Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Busyness Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer

Hi ladies!!
I read this blog today and it ministered to my busy little heart & thought
I would share it with you! Click the link below!
Enjoy!!
http://www.goingbeyond.com/blog/busyness-interrupted

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Billboard Truth

We are therefore 
Christ's ambassadors, 
as though God were making 
his appeal through us. 
We implore you on 
Christ's behalf: 
Be reconciled 
to God. 
- 2 Corinthians 5:20

Today I drove to Orlando with the kids and, as always, I noticed the many billboards that aligned the highway. Theme parks to pro-life were the ones seen most. It got my mind thinking about the purpose of billboards. Stay with me. As thoughts began to wander, I thought of how many people see those billboards, on a weekly basis, and make a decision of whether or not they will visit the place/idea that is raised high for all to see.

I began thinking of my walk with Christ. As a mom. A wife. Friend. What does the "billboard" of my life say to others? I want to have purpose in how I represent. My children are looking at my "billboard" each day. They see a picture representing either a mom who is relying on Christ for strength, or one who isn't. 

This past week was tough. I saw how my lack of quiet time, with the Lord, caused me to be frazzled more. My "billboard" was not one looking like Christ. It was more a picture of flesh than any fruit of the spirit. Many times I had to repent and ask my kids for forgiveness. We all have encountered that mom who is rightly representing the picture of Jesus. How does she do it? Only by grasping onto the hem of His garment and asking for healing - of the heart and mind. She remembers she cannot do it on her own. I want to be that mom. I want to cling to Jesus and have it represented in the beauty of my spirit.

What does your "billboard" say to your kids? Your neighbor? 

Ask Him to show you anything needing change on your "billboard" today. Listen. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Laughter Heals


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Proverbs 17:22

I have blogged many days telling of how hard my 2013 was. As I was driving in the car the other day I turned around to check on the kiddos and found my middle child laughing. The one, who has struggled adjusting to our move and acted out in anger many days...laughing. It was a moment I banked in my memory and recalled many times since. Laughing heals. Laughing feels good. It refreshes. It lifts our spirit when its been burdened. 

I need to laugh more. I need to look for ways to make others laugh. I am realizing how little I laugh and how much I want to change that. 

Look for ways to laugh. Give you children opportunities to laugh. Allow them the freedom to laugh at you too! Allow yourself the freedom to laugh much. It will change your outlook on life and cause you to not take it too seriously. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Praying Beyond Protection & Blessing

 For this very reason, 
make every effort to 
supplement your faith 
with virtue, and 
virtue with knowledge, 
- 2 Peter 1:5 ESV

As a mom, you are always looking for ways to improve and "helpful hints" from those who have blazed before you. A few years ago I received some really helpful information, from Bob Hostetler, on his wide bookmark which read "31 Biblical Virtues to pray for your kids."  I placed it in my Bible and have prayed them over my children. With 31 days per month, it allows you to pray specifically for one virtue each day, you want Him to entrust your children with.

Below you will find the PDF file with the virtues on it. The first page gives an excerpt from the author and the second page is the actual virtues. Print them out. Put them in your Bible. Commit to praying them over and with your children daily. Enjoy!

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDIQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.afmonline.org%2Fcontent%2Fresources%2F31_Biblical_Virtues.pdf&ei=EylbU6zYGe3gsASzsYLADA&usg=AFQjCNHkcR8cS6X_b8qTBBfd3jGLwpXvZw&sig2=PwE4J5H9X-V8UIOiCVqZmg&bvm=bv.65397613,d.cWc

Friday, April 25, 2014

What cha Doing?

I have such fond memories of our children as pre-schoolers walking quietly into a room I was in to rock back on their heals and ask, "What cha doing?"

Over the past several weeks God has heard my cry to show  “any wicked way in me.”  He has revealed pride, self-righteousness, gossip, unkindness, judgmental attitudes, laziness and more.  I am appreciative of His great patience with me as my pride refuses to see my desperately wicked heart.

This week, God showed me in James 4 that anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it – sins!  This verse shook me to the core.  What do I know to do that I am not?  What am I omitting that God is expecting me to do?  It isn't "what cha doing" its "what cha NOT doing?"

One example of these sins of omission came this week.  Our daughter was talking with me about an appointment, she asked, “Did you pray about it?” Conviction.  Yes, before I make important decisions I should be praying and seeking God’s wisdom.

Another example of omission in my life was realizing I was so looking at life’s difficult circumstances, I wasn’t moving on.  God doesn’t want me so focused on the problem that I am not doing the next right thing.

This may not be what you are omitting in your life or in the life of your family.  Ask the Lord to help you see the good you ought to be doing.  Ask Him, "what should I be doing."

Our Father God isn't so far away.  He does walk into our lives and ask, "What cha doing?"  As moms we are all called to do “good works that were planned in advance.”  Let’s not miss any of them!
Google Image

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Of Pure Gold

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. (Exodus 25:8, 9 NIV)

There is no detail missed in God’s directions.  It is chapter after chapter of exact detail.  Honestly, it can be very challenging to read if one is sleepy.  But one very important detail grabbed my attention as I read it recently:

“Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. (Exodus 25:37, 38 NIV)

“Its wick trimmers and trays are to be made of pure gold.” 

Wick trimmers . . . I don’t know about you but a wick trimmer for me is a pair of scissors I bought at the dollar store, and a there is no tray, there is a junk drawer.   Now I realize I live in the age of electric lights and am not in constant need of a wick trimmer but it still seems a little excessive to have it made of pure gold and to have a special tray. 


The care and detail that God put into EVERY part of this tabernacle, where He would dwell, is incredible to me.  There was nothing in it or used to build it that was ordinary.  It was all set apart and special because God would dwell in it. 

Living under the New Covenant, our heart is now the dwelling place for God . . . in context of what you just read let that soak in a minute.

YOU ARE set apart and special because God dwells in you!

We can look around the body of Christ and see the lamps, the focal pieces on the table that shine and create light for an entire room.  They are always easy to spot.  But we aren’t all the focal pieces some of us are the wick trimmers or the tray.  We are in the background unnoticed; doing jobs that others don’t even recognize.  We feel like we are the dollar store scissors that are used for what is needed and then thrown back into the junk drawer, to their forgotten place. 

But that is when we look through the eyes of man.  God does not see things that way.  Read these verses again:

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. (Exodus 25:8, 9 NIV)

God has set a “pattern” before us as well.  He sees us as more, much, much more.  He has set us apart; we are an important detail, a dwelling place for GOD.  He has no junk drawer where he stores the wick trimmers.  The wick trimmers are special; they are made of pure gold and sit in a tray made of pure gold, on the table by the lamp.  The lamp that stands out and is recognized for what it does.  But could the lamp do its job without the wick trimmer?  And the tray . . . is there any purpose to it besides holding the wick trimmer?  I don’t know, but it was still special enough to God to be made of pure gold and set apart. 


As moms sometimes we feel like we get thrown in the junk drawers, the forgotten places of life.  We feel like a useless wick trimmer or a tray.  But God has no junk drawers and doesn’t dwell in the useless.  He has not forgotten you and the work that you have been given to do is of great importance to Him.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wisdom from above

James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

I have these verses written on a note card on the fridge right where I fill up our cups with water – a million times a day.  This time I was filling up a canister to make our daily Tang (a staple in our household).  Since I was there a while I read the verses and thought, “Am I displaying the wisdom from above in these ways?”  Immediately, I was convicted, yet with the conviction came the marching orders for the day – “Lord, please help me to rely on You so I can be these things in my mothering.  I desire to display this wisdom from above today.”

There’s so much more I could say (and would love to go into) about these amazing verses but I will leave you with one of my favorite pastor’s sayings.  Pastor Don Dukes used to lead the prayer meetings at our church and he would give us a benediction that went something like this: “Tonight you came in here in pieces, but now you can leave in peace.” 


This is our prayer:  May the peace of God rule in our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. And we ask for this precious wisdom so we can model the very characteristics of God to our children today.  May our kids glorify and praise the God who made them and offers them this peace.  We need Your help, Lord to carry out the calling on our lives today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Don't Live in Denial

For a long time I lived there. Denial. I second guessed myself and got frustrated when my life didn't seem to flow as easily as other moms. Sometimes I would question why God chose me, but always trusting in His sovereignty. But today, after 6 years, I feel clarity and hope as we move forward.
I am... a mom of a child with special needs. And it's OK. It's different. It's challenging. It causes me to be stretched many days and reminds me of my need for Jesus.

Today we sat down with the pediatric neurologist, where she reviewed my oldest son's test results. My heart was prepared as she shared the data showing we likely are on the autism spectrum. I read over the charts and it confirmed thoughts I had previously had.

I don't want to live in denial. I don't want to pretend that everything is normal...when in all reality...it is not. I want to accept my son's struggles and get the help needed and move forward. The diagnosis is not the end. It's the beginning. The treatment plan will allow us to grow and function more normally and cause our family to learn how to cope.

I am excited. Great ministry opportunities are weaved throughout our "special needs" along with the medical professionals the Lord will have us "rub shoulders with." We will trust in the Known Lord in an unknown time as our family walks this uncharted territory. The Lord has already done great things  through this trial and I know He's not finished yet.

What "trial" are you currently walking through with your kiddo?

Don't live in denial. HE wants to do great things in and through your life as you seek Him daily and acknowledge His sovereignty in the crazy of your life.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Crank It Up!



Let’s be honest. Sometimes as a mom you want to scream at your kids. You want to tell them how ungrateful they are being, how they need to get along with their siblings, stop complaining, be respectful, use kind words, keep their hands to themselves, clean up their own mess, etc. These are all good things that we should tell our kids, but if I’m honest…in my moments of deep frustration I want to snatch up ‘em and just yell the truth at them. As if that is what God is calling me to do…

Well, I know it’s not.  I would only end up saying things that I regret or in a way that I would regret…I would end me apologizing to my kids and feeling horrible for losing it and setting such a bad example. So, when those times come when I feel like I want to shout from the rooftops…I do…but in a healthy way….


I crank up the music and start dancing and praising God. Seriously, the kids join in and we all end up having our own Jam Fest in the living room…or in the car. If the truth be told, I needed to “get it out”. I needed to let go of my own junk, refocus on Jesus, and “press on” in the joy to which HE is calling me.

In those moments when I decide to “shout to the Lord” or make a joyful noise, I am exchanging the lie of the enemy (that yelling at my kids will somehow force them into submission and make me feel better all at the same time) for the truth of God (his grace is sufficient for my weakness and words aptly spoken are like apples of gold).

So fellow momma’ in Christ, let’s take the “no yelling, start praising” challenge together. Let’s choose to exhibit self-control and look to the Lord for our joy and strength as opposed to unleashing the ugly on our kids. They are watching our example. If your kids are yelling a lot…guess who they may be getting it from?

It is NEVER too late to change that. When we are feeling at our wits end, let’s crank it up and choose praise.

Prayer:

God, you are perfect and holy in all your ways. May we exhibit your Holy Spirit control when we are feeling pressed on all sides by our kids, our circumstances, or the storms of life. May our worship be sincere. May you be our rock of safety and our refuge for peace in the midst of life’s frustrating and challenging moments. May we press in to you, and choose not lean on our own understanding or justify our own sin. May we set YOU before us so that we will not be shaken.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen.


Ready to Jam? Click on the link below:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mandisa+overcomer&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=1717B535536ADFE200FE1717B535536ADFE200FE

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Resurrection STICKS Activity

I am not organized. Nor am I crafty. I struggle putting things together, and am very forgetful. Only God would call me into overseeing Children's Ministry at church. It can be overwhelming as I look at how many obstacles are before me, but I know One who is working for me! The Lord asked and I obeyed. In my obedience, now and in past, I have experienced such provision of peace and joy as I submit to His plan instead of my own. 

Is it uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone? 

Yes! 

But I know if He asks....He will supply all I need.

 This weekend we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. How exciting! In Children's Ministry I was stressing out (instead of praying) about what activities I would get together for service for all the classes, which the kids would keep and use later instead of chucking into the garbage.

I Google(d) all types of things and sat in front of the screen wondering what to do. Then the Lord gave me an idea! HE is so good to bless us when we are stretched in obedience. And I wanted to share it with you.

Resurrection Sticks! Similar to the Resurrection Eggs we are all familiar with, the 12 pictures are printed out and glued onto popsicle sticks. Something the kids can take home and share with their family. I am encouraging the kids also to share them with someone who doesn't know Jesus. Click the links below for pictures and printouts.

http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/IMG_31921.jpg

http://www.busychickadees.com/2012/03/how-to-make-resurrection-eggs/

What are you doing with your kiddos to make the resurrection story one they can re-tell and encourage others with? 

Don't let Easter just pass by without telling them the amazing story of the resurrection.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hosanna!

Luke 19: 30 – 31
“Go to the village ahead of you and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden.  Untie it and bring it here. 
If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him,
‘The Lord needs it.’”

Matthew 21: 7 – 9
They brought the donkey…placed their cloaks on it, and Jesus sat on them.   A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Hosanna in the highest!’ 
 
Google Image
Clap! Clap!   Places everybody. In 5, 4, 3, 2, ACTION!

OK Moms, you have the script.  Give your little ones a jacket or a sweater.  You or Dad can be the donkey.  Show them how to lay their jackets on the ground.  Give one of your children the part of Jesus and let them climb up on the “donkey” (mom or dad.) 
Now begin their lines…

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Hosanna in the highest!’ 

Let’s teach our children the story of Easter, starting with Good Friday.
This will not just be “play time” this will be the beginning of them understanding the meaning of Easter.

 
Google Image

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Praise + Perspective = Revelation

As a mom, we have highs. We have lows. We have those moments we feel liberated, for truth instilled in our kids as we watch it being lived out. We also experience those moments we wish we could erase and re-do. Praise God that HE loves us enough to give us new mercies each day. As we are served grace, it allows us to do the same with our kiddos.

How has your week been? More highs than lows? Vice versa? I am grateful for both the highs and the lows. They each have purpose and meaning. Allowing us to grow and glean truth only gained through our observation.


God tells us to praise him in EVERYTHING. Our life will look different if we faithfully do this.
What is HE trying to teach you through your highs and lows this week? Praise Him for the great things in your week. Praise Him for those things that stretched you. Praise Him for those people He has placed in your life to prune you. It all has a goal....His glory. He wants to use your mouth to speak truth into the lives of others because of those experiences.

Perspective is everything.  Many times when our mind is left without the word of God, it reflects a more worldly perspective. The friendships we cultivate also mold and shape our character which determines the perspective we have. Be careful. Choose your friends wisely. Encourage the lost, but don't allow them to discourage you. Be a light. Pray for friendships that will exhort you in the ways of God.

Real revelation comes when we spend time with Him. My schedule is crazy busy. But days I set aside alone time with Him is when restoration happens. It is what gives me strength for the next set of marching orders He gives me. Daily given out, and many times I miss experiencing His peace because I allow other things to steal that time. HE has a plan just for you! Spend time with Him. Watch and be in awe.


How has your quiet time been this week?

What goal can you set so in order to carve out some alone time with your Creator?

Do you have a friendship that nudges you towards Jesus? If not, pray for one. She will be an amazing gift in your life. Life is hard. Don't do it alone!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Poured Out



And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard.  Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.  
Mark 14:3 
As we draw near to Easter, I thought what better time to draw near to HIM.  Our church went over a few verses in the book of Mark last weekend and I wanted to share my take away and how I thought we could apply this to our everyday living.  
The first thing was that Mary’s love was costly.  She spared no expense on Jesus. Mary had done something that others thought was foolish, she poured pricey oil on Him.  Others thought the oil could be sold for money for the poor but Jesus replied, Mark 14:7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.  A great reminder that we are never to sacrifice our time with Him for good works, even if they are really good works.
A second thing was her love was complete.  Mary didn’t pour out half the vile, she actually broke the flask and poured out everything!  It was a complete selfless gift of her love for Jesus.  This gesture will look differently in each of our lives depending on what stage we are in.  Maybe you have young ones and it’s all about teaching them how to personally know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Or maybe you’re at the stage where you have to completely trust your child in His care as they venture into the world, trusting they will cling to the truths you have taught them.  Whatever it is, is it complete?
Lastly and my favorite is that Mary’s act is to always be remembered.  Mark 14:9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her. Wow!  Who wouldn’t want that?  The time you spend at His feet, teaching your children the importance of time spent with Him, will always be remembered.  Not only that, but especially at this time, it is important to note that the act she did prepared His body for burial!  You never know what result your time with Jesus will be, but we know it will be worth it! 

Lord Jesus I pray for us to spare no expense on You, to completely love You, and to realize even the smallest acts with You in mind will be remembered.  Lord help us to remember you spared no expense when it came to us and allow us to do the same for You.  If someone has forwarded this to you or you are reading this from Facebook or you somehow stumbled upon this blog and you don’t know Jesus, it was not by chance.   Please know He loves you and wants a relationship with you.  Please talk to someone about Him.  
In the Great Name of Jesus I pray. Amen!           

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Streams in the Wastelands


It's been a long year. 2013 seemed like the longest year of my life. Tons of trials with life lessons weaved throughout. Our family moved, had a new baby, started a new church, enrolled in public school, pulled out of public school, challenges of homeschooling two active boys with a newborn, tons of sickness with the kiddos (when they are normally very healthy), having my oldest tested for Aspergers with therapy sessions, major car problems, and my four year old had major reconstructive bladder surgery (in hospital for a week) that we are still recovering from. But...God is still on the throne.

It has been exhausting. In it all HE has reminded me the importance of clinging to His word for encouragement and refreshment. At times it has definitely felt as if I am in the dessert and desperate for a glass of water. But it's a season. It's not forever. If I were really honest, in these crazy times, I have learned more about Jesus than in those easier seasons of my life. 

I have struggled as a mommy. I have had to repent and ask my kids for forgiveness. In it all there are lessons, for me, for my kids, and those He wants me to share with. Lessons that challenge my character to look more like Jesus.

Have you had a rough day? Month? Year? You are not alone, Mommy! Find a quiet place, get alone with God, and allow Him to refresh you in the desert you are walking through. HE will give you "streams" to revive your tired and weary self. 

HE loves you! Being a mommy is tough. But you have an amazing opportunity to raise up the next generation for Christ. It is huge. Satan wants to sift and take you down, in order to thwart your efforts.  Cling to Him. You will never regret it! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jesus Calling

It has been a crazy couple of weeks for our family. We put a lot of time, money, energy, and effort into a plan that didn’t quite work out. On top of all that, we had a busy schedule of events…and the kids were sick…all three of them. Knowing the spiritual warfare we had been encountering, my mom slipped me a devotional last night while we were having Sunday dinner. She had bookmarked a page just for me. 

The following excerpt is from “Jesus is Calling” 365 Day Devotional by Sarah Young:
(It is written as though Jesus is speaking directly to you, the reader.)

“THIS IS THE DAY THAT I HAVE MADE. Rejoice and be glad in it. Begin the day with open hands of faith, ready to receive all that I am pouring into this brief portion of your life. Be careful not to complain about anything, even the weather, since I am the Author of your circumstances. The best way to handle unwanted circumstances is to thank Me for them. This act of faith frees you from resentment and frees Me to work My ways into the situation, so that good emerges from it.
            To find Joy in this day, you must live within its boundaries. I knew what I was doing when I divided time into twenty-four hour segments. I understand human frailty, and I know that you can bear the weight of only one day at a time. Do not worry about tomorrow or get stuck in the past. There is abundant Life in My Presence today.”

                        This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
                                                            Psalm 118:24

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 3:13-14

I pray this devotional richly blesses you. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Prayer,

Heavenly Father, we thank you that your love for us is constant despite our circumstances. We lift up every concern, fear, failure, disappointment, uncertainty…everything to You. We thank you for who you are: the great I AM. May we have the peace of knowing that you hold our lives in your hands, and your hands are all-powerful, ever-loving, and perfect.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

"The Day I Lost My Smile" by Lysa Terkeurst

I needed this post. Many friends forwarded it to me and it is a must read for any mommy out there. I pray you read this and are relieved you are not alone! Read on and be refreshed my friend!



"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)

I looked at my schedule and an overwhelming sense of dread started creeping
into my heart. "What's wrong with me? Why am I always running late, running
behind, and running after my people who all seem to compound this issue?"

Because time refused to stand still while I pondered, it was necessary to jump
right into task mode. There were lunches to pack, permission forms to sign,
and tangles that needed gathering up into ponytails. I put one foot in front
of the other and kicked into automatic, mentally crossing off one thing after
another on my morning routine checklist.

I gathered up backpacks and lunchboxes and started announcing from the front
door that we had to leave right this minute. And then I said it again. And
then I yelled it in a tone that finally got my kids to appear. I quickly
checked to make sure we didn't repeat yesterday's mistake of letting one leave
with no shoes on. Then I marched out of the house while tossing out a stern
reminder to please shut the door quickly so the dog didn't get out.

But the dog did get out.

As I slipped the car in drive, the dog darted right out in front of me causing
me to simultaneously slam on the brakes and spill both cups of orange juice I
had gingerly perched between my purse and the little stacks of toast.

I jumped out to usher the dog back into the house and let hot tears just have
their way. The green numbers of the dashboard clock seemed to simultaneously
mock and remind me I had no time to sit and cry it all out.

I handed my kids their soggy toast and in a rare moment of silence, they took
it without protest.

We pulled into the carpool line at school and I stared at the long line of
cars ahead of me. I imagined all the wonderful smiling mothers who were doing
this better than me. They probably had organized systems for packing lunches
the night before and making sure their kids kept up with their shoes. They
probably did family devotions each morning, ate breakfast at the table, and
sang songs all the way to school.

I compared all that to the realities of my morning and came to one
heart-sinking conclusion: "I stink at this."

Almost at that exact moment my phone buzzed with a text message from a friend:
"I had a really hard morning with my kids today. I'd love to have coffee some
time and learn how you do it all so well."

I couldn't believe it. I half sighed and half chuckled at the irony.

I turned around to my kids in the back and said, "Hey guys, I'm really sorry
Mommy was such a grump this morning. I think I misplaced my smile. So I just
want you to know while you're at school today I'm going to do everything I can
to find it."

After I dropped them off, I called that friend and told her what a gift it was
to get her text.

I shared with her. She shared with me.

Together, we brainstormed better ways to prepare for these morning pitfalls we
both kept finding ourselves in.

Together, we gave ourselves the permission to admit how hard motherhood can
sometimes be and that it's okay to feel caught off guard by the endless
demands.

Together, we listed reasons to be so very thankful.

Together, we found strength.

Together, we regained our sense of dignity.

And it wasn't too long until we both found ourselves laughing together.

It reminds me of our key verse, Proverbs 31:25
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." But
sometimes it takes a friend to bring us back to the place where we can live
this verse.

We need each other. The key word that day I processed life with my friend and
gained a better perspective was, "together." It's such a powerful word and the
exact reason I wrote this devotion today.

You are not alone.

Oh, how easy it is to lose our smiles and forget to laugh at the craziness of
our lives. I need reminders. Just recently, I bought a necklace with a gold
pendant that reads, "She laughs." (See below in related resources for more
information.) When I see the reflection of this necklace in the mirror I
remember laughing is one of the best ways to show those I love that I enjoy
them and I like doing life with them. What a gift for them to have memories of
me laughing.

I imagine, though the circumstances might be different for you, you know that
place where I was. And maybe you need a reminder to laugh too. We all have
times where we feel like failures. We feel like others are doing life so much
better. We feel so very alone in our struggles and issues and chaotic
emotions. And we look up one day and feel like it was a lifetime ago since we
laughed.

So, I slip this little devotion into your life and whisper, you're not alone.
You're doing this so much better than you think you are. God has entrusted you
with your life, your loved ones, your unique challenges because you are
perfectly equipped for it all.

Just don't lose your smile. And if you run into me today looking a little worn
out, might you remind me of this as well?

Dear Lord, help me not to lose my smile today. I want to find my joy in You.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:
What friend can you share your struggles with today?

Choose someone you can be honest with, and determine to encourage each other
through meeting for coffee, praying for each other, and sending text messages
throughout the week.

Power Verse:
Ecclesiastes 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves." (NIV)

© 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries /
630 Team Rd., Suite 100 /
Matthews, NC 28105 /
www.Proverbs31.org

Friday, April 11, 2014

Toothpaste Anyone?

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Over the past 7 days I have been more aware of the amount of words people say; opinions, thoughts, facts and gossip.

With that in mind, I thought it appropriate in our carpool to introduce the ‘ole toothpaste illustration.  As the girls clamored in the car for another uneventful ride to school, I came prepared.  At just the right moment I “unveiled” a paper plate and a small tube of toothpaste.   I asked each girl to squirt some toothpaste on the plate.  After they had emptied the tube, I asked our youngest rider to begin putting the toothpaste back in the tube.

She is such a princess and looked for a way to put it back in.  I stopped her and explained this was only an illustration.  However, the point was the toothpaste could NOT be put back in the tube.  I then asked each girl to point to the paste they had specifically squirted. After passing it around multiple times they could not identify which part they had squirted.

I finally drew the illustration to a close by explaining that the toothpaste represents our careless words.  I explained that once our words leave our mouths they cannot be retrieved nor can they they be identified as to who spoke them.  I explained to them the Bible says that our tongue is like a spark and can burn a forest down, it’s like a rudder on a huge ship and finally it is compared to a small bit in an animal’s mouth.
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It is hard to retrieve what we say. It is even harder to be in control of our words.  The hard and fast rule is “say less.”  We can go back later and add words, or comments, or more information.  If we speak all the words up front there is usually regret of giving too much information or blatantly gossiping. I would rather be accused of too few words than too many.

James 3: 3 – 10

v. 8 – 10 “but no man can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers this should not be so.”