Thursday, January 22, 2015

A New Adventure - Disney College Program Internship

Last Thursday, Lauren began a new adventure.  She had been accepted into the Disney College Program in October, and she packed up her car and was on her way to live and work at Walt Disney World!
Thankfully, I got to tag along! Our adventure began!  

We stayed the first night in Frisco, TX, eating at our favorite Mexican food place, Pappasitos.  We stayed at relative's house, so that was nice.  We were trying to get into their garage, knowing that their key pad was a little temperamental. After about 10-12 tries, though, we realized we were at the neighbors house! No wonder it wasn't working!! That was the first of many laughs along the trip!

In Mississippi, Lauren commented how the police lights on their cars were pretty....all blue.  A little bit later, we were in some traffic and all of a sudden, the many cars in front of us stopped abruptly!  Lauren managed to miss the car in front of us, but the guy behind us didn't' miss us.  We had to stop for a little while, until the police came and filed a report.  I told Lauren it was her fault because she liked those pretty lights!  

Her car wasn't too messed up...just a few problems on the back bumper. The guys car (which was his girlfriend's!) got it much worse.  We were on the road again in about 30 minutes.  

We made it to Tallahassee that night, then to Disney World the next day!

That first night we had reservations at the Boardwalk resort.  It was so neat because we hadn't ever been to that area of Disney World!  We walked the Boardwalk and ate Italian food.
Lauren posed on the Beach around the Boardwalk on the Beach Club Resort area.
We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. I'm not crazy about Mardi Gras decor, myself, but I love "The Princess and the Frog" and Disney makes ANYTHING fun, whether that's your favorite thing or not! This was a GREAT resort!   The street lamps and names, plus the buildings' designs, gave it a homey feel.
One of Lauren's roommates for the College Program was actually staying at the same resort as us, so we met her and her parents the day we got there.  We met the others for breakfast on Monday morning before she moved in.  We all caravanned to check in!
 While the girls were in their check-in, they found out where they were going to be living.  They got their #1 choice!! Yay!!  We hung out at the parent's info area.
Disney had it all organized superbly...just as expected!
 The girls were back with us in about an hour and we moved them in.
After many loads and trips, everything was in the apartment.  Of course, we had to stop for another group photo in front of their new home!

These girls found each other through the College Program Facebook page, so had their plan to room together early on.  Many arrivals didn't have anything worked out in advance. They were just put together with roommates on the day of arrival. We were thankful for social media and God bringing these girls together!
 One of the girls brought this cute Minnie Mouse stuff for the bathroom.
 One made lots of homemade decorations, like this cute table runner with appliqu├ęd Mickey heads.  They all contributed to decorations.
Lauren made them all decorated initial letters for their area of the room. She asked each of them their favorite Disney things and colors, then decoupaged those items onto their letter, along with a scripture and their name.  Everything was looking great last time I saw the apartment.  Lauren's bed area wasn't done quite yet, so I'm anxious to see it when it is!
After unloading everything, and before one of the parents and a sibling had to go, one of the dads had us join in a circle and pray for the girls.  It was so special....and teary!  I love the fact that these girls have grown up in homes where faith is important.  They each love God and Jesus and are planning to do Bible studies together.  What a wonderful thing!!  It's a comfort to us parents.

I flew home early yesterday morning, having to leave the resort at 3:40 a.m.  I was so thankful to be home, even though I know it will be mid-May before I see Lauren again.

I'm excited for this new adventure for her and her roommates!  They begin official training in Disney's Traditions today.  It will be a special time.

Lauren will be working at Epcot in the American part of World Showcase.  She's proud to be representing America in this way!  What a wonderful new adventure awaits her!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Humility

I remember early on when I became a part of my husband's side of the family, inevitably, when we were all sitting around playing our favorite card game, "Liverpool", someone in the family would get to feeling pretty proud of the hand they were dealt or the score they had up until that point.  My father-in-law would say something like, "Just remember....too much air and that tire will bust." 

He wasn't referring to a real tire, but the prideful and bragging statements someone at the table was making.  He was saying that too much hot air (too much pride) and the tire (the person....the score...the hand dealt) was eventually going to bust! The person with the prideful attitude at the table, would most likely be deflated at some point during the remaining game, and if not that night, for sure some time.

Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. Proverbs 18:12
Too many times we get a little (or a lot) proud of ourselves, our accomplishments, and our abilities.  We think that we have "pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps".  We think we have gotten where we are on our own accord.  We believe that we've "made it" because of some big accomplishment.  But God says, "Be humble."  "You can't do anything at all without ME."  "You are who you are because of ME."  "Humble yourselves and I will lift you up in due time."

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
We live in a world that is obsessed with "ME". It's the SELFIE generation that is so concerned with their own lives and what they are doing, that they hardly have time to think of others.  And when they do, it's not really thinking of others....but what others will think of them. "How many followers do I have? How many likes will this selfie post get? How many people are following my story on SnapChat? How many retweets did I get on that Tweet?"  See the SELF problem?  It's not about the other people.  It's all about ME.  It's all about themselves.
We have a problem.  And it's not just a "them" problem.  It begins with me. It begins in my heart.  I MUST BE HUMBLE.  I must teach my children to be humble.  I must show humility to others.  I must put others first.  I must be more and more like Jesus.
A wise person said this:  "I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking his opinion. But really great men have a … feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them."
We should strive to live our lives showing that the talents and abilities we may have is because of God. He should get the glory, praise, and honor - not us!  We are only who we are and what we are because of Him. We must get rid of our selfish desires, evil ambitions, and our own self-promoting agendas and humble ourselves before God and before others.
We don't want false humility, though.  When we degrade ourselves, that's a false humility.  When we do that, sometimes we are really only fishing for compliments.  Putting ourselves down and doing so to others, is really still focusing too much on SELF.

We can think of ourselves.  We can realize our gifts, talents and abilities.  But we don't have to tell everyone about them.  And when people notice those things, we can point them to God and Jesus...not to ourselves.  Give Him the praise for those things.

How can you be more humble today? What do you need to give up to be less prideful?  When have you taken credit for something when you should have given all of the glory to God?  Be humble.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Monday, January 12, 2015

Compassion

Compassion is defined as "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others". God shows us compassion through His grace.  He is slow to anger.  He loves us and patiently waits for those who are resistant or rebellious in loving Him.  He is faithful.  His compassion is infinite and eternal.  

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
God's greatest act of compassion for us was in Him giving His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. He loved us so much that He was willing to give up Jesus for us, in order that we might be able to live with Him for all eternity.  And because of that great act of compassion, we are shown His love in a way that we can't totally comprehend, but because of that great act, we can learn to show compassion to others.
 When we think of compassion, many of us think of the story of the Good Samaritan of Luke 10:25-37.  The beaten man was left on the side of the road.  Two men walked by, seeing him lying there, but didn't do anything about it.  But the Good Samaritan - someone who in all likelihood would have passed him by because of their different backgrounds/nationalities - took pity on him.  But his pity for him wasn't just an, 'I feel sorry for him and I hope he gets some help.'  His pity made him DO SOMETHING.
Compassion begins with the eyes.  A person sees someone who needs something.  But the true compassion part is fulfilled ONLY when the seeing with the eyes results in doing something.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17
Using our time, talents, and abilities by giving of ourselves, is showing true compassion.  It does begin with our eyes, but will only "end" when we use the rest of our bodies.  We must give of ourselves wholly and completely to truly show compassion to others.  Our self-centered ways must be denied.  We must see the needs of others before our own.  

How can you show compassion today?  When you see someone in need, will you just take pity on them or will you do something about it?  Do you see needs of others, yet fail to do anything past "seeing"?  


Friday, January 9, 2015

Kindness

 Are you kind?  How do you show kindness to others?

The Bible says, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you," Ephesians 4:32.  Being kind to others is showing Jesus to others.  It's just one way we can let our lights shine for Him.
There is no small act of kindness.  Every day you can read of someone doing a random act of kindness, such as someone paying for someone else's meal, then the recipient goes on to do something kind for someone else.  The ripple effect begins with just something simple, yet it can be never-ending.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience...", Colossians 3:12.  Our kindness is shown by what we do, not what we plan to do.  It's easy to put off being kind until a more convenient time, but true kindness comes when we put the needs of others above our own needs or desires.
 These two photos share simple ways you can be kind today. Pick one or two and do them today! Plan to be kind! God will give you many opportunities to be kind, but unless you act on them, they may be wasted opportunities.
Love is patient and kind...1 Corinthians 13:4a. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
 The printable above are ways you can participate in the "Random Acts of Kindness" initiative.  You can do these RAOK any time, every day!  In doing so, you will brighten someones life.
 Kindness is the language all can hear and see.  Social barriers....language barriers....all come down when someone does something kind for someone else.  No act of kindness is small.
God showed his loving kindness to us by giving up His Son to die on the cross for us.  No act of kindness has ever been shown that is greater than that one act.  But we can do little things to show kindness to others that can point them to Him.  Our little actions, no matter how small, can be used to tell others about that one huge act that can save them.  

How can you be kind today?  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

TRUST


I've decided to begin doing character quality traits, beginning with the word TRUST.  One of my favorite quotes is this: "If you have to sneak to do it, lie to cover it up, or delete it to avoid it being seen, then you probably shouldn't be doing it."  As soon as I get my Christmas decorations down and bring my chalkboard back to the kitchen, this quote is going up on the wall in the kitchen. It will be a reminder to our family of just how important it is for people to be able to trust them.
Trust doesn't always have to take years to build, because some people we just feel like we can immediately trust.  But, sometimes we can be fooled, can't we.  And sometimes we can fool others.   Being a person of integrity, a person who is striving to be like Christ, will make us strive to be a person who can be trusted.  We won't sneak around trying to get by with something.  We won't lie. We won't cover things up to avoid being caught.  We won't have to bother with deleting things off of our phones or computers because we risk being caught or found out.  We don't mind sharing passwords or emails.  Trust is of utmost importance in a family.  And like the quote on the top picture says, it can take seconds for it to be broken.
On the other hand, we are all human.  At one time or another, we will disappoint each other - even if families.  Only God is completely and always trustworthy.  He will never fail.  He will always do what He says He will do.  So, ultimately, our trust should be in Him, and not in human beings.  But in our relationships with those closest to us, we do expect and should expect to be able to trust.
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways. Proverbs 28:6
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Trust really is the foundation that holds all relationships together.  It's what holds families together.  Many lives have been shattered when the choice was made by one person to be untrustworthy.  It happens every single day, many times a day.
Ask yourselves these questions:  Am I trustworthy?  Is there anything I could do to be more trustworthy? Would my family say I am trustworthy?  How about my friends?  What can I change in my life to be more trustworthy?

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Psalm 119:1-5

 
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