Friday, September 20, 2013

Renewing Our Minds

While cleaning the bathtub this morning, a thought came to mind. I really didn't think the tub needed to be cleaned. I just cleaned it last Monday and you couldn't really see any grime on the surface. I knew if I did not clean it today, that by Wednesday or Thursday, it would be obvious that I did not clean on Monday. Sometime we are like that with our spiritual lives. We may think we don't need the Word today. We aren't doing that bad an hour or two into our day. The kids are playing,we've gotten a lot done,and we're feeling pretty good. As the day progresses it is evident we have not went before the Lord in prayer to ask for His grace,love,patience,and kindness today. I know, I have been there. It has happened to me before.

Or we may think, I cannot see any sin in myself so I must be doing pretty good. We're just blind to our own sins. We don't realize the little foxes can harm us badly. The "little" sins don't seem like much,but they are much. Any sin is detestable in God's eyes. It says in Romans 3:10  'that there none righteous no not one.' In Romans 3:23 it says,'For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.' I know at times I think I'm doing pretty good,but then I strike and I realize my heart is deceitful above all things. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9. God knows our hearts and that is why He wants us to be transformed by the renewing of the Word.

So how can we keep sin out of our lives? Well, I don't believe we will ever stop sinning until we are in heaven. I have heard many sermons on how Christians can be sinless. I don't believe we can. Only Jesus was sinless. We can and should certainly strive to sin less daily. So how can we be more keen on hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives so we can avoid sin?

Here are a few ways:

  • read God's Word- There is nothing like being washed in the Word. His Word has all we need. Reproof,encouragement,correction,love,grace,and so much more. Getting into it daily will help our spirits to grow and help us to be more keen to the Holy Spirit's leading.
  • pray daily and throughout the day- I think a time of focused prayer is needed. It doesn't have to be long,but take time before you start your day to thank God for the day,ask for wisdom,and to be aware of the Holy Spirits leading. Do it while you put on your clothes,make up,or while you are in the shower if that works for you.
  • guard our hearts and minds- This begins with the Word and prayer. Doing those two things will make it easier to guard our hearts and minds. We should be careful what we dwell on daily and who we let influence us daily. Our hearts are deceitful about all else,so submitting it to God daily is the only way to do it.
  • guard our eyes and ears- We should be careful what we listen too and what we watch. Those two things will affect our hearts,minds,and actions. Listen to Christian music,be careful not to watch t.v. shows/movies that condone sin and make light of it. That will only desensitize you to sin around you. This is so important as believers.
  • have friends who encourage you in the Lord- You cannot hide from the world,but you don't have to dwell with them all the time. You may work with secular people who are not encouraging you,but you can choose who you spend your free time with outside of work. Be sure to have friends who will lift you up and keep you accountable. If you are married,find couples who encourage and challenge you.
  • have friends who you can talk with when you do fail (same sex friends; women talk with women and men talk to men)- I would say that your number one friend should be your spouse. If they aren't a believer,make sure you don't cross the line with the opposite sex and be emotionally tied to someone else. I have a couple of ladies (some I have never met,but we have created a friendship online) that I talk too when I am down or I need direction. Some are older and some are younger than me. It's good to have someone to just get another perspective from as long as they don't have a worldly perspective.

We have to renew our minds. It's so important. If you have children,you are responsible for teaching them the ways of God. Our lives will speak the loudest to them. We will be held accountable for our actions by God Almighty. Be encouraged, the things I mentioned are easily attainable,it takes some dying to self and a desire to remain pure before God.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our September

I've slacked off of my writing lately. My blog will always be here and if it isn't, then it wasn't that important. I do want to still write some,but just not every day like I was trying to do. I loved having guest bloggers too. I want to still and try do that some. Thank you for all who do read my humble writings.

So here is what has been happening around here lately....

  • Our boys caught some kind of virus that has been causing a stir. They caught a virus that was causing mucus and that was causing bronchospasms at night. It's been something we have never experienced and never want too again. We saw 2 Doctors and 2 Chiropractors and none could pin point it or they just wouldn't say. We suspect viral asthma and it will go away. It's been 4 weeks since it began with our oldest and the virus has about run it's course. The younger 2 are going into the second week of it. They have been improving though after we started giving them a honey and lemon concoction. Thank God for His natural herbs and fruits. Prayers are still appreciated for them and us. My faith was rocked that's for sure. I questioned so much. It's hard to explain what they were doing,but it was terrifying. I just got discouraged and down. Thank God for other believers who encouraged me and for my husband who would not let me give up.
  • We went to Texas for vacation last week. With the spasms we weren't sure about going that far,but we decided to make the trip. The spams were not going to kill them and there was nothing we could do here that we couldn't do there. We left last Tuesday evening with some friends. Oh it was so much fun! We went last year and it was our first vacation. Some family friends live out there and love us like their own. We spent Wednesday,Thursday,and Friday out on Lake Livingston. They have a home right there on the lake. It was beautiful and peaceful. I could have stayed there a little longer. We left Saturday morning for home. Our boys had so much fun!! I just love watching their faces light up with joy. We are so grateful for the people God has put in our life. We are so blessed with people who are willing to open up their homes to us. 
  • I have been planning for school to start. We started this past Monday. My oldest is 5 1/2 and my second oldest is 3 1/2. My oldest started history,science,and some math. I love our curriculum too. It's simple and hands on. It's all Bible based,which I love. So far so good. I have only a few goals. The main two are: for my boys to learn more about the Word of God and for learning to be fun. They're small and we never stop learning. We are always playing and doing things,we just don't do formal school year round. I'm just thankful to be able to teach our boys our morals and the Word of God.
So that's our September so far. I will share a couple of pictures with you all. I pray you are having a great month so far!

Daniel and Aaron ready to have some fun.

The view that greeted us each morning. Breathtaking!

I love this shot.

The beautiful lake.

Johnathan enjoying the boat.

Aaron coloring his page.

Doing a craft with the letter A.

Daniel doing some work.

Daniel's collage representing Jesus as the center of history.

Monday, September 9, 2013

What Matters Most

When I was a younger I wanted to be good at something. I never really was growing up. I wasn't a sports girl,I wasn't in the band or cheer leading,and I wasn't artistic. I always felt like I just wasn't good at anything. I longed to be though. While in college I joined the drama (human videos) team at our church at the time. I had finally found a place I fit it. I loved ministering on the weekends and some during the week with the Joshua Generation. We saw powerful services where God really did touch people's hearts. It was so awesome. Once I married and moved I had to, of course, step down from the team.

I thought I will be good at being a wife and my husband said I was even when I failed badly.  I do feel I have come a long way in my role as a wife,though I still have a lot of room for improvement. When I became a Mom, I still struggled with wanting to be good at something that seemed significant. I learned to make jewelry in college and I did that off and on until I had children. I just didn't have time when I become a new Mother and put it away. I tell everyone that with our first son we were just trying to survive. Two years ago I started making jewelry again. I thought I would hit it big and lots of people would buy things. I wanted to offer pretty things at an affordable price and I wanted to earn a little money to help ends meet. Well, I was doing more give-a-ways than selling jewelry. Once again I just couldn't find the time to make and make and make. So I had to put it away. I felt like I failed.

I have always loved to write and I started a blog a few years back in 2008. I had time to write,but not much to write about. Now,that I have been through the ringer a little bit  I have things to write about,but not much time. I dreamed of becoming a professional writer. Ahh to impact the world with my words,my struggles,and my joys. I realize now that I do not have time for that,not like I need too. I can still write,but I can't dedicate enough time to it like I need too. So... what am I good at that is significant?

I thought about this a couple weeks ago. What do I do good that is having a significant impact? I was cleaning the bath tub when it hit me. I am good at home making. I am good at balancing the priorities of home. It sure doesn't sound too wonderful to most. I have friends who ask how do I do it? How do you keep a home clean,tend to children,and still have time to spend with your husband? Plan,schedule,and plan some more. I don't plan because I am organized,I plan because it helps me stay organized. I am good at making cleaning schedules,scheduling play time,scheduling hubby time,and scheduling me time. I learned if you do not plan things,they will more than likely not happen. If you want a birthday party for someone, you don't just wait for people to invite themselves,the cake to bake itself,or the decorations to decorate the place. You have to plan it out. So it is with our lives. I don't plan everything to a tee,but I do plan most of what we do around the house.

I felt proud (in a good way) that I was good at something that was significant and I am only good at it because of the Lord. I had never cleaned much before I got married. I had never done laundry or washed many dishes or cooked much. I had to learn how and learned to love it. I love making my home suitable for us to live in. I love to cook meals that fill our bellies. I love to sit in the floor and play with my boys. I fail very much,so I am not saying I am good all the time. There are days where I do not clean the bath tub like I planned. There are days where I beg my boys to go play by themselves so I can get something done that is way over due. There are days I just want to give up. I look at my husband and my boys and I can't. God has given me so much to be happy about. I couldn't possibly just quit.

I'm good at making jewelry or writing,but that doesn't necessarily make me significant. I kept looking for something that others recognized as significant and that is something I struggle with even now. I know I shouldn't. My husband loves that I stay at home. He tells me countless times that he is glad I want to stay at home and school and take care of our boys. He tells me he is glad I clean and keep the house up like I do. Really, his opinion should matter if anyone's.

We are called to do whatever we do for the Lord. Whether you are flipping burgers,writing checks,taking orders,cleaning up your home,or writing books, do it all for the glory of the Lord. Our lives are a reflection of Him,or they are supposed to be.

Be encouraged that God says what makes you significant. If you are seeking His face and seeking to honor Him in your life, it is significant and no one can say otherwise.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Looking In the Mirror of the Word

The other day I was straightening my hair trying to get the wave out. I was intently focused on getting it just right. I love to fix my hair and put on make-up. Before having kids I never went anywhere without make-up. I just love being a girly girl. Now, if I put on make-up my boys ask me where are we going that day. Ha! Funny how things change isn't it?

The Holy Spirit began to reveal something to me. If we spent half the time in the mirror of God's Word, as we do in the physical mirror perfecting our physique how much more like Jesus could we be? We pay so much attention to our face and hair. I know that it takes some women hours to get ready. We want our eye shadow to look just right and have a dramatic effect to make our eyes pop out. We wax or pluck our eye brows so they look perfect. We make sure every lash is covered in mascara and want them to look full and long. Is that wrong? I don't think it is,if that isn't what drives you. If you know that it is just make-up and our worth isn't in it,then I think there is nothing wrong with it. But if we value our physical beauty over our spiritual beauty,we need to stop and re-evaluate things.

What if we intently looked into the Word of God and let it change us? What if we were so particular about our actions,words,and obedience to the Word? I think our homes would look a lot different. I think even our churches and our society would look a lot different. The Word says in II Corinthians 3:18 that we are changed by the Spirit of the Lord, But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The Bible is our mirror. It will show us the imperfections,the sins,and the ugliness of ourselves. It is to be our guide for life. What is more beautiful than a soul that is gentle,loving,patient,and kind? That is what God wants us to focus on. He wants us to be beautiful inside more than He does on the outside.

Our society pushes physical beauty and we are bombarded with perfecting our bodies. It's good for us not to get caught up in that. It is very easy to do because the world seems to exalt those with beautiful faces and perfect hair. They look down on those who don't keep up with the latest trends and try the latest work outs. Those who are not slim and trim are looked at shamefully. Even those who are not "pretty" to look upon are rejected. God looks deeper than our Cover Girl and CHI. He cares much more about how we treat others,how we handle disruptions,and how we love our families than how straight our hair is. That is so hard to remember for me at times. I fall prey to keeping up with what the world says is beautiful. It's directly opposite to what God says is beautiful. I'm so thankful He isn't worried about my waist size,my hair,or my face. He doesn't measure us by those things. He measures our worth by what He says about us. He says we are redeemed and we are His. 

Don't let the world,the devil,yourself,or others make you feel less than God says you are. With His Spirit in us,we can strive to walk in the godliness He has called us too.

I have been reading a new ebook called More Than Rules by Bambi Moore,she blogs at In the Nursery of the Nation. It is so convicting. She not only talks about this,but being modesty in our talk also. Check it out if you haven't already.