Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for my sweet grandmother who took care of my grandpa during his sickness. She was not feeling well herself, but did it with such love and care. She is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet. She has such a love for people. She has a tender heart toward God. When she is at church and prays, she is often found crying because of her tender heart.

This picture is of my mom, my grandmother and one of my mom's sisters, Judy. We were shopping for funeral clothes. No matter how hard this has been,  she has been well taken care of. I love this picture so much! I am not exactly sure why, but is is super special to me. This was a hard day for us all, especially being "Black Friday" and we were on a mission and emotional.
I have been reminded so much lately of how blessed I am to have a great family! God is so good and I am blessed beyond measure!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fighting in the CTB

I am back in the CTB this week and the topic is fighting. Right on time for us. We have had some crazy fighting between my 6 and soon to be 3 year old lately. It is one thing after another. But through God's Word and specifically praying for peace in our home, God is "Making our Home a Haven."

"Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." Psalm 34:34

In this scripture we are told to do 4 things:
1. Turn from evil
2. Do good
3. Seek peace
4. Pursue peace

What is peace?
Peace is a state of tranquility and quiet.

Who needs more quiet around their home? More tranquility?

Traniquility is a quility or state of being tranquil.
Synonyms are calmness, restfulness, sereness, serenity, still, stillness, calm.

This sounds pretty inviting to me! How about you?

Many times we have this mindset that peace will come to us with no effort. In this scripture, we are to seek it and pursue it. How do we seek and pursue it? We go in search of it.

Who is peace? Jehovah Shalom: The Lord our Peace.

He is our peace! All we have to do is pursue and seek Him. He gives us peace deep within in the middle of troubling situations.

If we want peace, we cannot be argumentative and contentious. Peaceful relationships come from our efforts at peacemaking. We should work hard at being at peace with others. When we seek God and allow Him to be our peace, we have little trouble being at peace with others. Things that we would normally want to be argumentative about no longer matter. We see things from an eternal perspective instead of a me, me, me perspective.

Do I have trouble living in harmony with the people around me?
Do I find myself constantly raising my voice in anger and frustration with my children?
Do I find myself being rude to the ones I love?
What changes do I need to make to see that peace resonates in my home?

Today, I am linking up with Good Morning Girls.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

This time last week, I was just receiving a call that my grandpa (Pepa) was not doing well. He had returned from the hospital the week before and was under hospice care. I took my mom what she needed to stay overnight and he was really sick. I watched as my mom and her sister took great care of him. They would not leave his side and were holding his hand and loving him with all they knew to do. The very next day he was moved to the hospice house and passed away on Wednesday morning around 10 AM.

It has been a sad time, a joyful time and reflection time this last week. I am sad that I will never get to see him again, this side of heaven. I will never get to feel his hug as he kisses me on the cheek to say hello or goodbye. I will never get to hear him speak of what building project he has going. I will never get to eat the vegetables that he harvested in his garden. I will never get to spend time with him this side of heaven ever again. As I sit here and miss him, he is rejoicing in heaven at this very moment. He is having the time of his life, free from any pain or sorrow. He is praising Jesus with all his heart, soul and mind. He has not a care in the world!

His memorial service was beautiful. The church was packed with only a handful of the many lives he had touched. As I sat there yesterday with my family, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the life my grandfather lived. Was he perfect? No, but he knew what really mattered. He was a man who truely lead his family to Jesus. He didn't only lead family, but countless others as well. He was a man who made his life count.

About 8 years ago, he became really sick and we did not know what the outcome would be then. He bounced back after being in the hospital for weeks on end and very very sick. He went home from the hospital and immediately began to work again. Did he feel great? No, but he wasn't going to let sickness stop him! He was determined. I cannot even begin to tell you all the things he accomplished during that time. It is way too many to count.

As I was in his bedroom the last night he was home, I looked in the corner and I saw his pants hanging on the coat rack with the hat he always wore. I will never get to see my grandpa wear that hat again. I loved to see him wear that hat.

But another thought came to mind:
He is no longer here. All of his "stuff" is here, but not him. He could take nothing with him to heaven, only those things that have eternal value: souls.

 I began to think about the way I live my life:
Am I making life count?
Am I living out what God has marked for me to do?
Am I bringing glory to Him through each step I take?
Am I leading my children to Christ or to more "things?"

I desire to leave a legacy that brings others to Jesus. I want others to want to know Jesus if they do not know Him after being around me. I need to live my life with the end in mind. What do I want to have accomplished and what really matters when I come to the end of my life?

My grandfather's obituary.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Yesterday we had to take my son to the doctor because we thought he may have pink eye, but it turned out to be some type of virus. It started on Sunday afternoon and since then I have been wiping down anything and everything he touches.
As I have been wiping down everything, I have been thinking: He touches so much it is virtually impossible to wipe away every germ. He's two and he touches, wipes eyes, touches, wipes eyes. There is no way to make him keep his hands from his eyes. So therefore, we have been washing our hands constantly because I do not want what he's got in my eye! Yuck!
As I was thinking: As contagious as this virus could be; I desire that my love, my joy, my relationship with Jesus would be so contagious, that others could not help but love, have joy, have a relationship with Jesus too! How awesome is that?!?
"You are the salt of the earth..." Matthew 5:13
Do I live a life that reflects Jesus?
Do I live a life that leads people to Jesus?
Do I live a life that makes others want more of Jesus?
Do I live a life that spreads love and joy?
What changes do I need to make in my life to be more contagious?
Am I the same person at home that I am around others to make my children want Jesus? (WOW)
Do I have big (audacious) faith?
Do I TRUST Jesus with my DAILY life choices?
Am I salty?
Does my life reflect too much of the world?
Am I affecting others positively (bringing out the best in them)?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Overcoming Fear

I have some super exciting news to share today about fear!!
We are a homeschooling family and apart of Classical Conversations on Thusday mornings. If you are not sure what "CC" is, you can visit their website for more information. You will be amazed by all they do and the kids learn. I am so much smarter than I was 12 weeks ago! 
One of the many aspects of CC that I love is that they give the children opportunities each week to get up in front of their peers and do "show and tell." Of course, this is the beginning of bigger presentations as they get older.
I know many of you reading this blog do not know me, but I LOVE to speak to groups of people. The bigger the group the better. It has always been my dream to speak to thousands of people at a time. I know that sounds crazy, but I LOVE it! I do not know why I do, but I do. My first experience speaking in front of a larger group was in second grade. I had to memorize a poem for the PTA meeting. That room was full, I was nervous, but way excited. After I finished that night, I knew this would be a part of who I was and could not wait for the next chance to speak in front of a group of people! Funny, huh!
But my daughter is the opposite.
At CC, we first meet in the church sanctuary for opening. All the kids are there with their moms. Each week a different family opens up. Of course, I chose after Christmas because I knew we would have to work up to that. So the first week we walk in and AG immediatley bust into tears. She thought her show and tell was in front of this group of people. Probably around 40 to 50 people. I had to explain it was in her class with 8 kids, a tutor and 5 moms.
So, when we get to class and it's time for show and tell, she has a complete meltdown. She would not get off of me and refused to open her mouth to speak. So, I ended up introducing her for the first class. The second week she sat on my lap at the back of the room and said very little. I had to coach her along. Then, slowly we moved to the front of the room with me beside her and each week, I would move further away and say less and less.
This week, for the first time, she did her presentation all by herself in front of the classroom without my help. I got to actually video her!!!
How awesome is that?!? We had lots of discussions on fear during these 12 weeks. She did so well today, but I know that God was helping her 100% today.
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."  2 Timothy 1:7
1. God did not give us a spirit of fear.
This "spirit of fear" is from the enemy. It puts us in bondage and chains. It paralyzes us. The enemy does not want us to fulfill the plan God has for us, so he attempts to put fear on us so that we will be paralyzed and not walk in freedom proclaiming Jesus.
2. God gives us "spirit of power, of love and self-discipline."
These are available to us because the Holy Spirit lives in us. He gives us power over the enemy and gives us a spirit of love.
Discipline means control by enforcing obedience or order. Self discipline means we have to enforce obedience to God and do what He wants us to do no matter what. We may have to pray our way through a situation and memorize scripture to get through it, but we can; because we have the Holy Spirit working through us.
As AG finished her presentation today, I was thinking over the last 12 weeks. At first I held her in my arms to talk to the class, then by my side, then we moved to the front of the room. It was a gradual shift. God is so much that way. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, but He is right there holding us in His arms and guiding us step by step moving us through the process of what we are to be doing.
I do not know what area you are experiencing fear in today, but know it is not from God. The enemy is trying to keep you walking in fear, so that you can not truely function as God desires you to function. Trust in an All-knowing God today to take away your fear.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for so much. As I think about my life, I am so blessed. I have a warm home when it's cold and a cool home when it's warm. I have a soft warm bed to sleep in and plenty of food. I do not have to worry about where my next meal comes from.

I am surrounded by family and friends who lift me up, encourage me, and help me do life. For that, I am grateful.

Last, but not least, I am thankful for the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He took a wretched sinner like myself and made me whole again. He gives me all that I have need of. He is my everything. And, if you missed Tuesday, I am going to list them again...

He is...
Emmanuel ~ God with Us
Jehovah Shalom ~ The Lord of My Peace
Elohim ~ The Almighty, Powerful One, Strong Creator
El Shaddai ~ God Almighty
El Elyon ~ The Most High, King of Kings
El Sali ~ God of my Strength
Jehovah Shammah ~ The Lord is There
Jehovah Nissi ~ God our Victory
Jehovah Jireh ~ The Lord my Provider
Jehovah Rohi ~ My Sheppherd
El Roi ~ The God Who Sees
Jehovah Rophe ~ The Lord Who Heals
Jehovah Sabaoth ~ The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah Nissi ~ The Lord is my Banner
He is Abba Father Daddy

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


What makes you fearful, afraid, terrified?
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you."
By nature I am not a very fearful person. But I have experienced times of fear. In studying fear, several things jumped out at me.
Be strong and courageous.
This does not say be strong and courageous when you "feel" like it or when you are having a good day. It simply said be: no if, ands or buts. No matter the situation, we are to be strong and courageous. Courageous means to be brave.
What is God asking me to step out and do in faith? When it requires more of God and less of me, God is normally orchestrating this!
Do not be afraid or terrified.
Afraid means filled with fear or apprehension. Terrified means to fill with terror, a state of intense fear, intimidate.
The Lord goes with me, He will never leave me nor forsake me.
So no matter what, God is ALWAYS there with me; walking hand in hand ready to guide me, comfort me, love me.
Forsake means to renounce or turn away entirely. A synonym is abandon.
God will NEVER walk away from me. I can trust Him with EVERY aspect of my life. He will lead and guide me into the unknown future and I need not fear.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1
As I moved on to the next verse, I began to think a little deeper about fear and what it does to us. Fear is a dark shadow that envelops us within ourselves. We can not see past the fear. We seem to look at all the things that could be, might be, etc.
What are we fearful of? Fear of rejection, misunderstanding, uncertainty, sickness, or even death? There's so many things that can get us caught in fear.
But this verse reassures us that "the Lord is my light and salvation." We can conquer fear by trusting Him who brings salvation. He is the only One who can dispel all fear. Many times our fear is wrapped in lies that we tell ourselves. But when God gets in the middle of it, all fear is gone. He sheds light on the situation and it is not as it seemed.

Challenge: What is it God has been whispering in your ear, but you have been ignoring because you are fearful of it? (For me it was this blog! I know, crazy. But for some reason, it scared me to death! But I have worked through this fear and I know God is going to use it for His glory!)
And on another note, if you do not know: The Good Morning Girls  Advent Study will be starting soon. You don't want to miss out. The Colossians study was amazing!

And today, I am linking up with  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My All in All

We live in a world where it seems more is better. The world tells us we need a better house, a better car, etc. It doesn't matter how great of a sale I find (and I do LOVE sales and I get great satisfaction from it), but nothing can compare to Christ. Christ is the only One who can bring me all that I need, He is our All in All.
He is... 
Emmanuel ~ God with Us
Jehovah Shalom ~ The Lord of My Peace
Elohim ~ The Almighty, Powerful One, Strong Creator
El Shaddai ~ God Almighty
El Elyon ~ The Most High, King of Kings
El Sali ~ God of my Strength
Jehovah Shammah ~ The Lord is There
Jehovah Nissi ~ God our Victory
Jehovah Jireh ~ The Lord my Provider
Jehovah Rohi ~ My Sheppherd
El Roi ~ The God Who Sees
Jehovah Rophe ~ The Lord Who Heals
Jehovah Sabaoth ~ The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah Nissi ~ The Lord is my Banner
He is Abba Father Daddy

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rethinking Things

Do you ever find yourself slipping? It seems all is well and then if not careful you find yourself slipping down this slippery slope?

Well, that's the way I have felt lately. I have been a little off in my post for CTB but that's because we are simply struggling. I am still on target with my reading through them, I'm just simply running to everything and running out of time.

How does it get to the point you seem like everything is somewhat under control and then all of a sudden spiraling out of control??

This is what I believe: As women of God we are trying to be the best we can be in all areas and bring glory to God. You see, the enemy does NOT like that; so he has to create some sort if diversion.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:10
The enemy will do ALL he can to bring bad to a situation. We live in a real world where things happen. BUT we have a choice in how we handle those things. When we are giving things to God and allowing Him to handle them for us, the enemy is mad. He does not like that. He usually attacks our mind. If he can get our mind twisted, it messes with how we conduct our life in every area.

Look at the depiction between the enemy and Jesus:

The enemy came to KILL, STEAL and DESTROY.
Jesus came so that we may have LIFE and MORE ABUNDANTLY! He was willing to lay down His life for us so that we wouldn't have to die eternally!

Now, with that in mind:

Am I living the abundant life in the way I am managing my life? My activities?
We are at the point of rethinking some of our activities. We are running and tired. We are not seeming to enjoy things as we should. My children are ill and tired. And of course, the disobedience roars even more.
I believe the enemy tries to steel, kill and destroy our focus, our joy, our life. Whatever he can do to get to us, he will do to get us off track!
I have been challenged this week through a book I am reading:
SURRENDER: Will you surrender your demand for God to order your life the way you want it to be ordered?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for my grandpa. This is my grandpa last summer. He has always planted a garden and shared his crop with the family. Anna Grace LOVES gardening and begs us to do a garden every year. So far, we have not, but would like to at some point. So on this day we went to help him dig potatoes. She loved every minute of it. She even helped to gather the eggs from the chickens.
The sad part is, right after this my grandpa got sick and was hospitalized for a month or more. He has not been the same since. He is too weak to get out of his chair much less garden.
 He is currently in the hospital. When he first went in, he got a very bad report. But as of Sunday, the doctors have been shocked by what's going on. Their only explanation is a miracle. The moment the family recieved the bad report, they gathered around him in prayer!
"He sent His Word and healed them..." Psalm 107:20
Join me in prayer for this man of God! I am thankful He has been instrumental in leading his family to Jesus. He has been a very hardworker even when he did not feel like working. I have seen him work through the toughest of situations. Thank you, Pepa for loving your family and showing us Jesus! We love you!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I am loving the challenge this week from Making Your Home a Haven. I LOVE lighting my candles and praying for peace in my home. I went to Hobby Lobby today because I wanted to buy something with peace written on it to sit by my candle. Of course, I found "peace" and 2 gifts to go along with it. I just HAD to buy these gifts to remind myself that my children are a gift from God EVEN WHEN they FUSS and it's been a TRYING DAY! I love this so much, I may just have to leave it out year around.  I love how a simple reminder keeps us focused on prayer and evermindful of the many blessings we have in our lives.
"I will give peace and quiteness..." 1 Chronicles 22:9
I pray that the Lord brings peace and quiteness to the storm that rages within us. It has been a trying couple of weeks for us with disobedience. But I know that my God reigns and He is our peace!
Today I am linking up with Women Living Well.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Home

Today I started the challenge by Women Living Well in the new Making Your Home a Haven challenge. You can go there to read all about it if you would like to participate. For this week we are to light a candle everyday and each time we see the candle be reminded to pray for peace in our homes and for the people in our family. I LOVE these kind of reminders.
As I would look at the candle and be busying around the kitchen to fix lunch and prepare for dinner, I was reminded of my mom. I loved being at home with my family. I am the oldest of 3 brothers. I remember waking up for school and mom would be in the kitchen making breakfast for us. My favorite mornings were when we had leftover homemade biscuits. She would put them in the oven and get them toasty and put apple butter on them. Oh the memories. I can taste and smell them now! I also loved her HOT cheese grits on cold mornings.
I loved the feeling of coming home from school to a fun afternoon of spending time with my family. My mom cooked most every night. I remember the feeling we got coming home. She loved to cook and make things nice for us. She had a way of making us feel loved and cared for. She wanted things right for us.
It was always warm and cozy. It felt like home. The atmosphere in my home was so good, in fact, I rarely wanted to go away with friends. I loved being at home with my family.
I love to go home now (next door). It has the same warm cozy feel. It smells so great and is full of peace. When I go home I do not want to leave. It's like I am home and all my worries are no longer there. I can relax with such a sense of peace.
I desire for my home to be a place that my children love to be and feel at peace. I desire for them to have fond memories of being at home with home cooked meals simply enjoying each others company. I know that in order for this to happen it starts with me. My husband works hard each and everyday and it is nice when he can come home to a nice peaceful home with dinner on the table.
Jesus said in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
I pray that the Lord would help me to be the wife and mom I need to be to create this kind of atmosphere. Aside from God, it is not possible.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Clean Out and Disobedience

Friday we did not go anywhere. We had plans but one of my children decided that they were not going to obey me so we stayed home. I felt that it would only get worse if I did not really deal with it. I was a little frustrated because we were ready to go and this pops up, not to mention I was looking forward to the event. After a rough start we did have a really great day. For a while, I questioned myself about my decision, mostly because I WANTED to go and hated that "I" missed out. As the day went on, God really confirmed to me multiple times that I made the right decision. I knew that if I quickly walked out the door and shoved it under the rug she was going to act out once we got there as well. I had to DEAL with the issue at hand OR I could ignore for later and then forget to deal with it (and this often happens sadly to say).
So, this brings me to this post. Today turned into "clean out" day. I decided to clean out the fish bowl in my daughters room that was way overdue. When I did that I had to be careful that the rocks did not go down the disposal. As I was cleaning up some of the rocks with a papertowel I accidentaly pulled the rubber lining from the sink. When I did I was simply grossed out to say the least. It was super yucky, not to mention stinky to the core. For the record, I should have known this piece came out to clean but did not. So, I got clorox clean up and an old toothbrush and begun scrubbing the rubber lining and around the disposal. I had wondered why I could not get rid of the smell at times. I would pour different things down the drain and "clean" it, but obviously not good enough. Oh and to top it off: I forgot to put the rubber lining back in before starting the disposal and stuff came spewing out everywhere....YUCK!
And this leads to my next confession:
We have lived in this house for 7 years come December. We had to get a new refrigerator when we moved in. That being said, I should know my refrigerator really well, huh?!? Last week my son wanted an icecream that was on a stick. My husband gave him the ice cream and later could not figure out what he did with the stick. He said he assumed he ate it all. Neither one of us could find the stick anywhere and we were NOT convinced that he threw it away. After days of not knowing, we find it in the door of the refrigerator. He never finished the ice cream and it had melted. It was really sticky and gross. All of the bottles were sticky on the bottom, etc. So I clean that out to discover that that shelves on the door come out. I was shocked. That led to me cleaning ALL the shelves on the door. Then, it hit me: if these come out surely the shelves and drawers in the refrigerator do too. So I continued this gruesome journey until done. Now my refrigerator is spotless, for a night anyway. I have been cleaning that refrigerator out for 7 years wiping out shelves and drawers and never discovered that. I was frustrated at times that I could not get all the grime, but obviously not frustrated enough to figure out how to really clean it out.
I believe we are this way in our spiritual life sometimes. We clean the outside good so that others think we have it together. We can hold up the act for a while anyway. But when we deal with beahavior modification, we can't hold it together very long. It all comes spewing out just like my disposal did AND it was yucky. We have to get in there and "deal" with these heart issues or the yucky stuff in our lives will come spewing out whethere we like it or not. Why am I acting and doing the way I am doing? Why is my child acting this way? What's causing this behavior? Sometimes we don't know, but we can read the Word and allow God to "clean" us up from the inside-out. When I clean if it's cleaned on the outside, but messy on the inside I do not feel like it's really cleaned. In our lives, it's not really cleaned and pure if we can "act" clean and pure on the outside, but there's no change on the inside. God's Word is what transforms us, molds us, makes us.
It is so amazing because we only have to come to Him and surrender completely to Him. When we do this, He takes care of the rest. He did that for us on the cross. He went through all that for us to be FREE. Free from ourselves, the things that hold us captive.
Challenge: What is it I need to "deal" with? If I don't know, God knows. Ask Him to reveal it or simple clean you from the inside out. Don't know what to do with your child? Take them to the Word and prayer. That is the only thing that got our day shifted. Without it, our day would have continued downward.

Psalm 119:9 says, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word."

In a contaminated world, we have to constantly take our children to the Word of God for real transformation. If you are having a hard time knowing where to start, check out the The Child Training Bible . It is an awesome resourse to get you started.

Friday, November 2, 2012

God's Creation

On Tuesday my husband heard the word "SNOW" and if you know my husband, he is going to be quickly going over his schedule to see if he can head off to find it. His schedule happened to be light that day so we headed to Highlands, NC. Once we got into NC, the temperature started dropping steadily. As we got close to Highlands we started to see flurries, but once we got to the top of the mountain, it was snowing so pretty. It wasn't sticking much due to the wet ground and ground temperature. BUT it was pretty. We had a great time and we did "see" snow. The kids loved it! We were there about 3 hours and it snowed the entire time we were there.
I am amazed by God's beautiful creation. The sky looked so "white" when it was snowing. As we were heading back down the mountain, the trees were so pretty with all the different fall colored leaves. It was simply breathtaking! We got to see the beautiful sunset through the trees and I couldn't keep my eyes off of it. Only God could make creation so wonderful!
I know life gets hard sometimes, but take time to reflect on the beauty of the Lord. Think about what He has blessed you with. Through the weekend, take time to sit outside and just bask in His wonderful presence!
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1