Please pray for my friend Tammy and her family... Nick went Home to be with Jesus yesterday morning. There will be some hard days ahead so I know she would appreciate continued prayer... Thank you.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tonight I'm thankful for...
- the anticipation in my daughter coming home from college for Thanksgiving break. I've taken tomorrow off to spend the day with her and I'm looking forward to coffee with my growing up daughter!
- the Proverbs 31 ministry women. Tonight I stopped over to Renee' Swope's blog (see the blogs I follow on the right hand side) and she left a great reminder that the Lord says I am highly favored and that He is always with me! I'm going to write the verse she referenced on a card and tape it to my mirror so it greets me each morning. It will serve to remind me that no matter what happens at work (or anywhere else I may go that day) that HE says I am highly favored and that He is with me!
- yummy home cooked meals that my husband loves to make for us!
- little carousel horses that are treasures from my dear sweet cousin Agnes who is living with cancer. She is an amazing woman whose faith inspires me.
- that my children are good friends to their friends.
Lord, thank You for down time at the end of the day where I can refocus my thoughts on the good things You have blessed me with. Thank You for Your kindness to me and my family. Thank You for Your great love for me and the reminder that you are always with me.
Posted by Bonnelle Pagel at 8:29 PM
Monday, November 24, 2008
Today I took a few moments to read the devotional that came to my inbox at work from Proverbs 31 ministries. The devotionals are always so good but today seemed especially so since it was added re-enforcement to yesterday's message and just the whole spirit of Thanksgiving that is upon us all... Today it suggested at the end of each day writing in a journal 5 things you are thankful for and since this is my journal at times... I thought I would list them here.
Tonight I'm thankful for...
- my little dog Daisy who is curled up beside me on the couch. She took Josiah's spot when he got up a few minutes ago. Every day I'm thankful for this sweet little dog who came into our lives at a time of tremendous change.
- when God takes the crazy things in our lives and turns them around for good. This will never cease to amaze me!
- the miracle and blessing in that my teenage children talk to me!
- good neighbors and new friends...
- the power of prayer and the 'knowing' that God hears and answers our prayers... God is always with us and never leaves us alone. When we call on Him, He will always be there... right by our side.
Lord, thank You for always being there for us. Thank You that Your hand is always in the midst of things and even when things appear to be crazy and off kilter... You know and understand and will make everything work together for good. Thank You for this reassurance and peace that comes from that truth.
Thank You also for reminding me this morning that YOU have chosen me. I am Your daughter, your priceless treasure... I am YOURS... and because of this truth, I CAN show others Your goodness since You have called me out of the darkness and into Your marvelous light. Thank You for loving me and always taking care of me and all that concerns me.
...having a heart of gratitude reduces stress... I should find my list of 50 ways to take care of yourself because if being thankful isn't on there, it should be! =) Thank YOU... and have a good night.
Posted by Bonnelle Pagel at 9:08 PM
Sunday, November 23, 2008
'Tis the season for Thankfulness... a time where everyone begins to talk about being thankful and focusing on all the blessings we have been given by God. So as I was sitting here listening to music on iTunes and baking rolls for supper with my sisters tonight I thought I would do a post on:
What I'm thankful for...
- my son resides in Heaven at the feet of Jesus. I know he's worshipping and praising God for all eternity and truly, isn't that what we were created for?
- my daughter is a beautiful 19 year old young woman who is blossoming and growing in the things of God. She's asking Him for direction in her life and He is opening the doors that He wants her to go through.
- my 17 year old son is alive and healthy and experiencing life and all that it holds for him. I have seen him grow and mature in the last few weeks in amazing ways and each time I look at him... I'm thankful.
- my husband who has stuck with me through some of the worst times of our lives... and still loves me in spite of it! =)
- my job... even though it causes me great stress and some days I just want to walk away... I'm thankful for a job that has been a stable source of income for my family over the last 8 years. That it helped provide the wonderful insurance we needed through Josiah's treatments... and that it truly helps pay the bills.
- my sisters and brothers... my parents and the heritage we grew up with. There are many times I think of my wonderful Mom & Dad when I see this cute little couple walking in the mall where I work. We have an amazing family and we are truly blessed because we love each other and will be there for each other no matter what.
- my in-law's who pray for us each day and have prayed for us for years. I pray that one day I will be an amazing mother-in-law and that my daughter-in-law will love me in spite of my many imperfections. My mother-in-law and I have had our rough spots but there is a level of love and respect there that can't be described in mere words.
- the gift of this laptop from my Dad and the music that I have playing on it right now... Music has always caused my spirit to soar high above the earthly things that threaten to weigh me down. Thank you Lord for the gift of music.
- oh and the love of baking I have! =) While it blesses others, each time I receive a Thank You for making cookies or a cake for someone at work... it just blesses me to know that in a little piece of sweetness they have received a little bit of the love of Jesus.
- the many friends I have and the love and support they are always so willing to give to me.
- and this beautiful rose I was given today...
Thank you Lord for all these good things you have blessed my life with... and yet there is so much more. Your kindness is so amazing to me. Your grace and strength that is always available to me each and every day... the beauty of a sunrise in the morning and the beautiful sunset I'm seeing paint the sky even now. YOU are truly amazing... and wonderful. "Where would I be without you here in my life?" Thank you for never giving up on me.
Posted by Bonnelle Pagel at 4:55 PM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Yesterday was a stressful day at the end of a stress filled week. My heart was heavy for multiple reasons but at work I was really feeling it because I was the one to discover another huge error that someone made and I knew it could cost him his job. Since I sit by him, I felt his stress and uneasiness but I also felt for my manager who I knew was catching the heat of the whole ordeal. I had discovered it Thursday afternoon when my manager was gone to a meeting and called her at the end of the day to tell her about it. She worked all day yesterday on getting it taken care of but it still was unresolved at the end of the day.
At 2:00 I left for my lunch break and was really feeling the weight of everything and as I was walking away I felt impressed to pray for everything. I found myself saying, "Jesus, I cast all of this on to you because I know you care about these people and I know you care about me." I was amazed at how I felt Him begin to calm my nerves and my heart. As I continued to talk to Him and rest in His presence at lunch I had a 'knowing' sense that He knew and He really did care.
Someone had said to me that this whole thing wasn't my fault...I understood that but at the same time... felt bad for them. Later as I was relaying the day to my husband on the way home I realized that I was carrying the weight of their stress and the stress of everyone around me. I realized that in taking my feelings and the stress to the Lord, I was doing exactly what He wanted me to do... to cast it all on to Him to take care of. I realized in doing so it was much like the error I found... I found it and then took it to my assistant manager and proceed to put the 'resolving' to those who were able to resolve the situation... Prayer is just like that. You find these things that bother you or stress you out or that worry you... in taking it to Him in prayer, you are taking it to the One who CAN resolve the situation and is more than able to take care of everything. In this particular case at work, once I turned it over to them I couldn't take it back, there was nothing more for me to do because it was in the hands of those in authority over me. Prayer is like that too in that once you give it to the Father, it's in the hands of Him who is authority over you and there's no taking it back, there is nothing more you can do.
Wow... what a concept isn't it? It's just amazing to me because so many times, after I pray for a situation, I take it back and continue to worry about it or try to figure out what else I can to do fix it. Yesterday I realized that when I take it to Him in prayer, everything that concerns me is now in capable hands and He will take care of everything. That's so... freeing and yet at the same time, I admit, it's hard to let go... It's exactly what He wants though. For us to just let go and let Him take care of it. To trust Him with all that concerns us and to rest in the fact that He is more than able to resolve our concerns.
Lord, help me to let go once I've brought it to you. Help me to release my cares to you moment by moment as I need to. Take all these concerns and day to day stresses and resolve them how you see fit. Help me to trust in Your most capable hands and in your love, grace and kindness. You are truly and awesome God. Amen...
Posted by Bonnelle Pagel at 11:06 AM
Friday, November 14, 2008
I've been reading this book lately... it was a book I used as a source in my final English paper for this quarter and it's turned out to be enlightening as well as helpful to my own heart. My final paper was on self-injury and those who do it. Not the most uplifting topic and yet, one I felt drawn to over and over. For those of you who are wondering, self-injury is done by young people and it basically is a behavior in which they intentionally harm themselves, typically by cutting or burning themselves. The reason behind it is usually as a release or a way of coping with the issues they are facing. I have always had a heart for teens and this paper only increased that as this behavior is commonly seen in teenagers and young adults.
God brought across my path in the course of my researching on the topic, a book on this subject that was written by a Christian author. It was healing from a Christian perspective for those who hurt themselves. The book is called "Scars that Wound: Scars that Heal" by Jan Kern - I've learned to give credit where credit is due! =) Anyway, as I was reading this book yesterday on my lunch break - my paper is done but I want to finish this book - One of the chapters closed with this prayer:
"God it's hard to take chances and believe that something different and good can be ahead for me. Help me believe. Give me not only a clear picture of the richness of what you have in mind for me, but also a clear understanding of what I have been settling for. Help me want your best for me. Give me the strength and courage to go forward toward it. And when it gets hard, remind me you are with me and will help me succeed. Amen."
Before this prayer she had been talking about how taking the steps toward healing are sometimes difficult and how we have to come to a point of where we learn to trust that God is with us (major summarizing here). The thing that struck me about this prayer and what it spoke to my own heart is a reinforcement of what I've been feeling for sometime... that God is wanting to take me forward in my life and how I struggle sometimes with being comfortable where I'm at. I prayed this prayer and I am still praying it... That God would help me step out and trust His plan for my life and that He would help me trust in the simple truth that He is always there with me and will always help me succeed in following His plan.
Just thought I would share... Have a great day and may the Lord help you take steps forward in His plan for your life today.
Posted by Bonnelle Pagel at 6:30 AM
Sunday, November 9, 2008
#2 - Cry when you're sad...
I love going to church on Sunday mornings... there's just something about taking time to pause and worship that settles my heart and heals my spirit. I have a paper I need to finish for Tuesday night and I've barely started. I'm planning on working on it today and finishing it up tomorrow night after work. I had gotten up early this morning and had my breakfast and read my Bible and then was working on this thought I had for my paper. When it was time to leave for church the thought was there to continue working on my paper instead but I said, "No, I need to take time out to go to church because that's more important. If I take time out for God and worship then I know He will help me write this paper the way it should be written."
During the service our Pastor went into this story about a 4 year old little boy who's appendix had ruptured and he was in a coma for several days. Our Pastor couldn't remember if the little boy had died and they brought him back but when he woke up he was talking about Heaven. At first, the little boy's story wasn't believed and the things he said were brushed aside. Later though... when the boy was 8 he was walking through his living room and was talking about the angels and how they sing all the time in Heaven. His mom stopped him then and she began to ask him questions.... and I began to cry. The little boy told of how the angels sing all the time. How he met his sister - he had never been told he had a sister because she died before he was born - he described her and then said that the Father had adopted her and that He took care of her. And he had met 'Pop' - his Grandpa and pointed him out in pictures they had.
By now I was no longer able to wipe away the tears. All I kept hearing the Lord whisper to me was "cry when you need to" over and over. I realized that in the sharing of that story the Father was speaking to my heart and giving me a glimpse of what Gerad experiences in Heaven. It was a reassurance that the Father is taking care of Gerad but then He showed me how He's also taking care of Brittney and Josiah. He's speaking to them and teaching them things too and He's revealing His heart and His plans and purposes for their lives and... it's okay because HE is taking care of them. They will be okay. There was a healing that took place in those moments this morning. A releasing of tears... tears due to missing Gerad in that moment and his little 4 year old voice and thoughts. Tears for missing my parents. Tears too for my teenagers who are growing up and are making lives of their own. There were tears also though because in the background the worship team had begun to sing a song that includes these words:
You are the Maker of Heaven,
You've turned my world around.
You're making all things new again,
You are God alone.
Tears in knowing that God has turned my world around in the last 10 years. He has made a lot of things new in my life and daily He is continuing the work He has started. He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth and in the falling of the leaves and the coming winter season... He causes things to die so that there may be new life and new growth in the Spring... In the death... there is life... After Gerad's death we moved here to Omaha to start a new life. After my Dad's death a dream was brought to life - the dream of writing and developing that by taking classes again (which had also been a dream). I know that my Father, the Maker of Heaven and Earth is guiding my steps and I know that He is making all things new in me. Today, he helped me shed some tears that needed to be cried but at the same time, He renewed my Hope in that He has everything under control and He will take care of everything that concerns me.
I just thought it was cool how God spoke to my heart today and wanted to share.... Thanks! =)
Posted by Bonnelle Pagel at 11:30 AM
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Tonight as I was reading my Bible before going to bed this passage spoke words that echo from my heart:
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning
for I am trusting You.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to You...
Teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God.
May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
Psalm 143:8 & 10
Daily, as I'm learning how to make adjustments to be less stressed I find myself asking the Lord for His wisdom and that He would lead me on His path. I desire His peace. I desire His leading, to be led forward on firm footing. To KNOW which path to take. I find it's a daily asking, a daily trusting, and a daily.... breathing in of His peace and presence. God is good and He never leaves me hanging... He doesn't disappoint. He's always right there and I'm so thankful.
In the list of 50 Ways to Take Care of Yourself there is one suggestion that states "read a book" so today I read a portion of three books! =) I read my Bible, a portion of a book for my current research paper and a portion of a book on managing stress. I have been enlightened by the Word, touched by the pain young people face and have realized I have given into the "unspoken pressure to put in face time" at work.
Lord, show me where to walk for I give myself to You. Show me Your way to de-stress. Open my eyes to the hurt around me and help me to realize that it's okay to 'cease striving' and be still.
Posted by Bonnelle Pagel at 10:57 PM
Thursday, November 6, 2008
So... it's true... I haven't blogged for a while. I've been slightly overwhelmed to say the least. Work has been crazy stressful to the point where I had a melt-down last Friday and was in tears before 8:30 in the morning! My managers tried all day to get me out of there early but to no avail. I was there until 6:30 that night. Saturday wasn't much better as I went to class and had another student asking me questions which ended up irritating me to no end when I realized he was cheating off me. I was trying to fix something that I had worked a long time on last week which hadn't saved and this guy was asking me questions and I was frustrated. I tried to go get a manicure and pedicure to relieve some of my tension and ended up yelling at the Payless shoe guy! I was so stressed out that I was concerned.
After meeting with some friends over the last couple of days I went to see my Doctor today and he thinks it's just stress related and advised me to work less and rest more. This is hard for me because I'm an over-achiever and I'm wired with responsibility as one of my strengths! =) As I write this though... I see how I bought into the lie that to be a good employee I had to work harder than the rest. I bought into the lie that it was my responsibility to hold everything together in my family as well as at work. I believed that I HAD to keep up and to not... meant I had failed or let people down. In the mean-time the stress has built up on the inside of me to where it finally boiled over last week.
While I was waiting for the nurse to come in and draw some blood after my appointment I began to read this deal that was on the wall. It was titled, "50 Ways to Take Care of Yourself"... I had Doug start writing them down for me because I felt like I should make it a goal to do one of these things each day for the next 50 days. It's hard for me to do things for myself because I've believed it was 'selfish' and wrong (yet another lie)... The thing is... taking care of yourself doesn't necessarily mean spending money or that it's wrong to take time to breathe. I'm reminded of Jesus taking time to spend with the Father each day... He would slip away by himself and spend time with the Lord. It was a refueling time for Him. It was time away from the busy-ness of life to regroup and refocus. I believe that Jesus is telling me to take some time to refocus and to breathe... So for tonight I begin with the first one on the list.
Rest when you are tired. I think I'm going to go lay down in my bed (even though it's only 9:00) and I'm going to read until I fall asleep. Good night all...
Posted by Bonnelle Pagel at 8:37 PM