Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Broken and Beautiful

So, the McLean's went camping.  We had such a great time together.  It was cold.  David worked hard to keep us warm.  The campsite was really beautiful, the leaves were changing colors, and there was a definite crispness in the air.  On most of my short hikes to the bathroom I chose to take the path thru the woods rather than the cleared path.  I would get tangled in branches, clothes lined by spider webs, surprised by leaf covered holes, it was basically great.  After one of  these trips I returned and noticed that there was a leaf caught in my scarf.  I picked the leaf off and looked at it.  In the fall I'm always picking up leaves.  I'll find leaves that are perfect and beautifully colored and lay them on my desk so that I can admire them all day.  But this leaf was broken.  My first thought was sadness over the broken leaf, then it occurred to me how beautiful the broken leaf was.  It was beautiful because it was broken.

So, as I usually do, I searched for spiritual truth.  I realized that I've been broken!  I stopped in my tracks and prayed.  I thanked God for the paths He's taken me down and for the beauty that is my life now.  I listened to Shawn playing with the other kids, and my heart melted.  I watched David tending our camp and I felt so loved. I wonder if I would appreciate my life now if I hadn't been broken?  I believe that my faith wouldn't be as strong, that I would probably trust myself more than I trust God.  Being broken and restored has put me in a place of complete surrender.

It seems that my life verse is Romans 8:28 and I searched for one that would be more appropriate for this post, but Romans 8:28 really says it all.  At the beginning of any struggle, Romans 8:28.  In the middle of any trial, Romans 8:28. 

And we know that all things work together for good
 to those who love God,
 to those who are the called according to His purpose.  
                                                                    Romans 8:28

I really do know more scriptures, and I promise that I'll branch out in future posts.  Sometimes you just know when it's right.

God bless ya'll!
Yolanda, The McLean Queen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sincerely, Martha

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged.


Are you too busy?  I am.  I've done it to myself and I'm not even doing it very well.  I just remembered that there are clothes in the dryer from Saturday (it's Tuesday).  I do take time to worship, but I'm finding it hard to slow down.  On Saturday I went with a group of ladies to see The Promise in Glen Rose.  I noticed a look or relief on several women's face as we sat down to eat.  It was a relief to have made it there, a relief to be away from everything, a relief to be with women we love relaxing. 

Note to self:  It is OK to say no.

Read Luke 10:39-42, why don't you take time to read the entire chapter?

Mary and Martha Worship and Serve

 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

It's OK to be Martha, just be Mary too!

God bless,
Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ten Thousand Years and Then Forevermore

Have you heard this song?

We sang this song in church yesterday.  That could be the end, because what else do you need.  As we were singing it and we got to this part;
You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find
I personally was overwhelmed with His goodness.  Slow to anger!  Rich in love!  Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find! I'm here to tell you, HIS MERCY and LOVE are OVERWHELMING!!!  There's more, we get to this part;
And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore
Do you even realize how long ten thousand years is?  It's not as long as forevermore!  We were singing about ETERNAL LIFE, the greatest gift.  Of course, I'm singing this standing right beside David and we're holding hands.  It occurs to me that in addition to all this wonder we are singing of, I also get to spend eternity with David.  After the song I whispered to David and asked if he knew how long forevermore was.  He knows.
Later in the evening David, Shawn, and I were at a birthday celebration.  I was temporarily sitting at the guys table listening to them talk about guy stuff.  Shawn was trying to show me something and I told him to give me a second.  He said "but you aren't even involved in the conversation".  I said, "but I'm listening and I enjoy listening to your Dad talk".  He said, "but you get to do that for the next 85 years".  I said, "that's right son, forevermore".  

Be blessed,
Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday which means that tomorrow is Friday, and I am very thankful for that.  There is so much to be thankful for, and this list is just a summary of things that I'm grateful for.

1.  David letting me know that he loves me "way way way more" than when he married me.  Ephesians 5:25
2.  A new silverware holder for the dishwasher.  Proverbs 31:27
3.  That special email he sent me.  Ephesians 5:2
4.  A text from a friend requesting prayer.  Galatians 6:2
5.  New pillows.  Philippians 4:19
6.  I mention if I get that chair I might recover it and David says, "yeah, it's kinda ugly".  Ephesians 4:15
7.  Fall weather.  Genesis 1:14
8.  A busy schedule.  Ecclesiastes 4:9
9.  The book of Philippians (all of it).
10.  Hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

Best of all, we have Shawn this weekend!

Be blessed!
Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mary the Chocolate Pusher

Today I went to Costco to get some rotisserie chicken and spring salad mix for Bible study tonight and this is almost the first thing I saw when I walked in.  Well, it's the first thing I saw that stopped me in my tracks.

Mary the Chocolate Pusher
Everyone meet Mary the Chocolate Pusher!  Now she was not one bit pushy, but those chocolates laying there on that table were calling my name as I walked by.  Those chocolates were convincing me that I ate such a sensible lunch, and well breakfast hardly existed, oh and that elliptical workout last night - I'm still burning calories from that bad boy.  The truth is those chocolates don't really talk, I am addicted to food!  I celebrate life with food, I mourn disappointment with food, I reward accomplishments with food (even weight loss accomplishments). So I walked past Mary the Chocolate Pusher to pick up the healthy dinner I had planned.  I did sample the Fage Greek yogurt and I am a huge fan,  I've always loved this stuff, and I put some of that in my cart too.  As I was leaving I stopped and talked to Mary.  I asked her if I could take her picture for a weight loss group that I lead.  She started laughing and grabbed the big bag so that it could be seen in the picture.  By the way that bag is $11.99, I checked just in case ya'll wanted to know.  Oh, and I couldn't be rude so I had a single piece of the dark chocolate, it has natural antioxidants you know.  I logged it in my food journal, and it was worth all 40 of those calories.  Wow, it was delicious.

I survived this trip to Costo and I'm very aware how easily I'm tripped up to make poor food choices.  My eyes are open, you hear me Mary!!

Present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service. 
And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 
                                                                                                 Romans 12:1-2
Stay strong my friends!
Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

and He Came Running!!!

A few weeks ago I was asked to do a devotion for our women's group, Teacup Ladies.  I began praying about what to say.  I wanted it to be something unique, something God inspired.  One morning God woke me up at 4:30am with a story that wouldn't leave my heart, so there He gave me the story but I hadn't received the Biblical truth to support the story.  The story was one a friend told me about 25 years ago.  She was driving to college, somewhere in East Texas, and she broke down.  This was a time when we didn't have cell phones, so she walked to a phone and called her Dad.  She let him know her approximate location and he said that he was on his way.  She made her way back to the car and locked herself in, waiting on her Dad.  A couple of hours later he passes her on the highway, he manages to get the car stopped about 50 yards past her, he stops the car and gets out and takes off in a dead run toward her.  He was wearing suit pants and dress shoes, and he was sprinting to get to his daughter.  When he reached her he hugged her close and made sure she was OK.  It would have made more sense when he saw her, to turn the car around and drive back toward her, but he saw his daughter and ran to get to her.  I've never forgotten this image, and I can see him running toward her.  

Now the search for Biblical truth.  I knew what I was looking for - call on Jesus, and He will come.  I searched daily for almost two weeks, and I fought the urge to ask David for a suggestion.  He would have been able to give me something totally suiting the story, but I wanted to receive it.  Then something happened that opened my eyes.  Over the last year or so I have lived afraid that someone was going to hurt me.  I had no idea the level of fear that I was in until one night when I was home alone, and I am rarely home alone.  I was preparing to go to a meeting and there was a ring of the doorbell.  I am terrified!  I call my cousin and ask where she is, she's not too far so she'll come by.  Then another ring!  I am too scared to move of the couch, I text David that we need a peep hole.  He tells me to look out the side window, but if I did that they would see me.  I began thinking that I wouldn't be able to go to the meeting, a meeting that I was leading.  Then there's a knock!  I call Cristy and ask where she is, thankfully she was turning down my street.  I tell her to keep me on the phone until she is at my house, as she approaches my house she sees someone.  It's our friend, a dear friend that I was picking up for the meeting.  She just lives around the block and decided to walk on over.  She had no idea the crippling fear I was experiencing.  She said that when she first rang the bell, her phone rang so she wasn't able to say anything or text me.  I have no doubt that all these events were no coincidence.  So, my eyes have been opened!

The next morning I tell David that I'm going to overcome my fear, and we prayed about it.  I went on to work and a couple of hours later I felt led to request prayer.  I asked two close friends to please pray for me, I let my co-workers know what I was experiencing.  I was going to be home alone that very night, and I was concerned.  I had an opportunity to do a little reading, searching for the Biblical truth to support the story for the devotion.  I find a couple of things, then I stumble across Psalm 91:15.

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
                                    Psalm 91:15
I have no doubt that this is it, but I want to be sure that I'm not taking the scripture out of context.  So, I read all of Psalm 91. 

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
                      Psalm 91

I realized right away what God had done for me.  He, in His perfect timing, gave me the Biblical truth to overcome my fear.  He did not give me the scripture for the devotion a week earlier, He did not keep my friend at home so I would pick her up, He caused her phone to ring, He led me to ask for prayer, and He caused my eyes to open.  I called my Father and He ran to me!  He delivered me from fear and gave me truth to stand on.  He gave me words to share what He did and He did it all when the time was right.  That evening I stayed home alone, one time I became afraid and I embraced His truth.  When David came home that evening, he sent me his usual text that says - I'm home.  He's letting me know that he is about to walk in the door, so I won't be afraid.  I could barely get the words out to tell him what God did.

Call and He will come running!  He will comfort you and assure you.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thankful Thursday

For these things I give thanks.

1.  David is really enjoying his job. (Colossians 3:23-24)
2.  Biggest Loser starting again.  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
3.  Shawn is coming tomorrow!!!  (Psalm 127:3)
4.  Prayer requests to friends, and I know they'll pray.  (Philippians 2:2)
5.  The Pastor Appreciation planning meeting last night.  (Hebrews 10:25)
6.  Answered prayer in Psalm 91.
7.  Telephone call from Shawn - "Hi Mom".  (Psalm 37:4)
8.  Overcoming fear - embracing peace.  (Psalm 91)
9.  Free lunch!  (Proverbs 11:25)
10.  Staying up late to soak up every minute together.  (Ecclesiastes 4:9)

Blessed and Highly Favored,
Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Friday, August 31, 2012

Birthday Blessings

My birthday was an awesome day, but the day after my birthday was even better.  David really spoiled me on my birthday.  He planned, he saved, he plotted, he anticipated, he doted, he catered to me and he loved doing it.  My friends also went out of their way to let me know that I am loved.  So, the day after my birthday I was a little overwhelmed.  I felt extremely loved and I received the love.  I try to apply God's truth to all areas of my life and see what He would have me see.  I'm pretty sure that God's truth is not a focus on the material gifts I received, although they were more than I dreamed.  Oh, and there were flowers delivered at work, I think all girls want flowers at work even though we know they are more expensive. The real gift that occurred to me is that as much as David loves me, Christ loves me more.  So, why do I not fully receive the love Christ has given, gives, and will give?  Why do I ever walk around defeated when I have the greatest Love that ever could be?  So, as I thought this thru I began to feel like a real queen.  Not just the McLean Queen, but His queen!  According to 1 Peter 2:9, we are royalty!

But you are a chosen generation, 
a royal priesthood, a holy nation, 
His own special people, 
that you may proclaim the praises of Him 
who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
                                                                     1 Peter 2:9 

I sent David an email when I came to this realization telling him that I wanted to remember this feeling and for him to ask me about it.  I wanted him to know that it wasn't the gifts, but it was his preparation, his saving money, his being so careful to surprise me, his premeditation that made me feel overwhelming love.  It was his display of love for me that concreted HIS love for me.  That is the greatest gift!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Kinda Cried a Little

Sunday was pretty awesome.  We had an awesome church service and lunch afterwards with great friends.  We talked about silly stuff and serious stuff.  David and I soaked up as much of Shawn as we could before we took him home.  He gave us big hugs and said he wanted the hugs to be big enough to last until we saw him again.  We no sooner dropped him off at home that we missed him. 

David and I started Monday morning with breakfast and a phone call to tell Shawn to have an awesome first day of school.  Shawn said, "Mom, I really missed you last night and I kinda cried a little".  We told him that we missed him too and of course I was kinda crying a little.  He asked us how our hugs were lasting and it was the sweetest phone call.  When he got home from school he called and reported that he had a great day.  He made a friend but he doesn't remember the friends name.  He does know that the friend has a lot of Lego's, but he's pretty sure that he has more than him.

Monday morning when I was getting dressed I noticed that David had hung a necklace holder for me.  I don't know when he did it and I was totally surprised.  He even hung all the necklaces up for me.  I kinda cried a little.

Today is my birthday.  Our Pastor always asks us what we've learned in ____ years of life?  I've become conditioned to think of this question weeks before my birthday.  This year what has come to me is that God is truly a God that heals, restores, and redeems.  I can look back over the years of brokenness and see the purpose for it.  I can look at the struggles and see Him with me.  I can look back at the joy I had and know that it came thru Christ, because there was no way that I could have been joyful on my own.  My life has been restored and I praise God for this most wonderful gift.  I am thankful for my life, especially for my eternal life.

And we know that all things work together for good 
to those who love God, 
to those who are the called according to His purpose.   
                                                                                                                  Romans 8:28

More on my birthday later.  I'm sure there will be some fun stories to share. 

Have a blessed day!

Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sometimes I Smell Like Gingerbread

Yesterday when I showed David my first blog post the first thing he did was ask what the title Too Blessed Not To meant.  I told him to just read it!  Then he read two lines and DD wanted some attention, then he read a few more lines and another distraction.  I finally asked him what do you think, he said well I haven't finished it yet.  So, I told him that he needed to read it and follow it.  We decided that blogging was already going to my head.

Yesterday I rode a bike for 17.6 miles!  It was in spin class, and I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed spin class.  The teacher was very energetic and encouraged us to cheer our neighbors on.  Sometimes I don't know how to act right in public, and I was all about cheering my neighbors on.  I knew Cindy, who was on my left, and she was into the encouragement.  The woman on my right didn't appreciate the encouragement near as much.  Eventually she put on invisible blinders and would no longer acknowledge my cheering.  It was a great class and I'll attend again, although the bike to my right may remain empty if word gets out.

Cristy and Linda came over and we visited while the boys swam.  We solved all kinds of problems.  We talked about the next Biggest Loser, and we talked about how badly we need it to start.  We talked about our new focus scripture, Romans 12:1,2.  It was a sweet time together.

David, Shawn, and I spent the rest of the day watching movies.  We all got comfortable and laid around on each other.  We watched three movies.  At the end of each movie Shawn would jump up and say what's our next movie.  He said that he loves Family Movie Night.  Toward the end of the night Shawn laid on me and hugged me tight.  He said, "you smell like flowers".  I told him that I was glad because Mom tries not to stink.  He said, "sometimes you smell like gingerbread".  Now I don't know if I've ever really smelled like gingerbread, but he knows that I love gingerbread and he is a smart boy.

I'm going to finish my coffee that was delivered to me in bed and go spend some time with our church family giving thanks to our most Gracious Savior.

Ya'll have a blessed day.

Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Too blessed not to!

Here it is, the first blog post!  I have tossed the idea of blogging around for a while, so when my friend, Kellie, said she was jumping in - well I jumped too.  I plan on writing about life, maybe a little about health and fitness goals, a lot about God's grace, and you are sure to hear a lot about my husband and son.  My main hope is that everything I write will be pleasing to God according to Psalm 19:14.  I also hope that I can make someone laugh, maybe change someone's perspective.  I can't possibly detail every way that God has transformed my life, but I'll take you on the journey from here forward. 

At this very moment I am typing this in bed.  Shawn is laying beside me, as close as he can be without laying on me.  DD is curled up on the other side of me.  David had to work at 7:00, and I made him breakfast before he left.  I don't know if that's a newlywed thing, but I like to think that I'll still be doing that ten years from now.  This morning I feel complete.  Shawn and I have plans to spend the day together and we will both be watching the clock for Big Daddy to come home.  

Ya'll have a blessed day!!

Yolanda, the McLean Queen

And whatever you do in word or deed, 
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  
                                              Colossians 3:17