Sunday, November 30, 2014

Being a light

Sometimes this world is dark.
Sometimes its not quite beautiful.
Sometimes those around you know Jesus.
Sometimes you are the only jesus they will know.

I've read a quote about that before and can't count the times I've fallen short of living like Jesus.  But the bible tells us we all fall short but it also tells us to stand apart.

The world around us sees many church goers as hypocrites not  for what we need to show.

We need to show grace, love, joy, empathy, humility,  & boldness for others. It needs to be true and from the heart not just for show. 

We don't have to wallow in sin or agree with others choices yet we are to love. I try.

Some of my hardest conversations are when I feel called to explain my convictions. I don't want to hurt others or make them feel unloved.  I want to show God's love to others. Yet we cannot  continue as we were once we dedicate our lives to Christ. Sometimes the line feels thin as to when to speak and when to keep silent. But if we pray and let the spirit lead us we won't go astray.

I hope others bear with me as I try to let my light shine and I hope many join me sharing a love for Christ with those around them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dreaming big

I don't really have a format for what I type here because I truly try to only put things I feel God has placed on my heart. I have spent hours in front of the computer screen praying God would give me words to help some one to touch someone else.

 That is my dream. To let the light of God shine out, to be a living testimony, to touch someone who hasn't given their heart to Christ, and inspire them to pursue God.  That is my hearts desire.

It hasn't always been. For years I was satisfied attending services sitting in a church pew keeping my mouth shut and just listening but one day he moved me to want to read more of his word, to do more for him, to be more like him. I called myself a christian when I should have just been a believer because a true christian is Christ-Like.  Jesus never set back in a pew and kept quiet.  Even as a boy he spoke up and taught others. Luke 2 tells the story of when he stayed behind at the temple.

I can look back over the past several years and see that he has changed me he has helped teach me to improve who I am.  I can also humble myself like I frequently must and say he isn't finished with me yet.  I have been convicted over a lot of things and cut out a lot of bad behaviors but I am better than I was and God is still working on me. 
The first step is giving your heart to him and truly saying you are willing to lay down yourself and live a life for him.  At first things that you do that aren't right will be hard to let go, but I know for me know when I get convicted over things it is a joy to change them because it means I am closer to the one that died on a cross for me. 
God convicts those he loves, it is correction just as we have to correct our children here on earth if we love them.  I want to be about my father's business just as Jesus was.  As many mistakes as were made from the garden to now God has shown so much mercy to us all.  He gave the Israelites chance after chanceHis chosen people fell short time and time again then he sent his son whom was rejected and died so we may have eternal life.  All we have to do is accept that life but he doesn't force it on us it is a choice we all have to make no one can get salvation for anyone else.

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Phillipians 2:12

It is a relationship no one can build for you. It is personal and has to be.  No matter how bad you want to you cannot get your friends or family into heaven, it is a all about the personal choice they make to give Jesus their filthy sinful lives and be reborn into something better something that strives to grow and be more for him.  We can't earn salvation.  It is freely given but when we make that choice it makes a change in us those around us should be able to see.  I know looking back I can defiantly see the changes in myself and I look forward to how God will continue to mold me!

I want to be different

I have spent my entire life wanting to fit in.

I have always felt like an outsider.

An annoyance someone people just tolerate because they have to.

I always went overboard trying to do things to please others.

I get hurt a lot when I let people in because I love and care too much.  

I don't want to be that girl anymore.  I decided one Sunday morning at the alter at church I don't have to be.
  It truly doesn't matter to me if anyone likes me anymore

My people pleasing days are over. I will now be living my life to please God!

 I am not going to be mean or hurtful because that isn't how God wants any of us to truly be but my eyes are no longer on trying to please family and friends or anyone in the world around me.  I want to live to please God. I want to do what his will is for my life.  Others will be disappointed sometimes but that is part of life. I will walk in what I feel is God's will in my life. 

Two bible verses that have really laid on my heart since God spoke to my spirit:
Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Peter 2:9 - But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Those who do not have Christ and many that do can't understand this concept that we aren't all meant to fit into this cookie cutter mold that some want us in. I don't agree with what some others choose to do but they answer for their choices and I answer for mine.  I am merely working out my own salvation for no one else can do that for me. When I feel God lay it on my heart to speak up or reach out to someone else I will and I am going to use what wisdom he gives me to show his love to others. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

sometimes it is hard to speak up

I almost lost a close friend due to my faith.  I am not close to him anymore but I told him I believed homosexuality is a sin and I don't believe it is a Godly way of life.   I love him and want happiness for him and told him this when i had my daughter and he came out of the closet to me.
This was the first time I ever stood up for my biblical beliefs and it was hard.  I felt broken but I knew it was something I had to do.  I couldn't live a lie and tell him I accepted his choices.  I'm crying typing this because the hole it put in our friendship.  before I spoke up every time he was in town we tried to meet up for lunch or something but once I told him my heart it stopped.  I haven't seen him in person in almost 8 years. He blocked me on facebook for awhile when I posted a few comments about voting for amendment 1 being added on to NC's state constitution.
I want to be real for just a few minutes with anyone that is reading this. I DO NOT HATE GAY PEOPLE PERIOD.  In fact I love one in particular just like a brother and was super close to him growing up and stepping up for God cost me that relationship more or less but I don't regret it at all.  I still pray for him and a part of me hopes things will change.
All the publicity I have been seeing online about amendment one being overturned has all this on my heart heavily and feel like I was meant to share here for some reason.
It isn't just homosexuality I disagree with it is adultery, divorce, lying, gossip, stealing, jealousy, promiscuity, and every other sin or temptation that is placed out there on a daily basis.  I am not the judge of anyone that commits any of these acts but as a child of God I cannot say that sin is ok and I cannot see the world as shades of gray.  Things are either of God or not of God.

No I am not self-righteous I don't think I am better than anyone.  I struggle but the thing is I try and God knows my heart and he knows I try to the best of my ability to live for him and live by his word.  I fall short a lot but I also hit my knees and cry out to him to forgive me.  God came to earth in the form of a man and lived on earth, died on a cross, and rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is coming back.  He did all these things so I could be forgiven so I could be washed clean and although i have to repent for small things daily when he convicts me I change what he convicts me of.  But Jesus didn't just do this for me he did it for everyone. Anyone that calls out to him can have eternal life but they have to walk away from sin.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1 Corinthians 6:9 kjv (scripture is new testament after Jesus paid the price for our sins it isn't leviticus where people were put to death for their sins)

God loves us all whether we accept the gift of salvation and try to walk in the truth of his word or whether we stay in the world and live the way that pleases the flesh.  
At one point before I really studied the bible I had a terrible potty mouth but I honestly can't tell you what the last "bad" word that came from my lips was.  I was convicted by the scriptures and I changed.  God forgave me of my sin and he can forgive anything anyone does. So I just pray for those who see me and label Christians as bigoted and closed minded because if someone is truly living for Christ they hurt when they see SIN embraced and treated as good.  But to enter into heaven we must turn from the sin.  We get refreshed and forgiven by repentance but repentance doesn't mean continuing on with something God let's us know is wrong.

I love everyone and I want everyone to see the love of Christ through me not just feel like I am some high and mighty judgemental hypocrite.  I attend a church where the pastor steps on my toes and doesn't sugar coat the word of God and I am not going to live a life where that is what I do.  It is my job to stand up for what is right and wrong for when my savior comes back he is coming back for those who live for him.

Ephesians 5:25-27 (kjv)
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

It is the my goal to be part of this church the one that tries to eliminate my spots and my blemishes.  I try to be a better person with each passing day and to show the love of Christ even to those who hate me for that love.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blessed beyond words

Yesterday we went to church as usual on a Sunday.  The youth had a meeting and stayed afterwards and my husband and I left to go out for lunch alone.   I told him during lunch I loved our youth meetings and I always got a lot out of the message myself. My pastor's wife does our meetings and she causes all of us adults to think a little outside of the box and consider things in the word we might have just skimmed over before.  I told him I hated to miss the meetings cause I might miss something I needed so after we ate we went back to the church.  I got the tail end of the message and this is the first one I attended that was as seriously toned as the others.  We always have fun and I missed all the games but the message was on sin and how you can't let just a little in that once you are saved you have to turn away from all of it.
We stayed after the message and played more games until our night time service which the pastor felt led to turn into an alter call.  I went up to pray with someone else and I kept feeling that still small voice beckoning me back and I met my oldest daughter halfway back towards our seats.  "I said do you feel like God is calling you up to the alter?"
She smiled at me with tears in her eyes and said "yes"
I took her by the hand and walked up there with her and I couldn't find any words to pray except "thank you Jesus"  I had to call the pastor's wife over to pray with her because all I could say was "thank you Jesus for taking the time to call my baby to live for you"
I have never felt this blessed in my life.  I have two more kids that will cause me to rejoice when they make their decsion to walk with Christ and I know that day will come but right now I am living in the moment of Thanksgiving for Jesus knowing my attempts at following his commandments have lead me to be the mother of my "sister in christ"
After my first miscarriage-my most joyful moment was looking at her little 7lb body and face and thanking God for this gift but the gift he gave me last night-Knowing she will be in heaven is a bigger blessing than that moment.
Another thing that is amazing about this all taking place yesterday is the poem my husband felt led to read.  It was one that God had given him and to me it was a confirmation for both of us we are doing something right!

Footprints in Footprints
Lord as those little footsteps follow behind
A rightous man I want them to find
O how awful if I lead them astray
Woe to me come judgement day
O Lord as the do follow me 
A man of God I want them to see
Give me guidence and direction as I lead
Those little ones will see if you I do heed
For those little eyes will see all I do
Lord let my life help lead them to you
As they step in each footprint I make
I pray Dear Lord that each step I take
Will lead them on a path that is straight to you
A path, a life that is Godly and true
For I am here for just a little while
Lord help me go that extra mile
Lord help me walk rightously while I am here
For these little foosteps will surely be near
Let all my influence point to you and for you to shine
As each little footprint is made inside of mine 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hillsong United "Oceans"

This song is on my heart and mind a lot lately


Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine 
 I am no longer content just dipping my toes out into the water.  I want to swim and feel the presence of God in all that I do.  My faith is growing and I don't have to worry about drowning if I step out as long as my eyes stay on Jesus-I don't need my feet to touch the bottom ever again!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014


If you google convicted and pick a free dictionary this is what I found:
1. Law To find or prove (someone) guilty of an offense or crime, especially by the verdict of a court: The jury convicted the defendant of manslaughter.
2. To show or declare to be blameworthy; condemn: His remarks convicted him of a lack of sensitivity.
3. To make aware of one's sinfulness or guilt.
In my walk as a Christian #3 explains my use of the word most.  God convicts those he loves and those that have given there life to him. The word says: 
                  When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:
                  John 16:8 HCSB
most translations use the term conviction here. KJV does say "reprove" which the dictionary I used says
1. To voice or convey disapproval of; rebuke. See Synonyms at admonish.
2. To find fault with.
 when we give our lives and hearts to Jesus we are asking the holy spirit to come into our lives and help us live a changed life.  We are choosing to walk away from that sin and become a new creature.
The world we live in is very much into phrases and statements like "follow your heart",  "do what makes you happy", "do what feels good", and "if it doesn't hurt someone else then do it."  If we take Jesus into our hearts it isn't going to be just about us anymore.  We are to let him mold us into what he wants. It is always our choice that is why we have free will.  We don't have to live our lives for God we can live them for ourselves.  It is a personal choice each person has to make.  I can't make it for my friends, I can't make it for my family, and they cannot make it for me.  Once you make this choice if you live your life for the Lord it comes to a point that you realize "it isn't about you anymore" it becomes about God and letting the light and love of Jesus shine in your life.

I have said every time I publish something on here I feel butterflies in my stomach and get really nervous because I am putting things about me out there that are hard for me to share. It's very personal, but I have recently realized through one of my favorite christian role models (Lysa TerKeurst) that most of us that put our heart and our flaws out there for others to see feel this, but if putting my self out and humbling myself can touch one person and cause someone to strive for a closer relationship with the Lord for themselves my discomfort is worth it a million times!  It is amazing how sometimes the simple things just click and it takes away fears that you had with them.  I was always worrying about people laughing at me or making fun of me when I put my heart here for them to see but if I am following God's lead it doesn't matter if they laugh at me-he is smiling at me for I am stepping out in Faith and isn't that really what most of it is about? Living life in a way that is pleasing to God-not man.  The opinion of the world around me won't get me into heaven showing my love of the Lord to him takes me out of the darkness of this world full of hate, jealousy, bitterness, and evil. I live in this world full of darkness but I don't have to live in the darkness I have a light to turn to:

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1Peter2:9 KJV

Back to the subject of this post lately I have been convicted about judging others.  As we grow sometimes we have a tendency to forget we aren't perfect yet (if we were our time here would be over and we would be hand in hand with Jesus).  We all have things God still needs to help us with.  We have areas we aren't as mature spiritually in as others are things we need to work on.  It's easy to forget how flawed we were in aspects of our life before we let God mold us into what we are.

Lord help me to be a better person and remember we all started somewhere-Amen!

It is a simple prayer but a heartfelt one I pray often.  As a christian we grow and become convicted over more and more as our relationship with Christ grows.  We start feeling we need to change more and more of how we behave and choices we make, but it is because we read more and study more in the word and choose to change. As scripture that confirms this is in Luke:

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:48 kjv

Sometimes I have the tendency to forget God works on each of us at different rates of times and on different issues.  I may stumble across a scripture that convicts me of something in my life that needs to change, but one of my friends my get something else from that same scripture or even not notice that particular verse.  Sometimes he convicts one person on something yet another doesn't feel like the same thing is wrong.
Here is an example of that-A Christmas tree.
Jeremiah 10:3-6 (NIV)
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm
    nor can they do any good.”
No one is like you, Lord;
    you are great,
    and your name is mighty in power.

I know of Christians that believe this passage means that Christmas trees are wrong and if they believe that and feel convicted of that it is fine and nothing is wrong with that, but from what I get from this passage it is another example of how we need to worship God not idols.  Don't worship the tree worship the Lord. That doesn't make the person that doesn't believe in Christmas trees better than me and it doesn't make me better than them as long as we individually try to follow what we feel is God's path for us we are both doing what is right.

It doesn't mean that the person that stays away from that thing is any better than the other it just means they are in a different place and God is working on them in a different way.  This is a fact many of us tend to forget when the newness of Christ fades.  I have been guilty of asking "how can _______ call themselves a christian and do__________?"  And recently I have repented for the occasions this statement has come from my lips.  It isn't my place to walk anyone else's walk.     

When God is working on us in a particular area we tend to run across verses of the subject often.  In devotionals, personal bible study, sermons we attend or listen to online, even scrolling through our newsfeed on fb.  I know I was meant to address this subject here because I kept running across these verses frequently :

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. John 8:7 KJV 

 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:1-3 (NKJV) 

I have to remind myself not to get self-righteous and think I am better than others.  That doesn't mean that we should turn our eyes the other direction and act like sin is ok, it simply means we need to check ourselves.  I have friends I have confronted on issues that I have read about in my personal bible study and felt strongly that certain verses were meant to help them.  So I pass those verses on. If I see someone struggling somewhere that I am I talk to them about my problems in those areas-sometimes I think God just wants us to share so we know we are not alone in this walk and other times others can grow and learn if we share our experiences.  We are supposed to help each other and encourage one another.  I also recently read somewhere that we shouldn't be sitting in church with a spirit thinking the message is just for another member of the congregation. OUCH! I have been guilty of this and if I quit being self righteous and just think about it there is something for me in the message! Phillipians 2:12 says work out your own salvation. No one else can do that for you it is your personal experience you have to find your ways to follow God and his will for your life.

I feel that all he really wants is our complete Love. I feel that with true Love all else will follow.
With Love comes:
and much much more!

After all the best explanation of true love is found in
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

the Degrees of Sin

As a human we tend to see the world in shades of gray.  It isn't black and white but we tend to live in grays.
we forget that sin is not in degrees with God.
If I tell a lie and do not repent I am no better than a murderer on death row.
That is hard for my human mind to comprehend. I tend to look at things as worse than one another. but sin is sin there aren't degrees of it with God.
Things are either of the Lord or against the Lord we need to use wisdom with all our actions and choices and not blame the fact that others say it is ok. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Feeling pain for others

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 KJV

I don't know if I am normal or not but I care a lot about others.  Opinions don't really matter that much but when I know someone is in a struggle or battle in their lives-I feel pain.  It doesn't have to be me.  I could sit here and name of three people that I have sat and cried for and asked God to move for in the past month.  I have prayed for more than three and hurt for more than three people but I know for sure that tears have fallen for those.

I have an online friend with her own blog that tells her story. I sat and read about her struggles with cancer and I cried and I cried I bet it was hours.  My heart ached for her.  She is wonderful and upbeat and amazing and it just isn't fair that she is going through all she is.  I never met her in real life-I met her on a pregnancy support website after we had both went through miscarriage.  I prayed and cried with her through pregnancies (three successful ones for each of us and several not successful ones for her two for me).  

I have a dear friend from church that is so supportive I feel very connected to that just lost her father.  I have sat at home and cried for her the past few days.  It hurts me to know the pain she is going through.  

I don't know if I am normal or not but I try to look at my problems as I could always have it worse.  I am blessed I try not to take those blessings for granted but sometimes my kids drive me nuts, I lose my temper and yell, and sometimes I honestly just open my mouth and stupid falls right out. I have so much growing left to do but in the moments I slow down and think of others I feel like I have learned one of the greatest lessons Jesus ever taught:

Matthew 22:36-40New King James Version (NKJV)
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

The most important thing we can do is love.  If we choose to love others it is to put them in high esteem to think of them to care for them.  I absolutely do this commandment that Jesus laid out for us. I love it isn't quiet the perfect love that placed itself on a cross for my sins but I do love I love enough that I could name 10 people I have cried for since I cried for myself.  I learned a lesson at church that it isn't about me. It is about God, it is about what he wants and what he wants is 
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 KJV

  The third person that I mentioned is facing her greatest trial in life right now and I just keep praying for God to offer her comfort.  I have only met her face to face once but we have shared many happy and stressful occasions turning to one another.  I went to the alter during church service yesterday crying out to God to comfort her and let her know he hasn't left her.  I know her life feels like one of the pages of Job but if she stays strong I know his blessings will pour out on her.  I have prayed for God to give me words to help her and I have sat in prayer with tears streaming hurting for her situation.  I believe God will move for her.  I believe all these verses are going to help her and she will feel God in with her. 

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. proverbs 3:5 kjv

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds Psalm 147:3kjv

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psal 34:18 NIV

I just want to add.  It isn't only sadness I share with others I share their joy.  A couple that I go to church with had been praying for a baby for years and when I found out that prayer was answered I screamed "Praise you Jesus" and I was honestly as happy for them as I was when I found out I was having babies.  I have felt this joy with multiple people that have struggled with miscarriage or infertility.  Any time you go through these things you tend to find out you aren't alone and with me felt a deep sadness with anyone with these struggles yet that same sadness brings so much joy words can't explain when they find out God has a little miracle in store for them even though it was one of those times prayers were not instantly answered.  His time is perfect, ours is flawed, he knows more and better than we do.  It amazes me sometimes how I feel such strong emotions for others it is like it is happening to me. The pain of others brings me to tears often I try not to question God as to why because I know his plan is better than our plans, I know there are times and seasons for change, I know that God is in control and most of the bad that happens to us isn't to harm us but to teach us to trust in him not ourselves and to listen when he nudges us and teach us to obey him. 

I can say I haven't always had a close realationship with God I haven't always turned to him with my troubles but I can honestly say life is more bearable and I feel less weighted down since I do.  I guess the reason for this is simple I just have to look into the word to see:

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light Matthew 11:30 KJV

Friday, August 8, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Being the wife God wants me to be

when I look back on the woman my husband married I wonder why?
what was he thinking?
I was so self centered.
I put my wants first, I didn't have a servants heart, I spoke my mind-rarely in a nice way, I was so in the flesh it was all about me. 
 Thank goodness God has worked on me!!!!!

I am still far from perfect, but I think I am a decent wife now.  It took a lot of time for God to mold me into this woman.  At one point i was the one screaming and pouting to get my way it was all me.
I have now come to the realization is isn't about my way or his way it is about God's way.  If I feel my husband is in the wrong I don't need to call him out and tell him he is stupid which I did I admit I have not always been a good wife. Now I just refer to my instruction book (my bible) and pray for the answer then I talk to him calmly about how and why I feel the way I do about an issue and we tackle it together.
The bible says God gave Adam a helpmate- 

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement." Genesis 2:18

We are here to help our husbands not control them.  I believe the differences between male and female are completly on purpose.  Men aren't as emotional and women are more compassionate.  We are made to compliment one another.
The roles of a husband are clearly laid out in these scriptures 

Ephesians 5:23
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
to me this means a man is to step up and lead but then when we look further in the word and find these other verses
Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Ephesians 5:23
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
1 Timothy 5:8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
This doesn't mean we aren't to have opinions and we just let our husbands rule us with an iron fist.  It does mean we are to work together and he has the final authority which was hard for me to grasp for a long time.  Let's face it I was not born with a submissive spirit.  I am very opinionated in the flesh and have a hard time not just blurting out how I feel and that is where I am now. I am working on being slower to speak and to actually use wisdom before blurting things out.  We all have our own personal things we fight with and I think God did that so we find ways to fight our flesh and grow our own ways.  My mouth is my downfall it is my greatest battle and the bible has a lot to cover on that also maybe another day to write on that subject.  
The word also tells wives how to act.Examples of this:

Titus 2:5 ESV
And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

1Corinthians 7:3-9 ESV
The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.  

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 

I feel like the verse in peter doesn't mean you can't fix your hair and look nice it means work on your inside before your outside!  Let God change you into what you are meant to be for his purpose.

 A deep study into proverbs 31 will def help learn what the good I recommend this one:
 Proverbs 31 study

I still learn with time about being married but I watch other christian examples I have in my life and learn from their examples.  Things I have learned are many but here are a few-I do not publicly put my husband down, I treat and show him with respect,  I don't keep things that really bother me from him, and I pray with him.  We joke around and tease one another a lot but we keep respect there.  We try to never argue in front of our kids and to keep a united front and stick together when it comes to correction and discipline.  
In myself I was always worried about me and what i want and what I need but with God and the word I have learned it isn't all about me and what I want isn't always right or best so I continue to grow and change and it is a never ending process.  I hope to look at myself years down the road and see this is just the start!
At a service this week the preacher said don't let your past dictate your future and that is so true. For an awesome biblical example start reading Acts 9- Saul was threatening the Christians of death yet he turned out to convert and became Paul, author of a huge portion of the new testament.  We all have the capacity to change and grow we just have to let God change us into what we are meant to be for he knows much better than we do. Until we reach perfection we are all just a work in Progress. He isn't finished with me yet!

Monday, July 21, 2014

How bad to I want it?

I have listened in service after service asking me "How bad do you want it?" 
It is ...
that closer walk with God.
The chance to feel his presence more,
to know him better,
to grow in Christ? 

Several years back I was just thankful for the things God had given me and I knew he could do mighty things in people's lives but I was content with what I had.  I didn't want it.  I was ok with just going to church and listening to the service and walking out and the message crossing my mind a few times and that was it.

It feels like in the past couple years I have lost my contentment I have a fire to know him, love him, and do for God more than I thought possible.  I want to be a light shining for others to see.  I don't want to just sit in a church and listen I want to be the church.  I want to LOVE like JESUS.  I want to put his will for my life first not mine.

I'm tired of depending on people for things when I know if I put my trust in God is there.  I have had people say I spend to much time in church.  It isn't about the church I am attending it is the fact I want to GROW spiritually.I want to hear what he wants me to hear.  I also read my bible and do devotions and pray a lot but to truly grow the best place to be is around others that can help feed the hunger.  others with the knowledge and relationship with Jesus.

Finally I have decided I want to be what God wants I have the desire to please him. I have always had a tedancy to try to be a people pleaser.  I wanted to make others happy and I so deeply wanted to fit in and be approved of-by family, those above me, peers, almost everyone I just wanted to be liked and never quiet felt like I had approval of anyone else.  I felt like I always let someone down.  I no longer focus on whether or not someone approves of me.  I am trying my best to live what I feel the Bible teaches and what personal convictions I believe God gives me.

I had a friend post on facebook a few months back that she was in church and felt wonderful cause she could say she really felt like if she died tomorrow she would be in heaven and this was a new feeling for her.  There was always doubt before.  I know I am not perfect I don't profess to be but I know God is not finished with me yet.  He has a purpose and a plan for me and growing with him and having this fire, passion, and desire to be closer with him isn't just to get to heaven.  Knowing his love for me was so strong that he took the stripes and hung on a cross, feeling his presence when I go to him in prayer, or sit in a sanctuary leave me with this urge to have more.  I want it bad-I want Jesus to know how much I love him and how thankful I am for every stripe he took for me.  Every christian has a different walk, a different story, and as long as life is dedicated to Jesus then everyday can be a new testimony of what he has done for them.  I want this closer walk with God and a stronger deeper relationship enough that I am posting this where any stranger can read it.  I feel like I am exposing my deepest personal relationship with anyone that happens to cross this page-that is how bad I want it.  He placed this calling on me to share some of my testimonies and I am being obedient.

King James Bible
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Jeremiah 7:23
but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My calling

These blog posts may jump around a lot because I am trying to figure out exactly what God wants me to do out of this. I have felt the pull to start a blog for awhile and God has confirmed it several times.  This post is about my calling.  I as a christian believe everyone has a purpose.  One of my absolute favorite verses that confirms this for me is
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
I have loved this verse from the moment I stumbled across it in bible reading.  But for years I asked God what my purpose was.  For most of my life I have been pretty independent (still am in many ways, but God is working on me) and I questioned what my purpose was but I put no real attempt in waiting for an answer I just did things my way and hoped for an answer. 
After my first born was born I was so amazed by mother hood I refused to go back to work and miss anything I wanted to be there for everything she did.  However when she was 14 months old I started working at a consignment store part time taking her with me.  I loved it and myself wanted to do that forever but after my son was a few months old it became to difficult to work with 2 children and I was let go by my boss.  I had the option of working without kids there or not working there at all and I had no one that could keep the kids so I could close the store in the evenings (my husband was on 2nd shift as was my mother and my in-laws were moving over 10 hours away) and childcare would have been more than she paid me. I struggled with that for a long time.  I as a teen felt like it was a waste of a woman's life to stay home with kids and lose her identity and although in my 30's I can let that go in my 20's it was still a struggle for me. 

I missed work but my little boy was all boy and wanted no one but me.  This child kept me on my toes so much when he was just turning 2 and I found out I was pregnant again I called my husband at work crying "I can't do this I can't handle another baby!"  He calmly said "A baby is a blessing everything will be fine don't worry." Easy for him to say he got to escape to work! But after the initial shock wore off and I realized God would see me through this being a mom to three I was excited and happy.  I knew it would be a challenge cause Josiah is a handful but it would be ok one day at a time. I even got mad at myself knowing how heartbroken I was with both of my miscarriages and wondered why I could ever not be grateful. I don't think looking back I was ungrateful for the pregnancy but I was terrified.  Josiah real was a tough kid and wanted no one but me therefore I rarely got a break.  
Not long after baby number 3 arrived our church building was sold.  It was sold to another church we had been contemplating visiting numerous times. I think Izzy was 3 weeks old when this transition took place so in a way God let us know we needed to hear a new pastor.  The new church had lots more members our age group and was very outgoing and my husband was family to a large group of the congregation.  The pastor was preaching a message on one of my biggest prayers-"what is your calling"
At the end of the service he said "if anyone wants to know what your calling is then come to the alter now" I almost ran.  I was crying and praying for God to show me.  I was tired of doing things my way and wanted to do them his.  I felt a small voice saying "your children, being a mom" crazy independent me was sitting there "God is that you are you telling me my kids are my calling?"
Therefore God used sweet Josiah to tell me "Yes" he came running up to me and climbed into my lap as I was praying.  So my children are my calling.  God has gifted me with 3 blessings that drive me crazy and enhance my prayer life daily but it is my purpose in life to be there for them to help them grow to know a God that died on a cross for them. To practice the forgiveness he has given me, but to still teach them right from wrong.  Some days are tough but I gave up that silent prayer for a way out and although it is tiring and I have tough days I know my kids are where I am supposed to be it is my place and is my CALLING! God told me when I would finally listen and I believe he will tell everyone that really wants to know!

Monday, July 14, 2014

when it became real

When I was a little girl I went to church with family occasionally. but mostly just vacation bible school.  I knew a little about Jesus my parents taught me "now I lay me down to sleep" I went to church occasionally with friends and family but never attended regularly.  I was scared into salvation at bible school when i was 11. The preacher gave a sermon to a bunch of children about how hell was real and if you didn't give your life to Jesus you would go there.  I was so scared I cried out to this Jesus that I didn't know and begged for salvation.  All the adults were around me praying for me and hearing all the prayers and I felt a peace I couldn't understand.  I was still so unknowing of the bible or of God to have my true salvation at this point. I did continue to pray every day to God asking forgiveness but as a teen a made a lot of choices I knew weren't right. God left me filled with conviction over all this time although i didn't realize that at the time.  
Right after graduation I started a job where I met my husband.  I didn't go to church I was confused on faith. Not having a lot of experience in church and not having a lot of guidance and just being a teenager I was confused.  Josh however did go to church and knowing I wasn't into it he still asked me to go so I decided to go-just for him.  
Wow!  I had never been to a church like this one.  During praise and worship they were dancing around waiving their arms in the air.  This was very different than the churches I had been where you could hear a pin drop and NO ONE could make a noise and the music was all done by a choir.  I was intrigued by this church so I went back when he asked me to and within a couple of services I felt God pull me to the Alter at an Alter call.  I prayed and I cried.  I knew Jesus loved me and he died for me and for the first time I felt like I could be forgiven for all my mistakes.  Honestly, I didn't really slow down on making them then though.  It was still all the stories of the bible it wasn't totally real.  
A little later on Josh's family had changed churches and I really started attending regularly.  The main service at this church was an evening service and worked better with my job. The praise music was  big draw in for me.  I just sat back and listened but was amazed looking around seeing all these people being moved by their faith.  I believed in it but I didn't yet feel it. 
After we were married for a little over two years we decided to leave our family in God's hands and I quit taking contraceptives.  I got pregnant the first month and was so nervous and excited.  We saw a little heartbeat at 8 weeks and it was AMAZING knowing this tiny LIFE was inside me growing!  When I went back for the first doppler appointment to hear the heartbeat at 12 weeks the dr couldn't find it.  After 2 ultrasounds the dr told us we the baby's heart had stopped beating and he or she had stopped developing not long after our last appointment.  I was devastated but never got angry with God.  I felt he was there and it just wasn't the right time.  I became obsessed with having a baby and 3 months after our loss I got pregnant again.  This time at 12 weeks I heard that heartbeat and cried.  I was sick the whole pregnancy but I prayed for God to protect my baby EVERY day!  In June of 2006 my life changed FOREVER!!!
When I was laying in a hospital bed looking into a clear plastic bassinet at my baby I started crying because it wasn't just a story anymore it was REAL! 
In those moments the full capacity of the fact that God let his only begotten son die on a cross for ME became real.  I didn't know how much I could love such a tiny person til I met Kiersten but looking at her I realized what God did when he sent Jesus to die for me.  I had just met her there is no way I would let any harm come to her, but God loved me enough he GAVE that up for ME! His child paid the price so I could have my salvation.  That is when it became real to me, looking at my newborn baby knowing how strongly I felt about her and knowing JESUS DIED ON A CROSS for me.  I couldn't imagine knowing my child would die on a cross to save a sinner.  That is the day I changed my life, it was slow and it has been a long road and I still fall short but the day I became a mom I realized that it wasn't just a story and I felt it instead of just hearing and just knowing it became real.