Saturday, June 27, 2015

Life & Love: A Prayer for the Sunny Days and Rainy Days

Life can give you giggles that fill your soul with joy and life can be confusing and sometimes difficult to swallow. The only rock to keep you steady through life's uncertain paths is the one who knows you best and created you out of love. If your day is sunny and full of belly aching laughter this prayer is for you. If your heart is aching and you have no more tears to shed...this prayer is for you...

 The only safety net we really have is God's unfailing love.
We have no control over this crazy world or the people we encounter each day.
We do, however, have control over our thoughts, our prayers, and our love.
Do you choose to love? Every Day? To those you like and dislike?
People can be taken away from us faster than a second. 
People can change their entire lives in the matter of one decision.
But God is bigger than bad decisions and catastrophes.
God can turn mistakes in to miracles and destruction into paradise.

Every Day is a day to give thanks, a day to praise the Lord.
Where disaster strikes and hunger growls we still praise your name.
When peace overflows and love grows deep we still praise your name.
Even though we don't always know why, where, when or how
 we know you are there, with your hand and your staff giving us all we need.
Words can heal and words can steal but only You can permanently save.

Slow me down and help me notice Your goodness & overflowing grace.
Fill me up and pour me out as a blessing to those big and small.
May not a second go by that I myself cause anyone to do harm.
Keep me from evil and show me the path that You have paved directly for me.
May I be a haven and source of joy to those You have entrusted to me today.
May I notice Your love and joy where I am sitting right this minute.
I give my heart, my life, my mind to You today and everyday.
I may be a wife, a daughter, and mom, a sister and a friend,
but first I am a child of God who has a purpose and a plan.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Let it Shine

I keep finding myself using the phrase "its a win-win". I love this phrase and I love it when I find myself in a win-win situation.

Living my life for Christ means that I get to spend eternity in heaven. That is a major win. However, there is more.

Living my life for Christ also means that I have the opportunity to show others what Christ is like. That is another major win.

In Matthew 5:14 he writes "You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good needs and praise your Father in heaven".

Sometimes I wonder, is my light shining? I know I love God, and I am living every day for Him...but can people see this through my words, my actions and my attitude?

Today, I completely lost my marbles because we were late to church. Is my light still shining?  Today, I lost my patience, more than once. Is my light still shining? Today, I was selfish. Is my light still shining?

I have a two and a half year old watching my every move.  That is a gigantic responsibility that I take very seriously.  Does that mean that I have to strive for perfection all day long? That would be really hard. I am not perfect, but the great news is that I don't need to be. God is perfect, and that is what my son needs to learn.

When I seek to be like Christ, even when I sin, my light still shines because nothing can separate me from my God.

I want my light to shine so brightly so that my son is blinded by the goodness and grace of God, so I keep making God my number one priority. 

My husband and I pray continuously that our son would grow up to be a God-centered man. On one hand we have no control over that, but on the other hand we do. The closer that my husband and I are to God, the more we will be like Him, and the more influence He will have on our son.

So how do we get our lights to glow, continuously, all day and all night long when there is this thing called sin that gets in the way?

We remain in God's living word, we pray continuously through out the day, we speak up for what is right, and we remain quiet when the time is right. We speak Biblical Truth to those around us, we refuse to listen to lies and we run in the opposite direction of sin. We confess when we sin and we ask for forgiveness. We put our hope, our trust, and our identity in Christ. When we do these things there is no way to turn off the light.

There is no reason to hide, Let your light shine.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

5 Tips for the Exhausted Women Who Wants to Do it All

I have got to do something quick or else I seriously might fall asleep in the playroom. The coffee isn't working, the dance music is making it worse, the words in my Bible are starting to blur together and I still have 3 hours until nap-time.

I feel like a young 21 year old who just experienced her first hangover. The feeling of regret and 'why did I do that' looming over me. The difference is that I haven't had any alcohol in over a week and my hangover feelings is from exhaustion, not wine coolers and cheap beer.

"How did I let myself get to this point"?

The honest answer is that I have way to many first priorities and I don't want to let any of them go. I want to give my child the best of me 24/7, I want to give my husband the best of me when he is home, yet I also want to make healthy meals for my family, exercise, help provide for my family, start my day in prayer, serve others, connect with friends and family, read God's word daily, and minister to women. Sleep? Maybe I'll do that when I'm 50.

I can't be the energizer bunny for ever. At some point, like today, I am going to hit a wall. When I get to this point, I am not doing anything well.

Technically it all comes down to finding balance, good time management, sticking with your priorities and saying no. However, there is another answer to this problem that is less technical and way more accurate.

It's called obeying God's commands. If God tells me to rest, I rest. If God tells me to work my tail off, then I work. 

If I don't follow God's commands then I will fail and my house will fall (Matthew 7:27). 

You see, God does have all the answers. When we walk with God through out our entire day, our day starts to revolve around God's plans, not ours. We begin to see our daily activities through God's eyes.

I don't want to work on my plans...I want to work on Gods plans. I want God's plans to succeed. I know that sometimes that involves little sleep, but that's OK because God will give me what I need. Other times, I need to rest, spend time alone with God, and connect with Him. God will take care of everything else around me while I spend precious time with Him.

I find that when I stop and listen for God's direction through out my day, I am able to prioritize way easier and I am pleasantly surprised at the tricks God has up his sleeve.

Here are 5 Tips on how to Listen for God's Direction throughout your day:
1. Begin your day with prayer. I have said this before and I will say it again. Ask God to direct your steps and help you prioritize before your feet hit the floor.
2. Obey God in the big things. If there is a major sin in your life, it may be the reason you are unable to get your head above water. Nothing is more important than getting right with God and obeying Him. Seek counseling, confront your family, and get right with God.
3. Obey God in the small things. When we obey God in the small things it becomes a lot easier to obey Him in the big things.
4. Pray throughout your day. Ask God about anything and everything. Learning to walk with God throughout your day is the key to being able to identify the overwhelming "God wants me to do this" feeling.
5. Ask God for big time miracles. There are no closed doors with God. You may think you have to do it all because you have no other options. God does have other options. All you have to do is ask. You might not know another way, but God knows 100 other ways. Don't Give Up or Settle.

P.S. It's OK to nap. Jesus napped all the time!

"Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people.  And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you" Jeremiah 7:23.

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