Friday, August 30, 2013

What you can't forget while preparing for school this year.

Preparing for the school year can be so much fun!  Getting new curriculum and school supplies, organizing the house, and planning out our goals for the upcoming year while keeping the bigger picture in mind is exciting, not just for me, but for the kids too. We reevaluate what worked last year and figure out what changes need to me made for this school year.

As important as planning and preparing are for anything in life, if there is no commitment, then everything else will fall apart.  I’m not saying that things in life don’t change.  Of course they do. This is why goal setting, and reevaluating where you are in life, is vital.  We need to be flexible, versatile, and adaptable!  Just because something may not work out the way you intended does not mean that you have failed.  As long as you keep trying and never giving up in life, you have succeeded. 

This is just a simple reminder to me and to anyone who may be new to homeschooling or maybe even a veteran.  It’s not easy.  We may feel like we are not qualified (trust me, there will be plenty of people you will come across who will help feed that lie). You will face resistance from your children and experience more than a few meltdowns along the way. And believe or not, many times you will be the culprit. There will answers you don’t know and math problems that resemble a foreign language.   There will be days when your house looks like a disaster, and school may be put on hold so you can get to the doctors, the dentist, or just the grocery store so everyone can eat!

School is not just studying the books, it’s teaching your children about life. But whether you are homeschooling or not, remember, in life we need commitments and we must quit when life gets hard.  As you start your school year, remember why you are doing this and who you need to get you through the day.  When you feel like giving up, fall on your knees, and He will be the one to pick you up and give you the strength to keep moving on.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Phil. 4:13
"My grace is sufficient for you.  For My power is made in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Confessions of a wife and her husband's fantasy!

An endless dripping on a rainy day and a nagging wife are alike.” Proverbs 27:15

As the family cleans up the kitchen after dinner, the faucet on the kitchen sink has been accidentally left on.  There is this dripping sound, which nobody seems to be paying attention to.  Her husband gets up from the dinner table and quickly runs to his computer.  His wife notices, but continues cleaning the rest of the crumbs left behind.  She catches a glimpse from the corner of her eye, is he texting someone? It seems odd to her because he is not someone who talks on the phone, let alone texts. He is smiling and laughing as he receives a response.  She begins to feel a little left out.  She yells a comment from the other room, to which he responds, but only half-heartedly.  It is obvious he doesn’t want to be bothered at the moment.  He is so preoccupied, he even turned down his favorite love language. Are you serious?  Could it be another woman?  How did this happen?  Did her husband find a new love?  Suddenly, she is brought back to her senses and realizes it not another woman, it’s FOOTBALL SEASON!

You could be thankful that it’s only his fantasy football league he is focusing on.  However, you begin to get upset because you feel he is spending too much time preparing for this ridiculous football draft.  As you take your jabs, the kitchen sink continues to drip. However, the sound becomes noticeable.  Your jab becomes punches, and soon your husband can’t take it much longer.  As he gets up to leave the room, he stops at the kitchen sink to turn off the dripping faucet. However, because it’s been going on for so long, there is now a flood and a simple turning of the knob just won’t work.  

I don’t know your husband, or what he enjoys to do. Perhaps he likes fantasy football, hunting, or NASCAR.  Whatever it is, we must not sound like a dripping faucet and nag our husbands to death about their hobbies. I learned this years ago.  Remember, there is an enemy that wants nothing else but to kill, steal, and destroy your family.  Working on your marriage is something you have to do daily.  It’s easy to let something small turn into something much bigger, if you are not careful.  God had to remind me to focus on all the good my husband does. He seriously is a rock star.   Focusing on the negative only creates jealousy and selfishness, bringing destruction to what God has built in your marriage.   

I went over and turned the faucet off before the dripping turned into a huge flood that I couldn’t fix.  I ask God and my husband to forgive me. Now, I can’t promise I won’t make jokes about his fantasy football leagues, especially with my girlfriends, but I do promise to love and support him just like he does for me!  If this is what he enjoys doing, then I’ll pull up my big girl pants and put up with it for  yet another season!!

 “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”  James 3:16-17

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What about Miley Cyrus?

If you haven’t heard about Miley Cyrus performance on MTV’s VMA awards then you must live under a rock or definitely not connected to social media!  By the sounds of it she could of made Lady Gaga blush!  Now, I think that last comment was going a little over board but you get my point! 

I’m sure there are people and especially some of her fans think that people like me are being to judgmental, ridiculous or even old-fashion.   These same people are saying I thought you are not supposed to judge?  Some are probably saying but my generation grew up with Madanna!  Yes, we did and I will admit I even liked her as a young girl. However,   It doesn't make it right.  I was to young and stupid to know better. ( Thankfully, my parents tried their hardest to keep me away from listening to her music.  Unfortunately, I was rebellious and didn't always listen.)   I’m not judging Miley but I am judging her actions.  Come on these entertainers are put on display for the world to see and this is the crap we get?  Yep, because we have allowed it.  For everyone who is accusing me of  judging you are darn right I am.  I'm not judging her per say, I am judging her actions.   Iff we as parents don't stand up and do something the world will eat our  children alive.   Her actions on stage (and many other so called performers) for the world to see are something that needs to be talked about. ( But as we do, we can't forget to look at our own lives.)  Turning our cheek will only give the impression to our children that behaving in such a way is acceptable. 

I’m not saying I’m better than this girl.  I’ve done some shameful things in my youth that could make many people’s jaw drop including my parents.   I loved being center stage and thought acting in such a way was what you needed to do to get the attention from boys.  I was so wrong.  Thankfully, my parents never held anything against me and loved me enough to forgive me.  God is the same way.  I’m sure it breaks his heart to see His child acting in such a disgusting way.  She was given so many gifts not to bring herself glory or to sell her soul for fame and money but to bring Him glory. However, there is hope and it’s not found in the applause from man, money or from a Hollywood contract it's  found in Christ.  God is slow to anger and rich in grace and mercy. There is no sin to big that God will not forgive. If you have a repentant heart and ask Him to forgive you, He does.     I pray her eyes will be opened once again to Him and put back on  path that will only bring her life. I pray she allows God to change her heart and will bear witness for all the young girls to see.   When she does God will be waiting with open arms to forgive her, just like he did with you and me. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

After a stressful day with the kids, how does a forty in brown paper bag sound?

If you have children then you should be able to relate to this blog, unless, of course, you are superhuman! 

It was one of those days.  You know the kind of day I’m talking about, when your head is pounding because you have heard MOM repeated at least a million times!  You have broken up wrestling matches, called time-out, and had to go over the rules more in one day than any NBA, NHL or NFL referee has had to do in a given two hour game, which now has you feeling like filling out an application for some sort of professional referee.    Surely these franchises could use your expertise! Except you realize that you would probably be over-qualified!

You cooked, cleaned, and now dinner looks like dog food, probably because you were interrupted and forgot that the stove was on three times! The house resembles the aftermath of a tornado, or better yet, an earthquake.  Because you just need a break and get your sanity back, you decide to do the unspeakable.  You allow your kids to watch a movie! You break every TV rule you have, and close the blinds so the other mothers will not know!

Finally, after the day seems to be winding down, your husband notices that you have an uncontrollable twitch.  In desperation he realizes that if you don’t get some sort of break, the chances of him getting lucky are slim to none!  He doesn’t let you know he is thinking this, of course.  Instead, he suggests going for an evening walk, just the two of you.    You agree, and instead of putting on your ruby red slippers, you quickly jam your feet into the first pair of shoes you find and fly out the door. The last thing you are doing is clicking your heels and uttering the words, "there is no place like home."   You decide to walk to the nearest convenient store to grab a few things needed for home.  The idea of being able to walk to the store in silence is like heaven.  You didn’t have to go through any rules, reminding little ones how to act and what not to ask for. 

As the sliding doors open, something catches your eye. Could this be the answer?  This bottle never looked so lovely before!  The idea of quickly grabbing and wrapping it in a brown paper bag excites you.  This could be answer!  Now your mommy walks around the block could bring a whole new experience.  Your mind begins to wander as ideas of a new kind mom’s group begin.  Paper bag moms!  Nobody would know.  You could meet, walk, and talk, and drink until the edge is taken way and the happy smile kicks in! 

Minutes later, your dream is suddenly interrupted by your cell phone.  The kids want to know when you will be coming home.  You look at your phone.  Could it have been that long?  How long were you romancing about this new found love?  You look at the time and realize it’s been an entire 10 minutes since leaving the house! How dare you be gone so long!   Your husband grabs what is needed, and you head out the door.

You awake from your blissful fairy tale and are brought back to reality.  Christ is there, reminding you and me that HE is what will fill you up, and give you compete joy, peace, and rest. Everything is else is only temporary relief.  We don’t have to complain, talk about it until we are blue in the face, or tell a million people how bad our day was,  Nor do we need to drink it away.   We only need Him.  He wants to take your burden and make it light.  What are you waiting for?  Give it to Christ.  He is the one who sustains us and gives the grace and mercy to share with our family.  He is found in our weakness and reminds each one of us of the bigger picture, and how we are responsible to show our children His way by our words and actions.   The brown paper bag, as good as it may sound, will never bring what Christ has already died and given you.  Peace, joy, and rest.  It’s yours if you decide to take it. 

After you have your moment (which we are allowed to have), you walk in you front door, look at those little faces, and realize there really is no place like home!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Time to hit a homerun

I don’t know if you have watched the movie 42: The Jackie Robinson Movie.  If you haven’t, it’s a must see!  I knew the story before hitting play on our DVD player (which is another story all on its own!  Why do these TVs have to be so complicated to use?  I had to wake up my son because I didn’t know how to turn the dang thing on!).  As I watched the movie, Jackie’s story inspired me to keep fighting the good fight with integrity, class, and character.  Despite everything he had to endure, he continued to fight hard; he never gave up nor let the world beat him down. This movie only gives us a slice of what life was like for black men and women-- pain and suffering that most of us will never experience.  His manager and Jackie’s faith in Christ is what kept him in the game.  I loved it when one commenter said, “Jackie has guts.”  I hope one day someone will look at our life, what we stood for, and repeat the same words about you and me. 

We may not go down in history as a great baseball player like Jackie Robinson, nor face racism the way he did.  However, we still have our bases to run and homeruns to hit.  God used Jackie in the game of baseball to stand for something much bigger than a ball and a bat.  Every time he stepped on the field, he gave hope to the hopeless.  Every time someone came against him, when the world seemed like they would never embrace him, he gave friends to the friendless. His life was a testimony that people can change, as his team, and eventually the fans, embraced him.    Every time someone acted in his or her own flesh, or misused the word of God, he shined the light of Christ for everyone to see.  This black man in the 1940’s was a light in this dark world!  He wasn't a perfect man, but God doesn't expect perfection.  He was a husband and a man after God’s own heart. 

 I want people to look at my life, and the lives of my friends, and see that.   I want them to see people who are going against the majority, who are standing on the word of God, who at times feel like they are striking out.  I want people to see that despite everything against us, we decide to get back into the batter box, hold on to the bat, and not just point to the stands, but to God!   How I pray that I have the guts and the courage to do this.    If we are going to continue swinging our bats, we need to know who we are in Him.  Keep hitting those base hits, because one day it will be a home run! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Transforming your storm

The sun has been out and shining this past week in Michigan!  It has been a rough summer with lots of rain and cloudy days.  It’s almost like summer just passed us by.  When the sun is out, it makes me feel so much better.  I know that I’m much more productive when it is.  We need the sun.  There is no doubt that sunshine is healthy for your minds, bodies, and spirit. 

This crazy weather made me think deeper about God.  Everyone is happy and go lucky when the weather is just the way we like it, but we begin to complain and get crabby when it’s gray and gloomy.  

If we want to be successful and enjoy life, learning how to not let circumstances control us is key.  When life is dark, and when you are walking through the shadow of death, know that you don’t have to fear.  Although you may not see him, God is always with you.  Don’t give up hope.  Call on him, get in prayer, read his word, and know his promises.  He is the light in this dark world.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Faith in not seeing, but believing. 

Don’t allow the weather or your circumstances to steal your joy.  Remember, when you can’t see the light, know that the Son is there, walking with you every step of the way.  If you don’t give up, His light will shine once again, transforming the storm, wind, and clouds, until the most beautiful rainbow is on display for the world to see. 

Friends with simple reminders

The other night my phone rang and it was my friend Cory.  (I wrote about him a few days ago, if you want to read more about him.)  He was so excited to share with me what was going on in his life.  He said, “Kim, are you ready?  You are never going to believe what God has been doing in my life.  You are going to be so excited for me.  I can’t wait to tell you!” His love and pure innocence is so refreshing.  I couldn’t wait to hear his wonderful news.   He began to share with me how he now has 17 friends on his face book page.  He was so thankful.   God has placed on his heart to start a prayer ministry.  These are 17 more people in his life that God has trusted him with, and he gets the opportunity to pray for each one. 

I hung up the phone, looked at my husband, and said, "if we all had a heart like Cory, this world would be a much better place."  Cory simply reminded me once again to appreciate everything I have in my life and to enjoy the journey. How many things do we (including me) take for granted?  God is huge, and there is nothing wrong with having big dreams. But, we can’t miss what is right in front of our faces. Yes, we should have a bigger vision for our lives.   However, what I have learned in the process is, if God can trust us with what he has given us first, much more will be given.  This includes not only the big blessings, but the small ones, too.  It’s not about the quantity, but the quality.  Maybe you are in a tough spot in your life right now, and you just can’t seem to find anything to be thankful for.  Here is a reminder.  You are alive and able to read this blog!   Being able to read, using, and having a computer are considered a luxury in many countries around the world.  You, my friend, are blessed!   

Cory reminded me to be thankful that I have people who actually read and like my Bringing Light to the Matter Facebook page! Yes, I want this page to grow, but I must remember not to focus on the numbers, but rather stay focused on God.  I need to continue to be (and trust me I am) thankful for just having one person like this page!  Seriously, I’m shocked anyone would want to even read what I write!  So, if God brings more, great, and if not, I’m grateful and enjoying what I’m doing. If a few, or even if nobody decided to visit this page, it’s ok.  I’m doing this for His Glory, not mine!

Today, no matter what you may be going through, find your blessings.  Be thankful for where you are at, and as God can trust you, he will be the one to promote and give you more!  Thank you Cory for the simple reminders on life! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Don't foget to add Do your Husband to your list of things to do!

Getting ready for the kids to get back to school can be exciting, overwhelming, and exhausting!  It doesn't matter if you home-educate or send your kids to traditional school.  If you are sending your little one off to kindergarten, or watching your big one go off to college, it can be extremely emotional.  I didn't always home-educate. I remember dropping my daughter and son off on their first day of school, and I was a basket case!  I was one crazy mama!!

There is so much to do, especially if you work outside the home.  The list never feels like it gets shorter.  I thought I had all my supplies ready to start school, and now I've found out that my list is even longer than it was before!

In all the commotion, there is one very important must do that we cannot forget  If you have to add it on your list, then do so right now!  If you are married and want a rockin' marriage, then you must DO your HUSBAND!!! 

Yes, I know I’m crazy and love talking about sex!  The reason is that I know how screwed up our marriage was, and if God can use me and my mess to help married couples know how to have a HEALTHY marriage and sex life, than I’m all for it! 

I know there are days that I want to scream, please, just leave me alone, however our husbands  have to matter, and this means satisfying their needs no matter how tired we might be! If you want a thriving marriage, honor and respect for your man is crucial in your home.

So, it doesn't matter whether you do something fun and spontaneous, or just pencil him in on the laundry list of things to do.  But, whatever you do, don’t forget, and DO IT, or I should say, DO HIM!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Do you stuggle with People Pleasing?

People pleasing have been one of the biggest obstacles I’ve had to overcome.  Maybe someone reading this blog today has struggles with the same issue.  Maybe you are a very social person like me.  You love people.  Going to parties and meeting new people is a good time in your book.  You love to connect deeper with people and the thought of saying goodbye to anyone sends you in tears and a broken heart.  I seriously hate goodbyes.  I can be at the airport and watch complete strangers cry as they leave their love one and I fall apart!  My family would tease (or I would say torture) me and say, “how about we take Kim to the airport and watch her cry!”   Now, do you understand why I need so much help!!
Loving and connecting people are God’s commandments.  The apostle Paul wrote about becoming all things to all people, so that he may by every possible means save some (1 Corinthians 9:22).
However, we need to be careful. Paul does not say he has become all things to all people so he can be popular and loved by the world.  He says the opposite.   His reasons he found common ground and building relationships was so important so he could share the gospel and become a partner in its benefits  ( 1 Corinthians 9:23).
I will admit that what has held me back from taking the next step to following the desires God has given and placed on my heart is I was still holding on to the opinions and thoughts of people more than God’s.   To be honest, I was afraid to step out not so much of what people outside the church walls would say about me but inside.  Here Christ set me free but I didn’t experience complete freedom because I was entangled in trying to be what the Church wanted me to be.  I was allowing other people mold me to what they thought a Christian woman should be and look like.  God has and continues to love me and say, “I’m the one who is the author and giver of life.  I’ve made you the way I want.  I’ve called you for a divine purpose.  I’m the one who will change you and nobody else. You are my creation. Now get out and do what I’ve called you to do.”  He is saying the same to you.   If you make a mistake it's ok!  God can take your mess and make turn it into something beautiful.  He will redirect your steps if you continue to seek Him. 

If you are stuck like I was and sometimes it can sneak up on me, if I’m not careful.  There is hope!  You can live a victorious life and go after whatever God has placed on your heart once you know deep in your soul who He says you are.  Get in His Word.  Fill your mind with the words of God.  Pray and find a FEW people you can trust to share your struggles, dreams and allow them to cover you in prayers.  You will begin to live in the freedom Christ has called you to live.  Finally, saying goodbye to something that has been a thorn in your side.  This will be one goodbye that will not bring you tears!  So long people pleasing and hello freedom!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bringing out the warrior in your child

Standing in the middle of a high school gymnasium stood this one young boy.  He had his dobok on, his belt tied tightly around his waist, and he was wearing the face of a warrior. He was focused, determined, and waiting for the testing to begin.  His parents sat in the stands trying not to boast in the glory of their son’s success, trying to be humble.  His presence down on the floor was a testimony of God and all His glory.  It took everything for these same parents not to stand up and scream, “There is our boy!”

Yes, this is our boy that I'm writing about. If you are a parent, you know the feeling, especially when you know what your child has had to overcome.  Years ago, doctors told my husband and me everything that my son would not be able to do.  His journey, though we know many other people have had much more to endure or overcome, has not been an easy one.  However, my husband and I refused to believe anyone else but God.  We knew that with Him all things are possible.  We look to God as he continues to guide our every step.  He has helped us find our son's passions, and nurture his gifts and talents.  This shy, timid boy who struggles with his motor, and at times, social skills, stood tall and confident in that high school gym with big dreams and a love for God and his family.  This is what it’s all about.  This is what makes it a great story.  Fighting against the impossible.  When everyone tells you it’s not possible, yet you are still standing, ready to win!

We do not boast about our parenting skills and ourselves.  We boast about God, because it is He who has taught and guided us along the way.   Parenting your children begins with how you view and see your children.  You may not have a vision for your life, but never pass down mediocrity to your children.  See them in the eyes of God, and you, my friend, will witness your children be and do more than you could possibly imagine yourself.   Also, begin to see yourself the way God sees you.  As you grow and become the warrior God has designed you to be, you will become a role model for your children.  You will show them by example that, no matter how hard life is, you never quit. 

A little side note:  My son was pulled to the side at karate practice yesterday.  He was told that the judges said he was one of the best students at the testing.  There were around 10 different schools involved, kids and adults!!! We are so proud of the warrior our son is becoming.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What brings you pleasure?

There may be people who read this blog and think this woman is just boring, prude and needs to lighten up.  These same people may have thoughts like she is so religious.  It's all about what you can't do or can do.  Most of the can do are about giving up something that brings people pleasure. Why would I ever want to so that someone may ask.   I guess you would need to ask yourself what is your definition of pleasure?

Is it gambling, strip clubs, bachelor, bachelorette parties  and drunkenness? Is it cheating on your spouse or choosing your friends over family?  If you would of asked my husband and I years ago we would of said YES to most of those questions.   We have experienced pretty much it all to some degree.  We did have limits.  However, if we would of continued down this road those same limits would of become a green light for more. 

Thankfully, God changed us.  This is really the only answer.  Little by Little He has changed our hearts.  We are so thankful.  Faith in Christ is not about rules and regulations.  It's about a new Freedom.  It's not about being perfect but living a life pleasing to God. 

My definition of pleasure has since changed.  It's about  having complete joy and love for my husband, kids, family and friends.  Pleasure for me is not having my past sins ( I know people hate this word!)  haunt me and keep me from pursing all God wants for my life.  Pleasure is not living a life of regret but living a life full of adventure  and being  role models for my children.  Pleasure for me is when I'm sitting at a baseball game like I was last night, seeing my kids cuddled up with my husband and him looking at me with that look that makes me feel like a young girl falling in love all over again!  Pleasure for me is a marriage free from lust, jealously, insecurity  and knowing we both have each other's complete heart!

Pleasure for me is laughing, dancing, joking, dreaming, giving, working and yes  even grabbing a beer once in while with my husband.  But, ultimately both my husband and I find our pleasure in the only place you can truly receive and find it  and the answer is in Christ.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What will happen the minute you say yes?

The minute you decide to make changes in your life or go after a dream that has been buried deep inside your heart, you will face opposition.  The minute you step out and do something different, there will be people standing at your doorsteps telling you it’s not possible.  The minute you are awaken from a dream of possibility the negative voice in your head will remind you how stupid you are and to go back to bad.  The minute you decide you want to save your marriage, relationships with children, family or even friends memories of your past will be brought back to your life reminding you of all the wrongs stopping you from finding forgiveness.  The minute you decide to get your finances in order, bills will flood your mailbox giving you an overwhelming feeling of despair.  The minute you decide you want to get healthy you receive a devastating phone call and find yourself comforting your heart with a gallon of ice-cream.  The minute you say yes to change and finally stepping outside of the ordinary and live a life of extraordinary, life will try to knock you down. 

This is when you decide are you going to let your circumstances or people stop you from living and experiencing all God has created you for.  There is nothing special about anyone that has gone out and did something great with their life.  The only difference is they said yes.  They made a conscious decision to work hard and  fight against the enemy and sometimes that enemy may be you. 

I can tell you years ago, when I decided enough was enough.  I needed to change.  My life was shaken and at times continues to tremble.  It will not be easy and many times you will want to quit.  Don’t quit. People will mock, laugh and turn their back on you.   You may feel or be alone.  However,  God is so faithful.  He  will send people in your life along the way to teach, support and encourage you fueling the passion so you can take one more step!  Remember its baby steps!! Each step you take, make sure you take time to thank God and Celebrate!!!

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Here is a video of our mission trip! My daughter help put this together for us!! This might sound crazy to some people, but if God opened the door for us to move to Haiti, we would pick up our family and Go! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Begging at the Backdoor

Our dog is outside barking to come in the house.  She has been outside all morning and now has decided she wants to come in to enjoy the comforts of her home.  She is scratching and jumping at the door.  This dog is persistence and doesn’t give up. 

At the same time as the dog is crying to come inside, cinnamon rolls are being made.  As my husband opens the door to let this crazy dog in, I open the oven to bake these yummy rolls.   Because my dog has some fear of smoke, she refuses to come in to rest and stays outside.  Here is the thing, there was no smoke.  She was allowing a negative experience from her past, to keep her from enjoying the benefits given to her as being part of our family.

Yes, this is a silly story about our dog.  However, looking at the situation, I can’t help but to reflect on my own life, non-believers and Christians who are afraid to enter fully in the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not just heaven but the life God wants for you here on earth.  God has promises for His Children.  He wants to give you rest and take your burden.  Because of strong holds that sometimes unknowingly exist we sit and beg outside the door but never receiving all the blessings that are promised as part of the family of God.   Maybe the reasons being of the fear of the unknown or possibly being haunted by sin, past failures never thinking they are good enough for God’s grace and mercy.  Instead of walking towards God they self-sabotage their relationship and stand outside the door afraid to walk through. 

We are not good enough.  It’s only because of Christ and what He endured on the cross that can bring us hope. He is the only reason we can have hope.  It’s nothing we have done, deserve or can do.  It’s only allowing God to draw us in and accepting the invitation of accepting Christ allowing Him to free you from your past hurts and use you to bring Him all the glory.  He wants to do more in you and me if we allow his power to free and work within each on of us…

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blessings in a Wheelchair

It’s the middle of summer. I’m in the house doing laundry and getting dinner ready.  When suddenly, my kids run in the house to tell me their neighbor friend is over and wants to introduce me to her cousin.  I looked outside and notice an older black man sitting in a wheelchair.  I looked at my pile of clothes that needed to be folded.  I began to entertain the thought of just saying Hi and making an excuse on why I couldn’t take the time to talk.  Because that’s what I would have been doing making excuses.  There wasn’t anything I was doing that was so important where I couldn’t take the time to meet a new friend.

A few seconds after considering blowing the kids friend and cousin off, God spoke to my heart and said, “Do not judge him by his physical appearance.  Get outside and take the time to get to know him. Treat him the way you would treat anyone else. Don’t look at him the way the world sees him.  Look at his heart. Do not have pity on him.”  This scripture came to mind. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

I’m so thankful God doesn’t look nor care about our physical appearances.  He doesn’t care about our titles we hold, how many friends we have on Facebook, what car we drive or how much money we have in our bank.  He only cares about the heart. 
I walked outside and was blessed. I met and embraced my  new friend and so did my family!  He is filled with so much wisdom.  He was born with cerebral palsy and has had many struggles along his way.  Doctors told him he would never see the age of 30 and here he was getting ready to celebrate his 37th birthday.  He loves the Lord and his heart was pure.  He doesn’t let his disability or his circumstances stop him from continuing to dream big and go after all God has called him to be and do. 

He was such an inspiration to me and thankful I listened, took the time and didn’t judge this book by its cover. 
Today, take the time to listen and get to know someone better.  Remember, the world may care about the physical and material possessions but God only looks at the heart! 

 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Lessons of the Garden

Mark just finished putting the last brick around the garden.  My oldest daughter and I climbed over the fence, kneeled in the dirt, and waited for my husband to hand us the seed packages so we could begin planting.  All of a sudden, we all busted out laughing.  We didn't have a clue on what we were doing, but we did anyways!

A few weeks prior to starting our garden, we shared our idea with a few neighbors.  Their reaction was, "it won't work".  They shared stories of their failures and why growing a garden is just a waste of time.  We know they meant well and that sharing their experiences came from love. 

What if we would have listened?  What if we allowed their failure to become our realities?  Many times we allow the opinions of others to stop us from going against the grain and trying something new. Dreams, experiences, and ideas are often left in the package. Often we never plant or water our dreams so they can harvest, because we believe in the words of people more than God’s.  However, this time our family took the time to learn from other's mistakes, but we didn't allow it to stop us from trying!

If we would have listened to the voices of others, we would have missed out on the laughter and teamwork needed to put this garden together.  We would have missed the opportunity, when the bunnies ate the green beans, carrots and broccoli seeds, to teach the kids that you don’t quit-- you evaluate the situation and try something new.  We would have missed the excitement when the kids saw the fruit of all their hard work ripen! 

Don’t allow someone to tell you that your garden is not possible.  Whatever God has placed on your heart, if you water, nurture, and share it with people with the same vision, it will begin to grow.  One day, you will begin to enjoy the fruit of your labor.  The best part of it all will be the memories and life lessons learned along the way. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Broken but Beautiful

It felt like it was at least 100 degrees outside as we hiked up the rocky dirt road to head to church.  In just a few minutes I was already out of breath and sweating my tail off.  Finally, we were there!  Everyone was dressed in their Sunday best.  The men in three-piece suits and the women in high heels and skirts and looking like a million dollars.  Looking at these beautiful Haitian people, you would never know what they had to endure just to get to Sunday school. 

The Church was a broken building. You could still see the effects of the earthquake just a few years prior.  Actually, it was a great representation of what we are like without Christ.  Broken Rubble.  Church was simple, yet powerful.  It wasn’t over-complicated with programs.  Worship was like nothing I have ever heard before.  Simple, it but sounded like angels.  It sent chills up and down my spine, yet there was no band.

Church there wasn’t over-complicated.  The room was filled with people who longed to hear and know the Word of God.  They praised Him for everything in their lives and asked for forgiveness.  The world looks at this little Island and thinks they have nothing, and yet they have everything we could ever want. 

We over-complicate and over-schedule our lives, running, trying to gain something more.  Yet all we need is right where we are, and there is nothing we need to do, gain, or build to make it more.  God is not complicated.  We don’t need to make Him more.  God is big, simple, and enough!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Growing up and letting go!

The majority of people I have met  said they would NEVER go to a high school reunion and for good reasons!

Recently, my husband and I went to our 20 year reunion.  To be honest if you would of asked me a few years ago, I would of told you, “heck no!  I’m not going!”  Even though, I went to all the other reunions in the past. 

Before I continue, don’t miss what this blog is about.  I’m not trying to convince you to go somewhere you don’t want to go.  What this blog is about is forgiveness.  Forgiving yourself and facing your past. 

Years ago, when I went to past reunions, my heart was not right.  I was holding on to resentment towards old friends and myself, anger towards my husband and regrets. 

You might say that is ridiculous.  It was high school!  People grow up and move on.  Yes, this is true to some degree.  See, most people don’t really move on.  They think they have but what they have really done is run from their past. 

In order to live in the fullness of what God has planned for our life, we need to visit certain places in order to learn the lesson and find forgiveness.   If not, it will continue to show up in our life or repeated in the lives of our children. We can’t do this alone.  We need God to reveal areas in our lives that need healing.   As silly as it sounds, even choices you made as kids can still have a negative effect on your life, if not dealt with properly. 

The problem was not the friends from school.  The problem was me.  We can’t change anyone only ourselves.  I finally was able to not only forgive the people who hurt me including my husband, but also forgive myself for my actions and hurting others.
For the first time, this reunion was different.  It was a blast filled with so much laughter and healing friendships!  The reason being because my husband and I not only grew up but  we also let go!  

Please click here, if you would like to follow!