Today, I’m thankful I serve a God who knows when my heart is burdened. He knows my thoughts without me saying a word. He knows my heart without an explanation. He knows my hurt when the tears are hidden from view. I’m thankful for the peace that He spoke to my troubled heart this morning! Lord, I’m so thankful! I’m thankful for His love and that everywhere I’ve turned today, His message was there to remind me! Thank you Lord for loving me when I’m a mess, when I feel the world is against me, and I am struggling to be strong. You are GOOD and I am thankful! He knows YOUR heart too. TALK TO HIM TODAY…HE CARES…AND HE’S LISTENING! GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” PSALM 34:17-19
You pull into the parking lot on 2 wheels, while gently ushering (who am I kidding, you’re flat out yelling right now) at your kids to get their shoes back on, to stop poking one another, and to quit wiping their snot on the clothes you spent 30 minutes digging out of Mt. Clothesoovious, that sprung to life in your bedroom 2 weeks ago that you’ve yet found the time or energy to tackle,( don’t even get me started on finding a matching pair of socks ) and you threaten their mere existence if they unbuckle ONE more time before your van stops moving completely. Church started 10 minutes ago and time is ticking. You frantically jump out after throwing your van into park, heart racing, sweat dripping (you remember the extra strength deodorant you bought sitting on the bathroom counter (that you forgot to put on) because everyone suddenly was unable to blink on their own and needed you to do it FOR them simultaneously). You find some auto fabric freshener and decide its better than nothing and douse yourself with “New Car Scent”. You begin unbuckling car seats, reviewing manners and behavior expectations while herding the small army you and your husband created towards the church doors. You’re almost there! A-L-M-O-S-T! You reach for your purse/diaper/mom bag, but you can’t find it. You jump back in the van and start digging through the 4 inches of french fries and Goldfish crackers covering the floor. You suddenly remember it’s sitting by the bathroom door, where you left it, when you’re family decided they wanted to try for the Olympic gold medal for synchronized pooping when it was time to walk out the door. You feel that frustration start rising. The tears start welling up. While stepping out of the van you snag your sweater and it rips. Last straw level…reached. Your sweet, loving, kindhearted, good intentioned husband asks you if you’re okay and with one deep “Big Bad Wolf” inhalation, you recap your entire morning, while tears start rolling down your cheeks and you answer with a snarky, “Oh I’m FINE! JUST FINE!”. He looks at you like a deer paralyzed looking into oncoming traffic, afraid that if he moves the wrong way, he WILL die. Satan starts telling you what a terrible mom and wife you are. He fills your head with mom-guilt (your kids are going to hate you and move out on their own by the age of 6 because you’re a terrible human being) He tells you…look at you, all of these other moms have it together…you don’t see them pulling in here, hysterical and smelling like an air freshener hanging from their rearview mirror. You wipe the mascara off your cheeks (remembering you should have got waterproof) and then… here it comes…PSALM 42:11
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
REVELATION! When I allow myself to get caught up in the rush, in the chaos, in the trivial things of this world and I take my eyes and focus off of the important things of God…I land myself in an overwhelmed and exhausted mess, EVERYTIME. I need to focus on my relationship with my Savior and draw my strength and joy from HIM! I have to turn my worries into worship and transform my anxieties into praises for HIM! My hope is in the LORD! NO ONE, NOT A SINGLE PERSON, “has it all together”, but GREATER IS HE LIVING IN ME, THAN HE THAT IS IN THIS WORLD. (JOHN 4:4) We ALL struggle but how we choose to handle it makes the difference. ❤ Make an effort to praise HIM through your struggles today. God loves you and I do to!
Have you ever seen an angry chicken? (I’m from WV) 🐔😱 A puffed up, flappin’ and squawkin’ around, utterly irate chicken? This morning my feathers got ruffled…and nearly plucked out! The more I pondered and stewed over my thoughts, the angrier I got. The angrier I got, the more my actions began to embody that poor aforementioned chicken. 😤 The enemy kept trying to pour salt in my open wounds. My mind swirled with thought after thought ,nothing in particular even, but more like a compilation of all of the hurts I had buried deep down inside and decided for whatever reason I didn’t need to actually face and deal with it at the time, and he just kept pouring gasoline on the open fire…it was quickly reaching wildfire status. As an introvert who very quickly became an expert at building fortified walls to protect myself, I hold a lot in. I push unpleasant things back, falsely telling myself “Out of sight, and out of mind”. Eventually my reservoir for unwanted feelings and emotions, becomes full and uncontrollably spills out. I come unglued, I pop my top…whichever catch phrase you prefer…I’m a HOT MESS for a minute ( my poor husband, he is honestly one of the most loving, kind, forgiving, and patient men on the face of the Earth and I’m so blessed to have him ❤ I KNOW dealing with me isn’t easy at times ) 😖 Through my tears this morning, the Holy Spirit fell like rain and extinguished the raging flames of anger that were burning inside of me. YEARS of anger. He picked me up out of the smoldering ashes and He brought comfort to my soul. The first true PEACE I’ve felt in a LONG time. He brought conviction upon me for my prideful anger and behavior. He reminded me of God’s love for me and that I don’t have to carry these burdens around. I was never meant to! ” Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” PSALM 55:22 Strongholds in our lives can be hard to break. Walls we have built can be difficult to tear down, but they can be overcome through Christ Jesus! I don’t have to build walls to protect MYSELF, BECAUSE I AM SAFE IN HIM! “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” PROVERBS 18:10
❤ GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Ahhhh…sweet summertime. Here it is again! Schools are out of session, air conditioners are running, swimming pools are open, the smell of tanning lotion fills the air, and slumber parties and family vacations are in full swing. Pass me some pina colada please people! 😉 As a year round homeschooling family, our schedule differs slightly from the mainstream population. The beginning of summertime means it’s also assessment time! Our state requires a yearly assessment to be completed for each child. There are a few options to choose from, but we usually opt for an annual homeschool portfolio which showcases the child’s work from throughout the entire year for a review. As I started compiling papers, projects, pictures, and reports from this past year, I had such a rush of emotions. The memories associated with each assignment, the progress we have made from the beginning of the year, all the laughs AND even the tears, that we have experienced this year…WOW, what a year! I started pondering on all of the changes that have occurred in our lives just over the past year. Change doesn’t come easily for me…it never has. A year ago, I could have never imagined all of the changes, all of the experiences, we would have encountered by this point in our lives… love and loss, joy and sadness, sickness and health, life and death, days of ease and days of struggle,lots of laughs and tons of tears. God has placed some amazing people in our lives while he has helped us say goodbye to others this year and we have had to learn some pretty hard lessons along the way. Through all of these changes, all of these various “seasons” of our life, there is one thing that has remained constant… GOD HAS BEEN WITH US EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. HE HAS NEVER LEFT OUR SIDE! HIS LOVE FOR US IS UNCHANGING. Regardless of our circumstances, God has worked them ALL for our GOOD as He promised He would do in His Word. (ROMANS 8:28) So here’s to CHANGE! Here’s to GROWING! Here’s to TOMORROW that will never be like today! Here’s to new SEASONS in our life. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, BUT I know the one who holds my tomorrow. Let’s embrace the change God has brought to your life. His plans for us are good! (JEREMIAH 29:11) GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8)
Why is it easier for us to find flaws in others than for us to call out their strengths? Why is it that we can so easily dish out harsh criticisms but find ourselves falling short with words of loving concern? Why is it that we can effortlessly tear down but we struggle to build up? We have been called by God to LOVE, so why is it so hard to do sometimes? We’ve all done it unfortunately…sometimes before we even realize that our sinful flesh has taken over our thoughts or words. It might be difficult to admit, but the way we treat others speaks volumes about the position of OUR OWN hearts. OUCH…I stepped on my OWN toes there too. 😉 “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” JAMES 3:9-10 Every day we have to make a choice…are we going to be a BUILDER or a DESTROYER? Are we going to use our words to ENCOURAGE and UPLIFT others (THESSALONIANS 5:11) or allow our words to DISCOURAGE and HURT them? I want to be a BUILDER!Today, I challenge you! I challenge YOU to BUILD TOO! Extend the same GRACE and LOVE to others that God so willingly extends to you. BUILD SOMEONE UP TODAY! GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO! ❤
Are you feeling tired today momma? Are you drained, exhausted, depleted, and overwhelmed? Oh geez, I am right there with you! A nasty stomach virus took up residence in our house this week with a serious vendetta against the GI tract. (In less picturesque words, I have cleaned up an UNFATHOMABLE amount of poop from my 6 children) EWWWWW An annoying headache (my eyeballs have a heartbeat) has taunted me all day. While on a business call this morning, my 2 and 3 year old successfully recreated a “Moses parting the Red Sea” rendition in our bathroom that would leave Charlton Heston in utter awe and disbelief. I gathered up all of the wet towels and carried them to the laundry room where I defeatedly tossed them onto the gargantuan mound of dirty laundry that has accumulated since the Bubonic Poop Plague has hit our home. Yeah, I was feeling pretty discouraged by this point. I plopped down in the living room chair, apparently unable to conceal the myriad of emotions coursing over me, when one of my little ones crawled into my lap. She started patting me while telling me “It’s okay momma. Don’t worry”. As I reach out to hug her sweet little neck, she peeled a slobbery, half eaten, gummy worm off of my elbow…and then the tears came…a lot of them. “Lord, I need your help! I’m running on empty and I don’t know if I can do it all! I need you!”
Then, He sends His word to comfort my heart … (ISAIAH 40:11) “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
The mental image of this scripture just in itself is so powerful and comforting! Just knowing I’m being HELD, PROTECTED, LOVED, and CARED for by my Savior… This mom thing is HARD! MOMMIN’ SURE AIN’T EASY, I dont have to worry because I AM HIS! HE IS WITH ME! HE IS HOLDING ME! He will EQUIP AND HELP ME to handle this day. He’ll equip me for TOMORROW and the NEXT DAY TOO! He will do the SAME FOR YOU! Mommas, I know you’re tired, but don’t lose sight of what we are working for! We are raising these children for God! This season of fatigue and exhaustion wont last forever…but HIS LOVE FOR US WILL! GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
You warily begin to inch across the living room floor, making sure to keep your mind focused and aware. You pull out all of the stealthy ninja moves you’ve convinced yourself you have mastery over. All of your training (received entirely via watching the Karate Kid) comes into play now and the pressure is on. Your concealment is of utmost importance. If detected, mission over…end of story…you’re goose is cooked…dead duck. ( I promise to refrain from anymore poultry references for the remainder of this post 😉 ) You see the light beaming from under the door. You’re almost there. In one last dash, you swing open the door, closing it swiftly behind you. You let out a massive sigh of relief. You worked hard to get here…you even broke a sweat (and possibly a toe from aforementioned ninja moves). The bathroom is YOURS! MUAHAHAHAHA! ALL YOURS!!! And then you see it… there it is…glistening brightly in the corner…your bath tub. You slip into the hot water you began running and make yourself comfortable. You breathe in a deep sigh of relaxation and begin reflecting upon the events of the day. A myriad of emotions begin cropping up pertaining to the multitude of situations you have encountered this past week as the water begins to surround you. You feel your anxiety rising, along with the water, as you begin contemplating all of the challenges that seem to be looming in front of you. Suddenly, you feel as though you’re drowning…in a tidal wave of problems. What happened to the excitement and elation that was there only moments ago? Where did it go? Why do you allow this to happen? Every time? Out of the stark silence, you hear Him ask you…”Where do you find your JOY? Do you find your JOY in ME or things of the world?” Okay Lord…paying attention now. You begin reflecting on these questions and don’t neccesarily like the answer you have to give. You cry out to God ” Oh Lord, I’m so sorry! I’ve been making a BIG mistake! I have allowed myself to lose sight of who I was in YOU! I have been trying to find my SELF WORTH and JOY in things other than YOU. I have let others thoughts, opinions, and actions toward and about me affect me in ways that it shouldn’t! Things of this world CAN’T bring me JOY…ONLY YOU CAN! If I know who I am in YOU Lord, what others think or do to me doesn’t even matter! I have a fulfillment of internal JOY, sustainable PEACE, CONTENTMENT, and CONFIDENCE IN YOU!” JOHN 15:11 says “These things I have spoken to you, that MY JOY may be IN YOU, and that YOUR JOY may be FULL.” You never promised us continual uninterrupted HAPPINESS but you did offer us YOUR JOY through SALVATION! Yes, things of this world can bring us HAPPINESS for a short time, but will NEVER be able to provide us with JOY… your JOY! So, when the storms come, we can SMILE because of YOU! When the trials appear, we can LAUGH JOYOUSLY because of YOU! When hardships manifest we can PRAISE YOU FOR YOUR GOODNESS through them! Help us to be aware and have discernment between
EXTERNAL HAPPINESS and INTERNAL JOY! Our OUTLOOK directly affects our OUTCOME! Today, help us to choose YOUR JOY LORD! “GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are FILLED with an INEXPRESSIBLE and GLORIOUS JOY” 1 PETER 1:8
Music…Oh, I love music! I grew up in a musical family with lots of weekends spent ” pickin’ and a grinnin’ ” (I’m from WV in case you didn’t know 😉 ), singing in churches before I could see over the pulpit, in the shower, in the car, when I was happy, when I was sad… you name it! It wasn’t until I became an adult and started having a desire to grow in my relationship with God, that singing became more to me than just “singing”. Singing became one of the ways I could worship God! I could let go of all of the distractions around me, all of the stress and anxiety that was burdening me, just let it ALL go and sing for God. Oh how I enjoyed it! It didn’t matter who was there, what was going on…I didn’t care. I was singing FOR God. It might have been “flatter than a flitter” (another WV slang term there for ya 😉 ) but I didn’t care. Music was therapeutic for me. It could evoke emotions that I maybe didn’t even know I was struggling with. But a storm of change came for me in April 2018. I had unknowingly lost a second baby to another miscarrage. My world seemed to almost come to a stand still in that moment. I went through the range of emotions…grief, anger, confusion, numbness, grief, anger…a vicious cycle that seemed to never want to end. I felt as though I was stuck in slow motion. The world around me and all of the people in it were traveling at a speed faster than light, and here I was stuck in this pit of deepening depression, feeling like I had no way out. Their lives were going on like normal and here I was…swallowed and nearly consumed by grief. I was surrounded by so much love… from my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my church family…but it didnt make it go away. I struggled with the concept of how God could allow this to happen. I just knew He had to be punishing me for something. It was the only explanation my grieved mind could concoct. I was angry…really angry. I BEGGED for his peace. I PLEADED for his comfort. I read my Bible for hours upon end, grasping at every word trying to make the unbearable pain I was feeling go away, even if only for a minute I would take it. ANYTHING! I tried to sing. I tried to worship. I tried to drop everything like I so easily could do before, but I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t. For the first time in my life, I felt like I HAD LOST MY SONG. My song of joy, my song of love, my song of hope that the Lord given me…it was gone. I tried to open my mouth but nothing…nothing would come out! I cried out to God WHY, LORD, WHY? But there was silence…only silence. I continued spiraling out of control, deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit of my depression. I began pushing those that I loved out, more and more. I was withdrawling deeper and deeper into myself. I was in a vulnerable state of mind and Satan was using that to his full advantage. It’s hard for me to admit the things he put in my mind. I’ve always been more on the shy and timid side and stepping out in anyway has NEVER been easy for me. It’s hard to put yourself out there, to share your reality…the big, bad, ugly truth of your reality. I am ashamed and embarrassed to say that I thought the thoughts I did, but I know I’m not the only person Satan has told or IS telling these lies to and I want you to know that you are NOT alone. Our circumstances might differ, but we share the same battle and I understand. Satan looks for any oppurtunity he can to weaken our faith, to make us question and doubt, to utterly break us and leave us shattered lying on the floor. I began to believe his lies… God didn’t really love me like I had always thought He did. He wasn’t always working things for my good. He didn’t have good plans for me and hopes for my future. He told me I had failed everyone around me. I had failed my loving husband, I had failed my 6 beautiful babies, my family, my friends, my church…everyone would just be better off without me. I had held it in for so long. I had put on a smile, pushed myself as hard as I could to get back to “normal”. What everyone though I “should” be. I fought it as long as I could until I sat up in the bed and began sobbing until 4 AM one morning. I just wanted it to be over. I just wanted the pain to go away. I poured my heart out to my husband. I told him everything coursing through my mind. All the things Satan was telling me to believe. My husband held me so tight and listened to every word I had to say that night. He was scared…I was scared. I had never been at a place so low in my entire life. He reach over and placed his hands on me and began to pray over me. A sense of peace and calm flooded my soul. A peace I had been begging for. I’ll never forget that feeling, ever. GOD WAS THERE WITH ME! HE DID LOVE ME! HE WAS NOT PUNISHING ME! HIS PLANS FOR ME WERE GOOD! HE WAS WITH ME ALL ALONG, EVEN WHEN I FELT LIKE HE WASN’T AND COULDN’T HEAR HIS VOICE! After that night, God broke chains in my life that I didn’t even know I was bound in. He filled me with a new sense of joy, determination, and a boldness I’ve never had before. He told me to use my experiences, my pain, my struggles and HIS WORD to help ENCOURAGE OTHERS. I have wanted to do this for a long time, but my own insecurites and timidity held me back. But now I know I have to be obedient to the voice of God and be a willing vessel for HIM to use in the ways that HE chooses. So…fast forward to today…I won’t lie… there are still rough days and I know there will be in the days ahead, but God has brought healing and restoration to my broken heart, mind, and soul. I AM a different person than I was a few months ago. I have learned to lean more on him and to wait patiently in the silence for the voice of God. God didn’t give me my old song back…HE FILLED ME WITH A NEW ONE! A NEW SONG OF JOY, OF FAITH, OF LOVE, OF HOPE, AND OF WORSHIP. I not only sing FOR MY GOD but I now sing TO HIM as well. If you are feeling alone, if Satan is trying to fill your mind with his lies and deceit, PLEASE reach out to someone. Don’t try to hold it in and deal with it on your own. God has placed people in your life that love you and care about you and want to help you. They want to listen and they want to pray! Reach out to your spouse, your family, your friend, your pastor…just reach out to someone! God CAN AND WILL bring the healing and restoration, the peace and comfort, you are so desperately seeking. He will give you a NEW SONG. GOD LOVES YOU AND I DO TOO!
“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.” PSALM 40:3
You pull into the parking lot on 2 wheels, while gently ushering (who am I kidding, you’re flat out yelling right now) at your kids to get their shoes back on, to stop poking one another, and to quit wiping their snot on the clothes you spent 30 minutes digging out of Mt. Clothesoovious, that sprung to life in your bedroom 2 weeks ago that you’ve yet found the time or energy to tackle,( don’t even get me started on finding a matching pair of socks ) and you threaten their mere existence if they unbuckle ONE more time before the van stops moving completely. Church started 10 minutes ago and time is ticking. You frantically jump out after throwing your van into park, heart racing, sweat dripping (you remember the extra strength deodorant you bought sitting on the bathroom counter (that you forgot to put on) because everyone suddenly was unable to blink on their own and needed you to do it for them simultaneously). You find some auto fabric freshener and decide its better than nothing and douse yourself with “New Car Scent”. You begin unbuckling car seats, reviewing manners and behavior expectations while herding the small army you and your husband created towards the church doors. You’re almost there! A-L-M-O-S-T! You reach for your purse/diaper/mom bag, but you can’t find it. You jump back in the van and start digging through the 4 inches of French fries and goldfish covering the floor. You suddenly remember it’s sitting by the bathroom door, where you left it, when you’re family decided they wanted to try for the Olympic gold medal for synchronized pooping when it was time to walk out the door. You feel that frustration start rising. The tears start welling up. While stepping out of the van you snag your sweater and it rips. Last straw level…reached. Your sweet, loving, kindhearted, good intentioned husband asks you if you’re okay and with one deep “Big Bad Wolf” inhalation, you recap your entire morning, while tears start rolling down your cheeks and you answer with a snarky, “Oh I’m FINE! JUST FINE!”. He looks at you like a deer paralyzed looking into oncoming traffic, afraid that if he moves the wrong way, he WILL die. Satan starts telling you what a terrible mom and wife you are. He fills your head with mom-guilt (your kids are going to hate you and move out on their own by the age of 6 because you’re a terrible human being) He tells you…look at you, all of these other moms have it together…you don’t see them pulling in here, hysterical and smelling like an air freshener hanging from their rearview mirror. You wipe the mascara off your cheeks (remembering you should have got waterproof) and then… here it comes…PSALM 42:11
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
REVELATION! When I allow myself to get caught up in the rush, in the chaos, in the trivial things of this world and I take my eyes and focus off of the important things of God…I land myself in an overwhelmed and exhausted mess, EVERYTIME. I need to focus on my relationship with my Savior and draw my strength and joy from HIM! I have to turn my worries into worship and transform my anxieties into praises for HIM! My hope is in the LORD! NO ONE, NOT A SINGLE PERSON, “has it all together”, but GREATER IS HE LIVING IN ME, THAN HE THAT IS IN THIS WORLD. (JOHN 4:4) We ALL struggle but how we choose to handle it makes the difference. ❤ Make an effort to praise HIM through your struggles today. God loves you and I do too! ❤
How are you feeling today? Are you feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances? Maybe you feel depressed, alone, or even forgotten? Maybe you feel that no one understands what you are going through right now. Maybe you’re questioning God, possibly even his existence, and you’re searching for answers to help fill a void you might be experiencing in your life right now. I think we can all say at one time or another we have felt at least one of these. Did you know David, King David, felt some of that too? PSALM 40 tells us so. Our lives aren’t all rainbows and gumdrops. David’s wasn’t either! He felt as though he was in a “pit of destruction”, STUCK in miry clay, unable to get out. Have you ever felt that way? But what did David do? He CRIED OUT to God and… this is the tough part…he waited…patiently. God knows, before you even ask he knows! He hears you! He IS listening! The Bible tells us God LIFTED HIM OUT AND PUT HIS FEET ON A ROCK MAKING HIS FOOTSTEPS FIRM! No quicksand here people…on A ROCK! God then put a SONG IN HIS MOUTH, A SONG OF PRAISE TO OUR GOD! You may not feel like worshipping God right now. Your circumstances may have left you feeling broken, empty, numb…but the Bible tells us that God INHABITS (DWELLS IN) THE PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE! Today, CRY OUT to him. He loves you and wants a relationship with you! He cares for you! Cast your burdens on Him today and allow Him to give you a new song of praise! Help us to worship you God in spirit and in truth! God Bless you! ❤