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.”
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
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.
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!
Growing Pains aren’t called “Growing Pains” for no reason. No matter what area you are in, in your life, you have to go thru growing pains to get there. It’s not comfortable. Sometimes, you feel like your heart is being ripped out.
Life is not easy. Ours eyes are blinded from the time that we are babes. Whether it’s through happy, go lucky TV shows, cartoons, etc, society and media plant a picture of perfectness. If we are not careful, we easily get sucked into believing a lie about life.
Girls strive for a perfect body. It’s not real. The average size of the American woman, is a size 14. (Though I haven’t worn it in years, ugh!) But some go through the pain and awkwardness of having to try to please others, when God just wants them to grow in Him. There are not many perfect size 2-6. And even those girls/women have conflicts within themselves.
Boys want to be “buff” and “macho” and do not realize how ridiculous they look when trying to impress someone. They will learn eventually, maybe, after being rejected, made fun of for no reason. This hurts. God is always there though, to heal the wounds.
As we strive to achieve the place that God wants us to be in, in life, it hurts getting from one place to the next. There are so many trials and temptations, hurts and pains, etc, that we go thru to try and please God. To be in His will and not in His way. He never said that it would be easy, He said that we would not have to go it alone.
So as the aches and pains of spiritual growth, physical growth, mental growth, hit you, let God be the ice pack or the heating pad. His comfort brings relief.
It’s really easy to get an idea of what we would LIKE for our legacy to be. Living that legacy, well, that can be another story, right? Just like everything else in parenting, easier said than done.
So how can we set those examples before our children and others?
Well, first of all, we must strive daily to NOT be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent. Telling our children to live one way while we live another is obviously not the way to achieve a Godly legacy.
Second, if we want our children to grow up and have meaningful relationships we must show them that by our example also. Being a true friend, a loving wife, a good daughter, etc are all ways for them to learn how to interact with others on their own. If we talk trash behind others backs, hold grudges, allow our husbands to put us down or abuse us emotionally or physically, disrespect our husbands, and argue consistently with our families then our children will believe that these actions are acceptable. Plain and simple. When your kids are grown and they shine in their relationships, I guarantee someone is going to say “They must have had a really fantastic mother.” Seriously.
I have to remind myself of these things EVERY day. I am human, and sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Hey! Don’t be a hypocrite! Little eyes are watching you, as are those of others who expect you to be what you say, a Christian. Shape up!”
Thankfully, with diligent prayer and discipline, we can do our best and bring up our children to know the Lord and live his ways… I’m going to try my hardest. Will you?
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
Every time I go to a particular store, there is always this one woman whom I desperately try to avoid. She never has anything good to say and everything is so depressing. It is Eeyore in the flesh!
There are so many people in today’s society, that are like this. Raw. Hurt. Their share of fairness went to someone else. These are the ones who need to be shown love the most. Those who have been so hurt that the walls are built so high and tight around their hearts, that no one is allowed in, under any circumstance! I know. I’ve been there.
She doesn’t need me to shun her. She needs to see the love of Jesus in me. To know that she matters to the Kingdom. Sometimes it takes love and understanding from someone else, before others can start to see that there is love in others and a reason to be.
The New Testament states over and over again, to love one another and to treat others as you would treat yourself.
We will always have that one person, or 2 or 6, that is going to be difficult to show love to. Just keep in mind that you have never walked a mile in their shoes and you don’t know for sure why they are the way they are. Ask God to teach you how to love them.
Yesterday afternoon I went out to run some errands with my Mom. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. I decided to take Tommy (3 1/2) along and leave Johnny Ben and Molly at home with Daddy.
We had a couple stops, one of them being Target. I was tired, Tommy was tired, my Mom was tired. All I could think of was getting back in her truck and going home. When we came to the register the cashier was just counting in and starting her shift. She greeted us, asked if we found everything okay, and from there stayed silent. The expressions on her face and her mannerisms told me something in her life other than work was bothering her. Her mind and heart were somewhere else, and that somewhere else was not a happy place. Tommy even seemed to notice and asked her to smile, but she pretended not to hear him or was so distracted she did not notice.
I made mental note of the name on her name tag. I was polite but tried not to bother her with idle chit chat. I smiled at her, took the bags, and quietly prayed for her as she continued the process. I did not feel led to ask her why she was unhappy, but did feel a tug telling me to pray.
Since we left the store about 20 hours ago, this woman has come to mind constantly. I have no idea why she has been laid on my heart, but God does. I pray for her, asking God to do what needs to be done and touch her life.
How many times have we been asked by The Lord to do something like this and have ignored it? I know I have before. How many times have strangers done this for us? We many never know until we reach Heaven.
For all we know, when these burdens are laid on our hearts, we could be the only person praying for this individual. We could also be one of hundreds working together. The point is, GOD KNOWS. He really does. He loves that woman just as much as He loves me. He hates seeing her go through pain. He needs someone to hold her up in the spiritual realm just as much as she needs someone in the physical realm. Never ignore the Holy Spirit when he says to pray for someone… For all you know, the next time a burden is laid on a strangers heart… It may be for you!
How many of you remember that little song with the big meaning from your childhood, the one that only had a few repeated choruses about pulling together and how happy we’d be? I think we learn more from our younger years then we even realize, we take little songs and apply them to simple little things without having thought about that little tune since childhood.
Pulling together is the very importance of Christianity, getting the impossible done when it almost seems impossible, raising funds for children you will never meet, but knowing they will be blessed from something you and a handful of others felt led to do.
Pulling together somehow keeps the joy in your heart, the smile on your face and the skip in your walk. Age holds no barrier to helping, God can and will use any one who applies for the job. You just have to be willing. No paper work or application necessary, and you get full benefits with a vacation package your sure to be happy with when you reach paradise…
Today I watched everyone pull together, the job got done and I thank God for letting me be a part of such a wonderful group of Christians, SO IF WE ALL PULL TOGETHER, TOGETHER, TOGETHER, IF WE ALL PULL TOGETHER THE HAPPIER WE’LL BE……
Sometimes you can hold your head up for so long before the weight becomes too much to bare. You can put up a strong front and pretend that nothing bothers you. Then, when something happens or is said, that glass comes shattering down around you.
It’s a simple fact that everyone you love is not going to love you back. Some will love you unconditionally, while others down you like a dog. They will put the knife in your back and twist it a few time to make sure it hurts. Then they will come and pour salt into your open wound. When in actuality, they are not happy with themselves or their circumstances, therefore, they will make sure that no one else is happy either. Whether they are jealous over a certain situation, over your family relationship, over your friendship with someone, anything in general, or just want to be the top dog with everyone, we have to continue to love and pray for those who despitefully use us.
So go ahead and love and pray, it will eventually get easier to handle if it doesn’t change. Be the better person and go on with your life. You can’t make someone else enjoy theirs.
This question has been on my mind a lot lately. How will my children, grandchildren, friends, and family remember me?
Will I be remembered for making gingerbread every Christmas? Will it be for being a woman who strived her best to be a Godly wife and mother? I’m desperately hoping it’s not for being a procrastinating, scatter brained, unorganized, occasionally crabby person who ONE time made a bad batch of tacos and ever since her husband questioned her every time she suggested them for dinner… Or made anything else new for that matter.
How can we make sure that we are remembered for the good and not the bad?
I would say the best thing we can do is to make the positive in our lives outshine the negative. Live with a positive outlook as much as possible. Let Jesus’ light shine through you. Don’t hold grudges, act bitter, be mean, or easily offended. And while it can be an easy way to handle a delicate situation by being passive aggressive, is that really something we would want to be remembered for?
Recently I’ve been trying to take note of my habits. Which ones are great to have, which ones I don’t mind or are not damaging, and which ones I would never want to be remembered for. Then I sat and thought of my Grandparents… Two of the most caring, loving, Godly people I’ve ever known. I remember them for all the funny and wonderful things they did. I remember them for raising their family for Christ. I remember them for loving coffee, Diet Coke, and going out to eat. I remember them for being compassionate and passionate for the work of The Lord. Do I recall them having flaws and being human? Certainly! However, more often I remember them leading us by example in a positive, unique, Godly way.
I have taken it upon myself to be sure that I leave a similar legacy for my own children and grandchildren. Why “similar” and not the exact same you ask? Because it’s MY legacy. Not Dorothy’s. Not Paul Benjamin’s. It’s ANGIE’s legacy. I want to pass down all of those same things, but in my own way with some added flare that says “Angie was here…” Part of that is that I MUST agree to have my photo taken more often. While still. Not on a ride at Disneyland making some dumb face. Ugh… 😉
What about you? How will you be sure that you are passing down what would be good habits for your children and not setting them up for a fall?
I am NO June Cleaver by any means. I do not get up each morning to make my kids breakfast. My house is NOT spotless. Sometimes, my laundry backs up for a couple of days before I wash them. I’d rather wash toilets than do a sink of dishes. I would like to buy something for myself every now and then…
I love my children dearly, and they will ALWAYS come before my needs. That is a sacrifice that I am more than willing to make. My desire is to teach them to be self sufficient. To know how to run a household, cook a meal, do for others. I give my children chores. They have to help take out the trash, fold clothes, wash clothes, vacuum, etc. We are teaching them to cook. I am helping them to hide the WORD in their hearts, so that they can pull from it when needed. It’s so funny to hear my 5 year old say the Lord’s Prayer and mess up on some of the words.
True mothering is becoming a lost art. Don’t get me wrong, there are A LOT of GREAT mothers out there, but some just do not care how their children turn out. They don’t care about what they are putting into their kids. It drives me crazy to see people teaching their children to expect something from others. Like they are entitled to something from everyone.
Over this past weekend, our church took part in a local festival. It made me feel great because I got so many compliments on how much my kids worked and helped out. One lady said, “You’re raising some awesome and responsible men here.” Of course, I didn’t get too proud.
My kids love to help. They are willing to help others and that blesses my heart. In Psalms, it says to “consider the poor” and I definitely don’t have to worry about my kids not wanting to help somebody else. I’m not bragging on our parental skills, just trying to set an example for other parents.
So, what kind of mother are you? Are you raising up a child in the way they should go, or are you raising bullies? Brats? Kids that think they are better than everyone else? Only you and God know the true contents of your parental skills. I encourage you to take a look at yourself and see what needs improvement and what is just right.
Be Blessed!! 🙂