Sunday, July 22, 2012

Children are an heritage of the Lord...

Children are an heritage of the Lord...I think about this every time I am struggling to know what to do as a mom. Ultimately, they are the Lord's heritage. I need to rear them in as pleasing a manner as possible. My Heavenly Father needs to be involved in every decision that I make for them. I should be consulting with the Holy Spirit every moment of the day. I know the people that I want them to grow up to be, but what about who God wants them to be? What about His plans? Have I truly surrendered MY will for their lives? I ponder these questions as I am away from my girlies this week. We are headed to camp with our teens and we are so excited to see what the Lord is going to do in and through our young people. Aside from that though, I have been thinking about my role as a mother a lot lately. These questions have kept me searching the Scriptures to make sure that my life is pleasing to the Lord. Leading by example is the BEST way to teach someone and I am praying that I can be that example for my children. I want them to be Godly, sweet, forgiving, loving, and kind. Slow to wrath and speak, and quick to hear and follow. I believe that desiring the things God wants for them I am following His leading for my life and theirs. God has been so good to me, I hope that I can repay Him with a tiny army of Godly women. Women who are not afraid of what others might think of their bold witness, their modest dress, and their true, deep love for God. We need to be trying to rear courageous, Christian women, rather than the next (fill in the blank) because that was our desire for them. We need not be afraid of who they will become, if we follow what God has for their future, by being surrendered ourselves. God has never failed me and my children need to know that. They need to see Mommy following Him without question or fear. Fighting the good fight of faith. I have just rambled some personal thoughts. I hope they were encouraging to you and your babies :).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ode to Mother's- A Mother's Day devotion

Let me preface this by saying I wrote this devotion for a Nursery Worker's Meeting on Sunday and each of the points were an item in a gift basket that we gave away as a door prize. So, sorry for maybe the random feeling of the points. It made sense when it was given :). But I still think it is an encouraging and applicable read. Thanks for taking the time to do so!

                   Ode to Mother’s Day

a.       Wrote Memorization”- Lam. 3:21-23- “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope…” I love the idea of journaling. Maybe it is because I realized my own mortality much more vividly when my mom passed away and the things that she had written down became so precious to me. I want to write down everything God does for me and my family. I want my girls to have a legacy they can not only remember but one they can physically reference. I can’t remember things unless I write them down and so God has really convicted me about writing my blessings and struggles down. I want my children to see how real and good my God is. Satan’s goal is to get us to forget! If we forget, we will not live unto Christ because we are not remembering what He did for us. So write things down to remember!

b.      “Let Them Eat Cake”- Lam. 3:22- “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not…” They are new every morning the Bible says. I think as Christian mothers we sometimes feel pressure to be very HARD on our children and strict with them. I believe in discipline and I believe in running a seamless home that does not center around your children or their behavior. But I also believe we are to exemplify Christ’s attributes to our children and so often, we forget how merciful God is to us. We try to “play God” in our children’s lives and while God is holy and just, He is also fair, kind, and loving. Many of our Christian homes are missing the very attributes that made us Christians in the first place.

c.       “If mama ain’t happy; ain’t nobody happy”-  Proverbs 31:22 –“She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple…” Ladies, if we are not careful, we will neglect ourselves so much, in the name of our family, that we start resenting them. We can have the attitude that they have somehow robbed us of our identity or our “alone” time. Instead of embracing our role as mother and wife we become very cynical and cold to the people we are supposed to protect and serve. This cannot happen in the Christian home. The mother is the center of the home, let’s make sure we are a healthy, happy center. I know when I do not get up before my children and have my morning routine. Shower, devotions, coffee, I am grumpy inside all day!!! It is so important we are taking care of ourselves so that we are equipped to take care of others.

d.      “Clean up on aisle 7”- Proverbs 31:26- “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness…” Do you ever feel like you are constantly cleaning up messes? After your children, your husband, and yourself? Sometimes a dog too J? Well, that is what mom’s do. We clean up. We clean up tears and sickness and broken hearts. We have a responsibility to our families to turn every negative into a positive. We need to clean up our families messes and make them beautiful. If your husband makes the wrong decision- stick by him anyway. If your child does something you told them not to do and they got hurt for it- remind them they are still loved. Do not teach your family to be bitter at others for the way they are treated or for their circumstances; they will get enough of that from the world. They need you to remind them that God is still on the throne and Rom. 8:28. Don’t teach them how to complain, teach them how to praise.

e.      “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”- Phil. 4:11- “…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content…”- This is very difficult for women!!! Don’t you love being around someone that is truly content?? Don’t we try to teach our children contentment??  We teach them to be happy with what they are given. Well, are you living a life of contentment or do you constantly have want of something???Your children know when you are not happy with your life, so why should they be happy with theirs??? Contentment is like a sweet odor, infectious. It is something everyone wants to be around, because they know there will be no complaining.

f.        “CHOCOLATE!!!” Ladies love chocolate and this is just a reminder to do things you like with your kids. You do not have to suffer through everything you hate doing just because you are a mom. Get your kids to like the things that you do! Get them to enjoy everyday activities by making them fun. Being a mom is all about influence and you can influence them to enjoy life’s simple pleasures like you do, like chocolate.

g.       “Growing, growing, growing,….Gone!” “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it…” We have a small window of influence. I was just thinking the other day, by the time I am 40, I will have lived with my husband longer than my parents. Yet, what a formidable time that is!!! It is the part of life your kids will remember and reference forever. We need to make sure we are growing them spiritually. Challenging them. Now, our children will not grow, if we are not growing. If we are not getting closer to God, our children won’t. If we are not being faithful, our children won’t be faithful. We must first live it and be the example and when we do that, we can count on the fact that God’s Word will not return void! I know the reason I am serving the Lord today is because God was so real to my mom. And even when I was bitter and rebellious, I still feared the God that my mom served because He answered her prayers and was faithful to her. I wanted that for my own life and that is the reason that I trusted Christ, because my mom proved to me that her God was real, long before I knew Him myself.

Friday, April 27, 2012

On my mind....

I want to please the Lord with my life. I want HIM to be pleased with ME. So often, I think, we want it  the other way around, or we live our lives the other way around. Are we trying to squeeze the Bible into our already established life? Or are we living by God's Word, every moment, consulting with the Holy Spirit? I think American Christianity has missed so many things, but this might be one of the GREATEST. We have become humanists. We take Jesus and all of his benefits and that is WHY we become Christians. Not because He is worthy of our lives, but because we KNOW he can make our lives better. We serve ourselves. We wait for the next moment of instant gratification. We make decisions based on what "we feel is right", rather than what God truly wants. We go through the motions of being seemingly faithful in our outward lives- all the while living unto ourselves on the inside. How can this benefit me, or my kids, or my relationship??? What about Him...what about what we ACTUALLY deserve? We wear what we want, we watch what we want, we go where we want, and dare our Holy and Heavenly Father to tell us "No!". We act like if it is a "good" thing, it cannot be wrong for us to partake. But doesn't that actually make it more dangerous? Doesn't that mean the line just becomes more grey and indistinct? What happened to God's people having convictions about living holy lives? About being separate? Why is there no line anymore? Did it disappear when God left schools? I don't think so...that would be too obvious. Or when they threw out prayer and starting cramming evolution and post-modernist theology down our throat? I don't know about that either. I think it started in the home. I think the mom and dad said, "Well, that's not a big deal, we can do that....just this once." I then think it translated into the House of God, because God's people were dull of hearing. We did not fight for God to stay in schools, nor did we fight for prayer. What we are left with is anemic Christians, who barely deserve that title. We have forgotten who God is and what He represents. Isaiah 6:1, 3-5- "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the Temple. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."  Doesn't God's Word say serving him is our "reasonable service"? It is REASONABLE, not ridiculous. And it is necessary for true worship. I hope this helped encourage you. It is something that has been on my mind lately. Living unto God, not unto myself. Bringing my body under subjection and obeying the voice of the Lord. God help us all as we strive. I want to finish my course with joy and the best way I know to do that is to have no regrets. I will never regret living my life for God. But I will definitely regret living my life for self.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kids say the darndest things...

Abby- "Mommy, can you teach me how to be saved?" Me- Yes, Abby I can teach you how to be saved!" Abby- "Mommy, can you also teach me how to raise from the dead?"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ministry Moment

I always keep a frozen lasagna on hand, just in case I come in contact with a family in need, someone who just had a baby, or we have someone over for an impromptu visit. If none of that happens within a few weeks I bake it on a Wed. because it takes about 2.5 hours which is a little longer than the church service. So, If you think this would be convenient for you to do as well, just buy double ingredients and make 2 at the same time. Put one in a disposable pan and then if you give it away, no worries about getting it back! It is just one more way, I can, as a stay at home mom, be hospitable to others. Hope this was helpful!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Moment as a Makeshift Decorator

I designed this through a decal shop on etsy and it came out perfect! I wanted this space of our church nursery to feel separated from the rest of it. I used a very, shaggy brown rug (representing a nest) and then I had some pillows made shaped like eggs for the kids to hold when being read to. I hope you enjoy this idea and pass it on!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Moment as a Make Shift Decorator

I was searching for just the right fabric to have curtains made for our "jungle-themed" room. I had looked online and in stores and was feeling very discouraged until I found something that matched perfectly and it was a shower curtain! So, I took it home, shortened it, and found matching shower rings to hang it from the curtain rod. It looks awesome and I can wipe it down with clorox wipes. Definite plus in a kid's nursery room :).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

From the Pages of My Journal...


          We just received word that baby Elise has passed away. She's almost 2 years old and has undergone 2 heart transplants in the last 8 months. I have been weeping all night for her mother. I cannot imagine burying one of my precious, little girls. I just keep praying that God gives me wisdom, as far as, how to comfort this family. Sometimes, we struggle with the "why?" and geting answers, but I think God just wants us to trust Him. Romans 8:28 is still apart of God's Word and He is still our hope, joy, peace, and life. I got up out of bed hoping to get something from God's Word to comfort my own heart and the Lord gave me this,
 Luke 20:35, 36, and 38- But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and that resurrection...Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him.
Elise is equal unto the angels and is a child of God now. I am just praying that the Lord lets the family know that she is with Jesus now, which is far better (Philippians 1:23- For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ which is far better:). Maybe she will get to meet my mom?...:)

The name was changed of the baby to protect this family in our church.

ThRiFtY NiFtiEs idea #3

        Vintage Windows are one of my favorite decorating pieces because they are so versatile. I found this one at Goodwill for 9.00. It had a hideous gold mirror attached to it when I bought it, but a hammer is handy for removing nails ;). This is hanging above my couch and I have tried to keep the decor on it simple and rustic. For Christmas we hang our stockings from the top because we don't have a traditional fireplace mantel. I get so many compliments on something so simple!
         If it does not come with a sill on the bottom, I would add one so it can be used for holding things. If you like the look without the sill, there are other ways to use these types of windows. You can print off your favorite family photos to the size of the individual windows. Then take the window and pics to a custom frame shop. They will put the photos in properly, but you will only be charged for the backing and hanging hardware, at the most, 10.00! It looks great too!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

ThRiFtY NiFtiEs idea #2

CHURCH PEWS!!! I know this sounds funny but there are tons of churches out there who are storing old church pews in the basement or somewhere on the property, that are not needed anymore. The older the better! When we first came to our church, this was one of 2 pews that were going to be taken to the dump, but I asked if I could take it and they said, "sure!". I did not even paint it because I love the wood elements and white accents with my wall color. I made one pillow and had the other 2 to decorate the seat. I also invested in some baskets for storage underneath! I now have more seating AND more storage for $40.00. (that was the price of the throw pillows and baskets)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

ThRiFtY NiFtiEs idea #1

Adding glass elements to a blank space in your home can add sparkle without it feeling "over the top" or holiday specific. This is one corner of my kitchen counters and this total look cost me about $30.00. The large glass jar in the back is from Goodwill (woo hoo- love awesome Goodwill finds). I filled it with wooden balls and clearanced, holiday cranberries. The middle, vintage-looking jar was actually filled with apple juice from Whole Foods. I washed it out and wrapped my favorite wallpaper border around the center and it is now our "vacation money" jug. The glass cheese dome I was fortunate enough to find at a flea market for $11.00. It gave my kitchen counters (which are very bland), the feminine, slightly rustic boost they needed to make me smile!

Kids say the Darndest Things...

Me- "Haven, what did Jesus do?", Haven- "He cried on the sauce for our kins!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Use foundation that is one shade lighter than your skin color to hide wrinkles. Darker foundation fills the "cracks" in our faces, thus highlighting the very spots we are trying to cover. Try it! You will notice a difference.

Monday, March 5, 2012

This Week's Devotional:



I TIMOTHY 4:11-16, 10



Paul is writing to Timothy in these verses and explaining to him that he needs to teach these simple principles about living the Christian life to the brethren so that is what I am going to do this morning! Once you have mastered something you generally become a ________ of whatever subject you have mastered? A teacher. And I believe Timothy probably already understood these things, but Paul was just reminding him to teach others. We are going to look at some of the action verbs that Paul uses in this passage and see how they apply to our own lives.

1.       BE – thou an example of the believers…- Being living proof that Christ is real and what He has done for you is real enough for you to wear your Chrisitanity like a badge of honor. Not something we hide away around certain people. Living your life above reproach in every area. Giving no person reason to doubt your Christianity. And being able to encourage others spiritually

a.       In word…- what we say

b.      In conversation…- how we live our lives in front of others

c.       In charity…- how loving, forgiving, and longsuffering we are

d.      In spirit…- do we let the flesh rule our lives?

e.      In faith…-do we trust the Lord?

f.        In purity…- are we keeping our mind, hearts, and bodies clean before the Lord?

2.       Give- attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…- Study God’s Word and know what you believe!!! Know how to witness to someone, know what the Bible says about sin, Know what the Bible says about living a holy life. How do we find out what a book says inside? We have to open it, and read it!

3.       Neglect Not- the gift that is in thee…- Remember who you are. Remember that Christ died for you and you can become a profitable Christian. Remember who you represent- everywhere you go and everything you do. Remember who you were and that will motivate you to tell others who Christ is.

4.       Meditate- upon these things; give thyself wholly to them…- Think about God’s Word throughout the day. He will give you Scripture to apply to your daily life if you will just ask Him. He is waiting for you to ask His opinion. Pray before you read your Bible that God would speak to you. Keep a short sin account with God so that He can commune with you freely. Confess sin when you pray. And then meditate on Hid Word all day. You will be surprised when you realize how much of your life is already in the Bible.

5.       Take Heed- unto thyself, and unto doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee…- PAY ATTENTION!!! I cannot emphasize this point enough. Our society is working very hard to get people to forget what they are doing, to downplay their sin, and to be “normal”. There is no “normal” in the Christian life. You were bought with a price which automatically makes you different than the “slaves to sin” you associate with on a regular basis. Know what you are doing. Live the Christian life on purpose! Purpose in your heart to do God’s will. It will not happen automatically, because we have a free will and our hearts our wicked continually. Pay attention to what you are seeing, hearing, doing, and saying. Know what God wants you to do and measure the rest of your life by it.

Conclusion- This may seem a little strange but I wanted to end with verse 10 even though it precedes the rest of the Scripture we used (read verse 10). I am not going to tell you that living the Christian life is easy. You will suffer sometimes. You will suffer things from those you love, those you look up to, the World, and those you respect. But what you must remember is that God is worth serving and without Him you would not have life. He is worthy of our life and He will reward you for your suffering someday. There is a payday! Just remember what He suffered for your sake and it will keep our hurt in the right perspective.

From the Pages of my Journal...


               I just have been thinking today about how blessed our little family is. I told my husband yesterday, "God loves me and I don't know why!" I truly don't know- but He always find ways to show me He cares. Sometimes it is big ways, like my mother-in-law just giving us a vehicle big enough to hold our munchkins. Sometimes, it is subtle ways, through the motions of everyday and sometimes, it is even through chastisement, letting me know I am still one of His own. Jesus loves me this I know, Jesus knows me this I love.
              The Lord gave me precious times with Him while we were in Ohio last month. I know I have been burying the hurt of losing my mother for months now. I was trying to be strong for my husband and children, and in a way, I felt like it was holding me together too...but it wasn't. I was hurting more and at very random times because I would never let it out. While I was in my hometown, I went and sat at her grave and cried. I cried because I was missing her, but also, I was finally letting myself remember her again. I was finally allowing myself to hurt. It took me a year and a half to let my mom back into my heart. I am not even sure if that makes sense, but that is how it feels to me. God has been with me through all of this! He really is my sustainer and my confidant. I love Him and I want to serve Him with my whole life!

I will not work my soul to save,
For that my Lord has done,
But I will work like any slave,
For love of God's dear Son!

This was written in one of my mom's journals. I will keep it close to my heart always.