Monday, January 31, 2011

Attitude Shift

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  I had a busy weekend and was so tired because my baby still keeps me up all night.  I am not a napper so I am just greatly lacking in sleep these days.  My four and two year old don't understand why I don't wake up leaping off walls like they do.  I envy their energy! 

I could have a million excuses as to why I woke up ill and complaining to my husband, but really I just needed to change my attitude and get right!
There are always two ways to look at things; negative or positive.  I married a man who is almost always very positive...this can be annoying if you are wanting to grovel in self pity and complain!  But, he helps me see that all I need to do to have a good attitude is to enjoy all the blessings the Lord has given me. 

My husband made me a cup of tea this morning.  That should have been seen as a blessing.....but all I saw was that he put 8 bay leaves in it instead of just one and it tasted horrible!

I had a banana for breakfast, which to the hungry is a blessing, but to me it was not enough because I wanted a waffle too!

I am able to stay home with my children which is a big blessing, but all I saw was that I was tired and wanted to go back to bed.

I could either choose to see the positive or the negative.  To be honest, it was a battle all day long in trying to choose to see the happy side of things.  But, when I did it was way more fun for my family.  When my husband left for the day and I was still in a bad mood he just said, "Enjoy the children."  I thought about that statement all day long and remembered how precious they are and how fast they are growing.  I slowly started to change my attitude and to have fun and enjoy my wild little boys on this rainy day!  Now I better go because they want me to make some chocolate chip muffins that we can enjoy together!

Friday, January 28, 2011

What do you delight in?

I love chocolate.  I love homemade cookies and brownies (dairy free with whole grain flour and sucanat).  I love the fall.  I love spring.  I love seeing my kids smile and laugh.  I love music.  I love good preaching.  I love road trips.  I love my husband.  I love when someone cooks for me.  I love hot herbal tea. 

I could go on and on about the things I love and delight in.  When I first met the Lord Jesus as my Savior I was 13 years old.  I was so in love with Him and excited about Him.  I told everyone that passed by how awesome He was.  My life revolved around Him and I talked to Him all the time.  I sang to Him and danced with Him and truly enjoyed His presence.  Life is like that for those who fall in love with their mate as well.  Then after you have gotten to know everything about them and the warm fuzzy feelings become more rare you just live with your spouse instead of delighting in them.

I think it is hard to delight in someone when we don't trust them or when we are angry with them about something.  I know this is true in my life.  The times when I am angry at God are the times when I am not wanting to pray and sing and delight in Him.  It is hard to trust when you feel that way as well.  Maybe that is why in Psalm 37:3-8 it says to trust in the Lord before you delight in the Lord. After you delight in the Lord you will WANT to commit your way to the Lord...but then you will have to rest in Him and wait for His timing. 

"Trust in the Lord, and do good;so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy rightousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him...
Cease from anger..."

Life is so much more fun and pleasant when we daily choose to delight in the Lord.  In the past few months I have not been doing a good job at this.  Recently I am trying to be intentional about delighting in Jesus.  Psalm 37 says "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

Get alone with God in the quiet or with praise and worship music on and start singing to Him, talking to Him, listening to Him, dancing with Him, smiling at Him, pouring your heart out to Him....just enjoy His presence!  When we draw near to Him He will draw near to us...and He delights in YOU.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be soothed by Crisco and Jesus

I know a beautiful elderly lady who was featured in a magazine because she was so old but had no wrinkles on her face.  She told me her secret and I am going to tell you!  She put crisco on her face every night.  Some people think this is gross.  I only put a little bit under my eyes on some nights.  It feels so good, like a balm.  Did you know "there is a balm in Gilead" (Jeremiah 8:22) and his name is JESUS.  When you are hurting or wounded, Jesus is the remedy.  Like a balm, He can soothe you.  It feels so good to be soothed by one who loves you.  When a baby cries and his mother picks him up and rocks him to sleep it soothes him.  The baby is at peace against his mother's chest.  He feels her love. 

Sometimes I like to imagine myself as a little child running up to Jesus when I really need him and climbing up into his big comfy lap and laying my head on his shoulder.  I know that I don't even have to say a word because he knows whats bothering me.  I can just let Him hug me, hold me, and love me.  He can love me deeper than anyone on earth because He MADE my heart and knows me inside and out.  WOW.  What a Father!  Oh, how I love Jesus.  And oh, my friend, how He loves you....

Monday, January 24, 2011

Apple Cider Vinegar and Sin

Apple cider vinegar can be used for many different things.  One of the uncommon ways to use it is for your face.  It can be used after washing and drying your face with soap as a toner.  If you put a lot on it will sting your eyes and not smell too pleasant to your spouse!  If you have any brown spots or red scars on your face it will slowly take the color out of them.  It helped fade my brown pregnancy mask away!  It also helps with acne. 

Like vinegar takes spots away, the blood of Jesus washes our sins away.  They once were as scarlet and now they are white as snow.  Sometimes we try to cover up our sinful ways or only let our family see our temper or hear our complaining.  Jesus, of course sees everything we do, and if thats not bad enough He even knows our motives!

The good news is "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Praise the Lord that He washes our sins away!  Now when you use the vinegar toner on your face twice daily thank the Lord for his cleansing!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You are not Alone

I am coming out of a trial that has lasted for over a month.  When I was in the trial I felt like I was the only person who had ever been through what I was going through.  The Devil wanted me to think that I was all alone in my trial and that no one would understand my struggles.  The Devil is a fierce enemy and he is a liar.  He wants to "steal, kill and destroy" our lives.  Our enemy wants us to keep ourselves isolated.  He wants us out of church, away from godly influence, out of the Bible and he doesn't want us praying. 

The Devil knows that if we persevere and pray and stay in the Bible and in fellowship with the Saints that we WILL make it!  He knows that as we share our struggles with others that we will be encouraged to see that we are NOT alone in our trials and that others have MADE IT through!  Several women have told me that they went through the same struggle that I just came out of!  They made it and so did I-praise be to God! 

1 Peter 5:8-11 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; (wake up, be wise, be on the lookout) because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (and if you love Jesus you are a good target) Whom resist stedfast in the faith (God has given you power to resist him), knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world (You are not alone in your trial).  But the God of all grace (Shout right here and thank God for His grace!), who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus (Remember this world is not our home and soon we will be living eternally with Jesus in Heaven!), after that ye have suffered a while (This too shall pass, it won't last forever), make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (This is good, I needed this. You lift weights to get stronger but it makes you sore and isn't easy).  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Where Satan has a plan, God has a purpose)  Whoooo I could preach that if I was a man!  That is some good Bible!

So, remember you are not alone.  Jesus is with you and other Saints have been through it and came out stronger.  Stay in the Word and stay faithful.  You ARE on the winning side!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What do Licorice and Stress Have in Common?

Licorice root is more than candy.  It's an herb that stimulates and builds adrenal glands.  Your adrenals help your body deal with stress.  This herb can be taken by children and adults to help with emotional stress.  Licorice root taken with Skullcap can relax you and help with anxiety.  Licorice root stabilizes blood sugar as well.  When your blood sugar is off it can make you irritable and depressed.  I eat several small meals a day to keep my blood sugar at the right level so I feel great.  You can buy Licorice root from the bulkherbstore.com or at The Herb Remedy store in Athens, Ga.  Drink it as a tea or take it in tincture form and stress less! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Compliments

When I was dating/courting my husband in college we always complimented each other.  It was easy to do because we were soooo in love and focused on pursuing each other for marriage.  Now that we are married with three kids there is so much more to focus on and talk about then gazing into his eyes and saying, "Oh you are so handsome!"  We can get caught up in telling our spouse the to do list, discussing money, the calendar, church stuff and forget to speak kind and uplifting words.  The Bible says "life and death are in the power of the tongue."  Our words can change the atmosphere of our home and our marriage.  Our words can build up our spouse or tear them down.     

I am naturally a negative person and have to ask the Lord continually to help me be positive and encouraging.  I can be so mean with my words to my husband sometimes and not realize that he does have feelings too.  Men need to be encouraged, built up, respected and complimented.  

So, this week, as a pre-valentine warm up I am going to compliment my husband everyday.  I challenge you to compliment your spouse this week as well.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Being Trapped

The other day my husband set a trap to catch a possum that was in our friend's trash at night.  The morning after he set the trap he went over and got the trap with the possum in it, which was still alive-and ugly!  He put it on the back of our jeep and we drove it over to his parents property so he could kill it.  (I hope that isn't illegal!)  Everyone who drove by was staring at us and our trap.  My husband can be so redneck without even trying!

My husband, John, gets the trap off the jeep and opens one side of it to let the animal out.  It didn't go anywhere.  It just stood there with it's face against the closed side of the trap not knowing the other side was open.  I do this sometimes in my walk with God.  Jesus has set us free from our sin, but we still live in bondage He has set us free from anxiety, fear, depression, doubt, insecurity, vanity, lust, jealousy, drugs and addictions, etc.  "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."  Romans 6:18 

It is like the Lord has opened one end of our cage and said "Come out", "Go and sin no more".  But, we stay in our trap because we don't really believe God.  At least, that's my reason...I don't know about you.  The Bible has some pretty clear (and amazing) verses that if we believe what they say, we will be set free!  For example, "Be anxious for nothing..."  Do I believe that God can make this verse real in my life?  It is so simple, but it is so HARD!  It does take practice, so let's practice together appyling God's Word to our life and allowing Him to set us free! 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chamomile Quick Tip

Chamomile is a flowering herb that is useful for calming and relaxing.  Drink it as a tea for anxiety and to help you sleep.  Make it as a tincture with glycerin and water and give it to your colicky baby to calm them and settle their stomach.  To make a tincture put chamomile flowers in a mason jar and coat with boiling water.  Add glycerin and more hot water, seal the jar and put it in a crockpot for 3 days on low.  Be sure to put a towel in the bottom of the crockpot and fill it with water.  Then strain the herb off and store the tincture in a cool, dark place.  Label it with the date and contents and it's good for 2 years!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Raising Kids

I don't profess to know much about raising kids since my oldest is 4 years old, but I do know that I do a lot of the wrong things.  I keep asking God why He chose ME to be a mother of 3 sons because He knows I don't have a clue how to be a parent!  Maybe he wanted me to raise children because He knew it would be something that I could NOT DO in my own strength and I would HAVE TO rely on Him. 

I want to raise godly sons who have faith in God and trust in Him.  I want them to love Jesus and enjoy a relationship with Him.  I want them to have a good work ethic and a good attitude.  I want them to be servant leaders.  I want them to be good husbands and fathers.  Sometimes I realize that what I want THEM to be I am not! 

Yesterday we were cleaning out our storage unit and my sweet husband was standing there waiting on me to tell him what to move out.  I looked around and saw mold on the high chair and a mess in there and I started complaining about how all our stuff is going to get ruined...blah blah blah.  Then I got embarrassed because I thought our godly neighbors could probably hear me so I stopped.  My husband said,  "You shouldn't worry if the neighbors hear you because our kids can hear you and it's a bad testimony to them."  OUCH  Our kids are watching us and listening to us ALL THE TIME so we should live "above reproach" in front of the ones we are training to march in the army for Christ.  We can only do this by confessing our faults to Jesus moment by moment and repenting and relying on His grace and mercy!  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"...even be a godly parent!  I read this quote in a book I recommend called Jumping Ship, by Michael & Debi Pearl "Raise your kids as if your getting to heaven were based on their good works and good attitudes."  I sure am glad getting to heaven is not based on that because my kids don't always have a good attitude!  But, this quote challenged me to do a better job at training my kids for God's glory.  Even though parenting has its trying times, lets press on and raise an army for Christ! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Armor of God

"...be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."  Ephesians 6:10-11
We are in an unseen battle everyday.  ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Eph. 6:12)  Thankfully, we don't have to fight emptyhanded!  God has supplied equipment for us to fight with that we must put on daily.

A good routine to get into is to put on (by praying on) the armour of God every morning when you get dressed.  

"..having your loins girt about with truth.."  The truth of God's Word should be the central thing in our life.  It should, like a belt, hold our life together.  We must read His Word everyday to stay afloat!   

"..having on the breastplate of righteousness: And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;"  If you are saved, Jesus became your righteousness and we are to be prepared to share that good news wherever we walk!

"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."  When the devil comes at you, fight back with Scripture.  Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.  Example: When fear comes remind yourself the Bible says God has not given us the spirit of fear!

"..take the helment of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:"  The armour won't do any good if you don't have salvation through Jesus Christ!

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..."  This is the fun part...I love to pray and talk to God and ask Him to help other people.  Pray away, there is never a bad time to pray!

This is my prayer for you today:
"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."  Eph. 6:13  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Redneck Sledding

This is what we did on the snow day last year and nothing beats it!  My husband hooked a float to the lawn mower and pulled us around the yard.  It was so much fun!
Getting ready...
A lawn mower can be used for more than 1 thing!

Benjamin being pulled on the float!
My cute hubby and Elijah

Redneck sledding!




Monday, January 10, 2011

Going to Church

There are many people in my generation who are faithful to church, but there are more who are not.  My husband is a preacher so we "have to" go to church and hardly ever think about not going.  However, the past couple weeks it has been really difficult to get up and going and out the door to church in the cold with three little ones.  It is sometimes tempting to keep sleeping instead of getting up and getting everyone pretty for church.  It is a big task for young families to get everyone out the door on time, but I want to encourage you that it is worth it!  When I change my perspective it makes it easier to get out the door to church. 

 I remind myself that I am going for the Lord; to hear from Him, to love and worship Him, to obey Him, and to please Him.  I go to church because I want my children to hear from the Lord and learn to worship Him.  I go to church to be with other people who love Jesus.  I go to church to encourage and be encouraged.  Even though my kids distract me from the message a lot of times, I still get fed from God's Word.  It is always worth going to church.  "Not forsaking the assemblying of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

Tips to make it easy to go to church:
-Pick out everyone's clothes the night before
-Have an easy breakfast that morning
-Pack the diaper bag the night before
-Have gas in the car, and a snack in the car
-Have Bibles, tithes and offerings, pen and paper together
-Pray the day before and the day of church (and all the time!)
-GO


A great book I recommend:  Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quick Tip

Did you know that if your baby has thrush in their mouth you can buy Gentian Violet at CVS for cheap and it will cure it.  It is purple and it will stain their mouth for awhile and it will stain clothing.  Take a q-tip and rub a little bit in their mouth for a few days and watch it go away!   

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Two Lessons from Toddlers

The other night my husband went coon hunting *grunt* (I married a manly man:)  I thought the kids would go to bed early and I would have an easy peaceful night blogging and reading my Bible.  I was wrong, but God did teach me something through my little boys. 

Lesson One:  My boys turn wilder when Daddy is not home to referee.  It seems like I do that too in my christian life.  When I have drifted far from my Daddy in Heaven, my Abba Father God, then my life can turn wild with sin and struggles real quick.  I need my Daddy real close so He can referee my fights with Satan and the world.  I have to remember that God never moves, but it is I who drift away.  His Word says, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded." James 4:8 
I challenge you today to get alone with your Bible and call out to God.  Take the plunge and draw near to Him and you will be amazed at how sweet a meeting it will be.

Lesson Two: I wanted to cuddle with my boys and watch a movie but they would rather wrestle and jump and throw things.  I told my toddler to do something and he wouldn't and I got frustrated and said "Why don't you obey!?  He said, "Because."  I was upset but I sat there and observed the situation.  I thought, why don't I obey God?  Because it's not convenient.  It wasn't convenient for my toddler to stop what he was doing to obey me.  Sometimes God calls us to obey Him when it is not convenient for us.  Yet, if we love God we WILL obey His commands.  Lessons Learned:  Draw near to God and obey Him.   

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why I love God and Garlic

Did you know that garlic is a natural antibiotic?  You can eat it raw, buy it in capsules or crush it up and add olive oil to it and keep it stored in the fridge.  You can use the garlic oil to put in your ears for an ear infection or ear ache.  I have also put raw garlic in my ears when they hurt and it takes the pain away.  Garlic rids your body of infection, just like God rids our soul of sin.

"If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9   We all have sin in our life that the Holy Spirit wants to get rid of.  It stinks just like garlic when God is showing us our sin....but when it is gone we feel much better!  I'm glad "there is a remedy for every sin sick soul"  as the song says.  If you are lost and have never accepted Christ as your personal Saviour then that is the first step.  He doesn't leave us without hope in our sin.  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 6:23 All of us have a need for our Saviour.
"For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23
The remedy is salvation first..."That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10
If you are saved there is a remedy when you sin...confession and repentance.  Just tell God your sin and ask for forgivness and "go and sin no more".
It is that easy by faith because we have a good God!  And I do love Him more than garlic!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday Hubby!

Today my husband turned 30...he has been talking about this day all year long and it finally came.  He has been evaluating his life since turning 30 (I married a deep thinker).  He has done a lot in his life just since we have been married (the past 6 years).  He was a youth pastor and assistant, then went into evangelism by faith.  He founded True Vine World Ministries out of a trailor with his office in a small garage with no fancy desk...but Jesus was there!  He traveled to India and the Philippines to preach the gospel and do pastor conferences.  He started a church in Washington, Ga that is still going and many people got saved and baptized and encouraged in the Lord.  He served at a wonderful church in Kentucky doing many things and saw over 47 people get saved.  He has preached in many jails and seen men come to the Lord.  He has led bible studies and mentored men and loved on people. But most important, he has loved Jesus and loved me and our boys with a sacrificial love.  I appreciate and admire my husband for who he is behind closed doors and to the world.  I just wanted to make this tribute to my husband on his birthday and say may your next 30 years be joy filled and full of fruit as you serve the Lord.  I love you-my knight in shining armor!
  

Sunday, January 2, 2011

God's Will for the New Year...

My husband is a preacher so I am always hearing sermon ideas and outlines...or maybe he thinks I need a lot of preaching to!  Anyway, he shared this one with me as our devotion the other day and we are trying to apply it to our life.  I give him credit for the thought and outline, but I added my own 2 cents:)  Many people wonder about God's will and if they are in it or if there even is a perfect will of God.  Romans 12:1-2 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  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." 
The Bible is clear that there is a perfect will of God.  This is an exciting and fearful thing because I desire to be in it and I fear to miss it!  There are 3 things every Christian can do to prove the will of God. 
First, we must have a Life of Sacrifice.  In finding the will of God we have to sacrifice.  Sacrifice money to give to others when you don't have much.  This is part of His will.  Jesus was a giver and He always gives back to us "a good measure pressed down" what we give to others.  We asked our children if they would rather us buy them more presents for Christmas or give a specific amount of money to someone in need so they could buy presents.  After some discussing, they decided to give money to the family and sacrifice more toys.  Within the same hour that my husband gave the specific amount of money, someone came up to him and said "God told me to give you this money."  It was the same amount of money we just gave away!  What a lesson for our kids in giving sacrificially!  
Second, we must have a Life of Serving.  We must serve others with our time and our talents.  There are many ways to serve God but one area we are focusing on is hospitality.  Usually I want my house spotless before anyone comes over, but with 3 boys I have become content to just have the table cleared.  Tonight at church Pastor Steve preached on hospitality and how it is biblical to have others in your home..."breaking bread from house to house".  We had our wonderful neighbors over for lunch (they have had us over many times!) and it's amazing that we have gone through a lot of the same things and are able to encourage each other in the Lord.  Ask the Lord how He would have you to serve Him this year.
Third and last, we must have a Life of Saturation.  We must saturate ourselves in His Word.  Let it renew your mind.  When we come to God with OUR plans, OUR ideas, OUR sins and then we read His Word we see what HIS plan and HIS will is. Then we must conform  our mind to His Ways.  This takes surrender and dying to self which are both hard.  But nothing beats being in the perfect will of God where there is peace and joy and vision!
So for the new year I challenge you to live a life of sacrifice, service and saturation!