Sunday, December 16, 2012

Praying Fervently with Drenched Eyes

For these babies, these teachers, these parents facing the greatest loss of their lives. Jesus, surround them in this dark place of devastation. Let Your love and peace that only You can give be felt this very moment. Such brokenness in our world, sometimes it feels too much to bear.

"Your heart cant forgive. Thats why He gave you His."
~Ann VosKamp

Dear Jesus,
It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated. 
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Hopefully,
Your Children


~Max Lucado

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Chosen Vessel

The Master was looking for a vessel to use.
Before Him were many, which one would He choose?
"Take me," cried the gold one, "I'm shiny and bright,
I'm of great value, I do things just right.
My beauty and luster outshine the rest
And for someone like you Master, gold would be best."
The Master passed on with no word at all
and came to the silver urn, near a window tall.
"I'll serve you dear Master, I'll pour out your wine.
I'll be on your table whenever you dine.
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true
and silver will always compliment you."
Unheeding, the Master passed onto the brass,
wide mouthed and shallow and polished like glass.
"Here, here," cried the vessel, "I know I will do,
place me on the table for all men to view."
"Look at me," cried the goblet of crystal so clear,
my transparency shows my contents so dear.
So fragile am I, I will serve you with pride
and I know I'll be happy  in your house to abide."
The Master came next to the vessel of wood,
solid and polished it solidly stood.
"You may use me dear Master, but I'd rather be used for fruit, not bread.
Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay,
empty and broken it helplessly lay,
no hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
to mend and make whole to cleanse and to use.
"Ah, this is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I'll cleanse it and mend it and make it all mine.
I need not the vessel of pride in itself,
nor one that is narrow to set on the shelf,
nor one that is big mouthed and shallow and loud,
nor one that displays it contents so proud,
nor one that thinks it can do things just right,
but this plain earthly vessel filled with power and might.
Then gently he lifted the vessel of clay,
cleansed it and mended it and filled it that day.
He spoke to it kindly, "There's work you must do,
just pour out to others as I pour into you."
~written by Carole Wolaver, the Pottery Lady

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Contentment

Contentment for me is so many things. Simple things. Things you cant buy. For me, its nothing extravagant. I love the simple ways of life.

Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."
Hebrews  13:5

Contentment for me is.....

~Waking early, sitting by a small light to study the Word and be in prayer.

~Thinking of my kids while driving in the car and laughing about a moment we had.

~Being with my entire family. Its the core of who I am.

~Rocking my baby to sleep and rubbing my preschoolers back till he is asleep.

~A roll out of bed morning with my husband and sons, make some pancakes or another yummy breakfast and sit as close to each other as possible under a blanket munching away and watching a movie.

~Lighting a seasonal candle and allowing my home to feel warm and smell good.

~Keeping traditions both new and old.

~Holding my husbands hand.

~Having a peaceful heart and home.

~Cooking a yummy dinner and baking a dessert for my family.

~A simple walk to see Gods creation through my children's eyes.

~A fresh perspective on life in general.

~Gaining wisdom from those I admire and love. A good, deep conversation.

~Waking my kids up late to go on an ice cream run. Just because.

~Playing in the rain, catching the rain in our mouths, a warm bath and hot chocolate with a movie to follow.

~Delivering a hot cup of coffee to our neighbor.

~Having a small home, where we are all close.

~Having friends and family who are there no matter what, no matter the time, or moment.

~Letting my kids be kids and make messes.

~Letting my kids sleep in our bed all snug, cozy and secure.

~Having dance parties with my kids and hubby every night.

~Running with my kids and laughing like crazy.

~Piling into our bed at night and singing worship and children's songs together.

~Hearing my sons precious prayers.

~The true love in my home.

~Practicing hospitality often.

~Sitting still, and taking in the sights and sounds of my children.

~My healthy family.

This is just the beginning of my contentment list. My heart could carry on.

My cup is overflowing.

My heart is full.

My eyes on Him.

To God be the glory for this beautiful life I live.

Amen.

What are you content in this very moment?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tis the Season!

I have seen a few blogging ladies write out a list of their plan for the Christmas season. Things and activities they desire to do during this beautiful, cozy month. I, myself have never made a list but I love the idea. Besides the fact that I am a big time planner and I love to make my lists, I find this to be an awesome idea. This season is a season to especially be intentional with our children, as we are drawing their hearts nearer to Jesus and feeding their hearts with the reasons we believe. So here goes mine, I know its not going to include everything but most.


  1. Birthday Cake for Jesus- This will be a first for us this year but I have already been talking to Cayden about baking and decorating a cake for Jesus. The entire process will be so fun. I am sure Camden will enjoy taste testing ;-) And on Christmas day, we will sing Happy Birthday to Jesus (as we do each day) and cut the cake to share.
  2. Cookie Cutters: I have a set of cookie cutters that tell the birth story of Jesus. These were gifted to me last year and we will get to make them this year!
  3. Gingerbread House Party: I love to make gingerbread houses (hot glue them together everyone!)...we will get together with a couple neighbor friends and enjoy decorating mini houses and playing. I have decided to make it small and quaint this year.
  4. Our Annual Baking Day: My mom, sister and I love to select the cookies we will make each year and we enjoy a day of christmas music and baking. This year Cayden gets to join in on this tradition as he LOVES to be in the kitchen helping. We also build a big ginger bread house together each year too. This day is a favorite tradition of mine.
  5. Christmas Party: Cayden has a few friends he has been with since birth, they will all come over and we will have a day of cookies, crafts, singing carols, and play. They are all the best of friends, all five of them.
  6. Naples: We love to walk the canals of Naples all bundled up looking at the beautiful lights and houses right on the water. We do this usually a couple times, great fun!
  7. Warm Home: Our home is decorated and the white lights are shining. The more white lights the better!
  8. Nativity Story: This year we are enjoying our stuffed animal nativity set. Its been fun to create the birth story of Jesus with these. Cayden can tell the story now, a big goal I have set this year for him and us. To learn it every day. To sing Happy birthday daily. And to talk about why Jesus came.
  9. Car drives: Cozying up in the warm car, singing songs and looking at the lights. Plain and simple and a blast.
  10. This year we have been invited to a party at our neighbors which will include a visiting Santa. It will be fun to have the magic! I remember a neighbor of ours doing this as a young girl and it was so fun and magical for my sister and I.
  11. Church Party: We love having great friends over often and this is our annual dinner and white elephant that we do. We will have awesome food, desserts, white elephant game and sit by the fire with hot drinks.
  12. Ruby the Elf: Hide our little fun Elf each night for the boys to find. We started this last year and it turned out to be fun. I dont do the whole Elf gig as I am not to keen on it, but the hide and seek part of it is adds to the fun.
  13. Advent Calendar: Each day we will read part of the Christmas story and of course a little surprise will be there for each day along with a tiny ornament to hang on the tree.
  14. A Christmas Story: Ryan and I cozy up on the couch each year and watch this movie together. Its something we do and have done since we were dating <3
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas: We started this  fun to watch show as a family last year and we will have popcorn and goodies to go along.
  16. Christmas Eve: One of my favorites since a tiny girl. Christmas eve service at church followed by an Italian dinner at my parents house. A wonderful night. 
Okay, I better stop there! I know many other little flings and crafts will be mixed in there, but these are the ones on my heart tonight. I so love this season, and as a family we are so excited about it.

Tis the Season. 

Thank you, Lord Jesus.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Don't Turn the Lights Out

This past Thursday, at my moms group at church, our pastor, who has such a shepherds heart, spoke about marriage. It was awesome and I think all that he shared resonated to each and every wife present. He shared wisdom, studies he has done, biblical truths. I walked away feeling so rejuvenated. One of the many things he touched on was something about parenting. It was rather a tid bit or tangent that he just threw into his speaking time. He said this, "By the way parents, don't ever just put your kids to bed, turn the light off and walk away. This is a special time with your child to sit and talk. They will open up to you, and it happens at bedtime." SO profound, so true and I agree wholeheartedly.  I shouted a big AMEN in my heart and told him after I loved that he shared that.

Thinking about bedtime with my children. I love it. It's the end of a day filled with excitement, learning and love and to be cozied up with freshly bathed children, warm jammies and dimmed lights, well it just brings on a big sigh. A sigh of rest. A sigh of closeness together. A sigh of a day well spent. A sigh of quiet time.

I love our nights together with my family. We all pile into our big bed, kiddos and all. We all get under the warm blankets, I dim our overhead light and we pray together as a family. And now that my oldest is 3 (dont forget the 1/2) ;-) he loves to talk while we all lay in bed together. I love it. His latest concern is shadows and  having bad dreams. While these aren't the biggest concerns to say a 13 year old opening up and sharing, its a concern to him. Showing my son that we can talk about our bad dreams, that we can pray about them-that we would have "sweet dreams" and to encourage him that he doesn't have to be scared...it is priceless. While my youngest is just one, he gets to cozy in with us and share hugs.

allposters.com
I know many moms who do/have done this and have wonderful relationships with their precious older children now. Relationships of openess. My mom was one of them too. I still remember laying next to her and talking as a little girl. To this day, my mom is the person I can share anything with. Because she allowed bedtime to take 30 minutes instead of 5. Its the best. And to experience this now with my boys, is something I cherish so deeply.


I love bedtime because of hearing their little hearts express their concerns. Their love. Their excitement of the day and what's to come tomorrow.

I love bedtime and I hope you do too! Take 30 minutes or more and just love and listen to them. Stroke their hair and face and marvel at them as they drift off to sleep. Investing in them, is a beautiful thing.

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Deut. 6:6-9

...

Sweet dreams.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Captivating Fall and Growing a Heart of Thankfulness

Fall is here is So Cal and our neighborhood leaves and the trees in front of our church are beautiful. The feeling of thankfulness is abundant and my goal to ingrain a thankful heart into my children is a mission I dont take lightly. Back when I taught preschool, each Fall we took a "Fall Walk." A wonderful time of giving thanks to God, observing the changing leaves, singing songs and collecting some nature. I have done this each year with Cayden, but this year, as he is older and understanding the world more, we truly enjoyed this time. Last week, the boys and I journeyed out for about an hour walking around our neighborhood saying hi to neighbors as we do, stopping to chat, sang songs and talked about God. I was reminded of this verse,


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
 and with all 
your strength. These commandments that I give you today 
are to be on your 
hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when
 you sit at home
 and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when
 you get up. 
~Deut. 6:5-7


As Cayden and Camden held fall colored leaves, pine cones and the like, the importance of cultivating a 
thankful heart is HUGE. We sang, "Its good to the give thanks to the Lord," "Autumn leaves are falling down,
" and "Praise Him, Praise Him all you little children."

We held hands. It was sweet. I love our daily walks, but this one is particular stands out in significance. I
 prayed before we left for our walk that God would fill our hearts with a desire to thank Him in all we would 
see that day. And He never ceases to fail us. Eyes lit up as we observed leaves, acorns and as we sang. God
 is so good to give us these moments with our precious gifts, our children.

We came home, washed up and sat down with fall scrapbook papers, glue and scissors and our bowl filled 
with autumn blessings. The apple designed paper was chosen and as Cayden cut leaves and squeezed the 
glue and positioned each blessing just so, I was so thankful. So thankful for the simple things God gives us
 such as a little acorn for the squirrles. Oh how He loves even the tiny animals in our world.

Thank you God for loving us even with all of our blemishes.

Cayden's list of thankfulness  was this, "our house, me, Camden, Jesus, shows, Daddy,
Mommy, Pop Packages,
 trains" All things in his world that are so important and vital to him. Precious
 thankfulness
 from a three year old. I love seeing through his eyes of wonder and love for life.

Camden was thrilled to hold a simple leaf, a tiny pine cone. He is thankful too.
And his eyes
 light up just the same.

Let us not grow weary of teaching our children of thankfulness. Let us talk about our
thankfulness
 out loud daily.
"Thank you God for this cup of cold water." "Thank you God for a plumber who
can come fix the bathroom sink." I think its so important to live out loud for our children
so they may see and
know what being thankful to Him looks like.


Let us not become weary in doing good, for at 
the proper time 
we will reap 
a harvest if we do not give up. ~Gal. 6:9


Thank you God for these moments.

"Thank Him, Thank Him, all ye little children, God is love. God is love."

(P.S. blogger is acting up I think, so this post is posting funky...sorry!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"The Rip Current of People Pleasing"

My neighbor and I were just talking about this yesterday and then I read this devotional today. For myself, people pleasing used to be big for me. It nearly ruled me in a lot of relationships. But as I have prayed and as I have focused on Him, asking Him to remove it from my heart, people pleasing in my life is slowly but surely diminishing. I think it takes great confidence in Him, great focus on Him to move away from this rip current that can hold us so captive. I am thankful to the Lord for building me in confidence to steer clear of people pleasing in my life. Its such a strong hold, and to release it from our lives is so peace-FUL. A daily prayer indeed!

Here is a devotional written by Lysa TerKeurst, president of proverbs 31 ministries:


"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." - Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
Bring up the phrase "people-pleasing" in a group of women and the responses are interesting. Most will quickly say they struggle with this to some degree. Those that say they don't struggle with people-pleasing eventually admit before the conversation is over that it's present in at least one of their relationships.
People-pleasing is something we seem kind of resigned to having to deal with rather than determined to overcome.
Why is that?
We all want to be liked. There's nothing wrong with that. But as we travel the path toward love and acceptance let's take a look at two of the possible motivations behind people-pleasing.
One motivation is to give love out of the kindness of our heart. In giving love we feel love. That's good.
Another motivation is to give to others out of what we hope to get in return-love. In getting love from what we do, we feel desperate to do more to get more. That's dangerous.
It's the second way that gets us into trouble with people-pleasing. It's not wrong to want to make others feel loved, happy, and pleased. But if we are doing it with the motivation of getting things in return, we will set ourselves up for trouble. Being in a constant state of trying to get love by doing more and more will lead to exhaustion.
Exhaustion for the giver. Exhaustion for the taker. Exhaustion in the relationship all together.
Ephesians 5:8-10 says, "... for at one time you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord." (ESV)
I like the explanation of what the fruit or evidence is of us walking as children of light — doing what is good, right, and true — as we discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
I am challenged to make this a filter for the decisions I'm making today. You see, I know I'm in the rip current of people-pleasing when I dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no.
If I'm seeking to please the Lord, I will ask some questions before agreeing to do something for another person: Am I doing this with good motives, right intentions, and true expectations?
Or am I doing this with:
Fearful motives ... They might not like me if I say no.
Skewed intentions ... If I do this for them will they be more likely to do that for me?
Unrealistic expectations ... I just know if I give a little more, they'll affirm me and I'm desperate for their affirmation.
Wherever we focus our attention the most will become the driving force in our lives.
The more I focus on trying to figure out how to please people, the more of a magnified force people-pleasing will become in my life. The more I focus on trying to figure out how to please God, the more of a magnified force He will become in my life.
My focus. My choice.
Dear Lord, help me break away from my people-pleasing tendencies. Guide me in my daily decisions as I battle fearful motives, skewed intentions, and unrealistic expectations. I want to make You the focus, Father, so that You continue to become the magnified force in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's the simple things..

...that make all the difference!

You know that pile of laundry waiting to be folded? It can wait.

You know that dirty sink filled with dishes? It can wait.

You know those crumbs and cheerios all over the carpet? It can wait.

You know the plants that need to be watered? Yes, it can wait too.

You know those tiny, adorable, precious kids pulling on your clothes asking you to play? They cant wait. For tomorrow they will be off to college. That moment, that precious moment when they want you, cannot wait.

Many days, and today was no exception, I looked at my house that had a hurricane performed by my sweet boys...cheerios thrown about, trains from the living room to the kitchen to the bedrooms, laundry that needed to be washed and folded, a sink that needed to be scrubbed and a phone call that needed to be made,text messages that were buzzing...I told all of that to just wait today. Because guess what? Its all still there tonight, but I am blessed that I got to play with my kids, and don't forget about hiding under the blanket for over an hour hiding and looking for the bats! It was and always is a  treasure and I am so glad I chose to put off everything else. My children and I created giggles, memories, and used our imaginations to play for hours; I looked into their expression filled faces and smiled back saying, "yes" to them. Nothing like it. And I am blessed that my husband can understand and know that these moments and days are fleeting.

I love this quote..."A clean house is a sign of a wasted life." Because one day will our children say, "Gee I wish my mom kept our house tidy and clean more often." And do you ever hear a mom wish she had spent more time cleaning? Nope. The seasoned moms who have gone before and have parented from the heart say, "Cherish every moment, it goes so fast."

Now don't get me wrong, we shouldn't live in filth and this isn't to justify laziness or saying we shouldn't teach our children how to pick up from time to time. And yes some things must get accomplish. But, much can wait. Wouldn't you agree?

"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty..." Proverbs 14:4


I am so glad my manger is full and is being used to "express and not impress" others! I often times tell my oldest son, "we make messes and it's okay!" I always told this to my preschoolers and now to my kids. Through messes, I see learning taking place, I see fun times, I see expression. Messes are blessings! Not once does my son cringe at the thought of what I might say because he made a mess, either by accident or purpose...its okay and he knows that! I didn't learn this overnight. My mom allowed us to have barbies sprawled about through the entire house, she allowed us to bake and make a messy kitchen. I learned it from a sweet grandma friend who I taught with. I have adopted it for my own and am living it.

Here's proof: raw coverage of Hurricane C Squared (Cayden and Camden) ;-) 

I remember growing up, my mom would let me make "concoctions" in the kitchen. I would get a bowl out, and go to town. Rummaging through the fridge and cupboards and pouring a little of this and a little of that into a bowl. It looked so gross after all was said and done, but I had so much fun "cooking!"  Thank you mom! The other day Cayden and his friend did the same thing, they called theirs a "potion." They had soda opened, cookies, you name it...it looked so gross, but the fun that was had and the laughter I listened to was priceless!

I encourage you moms, to think of messes as learning, its proof that a fun childhood is all its cracked up to be! To look at your house and say it can wait. I encourage you to run outside with your kids, to get dirty and end it with a bubble bath. To pull out the blankets and hide under them! To not be afraid that someone might stop by and judge you, I will admit, I fear this thought with a few people we know, but I no longer apologize for the toys all over, and you shouldn't either! After all, the way we parent and live life in our God given home, is between us and the Lord and no one else! Blessings! Rest assured at some point, the house will be tidy, for me it's in the evenings before heading to bed. Then the morning comes and we start playing again!

Go play and make fun messes!




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Just That Much More Thankful

I sit here in awe over the gift of motherhood, the gift of my precious sons. Thank you, God.

I just spent the last twenty minutes (don't ask me why I read this), reading a top news line article about the devastation that took the lives of two young children last night by someone who they were being cared for by. I wont go into the article, because these kinds of things are so depressing. So much depression and devastation in this world. It pains my heart what these parents and other parents are going through.This article alone, reminds me of why I am so choosy and particular over who cares for my little loves if I must be away. Sigh.

But these stories, these news lines, however great the massacre that they create in our hearts, they are also moments where I find how much more thankful I am for my sons.

Think of all those difficult/challenging moments we experience with our kids, however old...those moments when all we hear is our little one telling us "no" or a disobedient act or an older child slamming doors or you fill in the blank. Let us always be thankful for those moments, because someone on the other side of us, doesn't get to even experience that. How much more we can be grateful for the lives God has put under our care. We can read such awful articles, and be that much more thankful for our children.

I know we are always thankful. But sometimes, a little dose of reality, really puts things into perspective.

A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. 
Psalm 100:1-5

 I am choosing to be thankful always, always, even in those tough to handle, challenging moments. Because they too are some of our greatest treasures. I cant wait to hug and kiss and laugh with my two boys in the morning, or I might just go do that right now.

Goodnight!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Made to Crave


I have spent the last week going through the study, "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  It was the exact study that I needed at the exact moment. My friend let me borrow this study, which is six twenty minute sessions on DVD. I am amazed at what I have learned. For my entire life, practically, food has been a great struggle in my life. My weight has been a struggle. The lies I have told myself, the mean names I have called myself. And watching this series, was so eye opening, so heart opening to the power that God can have in my life, even with this food issue, if only I would let Him. There is so much more than losing those pounds, fitting into skinny jeans or seeing that perfect number on the scale. This issue is something God has given me! Its something that He has given me, in order to keep my focus on Him. I have missed this concept all these years. I have decided to complain about it, feel guilt, when He wants to use this in my life for His glory and good so that I can stand and say I am a courageous woman in Him! This is a spiritual battle and if our heart is focused on Him, He will give us the courage to resist all things that are not beneficial to our lives. Once we see it as a spiritual issue, the peace that comes with it, is what our weight loss goal is all about. "We were made to crave God, not food."

So as I was watching each session, I took some short handed notes that Lysa talked about. I am just going to throw them down here in this post, so I have reference to look back on. If you have any questions on any of the points, please ask and I can expand on her teaching.

If you get the chance to view this study, do so! You wont be sorry. Its so heart opening of how thankful we can be for this "dreaded" food issue in our lives, if you struggle with it like I do.

My notes:

"remember who you are" to stay away from desperate situations 

How can u keep your children in high expectation when u have desperate struggles too?

Holy spirit determination

Take that old saying of "nothing tastes as good as thin feels" and throw it out and change it to this: "Nothing tastes as good as peace feels"

Mind set on peace

Goal is not to be thin, it's to reach out on our call from God and feel peace

The worth of you is not a number on the scale, your weight loss goal is peace

If u feel uncertain to eat something it's probably the holy spirit saying it's not Gods best for

****Romans 4:19-20

Food is the energy we need to serve God!

Our souls yearn for God  before we even know about God- crave Him and others need to see that

Deut 2:3 we have circled this mountain long enough it's time to head north!

Word: Truth 

Even when we start to see success, we feel peace in our mind- most dangerous because old lies start coming back up and trip us up...thinner dreams makes us right- things of our life are all fixed but if our center is not done- not having Gods word stable in us, that success of getting in our skinny jeans doesnt create happiness- you can still be lonely sad...skinny jeans don't fix anything except what the tag says in the back. If our only goal is to get skinny and we r still lonely sad and guilty the sting of sacrifice of not having yummy delights they begin calling our name. If skinny jeans don't keep us on track then what does?

I need, deserve that treat (triggers) triggers are so powerful- negate triggers by matching with a truth! In order for our center- our souls- to be done enough we must have truth to withstand. Skinny jeans is no match for triggers.

Identify old lies and match with new truths. 

We r going to be victorious women bc we have Jesus with us even in eating, not bc the diet program is working.

Eph 3:17-19 holy spirit power fullness of God, not of that brownie (old lie- brownie makes me happy)

Such a failure with eating- truth- not a failure lavishly loved child of God. Holy spirit is gods gift to me. 1 John 3:1 

I love French fries- they do not love u- truth: isaiah 55:11 those French fries will return to me empty! Gods word will accomplish gods desire, not empty!

Psalm 107:17-20 sent forth his word and healed them! Matched it with truth

What old lies do u have? Match it  with truth and a verse 

Luke 14:28 counting the cost of food  calories and how much it takes to burn it off- it's not worth it! Practically count the cost. Spiritually count the cost! You were made to crave- desire want greatly God. Not food. Jesus girlfriends said amen!

Japanese saying "hara hachibu ni isha irazu" a stomach 8/10 full needs no dr- portion control

Permissible- eating is a good thing to nourish our body- is this food  beneficial? Food is permissible, yes! 

Life Is magnificent and God is magnificent and we Diminish him in so many ways

God knew we would struggle with food- it's in the bible!

Is it that big of a deal? Prop that Satan lured eve with was food- it was used to cause great devastation. God cares about food in our lives! 

Psalm 78:12-16
Red sea
They forgot the magnificence of what God did! They continued to rebel against him. They forgot- so caught up with thoughts of food. God cares!

Ephesians 5:25 
Eph 5:33
Husbands love your wives- in the midst of these verses- make her holy by cleansing her...we are made holy when we let Gods word wash out old lies- wash us with truth/the word! Radiant= magnificence of God- not to be depressed, allow ourselves to call us ugly/emotionally abuse us. We r to be presented as washed by the truth! 

Phil 3:18-19
Mind is on earthly things- (scale, number on those jeans)- not a diet. It's a spiritual commitment ti remember the magnificence. Body is reflection of magnificence that we know about God. 

Rev 2:17
Hidden manna- spiritual nourishment to have Gods portion everyday! In the face of temptation ask him to be your portion.

Daily dependance on god- all summed up! With god all things are possible. 

Manna- gather enough for one day. Ask God everyday to help to be dependent on Him.

Psalm 73:26
Lam 3:22-24 the lord is my portion
Matt 6:11 

Write a new name this week- replace those emotionally abusive names. courageous woman
Victorious

Food is not our enemy, Satan is- he wants to render us for Christ

Food is not bad- is this food beneficial to me, to serving God fully? Having a little bit of a treat is not a sin- its when we allow it to make us feel happy for the moment instead of craving God to be that joy in that moment or turning to Him

Jesus has infused you with courage! Your victory is determined by the very next choice u make, not by yesterday. 

1 cor 6:12
Everything is permissible, but if you are not beneficial, I am
Not putting u in my mouth 

You learn to walk to the family pantry- you cannot remove all the tempting food

We have to make the courageous choice. We can learn it all but we have to make the courageous choice not to be consumed with our food any longer. 

Be sold out craving God and not food- stand at that pantry to make that courageous choice not for others but for you, to be sold put for Christ 

We serve a God who flips the unlikely things around to use them for good!

Why God is this MY issue? It's so unfair. I have to face food all day! 
Had I not had this issue I would have never known how courageous I could be! Simple courageous choice as a women who struggles with her food. God thank you for letting me have this issue, I would have never discovered these truths. Let god touch u in that deepest place. Empowered with realities of god!

1 thess 5:23-24 god of peace- weight loss goal is peace! He will do it, you pause before that cookie and say you have no power over me- I will go to Jesus! 

Our god is faithful and he will give me the power to be more courageous than I ever knew I could be!

Thank you god for my food issue, I am
now a courageous woman walking in absolute victory!

Duet 6:8-9 mark this journey it's spiritually significant

Joshua 4:1-7 this is significant- practical application come up with a spiritual marker- never forget you are capable of craving god and god alone- you are a courageous women!

Turn from dieting mindset to choosing victory/courage. I choose you. I was made to crave God and God alone.

I am victorious because of Him!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Prayer for Our Home


Invade by Watermark
Come, come in
Invade all You see of us
Any man, who'd walk Your road is welcomed here
And You're the only one
Chorus:
Jesus, come and walk the halls of this house
Tread this place and turn it inside out
With Your mercy...
Jesus, teach us the prayers that open these doors
Until Your light floods in and illuminates these floors
And let Your truth be on our steps and in these rooms
Jesus invade...
Reach, reach in
With the hand that heals all our suffering
Conquer all that is not of You
Bring Your spirit throught
As we fill these walls with Your praise
Chorus
Bridge:
I call for angels
I call for mercy
I call for freedom
In the name of Jesus
In the name of Jesus
Verse One
Chorus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Such a beautiful song and prayer for our home. Yes Jesus, invade and walk the halls of this house daily.

You can listen to this song here.

Thank you Kari for sharing this with me~

Monday, October 15, 2012

Emerging, Not Merging


“Emerging is when you use a platform to come into your own. Merging is when you sacrifice who you are to become part of something else.” -Seth Godin, Merging/Emerging
I’ve been emerging lately, and you’ve been along for the ride.
This space has been a place where I stretch into the new creation God is weaving in me. It is a space where I don’t claim to have figured “it” out, but where I trust Jesus to lead me into a vulnerable place where I can process life and offer grace into the hearts of those who need it (’cause Lord knows I do, every minute of every day).
As I emerge, I recognize the temptation to merge…to sacrifice the nuances of my soul in order to appear put together or doctrinely on point. I am a flawed soul who loves and desperately needs Jesus. And I think needing Him and following Him are enough. It’s what I have…it’s myself (and He chose me!).
The rough edges in my soul are just a part of this gal’s journey towards her creator.
And you know, I really like the idiosyncrasy’s  in a soul. I love when I catch a glimpse of why someone needs Jesus because it reminds me that we all are just tiny. We are small, but significant; messy, but beautiful.
Trust me, that woman that looks like she’s on top of her game, she isn’t. She needs Jesus.
And trust me, that woman who looks like she’s a mess, she is. She needs Jesus.
Don’t merge to be like anyone other than Jesus. Don’t sacrifice your tangled, beautiful, starving soul for anyone…but Jesus. He will make you more beautiful than anyone else ever could…He makes you perfect.
So be perfect, in Him, today. Be you.
~Post used from Sarah Mae~

Saturday, October 13, 2012

God's Leading: Technology

I will start off by saying that I have been stewing on this topic for sometime now. I knew I wanted to post about it, but perhaps it is a touchy subject? I also wanted all of my thoughts to have order, somewhat, not sure they will be as I have so many opinions and thoughts on this subject.

A couple of years ago, the Lord flat out opened my eyes to the pitfalls of online social forums. I am so thankful to Him. As my friend Kari, posted on, technology is a love hate relationship. You can read her perfectly said post here. It truly is just that, love hate. There are good aspects to it, but also so many pitfalls.

I was just having dinner with a friend the other evening, and we were talking about how all of this technology is great to have for our kids, but also is so detrimental,. Emotionally, physically, and more importantly spiritually. There are new things out there that are ungodly and we have a war waging against us as Christian parents. The world is screaming at our kids, Satan is getting his foot into their hearts, because we as parents are allowing technology to take over. And lets face it, myself included, at one point in my life, I too was allowing it to take over and take priority. That's a fact. I am so thankful the Lord got my attention.

Over a year and a half ago I quit it all. That's not to point me out and give me a high five. That's just where I stand. I realized I spent more time checking and posting on Face book and telling my son to "wait" or "hold on" and even doing the same to my husband. It sickens me. To have put checking others lives, status', pictures before my family. I recently tried Instagram, and same thing, so I quit it. I personally, lack the self control. I will admit it. God calls us to live humble, quiet lives-Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10- and He used a speaker one morning at Mom's group to point this out to me. I listened to her words. "Do things of eternal value." Plain and simple. Was my technology driven focus of "eternal value?" Was seeing what people, who I call my "friends," yet never see them in real life of "eternal value?" No. My "eternal value" was looking me in the face saying, "Mommy, Mommy watch this!" My "eternal value" was baking bread and serving my family.  It was taking time to go see a loved one, to show my son what it means to cook a meal for someone else in need. It was cozying up on the couch for movie night with my hubby. Those are "eternal value." Now don't get me wrong, technology is not a bad thing, for me though, it was. It truly was. My priorities were out of line. And I have to say, not being a part of those social outlets, has enriched my life so much more. I am thankful God has called me to give all of that up. The biggest blessing. I am being refined and  I love it.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
Phillipians 4:8

Another aspect of technology is the handy dandy, awesome itouch/iphone/ipad. Receiving texts? Quite fun! Helpful at times! But really, majority of texts, can wait. This is one thing in the last two weeks I have been practicing on. Have I failed? Oh yes. But I am trying. Trying hard. Its another thing to ask, does this need my attention over my family? For myself, most text, do not need my immediate attention. I do my best, to  let the the text be and answer or respond later, unless it needs an immediate response. Its one more thing to look at when I need to be looking at and tending to my home and family.

Last week, I had a real life story right in front of my face. I took my two little boys out to eat. I was in the play area with them as we had just had our lunch. I sat there watching a mom who was seated at a table with her two children. The mom got them all situated with their food and then set hers up. But before she began eating, she turned her phone on and held it, scrolling through it. Bite after bite she was on her phone. Her children? Sat there eating. In silence. Not a word was exchanged. Not a WORD. And I am afraid to say, this is becoming the norm. One day, she will want to talk with her children, and they wont want to. Its devastation. Thank you Lord for this example.

Technology, its been such a growth and learning experience for me as a mom. I love this quote from Kari's post:

{"Our children will always know whether they have our full attention. It's time for parents to break the phone habit before it's too late."}  ~Dominique Browning 

I'd like to also add, our husbands to this too.

We need to be the example that we wish our children to follow.


"...they need just us. They need us to put them before the phone conversation, the cleaning, the reading, the whatever. They just need us to smile, to bend down and hug, to laugh with, spend time with, and to just plain pay attention to them. Sometimes they just need us to say to our friend or important person on the phone, 'I’m sorry, can I call you back, my children need me now.'

Our children, just like us, want to be known. They want to be respected. They want to know they matter more than anyone else, because they are ours."  -Sarah Mae, SarahMae.com

I realize, this is one heck of a hard thing to deal with. Sometimes its the initial facing your failure, facing your lack of self control in this technology issue more than anything. It hurts to look back and think of all the times I said, "wait a minute" because I had my nose in my phone, caring more about what so and so is up to. It hurts. But I am so thankful, God got a hold of me, saying, "Alicia, look to me. This is not of eternal value." For me, it wasn't. It was wasted time. I feel free and released now. And God did that for me. If you struggle with this, know that you aren't alone. Come to the cross and lay it down. It might be the best thing you have done!

I would love to hear thoughts on this subject, please do share in the comments. No judgement here.

*Please note, I do not think technology is bad. This is just a post on my thoughts. My experience and what the Lord has called me to do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music to My Ears

I still marvel at the ways God has led us into gentle parenting; the fruit that stems from it is such beauty. To read about our new approach to child training and discipline, you can read it here. One of the best  most sweet tasting fruits we have witnessed is the true love our sons have for each other. This true, joy-filled love is new. It is new, as in the past five weeks of our new approach as parents to how we train and raise our sons. I truly believe, this is a result of that. Sure we have the scuffles over a toy, or someone being in the way of another...but really, my home is now filled with so many giggles. It warms my heart to the core. They are friends. When I think back of how we used to parent, a style that was more rigid, firm, and "it's my way or the highway" there were scuffles between my boys, one after the next. I was simply exhausted. I would joke saying, "they love to share their cold germs, but scream to share toys." That was the truth. Now? When I am in making beds, or washing dishes, I hear laughter from the living room, I hear, "Here Cam-in (Camden) you play with this one" or a gentle, "no, no baby" and turn to see Cayden bringing Camden in to me (yes, carrying him:-P). I watch wrestling on the floor and I cringe inside with a huge smile on my face praying neither of them hits their head on something not forgiving, but I smile and giggle with them because its beautiful. I won't lie, there is the occasional needing to remind or correct a behavior, but that's all part of the process and part of their ages. When we follow what God has called us to, and we obey, such beauty abounds! My home is home of j o y...my heart is filled to the max and is overflowing. I am so grateful to the Lord for His provision in our lives as parents. May we ever look and seek His face.

"Seek the LORD, and His strength; seek His face evermore."
Psalm 105:4

Friday, October 5, 2012

Birthdays

I am actually sitting here, putting together cupcake toppers and a birthday banner for my soon to be one year old baby boy and crying.Tears of thankfulness. One year. How did this happen? Every time I prepare materials, decorations, food for a birthday for my children, emotions just encapsulate me and I cant ever hold the tears back. I will admit, I am a mushy mommy to begin with. I am emotional. I will just admit this too, I have a hard time that my kids just keep growing so darn fast. Its like holding onto water, time just slips through. Let me explain, I praise God they are growing, flourishing and are healthy. Praise Him forevermore! But it's also so bittersweet. I just want them to be my babies forever, you know? And as I prepare an Elmo party for this month, I reflect back over the last year of his little life. The ways he has grown, the beauty of our family because he was added, the treasured brother relationship he has begun on with my older son, its all so priceless, yet it feels like yesterday (literally) that he was born. That my water broke and we went in. How does this all happen so fast? Oh how I treasure every single day. The cuddles, the giggles, the tears, learning to share toys, the challenges, the messes, the pure love on display. Oh Lord, I am so thankful to You. And the tears just stream on. I look forward to all the stages I get to go through with my boys, may I always stop to take it all in so I don't miss a thing. This thing called motherhood, is thee best thing I have ever been called to, yet is the calling that has me filled with tears and emotions on so many occasions. I love my boys so dearly, to imagine Christs love for us, for me, its just unimaginable.

Praising and rejoicing in Him tonight and always, for my blessings called Cayden and Camden.

Put a candle on the birthday cake!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Praying {Intentionally}

Prayer. Its such a comfort to know we can go to our Heavenly Father any time of the day or night and talk to him, cry to him, praise Him and lift our lives to Him. Prayer plays a huge role in my life. Many times throughout the day I might just offer up a simple one sentence prayer while going about my day. Sometimes I say it out loud, sometimes just in my heart. Breathtaking to think that we can always do this. And more importantly? He loves it when we do and He longs for it! We have a God who loves relationship, He adores it!

Each night while I lay with my older son, once my baby is down, I rub his back and pray for both my boys. For their lives. For their health. For their career choices. That God would place amazing and godly mentors along their life path as He has done for me. For their spouses. That they would choose Him. Glorify Him. The list goes on and on. My heart overflows every night as I lay there with gratitude, with thanksgiving that He has given me another day with my boys.

One area of prayer, that I learned from my mom is to pray for their spouses. My mom began praying for this for my sister and I from the beginning of our lives. This is huge. Its so important that we pray, that we kneel down before Him asking Him to help our sons stay on the right path that will one day lead them to a godly, Christian woman. A woman who walks with Him, fears Him, brings glory to Him and will help my sons be who He calls them to be when they are together. I ask God this every night. I pray that their future wives would remain pure for them and my sons for them. Yes I do. That the choices these ladies make this very day and on would be ones glorifying to Him. I want this for both my sons. And I know, I know nothing is too  big for our God! He can do all things!

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

My mom was one who modeled prayer and dependence on the Lord well. And He has been so faithful to her and our family. I remember being young, and would wake up early some mornings and would walk out to the living room, where it was dark, yet the overhead lights would be slightly dimmed. I walked down the hall and there I would see my mom sitting on the couch with her Bible, her notebook and her head was bowed. Back then, as a little girl, I didn't think anything of it. But now. WOW. Such significance! She started her day, before daylight, before doing anything to be with our Lord. And I got to see that! What a godly example. I am so blessed to have been born into this kind of home, one devoted to the Lord. To be raised by such a godly mom and dad, may I never take that for granted. Prayer. So so important.

"Pray without ceasing"
1 Thess. 5:17

Mid October will be the beginning of a prayer group. A group that has been on my mind for over a year now. God put this on my heart, but with having a new baby last October, well I just couldn't do it all. But it remained there, and I allowed it to remain there. To see this come to fruition this next month, I feel so blessed. To have other moms in my home every other week, a mentor mom who I have asked to come, during the morning, for one hour, where we get to pray for one another, for our kids and for our husbands. I know God has awesome plans for this group. I cant wait to see how He will grow us through the years of raising our kids and developing and investing in our marriages to last us a lifetime. I will post much more on this as there is so much to tell, I am just so excited about how God is working all these details out. And for our kids to see and know that mommy is inside praying for our family, amazing what that alone will cultivate in all of their little hearts. Pray for us young moms, will you? 

"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
Matthew 18:20


How has God worked in your life through the power of prayer?