Monday, September 29, 2014

Lessons learned-




The other night my husband and I were chatting and discussing the ways we have grown as individuals and as a couple.  When we put everything out on the table, it was really neat to see how far we've come.


I have heard people say that they wish they could be in their 20's again.  Not me!  I L*O*V*E being in my 40's.  My heart and my head are so different and I am - oh so thankful!! :)


I started thinking about all of the lessons I have learned.  Here they are in no particular order....


1}  Material items are fun, but they certainly don't bring joy.  Jesus is the only way to true joy.


2}  Toxic people trickle toxicity into the people around them.  Stay away from them.


3}  Jesus always forgives me.  I don't always forgive myself.


4}  If people talk ugly behind other's backs, they will talk badly about me too.


5}  No one but Jesus gets to define me.


6}  Taking up for myself or others is not mean.  Allowing myself or others to be treated badly is.


7}  Jesus tells me I have to love everyone.  He never instructed me to like everyone. 


8}  God did not put me on this earth to save everyone.  He sent His Son for that very reason.  I am not suppose to be everyone's savior and hero.


9}  Prayer brings peace, but gossip does not.


10} Keeping up with the Jones' is draining.  Keeping up with Jesus is exhilarating.


Bonus lesson learned...
Face cream, face cream, face cream!!!  This is one of my best friends! :)


xoxo

Friday, September 26, 2014

September Kindness Challenge Blog Hop




I am so excited about today's blog hop. I think it is so important to encourage each other to live a greater life for Christ. We {me included} can become so wrapped up in our everyday lives that we forget to go out of our way to show kindness. It's not that our hearts aren't willing, it's just that we are busy with schedules and life.


  I have been thinking about this challenge since a sweet lady asked me about speaking about our kind gestures to others. We are warned in the Bible not to brag and to show kindness for God's Kingdom and not for a badge of honor for ourselves. Normally I don't tell anyone what I do, not even my family. I get a kick out of it being a secret with just Jesus. However, I know that this part of the blog world is full of great ladies who desire to please Jesus and further His Kingdom. I hope that our stories don't reflect a spirit of self, but rather a spirit of His love.


Here is my story....


Each morning that I drop my daughter off at the high school I notice the sweetest looking crossing guard. She is always smiling, rain or shine. She makes sure that the kids cross safely - the entire way. She has no problem stepping in the crosswalk to ensure that someone's child is safe.


  I have commented to my daughter on several occasions that she looks like someone I'd love to have coffee with. She looks like she enjoys life. As I watch her, I am reminded of the Scripture that states we are to do everything for the Lord.


  I decided to write her a card of appreciation and pack a Starbucks gift card in it. I knew it would be difficult for her to drink and do her job properly. Also, I wasn't certain if she was a coffee or tea gal.


I parked my car in a nearby parking lot and walked over to her. I decided to go a few minutes before school let out as not to interrupt her duties. I handed her the card and explained that I am so grateful for her and what she does each day. She received it so well and was very humbled. She had the most beautiful smile on her face. I wanted to reach out and hug her, but I thought that might be pushing it!! Can you say crazy lady!?!


I hope by giving her the card, she knows that she is loved and appreciated. More than that, I hope she knows she is a princess and her King sees her sacrifices each day. :)


I hope you will link up your stories. If you were not able to participate in this challenge, it's totally ok. I hope you will link up any story of sharing love and encouragement. I think by reading each other's stories, we will be encouraged to go out and share His love even more.


Alright ladies...let the linking begin! :)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lovin' my Etsy finds


I purchased a few items from Etsy last week that I am in love with!  Not only do I love the things I bought, but they were made by fellow bloggers which makes them even better. :)

I am constantly purchasing new bath puffs.  I don't like to keep them for very long because they get ratty looking and it seems gross to use them for too long.

I found a great alternative to the bath puffs!

I love the crochet washcloth and bath puff I bought from here.  I will never again buy a bath puff from the store.  My 14 year old daughter said it was genius!  I ordered her a set too.  Her set contained a washcloth, bath puff, and small circular face puffs.  She is a happy girl!  






The next item I purchased was an altered journal.  I am crazy for journals and I absolutely love this one.  To give you a clue how crazy I am, I am currently writing in 4 different journals.  I will definitely buy another altered journal when I fill this one up.  It was handmade upon ordering.  I was able to request the color scheme I preferred as well as any quotes I wanted added. 

To purchase the altered journal click here.  I'm certain you will love yours too! 

This is the package my journal arrived in.  Isn't it fantastic!?  I actually saved it and placed it on the bookshelf in my office. :)




Happy shopping!! I promise you will be thrilled with your purchases!

xoxo

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Walking through the seas


There are times in our lives when we feel like we are going to drown.  It's as if we are barely keeping our head above the water and paddling with such an intensity that we aren't sure how much more endurance we have.

We are all familiar with Exodus 14 when God, through Moses, parts the Red Sea.  The Israelites have been complaining, they have been fearful, AND they have been questioning God.  "Why, oh why, would He do this to us?" they cried.

Sound familiar??

You're not alone if you answered yes.  We all, at some time in our lives, behave like the Israelites.  We might not voice it like they did.  But our thoughts and behaviors mirror their words.

As I was reading Exodus 14:15-31 this morning, I became overwhelmed with the truths provided.  I wanted to get down on my knees and praise Jesus for His love...ALWAYS AND THROUGH ALL THINGS.

Here are the things I noticed...
  • Jesus is with us even in our dark times protecting us and shielding us from danger. (Ex. 14:20 - The cloud was there in the darkness, yet it lit up the night.  So neither group came near the other all night long.)
  • God uses US to bring His Kingdom glory - even in the scariest of times. (Ex. 14:21a - Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea.)
  • God performs miracles for all to witness. (Ex. 14:21b - The Lord drove the sea back with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land.  So the waters were divided.)
  • God makes a way for us and delivers us to safety. (Ex. 14:22 - The Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left.)
  • God crushes those who mess with His children. (Ex. 14:26 & 14:28b - Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back on the Egyptians, on their chariots and horsemen.  None of them survived.)
  • When we recognize and realize God's great power and love for us, our hearts are drawn to Him. (Ex. 14:31 - When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and believed in Him -)
God parts seas for us too...all of the time.  He protects His children and brings us to safety.  He uses us to further His Kingdom by allowing us to see His goodness and share it.  God will NEVER allow the enemy to win.  He will rush in, part your sea, and hold out His loving hand for you to grab on to.

One thing that really tugged at my heart as I read this was...
 I wonder how often God parts seas for me and I don't even realize there is water up ahead?  How often does He protect me and I don't even know I'm in danger?

I am in awe at the answer that took over my heart...
All of the time - more than I know.

It is the same with you.  God protects His loves.  Sometimes we know it and other times we are oblivious. 

Are you facing a sea right now?  Do you feel as though you are drowning??  Read God's truths and know with all of your heart that they apply to YOU.  He will not leave you to drown.  He will part your sea, grab your sweet hand, and lead you to safety.


With love-



Sunday, September 21, 2014

September Kindness Challenge




September is quickly vanishing.  That means it's almost time to link up our stories about how we met the September Kindness Challenge. 


If you have forgotten, or are not aware of the challenge, we are buying a cup of coffee or tea for an unsuspecting stranger. 


On Friday, I will add a blog hop linky to my blog so that we can share our stories and gain encouragement from mere acts of kindness.  Pass the word on to friends and other bloggers.  The more stories we read, the greater the joy.  :)


Be creative with the challenge.  You don't have to be in a coffee shop to surprise someone.  I'll give you a hint....mine involves a school crossing guard.  I can't wait to share the story with all of you!!


xoxo-



Saturday, September 20, 2014

What are your gifts?


Every single one of us has been given gifts by God.  Every.single.one.of.us!

My gifts are great empathy, compassion, and the ability to feel very deeply. 

I used to be embarrassed by my gifts.  This was before I actually knew they were gifts from God.  I thought I was just overly sensitive and some crazy girl who couldn't get a handle on her emotions.  I actually used to get made fun of for them.  Looking back on that, it kind of irks me.  That's a whole other blog post for another day! :) 

As humans, we tend to compare ourselves to others and think that the grass is always greener in someone else's pasture.  We do this with our gifts.  We look at those who are beyond crafty, those who are talented with singing, those who are organized to the wazoo, those who are math nerds (umm, I mean geniuses!), those who are gifted teachers, those who are great caregivers, etc. and wish we had what they have.  Sadly, we beat ourselves up over it.

I think that is the nasty devil trying to get us to focus on what we aren't instead of who we are.  If he can get us to want what other's have, then we won't use our gifts to honor God and His Kingdom.  That makes him happy.  Remember girls, we NEVER want him to be happy.

Our gifts are those things that come naturally to us.  They are the things that bring us joy and give us a full heart. 

It took me a LONG time to realize what my gifts are.  I was involved in a Bible study and would email various ladies letting them know I was praying for them.  I opened my heart and showed great empathy for those hurting and desired to help in some way.  A beautiful older lady (she was 80) who has a great heart for Jesus pulled me aside and told me these were great gifts from Jesus.  She encouraged me and counseled me on using them for God's Kingdom.  She assured me that they were great blessings and not to let anyone squash them.  I am forever grateful to her for loving me enough to talk with me about my gifts.

Since then, I have embraced my gifts and am no longer ashamed of them or embarrassed to share them.  I get great joy out of the gifts that my sweet Jesus covered me in.

Do you know what your gifts are?  If not, take time to recognize what brings your heart joy and fulfillment.  Pray for clarity and encouragement in sharing them with those around you.  Your gifts are unique to you.  May you embrace them and share them with great love for Jesus and those around you.

James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father -

xoxo



Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Struggle is Real


I struggle with fear.  It frustrates me and makes me feel like a phony Jesus girl.  It makes me mad at myself.  However, the struggle is real...

It's not just any fear.  It's a fear of medical issues.  When I worry about medical issues, I get nauseous and can't see straight.  It's not everyday like it used to be - so I suppose that's progress.

I used to worry nonstop about my little ones.  My oldest was born with some congenital heart issues that had to be corrected surgically.  Could that have caused my issue?  Maybe...

But for whatever reason, it seems to get me every time.  I get so frustrated. 

When I am experiencing this, I feel so angry with myself.  I really do love Jesus and trust Him.  Then I question myself...if I trust Him, why am I so fearful??  And then I feel like I have completely disappointed Him...again.

I have been thinking about this recently and have been praying for clarity.  Is this the thorn in my side??  As I was praying, I remembered a sermon I once heard about being discouraged.  Numerous times in the Bible, God tells us not to be discouraged.  He reminds us that He is with us and will fight for us. 

I started thinking about this and realized that I must not be alone.  God knows that we crazy humans will be discouraged and fearful.  He knows that we need reminding again and again and again that He really is with us and is fighting for us.

Jesus knows my heart and He knows yours.  He knows that we love Him and He knows that we struggle.  Your struggle may not be my struggle, but we all struggle with something...pride, anxiety, perfectionism, fear of fitting in, etc.

I think it's important not to beat ourselves up over it.  I think we have to try hard not to give in to it.  However, when we do give in to it we have to remember to cry out to Him for help.  He knows us better than we know ourselves. 

We must to remember that Jesus has not called us to be perfect.  He has called us to love Him and to rely upon Him. 

Our struggles are real and He knows it.  I have to trust and believe that He loves me despite me.

xoxo



Monday, September 15, 2014

Oops!! Wrong Pinterest account...

I was browsing around my blog and clicked on my Pinterest link and lo and behold I was sent to someone else's account.  The name was Marci Smith but it wasn't me.  I had someone set up my blog a long time ago and never checked my links.  Yikes!!!


Soooo.....
if you have followed me on Pinterest from my blog page, it's not really me.  Oops!  I have corrected the link and it will take you to the correct me now.  :)  Honestly, I wondered why my follower numbers were so low and rarely changed.  Maybe now I know...


I'm a bit nervous to browse around the other Marci Smith's page.  I hope I have been represented well! Ha!!


Hope everyone is having a great day!!
xoxo

Journaling ideas



I have always wanted to be a someone who kept a journal.  The idea of it seemed so...well, neat.  However, I would start a journal but within a few weeks I would be done. 

I thought journaling meant writing a description of my day.  It was booooooring!!  I have since learned that keeping a journal is fun and can be as creative as you want it to be. 

I decided - after pinning journal ideas from Pinterest, of course - to create my own journal.  It was fun and I loved the sense of accomplishment I felt when it was completed.

I started off by gathering various pieces of paper from our craft closet.  I wasn't concerned with matching, but with finding colors and patterns that I liked.

I decided the size journal I wanted and then I cut each piece of paper to match that size.  Once all of the papers were cut, I decorated each piece with a scrap of paper, sticker, etc.  After all of the papers were complete, I punched holes in each one and tied ribbon to hold it together.  It's pretty basic, but I love it! :)

Here is what it looks like...










My first journal entry began yesterday.  I wrote down things from church that touched my heart.

Thinking of a topic to journal about can be tricky sometimes.  Here is a list that I have come up with...
  • Things from church
  • Things I love
  • Songs I'm singing
  • Fall loves
  • My smiles come from...
  • Favorite books
  • Books I want to read
  • Favorite skincare products
  • Fall goals
  • Top 5 movies
  • Summer memories
  • What would I do with an extra $100
  • Favorite outfits
  • What I do with me time
  • What I did today
  • Things on my heart
  • Scriptures that are speaking to me
  • Answered prayers
  • Prayer requests
  • Who I'm praying for
  • Projects I want to take on
  • Family funnies
Journaling can be so much fun and it creates mementos for your family years from now.


Do you journal?  If so, what are some of your favorite topics?
xoxo






Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where was God on 9/11?



September 11th always tugs at my heart strings.  I can remember exactly where I was when I began to realize what was happening in America.  My heart still breaks for all of those directly impacted by the sheer evilness.  I am certain it always will.


My family and I love New York City.  My husband and I lived on Long Island when our oldest was little.  We have fond memories of our visits to NYC and the people we met.  Our time there was prior to the attacks.  We were fortunate in that we were able to see the beauty of the Twin Towers.  We also stayed in the Marriot hotel that was connected to the towers.  I have memories of Jorden, then age 1, running around the fountain between the towers over and over and over again.  I can vividly picture the people sitting near the fountain eating their lunches.  The way they looked at our little one running around without a care in the world still puts a smile on my face and a tear in my heart.  I wonder, were those sweet faces lost on September 11th?


My heart not only aches for NYC, but for those at the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania, and the people on the planes.  So, so many people....


This past summer, we traveled to NYC and Washington, D.C.  We visited the memorial museum in NYC and the memorial at the Pentagon.  So, so many people...


The question I have heard numerous times is...Where was God when this evil was overtaking our country?



He was waiting for His people to call on Him, to realize that He is desperately needed.


Let me put this out there right now.  I do not believe that the people killed on 9/11 deserved it.  In no way do I believe that they should have died.  It is absolutely devastating and heart breaking.  They just happened to be where evil struck.


I believe with all of my heart that Jesus was with the victims.  I know He was devastated to see evil.  John 11:35 states that Jesus wept as Mary poured her heart out to Him about Lazarus's death.  I believe Jesus wept on September 11th, too.  How could He not have??  His children were experiencing horror, terror, death, and devastation. 


So, again we ask...Where was God?  How could He have allowed this to happen??


God is being pushed out of our country.  He hears the message loud and clear...You are not wanted or needed here.


America has-
  • Taken prayer out of school and any schooling event.
  • Said it is ok to kill innocent babies.
  • Changed God's definition of marriage.
  • Decided that hooking up is acceptable and the right thing to do.  (Hooking up-having sex with anyone and everyone.)
  • Decided that it is perfectly acceptable to be entertained by things that break God's heart.


God is love-total and uninhibited love.  However, He is not pushy.  He gave His children free will.  He does not want us to love Him because He forces us to.  He wants us to love Him because we want to, because we know with all of our hearts that He is our Savior and we desperately need Him. 

God is not a Jeanie in a bottle that is taken out when people need something.  We cannot put Him in a neat and tidy box that fits nicely with our lives.  He is not here to serve us.  Rather, we should be serving Him with reverence and pure love.


Deuteronomy 11:26-28...Look, today I set before you a blessing and a curse:  there will be a blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you today, and a curse if you do not obey the commands of the Lord your God and turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods you have not known.

As a country, we are not choosing God.  Sadly, He has been pushed aside.  It is time to drop to our knees in prayer for our country.  We must pray diligently for hearts to return to God.  We must pray for hearts to break over things that don't honor Him.  We can no longer live in our quiet suburban neighborhoods and think it is the government's job to protect us.  We have to stand for God and for His ways.  We can no longer turn a blind eye to His ways and be complacent with what is happening in our country.


So the question to me is not where was God on 9/11, but where were we as a country?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Want to join a Pinterest board?


I have a confession...
I am a Pinterest junkie. I pin loads of recipes and have redone my entire house. 

Ok-my actual house isn't redone, but my boards on Pinterest are loaded with ideas and pictures that would make my house amazing! :)

I am creating a board titled, "Inspiration to be a Jesus girl" and am looking for other Jesus gals to pin blog posts, inspirational quotes, and funny and inspiring stories.  

All you have to do is send me an email at momofjel@gmail.com telling me that you want to join. Once I receive the email, I will send you an invitation. After that, it will be happy pinning for you. This is a way for your blog to gain exposure and to inspire others to follow and love Jesus. 

I am looking forward to spreading His love with others through Pinterest!
Xoxo

My heart belongs to fall


I L-O-V-E fall!  It is my absolute favorite time of year. About this time every year, I get pretty pumped up. I have flashbacks of cool weather and sweater time from the previous year. Did I mention that I love fall? :)

My top ten favorite things about fall....

  • Changing leaves
  • The cool air that blows across my face when I walk outside
  • Sweaters
  • Boots
  • Snuggling on the couch with a super soft blanket
  • Football games
  • Pumpkin everything
  • Soup
  • Approaching holiday season
  • Raking leaves as a family and taking great pictures
Are you a fall lover?  If so, what are your favorite things?

Xoxo

Sharing 101



A question I hear a lot from others is...


How do I share Jesus with those around me?


We know that we are to share Him, but none of us wants to be the-throw Jesus in someone's face- person.


Most of us, if not all of us, have come across someone who uses His name in every.single.sentence.


News flash...that can be a BIG turn off.  I know because it has happened to me.  I love Jesus with all of my heart, my soul, my mind, and anything else I am made up of.  I desire daily to please Him and live for Him.  However, when someone can't have a conversation without using His name the entire time, it comes across as fake, holier than thou, and pretty self righteous.


I'm just being honest...


So the question remains-


How do we share Jesus with those around us without turning people off and ultimately turning them away from their Savior??


I have prayed about this and asked Jesus to show me how to share Him without making others feel uncomfortable.  I want people to truly want Jesus in their lives.  I desire for people to KNOW Him and love Him.  I don't want to be the one who turns people away from Him.  That would break my heart and, more importantly, His.


Jesus answered my prayer in the form of a sermon I recently heard.  The pastor said the greatest way to share Jesus is to LOVE everyone around us.  Truly love people with kindness, compassion, and selflessness.  Take that extra moment to let someone know that they matter.




This sermon took me back about 10 years.  A woman whom I had known about a year asked me why I was always so nice.  She asked how I could have so much joy.  I was able to answer her honestly and tell her Jesus was my reason.  This led into a great conversation about His love for her and His desire for her to truly know Him. 


We are called to plant the seeds of love and Jesus will grow them.  He wants us to be kind and loving to His children.  We are to share Him by sharing our hearts.



Let's be purposeful in sharing Jesus today and everyday.  :)


1 John 3:18
We must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.


Loving all of you-
xoxo

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend picture walk

Weekends can be full of busyness and craziness, but they are always a blessing because God gifts us with time and togetherness. 


So...here is our weekend in pictures. :)

I am a huge fan of rain and was quite happy to see rain clouds moving in.  It didn't rain much, but it was enough to give our ground a good soak.


Our dog, Rudy, enjoyed lazing around this weekend.  I'm pretty sure that he wasn't thrilled to get his picture taken!


Jorden blessed us with a visit home. :)  He and Emily cheered Luke on during his soccer game. 


Luke, #9, had a great game.  His team won 7-1.  :)

Homework...need I say more??


Jorden is taking a class that is studying the book of Genesis.  He had some questions so we pulled out commentaries and studied together.  This mama's heart thrills every single time he and I Bible talk! :)


Emily was so happy to go to the mall with her dad and spend her money on some new face powder.  She is a huge beauty blog reader and, apparently, this is the brand to buy.  I wouldn't know...I live on a drugstore budget!!


Emily was happy to finally relax on Sunday night with her make-up mirror and some Netflix. :)


Luke, too, was happy to relax with some Netflix watching time last night. :)


I hope everyone had a blessed weekend and has a fantastic, God filled week-
xoxo





Friday, September 5, 2014

September kindness challenge



Kindness can change attitudes and perspectives.  It can turn a frown upside down. 


Ok, that's quirky-I know...but it's true! :)


I have created a list of kind things to do each month.  You can find it by clicking on the About Me header at the top of my blog.


The last week of each month, I will host a blog hop so that we can link up and share posts about our experiences with kindness. 


On the first of each month, I will post the kindness challenge.


September's kindness challenge...
Pay for a stranger's coffee or tea.

I can't wait to read all about our experiences!!


Here's to kindness-
xoxo

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thankful Thursday


My crazy-heelarious family

Memories of cool weather (I live in Texas.  All I have are memories in this 90+ heat!)

Homemade Banana Bread

Hand Cream

Bobby Pins to hold back my growing bangs

Fuzzy socks to keep my feet comfy at night

Belly laughs from my oldest

Husband's kiss across the kitchen island

Text messages

Rain

Watching my little one thrive in junior high

Sleep

Cosmetics talk with my daughter

Kitchen table that hosts family meals

University of Houston

Christian group at college for my oldest

Morning coffee

Driving my sweets to school each morning

Never alone


I had planned to write a quirky, fun post today.  I wanted my blog friends to see my goofy side and know that I'm a girl who likes to have a good time. 

That all changed this morning.  You see, there is a lady whom I met through blogging and I really like and admire her.  She and I haven't been in touch in months, however.  She posted a comment on a post I wrote the other day and the tone of it caused my heart to ache for her.  I could tell something wasn't right.

I laid awake in bed last night praying for her and thinking of her.  I could not get her off of my mind.

I discovered this morning that her son recently went to his eternal home. 

Pain overtook my heart.

As mamas, we are entrusted these beautiful little creatures to care for, love on, and protect. 

Why does God take them back sometimes?

I wish I lived near her so I could go to her and let her cry her eyes out on my shoulder.  I wish there was some way I could lessen her pain. 

Honestly, I have no idea why God allows these things to happen.  Why let us love so deeply and then take them away?

I do know that He is a God of pure love.  He feels our pain very deeply and cries when we cry.  I know that His intention is not to punish with intense pain.

I also know that we live in a fallen world.  Sickness and pain happen and it just plain stinks.

We may never have our why questions answered this side of heaven.  Knowing that God loves us beyond what we can even fathom has to be enough.  I have to trust and believe that He would never abandon His children.  While mamas and daddies suffer, God is right with them.  I believe that with all of my heart and soul.

Pain and suffering can land us in dark caves.  If you are suffering and feel abandoned, know that Jesus is right with you.  Even when it is too painful to take a breath, He is there. 

My love and prayers for anyone who feels pain...






Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Looking for good blog reads

I have been away from blogging for quite some time and am looking for some new blogs to add to my reading list.  What are your favorites?

I'm looking forward to all responses!
Xoxo

Character builders


Character is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. (www.oxforddictionaries.com)

As parents, we are instructed to build character in our children.  Deuteronomy 11:19 states - "Teach them (God's words) to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

As Christians, we build character in our children by teaching them about Jesus and how to live as He instructs.  We desire for them to emulate Him in all they do. 

We must also focus on our character and building it up to please God.  In reality, we can preach and teach our little ones but they will ultimately imitate our behaviors and attitudes.  If we are not truly living what we are teaching, our words will be useless.

I have come up with 5 ways that we can build our character daily-

  1. Live by God's truths.  Are we living by God's truths about ourselves or the world's truths?  What does our daily self talk sound like?  Do we bash ourselves and compare ourselves to others or do we see ourselves as Jesus does?  He sees us as His beauties, you know!  Philippians 4:8...Finally brothers (and sisters), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things.  Dwell on the fact that you are beautiful to your Savior.
  2. Our inner circles should be made up of God fearing, Jesus lovin' people.  Jesus instructs us to love everyone.  He never said only love those like us.  However, He never tells us to be besties with people whose hearts are different than ours.  In fact, if you read through the gospels you will notice that Jesus' inner circle was made up of people who desired to please Him and please God.  They were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they really tired hard to do what was right.  These were the people He shared His feelings with.  I totally believe that we can be friends with all types of people.  However, we should be careful who we allow into our inner hearts and who we allow to influence us.  Galatians 5:9...A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough.  Be mindful not to let a little yeast change your heart.
  3. Entertainment.  Do your entertainment choices offend God?  If Jesus were to physically walk into the room when you were watching a program, reading a book, listening to a song, etc. would you be embarrassed and ashamed?  Tough questions, I know.  Romans 12:2...Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. 
  4. Treatment of others.  How are we treating those around us?  Are we self centered or Jesus/others centered?  This can be tough when we are in a bad mood, aggravated, not feeling well, etc.  Also, are we listening to the hurts and needs of those around us even when it may inconvenience us?  The way we treat others says a great deal about our hearts and our true feelings towards Jesus.  Hebrews 3:13...But encourage each other daily.
  5. Daily inner beauty treatments.  In order to be like Jesus, we must really know Him.  Just like with any relationship, to truly know someone we must spend time with them.  We listen to them, talk with them, and love on them.  It is the same with our relationship with Jesus.  We must take the time every single day to hang out with Him.  Reading His word, praying, listening to praise music, etc. cleanses us of ugliness.  The more we spend time with Him, the more beautiful or hearts become.  We should desire to be the Proverbs 31 woman.  Proverbs 31:28...Her children rise up and call her blessed.  Her husband also praises her-.
Let's be purposeful in building our character.  It's not always going to be easy, but it will always be worth it!
xoxo





Monday, September 1, 2014

Trusting - moment by moment

It has been quite a while - ok, an extremely long time - since I have blogged.  My heart has experienced many things during my no show.  Throughout my absence, one things has remained constant.  I have relied on Jesus to lead me.



Honestly, I have suffered great writer's block.  My time of no writing led me down a path of lots of quiet time with Jesus.  He and I discussed many things.  He has shown me His loyalty and His confidence in me.  I am seeing His great blessings and faithfulness and I am on my knees in awe! 




This past year we prepared ourselves for our oldest son to leave for college.  I experienced a roller coaster of emotions.  My excitement for him tickled my belly.  However, at times my fear took my breath away. 



Who would keep watch over his health?
Who would make sure he was home safely?
Would he continue to love Jesus when he was away from us?
What would he be exposed to?
Would the morals that we taught him stick with him?
Would he remember to study?



I discovered through all of my worry that I am a control freak.  Who am I kidding??  I have known for a pretty good while that I feel best when I am in control.  I'm the mom who follows behind the kids in the kitchen wiping the counters.  I'm the mom who passes by the kids' rooms and has to physically force myself not to make their beds and clean up.



In my head I know that I am not the one in control, God is. He keeps my children safe and leads them on right paths.  My job is to pray for them, encourage them, and parent them.



Why is it so stinkin' hard sometimes??



Well, because I love like crazy.  God knows that I am trying to trust him even more.  He knows my fears. 



The greatest thing in all of this is that He is allowing me to grow without guilt or shame.  He is showing me how faithful He is.  He is showing me His great love for me and for my family.



Yep, I struggle daily with control.  However, I am learning daily to trust Jesus more and more.  Yes, my oldest now lives in a dorm and makes his own rules.  I have no idea what he is doing day and night.  I have to trust that my husband and I instilled the values and work ethic in him that he needs to thrive and be a successful person and Christian.  More importantly though, I have to trust that Jesus has my son's back.  He lives with him even though I don't.



I must take my fears and control tendencies moment by moment.  As I do, a new peace overtakes me and it. is. wonderful!