Tupperware. Mary Kay. Pampered Chef. Premier Jewelry. Avon. BeautiControl. Lia Sophia. Thirty-one. I’m sure we’ve all been to or hosted our own party-enjoyed an evening with friends, munched on appetizers, gabbed on and on over this and that, maybe even left with less money than we had when we arrived.
Recently I was sitting there and out of no where an idea began to form. Yes, believe me, I do know how dangerous that can be.
Most of the time, I only have fun at these parties because it’s a small chance for the girls to get together and fellowship. Here lately, though, I’ve noticed that many of the women I know have been battling with hurt, discouragement, bitterness, etc. I have even dealt with these issues myself. And that’s when it hit me. A new kind of party. A party where everyone can still get together and fellowship, and not have to worry about spending any money. That’s right. I’ve invented a new fad party and I hope you will all take the time out to host your own one day. It’s called the Encouragement Party. I will be launching my very first party next week for the ladies at my church and I cannot wait. I’ll let you know how it goes. 😉
Below, I have included the plan and purpose I have written out for the Encouragement Party. If you want to host your own, have at it! There are no requirements other than having fun, encouraging others, and being encouraged yourself. Just pray about it, put your own spin on it, and encourage away! I’m praying that this ministry of encouragement hops from my heart to yours and women everywhere can realize their worth.
Oh yeah, my Facebook status from a year ago, “Encouragement is a much better tool to use than judgment.” Chew on that!
What is an Encouragement Party? It’s a chance for women of God to get together and lift each other up, strengthening one another in the Lord.
My plan is that each lady leaves refreshed and knowing that she is worthy of God’s love and favor after an evening of fellowship with her sisters in Christ.
This is one of those cases where if you can’t say anything nice, then pray Psalm 141:3 over yourself before you come: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” After all, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”- Proverbs 21:23 🙂
There is already too much division, back-biting, bitterness, hate, and an “I’m better than you are” attitude going around-especially in our churches. Have you ever noticed that most of the time this has more of an affect on the women? Most of us are the emotional, sensitive, I-wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve kind of gals. It’s time we come together and use these strong emotions to build each other up, rather than destroying and tearing each other down. I’m tired of seeing the battles of our thoughts and minds win over us-ruining relationships, ripping away love, wounding us and leaving us to die. It’s time that we realize where are strength, joy and AUTHORITY come from and declare that we are going to triumph victoriously over every demonic attack that comes against us; for we do not wrestle flesh and blood as many of us think, but against powers, principalities and rulers of darkness. (Ephesians 6:12)
I hope that you will all join me in my desire to see women of God from all over band together in unity, carrying out the will of God peaceably. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (women).”- Romans 12:18
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”- Psalm 133:1
Please come prepared to encourage one another and be encouraged yourself.
I take such pride in being able to make the statement that is the title of this blog post. Especially in a time where parents are taken for granted. Let me explain:
The way my Dad became my Dad is not the same story as most, but similar to many. I’ve known him my entire life, but he did not become my “Step Dad” (I HATE that phrase.) until I was 14 when after many prayers on my part he married my Mom. I’ve been estranged from my biological father since I was about 3, and while I had an amazing Grandpa who helped my Mom raise me until he passed away when I was 11… I never had someone to call “Dad”.
Naturally, having a new authority figure during my teen years was quite a challenge. Dean, my Dad, had only had sons and was not used to the emotions that come out of teenage girls. I had been without a father figure for a few years, and didn’t know how to react to him some times. We did, however, eventually find our niche and have realized the blessing we are to each other. Through the years we have had our ups and downs. But, I never realized just how much I loved him until this year.
Dean has scoliosis and many other problems with his back. In the past year and a half, he has had 3 back surgeries and will soon have another. With this last surgery we nearly lost him though.
Early one morning in April of this year, he was put under anesthesia. The neurosurgeon told my Mom it would be about 3 hours. The surgery, however, lasted 18 hours. Yes, you read that right. 18 hours. Everything went wrong, they were not equipped, things were worse than expected, and they had to cut deeper and further than planned. He was laying on his stomach the entire time. When we finally saw him, he didn’t look at all like the man who WALKED into the hospital. He was extremely swollen, had a breathing tube down his throat, and wires/tubes going in and out of him over most of his body. We had planned that we’d be taking him home, but now he was in the ICU in critical condition.
The next day they informed us that he was experiencing renal failure. They took out the breathing tube, but still had to stay on oxygen. Gradually over the next few days he made less and less sense. His kidneys were getting worse. We became very concerned and began to prepare for the worst. I was almost 30 weeks pregnant when he went in the hospital. I would sit next to his bed and cry. Would he know his new granddaughter that he was so excited for? Would he ever be able to hold his other grandchildren again? I cried at the thought of never taking him home. My best friend had lost her Dad just a few weeks before, and as much as I hated seeing her pain and anguish, I did not want to experience that. I was determined a miracle had to happen, but at times my faith would slack. How could anyone recover from this?
That Tuesday, Diania and I set up a prayer vigil. We all gathered outside his window and prayed. All over we had people praying at exactly the same time as we had made it a Facebook event and got the news out by word of mouth also. Right then, he woke up, was lucid, and from there he very slowly recovered.God had answered our prayers!
After more than a month in the hospital, he finally came home. He is still unable to walk without a walker and has other issues, but he is on the road to what I have faith will be a FULL recovery. Tonight he is “on tour” with his country gospel band, The Tomes Brothers, as they minister in Illinois. God gave us a miracle!
I knew I loved my Dad, I just never knew how much. He has taught me so much over time about God, life, cars, and many other things. Every day I praise God, my Heavenly Father, that He did not take my Dad here on earth from me, and that Dean is still able to minister through song and teaching to so many others. Hallelujah!
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…”
What does this mean exactly? Basically, to take something sour & bitter and turn it into something sweet. A negative into a positive. As Christians, we deal with this on a different level as we are to spread God’s love to a dying world.
In every day situations, this may be easy to do. But what about when the unthinkable happens? Something so traumatic, that finding the pros is completely impossible when there are so many cons lined up against you? It becomes difficult to find the good with the bad, and to show love and be positive to others when we feel so full of hurt/anger/sadness and negativity.
I’ll be the first to say, this is not my favorite subject to write about. It has taken me a long time to learn this lesson myself. But when God says “write”, by golly, you better write.
So, from here we will begin a Tuesday series. I hope you’ll follow along and read what the Lord has told me to write and be blessed.
I know that I am blessed beyond measure! If you think about it, you are too. Think about the people around the world. We are a very blessed nation. Most do not take the time to see how blessed we really are.
If you have any change at all in your pocket, you are richer than 93% of the WORLD! We are stuck in the ‘woe is me’ mentality. Mostly because we don’t have what we WANT instead of what we NEED. There are major differences between our wants and our needs. Our wants do not keep our children fed. Our wants are basically to keep up with the Jones anyway. To try to make good impressions on other women or people in general.
When you think about it, if you have most of what you want, are you really happy? Does it fulfill your spiritual needs? Are you pleasing God? Think about your life. Think about how blessed you really are. God woke you up this morning!
I ask myself all the time, “Who am I that God cares so much for me?” He sent His only Son to die for MY sins! He gave me a wonderful husband that I love dearly and I know without a doubt that he loves me also. God blessed me with 4 beautiful children, who are talented, anointed, funny, and I love them beyond measure. We have a roof over our head that we have made into a home. We have food on our table. Not only do we feed our children, we have the opportunity to feed other children, physically and spiritually.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves me and has blessed me. Who am I to deserve such as this?
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.
The Sticky Mom
Could you imagine living in the days before air condition was invented? I know that there are several people today, that still do not use it, but I could not go without it for long. We are not in the dead heat of summer at the moment, like we were earlier in the season, and our temps have been reasonably warm. Thank God for that, because our central unit is totally out! Therefore, it got me thinking about the heat.
Could you imagine the “odor” that must have permitted the air? Body odor, ‘bathroom’ odors, spoiled food, among other things. There was no ‘coolness’ to take a break in. No wonder swooning is in movies that are set back in the day.
Being hot makes me ill and cranky! I don’t want anyone touching me, and wear only enough clothes to be decent. My hair MUST be off of my face. All of the box fans are in place. The kids are whining because they are hot. Momma is whining because she is hot. There is a whole new meaning to “murmuring and complaining”! If anyone has any doubts about how hot hell is, it’s gonna be a WHOLE LOT HOTTER than this, so don’t set on going!
On the other hand, we are soooo very blessed! We have a home! We have food! We have GOD! We have each other! We have LOVE! We have no doubt that God is going to make a way. He said “every need supplied!”
Psalms 37:25 says, “I have been young, now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread”!!
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!”
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.
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.
Okay, I know we are all guilty of this. Sure, there are mothers out there who are not. However, the simple fact that you are reading this post right now tells me you don’t fit into that small lump of women. What am I talking about?
Putting yourself last.
For some of you, it may just be a few areas in your life. For me, it’s ALL areas. My laundry is done last, my doctor’s appointments are put off and then cancelled, my preferences take a back seat to that of my family’s, and my kids are always dressed cute while my husband is looking handsome and I look like some hobo clown that broke in and photo bombed the family photo.
A few weeks ago I decided something needed to change. I told my husband that for my birthday next month I wanted to get my hair cut. Nothing special, just cut. “No problem!” he replied! But the biggest dilemma was that I desperately needed clothes. I’ve had 3 babies in less than 3 1/2 years. As a result I’ve put on weight and my structure has changed. (We’ll leave it at that, sounds nicer.) To say “I need a few things” is an understatement.
Last week I prayed two separate times for new clothes. Just twice. I didn’t mention my prayers to anyone, though I’m sure my need was obvious to those who looked upon me. I figured all I really needed was 2 or 3 outfits to rotate when I need to leave the house looking decently. We’re talking bare necessities here. I decided I would save up some pennies and either hit up some yard sales or visit a few thrift stores next month. In the mean time, I stopped praying. I thought of all of those in worse situations and felt as though I was being ungrateful. I would just make do with what I had.
Then yesterday I received a call from one of my closest friends, Crystal. Her parents own a dry cleaning business and was visiting them at their store. She wanted to know what size clothing I wear. I couldn’t imagine why, and while I did NOT want to admit to my skinny mini friend what my large size was, I answered the question. She then went on to tell me that a customer had recently lost a great deal of weight and asked her Dad to find someone that could use the clothes. To say I was shocked and excited is an understatement. Today I went through the clothes. All name brands. Really nice things, for all seasons. We’re not talking about a few things, we’re talking about an entire wardrobe. Most amazing thing of all? Each item fits perfectly. Nothing too big or too small.
My God Provides!!!
It is the everyday miracles like this that prove that God loves his children. The need for clothing, having children all nap at once so Mom can pray, the weather being just right so the family can get out and go for a walk, talking to the right representative on an important call, the kids getting along, the wrinkles on a baby’s foot, being treated to a nice dinner, and so many other ways. Now don’t get me wrong: terminal illnesses being healed and such are proof also. But the fact that God knew the need even though it wasn’t necessarily needed to survive and fulfilled the prayer speaks volumes. He loves me so much that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed when I leave the house. He knew that I needed just a smidgen of attention to refresh my appearance so that I could better care for my family.
If God cares so much about our everyday problems to perform everyday miracles, imagine what else he can do? Instead of looking at the big problems in your life, look at the little miracles. The everyday works that God does for you. Never forget to say “thank you”, and have faith. He’s not done with us yet!
In today’s economy, it’s very easy to be discouraged about our financial woes. To think about the needs, the wants, and wishes…
Picture this, Sicily, 1923…. Just Joking (for those of you who get this! 🙂 )
You take your children into your local department store, mall, etc, and hear a chorus of “Can I get this?”, “Can I have one of those?”, “When can I get one?”, “That’s not fair; Why does everyone else get one?” Can’t you just hear it now? From a young age, I have tried to teach my children that we can not keep up with the Jones’. God made us the Wilds and we have a hard enough time keeping up with ourselves!
God has been the One to carry us through our good times and bad times. My husband and I have been married 14 and a half years, and if it had not been for God’s guidance, who knows where we would be right now. We are not financially set by any means. We are actually late on a few bills. But we do not lean on any person or thing to get us through. David works 2 jobs to take care of our 4 children and ourselves. We do not have government help. (If you can get it, go for it, but I believe it will be non-existant before too long, but that’s another story for another time.) We only have God to rely on! We are not spoiled. My children are not spoiled. We are blessed!
You ask, “how can I call myself “blessed” when I don’t know where the money will be coming from to make my next house or car payment, or to pay the next high electricity bill?” Well, you’re reading this right now, so that means God woke you up and you still have breath in you! Most of you do get at least 3 meals a day. That is a huge blessing compared to knowing that there are those out there who haven’t eaten in days.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:28-34:
“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
God knows every little thing that we have need of! He is Jehovah Jireh – my Provider! Seek Him first. He says right here in His word, for us not to dwell on our needs, but to have faith that He will meet them. Thank You, God, for Your blessings on me!
Satan would try to make us doubt and bring fear into our lives, but he was defeated long ago. Do not fear whether or not you will make it. Our lives are in Gods hands!
So until next time, may God lead you and guide you, and reign Himself on you!
A daughter of the Most High King,