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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One for the Ladies


bible and ring

  An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:10-12

Okay ladies, this one is for us. Many times what I write is very general and can be enjoyed be everyone. Today, however, I feel the need to have a good heart to heart with you.

How many of you had no idea what you were doing when you got married? Go ahead, you can raise your hand. I know I am raising mine. When I married my husband 13 years ago, I was so love struck and young. From the time I was a little girl I had dreamed of finding the man of my dreams, getting married, and having babies of my own. I would imagine that most little girls do this. This in and of itself was not a mistake. Where I messed up was when I did not stop to consider what each of those positions would require from me. I did not take the time to prepare myself for the task ahead.

Most of the time, when trying something for the first time, we take the time to prepare and make sure we are equipped for the task at hand. If you are going to run a marathon do you wait until the day of the race to find running shoes and begin to run? No! That would be crazy. You start months, maybe even years, in advance and train. You begin small and run short distances. You train and practice for the big race to come. If you are going to cook a meal, do you just walk in the kitchen and begin to cook? No. You prepare. You first decide what you are going to cook and then you find a recipe for it. You make sure you have all the ingredients. You get everything in order and you follow your recipe.

Why then do we as young women believe that we can just jump into marriage without being prepared?

When I married my husband I am sad to admit that I did not pray about it first. I did not seek God’s will for my life. I did not search my Bible to find out what kind of woman God wanted me to be. Somehow I fooled myself into thinking that I had it all figured out.  I would be a natural, just like June Clever. How hard could it be? I would cook, and clean. I would eventually have a few children. Life would be perfect. It did not take me long to realize that I was wrong.  I had no idea what it meant to be a submissive wife, or what it meant to let my husband be the head of our household. I had no idea how to make the day-to-day decisions that came with being a wife. On top of that, we decided to start a family right away. Within nine months of marriage, I was already a new mom. So, not only was I trying to be the perfect wife, even though I had no idea what that meant, but I was also now trying to be the perfect mom. Can I just tell you that I was headed for disaster?

It took me quite a few years of struggling to be June Clever before I realized that I was failing miserably. What was I doing wrong? All those years as a little girl, I had dreamed of this day and now that it was finally here I was a wreck. Why? Because I had not prepared. Sure, my mom had taught me to cook and clean. She had taught me how to carry a baby on my hip while shopping for groceries. Looking back, she had even tried to warn me about getting married before I was ready, before I had searched for God’s will for my life. But, I was young and did not realize the wisdom in her words until much later in life.

So, when did things begin to get better for our family? It was when I submitted my life to God and admitted that I was not June Clever. Our marriage began to improve when I committed to being that submissive wife that God wanted me to be. Our lives began to improve the day I realized that I needed to trust my husband and let him step up as the man of our household. Our whole life together changed the day that I committed to pray for my marriage, my husband, and our children every day. You see, I put my priorities in order. I allowed God to show me what it meant to be a Godly wife and mother. I allowed God to teach me that I did not need to be June Clever to be a good woman. God taught me, through His word, that He had equipped me with all the things I needed to be a good wife, mother, and woman. When I messed up was when I tried to do it on my own.

Do we still have our struggles? Yes. Do I still mess up on a daily basis as a mom and a wife? Yes. But, God is faithful in extending his grace and mercy to me every day. With God’s help I am learning what it means to be the woman He wants me to be. It is my desire every day to be more like the woman I read about in Proverbs 31, and less like the women I see on television.

Ladies, let me encourage you today. Whether you are preparing for marriage or have been married for fifty years, God wants to help you grow. He wants to teach you what it means to be a submissive wife. God wants to teach you to be that precious jewel in the life of the man who God has planned for you.

To you ladies who are not yet married, I want to encourage you to take the time to seek God first in your life. Allow God to lead you to the man who you are to marry, and then take the time to prepare for that marriage. Take the time to read your Bible and find out what kind of woman God wants you to be. Learn what it means to be a submissive wife. Learn what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

To the lady who can, in agreement, nod her head and say, “Yes, I have learned that too,” I want to say to you, “Good job.” You are well on your way to being the woman God wants you to be. Stay committed to Him and His word. Cover your family and your marriage in prayer daily. God wants to bless your family and He will, if you will seek Him in all that you do.

To the lady that may be reading this thinking that this can never happen in your marriage and in your life, let me reassure you that it absolutely can. No marriage is too far gone that God can not mend it. No family is too torn apart that God can not put the pieces back together. I want to encourage you to commit to pray for your family every day. Seek God first, and ask Him to help you become the woman He intended for you to be. Ask God to bless your family and to mend the broken pieces. Yes, it is going to take some work, but God is faithful. He will mend the broken pieces and He can help your marriage and your family to grow if you will allow it.

Seeking Direction


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“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”

Proverbs 4:26

This week I have been “Pondering my path.” I have been dreaming; exploring my options for the future. What started out as a seemingly exciting adventure has quickly turned into a scary, uncertain road.

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever set out for what looked like a fun, exciting time, but quickly you realized that you were lost and needed some guidance?

My children and I went for a walk last week and I captured the above photo. Both my sons and I were captivated by the scene of open space and seemingly endless opportunity. As we surveyed the land, my children began to talk about how much fun it would be to set out walking and see where it took us. I can only imagine how far they would get before they turned around in search of the safety of home.

As I look at this picture, I think about my life and how many times I have thought the same thing.

I am a self-admitted dreamer. I have been since I was a child. I look out at life and I want to run off into the sunset and see where it takes me.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a nice, big house with a big front yard, a loving husband and children running around  calling me “Mommy.”

As a teenager in high-school I dreamed of going to college and getting my PhD in Psychology and becoming  “Dr. So-and-so.”

After I got married and my two oldest children were in school, I found myself lost, seeking direction. Please do not misunderstand me, I love being a wife and a mom, but with the decision to have children and not go to college came the reality that some of my dreams were going to look a little different from those I had as a child.

After some much-needed soul-searching and praying, I realized that God was working my dreams out in his own time. I had a nice home, I had a loving husband, and I had not one, not two, but three little children calling me “Mommy.”

When my youngest was about to start school I felt God calling me to volunteer at the Christian school my children attend. I can not begin to tell you the blessings that God has provided through that opportunity. I get to be with my own children each day while also ministering to many other children as well.

A few months ago, I felt God calling me to start this blog. I have always been told that I had the heart of a counselor, and to have the opportunity to help and encourage other people was something that I longed to do. I may not have a PhD behind my name, but I know I am where God has called me to be. I pray every day that I can be a blessing to those I come in contact with here.

My life right now feels like this vast open scene. My heart wants to take off running into the scenery, but I know I must trust God’s plan. This week I have realized that I need to wait for Him to lead. Yes,I will always be a dreamer. I still have dreams that I would like to pursue in the future, but I will not move until God tells me that it is time.

Just as my children would not make it very far venturing out into the great unknown by themselves, I too realize that without God leading, any dream I pursue, and any adventure I take will only leave me longing for home, for the comfort that can only come from being in the center of God’s will.

I believe that God is not finished with me yet. I believe that He still has great plans for my life. I want to listen for His voice, wait for His guidance, and to trust His results. I know that if I will do this, I will be successful in whatever it is that God has planned for my life.

Maybe you have found yourself in a similar place in life. Please, let me encourage you today:

If you have found yourself longing to run on ahead, I want to encourage you to wait on God. Do not stay behind when He tells you to move, but do not run ahead of the place He has called you to be.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us:

  “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.”

Trust God today, friend. He has great plans for your life.

God bless you.

Motivational Monday: Being a Friend


Friendship

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.

But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone,

two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Hello friend, how are you?

Is there something I can help you pray about today?

Do you need to talk?

Do you have a burden I can help you bear?

I am here if you need me.

I am praying for you.

All of these are things that I would say to a friend, yet as I read them back I have to stop and ask myself if I say them often enough. So many times I get lost in my own little world and I forget to be a friend.

I was working alongside a friend this weekend, and she made the comment that what we were doing was good for her. Lost in my own thoughts I responded, “Me too, I needed to get out and work some,” not ever catching the true meaning of her statement. She was struggling, bogged down by some troubles in her life. What she meant was that she needed that time to refresh her spirit and her mind. Lost in my own little world, I was thinking about needing the physical labor to work my body, and I missed that opportunity to minister to a friend in need. At that moment I realized that I had not been a very good friend to someone so dear to my heart. I had gotten so lost in my own life that I had failed to take even a moment and see how she was doing.

So many times we get so lost in our own little world, in our own mind, and in our own problems that we forget to look around us and see who may be needing a friend. Sometimes all they need is a smile and a pat on the back. Sometimes they may need a hug and to hear you say, “I am praying for you.” Sometimes they just need someone who cares, someone who will listen to them for a moment.

Yesterday I had a chance to sit and visit with my mom. As we sat and watched the kids play, she looked at me and said, “How are you?”

It seems like such a small question, but what she really meant was :

I care about you.

I am here if you need me.

I am praying for you.

I care about what you are going through.

You see, when we take the time to be a friend we open up many doors. We can open up the door of hope, encouragement, ministry, and even healing.

I encourage you to take the time to be a friend. Look up from  your own troubles and see the needs of those around you. Let the ones you love know that you do care about what they are going through. Sometimes all they need is for you to ask, “How are you, friend?”

I want to be a friend to you today. I want you to know that I care about what you are going though.

I pray today that those who read this will be encouraged. Whatever trouble you are facing today, God is there. If there is uncertainty in your life, God already has the answer. If you are facing what seems like an impossible situation, God wants to turn it into a “Him-possible” situation.

Can I pray for you today? If there is a need in your life today I would love to pray about it with you. You can leave a comment here, or if it is something you can not voice aloud please just post it as unspoken. God knows what the need is even if I do not.

In closing, let me ask you today, “How are you, friend?”

A Proverbs 31 woman


Today I am spending a much-needed girls day with my mama.Proverbs-31-25-web

I have been thinking about what I wanted to share with you today. As I was sitting and visiting with my precious mama I realized what I wanted to share.

Have you ever heard of a Proverbs 31 woman? I feel that I have been blessed with a mother who possesses these qualities, and I would like to honor her today by talking about some of my favorite qualities that come from this Scripture.

PROVERBS 31:25-31

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

mother   Growing up under the love and care of my mom was a blessing that I could not fully appreciate until I was grown and out on my own. As I got older and began to have my own children, I realized all the sacrifices that my mom had made over the years. The verses I listed above are some of my favorite qualities that I feel she possesses. I pray as my children grow that I can show them the same love and care that she has shown us over the years.

I feel as women we have big shoes to feel. I also feel that God has given us such verse as these to guide us along the way.

I pray that you have someone in your life that has shown these same qualities to you. I also pray that we will pass these qualities on to the people around us. Let us strive every day to be Proverbs 31 women.

Have you  been blessed with a Proverbs 31 woman in your life? I encourage you to take time today to say, “Thank You” and to let them know just how much they mean to you.