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.

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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

Seeing Him In The Mess

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After I finished chapter six and started chapter seven of One Thousand Gifts, I was thinking of me and my life. Wondering what makes me tick the way I do and comparing it to how the Father wants me to be. I am still trying to take in all the wisdom that Ann shares  and really grasp what she writes then apply it to my life. It’s been a journey for sure and I wanted to share some of it today.

I seem to get discouraged easy. One thing goes wrong and it’s just terrible. We all know life is full of messes. Life is exciting, challenging, joyous, and trying. It rarely leaves you bored, but it can leave you feeling frustrated or drained. I have been wondering why does it seem like the world is falling apart when one things goes how I didn’t think it should?

In thinking and praying, I realized that I don’t want to come down from the mount, per say.

I want to stay in those good moments.

I want to sit at His feet and just learn and worship.

 I want life to be awesome and go smoothly.

Then it hit me. That’s why I get so frustrated. I get angry at people for being people. I get angry at life for throwing me punches. Let’s face it, life isn’t throwing me anything, the Father is orchestrating it all. Who really wants to deal with heartache, trials, and challenges? None of us in all honesty. It pushes us beyond ourselves and makes us have to lean on something other than ourselves which can be uncomfortable.

I also have a hard time seeing God- His face and His glory, in the sinfulness of it all.

Myself. My husband. My children. Mankind.

I don’t want to leave…

His glory.

His presence.

His goodness.

Messes begin to happen and I get depressed or discouraged. I can’t deal with the ugliness of myself, my family, friends, the world. I don’t want to deal with it. I just want to hide in His shelter. I want that glory again, His glory. I want to feel Him, but I can’t. I get frustrated because I can’t see Him when my boys are fighting and being ugly or something breaks unexpectedly around the house. I don’t think He’s there because we’ve been taught it’s all fluffy clouds once we find the Savior and surrender to Him. So when tragedy (remember my post about what is tragedy?) strikes, we feel as if He is against us and we get frustrated. Things start going slightly off course and I wonder where is He?

Although I don’t want the mess that life sometimes brings, I am realizing that He is in the mess.

He allows the mess. So in that mess, we can find Him more and more. We can call upon Him in ways that draw us into a deeper relationship and a deeper love for our Father. It’s like marriage, or any relationship, the more you go through, the greater the bond, if you allow it. Some don’t allow the trials to strengthen a relationship, but they allow it to destroy it. That’s the last thing we want to do with our Father. We want to grow in our relationship and in our walk with Him.

So if you’re like me and you have a hard time finding Him in the mess of life. Remember, He is there. He is waiting for you. Life can’t be all fluffy clouds, or else we can’t have sweet victory. To know victory, we have to know defeat. It isn’t meant for us to stay at His feet. We have to go, to do, to learn, and to struggle, but He is there and He wants you to see Him in it all.

Father, You are so good. You love us more than we can imagine. You don’t have plans to harm us, but to prosper us. You are in the messes of life. You just want us to realize that. Oh that we would realize You are there and You want to help us through the messes. You want to teach us through the mess and chaos. May we see Your face in it all and may we seek to grow through the messes of life, big or small. Help us to struggle with the intent to grow. Thank You for all that You bring us through, because without You, we are nothing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

I will rejoice and be glad in Your faithful love because You have seen my affliction. You have known the troubles of my life.

Psalm 31:7

Word-Filled Wednesday

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While I was driving down the road the other day, the D.J. on KLOVE was talking about numbering our days and how fragile life is. He got me to thinking about that a little bit. Life is fragile and days are short, much shorter than we think about day to day. We usually think of the fragility of life when death takes a loved one or we experience a life and death situation. At other times, we are just living life in the fast lane busy with activities or jobs.  Those things aren’t bad, but it’s always good to take a step back and look at how we spend our time.

I begin to think what are we really doing with our time? There’s so much we can be doing, but if life is fragile and can end at any time, shouldn’t we be careful what we’re doing? Think about what will matter most when you’re on your deathbed. What will make you feel most fulfilled and leave you with no regrets? Those are the things we should be doing.

Loving and submitting to our husbands,

teaching and caring for our children,

reaching out to our family and friends,

serving others when it’s not convenient.

There will be so much that won’t matter when we come to the end of our days. We want to count our days so we can use wisdom throughout each one. There are many good things, but they may not be what the Father has for us. We should seek His will in prayer and make sure what we are putting our heart and soul into is what He desires for us too. We’re commanded to love God and love others. If we’re doing those two, we really can’t go wrong. I know I think at times is this really worth it? or what effect on others will this have?

The wisdom of the Father will help us to discern what is needful and worth investing our time into.

It may take some dying to our selfish desires to really inquire of the Father what He wants us spending our time doing. It may take some being very honest with ourselves about what we already know we shouldn’t be investing in, but it will be worth it.

I want to be able to look back and say I invested in others, not things. I want to be able to have very little regret about how I spent my time, especially as a mother. We have one shot at this life and we should make it count for His glory, not our own.

Father, life is short and fragile. It can end with no warning sign. We want to use our time wisely each day we are breathing. We want to do all that You have for us every day. Open our eyes to see what we are investing in that isn’t worthwhile. We want to spend our time wisely investing in the lives of others. Possessions will rust and be destroyed, but people will follow us into eternity. Help us to have a heart for others and to serve them. Give us the strength to be honest and examine how we spend our time so we may change if need be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.

Psalm 90:12

Loosing That Loving Feeling

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I remember how I felt when I held our first born child. I was exhausted, but so in love. I never knew a love that could happen without ever laying eyes on a person. A love that could almost cause your heart to burst. As the years passed, the love never was lost, but the passion faded. Like with a lot of things in life, if we’re not careful the passion towards our children can fade.

As our children grow, so does their attitude, personalities, and moods. With that comes problems and messiness. It’s to be expected because they’re humans who are growing and changing. It can really knock the breath out of us because they’re supposed to be our sweet little blessings. Instead they seem like they want to drive us crazy and nag us too death. The arguing with siblings, our growing pains, and disobedience can take a toll on us. We start to wonder what’s going on and why do we even care?

Over the last several months I’ve found myself there. With children there comes growing pains. Throw that on top of my own growing pains and my husband’s crazy work schedule and slowly the passion begin to fade. Thankfully, the Father opens our eyes to these issues when we’re crying out to Him. He wants to renew and refresh that passion for our children, along with life.

We can never give up on our children because the Father never gives up on us.

When we realize our passion towards our children has begun to fade, we can cry out to the Father for renewal, redirection, and strength. There’s no reason to be ashamed. Parenting is hard. If we really think about it, we’re helping to shape human beings. That is daunting and overwhelming without the Father’s help. If we loose our passion towards our children we could see some horrible events in our future. We may not feel the passion at times, but keep crying out.

For us mothers, rearing children is a high calling. One that Satan wants nothing more than to destroy. If he can rid us of our passion by wearing us down, he’s succeeded at his plan. If you’ve lost that passion, go to the Father in prayer. He will meet you there. We have to stay on our knees and ready to fight with the Father’s strength.

Father, parenting can wear on us and drain us. Help us to cry out to You for strength. We want to stay passionate about our children and our calling. Help us to see them as You see us. We want to do all that You desire as parents. When we are fading in our passion, open our eyes and show us. Give us the endurance and renewal that we need to be passionate for our children again. They are so important. What we teach them will be our legacy and impact generations to come. We desire to impact them in a way to bring honor to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

So they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children,  to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.

Titus 2:4-5

 

 

 

The Bond of Love

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The saying ‘I fell in love’ is one I used to hear a lot growing up. It sounds so romantic and alluring. The talk of two people falling madly in love and living happily ever after. The thought of finding that one man you would just fall head over heels with after a few conversations. What girl wouldn’t swoon at the thought of that? It sounded too good to be true, but it just had to be true.

Fast forward a couple years after marriage and I’ve realized the truth about love. I found out you don’t fall in love with the opposite sex. I started realizing that we grow in love with our husband over time. Initially, we’re physically attracted and we love what we see and how they behave, but true love grows out of disappointment, hard work, servanthood, and forgiveness. So counter culture isn’t it? Anything the Father does is counter culture if you think about it. He’s the one who defines love for us and His definition definitely doesn’t fit what most people think it is.

If I think about all my husband has done for me throughout our ten years of marriage, that’s what has grown true love for him. Not to mention all the he continues to do for me and our boys. When we selflessly give for the better of another, there’s a bond that grows. Through that bond and love we’re able to overlook quirks and forgive mistakes. If I think of love now, I don’t think of flowers, gifts, or jewelry, but all the hours of work, mowing the lawn, taking care of me, putting our boys to bed, and so much more runs through my mind.

If we can fall into something, surely we can find a way out.

If we grow, forgive, and bond, we create an attachment that is hard to break. Through the years if we decide not to forgive, grow to love, and give of ourselves, then walking away becomes easier. That’s why I believe we see marriages abandoned so much today.

We have to choose to grow to love our husband. It’s a process each and every day which we should never stop going through. The bond of love can create such a good foundation and stability in our homes and it’s all worth it.

Father, thank You for showing us what love really means. You loved us selflessly and sacrificially. We’re so grateful for Your love that You lavish on us. Help us to not forget what love is and how we can show it to our husband. Help us to love in deed and not just in word. We want to be a good example to our children and those around us. Give us strength to truly grow and love our husband as You desire. Help us to give ourselves without conditions, to forgive our husband, and let the bond of love grow. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.

I John 3:18

 

 

A Sigh of Relief

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Sometimes, in life I’ve felt like I just couldn’t breathe. I felt smothered from trials or circumstances and I needed a breath of fresh air. Life can be hard and unforgiving some days. Dishes pile up, the laundry never ends, and coffee just doesn’t do the trick. I want a break from whatever is troubling me at the time. I just want to be comfortable. I want an easy life, but just when I think I can sigh a breath of relief, I’m being stretched again.

I know this scenario plays out a lot in the minds of others too. Things just seem hard. Life can be so harsh and the Father can be cruel we think. I know I have thought this before. I whine and wonder why can’t I just catch a break every once in awhile? I don’t understand why can’t the Father let things be smooth and life be a breeze. I’m beginning to get a glimpse in my own life why He can’t do that. He doesn’t want me to be comfortable. That sounds so mean doesn’t it? He never wants me stagnant in my relationship with Him or in life.

Instead the Father wants me continually growing.

It was the uncomfortable ones who really saw miracles happen before their eyes if we think about it. Paul, Peter, Matthew, Luke, and the rest of the disciples were put through some rough stuff while they were here on earth. They also saw some awesome acts of Jesus and even performed some miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t want us comfortable, He wants us holy. He wants us growing more to His likeness.

I love comfortable. I love to have it easy and I know I’m not alone.

Yet, I know by reading the scriptures that…

the comfortable ones never saw miracles.

the comfortable ones never performed miracles.

If I’ll allow the Father to stretch me and mold me, I can see some awesome things take place in my life and the lives of others. God wants to draw me out of my comfort zone to reach others with His life-giving Word. The thought that He chooses us to help Him accomplish His will is amazing! He doesn’t want to make us uncomfortable for the sake of doing it. He wants us to learn to be content with what we have, but not so comfortable that we don’t grow in our relationship with Him. He’s such a gracious God. I’m so glad that He loves me enough to make me uncomfortable because He knows it’s good for me.

When you feel like you just can’t breathe and you need a break from life, retreat and spend some time in prayer. Pray to God and let Him know how you feel. Ask Him what is it that He desires from you. He has so much in store for His children, if we will abide in Him. Take a big sigh, because the God of heaven is on your side.

Lord, thank You for caring for me more than I know. Thank You for not leaving me as I am, but continually changing me. Help me to see things from Your perspective and know You have good plans for me. Being comfortable is not as important as growing more like You. May I seek to be a vessel of honor for You and for Your will to be accomplished in my life. You’re the lover of my soul and desire my willingness. May I be willing to be uncomfortable for Your sake. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth.

Psalm 96:9

Word-Filled Wednesday

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I have to clean off my kitchen bar pretty often. It feels so good to see it clean without clutter. Sadly, it’s not long and the bar is full of stuff again. I can get so frustrated when I see all the clutter. The papers. The toys. The books. The stuff that we just didn’t want to do anything with. I wonder why don’t we just put this stuff in it’s place? or discard it? As I was thinking about that today, the Holy Spirit showed me that our lives are a lot like that.

Ouch. Yes, that hit hard. It’s so true, though, it was hard to hear.

Our lives can become just as cluttered as my kitchen bar. Sometimes the clutter just creeps in on us. You think maybe we let it pile up because we just aren’t sure what to do with it? The hurt, the grief, or the anger. It builds because we really don’t want to feel that way, but we don’t know what to do to get rid of it all. It can be hard to deal with our emotions sometimes especially when dealing with other people. One thing we can’t do is not deal with it. We really need to ask the Father to help us deal with whatever the emotion or issue may be. He doesn’t want us full of bad emotions, He wants us to live in freedom.

Another reason I think we let the clutter build up in our lives is that we don’t want to deal with the emotions and issues. That is probably the most dangerous mindset and attitude. That is rebellion and a sin against the Father. Though it may be hard to admit there is an issue and actually deal with it, it is so necessary.

If we don’t deal with the emotions and issues, it won’t just go away, it’s going to build until it overtakes us.

Anger, stress, and depression can physically make one sick. The Father doesn’t want that for us. He wants good things for us, but we have to deal with issues and emotions just like I have to clean off my kitchen bar. Some of the items I’m not sure where to put, but I can’t just let them sit there. I have to find a place for them if I want that clean bar.  It’s the same with our lives. If we want a live of freedom and growth, we have to deal with the clutter.

Don’t let the clutter become a hazard in your life. Our hearts are the source for everything. Seek help if you need too, but deal with the clutter and regain your freedom that the Father desires for you.

Father, thank You for using simple things to teach us and speak to us. Life can bring about many emotions and issues. Help us to deal with clutter when it’s in our hearts. We don’t want hearts that are bruised and battered. We desire hearts that are beating and thriving through You. Show us how to deal with the issues and emotions that arise in our lives. We desire to be a clear vessel that Your love, mercy, strength, and joy can flow through. So clear our hearts of anger, hurt, and stress. Give us wisdom when dealing with others and to handle the situation with care. We thank You for guiding us as we clean out the clutter. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Raising Reverent Kids

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We talked about how important it is for us to respect the Father and having a healthy fear of Him. Our belief in Him should create a reverence and respect for Him. One thing I desire is for our boys to fear the Father also. I want them to have a healthy fear and respect for the Father and His instructions. If we don’t pray for that and teach it, then they may never respect the Father without a lot of heartache along the way.

You remember children and teenagers who made one bad decision after another. That’s now what we should desire for our children. Yet, if we don’t show them how to respect the Father that may be what we end up with. The respect towards the Father will breed respect for others. If they respect others, then more than likely they’ll respect their belongings too.

The lack of fear towards the Father could lead to a lifetime of destruction.

There’s a whole host of issues that we see in society today that stem for no reverence for God. What they don’t believe in, they won’t fear or respect. That falls on our shoulders. We, as parents, are responsible for modeling reverence for the Father to our children. We know that if we don’t, then the world will model the opposite for them.

If you’re not doing so, it’s never too later to start. Generations depend on us. The future depends on the past, don’t start a trend that will take a lifetime to correct.

Father, thank You for showing us when we aren’t being the parent that You desire. Forgive us for not teaching and modeling how to fear You. Help us to model respect for You to our children. We don’t want destruction for them, but if we aren’t careful that’s what we’ll get. Give us wisdom to teach and model a healthy fear for You and Your words. May our kids respect You and respect others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7