Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Nixing the Negativity!


I am going to send you to an incredible resource for today's blog from Positive Parenting Solutions. This post is all about getting rid of negativity in the way we talk to the kids. I really needed this reminder yesterday... as my energy levels are being reserved to make a baby (wink, wink), keeping up with the kids is getting to be a bit of a challenge. I needed to be encouraged again to stop barking out No's and don't, and stay outta that's! Instead I should be changing my vocabulary to what it is that I actually desire them TO DO.... in a positive manner. Less confusing and creates a better response.

So enjoy!! I cannot wait to read part two on this topic!!!



http://www.positiveparentingsolutions.com/parenting/nixing-negativity-ditching-the-dont-part-1





Monday, April 29, 2013

Meditation Monday: My life IS worship.


A challenge and building passion has been hitting me over the last couple months with the continued revelation that my life is worship to God.

By the pure fact that God created me for His pleasure, concludes that He had enjoyment in who I would be even before I was in existence. Such a comfort comes when I realize... before I could do, serve, create anything, He had pleasure in who I was.

*Sigh*, deep breath of relief.

Take that in friends. God found pleasure in you... before you could bring anything to Him.


So then living a life of worship to God should be simple, not a heavy burden. It should be as easy as lifting our eyes to Him.


The manner in which we live worship to God, I believe comes out in the little things, the organic, common moments, where we allow the presence of our Father to engulf our lives. It's in the natural day to day life, where we please our Father. It's in the smile we give our children. It's the small conversation to our neighbor that says they are valued enough to spend time with. It's in the running your hand through your hubby's hair, to show you love him. It's in the simplicity of preferring another over yourself. It's in the whispered prayers through out the day.

So sit back for a moment. Let it soak in. God loves you. His first purpose of your life is to show you that He Loves YOU! That He enjoys YOU. YOU, not what you've done. Purely and simply just YOU. Once we realize that.... it becomes a joy to live. We are loved and accepted beyond all things.

Blessings today as we rest in God's love.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Freedom Friday: I cast all my cares and worries on the Lord. Baby #6!!!!!



For today I though I would announce something special!!

I eluded to it on Tuesday... tehehehehe....

We are EXPECTING!!! Baby #6 to come Early November!!!

Lots of things come to mind when I think about this pregnancy.

To start this has been the first time that I have genuinely been surprised. With all the others I knew the time was coming. This was a bit of a new experience.

I have had to process more this time than I have with the others. We had said that we were pretty sure we were done at 5 babes. In my mind, it was a wisdom call. I felt I had a good handle on the 5 girls. My quiver was full. I felt like I could do a great job raising the 5 girls. On top of that we have been overwhelmingly blessed with 5 healthy children. What more could I ask for????!!!!! We were thankful for being able to have so many children and didn't take it for granted. Plus the birth of our last one was almost magical. I couldn't imagine a better experience to finish off our family!!! Yet we did not feel the peace to do anything permanent. I often said to friends that, if I didn't get so sick and had so many hip issues at the end I would jump at the opportunity to have a 6th. But I couldn't in full consciousness have another one and sacrifice the girls for 9 months.

Then the test!!


The words were taken straight out of my mouth.



I praise the Lord for my husband who is so amazing. I know I might sound like a broken record by now. But I have honestly been blown away with him. The peace that covered him was exactly what I needed. He challenged my attitude. But not only that, has continued to rise to the occasion taking on more than I could ever expect out of a full time (plus) hard worker, father of 5 girls, fully invested in pouring into our local church and now to have a wife, that is  in dear need of support.

I have a lot of fears in my weakness moments. Which is why Adam was challenging my attitude.

Can I possibly be able to handle having another baby? Can I be a blessing to my family, while being sick and dealing with joint pain? After experiencing the loss of a baby, I was also dealing with fears of the health of the baby.

But then I am reminded, I have God. I have a God that has a good and perfect plan. A God that desires to give us above and beyond what we expect out of life. We have been praying for favor and blessing. We have been praying for God to lead our family and direct our future.

After I walked down from our bathroom to register it all... I looked to our fridge. I have two things printed and put on my fridge that we are meditating on and believing for!! I couldn't help but giggle. God does have a sense of humor and praise the Lord he does have a hand in our lives.





Here I thought I have been set off track and yet that couldn't be further from the truth. God has been preparing us for months. He knew all along and was softening our hearts and building our capacity to handle another child and yet more change. Our prayer has always been give us the path that creates the best outcome regardless of the way too it. He is bringing abundance in our lives. Having a big family is a huge blessing but it isn't easy. Life is never simple. But then I remember... every person who has favor in the bible didn't have it easy. They had pressure points that help mold them into a better person, someone who sought after God in all things.


I desire that life. I desire a full life that has a full and beautiful future ahead. We talked with a couple family's after we found out we were expecting and the advice they gave was amazing. Don't plan for the today, plan for what you desire the future to look like. God will always help you with the today. AMEN to that!!!

As a step of faith, I have written a prayer, it's my prayer for this new little one. God's plan is so much greater than mine that I can hardly fathom it in my humanity.

"Lord we thank you for this opportunity to trust in you. We thank you for giving us this baby!! We sing praises to you as you knit together this little on in my womb. We have faith and hope and certainty for the things that we do not see. For by God all things were created including this baby! We thank you for the opportunity to build our family once more and we trust you to work out all the details as we cast all of our cares on you!! We fear not or dwell in the past but rest in the shadow of You our Almighty God. We choose peace as you are doing a new thing in us. As the streams spring up, we see you make a way. For Yours is the glory forever and ever. Amen."

For Freedom Friday I release all worries and cares about the pregnancy and birth of this incredible blessing of another baby!!!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Throw Back Thursday: Clear Eyes: The destruction of Pornography



Sooo this is a big one today... fairly heavy and fairly raw. I pray that it lands on gentle ears and brings healing to those who may need to know that they are not alone!!!



I am unsure where to start really… maybe with my undying admiration I have for my husband and his willingness to be open about his struggles….

My incredible husband of 10 years!!!! It’s because of the way I see him live out life with a passion to feel the pain in order to gain the lesson that I share… It’s the fact that no matter what we go through… I always know that the way that he looks into my eyes tells me a world of answers to questions that only God can direct me with grace to ask…. Maybe it’s because the more time I live out life with others the more I know how much this topic needs to be addressed. 

For the women… for the wives… for the girlfriends who all desire to support the men in our lives, this blog is for you!

Only by the grace of God do I share this… and not because I believe that we are free from struggle but because I have seen so much victory within our marriage in the last 10 years!!!

 I will never forget the day that he told me everything… before we were married… before we were dating… he opened up… We prayed we cried and I told him I would support him no matter what!!!  And I believe that I have… even to a fault. That’s the day that I was introduced to a topic that I didn’t know anything about… Pornography.

Our marriage has been solid. We often say that only by that grace of God have we been able to stay unified through some of the struggles that we have gone through in our few years of marriage. Sometimes we look back in awe at how many moments God gave wisdom that was beyond our years… and then protection that was undeserved considering the decisions that we had made.

There may be some of you that read this and are in shock!!! “How could you possibly be a follower of Christ and struggle with pornography.”  This is where our humility comes in and a reliance in the fact that we believe that only through being able to create open avenues of communication can we grow and learn from others mistakes.  So we put our hearts and our story on the line, we desire to help and open a door to healing in those who have struggled with the same things.

On the other side there may be a few of you who are rolling your eyes and confused at the topic even being addressed. "It’s just porn!! Calm down!!! What’s the big deal? It’s just a guy thing!! "

Early on, at one point I fell into the side of “maybe it’s not that big of a deal” and decided  to stop confronting. For all the struggles that people go through this certainly was not something that I needed to make a big deal out of… I had a husband that love me unconditionally and worked his butt off to support our family… he was an incredible father to our two children (at the time)… and I knew that even through this one struggle… he loved God with all of his heart and desired to live his life serving God in every possible way he knew how. It was a short time… I think only about 3mths or so… but during that time… everything seemed to darken around me. Including his eyes and the way he looked at me. The more I chose to give freedom instead of talking, the more I felt chained to pain and hurt. God was pulling at my heart non-stop! It was a big deal!!!!!! And everything inside me screamed… until I couldn’t handle it anymore. By this quick point everything had spiraled in my mind to believe that the disconnect I was feeling meant the worst must be the case and there for… I asked him… I asked if there was anyone else… that’s the first time my words have ever broken his heart. Not because I had accused him… but because of the reality of how far he had gone and how much he had hurt my heart… There was no one else, but his mind and thoughts were not mine, his eyes were not mine. He confessed of how he was going to the strip clubs and he was really struggling.  In my naivety I hadn’t realized there was anything more than “those” magazines and “those” websites. That’s when his count started… I’d have to ask him for the exact # of days…. pretty sure he stopped counting after the 2,500 day mark since he has gone to a strip club. That was a HUGE step to seeing the clarity in my husband’s eyes and a step towards victory!!!

I would like to say that it got sooo much better from there… but we continued to struggle within our 3 year old marriage.  It was a journey. Something we learned was how to fall forward.  Our broken hearted prayer became one of “Lord, I know I will fail but within those failures teach me how to fall forward. Teach me how to grow and learn and NOT go through the same lesson over and over again. May I be open enough to allow You to mold my life into something beautiful.”

I love him more today than the first day that I laid eyes on him. BECAUSE, we have allowed God to teach us through this struggle. Because we didn’t sweep things under the carpet. Because we chose to address every little issue, every feeling I had. Because I chose, as much as it hurt to not allow for it to be an attack on my worth.  All of that… has created our continuing story of God’s faithfulness again in our lives. And because of that I now have the confidence to say our marriage is stronger because of it!!

We now have a new count… it’s pretty amazing… this is the victory part right here…. I know that one day soon we will be able to look back and say… it’s been… soooo many thousands of days since pornography created a wall between him and I and with God. The victory is the deep line carved out in rock!!! We, not just my husband… it’s him and I, unified, doing life together and being led by God to obtain all that He has called in our lives!!!

So…..
Why is denying pornography to be a part of your relationship a big deal?? For me it’s because I have seen… I have seen the clarity and loving passion in my husband’s eyes. I have seen him without the capturing of his soul and mind to something that pulls his spirit from my spirit. Nothing can steer me away from how important it is to fight for my husband’s beautiful eye’s and heart now!!!!  Nothing will steal our future from us!!!

*****************************

What I have learned!!!!

For those who are not married:
Whether you are in a relationship or not… you will always see signs of a sexual struggle. A couple of the obvious ones are crude comments or jokes. Something that I remember one of our pastors saying was what you are willing to laugh about you will accept as being normal. Movie choices also show an acceptance of sexual sin.  We had to go through our movie collection at one point and get rid of a bunch of movies with crude humor. God was teaching us that you can never have too sensitive of a spirit.
Every person struggles with something, BUT!!! What you want to look for in a friend and eventual husband is a willingness to be open and honest. Someone who will address issues quickly, and isn’t defensive when confronted. Above all else you want a man who you can see God’s presence and hand in their lives at all times through all circumstances!!!  Those qualities will last the test of time!!!

For those who are newly married or engaged:
Ask the right questions now!!! Open the communication NOW!!!! There is nothing like a kick in the gutt to know that for so many years your husband has been struggling with pornography alone!!! There is not a one sided struggle in a marriage… you’re in it together!!!  Mark 4:22 “We’re not keeping secrets were telling them; were not hiding things, were bringing them out into the open.” Marriage is about being unified and connected and working through things for the good and the bad!!! We need to allow ALL topics to be in the light!!! No matter what!!! Choose to be courageous!! It is a big deal!!!!!!!  It will save a lot of heartache in the long run!!!! Then pray!!!! Pray for wisdom and protection, and sensitivity to know when things are not quite right.

For those who are in the trenches:
You are not alone!
This is not about you!!! No matter whether you are at your pre-baby, pre-wedding weight…. or how often you have sex. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!!! This was a struggle before you!!!
Men’s attack comes in the area where they are meant to cherish their wives…
Women will be attacked emotionally … and it typically comes out when we start using manipulation and guilt as part of the process of confrontation.

We will always receive better response from our husbands when we confront with a loving confidence that addresses the core first before the emotional effect it has had on us.
Pull out the best in our husbands not the worse. God created men to have that passionate drive and desire… What is your husband passionate about… what has God called him in. To start God has called our husbands to be the head of our homes. To passionately protect and care and love our families!!! Pornography will cause that drive to be side tracked. Pornography will always leave a hole.

As much as it may hurt, have sex! Never allow this struggle to get in between your sexual relationship!! 
We need to be awake to what is going around us. Do not be tranquilized with the business of our lives!!!
Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach us how to see… how to see the “disconnect” in our husbands eyes.
Then stay connected… call, email, encourage… “How is your mind today?” “You seem a little distant…” “I love you babe…. And hey… can I do anything for you?” “I have an uneasiness in my spirit… is everything okay…” “Babe, you are amazing… thank you for leading our home with integrity and passion.”


I asked Adam to put a prayer together to finish this post. May this prayer become the battle cry for those who are struggling, and may it be a beautiful stake in the ground for those who desire continued blessing in their lives. 

Father,
Keep me safe in you as I pursue you first.
Give me the grace to walk life out with my own desires being less and less important in all areas of life. Give me new opportunities to put others first, to humble myself and prefer another.
Give me eyes to see your blessings all around; your joy, peace and love in choosing life over death. Blessing over curse.
Strengthen my resolve to love what you love, and a hate what you hate. To passionately desire a pure love; an unconditional agape love.
Holy Spirit rest on me today, as you build my spirit man to need more and more of you, and less of me.
I commit to start my day with you; committing my mind, soul and spirit to you.
Thank you for my wife, she is a heavenly blessing that I will cherish today. You truly are a good God.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Worship Wednesday: God's Great Dance Floor



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-WOneEXr00


                                                          "God's Great Dance Floor"

I’m coming back to the start
Where You found me
I’m coming back to Your heart
Now I surrender
Take me
This is all I can bring

I’m coming back to the start
I got this freedom
In here we feel Your heart
Your heartbeat for us
Take me
This is all I can bring

[Chorus:]
You’ll never stop loving us
No matter how far we run
You’ll never give up on us
All of heaven shouts: let the future begin
Let the future begin

Take me
This is all I can bring

[Chorus:]
You’ll never stop loving us
No matter how far we run
You’ll never give up on us
All of heaven shouts: let the future begin

I feel alive, I come alive
I am alive on God’s great dance floor
I feel alive, I come alive
I am alive on God’s great dance floor
I feel alive, I come alive
I am alive on God’s great dance floor
I feel alive, I come alive
I am alive on God’s great dance floor
I feel alive, I come alive
I am alive on God’s great dance floor
God’s great dance floor!




**************************************

O this song makes me wanna get up and dance!! Be encouraged and uplifted today!!!

~Lord I thank you for giving us a life and for giving us a life to rejoice in. Thank you for creating a beautiful future for each of us. Continue to lead us on that path to be able to obtained all that you have made for each of us before we were even born.~

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Family Focus



For today I thought it would be pretty cool to fill you in on our LONG awaited Family Focus. Some of you may remember me mentioning a book from way back when called "The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family" by Patrick Lencioni. (http://www.amazon.com/Three-Big-Questions-Frantic-Family/dp/0787995320) I read it last fall and LOVED the book. But Adam and I just could not find the time and head space to put into practice what the book was discussing. Cool timing though because of how many changes have been coming up in the last couple months plus the added benefit of our decision to be purposeful with our 10 Anniversary. I guess God was just waiting for things to line up!!!

To recap the book, it basically poses three questions for every family.

1. What makes your family unique? (Core Values)

2. What is your family's top priority - rallying cry- right now? (What is the biggest thing that you are doing right now or need to be doing? (Renovations, creating financial stability, saving for something???)With in that create "Defining Objectives," the things that are vital to accomplishing that rally cry and "Standard Objectives," the day to day tasks that need to not be forgotten. )

3. How do you talk about and use the answers to these questions?

You should basically be able to put this all together within an hour. Lencioni says in my simplified words, not to make an enemy out of trying to perfect this process. Do it fast. He also writes about a 80/20 Rule. 80% of value of any endeavor comes from the first 20% of the work. We found that once we got the ball rolling it all came out super easy. Most of this stuff we have already discussed and thought about. We had just never put it into a format. All that to say have fun, get it down and make some plans!!!

To example I will use what we put down. :)

1. What makes our family unique? (We found it came out more closely as Core Values)

  • We are committed to go where God goes.
  • We are committed to the best result regardless of the road to it.
  • We are committed to building relationships with God, one another and the world. (Yes, it does sound familiar to anyone one who goes to Koinonia, we giggled after putting it down... we were trying put into words our thoughts... and well that is what came out naturally.)
2. What is our "Rallying Cry"? (6 mth timeline: now-September)
  • Bring into alignment: Vocation, Ministry and Family. 
  • Defining Objectives: Create focused efforts in all three areas (We have lots of details here, Such as prioritizing our church involvement,  Adam's work (create focus in purpose and future), setting up for  my home care job in the summer, and finally Family: getting ready for our new little addition. See how I just snuck that in here.)
  • Standard Objectives: Things we need to be sure not loose track of:  Bringing worship time into each day, accomplishing teaching Rayne to read, continue a healthy food lifestyle, nail down the budget. (there are few more... but you get the idea)
3. How are we going to use and answer these questions?
  • We prayed about and are putting action to our Defining Objectives.
  • Asked for feedback and advice from multiple different mentors in our lives.
  • Plan on coming back to this in one week, then connecting every 2-4 weeks. With each other and those who we are doing life with.

   
So that is how we put into action the three questions of this book. I am sooo thrilled with being able to have the time to do this. It is the first time since we have been married that we feel as if the future is clear. It has been a journey to get here. Each step has been an adventure and continues to be.

I am also so excited to hear from all of you. I would love to hear how you put family core values and future plans together. Or how these three questions have helped and encouraged you.




~Lord I thank you for the journey you are putting each of us on and I thank you for the lessons you allow us to go through in order to become more mature. I pray that we will all continue to learn how to become more purposeful with our time, our families and our future. May Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!!!~





Monday, April 22, 2013

Meditation Monday: "Vacate"



Well I'm back...

For those who didn't know last week my hubby and I headed down south to Pigeon Forge,Tennessee. (I am pretty sure I can't say that now with out the Tennessee slur.) Then up into the smoky mountains to relax in a secluded cabin. IT was truly AMAZING!!!

Now to back up a bit... we've been thinking and praying about this vacation for about a year... knowing our 10th anniversary was coming up we wanted to be able to do something special.

About four years ago we went to the Dominican to an all inclusive resort. It was so good!!! The resort totally made sense for the season we were in!! That being said... it was a stretch... spiritually. I remember the one night... sitting on the bed. Adam was pacing... and I just felt a HUGE spiritual oppression on us. I couldn't figure it out and it absolutely unsettled me!!! The two of us were really struggling with keeping our minds in check. I had brought some pretty cool books to read, brought my devotionals and my bible... and didn't pick it up once. We went on vacation purposing to do some future planing and praying and didn't even breach the topic. We had fun, but left a bit empty. No further along then when we left.

I am totally going out on a limb here and may press some buttons... so feel free to chalk it up as our thought process. That being said, we started thinking about resorts. Hmmm.... When you head to an all inclusive resort.... what is the purpose of going there... to put it bluntly it's to be waited on hand and foot. You go to satisfy selfish desire. I deserve, I want, I eat, I drink, I do...

Now there are seasons when... to be honest... that is super super appealing!!! This 10 year anniversary didn't seem to be that season for us. Were we needing some time to refocus... yes, rest yes. But looking back on our vacation to the Dominican. We came back physically rested, but we were not "at rest." We spent a whole week, doing nothing but, we also gained nothing. There was no progression, no growth.

So we started praying. Then in March Adam challenged me.  He asked me to follow along with what God had been speaking to him. He started by posing this question,

 "What is the root word of Vacation?"

Whaaa??? Super random question!!!! Hmmm...

THEN it HIT ME!!! I knew where he was going "Vacate."
The root word is VACATE! Are you telling me that all this time we have been planing on vacating???

I HAVE NEVER NEVER thought of that... (not to get all super spiritual on merely a word but this really hit a chord for where we were at) Here we have been processing and talking about Vacating life. Leaving it all behind for a well deserved time away from life. LIFE! God has given us this life. These children, our jobs, our life. Then things started to settle into place. We couldn't think of one area in the bible where God tells us that we should vacate life to become more rested. The only place that we could think of where someone left "life" was when a person would go to the wilderness alone to pray and wait on the voice of God.

That's when the question was posed. What is the purpose of this "vacation." Do we desire to leave life behind to satisfy selfishness?? A bit dramatic... but that's how deeply God was stirring.

Our desire for the time away was to come back not just rested, but "at rest." Not just satisfied with food, but fed emotionally and spiritually. Not just to think about how far we have come in 10 years but to pray and dream about what we want our next 10 years to look like. We really felt a HUGE conviction to be purposeful.

And so the idea came. A cabin, in the "wilderness." Somewhere that we could be purposeful with our time with out the constant pull to satisfy selfish desires.

So that's what we did!!!!

We prayed, we read, we planned. We put onto paper our Family Core values, our "rallying cry" and our objectives for the next 2-6mths!!! For the first time since we have been married our future is put into focus!!!




Now we are back. Day one of the next beautiful 10 years!!! Life is good!!! We are so excited with what God has in store for our lives as individuals and as a family!!!





God Bless you all as we continue on learning and growing as families!!!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Worship Wednesday: Jason Gray - Remind me who I am.






It's amazing how we can so easily forget where our value comes from.
 
If you are having a hard time today remembering who you are be encouraged!!!
 
You are loved!
 
You are valued!!
 
You are anticipated for!!
 
Your are invested in!!
 
You have a purpose!!
 
You have a calling!!
 
You have a reason why you are alive and here!!
 
You belong to a Father who's love is never ending and all encompassing!!!
 
 
Embrace God's undying passion for you!!!

YOU ARE BELOVED!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Nurture



Good morning all you wonderful mommas!!!! Praying your night went well and this fine rainy Spring Day brings a refreshing to your spirit!!!



To start I wanted to encourage you Daughters of the King!!

"A daughter is her father's Joy and her mother's treasure because she quickens the heart. An heiress, she was hoped for and is their hope for the future. As the potential carrier and bearer of life, she is human wealth. Her creation was God's altogether lovely crown of creation, the one who completes."


Women of strength and purpose. You are humanities wealth!!! Isn't that such a beautiful thought!!!



Last night I was chilling in my bath relaxing after a long day and reading  Nurture by Lisa Bevere.
One part totally popped out to me! I thought I would share it today because of how much I believe it lines up with what we've been talking about!!!



We as women, as mothers to those around us, to our own children biologically or in heart we are called to nurture.

Here is a section from the book that I LOVED to explain the concept of Nurturing.


Nurture Defined and Applied


1. Tender Care
    Use this approach when you're handling sensitive areas or dealing with the young. Tender care is a genuine interest and concern coupled with a gentle approach as you tend areas in or instruct the life of another. We are charged to be tender with small children because their spirits are so pliable. There is never a need to be harsh when someone looks up to you.

Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. (1Thessalonians 5:14)

Tenderness is also required when dealing with those who are injured. If you are rough, they will not heal properly.


2. Protection
   This quality is often hard to navigate. We live in a mind-your-own-business world. But the truth is, as Christians we are to be involved in each other's worlds. If we see others at risk or in harm's way, we should intervene to see that damage is prevented. If we are in fact one body, then we are not isolated, and an injury to on is an injury to all. To protect is to prevent harm or damage from occurring. To know when to get involved, I try to turn the story around: if I were in the other person's shoes, would I want someone's input? If so, the I speak up. Meddling is messing without the motive to help.

If we are in fact one body, then we are not isolated, and an injury to one is an injury to all.


3. Encourage
   Over the years I have found this to be the most priceless gift you can give or receive. To encourage is to gift another with courage, hope and confidence. The world is filled with those whose hearts are failing them. There is widespread fear of loss on ever level. For you simply to tell someone you believe in him or hug her is huge. Encouragement is in its purest form when encouraging someone lends no benefit to you.

*****

I love how God confirms things when you are genuinely seeking guidance!!! Lines up with our parenting goals eh???!!! WOOT WOOT!!!

So how would you relate these three points to parenting?

How can we change or enhance our mothering to include these vital aspects of Nurturing to the children within our influence??



~God teach us how to parent in a tender way, protecting in vital moments and encouraging their spirits through out each day!!~

Monday, April 8, 2013

Meditation Monday: Rest


Lots of things on my mind lately.

But the biggest thing is rest. Not physical rest but the rest that comes from being completely at peace. A rest that brings a joy and with that joy a strength.

I desire to be a woman of strength. Not in my own doing, but the supernatural kind that shines forth beyond my life.

I desire to be a mother who is a blessing to my family. With a positive outlook beyond the natural.

I desire to be a wife who supports my husband in all things, through all things and despite all things.


"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever." Psalm 23:26

When I'm in God's presence, it's not that the problems go away, but that I have a heavenly outlook  and understand that God has it all under control.


"John 4:35 "Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest." If we are looking up, we will see it the way God sees it. And God has an answer for everything." Beni Johnson

When I am not looking to myself to answer my problems or to somehow find peace in my own pressing in of will. I can rest. I can rest in the confidence of Christ!

"I know when I am really in that place where I feel completely connected to God because I have an instant peace. When I am in that place, it feels as though everything makes sense and becomes "centered" in an instant. In that place, I experience a peace and warmth that could be described as nothing but truly divine. It is almost saying "ahhhh" in my spirit, soul, and body. There is nothing on earth that is like that feeling. It is pure ecstasy." Beni Johnson.


Be encouraged today to go find time. Go find time to be with God. One on one. Pray, listen, write what he places into your heart. Be at rest my friends!!!


~Lord may my relationship continue to grow in you. May my rest, peace and strength be found in you. Thank you that in life I have no worries. But in relationship with you I have a pure confidence. I rest in your word that says "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."~





Friday, April 5, 2013

Freedom Friday: Perfection


YUP I did just totally miss yesterday. I do have a post... but I couldn't put it together with the final "Peace" to know it was true to the heart of the message... SOOO I didn't post. I think it's so important not to just spout thoughts and stories with out a final check with the Holy Spirit. I am learning slowly to not just jump. Check, double check, then pray... and wait for the rest in my spirit. When it is done... it should be a good one... It's on a pretty hot topic.. so be sure to look for it next week on Thursday!!!

FOR TODAY!!!!

I am being stirred a lot lately on the whole idea of only portraying the "perfect" life. How we need to not compare ourselves to others highlight reels. And then to only post our perfection moments!!! I am learning step by step to be real. To be open. To be honest.

Isn't that what the whole Christian life is meant to be... isn't it wrapped up in the FACT that NONE of us are perfect.... no matter how hard we tried before Christ... there was absolutely NO way that we could ever be in right standing with our Father. Still now... with the forgiveness of our sins our "righteousness" or right standing with God, ONLY comes from the fact that Jesus paid the price for us! It isn't what we do, how we do it or even how much we acknowledge that we fail. None of it has anything to do with US!


WOW!!!


The "Proverbs 31 Woman" is a good verse to learn how to be a good steward in all that we put our hands to... but it was never meant to create condemnation in our lives... to create guilt and shame for never living up to all that we feel that we are "supposed" to be.

Our FOCUS should always be on God. Lord, may my eyes always be looking straight up to you. I know that through You, my priorities will all line up. My "doing" will be more likely to line up with your purposes for my life and comparisons won't find it's way creeping into my life!!!

I desire to be set free!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13_Py-6eRqI







For more thoughts on this topic check out:

http://motheroffivelittleladies.blogspot.ca/2012/06/where-does-it-say-that-we-all-need-to.html

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/tech/stop-instagramming-your-perfect-life

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Toddler Tuesday/Worship Wednesday: Genuine motherhood



Well I was away yesterday.. so Toddler Tuesday is a day late!!! But Instead of just omitting it... I'll just double up my entries today!!!

Pretty cool timing though...

I was thinking on what I wanted to talk about today for Toddler Tuesday and I had such a cool conversation with my sister - in - law yesterday that got my mind going again... about being a mom.

What does it mean to be a mom... what is my role... what pressures do I put on myself that are unrealistic, not my personality, and would go against the grain of being genuine.

Right up there with wanting my kids to know I love them ALWAYS and that I am never disappointed in them is... to be GENUINE!!!

I have often struggled with wearing the pressure of being everything for my kids. Mother, friend, playmate... The whole playmate thing has really bothered me... I didn't know how to get on their level and just play... and to be honest... I never really "played" as a child so to make the connection now is a bit tricky.

I remember telling Adam about how I was wrestling with the whole idea of being a mom that plays all day with the kids... and his response surprised me... "I have never asked you to be a mom that plays all day with the kids." That was a HUGE revelation... no he never has!! Yet, I have put such unrealistic expectations on myself for years... and only now have I asked the one person who's opinion is the closest to my heart??!! Adam reminding me that I have put an expectation on myself that he has never asked was sooo confusing.

It made me think... how many things have I been pushing and pressuring myself to be that isn't genuine to who I am... and God is watching me struggle saying (if I would only stop to listen) "My dear child, I have never asked you to DO any of that!!"

SO I am in FULL thought on all of this in the Car with Julia (my sister-in-law) and a song comes on... this is where Worship Wednesday comes in... :)




Jules may not have noticed... but... totally brought me to tears!!!


This is all God has asked us to be to our kids... the rest is icing on the cake!!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4p9CdXCPWE




~ Lord may my relationship with you  continue to grow in leaps and bounds!!! May  my children always see my desire to serve you everyday of my life! May they feel an abundance of love, joy and peace overflowing in my life!!! May my love for you shine so contagiously, that they will desire to follow my example!!!~

Monday, April 1, 2013

Meditation Monday: Giving by Cherie Funk



Today for Meditation Monday I am welcoming Cherie Funk to the group! I have had the pleasure of getting to know her for the last couple years and what a treasure! I was so excited when she said yes to writtting a post for me!!! So enjoy this blog on Giving. Such a beautiful way to encouraging tithing.

Blessings Cherie as you and your family continue to grow in wisdom and understanding!!! It was a joy to read through and hear your thoughts and heart on this topic!



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Giving money to church never came naturally to me, maybe it was how I was brought up or maybe it was other factors. I remember the first time I ever tithed the full 10% on my paycheck and it felt so awesome to be obedient and didn’t know why I hadn’t sooner, but at times I still wondered how I’d ever survive on 90%, somehow I always did and God always blessed me and I was very “fortunate” in life. Giving like I said however was always a bit of a back and forth with me and God though, it wasn’t like other messages I could just so easily receive like healing and forgiveness. At times I struggled to be a “cheerful” giver although I decided if I wasn’t going to be cheerful in it I wasn’t going to do it because then it’s not in faith and then it would be all in vain. I then started to learn about offerings and special seeds sown in tears (Psalms 126:5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy), well I can relate to the latter for sure ie. Crying when giving….but I didn’t know the tears I would cry later (after the giving) would be soooooo worth the tears at the time of giving.



Let me tell you probably one of the biggest things God ever did for me in my life. Back in 2004 I moved to Toronto to launch my career after I graduated University. I had been attending church in Waterloo but I needed to find a church where I lived as well so I prayed God would show me a church to attend, one I could really grow in the Word and be able to witness to people. Shortly after that I was at a bus stop and a kind lady passed by me and handed me a flyer to a bible study group that was located right by my apartment. I thought I should check it out. When I went I soon learned I was the first person to ever come and the pastors (husband and wife) recently moved from Africa to be missionaries to Canada!! As a side note I thought that was pretty wild, I always thought we were the ones to go there?!?! I was stunned by the Word that they spoke and the Bible just came alive to me and jumped off the pages. I had never felt so refreshed in the Word, so excited, so eager to read it every day. I decided this was the place for me! Soon after I learned they had their annual pastors and partners conference coming up in Nigeria, Africa and I was invited to come! This was around 3 months after I started to attend. I said YES!!! Although there was one problem: my parents. I was in my early 20’s and here I am going to Africa with two people I just met?! My parents weren’t exactly regular church attenders by any stretch at that time. They believed in God but didn’t attend church regularly since I was a small child, but I had been praying for them for soooo long that they would come to church, especially my dad because he was such a workaholic and he would actually always fall asleep in church. One of my deepest desires was to see him sold out to God and plugged into church. So I prayed for them a lot. They were, to say the least, not fully onboard with me going but what could they do, I was an adult not living with them anymore. My pastors met my parents and they agreed to me going.

So I went and it ROCKED my world, I was so blown away at the miracles I saw happen, the power of God I felt, the message I heard and so much more. To shorten the story I will skip to the main point - so it came to the last night of the conference and then I was heading back home. The message was on financial giving and sowing a special seed in tears. I have to be honest I don’t recall much of this message now, however it spoke to me so much at the time, I really felt led to give all of my entire travel money I had left as a special seed. I had only enough money to get home, money for some gifts I was planning to buy at the airport and “security” money (ie. If something goes down I’ve got some extra dough) BUT that night I felt sooooo led to give it all in the offering!! This was a HUGE deal to me, because I have never done that before especially in that kind of situation and so much that was not a tithe. Give all I have when I am in a country so far from home and travelling all alone the next day with no credit card as my safety net? God can I just give $100 and have some just in case?!?! I knew I was to give it all. Ok God. OK. I stepped out in faith and took it all to the altar, dropped it and walked back to my seat. When I returned the power of God hit me and I started praying in tongues boldly and crying! Big time! Then God spoke to my heart and said “He would give me something I could not buy with money because of my act of obedience, something I desired”. Ok God I trust you.

To make a long story short, everything went fine on my way home. I made it back safe and sound praise God. My trip home was so peaceful and such a powerful time with God, but that is another story. Shortly after arriving home, my pastor had said that when he was praying he really felt God leading him to partner with my dad in ministry. Wow, really? He then proceeded to meet with my dad and my dad came to church in Toronto. Toronto! That is 1.5 hour drive both ways to church. Ok, to put that in perspective my dad would not previously drive 5 mins to church, let alone 1.5 hours and then KEEP going week after week! But that is what happened. A new spark was in him I hadn’t seen before, ever. I recall the first time my dad got up and spoke at church and shared such a powerful word and that is when God spoke to me and told me “this is what you money bought, your dads soul”. Wow. I started crying, because that is something I could have NEVER EVER paid money for, in the natural. It was truly Gods hand working in our lives. It was really at that point I learned I needed to trust God with my money. Would I make a theology about that, no, I don’t know if you can truly buy someone’s soul with your seed, but I do know that in whatever you are obedient to God in He will never disappoint you and he will multiply your seed tenfold and then some. I have seen it time and time again in my life. Do I still struggle to give? Yes, I do sometimes when I am only focused on myself and my needs and not on others, but I’ve found I need to find a quiet place, shut the door and pray that God would change my attitude to be cheerful and be obedient to His will and then trust in Him. My husband and I recently gave to a cause, which to me, was a HUGE seed and I felt it was such a stretch to give it that I cried, a lot. My husband had felt led to give it, and well, I did not, at least not as much as he did! I REALLY struggled with it. I argued with my husband about the amount to give, the method to give, the way to give it, anything I could think of in order not to give so much. Then because I could not win any of my arguments with my husband and I had nothing more to complain about to him and knowing He REALLY believed God was leading him that way, I knew I had to talk to God immediately! So I found my quiet place, shut the door, wept, told God I didn’t get it, complained, got angry, etc, etc and then asked him to change my attitude…why did I feel this way?! I WANT to be a blessing, I WANT to give, but my natural self was fighting it and telling me all the reasons why we shouldn’t give. I didn’t want to be the one disobedient to God. Then God revealed to me my own selfishness and that I needed to trust Him, so it wasn’t easy but I chose to listen, chose to be cheerful, chose to be supportive of my husband, chose to give all of it in a good attitude, EVEN though I didn’t understand. Why am I telling you this? Because I want to let you know I’m not someone floating around on the cloud finding it super easy even though I saw a huge miracle in my life before, it is still something I continually have to work on. Dying to myself and leaning on Christ my solid rock. Did it matter I didn’t understand? Nope. I think of the times I tell my kids to do something and they fuss because they don’t understand why. Does that matter? No. I know what is best for them and I expect them to listen and be obedient. Period. Ouch, I realized I was being a fussy toddler with God and I needed to just listen.

I am confident our giving will not come back void, neither has my giving of my seed in Africa. To this day my dad still attends that church which is now here in town. I am so blessed, and even though I am still waiting to see God move supernaturally in our lives because of our recent act of obedience, I know He will, I know He has and I know He will continue to.... and a lot of the times He works behind the scenes too in less obvious ways on our behalf. I am eager to see all the good plans God has for our family,

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. Jeremiah 29:11