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Category — My Hope

Mom Monday: The “Un-Visible”

Mom Monday

I admit, I have a hard time keeping our house picked up and clean. Part of it is having 2 crazy boys running around but most of it is pure laziness. I would much rather be sitting at my computer doing something than cleaning the kitchen or picking up toys! A couple of weeks before Christmas, I was so proud of myself that the entire house, including the playroom, was picked up and clean. When I’m proud of myself for these things I like to goad Bill into also praising me for this accomplishment. After the required, “I’m so proud that you cleaned the house” remarks he added that all the visible places are clean and now we could work on the” un-visible” places. Seriously! But, he was right those places did need to be cleaned out and organized.

IMG_1806So, I slowly started working on closets and the attic. The thing is when you start cleaning out these “un-visible” places your visible places start getting cluttered and dirty again. It can be really frustrating! These “un-visible” places were getting the purging and cleaning that they needed but it was messing up the visible places that I had worked so hard to be presentable to other people. Who really cared that my closets and attic were bursting at the seems with junk that didn’t belong there.

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But how many of us live our lives the same way I was keeping my house? We spend a lot of time and energy on making ourselves presentable on the outside. We attend Sunday School, church and Cubbies, we volunteer in the nursery, we take meals to people, & we volunteer at charities. We might talk to friends about some tough stuff we’re dealing with at home, work or with our kids, but we’re always full of advice for others peoples problems. We {I} spend a lot of time and energy on these outward things – and they matter – they just aren’t the most important. The most important parts of my life are the “un-visible” parts – the making time to dwell in God’s Word, taking the time to pray and really pour out your heart to Christ and letting Him fill you with His Spirit.

Sometimes {often} it is easier to not work on the “un-visible” parts of our lives because it messes up the part that we have worked so hard to make look perfect. People might find out that sometimes we are complete messes, sinners in need of grace and mercy every. single. day. This year I am praying that I am willing to clean out the “un-visible” places in my life so that I am living a life that is pleasing to God and not a life that just looks good from the outside.

January 13, 2014   2 Comments

Awana Cubbies: 3 Year Old

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The past year Will was old enough to start Awana Cubbies at church. Each week Will memorized a Bible verse (or two) and said it to one of his teachers (one of them being me!) I was SO proud that each week Will was willing to work on his verse and say it. He completed his entire book of 30ish verses and got a completion award at the end of the year! He really enjoyed looking in the back of his Cubbies book and seeing the different patches and awards he could earn for saying his verses. His favorite part of each week (other than the playground) was story time and giving Cubbie Bear and Lovie Lamb a big hug each week.

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Thomas enjoyed his year in Ms. Ashley’s class.

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Lined up and ready to get his Cubbie award.

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Singing one of his Cubbie songs – Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day

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Being recognized for finishing his book.

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So proud of my boy!

August 2, 2013   Comments Off on Awana Cubbies: 3 Year Old

Sanctity of Human Life

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions of Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton which made abortion legal during any point in pregnancy and for any reason. Since the legalization of abortion over 55 million unborn children have died. According to National Right to Life, each year abortion takes the lives of 1.2 million unborn babies. These statistics are sobering.

So, what are we doing about it? And I’m not talking about just being against abortion. Or just speaking out about abortion. If we claim to value human life – that it is sacred, valuable and precious – do our actions confirm it?

I feel like it can’t be just about the unborn child – it has to span the whole life continuum. Are we willing to partner with woman who choose to parent – supporting them emotionally, physically and financially? Are we willing to adopt children whose parents choose to make an adoption plan? Are we willing to join with families who are struggling to maintain a safe home environment for their children? Are we willing to come along side those who are struggling with addiction? Those who are homeless? Those who feel like there’s not a reason to live? Are we willing to provide care for the elderly and treat them with dignity?

If we value the life of the unborn child we have to value their life outside the womb. What actions are we willing to take?

January 22, 2013   3 Comments

Mom Monday: A New Journey

The past couple of years Bill and I have been learning about what it means to put  your faith into action. We have been absorbing the words from wise pastors, friends  {and even strangers!} It is funny how when something specific is laid on your heart then you hear about it everywhere you turn.

Before Thomas was born the idea of being foster parents was on our mind and we have been waiting for the right time. It’s SO easy to say it’s not the right time but we have decided to start the process and we start our certification classes next Thursday night. These classes are called PATH {Parents As Tender Healers} and they last 7 weeks. Then, we will have a home study completed and finally be approved to accept children into our home.

We are excited but scared at the same time. Our life is great and pretty easy! Why in the world would we want to “mess” that up? These things cross my mind and the answer is always: because as Christians we are called/required/commanded to look after the orphan & widow, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, house the homeless. This doesn’t look the same for everyone but it all requires action. We are excited about moving from conviction to action!

Pray for our family as we move into this journey.

James 1:27

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Psalm 82:3

Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.

Jeremiah 22:16

He took up the case of the poor and needy, then it went well. Is this not what it means to know Me? This is the Lord’s declaration.

Deuteronomy 24:17-18

Do not deny justice to a foreigner or fatherless child, and do not take a widow’s garmnet as security. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. Therefore I am commanding you to do this.

Isaiah 1:17

Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead with widow’s cause.

August 6, 2012   4 Comments

Mom Monday: Perspective

Do you ever completely lose perspective? I do. Often.

I am not absolutely sure how it happens but it’s a slow, gradual decline into self absorption. And it’s ugly. The things that consume me aren’t necessarily bad – my boys, fun activities, cute clothes, tinkering with the house, and the list goes on – but they should not be my entire focus in life.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit usually gets my attention before it gets too ugly. I am always struggling with what I am suppose to be doing to make a difference. How am I suppose to live so that my every day is glorifying God? How am I suppose to use my resources to help those in need? How am I living out my faith so that my boys can see?

What do you do to make sure your perspective isn’t off? How do you live each day to God’s glory? How do you use what God has entrusted you with to help others?

 

April 16, 2012   1 Comment

Happy Easter!

“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been resurrected! He is not here!” Mark 16:6

We had a great time celebrating our risen Savior at our church’s Saturday night service. Our pastor taught on “putting all your eggs in one basket” – and that basket being Jesus. Using the life of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes, he explained how we can try to fill our lives with pleasure, possessions, projects, people & popularity but in the end they’re all empty pursuits and only Jesus can truly satisfy. Good stuff.

Today we celebrated Easter with our family and had an afternoon FULL of food, play and egg hunts.

Last minute, we decided to buy the boys a completely ridiculous gift – a pirate water table. Both of the boys were so excited – Will loves pirates and Thomas loves splashing in water.

Will got a book and a couple of small things in his Easter basket.

Thomas got a ball, a car and some snacks.

We let Thomas eat a chocolate bunny right after breakfast.

We got together with the Henderson family for a late lunch. Will, Chase & Sara loved swinging.

Dana & Thomas

I think that Will finally “gets” hunting for Easter eggs.

Thomas loved it.

Jamie, Kenlie, Melissa & Zoie hunting eggs.

Thomas found the prize egg! He’s going to take his Mommy to Taco Bell :)

Sweet, silly Zoie

This was the best picture I could get of the boys and Mimi and PawPaw

We spent the evening at Nonny & PawPaw’s house where Will got another basket full of treats.

Thomas looking over his treats.

Daddy Bill & Mandy

Cute cousins.

Cowboy Greyson

Will carried a flag while he hunted eggs for some reason.

Aubrey “won” the egg hunt.

Thomas found a few eggs too :)

April 8, 2012   1 Comment

Mom Monday: A Big Batch of Ugly

{I have a lot on my mind recently so these ideas might flesh themselves out over several Mom Monday’s. I assure you that I’m not sulking around depressed or miserable – but I’m learning some hard and serious lessons.}

For most of my life I’ve been pretty good at pretending to be sinless. You probably know how it goes, you hear a sermon, speaker or radio program on sin and repentance then they ask you what you need to repent of and you think, “I’m so glad I don’t have any sin that I need to confess and repent.” Seriously! I should have been dropping to my knees and repenting of arrogance and pride.

I’ve been guilty {a lot of times} of  “quenching” the Holy Spirit and not allowing the power of God to continually transform my life. I’ve lied to myself saying that I’m “good enough” because I’m not committing any kind of  “bad” sin { you know,like murder!} But being a Christ follower is not about being good enough; it’s about continually seeking holiness.

And then God starts revealing parts of you that are a big batch of ugly. Honestly, when God started revealing these things I have in my heart and how they were affecting my every day life I was pretty disgusted with myself.

Isn’t it great {sarcasm} when God starts working you over and you just want to pretend that it’s not really an issue and then every bible study lesson, every sermon and every radio program you hear has to do with the EXACT issue you’re trying to deny is not a problem for you! You know those heartburn commercial where the food starts slapping the people in the face? That’s kind of what I felt Scripture was doing t0 me. While it is SO painful to go through – it’s glorious on the other side.

Aren’t you SO thankful that our God does not allow us to stay wallowing in sin and death. And that not only does He not allow us to stay there but He calls us out into light and eternal life – the complete opposite!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. I Peter 2:9 (NIV)

 

February 13, 2012   5 Comments

Ever Feel This Way?

If I’m being completely honest with myself I abandoned my family a couple of Saturday’s ago. I “escaped” the house to run a couple of errands I “had” to run and then I texted Bill to see if I could go and see a movie. He, being the great dad and husband he is, said yes. Now, going to see a movie is not how I abandoned my family. Why I went to see the movie was. I had run my errands and the thought of going back home was overwhelming. I had too much to do {the house was filthy}, I didn’t want to play cars, Mickey Mouse, or Elmo one more time, I didn’t want to change a diaper or worry if they had eaten. I wanted to check out. So I did.

The past couple of weeks I have had a really hard time. My personality is usually able to hold it together pretty well but I was pretty much falling apart and I think it was pretty obvious. I was irritable towards my boys and at times downright hateful towards my husband. {I’ve had to do a lot of apologizing!} I cried because I couldn’t find a long sleeve white t-shirt for Thomas and when the photo center wouldn’t let me pick up my pictures without having the photographers release. I was a mess.

I could blame it on a lot of things: Will no longer napping, Thomas being newly very mobile and getting into everything, moving, trying to make friends, planning a birthday party, and the list goes on and on and on.  Then I had to take a good hard look at myself and confess that the problem was me. Being selfish.

And I love how God can really teach us when we’re at a really low point. The first was a “treasure” from my Mom reminding me that God is the potter and I am the clay and when he notices an imperfection he doesn’t leave it but squashes the pot and starts remolding. I definitely think that God is working on me by breaking down my self-reliance and causing me to truly depend on Him for every day endurance.

And I love how I can learn and connect with other moms via blogs! Seriously, some days these are the only things that make me feel “normal!” And guess what? I’m not the only mom who sometimes feels like their lives are spiraling out of control – just this week these blog posts let me know that I’m not crazy!

Little Steps {Kelly at Kelly’s Korner}

Guess What, Guys!? {Amanda at Baby Bangs}

Thoughts on Vocation…. {Abba’s Girl}

This blog by Katy is one of my all time favorites. You just have to read it because I can’t describe it but even though she is also the mom of 2 young boys she has such peace and joy that comes through her writing. Not that she’s perfect – she shares the hard things too!

Embrace & Let Go {Katy Rose}

God has also revealed some very practical steps I can take to be more focused and intentional in my every day life! Love that God doesn’t leave us in our broken down, crumbling pile of mess but lifts us up to do what He has called us to do and gives us the strength and endurance to do it!

January 26, 2012   4 Comments