From Missions to Motherhood- Walking It Out

I’m very honored to be writing over at Tricia Goyer’s site. If you’ve not read her stuff before, you’ll be in for a treat when you do. Hop on over and be encouraged!

 

Mother with child cooking together

Mom. It’s never a title I longed for. My future plans didn’t include children, three energetic boys to be exact (9, 7, 6). But God… Continue reading here.

 

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A Little Break

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Writing is a passion and a therapy for me. For me to be able to speak encouragement and truth into others lives just makes me feel so good.

With that being said, I will break for the month of September from posting.

I’m sure I’ll still be handing writing stuff, but unless the Father leads otherwise I won’t be posting until mid October, God willing. We are preparing for Fall feasts and continuing school so I need to focus on those for now. I will have a guest post here or there that I’ve already committed too. Thanks for all the likes, shares, and taking time to read my writing. I really appreciate it!

I pray you all have a great month and keep digging into His Word!

 

Love Is Not a Feeling

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I’ve come to realize (through the Holy Spirit) that I let feelings dictate me a lot, more than I thought. If I’m not feeling it, I certainly don’t pretend. There are some days that I just don’t want to get out of the bed for prayer and study time. Yet, I wipe the sleepy out of my eyes and I get up. I crack open His Word because it’s the only thing that doesn’t change. I may not always be feeling it, but I am learning that sometimes I have to just do it. I have to keep pressing and pushing on no matter what I feel.

It’s not about if I feel redeemed or if I feel like praying, it’s about what is best for me.

Why do we let feelings dictate us? If things are going great and we feel awesome, then we act awesome. If things aren’t going great and we feel discouraged, we often act depressed. We hear a lot in the secular world that if you’re not feeling it, don’t fake it. On the other hand we also hear in the realm of Christianity that sometimes we have to set feelings aside and act as if we are feeling it. It’s a war within our souls and we must fight it. We should pray desperately for His Spirit to invade us and for His will to be done in our life. We should ask that He will help me keep His instructions and ways at the forefront of our mind.

Love is not a feeling, it’s loyalty. Our Savior may not have felt like leaving the riches of heaven. He may not have felt like enduring the beating, mockery, and scorning, but he didn’t let ‘not feeling it’ stop him. He did what he did because of loyalty and commitment. He was committed to pleasing His Father and making a way for redemption. We have to be committed to the loyalty we vowed to our Father, our husbands, and our children. That feeling will not always be there, but we have to remember to press on.

Keep loving,

keep praying,

and keep guiding.

If we go on feelings our whole lives, we will waver and not stand strong. If we’re rooted in His love and His Word, we can stand in the toughest of times. He never changes. We can be confident in His love for us and in the stability which He brings in our lives. Let it be what pushes you through the motions and into being loyal.

Father, we thank You for loyalty. You sent Your Son because You are loyal. Thank You for not changing your mind when it hurt so bad. Thank You Jesus that you didn’t go on a feeling. You were loyal to us and bled on that cross. May we be loyal in our relationships. Help us to stay committed no matter what. Help us to push feelings aside and do what we know is right. There will be times in life where we may not feel anything good, but that’s okay. We trust that You are guiding us and we want to push through. We want to stay committed to those in our lives as You do us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

II Corinthians 12:9

Word-Filled Wednesday

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I look at all the evil that is going on in the world, our nation as well, and it breaks my heart. It’s changed from just 5 years ago. I can think back when I was in high school almost 15 years ago and life was much more happy. The world didn’t seem as bad as it does now. With all that is going on today in the world, we need some comfort and hope. Events of today can really drag you down and fill your mind with sadness. In our study of Psalm 119 a few years back I was encouraged and reminded. Reminded what the Father gives us.

The Father gave us His words, testimonies, and acts of might, mercy, and love to encourage us. His acts and testimonies will always lift us up. They will revive us and restore our minds back to hope. What a wonderful Father we have! He doesn’t have to scream back at evil, His voice alone causes mountains to tremble. God doesn’t want us to be depressed by events in our life, nation, or our world. He wants us to be aware and repent, but we don’t have to feel defeated. His words and speech can give us hope and comfort us in our time of affliction as the psalmist says.

When life is depressing and discouraging, we can turn to His words in the scriptures.

When events scream despair, our God simply says hope.

When others scorn our decision to follow God and His Law (Word, instruction), we can rest in Him.

We can know that He will bless us and guide us no matter what. We have one God, Yahweh, and that’s who we should seek refuge in and worship. Run to Rock of our salvation. Seek Him every day and follow His instructions. They bring us life and hope. He is our only hope.

Father, thank You for the words You’ve given us to live by! Oh what a God we serve! You are mighty and strong! You are our shelter and strong tower. May we hope in Your words and instructions for life. May we not forsake You or Your words, precepts, and statues. Help us to turn to you when we’re discouraged and afflicted. May we meditate on Your Word so we won’t turn away from it. May we be a light to the nations, a light in this dark place. Help us to obey You no matter what. Thank You for Your strength in these wicked day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dealing With Disappointments

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I remember as a kid how important it was to please my parents, especially the older I became. Since I was human, I was bound to disappoint. Now that I have kids I try to remember how I felt. Messing up is a part of life unfortunately because of our sin nature, so trying to keep that in mind can help us when our kids disappoint us.

I often think of how the Father deals with us when we’ve failed Him. Thankfully, He doesn’t kick us out on our heads after the first mess up. He is waiting for our repentance and confessions so He can teach us and grow us. What’s your first response when your child messes up?

When a glass of milk is spilled, how do you respond?

When unkind words come darting from that angel face, what do you do?

When a sinful decision leads to shame and heartache, do you love or demean?

Our first response, most of the time, is to blow up if we’ll be real with ourselves. We may yell, say hurtful things, or give the look. I know when our boys mess up I feel like a failure and I wonder is that how the Father feels? I have to say I don’t think He does. He sees our sinfulness and longs to help us.

He corrects us with love and mercy.  He is there to forgive us if we ask and to show us a better way. He isn’t sitting there just waiting for us to mess up. He loves us and longs to see us make good choices. We have to be that way with our children. They can absolutely get in the way it seems, but they aren’t in the way. Sure we have to stop what we’re doing to deal with the situation or issues, but that’s how they learn.

Even when He forgives us, that doesn’t always mean that consequences are gone, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us. He has to grow us just like our children. We can learn how to deal with our feelings when our kids disappoint by how the Father deals with us.

So the next time you want to loose it over a mess up, try to go to the Father in prayer first. Ask Him to help you cope with your feelings so you can respond appropriately. Our words can do damage if we’re not careful. Just remember how merciful He is towards you and extend that to your children.

Father, thank You for being a merciful Father. Help us to learn from Your example as we parent our children. Disappointments will come and we need You to help us deal with our children in a way that pleases You. Help us to watch our words and actions. We want our children to learn from their mistakes. They will learn to relate to You by relating to us, so give us the words to speak and to deal justly with them. Draw them closer to You after each mistake and empower them to leave that mistake behind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

May Your faithful love comfort me as You promised Your servant.

Psalm 119:76

 

 

 

 

What Mirror Are You Looking In?

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While getting ready one morning, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me about about appearance. I love make-up and curling irons. I’m a girly girl at heart. So when the Holy Spirit began to bring thoughts to my mind, I began to wonder… What if we spent half the time in the mirror of God’s Word, as we do in the physical mirror? We pay so much attention to our face, body, and hair. As wives, it should be a desire to become who the Father wants us to be though. We should think about our hearts, the inward man, and not just the outward. How much time do we really spend on that?

What if we intently looked into the Word of God and let it change us?

What if we were so particular about our actions, words, and obedience to the Word?

What if our focus was inward beauty and not outward?

I think our marriages would look a lot different. The Word of God that reveals His character is our mirror. It will show us the imperfections, the sins, and the ugliness of ourselves. It is to be our guide for life. As wives, what is more beautiful than a soul that is gentle, loving, patient, and kind? That is what God wants us to focus on. Our goal as wives isn’t too just become beautiful on the outside, but to become beautiful inwardly.  That’s what the Father desires of us. He wants us to mature and grow in His likeness. There’s nothing wrong with beautifying ourselves, but that isn’t what really makes us beautiful. Our actions and words define beauty to the Father and to those humble ones around us.

If we value our physical beauty over our spiritual beauty, we need to stop and re-evaluate things.

Our society pushes physical beauty. We’re bombarded with perfecting our bodies, but it’s good for us to not let that become our focus. Our society seems look down on those who don’t keep up with the latest trends and try the latest work outs. Those who are not slim and trim are looked at shamefully. Even those who are not “pretty” to look upon are rejected. We have to remember what the Father desires of us as wives and what He looks at. He cares much more about how we treat others, how we handle disruptions, and how we love our families than how outwardly beautiful we are.  He wants our inner man to be beautiful. That comes through prayer, studying His Word, and then applying it. What God says is important is direct opposite of what the world says.

We are to follow His example and desire an inward beauty that He desires. With His Spirit in us, we can strive to walk in the godliness He has called us too.

Kind. Loving. Gentle. Merciful. Patient. That’s what He desires. That’s real beauty to Him.

Lord, help us to be women of conviction, women of Your righteousness. May we seek to have a beautiful spirit and not just a beautiful face. Let our souls desire to bring peace, love, joy, goodness, and gentleness to those around us. Help us to be merciful and loving towards our husband. We want to become the wife that You desire us to be. Help us to have a desire to spend more time looking in Your mirror than our own. Give us the strength to not conform to the world’s standards of beauty, but to be transformed by Your Word to what You say is beautiful. Those who bring peace and good tidings are those You say are beautiful. Draw us  nearer to Your heart, Father. In Jesus Name, Amen.


 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

Standing Tall

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A few weeks back we had a heavy downpour of rain in a short amount of time. It sounded so loud as it hit the roof and porches of our home. When I woke up the next morning, I looked off our back porch and saw a sad sight. One of our biggest tomato plants had given way during the storm, but a few of the smaller ones were standing tall. It was a moment of sadness due to all our hard work, but I immediately thought about the parable of the man who built on solid ground.

Life will bring sorrow and heartache. It’s going to bring some tough seasons for all of us. There’s no getting around that, but we can weather the storms of little better if our foundation is solid. Our foundation isn’t us, but our belief system. A belief in man or possessions will leave us broken just like the tomato plant. Humans are fallible and possessions are destroyed, but there is One who we can put all our belief in.

Whatever we believe in gives us perspective, wisdom, strength, and hope.

We need a solid foundation built on the Father and His ways. He’s the only One who can give us strength to stand tall through the storms of life. Our roots have to be dug deep in His words. To be grounded in His words we have to meditate on them, study them, and then apply them. Plants can’t grow their roots in midair, just like we can’t believe in nothing. There has to be something for our roots to grab onto just like the plants need soil.

The Father wants to see us grow stronger with each storm we face. He will give us strength to go through each storm and He knows we will gain wisdom and discernment with each one.

So what’s your foundation look like? Examine your heart and make sure the foundation is Yahweh. He’s the only sure foundation to stand on.

Father, thank You for being a foundation we can build upon. You are the only sure foundation. You’re unchangeable and unmovable. May we remember there is none like You and when we build on You we won’t be moved. We want to be able to weather the storms of life. Give us strength to grow through each circumstance. We want our roots to be deep in Your word. Help us to not place our hope in man or possession, but to place all our hope in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Matthew 7:24

Word-Filled Wednesday

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Life brings all sorts of struggles to our days, from the really big struggles to the tiniest struggles. We all have tough seasons of life that we go through, but the struggles may look different since not everyone goes through the same struggle at the same time. More than likely we’ll all handle the struggles and trials differently too. I know I’ve had my share of struggles in my thirty-four years of living. Most of the time I whined my way through them. Only recently have I begin to look at the struggles differently in my life.

Our struggles are not just for us. That’s sounds so odd and unfair. Our struggles will actually help someone else if we allow them too. God doesn’t send struggles to always punish us, actually never to punish us. Consequences are different than struggling and those come because of choices. The struggles are to show us our weak areas and to help us grow stronger in them. If we work those weak muscles (spiritual) they will eventually become stronger. We just have to trust the Father and seek His face in those hard times. It’s not easy for anyone, but there is always hope and help in our Father.

The Father has a purpose and reason for every struggle we go through, we just have to listen to Him and trust it’s for good.

Those struggles are also for the future. We can’t really minister to someone if we’ve not been where they have been. We may not go through every single thing that someone else does, but more than likely we’ll go through something that someone else has in common. If we go through those struggles and come out stronger, then we can help others when they walk through it. We endure trials and struggles for the sake of others at times. A lot like Jesus did for us. He endured severe emotional, spiritual, and physical pain for us. He knew then what pain was and could relate to his disciples. What better way to be able to love your neighbor as yourself, than to be able to comfort them in something you have endured.

So are you willing to endure hardships for the sake of others? To know that the Father will use the pain for a purpose and to gain glory is comforting. If you’ll try to look at trials and struggles from that perspective it may help you. I know it has changed how I view my own struggles. May we be willing to suffer with others.

Father, thank You for the comfort You give us during trials and struggles. Thank You for those who come along side us as we hurt. May we see our struggles through Your eyes and see Your purpose, not our own. Help us to seek You when we’re suffering and draw close to You. May we be willing to comfort others as they are hurting and as they struggle through situations. May they see You and feel You through our words. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For the Boy Mom

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I never imagined I’d have children, certainly not boys. If you know me, you know I’m a sensitive and passionate person. I’m a girly girl and far from a tomboy. I like giggles, snuggling, and pink. Yet, I have three rambunctious boys. So when the Father gave us boys, I wasn’t too sure what to think. I’ve often wondered what can I pass down to them? Obviously, I can’t do all I would if I had a daughter, but I began to realize there is a lot I can teach our boys.

 

For us boys moms, we’re the first woman they’ll love and have a relationship with. How we love them and teach them to relate to others is huge. They will learn from us how to communicate, how to deal with conflict, and how to treat others based on the relationship they have with us. That’s pretty important when we think of it that way.

They’ll also learn how a wife should treat her husband by how we treat their Dad. With so many different personalities portrayed on t.v. today, it is so vital that we show them how God desires for a woman to treat her man. Sure we’ll mess up, but we can show them how to reconcile.

Lastly, they’ll learn what they don’t want in a wife. Our children are paying attention so closely to our marriage. They are also watching how we treat others and respond to the Father. What are we showing them? We want our boys to find good women who fear the Lord. We want them to find a woman who will love her enemies and love her neighbor. How we live each day sets the mark for their little ( and big) minds.

That’s only a few things we can teach our little men. Don’t feel like being a boy mom hinders you. We can be a big impact on their lives. We just have to keep seeking for the Father to fill us and use us.

Father, thank You for little boys. They’re full of energy and rough, but they’re so lovable. Help us to see our important role in teaching and caring for our boys. May we cry out to You when we don’t know what to do. Give us wisdom to be the example that You desire. Strengthen us to endure these years of training and equipping to do Your will as Mothers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

In everything make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.

Titus 2:7

Expect As You Give

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Expectations are something we all have and will form as we do life. We expect to wake up with breath in our lungs. We expect to get paid for work we complete. We expect for our kids to learn when we teach them. Expecting is normal and is a part of life. I’m a home-school mom, so I expect my children to pay attention while I talk or ask questions. So there’s nothing wrong with expectations, even in our marriages. Expecting respect from our husband is fine or expecting care from him is good. I expect things from my man and vice versa. I think where we can go wrong is that we expect things for our man, but don’t want to be expected of.

We should ask ourselves if we are willing to do the same for our man as we are expecting him to do for us.

That may knock some expectations off your list and mine. When we start expecting of ourselves like we do our husband, then our tune may change just a tad. We damage our marriage and our man when we expect of him without being willing to give also. Our marriage is to help us grow into one mind and heartbeat. How can we do that if we’re continually tearing down each other? If we want our marriage to work as the Father desires we have to drop expectations that are harmful.

When we act nasty towards our husband how do you think it makes him feel?

When we say cruel words to our man what do you think he wants to do back?

When we demand things our way and do our best to get it, how do we think he should respond?

That’s a hard pill to swallow. I know for myself, it’s true, so I’m not pointing fingers, I’m just sharing from my heart. I can’t expect my husband to be kind to me, if in fact, I am not kind to him. Well, I can expect that, but it’s wrong and doesn’t please the Father. If I want my husband to respect me, love me, forgive me, and care for me, I should be willing to do the same for him. By expecting him to do all those things for me, but I’m unwilling to do the same for him, I’m harming our marriage. I’m also setting a bad example for our kids to follow. The Father doesn’t talk about loving our neighbor as ourselves just to have something to do. He’s serious about loving our neighbor (husband in this case) as ourselves.

If you’re on the opposite side of the coin, pray for your husband and keep giving even if he’s not. That can be very hard to do and I think we’ve all been there before. Just remember the Father hears your prayers and He is the only One who can work in your husband.

So if I won’t demand of myself the way I do my husband, why do it to him? It’s something to think about and examine how we expect of our man. I ask that we prayerfully consider trying to not expect things we aren’t willing to do also. Let’s love and tend to our marriage so it can bear fruit that glorifies the Father.

Father, thank You for the gift of marriage. Thank You for being the One who can meet our expectations. Help us to be willing to give of ourselves without expectation from others. We want a marriage that thrives and grows. We want to be loving servants of You. Give us strength to love as You do and to extend mercy when we want to lash out. Help us to see our husbands as You do and treat them likewise. We want to be women who bring glory and honor to Your name through our actions and words. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.

Luke 6:31