Sharing is Caring!

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Mrs. Muse teaching, “The Hokey Pokey”

I have been working/playing as a preschool teacher for two and three year old children for a few weeks at Muse Montessori. Although I feel like I’m exactly where the Lord wants me and it’s been a lot of fun, it has had its challenges as well.

 

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Mrs. Ashlee reading a book to those great listeners!

For many of these children, it is the first time they have been away from their mommies for any length of time. We are teaching them to independently choose educational toys in the room, finish the “work,” and then place it back on the shelf before beginning another project. The first week was a little chaotic as they were learning this, but they have quickly learned to keep the room neat now.

Many are still learning to follow directions, exercise self-control, share with others, walk in a line, talk quietly, ask nicely, ask forgiveness as well as accept it, and go to the potty independently. I am amazed at the progress of these children in just three short weeks! Not only are they learning important life skills, they are soaking up reading and math concepts.

The first week I was hearing a lot of, “MINE!” There were also some outburst when the desired object wasn’t obtained. The first days were sprinkled with lots of the typical two year old behaviors of grabbing, pouting, pushing, and talking while I was teaching.

Lest you think I have six little brats on my hands, let me be the first to clear up this misunderstanding!  These children are some of the sweetest, most intelligent, loving, well-behaved children I have ever met.  I get lots of smiles, hugs, and kisses in the three hours I am with them Monday through Thursday. They kiss each others boo boos and often sweetly ask another child to play with them. Unfortunately though, like the rest of us, they were still born with a sin nature that needs to be tamed in order to please their creator.

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There are four boys in my class so I decided to take some of my son’s little toy John Deere tractors, dump trucks, and backhoes (that he hasn’t played with in ten or more years) to class. This one little guy had the hardest time sharing the dump truck.  Within minutes of introducing the toys, I heard, “NO! That’s MY dump truck!  You can’t have it!” I knelt down and calmly explained, “___Name__, this is not your dump truck.  This is Mrs. Gaye’s dump truck. I am sharing with you by letting you play with it.  If I didn’t share with you, you wouldn’t be enjoying it right now. Since I am sharing with you, you need to share with ___Name__.”

As the words were leaving my mouth, a few Bible verses came to my mind.

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It dawned on me that not only was this little boy needing to learn a lesson, Mrs. Gaye needed to be reminded of what Jesus expects too.  And once again I was reminded that I don’t “own” anything.  Every thing I have, my family and every other thing I enjoy in this life, is a gift from God that I do not deserve. Therefore,  I need to hold these people and things lightly and surrender them to the real owner, God.

This little guy and I had similar conversations several times over the next few days.  Then it happened! On about Day 4, with a furrowed brow, he cried out, “Mrs. Gaye! __Name__ has my……. And suddenly, he stopped mid-sentence, flashed me the sweetest smile ever, and said, “…Mrs. Gaye’s dump truck.” Then he turned and walked away to get another toy. I felt like dancing a jig right then and there! I told him how proud I was of him. And he was able to experience the wonderful joy of denying himself and loving his friend. It was an awesome moment.

This is exactly what Jesus calls us to do all throughout every day of our lives. May we experience joy, peace, and wonderful relationships as we obey His commands.

Gaye Hughes

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Circulating Jesus’ Love

13892189_10208765354150021_528678173187263753_nMy church recently had Circulation Day!Members brought household items that they no longer needed and we basically had a huge, free yard sale. People were excited to receive many nice items such as…a washer and dryer, tread mill, books, pictures, kitchen tools, etc. The goal was to show love to our community.  As the people came, we gave them some Bible verses and invited them to visit our church. There were no price tags so when someone was interested in something and ask how much it cost, we would tell them it was theirs for the taking. It was really neat to see the responses.  Some just couldn’t believe it.

To entice people to come, we held large signs and waved to the people as they passed on the  busy highway in front of our church.  As I stood there and witnessed the many people drive pass, I wondered how many knew Jesus personally and had peace in their hearts as only He can give.  Also, here we were offering nice, free, needed items, but many would not stop to check it out.  I wondered why.

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Maybe they were skeptical.  Maybe they didn’t think they needed anything we had. Maybe they were distracted by other things. Maybe they had more important places to go.

Then I thought about how it is similar with the gospel. Here we have a message of Good News that costs us nothing (but Jesus His life), that is a positive life changer to those who will believe, yet many will not accept it for some of the same reasons as above.  It’s hard for them to imagine a God that would love them enough to give His life for them. They think they are fine the way they are and don’t need Jesus.  Or maybe they are so distracted by what this world has to offer there is no room left for Jesus.

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It made me sad to think about people living their lives not even realizing what they are missing by not having a personal relationship with this Jesus who loves them so very much.  Jesus calls us to give the gospel out. We aren’t responsible for who believes it or rejects it.

Today I was driving about 15 mph on a lone, back street looking for a business. There was an oncoming car approaching.  I drifted across the center line as I was looking for the building. I realized what I was doing and quickly got back into my lane.  The oncoming car was several car lengths away and it wasn’t even close, but she let me know in no uncertain terms that she was very upset with me. I was definitely in the wrong.  I made a sad face, hunched my shoulders, and mouthed, I’m sorry! I wish she had extended more grace. And this reminded me that I need to extend grace to other people because I often don’t know what they are going through.

LoveThyNeighborAsThyselfI’m SO glad that, as believers, we experience God’s grace and mercy every day and will for all eternity.  We don’t deserve it. And because Jesus has given us love and mercy, we need to be quick to share that with others.

Last night I  heard this….God formed us, sin deformed us, and Jesus transforms us.

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I would like to leave these lyrics with you from, I Saw Jesus in You by Ron Hamilton.

When I enter Heaven’s glory, And I see the Savior’s face,

I will offer Him ten thousand years of praise.

Then I’ll find that special one, In whose life I saw God’s Son,

And thru tears of joy with trembling lips these words, I’ll say:

Chorus:

I saw Jesus in you, I saw Jesus in you.

I could hear His voice in the words you said–

I saw Jesus in you.

In your eyes I saw His care, I could see His love was there.

You were faithful, And I saw Jesus in you.

Verse 2

When I stand before my Father, To receive my life’s reward,

And my soul is bathed in God’s eternal day,

When this race on earth is run, And God sees the works I’ve done,

More than anything I long to hear my Father say:

Chorus:

I saw Jesus in you.  I saw Jesus in you.

I could hear His voice in the words you said–

I saw Jesus in you.

In your eyes I saw His care, I could see His love was there.

You were faithful, And I saw Jesus in you.

 

May we let Jesus’ light and love shine through us,

Gaye Hughes

 

 

Perfect Peace

l-97608As my eyes opened yesterday morning before the alarm sounded, thoughts immediately rushed into my head. I thought of my friend having serious back surgery this day. I was to be at a new job in a few hours…the first time working outside my home in twenty-seven years. I had just gotten news that my grandbaby needed to do an acrobatic flip inside the womb of my daughter pretty quickly as his quarters were getting more cramped by the day. This day I was to hear the extent of my son’s knee injury.

I was anxious.  I began talking to my Father (God) about these things.  As I asked God to please guide the doctor’s hands during the surgery of my friend and give her and her family peace, I remembered all the many miracles Jesus performed while on this earth and how He continues to heal the sick. He is the Great Physician.

As I prayed about the new job, I thought about how God had prepared me in several ways throughout my life for this preschool teaching job. I began teaching Sunday School to children only a few years younger than myself at age 13. I homeschooled my four children (and still are) for the past twenty-four years. I’ve taught Junior church and Sunday School for years. I gained some confidence as I thought about how God has faithfully directed my steps over the years.

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Concerning my grandbaby, God has been busy forming him in the womb for several months now. He knows all about his character, personality, physical traits, and has grand plans for his life. God loves him much more than even his parents and I do. He is holding this little one in His very capable hands even as I write this.

Nathan has been uncomfortable for close to two weeks with his bum knee. He has learned to better sympathize with those you can’t get around easily.  He longs to run again. He has a greater appreciation for good health.  We’ve had to wait for test results and possible surgery for several days. I asked God to work out the details about getting him on the road to healing quickly. As I talked to God about this situation, my worries began to fade as I thought about all the other times He had come through for me at the last minute.

When I called to get an appointment yesterday (Tuesday), the nurse said she could see us next Monday. I began to plead, My son has been on crutches for twelve days and is uncomfortable.  We really need to get something done. Is there any way you can see him before then?  She told me the doctor was booked, but she would see what she could do and for me to hold.  I began to earnestly ask God to intervene and get me an appointment in the afternoon so I wouldn’t have to ask off work.

She came back on the line and said, Can you be here tomorrow at two?

YES!!! Praise the Lord! Thank you SO much! was my response.

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It is easy for me to take my burdens to my God whom I know longs to hear from me.  As I begin to pray, I envision myself bowing before Jesus’ feet. I see the love in His eyes. I’m empowered as I think about HIS power to change anything and everything. I believe He is for me and has good plans for me. The challenge is to leave my cares with Him and not pick them back up when I walk away.

Sadly, it’s only been in the last months that I think I’m learning what it means to truly rest and hide in Jesus.  I know He doesn’t want me upset and worried.  I Peter 5:7 says, Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you. I have been asking Him to control my emotions and help me have the mind of Christ. I want to think as He thinks. I want to feel as He feels about things.

Because I can’t right all the wrongs in the world, I’ve asked God to give me compassion for the people and ministries He wants me to be involved in and to be somewhat indifferent to the ones I don’t have the resources for. Also, I know I can’t have an intimate relationship with every person I’ve ever known so I’ve asked God to burden my heart for the ones who need me most that day. I want to be where He wants me and use my time in a way that pleases Him.

This is what hiding and resting in Jesus has come to mean to me.  I would love to hear your thoughts on what it means to you. I know I have a long way to go, but my life has become so much more peaceful lately as I’m learning to lean on Him.

I would like to leave you with the lyrics of Perfect Peace by Joe Zichterman.

When life’s burdens get so heavy and it seems I’m all alone,

I cast my care on Jesus and come boldly to his throne.

I find His grace sufficient when His promises I heed.

For His very life He sacrificed, and He lives to intercede.

Chorus:

He is the Lord of lords, and when He speaks, winds and waves obey.

When Jesus whispers, “Peace, be still,” then darkness turns to day.

And as I’m trusting in my Savior’s Word doubts and fears all cease.

And beneath the shelter of His wings I’m at rest in perfect peace.

Verse 2

I will seek for souls in darkness, Calv’ry’s love with them to share,

Empowered by His Spirit I will follow anywhere.

For I know whate’er befall me my Lord is in control.

And as my mind is stayed on Him, perfect peace He gives me soul.

My you have perfect peace today,

Gaye Hughes

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Calm in the Storm

a-faith-that-hasnt-been-testedI would like to share the lyrics of a song that has comforted me so much over the past few years as I walked the cancer journey with my husband, was then diagnosed myself, and have felt the vacuum of his absence since he went to heaven.

There have been many times that I’ve felt God’s peace that passed all understanding….times when I should have been falling apart, but felt God holding me up.  That is due, in part, to your many prayers. But I am convinced, if I had not a friend in the world, God would not have left me.  He would have faithfully been with me because He never forsakes His own. He won’t leave you either.  He hears every prayer and has our tears in a bottle.

“Thou tellest my wanderings:  put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.” (Psalm 56:8,9)

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“Calm in the Storm,” by Mac Lynch

When your life seems like a tempest, when the waves beat on your breast,
When the wind is hurling ‘round you and there is no place to rest,
Then you look out thro’ the shadows and you see Him looking too,
Saying, “Hush,” not to the storm, but saying, “Hush” now to you.

Chorus:
Trust the One who’s walking on the water. Trust the One who’s leading thro’ the storm.
When you cannot see the shore-line, When there is no goal in sight,
Would you focus on the certainty that all will be alright?

Trust in Him who made the tempest. Trust in Him tho’ tossed and torn.
Trust the One who walks on water in your storm.

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When your life seems overwhelming, when your nights seem hard and long,
When the burdens seem unending and the enemy a throng,
Thro’ the Word the Savior’s saying firmly, calling tenderly, “Peace be still,”
not to the storm, but “Peace be still” now to you,

Hasten now, O weary pilgrim, don’t you fear, and don’t you doubt.
Would you trust your gracious Savior tho’ your life seems tossed about?
Oh, remain within the tempest, seeing Jesus in the way.
May the trial to you be precious as you trust and obey.

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Chorus:
Trust the One who’s walking on the water. Trust the One who’s leading thro’ the storm.
When you cannot see the shore-line, When there is no goal in sight,
Would you focus on the certainty that all will be alright?

Trust in Him who made the tempest. Trust in Him tho’ tossed and torn.
Trust the One who walks on water in your storm.

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“He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” Psalm 107:29

 

 

 

Twisted Knee, Twisted Plans

33959e628ecfd5472ed22c7e5777d230Nathan (my 17 year old son) walked in the door last week after riding dirt bikes with his friend.  They got some water, chatted briefly and left. But when he entered the house a few hours later, he was noticeably limping, had this “look” on his face, and said, Mommy, I have to tell you something.  My heart sank and I immediately wondered how earth shattering this information was going to be.

I had a wreck on my dirt bike and I’ve hurt my knee. (He had a helmet on, thank goodness.) He was riding down the steep hill behind our house in fifth gear (going about 45 mph) and let the clutch out not realizing the engine had died. The back wheel immediately locked up sending the motorcycle sliding down the hill in front of him. When his leg hit the ground he heard and felt his knee pop as his lower leg twisted backwards. This was Friday evening and in our house, unless you’re bleeding to death, you don’t visit the emergency room on the weekend. So we went to an orthopedic surgeon the following Monday.

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Nathan giving his sister, Anna, a ride in March 2016

An x-ray showed no broken bones, but after an examination the doctor said, Well, he ouches at all the right times for a torn meniscus. He needs an MRI and will probably have to have surgery. The doctor went on to explain that the insurance companies are getting more and more difficult to work with concerning testing, but they would give it their best shot.

Thankfully, I received a call first thing the next morning that the insurance had approved the MRI and the doctor had scheduled one. I then talked to my friend whose husband is a physical therapist. He informed me that he thought it would be in Nathan’s best interest to get a doctor who specialized in working with youth.  I told him I appreciated his advice, but I didn’t know any other orthopedic surgeons.  He said he would try to locate one for me.

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Then I realized I had accepted an appointment to review the MRI results on a day I was going to be out of town so I carefully dialed the doctor’s number to reschedule. I heard this familiar voice and asked, Is this the doctor’s office? It was a friend from my church! I was confused because I don’t have any services on my home phone that would have dialed that number and his number wasn’t even remotely close to the doctor’s office number. Anyway, he asked me how Nathan was doing and I told him Nathan would probably have to have surgery.

He said, I have had all kinds of knee and foot surgeries.  There is a really good doctor who specializes in working with youth that I highly recommend. I thanked him and felt like God had dialed his number for me.

I then got a call from my physical therapist friend who said, Hey, I’ve been doing some checking around and I got a name of a good doctor; his name is__________. I recognized it as the same name my other friend had just suggested! This doctor is located in a big city so I took this as God confirming that we needed this doctor. I called right away and they said they would see Nathan.

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At the same time this was going on, I found out I had to be at an appointment out of state (that I could not reschedule) on the same day I was to begin my first day at my new job. (I have been a homeschooling homemaker for twenty-six years and have not worked outside the home with the exception of teaching piano lessons. Now, I’m excited to be a  preschool teacher at Muse Montessori.)

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Andrea Muse, Ashlee Bitton and I praying for all involved with Muse Montessori.

I had a knot in my stomach just thinking about having to tell my boss that it was impossible for me to be at work on my first day. This beginning date was set two months ago! I took a deep breath as I picked up the phone to explain my dilemma. When I told my boss I wouldn’t be able to make it Monday, she laughed out loud. I was bewildered.  Gaye, none of your students are going to be able to come Monday! I was getting ready to call you. The mothers want them to begin Tuesday.  You are fine. Don’t worry about it.

This brought tears to my eyes and I was so humbled to see how God was going before me and working out all the details of my problems. Walking with God doesn’t mean we won’t ever have difficulties.  Quite the contrary, Jesus told us to count the cost as we consider taking up His cross and following Him. BUT, the most cool thing is, that no matter what we have to deal with in this life, He is always right there with us…walking through our storms with us…carrying us much of the time…AND loving us all the way!

9e9d4b67fe3ecf46972e94a2eec251ecWhy am I amazed when God does what only He can do?  When I see Him work for the umpteenth time in my life?  When He delights in doing things like this for me?  When He holds this whole world in His very capable hands?  When He tells the sun and moon when to shine?  When the king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whitersoever he will. (Prov. 21:1) Why? Because I’m human, forgetful, and lack the necessary faith and trust in my awesome God. He is so deserving of our praise.

Hoping you are having a praise-filled day!

Gaye Hughes

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Nathan, my hero!

 

 

Stepping Out!

My cousin, Tommi Anne Davis, is not only family, but also my dear friend.  In spite of the many difficult days she has endured, she has managed to maintain her warm smile and sassy sense of humor. The trials have only made her stronger and shine more brilliantly of Jesus’ love and grace.  Her tender heart for God never ceases to inspire me.  When I read her recent post on Facebook, I immediately asked permission to post it on my blog.  Read and be blessed!

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My beautiful cuz at The Creation Museum near Cincinnati, OH July 2016

The “unofficial” theme of our orientation today was about taking risks. As someone who desires to be a godly Christian woman in a rapidly changing culture, I often wonder when “risks” are appropriate and when they are not.

I immediately thought of two good examples from the Bible. Abigail boldly took a risk and ran out to intercept King David with wise advice, and she was blessed for her actions. And one of the most beautiful love stories in the Bible takes place when Ruth boldly reveals her “availability” to Boaz. That worked out quite nicely too.

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Tommi Anne Davis July 2016

I think the key that sets apart these women from the less fortunate risk-takers like Sarah and Rebekah was they did not attempt to achieve God’s Will by using methods that were contrary to the character and Word of God.

 

I tend to grossly over analyze my actions wondering what is proper (call it my southern upbringing) but the bottom line is to love the Lord with all my heart until His will becomes my own, and that’s a risk that will always be rewarded with unfathomable glory.

Tommi Anne Davis

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Tommi Anne and I are traveling buddies. Here we were hiking a trail along the Ohio River July 2016