Cupcake Thief

Messy Monday ~ December 14

The afternoon after Crash’s birthday, I walked into the kitchen to discover the remaining cupcakes (which I had put away the night before) sitting out in a very disheveled state.  The box was open and every cupcake was turned over.  There was more icing smeared on the packaging than was left on the cupcakes.  I instantly knew who to suspect.

Messy Monday Cupcakes

I went upstairs to Crash’s room where he was supposedly napping and asked him about the cupcakes.  He fessed up pretty readily that he had gotten into them.  It was then that I noticed the tiny hints of blue icing at the corner’s of his mouth.  When pressed further, he admitted to eating some of the cupcakes, although he said he just ate “some”, not a whole cupcake.  I asked what he had done with the rest of it.

“Ok, fine.  I’ll show you,” he replied as he slid out of bed.  He knelt down by the nightstand and pointed underneath.  I peered under the small table and found not one, but three, bald cupcakes.  The swirly poof of icing had been licked clean off each one, but the cake didn’t even have so much as a nibble out of it.

Sadly, as you can imagine, the result of his birthday gluttony was a sick tummy later.  Even our bodies try to tell us not to go overboard with the sugar, but alas, we do not usually listen very well—especially not in December.  Let this be a gentle warning to us all.  Not everything that looks and smells wonderful will lead us to wonderful places.  May we always be careful to choose wisely.  😉

Blessings, Elizabeth

Day 28: 10 Ways to Handle Rude Comments

Rude Comments

It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.
1 Peter 2:15
The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you haven’t thought of yet.
~Ann Landers

It is painful when an already challenging circumstance is made even more difficult by the careless words of another.  Rude comments often leave us feeling kicked when we’re already down.  Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can break our spirit.

A couple of summers ago, my husband was in the middle of a 6-month deployment and I ran out of diapers.  Not a big deal.  I decided to stop by Walmart on my way home from church to pick up more.  My oldest three children stayed at church for the second service to attend youth group, so I took the younger five and headed off to the store.

While I was in the diaper aisle trying to find the right size, an incredulous older man stared at me with my two children standing beside me and three more riding in the cart.  He scoffed and said, “You should get a TV and watch it more often.”  I was mortified.

Day 24: 17 Things to do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed

And now, our God, the great God, God majestic and terrible, loyal in covenant and love,
Don’t treat lightly the trouble that has come to us.
Nehemiah 9:32

Sometimes all the issues and details of life seem to pile up and bury me.  I can get so overwhelmed that I lose the ability to handle even the small things.  That means it’s time to stop, take a deep breath, and refocus.  How about you?  Are you feeling worn out, frazzled, and overwhelmed?  Here are 17 things to change you from “overwhelmed” to “over-comer”.

Day 18: Sound Your Trumpet

Why You Need to Ask for Help

Sound Your Trumpet

Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
Nehemiah 4:19-20

 “Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.”
~ Ziad K. Abdelnour

Rebuild & Defend

After 70 years of exile in Babylon, the Israelites were finally allowed to return to their homeland.  Nehemiah led the 3rd group of returning Jews in 444 B.C.  Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Nehemiah and his followers discovered the city walls in ruins and Jerusalem utterly defenseless against her taunting enemies.  Much to the irritation of the surrounding aggressors, Nehemiah led the people in rebuilding the walls to protect their city.

It wasn’t easy.
The work of rebuilding is hard enough, but they were also under the constant threat of attack from people who were determined to see them fail (Neh 4:11-12).  Half of the men worked to rebuild the wall while the other half stood armed and ready to fight off their attackers.  The men carried supplies with one hand and their weapon with the other.  All the builders had a sword strapped to their side (Neh 4:16-18).  They worked this way all day as long as they had even the faintest glimmer of light and they hardly rested at night because they were always on guard (Neh 4:21-23).

But they weren’t alone.
They had each other.  They were spread out along the wall, but whenever one was attacked, they all rushed in to defend.  No one had to fight alone.  It wasn’t “every man for himself.”  The weak were never left to fend for themselves.  The people completed their work and defended one another as a single cohesive unit.  Nehemiah told the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” (Neh 4:20)

A Great Lesson for Us

In our modern lives, we also have a lot of important work do.  We face attacks, difficulties, and setbacks too.  We may not have neighbors coming at us with swords and spears, but we do have an enemy of our souls who seeks to undo us.  And like the Israelites in ancient times, we are very spread out.

What they had that we seem to be missing is the trumpet.  They knew the work was hard and the fight was real, but they also understood they didn’t have to do it all alone.  Somehow, we’ve forgotten that last part.

People have always lived and worked in community.  It’s how we were made to function best.  Something about our modern lifestyles and independent American mindset has made us think we can win at life alone.  We can’t.  If we’re going to succeed, we must learn how to lay down our pride and pick up our trumpet.  Asking for help isn’t showing weakness.  It’s showing the quiet strength of humility.  It’s allowing others to be blessed by helping us.  It’s letting others minister to us the way we have ministered to them.  It’s the way God intended for life to work.

In the midst of our crisis, at the point of attack we have got to be willing to sound our trumpet and call for help.

Call for Help

Day 16: Perseverance: 7 Ways to Turn Failure into Success

Press on Toward the Prize

perseverance

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

 “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
~ Michael Jordan

Success in any endeavor requires perseverance.  Living in faith is no different. We must not dwell on what is behind us, but rather strive for what God has laid out ahead of us.  We are called and equipped to press on to win the prize that is before us, but we have to put in the hard work to get there.  Here are 7 ways to sustain the fire of perseverance in you as you run your race.