Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Beauty in the Mess

Some days I feel like just a mess. A total and complete mess. Two weeks ago my kids all came down with a weird flu. Then my sister had complications in her pregnancy that sent her to have an emergency cesarean a month early. Then I came down with this flu. Now I am battling bronchitis. Then my new nephew was not keeping his temperature up and had to be sent to the nicu at the children's hospital. All this sickness, all the worry over my family, all the tiredness, I've just felt like an absolute mess.

With being sick and dealing with sick kids, I've gotten completely off schedule. My routine is so far off balance it's laughable. I go to bed promising myself it will be better tomorrow, yet it never is. My daughter is graduating high school in 3 days and I have turned into a blubbering fool. Graduation preparations having me crying at the drop of a hat. I feel like a ridiculous mess.

Finding beauty in the mess.

Yet right smack in the middle of my mess, God continually reminds me of His great love for me. It might be the way the sun in shining in the window, the way my children laugh, the way He healed my new tiny nephew, the way my husband took my laptop from my hands and covered me up because I was seriously nodding off while working, the way a verse of His goodness pops out while reading His Word or the way just the right song comes on the radio at just the right time.

I love those who love Me,
and those who see me diligently will find me.
Proverbs 8:17

Whatever you've been facing lately, whatever your mess is, take time out to see the beauty in it. To see what God is teaching you in the middle of the mess. To find those reminders that He is still there with you.

Linking with:
Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday

Thursday, May 19, 2016

2 Minute Encouragement

We all need encouragement.

We all need to give encouragement.

Sometimes the best encouragement we can give someone is a kind word, a hug or a prayer. Even if we don't have a lot of time or money, those 3 things can make a large impact on someone.

A precious friend from church will often go out of her way to seek me out on Sunday morning just to give me a hug and let me know that she has prayed for me. Occasionally a hand written card or letter makes its way into my mailbox with words that brighten my day. These things, these God appointments, always happen at just the right moment. A moment when I deeply needed these special words, prayers lifted on my behalf or hugs.

The book of Acts tells us that it is better to give than to receive. And I can honestly say that giving a kind word, a hug or lifting someone in prayer does my heart good. Knowing that I have done something that could possibly lift someone up encourages me.

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another...
1 Thessalonians 5:11

One small, simple way to have a big, powerful impact on someone is a card. In this electronic world we live in today, hand written cards and notes are becoming a thing of the past. The only thing that comes in the mail these days are bills. What better way to brighten someone's day than to receive something beautiful and uplifting in the mail? Sending someone a card takes only a couple of dollars and a couple of minutes.

Encourage someone in less than 2 minutes a day! #1Thes511 #DaySpring #LiveYourFaith

Dayspring is having a 21 day challenge. It is known that it takes 21 days to start a habit. Dayspring is encouraging us to take 21 days and each day send a card of encouragement to someone. To the volunteer who watches your child in the church nursery, to neighbor down the street who hasn't had visitors, to the friend who lives across the country, to the caregiver of your elderly relative, the list is endless. After 21 days of encouraging someone different each day, you will have created a beautiful habit of encouraging others!

Dayspring offers beautiful boxed cards for less than $.50 a card! And even better, if you buy 2 boxes of cards, you get a 3rd box free! They have cards for all occasions and just because cards. Click the banner below to check out their cards.

So friends, are you ready to take this 21 days of encouragement challenge with me? Get your boxes of cards, write out your list of people to send a card to, begin praying that God would give you a Scripture to share with them or heart felt word, then get to encouraging!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spiritual Breakthrough Does Not Equal Perfect

Nothing melts my mama heart more than to see my children get it. To watch my son walk into the living room in the middle of the afternoon with two different Bibles and his highlighters to study God's Word. To have my son, who is one of our church drummers, stop drumming to raise his hands in worship. To see my now adult daughter posting Scripture verses on social media. To have my children ask questions about God or the Bible. To see these spiritual things click, oh my word! I love it!

And then they fight with their siblings, lie about something. backtalk, or disrespect me. I just want to scream at them weren't you just reading your Bible like 5 seconds ago! Didn't you just have this huge spiritual breakthrough? Why are you acting like this!?

Maybe God feels that way about me too.

I have a wonderful breakthrough then I have an attitude with my husband or I use that mean mommy voice. Does God think didn't you just have this breakthrough? Why are you acting like this yet again!?

Yes when we have these breakthroughs, we need to learn from them. We need to grow from them. We need to turn from our wicked ways and strive to live better. But God knows a spiritual breakthrough doesn't equal perfection. Just as I can have a breakthrough or a passionate quiet time with Him in the morning then do something wrong in the afternoon, my kids are the same. They are still humans. Humans are sinful creatures. God knows this, He created us. Thankfully we have this amazing thing called grace. When we sin, all we have to do is ask God to forgive us and strive to do better the next time.

Spiritual breakthrough does not equal perfect.

For all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

There is no clause in that verse that says after a breakthrough we are no longer sinners. It simply says all have sinned and fall short.

We will all have these setbacks from time to time. Even our kids. We are not perfect. The key is to accept His grace and move forward. So the next time you wonder why your kids are acting this way after they just got it yesterday or why you are facing the same struggle after having a breakthrough, remember that a spiritual breakthrough does not equal perfection.

Linking with:
Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday

Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekly Blessings

Today at Woman to Woman we are talking about being a drip. Find out what that means, click here.

#eucharisteo, #joydare, #thanksgiving, #thankfulness, #1000gifts,

Continuing to count God's sweet blessings...

2000. My new nephew is finally home after being sent back to the hospital to spend some time in the nicu. Praise God!

2001. My daughter who celebrated her 15th birthday last week.

2002. Finishing the school year and now being on summer break!

2003. Making preparations for my daughter's graduation this weekend. Can I seriously have a child graduating high school!?

2004. My sons waking up Saturday morning to mow our lawn and our neighbor's lawn without bing told or even asked.

What are you praising God for? I love rejoicing with you. Please comment below.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Shift Your Focus to Praise

Let me set the scene.

You wake up and have a passionate quiet time with God. You read your Bible. You pray. You give thanks. You listen for God's voice. You sing worship. Maybe you even journal a bit. You walk away feeling like you have just been with the Father.

Then you get up and begin your day.

Work. Kids. Bills. Errands. Chores. Life. Things begin to happen in your day and you don't feel that connection with God anymore. It may not even be that anything bad has happened. You're just so busy. Or maybe something bad did happen, like the kids are misbehaving, you are arguing with your husband, you're stuck in traffic or your boss just gave you an extra project and the deadline is closing in on you.

You wonder what happened. Just this morning you felt so connected to God, so aware of His presence. Yet, now it feels like that was moons ago.

Have you ever felt this way? Wondered why you could feel God just hours ago and now He feels so far away? Wondered why He was so present at church on Sunday and you felt Him so strongly and now He feels just out of reach?

It's time to shift your focus.

Shift your focus to praise.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 34:1

We should continually have praise on our lips. We should feel Him and be aware of Him at all times. It's time to shift our focus to praise.

How can we do this?

In the middle of those everyday, mundane tasks, intentionally shift your focus to God. Take a little break to purposely praise Him. It could be as simple as slowing your pace as you walk into your office and thanking Him for the day and for your work. It could be pausing as you put the laundry away to thank Him for your family and for the provisions you have. It could be turning off the radio in the car and just telling Him how much you love Him.

Other ways to shift your focus to praise is by placing Scripture in your home and in your car. As you walk by, read the Scripture aloud. Recently I took several Scripture cards I've collected from She Reads Truth and Illustrated Faith and I placed them in my car and one in my wallet. Now every time I open my wallet and as I drive, I see God's Word.

Another way is to continually play Christian music in your home, office and car. We have a radio in our kitchen that is always on. Christian music fills my home 24/7. Since our family loves music so much and the music is filling our home, any one of us can often be found singing praises throughout the day.

The more we take these little praise pauses throughout the day, the closer we will feel to God. We don't have to be sitting down, Bible in hand, eyes closed and we don't have to be in a church building. We can praise Him at any time and in any place. Become intentional about taking praise pauses throughout your day. Set alarms on your phone if you need the reminder. Whatever it takes. Let His praise continually be in your mouth.

Linking with:
Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday