Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Sacrifices You Make, Momma

I read this today and thought of all the sacrifices that surround the birth and life of a child.  Check out this Our Daily Bread Ministries devotion from December 21, 2016, written by Tim Gustafson.

Thanking God today for all the Mommas in the world, as you make many sacrifices each day for the life of your child.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What Are You Waiting For?

I had the opportunity to guest blog for a dear friend of mine, Shannon DeGarmo Carpino, author of "The Bounce Back Woman".  So I thought I would share my heart here as well...

Have you ever had to wait for something that you were particularly excited for? You know the kind of thing that is so exciting your mind wonders to it when you should be thinking about something else? Perhaps it was the anticipation of an approaching birth, or butterflies the night before your wedding day, or maybe it was an exceptional Christmas present you knew you would be receiving?

For me, my most anticipated gift was the gift of finding my husband. I remember always wondering when it was going to happen with an eagerness of “would it be sometime soon?”. The years went on and I watched as some of my friends got married and I often wondered why I hadn’t yet found “the one”? Little did I know that although my search was for the right man, the Lord had a gift for me that I wasn’t expecting. You see, I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord growing up. I knew very little about the bible and who Jesus Christ was. So before God introduced me to my beloved, He introduce me to HIS beloved… The Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.
As I reflect on the most special present of all, I am reminded of two people who waited their whole lives for one special gift, and at Christmas time God gave them just that.
Simeon, meaning obedient, was a righteous and devout man, who had eagerly waited his whole life for the Messiah. Being moved by obedience and the Spirit, he entered the temple to find the child and his parents there.
Luke 2:27-32 That day the Spirit led him to the temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the Law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
Another prophet, Anna, whose name means full of grace, lost her husband after being married only 7 years. Anna spent the duration of her life in the temple praying and worshipping God and waiting for the Messiah to come.
Luke 2:37-38 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. [She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
This Christmas, as we participate in all the fun this time of year brings, let us remember the true reason for this season. As Simeon and Anna spent their entire lives waiting for the Savior who was to come, let us remember and reflect on the One who has come. The One who came so that we may have life to the fullest and life everlasting. Will you join me as we focus on the Giver of the greatest gift, Life-in-Him-rather than on the presents that lay under our tree? Let’s be partakers with Simeon and Anna as we anticipate celebrating Jesus’s birth, praising and worshiping our God and sharing Him with everyone.
Lord Jesus, I pray as the busyness of this season tries to consume us, please help us slow our hurried pace. May we be deliberate with our days, carving out quiet time to spend with You so that we may reflect on all that your birth means to us. Lord I also pray, that you help us reflect the good and perfect gifts you have imparted to us, so that others may see and hear the good news of You and Your Beloved.
Much love and blessings to you!
Merry Christmas,
Fran Maynard

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Blessings!

This is a such a great outlook on Christmas and  on life!

(It also so reminds me of the man I begged God for... and married! LOL!)  

Merry Christmas!

Click here and Enjoy!

A special thanks to Forest Hill Church, NC for video permissions.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bond of Peace

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3

I read this verse and was determined to live out the “bond of peace” part.  All day while the normal things that would have rattled me and given me the “right” to raise my voice at our kids, I chose to remember those three words, “bond-of-peace” and act in a more peaceful manner.  The result was a more tempered momma, less stressed kids, and the unity of the Spirit.

The dictionary defines the word endeavor: try hard to do or achieve something.  Well when we invite the Lord to work in and through us to endeavor[ing] to keep the unity of the Spirit of the bond of peace we don’t have to try so hard—just let Him work through us!  He will remind you of His peace as He did me!

Bedtime is supposed to be 8pm but this night it was going on after 9:30 and I was still being asked to put cream on mosquito bites and letting them know that there is no reading in bed by the light of the little lighted Christmas tree in their room.  I felt the Lord with me like a loving coach as I handled the moment.

May we strive to keep this bond of peace in our homes as we cheer on our kids to live walking worthy of the calling with which they are called. That they would do this with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, as they endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace in their lives.