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Friday, May 30, 2014

New Blog :)

Not sure if anyone takes the time to read this anymore but I just wanted you to know that I have started a new blog. You can read it at where I am writing about what the Lord is teaching me, encouragement to others in all seasons, motherhood and all the other everyday blessings God has given me. I hope you enjoy and are encouraged.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Single during the Holidays

I know the feeling oh too well. Seeing everyone's post of their special dates, Christmas parties, engagements, how amazing their special someone is and how much fun they are having during this time; and thinking to yourself how much you desire that and how especially lonely you feel during this time. You long to go to a Christmas tree lighting or a special Christmas party all dressed up and holding someones hand but once again you go alone and are asked AGAIN "Are you dating anybody?." You think of all the fun you could have if that were your season and you long for that day to be the present and not the future.

Whether you like to admit or not, this is a true feeling and a true struggle you are going through and for some reason around Christmas it is amplified. Most people desire to be married and desire that security and the companionship that comes with it, its totally NORMAL and ok to desire that God ordained gift of marriage. Where we get in trouble is when we feast on ourselves, whether thinking about ourselves in a "I have it all together" light or in a "poor single me" light we are still thinking of ourselves which is pride. Although it is easy to get stuck in that rut and that self depreciating mood during this time, you CAN overcome and enjoy every bit of this Christmas season.

Instead of looking inwardly at  yourself and your singleness take this time to look around and see how you can serve people. Instead of thinking of all the things you are missing out on, think of all the extra time and affections you have to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a special way during this time. Ask the Lord to show you how you can encourage and bless others. Get some other single friends together and feast on scripture, encourage and pray together and maybe go out and do something to serve a family in need. Take up a challenge with your other single friends to make this time count for the glory of God and keep each other accountable in the attitude of self pity.

Remember "No good thing does He withhold from those that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11)" if it was a good thing for you to have that godly relationship you are seeking right now, the Lord would allow it. As a "unmarried virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit...............and serve the Lord without distractions (1 Corinthians 7:34-35)." Are you using your season to wallow in self pity or are you using it to be concerned with the things of the Lord and honoring Him in both your body and your spirit? This season is a time where you have more time and you have ALL of your affections to seek Christ and the knowledge of Him. Please don't waste this time but savor the moments God has given you and when that very real loneliness comes take those moments to pour out your heart and desire to God and cling to Him not to self pity. If you do this, you won't look back and regret a wasted season.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

When your baby doesn't sleep

This is just to encourage the other moms out there who every single night go to bed hoping that they have finally found the right formula and their child will sleep. This is for that very weary mother who is in desperate need of sleep and encouragement. This is for the mother who is tired of hearing the well wishers tell her what she needs to do, that she must not be doing it right, yet she longs to be told she is a great mother and has a wonderful baby even if they aren't a great sleeper. I was this mom.

My precious baby boy had a sweet personality and disposition from the beginning but was not a good sleeper. I read every book, researched for countless hours on the internet or seeking out counsel from other moms and mentors and nothing worked. I was exhausted. I remember during one long night and it hadn't even been an hour since he was up the first time and he was crying; as I got out of my bed I was so upset that he was awake and I was angry I had to get up again. Before I could even make it out of my room the Lord breathed some truth in my heart and I felt as if He whispered "aren't you glad you have a baby to get up with? Aren't you glad that he is an answer to prayer and that he is healthy enough to cry?" WOW that was so convicting! I was too busy being selfish of my sleep to thank the Lord for His amazing blessings in my life. I quickly confessed my sin and asked the Lord to give me a grateful heart even through these difficult circumstances. This is something I am convicted of many many times. Every trial has its difficulty and every trial has its lessons. I remember begging the Lord to show me what He wanted me to learn and then bring me out of this difficult time. One thing that I will never forget is the lesson of emptying of myself. I couldn't do life in what I would define as "well", every time someone would ask about how he sleeps I would have to swallow my pride and realize that its ok to not have a good sleeper. The Lord used this time is a GREAT way to humble me.

When my child doesn't sleep my life is no where near perfect, actually when my child does sleep its not :). But through this trial I learned that I don't have to have my life together, I can come broken, exhausted and crying to the feet of my Savior and beg Him for strength. This season was a time of desperation and exhaustion but I feel like the Lord needed to break me of my self and of my pride that I would have it all together and be a wonderful mom. Instead of feeling like I was a great mother I felt like I was in great need of the Father to teach me His ways and show me how to be a mother each and every day.

So if you are in the season, take heart and learn from the Lord. Sit at His feet during this exhausting day when you and the baby are crying and learn from HIM. Cast your care on Him and know that He wants to hear about your day and your struggles and your heart. He wants you to lean in and know Him more through this.

And ps if you were wondering my baby magically started sleeping through the night at about 8 months old. We hadn't done anything different it was just time. I was so grateful for the goodness of the Lord. Be encouraged, don't be burdened down if everything in the book doesn't work for your child and remember they haven't even read the book ;)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Media Detoxing

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, texting, Snapchat--these are just a few of the social media outlets that are consuming our time, thoughts, and ultimately our generation. If we have a break in our day while waiting for something, we quickly scroll through Facebook--never mind that it's the tenth time that day. Consumed and entertained by what other people are doing in their lives, we're often not taking the time to live our own lives. We get so busy filling every gap and pause in our day that we don't have time to be still, to enjoy a brief moment, or to listen to God's gentle prodding for us to put the phone down and talk to someone in the waiting room next to you.

Sometimes we are taking a picture and telling the world about our moment, instead of savoring it. Sometimes we even do certain things just so we can post about it and brag about ourselves in a not-so-obvious way. Do you ever cook an amazing meal or do something incredible for a family member or spouse without telling anyone?

If you think this media consumption doesn't affect you then let me ask you this question: what do your family get-togethers, date nights, dinners, or hang-outs with friends look like lately? Is everyone on their phones? We have become a culture so engrossed in being entertained by what everyone else is doing that we don't have the time or the energy to concentrate on whats important. For instance, in the minutes or hours that I might spend on Facebook each day I could write several hand-written notes of encouragement or read a book, among many other productive things. Now don't get me wrong, I am a BIG fan of social media and how it can be used for good and for the glory of the Lord, but I think that many people, including myself, fall into the trap of addiction with it. The Lord had been convicting my heart over several months regarding media. I kept making excuses and telling myself that I'm not on it that much and that it's not taking away from my family time or my time with the Lord. I was making excuses to avoid the fact that the Lord was convicting my heart and calling me not to take a break or a fast but to challenge the way our family does media in general. He was calling us as a family to a different standard and a different way of thinking and acting. He was calling us to a balance  After confessing this before the Lord as a family, we have begun to ask Him what this media detox should look like in our home. I use the word detox because we aren't getting rid of it, we are just trying to balance and learn to crave something better instead. Is your family consumed? If not, then what are you doing to be intentional to not to let it creep into your family? If you are consumed, what are you going to do as a family to find balance? Honestly, what consumes your thoughts and your days? What or who gets your quiet moments?

We aren't pretending to have it all figured out, we are just finally walking in obedience where the Lord is challenging our family. We are asking Him to show us what this looks like and give us the strength and discipline to follow through. If we have a little here and there its not going to ruin our appetite but if we feast on it all day long our cravings change. We are asking the Lord to change our cravings and teach our hearts to crave more of Him instead. I hope you hear my heart on this subject, and are also challenged and can walk alongside our family as we make this commitment.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making it through Survivalville

Here are a couple of tips if you are wading through the waters of sleepless nights, sickness, trials or another difficultly that is placing you in the city of survivallville. I feel like our family just got out of this season and then sometimes I think we have other weeks where we are visiting there again, so these are just practically things that helped me along the way.

1) Set goals for each day. Even if it is only 3 little goals and one of them is getting out of bed and getting dressed, it will help you to have something to work towards in the day and will make you feel productive even if you just accomplished one little thing.

2) Let things go that don't matter.  If you were up 6 times last night and feel like you are barely awake and need to nurture and take care of you little one , then its ok that your house doesn't look perfect and you don't have gourmet meals. I remember my husband telling me that he would much rather me get a nap and be rested then have the house looking great. Let your pride and perfectionist go and love on your baby and take a nap WITHOUT guilt. The house will always be there, and will always need something but right now you just need to make it through the day without too many breakdowns ;)

3) Receive help.  If you are anything like me and you struggle with pride then this one is a toughy. When you are exhausted and can barely function and a family member or a close friend offer to help in some way, its ok to take them up on it. People want to bless you and want to help you get through this season. During our 8 months of very difficult sleepless nights, my mother called me one morning and suggested that I bring my sweet baby over to her house and just take a nap there. I took her up on it and she took care and loved on my little mister and I got a wonderful and MUCH needed nap which in turned helped me be a better and more rested mother. Its ok to admit you don't have everything together and that sometimes you need help.

4) Be honest of your struggle. As believers I feel like we can pretend that we always have it together, and then we crowd out the room with yourself and leave no room for the Holy Spirit and other believers to encourage us. As you are honest of your difficult time you will be amazed that you are not the only person going through it. There is comfort and encouragement knowing you are not alone. During our difficult eating and sleeping trial I had a sweet friend who was also having sleepless nights and we were able to pray for each other and send texts of encouragement along the way.

5) Don't numb it with media. Yes you are tired. Yes its easier to scroll through facebook then read your bible or just sit and hear from the Lord or just rock your baby without the phone in your hand. But too much social media can cause you to have a much more difficult time as it can sometimes breed jealousy, discontentment and suck your precious time where you could rest. Be cautious and seek accountability from your husband or close friend if this is something that you struggle with.

6) Cry out to the Lord and lean on HIM for everything! He is our source of strength. Scripture even says the youth grow tired and weary but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength...... (Read Isaiah 40:30-31.) So ask the Lord for strength and make sure during this difficult time that you are asking the Lord to teach you and learn to depend on Him. During our MANY sleepless months I felt like the Lord would speak so clearly to show me my sin and my desperate need for Him.

Hope this is an encouragement to everyone in survivallville! Your not alone and this soon will pass but don't grudge through it with contempt wade through with hope.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Challenge to Mothers

In whatever you do, whether changing diapers, cleaning up spit up or vomit, cleaning up messes for the 50th time that day, feeding your children once again, responding to your husband, cooking and cleaning the kitchen another time....... DO IT ALL heartily as for the Lord rather than man, knowing that it is Christ you are serving. (My adaptation of Colossians 3:23)

And let your words, your responses to crying and fights and whining and complaining and other difficulties of daily life be seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
(My adaptation of Colossians 4:6)

I don't know about you but I am SO grateful for the Word of God that speaks directly into my heart, no matter what I am going through. Recently as I was reading through the book of Colossians, I thought about what an incredible truth and challenge these principals are to everyone, especially to mothers. Hope you are encouraged and challenged too!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mommy Guilt or Pride?

People using the phrase “mommy guilt” are ever present in this culture as a feeling of guilt when they perceive they aren't being the best they can be, or are doing life differently than other moms. I was having a conversation the other day with my husband about this; he simply said, “that’s not guilt, that’s pride.”  Ouch! That was painful and convicting for me to say the least. There is SO much pressure on mothers today, to be a domestic goddess, to be gorgeous and fit, to have an incredible social life, to volunteer for community or church events, and not to mention just to be an overall creative and sensational wife and mother. The problem that lies with our mentality is the comparison and pride. We desire our life to look perfect and when we have illness, financial difficulty, a hard pregnancy, or other difficulty we feel guilty about not having it all together. It stems from one thing--PRIDE. We want to have it all together. 

Where are the women of today who will be honest enough to say, "I don’t have my life together but I am trying each day to be the best I can be with the Lord’s strength and direction"? Stop feeling guilty over the pressure of “requirements” from other people, and start savoring in the goodness the Lord has given you today and not wallowing in the guilt of expectations from others. When we expect too much of ourselves or of others we get caught in this “mommy guilt” nightmare and can’t enjoy the wonderful things we do have. 

Remember that each family has their own unique convictions and direction they are going in. Instead of comparing yours and feeling guilty that you aren't doing the same, take pleasure in the way God is leading your particular family and bask in His blessings as you walk in obedience.