THE GENEROUS CLOSET

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Part 1 of 4

Gives to Others

I stood in my closet wondering how does this happen?  My once organized wardrobe is overcrowded, stuffed, and in disarray.  How could I let this happen? Can you identify with me?  What’s in your closet?

I teach people how to have an organized wardrobe that suits their personal style, body type, and lifestyle.  There I stood ready to apply the information I teach to others.

The song designated for my phone’s ringtone began to play, “Thank you my Lord for today…”.  I suddenly began to thank God for the overstuffed closet as I answered my phone.  The call was from a friend with an idea for a Fall Festival our church was planning.  She suggested we offer a clothes giving booth at this event.  Was this a coincidence?   I look at it as God’s providence.  My mind moved from thankful thoughts to heartfelt joy of giving to others. Skills for personal wardrobe organization were exhilarated into action.  I scheduled a few minutes each day for one week to purge my closet. The process of this purge led to several blessings. First and foremost, God once again reminded me of how he meets all needs.  As I bagged items time was spent with God.  I thanked HIM and prayed for those who would wear the donated items.  I prayed for those women to be drawn to HIS mighty love, grace, and salvation.  My small closet actually has enough room to do a “HAPPY DANCE”! Perhaps I should say there’s room to do a “THANKSGIVING DANCE!

God gives each one of us opportunities to be blessed by blessing others. God turned a frustrating and complaining moment in my little closet into a blessing. I am thankful God continues work in and through our hearts during every day occurrences.

A generous closet starts in the heart of the owner.

Generous Closet Tips-

  1. Get rid of items beyond repair.
  2. Decide where your donated items will be given. Label boxes or bags with the names of people, places, or organizations you desire to receive the donated clothes.
  3. Set aside time to create a generous closet. You might plan a few minutes each day for a week or decide to take a whole day. Your goal is to start AND finish this project quickly.
  4. Enter your closet with a thankful and giving heart.
  5. Staying focused on being generous will help you give away items you do not need.
  6. Bag or box all items you haven’t worn in a year. (this excludes that special event dress/outfit)
  7. Deliver your boxes or bags to your designated places or people.

A GENEROUS CLOSET GIVES TO OTHERS.   Next week I will share how a Generous Closet Gives a Message.

Generous hands are blessed because they give… Proverbs 22:9 MSG

I would love to read your responses to these tips.  Please feel free to comment.

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A Good Woman and Her Bling

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This past weekend I had an extremely fun and spontaneous chat with a couple of ladies.  Each one of us admired the bling we noticed on one another .  One of these dear friends was wearing shinny silver frames which highlighted her twinkling brown eyes.  Sparkly beads which looked like diamonds were sewn into the neckline of her soft pink blouse.  Her taupe embellished shoes matched perfectly as the same diamond shaped sparkles surrounded her peeping toes . She matched head to toe and looked so cute! As presently fifty- something year old women, we jokingly wondered if we would ever get too old to wear the bling. How we wear the bling may evolve a bit in years to come. Awareness of this possibility does not change one specific fact about us. We will be the blingy old ladies one day. Perhaps I should write that we will be the blingy mature ladies one day!

What I enjoyed most was the last few comments of this conversation.  We talked about how beautiful heaven will be one day when God calls us home.  We know the bling in Heaven will not look like the trinkets we wear here on earth. However, God’s Word describes a place that shines beautiful and bright.

As I walked away I sensed a moment of hope and anticipation in each one of us.  I also thought, ONLY women can talk about bling, clothes, shoes, hair, age, and heaven all at once…AND in just a couple of minutes!   

A moment in time was shared with these good women who are worth more than the bling or diamonds found on this earth. Proverbs says, A good woman is hard to find, and her worth far more than diamonds.

Our world thinks of diamonds as being very valuable.  We might ask WHY?  Why are diamonds so valuable?  Anything extremely rare is considered precious.  Diamonds take many years to form and only a few survive the hazardous journey from depths of the earth.  Only a few actually reach the earth’s surface. Only fifty percent of the diamonds mined today are judged to be of gem quality.  A diamond most likely has been in four continents and involved the lives of hundreds of people before it reaches a woman’s hand.  Many skilled and experienced craftsmen are part of a complicated process of extracting and finishing a diamond.

God says a good woman is valuable.  We might ask, why?  Why is a good woman valuable?  As a good woman you are rare, one of a kind, and considered precious to God.  He created beautiful you!  Good women take time to form.  Their journey may seem hazardous in their own eyes and to others watching.  They may feel like they are buried and can’t climb up to the surface.  Good women stay the course because they know God has designed them to shine brightly for his glory.  Even though they may feel like a diamond in the rough… they allow God’s process to do its work.  Good women allow God to complete his processes in their lives. They stay close to God, seek wisdom of the experienced, and finish well.

Good women shine brightly from the inside out.

A Good Woman and Her Bling

Image

This past weekend I had an extremely fun and spontaneous chat with a couple of ladies.  Each one of us admired the bling we noticed on one another .  One of these dear friends was wearing shinny silver frames which highlighted her twinkling brown eyes.  Sparkly beads which looked like diamonds were sewn into the neckline of her soft pink blouse.  Her taupe embellished shoes matched perfectly as the same diamond shaped sparkles surrounded her peeping toes . She matched head to toe and looked so cute! As presently fifty- something year old women, we jokingly wondered if we would ever get too old to wear the bling. How we wear the bling may evolve a bit in years to come. Awareness of this possibility does not change one specific fact about us. We will be the blingy old ladies one day. Perhaps I should write that we will be the blingy mature ladies one day!

What I enjoyed most was the last few comments of this conversation.  We talked about how beautiful heaven will be one day when God calls us home.  We know the bling in Heaven will not look like the trinkets we wear here on earth. However, God’s Word describes a place that shines beautiful and bright.

As I walked away I sensed a moment of hope and anticipation in each one of us.  I also thought, ONLY women can talk about bling, clothes, shoes, hair, age, and heaven all at once…AND in just a couple of minutes!   

A moment in time was shared with these good women who are worth more than the bling or diamonds found on this earth. Proverbs says, A good woman is hard to find, and her worth far more than diamonds.

Our world thinks of diamonds as being very valuable.  We might ask WHY?  Why are diamonds so valuable?  Anything extremely rare is considered precious.  Diamonds take many years to form and only a few survive the hazardous journey from depths of the earth.  Only a few actually reach the earth’s surface. Only fifty percent of the diamonds mined today are judged to be of gem quality.  A diamond most likely has been in four continents and involved the lives of hundreds of people before it reaches a woman’s hand.  Many skilled and experienced craftsmen are part of a complicated process of extracting and finishing a diamond.

God says a good woman is valuable.  We might ask, why?  Why is a good woman valuable?  As a good woman you are rare, one of a kind, and considered precious to God.  He created beautiful you!  Good women take time to form.  Their journey may seem hazardous in their own eyes and to others watching.  They may feel like they are buried and can’t climb up to the surface.  Good women stay the course because they know God has designed them to shine brightly for his glory.  Even though they may feel like a diamond in the rough… they allow God’s process to do its work.  Good women allow God to complete his processes in their lives. They stay close to God, seek wisdom of the experienced, and finish well.

Good women shine brightly from the inside out.

MOM’S CHATTY GIRL

The small six year old girl stood wide-eyed with excitement.  She did not know exactly how to respond to the flutter in her stomach nor the prompting in her heart.  She had an amazement of the anticipation as she listened to the minister talk about Jesus. She looked up into her mother’s tearful eyes.  The mother’s eyes expressed a deep care and love that was different from what the girl had sensed before this moment.  They looked at each other knowing God was about to reach another heart.  He was about to claim and name another child.  The church service ended and the mother and daughter walked out hand-in-hand.  There was no need for words at this moment.  The mother seemed to be in a thoughtful and somewhat prayerful state.  The daughter sensing her mother’s deep thoughts, the best she could for a six year old, decided there was something very different about this cold rainy evening. The child refrained from speaking with all her might as she knew this was not a time to be her usual chatty self. This was a great restraint for this talkative and smiley child.  There was a special hush to this night and the little girl knew before she went to bed she would be different.  Her mother knew this too.

When they arrived home they began their usual routine to prepare for bed.  The mother went into their chilly family room with a snack of crackers and hot tea.  She settled down to watch the evening news.  She knew the day was not over.  God still had one more event to complete that night.  She waited half listening to the news and wondering how God was going to finish this day for her.  The daughter slowly walked in and sat beside her mother.  They knew this was it!  This was the moment the mother had longed for from the day her daughter was laid in her arms as a tiny and delicate bundle.  The little girl said, “Mom, I want Jesus.  I have been going to church such a long time, I want Jesus.”  The mother smiled and then chuckled a bit as she put her arm around her child. Then she and the daughter talked about what Jesus had done on the cross and His resurrection.  The mother made sure her little girl understood the significance of asking for forgiveness of sin and making Jesus her forever friend.  Taking her small girl by the hand the mother knelt on her knees with her bowing child.  The mother led her small daughter in a prayer and that night it was sealed.  The little girl asked Jesus to be her forever friend.  The minute they said “AMEN”, the room was filled with excited jumping and giggling from the small child.  Her eyes twinkled like stars and she twirled like she was in a ballroom. She knew she had crossed over into a changed life.  She asked God to help her to grow up and pray with people just like her mother had done with her in that chilly family room.

The mother and daughter knew this moment was so much vaster than the two of them. The little girl’s changed life came from the influence of volunteers in her church.  For you see, it was loving and compassionate nursery workers who had changed her diapers and sang to her in the nursery.  This was where she learned God is love and gives us security. She asked God to keep her in a church of volunteers where babies and young parents are loved and made to feel secure.

Then there was a quiet elderly gentleman whose eyes twinkled like Santa when he smiled.  He stood at the door every Sunday and handed out programs. She loved his kind smile and funny jokes.  This was where she learned God is kind and gives us joy.  She prayed and asked God to keep her in a church where volunteers are kind and know real joy.

She loved her teachers in the children’s ministry.  They seem to know how to make her feel special and important.  One man was able to teach the lesson in a creative story form so she could understand the Bible.  Through him she learned she was valuable to God and the Bible is God’s relevant and powerful word. She asked God to keep her in a church where volunteers teach the Bible in a way that changes lives.

Thanks to volunteers, the small girl found a vital relationship with Christ.  On that cold winter night, her heart was warmed by the Holy Spirit and her name was written in The Book of Life.

This girl’s life continued to be touched, mentored, shaped, and molded for Christ through church volunteers.  Volunteers in her church took the drama of being a girl seriously.  They listened and challenged her move on to greater thoughts.  Volunteers looked for God given talents and gifts in this young girl.  They challenged her serve others, to love others, to stay involved with God and His church. She observed imperfect, loving, and growing volunteers working together as they invested in what would last forever–people and God’s Word. All along the way she asked God to keep her involved with volunteers who so passionately care to make a difference in the lives of others. For you see, it was her heart’s desire to hang with “The Greats”, “The Super Heroes”,  “The Real Difference-Makers” in this world.

God answered this girl’s prayer with a firm “YES”.  She ended up being a part of a group of volunteers with a big vision for their community.  I don’t think this group of people recognizes the impact they have on the transformed lives in their sphere of influence.  The goal of each individual in this group is to serve and to bring glory to God, like Jesus did when he washed dirty feet.  This group of volunteers loves people and each one is faithful to minister by using the gifts God has given them.

I know this story is true, because this is my story.  I am that little girl who grew up and now has the honor of serving with a group of loving volunteers in my local church.

My Mom is in heaven.  Her earthly influence has eternal dividends   She invested her time and energies in eternal investments. She led me to love God, his mission through the local church, and his Word. She gave me the foundation to discover and live out God’s purposes for my life.  It’s my desire to follow in her footsteps.

Moms, our daily love and serving is a high and holy calling. We are fulfilling our unique purpose as moms.  No one else can love and influence your family as you do. My children are grown men who are a great blessing to me.  I no longer have the responsibilities of being a mom to young children or teenagers. I am fulfilled in knowing that I have the privilege to encourage and love my sons. At this season of life I also have the privilege to love a Daughter-In-Law (who is and awesome mom) and Granddaughter. God has given me more people to love!  Our influence as moms is vast. Ladies, we are precious in God’s sight!

MOM’S CHATTY GIRL

The small six year old girl stood wide-eyed with excitement.  She did not know exactly how to respond to the flutter in her stomach nor the prompting in her heart.  She had an amazement of the anticipation as she listened to the minister talk about Jesus. She looked up into her mother’s tearful eyes.  The mother’s eyes expressed a deep care and love that was different from what the girl had sensed before this moment.  They looked at each other knowing God was about to reach another heart.  He was about to claim and name another child.  The church service ended and the mother and daughter walked out hand-in-hand.  There was no need for words at this moment.  The mother seemed to be in a thoughtful and somewhat prayerful state.  The daughter sensing her mother’s deep thoughts, the best she could for a six year old, decided there was something very different about this cold rainy evening. The child refrained from speaking with all her might as she knew this was not a time to be her usual chatty self. This was a great restraint for this talkative and smiley child.  There was a special hush to this night and the little girl knew before she went to bed she would be different.  Her mother knew this too.

When they arrived home they began their usual routine to prepare for bed.  The mother went into their chilly family room with a snack of crackers and hot tea.  She settled down to watch the evening news.  She knew the day was not over.  God still had one more event to complete that night.  She waited half listening to the news and wondering how God was going to finish this day for her.  The daughter slowly walked in and sat beside her mother.  They knew this was it!  This was the moment the mother had longed for from the day her daughter was laid in her arms as a tiny and delicate bundle.  The little girl said, “Mom, I want Jesus.  I have been going to church such a long time, I want Jesus.”  The mother smiled and then chuckled a bit as she put her arm around her child. Then she and the daughter talked about what Jesus had done on the cross and His resurrection.  The mother made sure her little girl understood the significance of asking for forgiveness of sin and making Jesus her forever friend.  Taking her small girl by the hand the mother knelt on her knees with her bowing child.  The mother led her small daughter in a prayer and that night it was sealed.  The little girl asked Jesus to be her forever friend.  The minute they said “AMEN”, the room was filled with excited jumping and giggling from the small child.  Her eyes twinkled like stars and she twirled like she was in a ballroom. She knew she had crossed over into a changed life.  She asked God to help her to grow up and pray with people just like her mother had done with her in that chilly family room.

The mother and daughter knew this moment was so much vaster than the two of them. The little girl’s changed life came from the influence of volunteers in her church.  For you see, it was loving and compassionate nursery workers who had changed her diapers and sang to her in the nursery.  This was where she learned God is love and gives us security. She asked God to keep her in a church of volunteers where babies and young parents are loved and made to feel secure.

Then there was a quiet elderly gentleman whose eyes twinkled like Santa when he smiled.  He stood at the door every Sunday and handed out programs. She loved his kind smile and funny jokes.  This was where she learned God is kind and gives us joy.  She prayed and asked God to keep her in a church where volunteers are kind and know real joy.

She loved her teachers in the children’s ministry.  They seem to know how to make her feel special and important.  One man was able to teach the lesson in a creative story form so she could understand the Bible.  Through him she learned she was valuable to God and the Bible is God’s relevant and powerful word. She asked God to keep her in a church where volunteers teach the Bible in a way that changes lives.

Thanks to volunteers, the small girl found a vital relationship with Christ.  On that cold winter night, her heart was warmed by the Holy Spirit and her name was written in The Book of Life.

This girl’s life continued to be touched, mentored, shaped, and molded for Christ through church volunteers.  Volunteers in her church took the drama of being a girl seriously.  They listened and challenged her move on to greater thoughts.  Volunteers looked for God given talents and gifts in this young girl.  They challenged her serve others, to love others, to stay involved with God and His church. She observed imperfect, loving, and growing volunteers working together as they invested in what would last forever–people and God’s Word. All along the way she asked God to keep her involved with volunteers who so passionately care to make a difference in the lives of others. For you see, it was her heart’s desire to hang with “The Greats”, “The Super Heroes”,  “The Real Difference-Makers” in this world.

God answered this girl’s prayer with a firm “YES”.  She ended up being a part of a group of volunteers with a big vision for their community.  I don’t think this group of people recognizes the impact they have on the transformed lives in their sphere of influence.  The goal of each individual in this group is to serve and to bring glory to God, like Jesus did when he washed dirty feet.  This group of volunteers loves people and each one is faithful to minister by using the gifts God has given them.

I know this story is true, because this is my story.  I am that little girl who grew up and now has the honor of serving with a group of loving volunteers in my local church.

My Mom is in heaven.  Her earthly influence has eternal dividends   She invested her time and energies in eternal investments. She led me to love God, his mission through the local church, and his Word. She gave me the foundation to discover and live out God’s purposes for my life.  It’s my desire to follow in her footsteps.

Moms, our daily love and serving is a high and holy calling. We are fulfilling our unique purpose as moms.  No one else can love and influence your family as you do. My children are grown men who are a great blessing to me.  I no longer have the responsibilities of being a mom to young children or teenagers. I am fulfilled in knowing that I have the privilege to encourage and love my sons. At this season of life I also have the privilege to love a Daughter-In-Law (who is and awesome mom) and Granddaughter. God has given me more people to love!  Our influence as moms is vast. Ladies, we are precious in God’s sight!

Words of Life for My Valentine

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The water sparkled like dancing diamonds as I drove over the bridge. I thought, “what an absolutely beautiful day!” I had a sense that this trip was leading to a needed makeover of my heart, thoughts, and words. MAKEOVER Boulevard is frequently included on my God journey. My mind slowed down and thought about how I had grown to appreciate the various destinations reached via MAKEOVER Boulevard. The road has at times been bumpy, full of potholes, and exhausting due to my longing for a less challenging adventure. Less challenging adventures would not have led me to the life-giving destinations of my heart.

I glanced once again over at the dancing diamonds and a gentle prompting came to me. “Speak life into others.” This prompting was repetitive and became stronger each time repeated in my mind and heart. An excitement began to stir in my heart coupled with regrets. I began to think of times when I hadn’t spoken words of life to others. These times in my journey needed to be revisited for a moment. The revisit was a reminder of how God continuously changes my heart so that I can choose beautiful scenic routes rather than crooked muddy roads. A heart changed by God craves more change. On this day I was craving change.

My next thoughts were, “How do I become  more skilled at speaking words of life into others, dear God? Please show me!” God directed my thoughts to my husband. Creative thoughts began to flow through my mind and heart as I contemplated how to give words of life to my Valentine.

I asked my wonderful husband, David, if I could share with you a recent result of this particular day-journey with our Creator. He was more than agreeable.

Last week I spent a whole day preparing a nice evening for the two of us. I kept my journal and pen with me throughout the day. I thought of my husband’s character, abilities, and personal journey with God. Words traveled into my heart and mind at a fast and steady pace. Each word was written in my journal. The table was set with china and lit candles as soft music played. The red roses David had given me a couple of days ago were the perfect center piece. The finishing touches were my journal and two cards. David and I each have a LIFE PURPOSE STATEMENT. These statements are typed on nice laminated cards so we can stay focused on God’s purposes by keeping them visible. The cards placed in nice card holders stood side by side on the table.

During dinner we once again were reminded of how we complete one another. We reminisced down Memory Lane, looked at the Highway of Hope as we discussed the future, and enjoyed parking in the present. I read the list of words God had given me that day. Each word described David perfectly. My Valentine and I spoke life-giving words to one another that evening over dinner. Words of life added another treasured stop on our Memory Lane.

I am most grateful to God who takes me on road-trips down MAKEOVER Boulevard and leads me to glorious destinations.

She brings him (husband) good, not harm, all the days of her life. She speaks with wisdom… Proverbs 31

Words of Life for My Valentine

The water sparkled like dancing diamonds as I drove over the bridge. I thought, “what an absolutely beautiful day!” I had a sense that this trip was leading to a needed makeover of my heart, thoughts, and words. MAKEOVER Boulevard is frequently included on my God journey. My mind slowed down and thought about how I had grown to appreciate the various destinations reached via MAKEOVER Boulevard. The road has at times been bumpy, full of potholes, and exhausting due to my longing for a less challenging adventure. Less challenging adventures would not have led me to the life-giving destinations of my heart.

I glanced once again over at the dancing diamonds and a gentle prompting came to me. “Speak life into others.” This prompting was repetitive and became stronger each time repeated in my mind and heart. An excitement began to stir in my heart coupled with regrets. I began to think of times when I hadn’t spoken words of life to others. These times in my journey needed to be revisited for a moment. The revisit was a reminder of how God continuously changes my heart so that I can choose beautiful scenic routes rather than crooked muddy roads. A heart changed by God craves more change. On this day I was craving change.

My next thoughts were, “how do I become  more skilled at speaking words of life into others, dear God? Please show me!” God directed my thoughts to my husband. Creative thoughts began to flow through my mind and heart as I contemplated how to give words of life to my Valentine.

I asked my wonderful husband, David, if I could share with you a recent result of this particular day-journey with our Creator. He was more than agreeable.

Last week I spent a whole day preparing a nice evening for the two of us. I kept my journal and pen with me throughout the day. I thought of my husband’s character, abilities, and personal journey with God. Words traveled into my heart and mind at a fast and steady pace. Each word was written in my journal. The table was set with china and lit candles as soft music played. The red roses David had given me a couple of days ago were the perfect center piece. The finishing touches were my journal and two cards. David and I each have a LIFE PURPOSE STATEMENT. These statements are typed on nice laminated cards so we can stay focused on God’s purposes by keeping them visible. The cards placed in nice card holders stood side by side on the table.

During dinner we once again were reminded of how we complete one another. We reminisced down Memory Lane, looked at the Highway of Hope as we discussed the future, and enjoyed parking in the present. I read the list of words God had given me that day. Each word described David perfectly. My Valentine and I spoke life-giving words to one another that evening over dinner. Words of life added another treasured stop on our Memory Lane.

I am most grateful to God who takes me on road-trips down MAKEOVER Boulevard and leads me to glorious destinations.

She brings him (husband) good, not harm, all the days of her life. She speaks with wisdom… Proverbs 31