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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Get it Together

Get it together

Just when you think you’re on a roll and you have it all together, you look down and have two stains on your pants, one earring in, and dress tucked into your pantyhose. We have all had a day like this, right?
This is a busy but very important season. It’s Christmas, the time where we come together like no other time of the year. It can easily become a time of chaos if we let the hustle and bustle of the season take precedence over the real meaning. 

If we don’t have it together we may get “wrapped” up in showy gifts or glittery decorations instead of honoring our Savior, Jesus Christ. If we don’t have it together we may miss the opportunity to serve and meet the needs of another over our own. 
Having our eyes on the one who teaches us how to live with charity, faith, grace, and service will insure this season that we have it together in the way that it’s meant to be cherished. 

It’s always a joyous and miraculous occassion when a child is born. We prepare, pray, and we are full of excitement when the time comes for a baby to be born. 
Can you imagine that night in Bethlehem? Can you really allow your mind to take you there and what that atmosphere may have felt like? 
Jesus’ first bed is an example of his purpose, he could have been born among the finest and surrounded by jewels but instead he was born among animals in a manger. What a humble king he is who grew up and sacrificed his life on the cross for sinners like you and me. 
A king was born that night and he forever is the reason that we are able to have everlasting life. 
This season, keep it together and remember that Jesus Christ was born and He Lives. 
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” 
Matthew 1:23

Have Zest and have a Merry Christmas!




Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Note to Her



A few weeks ago I went for my annual “mama need a boost of Jesus” weekend away with my old friends to a conference in Southaven. I knew before I went that I wanted to somehow talk about my experience because we always have a great time worshiping, laughing, and fellowshipping.

We were just before wrapping up a day of shopping when we made a lap back around and saw a woman with a child sitting in a shopping cart, she was pregnant holding a sign. Honestly, I have no clue what the sign said because my eyes were centered on the little boy. We wheeled back around one more time gathering our cash to give to this woman and child. My heart sank pretty low when I looked over and saw his pants were so small they hit right below the knee but he sat there smiling, swinging his feet and full of joy.

Fast forward to yesterday, I just left Subway got myself a salad and 2 macadamia nut cookies (because when you eat salad it cancels out the cookie, you know) I wheeled through the parking lot where I saw yet another woman with a sign, waving and smiling. I decided to park and eat while I prayed about what exactly God was showing me. I’ve never been one to see a person asking for money and say “oh they need a job.” I’ve pretty much always had compassion for that type of thing especially when a child is involved. I just closed my eyes and ask God to reveal to me what I was supposed to do, I didn’t know what exactly it was but I knew it was something.

I found an envelope in my car and had a few dollars left from my lunch, I grabbed the envelope and a pen. I wasn’t even sure what to say but as I wrote, I wept.

We are among a season in life where our world is being turned upside down before our eyes and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do. We are among times where people are turning their backs on one another and our country is falling. With those things going on it’s important that we uphold God’s word. God’s word says this:

Deuteronomy 15:10-11 Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. 11 There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.

We can’t give to every hand that is in need but every hand can give to someone. We must listen to our hearts and what God lays out before us.

She looked into my eyes, smiled and said “thank you, from my heart to yours.’  


I’ve said this before, it’s not for me to analyze what they will do what I give but for me to give with willingness and a happy heart. , find a way to help another person, pray about who you will help, and your blessings will be abundant.

Have Zest and Help Someone!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

That Grey Hair








That Grey Hair


I was sitting in the drive thru waiting on my weekly treat, the fruit parfait, when I was checking myself out in the mirror...I saw a grey hair. I flipped my hair and pretended it was a natural blonde highlight...moved forward in the line, glanced back up into the mirror and it was shining like a diamond, it was a new hair so it was sticking straight up blowing in the wind.


I quickly grabbed my tweezers because this one isn't welcome here. I pulled on it and it slid right through and curled up like a ribbon. I'm sweating at this point trying to remove this unwanted hair. Finally, after I pulled out 14 wanted brown hairs I got the grey.


After I was successful and while I was eating my cold snack I got to thinking if I am that grey hair towards God at times. He selects me, calls me to move, I dodge him, hide behind someone or something, and curl up like that grey hair did to me.


I know in the past God has wanted me to do something and he pulled on me until finally I was brave and decided to follow his will for me.


Why do we sometimes take the hard way around? He will never tell us to do something without giving us the grace, power and ability to do it. The key is to trust Him fully and depend on Him for the strength we need to obey. God loves us and wants the best for us. We should humble ourselves before Him, and allow him to provide the tools to complete the job.


God is preparing you for what he has prepared for you.


Don’t hide, don’t be that grey hair that curls up and hides, instead be dauntless.
Have Zest and Rise up







Thursday, September 10, 2015

Where do you fight?





Where do you fight?

Like most others in Greenville, Cliff and I took off to the movies to see "War Room."


We were sure we had left in enough time that we wouldn't land ourselves on the first row.


(This was how we pulled in the parking lot)




 


We stood in line for our tickets...stood in line for our popcorn...and marched into the theatre down to the first row and first two seats, it was packed, Greenville came out to the show do you hear me? 


As the movie began, I closed my eyes and sent one up asking God to open our hearts not just myself and Cliff's but everyone in the rooms heart to allow God to move not just nudge but plum push us, convict us, and teach us.


Throughout the movie powerful words were spoken, prayers were prayed, and I felt the Holy Spirit all around. I could hardly watch certain parts through my tear filled eyes, but good tears, tears that showed me he is still ever present and working right there in that room.


 


There was a woman behind us and every so often she would say aloud "Yes Lord, Praise the Lord, Speak to us Lord." God put her behind us so that we would dig our heels in; there is something about someone speaking out during a God moment that makes me feel him even more.


You know how at church when the preacher thinks he has said something that is worth an "amen" and folks just sit there and then he shouts "Can I get an AMEN?" then everyone wakes up and shouts AMEN, well this was different we were fully awake and soaking up every word and to hear her voice say what my heart was shouting on the inside just made it so moving.


 


So the question is where do you fight? This post isn't about just fighting for your marriage it's about any fight you may be facing. We all at some point need a shield.


Remember when you went to haunted houses and when it started getting weird you would hide behind your friend and duck using them as a shield?


God will go before you and fight your battles and sometimes God will fight the actual battle through you, other times He will simply tell you to hold your position and do absolutely nothing, and then He will move Himself to completely take out the attack coming against you.


 


Isn't that powerful, you don't have to fight alone and sometimes you do nothing, let God move.


If you’re facing troubles in a relationship, friendship, your workplace, your finances or whatever battle you’re facing let God go first, he wants to and this verse tells us that.


I will go before you and make the crooked paths straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron.” (Isaiah 45:2)


Never stop praying for what means the most to you. Let God use you and your circumstances to better someone else. We don't need to receive answers to our prayers and keep our victories private. Share it with someone, pray and ask God to put someone in your path that your story can help.


8 years of marriage later and we are still learning how to let God fight for us.




Have Zest and never give up on your Fight.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Oh Sweet Time



I have been on a mission to let go and let God while practicing the act of waiting...
If you know me well then you may know that I'm a do'er and when it's on my mind I want start and finish it. That's where God peeks in and says "naw sa" let me show you the next step in your growing faith...the act of "In my time...Not Yours."







I will make a list for everything and check it off as I do it. I make a list for groceries, I meal plan weekly, I make lunchbox list, list of customers I need to call, list of things I want/need, Christmas list, a list about a list...you get it.
Well, on my list I have my goals for the month and what I want to accomplish weekly. Much like a bulletin you would see at church, that's my life...all scheduled out.



The God I serve doesn't do well with the plans we have for ourselves, he is pretty much into His plan and the way he plans to reveal it to us.






He puts me in my place on the daily.




Have you ever ask for something in your prayers only to see that each day you didn't see it was answered?
I did, I prayed everyday for a very long time for what I wanted to happen and how I wanted it to happen.
Each day I woke and the same things happened and I would lay my head down and wonder "was he listening, did he know how badly I wanted to see the change I was asking for, did I do my part enough, am I pleasing God, what can I do to make sure my prayers are answered?








Doesn't the bible tell us in Matthew 7:7 to ask and we shall receive?




Yes, yes that's exactly what it says there, it also tells us to seek and we shall find. But, the kicker is this...Proverbs 16:9 says "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.


So, my list making skills and plans won't get me any closer to my intentions for this life because God establishes my steps. He makes sure that each step I take is His and His plan...not mine. I'm ok with that because he has never lead me astray, never.






God did answer my prayer but not that day, week, month or even year...5 years later he did. It wasn't the right time while I was praying but you know what I did, I prayed without ceasing,
I prayed fervently, and I prayed knowing that my God would in HIS time reveal HIS plan and answer my prayers.
Don't give up, if you have the want in you, the fight, and the faith then don't give up. Ask daily for the things you want in your life and God will provide them, always has and he always will.




Have Zest and let God work.


he-has-made-everything-beautiful-in-its-time-quote-1.jpg

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Where do you go when the going gets tough?

 
I'm not sure about you but most of the time I think I have it all together but, let a few things get out of line like...a messy house, looking up and my smallest has stuffed all the food she didn't want into her shirt, or the bagger at Kroger puts my chicken with my strawberries and quickly my donkey side starts to seep out.
 
 
A little more on the serious side though, where do you go when the going gets tough?
What do you do when things seem to heavy to bear, when your not sure if you can do it, when you've been hurt by someone, when you are scared, when you've lost someone, when someone has betrayed you, when a relationship takes a left turn...
Where do you go?
Do you give up, run, hide, turn the other cheek, hide under the covers, gossip, or do you seek God?
 
Romans 8:18 tells us "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
 
Now I'm not sure about you but that verse is pretty reassuring to me, no matter what I am faced with God will always make sure that true glory will shine and be revealed in time.
 
Have you ever been in the middle of your trial or storm and almost gave up but instead you held steadfast to God's promise and when the storm settled you were able to look back and thank Him and then say silently to yourself "wow, He saw me through that just like he said he would, so glad I didn't throw in the towel."
 
I have those moments all the time, the more my faith matures the more I know that whatever I have on my plate it will be okay, it may not seem like it at the time but He has never failed me, not even once and He won't now.
Aren't you a little more comfortable when you tell your problem to someone and they are able to say "oh you are facing that, so am I?" isn't there just something about someone else dealing with what your dealing with comforting?
Did you know Jesus has been there too, just because he lived 2000 years ago doesn't mean He didn't face the same things we do now. 
Pain, suffering, confusion, financial strain, loss, and so much more. Just like the old saying goes he has "been there and done that" but the difference is he did it for you and for me.
 
Your trials have a divine purpose.
 
How will you handle them?
Have Zest and Turn to God

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mama Bird

 
Before baby birds hatch the mama communicates to them by sending messages through the egg. This process is much like us a mothers carrying our babies. We are already talking, singing, reading and praying for our unborn long before we meet them.
 
I ran into a birds nest where I was actually able to stand by and watch as the mother bird fed them. To watch those baby birds sit and chirp helplessly as their mama gently placed food into their mouths was amazing. To see the work that went into that nest is a wonder in itself.
Much like us we work hard to provide a safe environment for our babies but no matter what we do we can't help the inevitable.
(the little nest I was spying on)
 
My mama bird instinct kicks in all the time, whether it's knowing when my baby girl is silent that she is most likely squatted down hiding somewhere covered in lipstick or when my son hasn't checked in he is usually forehead deep in mud hole somewhere.
 
We just tend to know when something isn't right.
 
Between what I've watched on the news, seen on social media, and the fears I have in my own mind I've wondered...how am I to always protect my kids, how can I know they will choose the right friends, and how do I know the temptations of the world won't get to them?
 
I would like to believe they will come to me and that I can always keep them safe but the reality is we live in a fallen world and the devil is on the prowl.
 
I was feeling helpless after realizing how tiny my little corner of the world is and no matter how badly I want to stick my children in a bubble the truth is I can't and the things they will see and hear are too much for me but they aren't too much for God. He doesn't guarantee our children will turnout okay and he doesn't say that by following him we are free from trials but what he does say is that it's His, so give it to Him.
Let go of it, it's too heavy for you and He has it. We are small and God is mighty!
 
I found this from Mark Batterson, Praying Circles around Your Children
 
“You don’t have to do everything right as a parent, but there is one thing you cannot afford to get wrong. That one thing is prayer. You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent. Prayer is your highest privilege as a parent. There is nothing you can do that will have a higher return on investment. In fact, the dividends are eternal. Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren, and every generation that follows.”
 
 
I know I was prayed for as a child and now I'm a mother so I know the pains, worries, and concerns my mom felt, she just didn't have pinterest, facebook, and great mama blogs to assure her she wasn't the only one feeling these mothering pains.
But, she had God and so do I.
If your struggling with parenting or know someone who is do something and pray for your children or whomever is on your heart's children.
 
Don't ask what you can do, choose something and do it.
 
This mama thing isn't always easy but thank the Lord we don't have to do it alone.
Have Zest and Be a praying parent!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Motivation Monday!

 
Good Monday Morning!!!
 
Now listen, the last thing I wanted to do was lay down that buttered cornbread, sweet tea, fried chicken, and pound cake, but really, it had to happen!
I was one of those people who thought I would always be able to eat that #11 at McDonald's (you know the one with 2 cheeseburgers) but I was wrong... Something about being 30 and having little people showed me real quick that I had to make health and fitness part of my life.
 
I decided in January to make a change, not a New Year's Resolution but it was the day after my doctor appointment on December 31. I went to the doctor because I had been feeling sluggish and I just knew I had the diabeetus. Well, I did not have diabetes but I did have high triglyceride levels which means I was eating terribly and not exercising. I was told "hey listen you need to diet, exercise, and take fish oil because your overweight. 
I have a vivacious 5 1/2 year old and a 1 1/2 year old who just recently discovered that she can run(help me Jesus) so being fluffy and out of wind is the last thing I needed.
 
I set out NOT to look like I did when I was 18 (because really these hips won't see a size 6 again) but to be healthy and look the way I felt happy.
I started this new goal with a word of prayer, I knew I could not do this on my strength alone. I ask God to guide my decisions, give me courage to face the gym, and help me with my food choices. All you have to do is ask, and you will receive.
 
 The Lord blessed me with a tad too much pride so as soon as I saw that scale move 5lbs I thought I was looking like J. LO but I kept on pushing because I was far from done and I still have a way to go.
 
I make time after my children go to bed for the gym, I love being there, I don't always love making myself go but when I walk out I feel like I just worked out like it was my job.
Actually, it is my job, it's my job to make fitness and health a part of my life because God gave me the opportunity to take what he gave me and enhance it and care for it the way he planned.
 
I've lost 18 pounds but have gained a sense of pride for my body again. If you are on a weight loss journey now, if you haven't started, or if you have reached your goal let me encourage you to seek God. He will be the strength when you are weak for you just as he is for me.
 
Have Zest and Be Fit!








Monday, March 30, 2015

Simplify Life

I've always been pretty obsessed with all things old, from old patterns to old cookware I just love old stuff. When my great grandmother passed away we were able to go through some things and take what we would like as a way to remember her.
All I could think about was some stuff to have in my kitchen since it's my favorite room in our home. I got a really old muffin pan, bundt cake pan, some knick knacks and a pretty special old broom.
 
As I bent down for the fifty-third time to sweep up crumbs with my great grandmothers old broom I thought to myself about what I can do to simplify my life the way that the women who have gone before us did.
How much better would my day be if I woke, spent my time with The Lord, and then didn't bog my day down with time-wasters.
(that's my MaMaw Kyzar's broom hanging in my pantry, so simple)
 
 
What have we really accomplished at the end of the day if we have to throw ourselves in the bed with our eyeballs spinning?
Put away the electronics, turn off the television, say "yes less"  (p.s. it IS ok to say no), and just do what makes you happy and fill life with the people you love.
 
          
 
 
Those are my April Goals, set some for yourself, live simple and have zest.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Our Special Guest: Ugandan Thunder

Today I want to share with you what our family was so very thankful to be a part of. Ugandan Thunder came to our city and performed for what they said was the largest crowd they have ever performed in front of.
They are a children's choir that consist of 22 children from age 8-16. They sing, dance, and worship on their tour of the US. They raise money for Pennies for Posho which is the food for the hungry orphan children of Africa. Check our their website for ways that you can help these children.

We had the privilege of having two of the boys in our home for the night and let me tell you what a treat it was.
Here they are: Samuel 14 and Alvin 12




During the performance a few of the children were ask to go into the audience and present a cross necklace to someone and pray with them. Of all of the people in the room, Alvin spotted me in the crowd ( he didn't know at the time that he would be staying in our home) took my hand, knelt down, and prayed the most special, pure, and soulful prayer I've ever heard. Of course I sobbed as he placed the necklace on me. It wasn't until after the show that he and Samuel found out they would be staying with us and let me tell you the excitement they displayed was overwhelming. They both jumped into my arms and said "thank you thank you thank you."




I could talk about them for days but what I want you to know the most about these children is that you couldn't peel the smiles from their faces, the laughter from their hearts, or the joy that came from deep within them.
I've never met 2 more thankful children in my life, anything we did for them or gave to them you would have thought we just offered them the world when in reality it was a honey bun. I'm hopeful that I can teach my children to be as humbled aS they were but even more than that I want their hearts to be on FIRE for God the way Samuel and Alvin's are.

We love them and certainly hated to say goodbye but will you join me in praying for our boys and all of the children who travel daily to perform with Ugandan Thunder to raise money for the many orphanages in Africa.

Have Zest and have a heart for God!
 






Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Love Your Life

 
How many times in your life have you have you looked up and ask "What in the world is my purpose in life?"
For some of us it takes a lifetime to realize what our purpose is and for others we seem to know as soon as we mature. I am one of those somewhere in that middle category. I realized what the Lord had in store for me about 5 years ago when we were blessed with our first born, Xander and then again 4 years later with our girl, Meraleigh.
I knew it was my calling to be a mother, a counselor, a caretaker, and the one whom they will run to for most anything. The Lord also gave me the gift of humor which is most definitely needed when you have small people. Amen and amen.
 
My goal is to be able to love alot, laugh alot, and be who God designed me to be even when no one is watching.
 
If we can learn to love the hand we are dealt and love it to the fullest using every tool we are equipped with then this will be a life that will be lived abundantly. If you can sing, write, sew, tap dance, serve others, jump on a pogo stick, seal envelopes, wait tables....whatever your do, do it with your best and with joy.
 
 
smile and have zest