Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chronic Illness

If you are interested in hearing my story please go here.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Wisdom....Part 1

When my husband and I found out that we were expecting our first child, we began to seriously search for godly parenting examples/help.  While we had each grown up in Christian homes, we knew that there were areas lacking in our own upbringing; namely, Bible study as a family.  Neither of us grew up in households that regularly prayed together.  Nor did we grow up in homes that opened the Word and studied together.  Those activities were supported by our parents in theory, even encouraged by them verbally; but, it was always something to be done independently.  We knew that we wanted more for our children.  We wanted to fill their precious minds with a great love, hunger and thirst for Scripture.  And we wanted our whole family together on the journey.

Coming from a background without this example + being newlyweds (our oldest was born in our 2nd year of marriage) made the task at hand a little daunting.  Honestly, we didn't know where to begin.  All we knew early on was that children were a blessing from the Lord and we wanted to joyfully receive as many of them as the Lord saw fit to give us.  But having a positive view about children and actually raising  them are two different things. How DO you raise children that love God's word?  How DO you help them memorize it?  What passages should you focus on?  How do you raise godly children period?  Add to that a complete lack of experience being around newborns/babies at all.....yeah.  We were a little lost.  

But, we knew that God would provide the wisdom we needed - we knew this because His word promised it:  

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."  (James 1:5).

The Lord has much to say to us about wisdom.  Seeking wisdom should be a primary goal for our individual lives, our marriages and our parenting.  I want you to know that I have not sought wisdom consistently in any of these areas.  I still battle daily with my flesh and the various distractions and temptations that surround me.  As a mom of 6, I often battle weariness, frustration and impatience.   I wish I had it all together; but, I don't and the reality is that I never will.  While perfection won't come this side of Heaven, I can still improve (daily).  I can make prayerful efforts to change (daily).  I can become a better example to my children of what a student of the Word looks like (moment by moment).  I want their memories of our home to reflect our love for the Lord.  

And I bet you want the same for your home.

Join me later this week as we consider more about wisdom in our homes.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Notebooking Pages!

One of the BEST purchases I've ever made for our homeschool, was a lifetime membership at  I cannot recommend it highly enough!  Right now is a GREAT time for your family to join in on the fun.  Not only will you find material for schooling (whether you homeschool or not - these packs are awesome for reports and presentations at school as well!); but, there is also a kit for you Mama's out there as well - with everything you'll need to get your house and home organized.  PLUS - right now it's all on sale!

Check it out by clicking below (and PS  I am an affiliate):


Here's a great video detailing how it works!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Child Training Bible

The Child Training Bible

One aspect of child-rearing all parents face is discipline.  It is our responsibility as parents to provide sound instruction and help the little ones learn right from wrong.  It can be difficult to provide calm, consistent and biblical instruction for a variety of reasons.  The biggest obstacle I faced was just knowing where to turn in the midst of the storm.  I had the best of intentions, promising myself that I wouldn't lose my temper (again)....but too often my attempts at correction ended with frustration, a bitter child and an angry mama.  I knew I should be pointing my child away from sin and toward God, but in the heat of the moment I would lose focus and just start dishing out commands:  

Go to your room!   Say you're sorry!  Put that down!  Tell me the truth!  etc.   

There is a place for this, but if you're simply handing out commands without any instruction, you'll only (maybe) change surface behavior and never change the heart.

Enter the Child Training Bible.  This is a resource that I L.O.V.E.!   A ready go-to for parents to quickly identify the problem behavior AND what God has to say about it.  If you're struggling with discipline or just looking for an extra way to instill God's word in the hearts of your children (and yourself!) I really suggest you add this to your home.

I'm not an affiliate and I'm not being paid for this recommendation.  I just really love it!  Watch some video from the creators then click here to order your own copy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I'll Take the Ugly

I have been battling a chronic illness for almost 2 years.  

I have been battling vanity, fear of man and self-pity for 35. 

Charm is deceitful.....

 Beauty is vain.....

I grew up worried about my appearance. I pretended like it didn't matter, but it did.  I desired approval.  As a Christian I knew what really mattered.  I wanted to be inwardly beautiful; but I often wanted outward beauty more.  I was convicted by the Holy Spirit during high school, and in my early twenties my thoughts began to change. I knew that the Lord was transforming me when I began to care less about the world's focus, approval and praise.  It didn't happen over night, but as time went by there was less obsession about myself and more genuine concern for others.  

Time marched on and soon I was married and a young mama to several children.  At one point I felt this struggle with vanity was behind me, completely.  One day; however,  I realized it was still there.  Just redirected.  What once took aim at the "world" was now hitting much closer to home.  There was a flicker in my mind, a quick doubting thought - something I KNEW was a lie: I was suddenly worried that my husband no longer desired me.  Satan loves to whisper those lies.  He had lost his battle in getting me to fear the world, so he repackaged his scheme to make me fear losing my husband - or at least losing his approval and desire.

Now let me interject here for a moment:  I have an amazing husband.  He has NEVER given me a reason to doubt his interest, commitment, love, attraction,  fidelity or ANYTHING else!  He loves the Lord and he loves me.  But, Satan hates happy marriages and attempts to damage them whenever possible.

I soon found myself thinking in a different way.  I would look in the mirror and begin to see lots of things I'd like to change,  instead of asking God to show me what my husband sees.  Instead of asking the Lord to show me what He sees.  What I needed to learn was how to let go of my fear in this area and allow God to work. It took time.  How quickly everything had gone from joy to worry!  I had to pray and ask for the Lord to give me wisdom, to grant me discernment, to give me the ability to BELIEVE my husband when he called me beautiful.  I needed to take "every thought captive" (2 Cor. 10:5).  I had to resist the devil and his lies. I prayed that God would continue to mold me into the woman that my husband would continue to desire both outwardly AND inwardly.  Thankfully, our God answers these types of prayers!

Fast forward another 5 years or so.  I'm sick.  I've been sick for almost 2 years now and I will likely remain sick for the rest of my life, although we certainly hope for health.  I am so thankful that my fears and issues with physical appearance have been dealt with.  Notice I did not say ERASED, but dealt with.  In the years between my struggle with all of this and today I have grown so much closer to the Lord.  His timing is perfect and he led me through that battle at just the right time to prepare me for where we are today. Because now the outward appearance is changing.  There really isn't anything I can do about it.  Either from the illness itself, surgical scars or side-effects from the medications I'm on - things are a-changing.  Add to that just typical changes which come from aging and we do indeed see that "beauty is vain". 

Once each week I'm taking a medication that makes me feel exhausted and gives horrible circles around my eyes, like I got punched or something.  Daily, I take another that makes me puffy, swollen and causes weight gain. Add on various pain killers and other stuff, and well, you get the picture.  So here's the change physically (and yes, make-up would normally help but I'm trying to keep it real for you):

Yeah, I know - it's ugly.  Let's just face the truth.  These drugs beat me up and they make me look beat up.  The wearing out of our bodies physically is a reminder of sin, and sin isn't pretty.  But I have to keep the right perspective: it's my SICKNESS that is ugly, not ME. And, it is the lie Satan whispers to try and make me feel unlovable that is ugly, not ME.  

The physical changes aren't always pretty, but they CANNOT  change what is beautiful - I'm secure in my value in Christ.  I'm secure in my marriage.  My husband loves me and desires me and he will continue to - not because of what I look like, but because of who I am and who he is in Christ.  The fact that I belong to Christ is beautiful.  The marriage we share that glorifies Christ is beautiful.  The family we are raising to honor Christ is beautiful.  The woman my children will grow up knowing as mama is much more beautiful now than before - despite what the world may see.

The enemy does still whisper   shout his venomous lies but my spirit is now ready in defense.  
He says - "ugly".

I say, "So?   I'll take the ugly - and Christ will transform it into beautiful."

for "we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison..." (2 Cor. 4:16-17)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Galatians 6:9

As a young mother of 6 children,  I know how overwhelming the task of motherhood can be.  (Insert seemingly insurmountable chore list here.)  Actually, that is not what I'm referring to.  Not the everyday work that needs to happen to run a home - not cleaning, not cooking, not organizing, not meal planning, not even (gasp, can I say it?) LAUNDRY ---- no, not even laundry is the task I'm referring to.  The task I'm referring to is of a much higher calling, necessity and importance.  I'm talking about raising your children for eternity. 


Let the weight of that word linger on your heart for a moment.


How can I, a broken and sinful forgiven woman be equipped for such a momentous task?  Simply put I'm not, at least, not on my own.  But God is. 

It is our privilege to receive children into our home, they are truly a blessing & wondrous gift from our Father.  Along with this gift; however, comes the requirement to raise these children with eternity in mind.  It is not enough to raise "nice" kids, "smart" kids or even "courageous" kids.  No, our calling is to raise godly kids who will continue to grow into godly adults who will then be equipped to raise more godly kids!  It's not always easy, there are days and sometimes entire SEASONS of difficulty.  But we must press on with diligence toward our goal.  As I continue on this journey myself, I hope to provide encouragement for you in the process.

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

Walk with me ladies.  Let's keep our eyes focused on being Mama's - For Eternity.