Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Don't Copy the behavior of the world...

I recently bought a new devotional study that a good friend recommended.  Jesus Calling (Thanks Jenna)  It has the perfect words for me to read over my coffee each morning.  It doesn’t take long, but it’s always the right words for me on that day! 
Today is no different….one of the verses above.  It kind of relates to the Proverbs 31 woman things I have been reading.  You read that and think, “How can I ever measure up to her?”  This was written about one woman, not many.  We don’t have to measure up to each and every one of those standards though.  Unless our pursuit is for Him, then we can’t accomplish anything and still honor him. 
Am I living for God or living from Him. I can try to each of those things mentioned on my own willpower but it wouldn’t be unto God and that defeats the purpose.  Keep in mind that Proverbs 31 is an acrostic poem; from verse 10, each line begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. http://www.bible-researcher.com/acrostics.html  (it is said that a mother wrote this for her son, her desire for him). It is not a set of rules to follow.  Not everything written in the Bible should be literally, certainly in the books of wisdom.  It’s more of a learn by example.  Our focus should be on God and making our relationship with Him intentional and real.
With that I take a breathe of fresh air and know that God is in control and I just need to rely on Him and ask Him to help guide me by putting other Godly woman in my life, so we compliment each other.  I can learn so much from her wisdom.  (Thanks to those woman) ;) We all have some of those qualities in us, who cares if it’s not all of them.  We are not perfect, only God is!

So, in Top Ten Tuesday fashion…We are all more precious than rubies, unique and created for our husband!

Top Ten things I can do try and be like the Proverbs 31 woman:
1.   Franklin can trust me to love him always! (even when we get on each other’s nerves)
2.  I will be a hard worker and strive to do my best.
3.   I like to help others.
4.  I don’t fear the fierce season changes here in Florida, haha!  I can buy my family warm clothes. J (Easy)
5.  I can laugh without fearing the future, b/c I know it’s in God’s hands. He knows all, and we just need to do the best we can while we have the time here.
6.   My husband does praise me all the time, even though I brush it off.  I need to stop that and learn to say “thank you Honey!”
7.   I do fear the Lord, a respectful fear, not a judgmental fear.
8.  By a witness to those around me and share Jesus
9.  Give everything up to Jesus and follow Him, give it my all! (something I work on daily)
10. Be still and be in God's words, renewing my mind.

Lord, I will strive not to put idols before God, such as money, clothes, homes, etc.  I will be content knowing that God is in control and I will desire him, knowing he will keep me grounded from the idols of the world. Thank you for telling us we can’t be perfect, there is only one perfect one and that’s you.  Help me not to become lazy and conform to the “normal” of the world.  I don’t want to just fit in, make my attention unto you. Show me what you want from me.

posted on Many Little Blessings

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm Back, Spring Break is over!!!!

It seemed to go especially long for me, haha!  I just couldn't gear up to write anything...sometimes that happens.  The school is almost over and we are oh so glad.  Can't wait for the summer!!!!  Sleeping in and just having fun, Spring Break was a teaser of what's to come!  We had a great Spring Break for sure though!  

Some updates on our lives:
-We finally got the approval needed to host an exchange student next year.  We got to "meet" and skype with her.  She seems super sweet and outgoing. Her name is Anne and she's from Norway.  We will be hosting her for the 2012-13 school year.  She will be a senior at our local high school, the same one Franklin and I attended just a short time ago!  Go Bulldogs!!!!!!  We can't wait for her to come and learn more about her culture, customs and traditions and teach her about ours!  I will have to up the celebrations this year, haha!!

-We had a great Spring Break visit with my brother and his family!  It went by much too fast.  They drove in from Texas and we surprised the girls by not telling them that they were coming.  When we pulled up to Mom and Dad's that afternoon, Evelyn took off running and just hugged her cousin Gracie Lou, who she just talks about and misses everyday!  (Her name is Grace, but I call her Gracie Lou).  Her brother Sam and Vera got along swimmingly too!!  The had to establish dominance first, being 6mos. apart but they had fun!!!  (Vera won, she's a little bigger-what did you expect?!)  Molly is the littlest little peanut, so cute-but wanted nothing to do with me until it was time to leave.  She is so stinkin' cute!!!!  We had fun with them for sure though.  We got to go fishing with Uncle Michael and Daddy out at Lake Okeechobee, visit Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom with Gracie Lou, and just hang out at Grandma and Grandpa's pool swimming.  (too cold for me though) Jeannette made Karen her b-day cake to celebrate Karen Day and it was so yummy!!!!  We even got to have an adult only dinner out, which was pretty good too!!!

In this next series of pictures you can see the happiness in Evelyn's face...

 She was not letting go!

All the Grandkids hanging out on the gazebo

Disney Vacation

Fishing Adventures at the Lake

 Our families just hanging out and playing...

My brother,Michael and I, so miss having him close by

Look at that face...so cute!

 They all love playing in the woods at Grandma and Grandpa's, using their imaginations

 Is Sam not the eptimoy of all boy cuteness...I may be biased, but he just the cutest little guy!!!!

 All of my siblings, Donald, me, Michael and Karen

Tent building time...little hideaway

 Vera and Sam with their swimmies on...discussing world problems, or Buzz Lightyear

-In our lives...so much going on that is time consuming!  We got our approval for Ag Life at the end of January and have been in full swing since then.  We've been ordering t-shirts, hats, koozies, making stickers and such.  We are preparing for a late April meeting in Tennessee to provide our ideas to a company and see if they would be interested in setting up a display in their store.  It's been a ton of work, but I have 3 designs done for now.  We are trying to work on making a website it also to do online sales.  For those of you that don't understand, it's a way for you to be proud of your "Ag"riculture Lifestyle.  I came up with a motto too, Sun Up to Sun Down.  It's Everything we do! Here are some of my designs: (just a small tasting of 3 designs)

Cotton farmers

Cattle ranchers

Do you work in the Ag industry?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What a good message to think about...

I am going to follow along with the Podcast from here 24-7 Prayer for this Lenten season.  They are journeying through the book of John. It is motivational for me and moves me in a way to think and put things into perspective!  You do what’s right for you!!

From John 1:14 of the Message
“The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.”

I don’t want to miss God’s voice in my ordinary life.

I want God to live in my boring, ordinary life with my family and me.   He became flesh like me to live in this world.  I pray that your word becomes flesh in me today. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent...what it is to me!

Lent: Lent is the span of time in the church calendar that starts with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday commemorates the beginning of Jesus’ 40-day fasting and temptation in the desert, and Easter Sunday commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the grave after his crucifixion.

Read all about it here: Bible Gateway blog

Also a great way to relate it to kids: http://whatsinthebible.com/2012/02/22/what-is-lent/

Growing up Catholic my family practiced Lent.  We would each pick something to give up for those forty days and we were also not allowed to eat meat on Friday’s.  I can remember giving up sweets, chocolate, my brother’s chips or sausage.  My parents always picked something too…I remember one year my Mom giving up coffee, I could never!  I just developed the taste for it after 32 years, not giving it up just yet!  LOL!! 

After we got married we started going to the Baptist church my husband had attended a good portion of his youth years.  They didn’t/don’t do Lent like I was accustomed to.  I remember for a long while thinking I don’t have to do it anymore, sorry you guys are giving stuff up!  What a na├»ve concept on my part.  It doesn’t matter what if you are Catholic or not, all Christians can benefit from it. 

So, for the last few years I’ve picked something to give up…never really going much further than that, not until the last year.  I know it is so much more than just giving something up for those forty days.  It should be something you invest in and get something out of, growth in your walk.   We are given this time as a special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God. 
I encourage you to spend the next 40 days preparing your heart to receive with thanks the gift that Jesus gave by dying on the cross for our sins. 

I came across this podcast, offering a daily cast to go through the next 40 days…if you are into that kind of thing!! They are from England, but it’s pretty good!

So in addition to giving up chocolate candy this Lent, I am also going to make a commitment to exercise, P90X, at least 4 days a week and stick to Weight Watchers.  Also, I will be in God’s word daily to stop and breathe, reflect and re-orientate around Jesus. 

Lord, I ask that you can work in my heart over these next 40 days to speak up for your truths to people in darkness.  Give me the courage, I know that God gives my life light and I want to spread it around to people in the dark. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Does my Husband Trust me?

Continuing on the Proverbs 31 wife...

Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.”
Proverbs 31:11 (NLT)

This is a tough one for me…I am TRYING to do it better and each summer it gets a little better to handle, even though I don’t like it. 

Back-story for those of you that don’t know (which may be many of you…) Each summer my husband and brother-in-law travel to McLean, Illinois for a corn and soybean run.  It typically lasts anywhere from 4-6 weeks, favoring the longer.  The first year I was in tears, had so much anxiety about preparing for his leave.  (I give the utmost love to the women who have to live months with their spouse overseas, my brother’s family being one of those- Love you Michael and Jeannette!!)  Anyway, I was not reading a whole lot in the Bible, busy with a 3.5mos. old baby, 2yr., 4yr. and 5.5yr. old.  Needless to say, I was consuming myself with our youngest baby and little girls.  I didn’t know how I was going to manage without him here everyday.  I had my family nearby, but still not the same.  When he left I think I cried almost every night, even nights when I was talking to him.  I know I was making it even harder on him.  It was wearing us both out.  I needed to see him and found tickets out to visit him reasonably priced.  I took our youngest and dropped the other 3 with my BELOVED mother-in-law.  She’s an amazing woman!!!  It was so nice to have his arms hugging me.  After that 4-day trip I felt better and eagerly waited for his return home.
OK, not sure I made a lot of sense there, but to catch up you, he’s been going out there since 2008, so this summer will the 5th year.  It doesn’t get any easier and I still get panic stricken as the days dance nearer every time, but I have learned to dive into God’s word and let him work in me.  I find that if I turn it all over to him and just pray everyday for safety for them and comfort for us we will get through it. 

I want my husband to be able to go on this summer job and have full confidence in me as his wife.  I want him to know that I will be solid emotionally and spiritually so he can rest on my support in his long hours of the summer.  I want him to trust me with the money and that I spend it wisely. (Screwed up real bad with that one-year and never doing it again!!  So not worth jeopardizing marriage over it)
I want him to know that I will do my very best at training our daughters wisely.  I want to know that I will run an orderly home.  I will keep his reputation in tact and not speak poorly of him.  I want him to be 100% sure of my love for him and no other man, no emotional connections made with other men.  I want him to know that under pressure I can keep my emotions in check, self-control!  Most of all, I want him to know that when urgent situations come up that I can make a wise decision, or at least who to call for help.  We have an amazing church family and I know everyone would be willing to help me out, as long as I ask! (key word there, ask!)

I am by no means perfect, hence for my need for God in my life.  I don’t always make the best decisions, but I want to be more like the Proverb 31 woman, a woman whose hubby can truly trust me.  I will continue every day to make a conscious effort to gain these qualities, it may take many, many years and I will never be 100% perfect, only God can do that, but I can strive for it!

Lord, I come to you knowing my flaws and I asking you to help me commit to being a better wife for my husband.  I long to be a wife that my husband can trust in each dynamic of our lives together.  Without your help and words I am nothing, but with your help and guidance I can do great things.  Please God, help me make the right decisions when it comes to our daughters, our home, money, be faithful to only him, keeping my emotions in check and give me the strength to make the right choices always.  I know I have people in my life willing to help out when needed and that I need to use my “big girl” words and ask for the help.  In your name I pray…

These are the 4 AMAZING reasons why I gotta get it right, so they can be good wives one day for their husbands. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

GOD is Constant

Welcome Wednesday

Good Morning all...

Over the next little while I want to share some thoughts to think about when reading Proverbs 31. I am by means no expert, nor would I ever lead a Bible Study about this or get up and talk about it in front an audience...typing it out is way easier for me and I can get all my thoughts out with feeling embarrassed and judge, (yes another struggle of mine).  I need God everyday because of all these insecurities and inadequacies.  

I am part a group that meets at our church 2 times a month, called Mom2Mom.  It's a great way to get out of the house and socialize and learn with other Mom's.  I always look forward to going, eager to learn what God wants to show me.  Yesterday was no different!  I was especially excited because we were having a guest speaker, Jill Feck.  She has an amazing heart for God and is full of wisdom to share, she homeschools her 4 children, and leads Bible Studies for women and married couples.  She is virtuous woman, indeed!

Yesterday Jill talked about how we are to make God our constant in our lives, and one of those ways is by "submitting" to our husbands.    She shared how we can make our marriages better and how to make those changes in being a Proverbs 31 woman.  She had a great breakdown about what those verses mean today. (I need to get them and I will share them with you.) 

In the meantime, I am going to share some things that I got out of it, How to Treasure your Husband by keeping God our Constant. 

Proverbs 31:10 "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

Well!  Where do we even start. I often think, am I that to my hubby?  Don't I want to be that treasure to him, YES!  Here are some things that I should NOT do:

  • I should not rival my husband
   [rival]: 1. a person who is competing for the same object or
              goaas another, or who tries to equal or outdo
              another; competitor.
       2. a person or thing that is in a position to dispute
          another's superiority: 


  • Complain about all the housework I do
  • Charge everything just because I want it or it's on sale. (learned this lesson-not doing it again)
  • I should not be greedy or selfish
  • he doesn't want to hear me gossip and I shouldn't be doing it with others either.
  • I should not spend my day in leisure, while he's out working for our family. (examples: shopping just because, emailing, unless with purpose, web browsing, late movies and sleeping in- I am convicted)
  • I should not disrespect or criticize him. 
  • letting outer beauty over-rule inner beauty, such as worrying about weight.
WOW, feeling so convicted...no day like today to start praying and asking God for the strength to change me.

 Lord, I am guilty of so many of those things.  Please guide me in making the conscious decisions to take a step back and re-evaluate the way I speak to and of my husband.  Guide me in my devotional time and make it meaningful and apply it to my life.  I want to be in your word everyday and focus on those things for my family. In your name I pray. 

I realized that we need an updated picture...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Foolishness bring me down...

Comparison… is just Foolishness

Let me first by saying I feel that I have a blessed life.  I have a wonderful husband, who I love and respect.  He’s an awesome Daddy for our 4 girls.  I have 4 amazing daughters, each so precious and treasured beyond belief.  (Yes, though I like breaks once in a while)  I have all the things needed to survive, plus more.

Now, maybe I am the only one…but I sometimes I find myself comparing myself to others.  This is not a good thing either.  I feel like if I “just” had that or just had “this”, it would be make my life complete.  I know that’s not the case, but I still compare myself to others.  I know the Bible says that God does not approve of this and he wants our standard of measure to be the Bible, nothing or nobody else.  Yet, I find myself doing it from time to time. 

I know when we compare ourselves to others that it can steal our contentment.  Here are some areas that I compare myself to…

Comparing me to my gal pals
I know its not comparing apples to apples, but I still find myself doing it.  I have friends that are thinner than me and I think if I was just their size, I would be happier. Or friends that have property that I dream of.   If I just had that life would be complete.  I would LOVE to live on 5 acres with a few animals and a smaller home. (Less cleaning)  I would love to be so comfortable with speaking in public, like they are.  You know who those people are in your lives, they appear that they have it all together and everything is perfect…but they have their “quirks” too. 

Do you compare yourself to your Mama?
Well my Mom keeps a perfectly neat and tidy house.  I remember growing up and hating Saturday, cleaning day.  It had to be done perfectly to her standards, that’s what I thought. (I always wanted to be outside)  Did you ever have to clean before guests came, but wondered why b/c it was already clean, I did!  I love my Mom, she’s the best and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Her cleaning drills, I did not love!  (Sorry Mom) I don’t remember though if it was always perfect when we were little.  If I had to guess I’d say there may have been crumbs on the floor, dishes in the sink, laundry needing to be folded or dusting that needed to be done.  I feel like I have to try and get everything done before she comes, b/c I don’t want her to judge my messy house.  WHY??  I remember when I was older my Mom keeping a tidy home…so maybe when my girls are older and help out a lot more I will have that too!  Wishful thinking…I still want a house cleaner once a month to deep clean!  (A girl can dream right?)

Tit for tat with hubby
 Especially when the girls were younger, I would say things like “I was up all night with her, while you SLEPT!”  These days it doesn’t go that way anymore…they all mostly sleep all night.  I know it’s not a good idea to keep track of who does more…not for anyone.  Who cares who takes out the trash or mows the lawn or cleans the toilets?  We are a team and we work together.  Remember that saying, “there’s no I in team”.  My hubby busts his butt outside the home, so I do as much as I can here to keep a nice home.  It’s really not worth arguing about who does more or comparing the things your hubby may or may not do with girlfriends either.  Remember the vows you took the day you married him and all the love you felt!  Rekindle it if need be! On a side note, my hubby and I are all good!!! (This was a struggle earlier in our marriage though) 

So I need to remind myself before going down the comparison road, I need do I want to choose the road to pride or the road to intimidation.   The Bible says pride comes before destruction. Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) If I refuse to obey him and stay out of pride, then God will no longer be able to honor me, he will allow me to make a public fool out of myself.

If I choose the road of intimidation then I am falling victim to the sin of intimidation, which is rooted in fear.  The spirit of fear is something that comes from Satan.  God equips us with power, love, and Jesus.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy1: 7)

By comparing myself to others I am missing out and falling into the traps of Satan.  I am never going to be able to compare myself and say, “Well looky her, we are the same…by golly!” I know that can’t happen.  Comparing only leads to pride or intimidation, which when I do find myself in that, it’s usually intimidation. 
I am going to try very hard to stop doing this, and remind myself that God has forbidden those choice b/c he loves me and doesn’t want me to be crushed by either choice.  God made me for a specific purpose and has a plain all laid out just for me.  WOW!  It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.  I will have to remind myself daily to have faith and never doubt it. 

I need to focus on the job God has laid out for me to do here and do it with 110% as unto Jesus.  And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Col. 3:17, 23)  I need to be able to be comfortable talking out loud in public and talking about salvation in Christ.  That doesn’t mean being in someone’s face all the time, just ask God to give me those opportunities to speak to them and give me the right words to say without getting nervous and scared about people judging what I say. 

Comparison blocks the spout where God’s help comes out. You simply cannot do what He’s called you to do without His help. So pull the plug on comparison and throw it in the trash where it belongs. That will allow the power of God to begin to flow into your life again. 

How awesome is our God..

1 Corinthians 4:7
For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?