Ready or NOT

Ready or not as this upcoming school year is on the brink of beginning and there are many big things happening this year and I am SO NOT READY!!!  But ready or not it is happening. 

In a way I feel like I have blinked my eyes and the last 13 years have flown by. 

 Our oldest is 13 years old and starting this school year as an 8th grader.  I can close my eyes and see him as a sweet fresh born baby, it was with him I entered this incredible journey of motherhood and my life was forever better.    Such bittersweet desires as part of me longs to keep them babies, small, cuddly and needy while the other part is so happy and excited to see these wonderful and unique people they are each growing into.  My heart aches and smiles at the same time.  

This evening sitting on the floor with our youngest who is 14 months and requires very close attention as he cruises and crawls into all kinds of potentially dangerous situations, I caught and stopped myself from being a little frustrated that I couldn’t be working on my to do this exactly at this moment.  My mind is going a million miles a minute of all the last minute things I need to do to be ready for everyone’s 1st day of school and another very busy week but then I realized I’m going to blink my eyes and this one is going to be heading off to 8th before I am ready.


Only one more year until our oldest is going into high school, less than 3 years until he drives and five more to college!  This year we also have one taking another big step and going into kindergarten.  Feels like yesterday he was crab crawling along the floor and tomorrow he is putting on his first real book bag and walking into his kindergarten class to start the next part of his journey.

I am SO NOT READY!!

There is some good news though, I don’t have to be ready.  Because God’s ready, He is in control and all this is under His power and will.  He will prepare me, lead me and guide me.  When I need strength He will strengthen me, when I need wisdom He will give me knowledge.  I do not have enough strength on my own, I am certainly not wise or courageous enough on my own, I need God to equip me and lead me as a mother, woman and wife.  

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭16:11‬ ‭

I must trust God as I let go of each child off to start their new school year.  He is big and mighty and He will protect them and surround them.  I must cover them in prayer-daily.  I must lead by example and show them what it looks like to live a christian, imperfect making mistakes trusting in our Savior and fully relying God life.  God is big, sovereign, mighty and wonderful.  As hard as it is to believe He loves our children more than we do and He is in control and He is ready when I am not!

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭

Heavenly Father,

Thank You so so so much for the privilege, blessing and honor of being a mother.  This is the single most challenging and most rewarding job I will ever have and I am so grateful that You created me to be a mother.  Some moments and some days are harder(borderline impossible) but worth every bit of it.  God please surround each one of our children this school year.  I pray that their influences are good and godly but if they do encounter a difficult or ungodly friend or situation that they are equipped and strong enough to do what is right and honor You.  I pray that they are successful academically.  Please give them courage, strength and motivation to study and persevere into the young people You desire and created them to be.  I pray that they can be a light in this dark world and that in their own way they can shine Your light and love to those around them.  

Father please continue to equip in my motherhood journey.  I pray I continue to treasure each moment and stage as they grow into these incredibly and wonderfully made young people.  Give me discernment, courage, strength, humility and wisdom to show our children Your love and that they grow to serve You and love You.  Father thank You for each child as they are each a gift and blessing from You.

In Jesus name Amen.

Surviving our season of storms…

This year has taken a toll on our family.  We seem to have been hit in all directions, sometimes more than one storm at a time, we cannot even get on our feet before the next one has arrived.  I have not been up to writing much on here partly out of pure exhaustion but also partly because I have not handled our season of storms very well. 


I am so very guilty of letting my emotions and feelings drive and dictate my thoughts and words and actions. I MUST move forward and work towards fixing my attitude.

I am ashamed and disappointed in myself. I have been a poor example of my faith and not such a great witness to those around me. This is not who God made me to be, I feel like I have let everyone down around me, those I love and cherish the most.

“Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.”


‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:24

 I will no longer allow this to happen. 

—-> I will choose to be purposeful.

—->I will look to the Lord and  with this I will be choosing joy in all circumstances. 

 I need to LET GO (deep breath) give up control and work towards FULLY leaning on the Lord during these rough times rather than trying to do it on my own.  I know in my mind how I should have been handling these storms but I have failed to be obedient to God in the heat of each moment and throughout these rough several months in how I handled each circumstance.  ‬ ‭


 But sadly our season is not over, we are still riding out some of our storms so moving on I have an opportunity to make changes and learn from my mistakes, lean on God for strength and CHOOSE to change my attitude, CHOOSE joy and let God take over.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”‭‭.  Romans‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭

““He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:24-25‬ 


Priscilla Shirer writes in her book ‘Fervent’ “Separation.  That’s what sin creates…….Prayers that have power come from a person in pursuit of righteous living.  Yes, righteousness matters.”

I can feel the brutal truth of this statement ringing in my life and heart, feeling separated from God as a result of my own sin and disobedience.  It becomes such a viscous cycle, you neglect your spiritual growth and move a little bit farther from the Lord, become less sensitive and sin takes over, letting the ups and downs of your daily and worldly circumstances guide your actions, words and attitudes instead of allowing God to take control.  

“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭59:1-2‬ 


Now don’t get me wrong I have not been spiritually dead I have just gotten to the point that I feel separated from God by my poor attitude and choices in how I have faced this season of storms.  I have not given up praying, reading scripture or participating at church.  I have been going through all the motions half heartedly and not giving everything completely to God and the result is obvious to me, painfully obvious.


The good news is I know what I have done wrong, how to fix it moving forward and our Father forgives.  I will learn from these mistakes and work to not allow this to happen any longer.  God is good ALL the time and ALL the time God is good.  Even though it is hard to see right now I will be stronger from this.  I will tune up my spiritual life, keep in close contact with our Father, stay powered up in prayer.

Father,

Please forgive for not choosing Your way above my own, for not choosing to face moments and trials with the joy of Your love and promises in my heart, this has reflected in my attitude, mood, choices and all areas of my life.  Lord forgive me for doubting you and not trusting You during these trying times.  I have not been who You have called me to be, my heart knows this but my sinful ways have been taking over, I have let the enemy have his way in my life.  But Lord I will stand for this no more, I will be victorious in You, I will be strong on my knees and give it all to You, You are in control of all this, nothing happens outside of Your will and while I don’t understand why we are being challenged like this right now.   I will find peace JOY and comfort in knowing You are in control.  I pray for strength, courage, wisdom and discernment.  Father if I start to slip and move away from You again I pray to be pushed back, God I pray for my Christian family to surround me and hold me accountable when my attitude is not a reflection of You and Your love.  Thank You for our beloved church family.  Thank You for blessing me abundantly even when I have been sinful and weak, You are always providing for me.  Father thank You so much for sending Your son and His ultimate sacrifice for our sins, thank You for loving me unconditionally, thank You for Your mercy and grace.  Father I pray for the power and courage to be the wife mother and woman You created me to be.  

In Jesus name Amen

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 ‭

—>It’s complicated <—

Being a parent is basically hard, challenging and just out right impossible at times.  Being tasked with the responsibility of being a mom is quite possibly the most difficult task I will be given in this life.  Children unfortunately don’t come with step by step instruction manuals.  There’s parenting advice galore out there especially these days with all of our social media, good advice and bad advice everywhere you turn and filtering this advice that comes at you from all directions.

 

As I sit back and look at how much goes into being a parent and just how much responsibility lays in our role it is quite overwhelming.  Then top off all the basic parenting tasks and add on the extra element of being part of a blended family or single parent role to the mix and you have taken complicated to a whole new level!  Co-parenting is difficult and intense with a cooperative parent that has the same belief and values.  Unfortunately more times than not the co-parent will not being any of those things and makes being a parent 10 times more complicated and challenging.


 

I feel like my husband and I are constantly scrambling and searching for this fine line to walk—-> raising them in this world and teaching them how to not be part of this world.   As much as I long to put my kids in a bubble and protect and shelter them from everything, it is just not possible to shelter them completely and protect them from all the evil and ungodly influences of this world.  And even if it were possible that would place them at a huge disadvantage to be sheltered in that way.  So you need to allow them to be in the world at the same time keeping them from becoming part of the world at the same time you are leading them to know Christ.

 

I was deep in thought pondering this daily dilemma earlier while running away taking out my frustrations on the treadmill at the gym.  This happened to be a family gym day and we had our crew of kids with is at the gym today.  Today is one of those days it was a struggle to get some of them to come to the gym. A little bit of whining about not wanting to go, questioned on why do they have to be dragged to the gym to exercise.  I find this battle quite frustrating and feel like it’s a losing battle most of the time. We have our good days when they come to the gym willingly and put forth good effort and leave the gym smiling after enjoying their workout asking when we are coming back.  But then we have the bad days when it’s struggle, and it is on those bad days that I am so tempted to give up and tell them fine just to stay home while my husband I get in a good uninterrupted work out without distraction.  But giving up is not the answer.

We certainly cannot force them to want to exercise and most definitely cannot force them to enjoy it.    This really leaves us with one option; what we can do is continue to bring them and set the example, lead them and teach them by showing them how it’s done.  We can simply show them that we enjoy exercising and being healthy and let them see the positive results from this. Then praying that the example you set takes hold and one day they can recognize the importance of exercise and maintaining the health of their body.

We can face our children’s salvation in the same manner.  The best we can do is be a good witness, to set the example for them, show them how to live a life for Christ, pray for them to be saved and LET GO, get out of the way and allow God to handle the rest.  Put down on paper it sounds so stinking simple…

Not so simple though, not for me anyway.  I struggle each and everyday and fail in many ways in my witness to our children.  I get so frustrated when I fail, I have really good intentions but am human and frequently fall short.  One of my biggest downfalls is not being joyful in all circumstances, letting my emotions and circumstances of the moment control my words, actions, facial expressions and moods.  I am working at this, slowly giving it over completely to the Lord and I am His work in progress, some days I do better, but each day a step in the right direction.


 

“Come follow me” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people”  At once they left their nets and followed him. —Matthew 4:19-20


  
I don’t want our kids to make the same mistakes I made.  I don’t want them to know God in their mind but not truly know Him in their heart, I don’t want them to be consumed by this fallen world and slipping into the darkness before living in the Lord’s light.  So with each day I will continue working on allowing God to strengthen and mold me into the mother and wife He created me to be and let my witness and example be what our children need to come to know Jesus. And I will fight for them on my knees in PRAYER…..


 

Heavenly Father above, please guide me and give me strength and courage at a mother and a stepmother.  I pray my witness will be true and bold.  I pray that our children will be able to look to me and see You, that I will let Your love shine in all areas of our life, I pray for a joyful heart even on the trying days when I want to be short tempered and rude, please soften my heart and strengthen my spirit to let go and let You take over.  Lord You know my heart and the areas that I truly need to surrender and allow You to take over, please God take all of me and let me be the woman, mother and wife You intended me to be, I pray to have the courage to chose Your way over everything else in this fallen world.  God thank You for the honor, privilege and responsibility of being a mother, our children are truly a blessing directly from You, let me never take this for granted and always treasure being a parent even during the difficult moments, let me praise You and bring You Glory.

In Jesus Name- AMEN


Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus   1Thessalonians 5:16-18 

Practically Perfect

It has recently been brought to my attention that from the outside looking in it just may appear that things always perfect in our home. Someone had asked my husband, “Are things always as perfect as they seem?” HA HA HA! Isn’t social media just grand! We all know that looks can be very deceiving. Well I am going to clear up this very minor misconception. We may have to change things up with some future Facebook posts in the heat of the moment with of our unhappy crying children, exhausted parents or something from our day to day equally NOT perfect lives 😉   See below for some practically perfect ‘non’facebook worthy photos.

  So please allow me take down this facade that our large blended family is ‘practically perfect’.  

  

 Current siutation—Our house consists of

-6 children—1 who has autism and the youngest being only 6 months and still nursing

-2 parents who work full time

-a grandmother

– 2 large dogs, 3 cats, a lizard, a rat

– VERY VERY active coffee machines

Our three older children are active in sports multiple nights a week. They are only allowed one sport per season per child. We are active in our church with youth group and teamkid on Wednesday evenings, Sunday school and community group on Sunday afternoons. Busy is an understatement to our schedule and routine, actually I think chaotic, hectic and impossible at times would be more fitting. And then you top that off with the fact that we have a ‘blended’ family, we have kids leaving every other weekend to spend time with their other parents adding a challenging dynamic to our family structure and home life.

 

Take off the social media filter and take an even closer look what is underneath is a far cry from being ‘perfect’.   Perfect is defined as without fault or mistake….our home and ‘blended’ family is a few football fields away from being perfect. We have cranky spoiled kids with sibling rivalry, step-sibling rivalry, preschool temper tantrums, autism melt downs, grownup disagreements, preteen attitude and hormone mood swings…..in our home on a ‘normal’ day we do have pouting, yelling, screaming and crying… Sometimes on a daily basis, some days are more challenging than others.  

WE ARE NOT PERFECT—->GUILTY and SINFUL

 

WE ARE NOT PERFECT—-> LOVED AND ACCEPTED

 

 

But there is more, ready for the GOOD news? While we do have a family of sinners and each one of us falls from grace every single day we have a PERFECT and AWESOME God. He loves us unconditionally and accepts us in our ‘practically perfect’ packages. He does not expect us to be perfect parents or spouses, He knows we are human and have sin in our hearts; we live in a truly fallen and sinful world.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

This is how HE designed it and we are meant to live in ultimate dependence on God. If we were in fact ‘perfect’ then we would not need God and His love mercy and grace. Because we are not perfect we desperately need of His love, encouragement, wisdom, strength and grace.

2Theassalonians 3:s The Lord is faithful and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

While we all have bad days or bad moments, we must not allow these bad moments to define us. God’s grace is there to cover us and teach us and change us. Some days my husband and I truly struggle but God is there with us on those days too. When we stop and beat ourselves up for failing as parents or failing each other we are surrounded by God’s forgiveness and love. The essential part here it to keep God front and center in all areas. Let Him guide you and lead you.

Psalm 103:8-10 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse nor will he harbor his anger forever. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

I am not a perfect mom, wife or daughter.

My husband is not a perfect husband, father or son.

Our children are not perfect sons, daughter or brothers and sister.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all lover each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.

We all make mistakes and fall guilty to our sin nature. However our mistakes and our guilt do not define us and make us who we are. We are loved and cherished children of God. We are works in progress and with each mistake and shortcoming we grow closer to God, we need Him just a little more each day. His grace is an unmerited gift for EVERYONE.

 

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

So while our sometimes rambunctious and unique blended family is indeed compiled of very IMPERFECT people we are devoted to Christ and this brings us together in united as one FAMILY. My husband and I will rely on the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and love as parents and with each other. We will strive each day to grow closer to Christ and to live as a witness to our children so that our children will grow and live their lives to glorify God in all they do.

Family verse~

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

  
 

no words for this expression!

 

 

this is my smile… i hate taking pictures!

 
   

can you guess what i am doing???

 
 

you want me to what???


 

tired daddy

  

cheesy smile because someone is making me smile

exhausted 4 year old probably post meltdown

Glimpse of His GLORY

The sunrise was breathtaking this morning as I drove into work.  I get the pleasure of driving on quiet country roads every morning and today in particular was a wonderful reminder of the beauty in God’s creation. 

God is AMAZING

 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭

Say it isn’t so….

God is doing things in my heart and life right now.  I’m trying to get out of my own way and let Him take over completely.  This is a daily, moment by moment struggle for me to give up control over things and let Him take them from me.

I have been deliberately reading different news articles and have even flipped over to the news radio channel on Sirius XM while driving to work the other day.  I am opening my eyes and ears and exploring what is going on in our nation and world.  I am so tempted to step back and block it all out.  I want to scream and cry at the same time.  There are so many horrific and unimaginable things going on.  My heart is broken and my spirit is sad.  HOW?  WHY?  I just don’t understand, I cannot wrap my brain around just how fallen and sinful and ugly this world and society have become.  There is so much I don’t even know where or how to begin praying for all of this.

Of all the terrible news, events and politics out there right now the one topic that digs deep into my heart is abortion.  The horrific act of cutting a child out of a mothers womb and killing it is sickening and barbaric.  I read about one woman in particular who is in her 50’s, past child bearing years and she has had one pregnancy in her life and she aborted that child.  I feel so much anger and sadness when I read this that I almost cannot even think clearly.  I feel blinded by the emotions this evokes in me.  She had this wonderful gift of life from God and she chose to kill it!?!?!  I think of the small, innocent baby who had his life taken away by the one person meant to protect him and love him unconditionally.  My own sinful instinct is to be angry towards this woman, to hate her and judge her for this awful thing she has done.  But I am wrong and am struggling with how to handle these powerful emotions I experience.

God tells us to forgive and to love one another.

I am so blinded by my own emotion I fail to see her for who she is, she is a beloved child of God just like I am.  She is a sinner as am I.  Jesus died for her sins the same as for mine.  I need to work on my own heart and learn how to reach out to someone like that in love and offer support and forgiveness and not lash out in anger and condemn them.  That is not my job, God is the only one in a position to judge and one day we will all stand before Him. Her sin is no worse than mine.  It is difficult to admit and recognize this.  The human in me wants to place a hierarchy on the sins we commit and point fingers and throw around blame.  I have to acknowledge that there is no difference in the severity, a sin is sin.  I beg His forgiveness and seek His mercy and grace everyday why should do I not turn around and extend that same forgiveness and mercy to others?  I should do this and I don’t ——>I fail God everyday.

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18

Abortion is wrong, it is evil,  it is murder of our most helpless and innocent. Recently during a counter culture study I learned that 1.6 babies are murdered every single SECOND in this country!   Those individuals who perform abortions, promote abortions and have had abortions need our love mercy and forgiveness——>they need our PRAYERS!

If we reach out to them with the love of Christ rather than lashing out in anger then maybe we can bring them to know Christ.

Let me be the light on the hill shining the love of Christ for others.

Now that my eyes are being open to the world around me I can recognize why I have sheltered myself and stayed protected in my bubble. Seeing and knowing the things that are going on in the world around me is painful and I know that I cannot stop it or fix it alone.  I feel I am powerless and helpless to the pain and suffering, feeling this way is difficult.  I admit my initial feeling is defeat but am beginning to feel EMPOWERED.  I see clearly now that I need to start on my knees.  I should not feel powerless when I have a Mighty God standing with me and for me.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”  ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31

“I can do all this through Christ who gives me STRENGTH.”Philippians 4:13

 

All we need to do is cry out to Him!

He is mighty and holy and powerful!


Father, You are so wonderful and mighty.  Thank You for all You have done and continue doing.  Thank You for Your mercy, grace and love.  Thank You for sending Your son.  In my own humanity I cannot change the evil that surrounds us.  I ask and pray for the power of the HOLY SPIRIT to fill me and work through me.  You know the compassion and conviction in my heart, recharge my spirit and body to serve You effectively.  Empower me to help and heal in whatever way You call me to do.  Lord let me bring glory to You in all that I do.  Please grant me strength, courage and wisdom.  I pray for clarity and discernment in when to speak and what words to say.  I pray for this fallen world, please God give me the audacity to shine the light of Your love to those around me.  I pray that this country works effectively and successfully to put an end to abortion, I pray to You, Father I cry out to You for all the pregnant women and unborn babies, let them live!  I pray that if there is something I can do to even save one of these precious lives that I will be led by You in my words and actions without hesitation.  ~In Jesus Name~ AMEN

popping my B-U-B-B-L-E ——>guilt…confession…truth…

A conversation frequently starts between me and my husband with him asking me “have you heard…?” Which is normally silly and redundant because we both know that there is is 99.9% chance that I have not yet heard whatever it is he is getting ready to ask me about.  For the most part I am clueless to local and national news, politics, and world happenings.  I have placed myself into a safe but very blind bubble.

We live in what is considered a ‘rural area’ and I work in a very rural community.  I listen to the Christian station on satellite radio in the car, this station has no news or commercials.   We do not have cable in our home to watch the news or any local stations.  Basically if someone does not tell me about something in person or it is not on my Facebook newsfeed I don’t hear about it.  For the most part when things do pop up on my Facebook newsfeed that I want to ignore it is quite easy to just scroll by it without paying much attention.

I like my bubble, it is nice and safe in it and I feel protected.  If I don’t have to read about it or hear about it then it is not happening.  I rather prefer not having my heart broken daily over the disturbing news stories our fallen society provides day after day.  It is my way of shielding my eyes, ears, mind and heart from the evil and sadness that unfold day after day.

Well despite my struggle, even with kicking and fighting my bubble has been popped, a few weeks ago it was stuck with a tiny hole that grows each day. I am now seeing the error in my ways…sitting idly by and ignoring all the evil and sin surrounding us and consuming our society makes me just as guilty as participating.

If I sit by and ignore all the bad, wrong and unjust, immoral events and circumstances am I not as guilty as the ones participating and causing?  Burying my head in the sand while our society and world celebrate and glorify sin makes me just as responsible!!!  I am SO GUILTY!
The truth is I cannot handle the feelings that reality and the news invoke in me.

I have been so selfish and ignorant keeping up the protective walls of my bubble.

 

I guess the pin that started poking holes in my bubble is all of the planned parent and abortion news.  This stirs something inside of me, emotions that I can not even begin to describe they are so strong and powerful and quite honestly these emotions terrify me.  This has always been such a difficult and sensitive topic for me to listen to and talk about, I feel so passionately for the lives of our unborn children that it is a challenging topic for me.  I have read quite a few articles and news stories about this but I have not been able to bring myself to watch the videos.  I am absolutely petrified to watch them, I know without a doubt that they will break my heart and bring up such traumatic emotions that I honestly do not know if I can handle it.  Deep down I know I need to be able to get to the point of being able to watch them, I need to embrace these emotions, learn how to control and direct them and use them take action.  I have no idea what, but something I know there has got to be something I can do.  Until God opens that door for me I need to draw near to Him.  I need to be crying out to Him and asking His strength, courage and guidance.

At the very least, I can pray.  This is doing something, I can start to do something by opening my heart, eyes, ears and mind and taking it all to my Heavenly Father.  I need to start taking responsibility in making myself aware of what is going on.  Open my eyes and ears and work on being more informed and knowledgeable.

 

“Then when the time is right He will open a door for me to be able to do something, until then I will pray.”

 

Over the next several weeks I will work at slowly removing the shield of my bubble.  Little by little taking it down and exploring everything that is going on in my state, nation and world.  When I read and listen to these news stories I will open my heart and pray for each situation that I can.  I will lay it all at the feet of Jesus and let Him lead me.  Jesus is the only one with the power to save us all, so I will turn to Him.

“Lord, I come before You with so much in my heart tonight.  Father please forgive me for being so selfish and ignorant that I have ignored and neglected the suffering of Your children all around me.  God I ask you to work in my heart and soften me and make me more self-less and compassionate to all those around me.  Help me to move past my bubble and take on what is happening in our sad and sinful world.  I pray for strength and courage as I open my eyes and become more aware of the fallen state of our world right now.  Please guide me and lead me to be the follower of Christ You have made me to be.  Father I am weak and You are strong, please strengthen me.  I pray the the passion and emotion I feel when I learn more about the news and politics driving our fallen society doesn’t cripple me but move me to take action to help.  I pray to be a better example of Your love and sacrifice.  I pray to be a light in our world of dark and to shine the light of Your Love to all those around me.  Father let me rise up and face this challenge.  I pray I can bring You glory in all I do.  Thank You for blessing me and my family so abundantly.  Thank You for Your love and mercy, thank You for sending Your son to die for our sins, Thank You Father for Your Grace.  In Jesus name Amen.”

 

 

“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”  ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:11-17‬ ‭NIV‬

 

Because I SAID SO!

  
When I was little and my mom said those dreaded words “because I said so”! I vowed to myself that when I was a parent that I would never use those words with my kids. Yet here I am 12 years into this parenting job and sure enough there have been those times when in the heat of the moment those words I hated so much have come flying out of my mouth to my own kids! As much as I hate that I have done this I now truly realize, understand and appreciate just why my mom used this phrase at times with me and my brothers. There is not always a reason other than I am the parent and you are my child and I know what is best for you. I am not in any way required to provide an explanation or reasoning to my children when I have instructed them, I am their mother and ultimately will determine what is in the best interest of my children whether they like it or not…..so with that being said the only reasonable way to say this is especially in the heat of the moment is none other than, “because I SAID SO!”.  
So as I sit here I cast my eyes up towards God with an open heart and reflect on a few things. Our Heavenly Father has given us very clear instructions on how we are suppose to live our lives and glorify Him. He is so wonderful and has such love for us that He cares so much that He even gives us clear reasons to following His direction.  

He tells us to love others because He first loved us.
o Romans 12:10, Ephesians 5:1-2, 1 John 4:19

Forgive each other as He has forgiven us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
o John 3:16, Matthew 6:14-15, Ephesians 4:2

Do not be afraid, be strong God is ALWAYS with you.
o Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10

Do not worry, pray and give thanks, God will always answer
o Phil 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Trust in God, He is ALWAYS faithful
o John 15:7-8, Romans 8:28

Our lives our covered by God’s promises, love, mercy and grace, He guides us and gives us direction, He is true and loving and forgiving and He is ALWAYS ALWAYS with us. We are so sinful and selfish in all that we do. Look at our fallen world, how bad things have gotten, how everything in our society is so quickly becoming evil and depraved and it is happening SO FAST! Yet He is here with us in all this, how comforting is that,

HE IS HERE WITH US IN ALL THIS! 

All we need to do is sit back and let Him love us and protect us, all we need to do is love Him and obey Him joyfully. It sounds so easily when I put the words down here, yet I fail at this every day, every hour, every minute of every day- shamefully I fail God in some way but He still loves me and will never leave me. That is awesome and humbling. 

I am guilty of not obeying God, I am like my 3 year old kicking and screaming on the floor crying out in disobedience, over and over I throw tantrums and come up with excuses and am led by my own selfish and sinful desires and heart. 

This is why I need Jesus as my savior, I am guilty, He died for my sins and yours, He gave himself freely and with unconditional love so that I can be forgiven. Thank You Lord for sending Your Son.
I will do what I can to grow and to walk closer to God, grow in my relationship with Him, become more obedient to Him not because it is what I am SUPPOSE to do but because I desire to please Him, glorify Him in how I live my life, let myself be an example of His love, mercy and grace a little more with each breath, each moment and each day. Lord please give me strength, courage and wisdom to grow closer to You, mold me into the woman, mother and wife You created me to be. 
God does not need a “because I said so”, He has so given us so much more, He has given us His Son, His word in the Bible to direct us.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’ 

Matthew‬ ‭6:9-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Remembering Queen G

Last week while driving through the peaceful countryside of Mathews County I spotted a beautiful Blue Heron hanging out on the side of the road.  Everytime a bird catches my attention especially one I can identify my mind wanders and reflects treasured memories of my grandmother and grandfather.  It was during very special time with my grandparents that they taught me to identify and appreciate birds.

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”  Proverbs‬ ‭31:26‬ ‭

Hazel, mom, grandma, gamla, known by many different names but she was one very remarkable and wonderful woman.  She certainly was Queen of our little family and we all loved and treasured her dearly.  Very sadly my grandmother passed away just over a month ago, I am taking a few moments to reflect, reminisce and honor this very special woman today.  There is nothing that can be said or done to make losing a loved one any easier or less painful but I do take great comfort in knowing my grandmother loved the Lord and has been called Home to be with Him in paradise and has been reunited with our beloved grandfather.  

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:30‬ ‭

 

I would not be who I am today without my grandmother.   She lived a full, wonderful and long life, she was 91 years old when God called her home. She did experience heartbreak and tragedy in her life that no one should ever have to experience however she never let circumstances dictate or define her.    My grandfather was her highschool sweetheart and they were faithfully and happily married for over 60 years and she had to say goodbye and bury him a few years ago.   My grandmother faced challenges of fulfilling the role of working mother of 4 children, one of the first in her time to brave this the task of being a working mother.  When we lost my Uncle John a few years after we lost my grandfather she had to experience the pain of burying her youngest child.  Yet she always stood strong and was quite determined, some may even go as far as to call her stubborn. (Which my husband would tell you is something I inherited from her 😉

   
I truly am blessed for having such an amazing grandmother.  She helped me become who I am today in so many ways. I have always looked up to her and will always treasure my memories of her.  I will continue to be reminded of her and my grandfather in little parts of everyday life.  I will continue to talk about my grandparents and show and display their photos and keep their memories alive in my children as well.  

 

What an amazing testimony my grandmother left behind, the last words she spoke were to my brother before she went to sleep, she said “God has been good to me”.  She went to sleep and never woke up.  So peaceful and without suffering she left this world and into the arms of Our Heavenly Father, in her last moments she gave glory to God.  Everytime I think about how AWESOME this is I am so humbled and inspired.  

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  ‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ 

 

“Thank You Lord for blessing me with such an amazing grandmother.  I am so thankful to have had her as part of my life, blessed by her love and influence in my life.  My family and my heart are hurting as we feel the loss of this incredible woman we loved and cherished so much.  Please cover my family in healing and comfort during this time grieving. Amen.”