It is only 9:00pm January 1, 2018 and I am starving!

It is only 9:00 pm on January 1, 2018 and I am starving. Yes, I am “one of those” people who plan to eat better in this new year. No more soda in the house, all I can think about is eating the chocolate I have stashed in the pantry for “emergency only” times where I just cannot bear it. It hasn’t even been 24 hours and I am already craving food because I know I should not have it. I could very well sneak a bite and no one would know, kids are in bed, husband is napping on the couch…I could pull it off.

Dinner tonight was interesting, we made our son sit at the table for about 20 minutes after dinner to finish eating all his vegetables. This was nothing less then entertainment at its finest, the girls were sitting around watching and anticipating every gag reflex he had and then laughed it off only to wait for the next bite to bring living hell to the poor boy. While I was staying firm with my husband on this new way of eating for him, all I wanted to do was scoop him up and baby cradle the poor boy (yah.. he is 12). After sending the girls away from the live drama, he finally finished them all. A small step in the right direction.

Taking that into consideration I probably should not raid my chocolate stash…I should throw it away. The guilt of eating it after already pushing my son over the ledge would be to much for me to live with. So instead, I will hop on Pinterest and check out some cool/hip water bottles or jugs to label the massive levels of water I will be drinking tomorrow.

Proverbs 16:2-3 states: All the ways of man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.

This passage is so full of New Year resolution goodness I can barely stand it. We have to remember that our human responsibility is always subject to God’s absolute sovereignty. We trick ourselves into thinking something is good, when God knows my true motive is to eat the delicious sinful chocolate that is not allowed. I made a commitment to myself, my family and my God. As arbitrary as my example of my battle with eating a small chocolate is, this can also be applied to all our trials and challenges in life we try to validate as “OK”.  We must commit ourselves to being in Gods word to decipher his will for our lives. We must communicate in prayer what God already knows about us, and ask for help and strength. Thank him for the many blessings in our lives, and commit ourselves into acquiring wisdom through a teachable spirit. A spirit that does not live in fear of removing things we think we love and need in our lives. If it is not God’s will for us to have them, we must lean on him to make us strong enough to remove them completely. Even if it is not the “popular” opinion. What greater gift can we give our God then to show him how committed we are to living our lives for him?

I encourage you to comment below, one of your favorite verses for achieving your goals.

 

 

 

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What do You Choose?

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I would not consider waking up early a joy or a blessing, nor would anyone around me feel that I express that emotion. I also don’t feel like the “to do” list that continues to grow is comforting me let alone anyone else. I would consider my nights to be almost more burdening then the length of my long days. How many of you suffer from the mood altering thoughts of your preparation for the next day? It could be motherly duties, work projects or deadlines, coaching tasks, finances or sickness to name just a few. Then, right when you think you have it all planned out, you lay in bed and are completely immersed by your brain working as hard as your body physically worked throughout the daytime hours. This is the nagging reality of life when you have too many commitments, and not enough strength to let some of them go. The time I am laying in bed can be time used to read my bible, devotion or just pray. Sure, easier said than done right?

Often In the storm of everyday life we forget how important finding and feeling pure joy really is. Sure, I feel blessed in all of my daily tasks no matter how hard or lengthy they may be. I thank God every day for my role I play in children’s/teens lives. Sometimes the thoughts of rejection, fear, inadequacy and failure try to wriggle their way into my joy.  One of the powers and gifts God has given us is the ability to choose. The fact that sometimes I choose these emotions over joy is an indication I am not spending enough time talking with God. When you look up the definition of joy it states: a feeling of great happiness, something or someone that gives joy to someone. I feel joy is a function of giving gratitude, or thanks. Joy is a choice.

A few years ago at a Women of Faith conference I wrote down a quote from Ann Voskamp “Life is not an emergency, life is a gift” this was something that hit me pretty hard. Conviction is like one of those annoying pains that kind of feel’s good in a bad way. This quote is a perfect testimony to my daily struggle with finding my joy. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. What a powerful way of punching me in the stomach with God’s incredible word. The burdens I spoke of above are only burdens because I have chosen to find comfort in those tasks and not God’s word. The negative, hurtful thoughts I sometimes feel are also a choice I am making. Obviously by now you are getting the main idea…I am not making the right choices. Tonight as I write my feelings down, continue to study scripture and pray for God to help guide me in all my choices I will focus on one powerful word..and it is not joy this time. Tonight, I choose Eucharisteo. For those of you who are not familiar with this term. Eucharisteo is a Greek Verb meaning, Giving Thanks To God. I choose to give thanks to God in all circumstances as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states. I choose Eucharisteo, do you?

I Must Pull My Head Out Of The Mud & Carry On!

Lately I have been doing a lot of soul searching, in the midst of how crazy the world is changing, how quick my kids seem to be growing and how much of a passion I obtain for speaking God’s word, specifically to women and mothers. I have many goals that are ever changing, but the wonderful aspect about the way they are changing is that they are all becoming heavy on my heart to complete.

My days are full of up’s and downs of daily life, things change minute after minute. I get discouraged often, I can almost feel the devil tripping me up and stomping my face into the mud. Sometimes I think I should just give up, as much of my dreams are so time consuming, detailed and seem so far away. Then the other day I came across these words of wisdom…

 

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Then I begin to contemplate if my dreams are just wishes I cannot achieve…I loose focus on the dreams and focus on the fact that these are just wishes left un-granted… My vision needs to focus more on the Dream…

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Lastly, I need to realize to achieve my best I need to take it step by step, figuring out I cannot accomplish it in a small amount of time. In this journey, I should be the driver not the passenger.

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Sometime’s I find it funny that I want to be an inspiration to women out there, when I am constantly seeking wisdom from others. Can I  be a great leader, speaker, and writer when I feel part of me is still broken in ways? I guess the answer to that will show in my future..but first I need to pull my head out of that mud and carry on, knowing I have a God that believes in me and you.

Do You Believe The Perception Of Beauty Is A Moral Test?

The-perception-of-beauty-is-a-moral-test.

 

 

How do you feel about this quote? I completely believe that beauty is a perception issue, that lies on your moral beliefs. Over the past few days I have read many postings and opinions on Victoria Secrets new line titled “Bright Young Things”. This is after spending last Saturday with my 12 year old daughter at a Revolve Tour put on by Women of Faith. I came out of this day with so many amazing notes and insight on how my daughter thinks, what she is prone to think and society’s take on how she should behave or dress. I also walked away with a new sense of how amazing we should make our daughters feel. Christa Black was one of the speakers that had an amazing testimony on how teen’s see themselves, and how she overcame such large obstacles in her life. She spoke the meaning of unconditional love, and how we all crave love as women and how “you are what you think”. Her words rang so true, if you have people you love and care about “bathing” them in lovely truths about themselves (she calls these truth baths) they are going to know they are worthy of love, even if some people don’t treat them like it or if society doesn’t label what you are wearing as “fashionable or sexy”. Telling the young women around you how wonderful, beautiful, smart, joyous and lovable they are is “worth more then gold” as Britt Nicole would say. 

I would say that reading the articles that have been written in the press about this new VS line surprised me, but it didn’t. I could blame that company for putting these products out there for my two daughters to be tempted to purchase, or my young son to observe and worship..but I am not. I could talk all day about how the media and retail industries thrive on the innocence of these young ladies and men but it is old news. My bottom line is this will not stop, it will only get worse. Call it a bad attitude, a losing mentality or laziness…the line needs to be drawn with the parents educating their children on these issues. To build up there moral character, teach them right from wrong, show them that that attention is not flattering to them. Bring them up in an environment where they know their worth and that they are WORLD CHANGERS. All of our children will be tempted at points in their life, but it will be what they are brought up to believe that will influence them to make the right choices, choices God has influenced them to make. I believe you will behave according to what you believe on the most part, do you?

I will close with this last question..that will let you reflect on this issue more personally.

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Do You Loose Your Way?

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Do you ever just sit back and start to contemplate what you really want out of life? As you grow older, get married and have kids your dreams seem to shift courses according to which route in life you choose to take. Many of the people in your life seem to come and go, true friends and family are the ones that are there for you always. I often look back at my journal entries and see how many times my dreams have changed course. I am never discouraged when I see that I didn’t follow through with one or another, because the reason my goal had shifted course was usually a blessing. I have failed and I have succeeded at things, but my failures have only been lessons learned for the future. I have so many things to contemplate, but one of my most amazing decisions was to be home with my kids.  Sure it is not for all mom’s or families..It is not easy, my struggles include financial hardships. We choose to live with a very limited income so I can raise our children. I also choose to try and deal with not being that friend that can go shopping all the time, do coffee dates, have a new hair style, or be the most fashionably dressed. The most amazing thing about when I start to feel down about these issues, is that God works through my children to re direct my negative thoughts to help me recognize what my dream always was and is still today. I wanted to share a glimpse of my morning with you.

 

The sound of the dryer tossing heavy wet jeans is what I am used to hearing in the morning. Big kids are off to school, excited there are only 3 more days of school left before spring break. Just as I sit down for a little me time with my rather large cup of coffee I hear a door knob turn behind me. I glance around and see a 3 year old little girl wearing the cutest super man pajamas, only one sock and a huge wad of matted hair in the back of her head. Walking toward me with the biggest smile, almost as if she hadn’t seen me for days. I scoop her up into my arms and sit her on my lap telling her good morning like I do everyday. I always ask her if she slept good and if she had any dreams. Her response this morning was delivered with a sweet smile and a bright set of eyes ” I dreamed a good dream all about my family, we went camping and I caught a fish all by myself”. I told her that dream did sound pretty good, and this summer we would take her to catch her first fish. I sat her down on the couch, tucked a blanket around her and told her I would make her some breakfast, blueberry yogurt and a banana. She then stretched her arms out, wrapped them around my neck, kissed me on the cheek and said ” Your the best mommy ever in the world”. This was my defining moment I needed, my heart melted and I realized I am right where God wants me no matter what trials or sacrifices we need to make. Home with my children is my dream, sometimes cluttered with worldly ways, God always seems to remind me what is really important.

Will I loose my way again? I am sure of it..but I cannot wait to see how God works through my kids to remind me again!

 

Poem: A Single Word Spoken

I am no poet, yet I love poetry and wrote so much of it when I was a kid. Today I felt inspired to get some thoughts out of my head, and decided to write them in a form that I am not so familiar with. You can interpret this poem in many ways, maybe even relate to it in one way or another. This poem is titled:

A Single Word Spoken

A single word spoken can have so much effect, I often wonder if the weight will ever be left.

Tears of sadness are filled with such love, why cant I make a difference?… help them rise above?

Disaster the worldly ways spread, it is like a punch in the face if no common sense is fed.

Pain creates fear, emotions like fire, please Lord help me with whatever it is you desire.

Your path is what I choose it is not easy to abide, but please help me put my selfishness aside.

Memories are made they will not disappear, I just don’t understand how any goodness can reveal.

Contemplating all the options that may heal, I am lost in the translation of how this is so real.

Happiness can be such a wonderful place, give God the reigns and he will wipe the tear from your face.

Controlling the situation is no longer an option, as the Lord’s grace is already in motion.

Even though I feel it is not fair, all I can do is fall to my knees in prayer.

Thank my father oh holy and just, to please patch the hole in my heart just this once.

The lasting effects of others choices will be there, let me handle them with grace and love… handing them to you with care.

For your hands bare such strength, my love for you is of the utmost importance it is you whom I have faith.

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Seriously..I Have To Wash These Dishes By Hand?

Do you argue with yourself in the morning before you even step out of bed?    Examples:

Wake up promptly when your alarm goes off to get a good start on your day. -VS- Press snooze just one more time (after 4 times of pushing it, which then quickly accumulates to 30 minutes) because I really deserve a few more minutes of sleep.

My bed is so comfortable and warm. -VS- The house is so cold I don’t think I can even attempt to stick my leg out of the blankets without catching a cold.

This morning was no different for me. I was exhausted, cold and not having the best outlook on the day ahead of me. Once I was up and started sipping my coffee things got a little easier. Kids were up, fed and off to school without a hitch, my day was turning around and it was only 8 am! That is until I decided to get some housework done and realized my dishwasher was broke and I had a pile of dishes that were not going to clean themselves. SERIOUSLY?? I have to wash these dishes by hand…by myself..

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This image, was the perfect picture of what I was feeling. The only thing different is I was saying these words out loud. Why..me..why today…why, why, why, why?

After carefully staring at the broken dishwasher and dirty dishes for about 5 minutes and coming to the realization that they were not going anywhere, I began to fill up the sink with soapy water…(just saying that, I feel so nostalgic)

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Out of the corner of my eye I saw my nook tablet sitting on the counter and I decided to turn a little Pandora music on to add a little mood to my sad sob story. Instead, to my surprise it was set to my station Worship You Forever Radio.  I am telling you…Casting Crowns came on and before I knew it I was washing dishes like a mad women. Right in the middle of my jam, Kaydence (my 3 year old daughter) came up to me and said “Mommy, why you playing in the sink? Can I play with you?” Glancing down at her and thinking about her outlook on what was just a moment ago something I was going to make completely ruin my day, was amazing. In her eyes there was no troubles, just mommy having fun playing…the more I think back on it she knew exactly what I needed to hear.

God is so amazing how he works through everything, including my 3 year old this morning. Her fun loving worry free outlook is exactly how I would feel if I were putting my burdens on the lord consistently. Wow, what an amazing feeling it must be!

Please go out today, and find that peace. Do not let the worries of your day hinder how important it is to look at the brighter side of your life, and all your current blessings.

~Jennifer