Thursday, November 17, 2011


Good morning!

Well... let me just say I think I have wrapped things up for the McCart family! Tyler Junior spent 2 days throwing up, then it went to Tyler Sr, then me. After throwing up a lot last night, I woke up this morning feeling a bit weak, but for the most part better! The sad part has been to pump and dump! Breastmilk down the sink, such a sad sight. At least I have a good supply in the freezer and Trin can stay healthy and whole.

Just wanted to give ya'll a heads up! Excited that my family is back. I call us the HEALED in Jesus Name!!!

Have a blessed day! I'll catch up with you soon! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#236 - Above All Else

Good morning! :) SO.... let me put out a preface. I read the devotion from Friday on my mobile phone over the weekend. I noticed some obvious spelling errors, that almost made me laugh... (hear & here... and there was one other that I caught). Anyways, thank you in advance for grace! :) With kids, sometimes all the time I have is to read my Bible, have my own quiet time with the Lord, and write a devotion. It's a jam-packed time that doesn't always allow me to proof-read before posting when someone is yelling from there bed, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" And before he tries crawling out, I need to go get him and get his day started. So, THANK YOU for your grace in the occasional spelling or grammar errors. Sometimes I go back, read, catch & correct them... but sometimes I do not. Well... with all that said, let's go ahead and jump into the Word this morning. :)
Proverbs 15:14a - The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge and inquires after and craves it... 
Proverbs 31:15a - She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household...
Isn't it great to hear from the Lord? When you ask & He gives you direction. Not just general direction, but direction very specific to you and your situation. Direction that encompasses the details of your life. How to accomplish what needs to be done with a strenuous work schedule or with kids running around (feeding them, changing diapers, feeding them again, etc, etc). Isn't it awesome that we have a Voice that not only is alive today, but who actually will speak to us & direct us. He looks down and sees what we may not see. He sees the outcome before we are even obedient to His direction.

This morning, this is part of what He told me,
Continue in this priority with Me. This time should be above all else. I have the answers, the solutions to the questions you have not even asked yet.  
"This priority with Me." As I have had a 6 week or so break from writing devotions, I've really enjoyed my mornings and getting into a routine with my newborn. Trinity has been a definite blessing from the start. Although, I knew it was important to maintain my morning quiet time with the Lord. Sometimes it morning passed, and it was my "early afternoon" quiet time, but nonetheless, it was time receiving direction from my Maker.

"Above All Else." The Holy Spirit reminded me this morning, that above ALL other priorities, above everything else that "I" think is important, my time with Him is the MOST important. I may not have nailed down the status that the Proverbs 31 woman has, in rising "while it is yet night" and getting spiritual food, but my continual goal is to get DAILY spiritual food for myself and my household. "Above All Else." Gaining this spiritual food is ABOVE ALL OTHER THINGS, it is the MOST important task of the day. It is the FIRST "big event" of the day, as my husband would say. This time allows us the opportunity to get direction.

I remember a time in my life when I did not spend daily time with Him. I remember the feeling of chaos that accompanied me throughout the day. I remember the feeling of "not having enough time" to do it all. I remember the feeling of stress that followed me. I was making decisions and acting on my OWN knowledge and abilities, I was not relying on the wisdom & direction from the Holy Spirit. As I compare that time in my life with my current life, I can definitely say life is much more peaceful now.

Two people come to mind who have children & many responsibilities. As I think of the last conversations I've had with them, I remember the feelings that permeated from the one mom... just talking with her I could hear the stress & chaos in her voice. From previous conversations, I knew that in the process of having children, her time with the Lord had been pushed to the back burner, and it was obvious. Life seemed to be filled with chaos & stress, disharmony & lacking unity. The other mom that comes to mind, has an equally full schedule with many responsibilities, actually probably more responsibilities, though with I speak with her on the phone, peace rings through the receiver. Peace. If I have been questioning something in my own life, just talking to her and hearing her voice brings a peace that is indescribable. I KNOW that she spends daily time with her Father. I know that she has a "prayer closet" that sometimes she wakes up to visit in the middle of the night. I know that her time with the Lord comes Above All Else. It is obvious by her life. Her life is still definitely full, but a life of peace & joy. A life filled with DIVINE direction from her Maker.

Above all else, that is how I want others to speak of me. I want my Maker to shine through when others speak with me. Above all else, I want Jesus to be who people see when they see me. Above all else, when I make decisions about my day, my family & my life, I want it to be decisions directed by the Holy Spirit, not merely thought up on my own. Above all else, I want the peace of God to shine through my life & my home. I want people drawn towards me because they feel the peace of God when they are around me.

Above all else. What is the priority that shines through your life? What is "Above All Else?" Is it obvious to others? Is it your job? Your family? Your business? Soccer practice? Basketball? Swim team? Crafts? Working out, exercising? Or... is it your God? Is it your time with the Lord? Above all else. What is "above all else" in your life?

Friday, November 11, 2011

#235 - Don't Die on the Vine!

Good morning!
Slow but sure... I'm coming back! An update? Trinity is doing great! We are working on getting into a routine with her. She has been sleeping very well through the night, which is a blessing! Anywhere from 6-11 hours through the night. Praise the Lord!! The house? Well... as most of you know, we have been building a house. The original "closing date" was October 21st.... well, we still have not closed. At this point, I've decided not to get frustrated despite the delays. My new mindset? We will be in the house SOMETIME!

Well... let's jump into the Word for today! :)
Proverbs 11:2 - When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness.
Proverbs 31:10 - A capable, intelligent, and [a]virtuous woman--who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.
Wow! This morning as I began reading Proverbs 11... I barely got to verse 8, as each verse just jumped off the page at me! Verse 2, verse 3, verse 5.... it was as if I had never read Proverbs chapter 11 before! But we all know, through this monthly journey of Proverbs & the Proverbs 31 woman.... we HAVE read Proverbs 11 before! Many times!

I can relate to Proverbs 11:2... and unfortunately, have personal experiences that ring in my mind when I think back over the years. Swelling & Pride. Firsthand, I can relate to the whole cycle that Proverbs 11:2 is talking about! Swelling & pride, leading to emptiness & shame, then leading to what for me has been painful pruning & chiseling, but now coming out on the other side with soundness. A cycle somewhat unavoidable if one wants to bear great fruit. I'll share a personal story shortly, but as I was meditating on this verse, this is what the Holy Spirit had to say to me about it:
Being pruned IS part of the process. For every great tree, bearing great fruit, pruning is necessary. A time is involved where cutting back may cause a season of no fruit, BUT because of the pruning GREATER harvests are to come. As long as you are willing to grow through the process of pruning, as long as you are not willing to give up, to throw in the towel, to lose home & lose your dream - as long as you are willing for the pruning to lead to the harvest - you will experience the joy of completion. The joy of fullness! The joy of expectations being fulfilled. Will you come out strong after the pruning takes place? Don't die on the vine.
I read briefly how this actually takes place with the growth of grape vines. "Pruning is simply getting the plant or in this case grape vine growth to encourage more growth. Grapes will not appear on your grape vine for at least a few years, in the meantime you will need to maintain and care for your vines and this is done through careful pruning. How you prune your grape vines will have a massive effect on the sort of harvest that you will yield." 

OK... take off your robes & put down your stones for a minute.... I'm going to share ONE of the ways I've personally had to change in this area. Back 8-9 years ago after Tyler & I started our own business, with good intentions, I remember speaking to a group of people saying if they didn't do "________" they were "saps." I remember saying that everyone should be able to grow their numbers and business to a certain level within a certain period of time. I know, horrible, huh? What kind of terrible person would be so cold? I was fiery and excited, I spoke with passion & believed what I was saying. I was just overly excited. I look back on that time and season, and I now would love to apologize to anyone who may have been in hearing distance. My zeal most likely hurt feelings and was based in a degree of pride versus humility. 

Shortly after that time, the pruning process in me began. If you are the one being pruned, is it fun? I would answer that with a HEARTY NO! :) But, has the process been good? Absolutely. Some of the things I have gained from the pruning include; feeling compassion for others, seeing where others are coming from, being able to truly empathize, learning how to allow GOD to be in control instead of "my ability" to do or accomplish through my own efforts, not judging (I'm still learning this!), allowing people to grow at their pace versus my pace for them.... and the list goes on! 

As I read about the Proverbs 31 woman, I read in verse 10 how she is a capable, intelligent & virtuous woman. I see her having encompassed compassion, having most likely traveled through a pruning season coming out on the other side bearing much fruit. Eyes full of compassion. A heart that sees where you are and where you have been. Ears that listen & when you stop talking, she allows the silence to penetrate so you will continue talking.... ears just listening, as if they are saying "Go on. Tell me more. Don't stop there. I want to hear what YOU have to say. Tell me your story. Share your pain, I will be here and won't judge." The Proverbs 31 woman encompasses trust. Not only does her husband trust in her (Proverbs 31, verse 11), but those she knows trust her too. 

Pruning WILL produce a harvest for you. Will you, can you be patient even in the season where the harvest is not coming in? Will you allow the pruning to produce a growth in you and around you that will bring completion? It will encompass what you are called to do and be. As the Holy Spirit reminded me, I'll leave you with this too.... Don't Die on the Vine. God is not through with you yet. Enjoy the growth. Enjoy what you are learning and allow the pruning to take place. Proper pruning produces extraordinary crops! Don't Die on the Vine, allow yourself also to be pruned! 

Have you experienced a season of pruning? Do you have a harvest you'd like to share? I'd love to hear your story!

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