Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Week Off and a Sneak Peek

I'm so excited about this memorial day weekend. We have lots planned and are going to be enjoying fellowship with friends and family. Memorial day means a lot to me because my grandfather served in the Korean war and I'm so proud of him for it. He gave up time in his life, away from his family, to serve his country! We owe so much to our service men and women, who fight hard to protect our freedoms. I pray that this memorial day (weekend) you think about more than those hamburgers and hot dogs and reflect on just how much has to be sacrificed to maintain our freedom. 

Since we have so much planned for this weekend I've decided to take the week off. Instead of spending this week writing I will spend it in prayer for the ladies who have signed up to Soak In The Son with me! I'm so excited to be starting and I've decided to give you a little sneak peek at what's going to be going on. :o)

I plan to share with you all encouraging stories of everyday women used mightily by God, issue a prayer challenge, a praise challenge, a picture challenge, and of course we'll be studying the Word of God! For the picture challenge we'll be using a flickr group, so if you've already signed up please send me your email so I can invite you to the group. If you haven't signed up yet, please do and then send me your email. You can sign up on this post, or the original one, or even on facebook. Then check back here on June 1st to kick off the summer time personal revival!

I'm really looking forward to this time and look forward to getting closer to the Lord! If you haven't signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Only good things can come from soaking in the Son! 

P.S. Have you signed up to Soak in the Son with me this summer?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flowers Not Eggs

This past Resurrection Sunday I was struggling with the feeling of depriving my children. We don't celebrate easter the way that the world does. Actually we don't really celebrate easter at all. We teach our girls to say happy Resurrection day to people who may say happy easter to them and we talk to them about why we are celebrating. We don't do dyed eggs and we don't do egg hunts. But as a kid I did do all those things and we had fun. 

My mom, who would be over the moon if I let her do those things with the girls, asked me why I wouldn't dye eggs with them? I try to be gentle with my mom. Because if I were to go into detail about the pagan rituals I know she'd throw her hands in the air and conclude I'm even crazier then she thought. So I just simply replied "well we don't even eat eggs". Which was a perfectly fine answer for her! Praise God! But then I got a brilliant (or at least brilliant to me lol) idea. We'll start our own tradition! Instead of dying eggs we'll dye flowers and give them to grandmas and aunts at our family dinner. I grew up giving flowers to the women in my family as a child so it's a way to keep part of a tradition alive and add out own flair to it. 

I decided I might as well use it as a science project for homeschool and as the girls get older it can continue to be a science lesson as they learn more and more details about it. This what we did:

I used 3 glasses, food coloring, white carnations, and water

We added the dyes to the glasses

Then added water, plant food, and the flowers

We did three colors: red, blue, and teal (mix of green and blue)
We let the flowers sit for a day, but that ended up not being enough time. One flower came out well so we took that one and gave it the grandma that was hosting the dinner. A few days later the rest of the flowers adorned our dinner table :o)

I'm finding that the more we choose to seek the Lord the more He gives us ways to accomplish the things we desire. I don't want to deprive my children of any fun, but they don't have to do things the world's way. God's way is just so much better! 

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. -Psalm 37:4

P.S. have you signed up to Soak in the Son with me?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Unprofitable Servants

Servant Heart by Jun Jamosmos

Sometimes in our roles as wives and mothers (and even as daughters) we get stuck in this rut of serving and feeling like we aren't getting anything back. I know for me having two very little children I rarely get a thank you for the things that must be done. Like washing dishes, or changing diapers, cleaning up a spill, cleaning a nose, giving a bath, and I could go on and on. But that feeling of not being appreciated can only set us up for failure!

Who said we would get a thank you? Who told us that we even should? Our Lord, Jesus, told us something very different. 
But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. -Luke 17:7-10
We are merely servants sent here to fulfill the roles God has called us to. Be it daughter, wife, mother, friend or anything else. We are called to serve those that are put in our path. And when we begin to feel like we aren't being appreciated by those that we serve that means we are looking at ourselves as more than the "unprofitable servants" that we are.  

I know some may say but you don't know my family, they don't deserve to be served. To that I say you are absolutely right! But we aren't serving them because they are worth it. We do it because God has placed them in our lives for us to love, be kind to, and take care of. 

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one anotherFor all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. -Galatians 5:13-14

P.S. Have you signed up to Soak in the Son with me this summer?

I'm linking up with Time-Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies & Women Living Well

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Climbing Out From Darkness

I think everyone has had dark days. But recently I went through a time where I had dark months. I was so focused on finding God that I was missing out on getting to just know Him. I was on a search for the "truth" but I just ended up confused. Many bad decisions were made and it was awful. I was so focused on the law that I missed the grace.

When I came back to blogging after my break I made mention of this. But I didn't really get into what happened. I'm still not going to but I just want to speak about how I felt, to hopefully encourage others who may be in a dark place right now.

Even when I didn't see Him, God was with me. Even when I came to a place of thinking I could do it on my own, He didn't forsake me. When I turned to the left hand and to the right hand He was rooting for me to get back on track. And the same is true for you. I'm not any more special to our Heavenly Father than you are. He loves us both equally and if He can forgive me, He can forgive you. If He can reach down to me and shine light into my darkness He can do the same for you.

You may think your sins are the worst ever, but the truth is, to God sin is sin. So the liar is just as bad as the murder. Don't let the enemy trick you into believing your sins are too bad to forgive or that God doesn't care about you. Because it's just simply not true. He cares and He wants you to come home!

For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. -1 Sam 12:22

We know this to be true because He sent His only Son to die for us! Can you say you'd do that? Sacrifice your child's life for the sake of others? That's how much he loves you!

So today if you are struggling with realizing just how much God loves you I encourage you to pause and take some time to search through God's Word and see what He has to say about how much He loves you! (like reading through 1 John)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Personal Revival!

I don't know about you, but I've been going through somethings and the Lord has brought me to a place of needing, and wanting, a revival! 

I've been doing my 90 day reading and the Lord has been showing me things that I need to correct and it's been such a blessing. I've also been listening to preaching and just getting fired up! 

Sometimes the routine of life can stomp that fire right out of you. But we need to maintain our first love! Revelation 2:4 says: "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." I don't want that to be me! So now I'm on a mission to get back to, and maintain, my first love: YHVH, THE ALMIGHTY GOD! 

This summer join me as we dig into the Word and get fired up for the Lord. Together we'll get a BIG vision of God, and come to a place where praise is continually on our tongues. 

We'll be starting on June 1st and I really want you to join me. We all need to get revived from time to time. So why not you, now!?

If you plan to join me this summer please leave a comment below so I can pray for you as we gear up for our Personal Revivals! If you're on twitter we'll be using the hashtag #SoakInTheSon and you can find me at @His_Rib. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Whose Side Are You On?

Click to get a copy of the 90 day plan

As I mentioned before I'm reading through the Bible chronologically in 90 days. Well in just these last 3 weeks I've finished Genesis, Job, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. I'm a little behind in my reading and if I wasn't I would of also finished Deuteronomy by now! Following this reading schedule has been such a blessing, because I'm spending a longer amount of time in the Word. Before if I was tired or something I'd read a chapter or two and say ok I did my reading for the day. But now I'm reading 10 or more chapters a day! And on the days I'm playing catch up I end up reading 20 or even 30 chapters in a day! The thing is though I'm not just reading to read, the Lord is showing me things through this reading that I need to work on in myself or that I need to do. 

I'm supposed to be on day 21, but today I want to share with you something I picked up on day 17. On day 17 part of my reading was in Numbers 25, the part that really stood out to me was verses 1-13:

"And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel."

Just as in the days of the Israelites there are people who try to pervert the truth of God or try to deny God all together. We can look all around and see the suffering this has caused, especially in our own country. But what if people rose up against the immorality like Phinehas did? Now I'm not suggesting we go kill people! 

But what I am saying is what if we stood up for what the Bible says? What if we looked sin in the face and said no we will not be tolerant of it. No we will not allow it in our "camp"! How much could be accomplished by those of us that took God's side over the side of the world? 

We don't have to go and stand out in parks with picket signs, but we could be more conscious of the companies that we support that fund organizations that go against God's Word. Or we could change certain things we do in our homes, what we teach our children, the things we allow our children to watch or listen to. 

For me personally I plan to be more conscious of who I'm giving my money to. Because financial support is a huge deal for any organization. I think we've all heard the saying "hit em where it hurts, in their pockets"! well it's true. When something can't get funded it can't survive! By myself I don't think I'll defund any ungodly organization. But if all believers stood up against these organizations we could certainly see change. 

What are you willing to do to stand firmly on God's side? 

I'm linking up with The Better Mom

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all my mommy readers, and to the moms of my readers who are not yet mothers! 

                                 Mothers have a special way
Of saying ‘I love you’
A love that God has given them
A love that will hold true
For Mothers sacrifice so much
Providing for the home
Creating there an atmosphere
That reflects God's love alone.

© By M.S.Lowndes

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Homeschooling Preschool

I don't usually write about homeschooling because my children are very young and we haven't been doing any formal schooling. But recently I "attended" the Homeschool How To online conference and learned some very valuable things, that we've already begun to incorporate into our homeschooling.

One of my favorites that I'm going to share with you all today is a bible memorization method that was shared by the Klein family. The technique they shared has the children learning one verse a day. On their website they have published a free ebook for the one verse a day method, but I'm going to briefly discuss it here to give you an idea of how we are doing this in our family. 

When daddy gets home from work we all gather around with a dry erase board or a chalk board and we begin our devotional time. We start by writing the verse on the board then discussing it and drawing any illustrations we can think of to support the meaning. Then we repeat the verse a few times. On the following day we review the previous verse and then start on our new verse. 

On the first day we started out with Psalm 100:1. 

Our oldest (she's 3) did well with this. Although at the very beginning she kept saying "Make a joyful noise, for it is right". She was mixing the new verse, with Ephesians 6:1, which she's had memorized for over a year now. 

On the second day we moved on to Psalm 100:2.

Again she did well with this verse and after we went over it, we discussed ways that we could serve God. For a 3 year old I was a little surprised at her answers. 

Her ideas for being of service were:  Help sweep, write a letter or draw a picture for someone, help  mommy in the kitchen, make cookies for people, help someone find their shoes or coats, sing for people, read books for people, tell people about God. I was very impressed by her ideas and it made me realize that I might of been under estimating her. 

When we got to verse 3 we started to struggle. It's a long verse and she's having a little trouble repeating the whole thing. If we say the first word she can say the next part, which shows she is at least retaining it. So instead of moving on we're just going to keep working on this verse until we get it. 

In addition to doing this now we are working on learning to read with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She is loving this! And she is doing a good job with the lessons. I would of never thought of starting to learn reading before she knew all of her letters. But then I was reading a blog where a mom talked about using it when her children were 3 and having great success. So my husband and I discussed it and decided to go for it.

The most exciting change though has been our elimination of TV! We decided to just turn it off. It's been about a week and my girls haven't watched any cartoons or children's shows. They have watch animal documentaries a few times. But the TV has been off for 90% of the time. Now when the NBA playoffs are over I'm sure we'll be having the TV off even more. I was so nervous that it would be hard or that I wouldn't know what to do with the girls if we didn't watch TV. But I've found that they quickly adapted and are using their imaginations to come up with things to do. It's been a huge blessing and I'm just insanely excited to know that we are working hard to protect our children's eye and ear gates. All the while hiding God's truth in their hearts.

"I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." -Psalm 101:3

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." -Proverbs 4:23

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sweet and Not Bitter

Ok it's confession time... 

I had a terrible week. I was mean to my husband and although I worked really hard at being involved with my children, my heart wasn't in it. My girls had a fun week, and they had mommy's attention. But I was on edge, and not as patient with them as I could of been. 

I tried to be nice to my hubby, I tried to just act like everything was fine. Then he'd do something like turn the TV, on when I was trying to keep it off, and I'd feel like he was the worst husband ever. Yes I know I was being completely irrational. But it seemed like no matter how hard I tried, he just couldn't do anything right. I prayed on it, I sought God on it, and I asked for strength. Nothing. I asked God to show me why I was so bitter, and to help me to forsake it. Nothing. I resolved to just smile through it........ That didn't last long. 

Then one night while I was cooking dinner I was listening to a radio show on Revive Our Hearts called A God-Sized Picture of Marriage and the speaker, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, was explaining the point of marriage. She said:
"Now, I don’t know why you got married or what your hopes and expectations were that day, or what they may be today years later, but I have news—in case you haven’t discovered it already—and that is that marriage is not first and foremost about you. It’s not that you can’t enjoy a happy and blessed marriage. You can, and I believe that pleases the Lord for you to do that. But the greatest blessings of marriage come as a byproduct of seeking something else. 
You see, marriage was intended by God to display in neon His covenant love. It’s supposed to be a Technicolor picture of redemption. Your marriage is supposed to point people to Christ. It’s supposed to draw them like a magnet to the gospel, to know the love of God, to see that love lived out in two imperfect people who have a great God at the heart of their marriage."
Well that just pierced my heart. I was NOT treating my husband with the respect that he deserves. I was short with him, and I was rude. That's not the way to point anyone to Christ. That was showing selfishness, not love. I was marring the picture. 
Now my husband, on the other hand, was dealing with my attitude and not being rude back to me. He was doing his part. But that's not the way a relationship is supposed to work, we're BOTH supposed to be doing our parts. 
He wasn't happy because he knew I was unhappy. And you know, I still don't know why I was so upset with him to begin with. But I know what ever it was, it wasn't dealt with immediately and I allowed it to fester and create a break down in our relationship. I was being selfish and making it about me. When really, ultimately, it's about God!
The scriptures say, "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established" -Proverbs 16:3
So while we do love our husbands because they are sweet, and handsome. We're supposed to love them even when they aren't so sweet and when their actions make them slightly less handsome; even if it is just in our heads. 
Being a wife is a "job" appointed by God, and we are supposed to act appropriately regardless of our feelings. So I've purposed to commit my works unto the Lord. I've gone to my husband and expressed the issues I was having and we're doing better. I still have my moments but they are way less often, and by the grace of God I am being much sweeter. My goal is to bring forth sweet water and not bitter! Because after all I can't do both. James 3:11-18 says:
"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
I know it won't be easy but I can choose to love "because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." -Romans 5:5 

Friday, May 4, 2012

TBOC: Praying for Our Children

Today I want to share a guest post with you by Jessica from Our Family for His Glory. Jessica is a homeschooling, stay-at-home, mom to 6 children ages 7 and under. Alyssa, Elliana, Kayla, Isaiah, Annabella, and Ariya. "She is your every-day mommy that longs to be full of grace, but often needs to ask for forgiveness. She has a passion for seeking & following hard after God, loving on her family, leading little (& big) hearts to Christ, & encouraging others along the way! She shares her heart & her life at Our Family for His Glory."

I asked her to share a post that she thought would be a blessing to you all and I asked her to pray on it. Well God has truly answered because this post was VERY encouraging to me and I think you all will love it as well. Ok enough of me talking about it, here it is...

I truly believe that one of the greatest honors we have is to pray for our children (in my case, all six of  them)!! How amazing to be able to talk to the King of kings & Lord of lords, the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the the world… about these little ones that mean so very much to us!
And, I do pray, I pray throughout the day- “Please help her to stop whining”… “Please help him make a wise choice”… “Thank-you for her sweet hugs”… “Please heal her tummy”, etc.- Yet, while I want praying to be like breathing to me (absolutely necessary & happens naturally), I’ve been convicted that my prayers… even prayers FOR others… are often quite selfish! I pray they will stop whining so that I won’t get a headache. I pray that they will make wise choices so that I won’t have to deal with their foolish choices. I thank God for their sweet hugs because, well, they make me feel good. I pray that God will heal their bodies because when someone is sick- we are all miserable! So, while I should be praying at all times about everything- I also want to take the focus off of myself& REALLY, TRULY PRAY FOR MY CHILDREN!!!

When I think about it, there is so much to pray for! My “mommy brain” can hardly remember what I did yesterday, let alone a list of things I want to be diligent to pray for each of my children! So, I’ve decided to designate each day of the week- to praying for something specific for my children (that is somewhat linked to something going on that day)! Here is what I was thinking…
SUNDAYS- (Go to Church!) *Salvation & Spiritual Walk-
O God, save (name of child) & call (him/her) to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of Your own purpose and grace! Give (him/her) the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of (his/her) sins. May (his/her) faith take root & continue to grow & grow. (Adapted from 2 Timothy 1:9, Luke 1:77, & 2 Thessalonians 1:3)

MONDAYS- (Beginning of School Week!) *Knowledge & Wisdom of the Lord-
May (name of child) grow in the grace & knowledge of You, our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ! May (he/she) know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasure of wisdom & knowledge. And may (he/she) not boast in (his/her) own wisdom, strength, or riches- but may (he/she) only boast that (he/she) understands & knows you. (Adapted from 2 Peter 3:18, Colossians 2:2-3 & Jeremiah 9:23-24)

TUESDAYS- (Dance Class!) *Do ALL for God’s Glory-
Lord God, in whatever (name of child) does, may (he/she) work at it with all their heart- for Your name & all for Your glory! (Adapted from Colossians 3:17&23, 1 Corinthians 10:31)

WEDNESDAYS- (AWANA!) *Passion for God’s Word- May Your Word be a lamp for (name of child’s) feet & a light for (his/her) path. May Your Word be hidden in (his/her) heart, & found to be more precious than much pure gold & sweeter than honey from the honeycomb. And may (he/she) hear Your Word & take to heart what is written. (Adapted from Psalm 19:10, 119:11&105, & Revelation 1:3)
THURSDAYS- (Laundry Day!) *Clothed with Virtues of Christ-
I pray that (name of child) will clothe (him/herself) with the Lord Jesus, & that (he/she) will be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, & patience. May (he/she) bear with others & forgive just as the Lord has forgiven. Above all, may (he/she) put on love, that binds all these virtues together in perfect unity. (Adapted from Romans 13:14 & Colossians 3:12-14)

FRIDAYS- (Date Night!) *Friends & FutureLord, grant that (name of child) would not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers, but that (he/she) would walk with the wise. And keep (him/her) safe & forever protected from the wicked. (Adapted from Psalm 1:1-2 & 126:7, & Proverbs 13:20)… this is also when I pray for future spouses!
SATURDAYS- (Bath/Shower Night!) *Pure/Clean HeartsGive (name of child) clean hands & a pure heart. Hide your face from (name of child’s) sins & blot out all (his/her) iniquity. Create in (name of child) a pure heart, O God, & renew a steadfast spirit within (him/her). Do not cast (him/her) from your presence, but restore (him/her) to your salvation, & grant (him/her) a willing spirit to sustain (him/her). (Adapted from Psalm 24:4 & 51:9-12)

I want to live my life in prayer!! Prayer for my children, husband, family, friends, nation, missionaries, those in need, etc. etc. As a mother, I want to commit to praying for my children 7 days a week… not prayers focused on myself, but prayers that truly lift my children up to the throne of heaven… prayers that are hopefully focused on what HE desires for each one of them!! Would you commit with me??
Come visit me at Our Family for His Glory to download a printable version of these prayers!

I am committing to pray daily for my children, following this schedule. Will you?

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