Battling our Thoughts

There are times you make decisions and you know it’s the right one. But immediately afterwards you have to deal with thoughts. Thoughts that bombard you and tell you that you’re a failure. Thoughts that make you feel as if you are just doing something out of selfishness. Even though you know for a fact that is not true. But it doesn’t matter becaue satan likes to use those things to make us feel bad and question are motives.

The truth of the matter is we had to make a tough decision recently, one that we never thought we would have to make. Although we have always kept this option open because we knew there may come a day when we would have to do it. But we had always believed that day would never come.

We made this decision after much prayer and talk. We are at peace with this decision. But then satan came right up behind me and starting whispering those little lies. The ones that tell me “I failed” and that “I’m not good enough”. The ones that make you want to question each decision you have ever made. You know they are lies. But every now and then they will just crawl into your mind and the next thing you know you have to shake yourself up and tell satan “Get thee behind me”.

You may be wanting to ask me what decision I am talking about, but I’m not quite ready to make that public knowledge on here yet. One day in the near future I will share about it, but right now I’m just not ready.

The point of this post is, when God gives you a clear answer about something don’t let satan beat you up over it. When you have inner peace, remind yourself that not all thoughts are from God and some thoughts are just planted by satan to try and keep you from doing things that God has already given you peace about doing.

Have a blessed day,

Guatemala, Camp and Growing Up

I know its been super quiet around these parts. It’s because this month is crazy busy for our family. And it never slows down. I always think if I can just get through this then it will calm down a bit but that never happens. I don’t know why I continue to think that way. But, alas, I do.

I’ve got some more reviews coming up… A couple books and another Bible review that will be uploaded to YouTube on Friday.

But anyway, today I’ve been pondering the fact that my kids are growing up. My oldest, Sierra, is currently in Guatemala with a group from our church and two other churches from around the country (North Carolina and Indiana). I have been missing her like crazy. She is serving with Living Waters Ministries which has been around for a good long time. They do amazing things. We took her to the airport on Monday and had not heard from her until last night. She is loving it. She is already talking about going back.

This kid of mine is so much like her Grandfather. She loves learning about other cultures and loving on babies. That seems to be her favorite part. Loving on the kids in the orphanage. They spent some time last week in sister cities San Marco and San Pedro visiting schools and ministering on the streets. In that three day campaign 752 people received Jesus for the first time and 200 re-dedicated their lives to him. Isn’t that awesome? God is so good and I am so proud not only of my girl but of all the other kids that went as well. God is using and changing them.

I can not wait til she returns so I can give her big hugs and never let her go again. LOL No, I will let her go. Because I know that this is something God has called her to do. My baby has a strong desire to see God change the nations of this world. I would never deny her that opportunity when she has it. It’s still hard letting them go, though.

While our oldest is in Guatemala our youngest, Angel, left for camp yesterday. I can’t believe how  quickly these squirts of mine are growing up. She was pretty confident that she would have a great time. And she was looking forward to, of all things, the food. Now I must say that last year I went as a counselor and the food was amazing. So I am with her on that one.

I am so glad the girls are independent and love to go when they have the opportunity. But I do miss them greatly when they are gone. But as my husband told a friend of ours at church yesterday… “Don’t worry. We still have Hope.” Which she proceeded to laugh so hard about that I couldn’t help but laugh about it either. But its true. Our middle daughter, Hope, is still home and we have some fun things planned for just the two of us. Hope is a good kid and is so looking forward to going on missions next year. But until then she gets some much needed one on one time with mom and dad.

I love these girls of mine. And as hard as it is letting them go so they can spread their wings and fly, we continue to let them. Because its a wonderful experience for both them and us. The experiences, stories and changes that take place in them are worth every second of any tears we may shed. And believe tears were shed and as they grow up and go out into the world more will be shed as well.

So I leave you with a couple beautiful pictures that my girl sent us from Guatemala. She is seeing the beauty in everything.

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The picture above is a Volcano. She is on the Living Waters Main Campus in Xela (There is a much longer name but that is what they call it).

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She knows how much her momma loves flowers and sent this one to us. She said the flowers are so pretty there.

It Takes Faith to Climb a Mountain

It Takes Faith to Climb a Mountain

We were getting tired. One of my daughters was in tears not wanting to continue. In her mind she didn’t have it in her to continue the journey up the mountain. She struggled with wanting to quit and give up even before gaining the reward that awaited at the top. Exactly whether or not this journey would be worth it was yet to be known. None of us knew what awaited us once we arrived. We had never been there before. What started as a pretty moderate hiking adventure was quickly starting to get more and more rough the higher we climbed. The switchback trail was getting thinner the further up we got. The rocks were getting bigger and tougher to climb over. This was no beginner hike.

It had been a very long time since I hiked anything like this. My kids had never hiked a trail this tough before. Andy was in the lead forging his way making sure we were on the right path. I followed in the rear making sure no one was left behind and needed to stop. We took several water breaks and rests. At each break we encouraged our girls that they were doing well and they could do this. That we can finish what we started. We were not quitters and we were not going to give up.

Once we got to the top the reward was magnificent. You could feel the collective mood of the group change from exhaustion to one of complete awe and exhilaration. The view was amazing. My girls were thrilled that we had made it. And all the way back down the mountain the conversation had now switched from comments of “I can’t” to “I am so glad we did.”20170416_161307

At the top of that mountain I told my eldest that climbing this mountain was a lot like our faith journey. While going up the trail we didn’t know what to expect and therefore it could be so easy to quit moving up and going forward. Like faith when you are believing for something, especially something you’ve been believing for a long time about, it can be so easy to just give up on it. And yet, if we push through and continue to trust God, even when the going gets tough, the reward is so sweet and well worth it.

That is why it is so important to keep yourself in the Word of God daily. That is how God gives us the pep talks we need. The you’ve got this scriptures to let us know we can finish what we started. On the way up the mountain I kept quoting Philippians 4:13 over and over to my kids. Putting it out there in the atmosphere to remind not only them but myself that, I (we) can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength.

When it was all said and done we were all so happy that we did it. We didn’t give up. We finished and the reward was truly amazing.

Now for some real life application: Don’t give up. No matter what the world may throw at you remember: “YOU CAN DO THIS!” phil 4-13 blog

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Learning to Say No and Let Go

For the past couple months I have felt a change was about to come into my life. And to some extent we have already had some changes take place. But particularly the Lord has placed it on my heart to write again, to blog again, to pick up some things that I thought I had let go and to let go of some things that I have gotten too comfortable with. Learning to Say No & Let Go.png

As my kids have gotten older and I’m only a year and a half from my oldest child graduating and going off into the world to live her own life, I’ve begun to think about what is going to be my next stage, or my next step.

While thinking about that, the Lord has really been dealing with me about learning how to say no and even more so about learning how to let go. I’ve read the books and know what I’m supposed to do, but actually doing it can be somewhat difficult.

There are areas that I have to let go in order to grasp a hold of what God has lying in front of me. If I don’t then I can’t give my best to what He has. I have such a hard time letting go of some things because I like knowing what is expected of me. I like being needed and wanted. I like being indispensable. But, I also crave change.

Crazy as it sounds, I know I need change. Many times I usually do that in getting my home in order. But more and more lately I know that change is not always going to be something I will be in control of. I have to allow myself to step out of my comfort zone in order to allow God to move in me.

I want to grow and mature. I want to see myself succeed. I want to see the things He has put in my hands become what He created it to be. Maybe it won’t be easy. Who am I kidding, I know it won’t be easy. Maybe, I will have to say goodbye. Maybe, I will have to say hello. Maybe, I will open my mouth. Maybe, I will have to shut it. Maybe, I will have to adapt. Of course I will have to adapt. But, just maybe, I will love whatever it is He has in mind for me.

I’m ready to let go of the struggle and just be at ease in Him. I’m ready to stop trying to control my life and let Him control it for me. I guess, I’m ready to be ALL IN.

What about you? Are you like me? Do you need to let things go in order to grab a hold of God’s calling for you?

If you are trying to learn to say no and let go here are 3 simple steps that just might help you.

  1. Pray. This is the most important step. Pray and ask God if you need to say no and/or let go of some things.
  2. Journal. For me this is an absolute must. If I write out the things that I do in life and think about how I feel when I write them out then, usually, I know what things I need to say no to more often or let go of completely.
  3. Rest. Once the decisions have been made, rest in the knowledge that you have been obedient to what it was that God has told you to do and, DO NOT allow people to make you feel guilty about those decisions. We are to please God, not man. (Galatians 1:10; Acts 5:29; 2 Corinthians 5:9)

I pray blessings on you today.

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Important Things {from the archives}

Today we will conclude our final day of our archive series.  This one was originally posted on November 11, 2009. Every 5th Wednesday we have in a month will be Archive Wednesday and I have reserved special posts from the archives especially for those days. I hope you have enjoyed these posts and now on to todays post:

Recently my oldest daughter came up to me and said “mom you do some really important things.” I started thinking about what she said and she is right.

What she fails to realize is that the things that she thinks are important are not the important things that I really do. The most important thing I could ever do is raise my children to hear God’s voice, listen to what he says and follow after His will for their lives. It’s not all the writing that I do, its not the work around the house. Those things are not important at all if I am not teaching my children to follow after God.

The Bible says in Proverbs that we are to “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6) If we teach our children how to walk in God’s will and how to pray and read the Word our children will grow up knowing how to live out their lives following after God. It’s amazing if you really think about it. It’s also a BIG responsibility that He has given to us. However, He has also prepared us for that job we just need to follow His will for our lives.

 

If you enjoyed this post check out my book “Simple Devotions for Women” on Amazon. Filled with simple 5 minute devotions to encourage you daily.

Stand Up {from the archives}

We are continuing again with our archive series. This one was originally posted on  September 11, 2009.  I hope you enjoy.

Have you ever noticed that when the Lord speaks to you its almost in the oddest places?

Wednesday while I was in the shower I just became overwhelmingly heavy and depressed and burdened down with something. I started thinking, “what is this?” and I felt the Lord speak to me and tell me that he has a burden for His children in America. We are slowly losing our freedoms. And its our own fault. One day we will wake up and our freedoms will be gone and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

We have a tendency to think someone else will stand up for what’s right and then we look the other way. There is a time for turning the other cheek but there is also a time to fight. We as a nation need to turn back to God. We need to stand up for morals. Over the years we have set aside good old fashioned moral values to make way for “progress”. What’s progress if it causes us more harm than good. When did the government know better than parents what is best for our children? When did government know better than US about our own healthcare (which I have an opinion on but that’s a whole other post).

Our Bill of Rights are at risk. We are losing them slowly because we won’t stand up when we need to. I broke down into tears and just prayed that God would help me to write what He wants me to write. That I would say what He wants me to say. That I would do what He wants me to do. This life is not about “me” its about HIM.

WE, the body of Christ, need to make a stand all across this nation. Stand up for the babies that lose their lives daily. Stand up for the right to be able to preach the gospel without having to monitor our speech. Stand up for the right to bear arms to protect our families and pledge our allegiance to our nation and to our God and not to some man that is only in the White House for 4 years.

I pledge allegiance to the flag

of the United States of America

and to the republic for which it stands

ONE NATION UNDER GOD

Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

We sing a song that says “God Bless America”, but how can God bless a nation that does not follow after Him?

I pray…..

God forgive America for turning its back on You. For not standing up for what’s right because we are afraid of what other people think. For not doing our God given duty and praying daily for our nation and our government officials. For loving our comforts and ourselves more than You.

Help us to stand up. Help us to turn back to you. Show us what we can do to make a mark on this nation to turn things around. Most of all help us to show this nation that we are still a CHRISTIAN nation.

When will we do what’s right?

When its too late?

 

 

If you enjoyed this post check out my book “Simple Devotions for Women” on Amazon. Filled with simple 5 minute devotions to encourage you daily.

Fruits of the Spirit–Comparing Our Gifts

This is a very old post that I actually posted on Facebook, November 23, 2008.  I was reading it and although I’m not on the Mom’s of Faith forums anymore and the Wannabee’s no longer exist I still thought this would be a good post to pull out of my archive’s.  I hope you will enjoy traveling back in time with me today.

Fruit of the SpiritFruits of the Spirit – Comparing Our Gifts

As I have mentioned before, I lead a group of ladies on Mom’s of Faith forums called the Wannabee’s. Basically we are group that “Wannabee” all that God has created us to be in our homes, communities, etc. We have been studying the Fruits of the Spirit. It hasn’t been an in depth study but just simple stuff challenging us to work on one of those areas each week. This week we reached everyone’s favorite one, longsuffering. Or as the AMP says, Patience. When I study these things I like to look at different versions of the Bible to see how the verse is translated. I was looking at the Message Bible for this verse and they state it as “a willingness to stick with things”. That definitely piqued my interest so I decided and go back and read that whole section of scripture from the Message Bible. Here is how it is laid out:

22-23But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
23-24Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
25-26Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

I just found it so very interesting how it compares. Let’s look at it like this a side by side comparison.

NKJV              –           The Message
Love                –         affection for others.
Joy                   –         exuberance for life
Peace              –         serenity
Longsuffering  –   a willingness to stick with things
Kindness     –          a sense of compassion in the heart
Goodness   –          a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people
Faithfulness –        loyal commitments
Gentleness   –        not needing to force our way in life
Self-Control –       able to marshal and direct our energies wisely

Doesn’t that put things in a little better perspective?

What really jumped out at me this time around though is the fact that in verse 26 Paul also tells us NOT to compare ourselves with each other or as the NKJV says to not envy each other. How many times have you compared yourself to those around you? How many times have you desired to have a gift that someone else has? How many times a day do you think if only I had that persons voice or that ones looks? Probably too many times to count. The thing is that God created each of us to fulfill a particular purpose and no one else can do it better than you can. Why? Because he created YOU for it. He had a plan for you since you were in the womb.
I myself have dealt with and still to this day continue to deal with confidence. My biggest problem is believing that someone else can do “it” better than me. Have you ever dealt with that? I have questioned many times why the Lord would give me the gifting’s that he gave me. It always seems to me that I should be one of those people who could get up on stage and sing my heart out in front of hundreds or even millions of people without being afraid. But I’m not one of those people. Yet God has given me gifting’s that eventually will have me up in front of a lot of people. But then I’m reminded that God takes even the most uninfluential people and uses them for HIS glory.

Through out the old testament and even into the new God used people that no one else would have ever thought to use.
* Moses – had a problem with speaking in front of a crowd (sounds familiar huh?)
* David – was the smallest of all his brothers
* Matthew – was a tax collector
* Paul – killed and persecuted the early Christians
* Timothy – was just a youth
And that is just some of the men in the Bible. We haven’t even mentioned the women that were used in the grand scheme of things.
* Deborah (prophetess)
* Ruth from which the line of David came
* Esther
* Mary mother of Jesus
* Elizabeth mother of John the Baptist

Each of these people was used mightily of God. BUT not one of them was perfect. They were all human beings capable of making (and some did) mistakes. Some of them made mistakes so big we are surprised that God would even have touched them. I guess that is why I am so fascinated with Paul. I mean he messed up big time. He killed Christians and then he was converted and it took the Christians a little while to even believe that his conversion was real. I mean think about it. A man persecutes people and kills them for following Christ then he all of a sudden “changes”. I mean in today’s world we would definitely have a hard time believing that wouldn’t we? But he truly did. And God used him. He chooses to use me and he even chose to use YOU.

So don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t let people intimidate you and hinder you from doing what YOU have been called to do.

Well that has been a LONG post. Thank you for sticking with me as I shared what God put on my heart. I know it may be a lot of babbling but it may help someone. God speaks to me starting in one place and ending up in another. It makes sense to me. LOL

Please feel free to leave any comments or notes that you may have. (hugs)

Again I hope you enjoyed this archive and check out my side bar where you can subscribe to my blog posts via email, sign up for my newsletter or check out my sponsors.  Have a great rest of the week.

Trust

A little inspiration for your Wednesday.

Trust in the Lord.

Are You Casting Your Cares?

Recently my hubby and I realized that you can be carrying stress around with you and not even realize it. Why? It’s just become a part of you. You are so used to worrying about things that you don’t even realizeCasting Your Cares that it has caused stress. You have gotten used to it. To the point that you don’t even notice until you start having physical reactions that don’t have a medical explanation.

Stress can cause a number of physical problems from migraines to ulcers and even more serious things like heart problems. That is why it is so important to do what the Word says in 1 Peter 5:7 and cast all our cares on the Lord. Our physical body can not bear all the burdens that we think we must carry alone.

I know, I know it seems like its impossible to allow God to carry it all. After all he gave us these children, jobs, homes, spouses and its our responsibility, right? Yes but he never intended for us to do on our own strength. His plan from the beginning of time was to walk with us, encourage us and carry the burden himself. He never intended for us to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. He designed the garden to meet every single need we had (of course we messed that up).

He also gave us everything we need and the ability to have everything we need through the blessing of Abraham and the death and resurrection of Jesus. So when you are stressing over your messy house, the projects you have at work or finances keep in mind what God says in His word: “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7 AMP.

Choosing to be Happy

Sometimes we have to decide that no matter what happens or comes to pass in our lives that we are going to be happy. On those days where my thoughts try to weigh me down or the devil tries to  keep me in bondage to thoughts of what the future may or may not hold I have to make the conscious choice that I will be happy.

Those are the days where I look for things that make me happy. The little things in life. Like my child’s laughter. My favorite mug. A funny story shared with friends. Or even a favorite fun song that will just lift you up and make you want to get up and dance.

Below I’m posting a song that I just can’t get enough of. It’s not a Christian song. But every time I hear it my foot goes to tapping and the kids and I just want to get up and dance. It’s fun and cute and if you can’t see the video below you can click here to watch it.

Choose today to find something to be happy about.