July 30, 2015

Developing a Positive Attitude

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , , , at 9:40 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words…” (1 Cor. 2:13)

A few months ago, I received negative feedback from a writer’s contest that I entered. Interestingly, I had already entered those two short stories in another contest and received second place for both, along with valuable feedback that I used to revise them for this contest. Read the rest of this entry »

March 31, 2015

Calming the Storm

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , , at 8:59 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm…” (Mark 4:39)

In Oklahoma, we understand how unpredictable the weather can be, especially in the spring. We have weather apps on our phones and text alerts for when severe weather strikes. For those of us who grew up here, we know how quickly the day can turn from bright and sunny to dark and stormy. Last week, that happened again when tornadoes tore through our state for the first time this season. Read the rest of this entry »

March 12, 2015

Experiencing Change

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , at 10:18 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go…” (Joshua 1:9)

Throughout life, we will experience many changes. There will be marriage, maybe children, perhaps divorce or a job loss or a devastating health diagnosis. If these things do not happen to you, then they will happen to someone close to you. Life never stays the same no matter how much we prefer this. Some people are better at adjusting to changes than others. I am not one that adjusts quickly. I need time to process the changes, but sometimes life comes at you so fast there is just not time to think it through until it is all over. Even though I struggle with change, I have learned through the years that without it, we are not able to learn and grow. Change often provides the catalyst for growth that we need to spur us on to greater things. Read the rest of this entry »

February 25, 2015

Lessons Learned from a Cat

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , , at 7:32 am by Staci Hart Mauney

“God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good…” (Gen. 1:25)

My brother and his wife have a soft spot for animals. They are not just cat people or dog people, but they love all animals, and their house is full of adopted cats and dogs of all sizes. I, on the other hand, am a dog person, as anyone who reads my blog and knows me personally can attest. I tolerate cats, but most of my affection is reserved for my Yorkie, Lilly. Several months ago, when a friend came to me to ask if I could help find a home for his mom’s cats (she was moving out of state), I was willing to help, but I didn’t go so far as to take one in. However, when he found homes for all but one very sweet, laid-back, coal-black cat, he asked if my family would take care of him. My parents agreed since they live in a neighborhood with many cats running free who come by just to get food and water. This cat joined the herd, finding a good cat friend in one of the more reticent black-and-white cats that never allowed us to get close to him. Eventually, this black cat helped his good friend out of his shell, and the black-and-white cat now allows us to get close enough to pet him – sometimes. Read the rest of this entry »

February 17, 2015

Season of Lent

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , , , at 10:21 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him…” (Mark 1:12-13)

Even though I grew up in church, we didn’t celebrate Ash Wednesday or Lent. Easter was always a big deal, though, especially the new clothes. In fact, in spite of having Catholic and Methodist family members, all of whom celebrate Lent, I don’t remember hearing much about Ash Wednesday or Lent until I was in my 20s. In my defense, these family members live several hundred miles away. Then, when I was in my 20s, one of my mom’s friends, who is Lutheran, introduced us to the custom of Lent. Read the rest of this entry »

February 10, 2015

Love in Action

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , at 10:13 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…” (Eph. 4:2)

Each year as Valentine’s Day approaches, thoughts turn to expressions of love. For those who are single, Valentine’s Day is a holiday they would rather forget about completely – they know there will be no roses or candy or stuffed animals delivered to the office. The same can often be said for those who have been married for a long time. And forget about romantic getaways for couples with small children. Those are but a distant memory. In spite of the commercialism this holiday brings, the core value – love – is one that we as Christians can all get behind. Read the rest of this entry »

January 20, 2015

Reaching the Goal

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , at 9:40 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize…. (1 Cor. 9:24)

At the end of December, I finally completed my Master of Education in Secondary Education. After three long years of taking night classes, online classes, and hybrid classes (class set up both online and in a classroom), I had finally reached my goal. Many days, it seemed I would never make it – there was always one more paper to write, one more lesson plan to create, one more deadline looming. Time with my family and friends suffered as I poured myself into my studies, and I set aside writing almost completely, except in the summer. I often felt overwhelmed as I struggled to juggle my schedule of being a full-time student and full-time employee. Unfortunately, one of the things that suffered most was my relationship with the Lord. The time I used to set aside for Bible study was suddenly filled with research for my next paper. My prayer time was rushed so that I could get to my next assignment – and sometimes I forgot to pray at all until I sat down to take the big final exam. When I slowed down long enough to recognize this, I took steps to repair this, such as carving out time for devotionals and prayer – but then life quickly picked back up and I was back in the same old routine. Read the rest of this entry »