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.


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

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
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
I call for angels
I call for mercy
I call for freedom
In the name of Jesus
In the name of Jesus
Verse One

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


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!