Author Archive Emily

ByEmily

I Think I Can… I Think I Can…

I can draw, but Michaelangelo was a much better artist.
I can sing, but no where near as well as my mom and sister. And definitely not as well as Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston.
I can preach, but not like T.D. Jakes, or my own awesome pastor, Larry McClure.
I can cook, but I’m no Paula Dean. Most aren’t impressed with my meals.
I can write, but it’s nothing like Maya Angelou or Emily Dickinson.

There are many things I can do, but there is always someone that can do them better and there always will be. The main thing is, I CAN. God called me to do…to do as me, like me. Not anyone else.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me. I’m off to do what God called me to do and not compare myself to others anymore. I’m out to be me, to be like me, and to be as good as me. Actually, I’m out to be like Him. That’s all that really matters.

Make a list of what you can do. It can be anything from playing an instrument to painting your toenails. 😉 However, it has to be just a list of what you can do. Leave off the ‘but.’ That part isn’t important.

ByEmily

Oh, Be Careful Little…

Earlier today I was singing songs from my childhood to Naomi. I remembered one that was sort of to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” The song begins with
Oh, be careful little feet where you go
Oh, be careful little feet where you go
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little feet where you go
It goes on to say, “Be careful little mouth what you say,” “Be careful little eyes what you see,” “Be careful little ears what you hear,” and “Be careful little hands what you do.”

As I started singing this to Naomi, I was reminded of the verse that says, ”

Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil.”- Romans 14:16

As a kid, this was just a cute little song that I sang along with at church. Now I am reexamining it as an adult and it means so much more. Yes, our heavenly Father knows and sees ALL that we do, but people also watch and see. They pay attention, even when you think they are not. Especially if you profess to be a child of God. This tends to create a target for those around us. They are waiting for us to make a mistake, to mess up. We are human, therefore, we are not perfect. Just forgiven. However, we have a choice to not let our good be spoken of as evil. We are called to be set apart, sanctified. No matter how minor, our little feet have to be careful where they go. Our little mouth has to be careful what it says, and so on.

This is my reminder to myself and you…..For the Father up above is looking down in love.

ByEmily

Sticky Hands!

Sticky hands. I love this! Why? Because every child always has sticky hands. ALWAYS. However, along with these sticky hands is the question of what is actually on the hands causing them to be sticky.

Snot? Gag. Suckers? Sweet. Slobber? Sour. Mud? Dirty. Spit-up? Yuck. Something from the child’s diaper? DISGUSTING. Food? Juice? Glue? Paint? There are many options to answer this question.

Many times one of my daughters will come to me, especially my 2 1/2 year old Adah. She’ll want me to pick her up, and she will be veeerrrry sticky. As a mother, I am used to this, but I still grab a wipe or a wash rag or head to the sink before I freely hold her.

How many times have we adults been covered in something sticky? Spiritually speaking. We end up sticky ourselves and we head to our Father wanting Him to hold us and take care of us, despite our stickiness.

The fascinating thing is, He takes us just as we are, no matter how sticky or what kind of sticky. And as long as we allow it, He’ll wash us up and make us clean again. How amazing the love He has for His children! Even when we have sticky hands.

ByEmily

Hiding Him In Little Hearts Week 4 – Psalm 149:3

Psalm 149:3  “Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.”

They are kids. And I taught them a verse about praising God through song and dance. I almost think the scenario should have been the other way around. Don’t get me wrong, I do know about praise. But who am I to teach praise to these children who already long to praise God and praise Him in the purest form? They don’t praise Him because they have to. They don’t praise Him to be seen. They don’t praise Him to get something in return. They praise Him because they WANT to. They praise Him because they enjoy praising Him. Yes, I’m quite sure that instead of an adult teaching children about praising God, we should allow the children to teach us about praising God.

Now that I typed all of that out of no where, let me get back to how it went. 🙂 All Adah cared about was the timbrel and harp, but they enjoyed this scripture because they truly do love to praise God. At any given moment you can hear Naomi singing worship songs AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS. And as long as Adah thinks that you aren’t paying attention, she’s singing, too. And as far as praising Him with a dance goes, both girls (and my nieces and nephews) are involved in the Mighty & Wee Warriors Dance/Drama Team at our church.

It is entirely okay to praise God; whether it be quietly with your hands raised, singing at the top of your lungs, or dancing and shouting, twirling and doing cart wheels. In fact, He longs for us to praise Him. That’s what we were created for, ya know. I encourage you to find a new way to praise Him this week. And don’t forget to try my kid’s favorite….CRAZY PRAISE!

I believe I was as excited about this week’s craft as the kids were. I did all the hard work, taking 2 paper plates (per child), hot-gluing them together, and filling them with various items. Each child’s “instrument” made a different sound due to different items placed in each one. One had acorns, one rocks, one rice, nerds, smarties, marbles, and beads. Be creative! Use whatever you have on hand (like we did). Once I had all the difficult stuff out of the way, the kids were free to decorate them however they wanted to. They could not wait to take them to church and use them outside of the house!

As you expand your praise life, encourage your children to expand theirs, as well. I dare you to even go as far as letting them create their own instrument to use. But beware, if you plan to attempt this craft, you must also plan to endure some joyful noise. 😉

 

ByEmily

Choose And Refuse

Every morning I begin to pray as soon as I wake up. I don’t wait til I’m up and out of bed. I immediately thank God for waking me up to a new day first thing. Then, as I’ve stated before, I declare that this IS the day the Lord has made and that I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. I CHOOSE to have a good day.

Yesterday morning, my eyes began to flutter open, and I began to pray. And out of no where, I started CHOOSING AND REFUSING.

Which will you choose?

“I REFUSE to be depressed. I REFUSE to be down on myself. I REFUSE to be negative. I REFUSE to not be all that I can be. I REFUSE to be in pain. I REFUSE to give the devil an inch. I REFUSE to lose. I REFUSE to give in. I REFUSE to give up. I REFUSE!”

“I CHOOSE to be happy. I CHOOSE to have an awesome day. I CHOOSE to be victorious. I CHOOSE to walk in the authority God has entrusted me with. I CHOOSE to have joy. I CHOOSE to be positive. I CHOOSE to be all that God called me to be. I CHOOSE to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. I CHOOSE to represent my Father. I CHOOSE to be the head and not the tail. I CHOOSE to be the lender and not the borrower. I CHOOSE to be blessed. I CHOOSE!”

I had never done this before, but my spirit man took over. It was like I all of a sudden realized that I have a voice. I have a choice. I mean, I knew this to an extent, but it struck me and I became forceful in my declarations. I should have been doing this all along, but it is never too late to CHOOSE and REFUSE.

Take a moment in your life to CHOOSE and REFUSE. You have the power in your tongue. Use it.

ByEmily

Hiding Him In Little Hearts Week 3: Exodus 20:12

Exodus 20:12 NLT
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Well, as you know by now, I have two beautiful daughters- Naomi who is 4 and Adah who is 2- that are really great kids, but they have their moments where they don’t mind testing my patience. As we were working on our last verse, it crossed my mind that our current verse is a MUST. And before I went on to anything else, Exodus 20:12 had to be this week’s verse.

I was worried about it being a challenge for my girls. Not because of the verse itself, but because of the length. They have been doing great, but this one was a tad longer than they’re used to. I went with the NLT version to make it a little bit more kid friendly. With Adah being younger, I only taught her the first sentence. She did very good remembering it….except that any time I ask her to say it for someone she says, “Honor jour (‘J’s instead of ‘Y’s) mother and jour wife.” I think maybe that’s the version that belongs in the Husband’s Bible. 🙂

For Naomi, I taught her all of it and she did excellent, considering it’s length. She learned most of it and can say almost all of it correctly. I just have to remind her of maybe the first word in the last two sentences and she remembers it. I taught them that honoring their father and mother meant loving, obeying, listening, being good and being respectful. They learned that by doing all of that they not only make Mommy and Daddy happy, but also make Jesus happy.

As the week went on, if Adah was doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing, Naomi would say, “Mommy! She’s not honoring!” I found this amusing and used it to my advantage. They wanted to honor, and I urged them to follow the commandment God gave to them (and the rest of us).

We didn’t have a big craft this week, but I made them a coloring sheet with the scripture printed on it and a picture of a family. They enjoyed coloring and were excited that they learned another verse. At the end of each week, I always hear, “What’s our next verse, Mommy?” I am so proud of them for how well they’re doing.
Don’t forget to check in next week…we’re learning about praise!

ByEmily

Hiding Him In Little Hearts Week 2: Psalm 119:11

Psalm 119:11

“Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

Last week we learned that the Bible is God’s word. We also learned that His word is the perfect guide for the rest of our lives.

This week, we learned more about how God’s word is helpful for us. First, I taught the kids what ‘sin’ is…remember, my girls are 4 and 2….I try to simplify things. 🙂 I told them that to sin is to do something bad or to do something you know you are not supposed to do. I also let them know that God doesn’t like for us to sin. Then I taught them that learning His word is very important because it helps us not to sin. They learned that God wants us to read the Bible and remember His word, that’s how we hide it in our hearts, so that it’s always in us. When we have His word in us, we are better people and we don’t want to sin.

Ironically, if you take the song I posted last week, you can fit this week’s scripture into the chorus and sing it instead of Psalm 119:105. The kids found this humorous when we tried it. They were almost in awe. I love seeing them smile at my quirky ideas.

Adah, Josie and Creed working on their crafts for our 2nd week of memory verses

For our craft this week, I gave each kid a page with two matching hearts on it. I let them color the hearts however they wanted before we cut them out. After we cut the hearts out, we glued them together (only along the side and bottom edges) creating a pocket. When the pocket was ready, I had an “open Bible” cut out for them to write the scripture on so they could keep it inside their heart. At the last minute, I grabbed some ribbon and decided to make them into necklaces. You just never know how it’ll go for craft time! Or maybe I just never know. Lol!

Adah, Naomi, and Essie (Creed fell asleep before we could take his picture!)

Once again, I was amazed at how the kids transformed themselves for crafts. They went from fighting and bickering to the very best friends you’ve ever seen! “Yes, you did a great job coloring your hearts. We’re all doing so good!” It was almost as if they were reading from a script. I’m thinking about making craft time every hour on the hour???

I can only pray each week goes as well as the last two weeks. I’ve been enjoying it as much as the kids have (maybe more) and am surprised at how it’s encouraging me to hide the word in my own heart as well.

ByEmily

31 Days Of Love Marriage Challenge: My Toes Hurt Already!

I absolutely love my husband, but as a wife, I know I could do better. I could be a better chef. I could be a better listener. I could be a better mother. I could be a better encourager. I could be a better friend. I could be a better housekeeper.

Emily with husband Markus

My “I could be a better…” list goes on and on. It has plagued me for some time. It’s not that I don’t want to do better. I really do. Any time it comes up in my mind, I just sort of push it back out. I guess that’s because I do want to be better, but I don’t feel like I really am able to be better. I tend to look at this woman or that woman and compare myself and come to the conclusion that I am not good enough. She is much better at raising her children. She is wonderful at keeping her husband happy. Why can’t I keep my house perfect like her? My house looks like savages live in it. When I begin to compare myself to the perfect women I know, I allow myself to give up.

It’s only Day 3 of the 31 Day Challenge, and these awesome bloggers are stepping on my toes. When I finish reading each challenge, all I can say is “Ouch!” For me, it really is a challenge. But it makes me WANT to be everything I can for my husband. It makes me WANT to do better and be better. I am thankful for being able to participate in the 31 Day Challenge and pray that I’m able to step up to the plate.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to check out the 31 Day Challenge at http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/ And if you are participating in the challenge, be sure to let us know how it’s going for you.

ByEmily

Uplift Someone

You’re at your local grocery story and see the cashier. “Hey! How are you.” You say this as you walk on by her. The next day as you drop your son/daughter off at ball practice/dance class you meet a fellow parent. You put on smile as you say, “Hey, there! How are you.” and casually keep walking. Sunday morning you make your way through the church doors and spot Bro. What’s-his-name heading your way. You inwardly cringe, fake a sweet face, and say, “Hello, Bro., how are you doing today.” And continue making your way to the same pew where you always sit.

Yes…I know…. let me make that clear. I know that I put a period where there should be a question mark in the above paragraph. But let me also make this clear…to put a question mark means that you are asking a question and a question requires an answer. When was the last time you paused long enough to hear the response to the phrase, “How are you?” If you’re like me, chances are you don’t remember the last time you actually allowed someone to take a few seconds out of their day to answer that question.

For most of us, asking someone how their day is going has turned into simply a greeting and nothing more. It’s as common as “hello” and requires nothing other than maybe a nod of the head. But what if we decided to STOP and LISTEN, let someone answer our question? Don’t just greet the cashier, but engage in a little conversation. Now I’m not saying you have to devote half of your day to this person or become a therapist or life coach, but take the time to let someone know that you actually CARE about how their day is going. All they need to know is that someone cares. Who knows what it’ll do to Bro. What’s-his-name’s day to find out that you care about his existence?

I know it’s not much, but it’s one small way to uplift someone. Think of all the times you were having a bad day and could’ve used a pick-me-up? Wouldn’t you want someone to uplift you? I challenge you to do at least one small thing a week to uplift someone in your life, whether you know them personally or happen to cross paths just once. I’ve always heard that “what goes around comes around” so by choosing to be a light and uplift someone, you may just find yourself uplifted.

For more ideas on how to uplift someone, such as paying someone a compliment or donating books you’ve already read, visit http://watchgmctv.com/uplift. And by the way, you look stunning today!:)

ByEmily

Hiding Him In Little Hearts: Week 1

Psalm 119:105

“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

I chose this verse to start off our first week because I wanted my girls to know that as long as they had God’s word, they would never be in darkness. I explained to them that the Bible is full of God’s words to us and He wants us to learn them and memorize them. If we have His word in us, it will be the perfect light and guide to our every step and move.

As I was teaching them, I remembered a song from my childhood that had this particular scripture as it’s chorus. I taught them how to sing it and now they want to sing it at church, so we’re going to work on that. 🙂 I’ve always found that songs are helpful when it comes to remembering things, especially verses.

Both of my girls absolutely could not wait for us to do a craft to go with our verse, so we finally got to it on Saturday night. I was at my sister’s with my 2 and her 4 while her and her husband went on a much-deserved date. When I enlisted Josie (Karen’s oldest, 12) to help with taking pictures and spreading newspaper all over the floor, her and Karen’s other 3 kids decided they wanted to do the craft, too. My thoughts? Sure! The more the merrier! It was so much fun! We turned the tv off and huddled in the family room floor. I loved hearing each kid giggle as I painted their feet yellow! After they made their footprints, each kid got to decorate their page. They were so excited and really got into it. They all took their papers to the kitchen table and began the decorating process (tv still off!). It was a blessing to me to see them all involved in such a positive manner and only hearing the joyful noise of their laughter and creativity, not the annoyingness (is that a word?) of whatever happened to be on Disney channel or the kids fighting over who did what. I enjoyed it so much that I can’t wait til our next verse and next craft (Josie informed me they wanted to be involved in them all, which made me smile).

So verse 1, simple and sweet. Even sweeter, though, to hear Naomi (4) and Adah (2) quote them. I think I’m really going to love this journey, but not as much as my kids, nieces, and nephews. 😀