Distracted.

I come from a family that loves sports almost as much as they love me.

Maybe more.

Just joking.

In my younger years we were heavy into softball. I can vividly remember my dad, and my big sister, telling me to keep my eye on the ball.

Because let’s be honest – I am easily distracted. I have a creative spirit. I’m a dreamer. Focusing on one thing is hard for me.

Since I’m focusing on how to focus this year, I’m working my way through Philippians 4:8. I had a huge a-ha moment while digging deep into “whatever is just”. Just comes from the Greek word dikaios which means deemed righteous by God. When we relate our lives back to this scripture the question is: Are we focusing on what’s deemed righteous by God, or are we focused on what’s deemed righteous by the world?

My dad and my big sister knew that for me to be successful I couldn’t let my eye wander. They knew that I could easily be distracted by shiny things, butterflies, or friends eating french fries in the bleachers. I had to have unwavering focus.

God knows that, too.

Today, I challenge you [and me] to be unwavering in your faith and your focus. If Godly success can be attributed by focusing on what’s deemed righteous by God, then that’s what I want to do. That’s what I need to do. And if that’s what I need to do, don’t you know the devil’s gonna be slanging all kinds of glitter my way.

Don’t take your eye off of God, y’all. And rest assured that He never takes His eye off of you.

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 1 Peter 1:13

May the Lord bless you and keep You

Guest Post by Mrs. Stacy Shultz

My whole life has been a direct result of different individuals and their impact on my life.

When I think of people, who I admire, respect and treasure I remember their words of wisdom, their actions, and most importantly how they made me feel in their presence. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

These influences, whether they knew their part in my life or not, truly resembled and embodied this scripture. As I look at my life as a mom, aunt, and educator, I am always questioning myself wondering did I do or do I give enough?

Growing up, there was always one scripture that was said weekly at youth group, and when I think back to that scripture, it is one that truly holds a special place in my heart. When I began my current job, I decided that my sweet little school needed this scripture too. It is said with a purpose each week at chapel.

We explain to the students that this is our benediction or blessing and that we offer this not to just ourselves, but to those who cannot be with us. Our benediction is Numbers 6: 24-26.

“May the Lord bless you and keep you; May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; May the Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace; now and forever more. Amen!”

Oh, how this has truly blessed my life, but how do I know that by sharing this with others I am blessing them? This past week, I saw this scripture in action letting me know that people are listening and paying attention. Due to COVID-19, we have not been able to have chapel every week, but when my fabulous students ask to close our day with the benediction so we can remember those that cannot be with us, my heart warms.

There it is, an impact made that will forever be in my heart and hopefully theirs. Then a few days later, BOOM again! The two middles of our family or the “blonde ones” we call them, both got their letterman jackets. As we are bragging on both of them and their accomplishments, there on the back of my niece’s jacket under her name is Numbers 6: 24-26. It is there because this scripture is one that has impacted her life, too.

When I look at both of my children, I see how they help others and how they provide kindness and generosity openly and freely with others. I have often wondered about what footprints I have left behind. All I need to do is simply just take a look around and keep my focus on God, and the footprint will be there for others to see.

Remember Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” This is my job, my career, my goal, to shine my light brightly, so that others will in return spread the love, joy and kindness that everyone deserves.

To all of you reading this, I truly mean this: May the Lord bless you and keep you; May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; May the Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace; now and forever more. Amen!

Big Dreams

The other day I had – what I thought was – a great plan brewing in my mind. I was telling God all about how to bring said dream to fruition, and you know what He said to me?

For real – clear as day – He spoke these words right to my heart, “Daisy, when are you gonna stop telling me what to do.”

Insert awkward side-eye emoji here.

Yikes. Are there any other Daisys out there? You know – someone that’s always telling someone else what to do including God. Honestly, I’m the worst about that.

I’m a planner and a dreamer and a big idea-haver, and boy can I delegate the how-to-get-it-done to the left and to the right. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with having big dreams if [and that’s a big IF] I keep the focus of all of these big ideas and dreams where my focus should be – and that’s on God.

Are these dreams:

God centered.

God driven.

God purposed.

Some days – ok most days – I have to remember to take off my bossy britches and hand them over to the one they belong to in the first place.

As we journey into a brand new year I’m going to reiterate to myself and to anyone else reading this – God’s plan is always the best plan. Let Him be the one in charge.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

On Purpose

I’m an educator.

I’m an educator that loves to rest over Christmas Break. Each morning while slowly sipping coffee I sit on my comfy couch and listen to my praise and worship music.

With my Rae Dunn cup in hand:

I read my Bible.

I do my devotional.

I write.

I pray.

And I always think – wouldn’t it be nice if this were my normal? If all mornings were unrushed. No hair and makeup to be done. No leg prisons [aka pants] to put on.

And then I remember.

I’m here for a purpose. I’m here on a mission. And if I sit on my couch slowly sipping coffee and nothing else then what good am I to God’s Kingdom? I can read my Bible all day long, but if I’m keeping everything I’ve learned to myself then what’s the point? Honestly.

God’s girls are movers and shakers – no doubt. We have to get up and get out. Whether it be the grocery store, the hospital, the school house, or the home, we have to run to our mission field and fulfill our purpose.

Yes, Christmas Break for an educator is good. It’s so good. Educators need the rest and the refresher. We need down time after running in literal circles for the past few months.

But then we need to get up. We need to get up and get out to that mission field. We need to remember why we are here.

My house is my refuge. It’s my safe place. But God didn’t call His girls to be safe. He called us on purpose for a purpose.

So, in less than a week let’s be ready to go girls.

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:9).

Good Enough

Guest Post by Mrs. Kylie Lyday

“God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:43-45 NLT

One of my favorite memories from when I was young has to be standing by my siblings and cousins in my grandparent’s living room reading the Christmas story on Christmas Day.

I have always thought so highly of Mary. How wonderful to be hand chosen. How blessed she must have felt to be picked to birth the son of Christ. The mother of the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, and son to come into our world to save each and every one of us.

Wow. Just wow.

I still think highly of Mary to this day. Of course because she’s the mother of Jesus that gave birth on Christmas Eve many many years ago.

– but also because of her character. For who she was. She was ordinary. Just like all of us. She was one who looked in the mirror and didn’t see much more than just a servant girl, but the Lord saw so much more in her. Just like he does in each of us. Mary never once thought she was worthy enough. She found herself in awe of the fact that He took notice of “his lowly servant girl” to which she called herself. It shows her character. Maybe we can relate to her today.

“For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.”

Luke 1:48-49 NLT

She could have questioned God’s will for her life. She could have chosen to live in fear or disbelief. She could have chosen to run and hide. But she didn’t. She came to the realization that she was good enough, and He saw the capability to impact the world through her. God noticed her even when she felt “unnoticeable” and used her for his glory.

As we wrap up 2020 and head into 2021, what if we all strived to be less like the world and more like Mary? Simply believing the Lord is who He says He is, and trusting in His plan. Maybe you do not see much when looking into the mirror, but perhaps this “New Year” you can trust in the Lord and remind yourself that He sees all of your capabilities.

Perhaps next Christmas you can say, I strived to be more like Jesus this year. Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year.

Christmas

Guest Post by Mrs. Christle Jenkins

CHRISTMAS, a cozy time of year, where we get under a blanket, drink hot chocolate, watch Christmas movies, all while our Christmas lights are twinkling all around us.

We stay busy decorating Christmas trees, shopping for gifts, and celebrating with family. When I think of the true meaning of Christmas and what we are celebrating, I think of God sending us His Son, Jesus. He is the reason for the season, but sometimes all the distractions of the holiday tend to blur out Jesus, our Savior!

There are so many times I have dreaded Christmas because my mind goes straight to the shopping, the money that will be spent, and the weeks of busyness. I must stop and remind myself that Christmas is about Christ and God’s love for us!

I also think about how God chose a virgin, Mary, to carry His Son. Can you imagine what Mary must have thought? She was favored enough by God to be the mother of Jesus, her firstborn son, and He would be the Savior of the world.

“She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Today is my firstborn son’s birthday. This leads me to think about and realize just how much of a sacrifice God made, but also Mary. God trusted Mary enough to handle her son’s purpose in this world. It is unimaginable to me to know that my son, who would be sinless and blameless, would be born to die for the sins of the world. I can tell you with all honesty that my faith would waiver at that moment, but Mary shows a true testament of her faith. She trusted her Lord with her Son. She had to watch him be ridiculed, hurt, beaten, and crucified and keep her faith that He was carrying out God’s purpose.

As a mom I want to try to control and protect my children in every circumstance they face. I want to keep them from hurt, pain, and having to deal with any obstacles that would come against them. But these are the moments that God uses to mold them and help them become who and what He wants them to be. That is where I need to remember the faith Mary had.

I can only teach them to seek the Lord with all their hearts and then have faith that God has their future in His hands. God loves our children more than we do and they belong to Him. He has placed them on this earth to fulfill His purpose for them. They will face adversity, hurt, pain, etc., but we can strive to have the faith Mary had, and God will handle the rest.

Hope in the Hurting

There is hope in the hurting.

There is.

Im not trying to spit out a cliche. It’s not just a frivolous quote slapped on a coffee mug in a cute font.

It’s the truth.

It’s truth backed up by the Bible. Backed up by a God that sent His only son to die for me – a shameful sinner. Backed up by a God that knows what hurt is.

The holidays are often filled with hurt, and without God in your midst the lingering emptiness and pain has the potential to strangle you.

If you’re hurting this holiday season, please know that there really is hope.

You have to search for it.

You have to pray for it.

And while you’re looking for that hope, I urge you to serve somewhere.

Because in the midst of serving, you may just find the hope that you’ve been searching for.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted

and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Guest Post by Mrs. Lisa Lamey

Odds get our attention. We often rely on odds to help make decisions. We like to size up a situation before we make a decision. In a mathematical sense, odds are the expression of the probability of an event happening or what will be the likely outcome of an event. (I’m having flashbacks of a statistics class I had to take.. ugh). When we look at the odds in our personal situations we collect and analyze information about our strength, our power, our resources… looking to see what advantages exist for us… what are the odds against us… In other words, are the odds in our favor?


The odds are what the ten spies considered when they made the decision not to move forward in their conquest of the land promised to them. Information was collected – giants in the land. Information was analyzed-we can’t conquer them. Decisions were made and the wilderness wandering began.


And Gideon’s focus on the odds is why an angel of the Lord finds him threshing wheat in a winepress in secret, hiding his substance for fear of the Midianites who had come in great numbers against the children of Israel. The angel informs Gideon that he is the one the Lord is sending to defeat the Midianites. Gideon begins to consider the odds, collecting and analyzing information – “My family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” He was defining and confining himself by what he considered his deficits. And then… “The Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shall smite the Midianites as one man.”


When the Lord is with us, His strength, His power, and His resources are with us. And so we see in Gideon’s defeat of the Midianites with only 300 men! Talk about some odds! There was no doubt that God was with Gideon.


What if when we are faced with odds, instead of focusing on what we consider deficiencies, we look at the sufficiencies of our Father? Odds are not meant to define and confine us. It’s in the midst of the odds that we discover more about our Father. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10.) God is exalted in our personal lives because of the odds. He will be exalted, not maybe but will be exalted. This tells me that the odds are in my favor because God is exalted in the odds! There will be no doubt that God was in our situation. Odds are in our favor because that is how God is exalted and glorified in our lives.. for all to see.
Against all odds, when it looked hopeless, Abraham believed the promise and expected God to fulfill it. He took God at His word, and as a result he became the father of many nations. God’s declaration over him came to pass: “Your descendants will be so many that they will be impossible to count!” (Romans 4:18)


Do today’s situations have us looking at the odds? Are we allowing our own strengths and resources to define and confine us?

My prayer for you my “ friend “ is the same prayer Elisha prayed for his servant, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” … Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. ( 2 Kings 6:17)


He saw the strength, the power, and the resources of God. Against all odds, God will be exalted…
The odds are in our favor… Let’s open our eyes. Blessings – Lisa


The Details

Guest Post by Jana McEachern

“The devil is in the details.” – My Mom.

2020 was supposed to be a BIG year for the McEacherns. We began 2020 with an engagement and impending wedding, and we looked forward to our second child’s graduation from Texas A&M in May. Kiddo number three was coming right along in her college career. Things were good, great even.

Then COVID. PANDEMIC. The world shut down. And I panicked.

How were we going to plan a wedding? Have a graduation? Could we even have either of these things? How was I going to order flowers, pick dresses, choose a venue/caterer/baker/florist? Schedule graduation pictures? Coordinate the grandparents attending graduation and NOT getting sick? The list goes on and on of the details I fretted over. The devil is in the details, for real.

But then time slowed down while we quarantined, and I realized that the devil may be in the details but God is in control of the big picture. God had given me the gift of time. I suddenly had time on my hands to reflect and gain some perspective on what was really important in my life and what to focus on for the events coming up.

In-person graduation didn’t happen, but I got the chance to spend the day with my parents, safely in their own home, as we anxiously awaited Chase’s name and degree to be conferred on the big screen at Kyle Field. (Whoop!) Chase is just as graduated as he would be in person, and my parents remained safe from the virus. It was a relaxing, yet exciting day, and I wasn’t stressed about all the unimportant details (parking, social distancing, navigating the graduation itself, etcetera). We all just chilled out, shorts and t-shirts style, and waited for our graduate. It was perfect.

We planned and executed a beautiful wedding in the middle of a pandemic. We ordered a dress and booked the first and only venue we toured prior to March, just prior to everything closing. Were there pitfalls? Yes. Would I want to do it again under these circumstances? Nope. Did I possibly offer to bribe her sister to elope? Maybe.

But it was good. WE were good. Caitlin and I spoke more via text and Facetime than we ever had before. I realized very quickly that my demeanor determined her demeanor, so I vowed to “keep the main thing the main thing.” She was amazing. While I tended to get bogged down in random things like napkins, flowers, and signs, she was laser-focused on being married and building a life with her future husband. The devil may have been in the details but God had given her a beautiful view of the big picture He was laying at her feet and she didn’t really care about anything other than that.

My kids made me realize that this pandemic, while awful, was an opportunity to slow down, to take it all in. We watched TV together (remotely). We spoke daily. Two of my grown-up college kids moved home for a brief time. Time slowed down and I got to soak a little more of them in. I got to be involved in the details of their lives. Details that I wouldn’t have gotten to see in normal times. And it was a gift.

The devil may be in the details, as my mom said, but God has the big picture. ALWAYS.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

The Nitty Gritty

Y’all know David, right?

He went through some stuff man.

He went through some stuff, but He never gave up.

The ebb and flow of David’s pain was based on poor choices that he made. No one did this to David. He did it to himself. It’s easy for us to read about David’s shoddy decisions and get all kinds of Judgy McJudgy.

But seriously, y’all. We do dumb stuff, too. We are quick to close out communication with God so that we can bathe in our own worldly pleasures. We are quick to tune out the Holy Spirit in hopes that feelings of self-condemnation will not dance their way across our hearts and souls.

I said all of that to say this – David really did make some bigger than Texas mistakes.

But.

But David used all of his pain and everything he learned from it to encourage other Christians to hang on to God. To not give up. To show us that we are never too far gone.

Are you using your past mistakes to encourage others?

Someone needs you to do that.

Someone needs to know what you’ve done, where you’ve been, and who you’ve hurt along the way. Someone needs to know the nitty gritty.

Someone needs to know that God brought you up out of that deep, dark, gritty pit. They need to know He will bring them out, too.

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31:24