Friday, May 11, 2018

3000 Steps

Psalm 37: 23-24
" The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. "

I have a FitBit. I got it as a Mother's Day gift last year from my daughter (her father helped, too!). I have been noticing lately, that usually by 7:30 in the morning I have walked about 3000 steps, that's about 1-1/2 miles of walking. I am not taking a morning run in this time, I do however walk my dogs up and down the block, so that does account for some of the steps. Running up and down the steps to get my teenage son out of bed in the morning does account for a good bit of the steps, too, LOL!

Where are my steps taking me? Am I choosing the right path? Should I walk away? Should I run? Can I walk back? Steps.

When we walk on sand, like at the beach, our steps are harder to take. When we walk on a path in the woods and it's uneven terrain, we can sometimes stumble.When we walk on solid firm ground walking is so much easier. I sometimes have nightmares where I am either running away from something or running to catch up to something ,and I don't have the strength to run anymore and so I crawl and pull my way. Steps.

This year has brought so many changes, some of them easy, and some of them hard. I have walked steps I didn't know I would walk. There are paths that I have not yet taken, paths I thought I knew the direction I was taking, only to get miserably lost. Some of the wrong paths have taken me to beautiful places that I didn't expect to find. I find, that wherever my steps lead me, even when I go off on my own, I have the assurance that my God is always near me. Like a child lost in the woods, I cry out and my Father will find me, setting me back on the path that is firm.

Thank you, Lord, that though, I may stumble along in my life, your hand is always there to uphold me.

Mother's Day this year...well, I haven't given it a lot of thought, it seems to have come up really fast. My biggest desire, right now, is for my house to be done. That will certainly NOT happen by Sunday! So here are a few other suggestions for anyone who might be reading this...for YOUR mom, of course!

Image may contain: 2 people, including Michelle Genovese, people smiling, people standing, child and outdoor
Me and my baby girl!!
These great dresses by Southwind Apparel are an adorable mother-daughter combo!
For FREE shipping on these dresses and so many other great dresses, skorts, pants, etc...
use this code: MICHELLESHIP
at  Southwind Apparel and Spunkwear

The Light Within Me (B&N Exclusive Signed Book)
I love Ainsley Earhardt, and I can't wait to read this book about her journey of faith.
Get your copy here: Barnes & Noble
Image of Fossil Women's Rounded Browbar Sunglasses
Or, maybe a pair of sunglasses!
Like these from Nordstrom Rack

 I pray you have a blessed Mother's Day weekend!!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Ode to Joy

Psalm 16: 11
"In your presence is fullness of joy"

Wow! It's been over 3 months since I sat down at this computer and wrote anything except a quick FB or IG post. Where did the time go? Was it truly full of joy for me and my family? Full?? No way! Were there joyous moments? Absolutely. I have to say that the busyness of settling my family into a new town with new schools and of course, starting at the end of October, the busyness of the holiday season, took it's toll on me. Mostly, though, the true drain for me, has been our new home. Here's a pic of what our new home looked like at the beginning of January...

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and this is what it looks like now...

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OK, you got me, it's the same picture. but truthfully, NOTHING has changed!

This house has truly been the albatross around my neck. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Just when I feel like I am going to move on in faith and hope, something else happens. We are now down another builder. I didn't share this with you before, but the last builder was to have us under roof  by the end of October, and we are still not under roof. The first week in January he packed up all of his things (unbeknownst to us) and left the job. No roof, no windows...certainly no joy here.

Don't get me wrong. I haven't given up (although some days my husband calls me "Debbie Downer"!), but it is certainly not what I had hoped and dreamed for, for my family (and of course myself!).

So, in the beginning of the year, in my devotionals, I was to pray about a word that would somehow define my year. And, the word that kept coming up for me was JOY. What??? JOY??? Yep, joy. Well, Lord, here I go. I am stepping out in faith today, and tomorrow, knowing that this year, there IS joy. That this year and beyond, the joy that I am seeking does not come from this acre lot and this unfinished house. It comes from You, Lord, just from You. The full verse in Psalm 16 is this,

" You show me the path of life;
 in your presence is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore"


Monday, October 16, 2017

H is for October!?

1 Corinthians 13:6
" Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. "

I certainly didn't mean to mislead you with my post title today. If I have offended or confused you, I am truly sorry. And that's the truth! Are you rejoicing?? That's the hardest type of sin to confess, isn't it? If we don't know we have sinned, then how can we confess it? Fortunately we have wonderful prayers that help us to cover these types of situations. Here's one that I rely on.

"Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against thee
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we earnestly repent.
For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in thy will,
and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name. Amen. "

I borrowed this from the Book of Common Prayer. While I no longer attend an Episcopal Church (a story for another day!), the resource of the prayer book is still invaluable to me. We can't escape sin, but if we confess each day and follow this simple "formula", we can cover in prayer, those sins that are less obvious to us. Lord, forgive my sins, things I have done, those things I have left undone, and those things that I don't even realize that I have done. Forgive me, Lord.

So now, to the fun!! H is for October because there are (and have been), so many fun things that begin with H this month that make me Happy! First, this is our first October in a new town. Each year, here in Chestertown, they have a HP Festival! No, not Hewlitt Packard, Harry Potter!! And as coincidence would have it, the little girls and I had just decided to re-read (read for Frankie) the Harry Potter book series. So we were ready to hit the streets in our wizard robes and wands. Here's a pic of my very favorite wizard at our first HP Festival.

We also have been busy with HoCo (Homecoming), 2 weekends worth! My son went to Homecoming at his former high school with his beautiful girlfriend. And, my beautiful daughter went to her first Homecoming dance at her new high school with a group of friends. Here are some cute pics.

My girl is on the left.

Then, on Saturday, my 2nd oldest daughter had a birthday. So, H is for Happy Birthday!

Here's a cute pic of my parents and 5 of my babies.
My birthday girl is front and center!

And, finally, we have to look forward to Halloween!! We love dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating. Here's what my 4 year old wants to be this year.
Child Dawn of Justice Wonder Woman Costume
We found this costume here-

I hope you have a happy, harmonious, healthy, start to your week!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Living the dream!

Habakkuk 2:2 (ESV)
" And the Lord answered me: 'Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.' "

I am definitely a visual learner. I really need to see something to understand. Just hearing someone tell me about it is not going to do it for me, I won't retain it. It's gone. If I can see it, or touch it and feel it, or experience it, I've got it. God knows that some of us need more than just to be told what to do, we need more than a good Sunday sermon. We need time to figure things out. We need to make mistakes, we need to have experiences, we need to see what He has put before us, He has to light with clarity the path we need to take. Even Habakkuk was commanded to write down God's word and post them, so that people could see the words that God had spoken. Thank you, Lord, for showing us, leading us, and teaching us your will for us. Thank you for coming to us, just where we are.

Yesterday, I had an experience that I could only have dreamed of as a young woman. And now, as a (let's just say) mature woman, I can certainly appreciate it that much more. I was invited to come to a meet and greet for a local clothing company, and be a MODEL!!! Now, to be clear, I don't know if any of the pictures that were taken of me last night will ever be seen by anyone outside of their offices. If they do, I'll certainly let you know, but truly, I felt so beautiful and blessed by the experience that if it doesn't happen, that will be OK. If someone had told me that this would happen to me, I probably wouldn't have believed them. The only pictures I have posed for taken by a professional photographer, were school and wedding pictures. I never even did a Glamour Shot in the 80's! Most of the pics you see of me on this blog are taken by me or my children.

The lesson that I learned last night was, had I not acted on this opportunity, it wouldn't have happened. Just like this blog, and so many other opportunities and blessing in my life, I didn't just hear about what could happen or what was possible. I had to put my fears and insecurities aside, make a plan, and take a chance. One of the other ladies last night said, that she could now check off- be a model, on her bucket list.  I'm going to use this opportunity, to continue to push forward and visualize and realize some other goals in my life. We are given such short years here on earth, I don't want to waste my time wallowing in unbelief and fear. God gave me so much to use and share, it's time to start doing, it's time to run. It's time to live  the dream!!

Here I am!! This was the first dress that I was photographed in.
It's so comfortable and it has pockets!!
Behind me is the designer/creator of this amazing local clothing brand
 and some of the fabulous women she has on her team. 
Yes, when you are a "professional" model (lol), they bring out the good snacks!!

Here's my 2nd outfit!
Can you tell I'm having fun??
I didn't take a pic of my 3rd outfit, it was the same top with a skirt that matches the first dress.
So comfy, so cute!
Have a blessed Thursday!! Run after those dreams. Truly live the life that you've been given. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Chestertown Blues

Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

It's amazing to me how I am constantly getting a word or a verse, just when I need it. Not surprising amazing; awe inspiring amazing. In the Bible, I find words, verses, and stories and phrases that touch my heart and feed my soul. These are the words of God, so of course they are given to us for just that purpose. (Although, I have to admit that sometimes these same words confuse the heck out of me??!? Is there a Bible for Dummies,yet?). Thank you, Lord, for your word. It brings light into my darkness, it speaks love and comfort to my heart. Amen!

So...I've been away for a while. Have you noticed??
 There have been so many times when I wanted to sit at my computer and write, but I have been soooooo busy. Here's the rundown.

-I started watching a cute baby boy in March (so stinkin' cute: never slept!)
- one word- SKINCARE!
- another word (or two) We MOVED!!
-kids started new schools in a new county
-Football (Mr. Football made varsity this year!)
-building a new home (longgggg story!!! definitely for another day)
-stress, depressed, anxious (all these feelings take a LOT of time!)

I have definitely got a case of the Chestertown Blues. Why Chestertown? That's the name of our new town (temporarily). Why blue? Two reasons: One, I've been missing my family, friends, moving in general...SUCKS!!! Two: my favorite color is blue and I have seen so much beauty here, it gives me comfort. And of course, that beauty has been coming to me in lovely shades of blue. Enjoy!

The houses here are painted in such beautiful colors!
Oh, you know, just a view of the river at the end of my street!!!
My world is blue. This girl, is my world!

I had to get one in of my cute blue outfit.
(I'll fill you in on the details of this dress in another post!)

The beauty of this waterfront town overwhelms me. I drive across the Chester River every morning at sunrise to get the children to their bus stops. And, around every corner is another charming house or adorable little local shop. Blue definitely suits me!!!

I'm so excited to be back! I can't wait to fill you in on all that has been, and is going on in my life!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gone with the wind

Ecclesiastes 1: 14
" I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. "

Oh my goodness, I started to type this post a couple of weeks ago. I've been so busy, that I haven't been writing a lot lately. This topic came to me because, literally, from all of the wind we've had late in the winter and early this spring. Just when I thought the wind was dying down, it would pick right back up again. The linen bow on my front door wreath blew away a couple of weeks ago,so frustrating!! The temperature has been fluctuating up and down dramatically; hence the wind. Today is going to be in the 80's, and it'll be cooler again next week.

When I started to type this a few weeks ago, I was going to write about the Holy Spirit. I often think of the Spirit rushing down and through the house as a mighty wind where the apostles had gathered. I would love to feel the God's presence like that. Just to hit me like a great gust of wind that I feel around me all of the time. But unlike that moment in Acts (Act 2, to be precise), I don't feel God's presence rushing around me and through me like that. I long for it, but it hasn't happened for me like that. Sometimes, I feel God in a tender touch from a loved one or friend, I hear His still small voice when I pray, and listen, really listen for his will. Sometimes it's even in a flood of tears: tears of sadness, tears of relief. I still welcome that gust of mighty wind (blow me right over, Lord, I'm ready!!), but if I never feel God's presence like that, I still know in my heart that He is ever present with me. Thank you, Lord for never leaving my side.

Another topic came to me, though, through the wind, "Gone with the Wind". This has to be my all time favorite movie. I read the book too, years ago (sooo different than the movie). The character of Scarlett, though, is still the same. Scarlett is strong, determined, naive, smart, stubborn, headstrong, beautiful, flirtatious, and so much more. I wanted to be Scarlett!! Unfortunately, if you truly were Scarlett, you'd have to go through more than just a few cotillions and barbecues. You'd have to go through war, disease, death, loss, starvation and poverty. Do I really want to be like Scarlett? Unfortunately, we all have to endure hardships here on earth. Just like at the end of the movie when Melanie dies and Scarlett has her epiphany about how much she loves Rhett, these unbearable things we have to endure, mold us to be the people we are. If we cling to God and our faith in the midst of this kind of wind or storm, we will be transformed in His likeness, as we are promised. The promise is real, the promise is sure. The promise is Jesus.

Image result for scarlett o'hara
"Take your hands off me, you drunken fool."
(Photo found on Google Images)

I pray you have a great day today, enjoy it. And, I also, pray you have a good day again tomorrow.
"After all, tomorrow is another day"!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Madness!

Ephesians 4: 31-32
" Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. "

I don't generally think of myself as an angry person. But around 6:30 in the evening, after getting up at 5 in the morning and working hard all day long, when I have a 4 year old whining, my 15 year old stinking up my house fresh out of lacrosse practice and refusing to walk the dog, my 13 year old sleeping in her room, my 10 year old sassing me, AND my husband walking in the door and complaining about the condition of our house: I turn into Godzilla!!! Flames shooting out of my mouth, sounds emitting from me that bring terror to the hearts my family and perhaps even to a few unfortunate neighbors that might happen to be walking by. You get the picture, right?

Yup, that's me!!
I don't want to be Godzilla. I know how I should be behaving, I know that I am sinning. I know that it is not pretty, not acceptable, not right, not good, not proper, and most importantly NOT from God. And, the saddest part, I see my children emulating this behavior. Shame on me. Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me, Family. Lord, help me to put all of this anger aside. While some might even say, that I am justified, that they behave the same way sometimes, that doesn't make it right. It's still wrong. And while I still start my day with hope and joy and gladness in my quiet time, I need to remember to continuously ask God to help me guard my mouth, my thoughts, and my actions throughout the day. Can you imagine the example I am setting for my beautiful family, my neighbors, anyone within earshot??

Fortunately, verse 32 reminds me that I am forgiven. Even when I continue to stumble, when I seek forgiveness, I will find it. God is so good!! Help me, Lord, to be good, too!

I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday!!