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.’

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The Chick-fil-A encounter that left me astounded

Last Wednesday evening my husband and I found ourselves in more of a rush than any other typical Wednesday evening. Now considering our family consists of 2 working parents,5 kids,2 dogs, 2 cats and several small animals most evenings are quite colorful and eventful however this past Wednesday really took the prize. My husband had taken our 8 year old to a late afternoon appointment at his pediatrician that ran longer than expected. I got out the office a little later than anticipated and rushed off to get the oldest 3 from the Boys and Girls Club and then a quick stop at the preschool for our youngest to get home and have about 5 minutes to let the dogs out feed them, get all of the needed supplies for church and soccer that evening and back in the bus. Our oldest needed to be at soccer across town at 6pm and the rest of our family to be at church by 6:15pm for youth activities. We rarely eat out during the week any more however with all the time restrictions it was the only option so I took 4 of the 5 kids to Chick-fil-A for a quick on the go dinner.

I walk in our local Chick-fil-A with 4 super-hungry kids and with the challenge it had been just to get them all there, add in a little bickering,talking back and whining coming from them and I am struggling in a big way. As I have to let at least 3 people order ahead of us to have enough time to get our order ready to place; I stop and think to myself “LORD, what am I doing?!?!? I am NOT EQUIPPED to be handling this!” As I continue to feel completely incapable, I continue down the negative self talk road and being super critical of myself and abilities as a mother….

We get our food sit down and finally eat. Two of the four kids go back to line with their toys in hand to trade in for their treasured ice cream dessert and I glance up from my meal and see them talking to an older man and then look over and point at me. Oh no!!! Complete dread feels me as I see him headed straight towards me, I think to myself they have done something wrong and he is coming over to tell me how bad and out of control my kids are…. I resisted the urge to turn and run and smiled at him as he approached me. NOTHING could prepare me for what was about to happen… He said he just had to come tell me what well mannered and polite children I had and that I must be doing a great job. He said my kids not only allowed him to go ahead of them in line, they used ‘yes sir and no sir’ when speaking to him and had polite conversation with him while they were in line. He was there complimenting my children and myself. I was speechless…

And that was not it….there was more! About 3 minutes later the woman who had been sitting behind us stood up to leave came over to me and she said “God must really want you to know you are doing a good job tonight because I was sitting here and watching how well mannered your kids are thinking to myself I should say something to you about it and then I saw the man come over here and knew I had to say something too.” And right there in our very own local Chick-fil-A in my moments of weakness and self doubt having the audacity to be telling God that I am not equipped He reaches out and provides me with such a humbling and encouraging response.

This sweet and gentle and undeniable message from God was so humbling and eye opening and took me to my knees. I am truly thankful for such a loving and forgiving God, that in my moment of doubt and questioning of God’s plan for me and He reaches out to remind me of His mercy, grace and love.

THANK YOU LORD!!!!!

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works of the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

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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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The old is GONE and the new is HERE!

 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone the new is here!

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Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015! I cannot believe another year has gone and come. 2014 was such an awesome year for me and my family so it is sad to see it come to an end, but we have so many things to look forward to in 2015. I love the promise of all the bright new beginnings that come with the start of a fresh year.

Happy New Year to ALL of our family and friends, we wish you all a very happy and very BLESSED 2015!

Here is my prayer to start this new year off…

“Lord Thank You for such an amazing year, so many trials and blessings for me and my family, and everything from You, thank You for all you have provided for us this past year. Your hand, presence and love in our lives is so much more than we could ever ask for, we truly appreciate Your many blessings.

God thank You for the start of a new year. We are forgiven and loved by You Lord, please give us the grace and courage to love and forgive one another as You do to us. As we begin this new year remind us of what is most important, help us to live in the goodness that comes from doing what You want us to do, help us cast aside worry and anxiety over the past and future so that we can live in peace with You one day at a time.

I ask for Your continued blessings, guidance and presence in our lives. I pray that we can be more like You God, to walk closer to You each day in our daily walk, drawing nearer to You in all that we do. I pray that in all we do we keep You in the center, let all of our thoughts, actions and words reflect You and Your will.

Lord with each trial, challenge and blessing this new year brings me and my family, please let us stand strong in You, let us turn to You before anything else, I pray we can have complete trust in You and give You complete surrender over our lives. I pray to not get discouraged over set backs or our own failures and weakness, let us use each moment of weakness bring us closer to You. If we begin to walk out of Your will Father, please help us to see this and guide us back to You.

God I pray that we treat each other with kindness and compassion, as You have forgiven us in Christ I pray that we can be forgiving to each other. It is not about what is deserved, let us always remember that it is not our place to judge and criticize each other but to love each other unconditionally as You love us.

Most of all I pray that family and I can bring You honor and glory in all that we do. Please help Matt and I as we raise our children to be followers of Christ, that they can all be lighthouses shining Your light and love to those around them, that they can learn how to be bold in their faith and share You with their friends openly. I pray for the salvation of our children, for protection over their physical safety, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.  Lord lead us in all we do.

Thank You for the start of another wonderful year.

In Jesus name I pray Amen”

From suffering to glory…God’s love and presence are everlasting…

My husband and I each faced many trials, challenges and storms in our lives before God brought us together. It was during these difficult times we were able to truly learn how to surrender our lives and ourselves completely to God. The trials we had faced in our lives before we knew each other had become so hard and unbelievably impossible that you are left no choice but to throw your hands up and hits your knees before God. While during the moment it was so hard at times I didn’t think I would survive.

Now when I am able reflect I can thank God for each difficult time in my life because I can see where He was leading and how much He was actually in control when I felt so powerless. It takes my breath away! God is so GOOD!!! Each trial brought me closer to Him and I can now see my challenges and times of hardships as blessings. Once I truly let go and let God take over and tried to live my life for Him He did amazing things.

I am most thankful for God leading me to my wonderful husband. God brought us together, we were married this past June….. God has blended us into one BIG and wonderful and growing family. Everyday is not perfect or easy going but that makes the great days even better. I am so grateful and thankful for all the wonderful blessings in our lives, if I had not seen such hardships in my past I would not be as humbled and thankful as I am now.

You cannot know good until you have seen the bad. God is so great and MIGHTY and I am thankful that He knows what is best for me and that my life goes according to His plan and not my own….. His plan for my life is so much bigger and better than I could have ever dreamed.

“Lord thank You for knowing what is best for me in my life. Thank You for each difficult time I have had to face and will have to face, Your plan and will in my life is better than what my plan is. Thank You for your everlasting love and presence in my life. I truly don’t deserve Your love grace and mercy yet You love me and have given Your only son for my sins and have given me hope and salvation. I know I continue to fail You everyday, please forgive me for all the ways I sin against You, please continue to provide me with strength, wisdom and guidance. Thank You God for my wonderful husband and our amazing children, thank You for filling our lives with Your amazing blessings. Most of all God I pray that we can keep You at the center of our home and live to bring You honor and glory in all we do, I pray we raise our children to be godly people who live their lives for You. Thank You for the great reminders today of what a blessing it is to face challenges in our lives.
In Jesus name I pray—-Amen”

Psalm 18:30
As for God His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

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