Posts from the ‘Thoughts from the Porch’ Category

ATTITUDE CHECK!!

How’s your attitude?

Thoughts From The Porch

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“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which

being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4: 22-24

How many of you remember going to church camp, conferences, or even worship services and a leader would shout out; “ATTITUDE CHECK!”? The response from the participating group would be; “PRAISE THE LORD!”.  In other words, it was a barometer of how the group was feeling and an encouragement for everyone involved to have a good time, to take part and be in fellowship with God.

attitude

Our attitude affects our every day living. If we look at life or what we are doing with doom and gloom, it is going to be just that….doom and…

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Restoration

He who is seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:5 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone and the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

restoring

One thing Jim and I like to do is go out and about and find pieces of furniture or other items that we can re-purpose or restore. I have several items in my home that we have stumbled on while on such excursions that Jim has taken time to restore.  The end result is we have pieces that aren’t perfect. Some of these pieces have markings that with all the sanding and rubbing one could do they will not come out. Jim and I call these markings/scratches character marks which only add to the beauty of the piece we have restored. Along with the character marks, we also have a new conversation piece in our home.

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Not long ago, I was singing with our local hospital choir at a memorial service being held at our hospital for employees that have passed away within the past year.  After the service was concluded, I was speaking with our choir director regarding all that I had gone through last year and how God led me to healing waters.  “My soul/spirit has been restored” is what I told our director. Her response to me was not only “God is good” but she told me that this year is the year for restoration.  The word restoration has echoed in my mind since that morning I sung with the hospital choir.

Bible with heart

Since that moment of hearing that it is the year for restoration, I have begun hearing stories of healing and lives being restored. The healings have not just been physical healings but emotional and spiritual healings. There are people I have prayed for over time that have turned back to God and allowed to be their source of strength and hope.

power of prayer

Of recent, Jim and I had heard the most beautiful story of restoration. About a week ago we were on our way to the beach. Before getting to our destination, we decided we needed to stop at a Kmart for some snacks and other last-minute supplies. As we approached the check out lane with our items, I noticed that the clerks hands were shaking. I thought to myself; “I wonder what kind of disability does she have “ but the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear that it was not a disability.

Within me, God spoke and told me that she had overcome some sort of addiction but what kind I did not know until it was our turn to check out.  As she began to check us out, this clerk  asked where we were from and where we were going. We told her and then she began to tell us her story. She had lived in the area we were in at that moment for nine years. Jim asked her what brought her to where she was now. Her response was; “the law.”

bowing before God

This clerk had lived on the coast and had been an alcoholic  which led her to be homeless and getting into trouble with the law. She was brought to the town where she currently resides and admitted into a rehab unit.  Through this rehab program she began to find peace with God. This girl explained where she had been and how through the twelve-step program she learned that God was the source of her strength. She explained how she had tried to find strength in a bottle and got nowhere. The clerk went on to say that she is thankful to God everyday for all that he gives her and for bringing to where she is now. Now, not only is she nine years clean but she has a steady job, a place to live and is a sponsor to three women through AA.

Beauty from ashes

 

She went on to share with us that the first thing she tells the ones she sponsors is that you need to surrender all to God and allow him to be the source of your strength.  As Jim and I began to gather our bags, the clerk apologized if she took too much of our time by sharing her story. Jim’s response was; “you didn’t take any time away from us at all.  He went on to tell her that her story of restoration was beautiful and we would pray for her.”  It was in those few minutes of the check-out lane where Jim and I saw God at work in someone we did not even know.  What a wonderful treasure we were given in those moments and one we will never forget.

Young woman reading bible

If I gathered all those who read my posts together in one room and went around asked; “do you know someone who is in need of restoration?”.  It is without a doubt each person would know of someone who is down in that pit at this moment trying to crawl out and is desperate for hope. These persons have looked to other things besides God for strength and it has gotten them nowhere.

raise hands above

The best thing we can do for those who are lost and feel as there is no hope is to persistently pray for them. By being persistent in prayer, we are  placing the person and situation in God’s hands.  From my own personal experience my prayer consist of asking God to place others in the person’s path that can lead them to healing.

Heart

Not only is prayer the best thing we can do for a person in need of restoration, but having non-judgemental ears and heart is also important. You see, the person in harm’s way already feels bad about themselves and what they are doing.  What we have to do is lead by example. This example is having a  Christ-like attitude when it comes to helping them. After all, Jesus not only healed the physical illnesses/disabilities but he He healed the spiritual as well.  He did it in a non-judgemental fashion with saying as He healed them; tell the Good News and go and sin no more.”

God's timing

Restoration may not come right away and this is where our faith comes into play. The pieces that Jim and I have purchased over the years and that have been restored did not happen over night. Some pieces took days, some took weeks and some are taking years to complete. It is in God’s time where restoration will take place.

When restoration does take place, you will see such inner beauty and joy beam through the eyes of a person that was once hurting. Yes, they will have scars but they are scares of experience. The scars of  experience can be the light of hope in leading others to God’s strength, peace and kingdom.

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When restoration does take place it is important for us again to be non-judgemental but be unconditional in our interactions with them.  We need to give God the glory for the person who has changed their lives for the better.  Just as the father of the prodigal son celebrated his son’s return, we also are to celebrate the person who has chosen to come back and be a part of God’s kingdom.

Ability to change

My prayer today is that if you know of someone who is needing hope and strength that only God can give that you will  start by persistently  praying for them. Then, love on them with a Christ-like heart and show them His grace through your actions toward them.  And, just as the lyrics to the song goes; “don’t give up hope, some people change.  Love finds a way, some people change.”  

Bring It On! You Will Not Win!

Thoughts From The Porch

Satan. He attempts to stop us in our tracks of our faith walk with  God. In recent days, I have experienced Satan trying to challenge me.  On Sunday, Jim and I were scheduled to sing in choir for both 8:30 and 11:00 worship. Since we had to sing at 8:30, we were to be at church by 8:00 to get our robes on, warm up, and rehearse our anthem. On Saturday night, we made sure our alarm clock was set to where we would get up early enough to take care of the dogs, have a relaxed breakfast and still get to church in plenty of  time.  Satan had other plans. On Sunday morning, we got up on time and then things went down hill. Our newest addition to the family, Smokey has been doing a wonderful job with house training. On this particular morning Smokey did take care of…

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Adoption

Originally written and posted September 2012

Thoughts From The Porch

Smokey
Taken right after we picked him up from his Foster Home.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-” Ephesians 1: 1-5

It will be a year this weekend, when Jim and I got up early on a Saturday morning to pick up our new family member, Smokey. Jim and I found Smokey by going to our local Humane Society website that led us to the link of Pet Finders. Then, as we looked through the many faces of looking for homes, Smokey’s cute face caught our hearts. We immediately…

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Pack Lightly

Thoughts From The Porch

A couple of weekends ago Jim and I headed to Georgia for a long weekend. This weekend involved in being at several different venues during the course of the weekend. As always I struggled to discern on what clothes I needed to pack and what really didn’t need to go.  Progressing into the weekend, I realized I didn’t need to take as much as I took.

over packing for a trip.

We have all been there. We are planning a trip and we over pack. We over pack because we are afraid we won’t have the right outfit for a dinner, or something could happen and we need that particular item. Thus, we pack everything but the kitchen sink and take it with us.

over packed car

The result in packing everything but the kitchen sink is that the room in the car is limited. Our car has been so packed full at times that I was not…

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Hide and Seek

Thoughts From The Porch

“Suddenly their eyes were open to a reality previously unknown. For the first time, they sensed their vulnerability and rushed to hide their naked bodies, stitching fig leave into crude loincloths.” Genesis 3:7 (From The Voice Bible)

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Do you know when the first Hide and Seek game took place? It took place in Genesis 3:7. Remember? God told Adam and Eve NOT to eat from the Tree of Knowledge but they instantly showed they were human and listened to the voice of the serpent. Once they ate from the Tree of Knowledge, we learn that their eyes were opened and they begin to cover themselves and hide from God. But, did they really hide from God? No. God knew immediately what they had done and where they were. Hence, this Hide and Seek game became known as the moment man became separated from God.

When we were children, we…

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A Mother’s Day Letter to My Son

My son, Drew and me with Smokey

My son, Drew and me with Smokey

Dear Drew:

Today has been Mother’s Day. A day to celebrate moms and all they do for their families. This year I have viewed Mother’s Day from a different perspective.  As we reflect on what moms do for their families, I have reflected on what I have learned being a mom. Throughout my raising you, I have learned many things about life and myself.

success

The first lesson I learned early on that success was not about how much money I had in an account, the size house or car your dad and I had. Success was seeing that I had met your needs, made sure you knew were loved and that you knew how much God loved you.  As I write this I see how my definition of success has changed through the years of watching you grow up and begin your own home with Megan.  Today, success is having a son who has stayed true to God, knows how to love others, and put others first.

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As I reflect on the years gone by from my very first Mother’s Day to this year’s Mother’s Day, success is talking to a young man who now gives his mom words of wisdom. It is a son who knows what he stands for and does not let anyone detour him from his calling/purpose in life. Success is seeing Drew Hawkins taking all the lessons that he has been taught by teaching and some by observing and applying it to his life. Thus, it is a son who has a beautiful wife, a home full of love and a love for life. A man who wants to make a positive difference in the world and knows how to keep it real.

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When I look back from the moment I found out I would become a mom to this moment of writing I have no regrets. Early on, I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Your dad and I knew it would not be easy but the pay off in the long run would have greater gains.  As I reflect back, I shake my head and wonder how in the world your dad and I actually pulled off all the things we did while raising you. Our only answer is the answer that was given on the day you were born.

On other occasions, I have shared about the day you were born. As the doctors and nurses worked with me to bring you into this world, a strong storm blew through. All you could see out the window of my room was darkness, wind blowing and pouring rain. Yet, at the moment you came into the world, the storm ceased and a few minutes later a beautiful rainbow was outside my window. I knew then God had great plans for you and plans for me as your mom.

rainbow three

God saw us through the thick and thin of life. He provided when your dad and I scratched our heads in figuring out how we could afford for you to be a part of certain activities and take care of things that you needed.  It was through these moments we all three learned the meaning of sacrifice, trusting God and what it meant to work together as a family.

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Left-Josh Right- Drew Josh was Drew’s best friend

In recent years, God threw us a few curve balls. The biggest curve ball was losing your best friend, Josh. It is hard to believe we are approaching the four-year mark of you losing your very best friend. I will never forget the afternoon when your dad called me on his way home telling me Josh was lost at sea.  At that moment I was speechless and asked Dad to contact you. It was at that moment I was on my knees for two weeks praying for Josh to be found and be found alive. I searched for him in my sleep for two weeks until we heard  he was found.

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Not only had  I prayed for him to be found, I prayed for you because I knew he was more of a brother than a friend to you.He was more than your friend to Dad and me. Josh had become a part of our family throughout your middle school and high school years. I prayed for his mom whose heart was breaking and aching beyond measure.

As your  mom, the toughest moment was seeing you being a pall bearer at your best friend’s funeral and placing that carnation on his casket at the end of the services. There had been other moments in life when I wanted to carry the hurt for you so you wouldn’t hurt. On that day, I wanted to take the hurt you were feeling away from you but I knew that all I could do was stand there hold you in my arms and let you grieve. Your dad, yourself and I all grieved together. Yet, God taught us that though you were on your own that there would still be moments when we would cling to each other, lean on each other for support and would learn to love a little harder.

Three generations of Hawkins me

Three generations of Hawkins men

A year ago, we went through another curve together. We said good-bye to your Granddaddy Hawkins. You don’t know how proud you made me through that week. You were there to give your Nanny and Dad comfort. There were times when certain logistics had to be worked out and you took over and handled the situation. As you stood before the congregation sharing your thoughts and memories of your granddaddy, I saw how you had watched your Granddaddy and Dad live out their lives. Through this moment, I saw how you were picking up the Hawkins’ torch to move on to make sure your granddaddy’s legacy lives on through the life you live.

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Drew, thank you for calling me today. Not only thank you for calling me today because it was Mother’s Day but for the many phone calls you have made to me through the years. Believe it or not, I didn’t mind any of those mid-night calls from college or when you moved out to start your career. It was those calls when this mom could hear the voice of her little boy from her adult son wanting comfort and advice from her.  There is nothing sweeter than hearing the sound of the voice of the precious life that you once carried inside of you.

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Today was Mother’s Day. A day to celebrate moms. However, for me, it was a day to celebrate that God gave me a precious blessing twenty-eight years ago to love and watch grow into a Godly man. You were a joy to raise and it is a joy to watch Megan and you work together to make your house a home.

My son, Drew and his wife, Megan

My son, Drew and his wife, Megan

Thank you for the laughter, the tears, the disagreements and all the in-between that comes with raising a son. I would not go back and change any of the moments we experienced together.  Most of all, I thank God for making me a mom to the best son ever!

I love you,

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old the will not turn.

Proverbs 22:6

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