Giving in—>NOT giving up!

I am giving in on a certain area of my life. I have come to a point and I realize I just need to let go of certain expectations, unrealistic expectations I continually place on myself. I feel like I have been in a constant battle with myself that I keep losing and this only leads to feeling frustrated and disappointed. Day after day I have this unrealistic idea that I am going to magically put this 30-60 minutes in my day where I might get this incredible quiet time and I can sit down and spend time in God’s word and have personal prayer time. Every time I plan for this to happen and it doesn’t happen I become discouraged and frustrated. It feels like this magic window of time doesn’t happen…. EVER and if it does I am so completely and utterly exhausted that my mind shuts down after just a few moments and while my heart desires the quiet time my brain fails and I end up falling asleep.

This is what I have come to terms with…. This is my season of BUSY

So while I am going through this season of busy I just need to accept that I won’t have extended periods of quiet time to feel close to God. BUT THIS IS OK! I have discovered that I don’t need extended periods of quiet time to feel close to Him! I have learned that can still feel close to God and still have time with Him even on the busiest of busy days! I just need to be creative in centering my day on Him and make sure I am keeping Him as the focus and not the opposite and not just ‘fitting Him’ into my day.

  
This is my season of busy, our children our young and my husband and I work full time, we are blessed with 6 children, we have my mother living with us and I am still keeping up with breastfeeding the youngest exclusively and we are active at church and play sports and we exercise regularly and frequently bottom line is —>we are a BUSY family. One day later in my life when I am in a season when things are not so busy and when our sweet little ones are no longer at home I know I will look back and miss these moments so I need to stop with my unrealistic expectations of sitting down for structured quiet time and regroup with a more realistic game plan.

After some careful reflection and consideration on my last few months I feel like overall I have done a pretty good job of balancing the busy and maintaining my spiritual time as a whole. Some days are better than others and they are moments spread through each day but I do feel like I have improved and can sit back and reflectively observe where I can do better.

There is ALWAYS going to be room to improve and grow. Now I am far from having this figured out but I feel like I am moving in the right direction and I am walking closer the Lord each day.

So far these are the areas where I have improved and feel I have made progress-

-devotions with the children, especially in the mornings, I have tried several things the last few years, making them read scripture out loud, having them read our family devotional and however I approached it seemed to at one point cause argument, conflict and grumbling and after a hectic morning to get everyone in the car this was very discouraging to me so what I have been doing is not making any of them read anything, when we stop in the morning before anyone gets out I take up our family devotional and I read it to them, no arguing or complaining, if they listen and get something from it GREAT! If not then that is their choice, and most days I am walking away with something from the devotion we read. They have even started asking questions on occasion and actually seem to be enjoying this, since I stepped back and made it less forced and gave them the choice to listen and participate it is going much better. Now there are days that we are running late or time just does not allow and we don’t read but more mornings than not we are doing this—>making progress!

 

-Weekly scripture- I have been selecting a verse each week for my own personal study and memorization, I write it in my journal, put it in scripture typer and put it on note cards and post it notes to help. I have not been completely faithful each week with memorizing but have been studying them, but I have memorized more scripture this year than I have in the past, I really feel like the methods I have been using have been helping me bury God’s word in my heart —>making progress!

-when I do find that have a few moments instead of instantly opening my Facebook app to see what is going on in social media I have been opening my bible app, scripture typer, devotionals and christian books.  I have actually finished reading a couple of books this year which I find a HUGE accomplishment for me.  Being more intentional and purposeful with these golden spare moments through my day has definately helped me keep my heart, mind and focus on the Lord—> making progress!

– one of the things I have started including in my daily journal is a praise and specific thank You lifted up to the Lord for something in my day.  So that even on the days when I don’t have time to write as many of my prayers and thoughts as I would like I have been dedicated in journaling thanksgiving.  It is already so awesome to go back and remember exactly the way my heart felt in these moments.  It has helped my heart to be more thankful each day—> making progress!

 

2016—>So as days turn to weeks and weeks to months I am making progress and maximizing my spiritual growth even in the busiest of busy days when I feel like my head is spinning and I want to submit to being completely overwhlemed.  I am working on keeping my mind, heart and focus on the Lord.  Some days I stumble and start to lose focus but we have such an Awesome and Forgiving God who shows such AMAZING GRACE!

So I am not rolling over and submitting to the busy, I’m not giving up, far from it, in giving in and moving forward with this wonderfully blessed season of busy.  Determined to continue to grow in my relationship with Christ and to be the best witness I can for our children and those around us.  

Thank You Father for this season of BUSY, for blessing us abundantly!

  

 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭

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Weeds are evil.

  
Earlier this week I spent hours in our small vegetable garden on the side or our house pulling out weeks and weeks worth of weeds.  This is by far one of my least favorite and dreaded household chores, and explains why it had gone weeks without being properly unkept. Such a tedious task of having to hand pull each evil little weed out of the dirt away from the fragile vegetable plants we are hoping to produce food for us.  However the more weeds that grow and surround and consume the vegetables the more likely the plants are to not produce vegetables or even just give up and die.  It amazes me just how quick the weeds are to grow and flourish and begin to overtake gardens.  You would think that after having let this happen over and over, every time I attempt a vegetable garden and every year with my flower gardens I let the weeds accumulate for weeks before tackling the task of weeding.  Which is quite ridiculous and silly since if I remained proactive and pulled the weeds out as they grew in one or two at a time and kept up wth it then it would not come to the point of having to spend hours bent over in the dirt pulling out the weeds. Somehow I still don’t learn my lesson and year after year let the weeds accumulate to a much larger task and moan and complain the entire time I have to pull out the weeds and vowing to not allow them to get so bad again….. and then the cycle just starts over and I let them accumulate again……

So the other day when I was bent over in the dirt in the summer heat with spiders worms and other bugs as my audience certain verses from the bible started popping in my mind….. When Jesus talks about reaping and sowing.  I started think about our children and how we plant seeds with them all the time.  We can plant all kinds of seeds with our beloved children, seeds of faith, honesty, love, goodness and the list goes on and on, we can plants seeds in them all day long but if we don’t keep the soil healthy they don’t stand a chance to grow and produce fruit.  In my mind I can see the weeds as all the evil in this world they are exposed to day in and day out.  It’s our responsibility not only to plant seeds and water them but to keep our children from becoming overgrown with weeds.  

So I have been turning this concept over and over in my head trying to better understanding and plan for how we can actively improve on this in our home with our children and here is what I have come up with….

1) The seeds we plant with our children first and foremost needs to be faith in God and obeying God and then move on from there to loving others and being kind, ect.  However we need to be very aware that the seeds we plant can also be bad, we can be planting seeds of anger, doubt and other negative things if we are not careful.  We need to be planting the good seeds within our children.  

2) We need to keep the soil healthy and water the seeds we have planted. I feel this is so important and can be so easy to neglect this part.  We need to keep their soil healthy by being an example to our children of how they should speak act and behave.  We can not expect our children to learn to live a certain way of we as adults are not even capable of setting the example for them. Another essential way to keep their soil healthy is by the power of prayer, we need to be praying for them constantly.  Prayer is our ‘Miracle Grow’ we need to be covering them with the Holy Spirit all the time.

3) Pulling the weeds- we need to be aware of what our children are being exposed to within our home and outside of our home.  What they hear on the radio, from friends at school and church, all of this can influence them whether it’s negative or positive. We need to accept that it will be impossible to keep them away from all negative influences however we can work to limit the amount of negative influences in their lives and work to educate them on the difference in good and evil as we surround them with positive influences.
   
 
““This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:11, 15‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him.”‭‭Genesis‬ ‭26:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”  ‭Galatians‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”  John‬ ‭12:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  ‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬