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Encouragement

Making More Room For God In Your Everyday Life

By January 29, 2017 Encouragement

Do you want to make more room for God in your everyday life?

How do you do that you might say.

Life is so busy. Between rolling out of bed in the morning to climbing in the bed at night (yep, I have to roll and climb in and out of bed, short girl problems) there are only thousands of things that we have on our to-do-list.

So, how do you make more time in the day you say. There are only 24 hours and we need our sleep, our children need to eat, our houses need cleaning, laundry has to be done, and everyone needs to be taken somewhere. I get it I really do. As a mom of 5 ranging from 15 to 1, I totally get it.

We may desire more of Gods word and presence in our lives but do we really make him a priority?

You have to make room for Him.

Let me just tell you that just as bad as you need more of God in your life, he desires the same thing. He desires time with you!

Remember that God is present all the time.

When you wake up in the morning thank Him for breath and life.

When you are worried, seek His guidance and draw near to Him.

When your children are “upsetting” you, pray and let them see you praying. Sometimes you don’t have to actually say anything to them. You can pray openly in front of them and let them see and hear you asking God for guidance.

When you get in your car to take the kids to school or practices, pray for safe travels.

When you are on Facebook and you see a request for prayer, stop right there and pray.

When you are feeling lonely, scared, hurt, overwhelmed, emotional, in pain, unhappy, or worried remember
Psalm 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth”.

Whatever you are doing include God.

Get out your Bible and read it. Don’t just let it collect dust. Don’t just use it on Sunday’s. Lay your Bible out on the counter and focus on one verse per day. Think about that verse all day in each thing you do that day. Let it sink in and understand it.

I love to make stick it notes of important verses and put them on the bathroom mirrors, fridge, or over the light switches.

Another great way to get Gods word in is to do hand verses. Take a verse and write it on your hand. You will see that verse all day long and be reminded of it and God. It is a great example of how He is always there with you.

He wants to be in every part of your day, from the small things to the huge things.

I have found that when I do these small things it really changes my mood. I feel more calm, joy, confidence, and comfort in my daily walk of life.

We just need to make God a priority in our lives and then our lives won’t seem so hectic.

James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”

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Pyramid Schemes/ Multi-Level Marketing

By January 14, 2017 Encouragement
Pyramid Schemes/ Multi-level marketing

OK… I know you all know what I am talking about.

If you are on social media at all then you have probably noticed the changes.

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn all have seen a change in the kind of posts people are making.

As you scroll through your social media accounts and new feeds you see pictures and posts that scream “JOIN ME”, right? Your being added to pages and parties for everything you can think of.

You may be wondering why you are seeing all these small businesses starting up now days.

Why are you being blasted with ads for everything under the sun?

Everyone you know is jumping on some sort of band wagon and they are telling everyone all about it.

The Truth

Ok you asked for it. The truth is everyone is doing it because IT WORKS!  Yes, you heard it right these companies are working for these people.

You know the things you call SCHEMES! Well they are actually great opportunities. They are legitimate small business that these people own and are working form their homes. I know hard to believe huh.

Today’s World

In today’s world it takes two incomes to just make ends meet. People are sick and tired of being so sick and tired. Tired of living pay check to pay check. Tired of having bills up to their eye balls. Tired of other people getting most of their paychecks or a mortgage payment to take care of their kids while they go work for someone who might not even know who they are. Tired of working long hours, being away from their families just to feed, clothe, and keep a roof over their heads.

The majority of these posts are mothers but they are not the only ones. Fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, college students, everyone is learning all about how to be a small business owner or entrepreneurs.

So give them props because IT IS WORKING!

Pyramid Schemes

I know you have all heard about pyramid schemes but despite what you have heard and think there is a difference. they are actually ILLEGAL!! The businesses you see on social media are called multi-level marketing and it is NOT ILLEGAL! MLM’s are set up to help the small business owner have financial success.

Let’s stop for a minute and talk about a regular JOB. Normally there is a worker, a manager, a boss, a CEO, and the owner. The higher in this lets call it a pyramid lol depend on the lower people on the pyramid to actually run the show and business. In these businesses the goal is to climb the ladder and work your way to the top of the well pyramid pretty much lol. So I think all jobs are pretty much a pyramid if you think about it huh? But some are legal and others are not. If your friend is sharing it with their friends odds are its a ok. Who would scam their friends anyway. Most people scam people they don’t know.

Why Are They Sharing These Things With Everyone

So maybe you think why are they sharing these companies and products with everyone?

Well let me put it this way for you. If you go out to eat at a nice restaurant like Ruth Chris’s Steak House and you enjoy yourself and the food is awesome do you tell others? Yep probably. If you find a great deal on shoes at Target will you share that special or deal with others so they can go get a deal also? Yep probably. If you find a doctor or chiropractor that is just very special or does an outstanding job are you going to share your experience with others? Yep probably. If you go get your hair cut and the hairstylist is great and your hair looks amazing are you going to share and tell others? Yep probably. If you find a recipe on Pinterest and you try it and it is a win will you share it on FB or social media for your friends to try? Yep most likely if you like your friends hehe.

So you see we share things we like. So if these companies are pyramid schemes then I guess we are all involved in some type of pyramid scheme. OH MY!!

We are all just sharing what we like and what has changed our lives either financially or physically.

I like to call them Sharespeople! I mean sharing is caring right?

Who’s Pocket Are You Stuffing

I want you to think for a minute about who you are supporting when you spend your money. When you go out and buy something from a store like Target, Dillards, Belks, Macy’s you are filling the pockets of millionaires. You are adding to the number of houses they have, the elaborate vacations they take, and their retirement like they actually work anyway right.

When you support your friends and their small businesses you are helping real normal everyday people. You are helping a mother be able to stay home with her children, a struggling family pay for groceries or keep their power on, a grandmother to take care of the grandchildren she is raising, helping families put their kids in dance, football, or other sports they enjoy, your helping military families that are over seas purchase plane tickets to come home for a visit, helping a college student pay for their tuition, helping people pay off medical bills or afford to get their families the care they need for terrible illnesses, your helping families that are taking care of aging parents, you are helping those who are like you.

These posts you see on social media are not just thrown out there in hopes that someone will buy their products. They are thought about, researched, and most of the time prayed over because the ones posting don’t just want your money like you might think. They want to provide for you. They want to give you what is going to help or make you happy. They stay up late at night researching their products and testing their products. They are constantly learning about their products and company so they can help others like themselves.

How Can You Really Help

Next time you see a post when you are scrolling through your social media take time to think about that person and what their post is really about. If it is something you or someone you know might be interested in then share it or give that product a chance.

Let’s start with caring for others. Have an open mind and heart as you read these posts. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. If you were sharing something you loved and cared for how would you want others to respond?

Love each other people!

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Let It Go! Gifts, How Many?

By December 9, 2016 Encouragement

Most families around the world give and receive gifts around Christmas time.

Do you feel like your family is more focused on giving or getting?

How many items does each child in your home receive?

In the fourth century St. Nicholas practiced the gift of giving. His gifts were small items.
In the tenth century gift giving had taken over the world.
Now gift giving in America is very big. Over 504 Billion dollars are spent each year.
The average person spends $801 dollars on gifts for friends and family each year.

Gift giving can be loads of fun. It can also be very stressful.

What to get each person is a struggle.
Wondering if the gift will be liked or if it will be returned.
How much to spend on each person.
Making sure each child has the same number of presents or the same amount of money spent on each one.

It can cause unneeded chaos in your life.

This Year Lets Scale Back And Let IT GO!

I want to challenge everyone to scale back this year. Back off on all the gift giving. Focus on what truly matters.

There are so many around your circle of friends, neighbors, city, and the world that are less fortunate.

How Many Gifts Should Each Child Get

We have focused many years on each child getting the same amount of presents.
Than we started focusing on how much money we spent on each child.

When you have multiple children this can be a job!

The past few years we have focused on 3 items!

Yes, 3 items per child.

They get to make a list of these 3 items.

1 thing they want.
1 thing they need.
1 thing that brings them closer to God.

This works great in our home. It keeps the list shorter and more realistic.

Don’t get me wrong we still get the list at times with 50 items or items that cost hundreds of dollars. You know the list that is made for someone with a money tree in the back yard.
We do not charge Christmas in our home. We save all year for it. We put back a specific amount each week in a special account and that is taken out at Christmas time. We try to teach our children that there is a limit.

We want them to realize that some children get nothing. Some children would be happy with a baby doll or a pair of new jeans. It hurts to see how much we have and how little others have.

What To Focus On

Lets focus on how we can do for others not just what we want to get and what we want to give to our family.

You could help a neighbor by baking them something special, making a special gift for them, or caroling through your neighborhood.

How can you reach out to others to make their lives better. Maybe you could adopt or sponsor a child through a program across the world or one in your home town. Pick an angel off the angel tree. Pay someones electric bill that is struggling. Take an elderly person something nice or take them shopping. Maybe even sit and spend time with them. Donate toys to children that are needy.

What God Says

Matthew 25: 37-40

“Then these righteous ones will reply, Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will say, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”

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Let It Go! How We Can Have Peace With The In-Laws Out-Laws This Season

By December 7, 2016 Encouragement

We all have family.

We may have in-laws  and out-laws, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and extended family galore.

Some of us love our family and love getting together with them.

Some of us don’t love all of our family that much and get togethers are scary to say the least.

I grew up in a large family as my mom is one of 5. We always did Christmas Eve as a very large group with all the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and cousins that counted well past 2nd and 3rd. It was so much fun! Then all got together again for Christmas morning for breakfast. I remember it being really crowded in my grandparents house but it was great. I don’t remember their being any issues. I was a kid and life was good.

But as we have all got older times have changed. I can see the problems. The ones that are not always as welcomed. The ones that are not the favorites. The ones that don’t come to all the family get togethers.

When you are older you can see more with open eyes than when you are young.

You may notice that there are all sorts of types of people in your family. There could be introverts and extroverts, republicans and democrats, Christians and athiest, stay at home moms and working moms. This could be a recipe for disaster for sure!

These family times do not have to be stressful or torture. It can be calm, stress free, and enjoyable!

They can be times of learning and loving, letting go of control, and depending on God. It could be a time that God has designed to use you or someone else to reach someone that may be lost or needs a reminder of our Loving Father.

 

How Can We Have Peace With The In-Laws and Out-Laws

Here are a few tips for how you can have peace during the holidays with your family.

Make Peace Your Ultimate Goal

If you desire peace and strive for peace and make it a goal then you can have it. You can not control how everyone behaves but you can strive to meet your goal anyway.

Romans 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

You can not control another persons behavior but you can control yours and your reactions.
Control your reaction to behaviors.
You can not control others actions and they may be hurtful or cruel.
You can control  your actions making sure you are not hurtful or cruel.
You can not control how others think about you, their opinions on your mothering, cooking, finances, political views, or your spirituality.
You can control your conduct and make sure everything you do is pleasing to God.
Make sure that when everything is over that you did what you could to bring glory to God.
Make sure that you have no regrets for the way you acted or reacted.

As you go into this season think of one person that you will see that you have a hard time getting along with or you avoid.

Now think of something that you can do to reach out to that person to show the unconditional love. Think of a way to show them the Love of Jesus this Christmas. (Unconditional love means it has nothing to do with their actions or beliefs.) Show the Love of Christ this Christmas and let God work through you.

Prepare Your Heart

Maybe you have had conflict with a family member in the past. Think back, did you pray for the situation?
This year pray in advance for this person or people and for the situation. Pray for your interactions with them. Ask God to prepare your heart for the family interactions that will take place this season. Make notes to remind you to pray for this time and how God will use you.

Prepare Your Home

If you will be hosting a family gathering in your home then take the time to prepare. Make each person coming feel welcome. It could change their attitudes when they walk through that door if you greet them and welcome them. Have something special for that person that likes to cause a scene. Make a special treat that they love and let them know it is just for them. Have a seat ready for them so they don’t feel unwanted.

If you have a family member that just likes to get to you by meddling, putting you down or making smart comments every time you turn around then pray hard. 🙂 This is going to be hard but I want you to think of one or two things that you really like about this person. Buy a card just for this person. In it mention then things you really like about them and how glad you are that they are in your life. Mail it to this person a week before the gathering. Now, don’t expect a reaction. Don’t expect a thank you. Don’t expect change. Just pray that God will soften their heart and that change will happen. But don’t be disappointed if you don’t see change. This is for God not her anyway.

Along with praying for this time with these people I want you to meditate on this up coming time. Say these things to yourself daily.
I love my family.
I am blessed to have family.
I am blessed to have these people in my life.
God is good to me.
God loves everyone.
And don’t forget to smile.

What God Says

Romas 12:17-19

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

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Let It Go!! Traditions Can Be Torture!

By December 6, 2016 Encouragement, General, Mom Life

Traditions can sometimes become more like torture than fun.

Do you have family traditions that you do every year around the holidays?

Do you feel like you have to do the normal traditions or you are messing up the entire holiday?
I mean you have to bake those specific cookies.
Go to the same get togethers at the same place.
Read the same stories.
Go to the mountains to get your Christmas tree and get it cut down from the same tree lot.
Make gingerbread houses and stress over the kids not doing it perfect.
Go to the same place to see the Christmas lights.
Visit the same Santa each year for your annual picture that never turns out very good.
Struggle to get a good picture while fussing with your kids because they hate it.
Send out Christmas cards with those wonderful memory filled pics on them.
Make a special treat for everyone to hand out at the family get togethers.
Write the perfect letter about your perfect family.
And of course you have to read the same Christmas story book and put out the same treats for Santa on Christmas Eve. I mean if you don’t do all of these things then it just isn’t Christmas, right?? Wrong!

Why do you have to do all of these things?

Does the happiness of your family depend on it?

Does anyone truly enjoy it?

Is it creating great family memories?

Most likely the answer to most of these questions is, No!

Choose Joy and Calm Over Traditions That Cause Torture

This year instead of keeping up with all of your traditions that cause torture to your loved ones lets choose Joy and Calm. Let it GO!!!

Re-evaluate your traditions. Find the ones that your family wants to do. The ones they actually enjoy!

Have a family meeting- Get your family together and ask them their honest opinion. (And really listen while being open.) Ask them what they like to do and what they don’t. (Don’t get your feelings hurt here.)

What to ask- 
What traditions do you really like and look forward to?
What traditions do you really not like? (Be Honest!)
What makes you happy during this Christmas season?
What makes Christmas not fun for you?
Is there a new tradition you would like to start?

Write these things down and study them. Re-evaluate what you are doing and what the family wants to do. Make changes and let it go!

Release the control and embrace the freedom. I promise that if you skip a tradition it will not ruin the Christmas season and life will go on.

Maybe you have fond memories that you did with your family. Really think about them. You may find out that you didn’t do them every year :0! It may be something you did a few times and it just stuck with you. Maybe because you enjoyed it and wasn’t pressured to do it :0! Oh my!

Let it go! It will be OK!

What God Says

Mark 7:8 

“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

 

 

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Let It Go! Trying To Be Like The Joneses or Not

By December 5, 2016 Encouragement

Well most of us know who the Joneses are, right?

Trying to be like the Joneses can lead to unrealistic expectations.

Well, as a child the Joneses always had everything.

They were always dressed to the tee with their new expensive clothes on. They had all the accessories to match from head to toe. They would get out of the nicest of cars that looked like it had just been washed and well I doubt they lived on a dirt road.

They took the best vacations to great places. They would go to Disney, Hawaii, Mexico, Cruises, Beaches, and Mountains way more than we did.

The best thing was when I was young we were not on the internet all the time or on social media having it thrown in our faces all the time. We would run into the Joneses a few times a year and would hear about their trips or new cars every now and then. Now days with the internet we see the Joneses and their posts all the time. We are always seeing pics of them dressed in their new clothes, their expensive shopping trips, their vacations that are outrageous, their new cars, that expensive house that is decorated like a magazine, and the vacation house that we only dream of staying in. Social media is good but bad. It is nice to catch up with others but it is bad when we have to see somethings all the time. Now it is right under your nose all day everyday.

We also have tv shows now that show us how others live.

Pinterest pins that make us attempt to do things that may never turn out like the picture.

It is hard when you are trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Maybe your expectations have been hard to live up to like mine. These things can make the holidays not so much fun.

Unrealistic expectations cause hurt, feelings of failure and defeat, and make for unhappy holidays.

 

Being Me Is Better Than Being Like The Joneses

Thankfully I have learned not to try to be like the Joneses. I can just be me and be so much more happy.

I have chosen to just Let It Go! Is it easy? No. But it is possible.

I had to do a few things with the help of God.

1- Accept  Being Imperfect
I have realized that being imperfect can be fun. I actually have fond memories of times that were not perfect. Memories of waking up to the tree being on the ground, water spilled out of the base all on the new carpet in our new house, and just laughing instead of crying and getting upset. We put that tree back up 3 times that year because it just kept falling.

2- Avoid Being Perfect
I have learned to avoid trying to make my house look like the magazine pictures. I don’t try to be the best in the neighborhood. I let the kids decorate the tree and if someone doesn’t like the way it is decorated when they visit it is OK! It is our tree and we love it. We have fond memories of decorating it and not stressing over it being perfect.  Maybe you are all sick with the flu or a stomach bug over Christmas and you don’t go anywhere. You stay home and just lay around making memories all day.

3- Redefine What Perfect Is
I have accepted that perfect is different for everyone. What the neighbors see as perfect is not the same as us. Different expectations cause different views. Use your view to set your standards not your neighbors or the internet. You don’t have to be overly controlling or have everyones input on your decisions. Have a happy heart as you go through the holidays and enjoy a less stress calm Christmas.

You don’t need to be like the Joneses you just need to be the person God made you to be. He doesn’t want us to all be the same, that is why he made us all different. Embrace who God made you and enjoy it. Clothes, cars, toys, vacations, and all the things the Joneses do are not what is important in life. It is that you know that Jesus died for you on that cross and that he is your Lord and Savior. Work more on your relationship with Him then trying to be like the Joneses. I promise it is more important.

 

What Does God Say

Isaiah 43:18-19 
“Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to thing of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”

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Let It Go! Be Calm Not Stressed

By December 2, 2016 Encouragement, General, Mom Life
Let It Go! Be Calm Not Stressed

Are you the one that has to be in charge?

Do you want to go from stressed to calm?

Can you relate to having to be in control of everything?

Decorations?
Schedules?
Food?
Gifts?
Poses for the pictures?

LET IT GO! LET IT GO! LET IT GO!

 

I like to have a plan and I want that plan to go as planned each and every step of the way.

I like everything to have a place and be in it’s place.

In years past I have always wanted to make sure the decorations were just right. The tree lights hung just right and the ornaments in their places. Everything on the mantle needed to be symmetrical. Outside lights needed to be in place and cords hidden just where I thought they should go.

Letting my children or husband do it the way they wanted was so out of my comfort zone.

I am the MOM and I am supposed to be responsible for these things, right?

LET IT GO! LET IT GO! LET IT GO!!

This year I decided to just let it go.

We chose a tree pretty quick when normally I have to walk all over the hills looking for the perfect tree. Dragging all of my family behind me. This year it was actually fun. I didn’t tell the kids no. I didn’t walk around every tree finding something wrong with it. It was the easiest, fastest, and most pleasant tree picking experience we have had.

We put the lights on and they were not perfect. The next day when half the lights on the tree went out I didn’t even get upset I just said, ” Oh well, we will go buy some more and add them to the tree.” It may be odd but it worked and it was not stressful.

We decorated the tree with our cheaper ornaments. The ornaments are pretty much stuck in the tree near the bottom. Some are hanging, some are not. Some are clustered together. Some are even on the floor under the tree. The littles are redecorating the tree everyday. I’m not stressing over it. I just let it go! I decided that I would not even put out the nice ornaments this year. It is just not worth the stress of having to keep them away from the little hands. Worrying about them getting broken or having to tell the littles to leave them alone. I chose to be joyful and not stressful.

The outside lights are getting put up this weekend I believe and I am not even stressed about the fact that we have two wreaths hung on the bottom front two windows and the others are still in the garage. Normally this would really bug me and the fact that they are not up yet would normally drive me crazy. But guess what. I’m not stressing over it. We had rain on the day I was going to go on the roof to put out the wreaths and lights and I am just thankful for the rain. The lights will get up when we get to them. Is it really worth stressing over? Nope! Ahh I feel the calm.

We have presents in the office that need to be wrapped and I plan on doing that soon lol. But stressing over the presents that are not wrapped and the fact that the tree has no presents under it is not worth it. Letting the littles play around the tree and under the tree and just playing and watching them have fun is more important. Calm not stress.

I am enjoying the moment and letting my children help do things.

Being Calm and Not Stressed

There is just something about learning to loosen up and not being in control. There is a sense of calmness that takes over you. The stress is gone.

To not be bossy.

To not be on edge.

To not use sharp words.

To not be rolling eyes.

To not being harsh.

To not crush spirits.

To not shoot down hopes or ideas.

To not be stressed.

To not be overwhelmed.

It is way less work and stress by letting go and not having to be in control.

How can you Let It Go?

If you want to join me this season then jump right in. Back off on making all the decisions. Let your family decide what they may want to do, even if it is very different from the norm. Ask their opinions on things and let them feel involved.

What Does God Say

Phillipians 2:3-5

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

 

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Is Your Identity Defined By You Or God?

By November 30, 2016 Encouragement

How do you define your identity?

Do you define it or do you let God define it?

Well I have defined my identity so many times by what is going on in my life.

One day I may feel like I am succeeding as a mother, wife, and daughter of God and the next I feel like a major failure.
Just as I thought everything was going good something would happen in a blink of an eye that would change my entire outlook on who I was.
You know, you scream at the kids, you don’t get all the projects done that you had on your to-do-list for the day, you forget the doctors appointment, you burn dinner, or you just feel like nothing is going right at all. Boy have I been there a few times.

My identity would change often. It was like a roller coaster of identities and emotions. I feel like my actions are linked to my identity. It’s very easy to get down and out when things aren’t going well. But should our identity be made up of our mishaps? No. Satan wants us to label ourself by what we do and don’t do. He wants us to feel like a failure. That is when he sneaks in and works on us. He decreases our value in our mind and heart during these times.

Thankfully, God is always there and has a different identity for us.

He doesn’t link our actions to how much he loves us. His love is unchanging.

John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Some days I have to remind myself this multiple times. It is so easy to get discouraged and think of myself as a failure when my actions don’t meet my expectations, but I have to stop, pray, and remind myself that God is there. His word tells us how He loves us and how he identifies us. Not as a failure but a child of God.

Romans 5:6-8 says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungoldy. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Our value, identity, and self worth should not be defined by our actions. God accepts us just the way we are.

The only thing that should matter is what God thinks about us and that is unchanging.

Let’s have unshakable belief in our identity because God has identified us as HIS!

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COCOA For CHISTmas

By November 29, 2016 Encouragement
Cocoa for Christmas

The holiday season can be very busy. Everyone running around trying to get just the right present.

All the fun get togethers that we have to prepare for and go to.

Sometimes it’s nice to just sit down with a cup of hot COCOA and enjoy the moment. Sit looking at your tree and the lights, or watch your children as they enjoy the season and soak it all in.

While you sit with your cup of hot COCOA this CHRISTmas season think about this:

C – CHRIST

Matthew 1:18 NKJV

Christ Born of Mary

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Christ is the reason for the season, we all know that. But, it is so easy to get distracted by all the shopping, planning, and running around. As we try to find just the right present lets also try to focus on God’s word and heart this season.

O – ORNAMENTS

1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

We spend so much time decorating our house to try to make it look just picture perfect. We also need to try to have His kindness and patience and  adorn our heart and spirit with the love and compassion of God. Let’s look for ways to bless others and those in need just as Jesus would have.

 

C – CHEERFULLY CELEBRATE THE SEASON

Proverbs 15:13 NKJV

13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Christmas is meant to be a joyous season, but not everyone is joyful. Some are sad and depressed from different situations in life and this time of year can make those things worse instead of better. Remind yourself each day that you are loved as a child of God. These seasons will come and go but the love and compassion of the Lord is always there no matter what day or time it is.

O – OVERJOYED NOT OVERWHELMED

Matthew 2:10-11 NKJV

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

During these busy times it is so easy to become overwhelmed. When you find yourself getting overwhelmed by all the things that still need to be done stop what you are doing and think of how Jesus came to us and is our Savior. Become overjoyed by His love and what Jesus did for us on the cross.

A – ABUNDANCE

John 10:10b NKJV

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

CHRISTmas is an abundant time for sure. There is an abundance of food, gifts, laughter, smiles, and happiness in general. Although these things are sometimes temporary we can be assured of the abundant life Jesus gave to us. We have Jesus everyday of the year and can celebrate that each and everyday as we have His peace, mercy, and Love.

So, as you sit with your hot cup of COCOA this year think back to these things. Let the warmth of the COCOA fill your mind, body, and spirit with Jesus who is the Reason for the Season. As these things pour into your heart let them flow out to those around you.

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When You Don’t Feel A Part Of The Group!

By November 18, 2016 Encouragement, General, Mom Life
When You Don't Feel A Part Of The Group!

If you are anything like me then you know exactly how it feels to be left out and not part of the group.

There have been many times in my life that I have felt lonely. I have felt like I was just not in the “clique”.

I have shed many tears wondering, “why?”.

Many times I would feel part of the group only to be left out of something.

I was a high school cheerleader, so you would think I was part of the “in girls” right? No!

I was friends with them and we had fun but I was not always invited to the sleepovers, the parties, or the shopping trips. It hurt!

I had close friends that I love dearly even to this day, but we have been pulled apart in different directions through the years. Marriages, babies, jobs, and just life in general have made getting together not so easy. Being in different stages of life made it awkward to hang out. Sometimes it was just easier to not get together.

Of course that is not what always happened or how I always felt.  I remember crying when I thought I had a new friend that was going to be my new best friend only to find out that she was out doing something with other girls and didn’t invite me. I would ask myself.

“Are they cooler?”
“Are they more fun?”
“Am I weird? ”
“What is wrong with me? ”
“Did I make her mad?”
All these things would go through my head and to be honest it only made me feel worse. Why was I left out of the group?

I now see my teenage girls going through the same things. Friendships are hard! With all the social media these days it can sting even worse than when I was young. Girls texting each other in group messages and leaving one out and then talking about the message in front of the one left out. Instagram pics of parties, shopping trips, or sleepovers. Selfies or WEfies  that leave someone out. Or maybe you were all together somewhere taking pics and then you see all the pics posted except the ones you were in :(.  If you were asked to  take the pic of someone and their friends only to not even get photo credits.  And well snapchat is just a work of the devil I believe, but posting all the fun and videos that are going on at the moment and the one not invited gets to see all the fun but not be a part of it. That hurts! Social media just amplifies the hurt of being left out of the group.

I know as a teenager I would try my best to fit into the group. I have seen girls now on social media do things they normally wouldn’t do just to be a part of the clique so they didn’t feel left out. You have to cut your hair a certain way, wear a certain makeup, and wear the exact clothes, shoes, and carry the purses that the “in girls” do only to find out that well that didn’t work either. You still did not feel part of the group.

Thankfully, one day in high school I found God. I had cried for God to help me. For God to guide me. Then I figured it out. God told me, Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about discovering who God created You to be.

In 1 Peter 3:4  the Bible says, “Your beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the great worth in God’s sight. 

I struggled for a long time before I realized that I didn’t have to belong or fit into the group. God doesn’t want you to try to change who you are to fit in. He made you just how he wants you. If you don’t fit into this clique, group, or circle of the “in girls”, that is because that is not where God wants you. He had designed you to be a part of another group. He may have work he wants you to do within another group of girls or women. He will use you where he puts you. If you try to push or change to be part of a group that God doesn’t have you planned to be a part of then you will always feel left out. It has to be in God’s design. He has designed you just like he wants you. You are not weird and nothing is wrong with you. You are just who God created you to be. Be open to where God wants you. He will bring the people in your life right when you need them. They will stand by you in good times and bad, not just the fun times. They will be the friends that let you cry on their shoulders during a break up, stand beside you at your wedding and wear the ugly dress, tell you your pretty when you are 9 months pregnant, help you when your baby won’t sleep, be there when a loved one is sick, and celebrate with you when your children do wonderful things like when they take their first steps, learn to go potty, and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They will be there no matter what.

Not everyone will feel this in their life. Some girls and women fit in no matter what. If you happen to be one of those girls then try to be compassionate and understand how the others feel. When you are posting on social media think about who you could be hurting with your simple but thoughtless post. What doesn’t mean anything to you could be devastating to someone else. If you know someone is hurting by what you have done then try to go out of your way to show love to that person. They may not fit into your “group”, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be hurtful or rub it in their face that they “don’t fit”!

1 John 4:19
“We love because he first loved us.”

John 15:12-13
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.”

 

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