Wednesday, August 13, 2014

being transparent....

I have been wanting to write on being transparent for a few weeks now.... In all honesty I haven't had the time to actually sit down and write it all out. The other day I had a situation in my own life with a friend who was struggling with addiction, we have been friends for a while and what I considered to be close friends and I had no idea what was going on and just how serious it was.  I started to wonder why? Even in close circles and bible studies, women's group and church I think that is a struggle for some people. I admit I have struggled with this in the past as I was going through things, for whatever reason I thought that the problems were mine and I had to struggle through them alone. I wonder if we really understand the purpose of the people that God puts into our life. We are called to love one another, encourage and build each other up. Pray for each other as we are in the midst of the storm. But if we aren't being honest with one another and transparent then how can I help you, encourage you or pray for you. Its so important to let those people all the way in and lean on them for support especially during the times when we feel like we are so alone. So many times in our lives we go through things and God helps us come through and then not only are we better and closer to Him but we now have a testimony. Imagine if we didn't share our testimony or the struggle we went through, how could we help each other? How could you know if God placed someone in your path for the exact thing that you are dealing with if you don't share? That seems like so many missed opportunities, missed blessings that we could be sharing. You know how you feel when someone talks to you about what they are going through and you find out that its the same thing your dealing with... Its almost like a sigh of relief, like we aren't alone and more importantly that we aren't crazy! Honestly that is always my first thought. "oh thank you Lord I'm not alone and I'm not crazy!" Then we usually form a bond with that person and can lean on each other as well as pray for each others needs! Friendship is a blessing! Don't miss out on that! This is one of my favorite bible verses and I'm going to apply it to this situation:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Whats that tell you? we need each other. Lets be there to build each other up! You know that old saying "you can't have a friend unless you be a friend" ? We need to remember to respond in love and grace and even forgiveness when we come to each other. 

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Love at all times friends! Make it easy for your friends to come and share! Be a place of encouragement and point them to the one who offers hope and forgiveness! 

Heavenly father, help us to be real with each other lord, help us to love one another the way you have loved us. Lord search us and show us things we need to work on and put people in our path to be a helping hand. Help us to rely on you for our source of strength, help us to remember that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Thank you for the blessing of friendship and for sweet fellowship and help us to take advantage of that. Amen.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Praying like Hannah

I was thinking the other day how often we pray for things and get upset when God isn't quick to answer our prayers. How we get discouraged and wonder if our father in heaven even cares about the things that are going on with us. We live in a world of impatience, we want what we want at the moment we want it and the worst part is we think we deserve it in our time. I would even say that we are slightly guilty of walking around with a "life's not fair if I don't get what I want" attitude.  We tend to blame our circumstances or sometimes even our God. The reason this has been on my mind lately is because there is something in my life that I have been praying for and its been about 4 years. It all came crashing down yesterday when I just fell to my knees and cried out to God about it. I have been so discouraged because I haven't seen an answer to my prayer and I even asked God "hello can you hear me? Are you going to do anything about this? Are you there?"

I immediately was reminded about Hannah and her situation. Let me remind you of who Hannah was. She was married to Elkanah, she was one of two of his wives. Hannah was barren and scripture says that the Lord closed her womb. Peninnah was the other wife and was blessed with sons and daughters. Now the bible also says that Hannah was taunted by Peninnah, on purpose because she couldn't have children! Can you imagine being barren and then have it shoved in your face over and over by your husbands OTHER wife who already had a handful of children? Ugh Hannah was better than I would have been, I know I would not have responded well to that kind of thing. There would have been a whole lot of eye rolling and attitude coming from me on a daily basis! Hannah was different, she was sad of course but she was persistent with the Lord. God was silent for years with Hannah and she never stopped praying. She never doubted Gods abilities and had FAITH that God had the power to heal her womb. The bible says in 1 thes. 5:17 to pray without ceasing and Hannah was definitely doing that. Hannah cried out to the Lord and made a promise that if the Lord would bless her with a son she would give him back to the Lord. God blessed Hannah for her faithfulness and Hannah kept her promise. When Samuel was born she dedicated him to the Lord just as she promised. God then blessed her with 2 more sons and 2 daughters!

My point here is that Hannah is an awesome example of how we should be. She never gave up, honored her promises to God and then praised God for his kindness and wisdom. We need to be faithful to God even when we don't see an answer to our prayers, we need to love God for who he is and what He has already done for us. Otherwise we treat Him like a genie in a bottle. God deserves more than that from us. He deserves all cause He gave us all. Is there something in your life, an area or situation, where you haven't seen an answered prayer? Are you remaining faithful? Are you praying without ceasing? Remain faithful remember Hannah waited years while the Lord was silent but in the end it was worth it!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Creation Museum

This Holiday weekend we decided to take a road trip to Kentucky to see the Creation Museum.  Its about 10 hours from my house in PA so along the way we were blessed enough to stay with a dear friend in Ohio. We had a great time visiting some places in Ohio and Kentucky and enjoying some sweet fellowship with friends.
The Museum was awesome, as we walked through and I explained everything to the boys I started tearing up because it was like I was sharing our "heritage". It was awesome to see how the bible and science work together and how the word of god stands strong. My oldest son just finished 2nd grade and as we talked about evolution verses creation he stood back and took everything in. Its interesting because all I did was say scientists believe this and the bible says this. I stood back and watched him process and then declare with great confidence that God was the creator and never has he even thought about questioning that. Its like the truth was in him and always has been. Pretty great moment for me as a parent. My boys have to make the choice, I can't force them or even "save" them. All I can do is plant the seed and pray for them that they will acknowledge that Jesus is their personal Lord and savior.  3 John 1:4 " I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth".  Living my life as an example and teaching them about their heavenly father who loves them is something I can do. Continually pointing them to scripture and towards the cross is one of the most important jobs that I have as a mother. Along with loving them unconditionally. A big part of it I have learned also is that I need to be humble with my children. If I do wrong I need to go to them and talk to them and ask for forgiveness and show them that I am not perfect or above the need for a Savior. After the museum we got to go to their petting zoo and also take a ride on a camel. Very cool experience.

On the way to Kentucky there was a living bible wax museum. We decided to stop there as well. We watched the miracles of the bible. It was awesome to see the different scenes played out. During each scene we played sort of a guessing game to see if we could identify what the story was before the audio started. Another great experience.

I feel like I had a "spiritual awakening" this weekend. Like everything I have been living and talking about came to life. Not that I feel like my God isn't real or He is some fictional character made up to make others feel good or happy, but just seeing everything and being able to watch things happen (or "recreated") was such a great thing for me. It gave me a new love for the Lord, a new urgency to share the gospel. I feel like I have my fire back. You know in the beginning you have that "I'm so on fire for the Lord I need to tell everyone" thing? Or maybe I am the only one whose fire dimmed a bit. But regardless I feel like I have it back and its an awesome thing. For the first time I feel like life is this great opportunity and I don't want to waste one bit of it.

If you have a chance you should take a trip to Kentucky and check this place out. Well worth it.

This post today was kind of all over the place but I really just wanted to share my experience this weekend with all of you. Praying for my friends and bloggers that you might have your fire back and the urgency to share the great gift you have been freely given. After all when we get an awesome gift why would we want to keep it all to ourselves!

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Today I woke up with an overwhelming joy in my heart no doubt put there by the Lord. I am beyond thankful for everything that I have in my life. Its funny because from the worlds view I don’t have an ideal life, I am a single mother, divorced, I don’t have a successful career and I’m lucky to be making ends meet. When I look around I see so much more! I see the house that God has provided that my boys call home, I see 3 amazing, challenging boys who have a strong love for the Lord and have the word tucked in their hearts. They are difficult at times but would give the clothes on their back to anyone in need, they have an amazing heart to serve. I see a future that is so bright and has so much hope. God is doing amazing things and preparing me for awesome opportunities. I have always prayed “Lord use me and my experiences to glorify you” and I look around and I see all the people that he puts in my path, it is such an amazing thing when you feel completely fulfilled knowing you are right where you need to be.
I recieved a gift for my 30th birthday, it was the casting crowns CD thrive. There are so many amazing songs on there that touch my heart but there is one I was thinking about today. Its called “Dream for you”.  The song talks about david, how he had plans for his life and how God had even bigger plans. How Mary had a plan for her and her marriage but God had a plan for her to raise a king. The chorus goes
So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when your weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by my hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you
I’m stronger than you think I am
I’ll take you farther than you think you can
You sing and call Me great I Am
So take your stand
My child, If you only knew
All the plans I have for you
Just trust me, I will follow through
You can follow me
Powerful words, Is my life where I would have planned? No way but I have so much joy knowing that He is in control. God has plans for me and I am so excited to see where He is taking me. “My child if you only knew, all the plans I have for you, TRUST me I will follow through, you can follow me”.  I am going to move when He says move and not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone. He has given me opportunites that I never could have imagined. I am currently doing things that in all honesty I never knew I could. God is showing me that when I let down my control and follow His lead I am so much more happy and fulfilled. God kept me “wandering” for a bit until I finally let go of everything and completely put it all in His hands. I can’t wait to share the news with all of you but for now just know that it wasn’t until I completely gave Him all that He started to open these doors for me!
Are you holding onto something or afraid to step out into something new? God has a plan for all of us, Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans l have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Examine your heart and pray, call out to your father ask Him to show you where He wants you to be and then Go. I can’t promise you’ll be rich and famous and successful but I can promise you that you will have peace knowing your in Gods will and following the plan He has for you which is greater than any plan we could make up on our own.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Unfailing Love....

As a parent I have experienced an amazing unexplainable love for my son. This love is greater than any other love I have felt for anyone else; I would be willing to sacrifice it all for my son even my own life. I am sure this is how most parents feel about their children. This love helps me to understand how much Jesus really loves me. What amazes me the most, however, is that his love is even stronger than that! We couldn't fathom how much Jesus loves us! In the same way we can’t fully understand how much Jesus loves us; our children can’t fully understand how much we really love them. They love us because we take care of them and they have faith that we will provide because we have since birth. However, it usually takes until they are an adult having a child of their own to fully understand how deeply we really love them. I can’t help but compare the ways my son acts and treats me to the ways most of us Christians treat Jesus without even realizing it. This has been showing me how much of a child I still am in my faith. For instance, how do our children act when they don’t get what they want from us? I know my son does not enjoy it and at times has actually told me he didn’t like me because of it.  Let’s say Braden wants to watch a pg13 movie but I don’t allow him to watch it because I know the negative effects it could have on him. He doesn’t understand why I am saying no and even if I explain it to him he still seems to wonder how I can say I love him but not give him what he wants. It’s hard for him to trust me and that I know best. Are we not the same with God? How about when we pray we get to work on time and we still end up being late? Well thanks a lot God. What about when we pray something more serious like “Jesus, heal my loved one” and that person passes away or doesn’t seem to be getting any better?  It’s moments like these that we don’t understand why someone who says they love us isn’t giving us what we want. I’ve come to recognize however that I shouldn’t only love God when he is giving me what I want but love him even when he doesn’t seem to be answering my prayers and giving me my desires! I need to trust that he knows best. He is my father in heaven, the God of the universe, he knows all things. He knows the desires of my heart better than I do. I am acting like a child, immature in my faith, by only being content when I am getting my way instead of letting God have his way in my life. I am only looking out for my son’s best interest when I don’t allow him to get what he thinks is best and God sees the big picture and looks out for our best interest in the same way. I know that as my son grows up he will have to make his own choices in life and he may stumble and fall at times, making poor choices; but when he does I will be here for him to comfort him and help him. I have made many poor choices in my life and felt that I was not good enough to face God. I knew he would be there but still felt too ashamed. I didn’t fully understand his love for me and how great it really was. I once thought he had given up on me but now I understand that he is always there, just waiting for me to lean on him so he can comfort me and help me back on my feet. I am so grateful for a God who draws so near to me that I can feel his presence and love. Through my shame he displays his grace and wipes my slate clean. His love for me is beyond measure, greater then I could ever ask, think, or imagine!! Greater than the love I have for my own son! We can all experience this powerful love, no matter what we have been through or what we may have done. The truth is we are all sinners, none of us are really good enough for God, and we can only experience him by first admitting this and surrendering all of who we are completely to him! I pray that each one of us as believers would fully understand how deeply he loves us, know that his grace is sufficient, and give everything we are to him so we can mature in Christ and become all that he created us to be!

1 corinthians 2:9NLV- “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Ephesians 4:13NLV-This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

Romans 8:38NLV-And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39.No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 11. For his unfailing love towards those who fear him is as great as the heights of the heavens above the earth.

This post was written by a dear friend of mine, love her heart after God! Hope this post blesses you like it has me! Happy Wednesday Friends!

Monday, June 2, 2014

What turning 30 looks like for me....

I'm turning 30 in a few days and I have been super stressed lately over my life. I feel all this pressure from "the world" to have everything figured out and have this picture perfect life by 30. Like I should have this amazing career and this adoring husband with 2.5 children and a white picket fence to complete it all, possibly an obedient dog too! In reality I am divorced with 3 rambunctious boys who only seem to have an energy button or super energy button, I am currently unemployed and running out of savings! And I'm pretty sure my dog was satan himself!

 I began to feel this enormous pressure to change my entire life in the next 14 days. News flash! never gonna happen! When I sat down to pray I realized what am I doing? Why am I discounting my entire life just because I don't have what "the world" suggests or I am not the way that sometimes people are portrayed at my age. God began to show me all I do have, He reminded me and showed me a picture of where I was just even 10 years ago and how far I have come. I had instant peace because I realized I bought into the lie that we need to have things to be worth something. I do have much, I am blessed with 3 wonderful boys who love the Lord and love their mom and are active and healthy. I have a wonderful home that God has provided for us that I can raise my children in. I had a savings to rely on when I lost a job. He has carried me through all the tough times. I have something much bigger than all of those things though. I have Jesus, I have my savoir who loves me with a love that nothing compares to. I have a God that sent his only son to be tortured and die on the cross just for me! (you too!) I have this love and heart for people that pours out on a daily basis that was put there by God. I can look back over my life and see every time I was protected by God and even when I went through things that were less than desirable He turned them into things that bring Him glory. Just as he promised He would. Romans 8:28 " And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 

I now see a changed woman. I see someone who came from something ugly and broken and how God has changed me and who I am down to my core. I couldn't have made that change even if I wanted to! As I approach 30, I do so with hope and excitement. Joy in knowing that my future lies in Gods hands and that's the best place it can be! I know there will be many more struggles in my life, obstacles i will need to overcome but I no longer have to face them alone. In the words of Chris Tomlin "the god of angel armies is always by my side". I am going to move forward resting in Gods promises and who I am in Christ not what I have here on earth or the status that I have attained. After all "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?" Matthew 16:26. I'm going to move forward seeing my worth the way God sees it. 

Philippians 3:8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

Thursday, May 29, 2014

pleading my case

So I was doing my hair today and my son came to me and asked me if he could do something. I said no and he said "mom, please!" and began to make promises that we both knew he couldn't keep. I promise I'll be safe, I promise I won't get hurt, please just let me do it! He was trying to assure me that he knew best, he knew better than me! His mom, who carried him and created him, with the help of my ex husband and God of course! Now we know pretty much about our children, after all we are the ones who love them most on this earth and we spend the most time with them and invest in them. I know (for the most part) whats good for my children and what could potentially harm them. Some battles are lost or not worth fighting. For example my 6 year old loves to run around outside without shoes, our backyard is safe but there is always a chance that he could step on a bee or stub his toe. After hours of convincing him its a better idea to wear shoes, i decided to let him go and he would deal with the consequences. Not even 10 minutes later he came inside crying and his toe was bleeding. He banged it on the porch. Nothing some water and a band aid couldn't fix. Through the tears he said I should have listened to you. I said well I tried to tell you but you needed to figure this out on your own. Next time wears shoes okay!

 I started thinking how at times I can be like that with God. How if I want something I go to him even when I have a feeling that its probably not the best idea and I almost plead my case, begging Him and making promises that i really can't keep. Like God i want to date this guy who is not a christian, I promise I will always be a good example or I promise that it wont effect me. Maybe its I want this job God and i promise it wont get in the way of my relationship with you or my family life. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knitted us together in our mothers womb, knows every hair on our heads. When he gives us something or sometimes doesn't, I believe that its for our good. I also do believe just like with my son, there are times where we need to go through trials to realize that its not good for us. No amount of me telling my son that shoes are necessary was going to do it, he had to go out there and stub his toe to realize "hey mom was right, I need shoes". Are there things in your life that you aren't surrendering to God? Whatever the reason may be, we need to realize that God, our creator knows us and loves us so much and wants to protect us from unnecessary hurt and pain. Either way god will use your situation. He will use it to grow you and to refine you.

I'm so thankful that even when I make mistakes that God is there with open arms ready to embrace me when I fall and get hurt, still loves me even when I mess up. Just like we are there for our children. Can u trust that He knows best? Can you give that situation your struggling with over to Him? Reach out to him in prayer and He is always there....