Welcome To My Refuge Spot

Welcome Friends to my blog about single motherhood and living for God. I hope that you find my thoughts and musings thought provoking and in alignment with God's word. Thank you for visiting and please feel free to share your comments and pass the word along to others who you feel could be blessed!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Break and Putting It All In Perspective

The end of spring break is almost near, so I am taking a couple of days off to spend with these precious angels of mine.
Chocolate Drop and her famous toothless smile *smile*Nee Nee Pooh in all of her sweetness- I only have 10yrs left *sigh*

My perspective- Thank You Lord!

They are at grannie and pa-pa's and the plan was initially, that while they were gone,I would redecorate ( really a nice way of saying clean their room) their room. I thought initially about just getting rid of all their junk and making it easier for them to manage, and then yesterday I read this post (please read) by Crystal over at Biblical womanhood. This poor sister lost her dear husband of only 10 weeks in a unexpected boating accident. Wow, I thought, I am getting married to the man I love in less than three months, I am fretting over wedding plans and the attitudes of others whom I will never be able to change, and this poor woman just lost her husband of only 10 weeks. The Lord was faithful in sending me a reality check! Life is too short to be overly concerned with the cares, the messes, the never ending to-do lists. Their room can wait, we will redecorate it together. So I encourage you all to spend the remainder of the week in honor of Kristy and her husband, by spending dear time with those you love. Forget all the aimless chores and tasks that you won't remember once they are not around. Be blessed and stay encouraged! Have a wonderful weekend. And please if you have a moment, stop by and visit Kristy's blog to leave words of encouragement during this difficult time for her.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bridal Thoughts and Prayer

Today I will simply share my "bridal prayer and thoughts". I ask that you continue to pray for me that God will keep me grounded and centered during this frenzy of wedding planning. I have come to the conclusion that marriage is a beautiful thing and a marriage ceremony should reflect that beauty both behind the scenes and forefront. I am a very laid back and glass half full person who believes that everything happens according to the will of God in its due time, and that there is really no need to stress or rush through things because when God is truly in it it will be according to his will. However, I am finding that my particular way of thinking doesn't always coincide with wedding planning and the fine details involved. Yes I want a beautiful affair, but should I trade my sanity in the process? While nothing particularly bad has happened, I feel sad that the planning stages of a wedding don't always reflect that beauty that I feel it should. And this is not just with my wedding but with any typical, average or normal wedding. It has become the acceptable norm that wedding planning is "just stressful", and that it "brings out the best and worst in people and you really find out who your friends are". I think that I have probably heard those two quotes more that I can stand to bear. Is this what one day is all about? I say it shouldn't be. It shouldn't cost an arm and a leg, it should be hard to find modest clothing, it shouldn't be hard to choose something likable by all, it just shouldn't be hard or frustrating at all, and by all means it shouldn't be something that will break up friendships or cause family grudges or grudges period! I sometimes believe that our desire for perfection and the perfect day can walk that fine line of just plain old leaving God out of the process and not upholding what his desire for the perfect day is. Scripture plainly states that " God is not the author of confusion but of peace( 1 Corinthians 14:33)" so I can't help but wonder that if there is confusion in planning and communications where lies the place that God hasn't authored??Since I am the bride, I feel responsible to search out any place that God isn't in, and bring him there. I am learning that if you don't put God first in all things concerning that it can be a very un-goldy process. So today I pray this prayer... I ask that you pray for me and my fdh as we continue in this process.

Dear Gracious and Heavenly Father,

I thank you for allowing me to have the opportunity to partake of your beautiful and sacred union that was created by you for your glory. I ask that you give me the grace to always keep you first and foremost in this journey. Help me not to forget you as we plan this wedding. Help me to always remember that it is we ( you and I ) not me, who is planning this for your glory and honor. I thank you for the people that you have brought into my life that possess so much valuable input, talents, and gifts. I thank you for allowing those same people to have the desire to contribute these gifts to our blessed day. I also ask that you will give me the wisdom to recognize when the devil is trying to throw a trap into our plans and to immediately go in prayer to bind and stand firmly against him. Help me not to get caught up into the worldly process of wedding planning, and help me maintain the right attitude at all times for all situations, help me to hide my feelings and keep my words seasoned with grace. Help me to always be conscience of your voice and to hear it before making any decision or statement. I know that of myself I may feel my attitude is correct, but help me maintain your attitude through out this. Help me guard my feelings, my mind, and my thoughts as the enemy tries to bring thoughts and imaginations that sometimes seem difficult to cast down. I know that I possess the power in your word to cast down every thought and imagination and high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of you, and bringing into captivity EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ( II Corinthians 10:4-5). And finally Lord, I thank you for giving me this needed outlet of blogging. I thank you how time after time, you allow me to read something that is truly needful and edifying to my soul that is posted by one of your servants. I thank you for imparting in their hearts the very thing that may be uplifting to the souls that read, and I thank you for their obedience to share the thoughts that you lay on their hearts. I ask that you grant me the grace to be the same blessing to others as those that you send my way are to me. I thank you again and will never cease to praise you. Amen.
With that being said, I feel better already. Have a wonderfully blessed day!-smfg

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tattoo's- The Painful After Effects

I wanted to share an article that I wrote about tattooing for a newsletter created by my pastor and other saints from my congregation. I wrote this article because I am seeing first hand the after effects of a phenomenon that is hundreds of years old, but is growing into a increasingly large mega trend among mine and the younger generation that is following. I decided to share my article because it is something that I did as a young rebellious woman, and now that I am older and about to be married, the damaging consequences are amplified more than ever. I was blessed though that my tattoo is small enough to have surgically removed before my wedding. However, I am being buffed about for my own faults, because as with all sin, it comes with a price, a whopping $650 price tag.

I don't mind sharing my story. I have told my FDH as much as I could tell while still being expedient and not painting a picture. I had to tell him, that I have an ungodly tattoo on my body that I feel would be an embarrassment for him to see once we get married. I told him that while I didn't feel led to go into details of my tattoo (i.e place, type, etc..) it wasn't something that I felt would be beneficial to our marriage. I mean, of course he knows that God cleaned me up from a miserable sinful life, and while I know he loves me unconditionally it still doesn't mean that I want my past to be advertised on my body for the rest of my future. So I sought out a board certified dermatologist and he explained the simple procedure. A small incision will be made on the tattoo, and a small portion of it will be removed from the top layer of skin, and the skin will sewn back together. Simple as stitching a deep flesh wound. Yes I will have a small scar, but to look at a scar versus looking at a constant reminder of a piece of me that was so opposite to who God has made me today is so much more worth it. To be able to feel completely free about that part of my sins being physically removed from me is very liberating. I feel a lot less embarrassed about myself. Don't get me wrong, while my self esteem doesn't suffer, the constant reminder of my sinful stupidity tends to be a thorn in my side.
I am sharing this because I don't want other young women to go through this. While explaining this may seem simple, its very costly financially, emotionally, and not to mention the physical pain I will endure, because I didn't mention that I can't afford anesthesia so this will be a deadening of the skin w/local anesthetic type thing. The price of sin is a great cost, and it's a cost that can be easily avoided by just serving God from the days of your youth. I encourage all young girls to just hold on and serve God, there is no temptation, peer pressure, fad or trend that you won't later regret and pay a price for. Below is the article I wrote.

Tattoos: The Devil’s Advertising

Tattooing for my generation and those younger is almost considered a rite of passage. According to statistics taken from a 2006 a study done by the Journal of the
American Academy of Dermatology found that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that's almost one in four. And the survey showed that about 36% of Americans age 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo!

Now I know that this may not seem very interesting or relevant, but as a human resource professional with one of the largest hospitals in the state, I see all to well the regret that comes with what the world calls art. I see applicants during interviews that can’t focus on the interview because they are worried about the impression and perception that they are giving when they have exposed tattoos. I see business men and doctors who will never wear short sleeves because of the unprofessional stigma that is tied to visible tattoos in corporate America. I see women who have a harder time achieving their professional goals because they are exposed with disgraceful highly visible tattoos that are frowned upon in management. With all that being said, I won’t even get into all the health risks that are associated with getting tattoos.

Unfortunately my generation and the generations behind me seem to think that tattooing is a form of artful expression, or as I said earlier a rite of passage. It has gone from discreetly hidden to blatantly portrayed, there are even those who use their faces as a canvas to display the colorful, permanent, and hideous display of what I call the devil’s advertising. The devil tricks you that it’s cool, and turns you into a permanent walking advertising billboard.

I don’t mean to sound judgmental, I admit I deal with the shame of this every day because when I was in my sin, I thought it was cool to get not one, but two tattoos. Even though I am now saved, my sins are forgiven, and I have on a new garment of a new man, when I see what I did to my body I feel regret. Yes, God has delivered me, but the stamp of Satan serves as a constant reminder of what he delivered me from.

You can have tattoos removed, but the costs are high and painful as with all sin. That one moment of pleasure costs you more that its worth in the long run. My message is simple, your body is not yours but the Lord’s (I Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?). One day you will get older, and you will desire a career, family and all those other things that are associated with becoming settled. Don’t let the devil’s advertising stand in your way. Don’t run the risk of having to explain to your children how it’s not good to get tattoos all the while as you constantly walk around displaying yours.

Thanks for reading and be blessed and stay encouraged! smfg