Monday, December 31, 2012

Are New Year's Resolutions a Waste of Time?

New Years is a great time to reflect on the year and look forward to the coming years! However, I've learned not to say things that I just know I'm not going to do or quit right before starting leaving me feeling like a big loser. Goals and plans are important don't get me wrong.  They are necessary or we will just find ourselves drifting not growing allowing the world to just suck us in.  They are important to set boundaries, focus, how to spend our time and to keep your eye on what is important.  Life is to short not to be purposeful in everything we do. 

There have been so many years I would make list and be so excited I what I was going to accomplish.  However, within just a few months I found myself quiting and feeling like I was never going to accomplish anything.

The problem wasn't in the goals or the plans.  The problem was within me.  It doesn't matter how hard we try, push or strive we will never get to where we want until the change take place in the heart.  All these self help books talk about what we can or need to do.  They focus on  making  you believe it's all about you .  It will motivate you for a few moments and help you to some degree  but eventually  bring you back right back to square one. I'm not totally against self-help books, because they did help me. I'm all for personal developement.  However, there just is so much missing in these  type of books and can lead people in the wrong direction.  It's important to understand ,when we try to make things happen on our own we will always fall short somewhere in life.    Maybe we will get the job promotion but then the family will sacrifice, maybe we will make more money but in doing so our marriage gets neglected.  Maybe more people know our name, but we've missed out in our kid's dance recital, soccer games, helping with school work or missing family dinner.  When we try to make thingshappen anxiety, worry, fear, and stress are just a few emotions we will experience. I know many people who  run after the goals not taking time to take look within themselves and after reaching what they believe would bring them success and happiness left them miserable.

 Once we realize the real goal should be in our heart  allowing God to take your hand you will never loose.  Yes, it will not be easy but when God is leading you and placing in your heart what He wants you to  do, the people you love the most will never miss out!  God is organized.  He will not have you scattered all over the place leaving you feel like a big fat loser with an  elephant on your chest.

For 2013 yes have goals and plans but make sure you lay them at the feet of Christ and don't just be focused on the outer appearance.  The goals and plans will only work when you allow your heart to be changed first!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Some personal thoughts and prayer

One of my struggles in life is that I will get ahead of God.  I want Him to direct my steps, open the doors and lead me where He wants me to go not me forcing it or jumping to soon. I never want it to be about me only Glorifying Him.   My  other concern is not going when God has already told me what He wants me to do.  Allowing fear to stop me or using my kids as an excuse to hide.  I'm really good at hiding.  I'll step out but then run back trying to find some reason why it's not time or why it can't be me. What if God is telling me to go and I'm allowing the fears to speak louder than God.  I don't expect the journey to be easy.  I'm past the feel good in the moment and flying off my emotions.  I know what I'm gifted at and love what God has allowed me to do this far.  I love being a wife and mother.  I love what God has done in me and through me with my family.   I so love love helping, teaching and encouraging other women.  It is what I was born to do.  However, God is doing amazing things in our kids.  Wathing them live out their God given dreams brings us more joy than living mine!!! If God wants me to wait, I can.   Why then do I keep allowing fear to stop me or do I keep questioning God is it the right time?  Will God be so mad if I step out and try realizing the timing was too soon?  I don't think so.  I know he will redirect my path.  I also know in my heart he knows if I don't speak, write and teach part of my spirt will die.  He has began to open the doors again.  If my second ministry takes more time away from my family, I know God will show me. He  I've learned those lessons.  He has brough amazing women in my life and working towards something that only God could of put together.  Why still all  the doubt? 

Yesterday as I was spending time with God, he laid this scripture on my heart. I've read this before and it never had the meaning it did for me as it did  this moment in my life.  It is in the book of Luke when Elizabeth is speaking to Mary.  This verse just spoke to me at the moment I needed it most. " She who has believed is blessed because what was spoken to her by the Lord will be fulfilled!"  Luke 1:46  It gave me so much peace in my heart about many things that have been on my mind. 

I know when I try to figure things out, I'm not trusting in the Lord.  It will be on his time.  I just need to continue doing what He wants me to do at this moment in my life.  His plans are much bigger and better than my plans.  It doesn't have to happen overnight and it won't.  One of my prayers is that I'm not just a speaker/teacher.  There are so many false teachers out there or people who mean well but are not truly living what they teach in their life.  I pray my life,marriage and my kids will be the fruit and reflection of what God has taught us.    God is not looking for perfection and this I know.  He just wants a heart that loves him and have the faith to do the work he has called you and me to do. 

If you struggle like I do, I pray that you hear the voice of God.  You trust him and allow Him to direct your steps.  I pray that you are not afraid to step out and do what it is our Lord is calling you to do.  It will not be easy but with God all things are possible.  I believe God and I believe what he has called me to do.  It will be fulfilled.  It is being fulfilled as we speak.  It might not be in front of millions of people right now but it's in front of the most important people in my life.  My husband and kids.

I do ask if you are my friend to please pray for me. I've began writing my first book.  I don't know anything about publishing or editing, but I know God does.  I'm doing my part, being prepared and know God will show me the next step after it has been written.    I also ask for prayers for help with my website.  I was able to get my site back but mark and I don't have any idea what to do next! 

I also ask you pray for me because there is a speaker and writing workshop I want to go to with proverbs 31 ministry. Please pray God will open the door financially for me to go.   I'm having the same feelings I had when I went to my first speaker training six years ago.  When I stepped out in faith, it was a life changing experience.  God spoke life into me when I had lost all doubt in myself.  As scared as I was, it was worth it!  I believe this is what I need again to get wisdom, direction on where to go next!!!  If I'm really honest, I want to go but afraid the women there will laugh at me telling me I don't have it in me.  I know that is crazy stupid talk!  I felt like this right before flying down to Florida for my first speaker seminar.  After leaving that experiene, I was mentored and went all across the United States and Europe within two years speaking, doing radio and appeared on TV. .  I met some amazing people.  It was totally God!!    Sometimes, we need others to see it in us and give us the extra nudge we so desperately need!!!  I know this is what my spirit  needs...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Raising Kids, Love and Santa Clause???

My kids know longer believe in Santa Clause.  Before I have people begin hating me because I don't encourage my youngest kids to believe in Santa, give me a minute!!! I know this is a hot topic for many people and this is not a blog on is it wrong to believe in Santa. It's a lesson on pride and judgement.  So, before someone judges me, give me some grace as I give you! 

We have our personal reasons why we stopped making Santa such a huge part of Christmas.  It's not wrong or right to either believe or not believe in jolly St. Nick!  It was extremely important for our kids to understand, know the reasons we were choosing to make new traditions and do things differently than many people we know.  To  focus on our family and what God has called us to do and live.  But, it's also so important for them to know and to accept and love other's for the choices, decisions, and traditions that  other families have.  For our kids not to judge other's and think we are better than anyone else.  When pride and judgement set in there will be a great fall.  Teaching our kids what that looks like and to live it as little people  will help prevent it from corrupting their heart,  and sabotaging the call on their lives as they grow into adults.

We can take a simple lesson our kids can relate to apply it to their life to teach them a huge life lesson that many adults still struggle with to this day.  We explained to our kids, know in your heart that we are doing is what God is calling us to do.  We do not need to prove ourselves right to others.This is prideful.  There was a time we made Santa a huge deal in our family.  It would of crushed us if someone would of wrecked it for our kids.  It was a big part of our Christmas celebration.    In time, their friends will find out the truth, until then meet your friends where they are   Knowing the truth in your heart. 

We as adults screw this thing called love, pride and judgement up all the time.  We wonder why we are not living fully in the presence of God or being able to go after the call on our lives.   Maybe because what God is requiring from us we are not willing to give him.  We need to give him first what he wants from us.  It's love the lord your God with all your heart, love your neighbor and not to judge others.  We can only judge ourselves.  We need to build relationships and bridges not walls. 

I know I've been so judgemental.  I had to repent and ask God for his forgiveness.  God has forgiven me, but I can't be upset when others judge me because of my own judgement. For every choice whether it is positive or negative there are consequences. ( I could write it all here but I'm saving it for the book I'm currently working on!)   We reap what we sew.  We can't stay in the past and need to  move forward.  We can say we are sorry to people we hurt, we can forgive, we can pray for those who hurt  us ( and should be doing this because it's what God commands us to do) but  this does not mean the relationships will be healed. It does not mean people will always love you back or even forgive you.  It's not our job to look at their life, try to figure it our or be depressed over it.  We need to love and trust our Lord.  There is nothing you can do only God can change someone's heart.  The one thing you can do is look at yourself with the help of God.  God is the only judge.  He is the only one who knows the entire picture not us.  We only know parts.  He came to take away all of our infirmities.  We need to surrender  EVERYTHING even our struggles over to him. Maybe this is why you may not have peace or joy in your life.  Maybe you are not experiencing all what God has placed in your heart.  Maybe it's because you surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear not what you need to hear.  Maybe you try to find anything you can to feed yourself reasons to be right or to stay mad?  It's it not healthy and it's not God.  If you feel like this, it could be because of pride and judgement.  It's so important that we see other's the way God  sees them. This goes for how we see and talk with our kids too.  Stop condemning, begin loving and build on the Word of God.

Judgement begins to sneak in my heart and when it does  God convicts me and I fall on my knees and repent.  I learn the lesson that God wants me to learn.  There are people in your life to teach you something about you.  If you are miserable or stuck in a rut it  has nothing to do with the people around you  but how you are responding.  There is nobody else we can blame but ourselves. 

You don't have to use Santa as a life lesson, but make sure you are teaching your kids lessons that will save them from making the many mistakes we have made.  However, make sure those lessons you are teaching just don't seem like fairy tales to your children.  Make sure they see you living out what you are teaching them or they will end up falling in the same pit repeating the same mistakes as you.  If  your kids are older and you feel you blew it, know there isn't anything impossible for God.  Ask for forgiveness, Seek him, knock and the door will be open to you as well.

A friend of ours was over last night.  The kids were asking her to come to church and she had reasons why she wasn't going.   My six year old looks at her and said, "we don't judge you."

Do not judge, so that you won't be judged.  For with the judgement you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, and look there's a log in your eye?  Hyporcite!  First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.  Matthew 7:1-5

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Joy and Suffering at Christmas

The kids are at their grandparents and Mark is at work.  As I'm sitting here wrapping presents listening to Christmas music reflecting on this year.  My heart is overwhelmed with joy and at the same time a tremendous sadness.  God has blessed Mark and I in ways that will forever leave me grateful.  It literally takes my breath away.  He has also blessed us with friends that truly love us!  Who know our past and all our junk and still accept us especially me.  I have a big mouth, can be a terrible friend  yet they choose to look beyond my own struggles and  love me.

My heart is heavy too because with all the joy also comes pain.  My heart aches for the many families that will be having Christmas alone tomorrow.  For the families who are dealing with loss, sickness, financial issues and broken relationships.  My heart aches for my family and our own struggles.  For the brokenness in relationships with people we truly love. 

As I ask God for healing in all areas in my life, I pray for your family.  I pray for the families I may not even know personally.  I pray for my church and I especially pray for the people who may not know Christ or for them to know him at a much deeper level. As my heart is heavy and yet filled with joy,   God continues to remind me to continue to move forward keeping the eye on Christ and to remember that nothing is impossible for God.  God does answer prayers and they will be answered. If not in this life time you can count on it in eternity!!

To all my family and friends.  May you have a God filled Christmas.  May he pour blessing on to your family.  I pray for healing, restoration and a prosperous New Year!!! Thank you for the people who take time to read this blog.  For the family and friends who have allowed us to be part of your life, Thank You.  Whether we talk now or have crossed paths somewhere in life, you have been a huge blessing in my life whether you know it or not.   Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jack Daniels never sounded so good!

Christmas is here in 3 more days!!! Either you are ready for the big day or panic has now set it!! For some the list seems longer, if your kids go to school they are now home for Christmas break and the house is getting dirtier!!! The  ideas of making cookies with your kids, sipping on hot chocolate and singing Christmas carols just didn't turn out exactly how you envisioned it!!! You may feel overwhelmed not being able to meet all the demands that are being put on you.  You may feel busy but nothing seems to be getting done.  Money may be tighter this year. What you wanted to buy your kids, family and friends is now became only a hope for maybe next year, which makes you feel like a total looser.  Maybe the thought of seeing family members in less than 48 hours sends shivers up and down your spine! Because you feel the stress your kids are feeling it too!  They are having melt downs and you feel like joining them!  Instead of being filled with the spirit of Christmas you feel like the Grinch!  Instead of proclaiming Merry Christmas from the top of your lungs, you want to cry, kick your feet and scream BA HUMBUG!!!  Maybe just maybe as you are doing last minute grocery shopping your kids are filled with so much excitement  but instead of joining them, you feel like the worse mother in the world because they are on your last nerve!!!  But alas!!! You happen to walk down the aisle and reunite with your long lost best friend.   Jack Daniels!!! He is looking right at you!  You hear  him calling your name!!! How good does it sound!!! The thought of just a few sips could take you  into your own winter wonderland!

If this is you, I can relate!! For years, I put so much expectations on myself and on others.  It was never enough and felt like a failure.  (Still to this day if I'm not aware of it and let my guard down, the stress and pressure will start to way on my shoulders.  When this happens I take a few moments pray, focus on the good and let everything else go.) We spent money we didn't have on gifts nobody really needed!  We love to give!  We love to give to family and friends too. But doing it out of obligation or beyond your means and running your credit card to the max, is plain stupidity! If you can give gifts great and if you can't that is ok too! Now, when you feel the world sucking you in and just want to cry, try doing something from someone else. Look around at all you have been blessed with already.  Instead of looking at the lack of in your life, look for the blessings. You'll begin to feel the stress being lifted off your shoulders if for just a moment.   Ask God to help you see the world in his eyes.  The enemy wants to steal your joy.  He wants you to be self consumed and focus on your life and problems because this will keep you and me from loving  God and everyone else like the way God has loved us.  You may be going through some huge struggles right now. If this is you, I pray you find the strength and love of Christ.  By helping someone else, helps you see no matter what you are going through the blessings that are right in front of you.  Don't believe the lies nor let the world suck you in and take you down.    

Instead of reaching for Jack Daniels  to take your problems away reach for Jesus Christ. Now, God does want to work through each one of us.  He has a unique calling on each one of our lives.  But I doubt the majority of things on our list or what we are so stressed out about God is telling us to do!  God is peace not stress.  We need to be prayerful in all we do. He has not asked us to get our panties in a bunch because we haven't gotten all the Christmas cards mailed, cookies made to feed the entire neighborhood, he didn't ask you to buy gifts our of obligation nor did he ask you to stress out, live beyond your means and buy gifts your family and friends don't really need.  He didn't ask us to fight with our spouses nor scream at the kids or to let the bottle of Jack take all our problems away. 

Remember as the clock begins to tick and the nerves begin to get short, remember the manager, the baby and know Jesus is enough and so are you!  Your time and presence is all that he is requiring from you! To be honest that is all your family is truly looking for too.   At the cross Jesus said, "it's finished!"  Don't let the enemy win. Whatever doesn't get done, no big deal!  Take all the expectations you have put on yourself and give them to Christ! 

FYI: I do not try to pretend I'm perfect because I'm far from it!!! It's only because of Christ and what he has taught us! We aren't buying much this year and haven't even finished our shopping!  We'll go tomorrow!  I can finally say no stress for me this Christmas!   Whatever we do or don't do is enough! Christmas is not one day, it's everyday!   Remembering the true meaning of Christmas!!! Merry Christmas to all my family and friends!  I love you so very much!!!
Merry Christmas!!!! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Conversations at the Dinner Table

I read a question posted  by Joyce Meyer, "Everything you do give your best.  Have you given with excellence today?"  It made me think of my conversation with my kids at the dinner table the other night.  My youngest daughter  needed her bread buttered.  Everyone in my family knows ask Dad to butter bread not mom!!! ( Yes, we use real butter not margarine!)  I forgot to bring the stick of butter out of the refrigerator to let it soften before we sat down to eat.  The butter was brick hard.  I took the piece of bread and slapped the  butter on it!  I tried to spread it but then left a hole in the piece of bread!  Thinking nobody was paying attention, I passed the piece of bread to my youngest daughter.  My oldest looks at me and ask the question "would you serve this to the President?  My first thought was Yes!  She continued and asked, "Would you serve this to God?"  The answer of course was no.  Conviction comes in all sizes!  Yes, even from your own children.

Makenna has an amazing heart and for such a young girl packed with wisdom!  She's not your typical normal teenager ( not claiming she is perfect!)  and I'm so thankful!  She sure does keep her mother in line that is for sure!!!

Everything we do should be done with excellence for the simple reason because we love our God.  Everything we do matters to Him and yes even buttering the bread!!

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, Do it for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Simple is More than Enough

My son turned 10 years old yesterday!  Sometimes he gets the short end of the stick since his birthday is 5 days before Christmas!  We only do big birthday's for milestones.  Since 10 is a big deal in a young boy or girls life, we are throwing him a party.  However, he has to wait until the end of the December! On top of pushing his party to the end of the year, what I originally had planned for  him yesterday,  didn't turn out like I wanted.    Instead of going out to eat as a family to his favorite restaurant, at the last minute decided the best choice would be to stay home and celebrate.

When I asked him, if fettuccine Alfredo would be OK for his birthday dinner.  His response was, "sure mom!"  Now, the  only reason I could even make this meal was I found an EASY and I mean EASY recipe on pinterest!  My new best friend!  The kids loved it, which doesn't happen often!  They have learned to except whatever I cook for dinner and pray it will turn out OK!  When it does the entire family is happy!  We planned on baking a cake, but changed it to a big brownie.  Again, Markus was happy with whatever we made. 

As we are sitting a the dinner table with paper plates ( I didn't feel like washing dishes), all different size and shape glasses because the kids have dropped and broke almost every cup we have!  (Yes, I know I can buy plastic, but I'm weird and don't like using them!)  Some of  us had regular cups  and others had a coffee mug!  The brownie we ate for dessert had only 6 candles, because I forgot to buy them at the store. We couldn't lite the candles because the lighter wasn't working!  We all sang happy birthday with the six unlit candles watching my son with a huge grin on his face!   We gave him no  presents because his party at the end of the month is his gift.    We finished the night with hot chocolate and birthday spankings.  Nothing Fancy just a simple dinner celebrating his special day!

After we prayed and tucked the kids in bed, Markus screams to us from his bedroom and says, "Mom and dad thank you for the best birthday ever!"  It's all on how you view things!  God used Markus to remind us that simple is more and more than enough.

Remember this Christmas, the manger and the baby may be simple but  it's MORE than ENOUGH for you and me!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Change the World so Desperately Needs.

 After the horrific shooting that took place last weekend in CT, there are many different opinions and thoughts that are being talked about on what our county needs to do, to help stop this from happening again. However, when you turn on the TV, listen to the radio or even read comments on FB you will find  little talk about bringing God back into our lives. Unless,of course you are a  Christian.   However, the very same people who have kicked God out of everything, public schools, politics, families and even their personal lives are shaking their finger and saying, "How could such a good and powerful God allow this to happen.?"

I don't write this blog pretending to know all the answers.  I'm not an expert on anything.  However, I am a woman who loves my husband, kids, family, friends, church and most importantly our God.  I'm just to blame for all the junk in our world.  For years, I may have believed in Him but was not willing to live for him. Thankfully, God is a forgiving God!

We have become a society that loves to blame everyone for our mistakes.  It's not God who is to blame for the tragedies  we experience.   We are.   We are  responsible for the hate and violence in the world.  Every time we choose what we want or want we think over God, tragic events that took place in CT is the final outcome. These such events don't just happen overnight.  It starts with something small and with time grows to such a horrific tragedy, it leaves us paralyzed, wondering how could this happen?    We push God out of everything.   There are even churches that are choosing  to teach what they believe and think.  Instead of relying on the infallible word of God.  We try to make God work and fit us.  Only reaching out for him when we find ourselves in despair.  As soon as disaster hits, we ask God where are you?  "He is saying, I've been hear all along.  I love you and have been seeking you since the day you were born. He doesn't give up on us know matter how much we turn our back on him.  He does allow us to have our free will.  He will not force us to love, follow or accept him. His heart aches as he waits patiently for his children to come back to him.  However, as soon as disaster hits, God receives the blame. 

We are all sinners.  No, the average person would never do something to the extreme of what this shooter did in CT.  However, we are all one choice away from making a decision that will not only have a negative effect on our personal life but the lives of the people we love and may not even know.  We are all good at dressing ourselves up and hiding.  Trying to do what is good.  Go to work, show up at church, give a little and love the people who love us.  We may fool a few people,but we can't fool God.  He knows our hearts.   We have become a society that  thinks we deserve what ever we want. This may be hard for some people to hear, but  We deserve NOTHING.  We are all wicked people. It's so easy for people to look outward and compare themselves with  others. Thinking they aren't so bad considering what their neighbors or friends may be doing.   I dare you to look at your own life.  your own heart.  Asking God to reveal areas in your life where you sin.  You will be shocked.    When we harbor bitterness, hate, jealously, unforgiveness, selfishness, lust, sexual immorality and greed in our hearts, We are sinning against God.    We like to think our sin is  not as bad as the girl or guy down the street, or people sitting behind bars.  Sin is Sin.   The more we choose to sin we will find ourselves farther from the heart of God.

 It's not the laws that should be the focal point of our country.  It's the heart. How can we change the heart?  The only answer to this is the blood of Jesus Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to grow inside of each one of us.Thankfully, he doesn't expect perfection only a willing an open heart. It's about forgiveness.  Humbling ourselves before God admitting we need a savior.  God is a forgiving God.  There isn't anything God can't forgive. All we have to do is ask.   The more we walk and are full of the spirit the less we will sin.  Its only the Love of Christ that will change the heart of man.  Its only when the Spirit of God is alive in our hearts that will  stop tragedy like the one the world is experiencing today. I would like to say the world is going to get better.  Until we can turn our hearts from our selfish ways and turn back to Him, it will only get worse.

Christians, we can know longer allow the enemy to win.  We are especially to blame. It is time to wake up.   We hide allowing fear to keep us from the call on our lives.  For you did not receive the Holy Spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you receive a spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father.  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  Romans 8:13-17
  When we witness events in CT or in our surrounding neighbor hoods and do nothing, we are failing God. When we hear about 18 children that were brutally killed and do nothing expect talk about how terrible it is, we fail God.  When we hear that 3,700 abortions are given every single day and do nothing.  WE FAIL GOD.     God's heart is grieving when he looks at his people.  We need to wake up and do something.  If you don't, we are failing God and can't blame anyone else but ourselves.   When we see the children's ministry in our churches crying for help and turn the other way.  We are failing God. He has called each one of us to do something.  I don't know what it is for you, but it's time to step up,stop fearing people and begin to love, fear our God and do something.  The body of Christ needs all of us. If  you don't answer the call, then the people God wanted you to reach stay lost. The great author C.S Lewis was an atheist until he met his friend J. R. R. Token.  Think about the blessings they have given us because of their love for Christ and following the call on their life.  Maybe just showing up  and doing what He calls you to do, will change the direction of a child or  a families life forever.  It's not about you it's about him. Our goal should be for God to use us in whatever way He needs to in order to bring Glory to him.  It's not about our own success. We have this picture in our head that we deserve a perfect life with no pain.  We think we deserve to live a long and healthy life in this world. . Christ never made those promises.  He said the opposite that we will have troubles in this world. God does bring blessings.  However,  they don't always come as we pictured them.  It's about God using our lives to bring people to know him.  Whatever that may look like needs to be the goal, know matter how hard it may be.  I pray everyday for health and protection over my children, husband, family and friends.  I can't imagine what I would be like if I had to go through the pain and suffering those families in CT are dealing with today.  I have to remember to keep my eyes on Christ and pray that no matter happens in my life that through the blessings I don't forget him and through the sufferings hold on to Christ will all my heart.  Through my faith God will be glorified.   

It starts with repentance, which means asking for forgiveness, prayer and bringing Christ in your life.  and will It starts with you and your family. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.-1 John:9.   This Christmas ask yourself, "Do you know Christ?"  Do your children know Jesus?  Begin to allow him to work in and through you.  This is what is missing. Christ is our only hope.   I pray that you open your heart to God allowing him to change your heart.  This is when  we will see the change the world so desperately needs.   

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-29

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Road Runner and Coyote. What True Friendship should look like!

Do you remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon the Coyote and the Road Runner? They would spend all day chasing each other trying to pretty much kill one another.  Once, it was lunch time or the end of the day, you would find these two enemies walking towards the time clock to punch out.  As soon as they were off the clock, they were best of friends! 

Road Runner and the Coyote is a great picture of friendship. In order to have a healthy, unconditional love for one another, we need to put our pride down and  agree to disagree.  However, this is not always easy.  Especially, when we feel so strongly on our beliefs.  To my Christian brother and sisters we have to be careful not to let the minor issues blind us on the most important issue and that is the love of Christ.  (The one issue that is not negotiable is  knowing  we are sinners and without Christ we are nothing.  Christ is the Son of the Living God.).

No matter what our situation may be, if we claim to be followers of Christ, we have to be aware that there are just some people who cannot hear anything from you or me.( Those same people will not agree with you even if you agree with them!  They will always be looking for something.  Don't take it personal.  It's their issue not yours. Just be you and stay the course.)    This can happen with unbelievers or even within the body of Christ. We are all at different points in our lives.  Arguing, debating and trying to convince people will never work.  When we find ourselves in these situations, we cannot allow our emotions to get the best of us.  We need to be able to turn the other cheek no matter how much it hurts. Does this mean give up?  Stop standing up for what is right, good and noble?  Of course not! However, we have to be able to admit we may be right but we may be wrong at times too. The only way to know for sure if we are right or wrong  is instead of focusing on people and trying to proving yourself, we need to take whatever we are dealing, give it up and lay it at the feet of Christ and allow Him to do the work not you or me.

My hope would be that in our own country, instead of being divided, we could be like the road runner and coyote.  When I turn on the t.v, radio or on face book, it doesn't look like it to me.    What happened to the freedom of speech?  What happened to be able to have choices and free to have your own opinion?  If you don't agree with a certain political party, you are accused of being mean-spirited, prejudice, and closed minded.  Many people know where I stand on faith, politics, health and education. (You many not agree with me and that is OK!).  Some may not know, I use to be extremely liberal especially when it came to social issues.  Since then, I have had a change of heart.  However, when someone accuses me of being  prejudice or not caring for others they just don't know me or my heart.

In order to love unconditionally and have friendships like the Road Runner and Coyote  we have to rely on God for  his grace, strength and mercy.   To ask Him to continue to help show us  the areas in our lives that need to die.     We can only change ourselves, do what we believe God has called us to do allowing him to work through and in us and let Him do the rest.  Arguing, debating, trying to convince or change anyone will never work.  People have lost family and friends due to faith and politics. If this is you, first you have to ask God to reveal if there is any bitterness, pride, control, anger or jealously harboring in your heart.  If there is, then you need to ask for forgiveness.  If not,  shake off the dust off your shoes and move on.   To continue to pray for those who persecute you, love your neighbor and your enemies.

The Road Runner and Coyote is a great picture of friendship. No matter what, at the end of the day they never let something get in their way of friendship!   However, only Christ can help you be a true friend and do what is right.  He is the one we need to look and to depend on  as an example on how to love.  To forgive ourselves and to forgive people like Jesus did at the cross.  Remember,  People do what they do not know but  we still need to love and accept them anyway!   This means even if you disagree in your faith and Politics!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Advent Tree and the Poision of Perfection!

Here is a picture of the advent tree the kids and I made!  If you know me, you know I'm know Martha Stewart or Betty Croker!  Thankfully, I finally checked out what all the buzz was about with pinterest.  It's my new best friend!  Here is why:

I gave up a long time ago trying to be perfect! Perfection is a deadly poison and if not taken care of it can creep into every part of your life and keep you miserable.  Nothing will be good enough, you will always be diapointed, miss opportunity to enjoy, grow and build healthy relationships with you children, spouse, friends and even yourself.  This poison will even keep your sex life dull and boring! 

I'm not the kind of mom who knits, quilts, or sews!  I love this stuff but I have to be honest, real and know who I am and what I'm capable of doing.  When Markus was 4 years old, I had this great idea of making his Halloween costume. I love home made costumes, but they need to be the kind I can make out of a box or follow someone else's directions.  Not coming up  with the idea all by myself.  Let's just say my son, who is 10 years old, still has nightmares about his costume.  He was suppose to be Kung fu Panda. His friends had know idea who he was!  He will never let me make his costume again!  I've damaged him for life!!!

 However, I love and admire woman who are creative and gifted in areas like arts, crafts and baking.  Especially, when they can share  the simple and easy to do projects someone like me can do at home! I'm serious I need someone to spell out every step even something so little as thread the needle or turn on the oven!!!   I need women who are talented in these areas in my life because my kids love this stuff! 

Looking for EASY to do Christmas projects on pinterest, I came across some cute ideas for an Advent tree.  I didn't want to just go and buy something at the store, because it would cost me more and takes the fun away for the kids.  These crafty mom's helped me expand my mind and realize I could do this!  Except, it had to be something we ( meaning me) could create from the dollar store!

It's not the Mona Lisa or some wonderful art display!  But it's our own Advent Tree.  We bought a Christmas tree from Family dollar for $3.00, mini Christmas bulbs for $5.00 , white out to write the numbers from now until Christmas and a little box which I put different ideas to do from now until December 25th!  Things like read the Christmas story from the Bible, decorate bedroom doors with wrapping paper, make cookies, go look at Christmas lights, a live nativity seen, random acts of kindness, etc, you get the point!

This blog really isn't about the Advent Tree.  It's about being the best you that God wants YOU to be!  Not comparing yourself to others and not drinking the poisonous Perfection that many woman think they need to be.  If you get rid of this, you will enjoy this Christmas Season! 

I think I'm going to dedicate the next few blogs on killing Perfection!  There is no room for Perfection when you have four kids, home educate and trying to potty train all at the same time!!!

Do you ever feel like you are Pig Pen from the peanuts cartoon? Dirty and never good enough?

 When I post my blogs and talk about God's love, mercy, grace and forgiveness, It's real.  For those who love and seek Him, He has a special plan for your life.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

 You may not understand what or why He is doing what he is doing in your life, but He is good all the time.   I don't know what his plan is for your life, but for me I know it's Big! He is using me right now in a huge way with the four kids He has given me!
  God does not change.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  His promises are not just for your friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members.  They are for you too. However, it's up to you.  Can you give up what you want  and exchange it for what God wants for your life.  Trust me, his plans are much better than what we could ever think of!  Can you give God all of you? Are you willing to keep persevering even during the tough times?  Believe me following Christ will not be easy.

In order to follow Jesus, we have to pick up our own cross and follow him daily.  In order to follow him we have to willing to die to ourselves.  Sitting around and talking about God and the dreams that you believe He has placed on your heart is one thing.  Actually setting out to do it and allowing Him to work in and through you is a completely different story.

It is so hard as much as I trust and love God.  God has called me to be transparent and share my life lessons to other people especially women and kids.  I love encouraging, inspiring, speaking and teaching God's word.  I love how God has used me to speak Life into my kids, husband, family, friends and even strangers I meet on any single day. However, it does't mean it's always easy.  I have been pushed away and laughed at by many people.  So, speaking life to myself, is a completely different story.  The closer I walk toward my calling that little cloud of negativity is hanging right over my head.  I sometimes feel like pig pen from the peanuts cartoon.  Never good enough with some dirty cloud or dust hanging around me.  Except Pig Pen holds on to his blanket, I'm grabbing on to Christ with all my heart, refusing to let the enemy or myself talk me out of what God is leading me to do. There are times I feel like just hiding in my house, closing down my blog and just keeping to myself.  Of course, I can't do that because I would drive my husband and kids bonkers!  Also, the enemy wins.It's not about me and what I feel. It's what I know. It's about him.   I will always question just what if.  It's not worth it.  The risk, the struggles, the negativity and even discouragement you may receive from other people, is not worth giving up on God's call on your life.   " Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 2-4

I ask God, "will these  negative thoughts and feelings  ever go away."  He hasn't given me a clear answer. However, what I do know is this.  It keeps me humble.  It keeps me focused and to rely on God for strength.  It's reminds me it's always about Him and never me.  To wait on Him.

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2nd Corinthians 7-10

The thorn or cloud, whatever you want to call it, that likes to creep up over me,is worth it.  Especially, if it keeps me grounded and helps remind me of the pain and struggles people feel everyday.  I haven't gone through half of what many people are or have experienced.  If these moments of doubt and  fear  are what keeps my passion burning to help other people, then that little gray cloud can stay as long as it needs to.

My friends, if you experience any fear, it's not from God.  Don't give up.  You are not alone in this fight! If you need prayer, please let me know.  You can send me an email, post it on my blog or on my facebook page.  I ask if you would pleae keep my family and myself, in your prayers as well! 

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morningPslams 30:5

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Are you tired of Laundry? Here are a few tips on keeping your laundry from turning into mountains!

A few years ago, I found myself downstairs with what seemed like a mountain of clothes!  I thought maybe the scripture, "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it would move'."- Matthew 17:20, would work!!!  It was moving alright! Just not in the direction I was hoping for!  It was taking over my entire laundry room floor.  This just didn't happen once in awhile. It was all the time.

 The kids were much younger at the time.  I would spend an entire day trying to get the clothes all caught up.  As soon as the clothes were cleaned and put away, the mountain would already  begin forming. I would want to scream and I probably did!  We have a shoot and the kids loved using it! (I think everything was thrown down it including toilet paper and toys! If I couldn't find something, I new where to look,  In the pile under the shoot!)   Because we didn't see the dirty clothes, we wouldn't bother to  look until we had nothing in the drawers to wear! I would walk downstairs and the mountain would be staring right at me!  I just wanted to run back upstairs and pretend it wasn't there!!! Couldn't we just go and buy new clothes and throw the dirty ones away!  Of course I didn't o this, but it sure crossed my mind.   Mark would be scared to put any of his clothes down the shoot, because he didn't know when the next time he would see the shirt, pants and even underwear again!  Thankfully, he is a guy and if needed he could just turn his underwear inside out and wear them again! ( I'm just joking kinda!)

As a mom, if we want to get better at something and grow we need to drop our pride and ask for help!  I want to be the best me that God has planned for  me to be.  I don't want to be anyone else.  I know who I am, what I'm strong at and what I desperately need help with and organiztion is one of them!  . If it wasn't for the grace of God and the people he placed in my life that have taught me how to be a better wife, mother and woman, I would still be a hot mess! I would still be complaining about everything but not willing to learn, try something new and change!   I'm still a work in progress.  However, without God and the beautiful people I have learned from, I wouldn't be who I am today. 

One day, my mom who I love dearly, came over to help me!   I seriously don't know what I would do without her.  She gave me a great idea on how to keep my laundry organized! 

If you are like I was and just sick and tired of your mountains of laundry, here is what I do.  If it helps great and if you think I'm a crazy person that is cool  just ignore this blog! You probably have a better plan than me.  I'm a slow learner and if there is anyone out there like me, this simple idea might save you from the hours I was wasting and the  stress I was feeling! 

My mom told me to buy a laundry basket for each room.  The kids have a basket, one in the bathroom and one in our room. This way we see the basket and when it begins to fill up, it's time to do a load of laundry.  This keeps it from forming into the out of control piles that would make me feel so overwhelmed.  This helps me do at this one load of laundry every other day.  Sometimes less and maybe sometimes more, but this way I don't have to spend hours folding and cleaning clothes.  Plus there is an added benefit!  My kids learned how to do their own laundry! They know when their basket is getting full,   walk the basket downstairs, sort the clothes, wash and dry them!  I do help them from time to time, but you better believe each kid except for Marie knows how to work the washing machine , dryer, fold clothes and put them away! It has helped me out so much.  Also, it has been a great teaching tool for the kids!

There you go!  If you are sick of your mountains of clothes in the basement, this is one idea.  You may not be able to tell the clothes to move from here to there, but you can create your own ideas that work for you, so you don't have the stress of spending your day off doing laundry or running around the house like a crazy person trying to find something clean to wear!  ( Been there and done that a million of times!  I was sick of doing that and new something needed to change! The change was within me!)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Loneliness is a scary place to be.

Loneliness is a horrible place to be.  Unless, you have gone through it, there is no way to describe the reality of giving up, running away or worse yet ending your own life.  Loneliness can be hidden and most of the time can fool everyone around you.  Loneliness doesn't mean you have no friends, family, success or sit in your room never coming out doors.  Loneliness doesn't mean you don't love Jesus.  Actually, you could be part of a thriving church, serving, showing up on Sunday's worshiping God, surrounded by people who love and know your name and still be lost in Loneliness.

If you are going through a time in your life where there it seems like the light will never shine in your favor again, I hope  this blog will breath at least an ounce of hope back in your soul.  I don't know your story, where you are in your life or what you have experienced. However, when it comes to loneliness  I can relate.  I've experienced it more than once in my life.  It's the enemy's way to keep you from the life God has promised you.There are different levels of Loneliness and some are more serious than others.  For some it may just be a season but for others it has taken it's own identity and controlling the persons life.  For some, it begins to  whisper little negative comments  in your head until it blows up to full blown lies that you truly believe as truth.  The reason I can say make these comments because I have experienced my own personal dark times.  One in particular was shortly after Mark and I were married, I was diagnosed as bipolar.  For years, I was ashamed of the diagnosis, my mistakes and so afraid of what someone might think of me.  I was alone even though I was surrounded by people who truly loved me.  They had no idea the pain I was dealing with on the inside.  I know what it feels like to think you are just a screw up and ending your own life might be the best thing for the people you love. I couldn't stand hurting people by my own actions anymore.  

Looking back on it now, I believe it was a misdiagnosis.  I was definitely depressed but labeling me as bipolar on the first visit and loading me up on tons of medication was not the answer.  However, for me at the time it was.  It was an excuse to not have to look deeper in the mirror at myself.  I used it as a crutch, excuses to drink way to much alcholol, act out of control  and to  get some sort of attention even if it was negative.

But God does not take those dark times and waste them. I learned some of the most powerful lessons  about, others and judgement.  See, I didn't realize at that time, God was beginning to call me in women's ministry.  Going through those times and feeling the pain that the majority of people feel everyday, would help me relate to others.  Don't let someone's life fool you and think their life is perfect and you are just a big looser. Nobody has a perfect life.  Some just know how to dress  it up and disguise their loneliness with money, success, fame or just business.  Some peopole may try to fool you and act like they have it all going on but when they get home and the door is closed, it's a different story.  Even people who are married sometimes don't even know the pain their love one is struggling with.  It's time to reach out to other people.  You just don't know, how God can use you to help just one person who feels like they don't have a friend in the world or how nobody understands.

Whether or not I was bipolar, I don't know.  I do know my parents, mark and I went to church every week.  I prayed. I remember my mom praying so hard.  I truly believe the healing power of Jesus is what healed me.  I don't regret going through what I did.  I made me who I am today.  A lover of Jesus Christ and someone who wants to be used by God to help anyone else that may be suffering today.

Jesus is the only answer. In His own words,  "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me." -John 14:6.  
You may know, believe and have a relationship with Christ but have never truly experience the healing power of God.  My friends, today let it begin the day of giving it all to Christ and walking away from complete loneliness.  It will never be easy but with Christ all things are possible.  It's time for you to be in complete freedom.  It's time to stop believing the lies of loneliness.  There is help, it's up to you to reach out to the people God is placing in your life. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What Does Greater look like to you?

What does Greater look like to you?  Is it the bigger house, the new car, an increase in your salary, or traveling around the world?  Does it mean your house looking perfect, wearing the cutest clothes trying to impress people who really could care less about you?!  Does Greater mean when your kids perform well in school, participate in sports or music and get accepted to a well known college? Does it mean having it all? There is nothing wrong with having your cake and eating it too, but it all depends on your motivate, your heart and why you want to be greater.

As a young girl, I always wanted what I couldn't have.  I remember my mom saying to me, "Kim you need to be in the moment.  Be happy with what you have."  My parents didn't have much money as we were growing up  and times were tough.  But when we had the opportunity to go somewhere or buy something new, I was thinking of the next best thing or how it could of been better or different.  Missing the opportunity to be grateful and appreciate what I had at that moment.  It never was enough.  This continued into my adult life. Thankfully, I have learned what Greater truly means. 

My Greater:

God has given me opportunities I thought would only happen in my dreams never becoming a  reality.    But what He taught me the most was I already have GREATER, it was just changing me and  the way I was looking at life .  These 6 years have been life altering. I guess I can't just say the past 6 years because God has been working on me for a long time! However,   In the last 6 years, He has shaken me and woke me up from my sleepy ways!  Looking from the outside nothing has changed. I still live in the same city, same street, same house I have lived in for the past 10 years.  I home educate my kids and they are with with me 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Some people are probably reading this thinking  how in the heck is this greater!  My husband changed positions a few years ago and makes less money than he use to, I drive an older mini van, we don't have fancy decorations in our house or new furniture and we are on a BUDGET!  It probably sounds less than greater and that I must be smoking something!   However,  I've watched Christ do a miracle in my parents, transformed my marriage and  witnessed my children fall in love with the Lord! I've tried a million things and failed and almost all of them but I learn, get back up , keep believing God and stepping out in Faith.    I'm surrounded by friends who love and accept me for me and I even have a crazy dog who is just as weird as the rest of us!  If you would of asked me years ago, if this was Greater.  I probably would of said heck no!  Today, I will tell you my life is GREATER!  I still dream big and pursuing a even greater call on my life but not for me and not for materialistic reasons but for HIM  who is GREATEST!  For me, everything I'm experience from this day forward, is an added bonus!

I don't believe we can truly experience Greater until we can start small and recognize all God has given us.  It starts in our homes with our kids, our spouses and ourselves.  When we allow Him to do greater things in the these areas then my friends the doors will open to what ever else He has called you to do!  It starts with what you have right in front of you first and realize this is all you need, to stop comparing yourself to everyone else.Your life can be Greater if you just stop complaining! The saying that was mentioned earlier about having your cake and eating it too.  Well,  You will not only eat the cake but everything else He brings your way will just be the icing that makes it just that  more delicious!    This does't mean greater won't bring hard times, because it will. But that cake you are about to eat, will be worth every single bite! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Daughter's First Date!

Twenty years ago, there was this boy that I was crazy about! He had it all going on. He was smart, athletic, and drove a nice car! He not only had it going on in high school, but he was getting ready to go away to pitch for Michigan State University. This boy, who stole my heart as a young girl, is now my hubby!

You could only imagine what I was like when he asked me out on a date! There was nothing that was going to get in my way, even when he pulled up to my house in his black Trans Am and HONKED the HORN! My parents had known Mark since he was 10 years old. They liked him, but not when he was tooting his horn, not even coming to the door to take me out! I remember my mom saying, "Don't you dare go running out to his car! He can come to the door." I looked at her and said, "Mom, he's just shy." I took off running out the door to jump in his car! I was in heaven! 

Mark and I have screwed up in so many ways!  We didn't have role models to teach us and show us the way.  Nobody showed Mark how to date and treat a girl.  All he was concerned with was SEX!  I was a young girl looking for someone to love me, to make me feel special, and to delight in me.  I was extremely rebellious.  My parents did not have my complete heart and trust.  As much as our parents loved us, their marriage was not what I would have called successful!  They had their own issues going on.  So, it didn't help in preparing us for adulthood.  Mark and I were caught up in the world, and to be honest, at the time enjoying every minute!  However, with every choice came either a positive or negative consequence.

Now that we are parents, we want much more for our kids.  Thankfully, God has been teaching us and preparing us on how to do things differently.  One of the ways is by having awareness.  Just because you are a Christian doesn't mean that your kids won't screw up or make the same mistakes (or worse) than you or I have made.  We need the help of Christ. He can reveal to us why we made the choices we made in the past.  Having awareness is one step in creating a new path for our children and for many generations to come. The last thing we want is to hand our sin down to our kids.

Mark found a ring for Makenna.  Today, we went to the mall and bought it!  It's so pretty.  His plan (with my help) is to take his daughter on her first date with her first love-- her daddy!  Yes, she is only twelve, and dating is not what we are promoting.  We believe that if parents have their children's hearts and trust at a very young age, it will help stop them from getting sucked in to sexual sin, especially if they see their parents seek God and LIVE what they are teaching.  This date will not be easy for Mark! He's not a big talker, and neither is Makenna.  I wish I could videotape them both!  However, Mark knows it's important.  I've been helping him with the conversations he needs to have with her.  She is growing up, and if he wants a healthy, thriving relationship with his daughters and son, he needs to grow with them.  Yes, talking about God and how much he adores her will be the easy part.  He will also have to talk about sex, love, and boys, what it means to be sexual pure until marriage, and how hard this will be for her. How awesome for Makenna, not only to hear this from her mom, but from her dad, as well!  There could be a day that I'm not here, and she has to know she can come to her dad for anything. 

By taking Makenna on her first date, he will show her what is expected from a young man.  The ring he gives her will represent his love for her, to ask her if he has her heart.  Does she trust and love him, and know that her dad is seeking the wisdom of God, and has her best interest at heart?  He adores everything about her.  How beautiful for a young girl to know the love of Christ and the love of her daddy!

Can Makenna still rebel when she gets older?  We all know that answer.  However, we want to be intentional in everything we do, and our marriage and parenting is the most important thing on our list.  This will also set the tone for her sisters, and Mark has something else planned for his boy when he gets older.  By having God's leadership and guidance, having awareness, communicating, and showing by example, we feel will make the chances that our kids will rebel much smaller.

Yes, I do want a fairy tale marriage for my kids.  I know it's possible, because God has taken the toad that honked his horn 20 years ago, and turned him into the prince I've always dreamed of having.  This could not have happened without Christ. My girls will hear a silly story about their dad honking his horn for their mommy, but their own prince will show up for them when the time is right! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Man you wish your husband could be

Ladies, has God birthed an idea in you which has made your spirit come alive again?  Has he began to show you your gifts and talents and how you can use it to better serve others?  Has He began to show you that you don't have to fall in the trap of living a life of mediocracy, living an average life with an average marriage, kids and friends.  Has he began to show you that you are meant to be different, your marriage can be exciting and filled with passion again, your kids can dream and amazing things can happen to them too.  Your life can and will be different and reflect the love of Christ.

If so, you are begining to walk in a life of FREEDOM!!! You are begining to learn and see how wild our heavnly father is and He wants everything but average for you life.

However, as He begins to lead and open your eyes there may be a few people in our life that may not be as excited as you espeically your husband. The reason I can say this because a few years ago, God opened up my eyes and gave me increadbile opportunities.  It's crazy to think of some of the experiences I had.  I even traveled to Europe three times and two of those three times I  flew first class  to Germany!!!

As I was growing and changing, I didn't feel my husband was growing with me.  I began to see life differently and began to dream again, where in my eyes felt my husband was just this avearage guy with no real abmition inside. All he cared about was sports!!  I began to get angry.I wanted him to be excited for not only me but for what God was doing in  our family.  I wanted him to conncet with me in a much deeper way  and lead me.  He supported me in watching the kids and never telling me no that I coudldn't do something. It wasn't enough for me.  I wanted and needed more from him.  I just didn't want him to say do what ever you want because I felt then when I messed up, which I made some bad finanical decisions, He would  point his finger and say told you so.  I felt he was just waiting for me to screw up!  I've tried many things but realize now what they didn't succeed and how and why  I sabatoged every opportunity God placed in my life.

I began to nag Mark, compared him to other men and wanted him to be so different, Until God pretty much slapped me in the face!!!  I have a mentor that I love!! She said something so powerful that just took me to the floor crying, begging God to forgive me and asking Mark for forgiveness.  This was not just about Me and what I wanted.  I was not treating nor seeing my husband as the man God was preparing him to be.  I only saw his faults and treated him the way I saw him.  Instead of being his wife, helping him and  loving him for where he was and o truly accept him for being him, I saw him and treated him terribly.  I didn't give him the respect that he needed.   Once I began to realize I needed to get all I needed  from our Lord and stop nagging him. To see all that he was doing not what he wasn't doing.   Mark began to see the changes in me and allowed God to change him.  Today, God has done a miracle in our life.  Our marriage is not the same and it continues to grow and thrive because of our Lord Jesus Chrsit.

My friends allow God to ignite that fire in your heart.  Allow Him to keep in burning and be patient and love your husband and as hard as it may be at time be the wife to him that God has called you to be.  Rely on God for the strength, courage and approval you need.  In time, your husband will come around and be the Man that God has called him to be!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why should we serve the kids at church!

If you are like me, then big dreams and goals are just part of who you are.  You want your life to matter and to leave a positive impact on your children  family, friends and people who cross your path. The life I want to live is not just an ordinary life.  I don't want to live a life full of what I want and need.  I don't want to live a life just to please myself or for the approval and pleasing of people.  I want to live a life that glorifies only God.  How do we do that?  What does that look like?  Is that really possible?

If you don't know me, I get excited about all kinds  of stuff.  My mind is always going.  I guess you could say I'm an entrepreneur at heart.  I never have small ideas.  Everything that comes to my mind, I want to do big!  I love to share in other people's dreams too. To encourage them to know how big our God is and that anything with Him is possible.  I truly believe that with all my heart.  If people could just let go and see beyond the barriers and focus their mind on Christ, dreams would come true, families brought back together, marriages healed and experiencing joy, peace, love, forgiveness, like you never have had before. 

With all those big dreams and ideas I have, God had to slow me down and tell me, "none of those things can happen until you prosper where you are planted."  God has called and gifted me with speaking, teaching and a love to encourage and inspire people.  He has placed  a women's ministry in my heart.  Before that can take root and grow God said, " if you can't lead your family,help your husband and prosper with all I have given you how in the world are you going to have a women ministry?"  I've experienced first hand watching people go after their "dreams"  however leaving their family behind.  Killing the very first blessing God had given them.  They had the applause of people, the money and all what  the world calls success but found themselves with broken marriages and  children hurt because of a absent mother or father. This is not what God has called us to do. 

Last year Pastor Jeremy  asked me to serve as a large group teacher for the kids ministry.  I'll be honest, this was the last ministry I really wanted to be a part of!  I home educate my kids all day so teaching more kids just didn't seem all that appealing to me.  Plus I want to big people ministry!  I want to talk about deeper issues and have adult conversations! I have bigger dreams than serving kids! I seriously was throwing a baby fit! It sure sounds kinds of prideful doesn't it!  However, God asked," Is this about you or is this about me." Ouch!  He sure can convict you if you are listening!  Not only did I have to put what I want to the side but also had to face some fears.  I had some reasons or I should say fears of why I didn't want to get involved.  It really had nothing to do with the kids but more of the adults!  What if I said something wrong, what if they don't like me, what if I don't fit in and what if they don't accept me? These were some of the thoughts that kept going around in my head!  Oh the fear of REJECTION!   But God keeps reminding this is not about me nor about everyone else.  It's about being obedient to God.  I'm to stay focused on him and if those things happen then He will deal with it not me!  Fear works like that trying to keep you away from God's biggest blessings.  I knew to trust God and with my hubby and oldest daughter  encouraging me we all  jumped in feet first. 

I'll be honest there are days that I just don't feel like serving. I'm tired and there are a million other things I could do. However,  It is only one day a week and sometimes I can only serve two times a month.  It's not about what we feel. It's not about what we want to do.  It's all about God and he loves his children.  These children mean so much to him. He told me, "If I can't lead and connect with these kids then all those big dreams of leading a women's ministry  are just in vain."  I don't know how long I will be serving in the children's ministry.  The small amount of time I've been serving, they have been more of a blessing to me than I have been to them. I love serving with the team that God has placed in my life.  I love the young kids that work the sound system and serving with them.  I love serving with my husband and my daughter.  Most of all I love looking into those big brown eyes of my two kids that sit at my feet on Saturday nights  listening to me teach the word of God to them and their friends.   When  you have a chance to hear these kids hearts and they trust you enough to poor their fears, troubles and success to you, it's extremely humbling. 

The reason I write this is because Metro Kids really needs some help.  Pray on it and if God is leading you to serve, you will be welcomed with open hands and hearts not just by both the volunteers but by all those kids who show up every week looking for someone to love them!  I believe if we take care of these kids the way God wants us to and not look at them like they are a burden  our church will be more blessed because of it! But we should not be serving these kids in order for God to bless us,we are to do  it because it's what God expects us to do. 

Mark and I  don't serve these kids to please anyone else but our father in heaven.  He cares so much about these kids so we should too.  It shouldn't be a ministry we run from  but to ran after even if it's only for a season.  When we can prosper with what God has already given us, when we can lead our families, be the spouse God has called us to be  and take care of the children first, then my friend the doors to what ever else God has placed on your heart shall be opened! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Is Education Really Important?

When someone finds out Mark and I home educate our four kids, the first questions that pops out of a persons  mouth are what about testing?  How do you know if your kids are learning something?  What about the act or sat?  Do they have to take the MEAP?  Do they get a diploma or GED?  How do they apply to college?  These are all legitimate questions and are important to some degree but it's not the most important on our list.  I know you are probably saying to yourself, "Has she lost her mind!"  The answer is , "NO, I haven't! Well, I guess it all depends on who you talk to!!!"

I just received a message from a friend on Facebook about someone we knew in high school.  This man was educated ,went to a great private school in the area and had a successful job.  He was married with a son but was found guilty of murdering his pregnant girlfriend.  He is facing life in prison without parole. For some reason college, ACT scores and  job title doesn't seem that important especially when divorce happens in 40%-50% of marriages and every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide and 5 in every 100,00 people are murdered. ( not exactly sure if those  statistic are accurate.)

Should we as parents be so focused on college, test scores and grades?  Should we be more concerned with teaching our kids by example what is means to be a husband and a wife.  What it means to be dedicated to our family.  What it means to sacrifice for the people you love.  Maybe we should be more concerned with their character and teaching them about positive and negative consequences.  Helping them realize that one of the most important decisions in their life will not be a career because those you can change.  It won't be what college you went to or how smart you are because you can always learn something new at any age.   It will be who you decide to spend the rest of your life with.  Sure you can get a divorce but think about all the heart ache that it causes when a family decides to break apart because mom and dad just couldn't get it together.  (I'm not putting down anyone who has gone through a divorce.  You already know how hard it was and what it did to everyone emotionally and spiritually. I'm sure just because you went through a divorce  you would not want your children  to experience the samething in their marriage.  You would want them to break free from the cycle.   Thankfully,  God forgives and can  make all things new again. However, does God really wants divorce part of  our lives. If you are a Christian, marriage is suppose to represent the beauty and love of Christ.  When two people get it right and live a life for God it's the most amazing and incredible witness to our Lord)

What we should be grooming our kids for are successful relationships.  How to be a Godly wife or husband.  How to handle family conflict.  How to forgive, give grace and mercy.  How to respect not only their parents but siblings.  How to lead their siblings and work as a team.  Teaching them people skills.  To learn about themselves and how to relate to others.  They need to learn how to prosper where they are planted.  Their family is a training ground for their future.  How they treat each other is glimpse on how they will work with others, how they will treat their spouse, how dedicated they will be to their family and how successful they will be.  They need to know and understand what the word of God says and why it's so important  to obey God not just because mom and dad said so. It's about helping them develop a deep and loving relationship with God our Father. These kids  need to be loved, nurtured and protected not controlled and dictated. 

What are we doing to help our children succeed in this area?  Are we praying for them personally, for Godly friends and one day a Godly Spouse?  Are we seeking God for wisdom to help teach our kids or are we trying to parent on our own?  Are we living by example or just talking the talk?  Are we teaching our kids to look to God for advice or  from friends and the media?  Are we building our families on the word of God?  The Word of God says, "Unless the lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guard stand watch in vain." psalm 127:1. What ever is not built on the word of God is built in vain.  This does not mean our kids won't mess up.  This does not mean they won't end up in a messed up relationship. They have free will, are human and make mistakes.   Though, I do believe the chances will be smaller and hopefully we will have more men leading their wives and children. More men  and women dedicating themselves to their family instead of their job, not  men and women leaving their children abandoned  while they are stuck behind bars for the rest of their lives.

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Should this be called Facebook or Fakebook?

Facebook or as I like to call it "fakebook"  can be used as a great tool to stay connected with friends, family, the latest news and follow people you respect for advice, motivation and even encouragement.  But has facebook and other social media  taken away  real love and abiding friendships?  How many people really celebrate the success of other's?  How many people that claim to be your friend has a  heart that aches when faced with disappointment, failure, struggles in marriage, family or children.  How many of these friends we know not only on fb, but at work, mom's groups, and even at church truly want to share in your dreams and goals. Do they really want to encourage and support you or are they patiently waiting for something to go wrong?  Let's be honest, we all struggle, if not now, but at some point with jealously, insecurity, pride and not being content with what we have and it has killed friendships, families and destroyed marriages. 

As I'm studying King David in the Bible, it talks about a friendship that David had with a man named Jonathon.  This man was King Saul's son. Saul intended for Jonathan to become the second king of Israel, but this son of his  has other plans.  In David, Jonathan saw character fit for a king.  He was so determined that the throne be occupied by God's chosen instrument that he offered everything he had.  Jonathan could of had the entire kingdom  but instead he sacrificed himself for his friend and God's plan. In the Bible it talk about how Jonathan removed his robe and tunic and placed it on David, symbolizing that David would be king instead of him!  Jonathon  could of been filled with jealously and claimed what was given to David as his own.  It wasn't like that at all.  Jonathon and David had an instant bond that only could of been brought together by God himself.  Jonathon's commitment to help David was based on Jonathan's love, not David's response. Even though David had a heart for God, he was not perfect.  Jonathon looked beyond his faults. David could say anything and Jonathon never took it personal nor did he judge him. He accepted him for who he was and when David messed up, He didn't turn his back on him.  His motivation was based on pure love not ever wanting anything in return but to see David live God's plan and  purpose He had for his Friend's life.

Every time, I hear the story of David, I pray that I have a heart like his and that I let go of all my fears, to continue to run after God and  live the life he has set before me. However, as I grow closer to Christ, I also pray I can  become more like a friend to others like  Jonathon was to David. If I'm honest,  I know at times I'm not the greatest friend to the people God has placed in my life. I want to be more like a friend like Jonathon  and not a "fakebook" friend that most ( Not ALL) people unfortunately are today. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"You don't care about anybody only youself"

Has someone you loved, respected or trusted called you such hurtful words as ugly,stupid, dumb, fat, old or dare do I say the words slut or bitch.  Has that same person or group of people called you worthless and not deserving of their love or friendship.  Has someone you cared about pretty much spit in your face and turned their back on you leaving you there broken and hopeless?

Did those words leave a scar?  Where you so angry that you retaliated and said the same words back hoping to leave a wound so big in their heart that it never stops bleeding? 

Life and death are in the tongue and there is no doubt that this tongue is a fierce and wicked part of our body.  It can glorify God in one sentence and kill someones spirit in the next. 

The question here is why do we believe those words when someone lashes out at us.  Maybe it doesn't even have to be in anger.  Someone we know or just respect could say a word or two about your character or appearance not realizing what they are saying and not meaning to hurt you, but the one or two words they used left you feeling depressed in someways.  God has been working on you and you know at least for moments here and there what God says about you, how he loves you. You have been set free in so many ways, let go of the hurt, bondage and the strongholds.  You are so thankful on what and who you are becoming in Christ.  But because of a word or two, it has brought you back to that place you never wanted to go. The place where you begin to believe the lies and think maybe I'm just fooling myself.  Maybe those people are right, maybe I'm not born to be anything more than average. 

God revealed to me years ago, that people can only give what they have.  If they are hurt inside then they cannot give you what you are looking for.  Most importantly, the reason those words crush our hearts and we begin  to believe them is because they are saying words that you believe about yourself deep down in your soul.  If you are comfortable in your own skin, if someone calls you fat.  It doesn't bother you.  But if someone calls you worthless or stupid and it tears you up, maybe it's because you think that about yourself and you just don't want to admit it. 

As we grow in Christ and begin to understand who He is and what He has done for you, When you begin to recognize how he delights in you, those thoughts will begin to dissipate.  You may be walking with him for your entire life, but you are still holding on to hurts, bondage and stronghold.  He wants to break you free from them! 

Christ has taught me to look at the heart of man.  To realize if someone has or will hurt me with their words that I don't have to take it nor believe them because I know who I am in Him.  He has broken me free and it hasn't been easy.  To pray for them and ask God to please forgive them because they know not what they do.  To have grace and mercy for them because Christ has given you the very same thing. You will begin to love not only yourself but the one's who hurt you. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What are the cravings of our heart???

In my humble opinion, one of the aches of our human heart is the longing and wanting to be accepted.  We crave to feel loved, appreciated and forgiven by the people we love and respect.  For some people that craving may be disguised to  look like a stone wall filled with anger and unforgiveness and a lack of feeling.  They act as if they don't care but deep down inside there is a wounded heart wanting to be seen.  We are blinded or in denial if we reject the idea and act as if  someone's opinions never affected you or that we don't care if someone likes us or not. This is where the heart begins to harden. People want to be loved and noticed.   If this was not true, social media would not be so popular. We create a world to see how many friends we can have and how many likes we can get on a comment we post.   We have grown adults having our self worth depending on tangible things that bring only satisfaction for a moment hoping that someone will recognize us.  Realizing that those hungers of being noticed and accepted are still left empty. 

We yearn for someone to see us not for who we are but for who we strive to be.  We want them to see beyond our mistakes.  The beauty and uniqueness that is buried deep in our soul.  You know it's there even if have given up on life or relationships. If someone else could just recognize it for a brief moment than maybe you could come alive again, start over or be the person you dreamed of becoming. Maybe your relatinships could be healed if someone would just rescue you.   Maybe for just a moment if someone just took the time to notice you that empty whole could be filled, even it's just for a season. 

For years, I struggled with wanting the approval of the world.  Chasing after the wind and never being content on who or where I was not realizing I wanted to be rescued.  Still to this day I can find myself creeping back into those chains.  But as soon as they begin to wrap around my ankles, Christ Love convicts me and reminds me,

"Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm and don't submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

Yes, we all would like to hear nice job, your special or even I love you.  But we can't go searching or expecting it.  Because then our focus becomes on man not on Christ.

"For am I know trying to win the favor of people or God?  or am I still striving to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave to Christ."  Galatians 1:10

If we run after Christ and give others out of the Love and approval we have in Him, it will stop us from wanting or longing for others to fill us up.  It takes the focus off of us and on Christ. 

God shows no favoritism.  He loves us all the same.  The question is do you love him?  His heart is craving yours and when you give it to him, trust him and follow him every ounce of your being will be content in Him. 

The journey will not be easy but your appetite will be for only him and no longer the worlds. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Get out of the Corner "Baby"

Now, I know this is going to show my age, but do you remember the movie "Dirty Dancing."  Well, if you are in your thirties and forties of course you do.  When Baby ( I pretty sure that was her name in the movie) gets thrown in the corner, Patrick Swayze ( I can't remember his name in the movie at this moment) come over and says, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." He reaches his hand out, she grabs on to it.  He  lifts her up and   begins to display her beauty.

How many times do we allow people to push us down, put us in the corner, call us names or try to mold you into the person they want you to be especially in the Church.  Now, I'm not putting down the church or my church nor blaming it.  We are human and broken people who make mistakes.  I'm know different and I'm sure I've hurt someone along the way of their spiritual journey as well. 

For me, I've been on fire for Jesus for sometime now. I walk with him every single day. This does not mean I don't screw up because I do, but in the seconds or moments He convicts me, loves me, forgives me  and keeps me going.  However, there was a part of me that was slowly dying inside.  Jesus knew this and so did I.  I began to allow people's opinions especially people who love Jesus bring me down.  I've been accused of being prideful, bragging, selfish and so on.  I may be some of those things at times, I will admit it. But these were from people who did not know where I was in my life nor knew me.  They did not know my heart.  Thankfully, my Lord does.  I began to want to hide the beauty that Jesus had done in my life, because of the criticism and judging of others. 

I do not brag in anything I do.  Let's be honest.  I am a screwed up person and left alone my marriage would be failing and my kids would not be who they are today and I would still be lying in all my filth.  You may be reading this and say, "What are you talking about."  Maybe if you looked at my life from the outside and compared it to other people, it wasn't so bad.  Maybe I haven't been addicted to drugs, murdered someone or on the streets."  But when God looked at me and my sin he was disgusted.  I was slowly dying and was stuck in the pit of Hell.  Mark and I were beginning to drown and the only one who saved us from that Hell was Christ.  Just like Patrick Swayze, He reached His hand out, I grabbed on to it with all my might and He lifted me out of the mess I was in, cleaned me up and displays me for all His Glory.  I only boast in Him because without him I am nothing.

No longer am I going to allow fear of people and the opinions of others get in the way of me and Jesus.  No longer am I going to allow someone put me in the corner and make me into something I was not meant to be and neither should you!  You have been made in the image of God.  Christ died for YOU and ME.  He died to take back what was lost.  His is your redeemer.  He has something for you my friend and it's time you rise up, grab on his hand and allow him to lead you in His beautiful dance so the world can see Him in all your beauty. 

Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:31
"As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world's interest in me has also died." Galations 6:14

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