Three Hundred Sixty-five Days

Hi friends!  Let me tell you about an absolutely exciting opportunity!  Proverbs 31 Ministries is holding their annual She Speaks Conference for speakers, leaders, and authors.  This conference is June 20-22 and is in Concord, North Carolina.  I’ve never been, but I’ve heard it is AWESOME!  
Now, here is the really exciting part.  The totally fabulous Lysa Terkeurst is giving away a scholarship to attend.  You could win it , too! All you have to do is post on your blog (if you have one) why you would like to go.  Friends, I would LOVE to go to this conference but the well is dry!  
The following is my explanation for why I would like to attend the She Speaks Conference…because God can do a lot in a year.

Three hundred sixty-five days.  Eight thousand seven hundred sixty hours.  Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.  Thirty-one million five hundred thirty-six thousand seconds. One year.  No matter how you add it up, they all equal one year.  One year has changed my life.


This time last year I was consumed with planning, preparing, and executing the most fabulous Dora birthday party ever.  I wasn’t writing.  I didn’t have a blog.  To tell you the truth, I had never even read a blog.  But God was working on me.  He was preparing my heart.  Give up the junk novels, he told me.  Sadly and slowly, I got rid of all of my trashy romance novels.  (Ouch! That hurt ‘cause, friends, I loved me some juicy reading.)  Replace those novels with spiritual books, he said.  I began reading Jill Briscoe’s book here am I, Lord…send somebody else!

 

Jill said some things in her book that echoed the words of my own grandmother.  Ask the Lord to use you. For years, my grandmother has said Use Me, Lord every morning when she gets out of bed.  She is ninety-three.  Sounded easy enough, so I tried it.  Sometime last March I uttered those three words to our Lord and truly meant it – Use me, Lord.

 

And He did.  I had no idea that He would use my love for words and writing to glorify Him.  But He has.  I began writing devotions and saving them on my computer – just for the sake of writing. I decided that if I was serious about writing then I needed as much practice as possible, so I started a blog.  Four days later, I was asked to join Faith Lifts, a devotional website for moms, and write devotions every other week.  With God’s guidance, I launched into unfamiliar territory.  Use me, Lord. 

 

Sometimes I hear from people my words have touched.  One friend read a blog at her family Christmas gathering.  Two Sunday School classes at my parent’s church used a blog to help teach the parable of Matthew 25 in their class.  One sweet friend I’ve never met shared how a devotion helped her marriage.  Use me, Lord.

 

God blew my socks off most recently when I won Lysa Terkeurst’s writing contest.  I will be published in the May ’08 issue of the P31 magazine.  Being published has been a life-long dream, and God has given me the desire of my heart.  Use me, Lord.

 

My passion is helping other women find out what God’s plan is for their lives.  I have written the message God has given me into a book called Woven.  Now I wait for Him to show me which way to step next, all the while asking Him to Use me.  

 

One year.  A lot has gone on in one year.  God can do some incredible things in one year. Three hundred sixty-five days.  Eight thousand seven hundred sixty hours.  Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.  Thirty-one million five hundred thirty-six thousand seconds.  I wonder what the next year will bring? How ’bout you?


Carol

Me, My Hoover, and Jesus

And now for the promised picture you’ve all been waiting for…

…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

I just did it last week.  Must I do it again?  These were the thoughts rattling around in my head last Friday.  Friday is my clean day.  It is the time I reserve every seven-day-stretch to straighten, scrub, and vacuum.  Normally, I strategize my day and approach it with dread.  Not this day.  I got the idea to use my I-pod while I vacuumed.  I strapped on my I-pod, cranked up the praise tunes, and powered up the Hoover wind tunnel.  
Listening to tunes about my precious Jesus fueled me.  I have never cleaned with such a passion.  I vacuumed like no other.  The dirt was Satan and the Hoover was my Redeemer.  I swept Him over the floors, not missing a spot.  And just like that, my carpets were clean.  Friends, if you saw a big, ole’ sunbeam shining down on Buford, Georgia last week, it was just Jesus putting a spotlight on my praise show.  I did some dancin‘ and some shoutin‘!  You won’t believe what happened.
When I got to the last room, I had this funny feeling – like when I’m on the last bite of Grandmother’s homemade chocolate cake with fudge icing.  I didn’t want to be done.  Suddenly, I understood the verse …whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. I was vacuuming for Jesus.  And, friends, it felt good.  

Carol

Carol

Thanks Y’all!

For once in my life, I am speechless! (Don’t start cheering, honey. It won’t last too long.)  For the ten of you who normally read my post and don’t know…I entered a writing contest at Lysa Terkeurst’s blog.  This is the reason I re-posted Jesus at McDonalds.  It was my entry.  The winner was to be published in the P31 magazine (Proverbs 31).  Well, friends – I won!

I can’t believe it.  There were so many incredible entries.  Lysa ended up not being able to pick just one, and there were three of us blessed gals.  This is so exciting for me because I have never been published in print before.  God is so good.  For none of this would be possible without Him.  
For all of you who left sweet comments, thank you!  I am overwhelmed.  For the ten of you who normally read my post, I will let you know the details of when I am supposed to be in the magazine.  Click on the link to Lysa’s blog to find out more about the contest.  Again, thank you everybody!!
Carol

Carol

Jesus at McDonald’s

**This was originally posted in November of last year.  It is one of my favorites, so I offer it again. It’s a great reminder.  I must tell you that I don’t set foot in McDonald’s without thinking about it.  🙂 Carol

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’  Matthew 25:40 NIV

I just got back from McDonald’s, and Jesus was there. I know because he pushed me off of my stool.

Let me back up and tell you the whole story. My friend Carla called and invited me to meet her at McDonald’s to have lunch. I was planning a peanut butter and jelly on some dry bread; so, of course, I jumped at any excuse to sup on something more delicious. Yes, I do think McDonald’s qualifies as delicious – don’t be raising your brows at me.

Back to the story. Carla and I were eating in the play area and our girls were already playing. My daughter, Faith gobbled a few nuggets and ran. As we sat there, a woman came in with what looked like her grandchildren. She got them seated, then left to order food.

A few minutes later, she reappears with an overloaded tray full of the deliciousness that only McDonald’s can provide. Just as she was bringing her tray in for a landing, catastrophe struck! One of her little cups of ketchup, full to the top, went flying over the edge of her tray to splatter all over the floor, the trashcan several feet away, and her.

Friends, an expletive came flying out of her mouth that I dare not repeat. But it started with the same sound mother’s use to hush their kids in church. “Shhh!”

Did you catch the fact that we were in the play area? There were sets of tiny ears everywhere, not to mention the two sets that were sitting with her. Here comes the point where I knew that Jesus was there.

Carla and I made eye contact, and I mouthed “Did she just say what I think she said?” Carla confirmed it with a nod. As my mouth hung open and my eyebrows raised, Jesus pushed me off of my stool. “Grab your napkins. You have more than enough” I heard him say.

I stumbled (since I had been pushed, you see) over to this grandmother’s table. I picked up the guilty ketchup cup and tossed it in the trash. Then I knelt down to wipe up the ketchup from the floor.

It was from this kneeling position that I saw the ketchup on this woman’s feet (she had on flip flops) and pants. Funny how we can see so much more when we humble ourselves and get on our knees. “Oh, she’ll probably want to wipe that off herself” I thought and as soon as the thought came – it went.

And Jesus said, “Wipe her feet. I have washed your feet clean. Now you wipe hers.” And so with the crunchy, white McDonald’s napkins, I wiped this woman’s feet and pants clean.

The ketchup on her feet was only too close to resembling the blood on Christ’s feet as he hung on the cross – to die for me and this grandma with the “whoopsie” mouth. As I wiped her clean, Carla finished wiping the floor.

“My goodness, thank you.” The grandmother expressed her gratitude. Carla and I sat back down and cleaned up our own table as we readied to leave. As we walked out, the lady called after us, “Thank you again.” And she smiled. I smiled, too, because I knew Jesus had just used Carla and me to represent Him. What an honor.

I tell you this to let you know, friends, Jesus is everywhere – even at McDonald’s. Be sure you’re not too busy eating your Big Mac to hear him tell you to get off of your stool, ’cause He just might push you.

(For the P31 ladies – this is my own original story and has never been published anywhere other than on my blog. You have my permission to reproduce this in any form for your magazine, website, or any other media forms for your ministry.  I do retain the original rights to the story.  Thanks!)

 

Carol