Do you remember when you were a child and you had that one little thing that was only yours and you didn’t really like to share it? Or maybe a rabbit’s foot, a new shiny coin that you were reluctant to spend, or those special scented stickers or pencils that always seemed to disappear when you finally got one?
My little sister always cherished the little, tiny pebbles from the gravel driveway that were kind of marbled white, ivory, or very tannish peach in color. She would spend hours picking them out to collect them as her “treasure” because they were so pretty compared to the normal, every day, reds and browns of gravel color. And she really did treasure them. There were times when she and a cousin would fight over who would get to keep those treasured pieces of rock.
My family is a treasure to me. A treasure that I truly value. We are living in a day where many people have thrown family values out the window. They have taken the Cay Sera Sera mentality of “whatever will be, will be”. They don’t treasure others anymore and they sure don’t treasure that we have a loving God, who is ready and there for us to call upon at any given moment.
As much as it saddens me to see so many take this approach, we can not fathom the pain that it must cause our Heavenly Father. To see things gone amuck from the way it’s supposed to be. People simply do not care about other people, nor do they treasure the gift of life in general.
We are a treasure in God’s eyes. He sees each of us as unique individuals, created in His image. His word tells us that He is a jealous God. He doesn’t want to share you with the cares of this world or with the devil. He wants you to turn your eyes upon Him for every need, every care, every doubt, every praise, to love, to worship, to adore, to treasure!
Take a moment to search your heart. What do you treasure there? Is your heart set on things above or the things of this world?
One day last week a thought came to mind about how so many say they want Christ in their life, but they are just not ready. I was sitting at my sewing machine thinking about this and I remembered how Jesus asked God that if it was His will, to keep Him from having to be tortured and crucified. Two days later I made a graphic and posted it to a few of our social media pages.
In my dream, a group of us were sitting in a front yard and I felt that we were at home. That we all lived there. I was surrounded by family, friends, and people I don’t know. But in my dream, we were all family.
The yard had a fence and a gate. A few of us looked out and noticed other friends and family that we knew wandering around the neighborhood. They were dazed and lost, almost like they were sleep walking. Eventually all of us in the yard started calling each of them by name and shouting:
“Come home! Come home! You’ll be safe!”
Many heard us, woke up, and came running in the gate for a happy reunion while some continued wandering.
I woke up excited, but concerned.
Remember being a kid and playing outside? When it began to get dark, the porch light would turn on and everyone knew it was time to go home. I still remember the sound of my Grandma’s voice when she would call out my name. “Angela! It’s time to come home! Come on, it’s getting dark out!”
The times are getting dark, we all know that. The “porch light” is going to light up any minute, and it will be time to go to our Heavenly home. (I CAN’T WAIT!)
How many of our loved ones are too busy to realize that it is getting dark and almost time to go home? We need to start getting their attention!
Why aren’t we trying harder? Are we too busy to care about the souls that need Christ?
I want to challenge every Christian to call or message someone they know that needs Jesus. Reach out to them. Ask them how they are doing, if they have given any thought to God lately. Remind them just how much He loves them. See if they want to meet up to talk or come to church with you. Don’t make a laundry list of their sins and tell them how wrong they are. Love the lost more than the enemy hates them. Just shine the light of Jesus in to their life.
Some people just need that little reminder and will come running right back in. Others may not be as eager to listen. Keep praying for them and being a friend to them, don’t just shut them out.
With everything going on in the world, it is too easy to just give up and say that no one wants to listen. We need to keep fighting the good fight and bring in the lost! Wake them up and ask them to come home!
In the early days of my marriage, I couldn’t write unless it was quiet. Even noises drifting in from outside bothered me. Fortunately, our neighborhood is pretty quiet, so I managed to get some pages written. Less than two years later, our first daughter was born, and less than two years after that, our second daughter joined our family.
Our house has not been quiet for a long time, but I’m writing more than ever. Things have changed. Now, my husband sometimes takes the girls out to do something fun while I write. He sends me a text message asking how it’s going. Often, my reply is “I’m barely getting started. The house is too quiet.”
Who would have guessed?
The very thing that distracted me from writing back then is what I thrive on now—noise, activity, life. I dread the “empty nest” because I know I will have to make the transition yet again, from writing in a home bustling with laughter, chatter, and fun to finding my way in the silence. Isn’t it funny how things change?
I dread the effect that the kids’ growing up and moving out will have on my writing, but there are other things that will be affected too:
But when those are gone, my home will also be missing:
The more I think about it, the more I realize that to eliminate the things that irritate me, I have to get rid of even more that brings me great joy.
I think I’ll learn a lesson from my writing time and quit being so hasty to wish away the days I have left with my children. They’ll be gone all too soon.
To all veterans: Whether you served 1 year or 30, are family or a stranger, living or deceased, retired or currently serving… All military. Past, present, and future…
If you are currently serving in a branch of the United States Military, please know that you are always in our prayers.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, the girls and I wanted to take a moment to give recognition to those in our lives who have served in the military.
Thank you, not only to these men, but to anyone and everyone who has, is, or will serve.
It’s Friday night. The boys and Molly have built a fort in our living room. Molly has since gone to bed, but the boys are watching a movie and will sleep in here all night… Most likely they will fall asleep on separate sides of the room, but will end up at some point snuggled up to each other because that is what they do. Bobby, my husband, is sitting on the other side of the couch from me. What he’s doing on his computer is beyond me, but he looks relaxed. Earlier today I was able to purchase the plane tickets for my 2 older children to visit this Summer.
To not feel loved at this moment would be impossible. I’m surrounded by a family that loves me and will see more that do soon.
In my life, I have loved many. Friends, family, children, and most of all my husband, to name a few. I have laughed, cried, and literally peed my pants over emotions brought on by those that I love. When it comes to love, I am definitely wealthy. I may not have a lot of money, assets, or possessions. But love? I have an abundance!
Unfortunately, I have learned one thing about all of these people: They are human. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anything bad about any of them. My point is that they are going to fail me, no matter how much they don’t want to hurt me. There are those that I love that don’t feel the same about me. There have been some in the past that have outright betrayed me regardless of how much I loved them. There are even those that may not realize they are hurting me at the time, or may let me down with actions that may not seem to them hurts others. It’s human nature; We change our minds, hearts, and feelings all the time. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the human heart.
You know what’s amazing? The only love that I can 100% truly count on? One love that will never fail me, or you?
The love of Jesus.
It was the first love I ever learned about in the form of song. First Jesus Loves Me and then Jesus Loves The Little Children. The only love I felt while crying alone in the middle of the night, cold and helpless without anyone to turn to and unsure of where my next meal would come from. The love that held me close and let me know He was there through each and every one of my painful miscarriages. The love that has told me so many times “You can do this! Follow My lead!” when others said “What are you thinking?”
The ONLY love that is guaranteed. The only love that resulted in the forgiveness of every sin I’ve ever committed. The only love that can heal my illness. The only love that can help me to be the woman of God I desire to be. The ONLY love that will never fail me.
This love will never end, and is everlasting. Jesus won’t change His mind tomorrow. Nor can He “fake” his affection for me, as anything He says is made truth. His love does not play favorites, and it doesn’t get moody. His love stands beside me as I laugh, and holds me when all feels hopeless and I’m sure I can not possibly go on.
His love never fails.
I can love my husband all the live long day, and I know that Bobby will always be by my side. He is the closest thing possible to the man I prayed for as a little girl in my bedroom playing with my dolls. Our story is truly that which fairy tales are based on. However… My husband has and will fail me. He would never EVER intentionally hurt me. But he’s human as am I.
My parents may see me as their little girl. I can make them beam with pride. (And believe me, I can make them hide in shame, too!) They can do all they can to make me happy and feel loved by them. But their love will never be able to fulfill me the way the love of Jesus can.
Children are the greatest blessing from the Lord. But being a child myself, I know that my children are not required to love me. They may grow up and feel very differently about life than I do. They are going to let me down at some point. And that is okay, I will always love them.
I have been so blessed with many family members and friends. But not one of them will love me in a way that is able to whisper “all is okay” after I’ve lost a pregnancy or have received word about a loved ones death.
Only Jesus, only the love of God is everlasting. Jesus was my first love, after all.
By the way, have you met Jesus? His love is pretty awesome, if you haven’t caught on by now.
Romans 8:38-39 KJV:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Exodus 20:12 NLT
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
Well, as you know by now, I have two beautiful daughters- Naomi who is 4 and Adah who is 2- that are really great kids, but they have their moments where they don’t mind testing my patience. As we were working on our last verse, it crossed my mind that our current verse is a MUST. And before I went on to anything else, Exodus 20:12 had to be this week’s verse.
I was worried about it being a challenge for my girls. Not because of the verse itself, but because of the length. They have been doing great, but this one was a tad longer than they’re used to. I went with the NLT version to make it a little bit more kid friendly. With Adah being younger, I only taught her the first sentence. She did very good remembering it….except that any time I ask her to say it for someone she says, “Honor jour (‘J’s instead of ‘Y’s) mother and jour wife.” I think maybe that’s the version that belongs in the Husband’s Bible. 🙂
For Naomi, I taught her all of it and she did excellent, considering it’s length. She learned most of it and can say almost all of it correctly. I just have to remind her of maybe the first word in the last two sentences and she remembers it. I taught them that honoring their father and mother meant loving, obeying, listening, being good and being respectful. They learned that by doing all of that they not only make Mommy and Daddy happy, but also make Jesus happy.
As the week went on, if Adah was doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing, Naomi would say, “Mommy! She’s not honoring!” I found this amusing and used it to my advantage. They wanted to honor, and I urged them to follow the commandment God gave to them (and the rest of us).
We didn’t have a big craft this week, but I made them a coloring sheet with the scripture printed on it and a picture of a family. They enjoyed coloring and were excited that they learned another verse. At the end of each week, I always hear, “What’s our next verse, Mommy?” I am so proud of them for how well they’re doing.
Don’t forget to check in next week…we’re learning about praise!
Sorry, but I’m going to do a little bragging in this post… I’m really hoping I don’t come across as rude, a jerk, or
proud too proudful…
Since a little before I began this blog, as I mentioned in my “Why So Sticky?“, I’ve been just stopping when I feel the need and praising. I pray with my children more. I sing when the mood hits. I make it clear before them that Mommy is in love with Jesus and that it is a good thing to be. That praise does not have to be hidden. In fact, it shouldn’t be. That time for quiet prayer and Bible reading is not always allotted, so to pray where you are and read when you can.
Immediately I saw a change in them. But these last few weeks they’ve taken me by surprise. My 2 year old, who rarely speaks unless he’s in the mood, talks quite a bit about Jesus. He even sings, “Jesus” when playing with his toys. My 3 1/2 year old prays for just about anything. I even once had him come up to me randomly and say “Thank Jesus, Mommy!” The cutest is when he uses the 4 month old’s jumper as a “Microphone” and sings songs about the Lord.
This has been quite a motivator for me. To know that they are learning more by my actions has me thinking, “Hmm, I need to do this more…” and more importantly… “I should probably do less of some of this other stuff…”
How about you? Have you taken the Sticky Hands Challenge? If so, what changes and impressions have you seen?
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