A treasured moment in time.

I am flooded with emotions this week. The last few weeks have certainly been a whirlwind but as I slow down and take in everything that is happening I am overwhelmed with the reality of it all.

Our oldest has turned 14 years old and is graduating 8th grade all in the same week.  Please stop , slow down!  This is too much for this momma’s heart to take in all at once.

Last day of 8th grade😀

 

My letter to you Joshua James on this day, the first day of the rest of your life:

Congratulations my son! You have worked so hard and come so far in your young life already.  I am very proud of everything you have already accomplished and am excited to see what God has planned for you.  You have such a drive and passion that is inspiring to watch you.  Your determination is incredible.  I pray that this continues as you enter high school, this will take you far.

  • When you feel like you are failing and struggling, look to the Lord, He will be with and give you strength and courage.
  • When you achieve goals and great accomplishments, look to the Lord and thank Him.
  • When you feel lost and do not know where you are, look to the Lord, he will guide and direct you.
  • When peer pressure attacks and the world around you is pulling, stand strong and look to the Lord, He will never leave you or forsake you.
  • When you have made a mistake or have a regret, confess to the Lord, He will forgive and He loves you.

You have such a good heart, full of love and compassion. Your faith will be tested over the coming years, the sin of the world all around us is going to pull and call you.  You will be faced with many hard decisions, many challenges in the upcoming season of your life.  You are human and you are young, you will make mistakes along the way.  I pray that when you do it is a learning experience for you and with every mistake you grow closer to the Lord.  Deep down you have such a passion for Jesus and sharing His love with those around you, remember ‘Romans 1:16, I am not ashamed’.  If you remain faithful to the Lord you will be successful in anything you set out to do.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭

I pray as you continue to grow you will use the gifts and talents God has given you.

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”                  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:20-21‬

I have been praying for you and I will continue praying for you. I will always be here for you cheering you on.

Joshua always ‘Remember who you are.’

  • You are faithful
  • You are intelligent
  • You are courageous
  • You have a servant’s heart
  • You are determined
  • You are strong
  • You are a beloved warrior of Christ
  • You are adventurous
  • You are compassionate
  • You are generous

You are my first born, you made me a mother. My love for you goes to depths that words cannot adequately describe.  I cherish every moment of your life and I am truly BLESSED to have the awesome privilege of being your mother.  I have loved you unconditionally from the moment I knew you were on your way and I will love you until my last breath.

 

April 29,2017 Nashville TN

Successfully ran his 1st half marathon age 13!!!

1st day of Kindergarten

Passion for soccer since age 3

This smile! 😀😀😀

5th grade chorus

JV cross country during 8th grade

Fall 2016

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Ready set go

When I take a moment and look at our family from the outside looking in I find it somewhat overwhelming.  I would imagine that some would say we are just plain crazy for all we take on.  Two full time working parents, 6 kids, our family is active in our church, our kids do extracurricular activities- one per child,  exercise regularly and in our downtime always finding adventures and outings for the kids.  Frequently I will be asked or hear the comment “just how do you do it all?”.  My response is simple, we don’t do it, we are not capable of doing it on our own, we are not made to do anything on our own, God give us the strength to push through and persevere during this season of busy, at times chaotic, our season of READY-SET-GO.

My strength comes from the Lord……Philippians 4:13


 This is our season of busy and I realize this is a brief fleeting moment in our lives and one day will be gone and we just may miss the busy.   I am making an honest and conscious effort each day to not get frustrated or annoyed with the small insignificant details and truly appreciating each moment as a gift on God in this challenging and wonderful journey of parenthood.  This can be a struggle for me as I tend to be a perfectionist and lean towards the OCD side of the spectrum, I while I am not always successful in these efforts however with God’s wisdom and guidance I am aware and I am improving.  

If we don’t take it moment by moment and enjoy it for what it is, will blink our eyes and one day it will be gone.  
As these hours, day, weeks and months are slipping by so quickly yet the are so incredibly important in the molding defining and shaping of our children into the young adults they will become.  Of course the most important and vital element in them growing up is their salvation, growing to truly know Christ as their Lord and Savior.  The most vital aspect for us as parents is to live the example. 

You cannot teach your children to live a life for Christ when your are not living yours for Christ. 

Wow!  This truth and realization cuts me deep and convicts me to my core.  This makes me really question and evaluate myself.  When my kids see me and how I am living do they see joy in all circumstances?  Not likely.  Do they see a patient and kind spirit?  Sometimes, in all honesty not as they see see an impatient spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 ‘ but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.’

We cannot expect our children to learn to live in a way that we are not able to.  For example look at healthy eating, we can teach our kids day in and day out what healthy choices are, what they should be eating and how that should be exercising however we lose credibility when we eat junk and sit on the couch.  It does not matter what words come out of our mouths if our actions do not match them.

John A. Younts writes this in his book titled “Everyday Talk.”  “Parents, God has given you a mission to make Him known in every corner of life. To pursue this mission takes great courage. As you walk along life’s road with your children, you must literally deny yourself in order to speak first about God and how He views this world. When your child hears and learns about God this way he will indeed be clothed with honor and crowned with grace.”  I love this perspective, as parents raising our children to know God we must deny ourselves.

 

I can look back and see how far God has brought me already in the last few years, God has transformed my heart and my life in many ways already.  I am so amazingly thankful to God and all He has done and for always being faithful and patient and loving with me.  So as I self-reflect on my many areas of weakness in my living the example of Christ for our children I turn to God for wisdom, guidance and direction to grow into the mother and woman He created me to be.  

Psalm 106:1 ‘Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.’

Lord, thank You so much for the great honor and blessing of being a mother.  I know that in the moments of busy I do not always handle my words, emotions, or actions the way You would. I fall short every single day.  I reach out to You and pray for continued strength, wisdom, discipline and guidance to continue to grow and transform into a godly mother and an example to our children to love You and live my life for You bringing You glory in all I do.  You have blessed me and my family abundantly, thank You for Your many blessings thank You for the greatest blessing of all Your son dying for our transgressions so that we may have eternal life with You Lord.  Thank You for loving me and our children, I pray they see and feel Your love through me in all circumstances.

In Jesus name ~Amen.

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

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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Facebook Free——>update

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It has been more than a week that we have been Facebook free and overall not so bad. Yes there have been times when I really have wanted to just do a quick check in to see what I have missed out on but it has not been as challenging as I anticipated. In the moments I have caught myself wanting to log on and check things out I spend a few moments in prayer. I have been more active in my devotionals and in memorizing scripture since I have stepped back from using Facebook.

In a way it base been a relief not being on Facebook and having that constant connection with the social media world. I have found this division from Facebook to bring a very peaceful and relaxing feeling to have this separation.

Yes when the two weeks is up I plan to log back into Facebook and rejoin social media world once again but will do so with a very cognitive effort to limit the amount of time and energy I put into it.

My amazing husband and I have been continuing to get up and have our morning scripture and prayer time over coffee and we have really been getting a lot out of this. It really sets the pace for our day when we are able to start our day in the presence of our Lord. We haven’t been perfect and on a couple of mornings exhaustion has overcome and we snooze the alarm too many times to have this time to start out day and we can really notice a difference in our day when we don’t begin it with time for God, even when it is just for a few moments. I am very happy to see these changes in us and we will continue to spend time each morning with each other in the presence of God.

Our scripture for this week we are working on memorizing is
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Love this verse, it is short but says so much.

We will always have joy in our hope, no matter what our circumstance in life we will always have joy in Christ. Our sin out Him on the cross and our eternal salvation is secured through Him, we can always have joy in our salvation and the promise of eternity with our Heavenly Father.

We need to be calm and uncomplaining during trials and afflictions we are surely to face.

We must be constant and dedicated in prayer, being devoted and continuous in our prayer we will be in constant communication with The Lord that He may guide us and direct out steps to do His will.

Thank You Lord for the challenges that I have faced this week, that they have brought me closer to You. This has been a difficult week for me, but God has been faithful and given me strength to stand through each day.
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!!!!