Monday, September 18, 2017

Valuable Time...

III John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

Precious time with this little dude! Having two kids in school full-time makes me realize so much more how precious these 5 short years before kindergarten are at home with my children. I have tried my best to savor these years with each of mine, but I get a bit more sentimental with each one, I believe!

I am thrilled to be called, wife, mom and "keeper at home" (Titus 2). It is still a highly esteemed job title in God's eyes. When we as ladies today are asked our occupation, we can almost be tempted to try to embellish our 'stay-at-home mom' status. But 'stay-at-home mom' is still a great occupation and definitely a full-time job!

This morning, while building blocks, practicing obedience, colors, putting away our things and just snuggling on the couch with our youngest, I looked down at his sweet, fuzzy head and breathed a prayer of thankfulness for the great blessing and large responsibility I have been given.

- I LOVE the privilege of being the one to hear and see all of the 'firsts' in my children's lives!
- I LOVE being the one to teach each child through all those first early moments in life and having a large part in building their foundation as an individual!
- I LOVE hearing that sweet babble and noticing as words begin to form and communication begins!

I know many moms in today's world have no choice in the matter and have to go to work each day. I admire you! I think I would have cried each day that I left my babies in someone else's care. You are amazing strong women, whom I believe God will reward greatly!

If you do have the opportunity to stay home with your littles, and there is a choice, I would highly recommend that you consider it! I will never regret the opportunity of being home with my children. They are such a gift! Do I cherish every moment...No. :) Let's be real, life is messy and imperfect at it's best, with plenty of moments we wish to erase. I do LOVE the privilege of being a wife and mom at all times. Even in those moments I wish to erase, I never wish to relinquish my privileged job title...One of the highest titles, I believe...Wife and Mom!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Make Your Time With God Special!

Psalm 119:103 "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
Isn't it so easy to get caught up in life's busyness and then painfully realize that we have often been too busy working 'for' God to spend time with Him?!

Whenever we enter an extremely busy season, I often find myself discouraged by my lack of  'proper prioritizing.' I read my quick Proverb for the day and tell God I will catch up with my Bible study, reading and prayer time soon. (Hey! Sometimes with little children who are sleepless wonders, fitting in a Proverb for the day is nothing short of miraculous! Am I right? I know there most be other sleep-deprived moms out there like me who have a very hard time surrendering those precious extra moments of sleep or just mental sanity in the morning or afternoon when little Johnny or Suzie Q are sleeping.) At this stage of my life, afternoon naptime for my younger two kids fits best for my alone time.

But, whatever stage of life we are in, Satan certainly loves to convince us that there are so many better and more qualified ways to spend our time rather than with our Lord, doesn't he?!

One thing I have learned over the years about myself is that I am much more prone to be regular with my special time alone with God if I create an event and environment that I look forward too! Atmosphere makes a big difference for me--candles, pretty soft music, the smell of hot coffee brewing! I also really love cute notebooks and journals.

I have found that I anticipate my Bible and prayer time more if I know I get to pull out my cute Bible and notebook, sit down in the same spot in my kitchen and look out the window at my favorite tree. This time definitely always includes my favorite steaming cup of hazelnut coffee and a healthy sweet treat to go with it!

These are one of my favorites at the moment!

So I encourage you to study yourself and find out what motivates you or even entices you to want to do something. Your favorite candle, pretty piano music, your favorite hot drink or healthy snack, a couple squares of Dove Dark Chocolate...whatever it takes! Make time with God something you anticipate!

Look past the mess to see the faces...

On that November day, after reading chapter 13, 'Surviving or Thriving,' in "The Magnolia Story" written by Joanna Gaines, I looked down to watch my 15 month old baby boy discovering how to put his Veggie Straws in a bowl and then take them out over and over again with that sweet little innocent baby wonder in his eyes. Then it really hit home...I don't get these days or even moments back, but I will have the rest of my life to 'perfect' my house!
Yes! I am a perfectionist who gets frustrated by clutter!! But, I believed I was missing out on those special moments of laughing with my kids in their mess because I was getting upset with them about their mess. 
There will be years to come (hard to imagine in some of my current life moments of mess!) when I will be wishing for 'little people clutter' to clean up. 
Why am I so worried about my house always looking completely perfect anyways? My kids certainly don't care if things are stunningly arranged at every moment of the day, and my husband is happy if our home is a happy place. The 'house stressing' is usually pertaining to how I feel that my house appears to others. That's pride on my part.
Sure, we have a cleaning routine, I still have to put away a few baby messes here and there, and have kids clean up a bit throughout the day. I'm not talking about living in a pig sty! Teaching the kids how to organize and put their things away and having easy storage for them plays a big role in my sanity. But, 'the plan' is definitely not always going to work; we are just going to have those 'days!' I decided Jo was right...I am not going to spend the majority of my day cleaning and picking up and nagging after my kids for perfection, even if it means staying up an extra hour at night. I want to enjoy my kids!
So, God reminded me today to make a different choice in my outlook. (We do have a choice, after all!) Instead of allowing myself to be frustrated and upset by 'kid mess,' I will enjoy the little person IN the mess and thank God for allowing my husband and I to have that little person in our home! I realized that my relationship with them is more important than a show-stopping house to impress others while neglecting the feelings of those who live here!
Thanks, God, for stepping on my toes today!

Friday, September 23, 2016

I LOVE Being a Mom!

III John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

I LOVE being a mom!

Do I always get it right? No...that would definitely be a 'no.' Wish I could say 'yes!'

In fact there are some days I feel like a complete failure by the end of the day. (I would imagine every mom can testify to these feelings!)

I have been really busy these past couple weeks, so today I had the privilege of snuggling with my 14 month old baby boy and watching "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," reading books on the bed to my 5 year old daughter when she came home from kindergarten and watching my favorite 9 year old buddy show off his basketball dribbling skills out in front of the house.

This was a great reminder for me that kids do not need a million 'bells and whistles' to feel loved. They just need us as moms to stop everything else for a moment of time and share in their 'happy' that day!

What is important to them? Do we stop and ask...just looking into those little eyes, putting aside all distraction for a moment of time and really listening? (and our kids know if we are really listening, don't they?!)

So...when you have days like mine, your 'To Do' list is screaming in your head and there are things all around the room trying to grab your attention; here is a thought...

The 'stuff' around us will seem so drastically important in the moment, but it will all get done somehow and life will go on. God reminded me today that the little people in my life need to know every day that I love them, need to know that what they have to say and how they feel is more important to me than my 'stuff' and need to be reminded every day that...

I LOVE being their mom!!

Thank you, God, for this reminder!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How Can I Keep from "Falling From Stedfastness" as a Christian?

II Peter 3:17-18 "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."

In this day of unlimited access to temptation, wrong and unlimited abilities to "hide" our sin, how do I as a Christians keep from "falling from my own stedfastness?" It seems God gives us a couple answers here in these 2 verses. 

     1. We must beware. The dictionary definition of Beware: to be careful: to act in a way that shows you know that there may be danger or trouble. This is SO very true! We must live our lives with a constant awareness of the power of Satan and his temptations in our life. As a young person, my youth pastor reminded us frequently that it was ok to 'run scared' of Satan. In other words, we cannot forget about his constant presence.

     2. We must grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. We can never be satisfied with where we are spiritually. It is important to always be growing and learning more about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How? Through His Word! God reminds us in John 1:1 "...and the Word was God." To know the Bible is to know God!

What great lessons, God! Thank You so much for these reminders today.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Peaceful Life...

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 17

   "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
   For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"

What a great passage of Scripture! There are so many important truths in this short little chapter, but this is the one thought that stood out to me today.

Things will happen in my life that can be troubling and perplexing, yet I need not despair or feel forsaken. If I can truly trust One more powerful than I with the circumstances in my life, then I can live with inward peace no matter the outward circumstances.

If anyone had circumstances they could complain about, it would be Paul, the author of this second book of Corinthians. Yet, he called his problems a, "light affliction, which is but for a moment!" How could he walk through tough circumstances with this attitude? He was trusting One who could see the 'big picture' in his life.

What a great comfort to know I can walk through life holding hands with the One who knows every circumstance, emotion and hurt in my life. He can give me the inward peace and strength to walk through each event in my life with joy!

Thank You for this truth, God. I truly LOVE walking through life with You!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Not in word, but in Power"

I Corinthians 4:20
"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power."

It seems that God reminded me through this verse that it matters not what I can say. After many years of living the Christian life, I can learn just the right things to say that make me sound 'ultra-spiritual.' These words are spoken for the glory of man and have no lasting affect on my life and the lives of those I influence.

What matters most is whether or not the power of God rests on my life. The old hymn quotes, "All is vain unless the spirit of the Holy One comes down." My dear sweet great grandmother, Ruby Byrom, used to sing this sweet hymn, "Brethren We Have Met to Worship." What a dear sweet saint she was and what a great truth she sang!

God, I invite you into every area of my life no matter how small it may seem. I need You as the center of all I do. Thank You for this great reminder You sent my way!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Not Quick to Judge...

I Corinthians 4:5
"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."

Isn't it amazing how we always seem to know the intents of the heart in others around us?! We certainly act is if we do so often, I know I am guilty. But, the truth is, I cannot possibly know all the thoughts and intents of man's heart around me, even though often they may appear to be as open as a book.

Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that only the wisdom of God can see through the exterior of a man to really know the 'thoughts and intents of the heart.'
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

I cannot judge man's intents; I ought to leave this in the hands of the Lord. I have enough to worry about in keeping my own walk with God as it should be. Thank You, God, for this reminder not to be quick to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart in others around me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Giving No Offense...

II Corinthians 6:3 "Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:"

This small verse packs such a POWERFUL truth!

As a Christian, I ought to be willing to let go of anything in my life that might cause another to stumble or walk away from the ministry of Christ. There may be things that I do not believe are necessarily sinful, but they might cause someone around me to take offense towards God and blame the ministry.

I believe God makes it obvious in His Word that there are areas where He does desire for me to take a stand; but I need not be offensive in my demeanor towards others. I believe God is reminding me here that I must be willing to let go of some menial things, some that I might enjoy, if they might possibly be  a stumbling block to another Christian who is watching my life.

If I truly want to be used of God, I must care more about the influence my life has on others than I do about my own selfish wants and desires.

Thank You, God! This is a great reminder to live my life today one step above reproach.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sanctification...What's that?

This is the Dictionary definition...

Sanctification - To make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate. To purify.

I Corinthians 1:2
"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,"

Paul seems to be commending these Christians, as well as us today, and encouraging us to be sanctified (or set apart--different).

Yes, I think it is important that we as Christians are able to easily converse and identify with any person we meet. I think we ought to be constantly working on our "people skills" and our ability to carry on friendly conversation with all those that cross our paths.

However, the word "sanctify" is mentioned 65 times in the Word of God. Apparently it is very important to God that we as Christians live a life set apart from the "norm."

In today's society, we are attempting to bring our churches, religious standards and lifestyles down from God's level to the world's level. When people walking into our churches feel they are in the same atmosphere as the rock concert they attended the night is this set apart or sanctified?

Thank You, God, for reminding me the importance as a 21st century Christian to rediscover the word Sanctification in my daily life and not be embarrassed about it! What a privilege and great responsibility to be an "advertisement" for God.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Confident and Willing...

II Corinthians 5:7-8 "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

Confident and Willing...These 2 words are so often left out of the description of a life of faith and yet are so key to its existence in our lives.

Without a confidence in God and a willingness in our hearts, it is next to impossible to have abiding faith in our Christian walk especially one that is lived by trust and not sight. We cannot always "see" God's way; we often have to walk on in faith--trusting His promise to lead us.

Do I really confidently believe in the power of God and the truth of His Word in my heart? Am I really willing to do whatever God wants me to do with my life and go wherever He wants me to go?

I, like Paul, must be a Christian with a strong confidence in the existence and power of God and a true willingness to do what He wants in order to truly live my life by faith and not by sight.