Monday, May 20, 2013


Sometimes I just feel like giving up on my dreams.  Dreams of being in shape, dreams of being better off financially, dreams of travel or of renewed relationships with friends.  Dreams of new friends, of old friends, of better time management or of less hatred for the alarm clock.  
Whatever the dream, it's so easy to just give up on it.  To feel stuck and bound tightly to whatever situation you are dealing with.  I've carried these extra pounds for so many years now, I'll never get them off.  We've struggled with money for so long, why should I think it will change.  This has been this way or that has been that way, that's how it's always been and how it always will be.  
I am preaching to myself here.  Satan wants us to stay down, defeated, to give up and accept the crap life has thrown on us, forgetting not who we are but WHOSE we are.  The Bible tells us that we were bought with a price. That we are special and loved and that once we become Christians, once we are baptized into Christ and live for Him, we are heirs to His throne. Heirs to His palace.  Heirs to Heaven! 
And while He never said live on Earth would be easy, He doesn't want us to be miserable either.  He wants us to live joyfully, to be dreamers and doers.  To see a need and attend to it. To see an opportunity and seize it.  To do these things for the good of the kingdom.  
God does not want us living in fear.  He tells us not to worry about tomorrow, for he has already taken care of it.  That's hard for me.  I am a worrier. I want to know that this meal is cooked and this bill is paid and my kids have what they need and that life is gonna all work out lovely.  
I know that God can and will and does take care of these things for me and for you.  And I don't think He wants us to give up on our dreams either.  I think He lays these dreams in our hearts and we are supposed to use them for His glory.  
In Jeremiah he says he plans for us to prosper, and to have HOPE! Hope is not a spirit of giving up (which I tweeted today I was doing, giving up).  Hope is not constant worry and self loathing.  Hope is joyful and happy and excited about things to come.  Dreams to come. Life to come.  

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)

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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Travel Much?

I LOVE to travel! I haven't gotten to travel much compared to the majority of people, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming.  I've been to Florida beaches, Alabama beaches, Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Vegas (as a teen..blah!), and on a Disney Cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay in the Bahamas.  I've been through several other states of course, but not for any length of time or vacationing.  So yeah, my list of check marks for travel is pretty short.  But my bucket list, my wide open list of places to go, is just that...wide open.  Literally, there is no where I don't want to see, so long as its safe to go there!
I just read this article on travel, and with summer break just 17school days and 23 calendar days away I can already smell the ocean and feel the butterflies in my stomach that you feel when you arrive at your destination!
Where have you traveled?  What was your favorite place? Where is your next trip set for?  Any bucket list destinations for you that you feel you HAVE TO SEE before you die?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sharing your Faith

It's pretty hard to share your faith in God with people nowadays.  The world is turning away from Him without shame.  People who go around preaching their faith all the time are considered pushy or self righteous.  How do you find the right way to share God's love?  It can be as simple as a friendly smile to someone who looks down, a meal to someone having a bad day, a gas card sent to someone struggling with finances.  Sure, you can put a note on the card or with the meal that says God loves you.  You can let them know God thought they could use a little pick me up.  But along with that, you need to be living a life that Glorifies Him!  That doesn't mean you have to be perfect, never mess up, always have it all together.  If that were the case Heaven would be pretty empty!
We don't want to condemn people, to judge people, to harp on anyone for their undesirable choices.  Why? Because thats not what Jesus came to do!  He came not to condemn, but to seek and save.  We want to show His love through ourselves, let our light shine, be a good example.
We also can't be afraid to let people know that we do love God, that we are Christians, and that we want them to be as well.  I'll admit, I don't do this as much as I should.  Sure, if asked, or the conversation is started, I'll let my heart be known.  But I don't seek out like I should.  During church service yesterday, the hymn pictured below was one we sang.  "You never mentioned Him to Me".  What an awful feeling it would be, to be standing at Heaven's gates and see someone we have worked with or played ball with or been in contact with many times, to see them weeping at the gates and look up at us and say "you never mentioned him to me!"  Oh that thought makes me sick to my stomach.  I had never thought about it that way before.
Its not my job.  Someone else can do it.  I'm not a preacher, I'm not a Sunday School Teacher.  There's a hundred churches in this town, if he/she wanted to know they could have just went.  The list of reasons/excuses can go on and on.  And sure, maybe those are true statements.  But God doesnt say, you can only talk about me if you are such and such or so and so. We are all called to not only share His love with those who already love Him, but to SEEK out those who are lost in an hopes that they may come to know and love Him as well.
I know I plan to do better about this, not by shouting and yelling and judging, but praying that my heart, my eyes, my ears are opened to hear the call when He places someone in my path that needs Him.  A simple hug and an "I'm praying for you" can be life changing.


 Lacee and her long time BFF (best friend forever) Kara.  These two have been friends since just before they started Kindergarten, ages 4 & 5.  They have had classes together some years, and some years not.  Kara plays ball, Lacee cheers.  They have alot of the same friends, and alot of different friends too.  They agree on tons of things, and are polar opposite on some (such as the importance of keeping a tidy bedroom ha!)  But throughout the years, through the changes that come with growing up, from elementary to middle and now to high school, these two have remained friends regardless.  I don't remember a time they have ever gotten into it, or not been friends. 
Through the years they have shared every birthday, every Christmas, spent time together in every season.  Yet this month, they shared the most important decisions they will ever make.  The decision to be baptized into Christ, to live for Him, and to one day live with Him in Heaven. 
We no longer attend the same church together, yet Kara and her mom missed one of their services to join us on Lacee's special day, and we of course did the same for Kara.  Us moms and the girls wouldnt have it any other way.  What a blessing to know that they will be in Heaven together, too.
I'm sure Kara will be playing ball, Lacee will be cheering for her, then Kara will be cleaning Lacee's room and fussing at her for messing it up in a days time!
God gives us friends to help us through this life, and I am so glad he gave Lacee and Kara to each other!

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer." (NLT)

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (NIV)

Proverbs 18:24 “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (NIV)

Proverbs 27:9 “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” (NLT)

Proverbs 18:24 “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” (NLT)

1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (NIV)

Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (NIV)

Giving up?

Do you ever feel like giving up? Quitting when the going gets tough? Throwing in the towel because the preparations for the goal are boring, repetative, not exciting enough?
Of course you have.  If not, you are either super human or haven't tried many things at all.
I have children that want to give up.  I refuse to let them. That makes me the meanest mommy ever at times, or the mom that doesnt listen and try to understand just how hard life can be.  I'm also the meanest mommy ever when I dont give in to every toy, every friend they think they want, or the "i'm too tired to clean my room, take out the trash, feed the dog" protest that happens daily.
I'm ok with that.  It's not easy, I do have to ask for help/support from Godly friends, and I have to pray alot.
What could happen if I gave up, took the easy way out, gave my kids every fleeting desire of their heart because it is easier than telling them no and having to deal with their protest? They would become adults unable to function in the real world because the real world doesn't cater to anybody! I would be setting them up for a life way harder than it has to be, and that would make me a pretty crappy mother.
God doesn't call us to be quitters either.  He doesn't like for us to give up. 
What if Jesus had given up? Chicken-out from hanging on that cross? Oh, how easy would it have been for him to call out to his Father God and say "the pain is too great, my fear too strong, I give up, I quit."  Where would that leave us today? Living in this insane world with no hope of Heaven, thats what would  happen.
Its hard for me to see my children unhappy, hard for me to not be a "yes mom" and always give them their latest wishes.  Imagine how hard it was for God to see his only son suffering for our sins upon that cross!! But He knew the outcome, He knew the victory would be His, the sacrifice worth the pain! Surely I can stand tough and keep the end in mind when parenting my children through their hard times as well.  And when I can't, when I struggle and need support, reassurance, guidance, I  have my God to turn to.  I have the people here on earth He has placed in my life to help me.  For that, I am so greatful.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A good mom?

I am sharing the post of one of my dear friends, a lady I am blessed to know and call my friend.  Life keeps us super busy, we rarely see each other, but we know we can call on each other at any time with a need or a question, and the other would be there without a doubt.
I have told her she is my "mommy mentor".  If I have a question about being a mom, how to handle situations with my children, she is my first call.  When I am at a loss, I call on her. So for that reason, I am sharing her post titled simply  A good mom?


My favorite, or maybe the thought most ignored in today's world, from her post is this:

4. A mother is truthful, a mother takes ownership and a mother understands the gravity of her job.

*** I do not fill my children's head with untruths. I don't make promises I cannot keep. I don't ignore the responsibilities of my children (the washing, cleaning, feeding....but more than that.... homework, school snacks, parent teacher conferences, PTA meetings, fall harvest festivals....the things that matter emotionally and educational to my child). When I mess up....I admit it. I tell my children I'm sorry. I do not lie. And I understand that in this life reality is always kinder than fantasy.......I have to be real. But I also have to temper that reality with the understanding that I am the parent. If the utility bill is too high....MY responsibility. I am the mother and the responsibility is mine. Truancy issues? My responsibility. Sick children? My responsibility. A child is not at fault or responsible for a parents behavior.
I am a mother and my choices and behavior and words are all mine!!!!
That choices and behavior and words should never embarrass my God, my family and especially my children!! I see it on facebook. I see it on instagram, I see it on Twitter....people who behave in ways that bring embarrassment (or should!). Just because my behavior is all mine does not make me the only person who is affected.
You choose to steal and go to jail? Your responsibility but your children live with your shame.
Just because it's yours does not make it okay.

Generational Curses

The following are my notes from my pastors 3 sermons titled Overcoming Iniquities. Iniquities such as generational curses.
Maybe your family has a history of alcoholism, drug addiction, abuse, suicide...
Maybe you have felt or still feel that you are doomed to follow in those same footsteps. Maybe people around you have low expectations of you based on the past, either things your parents have done or maybe even things you have done.
But guess what, you can break that cycle! You can change the future for yourself, your children, their children, and so on. It may not be easy, but it is possible. It is just outside your reach.
God knows your heart, He hears your desire to overcome these things that hold you down, that keep you awake at night, that hurt your heart when they cross your mind.
Freedom from these issues, from any issue, is just outside your reach. The Lord wants to take your hand and help you reach that freedom.  You cannot have true freedom without the Lord.  You must let go and let God. Literally. Let him step in, let him help you. God doesn't want you living in fear, not reaching your full potential.

(I use the version called "The Message" because unlike other versions, it reads in common everyday language, making it to much easier for me to understand. You can also tell my note taking got better each service..;) )

Overcoming Iniquities (generational curses)

Exodus 20:5-6 ~ 5 Don't bow down to them and don't serve them because I am God, your God, and I'm a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me. 6 But I'm unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments. ~
Ephesians 4:23 ~ a life renewed from the inside ~
God gives you a brand new thought pattern. If your thought patterns change, your desires change.
Thinking something isn't a sin, but thinking and rethinking it is.
Philippians 2:3-5 ~ 3 Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. 4 Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. 5 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.
When you wish the best for others, you destroy jealousy.
When you put others before self, you destroy pride. ~
Proverbs 26:2 ~  You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow. ~
Give the bird no place to land
Quit blaming God, quit blaming others, and take responsibility for yourself.
The devil is always looking for the weakest link in our lives.
Micah 7:8-9 ~ 8 Don't, enemy, crow over me. I'm down, but I'm not out. I'm sitting in the dark right now, but God is my light. 9 I can take God's punishing rage. I deserve it - I sinned. But it's not forever. He's on my side and is going to get me out of this. He'll turn on the lights and show me his ways. I'll see the whole picture and how right he is. ~
Rise above the fray (the stresses and tribulations of life)
2 Corinthians 2:14 ~  And I got it, thank God!
Micah 7:18-19 ~ 18 Where is the god who can compare with you - wiping the slate clean of guilt, Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear, to the past sins of your purged and precious people? You don't nurse your anger and don't stay angry long, for mercy is your specialty. That's what you love most. 19 And compassion is on its way to us. You'll stamp out our wrongdoing. You'll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean. ~

Iniquities part 2

You can cut off those generational curses! You can walk in freedom!
The Word says we can!!!!
You must be able to forgive in order to be set free from these bondages. Forgive yourself, forgive God, forgive others. This is the number one struggle!!!
If unforgiveness is working in your life, you won't be able to reach the good things God has for you.
Don't put yourself through more hurt by not letting go of the hurt. Give it to God, let it go, and do not pick it up again.

~But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (Romans 7:17-25 MSG)~

If we are unwilling to change, to take new things in, we are holding ourselves back. We must be willing to change in order to get better and move beyond where we are right now.
If we are still struggling with the same issues over and over, we must be willing to change.

You must be willing to not be your own worst enemy.
~Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God's servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil's trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands. (2 Timothy 2:22-26 MSG)~

Iniquities will drive you, but emotions will deceive you. Have you ever had your emotions run wild? That's why you must forgive when the issue happens, because the longer we hold the anger, the longer it eats at us and controls our emotions.
Iniquities work in people, they lead them to continue in the same ugly pattern.
God can open our eyes and show us a new way to see things.
You have to let God work in you, to get you out of thinking the junk in your life is normal. He can show you how to have more fun, to be more joyous, to see life in a new light.
Alot of times we let self pity rob us of letting go and moving on and receiving the beautiful treasures God has laid up for us.
~Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, "Do you want to get well?" The sick man said, "Sir, when the water is stirred, I don't have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in." Jesus said, "Get up, take your bedroll, start walking." The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off. (John 5:1-9 MSG)~

Iniquities Part 3

~Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18 MSG)~

You have to be willing to change. God can't move you if you aren't willing. He can't move a parked car.

Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable to you, you will never be able to truly change at all because you will be under the control of those things.

Once you give something up for The Lord, for Him to help you, He will give you something good in place of it.

You gotta get fed up with the way things are right now, you gotta give it to God.

When you do something good and right, you should do it because you WANT to rather than because you have to.

To be Translated is instant
To be Transformed is a process
Getting married instantly translates you from single to married. But the transformation process of learning to love and be the spouse you are called to be takes many years.

Grow in your Joy

~When they finished everything required by God in the Law, they returned to Galilee and their own town, Nazareth. There the child grew strong in body and wise in spirit. And the grace of God was on him. (Luke 2:39, 40 MSG)~

Even Jesus had to grow in his joy and in his wisdom.
If you have deep deep joy deep inside your relationship with The Lord, you can endure anything. Don't let that joy be lost.

Grow in Wisdom
Knowledge is knowing a lot of facts. (Book Sense).
Wisdom is developed from listening to God, reading His Word, and learning from it.

Get a journal. Pray. Read the Bible. Write in your journal what you learn and what The Lord is telling you through your prayer and reading time.

~Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth. If you praise him in the private language of tongues, God understands you but no one else does, for you are sharing intimacies just between you and him. But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you're letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you. (1 Corinthians 14:1-3 MSG)~

We have to come to the place that we realize that God wants us to grow in favor with him.

~Luke 2:40. There the child grew strong in body and wise in spirit. And the grace of God was on him. They Found Him in the Temple ~

Every time you make a decision to follow The Lord, to walk with him, He gives you an upgrade. Like upgrading your phone, when you walk with God you find yourself growing in His peace, His love, His understanding.

Just because you have taken a wrong turn, made a wrong choice, you don't have to live in the place those decisions have taken you. It's not too late for a U-Turn.
God loves you. He loves a repentant heart. He wants to destroy the bad crop, and help you grow a new crop.

When you are willing to be totally honest with God, to tell Him you want nothing between you and Him. When we allow God to have open access to us, we have the ability to choose righteous choices over evil ones.


Won't you hand your stresses over to God?  He can handle them far better than we ever can.  Let Him help you forgive yourself, forgive others, and move on to a life without the added baggage of the past?