Home: A Worthwhile Investment

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Home. It’s something I’m passionate about.

A safe haven and an atmosphere to thrive.

A place to teach and instruct.

Somewhere to always feel welcomed and loved.

I have to constantly be reminded how important our role as parents is to our society. As Mothers, we have to fight hard against the naysayers as we strive to be the Mother the Father wants us to be. Whether you are a stay-at-home Mom or a working outside of the home Mom we face battles. If you stay at home, you are seen as not motivated, not intelligent, and homely. If you go to work outside of the home, you are seen as uncaring, self-serving, and not in touch. Both have stereotypes and that will never change. What shouldn’t change is our desire to create a space where our children, our husband, and ourselves can grow and learn together.

We have a ministry within the four walls of our home and it’s the most important in my opinion. If we believe ministry begins when we walk out of the doors of our home, we’re sadly mistaken. Preaching the gospel and discipleship begins before we ever leave our homes. If we aren’t putting time into home, then all else is done in vain. Homes make up society and if homes are broken then won’t society be broken also?

Loving our husbands because they are our first neighbor. Caring for our children because they are of our flesh. If we could truly grasp the weight of doing those, I think we would all become more aware and in tune. We have to reject the lies from the part of society that says what we do inside our homes doesn’t matter. We have to refuse to believe that our role as Mothers doesn’t really have that much influence over our children, husbands, and homes. Those are lies from Satan that are to distract us and make us feel less worthy.

This journey of parenting is anything, but easy. I know I’m not the only one who has constantly battled thoughts of unworthy and not important. I remember being a first time Mother wondering what good was my “job” and feeling like what I did was meaningless. The fruit from our labor isn’t as public as some and it certainly isn’t as fast sowing. To the common eye, what we do as parents does seem meaningless. We give up a lot to raise, disciple, bond, and learn with our children. It’s a process of learning to be selfless and it’s not fun or easy.

So for those who choose that path of the road less traveled to be unconventional it will be a constant battle. It will be a rewarding end though. They are arrows and we can help aim them in the direction that pleases the Father no matter what society tell us. What we do matters and our home matters more than anything. If you are connected to the vine (God), then you have an unending source of strength, comfort, and joy. He is the only way in which we can parent and see good fruit. It doesn’t come from ourselves and obviously not from society. He is our refuge, counselor, guide, and help in the good and bad times.

Don’t allow Satan to deceive you into believing your role as Mother doesn’t matter and isn’t influential. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Stand with your hands lifted high to the One who has called you to this work.

Father, thank you for those who encourage us in the fight of parenting. It is hard and tiring, but be our strength. Help us to see what we do matters as parents, as Mothers. Help us to block out all the negative thoughts and opinions about intentional parenting. Your Word is the only truth and want to stand on it. Help us to see our children as You see them. Help us realize we only have a little while to train, disciple, love, teach, and bond with our children. Help us to make the most of these years so we don’t look back with much regret. We want children that love You and respect others. Help us to be that example and continuing in the trenches with our family doing Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons born in one’s youth.

Psalm 127:4

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Asking the Wrong Question

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Each year for as long as I can remember, I have written down goals for the upcoming year. I’ve always tried to be realistic, yet not too easy on myself. I think believers share a lot of the same goals. You know, goals for growing spiritually, trying to educate ourselves more by reading books, and getting in better shape. Those goals are great and there’s noting wrong with them. Any goal that helps us become better than what we are is a great one.

As I was thinking about the last year and thinking about goals for the new year, it dawned on me… I’ve not ever asked what does He want for my new year? Sure I’ve prayed about my goals and all that, but I haven’t ever asked Him what He desires for me to accomplish for the year. Have you?

So that’s what I started doing this past week. I started asking the Father what did He desire of me throughout the year. I kept hearing and seeing the word worthy and the scripture in Colossians 1:10 kept coming to mind.

So that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
He desires me to live in a suitable manner for Him. It pleases Him when I bear fruit and grow in more understanding of Him. We can walk in a manner that bears His name and reputation. When I grow in more understanding of Him, I can do all the goals which I desire.
I will grow spiritually in my walk..
I will become more patient with my children..
I will be more thoughtful towards my husband..
I will grow into the woman He desires for me…
Most of our goals are wrapped up in understanding Him more and growing in our relationship with Him. That is the most important and leads to a content and pleasing life. Our life goal should be to follow and obey the Father with all that’s in us. Take some time seeking the Father and asking what He desires for you in this new year. He’ll speak to you and show you just what you need.
Father, thank You for speaking to us and opening our eyes up to what You desire. We want to please You with our life and deeds. We don’t want to waste our time on fruitless actions. We want our actions to be worthy of You. Help us to live in a manner that bears Your name and reputation. Help us to surrender everyday to You and seek Your will to follow. Help Your Word light our path and guide us each step of the way. We praise You for Your holiness and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Hello To A New Year

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To say this year has been one for the books is an understatement. It’s been another challenging, yet fruitful year for our family. As always, it was a year of changes and new things, joys and sadness, and birth and loss. We have been blessed and we have grown a lot. We really have nothing to complain about. I always love to reflect back on the year and try to remember and learn.

So here it goes… Somethings I’ve learned this year.

Sometimes our greatest blessing comes when we let go of that which we think we need.

Sometimes we have to endure great pain to see the truth of a matter, which in the end we will be thankful to have known.

Sometimes the Father allows hurtful experiences to happen to rescue us from wickedness which we cannot see.

Sometimes we have to look reality square in the eye and ask the Father to mend our broken hearts.

Sometimes we have to suffer for the sake of others and have no recompense in return.

Sometimes we must love others even when they reject that love.

Sometimes our own worst fears do come to pass, but He is still God.

Sometimes we feel alone or abandoned, but no matter what the Father will never forsake us.

Sometimes we have to just stand back in awe of the intricate details of the Father’s plans.

Sometimes I have to stop seeing the bad, the hard, and the ugly as punishment and I have to start seeing it as opportunity to learn and grow.

No matter what your year held, there is always something to be thankful for, there is always a lesson to be learned, and there is always a reason to praise the name of Yahweh.

I look forward to what the next year holds. More learning of His ways and walking this journey He’s called us too. I hope you feel the same and seek Him with your whole heart.


How great is Your goodness that You have stored up for those who fear You and accomplished in the sight of everyone for those who take refuge in You.

Psalm 31:19

His View Wins

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It’s hard to push out others thoughts about ourselves. I’ve always been pretty bad about letting what others think about who I am really overwhelm me at times, especially if it’s not true. I would worry and stress over it so much when I was younger. If I had to guess we all do it from time to time. Unfortunately, how someone views us does change how we feel about ourselves. Their thoughts may even be ones we’ve had about ourselves.

But you know what? That’s not what God wants us to be doing.

He sees what’s going on and He knows the truth about who we are. Of course, we’re not perfect and He knows that. Despite that fact, He still sees us as we truly are, not as others see us. He doesn’t want us stressing over how we think others feel about us. What they feel does not define us. It does not tell the truth about who we are in God. He created us and was pleased with His creation. We’re all really being reshaped back to His image, one that is wonderful and glorious.

We can’t let others opinions taint our minds and block the truth.

That doesn’t mean we don’t take counsel. We absolutely take counsel, but we don’t have to believe opinions that don’t line up with our character. There will be times when we have naysayers after us and we just have to hold our head high. We have to remember what God says about us. If we’re seeking Him and following His ways, then we know what He thinks and that’s what we have to focus on. We have to remind ourselves what the Father says about us. It can be hard to drain out the voices at times, but He will help us overcome.

Just remember, no matter what others say about you or feel about you..

You are treasured.

You are His.

You are loved.

Father, thank You for seeing us better than we can ourselves. Help us to focus on Your words about ourselves and not the words of others. We do mess up and we do need work, but You call us a workmanship. You created us in Your image and we desire to be that way again. Help us to block out the voices of naysayers and fill our minds with Your words. Help us to forgive those who may speak ugly words about us. Remind us to be mindful of what we say about others and how we feel when we’re the ones being talked about. May our view be as You see us. In Jesus’ name, Amen


 

I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.

Psalm 139:14

 

Good At What We Do

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I️ have always wanted to be a good mom, I mean who doesn’t? As Moms, we want to be good at what we do. When I️ talk with other Moms, I️ can see that they love their children and just want to fulfill their calling. Yet, it has always seemed so hard for me personally. I️ don’t feel like mothering comes naturally to me. I️ feel I fail a lot and it’s at simple things, or at least that’s how I️ see it.

So what do we do? We look for something that we are good at and when we find it, we want to do it all the time.

Being good at what we do makes us feel good about ourselves.

For me, that is writing. I️ love to encourage and share life experiences with others, especially women. It gives me joy to see my words uplift someone who is struggling. Is that bad? Not necessarily. I️ just have to keep my focus on what He has called me to do versus what I️ am good at. With that said, the Holy Spirit speaks through me. I️ am not good of myself, these words aren’t from my own thoughts.The point is, what drives my feeling of success? It’s the fruit I️ see from my writing.

With parenting the fruit is harder to see right away. I️’m learning I️ may not see fruit from my diligence in parenting for many years to come (my Mother told me this in the early years of our first born). That doesn’t keep me motivated at times because I want to see the results instantly like with my writing. Disobedient children, bickering siblings, and whiny little humans make me feel like a failure. Instead of doing what they’re told or acting how they’ve been instructed (for the hundredth time) they do opposite and it leaves me feeling like I have not done my job.

Despite the fact, I️ have to keep on. The Father will give us glimpses that we are doing good. If we’re seeking to implement His guidelines into our lives, family unit, and children, then we have done all we can do. We have to rest in that fact and keep parenting though we don’t see immediate results. We do what we’re instructed to do and one day we will see the fruit thereof.

He wants to work through our weaknesses to show His strength. It’s not about how good we think we’re doing, it’s about His glory and faithfulness.

Father, thank You for being faithful and good. Help us to rest in Your goodness and not our own. Parenting is hard at times and we can’t see immediate results so we grow weary. Give us strength to keep on pressing through when we feel like giving up. Help us to feel Your presence when we can feel nothing else. Guide us to continue following Your ways with our family. Help us to stay focused on Your faithfulness and not our failure. The results we desire is our hearts surrendered to You and our children’s hearts surrendered to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9

A Message of Actions

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There’s so much violence and hatefulness in today’s world. You can hardly turn on the t.v. without seeing protests, murders, or rage. There’s an outrage for everything there seems. Everyone wants to voice their message and boy do they.

It leaves us with a decision to make… As Christians, we are called to share our message, but not how the world shares their message.

Come join us at Laced With Grace for some encouragement!

Much To Be Thankful For

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I try to write down things I’m thankful for throughout the year. My lists have changed over the couple years I’ve been doing it. I’ve grown and learned even the “bad” things are worth thanking the Father for in the end. Sometimes what we’re thankful for may surprise us.

Sometimes the Father opens our eyes to see the truth in a situation.

It can stump us.

It may anger us.

It can even sadden us.

We may have a choice to make or an adjustment to make with what He’s shown us. Making that choice may lead to our thankfulness. The truth may not always come with a joyful response at first. We may not want to be thankful to begin with either. It could be painful, but if we open our hearts up to Him and the truth He has shown us, we will become thankful.

So as I look back and reflect over the last few months, I can say that I’m thankful for the Father opening my eyes up to some truths in my life. It was painful and it wasn’t what I wanted to learn, but I see that it’s best and it’s what I needed to know. I’m also thankful for another year to gather with family and friends to love, laugh, and feast. I have lived a very blessed life. I complain way more than I should.

I have way more than I deserve and it’s not so much material things I have to be thankful for, but…

for a husband who works and goes beyond to make sure we have all we need,

for boys who are healthy, happy, and love us more than we know,

for family who loves us and supports us, who stands by us and prays for us,

for friends who walk on this journey with us, cheering us on and loving us,

for a God who does not throw this broken vessel away, but continues to mold it into His beauty.

We all have something to be thankful for. So as we gather, I pray we will remember where all good things come from, our heavenly Father, and will give Him praise.

Father, You are so good. Words really cannot give you the credit You’re due. Thank You for Your mercy towards us. Help us to allow You to create a thankful spirit in us. Our circumstances may not be worthy of thanks in our minds, but help our minds yield to Your Spirit so we can thank You no matter what. Open our eyes to all You have for us and all the blessings we have obtained. Help our hearts and minds to become thankful no matter what is going on around us. We desire to please You and a grateful heart does just that. We praise Your awesome name and give You thanks! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 


Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.
 Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
 Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
He made us, and we are His —
His people, the sheep of His pasture.
 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
 For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal;
His faithfulness endures through all generations.

Psalm 100

 

Word-Filled Wednesday

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A few weeks ago, our boys found some baby Sparrows. They came running in with excitement, proclaiming they had rescued the babies. On the other hand, they were upset that the mother bird had just left them in the brush, near the back of the yard. They wondered how they would eat and survive. They insisted on us keeping them and feeding them until they could fly. I explained to them that the Sparrows were probably at the stage in life where they were being taught to hunt and live out of the nest. I assured them that the baby birds were fine and that the mother was probably teaching them to hunt. No sooner than I said that, the mother came back to the spot where she had left them with a worm in her mouth. The boys hurried and put them back so she could teach them. It was an exciting encounter for them and me.

It made me think about the Father and us…

So many times in life we can feel as though we have been abandoned and left to ourselves. Don’t you know, those baby Sparrows probably felt the same way. They were in the wood line and it could have been their first time to be out of the nest with no mother in sight. I know there have been times in my life where I felt God had forgotten about me and my family. We have had some hard trials come our way in our 10 years of marriage. In some of those trials, I felt angry and scared. I wondered where the Father was and how could He leave us? The comforting truth is, He always came through. He had never left us at all. He is all knowing, unlike us, and He knows what we need in our life to draw us closer to Him. He wants to teach us how to live and be a vessel for Him.

Once the baby Sparrows were back where the mother had left them, she came back to them right in front of our eyes. She led them deeper into the brush and they willingly followed. She was teaching them how to live and hunt so they could live and survive one day. The Father wants to teach us more about Him in each trial we go through.

He wants us to know how to abide in Him through the good and bad.

That usually doesn’t happen when things are great, but when things seem bleak, we draw near to Him. It may seem as though He would love to see you fail, but that’s so far from the truth. Hardships can teach us so much about the Father and ourselves. He says in the Gospels that His eye is on the smallest of animals, so why would He leave us? He won’t and He hasn’t.

He knows exactly where you are in life and He hasn’t forgotten you.

He sees you and He knows best for your life.

Take comfort today that we only grow outside of our comfort zone. Just like those baby birds couldn’t reach their full potential in the nest, we can’t reach our full potential in our comfort zone. Let the Father grow you and amaze you with His ways and wonder.

Father, thank You for knowing exactly where we are in life. Thank You for seeing us through every trial that comes our way. Help us to know that You are always with us and that You know best for us. Help us to surrender our whole being to You. May we know You care about every detail in our lives. Thank You for growing us through hardships and for taking us out of our comfort zones. Help us to embrace the places that aren’t comfortable and let You work through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Investing In the Worth While

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Everyone has so much going on now days, that it can just suck the life right out of your marriage. Have you ever felt that way? I know I’ve been there.

Life can throw a lot at us it seems, which can cause our marriages to get put on the back burner. Raising children, working in or out of the home, ministry obligations, and so on can push our marriages to the side. We take our husbands and our marriages fore-granted so much today. It’s so easy to do for anyone, but there is hope for our marriages and there are ways that we can revive our marriage.

The word revive means to bring something back to life, health, or to make strong again. So if your marriage needs reviving that means it once was alive. That’s hope you can hold on too. It can be easy to think that it’ll be fine once the kids leave home or work slows down, yet that’s not true and deep down we all know that. We can’t let our marriages go to the side and expect to have a fruitful one. We have to invest in them now. We have to water the grass or unfortunately it’s going to wither.

Anything we consider important is worth investing consistent time into.

One way my husband and I invest in our marriage is by monthly date nights. We try to keep this up and not miss a month. It’s something we always look forward too. We go to the nearest city and find something to do or hang out at home. We just love spending time together alone. We can talk without interruption and focus totally on one another. I love that we get to do that. Some months, if we the boys aren’t able to stay away overnight, when they go to bed we pick a movie and watch it. The point is to spend quality time together.

We need this time to connect as husband and wife. You can choose how you spend the time with your husband, but I just encourage you to make time. Don’t forget about your marriage in the daily routine because it’s very easy to do. Once the children are gone (and they will be) you will want a relationship with your man still. There is life after kids, though at times, it may not feel like it some days.

I also encourage you to go to the Father in prayer for your marriage daily. It’s a sacred thing. Finding ways that will help you invest in your marriage is very important to not only you both, but also to your children and those after them. God doesn’t want your marriage to go to the side and be mundane. He wants it to be alive and well!

Father, thank You for marriage. It’s a sacred thing You instituted. May we cherish our marriage. May we cultivate our marriage. We desire that Your will be done in our marriage. Help us to be the wives You desire. May we not let our marriages go untended. Help us to invest in our husbands and our marriages. Help us to find ways to connect and bond with our husband so our relationship doesn’t suffer. We want a thriving marriage that honors You. We want to be good examples for our children and those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.

Song of Solomon 7:10

Serving With Joy

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Life can get so busy at times that we forget there are others outside of our homes that need serving. I know for me, having a husband, three children, and a home to run, I tend to forget there are hurting people outside our four walls. I don’t think we intend on being that way, but with the business of life it does happen. While doing my study one morning I realized this.

I know I’m doing my duty as a wife and mother taking care of my family, but is there more I can do? I am a full time stay-at-home wife and mother. So most of the needs I meet are for my husband and children. Cooking, cleaning, teaching, washing, and etc. are the things I do daily, multiple times a day. The Holy Spirit showed me a little something.

If we can’t serve those in our home, how can we ever serve those outside of our homes?

Ouch…That really stung.

I know I complain at times when my boys and my husband asks me to do something. Either I’m in the middle of doing something else or just don’t want to do it at the moment.

Some days I’m just tired of dirty floors having to be swept or vacuumed, so I fuss at my boys.

Other days I’m tired of cooking three meals a day and I don’t prepare them with a servant’s heart.

I should serve my family joyfully even when the things are mundane and not easy. They depend on me and they need me as much as I need them. When I learn to serve my family in this way, I will be ready to serve others. Until then, I will serve others begrudgingly too.

When I have that attitude towards those I love, what attitude would I have towards those I don’t even know? Think on that. That’s not something that pleases the Lord. He wants us to serve our families, but He want us to do it with a good attitude.

So before we can serve others joyfully, it starts at home, everything starts at home. Once we realize that, I believe our society will change.

Lord, thank You for the examples you give us in scripture about serving others. Thank You for serving us and giving Your Son to die for us. May we serve our husbands with joy. May we love them and respect them. Help us to serve our children with a cheerful heart. May we love them and teach them the way You desire. We want to serve how Your Son served. We want to be able to serve others as well as our family so continue to grow us. We are so thankful for your mercy towards us when we fail You. Thank You for never giving up, but always pricking our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Bring joy to Your servant’s life, because I turn to You, Lord.

Psalm 86:4