I'm amazed at how my Savior can take any and every circumstance around me to show me more about him. My prayer has always been that this journey of life I'm on would continually bring honor and glory to him, so by using every opportunity; my mistakes, my successes, and my day-to-day adventures, he teaches me how to use it for his glory. This life he blessed me with is ALL about him! So, these are my thoughts, my heart cries, and my lessons from his glorious Word. These are the teachable moments from my Savior!

Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

~ My Three Blessings ~

This morning I'm sitting here cuddled up with a blanket, my Bible and a cup of coffee on my front porch. The cotton is growing across the street and the sun is shining so beautifully this morning that I just sit and praise God in his majesty. The song I sing this morning in praise is, "How Great Is Our God". No matter how hard my week has been, I can ALWAYS sing that song in truth!

I sip my coffee this morning out a special mug....my "mom" mug! It was a gift from my sweet Callie a couple of years ago and every time I drink from it, God reminds me what an incredible honor I've been given to mother the three most amazing children in the world!

Right now, so many things come to my heart that remind me of just how blessed I am by these children and it would take me hours to share it all. But after an emotionally draining week, these are some things that blessed this mom's heart:

Ben, waiting out for the package of medication while I was at work and sending me a picture to offer comfort. Then coming home to find he had washed all the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. Callie, my teenage daughter, reaching over to hold my hand while we're driving down the road and sending me words of encouragement. Caleb's sweet hugs and finding me in the mornings asking me how I slept the night before.

Those three blessings right there....Ben...Callie...Caleb! I feel so unworthy sometimes that God allowed me to be their mother. I absolutely treasure every moment of them. Though not every moment is easy and pleasant (because parenting is hard), I treasure every second because God, in His divine providence, created those special miracles and entrusted me to be their mother. Wow! I will continue praising God for them and looking for His direction in guiding them through life.

So, right now, I will sit and rock some more on my front porch. I will sip my coffee and praise the One who blessed me with motherhood. I will enter my house in a little bit and hug my kiddos tightly and tell them again, just how much I love them! I will hug their dad tightly too because...well, he is my man and I always look for opportunities to hug on him! Lol! ;)

Enjoy your Saturday, dear friends, and remember to praise the One who gave you breath this morning. Then hug your children tightly and tell them how much you love them. If they aren't near you today, then call them and tell them. Don't take that privilege for granted!

"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him."
Psalms 127:3 (NLT) 

Friday, September 26, 2014

~ Finding Strength In God Alone ~

"But David found strength in the Lord his God."
1  Samuel 30:6b

There will always be some characters in the Bible who's stories just touch your heart in special ways. David is one of those for me.  David's life was definitely not without its mistakes and failures but he was also a man that God himself describes as a man after his own heart.   His life is one that has a lot we can learn from.

David became king at such a young age and is known immediately for his great courage in slaying the giant, Goliath. I was reading the through 1 Samuel this morning about his leadership as the Amalekites took captive all the wives and children of him and his people. They reach the land of Ziklag only to find it completely destroyed and their families are gone. They are all greatly distressed and scripture even notes in chapter 30, verse 4 that "David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep."  So here is David, trying to lead his men and has found out that all their families, including his own have been taken captive. He is distraught, but he still has to lead. Then his own men begin talking about killing David because they were blaming him for this tragedy.  David, in his own sorrow and feelings of inadequacies, could have just fallen to their schemes and died, but instead in verse 6 we see why he was a man after God's own heart,

 "David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God."
1 Samuel 30:6

He didn't let those that took blame on him stand in the way of completing the work God had before him.  He found his strength in his God and was able to lead his people through events that could have only been orchestrated by God himself. God led him straight to the Amalekites, destroyed them, and recovered everything that had been taken from them (verses 17-20).  The whole story is amazing and deserves time for you to read on your own.  Absolutely incredible how when we find our strength in God, he will equip us to do the work ahead, no matter how overwhelming it may seem.

O, how I needed this today! Nothing is impossible for my God!

Today, when you are weary and facing troubles that seem insurmountable, don't try and go it alone. There will be obstacles at every turn and people there to place blame on you because of their own hurt and feelings of bitterness.  Follow in the example of David and find strength in your God. Look to God for direction and don't yield to the enemy's lies. You were never meant to go it alone. Let God guide you through and be victorious in the fight against the enemy!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

~ The Greatest Love Of All ~

In our house we have a rule....when dad gets home, mom gets the first hug! Our kids know that when dad pulls into the driveway each evening and everyone makes a beeline for the door, they just need to make a path because no one gets a hug from dad until he wraps his arms around his bride. The kids are so ingrained to this now, that if I don't hear Matt come in, they will come find me to hurry and go give him a hug so they can follow suit. Our kids know how much we love them, but they also know that our relationship comes first.  They understand the love we have for each other is a priority and so amazingly special!

I began to think of how we view our relationship with Christ. When we wake up in the morning, do we go to our Savior first before we start taking care of all the other responsibilities and people in our day or do we put other things as priority over him.  As important as all the other things may be, do we show our great Love just how special He is to us by embracing him first in our day? Does everything else around us fail in comparison to falling into the arms of our Love to begin our day? Wow! Just a sobering thought this morning!

"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
Psalm 84:1-2

I want my Jesus to have my first embrace in the morning. I want him to be the One that gets my attention before the responsibilities and activities of the day get in motion. He deserves to be praised and loved on.  After all, he put all things aside as He stretched out his arms and endured the pain and agony of death on a cross for ME. That, my dear friends, is true love. 

My kids find comfort and stability in seeing that their parents love each other so much. They appreciate our affection toward each other. Think about the people we encounter daily, our families, our coworkers, our friends, etc. Do they see the love we have toward our Jesus? Because spending time with him daily will make us fall so deeply in love that it will be hard to go unnoticed! An intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is like none other. Do others crave that kind of relationship with Him because of the life-changing affect is has had in our own lives. 

Wow! What a thought this morning! 

Oh sweet, precious Lord. The love I have for you is indescribable. Waking up every morning and sitting at your feet is the very best part of my day. Soaking in the truths of your love letter to me make me fall deeper and deeper in love with you! I can open my heart to you as you welcome me just as I am. Lord, help others to see just how amazing you are through my testimony. May I be a light that shines your greatness and glory to a world in darkness. Let them come to you, Lord, and partake in the greatest love relationship they will ever have! 
All my love, 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

From One Wife to Another...

I've been a wife for over 22 years. I absolutely love married life and I LOVE this wonderful husband of mine and don't take a second of this blessing for granted. But marriage can be tough. I don't claim to know it all and there are still many things I learn on a daily basis. That's part of the incredible journey of married life. What I do know is that I am called to love Christ first and also to honor the covenant of my marriage that I made with my husband and our God! I also know that marriages all around us are crumbling and that burdens my heart.

I am often asked by young women/wives how to be a godly wife and have a good marriage. Well, first, I refer them to scripture because God set the standard for marriage and being a godly wife in his love note to us. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Genesis 2:24, Proverbs 18:22, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 Peter 3:1, Proverbs 31:10-31). That should be our "go to" in marriage, parenting and life! I am no expert on marriage and had plenty of mess-ups in my own, but if I had the opportunity to sit down with you young wives over a cup of coffee, there are some valuable treasures I've learned along the way that I would love share with you.

But, since we are not at the coffee shop sipping coffee and listening to soothing music, just go ahead a brew your own cup and imagine we are sitting across the table from one another discussing the beautiful blessing of marriage!

From one wife to another, here are some treasures I've learned:

Weddings are wonderful and most of us have envisioned our weddings from young ages as we fastened pillowcases on our heads and pretended they were veils. We dreamt of the moment the organ played "Here Comes the Bride" as the doors of the church opened and our handsome groom stood at the altar tearing up as we walked towards him. Then there were the cheers of onlookers as we ran through the rice that was thrown on us while being whisked away to our honeymoon getaway. And then shortly after came the dreams of pink and blue baby bonnets and rocking chairs. O, the elaborate dreams of the perfect marriage...the perfect family. Yes, yes, I had those dreams too and remember playing wedding and family on the playground in elementary school! It was so much fun!

My wedding was wonderful! My amazing man...even more wonderful! The memories are still so precious of that beautiful day!

But then what happens? Life continues after the wedding and there are some things we need to remember....

Don't forget that after the wedding is over...and the babies start arriving...and your "dream" has been fulfilled, that you still have a husband that needs continual love, respect and attention.

Life gets hard. Parenting, bills, jobs, and responsibilities all pile up but you still need to honor the covenant you made to that special man you fell in love with to have and to hold till death parts you. Children are time consuming. So are jobs and household responsibilities but never forget the one you fell in love with.

Continue nurturing the relationship you began with your husband when you were dating and cultivate new and exciting ways to show your love and affection toward him. He is the one that will be with you long after your kids leave the nest.

Love him. Love on him. Honor him. Pray for him.

The wedding bells stop ringing and turn into marriage. The excitement of expecting that baby fades as parenting begins. The visions of "white pickets fences" turn into mortgage payments and bills. BUT the journey of married life with the man of your dreams will continue and can be the most amazing and beautiful journey ever....even through the trials!

Marriage is a blessing and your husband an incredible gift from God. Take time to pause and reflect on how you fell in love and remember that anything worth having takes great care and lots of prayer!

Today, I am thankful for my wonderful husband! Matt, though the road has been rocky at times over our 22 years, navigating our marriage through the pages of scripture and the lens of Christ has been the best days of my life. I love you more today than the day we said, "I do"! There is no one else I would rather spend the rest of my life with and I look forward to continuing every day with YOU!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Great First Night at Bible Study!

What an amazing first night of Fall Bible Study! So many ladies that we ran out of books! No worries though, we will order more! 
It's going to be a great season of studying the Word! Woohoo! 

Wednesday Fun at Granny's!

Wednesday fun at Granny's consisted of the girls giving Granny a pedicure and discussions of who will pluck Granny's chin hair when she's too old to get it herself. Lol! Oh my....Wednesdays are interesting!! Lol!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A New School Year!

Well, it has been a great day all around! SHCA had the most amazing first day, my kiddos began the first day of homeschooling for the year and our first science co-op was soooo much fun!

For those of you wondering how in the world we homeschool when I work part time (well it's supposed to be part time. Haha!) I thought I would give you a little glimpse into our untraditional schooling.

This is our second full year of homeschooling and though we hadn't actually planned to do it this long, we loved it so much that we continue! Homeschooling looks different for each family and this is ours!

This year Caleb is homeschooling full-time in 5th grade, Callie chose to do full-time homeschool this year and is in 8th grade and Ben is part-time homeschool and doing part-time at WCA to finish out his senior year. The kids do so good getting their work done together and I love the extra time in the afternoon learning with them. Life skills have been a wonderful asset to our homeschool and we love the flexibility! We are really settling into the homeschool groove and praying for God to continue guiding us in this calling.

Callie and Caleb will attend a science and PE co op every other week that Caleb & I joined last year and today was our first time. Callie was a little nervous going in because it is new for her but she LOVED it and is so excited to be making some new friends. Our group grew this year and we love having it at our sweet friends' farm, which is right down the road from our house. What sweet time with other homeschooling families!

We are by no means traditional but this works for us! I love the opportunity to homeschool my children and spend this time of their lives with them. No, I don't have it all together and doubt myself many days BUT this is what God has called us to and He continues to prove so faithful in giving us exactly what we need. We will move forward in this 2014-2015 school year knowing there will be bumps along the way but we will rejoice in all things and trust God to carry us through. We are all learning together! We covet your prayers this year as we press on for God's glory!

My heart is encouraged tonight as we had a great beginning! I love this precious family of mine! Thank you, Lord, for each and every one of them!

Here are a few pictures of our first day!