 4 with a photography mom, a son who is into making movies and now photography, and a daughter who is also shooting photography...yowzaaaa! This little 13" screen 3+ yr old macbook is losing speed fast! lol)
This is the one I dream of. Will probably have to settle for a last yrs model at the first of next yr though. haha
The new iMac 27" desktop- a dream photography editing machine!

Camera Equipment to dream about...

Pro Camera Body-the bodies I have now are semi pro and crop sensor. Would really love to have a full frame pro series camera someday.

1st Choice:
Canon 1d Mark IV


2nd Choice (even a gently used one)
Canon 5d Mark II body only

Lenses First Choice:
Canon EF 16-35mm f/ 2.8L USM

Canon Zoom EF 24-70mm f/ 2.8L

Canon 35mm wide angle f/1.4

Lenses Second Choice:
Tamron lens for Canon SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras

Tamron Lens for Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS

Canon 35mm f/2.0

I got to thinking how expensive these lenses are. However, the investment is definitely in the glass (lens). There definitely is a difference in optics!

Thinking the ones I listed are quite expensive...I came across this little beauty...for the low price of $75,896.50. Yes, I typed that correctly. Over 75K for a lens. :o

Check it out here...
Canon HJ40x14B 40x High Def Lens

It is really a lens for videography... but WOWWwww Talk about pricey!!

My Two Artists

It is amazing how much interest these two children of mine are showing in photography. It amazes me how they are beginning to get the focus down.

Josh shot in camera auto, but manually focused the lens.

Jordan shot these in camera manual, and auto focus on the lens.

Failed to mention before...these are all completely SOOC. Straight out of the camera...without any editing.

Here are Josh's photos:







Here are Jordan's photos:






Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still Healing; Beach Wedding!

Our family is still healing from the crud. All I can figure...when we get done with this junk, maybe we will be done with it for the fall and winter!!!

Last weekend I had a wedding shoot and a friend of mine second shot with me. We had a great time!!! Best of all, the reception was right on the beach, and we got a fun night staying at the beach as well! :)

Here are a some to share:









Congrats to our dear friends!!! May you have a very blessed life together!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Son-Budding Photographer/Van is Home!

Our son has been showing a great interest in movie making for quite sometime. Recently, he has been interested in the fisheye lens effect, as well as slow zooming in of subjects. He has asked a lot of questions about lenses and how they work.

This afternoon, he and I went outside for a few basics. I'm only beginning him in auto with basics. Today we worked on focus/focal points, and a few basics on composition. Wow, I was impressed with some of the images he came out with!!!

He even came up with a cool and creative name for his photography...all on his own! Highspeed Photography, and plans to use a MPH/ speedometer or tachometer somehow with his logo.

Here are a few of his photographs from this afternoon. A few are dead center on the composition, but once I explained the rule of 3rds, he caught on quickly! This child of mine totally amazed me!




I thought this next one was just STUNNING with the bokeh...done all on his own!



Not much editing done to these at all. A little sharpening, and a tad of contrast....quickly done in my iphoto program. Nice work son!!! You are so creative and I pray that God will use your gifts to be a blessing to others.

Well, we just got in from picking up our van (about a 3 hr drive one way) from where it pooped out on us. It is running fine now, and we are thankful to have it back in our parking space!

Right now I am charging batteries, and getting my photography gear ready for a wedding shoot this weekend. YAY!! I'm sooooo excited about photographing this wedding at the beach. It won't actually be ON the beach, but in a sweet church. I'm looking forward to taking some fun photos on the beach as well though! A friend of mine is going to second shoot for me. Another fun part is, we get to enjoy a night at the beach...wooohooooo! :)) God is good!

Adventure and Photography

Well, the children and I had an adventure of a day yesterday!

On our traveling back from visiting family, which is a 4 hour drive, my van broke down on the main hwy. Luckily I was able to get off on an exit and coast into the ONLY shell station within miles.

The children and I sat there while husband had a 3 hour drive to get to us. While David was in transit, I went inside and inquired about some local mechanics. After husband called the first of the business cards, he determined that the man must have been on some type of drugs or alcohol. He was not making any sense at all. So he called a second.

Two men were there within 30 mins. They were very clean cut and helpful! BUT they did not have all of their work equipment because they were actually on their way to return a rental truck when they got the call from us. So, they tinkered with a few things, and thought water was getting inside of the air filter or gas line. They drove it up and down the side road, also took it on the hwy, and of course it did not jerk (like it did with me and it felt as if the engine would drop out onto the ground!!)

So, I get back into van, drive it around and it seems fine, the men would NOT allow me to pay them!! They were headed in the same direction as me. They told me to call them if I had any problems. I no more get on the hwy, when the danged thing started jerking AGAIN!! To the point where I could not accelerate!

Needless to say, a few miles up the road I had to pull off on the hwy, right under an overpass. Pouring and transfer trucks WHIZZZING by! Nice guys in truck stop again to help me. heehee

Again they tinker and decide I need dry gas put in. I barely make it to the next exit, and they pour a bunch of octane cleaning stuff into my tank, but the gas station we stopped at had no dry gas. They leave because by then husband had arrived! We were in a city where we have some family. Together we find an auto parts place, buy dry gas, put some premium gas in with. This time, husband drives the van and I follow in the car. A few miles up with hwy, van begins jerking uncontrollably. Husband says. WHHHHOOOAAAAA. lol. We drive back to city where family is a few miles back, and leave the car with his uncle. He graciously offers to take our van to his mechanic.

We find out today, that it will cost 400 bucks to fix my van. :( SHOOT!!!!! lol! It is what it is though. :-/ Thankful that it is not more than that!!! We are also so thankful that God kept us safe during the two times I had to pull off of the hwy.

Now to the happy part. Here are some photos of my sweet girl. Can't believe how she is so growing!!! She's growing into a beautiful young lady. Next I hope to do a photoshoot of my son. I'll post one recent of him jumping in front of my mirror shot. lol! It's kind of blurry of him, but he jump in unexpectedly!


A Little Sweet:

A Little Sassy:

A Little Smart:

A Little Sarcastic:

A Little OVER IT! lol

The reason we went home last week was for me to do a photoshoot for my niece. She was in a county pageant and came in first runner up out of 13 girls. Also, she won the talent!! So proud of her!!!






Friday, October 9, 2009

Back Home; More on Forgiveness

The children and I are back home visiting family in the western part of our state. We are having a wonderful that we are all feeling well! Whew, we all had that intestinal flu bug...yuckkka! Sooooo glad we are coming through on the other side of it!

Mainly, we made the trip here to photograph my niece for the photogenic portion of a county pageant she is in. :) Also, to coach/guide her a bit on her talent portion. She's doing a beautiful job on her own though! :)) I only assisted her with fine tuning some of the movements, and she has a vocal coach she worked with as well.

We took her photos at our family farm. There is a pond and such lovely landscape...acres and acres of woods!

The photos turned out GREAT, and how wouldn't they??? My niece is gorgeous! Of course, I could have botch them...that was on my mind...I did LOTS of praying,lol! It is a little nerve racking to think that my photography/posing of her could influence/sway a judges decision. Yikes!

My niece is thrilled with them, and all who have seen them thus far are loving them! The prints turned out amazing!!! I can't wait to share them more publically on my blogs and on Facebook, but it will have to be after Saturday. ;)

We were in a time crunch to get them done!! Her schedule is so tight, and the only day we had was about an hour on Wed night. Since the days are getting shorter, we lost the light FAST. We had to do a few of them with flash in almost dark.

In the process of getting them printed (at Sam's for the sake of saving time) the lady in the photo lab would NOT release my OWN images to me without a TYPED copyright release form. Thank goodness she called to warn me before we got there!!!

In one sense it was kind of flattering; Here was this lady telling me, "These images are just too good to release without a copyright release". On the other hand...I was aggravated at what she was asking me to do on short notice.

I mean, if they require something in their files for legal purposes...for the photographer...THEY should have forms that the photographer signs, with their legal writing, etc. I have model release forms and image release forms for my clients, but they were making me create my own release form??!!!

The thing is, niether Sam', or back where we live now has ever given me a problem about picking up my OWN images (that I uploaded in MY created account with Sam's photo online).

I was completely frazzled! We only had a few hours to get there before they closed, and had no printer available. I was 40 mins away from the store, AND I had to have my son at another location so our Aunt could pick him up for our counsin's ball game.

I was at my sister in law's home trying to finish them up, and get them uploaded to Sam's online...she has the wireless internet. When I get the call from the photo lab. It wasn't a great time for me to sit down to gather my thoughts to word a letter, get my loco on it, and upload it to the Sam's site (she told me that if I upload it as a jpg, they would print it out at the lab for me to sign-that was nice-I was still so aggravated though!). We all know how slow computers go when we are in a hurry!!!

The lady at Sam's would only take a business card (which I do not have) or a TYPED ONLY written release. I kept telling her that I was the owner of the images...I'm not PRO. I'm working toward pro status. I do have a business account to keep the money separate, but no business cards because right now I am not promoting myself that way. Only doing jobs via word of mouth, and mostly ministry type shoots. It seems lately my work is picking up. So...guess it is time for some business cards!!! If for no other purpose than for Sam's to staple in their files. lol!

In all of this, had to ask myself...what would keep someone from using my business card as their own??? Also, anyone could type something up and sign it! She didn't even ask to see my ID when I got there. The whole thing made no sense!! I even have a busness debit/credit card with Jennography by "my name" on it...that wasn't acceptable as proof either!!! She would not release my images without a TYPED letter.

I was already late getting my son to his location...I'm trying to rush and get this letter typed...AND uploaded to the Sam's site for them to print it out for me. Nice lab lady said once I did this, then I won't have to EVER do it again. Here's hoping...we'll see! I'll definitely be prepared if I have to pick up images at our Sam's when I return home. Usually I use an online lab.

Even though it was irritating, I'm glad to know they are cracking down on photography copyright laws. :)

So this morning, I've been reading about forgivness. HAHA, that is funny after typing about how aggravated I was!heehee. This words seems to roll around again and again in my life. That must be because there are always new things to be forgiven, and it is such a daily forgive.

I love today's Proverbs 31 devotion. It compares forgiveness with spinach. It is good for us in the long run, but doesn't taste great...isn't always easy to swallow.

Forgiving ourselves is one of the most difficult things to do. Just when I get the "forgiving others" down, then have to work on forgiving myself. (I had to forgive myself for losing patience with the photo lab lady last night. haha)

Here is the devotion from today:
Friday, October 09, 2009
Forgiveness is Like Spinach
Zoe Elmore

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

I've heard it said, "Forgiveness is like spinach. You might not like the taste, but it's good for you." I recently had the opportunity to "chew on" this spiritual wisdom, when someone close to me hurt my feelings.

We'd been friends for ten years, so her comment stunned me. Her words cut the silence of the room, "You and your personality are just too much for me today, I want you to leave my home immediately!" I thought she was joking but the look on her face and tension in her voice were clear, she wanted me to leave without delay.

I quickly gathered my things, said good-bye to the others in the room and left her home. I was hurt and embarrassed at what had just transpired. How could she have been so mean to me? What had I done to cause such hurtful words?

Over the next few days my hurt feelings turned to anger. Again and again her words rang in my ears. Soon unforgiveness crept in, spoiling my attitude. Knowing it would be easy to slip from an unforgiving attitude to sinful actions, I began searching God's Word for wisdom on this subject.
In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus tells of a servant forgiven a huge debt by his king. When the same servant has an opportunity to forgive someone a minor debt, he chooses to inflict punishment instead. The king finds out and is outraged:

"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." (Matthew 18:32-35, NIV)

These words pierced my heart as I thought of my bitter attitude toward my friend. As I meditated on these verses, I was reminded of times I had said or done hurtful things to others. At those times the forgiveness of God was extended to me. I could no longer allow myself to withhold forgiveness.

I invited my friend for coffee to ask her forgiveness for whatever I had done to cause her displeasure with me. Sadly, she was unwilling to explain or acknowledge her actions and we parted without any resolution to the situation.

It's been months since that meeting and there are times I have to remind myself to "eat my spinach" as I continue to forgive the one who hurt me. As I have struggled with this issue, God has shown me biblical steps to take as I forgive someone who has hurt me:

1. Recognize and confess my sins.
Psalm 41:4, "I said, 'O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.'" (NIV)

2. Rejoice in God's forgiveness for my sins.
Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (NIV)

3. Remember that forgiveness is a continual process.
Matthew 18:21-22a, "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times." (NIV)

Has someone hurt your feelings or been unkind to you? Try God's steps for a forgiving spirit. I believe you'll experience Psalm 34:8 for yourself: "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."

Dear Lord, I acknowledge the unforgiving spirit I have had toward my friend. Help me forgive her as You forgive me. Put a guard on my mouth in order that my words would be pleasing to others and to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Hear Lysa TerKeurst’s thoughts about “stabbing words” on our radio program today.

The Friends We Keep: A Woman's Quest for the Soul of Friendship by Sara Zacharias

How to Get Along with Difficult People by Florence Littauer

Visit Zoe’s blog - Called by a New Name

Application Steps:
Begin a forgiveness page in your journal and write out verses dealing with this subject.

Read the entire passage in Matthew 18:21-35.

Ask the Lord to show you who you need to forgive.

Am I a peace-maker or a grudge-holder?

Am I willing to go to those I may have hurt or offended and ask for forgiveness?

Am I willing to forgive those who have hurt me?

Power Verses:
Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (NIV)

Colossians 1:13-14, "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (NIV)

© 2009 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.
Labels: Forgiveness, Friendships, God's Perspective, Overcoming Anger, Patience, Relationships, Walking in Faith

The processing did turn out really great!