Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Word for 2012: Relationship

I've decided to join the 365 One Word Challenge.  According to the website, you should choose a word "that can be a reminder, a nudge. A word that you can reflect on, that will challenge you, that will inspire you".

The word I've chosen for 2012 is "Relationship".  This year I want to deepen my relationship with God, with my husband, and with my children.

I want to really be open with God and seek Him like I've never sought Him before.  To know Him and be radically changed by His love for me.  As a result, I want my relationship with my husband and children to deepen and be a reflection of God's love and mercy.

Can you think of a word that will challenge and inspire you for 2012?  Please share it with us!

In Christ,

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Feeling Sad? Ask God to Help You Pull That Anchor!

Another drawing by my gifted and talented daughter, Kaitlyn.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

When Darkness Comes Over You... Call to God!

My Kaitlyn (10 year old) drew this.  
It blesses me that she can express herself with her drawing and that she turns to God for help in her times of need.  
Praise the Lord!!!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marissa's Journey - Please pray...

I'm sitting here with my son sleeping against my chest and classical music blasting in my ears from my headset.  The noise I'm trying to drown out? My 8 year old daughter yelling and screaming from her room, yet again.  We've been going through this for weeks now and I am spiritually and mentally exhausted.  I'm going to be 100% transparent - it's been so bad that I've had to sleep in the living room with my youngest son so that my daughter doesn't stay up screaming the whole night.  Our bedroom is on the 2nd floor and so she will scream all night because she doesn't like being on the first floor with her siblings.  So I have to sleep in the living room because otherwise she will go to our bedroom all night with her crying and screaming and my husband works and has no patience for it.

I honestly don't know what else to do or where else to turn.  So I cry to Father God and pray for peace in my home.  All I want is peace for her and peace for our family.  I'm afraid that if she keeps this up she will just continue down a bad path and will eventually lead to her being outside of God's will for her life - a very scary place to be.

My home is not right and there's just a spirit of unrest and chaos here that I just need to pray out.  But I feel drained emotionally and spiritually and not being able to sleep at night because of Marissa and my 6 month old son is leaving me really drained and tired.  I can't wake up early enough to be in my prayer time. I have to take care of my family during the day.  Then in the evening I'm dealing with Marissa's drama and then Sam waking up.  I'm not sure what to do.

Please pray for this situation. I know God is in control and I pray that His will in this will be shown to me at some point.  I have three other children and a husband and this is really putting a lot of stress in our family.  But God is in control. I pray that He will help us through this.

In Christ,

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I'm a new contributor over at A Mother's Heritage!

I'm so excited to announce that I am now part of the new contributing team over at A Mother's Heritage.  This is such an exciting opportunity and I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing blog and an amazing team of ladies who all love the Lord.  I pray that I would grow underneath their leadership and friendship.

Please go visit the link below to see myself as well as other new contributing members!

A Mother's Heritage is adding Contributors! Pt. 1

In Christ,

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Marissa's Journey - Part II

It's been a few weeks since Marissa began having her anxiety attacks that began as a result of dealing with a bully at school.  I've been praying and seeking God and asking Him for wisdom and Marissa is slowly starting to not have these attacks.

But we had to go through a lot before we got to where we are at now (and we're still in this journey!).  Marissa was so lost in her anxiety attacks that she just wouldn't (or couldn't) listen to reason and I was honestly afraid she was going to hurt herself with all her jumping, screaming, and banging.  I mean it had only been a few weeks and she had lost so much weight and had dark circles under her eyes.  So I went to  GNC and looked for a natural relaxant, something to just calm her down in the evenings and help her rest.  I had remember reading somewhere also that Vitamin B 12 was good for anxiety.  So I got her some of that too.

The first night I gave her the natural relaxant, she slept the whole night through and it was such a relief. I went out the next day and also bought her daily multi-vitamin gummies and fish oil.  The kids all now take a daily multi-vitamin & Marissa takes the extra supplements (she loves that she takes something more than her siblings).  I have her on a routine in the evenings where I tuck her in bed and read to her and then we talk, pray, and she has to remain in bed.  Sometimes she listens to soft music, or she'll read, but she knows she cannot get up unless she has to go to the bathroom.  We've had a few setbacks, but praise the Lord she has been doing SO well!!  The relaxant really helps her sleep through the night - which her body really needed. She's eating great now and I just pray that she continues this even after school starts up again next week!

We talk a lot about God and the Bible and she has GREAT questions that we talk about at night.  Marissa is very inquisitive when it comes to her faith and I pray that I can answer all her questions in a way that she can understand and grow closer to her Savior.

Thank you for all your prayers.  Please continue to pray as I hope to slowly get her off this relaxant (prayerfully without her even knowing!) and have her relax in the evenings on her own.

In Christ,

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Marissa's Journey - Part I

These past few weeks have been very trying and hard on my family and I.  Our 8 year old (Marissa) started having nightmares brought on by a bully at school.  The bully situation was remedied through the school, but now we are living with the consequences of it all. 

But if I were to really be honest with myself, and this is hard, I believe that there is a bigger issue at hand.  Marissa used to have a real love for the Lord and she was always reading her Bible and telling me different things she felt the Lord was laying on her heart.  But being a working mother who barely made time for her kids, I never gave her real attention and believe that I didn't encourage her in her Bible reading or relationship with God.  At some point, she stopped reading her Bible and stopped having a close relationship with God… and now my baby girl screams in a corner because of nightmares and tells me she doesn't feel God helping her.

I stand convicted before God…. what an awful, wretched mother I have been to my children.  But I thank Him for His saving grace and I am grateful that He has opened my eyes to see this real issue in our spiritual life.  This past week I started to pray hard for my children (especially Marissa) and speaking God's truth and love into all their lives (again, especially Marissa at this point in her journey).  And God is is so good!  In just a few days, Marissa has been doing a bit better - day by day it gets just a little better than the next.  Right now she sits quietly in her bed listening to classical music and reading the Bible.  She has cried a little, but she's not screaming and manic like she was just last night.  She came out just a few minutes ago and said "Mommy, I feel like raising my hands to Jesus and praising Him, but I'm embarrassed".  So we sat in my living room and lifted both our hands up to our Savior and praised Him together - it was wonderful.

My oldest, Kaity, has also grown in her relationship with God during this time as well.  She's been reading her Bible and telling me about things she has learned from it.  She came home from school just this past week and told me that she was about to judge someone, but then remembered reading in the Bible not to judge people. Praise the Lord!

My son, Jeremiah, came to the room tonight while I was with Marissa and joined in our conversation about God.  He said that Jesus lived in his heart and I told him he had to invite Jesus to live in his heart and we did that together just tonight!  Jeremiah now wants to be a pastor! I love it and I pray his love for God will continue to grow - though we'll see if next week he'll want to be a fireman instead!

As I was writing earlier, I heard Marissa speaking aloud and asking Jesus to help her, "help me, Jesus… help me not to be afraid, Jesus…" and praying using the scripture verses we memorized (Philippians 4:13 & 2 Timothy 1:7).  Now she's crying again and begging me to go to her room (I'm in the living room).  So she goes through her ups and downs… but I know that Jesus is with us and He will help us through this.  God has a plan for Marissa's life and He will use this whole situation for good - I know it.

I will keep everyone updated on Marissa's progress.  Please pray for her spirit, that she would feel God once again in her young life and that she would open up her heart to her Savior.  Also, please pray for the whole bully situation at school.  The other girls parents are upset and feel my daughter is lying (though the other girl did admit to the principal that she hit my daughter, unprovoked, on two occasions).  So please pray for peace in this situation, peace in my home, and peace in Marissa's little heart.

In Christ,

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Filled with Light (Luke 11:34)

I'm reading through Luke in 26 days with Moms Toolbox. Today is day #12 and we are reading chapter eleven.

Scripture: Luke 11:34
"Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness."
Prior to this verse, Jesus was speaking on the fact that people keep asking for miraculous signs. But He was the miracle and they refused to see that.  Someone greater than any of the past prophets was right infront of them, and all they focused on was more miracles.

This verse really spoke to me because I've recently stopped watching TV for myself. I will watch TV with my family if we are watching a show together, but other than that, the TV is off.  At first it was kind of hard, and sometimes I will catch a commercial for one of my shows and a little part of me says "oooh, just one episode!!", but no.  I really want to put nothing but God's word in front of my eyes. I want to see the goodness of God as much as I have power over it.  When everyone is at work/school, I have the power to put goodness before me. When my husband is home, maybe not so much, but I also have the power to get up and go somewhere else (if I don't agree with the show).  The same goes for my children.  My daughter has nightmares now because of things she has seen on TV with her father.  She suffers from it now and we are working on it, but this is why it is important to only fill your eyes with light and God.

Dear Father, please help me to continue to fill my body with You and all things related to You.  I pray that my children might also know the importance of being careful with what they put infront of their eyes not only at home but at school as well.  You are Light and if we focus on You, then our bodies will be filled with the Light of God. Thank you, Father, for allowing us to be filled with You!

In Jesus' Mighty name, Amen.

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Peace on this House (Luke 10:5)

I'm reading through Luke in 26 days with Moms Toolbox. Today is day #11 and we are reading chapter ten.

Scripture: Luke 10:5
"Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’"
Jesus was sending his disciples out to preach the good news and giving them instructions.

I've been praying peace over my house for many days now since my daughter began dealing with a bully.  There is a spirit of fear that has come over her and because of it there is much unrest in our home.  I confided this to a sister at church and she began to pray for peace in my home and told me I needed to do the same. Every time I enter my house now I pray that God's peace be on it, in it, and around it!

Father God, once again I pray for your peace not only in our home, but also in our spirits!  You are a God of peace and so we call out to you for the peace that surpasses all understanding that only you can give!  Thank you!

In Jesus' Mighty name, Amen.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Welcoming (Luke 9:11)

I'm reading through Luke in 26 days with Moms Toolbox. Today is day #10 and we are reading chapter nine.

Scripture: Luke 9:11
"But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick."
Jesus had slipped away quietly from the crowd, but when they found Him, He didn't rebuke them! No, he welcomed them and taught them and healed them.

Oh sweet, sweet conviction of God that comes from reading His word.  How many times have I tried to slip away from my children and into my bedroom or the bathroom, only to have them find me a few minutes later.  Many times I will tell them to let me have a few minutes to myself and send them on their way.  But Jesus? He welcomed them... and not only did He welcome them, but He taught them... and not only did He teach them but He healed them!  This is a true example of what I need to do.  This is not to say that we don't need some uninterrupted quiet time with God - many times Jesus left His disciples so He could go pray.  But more often then not, when my children seek me out, I'm just reading a book or doing something for me.  How much of a blessing would it be to them if instead of rebuking them and telling them to leave, instead I welcomed them into my bed, taught them about the scriptures I was reading, and prayed healing words over them?

Father God, you are wonderful, and mighty, and awesome! Thank you for your Word.  Please allow me to see my children as Jesus saw the crowds of people that were following Him like sheep following their Shepherd.  Allow my heart to be soft towards their need to be welcomed, taught, and healed.  Help me to follow the example You left me!

In Jesus' Mighty name, Amen.

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Fear (Luke 8:37)

I'm reading through Luke in 26 days with Moms Toolbox. Today is day #9 and we are reading chapter eight.

Scripture: Luke 8:37
"And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.

So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake.
Jesus healed a man filled with many demons - and the crowds reaction to this miracle was fear.

I guess this really speaks to me now because my daughter is going through a period of fear and anxiety. A bully was picking on her at school and it really has brought upon a real spirit of fear, to the point that she is even afraid of God.  I remind her of all the great ways that God has shown his love to us and read her verses about God being light and love... but she's still afraid.  So her reaction kind of reminds me of the reaction of the people in the region of the Gerasenes.  I can understand this though because there was a time that I was very afraid of God as well - it's just the idea of such a great and powerful God is too big for my little mind to comprehend.

Father God, I pray that we would never ask you to leave our presence because of fear of You. You are Love defined and You have shown Your love towards us from the day Eve sinned in the garden.  Please allow Marissa's heart to be open to your loving grace again. 

In Jesus' Mighty name, Amen.

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P31 Study: Her Husband Trusts her...

Proverbs 31:11
"Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.

This verse is absolutely my favorite verse in Proverbs 31.  To have my husband trust me, like TRUST me so that he knows he can go to work and not have to worry about anything that involves the home or our family - that is truly a blessing.  For me and my family, that means:
  • I've paid the bills for the month (or at least attempted to pay them with what we have!)
  • I've done grocery shopping and there's always something to eat/drink/snack on in the house
  • the kids are clean (like showers, combed hair, smelling good...)
  • the kids are not walking out the house looking crazy (no ripped jeans, inside out shirts, two different pairs of shoes, etc.)
  • his work clothes are washed and available to him every morning
  • I don't go out and spend money on things we don't need
My husband can trust me with our children, our home, and our financial situation. He knows that I'm not spending money unnecessarily.  I once went to the salvation army and bought my husband a nice pair of pants for $4! I told him to try them on without telling him where I got them, after he liked it and I got them off of him, I told him how much they cost and where I got them. He was very surprised, because my husband is very particular about clothing especially - he wants the children to be in nothing but expensive clothing and hates hand me downs.  So I wanted to prove to him that we can still get nice clothes but don't have to break the bank.  He trusts me in these areas. 

And then there are ways that I can great enrich his life.  For example, my husband comes home Monday - Friday and after saying hello to everyone he makes a beeline straight to the bathroom to take a shower. Every single evening, that's his main goal: just get to that shower and wash the day away.  And every single day, he says "Can someone get my towel from upstairs?"  Every day.  So starting today, I'm going to make sure that his towel is already hung up in the bathroom waiting for him when he gets home. So he will eventually know that he can just go straight to the bathroom and not worry about his towel, because it will be there. That's enriching his life in a small way - but I know he would appreciate it.   Another way I enrich my husband's life is just by taking a few minutes out of my day during the week to call his parents and check up on them.  Just calling them once or twice a week shows him that I care about his parents and they are on my heart.  That's a REALLY big deal for him. My husband is very close to his mother and feels very guilty when he cannot call her as often as he likes.  But if I call her, then he knows that she has at least heard from one of us and it makes her feel that we love her and haven't forgotten about her and my father-in-law. So it makes her happy, it makes my husband happy.  Little things.
What can you do to enrich your husband's life?  It doesn't have to be a big thing, something small but important to him.

In Christ,

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