Wholehearted Desire ❤️

Like splashing cold water on my face or waking up to an obscenely loud alarm clock, or maybe even being submerged into a dunk tank.  That is how I feel right now.  Eyes and heart wide open, an overwhelming sense of spiritual humility.  Wake up! Alarms are sounding it is time to wake up and RISE!  

 

The condition of the mind or living with  the feeling of being ‘satisfied’ or ‘gratified’ leads to a condition of ‘forgetting God’.  So easily we can fall into the routine of our day to day  and allow the busyness of life take over.  

Going through the motions, going to church, reading your bible even praying, but then you are not actively pursuing God with your whole heart, then that is all it is; going through the motions.

  

 

While I can report that I have successfully read the entire bible it was cover to cover; unfortunately I admit this was more for the satisfaction of being able to say I read it rather than truly learning God’s word.  I certainly feel like I was not focused in my reading process at that moment in time; it was more of going through the motions and not so much learning and loving God’s word.

For the last year I have been following a chronological reading plan to read through the Bible in a year, I’m not sure I have even made it halfway yet.  While I have not been disciplined enough to keep up with this daily but I am taking my time and not rushing through it.   I will read the outlined verses and go to the study bible for additional information.  I am taking time to review information for each chapter that I come to in an effort to deepen my understanding.  I will then later listen to them on my audio bible to follow up and reinforce what have already I read.

This week my scripture reading has led me through part of 1Chronicles and Psalm 119. This week I find myself paused and rereading parts of Psalm 119 and then reading it again.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—”. Psalm‬ ‭119:1-2‬ ‭

Those who walk according to His law and seek Him with all their heart are not blessed because they will have an easy and luxurious life with worldly desires fulfilled.  In fact quite the opposite, they will likely have many trials and attacks from the enemy as the seek the Lord and follow His ways.  Those who follow His laws and seek Him with their whole heart will be blessed in their relationship with Him, with joy in His love and salvation despite their circumstances and trials.

 

Some of the important reminders that I am taking away from this weeks scripture reading and study is this….

I must know God, everyday and night, grow in my relationship with Him, no ‘just going through the motions.’

Obedience- must be obedient to God’s law because I love Him and want to please Him, not because it ‘I have to’ or it is what is expected.  —–>Psalm 119:7-9 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.

Memory- I need to continue to actively commit His word and truth to memory so that I can always recall His works.  I am doing this but I could be putting more energy and effort and approaching this ‘wholeheartedly’.  Meditate and study His word, EVERY DAY with true desire. —–>Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Distinguish ALL BLESSINGS as flowing from God’s grace.  There are so many of His gifts and blessings we take for granted everyday.  Continue ‘counting my wins’ each day and be more intentional in giving that glory for God, thankful to Him for all things. —–>Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Trust God, walk in His ways not my own, surrender, less of me more of Him. —–>Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

Each day choose GOD, choose to love Him, to learn and follow His laws, find my delight in Him and not the circumstances of my moments. —–>Psalm 119:44 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.

Be confident in waiting for God, his timing, He is in control, do not fear for the evil of man for God is faithful, His mercy endures always, keep my faith in Him, he will not forsake me. —->Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

I have power over sin with the strength of the Lord, wholeheartedly place my petitions and needs to Him and He will direct my steps.  —–>Psalm 199:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

His Word and law is essential not optional to truly surrender to Him, the Word of God is WONDERFUL.

—–>Psalm 119:137 Your laws are righteous Lord, and your laws are right.

 

Victory in Christ, I have victory in Christ on the good days and the bad days, I will actively seek and serve Him with my ‘whole heart’.  What an awesome reminder the scripture has brought me this week. 

“Where one man reads the Bible a hundred read you and me.”       Dwight L. Moody

 

 

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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

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

ALL are precious in HIS sight…Jesus loves the little children of the world…

By far this was one of my favorite songs growing up, ‘Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world’….. And now as a mother when I reflect on the true meaning and what the words in the song actually say it has a much deeper meaning to me. He does love ALL the little children of the world including my children. He loves them COMPLETELY and He loves them PERFECTLY, He loves them more than I am capable of loving them which is very hard to realize this. The love I feel for my children is UN-measurable and grows each day so how could anyone possibly love and care for them more than I do…. GOD does, His love for my children surpasses my own, how humbling and breathtaking is that!

Possibly the hardest and most challenging responsibilities I face as a mother is learning to let go and trust God to take care of them when I cannot. I struggle with this every day, several times a day, all the time constantly having to remind myself that they are in His protection. I cannot be with them 24-7 and put them in a ‘bubble’ to protect them from all the evil in this fallen world and that is so hard to accept this cruel reality. When my mind starts going down the ‘what if’ path and doubt creeps in I turn to find my comfort in the Lord, in knowing I can cover them and surround them in prayer, I can lift them up to God the One Who loves, cares and cherishes them more than I can even comprehend and trust that He will protect them for me. So I guess in a way I can keep them in a bubble, a bubble of prayer, surrounding them in prayer and scripture and keeping them lifted to God, He is their bubble.

In my prayer life my best prayer time is when I am prayer journaling. I find this best directs my thoughts and feelings as I share with God. I am not very outspoken verbally but express myself more effectively through written words. When I sit down and pray this way and am writing everything out, I have learned it is a little overwhelming to pray specifically for each of our 5 children every time I sit down to prayer journal, so I rotate and each day I spend time journaling I pray for all of them together and then I focus on one child specifically, this seems to work well for me. As I have been doing this I have carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully selected two bible verses for each child to pray over them with. They each also have a list of 10 prophetic words that me and my husband have chosen to pray over into their lives. I have made them each have a poster in their room with their photos and their 10 words so they can see it each day and start believing these things about themselves.

So today I take comfort in the words of this popular children’s song…”Jesus loves the little children, all the little children of the world”. It is quiet and sweet reminder that Jesus loves and cares for my children more than I do. He is with them when I cannot be and will always protect and watch them in His will and not my own. He is MIGHTY and SOVEIERGN and my faith and trust are in the Lord. This is especially important for me this week as my children are away for the entire week and I need this constant reminder more than ever during this difficult time. It is painful during this time to be separated from my precious children; they are each a piece of my heart and something is missing when they are not at home.

To my dear sweet children- today these are my prayers for you….

 

 

———-Joshua James– bold, courageous and sweet Joshua…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Beloved warrior of Christ, Faithful, Intelligent, Generous, Compassionate, Determined, Adventurous, Servant’s Heart, Courageous, Strong

Jeremiah 20:11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior so my persecutors will stumble and will not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced and their dishonor never forgotten.
Romans 1:16-17 for I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written “The just shall live by faith”.

I pray you grow more and more each day into a beloved warrior of Christ that God has made you to be, that you are true to your namesake of Joshua in the bible, that you remain adventurous and determined in all that you do, you amaze me with your intelligence and generosity for others, I pray you continue to be compassionate and have the heart of a servant with all you do in this life. I pray you continue to grow each day into a strong and courageous young man who is following and living for Christ. I pray you remain faithful to Christ in all the struggles and triumphs you shall face. I pray that you live out your favorite verse and live boldly sharing the Gospel without shame or fear. If you keep your heart and life focused on God He will protect you in all you do. I pray that you know even when enemies come, because they will come, that you find strength and confidence in the Lord and with Him you will always be victorious.

 

 

———-Tyler Lewis– kind, wonderful, brave Tyler…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Compassionate, Brave, Determined, Honest, Loyal, Son of God, Loving, Faithful, Patient, Humbled

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yes I will help you I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

You are a cherished son of God, I pray your walk remains loyal and honest, that you grow into a patient and humbled follower of Christ, faithful to Him in all you do. I pray for you to be loving to all those around you, that You know Christ loves you and can share His love with those around you with compassion and bravery. I pray that you use your determination for the Glory of God in all areas of your life, that you live your life with complete trust in the Lord; He will always give You strength when you are faithful to Him. I pray you turn to Him in times of hardship and celebration, I pray You seek Him always and let Him guide your path in this life. I pray you have the will to go to God with your problems and feel safe and loved and comforted by His presence.

 

 

 

———Emily Ann– sweet, beautiful, loving Emily…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Loyal, Ambitious, Kindhearted, Pure, Smart, Fearless, Complete, Honest, Talented, God’s Cherished Daughter 

Romans 12:2 do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what good and acceptable and perfect will of God is.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 You are such an ambitious young lady in all you do, I pray you use this to glorify God that you ambitiously seek Him in all you do. I pray you remain loyal and kindhearted as you grow up and that you can use this to share God’s love with those around you. I pray for you to remain complete and pure and that you always know without a doubt that above everything else in this fallen world you are God’s cherished daughter. You are incredibly smart and talented, I pray this continues and can be used for the good of God as you find the path He has made for you. Your heart is fearless and honest; don’t be afraid God is always with you. If you turn to Him and remain faithful to Him in all you do He will not let you down. Trust in Him always. I pray for you to see the beauty of this work and the goodness of people without being conformed to the world. I pray sweet daughter you have the confidence to raise your head yet know when to go before God with humility. I pray the Lord gives you wisdom and shows you how to make good choices in life. I pray you will hear the still small voice inside, God’s voice leading you and guiding you and you will always find your strength in the Lord.

 

 

 

———-Noah Towsey– loving, bold, amazing Noah…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Worthy, Strong, Complete, Loving, Peaceful, Kindhearted, Smart, Child of God, Servant, Gentile
Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.

 Your heart is so loving and kind; I pray that this continues to grow each day. That your heart and life is filled with love, that You know Christ’s love for you and you use your talents and strength to share Him with those around you. Let all you do glorify God and shine His love onto others. I pray that you come to understand you are complete and worthy the way that God made you. I pray for you to continue to grow and learn in all that you do, you are smart and unique and loved the way you are. You are a remarkable Child of God. I pray for you to be a servant of Christ and your gentile heart and ways will open hearts around you to see the love and light of the Lord. I pray that your walk with the Lord brings you peace in all that you do. I pray for you to overcome some of the challenges this life has forced you to face and that the challenges that you do not overcome you are able to embrace and use them to grow stronger into the young man and follower of Christ that God has created you to be.

 

 

 

———-Richard Turner– charming, determined, sweet Richard…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Affectionate, Living, String, Worthy, Humble, Devoted, Brave, Wise, Deserving, Mighty Warrior of God
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
Romans 8:28 And we know all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose.

 My precious son, I pray that you grow each day as a might warrior of God. I pray you will always know that you are worthy and deserving. You are so affectionate and loving in all that you do, embrace this and use this in your life to share the light and love of Christ with all the people in your life. You are so wise and brave, it amazes me how quickly you learn things. I pray that you grow in your wisdom with the Lord as Your Sheppard, trust in Him always and let Him lead you in this life. I pray you are devoted and humble in your walk with God. Something about your eyes can light up a room, use this to share the truth and the gospel with those who see your eyes, sweet boy you are the light, let God’s love shine through you in everything you do. Find comfort and strength in the Lord, turn to Him when you are hurt, lost, happy, broken hearted, always turn to God first and let Him comfort you and strengthen you, if you remain faithful to Him He will not let you down, He will always be with you , leading you and loving you.

 

 

 

 

Lord above all else today, I thank you for the privledge and honor of being a mother and stepmother.  Thank you for this incredible blessing.  Please continue to give me strength, courage and wisdom as a parent to lead and guide our children, to raise them most imporantly to know and love You.—–AMEN

Comfort for this challenging fall morning…

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. (‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭22-32‬ NIV)

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Picture Perfect

Here’s a story, about a man named ……… I better stop there before I get a theme song stuck in my head! We all remember that wonderful show that gave us an inside look into one of Americas favorite “Blended Families”. Six perfect kids with a working dad and a stay at home mom with a full time nanny named Alice. Station wagon with wood panel siding and nobody ever fought in the car even on those long road trips to the Grand Canyon! From the outside looking in, they were perfect!

I had someone ask me last week, if our family was as “perfect” as it appeared to be on Facebook? (Insert long pause here)………………. HAHAHAHAHA Sure, it’s perfect I said. Kids never fuss we always smile and our children are about to pass Dougie Houser in early educational achievements (sorry it just fit since I opened up with a sitcom). It is easy to see the smiles and fun looks in pictures. We all do it, take the picture over and over until it’s “perfect” or at least until mom finally utters those long awaited words of “that’s good enough”. We want smiles and happy faces and perfect memories to think about down the road.

Before I continue let me make certain everyone is clear! Our family is “Perfect”! Perfectly Human! James said this in chapter 3:2 “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check”. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I have told one of the kids they better “get themselves in check”. They are human, sinful by nature and in need of a savior. They are our perfect gifts from God and it is our job to lead them back to Him.

The truth is, as much as we joke, we are not the Brady Bunch. We are real, we make mistakes, we have to cut the grass because it’s not AstroTurf and we don’t have Alice to get dinner ready for us (because he moved to Florida). We have good days and bad days, but in each day Ingrid and I strive to show Gods love to each other and our children. We love beyond our faults and we extend grace and mercy. Giving forgiveness openly and even asking for it when we need to. We are prayerfully trying to do what Paul said in Romans 12:10 ” love one another deeply, honor others more than yourselves”.

“Father,
We know we are not “picture perfect”. We are sinners, fallen and broken. We need Jesus every moment of every day. Thank you Lord for providing us forgiveness of sins through your son.
God help us to raise our children to look past the mistakes look past hard times and look toward your love. Help them to show your love and be an example of you to others.
Lord I don’t need our picture to be perfect and for others to think it is, I just ask that all of us would look at each other through your lens. To see us how you see us, redeemed, pure, set apart for you and PERFECT in Christ love.

Amen”

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