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."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I really love this time of year!  I am one of those people who could listen to Christmas music and enjoy the tree lit up all year long!  The older I get, I still feel like a child at Christmas!  I enjoy the Christmas spirit of those around me and I love spending time with family and friends.  I love giving gifts, having “cookie day” with my mom and sisters, and spending hours watching every Christmas movie that was ever made.  Yes, I really am a sap for those cheesy, romantic, Christmas movies!  I love seeing the joy on my children’s faces as they open their gifts and snuggling with my husband by the beautifully lit tree as we listen to Christmas music. For me, it really is the most wonderful time of year!

But today, I sit here with only two weeks left before Christmas and my mind ponders the question,

What was going on in the minds of Mary and Joseph with only two weeks before the birth of their son, the Savior of the world?

Wow!  They didn’t have the comfortable surroundings that most of us had before the births of our children.  They were on bumpy, uncomfortable roads traveling around 70 miles by donkey to a town to pay taxes.  For me, at nine months pregnant, I wasn’t traveling 70 miles anywhere by luxury car much less on a donkey.  But here they were, on the roads alone and I wonder what the conversation was like.  Were they talking about what color to paint the baby’s room or where they were going to send him to preschool?  These are the questions most of us new parents were discussing, right?  Oh no, I cannot even imagine the conversation.  Knowing that they were about to become parents of the Messiah had to be a somewhat overwhelming and humbling experience.  Their thoughts were probably making sure that they were following God’s plan.  Knowing that they were about to give birth to the One that would eventually die for them and all mankind.  What a beautiful lesson in faith and trust!  They weren’t concerned with having the perfect gifts for everyone or were there enough lights on the Christmas tree or that they attended every Christmas party they were invited to. No! They were concerned with carrying out the will of God and making sure that the precious Gift had a place to enter this world and carry out the will of his Father.
I don’t know about you, but this sure puts things in perspective for me!  

Luke 2:1-7

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

The Messiah made his entrance to this world in a lowly stable surrounded by animals in a non-hygienic manger.  He didn’t have the royal entrance that he deserved but he came in humble surroundings and lived an amazing life serving his purpose that ultimately led him to Calvary nailed to a cross dying for you and me.  But the best part of this story is that he rose again and is preparing a place for us in glory with him!

So, I ask you,

 With only two weeks till Christmas, where will you put your focus?

For me, making sure everything is perfect is not an option.  It is about making sure that Christ is glorified and honored in the way he deserves.  It is about remembering what happened that glorious day that Jesus was born and all he did for me following his birth.  He came for me, he died for me, and he is coming back for me!  Hallelujah!  My thoughts are of making sure that I carry out the will of my Father, to have the faith and trust as Mary and Joseph, and that the real meaning of Christmas is shared with those around me!

The greatest story ever told is right here for us! May we take this beautiful story of love and share with those around us that they may have the hope that we do!  This Christmas, make it your heart’s desire to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  That when Jesus came, there was hope and everything changed!

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
Luke 2:11

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Depleted 'Mom' Tank and A Teachable Moment

There are times as a parent when I am just spent! I'm sure all you parents reading this can understand where I'm coming from. 

During one of those particular weeks not too long ago, God showed me just how blessed I am by those precious children he entrusted me with! The schedule of the week had us home late every night running from activity to activity and, of course, it was a week when my husband was working out of town (or out of the country, I don’t remember. Lol!). But, its just LIFE and you do it! 

Well, one morning as we were about to leave for school I had a “moment”…. a moment where God allows you to see that even in those draining instances of parenthood, everything will be okay.

Caleb had been having tough time that year. School had been very challenging for him and he was becoming more of a daddy's boy, which made it even harder because his dad had been traveling quite a bit. During our bedtime routine the evening before, he was a little weepy because he was missing his dad a little more than normal. Well, me being "mother of the year" kissed him goodnight and told him to go to sleep. It was one of those days when, as a mom, I was completely drained. I had nothing else for the day and I was ready to get in my king-sized bed and go to sleep. My compassion tank was empty!

When we were about to leave for school the next morning, Ben came downstairs looking very tired. I hugged him and asked if he was all right and he just said he was sore and didn't sleep very well. I assumed it was from playing so hard in his game the night before but what he told me next brought me to tears.

He proceeded to tell me that after I left their room that night, Caleb was still crying so he just took his pillow and slept on the floor beside Caleb's bed to comfort him. Wow! Talk about a dagger through my uncompassionate heart! My 6 ft. tall, teenage son, after a long day of school, ball games, and homework, slept on the floor in the tiny space between his bed and his little brother’s bed so he could console him. I was touched by his selfless act of compassion.

God reminded me in that moment what a blessing Ben is! I was so proud and humbled by him and his tender heart! It was a glimpse of the man he is becoming and how God is using him in a mighty way. God used my depleted tank to show me that He will provide the needs of each one of us! He is using my children in mighty ways and I am incredibly blessed by their compassion for others and their obedience to the Holy Spirit's prompting in their lives!

What an amazing God! 

"Don't you see that children are God 's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep."
Psalm 127:3-5 (MSG)

Monday, December 1, 2014

First Sunday of Advent

Last night we began celebrating this season of Advent! We read scriptures aloud and talked about the first Advent, which was the birth of Christ and we are also anticipating Christ's glorious return in the Second Advent. Callie and Caleb led us in prayer that we will keep our focus on what is truly important this Christmas season and that God will change our hearts as we seek him more.
We lit the first purple candle, the prophet's candle or the candle of hope, as we anticipate his return. Just as God revealed to the prophets about the first coming of the Christ child, we know that He is faithful and will fulfill his promise of the second coming of the Messiah!
Lord, we worship you! We praise you for sending your Son and with hearts of expectation; we look forward to your glorious return! Amen!
Jeremiah 33:14-16, Isaiah 11:1-10, Luke 1:26-38, Luke 21:25-36, Isaiah 7:10-14, Matthew 1:18-24, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beginning Advent Season

On this first day of Advent, may we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas...the birth of the Messiah! Let's put our focus and attention on what that means for us today. God sent his Son down to earth as a baby, in flesh and blood to fulfill his purpose. That purpose was to pay the penalty for you and me on the cross. He took our sin, died a cruel death but then defeated death and the grave and IS returning for us one day soon! That's right....he came not just as a baby but as a mighty Rescuer! Hallelujah!

As we truly begin the Christmas season, make time to celebrate with your family. Read the scriptures together, pray together, and worship together. Don't let this season slip by as just another Christmas. Prepare today for worshiping our Savior in a way like never before. Ask God to renew afresh this season of Advent.

Let's celebrate the birth of Jesus, the precious Christ child, but let's also look with hopeful anticipation of His second coming....when He returns for HIS children!

~ But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.~
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Celebration of Advent

Our family began a new tradition last year to celebrate Advent. We have always focused on the true meaning of Christmas in our home, as this is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, in Bethlehem. Sure, we have our fun traditions of Christmas and will continue. We love to bake cookies, sing fun Christmas songs, and buy gifts.  But this was a way to focus our attention even more on the celebration of Jesus birth, the first coming, and also look in great anticipation for his second coming, when he returns for his bride!

I am excited to begin this again tomorrow on the first Sunday of Advent. It was a wonderful time as a family last year as it made us pause and share scripture together, pray together, and celebrate together what God has done and is doing now. A beautiful time of expectation and remembrance!

Here is a little video by LifeWay that explains a little about the Advent season.

Click on the link below:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve!

One of my absolute favorite days of the year has begun! The day before thanksgiving may not sound like anything significant to you but for me, it is a day at home with my amazing husband and awesome kiddos, cooking all day, preparing for a celebration of thanksgiving with all our family. This morning I got out of bed and tiptoed downstairs for a special rendezvous with my Jesus and had to maneuver around children sleeping in the living room. Yes, Callie and Caleb decided to have a camp out downstairs last night and watch movies together. So, I quietly tiptoed past them and took my place off the kitchen where I could spend some quiet time reading my love letter from my Lord and telling him all the things he is to me.
O, there is nothing quite like being in the presence of Jesus! When I open this precious book, I read his promises to me and know exactly how he feels about me....his daughter. As I bow my head in honor before him and share out of a heart of thanksgiving for all he is to me, the tears flow. Not tears of sadness, but tears of joy because he is so good to me. Even through trials and dark days, my God is so good to me. He has carried me through some dark days this year but he has also celebrated with me on many mountaintops. Life is hard, but God is good! No matter what the circumstance, my God has been right there. At. All. Times!
In just a few minutes, I will be in the kitchen cooking breakfast, preparing my station for a day of cooking, and getting ready to welcome a couple extra kiddos for the day. I will play my Christmas music or watch a Christmas movie as I cook and I will enjoy the lights of my Christmas tree as I prepare our thanksgiving feast. (If you're wondering, it is possible to celebrate and honor the thanksgiving holiday even with Christmas decorations up. ) It will be a day to praise God with a truly thankful heart for the many blessings he has bestowed on us this year.
Thanksgiving..thankfulness..not just a day but truly an attitude that we should take on. Gratitude..to my God..for his blessings..for his goodness..for his faithfulness..for his love..for his provision..for his grace..for his mercy..for his protection..for his Word..for salvation.
Abba Father, I love YOU and I thank YOU!
"I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."

Psalms 9:1-2 (NKJV)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Prayer Today

Lord, today, help me keep my focus on YOU! This world is a dark place filled with hate but I am reminded of what you did on Calvary where love overshadowed all hate any human could muster. By stretching out your arms on a cross and feeling the sting of death all because of my sin and my ugliness, you displayed a love that conquered hate. Your sacrifice is the reason I live and am free today to walk this earth and share your love with others. A love that will overwhelm our souls and help us understand that there is hope. YOU are HOPE! Your love is better than life and today, precious Lord, I praise YOU! You tell me in your word that there will be a day where there are no more tears, no more sadness and today, I am reminded that this world is NOT my home. I am just passing through on my way to eternity with you my Abba Father. Help me to be a light in this dark world until you call me home or return for me. This world needs more light. This world needs more hope. This world needs more Jesus.
Today, sweet Lord, help others see YOU in me. You are Peace. You are Love. You are Hope. You are LIFE and today....I PRAISE AND WORSHIP YOU!
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:5-6 (NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NIV)
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Revelation 21:4 (NLT)
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16 (MSG)