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Month: April 2015

Evil May Seem to Abound, but Christ Has Ultimately Won!

Evil May Seem to Abound, but Christ Has Ultimately Won!

We live in a world currently, where a lot of bad seems to be going on.

You don’t even have to turn on the tv to hear about it.  Social media is exploding with it, the radio broadcasts news excerpts of it, magazine racks at the store show pictures of it, yes, evil seems to be all around.

At times the questions, “Am I the only one who cares about God anymore?  Where are the godly people?”, circles through our brains.

This is right where our enemy wants us. Feeling defeated, like anything we do for Christ is useless so what’s the point of trying?

Oh but friends, this is not the case!  Living for Christ is never useless!  Keep in mind, the victory is already won!  Christ has won!

However, in our every day lives, the reality is, it is easy to feel this way and think these thoughts.  Even Elijah, from the Old Testament felt this way!

Check out 1 Kings 19:14,

And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Yes, even the prophet Elijah, a very godly man I might add, had these thoughts at times.

Just yesterday I was beginning to feel so overwhelmed with burdens.  Burdens that I am carrying of my own, burdens I am helping to bear for others,{Galations 6:2} and even more burdens that I have no business carrying at all!  I cast the burdens on the Lord, but then later on go back and pick up those loads once again.  This was one of those days.

I meandered over to my husbands office, opened his door, and just cried like a baby.  Yep, that was me, in case you heard that blubbering all the way from over here 😉  I was feeling so weighed down with burdens and the pressures and weights began to beset me. {Hebrews 12:1}

The truth is, sometimes I even forget that Christ has WON!

Sometimes it feels like, “God, why does it seem we are the only ones that care about you?  Why is this life so hard?  Why are so many not willing to give up things for you?  Why does it seem we care more about the things of you, we care more about the spiritual well being of others lives than they do?  Where are the ones that truly LOVE You?”

Was that a little too honest?

Yes, those are sometimes the thoughts that go through my head.

Right smack dab in the middle of my pity party.

That is right where our enemy wants us, you know?  He doesn’t care where our eyes are, as long as they are not on God.   When I have a pity party my eyes and thoughts are always on me, me, me.  Which is exactly where they need to not be!

Take heart my friends!  Though there is so much evil in this world, you and I are not alone!  Greater is He {God}that is in us than he {satan} that is in the world!{1 John 4:4}

Also, read 1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The victory is ours, through Christ Jesus!  Don’t be discouraged!  You know a great way to end a pity party?  Find someone else to encourage!

Hebrews 3:!3 tells us to encourage others daily! “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

We all need that encouragement!  We all need those reminders that God has ultimately won!  We need to be reminded to keep our focus on Christ, not on what others around us are doing or not doing.  He has called us to be faithful to Him, not to be tattle tellers about who is not doing what we think they ought to be doing.

Remember, there are others who love the Lord as well!  There are others who serve Him faithfully and pray daily.  Maybe instead of getting weighed down with the bad news of the world it should spur in us a desire share Him with the world even more!  If anything, the evil of the world is a glaring sign how much we really need Him all the more!

A Study Through Proverbs 31

A Study Through Proverbs 31

As we open up God’s Word to Proverbs 31:10, I instantly feel at home.  Many years ago I made it a goal to memorize this passage of Scripture.  Memories of sitting on my bed in high school, my lamp on the night stand turned on, the Bible my youth pastor had given me opened on my lap, I worked and worked at memorizing this special part of God’s Word.  It isn’t that all of His Word isn’t special, because it is!  All of it is and all of it contains valuable lessons for all of us!  However, this, yes this passage of Scripture is a passage I thought, “This is for me because I am a woman!  This is how I should live my life!”

Proverbs 31:10 begins with a question,

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Who can find a virtuous woman?

This question makes me think, because the question is asked, someone must be looking for her!  In a world where fights are begin fought over woman’s rights and equalities, the temptation women seem to be having to prove that they are equal to if not greater than men, makes me think we have lost something.  In all of the fighting to prove something, we have forgotten virtue.

What exactly is virtue?

Well, if you were to hop on google, this is the definition you would find:

            “behavior showing high moral standards.”

Wow.  When I look around at our society I would definitely say we have lost that behavior.  High moral standards are looked at as old fashioned or out of date, but that is not how God feels.

What is the definition of moral standards?

Again, going to google this is what one would find:

moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous, noble mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong

So going back to our verse for today, we could ask this, “Where are the women who behave with high moral standards?  Where are the women who conform to a standard of what is right and good?”

Because Scripture is asking the question of where these women are, this makes me believe that these kinds of women must not be easy to find.

But Scripture goes even further!

Since these women are hard to find there is a high price put on them!  They are valuable!  The end of verse 10 goes so far as to say “for her price is far above rubies“.

Have any of you all priced rubies lately?

A ruby is considered to be one of four precious stones.  Therefore it is rather costly.  Pricing a piece of red ruby jewelry alone starts just below $1,000 and quickly jumps up in price frorubym there.  The more clear and greater the size the gem, the higher the value of it.

A virtuous woman, her worth is valuable, Scripture even says her worth is “far above rubies”.  Her worth goes far beyond the value of a precious gem.  I find it interesting that God uses a ruby to describe the value of her…… a precious stone…. so a virtuous woman is a precious one!

Could it be that she is precious because she is rare?   Gems that are hard to find are much more valuable.  Because virtuous women are hard to find they are much more valuable.

So how does this apply to us?

My desire is that as we study this passage and learn what a virtuous woman looks like, our hearts will be opened.  That as God reveals areas we may need work on, we will be tender and willing to learn what God has for the both of us.

A study through Proverbs 31

A study through Proverbs 31

In a world where our true identity is questioned, I feel very passionately about sharing with you about a woman all women should strive to mimic.

Perfect, she was not.

But she was godly.  A goal all of us should have!

So over the course of the next little while, I want to take us both on a journey through the last part of Proverbs chapter 31.

I’m excited to take this journey with you!  It is a passage of Scripture that reminds me of my role as a woman.  It is a passage of Scripture I have studied since a teenager, and one I still have so much to learn from!  God’s Word is like that though, I can read a passage of Scripture over and over and get something new or different out of it each time!  His Word truly is quick and powerful! {Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” } 

So join me will you?  Let’s learn and glean from God’s Word together!  Don’t forget to bring your cuppa’ tea… joe…latte…cocoa, or whatever your choice of morning drink is when you come 🙂

Continuing on with my “Soul Thing”

Continuing on with my “Soul Thing”

So I am in the middle of reading this book.

It’s good.

Thought provoking really.

Have you heard of it? bestyes

As I began to really dig into this book it didn’t take me long before I knew this was definitely the right book for me to be reading right now.

It was in the second chapter when she said, “Writing is in my soul!”  As I sat in the quiet of my home early in the morning I wanted to shout, “Yes! Yes! YES! It’s in mine too!”

I had just been sharing with my husband recently how the closer I feel myself getting to God, the deeper my passion is to write!  The burning desire to share with women all over the world {Yes, I see you ladies checking in from several different continents!  Hi!! So glad you stop by!} just keeps growing stronger.

Recently I submitted my manuscript to a potential publisher.  Eeeek!  I’m nervous and yet at peace!  I’m tempted at times to be fearful of the “what if’s”, and yet God has called me to think on truth and be filled with his peace!  (Phli. 4:8 and Is. 26:3)

What is true is that God has called me to write this story.  God has given the words, the strength, the help I have needed to get this book to where it is today and since He has called me to write it, I know He will see it through to the finish.

But I’m not to stop there.

Earlier this year, while my book was with my editor, the Lord impressed upon my heart to keep writing.  To begin another book.  “Another book?  Really?  I’m not done with this one yet!” I said.  “Yes, another book.  Keep writing.” was His obvious reply.  It kept coming back to my mind and so a few months back I began again, another journey, another book.

I loved what I read this morning in the book I am currently reading, The Best Yes mentioned above.

Lisa shared, “To do the soul thing {which means to do what God is calling us to do but we have to strive to make time for it or we never do it} is actually the exact opposite of selfishness.  Keeping it inside with no chance to bless others would be the selfish thing to do.” 

I had never thought about my writing that way before.  I truly believe God is calling me to continue writing, but I’m a stay at home mama with three small children, two of which are home schooled, not to mention we are in full time ministry….. time is not something I have a lot of!

Yet, God is calling me to write.

So I need to carve time out, make time, to accomplish this “soul thing”.  If I never make time for it, it will never happen.  And so do you!

What is it God is calling you to do?  What does He keep impressing upon your heart to do for Him?  What is your “soul thing“?  Make time for  it!  Set a goal and stick to it!

So yes, I’m in the midst of writing another book!  Stay tuned for more updates!

Trusting the Lord, Not our heart

Trusting the Lord, Not our heart

You all (yes, I live in the south but have not caved into using the phrase “ya’ll…..) I have a confession.

I feel silly admitting this, but I suppose it is time to get it out in the open.

I am in love with Hobby Lobby.
Can I get an amen from a sister?

Seriously.  Those decorations… they make me weak in the knees at times!  Absolutely adorable home decorations beckon me constantly to come and swoon over them!

So there I was, pushing my shopping cart (ya, because no one should walk around that store without a shopping cart…. I mean, for reals!  Come in prepared!) through the painted canvas and painted wood signs area.  There it stood.  The lettering was perfect, the colors matched my girls room, and it tempted me just a smidgen.  I thought, “Oh, this is SO cute!” and yet I could not let myself pick it up, purchase it, and hang it on their wall.

Even though the colors and lettering were amazing, the words were whatheart held me back.  “Follow your heart” is what it said.

It seems so innocent, right?  It sounds so sweet and we all want to cheer, “Yes! Follow your heart!” and that right there is the trap.

In Jeremiah 17:9 God plainly lays it out for us,

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Our hearts can play tricks on us.

The heart can deceive us.

Truth is, the heart tends to be QUITE fickle!

Sin can lurk in the depths of it, and God has told us, if we regard iniquity in our hearts He will not hear us. {Psalm 66:18}

“Even though this sign is SO cute, I just can’t bring myself to buy it and hang it up in my daughters room!  I would be completely sending mixed messages.”  Yes, I was that crazy lady in the isle conversing with myself in my head over this sign.

As we raise up our children we are training them to seek the Lord, to trust Him with their heart, to keep a diligent heart, for out of it will flow this issues of life. {Proverbs 4:23}  Knowing what Scripture says about our heart, why would I hang a picture up in our home that says “Follow Your Heart”?

It’s how Satan works.  He makes sin look so appealing!  He wraps it in fancy packages, sets it at eye level, and then waits.  He lures us in with how attractive it may seem and then in one fowl swoop we have swallowed his lies whole!  Yet, once we have swallowed them they are not nearly as sweet as we had envisioned them.

Our hearts cannot be trusted.

Instead, Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the Lord, not in our hearts and our own understanding.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Trusting in Christ will lead us down a much better path than if we simply follow what our hearts tell us to do.

At the end of my shopping trip, that cute little sign stayed right where it was.  Though I have the perfect spot on the wall of my girls room for just the right decoration, I know that what I put on the walls of my house do matter.  I long to point my family to the Lord, to fill their hearts and minds with truth.  So that spot will sit bare on their wall for now, and I’m okay with that!

Hobby Lobby, I will be back!

image courtesy of duckduckgo.com

Fight For Your Marriage not Against It!

Fight For Your Marriage not Against It!

Have you ever had a wake up call?

I’m not talking about the phone literally ringing and waking you up at dark thirty in the morning.  Rather, I’m talking about a wake up call in life.  A time when circumstances or events in your life alter you and the path you are on and make you really consider where you are headed.

That is what happened this weekend to me.

A shock.  A devastating shock.  Brokenness in an instant for a dear friend in my life.

The news caused me to stop, take a look at my life and my priorities in it and ask God to reveal to me anything that needs to be removed, or areas that need more protecting.

Yes, this conversation shook my world.

My dear dear readers, I come to you today with a heart full of passion for you to see the importance of the vows you made before God to the man God gifted you with on your wedding day.

Yes, that’s right, your spouse is a God given gift!

Before I met my husband I spent hours, literally hours, praying for him.  I poured myself over my Bible, I dove into books about being a godly woman and wife.  I was serious about my walk with God because I wanted what God wanted for me!

Then I met and eventually married my now husband and here’s the clincher that we often forget.  That passion I had for praying over my future husband, the time I spent in God’s Word, it should never stop. If anything it should deepen and gain more momentum.  Great marriages don’t just happen!

Everything that God is for Satan is against.  God is for marriage so therefore Satan must be against it.  And let me tell you friend, he is against it. He is dead set on ending marriages, breaking families, ruining lives.  It is truly devastating.

Having time with God, in His Word and talking with Him through prayer is key to having a godly marriage.  Spending time praying together as a couple, reading His Word, reading books on marriage together, is key to having a God-honoring relationship.  love

As we walk this path of marriage God must remain in the center.  He is the glue that keeps us together!  When we remove God from our relationship with our spouse we simply become two sinners walking the same road.  We are all sinners, we all make mistakes, we all mess things up, and God is the One that teaches us to forgive, to love, to show grace and mercy.  He must stay in the equation.   When He stays in the relationship with us marriage truly becomes a beautiful thing!

Friends, I have stared the devastating results of divorce in the face as I have stood by others who have gone and are going through it.  It is not pretty.  I have heard the pleas of children crying, I have seen the sadness on their faces. It is devastating.  Yes, God forgives, His grace is still showered, but the hurt, that is still there.  A family is still broken.

It seems that the word divorce does not carry much shock with it these days.  It’s one of those, “everyone is doing it” kind of things.  May I remind us all, just because “everyone seems to be doing it” doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

Friends, never let a day go by without purposefully showing your greatmarriagespouse you love them.  Fight for your marriage!  Don’t let up!  Pray with and for your spouse throughout every day!  Give no room for Satan to wriggle in between the two of you.  Be putting on the armor of God daily so that when temptations arise that armor will be able to deflect the temptation.  The temptation itself is not the sin, what we do with that temptation can lead to sin.

Marriage is such a beautiful picture of Christ and His bride, the church.  Make the choice to daily unwrap the gift of your mate.  Forgive, move forward, show them the same grace that God has shown you, shower them with love.  Speak their love language loud and clear.  Date each other!  Do fun things together!  Be each others best friend!  Pray with and for them!  Let Satan know that even though he is against your marriage, God and you are for it!  Remember, greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. {1 John 4:4}  Your marriage is worth the fight!

Make it a point today to let your husband know just how much you love him!

Not a Nobody but God’s somebody!

Not a Nobody but God’s somebody!

Has God ever asked you to step outside of your comfort zone?

Ya, me too.

Have you ever made excuses for why your comfort zone was comfortable and you would like to remain there thankyouverymuch!

Yes, guilty as charged!

When God began to impress upon my heart to write, not just on a blog where only a sprinkling of people may find it and read it, but when He said, “Write a book!” at first I was excited!  Writing has been a dream of mine since I was tee tiny!

As a child I always wrote little stories and as I grew my passion for writing grew along with me.

But then, God asked me to make myself vulnerable and share one of the stories He so intricately wrote for my life.  Wait, what?

The stories I envisioned writing were not the story He was asking me to write.  I had dreams of devotionals, Christian living, books on being a wife and a mother!  This story that He was clearly having me write was, um, not any of that!

So as I wrote and wrote, and clicked away at the computer keys, I started coming up with reasons of why I should not be the one to do this project.

Here’s just a sampling,

1. It was waaaaay to personal

2. It was hard

3. How would I find a publisher?

4. Why would anyone want to read my writing?

5. (and this is my latest one) I’m just a nobody!

Have you ever felt like a “nobody”?

I was never part of the popular crowd growing up.  In high school other girls had a way of making sure I knew I was not part of “them” and “their crowd”.  I look back on pictures of my high school years, oy!  The clothes!  The hair!  {What was I thinking?!}  In college, again not part of the “in” crowd.  I didn’t have the right last name, or I didn’t play sports, or I wasn’t involved musically.  You know how it goes.  I did have some WONDERFUL friends that I love dearly to this day, but I wasn’t popular at all.  I felt like a nobody.

So now here I am, getting ready to publish a book.  The story is written, the edits are about to be finished, and yet the other day I found myself saying, “Lord, who will want to read this?  How can I get the word out about this book?  I’m just a nobody!”  A bit self-absorbed I’m sure, but if I’m going to be honest on here, you’ve got to see the pretty and the ugly 🙂

That’s when He reminded me.   Remember Moses way back in the book of Exodus?  He and I are like one in the same when it comes to making excuses before the Lord!  God gave him a job to do and He began to make excuses of why he was not the right man for the job.  Then God stopped him and reminded him in Exodus 4:11 & 12,

“And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

It was as if God said to me, “Wendy, I gave you this story.  I wrote this story for your life so that you would let me use it to bring glory to Me!  Don’t you know I know right where you are in life?  Don’t you think I will be the One to go before you and this book?  Don’t you know that I am your ‘I AM’?”

And as He often does, He reminded me of a few “nobody’s” in Scripture whom God used to do incredible things for Him!

The first one was Esther!  Oh I love the book of Esther!  Maybe it is the hopeless romantic in me, but what a story!!  Esther was an orphan being raised by her cousin!  She was a simple Jewish girl.  God used the rebellion of Vashti to get her out of the way so that He could lift up Esther into her position.  Not only did Esther become queen but she also helped to save her entire nation from utter annihilation!  God went before Esther and because she was a willing vessel He was able to work through her to save His chosen people!

Then there is Joseph.  The favored son of his Daddy Jacob and the hated one by his brothers.  They sold him into slavery.  Talk about being in the bottom of the “nobody” barrel!  Yet, because he was faithful to God, God raised him up to become a powerful ruler!  He also was used by God to save hundreds of thousands of lives during a famine in their land.

The point is this. 1 Corinthians 1:27 states,

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

It doesn’t matter if you were the least popular girl in school, if your clothing never had the brand name others approved of, if you drive the fanciest car (let’s hear it for mini van mama’s!!!), or live in the tiniest house on the block.  What does matter is that you first of all realize that in God’s eyes you are never a nobody!  You are deeply loved by our Almighty God!  Check out what Isaiah 43:1-4 says,

Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.   Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.”

That is a lot of love!

Also, God simply wants you to be willing to let Him use you!  He wants you to be a willing vessel that He can fill to the brim with His love and grace so that you can pour out that love and grace on others!  He wants us to be willing to step out of our comfort zones so that He can use us to the max, all for His glory!

I don’t know where God has you today and what He is asking you to do, but I can promise you this.  Whatever it is, He will go before you!  He will pave the way!  Never forget He is your I AM, everything you need in every single moment.  Let Him use you today!

The Man on the Corner

The Man on the Corner

He was dirty.  His hair was matted down.  His clothing had not been washed in what appeared to be a long time.  He sat on a divider in the road and held up a sign made of cardboard.  As many cars pulled up to the stop light they avoided eye contact with him and pushed the lock button on their doors.  He made them feel….. uncomfortable.

“Share Me with that man” was what Christ said to my heart.  It wasn’t audible, but it was definitely Him.  “Honey, we need to get that man a meal.” I whispered to my husband.  We had made a decision awhile back that when we saw someone like this we would stop purposefully to get them a hot meal.  “Yes, we do.  Where should we pick it up from?” he asked?

There wasn’t a fast food restaurant within a close proximity.  We pulled into a parking lot and discovered a deli we had never been to.  My hubby let me off at the curb and I went in.  It smelled divine!  Hot food cooking, happy chatter from tables all around, and yet that man was the only thing on my mind.

I ordered a pasta dish that came with some garlic bread that smelled incredible.  Filled a glass with water and briskly walked back to the car.  “I hope he’s still on the corner!” I said to my husband as I climbed back into the car.  As we pulled out of the parking lot my heart skipped a beat as I saw him, still sitting there on the median, holding his sign.

The timing was perfect, the light turned red and we were stopped right next to him.  My husband rolled down his window, “Sir, could you use a hot meal?” he asked.  The man’s eyes brightened up instantly.  He made his way to us and my husband said, “We picked this meal up just for you.”  The shock on his face was obvious.  Then he began to say things that I never expected him to say.

He could hear our children chattering in the car.  Our two year old had found something funny and was making her brother and sister giggle along with her!  Two year olds have that ability!

The man said, “I see you have some children.  Be sure to hold them tightly.  Keep raising them in Christ.  He is going to take care of you, look how He is taking care of me!”  The conversation continued a few minutes longer and as our light turned green he picked up his back pack and began walking away from the intersection.

I don’t know that mans story.  I don’t know if he was really a vet like his sign said.  Yet what he said made me stop and ponder.  “I wonder why he told us to keep raising our children in Christ.  That isn’t a typical thing we hear from those on the streets.  The fact that he said to raise them ‘in Christ’ is unique.”  What if that man on the corner was images.duckduckgo.comactually an angel I thought.  Okay okay, I’m sure the “she may be looney today!” thoughts have begun to filter through your mind.  However, Scripture does tell us that we do at times entertain angels unaware!  Hebrews 13:2 states,

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

I don’t know who he was, but I am thankful for God’s prompting on our hearts to minister to this man.  Oftentimes it is so easy to simply drive on by and ignore them.  I have been guilty far to many times of this very thing.  It is easier to sit in my car, completely comfortable, silently judging these people and why they are living on the street.  Yet Matthew 25:40 says,

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

That meal cost us $10, which is nothing really.  Not when we consider God is able to use the simple offering of food for this physical need the man had and the tract inside the bag of food to point him to the One who could meet his spiritual need.  A small price to pay to share Christ with this man.

So my challenge to you and I today as we go throughout our day today and every day, what is one thing that we can do today to share the love of Jesus with someone?  There are many around us in need of Christ’s love today.  They are closer than we may think.  Send a note in the mail, make a phone call, deliver a hot meal, pray for someone and then let them know, give anonymously, there are so many ways that we can share HIM with others!

Matthew 25:35-40, “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Love like Christ loved us!  Love is an action!  Do something today to let others know they are loved by Christ and cared for by you!  Let Christ use you to meet a need today!

Keep Calm and Mother On!

Keep Calm and Mother On!

It was a day I spent kicking myself for simply, well, being me!  Wondering if my failures as a mama {that seemed to be so many!} were going to cause my children to turn from the Lord instead of turning to Him! I sat down at a table, opened up a book I had been reading about mothering and wasn’t two paragraphs in before I found myself silently saying, “Yes!! Yes, THIS is exactly how I feel!”

Have you ever read a book like that?  Where it felt like the author was writing your story?  Somehow she had gotten into your head, read your thoughts, and then wrote a book just for you?  Ya, that was how I was feeling that day.

I was at our local pregnancy center waiting for clients.  It was a slow morning so I had opportunity to read for a few moments.  Another volunteer came in the room, sat across from me and as I set my book down she asked, “Whatcha reading?”

I shared with her the title and a little bit about what the book was about.  To be honest, even though I was enjoying the book, it was at times  reminding me of my failures and I found myself blurting out, “I just want to be a godly mother!  I don’t want my weaknesses and struggles to mess my kids up!”

She sat there graciously listening, she is about 20 years my Sr. and is just the sweetest soul you ever did meet!  I love to hear her pray, I love to be in her presence.  She is one of those people whom you know loves the Lord because He is radiating through her!

“Wendy,” she began, “just remember, even though you have a lot you have and still are investing in your children to grow up and be godly adults, don’t forget God is investing in them even more!   As much as you love your children, God loves them even more and desires for them to walk closely with Him even more than you do!!”  She continued to speak words of encouragement and I felt like a sponge, soaking up her words of encouragement and wisdom.

She was right.

I can easily forget that God desires for my children to walk closely with Him even more than I do!  He has the ability to use our weaknesses to point our children to their need of Him.  Isn’t that incredible?  As He said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  Yes, His grace is sufficient! His strength is actually made perfect in my weakness!

I think sometimes we as Mama’s spend so much time beating ourselves up over our faults and failures that it causes us to begin to look more inward than we do looking at Christ.  Satan doesn’t care what it is that takes our eyes off of Christ, just so long as they are off of Christ!  If I am constantly dwelling on, “Yes, I blew it again!” and stay there wallowing in my failure, my eyes will wander from Christ and plant themselves on me!

Don’t get me wrong, it is incredibly important to admit to our wrongdoings, seek forgiveness both from Christ and from the one we wronged, but then once all is made right, get back up and keep going!  Proverbs 24:16a reminds us just of that!  It says, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: “

Here’s the thing, we are going to keep falling.  Encouraging right?! 😉  It’s true though, we all have that sin nature in us.  We will grump at our families, speak more harshly than we ought or intend to, we will be selfish at times and the list can go on!  However, God’s grace is sufficient.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness!  As He reveals our sin to us we ought to confess and forsake it!  Striving to gain victory over it through the help of Christ, but when we fall, it isn’t the end of the world!  Make it right then keep on going!

Christ is investing in the lives of my children {and yours!}, He is molding thkeepcalmem into who He wants them to be, He is loving them and pursuing them even more than I am, and I love them so deeply I don’t even know how to put it into words!!  That’s a lot of love for these little ones!

Be encouraged precious Mama, God is using you to bring up these little ones to follow hard after Him.  Don’t beat yourself up over the mistakes you {and I!} make throughout our days.  Confess, forsake, then get back up and keep on mothering!

*Image courtesy of duckduckgo.com

I want to follow God….. but……

I want to follow God….. but……

When I was about 9 years old I remember the call of God on my life.  I remember playing one day and I could sense God speaking to my heart.  I remember He gave me a burden for people to hear the Truth, the Gospel and I wanted to share that truth with the world.  I was shy though, how could God use me?

One day I enrolled into college and I chose a specific major because I knew my parents really wanted me to go down that path.  But I was not happy, I knew I should have been majoring in Bible.  The joy was not there.

Then one day I was sitting in a church service and the preacher was saying, “Some of you in here know you are not in the major you are supposed to be in.  Some of you in here are in the field of education and you know that is not what God wants you to be studying.  You know He wants you to major in Bible!”  Wait, how did this guy know about the battle in my heart?

I called home that night and spoke with both of my parents, wanting their blessing to change my major. Neither one agreed to it that night.  So I prayed.  They had legitimate concerns, I mean what if God did not have marriage in mind for me?  How would I support myself?  To be honest, I didn’t have the answers.  All I knew was that God was saying, “Trust me, this is part of my plan!” and I wanted to follow Him!  Later on my mother called me and shared with me that I had her blessing but that she didn’t think my dad would give his as well.

So I prayed some more.

The very next day I received another call from home and the most amazing thing had happened.  My father had given his blessing!  I was free to change my major!  Um, THAT IS AMAZING! 🙂  Seeing God answer my prayer within even a short amount of time was truly incredible for me!

As you know, marriage was in God’s plans for my life!  After college we jumped into part time ministry with both feet and have served the Lord together as a married couple for 10 years now.

When my husband shared with me 2 years ago that he believed Christ was calling him to be a Pastor it scared the dickens out of me!  I mean, how could God use me as a Pastor’s wife?  I’m more shy than many like, not long before that I had been told by someone I would hold my husband back, they even went so far as to tell me that I would be a detriment to his ministry and if truth be told, I began to swallow the lies of the deceiver.

Never underestimate the power Satan will have over Christians who are not walking right with God.  He may not be able to indwell them but he can certainly use them to cause much hurt and ultimately hurt the name of Christ.  A close walk with the Lord as a Christian is crucial!

It was a struggle to accept the new path God was taking us down.  Yet, just as God had done before, as I prayed He gave peace.  He reminded me, “I made you just the way you are!  Though I am still working and molding and shaping you into the woman I desire you to be, I made you the way you are purposefully.  Don’t let the chatter of others all around you cause distractions.  Don’t allow yourself to take your eyes off of Me.  Their opinions are not the ones that matter.  I am your I AM and I want to use you in this way.”

It took some time, as in a few months time but eventually I submitted to the plans God had.  I handed Him my fears and stood with my husband, hands clasped to his.

That was a year and a half ago.

It had always been a dream of ours to help out a smaller church.  To find a church that was dying and to plug ourselves in and see how the Lord would work!

A year and a half later it truly feels like we are living the dream!!  We are living in an area I never imagined!  This California girl never thought she would live in southern belle country! 🙂  Yet, I like to call moments like these “But God” moments.  But God intervened!

He planted us down south, He prepared a ministry He knew we would be the perfect fit for and He brought some amazing people into our lives!  When we began ministering there was just a little over a handful of people and this past week can I tell you how THRILLING it was to see 75 people enter our church doors?  It has been incredible to see God work and grow in this church body!  The glory goes to God for the great things He is doing!!

Seeing all that God has done, all that He is continuing to do, I cannot imagine us anywhere else.  I cannot imagine where we would be had we listened to our “nay sayers”.

So where does God have you?  Is He asking you to trust Him?  Do you have “nay sayers” in your life trying to discourage you?  If I could give you just one piece of encouragement it would be this.  God has amazing plans for you!  God wants to use you right where you are!  Though the enemy will use others to try and bring you down, to get you to doubt God’s perfect plan, though he will use others {sometimes even Christians} to get you to take your eyes off of Christ in an attempt to make you think their opinion is the one that matters instead of God’s, don’t listen!  Keep your eyes on Christ!  Block out the other noise and listen for His still small voice!

Is. 55:8-9 says, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

God has amazing plans for you!!  His plans and thoughts are so much higher than you could have ever imagined for yourself!  Trust Him!  Follow His path!  You will not live a life full of regret if you choose to say “YES!” to Him and His plans for you!

One last note: the areas in your life looked upon as weaknesses by you and/or others provide perfect opportunity for God to step in and show you even more your need of Him in your life! Our weaknesses and personality differences were not placed in our lives to give us an excuse to run from God’s plan.  Oh no, they were given to us so we would run to Him!!  His strength is made perfect in our weakness!

2 Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Let God use you TODAY!