Sailing Uncharted Territory


willow-tree-mother-and-son

 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Today our family will embark on a new journey.

We are headed into uncharted territory.

We are officially the parents of a teenager!! Today our oldest son, Big D turns 13 years old.

As this day has quickly approached, I have found myself filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for our family and for our son, yet on the other hand I feel a bit unsure and unprepared for what is to come.

This new time in our lives has brought me back to where it all started. 13 years ago, today, I was a 19 year old girl with no idea how my world was about to change. I was young and believed that I knew it all. (You see, teenagers think that for some reason.) I had not really considered the future to any extent and I surely had not thought far enough ahead to realize that one day I would be raising a teenager!

I was a newlywed. My head was still in the clouds.

Even as I sit here now and look back on that time, I shake my head and chuckle under my breath at the naivety. Praise God, He has carried us through all these years!

Today we celebrate this new trek of our adventure. We boldly (and prayerfully) march into an entirely new phase of life. As the shock wears off, I am more and more excited to begin this new journey. I have loved being a mom since that first day, 13 years ago, and I have enjoyed every stop of this adventure since then.

While I do understand that children do not come with an instruction booklet, I am confident in the assurance that God has given us all the instruction we will need in His word. As our children grow, I find myself holding onto God’s promises more and more. I would like to share some of these promises with you this morning.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

I hope that you have enjoyed listening to this overwhelmed Mom ramble on about a new phase in life. I also pray that it has somehow encouraged your heart. I truly believe that children are a gift straight from the Lord. As a parent you think that you are teaching your children life lessons every day, but I must say that I learn so many things from my children on a daily basis. I feel very honored to carry the title Mom to these three “not so little any more” blessings of ours, and I am thrilled to see what God has in store for our future.

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Seize the Moment


family 2014“And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 11:19 

I once was told by a very wise lady, “Your children will respond much better if you will take the opportunity to talk to them when it arises rather than force it on them.”

I have thought about that piece of advice over the years as my children have grown, and often wondered exactly how I would know when that moment had come. I remember asking her, “How will I know when the time is right?” With that sweet mentoring smile she would look at me and say, “You will know.”

This weekend one of those moment presented itself, and just as if my sweet aunt was standing right there next to me, I heard this voice in my head saying, “Seize the moment.”

I love to cook breakfast for my family on Saturday mornings. Sometimes we have pancakes, sometimes hash browns, but that particular morning I had decided to make biscuits. We had slept later than usual, therefore by the time we were all up and going the kids were ready to eat.

As you probably know, it takes time to make homemade biscuits. This is not always easy for children to understand, so many times they are in and out of the kitchen asking, “Is it almost time to eat?”

I had just mixed up my dough and was beginning to place each biscuit in the pan when my oldest son, Big D came in the kitchen. (I am sure you can guess what question was on his mind.)  As he impatiently watched me form each biscuit, this is the conversation that transpired between myself and my ever-growing preteen.

Big D: “I could eat one of those biscuits right now.”

Mom: “But they’re not ready.”

Big D: ” I don’t care, I could add a little sugar and some cinnamon to them and they would be good.”

Mom: “Then they wouldn’t be biscuits, they would be doughnuts.”

At that moment, I realized that God had given me an opportunity to have one of those moments with my sweet son. I told him, “You know, we are like this dough. God had created us to be something special. Sometimes, however we get impatient and mess up his plans. We want to rush things and instead of following God’s plan for our lives we add our own stuff and turn it into something different.”

Big D looked at me and I saw the light bulb come on; lesson learned. He said, “You’re right Mom, I think I will wait.”

He then looked over at the dough that was still sitting in the bowl, and said, “That doesn’t look very good, Mom.”

Again, I knew in my heart that our moment to learn was not yet over. I took this opportunity to explain to Big D that we are like this unformed dough as well. We look at ourselves, and sometimes the world does too, and says, “What a mess. You do not look very good.”  God, however, sees us as a work in progress. He does not look at us and see the mess we are, but He sees the masterpiece that He wants to see us become.

Again, I saw the light come on and realized that we had indeed “seized the moment.”

Satisfied with the progress being made,  Big D left the kitchen, looking for his next big adventure.

As I finished making the rest of the biscuits and placed them in the oven, our conversation played back over in my head. Silently I thanked God for allowing me this moment with one of my children. I prayed that He would never let me miss one single opportunity to have these times with them.

God gives each of us opportunities to minister for Him. It is up to us to keep our hearts and minds open so we can hear when God says to us, “Seize the moment.” It may not always be with our children. God may send a family member, a friend, or even a complete stranger into our lives. We must always be ready to share God with whomever we come into contact.

I want to encourage you today. Be ready. Look for opportunities to witness to those around you, and however God sees fit to bring them about in your life, seize the moment.

Friday Fun: What Are You Thankful For?


thanks

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18

Do you take the time to thank God for all the things with which you have been blessed? I know that sometimes in the craziness of this life we forget to stop and say,”Thank you.” Today I want to do something different. I borrowed this idea from a friend and I wanted to share it with you.

Today I want us to take a few minutes to think of 5 things for which we are thankful. These 5 things cannot be the big things, like God, family and country. They have to be 5 simple things, something that will help us to remember to be thankful today. We always seem to be thankful for the big things, but what about all of the little things which God blesses us with each day.

I will go first:

  1. Today I am thankful for you, my dear readers.
  2. Today I am thankful for quite time alone with God. Time that I can sit and listen for God to speak and to study His word.
  3. Today I am thankful for warm coffee to wake me.
  4. Today I am thankful for the ability to bless others with God’s word.
  5. Today I am thankful for a safe, comforting place to call home.

Now, it is your turn. Please join me by commenting below and listing 5 things for which you are thankful.

Let us always remember to count our blessings. May we never find ourselves too busy to stop and remember how blessed we are each day.

Motivational Monday: Count it all Joy


photo credit: Pixabay

photo credit: Pixabay

” My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

James 1:2

I thought Monday would be a good day to talk about patience. We have all heard the cliché “Mondays are bad days.”  What is it about a Monday that makes it seem so much harder than other days? Whatever your reasoning behind this phrase, I want to take a minute this morning to encourage you, and try to start your Monday off right.

Do you ever find it hard to be joyful? Do you find that you lack patience from time to time?

I believe that we are all guilty of this.

It is easy to be joyful when everything is going right. When all the bills are paid and there is still money left over, or when we are looking for a pen in the cup holder and find that couple of dollars we forgot was there, these are just a couple of examples of times when it is easy to be joyful. Patience is not really an issue here. Life is peaceful and free from any worries.

But…

What about the times when things are not going so well: when the car breaks down, or the air conditioner goes out? What if you lock your keys in your car for the second time that week? Those are the times when it feels like our faith is being tested to the max. Where do we find joy then? It is a lot harder to be joyful then, is it not?

The Scripture we looked at this morning says that we should count it ALL joy when we fall into divers temptations.

So how do we do that?

The most important thing I have learned to do is: replace worry with prayer . James 1:5 tells us:

“If any of you lack wisdom,let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him.”
 
I have found in my own life that if I do not understand a situation, instead of fretting and worrying, instead of letting the devil steal my joy, I pray. I have been amazed at the peace that comes from taking my burden to the Lord, laying it at His feet and leaving it there.
 
 
I believe the next thing we need to do is: count our blessings. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads:

“Give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I know it seems difficult to be thankful when things are not going like we think they should, but it works. I have had to learn to do this on a daily basis. I believe if we can learn to count our blessings we will discover that they greatly outnumber our problems.

 

And the last thing I think we need to do is: Trust. We are told in Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;

and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 In all thy ways acknowledge him,

and he shall direct thy paths.”

I believe that when we learn to place our faith in God rather than our own circumstances we will find that being joyful even in the midst of conflict is easier to accomplish.

 

I pray these words will encourage you today. If you find yourself struggling this week, think back on these words. Hide these Scriptures in your heart, so that you may lean on them when trials come your way.

~ Remember: God will never allow you to face a situation for which He does not already have a plan.~ It is up to us to pray, be thankful, and trust.

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Urgent Prayer Request: Update on Garet- 6/5/13


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photo credit: Flickr

UPDATE: 6/5/13

Garet is back home now!! The doctors said that they believe they were able to remove the entire tumor. Garet’s dad said that they still have some trips to make back to the doctors, but the plan of action for right now is to just watch and wait.

This family’s story has been amazing! God has been so good, and He has worked miracles. The faith of these two parents has inspired me.

I pray that you will continue to hold them up in prayer.

Thank you all so much for being a part of this journey with me, and offering your words of support and prayer.

If you would like to offer any encouragement or prayer for this family, you are welcome to leave a comment below and I will make sure that they get them. Thank you all again so much and God bless!

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Update: Garets parents said that yesterday was very rough for him. Due to the surgery, he was sick most of the day. Please help us pray that God will bring peace, comfort, and rest to this little boys body.

Next week Garet and his family will meet with the tumor board to see what kind of cancer he has. The doctors said they have never seen it before. We serve a mighty God! We know that He is the great physician, and He is not puzzled or surprised, His plan is perfect.

Thank you all for praying over this family with me. Please continue to hold them up in prayer. I will update as I get more information.

God bless you.

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ORIGINAL POST:

Dear Friends,

I would like to ask you to join me in praying for a little boy in our community named Garet. He is undergoing very extensive surgery today to remove a tumor on his brain. Please help me hold him, his family, and the doctors involved up in prayer today. We are trusting God in this situation. This family is a precious family in your community and I told them that I would be sharing this request with my readers. If you would like to leave them a message or comment, you are welcome to do that here and I will be more than happy to pass it along to them. Thank you in advance for your prayers. I believe that as fellow believers we are called to lift each other up in prayer.

God bless you all today!