Have I Asked For Help?


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I was thinking today after I talked with a friend. There are times when I feel so scatter-brained, like I can’t control my thoughts. That makes it hard to pay attention to others when they are talking to me. Plus being in a room where there are a lot of people creates a huge distraction for me. At church today, I asked the Lord why is it so hard for me to pay attention, and stay focused on others while they are talking? It was as if I heard the Lord ask me, if I had asked for his help in this area. Don’t think that I have much. I need your help Lord. But it needs to be a continual thing throughout the day, not just a do-it-once type of thing. Each moment focused on you. Being present in the world, but in the back of my mind knowing you are with me as I go throughout the day. Not just in this specific area, but in every area of my life may you be acknowledged. I need that, especially being a pastor’s wife and mom. Most of the time as well, I want to hide at the church, so not everyone knows who I am. But what if I am called to more than just blending in, and not being known. What if I am to seek others out, and get involved with those around me. What does this look like? What can you do through me Lord? And being a mom to my kids, give me the strength and energy Lord to pour into my kids. I struggle each day, especially right now to give them my best. I feel like I have no clue what I am doing each day, yet I am going to be responsible for 4 of these little ones in a couple months. I don’t want to scar them. I need wisdom to raise them in this world. Help me to remember you during the day Lord, because I need you.

Words…


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This morning I was awoken to my son asking me a question. I love him dearly, but lets be honest, I am not much of a morning person especially before 7:00. 🙂 After he asked his question, my first reaction was going to be to answer him back in some sort of annoyed tone of voice so that he would get the hint that i didn’t want to be spoken to at the moment……but I didn’t. Before I had a chance to get a word out, I felt a nudge in my spirit to respond back to him with a kind and warm response. I chose to do this instead, and I am glad I did.

My words and how I react to others can be a powerful tool that I can either use in a positive or a negative way. They can speak kindness and life into someone, or they have the ability to tear someone down. It can be easy to go throughout the day not being aware of what I sound like to others, or what words are coming out of my mouth. In James 3, it talks about how powerful the tongue can be, even though it is such a small part of our body. In verses 5-6, it tells us that a “tiny spark can set a great forest on fire” and refers to the tongue as being a “flame of fire”. How powerful words are, and yet I find it is one of the areas I struggle to keep in check. 
In my life in particular, it is the hardest to control my words around my husband and my kids. They are the ones that see all sides of me….the good, bad, and ugly. Knowing that they see my imperfections, and still love me, I still need to be aware of how I am treating them. Being unconditionally loved by someone doesn’t give me permission to treat them like garbage, whether intentional or not. If they are the most important people in my life, shouldn’t they be receiving the best of myself that I can give them? Even with their imperfections as well?

In my marriage, at times it can be difficult to choose my words wisely. At certain times in my own weakness, I don’t want to be careful with what I am saying. There is a vulnerability that comes along with this relationship, and in my fear of rejection, words can be something that I feel like can protect me from getting hurt. I can hold him an arm’s length away, and not let him get too close by treating him harshly. Somehow in my twisted sinful thinking, I will have the upper hand. But this is so not true. As a believer, I am called to love and respect my husband. One of the best ways I can accomplish this, is to think before I speak to him. Will my words encourage him or not? Will it make our relationship better? What am I trying to control? At times it has been that I am the problem and not him, but sometimes it will get taken out on him, which isn’t right. Stopping to think before I speak can save me a lot of trouble. When I think before I speak, I can bring it before the Lord to know whether it should be said or not. If it is something that will carry out a good purpose, then it is. But if there is something wrong with me, and I am speaking out of anger, hurt, rejection, or to control the situation….then it is probably better left unsaid. There also might be a better way to say something that I might need the Lord’s help to come up with. And the great thing is as well, is there is always the powerful words of asking for forgiveness. 🙂

As a mom, my words and reactions are so important. It is not easy to parent kids. Especially staying at home, and being around them CONSTANTLY! It can be so easy to just brush my kids off, ignore what they say, like it is not important enough for my time. I have been especially convicted in this area lately. When I take a step back, and become aware of how my interactions with them, affect them, it becomes crucial to be wise on how I go about it. I want to reinforce in my children that I love them unconditionally, and that they are important. But they will not get that message if I act like I am irritated that they are talking to me, or asking me another question for the 100th time. 🙂 Obviously it isn’t easy to always be attentive to every word they say, and respond with kindness every time they need something. But I have found that just taking a moment to ask the Lord for help, or for what to say to them, that I find I am more successful at this. When I rely on the strength of the Lord, it gives me the ability to show them how special they are to me, and that they are worthy of my time. They are precious and the most valuable little people to me after all. And the best thing is that if I do screw up, and say something that isn’t nice, they are very quick to forgive when I say I am sorry.

Finally, words are important even when my loved ones aren’t around. In my frustration with someone, it can be so easy to go and vent to a friend about the situation. Although it can be helpful, I need to be careful with my words here as well. Sometimes it is more important what I say when someone isn’t around. Everyone needs to be able to be real, but it is not right to tear another down when they aren’t present. It is definitely a fine line, but I find before I go and tell my problems to a friend, to tell them to the Lord first. When processing my feelings before the Lord first, I am able to then tell someone else about my problem, but not in a way that will bring someone else down. This is a much healthier way for me to deal with any situation.

Words are definitely something that I have had to be more aware of lately. I am curious about how others feel they control what they say. Do you have any particular ways or verses that help you think before you speak? Or in what ways do you struggle with this? I would love to hear other thoughts. 🙂

Words….

This morning I was awoken to my son asking me a question. I love him dearly, but lets be honest, I am not much of a morning person especially before 7:00. 🙂 After he asked his question, my first reaction was going to be to answer him back in some sort of annoyed tone of voice so that he would get the hint that i didn’t want to be spoken to at the moment……but I didn’t. Before I had a chance to get a word out, I felt a nudge in my spirit to respond back to him with a kind and warm response. I chose to do this instead, and I am glad I did.

My words and how I react to others can be a powerful tool that I can either use in a positive or a negative way. They can speak kindness and life into someone, or they have the ability to tear someone down. It can be easy to go throughout the day not being aware of what I sound like to others, or what words are coming out of my mouth. In James 3, it talks about how powerful the tongue can be, even though it is such a small part of our body. In verses 5-6, it tells us that a “tiny spark can set a great forest on fire” and refers to the tongue as being a “flame of fire”. How powerful words are, and yet I find it is one of the areas I struggle to keep in check.

In my life in particular, it is the hardest to control my words around my husband and my kids. They are the ones that see all sides of me….the good, bad, and ugly. Knowing that they see my imperfections, and still love me, I still need to be aware of how I am treating them. Being unconditionally loved by someone doesn’t give me permission to treat them like garbage, whether intentional or not. If they are the most important people in my life, shouldn’t they be receiving the best of myself that I can give them? Even with their imperfections as well?

In my marriage, at times it can be difficult to choose my words wisely. At certain times in my own weakness, I don’t want to be careful with what I am saying. There is a vulnerability that comes along with this relationship, and in my fear of rejection, words can be something that I feel like can protect me from getting hurt. I can hold him an arm’s length away, and not let him get too close by treating him harshly. Somehow in my twisted sinful thinking, I will have the upper hand. But this is so not true. As a believer, I am called to love and respect my husband. One of the best ways I can accomplish this, is to think before I speak to him. Will my words encourage him or not? Will it make our relationship better? What am I trying to control? At times it has been that I am the problem and not him, but sometimes it will get taken out on him, which isn’t right. Stopping to think before I speak can save me a lot of trouble. When I think before I speak, I can bring it before the Lord to know whether it should be said or not. If it is something that will carry out a good purpose, then it is. But if there is something wrong with me, and I am speaking out of anger, hurt, rejection, or to control the situation….then it is probably better left unsaid. There also might be a better way to say something that I might need the Lord’s help to come up with. And the great thing is as well, is there is always the powerful words of asking for forgiveness. 🙂

As a mom, my words and reactions are so important. It is not easy to parent kids. Especially staying at home, and being around them CONSTANTLY! It can be so easy to just brush my kids off, ignore what they say, like it is not important enough for my time. I have been especially convicted in this area lately. When I take a step back, and become aware of how my interactions with them, affect them, it becomes crucial to be wise on how I go about it. I want to reinforce in my children that I love them unconditionally, and that they are important. But they will not get that message if I act like I am irritated that they are talking to me, or asking me another question for the 100th time. 🙂 Obviously it isn’t easy to always be attentive to every word they say, and respond with kindness every time they need something. But I have found that just taking a moment to ask the Lord for help, or for what to say to them, that I find I am more successful at this. When I rely on the strength of the Lord, it gives me the ability to show them how special they are to me, and that they are worthy of my time. They are precious and the most valuable little people to me after all. And the best thing is that if I do screw up, and say something that isn’t nice, they are very quick to forgive when I say I am sorry.

Finally, words are important even when my loved ones aren’t around. In my frustration with someone, it can be so easy to go and vent to a friend about the situation. Although it can be helpful, I need to be careful with my words here as well. Sometimes it is more important what I say when someone isn’t around. Everyone needs to be able to be real, but it is not right to tear another down when they aren’t present. It is definitely a fine line, but I find before I go and tell my problems to a friend, to tell them to the Lord first. When processing my feelings before the Lord first, I am able to then tell someone else about my problem, but not in a way that will bring someone else down. This is a much healthier way for me to deal with any situation.

Words are definitely something that I have had to be more aware of lately. I am curious about how others feel they control what they say. Do you have any particular ways or verses that help you think before you speak? Or in what ways do you struggle with this? I would love to hear other thoughts. 🙂

In The Stillness


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I love our lake place.  It has provided our family a place to get away from the craziness of life.  Makes you want to slow down.

We went out there for the first time in months this last weekend.  We needed to check on some things, and get it ready for use this summer.  When we were finished with our tasks, I decided to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather.  I put my phone away, and just wanted to take in all that was around me.  It seems like it would be an easy thing to do, to just sit there and do nothing…..but it wasn’t.  I was frustrated that I was having a hard time just “being”.  My mind was racing through different things I could ponder, but it just felt awkward, like I was trying too hard to be still.  I so wanted this time just to sit, and reflect with the Lord on how my life was going at the present time, but it was one of the hardest things I have done lately.  Why did it seem so impossible?

As I sat there, I began to realize in the midst of the stillness, I was coming face-to-face with insecurities I didn’t want to deal with.  Usually masked by the busyness, I wanted to run and hide from how I was feeling.  I felt vulnerable, scared, and alone.  I wanted to have this time to sit in the quiet and reflect, but it felt like it was going to be too painful.  Because when it came right down to it, I began to see the flaws and imperfections, and wondered if I would be accepted for all the baggage that comes with me.  It is those things that you never want to share with anyone else, deep inside.  And it can be especially intimidating when you realize that God can already see all of this.  

It wasn’t easy to stay there, but I decided to anyway.  I sat before the Lord, asking Him to help me deal with it all.  And instead of running away with my thoughts, I trusted how the Lord feels about me.  That despite all I was trying to hide, He saw it all, and still loved me just as much.  I am so glad I chose to stay in the moment and confront how I was feeling.  The peace of the Lord swept over me, and I knew that my identity is not in my flaws, but in Him.  What a blessing that can come out of moments like this.  To realize that even after being fully known, we are still accepted.  That all we need to do is bring these feelings, insecurities, worries, whatever it may be….to the foot of the cross, and let Him have them.  We were not meant to run away when we feel inadequate.  Quite the opposite actually.  He wants us to poor out our hearts to Him, and walk through life with Him, even when it is hard to feel.  When we face these things, and confess them to the Lord, we can walk in the freedom that we were meant to have all along.  

Why is it so hard to do this more often?  Honestly I think that we have become so accustom to the busyness of life, that it can make us numb to how we feel.  So when we do actually have a moment of stillness, we get scared of the emotions we start to feel.  Then we just pick up with the busyness again, so we don’t have to deal with it.  And just muzzle all that is going on inside…..I know that is how it has been for me.  

We should not be afraid to bare it all out there to the Lord.  Not only does He love us with our flaws, but when we bring all these things mentioned to the Lord, he can help in the healing that might need to take place, or give us the strength to deal with whatever we are facing.  Truth can be brought to our lives, and we can grow because of it.  

The stillness of life is one of the most precious places to experience.  It doesn’t seem good at first, but if you just sit for a moment and let the Lord come into it, how refreshing it can be.  You may begin to see it this way once you have experienced it a couple of times.  That being still can be better than the most productive day we have staying busy.  Oh how I pray that I would learn to do this more.  Busyness can just numb our life, but sit in the stillness for a bit, and it can bring you life again. 

In the Stillness.

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I love our lake place.  It has provided our family a place to get away from the craziness of life.  Makes you want to slow down.

We went out there for the first time in months this last weekend.  We needed to check on some things, and get it ready for use this summer.  When we were finished with our tasks, I decided to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather.  I put my phone away, and just wanted to take in all that was around me.  It seems like it would be an easy thing to do, to just sit there and do nothing…..but it wasn’t.  I was frustrated that I was having a hard time just “being”.  My mind was racing through different things I could ponder, but it just felt awkward, like I was trying too hard to be still.  I so wanted this time just to sit, and reflect with the Lord on how my life was going at the present time, but it was one of the hardest things I have done lately.  Why did it seem so impossible?

As I sat there, I began to realize in the midst of the stillness, I was coming face-to-face with insecurities I didn’t want to deal with.  Usually masked by the busyness, I wanted to run and hide from how I was feeling.  I felt vulnerable, scared, and alone.  I wanted to have this time to sit in the quiet and reflect, but it felt like it was going to be too painful.  Because when it came right down to it, I began to see the flaws and imperfections, and wondered if I would be accepted for all the baggage that comes with me.  It is those things that you never want to share with anyone else, deep inside.  And it can be especially intimidating when you realize that God can already see all of this.  

It wasn’t easy to stay there, but I decided to anyway.  I sat before the Lord, asking Him to help me deal with it all.  And instead of running away with my thoughts, I trusted how the Lord feels about me.  That despite all I was trying to hide, He saw it all, and still loved me just as much.  I am so glad I chose to stay in the moment and confront how I was feeling.  The peace of the Lord swept over me, and I knew that my identity is not in my flaws, but in Him.  What a blessing that can come out of moments like this.  To realize that even after being fully known, we are still accepted.  That all we need to do is bring these feelings, insecurities, worries, whatever it may be….to the foot of the cross, and let Him have them.  We were not meant to run away when we feel inadequate.  Quite the opposite actually.  He wants us to poor out our hearts to Him, and walk through life with Him, even when it is hard to feel.  When we face these things, and confess them to the Lord, we can walk in the freedom that we were meant to have all along.  

Why is it so hard to do this more often?  Honestly I think that we have become so accustom to the busyness of life, that it can make us numb to how we feel.  So when we do actually have a moment of stillness, we get scared of the emotions we start to feel.  Then we just pick up with the busyness again, so we don’t have to deal with it.  And just muzzle all that is going on inside…..I know that is how it has been for me.  

We should not be afraid to bare it all out there to the Lord.  Not only does He love us with our flaws, but when we bring all these things mentioned to the Lord, he can help in the healing that might need to take place, or give us the strength to deal with whatever we are facing.  Truth can be brought to our lives, and we can grow because of it.  

The stillness of life is one of the most precious places to experience.  It doesn’t seem good at first, but if you just sit for a moment and let the Lord come into it, how refreshing it can be.  You may begin to see it this way once you have experienced it a couple of times.  That being still can be better than the most productive day we have staying busy.  Oh how I pray that I would learn to do this more.  Busyness can just numb our life, but sit in the stillness for a bit, and it can bring you life again.  

Falling apart

Ever have one of those times where you just couldn’t hold your emotions in anymore and everything just came rushing out?  That is what happened to me Sunday morning.  At church.  In the middle of the lobby.  In front of several people.  It was one of those horrific moments  that we fear will happen, and then it does.  I am not sure about others, but I typically don’t like to draw that sort of attention to myself.  But there was just no way around it this time.  I couldn’t hold it in anymore.

I am not sure what people thought when they saw me have a total emotional breakdown.  I typically don’t know how to react when faced with this type of situation.  But I am thankful that a friend was around, and saw me.  She was one of the first people that I saw, and just must of knew that I needed to talk.  Not to go into any details, but I spilled all the emotional weight that I been carrying that week.  I needed to.  I couldn’t handle carrying it anymore.  And I am so thankful that she listened, and did not judge me.  Then I was prayed for, and I was able to calm down and gain control of my emotions again.  After dealing with how embarrassed I was for this public spectacle, I decided that I was so thankful that this happened to me.  I believe several positive things can come from my experience, and for others who this happens to.

I believe one of the reasons this type of thing happens sometimes, is not knowing how to deal with our emotions in a healthy way.  This has been something that I have had to learn.  When pain, an uncomfortable situation, or something that I can’t control happens to me, my first reaction has usually been to shut down.  And not feel.  This is no way to live.  It is not necessarily going to be comfortable dealing with these emotions I face, but I have learned it is much better to go through it and come out a better person on the other side.  I have been learning to let the Lord in on my pain, to tell Him what is going on with me, and ask Him to help me deal with it.  This not only has been a healthy way for me to deal with problems, but it has drawn me into a closer relationship with the Lord.  He has been there when I needed Him, and helped me sort through ugliness to find the good in a situation.

Even though it may not be said out loud, I think there is an unrealistic expectation that we should have everything together.  I am not sure where this comes from, because clearly no one does.  But I think this can cause us to be afraid to show how we are really doing in front of others.  Being fearful of being judged, rejected, or someone thinking something is wrong with us.  I think what is wrong here is that we feel like there is this standard.  I can’t tell you the couple of times that when I have broken down in front of someone, how freeing it was.  That I was being seen for who I really was.  I didn’t have to hide my emotions.  It might not be the most comfortable situation for either of us, but oh how healing it is to let go of something like that.

I think we don’t realize the effect of being real can have on others.  Yes, it hurts to show weakness, but this is how it can be positive.  When we show others our hurt, and are vulnerable, we give someone else the freedom to do the same thing.  To live a healthy life by letting someone in on our hurt, and being able to process it.  And we have no idea how someone else might be able to identify with us.  What a ministry!  You are not alone in your hurt, there is more than likely someone else who has been there as well.  It can go the other way too.  If we can be a person someone can come to in a crisis, you will give someone the experience that they can trust others, and be who they really are, ugliness and all.  If it is a friend, your relationship will only go that much deeper, and you become a safe place for that person to turn.  What a blessing we can be to others as well.

I share this because even though it was a very awkward situation for me on Sunday, again it was such a learning experience.  I hated it at the time it was happening, but I can tell you this….. the Lord used it for His purposes.  He brought me freedom from all the weight I was carrying last week, and reminded me life is much better when I let Him walk with me through it, and let others in.  I pray this can touch someone else who may feel alone in whatever you are facing.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Find someone you can share with, or even pour your heart our to the Lord.  He is always there, never leaving us.  He will walk us through the hard times.  I know He did for me.

A True Romance

I have to admit, I am definitely a sucker for a good romantic movie or an engagement story. Especially during this time of year, it seems like it is something that you can’t get away from, good or bad. When you think of romance, it can bring up a flood of different emotions for different people. Some might feel lucky to have it, some may long to have it, some may be sad because they used to have it, or even some who despise the thought of it. I have definitely had my share of experiences with romance, and can say I have been blessed by my relationship with my husband for the past 10 years. But as much as our society plays up this idea of romance, and “finding the one”‘ somehow it still doesn’t totally satisfy the longing we have. Maybe we need to look start looking somewhere else to fill this desire.

Even though I feel I have a healthy marriage, there is a point where you finally realize although you love your spouse so much, you will never find your total worth in what that person can give you. It is not fair or realistic to have such expectations either. We are human, imperfections and all. As I have struggled to come to terms with this, the Lord has started showing me where I will find a romance that is fulfilling to the depths of my soul, and that is in Him.

Starting with the cross, I can’t think of a more romantic scenario than this. Jesus loves us so much and did not want to be separated from us that He sacrificed himself in our place. All love stories pale in comparison to this. And if we choose to accept this, we have an invitation to have a relationship with the one who knows every single part of us, and still sees us as beautiful.

I have found this romance to be true, especially in my daily life. When I am feeling lonely, I know that He is there. When I need someone to listen to me, He is there. When I have had a horrible day, and the pain seems like it is too much, I can fall apart in front of Him and be comforted. When I am not feeling like I amount to much, He is there reminding me I am beautiful and loved unconditionally. And when I feel like everything around me is too much to handle, He encourages me, and gives me the strength to continue on.

Look no further for a love letter than what the Lord says of His love for us in the bible……

“…..I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3 (ESV)

“For you, O Lord are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” Psalm 86:5 (ESV)

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end…” Lamentations 3:22 (ESV)

“….but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Oh how I need to hear this every day. That the God who created the universe loves us with an “everlasting love”. There is no end to it. It never runs out! This is the ultimate romance that outplays anything in comparison.

And to think this is only the beginning of this wonderful love story. As believers in Christ we wait for the day when we will be with Him for all eternity. We will see Him, face-to-face, the lover of our soul. And we will be with Him forever, in perfect relationship. I cannot even imagine what this will feel like.

I pray these words that Paul said in Ephesians 3:17-19, that we as believers, “being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” And I also pray that we would remember this when we start thinking about romance.

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He Has Overcome the World

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

I tend to forget this, that somehow my life should go as easy as I want it to. But when it doesn’t I get frustrated. But Jesus says in these verses that we will have hard times. But that we can have peace, because He has overcome the world. No matter what may go wrong, we can have hope that there is victory in the end. Again, Jesus has overcome the world! That means every disease, hurt, fear, problem, catastrophe, addiction, etc. has been defeated in the end. Yes, we will face trouble in this world, but that is not what we place our hope in. Our hope is in the One who conquered death, and rose again so we could have a relationship with Him. If our hope is placed in Him, we have victory in the end as well. That none of these earthly problems will take us down.

What does that mean for me?

I want to live in such a way that when faced with everyday problems, that I remember I can have peace. There is nothing He hasn’t overcome, and that alone should give me peace. And if I still struggle, I am going to ask the Lord to remind me that He is with me. That I do not need to be afraid, because He has overcome it. I believe this will help me look at my problems/inconveniences in a new way. Hopefully instead of getting frustrated, I can take the hand of Jesus and deal with what I face with Him. If I focus so much on the problem, it will definitely lead to feeling defeated. But I want to choose to live each day with the One who overcame it all. What hope we have in Him! Imagine if we all lived with this knowledge each day. What different lives we would lead! 🙂

Thankful.

As I sit here thinking about my life, there are so many things that I thank the Lord for. The biggest thing I am thankful for tonight though are the four people that I spend the most of my time with, my little family. As corny as it may seem, I want to share some of the reasons that I am thankful for each one of them. It helps me to not take them fore granted, remembering how they bless my life each day……

Adam- I am thankful for my husband in so many ways. Even though our marriage isn’t perfect, I am thankful that he is a committed and loving husband. I am thankful for how he provides for our family, so I am able to stay at home. And for how he treats me, with respect and love. Thankful for how he can be so silly with our kids, and never hesitates to tell them he loves them. And for how the Lord is using him to change lives, I always knew he would do great things. Finally, how we can laugh together, support one another, and almost finish each other’s sentences at times. There is no one else I would want to grow old with.

Hudson- I am so thankful for my first born. Thankful for how happy, sensitive, and a caring boy he is turning out to be. I am thankful God gave me a boy for my first one, and how precious he is. Thankful for the time I get with him now, but sad at how fast it is going by. And how outgoing he is, just like his dad. Thankful for the time I get to sit and listen to him tell me about things he is thinking about, and what he is interested in now. I am so thankful I am his mom, and for the big brother he is to his siblings as well.

Wilson- I am thankful for this little boy who fits into our family so well. Thankful for his stubborn will, and for how curious he is. Thankful that the Lord has blessed me with the chance to be his mommy. And even though I screw up at times, he still trusts that I will take care of him. I am thankful for the diversity he brings to our family, but even though not my biological child, the different similarities that we share. So thankful to look at where he has come from, to where he is now. He is a little fighter, and I look forward to seeing him thrive in his life.

Grayson- I am thankful for this little surprise who is my daughter. Thankful for another female to share this house with, so I am not totally outnumbered. 🙂 I am thankful for her spunky little personality, and that she can be so girly, but at the same time try and keep up with her brothers. Thankful that she wants me to sit on her bed before she goes to sleep, and that she still wants to cuddle with her mom. I am thankful for the woman that she will grow into, and that I get the privilege of showing her how much her worth is in the eyes of the Lord.

I could definitely think of more things to be thankful for with each one, but it might take too long to type it all out. :). Who are you thankful for in your life, and what are some of the things that make you appreciate them?

Bondage

It is amazing the way the Lord will bring things about in my life sometimes. And this post has to do with what some of that is right now. Partially therapeutic too. 🙂

For no particular reason, when I was at our church bookstore the other day I picked up a copy of Beth Moore’s book Breaking Free. I am not sure what in particular drew me to it, but I am glad that I bought it. I have started reading the book, but haven’t gotten too far in it yet (so you won’t hear much about it here). But as I have begun to read it, the Lord has started to reveal some areas in my life that I feel are holding me captive. And they pretty much both have to do with my physical appearance.

The first area is with the clothes I wear. I love clothes, and fashion in general. And not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is more of when my outfits become something I am trying to get my worth from. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so combined with trying to find my worth with how I look can be horrible for my soul. When I am not looking to Jesus for my significance, I become obsessed with trying to find an outfit that will make me “feel good” about myself. Not gonna lie, sometimes there will be days when I change like 4 or 5 times just because I am not satisfied with how I look. I have even gone to the extent of throwing clothes in the wash that are clean, because I don’t want the option to change anymore if somehow what I am wearing won’t be good enough after a bit. This is crazy! I pretty much will go through this cycle over and over again until I am completely worn out emotionally. I have pretty much grown so tired of this, that I am ready for a change (not of clothes though). 🙂 This is no way to live each day, and is a total waste of my time.

The second area is my weight. I despise scales, and again struggle with my perfectionism with it. I went to have a physical the other day, and of course was asked to step on one. Are we ever the weight we think we are? Of course the number was more than I expected, which was disappointing. Granted I am older than I once was, and have had a couple kids, so my body isn’t the same as it used to be. But because of that number, I felt like I was worth less somehow. I know there probably areas I could change like eating a little healthier. But what can I say, I love my food. 🙂 I don’t want anyone to mistake me here, there isn’t anything wrong with the size that I am now. But I think we all have unrealistic expectations of ourselves at times. And honestly our culture doesn’t help anything either. I can say that I probably have been jealous from looking through a magazine and seeing a perfect image, or so our culture tells us. I have come to the point now where I want to lay these burdens down at the feet of Jesus and ask for the freedom that only He gives.

So what is my plan of action then?

I think that I am definitely going to continue reading the book I was talking about above, since it kinda goes with my little theme here. 🙂 But seriously, I think this is something that will always be an area that I struggle with….but I just don’t want it to control me.

One of the biggest ways for me to overcome things lately has been trying to intentionally include the Lord in on every part of my day. It’s not that He isn’t present already, but I can’t tell you how huge this has been for my relationship with the Lord lately. By acknowledging Him, I find myself more content in each situation. By spending time with Him, I begin to realize how important I am to Him, and how satisfying to my soul He is. Those other ways that I was going to before become less important to look to. And when I do find myself going toward those things that just entangle me, I will try to remember to call out to the one who saves.

Scripture is another way I want to use to overcome this as well. Some verses that have stuck out to me lately are Isaiah 61: 1-4, which Beth Moore talks about in her book……..

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord ’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations.” (NLT)

I love these verses. I love where it talks about giving “comfort to the brokenhearted and to proclaim that the captives will be released and the prisoners will be freed.” God has a heart to see us free from the things that entangle us. I pray He will continue to show me how to move forward from captivity.

And lastly, I am going to ask the Lord for help in creating a healthier lifestyle. Honestly food can be something I run to for comfort. I don’t want to deprive myself of things that are sweet, but I just don’t want them to be something that I use to satisfy me either. I want the Lord to meet me in those areas I need to be comforted in. Everything in moderation right? 😉

I honestly am no pro at things like this. But I do know that the Lord is faithful, and will help carry me through things like this. I long for the freedom that He can give. I believe we can all unfortunately be held captive to something in our lives. Ask the Lord what it might be for you, and what are you going to do about it?

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