Tag Archive Faith

ByAngie

The Prayer of The Sticky Handed

Dear Lord,

I come to you today just as I am.

My hands I raise to you and ask for them to be blessed.

Only you know, Lord, all that I do with my hands. I prepare meals, fix toys, break up fights, assume the role of doctor, nurse, teacher, and maid. While keeping them clean while being a mom may be difficult, as long as they are clean in your eyes, I’ll be happy.

Help me to understand what it means to be content in whatever state I am. Not wishing for things to be different, like others, or the way they used to be. But instead, seeing that in the present you have blessed me.

Help me draw closer to you, even though I have so little time. Show me how to turn the little moments into big ones, and let me thrive on your love.

Teach me how to raise my children the way you would raise them. In fact, raise them through me instead. I only want the best for my kids, and the best would be you, God.

Thank you for all of your many blessings. I love you so much.

Amen,

The Sticky Mom

 

ByAngie

Finding Home

One of the times we moved, we literally moved, as you can see.

In my life, I have moved approximately 47 times. Yes, you read that right: 47!

No, I wasn’t a military kid. And though my Grandpa was a pastor and I lived in his home, from the time I was born until the time he died he was pastoring the same church. In fact, the majority of my childhood was in the same home from the age of 6 until 14 and I attended the same elementary school for all 7 years. Life has just “happened” and as a result, I’ve moved. A lot.

The majority of those moves have been in the last 16 years. Many times I find myself wishing I never had to move again, but such is the life of being a renter and not a home owner. I long for home, to put it simply. But where and what is “home”?

Could it be where you grew up? Just a place you store your “stuff”? Is it where your family resides, or the opposite, as far away from them as possible? Is it a brick and mortar building, on wheels, or non existent all together?

During a very dark time in my life, I lived in my van. (Before you even ask, no, it wasn’t down by the river.) While enduring that circumstance, I realized very quickly how often people take the little things for granted. I learned then that “home” does not have to be something tangible. So I know that is not what I’m looking for. (On a side note, no, in my count of 47 I am not including every time I drove my van from one place to another. Oh, c’mon, go ahead and laugh. You know you want to. I do!)

The Bible tells us this:

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV

There is an old saying, “Home is where the heart is”. If we’re layin’ up our treasures in that home above… and that is where our heart is… Looks like Heaven is “Home”.

I don’t know about you, but home is looking better every day. Being as homesick as I am, I’m going to do everything I can to reach my destination. How about you?

 

ByAngie

E’erybody Oughta Go To Sunday School

Okay, before we continue, let’s get this out of the way:

E’erybody Oughta Go To Sunday School

Sunday School Sunday School

(Women:) The Men (Men:) The Women

(Girls:) The Boys (Boys:) The Girls

E’erybody Oughta Go To Sunday School

Now that this song is nicely implanted in your head from your childhood, we may continue with your regularly scheduled blog post. I’d continue the song on and sing about e’erybody backin’ the preacher, but that is a command that needs more than a few paragraphs. Another time, another place…

It seems these days a lot of people who are Christians do not see the importance of church attendance. They’ve either been hurt, don’t have the time to find a good church where they feel they fit in, or they’ve simply fallen out of the habit/not ever learned to establish the habit. Many do not feel it is required, or even biblical. However, it is:

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:19-25 NKJV

There is a reason this command was given. When we attend church we are strengthened in many ways. To name a few:

  • Encouragement: Having a strong, leading, not afraid to tell it like it is pastor and church friends will help you keep your focus. Being a Christian is not always sunshine and roses. In the bad times, they are there to show God’s love.
  • Education: You can never know too much about what the Bible has to say. Never. I don’t care who you are, it’s not possible.
  • Time with God: Sure, you can spend time with God at home, and you still should. However, in church, we are in His house. A time of reverence. We are showing Him that we took time out of our week to focus on Him and Him alone. This is the most important point, I think.
  • A positive beginning to the week: I don’t know how many people have told me that when they go to church on Sunday, their week is better and they wake up happier on Monday. (That says a lot, as most people hate Mondays.) I agree.
  • Prayer network: When something goes wrong, you have a body of people praying and believing for you. NO. MATTER. WHAT!
  • Counseling: Whether from your pastor or another strong Christian in your congregation, there is always someone to talk to. My pastors and Diania can tell you I am often running to them for such. So much easier than handling life’s problems on your own!
  • Setting the example: Our children need to see their parents doing what is right. If they don’t learn from us, where will they learn from? Think about that…
  • For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20 NKJV

Life circumstances happen. Illness, jobs, family events, etc. It can all get in the way. God understands that when it is truly impossible. But when we are able, we should do our best to be there. A sermon on TV is great, but not the same. Reading a pastor’s blog is encouraging, but not the same. Putting on some worship music and praising in the living room is refreshing, but not the same. There is no substitute for any of the gifts God has given us. You can’t replicate the best. Just try that recipe for IHOP pancakes or a Disneyland Mint Julep you find online. Nothing like the real thing!

And hey, if it wasn’t so fabulous, would there be people in anti-Christian countries fighting for that right? Risking their lives by attending a church service hidden in someone’s home every chance they can? I think not… (That was my version of my Grandma’s “There are children starving in China, Ethiopia, and right down the street” lecture when I refused to finish my healthy dinner…)

Bottom line: Church is good, and good for you. God commands it for a good reason, just as he does everything else. I’m going to admit that I’m not in service as often as I would like, but when I do go… Life is better. Plain and simple. I challenge you: Go for just a few weeks. See how you feel. I bet you won’t want to stop!

 

ByAngie

Today Is The Greatest Day I’ve Ever Known…

Originally written by Angie on January 21, 2010

This morning I woke up in a “mood”.   I felt sensitive and vulnerable.

I know that some are affected this way by the weather, but I don’t believe that was the cause of my outlook.  In fact, I’m feeling down that our rainy days are coming to an end soon.  I love stormy weather, and this week has just been great for me in that sense. I find myself dreading Saturday when it is forecasted to be partly sunny by afternoon.

I started off just annoyed to be awake.  I think we all have a day like that from time to time, right?  I didn’t sleep well last night, and the fact that today was already here just really flat out ticked me off.  Then I checked my email and something that I wouldn’t normally think twice about made me want to cry.  In general I was feeling down and discouraged, feeling as though doom and gloom were on the horizon. As I went on with my morning, I just kept thinking “I don’t want today to be like this!”  I most certainly didn’t want to be the cause of anyone else’s bad attitude with my negativity, either.

When I was a little girl and a teenager, if I was feeling down, my Grandma would tell me: “Why should you be sad?  We have Jesus!  Read your Bible for a little while and I’m sure you’ll feel better.”  Grandma was also known for her love of Pollyanna and looking on the bright side.

I figured I’d give it a try this morning. I mean, I read my Bible on a regular basis, but what could it hurt to just stop and read and expect something to cheer me up?

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Isaiah 52:7

Now how does that not make you feel better, huh?  Makes it hard to have a negative outlook, I’ll say that much…

ByAngie

When God Says No…

We’ve all been there. Had a need, want, or wish that we prayed for fervently. Begging God to just let this one thing go our way. Only to find that God didn’t agree, and just flat out said “NO!”

Naturally, sometimes as humans we become upset. We don’t understand WHY God would ever not grant us the wishes of our heart. “Doesn’t God want me to be happy?” we ask, assuming that God couldn’t possibly know our side of it.

As difficult as it can be, the key to remember is that God is all knowing. He sees the big picture, not just the here and now like we see it. Of course he wants the best for us! But just as our children think cookies make a good meal, we know better. He doesn’t want us to settle for less.

When I was young, and I mean YOUNG, there was something I prayed for. I could NOT understand why God was not giving me what I wanted. Surely He knew the dream I had from the time I was a tot, why wouldn’t He just give it to me? I’ll tell you why: because it was not His will. He had something so much better in store for me. I didn’t understand it at the time, but boy do I now! And let me just say Thank You LORD for not giving in to my stupidity! 😉

It does not always go this way. Sometimes the reason our prayers go unanswered is not clear. It is not for us to know while we are here on earth, but as the old song says “We’ll understand it better by and by…” In the mean time, thank our Heavenly Father for loving us enough to say “no” instead of spoiling us. For were it not for the “nos”, we wouldn’t be thankful when He says, “YES!”

ByAngie

Getting Caught Sticky Handed

Okay ladies, how has your week been so far?

Remember my challenge I sent out to all of you on Monday? I won’t lie, it’s been tough to follow through with. I have not made a single pot of coffee (which means it’s a miracle anyone in this family survived) or pampered myself to more than the expected shower… which was SUCH a blessing, especially when I have a 2 month old. I did, however, relax while holding the baby, sipping a Diet Coke and thanking God for his many blessings. I took time with my children when they just wanted to bang on their musical instruments to sing to the Lord. Hey, at least it was beautiful to Him and us. I’m sure it wasn’t to anyone else. 😉 As I fed the baby in the middle of the night I sneaked in a quick reading of a few scriptures. I prayed as I walked the floor, as I did dishes, as I fell asleep, and while I woke and readied myself for the day. (I should note, readying myself for the day only involves changing my clothes, brushing my teeth, and washing my face. Gross, I know. But hey, in a month it’ll all be different. The joys of mothering an infant with GERD. I love it though.) I also prayed a LOT while re-potty training my 3 year old, but I digress…

But what about you? Did you try? I did. Not as great as I would like, but I still tried. And you know, that’s okay. We’re going to have good days, bad days, and everything in between. But I’d still like to know how you did! Please share!

Now, with the weekend coming up, I want you to make a point to spend one on one time with your husband if you are blessed to have one. Talk, look each other in the eye, and enjoy time with each other. Actually listen to what he has to say. Don’t fold laundry while you talk, don’t check your facebook or twitter. Focus on him. Just one hour, I know time can be strained, but make time. You’ll feel so much better. As you are talking, thank God that you are blessed with someone, as many women are not.

Continue to strive for those Sticky Handed Moments!

Coming up Monday: The Prayer of The Sticky Handed

ByDiania

Empty Nest Syndrome

Unlike the rest of the wonderful ladies that I get the pleasure to blog with my children are all grown, actually thought I would enjoy the peace and quiet when my husband and I were free to do what ever we wanted. “WRONG”, depression hit like a ton of bricks, for over a year I could barely function… My daughter moved away, starting with baby steps, first to Victorville then to Bakersfield, and on to Tennessee,, now even further, they are pastoring in Illinois, I feel blessed knowing she is serving the Lord… but not being able to watch my grandchildren grow up is the hardest thing I have ever had to face… I feel my grandchildren are my greatest accomplishment……..They are truly my joy.. each child with their own personality
I would give anything to go back and spend time with my children.. knowing what I know now things would have been totally different. I would of had them in church from the moment they were born… I Try so hard to tell people how important it is if you want to raise a loving caring child then you need to teach him the love of Jesus…. It’s our job to do just that… I made so many mistakes, but by the grace of God I have let that go, I know my Lord and savior has forgiven me, and with that I can go on doing the work he has called me to do… I feel it’s so important for young mothers to know that the house work is not all that important… those dishes will be there, those unmade beds aren’t going anywhere either… So go ahead and get your hands sticky with those lil guys, your making a memory every time you do… and you can bet they love every minute of it…. Do I feel worthy to be able to be a part of this lil group, ‘NO’ but I do feel blessed, And pray for me, because I get very nervous when I think about blogging, if you have read some of the post from the other ladies then you will know why…… I’m sure God knows my desires and He has never let me down. so please bare with me.. God isn’t finished with me yet. You will find most of my post are poems… My desire is to write a book, with short stories and poems mixed, I honestly believe in my heart that the four of us ladies could write a book, It wasn’t by accident we got here, God is good and he has a plan for us. He put the four of us together for a reason, and I’m ready to find out what that reason is …. I just got to figure out how to do it all, my computer skills are not the best…. Any way I just wanted to get acquainted with you all and let you know you will be hearing more from… go wash those hands and get ready to lift them up… After all praising Jesus is all that really matters….

love,

ByAngie

Hand Check!!!

I have a close friend, Crystal, who strives to keep her home clean. I often wish I had it as together as she does. Her home is in a central location for a few of us to meet up for gatherings and play dates, during which she can often be heard proclaiming, “HAND CHECK!” at which point all of the kids line up and she inspects their hands for cleanliness. When done, she helps the messy hands get cleaned up and sends them all back to playing. We often tease her for it, but in reality, it is a genius idea.

Have you ever felt the Lord tugging on your heart, asking you for a “Hand Check”? While sometimes we show him our palms, beaming with pride, it’s not always so pleasant, is it?

From time to time we have things on our hands that we are not so proud of. Things that shouldn’t be there. Other times, everything on our hands are good things to have, but something is missing.

As moms, we are all guilty of this. We get so busy with the kids that we compromise, allowing things in our lives that shouldn’t be there. We also take short cuts, not doing exactly what God tells us to do. Ask yourself, and examine your hands: Do you need to wash them? Do you need to put something on them? Good hand care is important! Spending time in the word, giving attention to our husbands and children as we should, and making sure to pray and thank God for his many blessings are just a few.

So this I ask of you, do a “Hand Check”… then lift those sticky hands to Jesus! He’ll bless you for it!

ByAngie

Trust-O-Meter 4000

Once upon a time I was a different person. I rarely doubted anyone. I took each person for what they said they were. I forgave most simply because they said they were sorry for some of the most hurtful heartbreaking things that had been done to me. And I dropped everything at a moment’s notice to be there for friends who needed me.

Sadly, like most people in this world, I have changed. I was hurt, deeply, in several different instances where those that I loved and considered dear friends betrayed me in one way or another. I didn’t change overnight, it was after being hurt repeatedly to different degrees by various loved ones over the course of years and allowing the hurt and frustration to build up.

In trying to move past the pain, I blocked out the memory, sometimes almost “deleting” the person from my memory to the best of my ability and pretending the hurt never happened. “They’re dead to me” I would so easily exclaim if someone asked me when I last talked to the person, proud of my hardened heart and letting the world know that my ego was not bruised but instead stroked.

Obviously, this is ineffective as the hurt is still there, growing, causing me to be doubting, flaky, and distrusting of others. Besides, as soon as in some way or another whether by running across an old picture of different people, hearing another speak of them, or running into them the pain was quickly remembered as though a bandage was ripped away from the wound, taking the stitches with it and leaving all my anguish exposed. I talk myself down from the anger. “That person has no idea. And look who I am now in spite of all they did to hurt me! They have suffered such a loss to not know me any longer! All of the happiness they claim to have now is fake, because they certainly don’t deserve it. I dare them to attempt to do the same thing to me now. They’d have another thing coming!” Only to realize very quickly “They probably could care less about anything to do with me.”

And here is where it comes full circle…

The reality smacks me right in the face because I KNOW that there are people out there that I’ve hurt, whether intentional or unintentional, that I could care less about what is going on in their lives or where they are now.

Ouch. “What kind of person am I? That’s just disgusting! I wasn’t raised to be this way! Forgive and forget, love one another!”

It seems just in the last few months I’ve been tossed in with memories of many different past hurts and had to deal with them. Sometimes so overwhelming, not understanding why, my only option was to cry and have a pity party. Just a few moments ago I was asking God “Why do I have to go through all this, dealing with all of these people so close together?” I wasn’t even done asking when I realized it’s because something needs to change. I learned at a woman’s conference I attended years ago as a teenager that in order to move past the hurt, grow from it, and heal you must forgive those that hurt you.

Now, I’m going to be honest, as much as I say I forgive everyone for whatever they did to me, there are probably 2 or 3 that I don’t want to forgive. 1 of those people I forgave for one of the worst things a person could do to another mother only to be betrayed nearly the same way all over again months later. I realize that forgiveness doesn’t mean I have to be friendly, but just the simple act of letting go of the hurt and sometimes anger seems impossible. Why should that person be forgiven for such a horrible thing? I guess the answer is simple, because if I don’t I’m living in sin and as long as I carry this burden around I’m going to be unhappy. I don’t want to be this person who doesn’t take people for their words, doubts every single persons motive for being nice to me, assuming every friend I have secretly hates me. Why should everyone in my life now pay for the sins of those that were in my life in the past?

If only everyone had a stamp on their foreheads to state whether they were trustworthy, and meter to show just how real or fake they really are…

That’s not how it is, though. This is real life. Time for me to pick myself back up, again. Time to dust off my genuine smile, and know that people are being nice to me because they simply like me, not to dig up dirt on a myself, a friend, or family member. Time to take people for their words, and not second guess every other statement.

It might take a little time, and that’s okay. I’m damaged, but through forgiveness of others and forgiveness from God, I can be whole again.

Originally written by Angie as "If Only..." on February 4th, 2010
ByAngie

Don’t Even Think Twice

“Call my name, say it now, I want you to never doubt The love I have for you is so alive”  Third Day – Call My Name

 

I love music. I really do. I am obsessed with beats, melodies, lyrics, and everything involved and in between. Unfortunately I was not blessed to have a voice to sing or coordination to play piano any better then “OK” in my adulthood. But that’s OK, I still enjoy it all.

I’ve listened to so many different types of music in my life, all types of genres. I’ve been to concerts and shows and even late night music sessions. Lyrics are probably my favorite, and I’ve been partial to a lot of them…

But just for one second read the lyrics I’ve put up at the top of this post… then really think about them. Read them over and over.

God will NEVER fail us! Isn’t that amazing? As much as my husband or friends/family love me, I can ask them for help and may sometimes have to doubt, just because they are human. My husband may simply forget that I’m really hoping he remembers to bring me home Diet Coke tonight (I’m human too, after all…) and then I may have to go out to the store… But when God says he’s there… when he says he’s going to do something… when all of the world calls me crazy for being a Christian… when I myself even at one time doubted… when there are elections, personal conflicts, wars, illnesses, financial problems, depression, fears, or anything else big or small… HE IS HERE!!!! And the best part: HE’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

Those have to be some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever heard. Nothing gets more real than that!

Originally written by Angie on October 24, 2008