This week.

Each Sunday evening after all the housework is done, meals planned and prepped, little ones in bed that’s when I I sit down and plan out our week.

This week as I take on this task I am flooded with emotions, thinking about everything that is happening this week.

There is only one way we will survive this week…. by the power of prayer and finding our strength, courage and peace in the Lord. The thought of having to face this week by my own strength is at the very least devastating.

Here are some of the verses I have studied this evening as I prepare my heart and mind for the week ahead.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭

“For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” Psalms‬ ‭33:21‬ ‭

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalms‬ ‭56:3‬ ‭

“I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”” Psalms‬ ‭91:2‬ ‭

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”” Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭

So whatever this week holds, however everything goes I can trust that God is in absolute control. All of this is in His power and will ultimately be for His glory. While we cannot and do not understand the ‘why’ of our trials right now we can find comfort and peace knowing the God is in control. His mighty and sovereign reign.

So this week when the enemy attacks me; fear and worry starts creeping in, I will look to the Lord, use these verses I wrote on notecards to keep with me so I can read them over and over. I will strive to be diligent and constant in prayer. No matter what the outcome of this week, we must remember to rejoice always!

Memories

What once was but not longer is.

Each day I check into Facebook and pop over to my memories for that particular day. I love these sweet reminders, the sweet smiles and happy moments with my husband and our little ones and these sweet moments in time! Oh I cherish these treasures! There are days I will post something just so I will have it pop up into my memories one day!

However there are some days as I get to the bottom of my memories from many years ago and my first instinct is to cringe. Memories I wish could be unremembered. Time in my life before my heart was transformed into a follower of Christ.

Listening to a John MacArthur sermon recently I wrote down these things that stuck out to me…

Purging of the heart

Manifest in a transformed life

Salvation is marked by changed life

I can see that what I need to do is change my initial thoughts when I see these old memories to one of thankfulness rather than wishing they could be erased. I can utilize these memories to see the changes in my life and how my heart has been purging over the years and seeing my transformation. How awesome is that!

Even memories from just a few years ago after I had truly been saved I can still see where I have grown in my walk with the Lord and how he continues to change my heart and my life.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬

I look forward to seeing this transformation continue as each day, week, month and year I continue to grow with my walk with Christ. I know I have so so far to go and I am excited to see what plans God has in our family’s lives.

So I will continue to check out my Facebook memories each day and use them to see the ongoing transformation of my changes life and the purging of my heart!

Thankfully ever after

It has not been easy… but nothing in life that’s valuable and precious is easy, our family has endured trials and challenges along the way, facing some of the biggest ones just this past year.

It has been the most incredible and amazing five years I could have ever dreamed or hoped for.

Five years ago we dove into this marriage and family as prepared as we could be. We dated for 11 months and during that time we read book after book about blending Christian families. Read about remarrying after divorce. We tried to be as prepared for anything that we would face as we combined two homes into one.

We did the real life Brady bunch thing. Actually I do believe I recall my father saying he felt like he was watching a TV show when he was here visiting us and a live spectator to the chaos of our daily life!

Looking back not nothing could have really prepared us for the reality of it all. Even though we didn’t know what we were doing we had our trust in the Lord and He was with us each step of the way. Our strength is of the Lord.

Along the way we have learned and grown so much!

We started with five kids, a brother in law, two dogs and two cats.—-> we now have seven kids a mother in law and brother in law living with us. We have three cats, two dogs(almost3), a lizard and a bunny. In the mix of our children, four are now teenagers! Y’all we have four teens in one home!

Oh what an adventure these last five years have been. Looking back and reflecting on all we have done been through and experienced it is so amazing to see how we have grown.

In our love, in our family and most importantly in our spiritual walk with the Lord. We have a long way to go but we have come a long way too.

I am so thankful God has blessed us with this family, even on the hard days.

The next five years of adventure begins. God has big plans and will be with us as we take on the next chapter of our lives. Most of all I am excited to see us continue to glorify God and grow in our relationship with Christ.

‘Be devoted to one another in love, honor one another above yourselves’ Romans 12:10

Wholehearted Desire ❤️

Like splashing cold water on my face or waking up to an obscenely loud alarm clock, or maybe even being submerged into a dunk tank.  That is how I feel right now.  Eyes and heart wide open, an overwhelming sense of spiritual humility.  Wake up! Alarms are sounding it is time to wake up and RISE!  

 

The condition of the mind or living with  the feeling of being ‘satisfied’ or ‘gratified’ leads to a condition of ‘forgetting God’.  So easily we can fall into the routine of our day to day  and allow the busyness of life take over.  

Going through the motions, going to church, reading your bible even praying, but then you are not actively pursuing God with your whole heart, then that is all it is; going through the motions.

  

 

While I can report that I have successfully read the entire bible it was cover to cover; unfortunately I admit this was more for the satisfaction of being able to say I read it rather than truly learning God’s word.  I certainly feel like I was not focused in my reading process at that moment in time; it was more of going through the motions and not so much learning and loving God’s word.

For the last year I have been following a chronological reading plan to read through the Bible in a year, I’m not sure I have even made it halfway yet.  While I have not been disciplined enough to keep up with this daily but I am taking my time and not rushing through it.   I will read the outlined verses and go to the study bible for additional information.  I am taking time to review information for each chapter that I come to in an effort to deepen my understanding.  I will then later listen to them on my audio bible to follow up and reinforce what have already I read.

This week my scripture reading has led me through part of 1Chronicles and Psalm 119. This week I find myself paused and rereading parts of Psalm 119 and then reading it again.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—”. Psalm‬ ‭119:1-2‬ ‭

Those who walk according to His law and seek Him with all their heart are not blessed because they will have an easy and luxurious life with worldly desires fulfilled.  In fact quite the opposite, they will likely have many trials and attacks from the enemy as the seek the Lord and follow His ways.  Those who follow His laws and seek Him with their whole heart will be blessed in their relationship with Him, with joy in His love and salvation despite their circumstances and trials.

 

Some of the important reminders that I am taking away from this weeks scripture reading and study is this….

I must know God, everyday and night, grow in my relationship with Him, no ‘just going through the motions.’

Obedience- must be obedient to God’s law because I love Him and want to please Him, not because it ‘I have to’ or it is what is expected.  —–>Psalm 119:7-9 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.

Memory- I need to continue to actively commit His word and truth to memory so that I can always recall His works.  I am doing this but I could be putting more energy and effort and approaching this ‘wholeheartedly’.  Meditate and study His word, EVERY DAY with true desire. —–>Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Distinguish ALL BLESSINGS as flowing from God’s grace.  There are so many of His gifts and blessings we take for granted everyday.  Continue ‘counting my wins’ each day and be more intentional in giving that glory for God, thankful to Him for all things. —–>Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Trust God, walk in His ways not my own, surrender, less of me more of Him. —–>Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

Each day choose GOD, choose to love Him, to learn and follow His laws, find my delight in Him and not the circumstances of my moments. —–>Psalm 119:44 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.

Be confident in waiting for God, his timing, He is in control, do not fear for the evil of man for God is faithful, His mercy endures always, keep my faith in Him, he will not forsake me. —->Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

I have power over sin with the strength of the Lord, wholeheartedly place my petitions and needs to Him and He will direct my steps.  —–>Psalm 199:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

His Word and law is essential not optional to truly surrender to Him, the Word of God is WONDERFUL.

—–>Psalm 119:137 Your laws are righteous Lord, and your laws are right.

 

Victory in Christ, I have victory in Christ on the good days and the bad days, I will actively seek and serve Him with my ‘whole heart’.  What an awesome reminder the scripture has brought me this week. 

“Where one man reads the Bible a hundred read you and me.”       Dwight L. Moody

 

 

Fearfully and wonderfully made

This past year has been a year full of blessings, changes, challenges, growing and blending for our family. God is good all the time and all the time GOD IS GOOD! Anticipation and excitement is growing as rapidly in our house, almost as rapidly as our sweet baby Nathaniel is growing- in just over a month we are expecting our son to be born. My husband and I were married last June, we joined our lives together forever with our vow and promise to love and cherish each other as God loves us. In our marriage we joined our families, my three children and his two children became OUR children and we united together as one with God the center of our home.

The upcoming birth of our son is so exciting and such a wonderful blessing from God. It is so very exciting to be bringing the unity of our family to a new level as all of our children will now share in one sibling. Nathaniel will hold a very special place in our home as he will be little brother to all 5 older siblings, he will be a connection to join them together in a different way. The kids are all so excited, just this morning debating on the car ride to school who would be first to hold him in the hospital. A lot going on over the next month as we make all of our final preparations to be ready to bring Nathaniel home. During this time the kids are finishing up at school, finishing spring sports getting ready for summer vacation and the excitement will continue building as we make our home ready to welcome and celebrate this new child of God.

Psalm 139:13-14
‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’

BABY @ 31 WEEKS_6

BABY @ 31 WEEKS_49

BABY @ 31 WEEKS_43

Don’t worry….. Pray to God

Our Wednesday evenings at church I spend in the 3-5 year old room during Teamkid. This week had a great message for the kids and so simple and has really stuck with me….

“DON’T WORRY….PRAY TO GOD.” The children’s simplified translation of Philippians 4:6. What a great message for all of us.

When you are afraid- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are mad- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are upset- Don’t worry, pray to God!
WHen you are happy- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are lonely- Don’t worry, pray to God!

If we could just follow this simple command how much simpler could things be for us? To let go and trust God, He is in control, everything is according to His plan and His purpose. I know and have experienced that He knows what is best, I have learned time and time again His way is SO MUCH better than my way, so why do I spend so much time worrying about things I have no control over??? When I simply just need to follow the advice we gave our little ones this week…Don’t Worry, Pray to God.

This topic was approached from another direction in my ladies group on Tuesday evening, the chapters we study focused on fear and anxiety and goes down the road of identifying worry as a sin, which is a hard fact to ponder and realize. It is so easy to worry and let this worry, turn to fear and lead to us sinning. When we worry we are questioning God, we are not trusting Him when we do this. If we had complete trust and solid faith that He will always provide and be there for us then we wouldn’t need to even consider worrying. But we cannot do this, we are sinners and human and we need God in every area of our lives, hearts and souls. It is not possible to not worry, we are not built this way but we do need to work on obeying God’s commands to us, if we are working everyday to keep in constant communication with God, constant prayer, through every situation, always stay focused on Him and let Him be the center of everything then it will come more naturally to follow the advice and let go of worry and pray to God first and always.

Message for this week is heard loud and clear—-“DON’T WORRY—PRAY TO GOD!!!”

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25-27
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

“Lord thank You for this great reminder this week, I pray for strength, guidance and wisdom to take and apply this to my life. Your words are so clear to me this morning please help me keep this sweet and simple reminder in all areas of my life. Help me to be humble before You. Daily I am faced with challenges, please help to always come to You first, I pray to live out these words and to not worry and always come to You in prayer and supplication. Let the great truth in Your words and Promises continue speaking to me and guiding me. Thank You for all You have blessed me with in this life, thank You for having Your plan be so much better than my own. In Jesus Name- Amen”

 

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ALL are precious in HIS sight…Jesus loves the little children of the world…

By far this was one of my favorite songs growing up, ‘Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world’….. And now as a mother when I reflect on the true meaning and what the words in the song actually say it has a much deeper meaning to me. He does love ALL the little children of the world including my children. He loves them COMPLETELY and He loves them PERFECTLY, He loves them more than I am capable of loving them which is very hard to realize this. The love I feel for my children is UN-measurable and grows each day so how could anyone possibly love and care for them more than I do…. GOD does, His love for my children surpasses my own, how humbling and breathtaking is that!

Possibly the hardest and most challenging responsibilities I face as a mother is learning to let go and trust God to take care of them when I cannot. I struggle with this every day, several times a day, all the time constantly having to remind myself that they are in His protection. I cannot be with them 24-7 and put them in a ‘bubble’ to protect them from all the evil in this fallen world and that is so hard to accept this cruel reality. When my mind starts going down the ‘what if’ path and doubt creeps in I turn to find my comfort in the Lord, in knowing I can cover them and surround them in prayer, I can lift them up to God the One Who loves, cares and cherishes them more than I can even comprehend and trust that He will protect them for me. So I guess in a way I can keep them in a bubble, a bubble of prayer, surrounding them in prayer and scripture and keeping them lifted to God, He is their bubble.

In my prayer life my best prayer time is when I am prayer journaling. I find this best directs my thoughts and feelings as I share with God. I am not very outspoken verbally but express myself more effectively through written words. When I sit down and pray this way and am writing everything out, I have learned it is a little overwhelming to pray specifically for each of our 5 children every time I sit down to prayer journal, so I rotate and each day I spend time journaling I pray for all of them together and then I focus on one child specifically, this seems to work well for me. As I have been doing this I have carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully selected two bible verses for each child to pray over them with. They each also have a list of 10 prophetic words that me and my husband have chosen to pray over into their lives. I have made them each have a poster in their room with their photos and their 10 words so they can see it each day and start believing these things about themselves.

So today I take comfort in the words of this popular children’s song…”Jesus loves the little children, all the little children of the world”. It is quiet and sweet reminder that Jesus loves and cares for my children more than I do. He is with them when I cannot be and will always protect and watch them in His will and not my own. He is MIGHTY and SOVEIERGN and my faith and trust are in the Lord. This is especially important for me this week as my children are away for the entire week and I need this constant reminder more than ever during this difficult time. It is painful during this time to be separated from my precious children; they are each a piece of my heart and something is missing when they are not at home.

To my dear sweet children- today these are my prayers for you….

 

 

———-Joshua James– bold, courageous and sweet Joshua…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Beloved warrior of Christ, Faithful, Intelligent, Generous, Compassionate, Determined, Adventurous, Servant’s Heart, Courageous, Strong

Jeremiah 20:11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior so my persecutors will stumble and will not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced and their dishonor never forgotten.
Romans 1:16-17 for I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written “The just shall live by faith”.

I pray you grow more and more each day into a beloved warrior of Christ that God has made you to be, that you are true to your namesake of Joshua in the bible, that you remain adventurous and determined in all that you do, you amaze me with your intelligence and generosity for others, I pray you continue to be compassionate and have the heart of a servant with all you do in this life. I pray you continue to grow each day into a strong and courageous young man who is following and living for Christ. I pray you remain faithful to Christ in all the struggles and triumphs you shall face. I pray that you live out your favorite verse and live boldly sharing the Gospel without shame or fear. If you keep your heart and life focused on God He will protect you in all you do. I pray that you know even when enemies come, because they will come, that you find strength and confidence in the Lord and with Him you will always be victorious.

 

 

———-Tyler Lewis– kind, wonderful, brave Tyler…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Compassionate, Brave, Determined, Honest, Loyal, Son of God, Loving, Faithful, Patient, Humbled

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yes I will help you I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

You are a cherished son of God, I pray your walk remains loyal and honest, that you grow into a patient and humbled follower of Christ, faithful to Him in all you do. I pray for you to be loving to all those around you, that You know Christ loves you and can share His love with those around you with compassion and bravery. I pray that you use your determination for the Glory of God in all areas of your life, that you live your life with complete trust in the Lord; He will always give You strength when you are faithful to Him. I pray you turn to Him in times of hardship and celebration, I pray You seek Him always and let Him guide your path in this life. I pray you have the will to go to God with your problems and feel safe and loved and comforted by His presence.

 

 

 

———Emily Ann– sweet, beautiful, loving Emily…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Loyal, Ambitious, Kindhearted, Pure, Smart, Fearless, Complete, Honest, Talented, God’s Cherished Daughter 

Romans 12:2 do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what good and acceptable and perfect will of God is.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 You are such an ambitious young lady in all you do, I pray you use this to glorify God that you ambitiously seek Him in all you do. I pray you remain loyal and kindhearted as you grow up and that you can use this to share God’s love with those around you. I pray for you to remain complete and pure and that you always know without a doubt that above everything else in this fallen world you are God’s cherished daughter. You are incredibly smart and talented, I pray this continues and can be used for the good of God as you find the path He has made for you. Your heart is fearless and honest; don’t be afraid God is always with you. If you turn to Him and remain faithful to Him in all you do He will not let you down. Trust in Him always. I pray for you to see the beauty of this work and the goodness of people without being conformed to the world. I pray sweet daughter you have the confidence to raise your head yet know when to go before God with humility. I pray the Lord gives you wisdom and shows you how to make good choices in life. I pray you will hear the still small voice inside, God’s voice leading you and guiding you and you will always find your strength in the Lord.

 

 

 

———-Noah Towsey– loving, bold, amazing Noah…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Worthy, Strong, Complete, Loving, Peaceful, Kindhearted, Smart, Child of God, Servant, Gentile
Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.

 Your heart is so loving and kind; I pray that this continues to grow each day. That your heart and life is filled with love, that You know Christ’s love for you and you use your talents and strength to share Him with those around you. Let all you do glorify God and shine His love onto others. I pray that you come to understand you are complete and worthy the way that God made you. I pray for you to continue to grow and learn in all that you do, you are smart and unique and loved the way you are. You are a remarkable Child of God. I pray for you to be a servant of Christ and your gentile heart and ways will open hearts around you to see the love and light of the Lord. I pray that your walk with the Lord brings you peace in all that you do. I pray for you to overcome some of the challenges this life has forced you to face and that the challenges that you do not overcome you are able to embrace and use them to grow stronger into the young man and follower of Christ that God has created you to be.

 

 

 

———-Richard Turner– charming, determined, sweet Richard…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Affectionate, Living, String, Worthy, Humble, Devoted, Brave, Wise, Deserving, Mighty Warrior of God
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
Romans 8:28 And we know all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose.

 My precious son, I pray that you grow each day as a might warrior of God. I pray you will always know that you are worthy and deserving. You are so affectionate and loving in all that you do, embrace this and use this in your life to share the light and love of Christ with all the people in your life. You are so wise and brave, it amazes me how quickly you learn things. I pray that you grow in your wisdom with the Lord as Your Sheppard, trust in Him always and let Him lead you in this life. I pray you are devoted and humble in your walk with God. Something about your eyes can light up a room, use this to share the truth and the gospel with those who see your eyes, sweet boy you are the light, let God’s love shine through you in everything you do. Find comfort and strength in the Lord, turn to Him when you are hurt, lost, happy, broken hearted, always turn to God first and let Him comfort you and strengthen you, if you remain faithful to Him He will not let you down, He will always be with you , leading you and loving you.

 

 

 

 

Lord above all else today, I thank you for the privledge and honor of being a mother and stepmother.  Thank you for this incredible blessing.  Please continue to give me strength, courage and wisdom as a parent to lead and guide our children, to raise them most imporantly to know and love You.—–AMEN