For more posts from Women Bringing Heaven about One Words and Starting The Year Off Right, go here: http://raisingstickyhands.com/category/starting-the-year-off-right/
For more posts from Women Bringing Heaven about One Words and Starting The Year Off Right, go here: http://raisingstickyhands.com/category/starting-the-year-off-right/
I don’t like New Year’s resolutions very much. For me, they usually end in failure. Then I compare myself to my Facebook and Twitter friends who seem to be rocking theirs, and I feel even worse. I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with my resolutions: they all focus on less.
In the past, my resolutions have been something like this:
Instead of all the focus on what I shouldn’t be doing, what if I decided to make resolutions that focused on more?
When I look at those two lists, I definitely prefer the second one. Who doesn’t want more instead of less? But what’s even more important than how we phrase our resolutions or goals, or choose one word for the year, is that we spend time with God, reading His Word, praying, and asking Him what His plans are for us for 2015. If we fail to do this first, then all of our plans for the new year are bound to fail.
Despite feeling like we have to do so much on our own, we’re really not in this mothering thing alone. God is with us every step of the way, and He has great plans for us and for our children. We just need to stay close to Him, seeking Him every step of the way and letting Him help us through each day of 2015, and every day after that.
My one word in January 2014 was JOY! How I tried to find the JOY in each day. I did this for about a month. I had every intention of finding the JOY in everyday.
Honestly I did.
Then Emma got sick. Emma, our last beautiful gift from God, has Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Basically her immune system attacks itself, it attacks her joints. The joints affected start at her jaw and really goes to her toes. It’s in her spine, hands, wrists, hips, tailbone, knees, ankles & toes. When Emma gets “the common cold” or any other illness her body cannot fight it.
In January she got influenza A. We were away when she got sick. I still found the JOY. She didn’t have to be admitted to the hospital. Medicines seemed to be helping. She was doing ok. Emma didn’t really recover from the flu & got strep. Then an ear infection, then a sinus infection, then another ear infection, then another sinus infection, then she got C-Diff. Emma was sick for 6 months.
At the end of May Emma started to feel better. Being sick for so long took its toll on her as well. She was sad. Couldn’t understand why this was happening to her. Her awaking happened about the same time as mine. She went to arthritis camp & had a blast, she was flared up badly and spent quite a bit of time with the nurse.
In July my Dad & Step-mom blessed us with funds to come visit everyone in New Hampshire. It was truly a blessing to go there. I had been really homesick and needed to hug my Mom, Dad, step-mom,sisters & nieces. I just needed my family. We had some great adventures out there both, with family & alone. We went zip lining and by we I mean Sophia & Emma. I sat at a coffee shop having an iced cuppa. We went to the White Mountains and just soaked in God’s beautiful creation. We went to the ocean and again was mystified at its beauty. We saw a wild black bear at my Dad’s house which was amazing! We sat out by the campfire watching the shooting stars & just having amazing conversation. If it makes any sense, I have faith, I love Jesus and believe in Him with all my heart, but at the same time I was lost. I didn’t pray. I didn’t read my Bible. I wasn’t depending on my Creator to heal my child.
I realized in October my JOY was forgotten. All I needed, all I wanted was for my beautiful child to be healthy. I forgot about God. I didn’t pray, I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t really go to church. People, family, friends would ask how are you? I’d lie and say everything is wonderful. Friends would invite us over or out and we would decline. Emma can’t be around anyone with a runny nose or cough. While all this was going on I withdrew.
I stopped relying on my friends. Depression set in for me. My friends reached out, on more than one occasion. I had shut down. Some of my friends aren’t really my friends anymore. That makes me sad. Sad that they just don’t understand. Emma looks fine, she even acts fine. What no one sees is when we get home she is tired, her body hurts. She will never complain. I’ve learned her cues. I know when something is bothering her.
Emma is sick. Emma. Is. Sick. I claimed that. I didn’t claim Emma is healed by what Christ has already done for her! For 10 months I claimed the wrong thing.
In September Emma started a new medicine. It requires us to go to the hospital 3 hours away once a month. After the 1st 2 treatments Emma was starting to come out of this chronic flare she had been in for 9 months. I realized, JOY! I also realized, as much as I believe in God, as much faith as I have in Jesus I realized I hadn’t fallen at the feet of Jesus. I hadn’t prayed. I hadn’t read my Bible once this year. I was present, but I wasn’t. About 6 weeks ago Emma got sick. Strep. Sinus infection. Bronchitis, belly virus. Trips to the doctor. Trips to Iowa City to see the specialists.
I realized today a few weeks ago at church that I still am not relying of God. Why am I not? At church today a man shared his testimony about the day his daughter was born. She was born by emergency C-section. She was born lifeless and grey. The doctors took her to work on her. He was praying with his wife and clearly heard the Spirit say go lay hands on your daughter and pray with her. He told his wife and she said go, go like he should have been gone 5 minutes ago. He went to the NICU and told the 15 nurses and doctors working on his daughter he needed to pray with his daughter. His prayer? LIFE! In Jesus name LIFE! In that moment his daughter started breathing. Her heart was beating on its own. Her color went from grey to pink. She opened her eyes turned her head and looked at her Dad & smiled. LIFE!
I realized today I can rely on my Christian friends. I can ask my family/friends to pray for my children. I can ask God for anything. He’s been telling me for months- FALL ON ME! I’ve already healed her. You just need to believe and have faith. Go to your church elders and have them lay hands on Emma. Danielle SHE IS HEALED.
I claim this. She. Is. Healed. JOY in everything. Joy in everything. Jesus is my JOY. So for the coming year my word is joy.
When I was a kid, I would take a salt shaker to the garden and pick the reddest tomato I could find, stand in the tomato patch and eat the first fruit of the season. Helping Daddy plant, weed, and water the garden every summer was not work to us. To me, the work came after the harvest with all the cutting, chopping, boiling jars & lids, and being confined to the kitchen. Listening for all those lids to pop as the jars cooled meant good eating when winter came. Planting meant getting our hands dirty, but anticipating the harvest kept us working!
As we continue to plant the Word of God, till the ground where it was planted, and weed out things that choke spiritual growth, we anticipate the greatest Harvest of all ! I can hear those lids popping now.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! – Revelation 22:20 NKJV
I’ve got the joy joy joy down in my heart! Down in my heart!!
Joy to the world!! The Lord has come!
Joy is a gift from God when we ask Jesus to be our Lord & Savior.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit! Did you know we all have every fruit of the Spirit in us? These gifts are in us! All of them, find them & use them!!
Joy is, as defined by the dictionary as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation! (Noun)
This year my plan is to find the joy in everything. To Gloify God & enJOY him forever. I never knew what joy was until I asked Jesus into my heart. My life has not been the same since I became a Christ follower about 8 years ago. 9 years ago I had severe depression. One morning I woke up & brought my daughters to school. When I got home from bringing them, I drove into our garage, I shut the door to the garage & thought about how bad my life was. As I was thinking this I was breathing deeply to make sure I was breathing in enough exhaust. Just as I was starting to loose consciousness I clearly heard God say to me “this is not the plan I have you for you my child”, I opened the garage door ran out of my van & called my husband to ask him for help. I was in the hospital for 8 weeks. God led us to wonderful doctors who helped me. I told you that to tell you this, I found the joy! I found the joy! I found the joy in that God spoke to me. My weak belief that God actually exists & that He loves me! I was healed. He healed me!! God never leaves us! Even when we fall flat on our faces we can take comfort that we have fallen into His lap. How great is that?! I find joy everywhere now.
When I am having a horrible, awful day, I stop & think “find your joy”. Find your joy today. Back in March my Nana went to Heaven. As sad & broken hearted as I was there was joy knowing she was with God. I found the joy in how much she loved us! Yesterday I was overworked, stressed out & needed a break from everything. This morning I was reminded of my joy. I watched my daughters sleep.
I think we confuse joy & happiness. When I was much younger I was happy to drink & do drugs & not care about anyone but myself, my children & my husband, in that order. No one else mattered. That’s what made me happy, only doing for me & my family. I was all about number one. The website I am second uses the phrase I am second, I say that all the time. I’ll say to my husband, kids, friends, my youth group youth-thanks you’re 2nd best! Or we’re #2. Someone was mortified I said that, she asked me why wouldn’t I tell the person they are #1? I then have the opportunity to tell them about Jesus! He is #1 we are #2
Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Mark 12:30&31- 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
That’s where our joy is! Loving God with everything we have. In doing that we can love our neighbors. By reading God’s word we know we can trust Him. His deeds reveal His character. We love because He first loved us!
There is joy in everything. Watching your children sleep, seeing the sunset over the ocean, watching the snow fall, watching the birds fly & hearing them sing! Watching a baby & I’m just astounded by His creation!! As hard as it is when things are bad for us there is joy hiding there we just have to find it, sometimes it takes such a long time to do so.
My goal for #2014 is to seek out the joy. Look for it & if I can’t find the joy I remind myself- for God so loved Danielle He gave up His only Beloved Son! I frequently post on Facebook this simple reminder- you are Loved!!! you are Loved!!! Once for you & once for me. The excessive exclamation points? One for the Father, one for the Son & one for the Holy Spirit. Today my joy was watching my girls asleep. I am constantly amazed by my children & the gift that they are. Where is your joy!!!
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Have a wonderful day dear ones!
After going at breakneck speed since having my first child 10 ½ years ago, I’m finally slowing down. The trouble is, my body has been giving me warning signs for several years, and God has been leading me to take it easy (Psalm 127:2), but I have failed to heed the warnings… until now.
Now I’m taking the warning signs seriously, and I’m praying it’s not too late. My body is showing signs that something autoimmune is cranking up. It’s not so bad that it can’t be reversed at this point, so I’m making every effort to do exactly what I need to do to make that happen—with God’s help.
I think I am in this situation is because I failed to heed my body’s warning signs: having mono three years in a row (and exhibiting symptoms when I get run down and exhausted), Raynaud’s phenomenon, weight loss despite eating plenty of calories, unrelenting fatigue, joint pain, and a nasty episode of swollen, feverish, painful joints last summer. The root cause? Pushing myself beyond reasonable limits day after day, year after year, and not listening to my body.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the only mom facing this. We’re exhausted, burned out, and sick. It shouldn’t be this way, and God doesn’t intend for us to live like this. We’re trying to do too much, and we’re not doing anything well.
So what do we do? We have responsibilities, husbands and children who are counting on us, laundry and dishes to keep up with, homeschooling (or homework) to help with. Jesus said to come away and rest. (Mark 6:31) Just thinking “rest” to myself causes something strange to happen in my body. The muscles in my forehead relax. My shoulders release from the hunched position. My jaw unclenches. And I wasn’t aware that any of those things were happening until they were gone.
Jesus said to rest, and it’s obvious we have a physical response to the word, but how do we do that?
Cut back. Look at your calendar and schedule. Prioritize everything on it. Anything you’re doing because you feel like you should or think you need to do so people will like you or because if you don’t no one else will needs to be eliminated from your list. (Thanks for that tip, Tricia Goyer!) Only do things that are necessary to care for your family and that fulfill God’s call on your life—your true passions.
Ask for help. Assign chores to your children. Even the youngest ones can be taught to do chores that will lighten your load. Let go of the idea that everything must be done perfectly, and resist the urge to go behind them and redo the tasks you assigned them. They will learn to do those tasks better with practice. When a friend asks if she can stop by and help, say yes!
Say no. Don’t say yes to everything people ask you to do. Remember those priorities and your calling and purpose? If it doesn’t fit in one of those categories, say no. (This is much harder than you think it’s going to be, especially if you’re a people pleaser by nature. It takes practice, and you will slip up at first. Give yourself grace and don’t beat yourself up too much.)
Make time for yourself. What do you really enjoy doing? What energizes you like no other activity or brings you pleasure that allows you to go back to the mundane tasks of your day with joy? Is it reading a great Christian fiction book? Knitting, crocheting, sewing, painting, writing, or some other creative endeavor? Spending a couple of hours at a coffee shop with a friend? Whatever your “me-time” is, schedule it into your week. There’s nothing wrong with making some time for yourself after you’ve gotten your quiet time and exercise in.
Exercise. Yes, I went there. As hard as it is to get started, you’re going to thank me later. Exercise will give you energy, help you sleep better, and help you feel better about yourself.
Time with God. This is last on the list, but it should be first in planning your days. Get up a little early to spend precious time in the Word and prayer. You will feel rest in your spirit far into your day and will be better prepared to face whatever your day brings.
Want to see more posts from us about how we are trying to start the year off right? Click here!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
If you know me personally, you may think I’m “cheating” by using this scripture for my #Verse2014. It has been my favorite since I was a little girl and I have it on display in various parts of my home. However, the truth is I prayed about what scripture to keep in focus this upcoming year, and this one kept coming to mind. It wasn’t until I was settled in on a One Word (serve) for this year that I was sure that Philippians 4:13 was the exact scripture I needed to remember day in and day out.
2014 holds a lot of changes for our family and for me personally. None of them will be easy. There are habits to break, routines to put in place, goals to reach, and a lot of growth to take place. No is not an option on any of these changes. They must happen. While some of them, like getting in shape after spending most of 2013 very sick, seem impossible, I know that with Jesus’ help I can make it happen.
We’ve all heard the explanation of this verse in a sermon, sunday school, children’s church, Bible study, youth group, etc… It doesn’t say some things. It doesn’t say most things. It says ALL things. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!
I can raise my children the way God wants me to. I can accomplish the goals that seem so far out of reach. I can take my health back. I can beat insomnia. I can serve God the way I should even on the days my flesh wants to take over. I can do it all, but not on my own. Not at all on my own. I need Jesus to help me. I need Jesus to guide me. I need Jesus to open the doors that would close in my face. I need Jesus.
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To help me remember, I’m creating events in my calendar at random times throughout the year to pop up and remind me. Who knows, maybe they’ll pop up at just the right time. 😉
On a final note, I want to mention that Emily and I did not discuss what our scriptures would be. We just so happened to choose scriptures out of the same chapter in Philippians. (Click here to read Emily’s #Verse2014.) How cool is that? I love when God pieces things together that way.
Do you have a particular theme verse for 2014? Please share it with us! If you don’t have one yet, go to http://blog.youversion.com/ to help find your #Verse2014.
By now you’ve probably seen me talking a lot about Building Character With Children, a new program by Shirley Solis, in social media. But just in case you haven’t had a chance to check out the FREE video for yourself, I want to tell you a little bit about how well it has worked for our family.
I am beyond surprised with how her technique of teaching my son to do his chores every morning without being asked has worked! I’ve been trying for a few years to get Tommy, 5, to pitch in a little more around the house. I’m not talking massive housework, just basic chores and taking care of himself. With the advice that Shirley offered in the first free video, he is now doing 5 things every morning before he eats breakfast. He even memorized what the 5 chores are on the first day! It not only worked, but it was so simple on my part. Needless to say, tag me, I’m sold! I wish this woman was in front of me so I could give her the biggest hug.
If you’re wondering if Shirley Solis’ program is good for you, just stop and think about your family for a moment.
Are you frustrated with your children’s attitudes?
Are you tired of doing all the chores around the house?
Do you wish the children helped around the house a little more?
Need creative ways to train your children?
Want to start the year off right and finally train your children consistently?
Are you constantly yelling at your children?
Building Character with Children is a brand new video-based program with homeschool mom, author, and speaker Shirley Solis. In these short, 7-minute videos, Shirley shares her experience as a mom of 6 children, with tips and tricks to build strong, desirable character traits in your children!
In Building Character with Children, you will learn:
This post contains affiliate links.
First of all, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to sound uber-spiritual or profound by choosing the word “serve” for my One Word for 2014. Trust me, I am far from being near as spiritual (or profound) as I would love to be. I’m way too human for my own good, in fact, which is part of the reason I have chosen this word to base my year upon. I want to get back to basics, and to fully humble myself I need to serve.
The word serve has very many meanings. Just go to your favorite dictionary and you’ll see. All but a few are what I would like to do or be this year. (I could do without being a volleyball bouncing between two hands, thankyouverymuch.) In all seriousness, I want to serve instead of be served. To help instead of be helped. I want to do everything that God would have me to do. My heart, soul, and mind want to intentionally be everything I am meant to be: A good wife, a strong mother, a friend, and more. I want to give my time to battle for the Lord the way our military battles for our country. I want to serve.
I don’t want recognition. In fact, if you know me personally then you know that I hate to have any sort of attention brought to me. I’m shy, awkward, and terribly clumsy. I just want to know that someday when I look back at this life, I will honestly be able to say I did everything I could. I told everyone that I was able about God’s love. I shared Jesus with those who needed Him. I helped the ones who couldn’t help themselves. I served the Lord with all I had and never took Him for granted.
24Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.28“But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”– Luke 22:24-30 NKJV-
Will I be able to say those things? Not likely. I’ve already made more mistakes than I can count. But I want to know I did my best to serve Him the best ways I know how.
To put this into action will take a lot of careful listening on my part. In order to serve God, I need to know what He asks of me and be lined up with His will and calling for my life. In order to serve my husband, I need to listen to what he needs me to do in order to be his helpmeet. To serve my children and family, I need to know what they are in need of so I can provide it (or say no as needed). I can’t just run around willy nilly doing things that I feel are helping to serve a purpose. I must line up with His purpose. Even when I might think I’m doing a good thing for someone else.
When I was a little girl I sang a song in church. If you were a kid in church in the 80’s you probably know it. The first time I heard it on a Psalty Kid’s Praise VHS, I begged my Mom to buy me the accompaniment track on cassette so I could stand in front of the church and sing it. I memorized those words, walked up to the platform, looked at the floor, and belted them out as shy as I could without once looking out at everyone in front of me. “If you want to be great, in God’s kingdom, learn to be a servant of allllllll…”
While trying to decide on a word for this year, my family and I sat down and watched the old recording and the memories flooded back to me, as did words that I memorized. I want to be a servant of all for Him. Just like that little girl did 20 years ago. Time to get back to basics…
How about you? Do you have One Word for 2014?
For more posts about how we are Starting The Year Off Right, click here!
I’m sure everywhere you turn lately you are seeing & hearing the words “resolutions”, “goals”, “plans”, and other similar phrases.
Like me, you may have issues with resolutions but not goals or plans. Maybe you do like resolutions and they actually work for you. Perhaps you are also like me and really don’t find them any different, but just try to make yourself feel better by calling them goals and plans instead of resolutions. 😉 (My opinion is a checklist by any other name is still a checklist, no matter what label you put on it. )
There is nothing wrong with grabbing the opportunity by the tail and starting off fresh to break habits, create new routines, and change things for the better. The key is to stick with it, fight for it, and to just flat-out make it happen. There’s also nothing wrong with just living spontaneously, as long as it is in the Will of God. (Does that make sense? Because it makes sense to me…) For myself, I need to make some changes. I’m out of shape, out of routine, and tired of falling behind. I’ll share more about this next week, but I’m starving for some organization and need a plan. Desperately.
Over the month of January, a few of us here at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven will be sharing with you some things that God has laid on our hearts for 2014. Some of these posts will be our personal goals, others a vision we have for our communities, the church, and families. We also hope to help you start on the right foot by suggesting some scriptures, tips, products, and services that can help you along the way.
2014 is full of so much promise and hope. Before we know it, we’ll be asking where it went. So let’s do our best to make it count for God. James 4:14 tells us that life ” is even a vapor”, and that we are arrogant should we assume that we are guaranteed tomorrow… So don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do for God today. (Preaching to myself here, people. Not gonna lie. But I’ll get into that more in the coming weeks.) With or without that list for the year in hand, the only way to be is in the Will of the Lord. (Still preaching to myself…)
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We are also going to be changing a few things here on our blog. Not major massive changes, but some things will be going and other things coming. Let us know what you’d like to see more of, less of, and what you just really don’t want to hear about anymore. 😉
Now, what about you? Do you think all of the oohs and aahs that goes with January 1st are worth it, or a waste of time? Have you sat down with a checklist, planner, pen, and coffee, or does the idea of just flying through the year by the seat of your pants excite you? We’d love to hear about it, especially since we’re all split down the middle. 😉