Tag Archive Blessed

ByAngie

The Legend Of The Mug Rug

A little while back, I discovered a fun little blog. Inspiring, easy to relate to, informative, fun, and with a sewing theme! Seams Inspired quickly became one of my favorite blogs. Before long, Larri was here commenting on our posts, and just like that I had made a new friend.

One day, Larri posted a picture of her mug rug. It had little gnomes all over it and was just adorable! I commented on her post that I had never heard of a mug rug and that I loved the fabric… Next thing you know I’m being asked for my address so she could make me one of my own and send it to me.

My Mug Rug & My Favorite Mickey Mug

Now, let me explain to you how God was in this. Because as simple as it all seems to just accept a gift from a new friend this was really a lesson for me.

Recently, I was hurt deeply. I felt as though someone was trying to “buy” my friendship. It got to the point that with every gift I felt more obligated, and trust me the gifts were frequent. I eventually dreaded accepting anything, and the friendship ended for quite a few reasons.

After this, I felt awkward accepting anything from anyone. I felt pressured as though if someone gave me a gift, I owed them something more than a thank you or simple gift in return. Even a birthday gift from my husband made me feel as though I was in an emotional debt.

My new friend didn’t know anything about this. She just wanted to simply bless me with a little something to brighten my mornings. Why should I steal her blessing because of my lame attitude towards gifts that I simply needed to get over?

With prayer, I was able to trust God and email her my address. With even more prayer, I try to not feel indebted every time I see my mug rug. And through grace, I have found forgiveness from the Lord for taking for granted the fact that there are people out there who understand the true meaning of the gift God gives us in friendship, and want nothing more than that. The give and take, the pulling together, the caring, the laughs, and the tears. The good and the bad without criticism or judgement.

Just writing this post was one more step towards healing…

What about you? Have you ever had trouble with something so simple that you felt silly? Did you get past it?

God bless!

 

 

ByAngie

Thank God I Am FREE!

I’ve been a bit concerned with myself lately. Constantly asking myself, “Am I doing what God wants me to do? Am I where He wants me to be? Am I on the path He wants me to take? What does He want me to do next? Is He disappointed in me?”

Saturday night, this literally kept me up nearly all night long. I prayed, tossed, turned, and worried. By nature, I’m a worry wart. Problem was, I was asking myself all of these questions instead of asking Him. I finally laid there in bed and said “Lord, lead me. Tell me what You want me to hear… I need to know where I stand and where to go next…”

“You’re free, Angie. There is no burden to carry, everything is forgiven. You are FREE…”

I didn’t even realize this was something I had been worrying about! But it made so much sense when I laid there and thought about it. I’m free. I’m listening. And with that simple answer from him I knew where my focus needed to be re-aligned, the next step to take, and that He is still just as happy to call me His daughter as I am to call Him my Father.

To help keep this reminder to myself, I’ve been humming this old song since then. It may not be a favorite style of music for a lot of people, but just listen to the lyrics and let it bless you!

 

 

 

By

Sticky Hands: Lay It Down – A Guest Post From Lona

Mark 8:35
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”

A year after my mother passed away, my daughter married. A few months afterward she was expecting a baby as her husband embarked upon his three-month internship for his college degree. He was to make the 2,000 mile trip and get settled while she stayed with me the first couple of weeks, then she would fly out to join him.

It was bedtime when I wandered into the living room to say good night. As I did she casually told me he had arrived safely and really loved the area. “He would be interested in taking a position and living somewhere out there,” she explained. I don’t believe I flinched, though my heart sank to my toes. I made a graceful exit and headed to the bedroom.

My husband was sound asleep so I felt my way in the dark to find my Bible. I slipped into the bathroom for some light and sat on the step beside the tub to cry. The only way I knew to express myself to the Lord was to be direct and that’s how I proceeded. “God we’ve got a problem,” I candidly prayed. “I need to talk to my mother, but You had this bright idea to call her home. Now what am I supposed to do?”

Mom had a remarkable gift to speak a “word in season” that would calm my troubled spirit. My only daughter and first grandchild could potentially move thousands of miles away and if ever I needed a word in season, this was it.

Then I desperately flipped open my Bible and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The Scripture leaped off the page from Mark 8:35. Then, as if we were sitting at the kitchen table, I heard Mother’s voice in my head. I could visualize her leaning in with her hand gently patting the page as she began to explain, “Let me tell you what this Scripture means,” I heard her softly say. “The Lord knows that Kimmy is your life and always has been. But God is a ‘people mover’ and He strategically places them around the world where they can be utilized for the Kingdom.” I heard her continue, “He’s asking you to lay your life down for His sake. But it’s your choice. You can pitch a fit and get a bear hold on her and refuse to let her go. But she could be living on the other side of the wall and not be yours. On the other hand, as long as she is in the will of God, there is no distance that can take her from you.” In those few moments, “I got it.” I allowed myself to cry through the night, but by dawn I washed my face and prepared to lay my life down.

So far, I have been spared… she has lived within a reasonable driving distance. But as a result, it has been a joy to watch first-hand as she has grown and matured in God, standing on her own two feet, becoming what He has called her to be.

I realize from the moment God loaned her to me, she was really His all along. But as a young mother I spent my time cleaning the “sticky fingers” without seeing the big picture. He could see it all along. The sticky fingers were mine to care for, the calling on the one whom those sticky fingers were attached, was His.

I learned a valuable lesson that would serve a young mother well to realize now. Because in order to keep your life, considered it a privilege—for His sake—to lay it down.

 

To learn more about Lona (pronounced like Donna with an “L”) please visit her website at www.lona.org. She has an amazing testimony that you will be nothing but blessed to read about!

ByAngie

Sticky Hands: Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

I was recently discussing this topic with a friend who stated that, long story short, her little girl lead her to having a relationship with Jesus.

I cannot emphasize enough just how cool I believe this really is!!!

Little did I know that my little guy was going to be used, once again, to minister to me. You may remember that on Monday I posted about taking a leap of faith and how God spoke to me by watching Tommy jump off the couch.

Well, fast forward to this morning. I’m stressed. I’m scared. I’m worried. My Dad is going in for another surgery tomorrow. I’ve been praying all morning for peace. I went in to do some dishes when I heard my son sing “Hahahahahahaha” as in the verse from “The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength”. I couldn’t help but grin a little.

“Why didn’t I think of that? Duh Angie!”

Needless to say, I’ve been singing it for the last couple of hours.

What about you? How have your children ministered to you lately?

 

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: Breathing

Need help breathing? Turn to scripture...

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 150:6 NKJV

How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…

Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”

The Bible tells us this:

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men,  they may see your good works and  your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV

I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.

When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?

34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV

Don't do this!!!

So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Matthew 7:6

Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)

Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!

 

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Social Networker

Just by being here reading this, you fit into this category. You are reading a blog, which is a form of social networking. Chances are you are on Facebook, Twitter, and other message boards or websites where you interact with others.

How exactly can one minister to others in this venue? The list is long and varied, but we’ll go over just a few… It’s rather similar to the “simple” calling of friendship, but slightly different.

  • When you see a friend or follower is having a bad day, let them know you’re praying for them… and then REALLY DO PRAY FOR THEM. Send them a message of encouragement! A couple days later, ask them how things are going.
  • Invite those in your area to your church. Post an invite on Saturday and ask that they message you for the address. See if they need a ride if you are capable.
  • Write a “note” about how God has blessed you and those you know lately.
  • Worship song stuck in your head? Post a link. If you’re enjoying it, chances are good someone else will also.
  • When a scripture is laid on your heart, post it. It may just be what someone else needs to read.
  • Post prayer requests for those who are in need of prayer. Get the word out that someone needs to touch God and needs a miracle. You can never have too many prayers.
  • Keep your statuses uplifting, encouraging, non-confrontational, and clear. If you feel the need to post about your bad day and are seeking support from friends from time to time, go ahead. But try to have more positive posts than negative ones. When you are angry at someone on your friends list or that is following you, try your hardest not to post a vague update that will only cause confusion. Keep confrontations private. As I said before, we may be the only Bible some people read. When you act out in anger in such a large arena you are only making yourself look silly. (I’m speaking from experience. We’ve all done it, right? Forgive me, Lord.)

It may feel as though you are not making a difference with this ministry, but I certainly guarantee that you are.

What are some other ways that you use Facebook, Twitter, or another social network as a ministry? I’d love to hear your answers!

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 5: Be Positive

So, here you are. You’ve gone through all of the steps to make your lemonade & construct your lemonade stand by grieving, forgiving, accepting, and moving on. Now you have reached the point where you set up shop, practice good customer service, and make those sales.

“Huh? What are you even talking about? Stop with the metaphors or at least explain them!”

Okay, I’ll explain. Sorry.

  • Set up shop: Carry yourself in confidence. Never think that because this event happened that you are damaged or less than anyone else. Walk with your head held high and know that you are a child of God. Never walk aimlessly, have a purpose… To serve God and live according to his will.
  • Customer Service: Smile. Be positive! When someone tells you a story or something they are going through, don’t try to bring them down by putting every ounce of negativity you have on them with your words or expressions. Having a bad day? Stop and mention the positive. Remember Pollyanna? (If you don’t, watch the movie) Look on the sunny side. You might be having a bad day, but for everything you count as bad count 2 more things that you are blessed with. When you’re down, you bring everyone down around you. Don’t be that guy… (To clarify, you can feel down sometimes. Just don’t let it define you.)
  • Make The Sale: When someone says to you, “Oh wow, I can’t believe you lived through that.” feel free to say what a struggle it was. Be real, and give God the glory! You never know who you might encourage or witness to by giving all acknowledgement to Him! Don’t act like a victim, be a survivor!

(If achieving this step is just too much work, consider seeking counseling. There is no shame in asking someone for a little help. Also, depression is a very serious illness that can happen to anyone. It is not something that you can “just snap out of”. Seek help if you need it, please.)

So, what do you do now? Sit back, relax, and drink some lemonade!!!

God bless!

 

 

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 4: Moving On

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spiritis in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“ Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:8-14 NKJV

Okay, so you’ve done all that you can in the kitchen for now. It is time to grab a hammer, some nails, a couple planks of wood and head outside.

Moving on can be one of the most difficult tasks. Leaving behind something that has been consuming you for some time can be a lot of work. So, why must we move on? Why can’t we just stay where we are? Because if you sit and dwell on what has happened, you will never be happy. It is not God’s will for us to be sad or angry. There is a season for that, yes, but it does come to an end. That is why it is a season, it changes.

Now is the season where things become warm, metaphorically. You began this struggle in the late Autumn. During the Winter you grieved. Late Winter and Spring you forgave and accepted. Now, it is Summer… and people are thirsty and in need of your lemonade. Soon they may be in the late Autumn and will need to remember how wonderful Summertime was and what that Lemonade you made them tasted like.

Will you ever go back to the kitchen? Oh yes. You’re going to have to go back to get sweetener, supplies, and once in awhile you’re going to have to take in more lemons to squeeze them out. But for now, you’re building your stand and preparing for the next step which I’ll be talking about next week when we conclude this series: Setting up shop and customer service.

As tempting as it is to go back inside because the sun is so bright and the air too warm, remember God got you this far… He’ll take you even farther! And if you want to go farther, you can’t live in the past… Put on a smile and a pair of work gloves (Read your Bible and have faith), because it’s time for you to construct (pray for) your shop front (attitude)!

ByDiania

Anyone Can Be A Mommy… Can You Be A Mother?

I sit around thinking about things I wish I would have done different while raising my children…

For the biggest part I know most of us do the best we can, and love our children with everything we have. From the time we hear we are going to have our little bundle we are excited for the coming day. We think of our ”BABY” as just that, a ”BABY”. When in actuality we are raising an adult.

The baby years are the fastest years of your child’s life, everything he is taught in his first few years will be carried with him to adulthood. You are his teacher of life; There to show him how to grow into a Godly man. It was never Gods intention just to give you a baby and not expect you to train him up in the ways of the Lord. Whats expected of you goes far beyond diaper changing and toilet training. You have taken on the responsibility of raising one of Gods greatest gifts.

Being a mommy for a few years is the easy part. Being a mother is for life. You can choose to do this job with a loving heart and a lot of prayer, or you can sit back and just pray for the years to hurry and pass… But tell me, what kind of memories will you have if you don’t do your best to raise Gods greatest gift? There is no going back to change what’s already been done.

All the women who write here are not here to condemn or judge. We are simply mothers who have been through what you are going through. Here to try to make it just a little easier. The advice is all free, whether you choose to take it is up to you. How you choose to raise your child is up to you too. I pray you choose to tell him everyday about Jesus and pray for God’s hand to keep him from evil. Someday, when he is older he will thank you and call you blessed. He will know he had the best mother God could have given him. Another one of His greatest gifts.

So from Mommy to Mother, how will you choose to accept Gods gift? My prayers are with every mother out there doing one of the hardest and most important jobs in the world. May God bless you on your journey…

Love,

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry Of Motherhood

Okay, first of all: We’re all mommies here, so we all know that to call motherhood a “simple” calling is really kind of a joke. Being a mom is one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs one can ever have. But my point can be explained here.

Some of us knew from a young age that we would one day answer the call. We played with dolls, dreamed of having a family, and played “house” every chance we got. Others? They had no idea that motherhood would be a part of their life’s journey. Either their perspective changed or it “snuck up on them”, so to speak. At the same time, some of us came about it very easily and for others it was a full on battle to acquire.

Angie with her 2 oldest children in August of 2006

Regardless, the call is still the same. In reality, it is not simple at all. We are responsible for a new generation that will take over after us. The future is literally on us. The morals that the next generation will have or not have are in our hands. Should we not do our best to bring them up right, we will be the ones who have to answer. Like I said, far from simple.

Let me stop right here and point out I am NOT an expert. I don’t even consider myself an amazing mother. I do my best from day to day, and pray that God leads me to what he wants me to do in this ministry to my children.

So while we are not leading millions to The Lord, we are making a big impression. What can we do with this ministry? Well, here are just a few things, in no particular order…

  • Pray. Without ceasing. Pray for your children when you wake up, when you make their breakfast, when you wash their clothes/dishes, when they are well, when they are sick. Pray when they go to bed, pray when you go to bed. Pray for guidance, and for their souls.
  • Study. Mostly the Bible. But also, Dr. Dobson, Dr. Kevin Leman, and many many others have written many wonderful books on the subject of Christian parenting. I don’t know how many times just studying a true experts suggestions, prayers, findings, and opinions have helped me in my own journey.
  • Teach. Read Bible stories to your children. Make sure they learn manners. Have a weekly memory verse. Give them appropriate chores. Your child learning about Jesus, morals, and character development are imperative. I’m not saying pull your kid out of school and teach them everything at home. To each their own. Do it in your daily life, read a couple picture books with your younger children. Talk about it with your older children. Refer above to “pray” & “study”.
  • Be patient. They are only children. They are still growing, learning, and are constantly adapting. Cut them a little slack. Don’t be too strict.
  • Love. Most importantly, because if you don’t show God’s love to your children, who will? They thrive on love, and as their mother, they need it from you.
  • Discipline. Don’t be afraid of it. However, keep it appropriate and within reason. Once again, I suggest “study”.
  • Make time. Quality time goes a LONG way. Little things like house work can wait. For years many told me this, only as my oldest has turned 10 this year am I realizing I missed out a lot on the first few months of his life while I obsessed over the state of my home.
  • Be an example. Don’t be a “Say as I do, not as I do” mom. Give them something to aim for, not to settle for.

Yeah, I know this all looks great in print but another story in reality. Trust me: I have 5 kids, 2 of which I do not have full time physical but only joint legal custody over. In addition, my other 3 that live with me are all ages 3 and under. I definitely know. Some of this that I’ve listed are really things I’ve only learned recently. Others, things I’m learning right now. Some, I knew from the beginning. But ALL are a challenge.

Once again, motherhood is not easy. But it is call of God. Never think otherwise. Do your best, as it’s all you can do. Before you know it, our babies will be grown and have babies of their own… and we’ll miss this. Deeply.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

 

A very special THANK YOU to Diania for her insight on this post… You’re the best!