I’m In Love With The Maintenance Man

Late the other night I walked into the halfway and flipped the light switch.

Nothing happened.

My husband was in our bedroom at the end of the halfway. I walked in and casually said, “The light is out in the halfway.”

Can you guess what happened next?

My husband says to me “I guess that means the Maintenance Man needs to fix it huh.” (With that little twinge of attitude that makes a wife defensive…)

Believe me when I say I didn’t tell him about the light so that he would fix it. I was simply stating a fact. I mean, the light WAS out. But that’s not the way he took it. I even apologized and said I would replace the bulb myself. (I even said it without any attitude – can you believe that?!?)

It made he think though. I do rely on my husband for just about EVERYTHING around the house.

Toilet will not flush? Don’t use this bathroom until your daddy gets home.

Check engine light on? Honey can I drive your car – something is wrong with mine.

Vaccuum cleaner belt broken? Babe, can you replace this, please?

So yeah, when the light in the hallway didn’t come on. I suppose subconsciously I was putting in a request for the Maintenance Man.

He really does take care of me (and our sons, our house, our cars, our everything).

And I really don’t want to take him for granted.

So, I was determined to show my gratitude (and independence – let’s just be honest here) and I was going to replace that light myself. But, in true crazy overcommitted mom fashion…I forgot.

And in true Maintenance Man fashion, the next time I recall flipping that hallway switch, the light came on. I flipped it about 3 more times before I even remembered I was supposed to replace it.

Man, I love that Maintenance Man. He rocks! I love him! I’m gonna have to bake him a cake or something.heartChanda

Worthy of Display

I’m not sure where to start with this post. So I’m just going to jump right in.

For the last couple weeks, I’ve been unconvinced that I could publicly call myself a Kingdom Woman.

First, I thought I couldn’t be a Kingdom Woman because I just don’t have it all together. But I quickly discovered through my readings that being a Kingdom Woman is not defined by having it all together.

Dr. Tony Evans defines her this way: “A Kingdom Woman is a female operating under the rule of God in every area of life.” That definition does reflect the true desire of heart.

But really, could this be me? So much self doubt kept me from believing I could PUBLICLY call myself a Kingdom Woman.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hear Chrystal Hurst, the co-author of the book speak about the Journey of a Kingdom Woman. You know that feeling when you hear a message and you realize God is speaking directly to your heart and your situation?

Chrystal talked about the process of a diamond coming out of the deepest parts of the earth and going through a refining process. She also told us that the final beautiful product that we all cherish and desire is not perfect – it has flaws, but in the end, it’s still worthy of display.

Is this me? Flawed, yet still worthy of display?

What I’m learning to embrace is that if I live for Christ and publicly proclaim my quest to be a Kingdom Woman, Christ can use me to draw others to HIM.

And I’ve seen this happen several times in just the last week. Several friends have asked me what this Kingdom Woman thing I keep talking about. Some have purchased the book. They are now on their own journey to embrace biblical womanhood. If I hide in the corner and keep this to myself, I will miss opportunities to be used by God.

I also realized that Satan wants me to live defeated.

Satan wants me to feel unworthy.

Satan wants me to give in to my self doubt.

BUT, when I embrace my True calling as a Kingdom Woman, I remember and proclaim I am a daughter of the King.

Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

Chosen. Appointed. Directed. Favored by the King of KINGS.

How empowering. How motivating. How amazing!

Jesus knows my faults and fears and yet He still wants to use me.

How humbling!

So I’m breaking free from my own negative self-talk (weight watchers anyone?) and proclaiming PUBLICLY:

Yes, I am a Kingdom Woman – worthy of display!938467ac65c49edb4013c609768a7d42

Chanda

3 Things Thursday: Confessions of a Work in Progress

Today’s post is inspired by Chrystal Evans Hurst’s blog post of her 20 personal policies.

I thought I would share just 3 things today. Only 3 because if I shared more, you might just learn too much about me in one day – let’s spread it out a little why don’t we.

photo(30)Here are my 3 confessions for this week – very, very small things drive me bananas:

    1. Happy New Year is the most annoying greeting in the WORLD to me! Why? Because it goes on way to long. I think there should be a time limit on how long the phrase can be used. Like, if I see you on January 1st, ok – that’s fine. BUT, but, but, if I don’t see you until January 13th, then NO, you can’t STILL say Happy New Year to me – you’ve missed your chance – I’ve moved on.
    2. Good Morning. Good Morning makes my blood bubble. When I worked in an office cubicle setting the 8 to 9 am hour was the pits. All those sparkly, happy people greeting each other back and forth.
      Tim: Good Morning, Jane
      Jane: Good Morning, Tim
      Tim: Oh Becky, I didn’t see you at your desk! Good Morning, Becky
      Becky: Good Morning, Tim
      ARGH! Can’t everyone just go to their desk and put their headphones in a wait quietly until 9 am when I feel like being social?
    3. Happy Birthday. This is another one that goes back to my cubicle days. You know that office tradition where everyone decorates your cube for your birthday? Well my cube was near the kitchen so all day coworkers who I’ve never met before (and I haven’t talked to since my last birthday) would stop by and say a cheery Happy Birthday! Which would force me to respond with an with an equally cheery “Oh, Thanks!” How about if you don’t know me, just skip it, really, I don’t mind!

I know after reading these confessions you may be slightly (or majorly) concerned about me….

Probably rightly so.

But there’s hope and help for me!

James 5:16 says “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Get to praying friends! Apparently I need it….

Chanda

 

 

Who Is This Kingdom Woman?

Kingdom Woman.

When I first heard the title, I was instantly intimidated.

Surely this Kingdom Woman has it ALL together, right.

Surely she’s just like that Proverbs 31 woman who’s always making me feel inferior, right?

Surely her house is in order, she’s a wonderful chef and her children are always tidy and obedient, right?

How could one be a Kingdom Woman if one is not perfect….right?

In God’s ongoing quest to let me know that He sees me, He had Dr. Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst write a book just to me to show me exactly who this Kingdom Woman is.

I was happy to learn this Kingdom Woman is just like me in a lot of ways. Chrystal, the co-author, is a wife and mother who’s spinning plates and juggling schedules and duties just like me. Her writing is so genuine, authentic and real (she said there’s sticky stuff on her floor too!).

After reading her first Chrystal’s Chronicles entry, I started to thinking maybe being a Kingdom Woman was attainable.

995125_10151567238767992_603367216_nIn the closing paragraphs of chapter one, Dr. Evans writes, “Let your actions, thoughts and words reflect a heart that seeks to honor God above all else. As you do, God will continue to give you what you need to develop into the Kingdom Woman you are destined to be.”

So here are a couple truths I’ve learned so far:

  • If I give my actions, thoughts and deeds to the Lord, He will produce in me what He desires me to be – a Kingdom Woman – a woman chasing after His heart.
  • Kingdom Woman does not mean “got it together all the time” woman.
  • What your friends (and foes) think or say about you does not help/hinder your quest to be a Kingdom Woman. (I’m still praying to be freed from the opinions of others!)

All this and I’m JUST wrapping up chapter one.

I think the most exciting part to me about this book so far is learning that I AM a Kingdom Woman! A work in progress, yes, but a Kingdom Woman nonetheless!

I will be sharing more of my insights as I journey through the book. Get your copy so we can share nuggets over McNuggets…I’m not to that chapter that talks about a healthy lifestyle yet….

#KingdomWoman is HERE! Buy it today!

Chanda

 

 

 

 

You Talk To Much!

So, I made a mistake.

I went off the cuff and said something I shouldn’t have to someone I shouldn’t have about someone else.

Ever done that? Feel awful about it afterwards? Obviously I know the feeling!

I thought my actions were warranted and soon found out they were just a half-baked selfish reaction.

Lessons learned:

  • Sometimes it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself. In my imagination, I can see Jesus in the garden telling the father I can’t believe you stuck me with this sorry disciples! I asked them to pray for me as I prepare to sacrifice myself for them and these fellas are sleeping. Nope, instead Jesus kept his opinion to himself.
  • If you have an issue with someone, pray FIRST. Prayer will take your emotional reaction and put it in it’s proper place. Prayer will take the focus off your will and put the focus on God’s will being accomplished – remember, not my will but Your will be done.
  • If God’s response to your prayer is a specific action, then take that action. Don’t dilly dally – act right away. Don’t call three friends and get their opinion on what God told you to do. The Bible says if you have a problem with someone go to them – not your homegirl.

The saddest part about these lessons learned is that I already have learned these lessons in the past!

Realizing that I have once again fallen short and failed the same test again makes me thankful.

Thankful that God doesn’t toss us aside when we are stubborn and disobedient.

Thankful that the Holy Spirit brings conviction and helps me recognize sin as sin.

Thankful that confessing my sin brings me back into fellowship with my Savior.

Thankful that I can then toss my pride to the side and apologize to those I hurt and be reconciled to them as well.

Chanda

She Blessed Me

I just wrapped up my fourth year as a student in Bible Study Fellowship – a weekly Bible study that I attend on Wednesday morning during the school year.

This year, we studied the book of Genesis. It was an awesome study. The life applications that can be learned from this historical accounting of God’s chosen patriarchs is amazing. I have a totally new perspective on how God uses people – flawed people – to accomplish His will.

Each BSF class is made up of small groups of 10-12 people. In the past, I have been in groups were I didn’t quite connect with the ladies. We always seemed to be at different life stages. When I received my call from group leader over the summer, I was sure this year was going to be more of the same.

My group leader was a soft spoken southern belle named Dixie. I just knew I was going to be in the saintly seniors group (again) – where everyone was a grandmother and I was the only one with kids at home. My husband encouraged me and told me I was going to be surrounded by wisdom. I thanked him for his hopefulness, but I was still a bit down.

I wanted to be in a group with ladies who were in the same boat as myself – wives who want to please God and be a helper to their husband, a mom who’s striving to lead her kids to Christ, a daughter trying to find her own way and yet still honor her parents. I had high hopes for this group.

Well, I guess you can’t judge a group by the voice of it’s leader because God gave me EVERYTHING I hoped for in my small group. The BEST group of ladies, better than I could have hoped or dreamed.

And in a way that only God can do, He gave me what we call in Louisiana – a little bit of lagniappe – something extra. God gave me Dixie! The sweetest, kindest, most loving, genuine and authentic group leader EVER.

Dixie showed me what it looks like to lead by example. She showed me how to make prayer a priority in relationships with friends. She showed me that being a little of a rebel is ok. She showed me love. She mentored me. And at the end of our year together, she blessed me.

Yes, she blessed my heart with her actions and deeds and loving ways. But she actually blessed me. She wrote out a card with a prayer of blessing for me. Words that only a connected leader who took an interest in me and my life and situations would pray for me. She prayed a blessing over my future endeavors for Jesus. She blessed me.

And not just me. She took the time to bless each lady in our group. I know we will cherish our cards for years to come.

I was transformed by Genesis and Dixie. Thank you God for “seeing me” and giving me what you knew I needed when I didn’t even know what I needed myself.

 

I Saw Freedom

A couple weeks ago I attended a women’s conference at a local church. My very presence at this conference was an act of obedience to the Holy Spirit. See, my friend and I were able to attend this conference for free. The tickets were $75-$100 each, a price that neither of us was prepared to pay.

OK – here’s the whole story.

I was out running errands and I decided to stop by my church to chat with my pastor. As I got close to the church I kept thinking I shouldn’t stop by – I should make an appointment or what if he’s busy and I’m interrupting. I had about 5 different reasons pop into my head about why I should not go to the church.

When I pulled into the church I had to will my body out of the car. And then even when I rang the bell to be buzzed in, I still felt so much anxiety about being there. So when the lady inside answered the bell, with a quiver in my voice, I announced myself and the reason I was there. She told our pastor wasn’t in at the moment. I said thank you and left.

I instantly started saying to myself this is why you shouldn’t have come here. He’s not even her. You’ve just embarrassed yourself. What must they think of you now – stopping by uninvited – where are your manners!

Minutes later, I received a message saying the church had tickets to this conference if I would like to go.

At that point, I realized THAT was why the Lord sent me by the church. Not so I could spend a few minutes chatting with my pastor. But so that I would be put on the mind of the lady inside as someone who was available during the day to attend this conference.

The Lord wanted me at this conference because He needed to speak to me. See, I have always struggled with people pleasing and what others thought about me. I can mentally rationalize and understand that the opinions of others isn’t important, but little did I know at the moment that the Lord had a plan to SHOW me this concept.

The conference was held at a contemporary church – like praise team with a rock band vibe – know what I mean? The praise was awesome. The atmosphere was enthralling. The music was loud and vibrant.

At one point during the worship time, I glanced over to my right and I saw a lady in the aisle worshiping the Lord. I have never in my life seen anyone worship in this manner before.

8679927_sHer arms weren’t just raised in the way I’m so accustomed to see them.
Her head wasn’t just bowed in humbleness.
But instead she gracefully waved her arms like a skilled ballerina.
Her eyes were closed and she smiled as if she was surrounded by angels crying holy, holy, holy!
Her feet moved ever so slightly as she rhythmically swayed to the beat.
Can you see her?

She worshiped the Lord with complete abandon.
She didn’t care who watched her.
She didn’t care if the music stopped.
She didn’t care about watching the screen for the lyrics.
She just danced before Jesus!

And in watching her, I realized that I was watching freedom. And as I watched her FREEDOM just came to my mind over and over again. Freedom, freedom, freedom. This is what it looks like.

“It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Oh, to be free from the opinions of others!

I saw freedom. My prayer is the Lord will help me to walk in the liberty, too.

To worship Him with my whole heart. To praise Him with my whole being. To not care what others think, but only to concentrate on pleasing him.

FREEDOM! I saw it and it was beautiful!

 

Peace Unforfeited

Is unforfeited even a word? I’m thinking it’s not…but maybe you get the idea of what I mean.

At church the other night, one of the ministers sang “What a friend we have in Jesus.” It’s been a long time since I’ve heard this song. As he sang, one particular line really stood out to me.

“Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.”

Sounds so simple. But how often have I sacrificed peace by now taking my cares to the Lord. I’ve taken my problems to friends and family and asked for their opinions and views. I’ve read the Bible and attended Bible study to hear from the Lord. I’ve even asked others to pray for me. But in my life, there have been times where I have neglected spending time with the Lord in prayer.

I know what the Bible says: Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you. Everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your request known to the Lord. Pray without ceasing.

Ever since that moment, I’ve decided to stop forfeiting my peace! Peace Unforfeited as I’m fond of saying in my head. I’ve decided to make 2013 a year of purposeful prayer. For me, that means more of an intentional time of prayer. Not just quickie prayers, but practicing the discipline of praying and listening.

Chanda

Long Time Coming

First, let me say – this is not my first time starting a blog. Over the years I have had several – some are still online today. Each one had a singular purpose and focus and I always felt limited by which topics I could discuss on each blog.

I’m excited about this particular blog because, well, it’s just about me and I’m multi-dimensional – a bit off focused – sometimes scattered. But really, who isn’t!

So you can expect a lot of different things from this blog. Post about my faith, being a wife and mom, running a business. And so much more.

A blog where I can just be me in all my craziness – it’s been a long time coming!

Stay Tuned,Chanda