Tag Archive Prayer

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand: When Life Gives You Lemons & God Makes Lemonade

We’ve all heard the old saying:

“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.

 

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

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

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

Everyday Miracles

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.

Diania snapped this photo of me at church last Sunday evening. I'm still not sure why no one would let me pray with them during the altar call... Their loss.

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!!!

Another everyday miracle: The fact that these kids all sat long enough to take this photo.

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!

ByAngie

Your Call Will Be Answered In Approximately 437 Minutes…

Sometimes it seems as though I’ve been on hold since this phone was originally in use…

Thank you for holding!

I just want to take a moment to mention how thankful I am that God does not answer our prayers in the order which they were received, but in his time.

Further more, I’m glad that my matters are all in his hands, instead of someone at a call center who gets to randomly decide what is important and what is not.

To take it one step more with that statement, I’m even more grateful that God decides what is important, what is urgent, what can wait, and what should be ignored.

What it must be like to see it all from the big picture, and know the need before it is needed… To know what seems so important to us is actually rather insignificant… To see what we view as “URGENT” and know that it can actually wait, or vice versa.

I’m so glad I’m not in charge.  And no offense, but I’m so glad you’re not in charge either!

Originally written by Angie on January 26, 2010