Friday, February 28, 2014

The home stretch

24 hours left....

Today's verses for thought were on sins of omission. I had never heard the terms commission and omission sins before, but I definitely fall into the category of sins of omission. I seem to be very aware of sins of commission and try very hard to avoid them, but for some reason sins of omission seem sneaker.  The harm in them seems less, but I think they are actually more harmful!  

Unbelief has been something I have been working on all of 2014 so far. I still feel I have a ways to go, but I am hoping this week is a break through, as I draw closer to Christ in a new and pure way. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Early morning prayer

This morning our Life Group met at the church at 6am to pray. It was freezing, but we had scarves, mittens and blankets to try to keep us warm.  Today's devotional was on sins of commission.  It gave several verses that talked about everything from tithing to keeping our bodies fit and healthy as His holy temple to asking tough questions like 'have you become conditioned to accept pure filth as entertainment?'   

I find myself falling into the last category. The evening shows these days are getting worse and worse. After dinner, I would love to sit down and watch a funny  comedy without having to send the kids out or go to our bedroom. I can't think of one that we watch that doesn't say a curse word. When did cussing become cool? We tell the kids all the time it makes people sound ignorant, but then it's all over the TV?!? Sooo frustrating! Richard and I have gone back to watching some of the older shows that seemed more pure; Gillian's Island, I Love Lucy and good ole America's Funniest Home Videos, which the kids love! Thank God for cable and having the option to watch things that truly are funny without having to be filthy!  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The half way point

Today marks the half way point! I made another batch of homemade bread this morning. I am really enjoying it!  As I was washing my hands after mixing and rolling out the dough I noticed myself having to clean under every nail to get my hands truly clean. In that moment, God turned my thoughts onto what exactly we were doing; little by little He is cleansing me. And sometimes the "little" sin, the stuff hiding underneath fingernails, is the stuff keeping us from living an abundant life. I am grateful He is shining light on every area of my life.

Instead of having individual Life Groups tonight, all the Life Groups met at the church for worship. We sang and prayed and encouraged one another and took the Lord's Supper. It was really neat and a great time to be encouraged to finish strong when my taste buds could really go for a cheeseburger.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 3

This morning I thought I would try a recipe for unleavened bread.  It was surprisingly quick and easy. 

And after only 15 minutes in the oven, it was ready. 

It had a nice flavor and consistency and was pretty filling.  So far, I have tried to stay focused on Christ and turn to Him when I feel hungry and it's proven to work...although cooking macaroni and cheese with sausage for the kids almost did me in!!  ;)

Today's meditation was on sins of speech. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us to rejoice and give thanks in all things.  I am a perfectionist, so if things aren't perfect I complain and constantly try to fix them until they are perfect. I am working on giving thanks in those situations and relinquishing control and trusting God to do what He does best.  It has always proved better for me to stay out of it and just pray expectantly, yet here I am, learning the same lesson again. As a teacher, I dislike reteaching my lessons; not so much to the ones that truly need the help, but more to the ones that just don't listen because they expect me to reteach it to them individually during the assignment. I find myself holding back an eye roll towards those students.  I bet I give God a lot of eye rolls!!  But here I am, asking to be retaught, in hopes that this is the last time I have to learn this lesson! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

A family event

Ephesians 6:4b "...Teach your children and instruct them about The Lord."

Since the fast began and until the fast ends on Saturday the church has 24 hour prayer. We signed up tonight to go as a family. We asked all the kids to join us in bread and water for dinner tonight along with prayer time. Baylee and Koby are even trying their own version of the fast by sacrificing something small, but meaningful to them from their diet all week.  Baylee was at a track meet so she couldn't join us, but the rest of us headed to the church. This year the prayer area is on the roof. It was so neat to walk into the church, and feel God's presence. There was a path they had made for us and at every turn there was a candle with scriptures to pick up if we wanted. When we finally made it to the roof it was so peaceful; music, couches, blankets, candles, twinkle lights...I could have sat there all night.  We broke up into teams to try to keep the boys engaged as long as possible without disturbing those already up there.  

As the sun went down, we talked about God and Jesus and what the Bible had to say in certain stories. I really enjoyed singing and praying and just being with the boys as we all look to know more about God.  

I am so thankful to have been blessed with 5 children to raise and I do not take lightly the task of growing them up in the Lord. I know God has huge plans for their lives and I want to do everything I can to point their hearts toward Him. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


This time of year for our church is a time for corporate prayer and fasting. Last year we did the 15 day Daniel fast as we prayed for others and for God to increase the Kingdom. This year we are doing a 7 day fast of water and unleavened bread as we seek to become more holy. 

This morning we talked about holiness and how to become more holy.  We read about Moses in Exodus 32. God was going to destroy the Israeli people because of their sin.  Moses pleaded with God to not distroy them and God changed His mind. But as Moses went back to the people he then saw what God saw, the atrociousness of their sin, and punished them.  Our pastor challenged us in this area. As a society, do we look at some sin as really bad and other sin as not that bad? And on a more personal level, do we truly look at our own sin as God looks at it?   Later in Exodus, Moses come down from Mount Sinai and his face shown. Moses had been connected to God and talking with God and doing God's work all along, but why did his face shine after this particular encounter?  Was it because he finally saw sin as God saw sin? Matthew 5:14 says 'we are the light of the world'.  In order to be a light others see we have to take sin as serious as God does; not brushing it under the rug or ignoring certain areas of our life, but rather looking closly and turning from it.  The Bible uses the word leaven to represent sin, so during the next 7 days we will be cutting out the leaven in our physical diet in order to symbolize how we will let God examine our lives and highlight any sin we need to turn from.  In seeing sin as God sees sin and humbling ourselves to learn from Him I am hoping we, like Moses, can shine brightly for the world. 

Day 1 -sins of thought
Satan frequently targets our minds with inappropriate, sinful thoughts. My take away verse for today is Matthew 15:18-20.  Lord, let my heart be a reflection of yours. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

We had all 5 kids for Valentine's day this year, so instead of trying to find, and pay for, a sitter, we decided to make it a family Valentine's.  Earlier in the week, Richard took all the boys to the store to pick out gifts. When they got back I asked him how it went and he said it was crazy. Not only was every other man out shopping, but the boys only stayed focused for about 20 minutes and then wanted to toy shop and run around the store. Lol!! So he tried to finish up the shopping and get out of there before he lost a kid!  I appreciate his bravery and his effort in teaching four little boys how to be men. 

Valentine's morning was spent watching the kids open a few goodies they had received and then the boys brought in all their surprises for me and Baylee. We got flowers and a balloon and jewelry and socks and candy and I even got a Starbuvks gift card! I loved how they truly took the time to think about what we liked. After we were done opening, Teague started clapping. He was so proud of himself and asked us both multiple times if we liked what they had picked out. I love seeing that even at a young age, it felt good to him to give! I love his face of anticipation here.

Last night we all got dressed up and went to have steak. Having a party of 7 I thought we would have to wait forever, but luckily they had the larger tables available since most people were couples last night.  We were in and out in no time. It was a great evening. 

Saturday, February 08, 2014

What is in your heart?

God has been teaching me a lot about the power of words. I know I've done several previous blogs about words in the past, but for some reason it seems like there is always more to learn...or maybe I just haven't yet learned what it is He is wanting me to teach me!

It seems like as a kindergarten teacher and a mother of 5, I am constantly surrounded by words that tear down.  It is either kids at school being mean or the boys at home squabbling or the teenage attitude.  In all cases, it is a lack of knowledge on their part, so I attempt to teach.

Luke 6:45 has been a verse that has stuck with me this month.
"A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart."

In trying to make this year a year of increasing habits to leave a God honoring legacy, I wrote that verse on our white board in the kitchen.  I explained it to the boys and how their words show others what is in their heart, good or bad.  I find myself saying "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" literally ALL DAY!!  It's crazy to me that on a whole positive words are far less common than the negative ones, which I guess goes back to what is in most peoples hearts. I want my kids, whether in my family or in my class, to be the exception to what most people see! 

The more God teaches me about words, the more I am learning how powerful they are and I want the kids to get that.  When you mix Spirit and Truth together, that is when the heart is pierced.  My words alone are powerless, but if I speak Truth (scripture) backed by Holy Spirit ( the right time, attitude, etc...) then my words, whether few or many, are powerful, and those are the kind of words I want to speak on a daily basis.  Doesn't seem too hard, but my personality is to not speak.  I listen really well, but don't want to hurt feelings or assume I know the answer, so I usually just empathize. God convicted me in that by not speaking I am stifling Holy Spirit's words, His words, God's words.  I have the opportunity to speak God's words and I am choosing to keep my mouth shut! How awful!!  

I have really been trying to listen and then speak, whether that be encouragement or knowledge or advice, and then believing God that His power is behind the words and they will be used how He wants them to be used.  I am just the vessel, and it is prideful of me to think that I know what someone needs to hear.  Instead I am trying to just speak the words God gives me and be confident that He can and will use them as He sees fit.  It's been very freeing! 

So as I attempt to put into practice what I am learning and also teach those around me how important words are, I am praying the light of Christ will shine for others to see and His power will be released through me. When I choose to be obedient and speak.