Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The more my life goes on, I feel more like I am not someone who is qualified to give advise on life. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. I am a single mom of four who works full time and end most of my days with the urge to burst out in tears because I feel like I am being pulled in so many different directions. Wake up, hit snooze, wake up again, breakfast, bring kids to school, work out, take a shower, go to work, come home, dinner, clean up, homework, bath, brush teeth, read, and sleep; day in and day out this is my routine. Many of those things ×4 because I have 4 kids. Sounds fun, right? My kids argue and bicker like normal kids do. They try to get out of brushing their teeth or taking a bath or homework, and I make them do it (usually), or let it slide because I am too tired to argue. Through all of this, I have learned how important it is to stay close to my Father. I have days where I want to run away as far as I can get from this life.  I love my kids, but it is hard. And stressful. The times I cling to my Father, my life falls into place. He has ordered my steps. He gives me wisdom when I don't know how to get through another day. He provides everything I need. My van was on the verge of going kaput,  and he provided the perfect vehicle for what I need. Every week, he brings clients to my job so that I can bring home a paycheck to provide money to pay my bills. He forgives me when I want to run and puts his arms around me so that I can feel refreshed and ready for another day. He makes me feel complete on the days I feel lonely and wish I had a partner to share life with. I am not perfect and I do not have anything close to a perfect life, but I am so very blessed.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hulk Mom

Yesterday I had a rough day. It really should have been pretty simple, but because of the chaos of school starting, my day was rather complicated. I just moved and I am signing my kids up for school. Since they have never gone to school in my parish (the word parish is Louisianan for county, for those of you who don't live here),  and since they have been homeschooled all of their school career, it wasn't as simple as a normal kid signing up for school. I started out on the phone, calling one person then the next, leaving voice mail messages and not really getting anywhere. So I decided to go up to the schools where I am signing the kids up respectively. I went from one desk to another, drove across town, didn't get the answer, but was sent to another place. I drove  across town again only to find that the person I needed to talk to was out for the day.

I am so thankful I started the morning in prayer, because God's grace kept me from saying the things I wanted to say to the people behind each desk I visited! That has got to be some Holy Spirit fruit, because this girl can become the hulk in stressful situations like this, especially when it comes to my kids!!

I know God has a plan for each one of my kids and it was that thought that gave me peace. This moment of running around like a crazy person could ruin my day or it could bring a moment of peace to each person behind a desk who has to talk to hundreds of crazy, stressed out parents every day.

This verse I read this morning in 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 really spoke to me.

 You should think of us as Christ's servants, who have been put in charge of God's secret truths. The one thing required of such servants is that they be faithful to their master. Now, I am not at all concerned about being judged by you or by any human standard; I don't even pass judgment on myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not prove that I am really innocent. The Lord is the one who passes judgment on me. So you should not pass judgment on anyone before the right time comes. Final judgment must wait until the Lord comes; he will bring to light the dark secrets and expose the hidden purposes of people's minds. And then all will receive from God the praise they deserve.

Days like yesterday are the days that we have in our lives that really test us. We all have trying days that push us to the limits of our patience. That is when our true nature is exposed.This verse both excited me and scared me at the same time. It made me think back on yesterday and wonder if my thoughts would have made God happy. It's not just what people see, but our deepest darkest thoughts that God judges. It's easy to look composed, like everything in your life is put together. But what is going on in that little noggin of yours? What do you think about when you are pushed to the limits of your sanity? I am re-training my brain to be thankful and grateful of the good things in my life instead of focusing on all the bad things that come along. Just to be honest, that does not come easy for me. 

When the man behind the desk at the school board office  looked at me and said I had to drive back across town to the school where my 12 year old will be attending, do you think I had nothing but happy, thankful thoughts?? 

Yeah, well... it's a work in progress, but Praise God, He is transforming me! Getting into Gods word and spending time in prayer changes my focus and allows me to put my trust in Him. If he can do it for me, just a normal average mom, he can do it for you! He loves you and wants a relationship with you. Take the time to get close to him and His presence will stick with you. I promise you on that!! 

***Not sure why all of this is highlighted.. tried to fix it.. couldn't.. sorry!! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Wonder Woman Christian??

I have been very inconsistent about posting on here. Very sorry for that. My life has been very inconsistent so I guess that inconsistency is oozing into every aspect of my life. I am craving normalcy and structure. I am trying to clean up the ooze and live a nice boring life with minimal surprises for at least a little while. With 4 kids, I'm not expecting that to last, but a girl can dream, right?!?

I want to talk about transformation. I feel like I could go about this the lazy way and just say, "READ YOUR BIBLE." Then end the blog right there and go along my merry way.  But as much truth is in that one statement, I feel as though I need to tell you about how I have been transformed by taking time daily to read God's word.

My New Year's resolution this year was to read through the entire Bible in a year. I signed up for daily emails that send me the Bible passages from the Old and New Testaments, and from Psalms and Proverbs. I just click it open and read the passage for the day. I love it because I actually stuck with it more than I would in an actual Bible. I don't know why, I just do, ok? Don't judge me!!

I can't say that I started out perfect. There were many days I neglected my reading at first. I mean, it was a New Year's resolution. Who really sticks to it like they think they are?!?  But one day I realized that i just need to make that a priority.  If I can't just read one email every day how can I expect a relationship with God? So I decided that no matter what, I would wake up a little early and no matter how I feel I will read my Bible passage for that day.

I wish I could say that it has turned me into this Wonder Woman Christian who has figured out how to solve world hunger and end all trouble for all time, but that's not what happened. What did happen was that I became humbled. Which is exactly what I needed. I realized how desperately I need God and His Grace. I realized how God fights battles for those who make him a priority and serve him. I can't brag on myself, but on how God has changed me from the inside out.

God has walked me through the past seven months of being a single mom.  He has given me wisdom to forgive the people who have hurt me (I am still working on mastering this forgiveness thing, but its a start).  He has been my soul mate, my comforter, my best friend, my provider, my safe place. I am so excited to see what He will do for the next five months of this year!

So I encourage you, "READ YOUR BIBLE!!"

I can't wait to see what God does in your life!!!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hope Deferred Makes the Heart Sick

The title of today's blog is a verse that I read years ago,  Proverbs 13:12:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (biblegateway.com)

This verse really jumped out at me when I read it because that was exactly how I felt at the time. I was heart sick. And not just a minor little cold, either. My heart had the flu. I think my heart is still a little feverish, although I am now on the mend. 

To get a fuller understanding of this verse, I looked up the meaning of the word deferred on Google. 

past tense: deferred; past participle: deferred
  1. put off (an action or event) to a later time; postpone.

    "they deferred the decision until February"

    synonyms:postponeput off, delayhold over, hold off (on), put back; More
    shelvesuspendstayput over, table;
    informalput on ice, put on the back burner, back-burnerput in cold storage,mothball

First of all, I must point out how hilarious the synonym "mothball" is to me. It makes me picture my heart tucked away in a ceder chest packed in mothballs for another day.  

But, the word that I think is most accurate is the word "postpone."   There are things that I have hoped and prayed for that I have not seen an answer to. In fact, the more I prayed for certian things, it seemed that the answer I was looking for was pulled further and further out of my grasp. It seemed to me that instead of being "postponed," my dreams were crushed and placed into a casket, then buried six feet under. My hope was completely destroyed. 

I had a bit of an emotional breakdown a year ago December. That is the day I realized my marriage was truly over. I had prayed practically every day for years for it to work out. I had many nights that I just laid in bed and cried, asking God to please fix what was broken. But now I am getting a divorce. I won't go into every detail of what happened for privacy sake. I do need to keep some parts of my life to myself. But, now he is living in Texas and the kids and I are here in Louisiana. 

How's that for an answered prayer. I was angry at God for a long time. God let me down, I'd thought. 

Lately, over the past few months, I have been working on building back the relationship with my Lord, and it has been a difficult journey, but so very worth it. I prayed and was honest with Him about how I felt. I told him I was angry and that I didn't understand why things worked out the way they did.  I cried and He surrounded me with His presence. 

Then last night at church, our children's pastor, Dana, taught in the regular Wednesday night adults service. She touched my heart. Deep. Like the lying on the floor crying at the end of service type of deep. And it wasn't just a few little tears. This was a real, snot pouring out of my nose, ugly cry. The kind of cry that made my kids ask me why I looked funny when I picked them up out of their class after church. 

The passage that Pastor Dana spoke about was Mark 5:21-43, which is the story where Jesus heals the woman with the issue of blood while he is on the way to heal 12 year old girl who is dying. Jarius, the girl's father came to Jesus, begging him to come visit his daughter so that she could be healed. Jarius witnessed Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood and in that moment, his faith that Jesus could heal his daughter was confirmed. However, the in the next moment, Jarius received word that his daughter had already died. This news crushed him and stole his hope away. Hope. There's that word again.

David was very familiar with hopelessness and wrote about it in Psalm 142. King Saul went quite insane and tried to kill David. David had to hide in caves for I'm not sure how long, but I know that if it was me, I would begin to lose hope that I would ever live in civilization again. Samuel had told David when he was a young boy that he would grow up to be king of Israel one day. Living in caves is about the farthest thing from living in a castle that you can experience. David cried out to God and never lost faith in Him, but his hope grew thin. God eventually restored his promise to David, but the guy had to go through a lot to get there.

Anyways, back to this Jarius guy. Jesus overheard someone from Jarius's house telling him to forget about bringing Jesus, that there was no hope now that the girl is dead. So Jesus cuts in and tells Jarius, "Do not be afraid, only believe."  Jesus leads Jarius and his crew back to their home and tells the crowd not to worry, that the girl is only asleep. This actually gets a few laughs from the greiving household. True to his word, Jesus raises the girl from the dead back to life, and Jarius's hope is restored, as well as his daughter's life, and his family. So many things are restored by this one girl coming back to life.

Pastor Dana went on to tell us that Jesus himself has experienced hopelessness and lonliness. When Judas betrayed him and Jesus was arrested, his own disciples abandoned him. Then when he was hanging on the cross, he experienced the feeling of his own Heavenly Father turning away from him, removing his spirit from him. That right there is what got me. Cut me down to the core. I am not alone. My Jesus has felt as lonely and hopeless and I have in my own life. He understands and can comfort me because he knows what it is like first hand. Jesus is my hope. He is here and he is Hope. 

Things in life may seem hopeless, but don't lose faith. Hold on to Him and He will bring you through it. It may not feel like it sometimes, but don't trust your feelings and emotions. This is something I have to remind myself quite often. Trust in Jesus rather than emotions and you will be placed on a straight path. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. That means that it does take work to have a relationship with him, but he will give you the strength that you need to keep going. Take heart, My Love. You will make it. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Yesterday I wrote about sin and today my reading in Psalm is about forgiveness! Isn't God so good!! 

Psalm 32

Of David. A maskil.[a]

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.[b]
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
    which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
    or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
    but the Lord’s unfailing love
    surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lowdown Dirty Sinner

Matthew 26:14-46

14 At that, one of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests.
Judas Iscariot: 15 What will you give me to turn Him over to you?
They offered him 30 pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment, he began to watch for a chance to betray Jesus.

Judas watched for a chance to betray Jesus. For some reason, this verse really jumped out at me today and got me thinking. I guess in the past I felt a little bit sorry for Judas, the disciple who fell into temptation and was responsible for the death of the Savior. I kind of had a picture in my mind if the pharasees coming to him and tempting him with money. Now, I am not a Bible scholar by any neans, so I may be wrong in my assumption here, but today when I read this verse I realized that the betrayal of Judas was very premeditated. He went to the Chief priests and watched for the perfect chance to hand Jesus over to them so that Judas could earn himself some money. Yeah, I am starting to feel less sorry for the guy.  Like, not sorry at all. A little disgusted, really. 

But then, I have done things which have not honored God. Every time I sin, I am just as guilty as Judas. I have done things that i knew were wrong, and I even told God in prayer that I knew they were wrong, but I did them anyway. I premeditated my sin Just as Judas premeditated the betrayal. That is so low and dirty. That is who I am. A lowdown dirty sinner. I don't deserve a single blessing. 

But Jesus. 

For some strange reason, Jesus still loves me. I am not sure why. I have treated him like dirt many times in my life. But he still welcomes me with open arms when I come to him. When I pray and thank him for the blessings he has given me, I still feel his presence wash over me. 

Judas felt horrible for what he had done, and unfortunately he made a choice to end his life, but I think Jesus would have forgiven him. Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins and Judas was the tool that God used, and I truly don't think he would have done of it he would have known it would have resulted in the death of Jesus. 

If you are a lowdown dirty sinner, Jesus still loves you and wants to welcome you with open arms. All you have to do is ask. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Like a Child

biblegateway.com sends me an email every day with verses from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. It is the plan that allows you to read the entire Bible in a year. I have been a Christian almost my entire life and I am ashamed to say I have never read through the entire Bible. I have started other reading plans many times over the course of my lifetime, but have never successfully finished because I would forget to read for a few days, then try to go catch up and get discouraged. I like biblegateway.com because all of the verses are laid out for you in one place.

No, this is not a commercial, I do not get any money for endorsing their website. I just really like it. I have decided that this year, I am going to take control over this area of my life and make it happen. I have created a better morning schedule for myself so that I have time to read my daily Bible readings.

Another reason I have fallen behind in my reading in the past is that I get bogged down in the sections of the old testament that I either don't understand or that are just plain boring. Now, I know that doesn't sound very spiritual, but yes, I will admit that some parts of the Bible bore me to tears. So for these sections of the Bible, I am going to still read through them, but I am going to keep my expectations low. I may not understand them now, but I am hoping that if I keep reading that it will sink into my dense little brain at least a little bit.

Please don't get me wrong, I love to read the Bible and there are so many places of the Bible that have spoken to me and that I have learned so much from! But, there is still so much that I really dont get.

As my own kids are learning how to read, they don't always understand every book they read, but I encourage them to keep reading books so that they will gradually get better at it and gain more understanding by pressing on. I am treating myself as a child learning to read. I may not understand everything I read, but if I am diligent in the practice of daily Bible reading, over time more of it will hopefully make sense. If God can perform many amazing miracles, then He surely can allow me to have more understanding of His word. That will truly be a miracle in my life!!

I really don't have any particular reason for writing all of this, other than to just get my thoughts out and share them. I am hoping that this encourages at least one person to read their Bible. It really is an amazing book. I am planning on making my blog into a sort of commentary of what I read every day and what God is teaching me through it. I learn best by writing about what I read, and hopefully it will encourage someone in the process. It will be like reading my own personal journal!