Friday, August 30, 2013

It's All Worship

When I think of worship the song, Here I Am To Worship, comes to mind. Here is a taste of the lyrics.

          Here I am worship, Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you're my God.
          You're altogether worthy, altogether lovely
Altogether wonderful to me.... 
And I'll never know, how much it cost 
to see my sin upon that cross 

I'm struggling to count it all as worship here lately. This move to Texas has really taken it out of me. The loneliness and not really having a "place" is getting to me.

When I sing songs like Here I Am To Worship it lifts my spirits and makes me feel hopeful that more-better is to come. He has been good to me...always.  And even in this transition and with each day feeling monotonous, I know in my soul this too shall pass.

I will count every moment with my family as worship.
Every load of laundry, every dish washed,
toilet scrubbed and meal cooked.

I will worship and sing because when I count my blessing and see how much I have to be thankful for worship overflows and joy abounds. Light shines in the dark.


It's been a LONG time since I've joined Lisa Jo and the others for 5 minute Friday, but here I go again. Maybe this will be a start to a weekly thing. If you don't know what I'm talking about join me here.

Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When Answered Prayers Turn Out All Wrong

Answered Prayers-sometimes we receive from God and we are sure we are going down the path that he wants us to take, only to find out later that it was a mistake. You think, What just happened here? Why aren't things going like I thought they would?

I remember when my daughter was little and her new daycare had to close due to the city wanting to build a baseball park on their plot of land. We were panicked to find a new daycare. Our daughter loved her school and she was well taken care of  each day.

I started calling around but there were waiting lists months deep.

There was a church with a daycare that we had heard great things about, I knew that this was the place...but they had a list, a long one.

We didn't  think she would get in.

It was coming down to the wire, old daycare was about to shut it's doors forever and new daycare still hadn't called.

It was about this time I had a sort of new spiritual awakening. I worked with some spiritual women and they were influencing me in a good way. I had been praying again, sincerely, and even getting up and reading my Bible. It was the start of a quiet time that I still do today.

I really started praying about this whole daycare situation and praying that the list would open up at this church so that K could get in. I felt because it was at a church it was perfect, everyone seemed responsible and professional. I just knew this was the one, and I needed God to supernaturally open up that list for my baby.

And he did!

He answered my prayer( in the nick of time, I might add). Why does he do that?

I couldn't believe it! God heard and answered my prayer, I was telling everyone.

It wasn't long though before my little angel started flexing her strong willed muscle. A child that once loved to go to school and be the teacher's helper now didn't want to go at all.

She would cry and cling as I dropped her off. Scream my name as I left. Oh my word y'all, it was AWFUL!

I would cry all the way into work and rush to the bathroom as soon as I would get there to clean myself up-
crying and Alabama humidity doesn't make for a very pretty sight.

I started wondering did I get it wrong? Is the place that I thought was an answered prayer really not? Why would God answer my prayer and then have it turn out like this??

I kept thinking give it time, she's adjusting she will get used to and then she will love it!

Yeah,didn't happen.

What did happen is that she looked miserable and unhappy every time I went to pick her up. And Lord was she sick in there, constantly. I can't even remember all the gross stuff she picked up, and then shared with me.

I remember my husband saying, "Well I guess you were wrong, this wasn't a godsend."

How did this turn out so bad? I prayed, received, and then hated this place so much!

I realize now, that He did answer my prayer, just not in the way I was expecting.

I don't know why some things turn out they way the do, or why prayers even answered ones don't turn out to be blessings like we think they will be.

I do know for me, that this particular answered prayer was the point at which I seriously considered being a stay at home mom. I couldn't deal with my heart being broken every day, and besides I wanted to be home with her.

Maybe, sometimes God gives us what we want to show us it's really not what is best for us.

He gives in to a job or a move to put us on the path he wanted us to be on all along.

Just because something doesn't turn out the way we hoped and dreamed doesn't me we aren't going to have a beautiful life. There is a reason for every season. Hope for every heartbreak. We may not see it now, but one day we will.

I promise.

What about you? Have you ever had an answered prayer that didn't turn out the way you expected?

Linking with Soli deo Gloria#TellHisStory, Winsome Wed, Imperfect Prose, Faith Filled Fri, Fellowship Fri

Thursday, August 15, 2013

When You Need To Know You're More Than Just a Housewife

 I can't remember a time when I was young and thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, that I thought 'I want to be a stay at home mom.' Ever. I'm not so sure I even gave the idea of having kids much thought.

But then I had my first. And was faced with the decision to work and put her in daycare or stay home and not eat. I chose to work.

We were young, fresh out of college, and had no financial sense about us, and being right out of college we were just plain broke, or what we like to refer to as poh, it's worse than broke.

Putting K in daycare was something I knew I had to do.

When the time came that we..or should I say T was making enough that we could get by with me not working. I jumped at the chance.

And can I just say, it was not all fun and games like I pictured. Not. at. all.

It was the downright hardest thing I had ever done. All day with a toddler, a needy, busy into everything at one time toddler, was exhausting.

I could literally feel the life being sucked out of me. I started hopping back online to look for a job, to put this kid back in daycare!

Alas, nothing came about, my husband's dream of owning a boat was dashed and I started to feel like God wanted me to stay put. He had a thing or two he was going to teach me, so I'd better put on my big girl pants and get ready, cause it was going to be a bumpy ride.

Here I am now 12 years later, still alive, I have survived thus far, and there are a few things I want to tell you about staying at home.

Being a stay at home mom has it's ups and downs. There are days you know you never want to do anything else and there are days you wonder what happened to your life?!

You're washing dishes for the upteenth time, wiping down counters that seem to stay sticky and always cluttered. The laundry never seems to cease, and let's not talk about the bathrooms, dusting, or vacuuming...

But it doesn't stop there, you are also:

Referee, that longs to play fair between opposing sides

Chauffeur, between school, church, and the after school activities, you are putting quite a few miles on that car of yours

Nurse, you stay up all night when your lovely has caught the latest stomach bug and is barfing it all over you. Bandaging up skinned knees and kissing boo boo's goodbye.

Counselor, when your child starts school and they tell you that so and so isn't their 'best friend' anymore and ignored them all day. Or you now have a tween on your hand and there is boy drama along with the friend drama. Better pray up, cause you're gonna need some of that wisdom the Bible is talking about!

You, Mamma, are the first one they turn to. They know you are there and can count on you to listen and love them.

It's a thankless job, that the world won't thank you for. On the contrary, it's more likely to say you are wasting your time, your life, your degree.

But what the world doesn't know, for some of us, being at home isn't just a choice it's a calling.

You are stronger than you think. Smarter than you know.

Motherhood brings out a side in you, you never knew existed. You are fierce, Mamma bear.

Motherhood isn't for the weak...or weak stomached.

The skills you are acquiring now you can't get anywhere else. What other job requires you to manage multiple schedules, while making lunch, wiping tears, and cleaning up the kitchen for the millionth time simultaneously? You are an amazing multi-tasker.

Your people skills are through the roof, because after dealing with a moody tween or a screaming toddler all day, you've learned the art of negotiation and thinking outside the box to solve problems.

So, yes, maybe the days do seem to wander into the next or you're wondering if this is your life, like, for real.

When you're babies look at you they know there is no one else that compares. You are the woman!

Staying home is hard. It can be lonely, and your days are filled with talking to little people that don't understand much of what you are saying. It's a demanding job that never sleeps, literally. But you do it anyways because there is no other place you would rather be.

No other place where you will be this fulfilled and empty at the same time.

Being a housewife is choosing to say at this moment in life I am putting other things on hold and am going to put my heart and soul into raising these little's into the best they can be.

You can't be there for every moment, you will royally screw up more than get it right, but "for such a time as this" you are going to give it your all and do the best you are equipped to do. I believe in you, and you can do this!

Some may not understand the choice to stay home. Worse, you will be criticized and accused of being lazy and not a help mate at all, forcing your husband to bear the whole financial burden.

Stay strong in the Lord, he will give you the faith and the strength to keep going when no one, not even your kids appreciate what you sacrifice and do.

I see how hard you work to keep it all together and make things work.

You are a hero to not only me, but to others as well. You are doing a fantastic job!

Keep it up Mama, one day you will be able to look back, and you will know it was worth every minute.

***It's not every woman's choice to be a stay at home mom, and that's ok, we are each called to live and parent differently. This is for those that choose to stay home.

Linking with Imperfect Prose, Thought Provoking Thursday, Faith Filled Fri, and Fellowship Fridays

Monday, August 12, 2013

God Knows Why He Puts The Soil and Clay Where They Are

It was a beautiful mild weathered summer day, and we were on our way back home, my son and I. Driving down the long country road with tall, green, lush cornfields on both sides.

He was asking if I thought I was taller than the corn in the fields, and if could we stop to find out, he wanted to measure, and then laugh about how short I am :). Since moving out to this strange land of corn and silos we had been amazed at watching it grow.

From a tiny seedling to over 6ft tall in what seemed like a matter of weeks. Never had we seen corn grow so fast.

And then the conversation turned to the type of soil that is in Iowa versus back home in Alabama.

In Alabama there is clay, red get on everything does-not-come-out no- matter- how- hard -you- try, clay. It's good for only certain crops. In Iowa they have black fertile dirt, where even a black-thumbed girl like myself could probably get something to grow.

In childlike curiosity, he was wondering out loud how God knew to put clay in the south and black soil in the Midwest. And why would he put them each where they are. Did God know that they would need that kind of dirt for what they grew?

What if clay were in Iowa, then what?

This kids makes me smile :)

He wanted to make sure that God knew what he was doing.

Don't we all.

I looked over and smiled at my blue eyed boy, and assured him with a rub of his shaved down summer do' that God knew where to put the soil and where to put the clay. That He makes no mistakes.

God's smart like that.

He knew what each place needed in order to grow the right kind of crops.

Just like how he knows what we need when we need it.

I think I needed that reminder as well.

I often found myself wondering how in the world, did we find ourselves in the middle of Iowa?? And I wasn't so sure God knew what he was doing at times.

That day I was reminded that even though things happen, and they make no sense to me, God still knows what he's doing. And is in control.

I think I relaxed my grip on my reality that day forward and decided that whatever God was doing or going to do, I would trust him-even if it meant living in Iowa (which I grew to love!).

Do you find it hard to trust when things are happening around you and they make little sense? I know I can get pulled into seasons of doubt, wondering where in the world is God?! Before I remember again, He's right here.


Linking with the Soli Deo Gloria Party!, Women Helping Women, Winsome Wed, and #TellHisStory

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Road Trip To Redemption

'California Redwood Road Trip' photo (c) 2009, Paige Burghardt - license:

Have you ever read a book that meets you right where you're at? Or one that God speaks to you so clearly that you know you have to do something! Anything!

While away on vacation I took the book, Road Trip to Redemption with me. It's the story of the Mathias family: Brad, Paige, Jessica, Bethany, and Caleb, whom are cruising through life when their middle daughter, Bethany, starts increasingly acting out and withdrawing from the family.

After much prayer Brad and Paige, feel a strong sense to go to her room and find out once and for all what is wrong. Much to their surprise she is laying in bed crying- not quite what they expected.

What Brad assumed was a teenager being rebellious and moody  turned out to be anything but. When he walked into her room he expected a showdown with a rebellious teenager, not an emotional breakdown with a real, heart breaking reason for the cause behind it.

She dropped a bombshell on the family.( I won't tell you what, you'll have to read the book)

This led Brad and his wife, Paige on a soul searching discovery like never before. They realized they were doing all the "right" things as a Christian family but falling desperately short of reaching their children's hearts.

And leading their family in love.

This story hit home with me because I have two children ages, 8(bout to be 9 next month) and a 12 yr old.

I realized that I'm trying so hard to get things right and not mess up as much as possible so that maybe they will "get" it and grow up to be good, God loving people. My parenting style much like Brad and Paige's is based on fear instead of love.

I can't lead my family if I don't "get" it myself.

As Brad states in his book, "All my fathering attentions were based on my own fear of messing up their lives, of not living up to my role. I loved my kids, but the driving force in my relationship with them was fear, not compassion or grace or patience."  (pg42)
In dealing with the aftermath of Bethany's bombshell and seeking to help her and the entire family, Brad, whom has always loved to travel and has a penchant for adventure in the form of long-distance road trips, gets the idea to go on a seven thousand mile family road trip to Canada.

I know, I was thinking the same thing, a road trip like that would likely result in us strangling each other instead of bringing us closer together.

But, you never really understand the phrase "time flies" until you have kids. We have such little time to get to know them from the inside out. So, if a seven thousand mile road trip is what is takes to get the attention of your children's hearts, then I say go for it!
"I was trying to cram my faith into their heads when all that really mattered was what got in their hearts. I had missed the real target, mostly because I had been aiming at a worthless goal-creating a socially acceptable, outwardly compliant child rather than directing my kids to God himself, who could change them from the inside out."
I would hope that after reading this book I'm more aware of what is really going on in my children's lives and hearts. To strive to not cram down their throats the gospel but live in out in front of them, so that they can see Jesus working in me each day.

Somehow I feel less burdened after completing this book to get it all right and less responsibility for the spiritual transformation of my family.
Front Cover

Now that I've finished the book I'm ready to take my own two-week road trip with my kiddos :) (almost).

Brad includes a few pictures from the trip along with some diary entries from each member of the family that are completely unedited and straight from the journals. Writing a book out of their experience was never thought of beforehand, but how cool is it that one did come from it?

And one that can be used as a wake up call to other families to stop just going through the motions and get real with those in your life.

If you are looking for a book to motivate and encourage you in your family, regardless if you have kids or not, I would strongly encourage you to read Road Trip To Redemption. The ways God shows up for this family on this trip in personal life-changing ways is amazing to read about.

Each family member had their own "God moment," that brought tears to my eyes as I read. Reading about those "God moments"  affirmed to me just how much God sees, knows, and wants us to be with him on an intimate level.

Road trip, anyone? :)

Love well, friends- because I think that is the best thing you can do to reveal God to those around you.

*I received this book free in exchange for my honest review and opinion on the book. All opinions are mine :)

linked with: Fellowship Fridays and Family Fun Fridays, Thrive at Home


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