Sailing Uncharted Territory


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 “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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When Words Can Not Be Found


 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

Romans 8:26

I am about to tell you something that may take you by surprise. Lately, I have not had much to say. I know, SHOCKING, right? Believe it or not, even “talkers” such as myself feel the need to be quiet from time to time. Yet, I am still amazed at the way God can take our silence and use it to minister to others.

Last night my husband and I were having a casual conversation about EFED and my lack of new posts recently. I began to explain to him that it takes a lot mentally and emotionally to write. Through some trials I have been facing I have found myself at a loss for words. I continued to explain that I have searched for the words to share, however, I have not been able to escape the inadequacy that I have felt in trying to pass along words of encouragement while my heart was so torn.

In the process of that conversation, it was as if God whispered to my heart, “Share that.” God has been whispering to my heart a lot lately. Or, maybe it is just that I have been listening extra carefully. However, in that moment I realized that even our silence can be used to encourage others.

The verse I chose for today is very dear to my heart. Recently I have found myself in a place where I am unsure how to pray. You see, even in my prayer life I am finding myself at a loss for words. The devil has tried to use this situation to silence me, but oh the comfort my soul feels when I read the words, “but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Through my trial, God has helped me to realize that I am still precious to Him. He has helped me to see that even through my pain I can be used by God, and that even when I can not find the words to pray I can go to God, broken and silent. God does not need my words to know what I need. He can see my heart.

Friend, maybe you have found yourself here as well. Let me offer you some encouragement today. If your heart is breaking, if your soul is burdened, and if you find yourself at a loss for words, do not let the devil silence you. Use your trial to minister to others, and keep praying. God sees your heart. He knows your pain, and He will intercede for you with wordless groans.

There is Only One Way


“The Lord is merciful and gracious,Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.” Psalm 103:8-9

Friends, I feel the need to share something that has been on my heart. There is a trend going on among God’s people which disturbs me, and I feel the need to speak out about it.

First, let me say that I very much enjoy sharing words of encouragement with you. I feel this is what I am called to do. I try to share Scriptures that will cheer you on along your Christian journey. I share words of wisdom and stories from our lives that will encourage you and your family. I do my best to take Scripture and use it as a guide for your everyday life.

Next, I want to share my belief on what God wants for His children. I believe that God wants His children to be happy. He wants good things for us. I believe that God rejoices with us when we rejoice, and He hurts with us when we hurt. I believe that God wants to see His children enjoy life.

Here is the problem I am having. There are people out there right now who want to tell you things that simply are not true. While I do enjoy bringing you words of encouragement, I never want to lead you to believe that your life is always going to be easy and worry free. I do not want to fool you into thinking that if you have positive thoughts, your life will always go as planned. Friends, sadly this is not true.

Please do not think I am here to spread gloom and doom. That is not my intention. I do, however, feel that God has placed this on my heart today. I feel that just as I share encouraging words with you I must also share the serious words with you.

In the verse that I shared today, we read that God is merciful and gracious. He is slow to anger and full of mercy. God sent His Son to live on this earth for a season and then to die on the cross so that we might be saved. Yes, He loves us. He is merciful. Yes, He wants good for us.

There is something I want us to understand. Even thought we serve a God who is mighty and gracious and merciful, we are told in John 16:33, that we will face trials and tribulations on this earth. Friends, please do not believe the lie that if you will just think positively, then your life is going to be easy and trouble free. This is not true. We are told right here that we will face trouble. We do, however, find hope if we will continue on to the end of this verse. After we are warned that life is going to be difficult, we are then encouraged by these words, ” But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Within this statement we find the truth. It is not in our own positive thinking that we find hope, but in the assurance that we have a Savior who gave His life for us. In doing so He has conquered the world. This is where we find true, lasting hope.

There is one more misconception that I would like to discuss. This one, in my opinion, is not so obvious. The trouble I have in this matter is not so much that it has been twisted and misused, as it is that it simply has been left out altogether. I am talking about the judgement and the wrath of God.

Now, you may be saying, “But, I thought you were just talking about a loving God.” You would be correct. We do serve a loving God, but if you will continue reading today’s verse you will see that this day of mercy and grace will, at some point, come to an end.

We read in Psalm 103:9He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.” Friends, there is coming a day when God will say enough is enough. Please do not miss this very important part of the puzzle. Somehow we have gotten so caught up in the power of positive thinking and the blessings of God that we have forgotten about punishment for sin. Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” There is only one way to Heaven and it is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

You can be as positive as you want to be. You can think all the good thoughts that one mind can manage. You can be as good a person as you want to be. What I want you to understand today is that none of these things are going to keep you out of Hell.

I believe in having a positive attitude. I believe in being a good person. I believe that as Christians our lives should reflect Jesus and the love that He has for us. I encourage my kids every day to be positive. I encourage them to work hard and to be good people. What I make sure they understand though is that none of these things are going to save them from the punishment that sin brings, and none of them are going to get them into Heaven.

I understand that I may appear to be on my soapbox today, but I truly believe in my heart that these words need to be shared. I feel that I have been given the responsibility to share the truth with you. If that comes through encouragement, then that is what I want to share. If, like this morning, it comes as cold, hard facts, then I want to be faithful in sharing that as well.

I do have some encouragement for you this morning. God loves you. He does want good for your life. He sent His One and Only Son to die on the cross for your sins. He is, at this very moment, preparing a place for you when this life is over. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He did so as a gift to all of us. It is up to us to accept that gift and give our lives to Him. This gift is our only hope.

Friends, I want to see happiness and health in our lives. I do want us to be good people. I believe in being positive. But, I do not want us to believe the lie that these things are enough to keep us out of Hell. There is only one way to Heaven. I pray that you have chosen that way today.

I Am


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“And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.”

Exodus 3:14

This week I have been thinking a lot about all that God is to us. To some, God is simply a name. To others He is an all-powerful being that exists somewhere in space. Yet to others, He is simply a myth. If you are a Christian and you have a true relationship with God then you know that there is so much more to Him.

I love what God calls Himself in today’s verse: I Am That I Am.

Friends, this name covers so much. It should be an encouragement to us that no matter what we are facing, God will be what we need.

In life there are so many unknowns that we face each day, yet if you will listen closely to God’s voice you will hear him whisper, “I Am.”

When you are hurting, God whispers, “I am your healer.”- Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

When you are scared, God whispers, “I am comfort.”- 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

When you are lonely, God whispers, “I am near”- Deuteronomy 31:8: “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

When you are weary, God whispers, “I am your rest.”- Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

So often we search the world over looking for the answers to our problems, yet the entire time God is standing there saying, “I Am.” I pray today that no matter what you are needing you will seek God and all that He wants to be to you.

Are you Surviving or Thriving?


 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” 2 Peter 3:18

Have you ever received the response, “It is just one of those days,” from a friend after asking them if something is bothering them? Do you ever just have one of those days? I have to be honest and say that I have many of those days. As a wife, mom of three, volunteer teacher, and blogger, there are times in which, by the end of the day, I am spent. I feel as if I have given every ounce of myself to the world and I am empty. I come in from a long day and say, “Thank God, I survived.”

Have you ever responded, “I survived,” when asked how you did in a particular situation?  I can remember times in the past in which our children would have to do a task that seemed very difficult to them. They would come to us when it was complete and we would jokingly ask them, “Did you survive?”

So many times in life we find ourselves in this same place. We simply survive each day.

How many days do you go through just surviving? The end of the day comes and you say to yourself, “Whew, I made it!”

These are the times when I find it most comforting to pour my heart out to God. I know that I can go to Him in prayer and He will give me the rest that I am seeking. As I allow Him to speak to my heart I am reminded that God wants more for my life.

This song that I shared this morning is very special to me. The first time I heard it was at a revival service that was held at our church. I remember how I felt when I heard the words, ” We were made to more than just survive. We were made to thrive” Wow, what a sweet message that was from God! I realized in that moment that I was not thriving as I should. I realized that I was simply surviving every day.

I am in no way saying that we will never get tired and weary. I believe that God understands our human limitations. Jesus himself ,while he was on this earth, had to take time to rest. I do believe, however, that God wants to give us that rest we need. He offers it to us daily. It is up to us to allow Him to meet that need. As we go to God, seeking what we need, we will find that He also gives us the strength not just to survive this world, but to thrive in it.

You see friends, God did not put us on this earth to simply survive every day. He put us here so that we can thrive. God wants to see us succeed. He wants to help us learn, grow, and daily become more like Him. God made us to be ministers for Him. He created us as lights through which His love can shine. We can not do this if we are only surviving.

As a parent, I want nothing more for my children than to see them thrive in life. I do not want to see them struggle and just survive through every day. We are God’s children. I believe that He wants the same thing for each of us.

My prayer today is that we will thrive as Christians. I pray that we will allow God to minister to our hearts and give us the strength that we need. As we allow God to work in our lives, we will find that we have what we need in order to do His will every day.

The question I would like to leave you with today is this: “Are you going to simply survive, or are you going to thrive?”