Little Gray Donkey

Mary rode into Bethlehem, known as “house of BREAD.” She gave birth to the BREAD of life.
From the same Bethlehem approximately 14 generations earlier, Naomi left the “house of bread;” empty due to famine. Later returning to the same Bethlehem with her daughter in law, Ruth. In Moab, they had been full with love and laughter, but now circumstances brought them back to Bethlehem, the house of bread, they were empty again. 
From Boaz, soon to become the kinsman redeemer, Ruth was given everything she and Naomi needed to be full again. Ruth gave birth to Obed the father of David … 14 generations later, in the city of David, a Savior was born from the lineage of David and Boaz. HE IS the BREAD of life. 

Empty I come to adore Him, leaving full in the presence of Shekinah glory!



“I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?”  ~Ruth 1:21

“At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers; and he served her roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied and had some left.”  ~‭Ruth‬ ‭2:14

Read: Matthew 1:1-21

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/bethlehem/

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Gifted

Jesus left the glory and perfection of Heaven for me. 

The King of Kings was born in a borrowed barn; Rode into town on a borrowed donkey; and buried in a borrowed tomb. 

I have him and that is gift ENOUGH. 

Receive the Gift of Him today. 

IMMANUEL

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory. The glory of the One and Only who came from Heaven full of grace and truth. ”  

 ~John 1:14

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Broken and Spilled Out

Hosting my Sunday School Christmas party was an incredible experience for me yesterday. I had grandiose plans of pressed tablecloths, Christmas China, and fancy recipes. 

The party was scheduled to begin at 5:30pm. I had the entire day before me and the house was already clean- Just shop for ingredients and begin cooking by 3:30 to have the chicken spaghetti ready to serve at 5:45. No big deal. 

As so often happens, what’s planned doesn’t always match up with unexpected surprises that BREAK OUT right before me reminding me that I have no control over yet another situation. 

I had a paperwork morning deadline that would be completed by noon at the latest, or so I thought. Noon became 2pm and I found myself ASLEEP 😴 at 2:30 pm. 

STILL NO: shower, shopping or cooking. HORRORS! 🎄Merry and bright? Fa la la la la? Most wonderful time of the year? No crying He makes? 🎻

Every southern belle inch of me winced at the thought, but it was time to LET IT GO! 

So I had no choice at this point but to just make spaghetti and buy cute paper plates. So that’s what I did. I was nervous. WHY?!? These ladies are my heart and soul. We are family. Why was I trying to impress? I love hosting and I like pretty things. I enjoy serving others and WANTED to have a pretty set up for the party, but it was just not happening.  Running late, I asked my daughters to help unload the items I’d just purchased from the store so I could cook the meat. One of my daughters came in upset, “The bag is too heavy and I dropped it. The bag ripped” Empty handed I sent her back outside to no avail. Enlisting my other daughter’s help to “just get the bags inside…Hurry!”

She too returned empty handed. Stirring around the kitchen in my green apron, there was no time for this. What could be so hard about bringing in 4 bags of groceries?!?  Then she said, “Mom, I need you to look at me and I need you to not freak out. When she said, ‘the bag ripped,’ she meant it exploded. Broken jars, spilled and exploded.'”

I walked outside, LEFT the mess on the sidewalk, took a deep breath and went back to the kitchen. 45 minutes from company and I’d gone from homemade chicken spaghetti casseroles to pasta. Just pasta. About that time I get a text from one of my guests,  “I’m at Publix. Do you need me to pick up anything before I leave?” 

“Yes! Three large jars of prepared spaghetti sauce please!” She then responded, “I’m early, mind if I come and help?” Not only did she show up with sauce to save the party from plan A and plan B fails, she brought me chocolate and my favorite soda! 

The party was a success. Paper plates, random pots on the stove, laughter and great fun swapping Dirty Santa gifts. No one cared that my tree hadn’t been fully decorated or that we just had spaghetti. In fact, several ladies responded how refreshing it was to be so relaxed. 

I’ve decided it’s a ministry to be simple. Lowering the standard of perfection before hosting just might encourage us all to spend more time together and less time in a virtually social world. 

“Happiness is how well you deal with plan B.”      ~James Roberts

Thankful we have an alphabet with 26 letters! 

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”  ~Proverbs 16:9

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Christmas Gifts

Read the STORY about ENOUGH. 

Place an Order today via email. 

Murdaugh.audrey5@gmail.com


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Attack of the Green Monster

 I opened the trunk to get a book to read in the waiting room. Immediately a green monster popped out of the car and began to spew all over me! My hair, face, shoes and leg. No matter where I jumped it was spraying me. The green monster? A 12 ounce can of Sprite! Apparently it had been rolling around back there while I was driving which made it all shook up.


What a mess! Sprite on my toes (I was wearing my Fit Flops), Sprite dripping from my hair sprayed bangs, Sprite on denim now hugging my leg. Just a sticky attack of a mess. No matter where I stepped it just kept spraying. 

This made me think about things that pop out of nowhere and jump right in front of what I have planned for the day, hour or scheduled activity. How many times does this happen and I feel thwarted because I have no control over the spraying green monster? How do I react? Do I bounce back? Do I get angry and stew about it? Do I deal with it and move on? 

The choice is mine. I can choose to complain about a wet pants leg, get aggravated because my toes are sticky, stomp my foot and say ugly words, or even gripe about it to anyone who will listen. Or, I can pick up the green monster and throw him away; get a wet paper towel and clean my toes and shoe, flick my bangs and move on. The choice is mine. 

Unexpected things jump out at us all the time. Lab results from a doctor, an expensive car repair, a busted pipe that floods your hardwoods, a stopped train on the tracks the morning you are running late to work, or a temper tantrum from your child. The only certainty about these types of things is that they certainly will come. 

What’s spewing all over you right now? Is it sticky? Is it spraying profusely? Are you camping out in pity and proclamation of being a hopeless victim? Has it ruined your day? 

STOP THE MONSTER DEAD IN HIS TRACKS!

I have to remember to take a deep breath. Acknowledge that my  Savior is Sovereign. He is not surprised by my life challenges. Our Savior is working for our good even when we are distracted by the monsters of life. 

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READY FOR BLACK FRIDAY

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BLACK FRIDAY DEAL


I’ve just received a brand new LOT of necklaces and magnets from the A+mazing potter!!! 🎉 What a perfect way to shop for the tween, teen, lady on your list. More pics coming this weekend!

Order here!

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Take a Deep Breath and Count to Ten

IMG_0097.PNGEver feel like you just need to come up for air? In the rat race of life it’s easy to forget the importance of O2. Oxygen, the life giving element that when deprived too long, can cause brain damage.

My life is full parenting, cooking, orchestrating calendars to sync for a family of six, meal planning, chore assigning, laundry juggling, and homework helping, just to name a few. Then there’s the other life of lesson planning, paper grading, professional development, certification updating, character training, teaching math, studying history and dissecting Bible lessons. Least I forget mentoring ladies, Bible teaching, speaking, worshiping, and blogging.

It’s challenging remembering to take care of ME. In the 80s a popular acronym in youth discipleship was “JOY= Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.” For years, it has seemed normal to put myself last.  I think that’s fairly common for mothers to spend so much time taking care of the family’s needs that we forget to take care of ourselves, or feeling guilty if we do.

On airplanes, we are told in case of an emergency, “Put the oxygen mask on before helping small children.”  Think about it!  When we fail to take care of ourselves, we are in a sense, depriving others of life giving oxygen–not to mention what damage takes place to our own bodies.

Even Jesus stepped away and got alone to be with the Father.  So, take a walk, sit alone on the porch, take a nap or spend some time in prayer.

 

 

 

 

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In a Slump

This pitiful prayer plant was obviously in a slump!  Thursday morning before I left for work, I took it from the living room to the kitchen sink to try to bring some water to the dry and thirsty soul! 

Running out the door to work at 7:03am, I giggled at how this particular plant’s name is “prayer plant.” At the moment, it did look helpless and in need of prayer. Pondering the reason for its name I wondered if the sagging, green leaves appeared to be bowing. 

The busyness of the day teaching; shepherding 27 students through a situation at recess that proved to be based on heart issues of greed and selfishness; guiding them to truth; explaining math facts; and practicing for the Grandparent’s Day program; I’d forgotten about the pitiful looking plant. 

By the time I arrived at home, I myself was pitifully drained and wilting away. I’m sure the countenance on my face looked just like the prayer plant had at 7 am.  Weary by 4:00pm, my daughter and I ran some errands that had to be taken care of before Friday. 

It was 7:00 pm by the time we arrived home and we were TIRED! Unloading teaching bags, backpacks and bags from running errands, I looked in the kitchen to find this!

12 hours later, my prayer plant had been revitalized. How amazing. The dry, thirsty plant needed water and by the end of the day, was back to its “normal self.” 

Teaching to an agrarian culture, Jesus often referred to the Christian life in terms of plants and soil.

 “I am the vine. You are the branches. Apart from Me you cannot bear fruit.” John 15:5

In Matthew 13 Jesus tells the parable of the sower. The seed that fell on good soil produced crop thirty, sixty and hundred fold.

How many times do I look like that plant did in the morning? Dry, wilted, useless, unattractive. When I am rooted in good soil, watered and well fed, then I am more alert and attractive to others who come in contact with me throughout the day. 

“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” Deuteronomy 32:2

Stay hydrated!  

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Big Girl Panties

Recently I was catching up with a friend of mine who’s been through a lot. In August of 2014 her mom died and she surprised me with her strength as she spoke at the funeral.  In the Spring of 2015 she found out that her father in law AND her father both had cancer.  It was aggressive.  Fast.  In June of that year, her father in law passed on, and I watched the family and his church give him an incredible life celebration.  Just four months later, my precious friend had to call 9-1-1 while caring for her father.  He didn’t make it.  His celebration of life was also a precious time.

Having taught my friend’s children, I was encouraged by the love and support the family had for each other and honored to be a part of the investment these grandparents made into the lives of their children.  It has been a blessing to watch them grow into teenagers on the brink of adult life.

While catching up with my friend on the phone, she was sad to be preparing to sell her childhood home.  After all, it had already proven difficult to sell cars and the family lake home where the family and grandchildren had played and relaxed for years.  While she shared a few prayer requests with me she said, “But I’m okay.  I just put on my big girl pants and keep going.”  I said, “FRIEND!  I get it and we all say that when things are tough to encourage each other, but sometimes the elastic wears out and you have to get new panties!”

Isn’t that the truth!  And that’s the truth!

No matter how old we are or how difficult it is to bury a loved one, clean out all the necessaries involved with the estate, sometimes life it just rough and you need to go buy some new britches!

Matthew 11:28-29 says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Find rest today in Him whose burden is light.

 

 

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