Newness- bring on 2020

Happy New Year!

Another year has come and gone.

Closed out a decade of my life and barreling straight into the new one.

So far time is already flying, the month is almost gone.

It’s overwhelming and quite amazing to look back on years past and all the trials and events of my past. When I take to reflect all that I endured I can see where the hand of God was with me and guiding me to be right where I am today and I AM SO thankful it brings me to tears when I try and take it all in.

As we start this year, this next decade I am in awe of God and His perfect will. I look forward to the continued transformation of my heart and how He will work in our family and home. I’m excited for the adventures God will bring us this year, I have a special feeling this year is going to be some kind of exciting!

I look back briefly on my past years and am thankful for God changing my heart and bringing me to this moment in my life. I look forward and am so excited to see how He will continue to work in me and grow me to be more Christlike. I have SO FAR to go but just knowing I am HIS work in progress, and that He is in control is so incredible.

“Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God.” Romans‬ ‭15:17‬ ‭

“filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭

Hitting RESET

We have had a whirlwind of the last few months in our home and lives.  I have been taking a step back for over a week now as I reset and refocus.  Started with social media fast, haven’t been on Facebook for over a week.  I have had some things, like my runs,  upload directly to Facebook but have not tapped on the app to look at anything or spent anytime online.

This has been quite refreshing to experience to do this.  I would like to say I have taken all the time saved from looking facebook to something productive like memorizing scripture or catching up on reading  but I haven’t.  I have however have been able to catch my breath emotionally, physically and spiritually.  Not so much from the time I would have been looking online but more from refocusing my thoughts and energy.

“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord who walks in His ways.”  Psalm 128:1

Something that I have been focused on during this time is that God is faithful, He is always with us and He is always in control. He promises to be there and provide peace even in the most distressing circumstances however I must LET GO and surrender to Him to receive His promises. I need to trust in His will over all things in my life not just when I feel like it.

This is a tough one for me sometimes (ok a lot of the times). I am your typical ‘type A’ personality, (some may say even OCD!) As a result this causes me have the natural desire to control things. So the surrendering completely part is where I struggle. 

For me surrender is an everyday moment to moment challenge. I have to consciously choose to let things go to God, choose joy, choose to be positive. Some days it is so much harder to make these choices and I fail, fail miserably at times when I need Christ the most. Fear, anger, selfishness all these sinful things pull and direct my emotions and I fall guilty of not being thankful in all circumstances, of not honoring God with my love and obedience.

I make the same mistake over and over in different situations and trials, I don’t turn the situation over to God immediately, I hold onto and try to “fix” it myself and oh boy does this backfire! I have to fall flat on my face from trying to do it my way and then I turn to God for help. And yet I do this over and over. During the more difficult struggles I am human, I am weak and the enemy knows this. This is when he strikes, plants doubt and fear in my mind and heart, sin separating me from God. I know that am most weak when I am not as dedicated or intentional with my scripture reading and prayer life and yet at times I will let day to day life take priority, GUILTY!

Now I don’t do this every trial in my life and I’m certainly a work in progress.  I learn from each mistake and each failure.   Every time I fall and He lifts me up and carries me I am closer to Him.  I am not who I was, and will continue to grow in Christ.  Thank the Lord He doesn’t except me to be perfect, He knows I am human and sinful and yet He loves me and He forgives me.  What an AWESOME God we have!

 

So this week while I am refocusing I am renewed and refreshed by these wonderful reminders and truths.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm‬ ‭25:4-5‬

God’s forgiveness

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”. ‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭

God’s grace

“Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” John‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭

His mercy

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” ‭Matthew‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭

“Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” Romans‬ ‭9:18‬ ‭

His love

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:16‬

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