Friday, March 29, 2013

"Broken" - Five Minute Friday

On 5 Minute Fridays there are 3 Rules:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: “Broken” with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to please visit the person who linked up before you at www.lisajobaker.com  & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.



 Broken-

I fall to my knees with tears streaming down my face. I can't take much more. My heart is breaking over and over again. I'm not allowed to talk about it. It is a banned topic in our house. Broken friendships, broken relationships that keep rearing their pasts and presents in my face. I miss the ease that was before and I cry for the rough that is the now. Do they know how broken they have left us? Do they even care? The only person left to take it to is God. Beg for healing of hearts and minds. Beg for forgiveness to come. Beg for peace of mind. Because "broken" is what we have become. God will mend. God will put it back together. And through the cracks we will still shine for him. But we will forever be broken. 


Linking up today with The Gypsy Mama. 

A Woman Inspired!







 photo theme_zpsda0f5316.jpegLast Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I attended an amazing webinar conference called Experience Faith. I really only signed up for three reasons:
1. It was free, 2. It was a webinar- I didn't have to go anywhere, and 3. My friend Teri Lynne was speaking and I wanted to hear her. She was actually the very first speaker on the first day and I was only going to attend her session and then go on with my day. Well apparently God had other plans, because I ended up staying ALL day for the next 3 days. I sat from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM listening and taking notes. I had never even heard of A Woman Inspired before. I did not know that they had been on hiatus for a while. So when Amy Bayliss mentioned that they are relaunching their website and revamping it. And I knew I wanted to be involved in promoting that. On April 1, the website is relaunching with a new blog, weekly podcasts, and conferences planned. And a new Book Club with a twist. The books in the book club will be the books of the Bible starting with the book of Ephesians. 

I am excited to see where God is going to take this ministry. So on Monday April 1 go and check them out. Read the blog, listen to the podcasts, and join the book club. And pray for this ministry and this group. They will be doing great things. 


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Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Real Moms...Real Jesus"- Intro and Chapter 1

Thanks for joining me for our second book club/study. I am really excited about this book. I really debated between this book and "Sparkly, Green Earrings" (which I highly recommend) but this just seemed to be the better one for a club/study. Jill Savage really does a great job in this book.  So we are going to dive right in.

The "Introduction" for this book really isn't an introduction. It is a section called "Perspective" that is at the end or beginning of each chapter depending on how you look at it. So even though it is not a formal introduction, I completely related to it. It never fails that if I wake up really early and try to take advantage of that quiet time, a child is going to join me. And until this book, I had never thought to compare Jesus' life to that of a mother and yet now it makes so much sense. But right off the bat in this section she points out Jesus "was interrupted as he went about his daily activities" (pg 15). Jill Savage calls motherhood "the ministry of availability" and reminds us that "ministry for Jesus was the person standing in front of him" (pg 16). Remember you are in high demand and so was Jesus.

Chapter 1-
This chapter starts off with the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet as a lesson in servitude- John 13:12-15. Savage then introduces servant leadership- leading and teaching through serving others. "The profession of motherhood is about meeting the needs of others, caring for them physically, emotionally, and relationally. It requires a giving heart, a selfless spirit, and a strong sense of identity to serve generously" (p 18). As moms we serve others from the time we wake up til the time we go to bed. We never stop. And we teach as we go. We teach our kids through acts of kindness, acts of self reliance, and through acts of self control. We teach them to read by reading to them and then later by reading with them. We are programmed to be teachers. "They say with kids more is caught than taught. What they see us do is far more important than what we tell them to do.... they 'catch' our good and our bad" (pg 19). This is more true than I actually like to admit. And for the life of me I don't understand why they pick up more of the bad then the good. Jesus led by example and by saying. In other words he practiced what he preached. He gave us "do as I say" and "do as I do".
"He gave himself completely, but he balanced the serving he did with allowing others to serve him, as well. It's a pattern set for us to follow" (pg 23). Jesus shows us how to handle the high demand we are in. "His strategies included prayer and knowing how to find quiet moments in the midst of the chaos" (pg 26). Take time to yourself for reading the Bible and praying whenever you can. Pray while washing dishes and definitely before responding in anger and frustration the hundredth time your name is called. Just remember to balance it all out.

~Read Matthew chapters 1-4 while looking for a side of Jesus you have never seen before.~

Scriptures for these chapters are :
Hebrews 4:15-16
Hebrews 3:1-2

In the comments tell us what you found the most empowering from these chapters, your thoughts on these chapters, or what you found in Matthew 1-4.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We Really Weren't Created Equal- Marriage

There has been a lot of scary stuff going on lately. All this "gay marriage" talk actually makes me cringe. And I do not support it. I don't understand how any Christian can. It is firmly against what the Bible teaches. And did you know that one of the new healthcare reform measures takes away heterosexual spousal insurance coverage but allows homosexual partner coverage. If that passes, I along with millions of others will not have insurance and according to the new laws I will be required to sign up for Obamacare. Which I am firmly against. It has already closed down 2 local hospitals. And let's face it- God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah over homosexuality and sin. He destroyed them because he could not find 10 righteous people in the towns. The whole content of Genesis 19 and the last several verses of 18 are about this.

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.
So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”;

  24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
Genesis 19:4-13; 24-25

He destroyed these cities. They are gone. Their inhabitants dead. Over sin and homosexuality. And before you say that it was during the old law and that it doesn't count anymore- guess what he mentions it in the New Testament too.

 "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
 - 1 Chorinthians 6:9-10

So please say all you want to about God loves everyone because I agree. But if you continually sin without repenting he is clear that you will not spend eternity with him. And asking for forgiveness everytime and then doing it again and again is a slap in his face. You are not truly asking for forgiveness. You are driving the nails into Jesus over and over again. 

Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is the way that God arranged it. We were created specifically for that. The first marriage was Adam and Eve. Every marriage after is a man and a woman. There is never mention of a man should take a man as his spouse. Or a man's husband. There is only Husbands and Wives. That's it. That is marriage. That is what marriage is about. That is what GOD says. That is the way it should be.

Filled With Goodness

Fill your hearts with Jesus and love. Fill your minds with good thoughts. Fill your belly with good food. Fill your life with the people who love you. Fill your time with worthy projects. Do all these things and you will grow.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Thousand Years Would Never Be Enough

Today is my anniversary. And I truly love this man of mine more than the day I married him. We have been through a lot. And it hasn't always been easy. But I love him more than I can ever explain. There are songs that if I could piece part together would never do it justice. A thousand years with John would never be enough. Nor would a thousand more. Happy Anniversary John, I love you!

A Dream is a Dream, No Matter How Small




Dreams really have one size. We make them have different sizes but no matter what, every dream is the same size- God sized.  The following man and woman had a dream. But was one bigger than the other?

 "And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” - Mark 2:1-12 ESV

     "And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”   (Mark 5:25-34 ESV)

They both dreamed of healing. One could not walk and one suffered a woman's pain. But they both had the dream of being healed. 

Sarah (Genesis), Hannah (1 Samuel), and Elizabeth (Luke) all dreamed of being mothers- did one have a bigger dream than the other?

It doesn't matter what the dream is- it is God sized. God is the one to make it happen. All we have to do is listen and have faith. Faith that God will provide the resources and the way. Faith in the things we cannot see. All we need is faith and an open heart and mind. The dream will never be "small". It is God Sized til the end. 

 
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Pockets Full

I wash rocks, toy cars, action figures, and Legos ALL THE TIME! I can check pockets before it goes in and I will still come out with at least one of the above by the time it comes out. And just to set your mind at ease- you can wash a DS game at least 20 times and it will still work. I know nothing else. I can sit down and play dolls with my niece and I can play tea party with her too (so can my boys) but at the end of the day I am a mom of boys. So pockets full of treasures is my world. And the imagination that comes with them. And I am grateful for them. I am the mom of boys.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Remember- FMF

I have gotten out of the habit of writing these posts. But here's what 5 Minute Friday is all about.

You head over to the Gypsy Mama. And follow these steps:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


This weeks prompt is "Remember"

Start:

"Remember, Remember, the 5th of September"-- It is a quote from "V for Vendetta". It is a quote that for some reason I never forget. And a date that never leaves my head. There are dates that are permenantly there. 
Oct 31, 1990- The last time I saw my Dad and the day the divorce was final. 
June 3, 2000- The day I graduated from high school
September 10, 2000- The day my first child was born
September 11, 2001- The twin towers
October 17, 2002- The day Calvin died
October 19, 2002- The first time I actually took the time to talk to John
October 21, 2002- Our first date
May 2003- I only remember the month- We got engaged
June 3, 2003- I graduated from college
March 26, 2004- We got married
April 26, 2004- We lost a baby
November 15, 2004- We had our Calvin
April 6, 2006- I started at CMH
June 18, 2006- Josh was born
July 2, 2010- Miles was born
July 27, 2012- My last full time day of work at CMH
February 1, 2013- CMH closed forever

Of course there were deaths and other events along the way but I don't remember the exact dates. The only reason I remember Uncle Calvin's is that John and I started dating at his funeral. Dates are important things to remember. I don't remember the dates of ages my children started walking or when they got their first teeth. I was never good at keeping up with all of that. To me just making sure I was there and that we wrote it down somewhere was good. Of course with Facebook all of Miles' first are documented more than the others. We have scrapbooks to remember things and social media helps us remember others. But those dates I will never forget. Those are the important dates. They are the ones with the biggest impacts in my life. They are the ones that I remember. 

Stop.

Linking up today at The Gypsy Mama.           


 

When Airplanes Fly By

We live surrounded by fields. Which is great for little boys who love 2 things- airplanes and tractors. As we were enjoying "quiet" time yesterday, a crop duster came flying by. And that was it. For 30 minutes there were squeals of joy and shouts of happiness (from all four of them but the older 3 will never admit that). It was 30 minutes of pure joy. I pray that my boys never lose that sense of joy that they feel watching an airplane fly around the fields and "buzzing" them because they are in the yard watching. I enjoy watching their joy. I am the mom of boys.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

And the next book will be......

 

 I really want this to be an interactive session so please comment on posts- let me know what you think about the chapters or what spoke to you the most about them. Here is the post schedule:

March 28- Intro and Chapter 1
April 4- Chapter 2 and 3
April 11- Chapter 4 and 5
April 18- Chapter 6 and 7
April 25- Chapter 8 and 9
May 2- Chapters 10 and 11
May 9- Chapters 12 and 13

You can buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It is in Paperback, Kindle, and Nook versions. Personally I am reading it on my Nook.

(Affiliated Links used in this post)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Guilt- Free- Marriage and Mommyhood

Lose the guilt people! Lose it! 

Easier said then done right? Okay. Well here's the deal. You need to. I need to. We need to spend time EVERYDAY reading the Bible and refreshing our soul. I know that we are taking all of these prompts for the book "Desperate" but in Jill Savage's book "Real Moms, Real Jesus" she says to put a Bible in the bathroom and read it while you are in there. Great idea. I normally have about 2 seconds before there is a 2 year old coming to sit on my lap because "I need him to hold me". But you know what, I can read with him in my lap. And I am not a sit in the bathroom forever person but if it takes that then I can be. I can put a Bible in front of me during school time instead of talking on Facebook while the boys are doing Math. I can be more intentional with telling the boys they have to leave me alone so that I can spend time reading my Bible. I need to be more intentional about telling my husband I need to get away for a few minutes when the days have turned into too much (like by the end of midnight and 4-12 shift). I need to take time for me. I try to do this once a month but I normally end up cancelling my plans because someone else wants to do something. I have to stop. And I need to not feel guilty for asking for that time from the boys. And I may need to have a come to Jesus meeting with my mother who constantly tells me that asking for "me" time is selfish and makes me a bad mom. You need to let all that go. 

And I think that sometimes guilt is an excuse not to do something. Confession time- I really need to lose some weight. But in order to exercise I would literally have to be up at 5 A.M.. And I tell myself I can't do that because I will wake someone up or if I want to go walk/run that I ask myself what happens if one of them wakes up and I am not there. Because most mornings my husband is still at work. And I hate leaving my 12 year old in charge even when everyone is sleeping. I feel guilty for asking him to do that. So what do I do- I don't exercise and the scale stays the same.  

I do the same thing with Bible reading. If I have a book or my Nook in my hand my 2 year old will come ask me to read to him. So I normally put down my book and read whatever he has brought to me. I really should just put him in my lap and read him the Bible passage I was trying to read or ask him to give a couple of minutes and him "read" by himself so that I can finish. But for some reason that 2 year old can make me feel guilty for doing any of the above but reading what he brought me. We both can get so much more if I either ask him to wait or read the passage to him. 
So do you use guilt as an excuse? What makes you feel guilty? 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Joy in the Dream

Joy is a funny thing. I search for it daily and sometimes I just can't find it. But after hearing Sarah's story last year at In(RL) I can't help but look for joy and choose joy in every situation.



















Choosing to see the joy in this space that I have created no matter how I feel at the moment is uplifting and life affirming. There is joy in every dream. There is joy in writing even if no one else ever reads it. There is joy in being surrounded by my children all day even if I have to search for it at times. There is always joy. A small comment made on a post from someone you have never met. Or a comment left on my Facebook page letting me know this space does make a difference. I am choosing to have joy.
 photo 3871305908-11_zps92a6730f.jpgFrom constant reminders around the house to pictures edited with those words. Joy is apart of our lives now. I even have a wishlist of items that reinforce that concept and will serve as reminders. Like this pillow from Dayspring. It is on my wishlist of items this year. And I will at some point make that happen. There is joy in reading a book and saying to myself, "I need to share this with my readers." Because there is joy in knowing that I have a couple of them. There is joy in getting a new assignment from Holley each week and knowing that I have a whole team of sisters who are dreaming along side of me. There is joy in that. There is joy in sharing each post with you and linking up. I am choosing to find those joys in everyday writing. There is joy in encouraging others everyday. Knowing that by sending a card or an email you are somehow putting a smile on their face. There is joy in seeing others succeed with their dreams. There is joy in knowing that you are doing what God wants you to do and that he is there with you in the journey.
And there is joy in the fact I have finally figured out how to schedule a post.

Where do you see joy in your dreams?

By the way below is my greatest joys:


Linking up today with my amazing Dream Team.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Reading List Update for the first quarter of the year

Wow- where has the first quarter of this year gone. I have read alot but it doesn't feel like it. And I don't know what happened in February. But I don't feel like I really read that much. And I swear I read more in January but I can't figure out what. So here it is:

January-
1. The Do What You Can Plan- Holley Gerth
2. Desperate- Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
3. Beautiful Creatures- Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
4. The Duck Commander Family- Willie and Korie Robertson
5. The Betrayal- Jerry B. Jenkins

February-
1. You're Made For A God Sized Dream - Holley Gerth
2. Beyond Ordinary- Justin and Trisha Davis
3. The Pact- Jodi Piccoult
4. Beautiful Darkness- Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

March-
1. The Fire Chronicles- John Stephens
2. The Chance- Karen Kingsbury
3. 31 Days of Forgiveness Through the Eyes of Grace -Tracie Stier-Johnson (Reading right now)
4. Real Moms, Real Jesus- Jill Savage (Reading right now)
5. Sparkly Green Earrings- Melanie Shankle

What have you read so far this year? What was your favorite book so far?

(Thank you to my friend Teri Lynne for the picture in this post.)

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Journey to Forgiveness All Started With A Book- plus a review

Forgiveness is a very sore topic for me. And has led to many a disagreement in my time. Because even though you may forgive someone at the time, when the hurt resurfaces that forgiveness doesn't really matter. I have been through a lot in the past couple of years with a complete betrayal by someone who I thought was my friend and the lack of communication in my marriage because of it. Then there are the old feeling of abandonment and hurt that have never gone away from my parent's divorce. So when a friend gave me a copy of Tracie Stier-Johnson's book “31 Days of Forgiveness Through The Eyes of Grace” I was a little skeptical. (Well actually I won it in a prize pack from my friend Teri Lynne after commenting to her that I had a very tough time with forgiveness.) But either way, God and Teri Lynne obviously knew that I needed this book. 


I finally got the book in the mail late last week and started reading it. I made it through Day 1 and 2. Then I started getting bogged down. It started really tugging at my heart. Especially when I hit Day 3. “Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast”- Marlene Dietrich. Wow, first thing in Day 3. Come on and admit it ladies- you are so guilty of this. I know that I am. And it is hard not to be. You start argueing over one thing and the next thing you know here you are bringing up some transgression from 10 years ago. And facing that and realizing that you need to forgive again and not only that but ask for forgiveness for reheating it is a tough one. But you know what really got me- the list in Day 3 that is what forgiveness is not.
-”Forgiveness is not expecting someone to acknowledge her wrongdoing.”
-”Forgiveness is not enabling, excusing, condoningg, or justifying sin.”
-”Forgiveness is not reconcilliation.”
-”Forgiveness is not forgetting.”
-”Forgiveness is not a one time event.” (page 23-24)

The only one in that whole list that I was not struggling with was number 2. You know why- my parents are divorced because of adulty. Of him chosing to be with someone else, forsaking his marriage and and his child. And until reading this book, I held onto that and refused to forgive him. But realizing that I don't have to forget it and that he may never acknowledge the hurt that he caused me led to me writing him a letter forgiving him and asking for a relationship. I didn't have to ask for reconcilliation but I hate that my kids have questions about him and I can't answer them and that they ask to meet him and I don't even know if they can. So I forgave him. I won't ever forget that pain and that hurt and that is why I can't condone or justify things like that. But I can forgive it.
Now you want to know the one up there that is making it hard? That first one. “Forgiving is not expecting someone to acknowledge her wrongdoing.” Isn't forgiveness so much easier when the other person is actually repentent? You remember that I friend I mentioned at the beginning of this? Well to this day she still doesn't see where she did anything wrong. Obviously lying to a lor of people, almost ruining a marriage/family, and almost getting someone killed because she refused to tell the truth is okay in her book. Not mine. And I am having a horrible time with forgiving her. I have written her letters again and again but I can't, in the end, send them to her. Because I know that to her it doesn't matter. And everyday I turn around and something else brings it back fresh in my heart and my mind. So maybe by the end of this amazing book I will get there. Just not today. And although I haven't had the book for 16 days I am on Day 16. Because I want to get there. Not for her but for me. Because “forgiveness frees us, not the transgressor” ( day 1 page 63).

My heart is getting lighter as I am reading this book. And I really want you to have that same feeling. You can get it. You can read all 36 Days (there are 5 “bonus days”), do the eight week study while you read, and commit the scripture chapter to your heart. If I can do it so can you. So if you struggle with forgiveness won't you join me in this book. It might just change your life and help you bring closure to hurt in your world.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The End of "Desperate"

And just like that it is over. We have reached the end of "Desperate". I had planned to announce the next book but I am honestly so torn between two that we may need to have a vote. So on the sidebar there is a poll. Please go vote. I am totally guessing that people are reading this blog and the numbers aren't just from me checking for comments. And as always please let me know what you want more of or what I can change to make it better.

Well are you ready for this? Here we go.

Chapter 14- Desperate...Not Defeated

Oh how true that statement is. I totally feel that way. Yes I still have desperate moments but just knowing I am not alone is a big help. I am still waiting for that break from it all for some me time but that's okay it is coming soon enough. On page 168, Sarah Mae says, "The point is, no matter how desperate we feel in certain phases of our lives, we are not defeated. We may feel absolutely bone-weary, and hormonal, and depressed  or a little nutty, but we'll get through it. We will." That one statement sums up the entire book for me. We will get through it. We won't be defeated.
There are the reminders that, "your first and main purpose is to deeply invest in the souls He's given you" (SM Pg 170). And that letting yourself "be fully and completely invested in the discipling of your children, the less defeated you will feel" while realizing that "everyone needs to have life-giving activities or time away, or they will eventually burn-out" is good (pg 171).

And how true it is when Sally Clarkson points out "that the forming of their souls [is] a hard, long-distance race". (pg 172). Or when on page 173 she says, "Our children must grow into adults who will carry the stewardship of the gospel into their own generation." And of course one more reminder that "it is essential to make time in our lives regularly to find rest, to refill our souls. It is impossible to give life and depth to our children if we have no reserve to draw from"(pg 175).

The scriptures for this chapter are:
Revelation 21:7
2 Corinthians 12:9
Psalm 103:13


And finally the conclusion-
I am just going to list quotes from Sally Clarkson because they speak so much for themselves.

-"Because God want us to better understand Him as a parent in our own lives, He created us to be stewards of our own children so that we could be involved in this great kingdom work of building real people into godly adults." (pg 180)

-"Jacob is the picture of what God wants us to do- to prevail, to keep holding on, to seek Him and expect Him to bless us." (pg 181)

-"To mount up over and endure until one conquers the battle at hand, by staying fast until victory is acheived. Hanging in there until the end- this is our story of integrity and faithfulness." (pg 182)

-"...a picture of what a mother is called to be: a warrior who will not give up or cease to keep fighting the battle for her children's souls." (pg 183)

-"I learned to like who I was and accept the fact that at times I would inevitable fail in my ideals. I learned to live in the reality of Romans 8:1-2: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death." (pg 185)

-"You are exactly the mom your children need. He created you for these good works from before the foundation of the world, and as you walk this great call of motherhood with Him holding your hand, you will be amazed at how He weaves the beautiful thread of redemption through the pattern of your life. He brings light to the dark places through you, something you could only have accomplished by embracing His wonderful call and embracing these very precious children who were inextricably created as part of the design for your life." (pg 187)


Did you enjoy this book? We will be starting another book in a couple of weeks. I will announce the next book next week after you all vote (if no one votes I get to decide!) Remember look at the sidebar!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mommy Friends? Um Where Do You Find Those?

I really do know what mommy friends are y'all- don't worry. But as a stay at home mom in an area where everyone works it is really hard to have them on a meaningful level. It's funny- when I worked I had those relationships and girls nights out and all. Now that I stay home- not so much. My husband does try to make it possible for me to go out once a month to a local art studio where I meet up with friends but it just isn't the same. And since Twilight is over and done with- I miss my movie date with a very dear friend. But I actually have relationships with moms online who stay at home like I do. They may be all over the country but we can chat and I don't feel the pressure to be perfect. And I still have mom friends here in town- our meet ups have just become a church or recreation department thing instead of planned time with no kids. And that is okay for this season in my life. The older my children get the more time I will have for girls night out and the such. But with a shift working husband and small children right now is not that season.
You really do need to have mommy friends- either online or in person. No one else is ever going to understand what sleep deprivation and sick children really mean. Not even a dad. We have to be there for each other and keep each other strong. Don't ever underestimate that mommy friend. Look around at your local playgrounds, at the ball parks, at the school, and at your church. You will find them. Be intentional about it. Don't stalk them but keep trying. Make sure that you put an effort into and that they see you really want to be friends. Especially if you are and an introvert like me. You have to come out of that shell. It will be okay even if you are rejected you will find someone. In the famous words of Dori- "Just keep swimming". There are a lot of mommies out there and you will find your match I promise.
Linking up today with the Marriage and Mommyhood Group.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

To Have The More- You Have to Have Less- Well Sometimes

"A God-sized dream isn’t about what you do as much as how you do it. It’s about pursuing life with passion, purpose, and going with God wherever he leads.
It’s about not settling. It’s about tenaciously believing you’re made for more.
Not as in “bigger house, fancier car, more luxurious lifestyle.”
No, my friend, I mean “more of Jesus, more of what he’s created you to be, more of what he’s called you to do.”
Less of you, actually, and more of all he is and all he has for you—which is beyond what you can even imagine."- Holley Gerth- "You're Made For A God Sized Dream"

What would it take for you to have more joy, more peace, more faith? Would it be less stress, less fighting, or less worldly influences? Have you ever noticed that when you want more of something you have to have less of something else? But what if that exchange gave you what you didn't bargain for? Would you still do it?
 I wanted more time with my children and less stress in my life- so I quit my full time job. But you know what- yes I have way more time with my children and less stress in some areas but we also have less income so there is more stress in other areas. I didn't bargain on the added stress of being at home with my children all the time. And believe me I have a whole new respect for teachers with this homeschooling journey. And I am actually in the process of questioning whether to send them back to public school next year. If I do, then I have more time for my dream and for getting the house clean. But then again, we pulled them out for a reason. And though that reason really does not seem good enough right this second, it was a good one at the time. And in an already tight budget, it will be harder to send them. But no matter what I will still have more time with them. And I will actually get more time with my 2 year old because he still goes somewhere 3 days a week so that we can get more school work done.
Yes, to get more of something you will have to have less of something else. But you can also increase what you are trying to get rid of in ways you didn't bargain for. Are you willing to do that? I was, and I continue to be. So what do you want more of? What are you going to have less of to get the more?

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Since it was mentioned in the comments I thought I would add the video to Casting Crowns- "already There". Thanks Christine. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Walking Dead

I am going to admit that my husband dragged me into this show. And I enjoy it. Which really shocked me and him. It just wasn't one of those shows we wanted to watch. And there are some really good lines in there. Like the one in particular that has just stuck with me from season 2. Hershel says to Rick- "I knew that one day God would resurrect the dead but I didn't know this was how he was going to do it." So here is my question- if one day you woke up and "walkers" were all around you what would you do? I have to admit that my first concern would be protecting my children. But I have wondered since hearing this line- what is this was the way it happened? Would we really be doing the right thing by re-killing all of these people. (I am absolutely not saying that I think this is what is going to happen- I don't) Or should we stay put, holed up in a highly protected area, and pray our way through it. Either way I see a lot of praying going on. I just wonder how our world would react. Especially if the current administration gets it's way and completely unarms us. Then I also think to myself that this is not what God's will would look like. I just don't see our God creating a bunch of zombies and setting them lose on people to eat them. But I don't know what his will really looks like. He could create the zombies and do this.

What are your thoughts? What would you do?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Consignment Sales

I participated in my first ever consignment sale last weekend. It was a lot of work. I didn't realize that so much was involved. And I had a lot of stuff to put in it. Basically everything in our house that was in decent condition under a size 24 month went in. Along with a formal, a bumper, a carseat, a boppy, and a diaper bag. I had to find all the boxes this stuff was in. I had to wash it. I had to hang it (thank goodness for friends with wire hangers headed to the trash). I had to tag it. And then I had to take it up there. I volunteered to help set up the day before and to help clean up the day of. So I was very involved in this sale. And believe me I will be consigning again. I didn't sale everything nor did I make what I needed to make out of all the clothes but I still made money. And then I put it all on Facebook for sale as well. So now I am just waiting. I will at some point in the next week pack everything back up but leave it easily accessible if it does sale off of Facebook, already tagged and on a hanger for the next consignment sale in August. Here are some pictures. 

Getting it ready for the hangers
Batman Costume
Red Formal
Shoes
Boppy and Diaper Bag
 PBK Bumper

Consigning is a great way to clean out closets and storage buildings. Especially when you know for 100% certain that you are done having children. It will give you a lot of space if it sales and if not unless you really need the money you can always donate it to the Salvation Army. I fully plan on trying to sale all of mine because I want to go to Allume this October but whatever does not sale goes into our next consignment sale in August. And after that I will probably donate the rest to the Salvation Army. Do you consign a lot or do yard sales? Any tips?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Desperate"- Chapter 12 and 13

First of all let me apologize about missing this post last week. We got over a foot and a half of rain in 3 days and our septic tank just couldn't handle it so we were not home and making sure that I had my wireless card was one of the last things on my mind. So rather than double up we are just going to act like last week didn't happen :). This week we are talking about Chapter 12- Living on Purpose and Chapter 13- The Art of Life.

Chapter 12-

I really find it funny that I only highlighted one quote from this chapter because it is really a great chapter. We all start out a project with good intentions. This includes parenting. When you are pregnant you have all the intentions in the world to read to your child every night from day one, to pray with your child multiple times a day, and to be that parent that doesn't raise their voice to their children. And then reality sets in. You miss one night of reading and somehow it justs gets swept to the side, or you are so busy that you forget to pray with your child before school one morning. And then your child acts a fool in the store or in your kitchen and you lose it. You raise your voice. Like I said we all start out with good intentions. And Sarah Mae says on page 143, “good intentions don't lead to a life well-lived; a life well lived is accomplished when we walk each day in faith.” We have to keep a tight hold on our faith and walk the walk each day to really make an impression on our children. They aren't going to fail reading because you didn't read to them every night (at least mine haven't yet). And if you have prayed with your children before more then likely they pray on their own eveyday anyway. So, I'm not saying make a habit of it, but realize that you are giving a lasting impression with how you live. We have to intentionally live our lives as moms to where our children can take the reigns every once in awhile when we forget or mess up. Believe me, my 4 boys have taught me that. My two year old will pray before every meal and several times a day just from watching his older brothers and from us praying with him. He loves his Bible storybook. And he loves going to “school” each day with his brothers and feels like he is learning something just because we intentionally sit him at the table while we are doing school everyday. And I am certainly not supermom but my children know their Bible books and several other things because I intentionally work on them every day. And my children know how far to push it each day so that I am yelling just because they think it is funny. But they know that I love them. And believe me I do. I am sitting at my 6 year olds baseball practice in 35 mph wind in a t-shirt and no hat because I was too busy making sure he had his. Live intentionally. Make a list of the most important things to you to teach your children and then intentionally do that. Don't worry about good intentions gone bad. Just intend.

Verses for this chapter are:
Proverbs 14:1; Proverbs 31:27-29; 1 Corinthians 10:31

Chapter 13-

Living is an art. And it is a thing of beauty. Those day to day duties (that if you are at my house means backed up laundry and dishes in the sink right now), the fussing between siblings, and the worry over getting there on time. That is art. Sarah Mae says “I think sometimes we as mamas forget, or lose sight of our childrenbecause we get so caught up in our duties as mothers.” (pg 158). I agree. We do. We forget that they need us to spend time with them while we are busy looking at that sink full of dishes or that living room that desperately needs to be cleaned. We tend to make a clean house a priority over spending time with them. But guess what, “we have grace” (SM pg 158). Our children like God will forgive us and love us anyway. And if you are lucky they will actually help you do the work so that you can spend more time with them. Everyday is a gift from God and more importantly as mamas, our children are a gift from God. Treat them like that.
Sally Clarkson had several quotes highlighted in her section that I felt were important so I am going back to the “list”.
-”To me, one of the beautiful graces of a strong woman is the ability to see the true value of her own life and the lives of her children, and to celebrate them every day as Jesus did.” (pg 162)
  • “If every morning you look at your childas a gift from God, a blessing that has bestowed today, and thank Him for that blessing, you will approach your children with love, patience, and grace.” (pg 162)
  • “If we cannot find a way to substitute an addictive, virtual faux-reality for the opportunity to build intimacy and shared joy in the lives of our children, we will never pass on to them the concept that God is loving, present, intimate, and responsive.” (pg 163)
  • “I had to behave as though I loved and cherished my children even when the feelings were weak and hidden. Learning to be patient and really listen to themwhen I was exhausted was a commitment I had made long before finding myself in such a situation.” (pg164)
  • “Children see through the lack of integrity of a mom as they grow older. If a mom is not living out her words of love by giving love, her children will learn to not believe her words. It is so vitally important that we live with intergrity by choosing to worship God in front of our children through all the moments of our days. Celebrating God and all his His attributes as well as His blessings creates a winsome energy that fuels a child's own desire to follow hard after God. When a mom practices seeing the miracles and joy of God's own making in all the moments of her day, a child will hunger after the same heart attitude.” (pg 164)
The verses for this chapter are:
Proverbs 24:3-4 and Psalm 19:1.


We finish up our study next week and I already have the next book picked out so I will announce it next week and we will start it 2 weeks after that.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When Your Marriage Comes First (Marriage and Mommyhood Week 4)

 Have you noticed since becoming a mom that your husband has kinda gotten the shaft? Believe me you are not alone. John and I have both noticed it. And to be honest it gets a lot harder when you have more children. We used to try and go on a date at least once a month with no kids. Now we attempt for twice a year. But we have four children. And though we are fortunate to have both sets of grandparents living within five miles of our house, getting "rid" of four kids is not easy. And it was honestly easier with only three kids. So now when we go out we have at least one child with us all the time. But that is okay. We still make it work. And my husband also works shift work so finding a time that he is off at night and the kids don't have something going on or both sets of grandparents are free. But in the past few years we have learned how to make our marriage a priority no matter what. And it has taken a lot of work. We have had some almost breaking times in our marriage. And we have come out stronger. We make sure to talk on the phone at least once a day on the shifts that we don't see each other. (He actually works two jobs- one on shift and the other on days three weeks of the month) We text ALOT. It is a good thing that we have unlimited texting on our plan. We used to write letters but we don't do that as much anymore. When we are together we make sure that we are together. One days off we make sure to spend as much time together as we can. And if that means driving all over the countryside because one of us has stuff that needs to be done that is what we do. And we are the world's worst at being at a restaurant and both sitting on a phone on Facebook. But at least we talk about what is on there. And if it is really important we will discuss it for hours on end. And we try to be supportive in each others "dreams" or jobs- unless we really think the other one is out of their mind and we let them know it. (Like John knows how much I really want to go to the Allume conference so he is helping me however he can to raise money and he is actually buying me the ticket). And I know how much he loves long range shooting so I try not to complain to much with that equipment. (Believe me when he realizes I will be gone for 5 days with Allume I will hear about it.) But no matter what we both realize that our marriage has to be a priority. No matter what. Long after we are done raising our children we will still have to live with each other and we both want to know how to do that and want to do that. We know too many couples who have broken up when the kids leave the house because they don't know each other anymore or how to be together without their children. We don't want to be like that.

No matter what, your spouse should have special time in your schedule. You need to talk as much as you can and if they are overseas write as much as you can. It is important. And the more you "gross out" your children the better. They need to see a happy marriage and a loving marriage to want one in the future and to have one.
Linking up today with Kayse and the rest of the In(RL) girls.