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ByAngie

Is Church Camp Worth It? Part 1: Kids Camp (And A Little Backstory…)

Whether or not you sent your kids and teens to church camp this Summer, the question at some point probably crossed your mind: Does church camp really make any difference other than just a giant sleep over and a bunch of junk food while playing games?

Is Church Camp Worth It? Part 1: Kids Camp

I spent some time at the youth camp our church attends last month. Here are my honest thoughts… but first, a little back story… I’ll try to keep it short…

My “little” backstory:

I was born in the early 80’s, back when everyone went to some kind of camp every year. Whether church camp, scout camp, or another activity camp, almost all the kids I knew went to camp. The majority of my childhood was spent counting down until I could go to junior camp when I turned 7. From there on, my friends and I spent every year counting down until the next Summer when we would go to camp again.

It was that big of a deal, people. Really. I’ll spare you the view of a gazillion photos that I cherish to this day. Mostly because they involve embarrassing clothes and hair styles…

We would start planning our outfits around Easter, as back then we still dressed up for both services each day. Dresses, heels, hair, the works. Packing of the bags began in July. It was a major process… and in August, it would quickly come and go.

We learned something new about the God we served, made new friends, sang new songs, swapped addresses, and went home (Took the mountain with us! More on that later..) and started it all again. When I was 9 I had a really awesome (and very young) counselor named Sherry. She prayed with me, endured my sleep walking/talking, taught me all the awesomeness that is DC Talk, told us bedtime stories about Cinderella and the New Kids On The Block by flash light. Sherry was, like, so rad… She still rocks! (I can’t leave that out… 😉 ) That alone tells you about the relationships I formed during those years, as Sherry is one of my dearest friends today.

This is my church camp. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

The camp I attended most as a kid and teen is the one I worked at this year. Formerly Bethel In The Hills (though many of us still call it by this name), now known as Mountain Pointe Campground, is a camp my family has attended for many years. As of this year, 4 generations of my family have now gone as either campers or workers. Founded in 1947 and owned by the SoCal District of the Pentecostal Church of God, this is the same camp that Sherry’s Grandpa along with my Grandpa and many others helped build to what it is today. It is where Sherry’s parents directed kids camp every summer for several years. So not only is church camp is one of my best childhood and teenage memories, without a doubt, it is also part of my legacy. Obviously church camp had a big impact on me and was definitely worth it.

But then I grew up… Right? Did anything come from what happened to me all those years at camp? Well, back to that later in this series. However, first let me tell you very honestly that for several years I began to wonder if church camp was worth it. Was it worth the time? The effort? The money? Are kids today still getting slammed by the presence of God and knowing just how real He is? Do they even get that they are there for God, or are they so stressed out without electronics that they can’t function without Wi-Fi to know how to have dive in to the presence of God and have fun when not in chapel? Well, in this series I will tell you how our camp went this year. Then I’ll let you decide for yourself…

First, there was Kid’s Camp.

Or as old people like me who can’t let go of the old labels call it: Junior Camp. (Whew, I feel better now… Okay, I’m not that bad. But I couldn’t get it through my head to stop using the old names.)

Kids Camp

In attendance from our little church was my son, Tommy (8), 3 other boys, my pastor, and myself. No girls from our church so that meant I was bunking with a bunch of people I didn’t know… which a few years ago would have been enough to send me running home. Thanking God again for deliverance from anxiety! All together we had around 90 kids, I think. This is a big drop from the hundreds that were in attendance in my childhood, so I was a bit shocked when I first arrived. Kids camp was for those from 1st grade up to 5th grade.

Kid’s Camp Church Services

Camp ran from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning with chapel in the morning and evening.

Kids Camp Game

Each service began with a game or two and a warm up “get your wiggles out” song. The kids would then all do worship, with all of the songs including motions. Sometimes even balloons were part of worship, which to the kids was just the best thing ever. The sermon/lesson portion of the service followed a popular VBS curriculum with the sanctuary being decorated according to the theme.

The end always had an altar call, with kids coming down for prayer. The remainder of the children sitting or that had returned to their seats were gently reminded sometimes that we needed to be reverent and quiet so that the ones at the front could talk to Jesus, but not one of them complained and some would even begin to pray for those at the front from where they were sitting. Quite a few kids gave their lives to Jesus. Heartaches were mended. Lives were changed.

My Pastor praying with Tommy during an altar call.

My Pastor praying with Tommy during an altar call.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” Some of you are saying “Back up just a minute there!”

Let me clarify before we go any further… I want to make it clear that I DO believe that a child can give their life to Jesus, be filled with the Holy Spirit (and there isn’t a Junior Holy Spirit, either!), experience the gifts of God, etc… Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me.” He didn’t say, “They have no idea what I’m talking about and they can’t know Me until they are either 18 or 21 depending upon their state of residence.”

So yes, we had kids at church camp that were saved and came to know Jesus while at camp this year, kids that were filled with the Spirit and felt His presence strongly in a way that they will always remember. I’m sure there were also kids who may have returned home unchanged, but there is no doubt that seeds were sown and they will never forget that time they went to camp in the mountains with those people that loved Jesus.

There were things that kids told me that broke my heart, reports that made me leap, and stories that encouraged me that God is still moving in the younger generations. Our leaders from SoCal Youth, Roque and Nancy, did a great job of explaining how to pray and listen for God to these young children and how they could talk to Jesus about anything and everything. Oh, and did I mention that Nancy was pregnant and her due date was the first day of camp? That’s commitment, y’all. She didn’t have her baby until Senior Camp a week later and was probably tougher than anyone else in attendance. She put us all to shame.

Altar Call Kids Camp

Kid’s Camp Activities

The kids had a ton of fun in between services: good food, friends made, lizards caught/released, and dirt sticking to everyone. It was a blast! Hiking, basketball, dodge ball, water wars… there was a little down time but the kids didn’t seem to notice. Naturally, the kids loved being able to play outside at night for a bit after evening chapel. What kid doesn’t love running around in the dark?

Kids Camp After Dark

You know what else kids love? Hot Cheetos, worshiping in chapel with a giant T-Rex that also makes appearances on other parts of the campground, banging on the chapel doors while chanting “CHAPEL!” or “LET US IN!”, and seeing their leaders slimed… Yes, slimed! Sometimes it was for having the dirtiest dorm, other times the cleanest. It seemed there was no avoiding it… but Teal Dorm did, thank you Jesus! 😉

I’m in quite a few Facebook groups for Children’s Pastors and while I have read horror (and rather hilarious) stories of kids not showering and other hygiene issues while at church camps, I did not see or hear any of this going on at our camp, thank goodness! Now, cleaning toilets after little people who have consumed about 90% sugar for a few days? My gag reflex is still healing… but hey! All to the glory of God and lives being changed! Amen? Amen! 😉

While a few kids had to be sent home for various ailments, it always seemed that the ones that had to go were the children who needed a touch from God the most. If church camp isn’t worth it, would the enemy fight so hard? One has to wonder… back to that later…

Next, there were TEEN CAMPS!

Come back and I’ll tell you more… Along with my honest opinions of what can be done to make church camp better…

Part 2 can be read by clicking here.

But what are your thoughts so far? Did your kids attend camp? Did you work at a church camp this year? Are you involved in children’s and/or youth ministry? Tell me what’s on your heart and mind!

ByAngie

August Prayer Day… and WEEK!

Hello everyone!

As I mentioned on here not long ago, we have begun having monthly prayer days that have been turning out results that only God can bring. Our Father has amazed us with His love and answers to prayer!

For the month of August, I felt as though we needed more than just one day. Some of those in our Women On The Warpath group need some major breakthroughs. It also feels as though we are on the verge of something. In my spirit it feels as though if we just push a little further, something is going to break forth and flood out.

I want to see that wall break and feel that flood! We need these breakthroughs!

Women on the Warpath Intercessory Prayer Facebook Group

So this month, some of us are participating in a week instead of just the day. The prayer day will still fall during the prayer week, so we will all be united.

Also, no one will think any less of those that participate in the one day event but not the full week. However, we do appreciate any bit that you feel lead to do!

For more information, please see the links below:

Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven Facebook Page

August Prayer Day Event on Facebook – August 15th

August Prayer Week Event of Facebook – August 14th – 20th

Becoming A Woman On The Warpath – A post and video from Emily

Women On The Warparth – Intercessory Prayer Group on Facebook

My post from a few months ago explaining the Facebook group and prayer days

Why You Need Friends When You Can’t Pray For Yourself – A post from LaToya Edwards on Club31Women.com

Challenge Yourself Spiritually With A Different Type of Fast (Just an article on Charisma that I read a few days ago that has challenged me.)

God bless!

If you are not on Facebook and would like us to include you on our prayer lists, feel free to leave us a comment here or send an email.

ByAngie

Are You Hungry For Revival?

Whether said by ourselves or our mothers, at some point in our lives we have probably all heard the phrase, “If you’re being picky about what you want to eat then you probably aren’t that hungry.” (In my case, I’ve heard it a lot from my husband as we agonize to agree on a decision for dinner. 😉 )

Am I the only person that becomes pickier the more hungry I become? When I am REALLY hungry, I want something that is good and going to calm my appetite for more than a few hours. These are the times that I want to eat some of my favorite homemade from scratch meals, NOT McDonald’s.

The last few years, I have been spiritually hungry for revival. I am at the point that fun little sayings that make me feel good do not do it for me. I want the real presence of God, no matter the cost. If it steps on my toes, so be it. Fast food theology isn’t working here, I’m starving!

Are you hungry enough for your revival to eat the Bread of Life, or would you rather a quick greasy fix?

Bread of Life

As long as we are praying for a revival in this world we are going to have to realize that the “cheap imitation stuff” is not going to work here.

Our world is hurting. People are lost. Unbelievers have experienced enough counterfeits to know that some of what the church is putting out there for them is not going to satisfy their hunger. If they know that… then why don’t we know that as we fatten ourselves up with the junk that isn’t good for us?

Why are we not willing to get in the kitchen and turn up the heat?

We all know that a big delicious Thanksgiving meal takes work. Lots of work. But we all look forward to it and know that in the end it is going to be so worth it. We are craving that meal so badly that we spend days if not weeks planning it. That’s hunger!

We have to be so hungry for the Spirit of God that we are willing to work for it. No more fast food Christianity.

Prayer, fasting, time in the Word of God, witnessing to others… sacrifices!

Get out of the drive thru, unplug the microwave, and get to cooking and cleaning!

While “feel good” sermons and thoughts may help us momentarily, do they help us grow to trust God in the bad times? Do they challenge us to want to live more Christ like?

Fast food theology will leave you sick. Microwave doctrine will be cold in the center and too hot on the edges.

Picking and choosing which scripture to follow, sometimes out of context, while ignoring other important passages can be very dangerous. Beware of food poisoning!

Store bought religion is not healthy and quickly stales. We need the Bread of Life!

Because church fads come and go, but God’s Word lasts forever.

Bottled worship does not bring breakthroughs, leaving us thirsty. We need living water!

Just because something may be working for someone else, it does not mean it works for everyone. Follow your own convictions and have a personal worship experience.

When wanting comfort food, you can’t find it in a can of chili or envelope of gravy powder. You want it made from scratch!

While reading books by wonderful Christian authors can contribute to our revival, we cannot be comforted by them alone. We need to get on our knees, open up the Bible, and experience the comfort that only the Holy Spirit can bring.

With a Biblically sound approach, we are nourished! We are FILLED with the Spirit! The real deal, not the cheap heat lamp substitute, but the gourmet that was given specially to us by our wonderful Father!

How hungry are you for revival? Starving? It’s raining fire in the kitchen!!! Let’s get filled up!

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. – John 6:35 NKJV

ByDanielle

Finding Joy In The Ashes: Life Since Losing My Son

Disclaimer: This post includes triggers as it discusses suicide and the loss of a child.

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
Psalms 30:5

Finding Joy In The Ashes

In order to tell you this life altering event in my life I have to go back to 14 months ago….

After 2 years of a very long, life changing estrangement for my oldest child, Brian contacted me. At first he wanted me to know how angry he was that we didn’t have a typical mother/son relationship. He usually never comes out to say what he really means. We were estranged because he was a drug abuser and honestly he told me if I didn’t lie for him he no longer had a mother. I told him to make very sure this is what he wanted. It sadly was. Flash forward to that phone call 14 months ago. Brian hit rock bottom. He wanted help. In those short 8 weeks he and I reconciled our damaged relationship, more importantly he reconciled his relationship with Jesus. We texted everyday for hours, talked on the phone.

Flash forward 50 weeks ago…….(I actually wrote the following about a month or 2 after Brian died.)

My family’s life changed on May 28, 2015. My oldest child, my only son, committed suicide. Brian and I had been estranged for 2 years. 8 weeks before he died he reached out. He wanted help. He’d hit the bottom and wanted to be off drugs, find his joy.

In those 8 weeks before Brian died we talked about everything. The one thing that sticks out for me was the very 1st conversation. We talked about God, about Jesus. I said to him you say you don’t believe in God, but I think maybe you are just mad at Him. Brian started to cry. He cried hard and told me he was so mad at God. His life wasn’t going how he wanted. He told me of how he had been playing bass at church since Easter. We talked about everything in those last 8 weeks. We texted several times each day. I told Brian I loved him every morning and every night. Brian’s last words to me?

I love you Ma.

We were on the East coast for 15 days. We spread Brian’s ashes in the ocean. The ocean brought Brian peace. I also have a small urn that I keep.

That 1st Sunday back in Iowa, back in our church was hard. We sat in the overflow room in hopes no one would see us. I cried through the service. Pastor was preaching about the beatitudes- Happy are those who morn. Friends saw us, they hugged us, they cried with us. I cried every Sunday for several weeks. I couldn’t get past Brian dying. Living in a world where he isn’t here. I didn’t lose my faith. Was I angry at God for “letting this happen”? No. The enemy had Brian. Brian listened to the wrong thing. Brian died.

For the longest time I focused on my grief. How hurt I was. How angry I was that some friends didn’t really reach out to me. I can’t even tell you what I needed, or, what would have helped.

One Sunday I was sitting in the back of our church and I was silently crying, praying, listening. I could only picture Brian hanging. I could only see his hurt, his pain, his anger. I doubted he was in Heaven. God spoke to me and said Danielle, my Son hung on a tree too. Don’t worry about Brian, he is with me and my Son and his pain is gone. You don’t have to worry about where he is anymore.

I was blown away. I cried. And thanked God. In that pain in my heart there was a small flutter of joy. Brian has Glory. He is in Heaven.

I see things differently now. Joy comes in a different way now. There is this ache in my heart that will always be there but every so often I feel joy. And for that little bit of joy I am blessed.

Flash forward to today May, 16, 2016.

In this last year my life has changed so much. Before our son died I was able to reconcile our relationship. We had honest, loving talks. We texted each other several times everyday. I had 2 months with him that were a wonderful gift. We talked about life, God (I believe Brian is in Heaven) he knew Jesus, he is with Jesus now.

The outpouring of love from family, friends & people we didn’t know was overwhelming. We were on the east coast for 2 weeks, our families drew together and helped us. My husband and brother and sister in law took care of all of Brian’s final plans. We opted to not have an obituary put in the paper, mainly because it was $300 to do so & we weren’t even sure how we were paying for Brian’s cremation. Again our family and people we didn’t even know made sure everything was taken care of. It was a very small gathering at Plum Island, about 20 of us, just family. We laid Brian’s ashes in the ocean, a place I know he always found peace.

When we returned home family and friends called me almost daily, friends from church brought us meals & words of encouragement. I’ve made some new friends who are a part of this loss of a child, some very good friends, friends who get it. Along the way this past year I’ve withdrawn myself from a lot of things. Sometimes seeing the constant happy made me sad. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in sorrow. I tried many wrong ways of trying to cope with this grief, I drank almost everyday since Brian died, it took away some of the pain, in turn it scared my living children, so I’ve stopped drinking. I’ve tried pretending everything is just fine, didn’t work. I’ve cried and I’ve remembered happier times with my family. I’ve learned that I’ll never “get over it” as some have said I should. I will always grieve and a spot in my heart will always have an ache for Brian until we see each other in Heaven. I’ve learned that sometimes people are in your life for a time and that’s ok. There are days that I am still paralyzed in grief and there are days that I’m not.

I’ll honor God and Brian’s memory by loving. I’ll miss you Brian, I’ll miss you forever. I love you my dear sweet Buddy.

Since this happened I’ve lost many friends. Some because I have totally withdrawn and others because seeing me and my sad, pain filled eyes makes them think of their own child’s life.

One word.
Joy.

For the last 2 years Joy has been my focus. In joy I find love.

Finding joy after my son died.
Is there still joy? Can I ever feel that joy? I am afraid to feel joy.
Joy hurts right now. I still try to find one thing a day that brings joy.

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:3

ByAngie

Join Us In Prayer! Women On The Warpath – Intercessory Prayer Facebook Group

Bear one another’s burdens…

Put on the whole armor of God and join together in prayer!

Women on the Warpath Intercessory Prayer Facebook Group

Last year in March, my Mom (Janice) felt to organize a day of prayer. She created a Facebook event and we invited some ladies we knew to join us. The day went well and we all agreed that we should do it again.

This last February, Emily posted a video on YouTube that she felt led by the Holy Spirit to discuss becoming a woman on the warpath.

March rolled around again, and my Mom said again that we needed another prayer day. When I went to create the Facebook event, I was surprised to find that we were almost exactly one year from when we had done the last one… So I kept the same date, thinking maybe we would have a yearly event.

The event grew fast with women coming together from all over the world, and we quickly decided to create a Facebook group. Given the word that was given to Emily the month before, I asked her if it would be okay to continue on with the same theme. On our first prayer day, we agreed that this should not be a yearly event, but once a month. God is definitely up to something here!

Back up to before we even reached the first day of prayer, we were hearing reports of prayer requests being answered! This had nothing to do with who organized it or who was praying… It was the number of ladies UNITED together and storming Heaven with prayers on each other’s behalf.

Since then, we have lost count with how many prayers have been answered in one way or another. Not every single request receives the miraculous outcome we hope for… but very many do! Homes restored, strongholds torn down, bodies healed, finances miraculously covered, favor where there was not much hope, and the list goes on and on…

Women On The Warpath

We are praying daily… but we would love for more to join us that are willing to pray for a move of God. Women who are determined, women who are weak and need others to stand in the gap, women who love God and know that Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever!

Think of it as a virtual 24 hour prayer room! No matter the day, the time, or the circumstance there is a place to find someone awake that is willing to kneel in prayer. No need is too great or small… it can even be unspoken! We will pray with you, for you, cry with you, rejoice with you… We are an army, we are sisters, and we don’t stop praying until there is an answer from God.

Will you join us? Click this link to  join our Facebook group!

Not interested in the Facebook group but would like to join us on the 15th every month?

Follow our Facebook page for event information!

We hope to “see” you soon! God bless!

Women on the Warpath - Intercessory Prayer Facebook Group

ByAngie

Top 10 Reasons I Am A Terrible Blogger (And Why I Keep Blogging…)

The last blog post that was published on this website before last Tuesday was on September 8th. That was over 2 months ago! 2 months!

I wish I could say that this is the first time that there has been a gap in content on our little alley of the web, but it is not. Far from it, actually. I’ve lost count of how many times life has gotten in the way of cleaning out that file cabinet in my brain that holds all my creative ideas for writing, crafting, sewing, and other things. I mean, how long has it taken me to finish the pregnancy series? YEARS! Having given birth 5 times, I should be able to write that in my sleep.

This time? It wasn’t really health issues, as much. I have had a few things slowing me down, but that didn’t keep me from blogging. It has actually been 3 things that have kept me from being able to just sit and sort out those brain files. 1: I’ve been busy relearning how to serve my family best after a few chaotic years. 2: I’ve been in a season of stretching and growth. It has been painful, y’all. For real. But I am thankful for what the outcome will be. 3: I went on a trip. Alone. Without my kids or husband. For TEN DAYS! I had never done that before! Leading up to my departure, I made myself a bunch of clothes since I have now lost over 90 lbs since April 2014. I was busy!

So now, I am easing back in to “normal”. I sit down to my laptop and remember all the rules of blogging and laugh. There is no way I have the ability or time for it. Not at all. Why? Well, since you asked…

 

Top 10 Reasons I Am A Terrible Blogger - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

 

 

  1. I procrastinate.

    I even procrastinate procrastinating. Well, that is what my husband tells me, but I will admit he is probably correct there. When I was younger I only procrastinated things that I was not interested in. These days, nothing is exempt. I worry about being too tired to get something just right. Though when the time comes, I’m not much of a perfectionist. I have no reason or rhyme for why I do this, I guess. I am trying REALLY hard to overcome it though! If you have any tips, please share!

  2. I am bad with grammar and punctuation.

    I used to be a lot better in this area, but something happened as I got older. I’m not really sure when I lost all those rules I memorized. I was never great at putting commas and colons where they belonged, but now I just stare at a sentence and then finally say, “I really don’t care.” Awful, I know. When my son begins learning about these things it will probably come back to me and you will likely see a difference in how I put things. Until then, I deeply apologize. (I’m sorry, Emily, Tasha, and other grammar lovers. I’m sure you cringe when you read my posts!)

  3. I don’t have time to keep up with algorithms, SEO, and all the other rules.

    There was a time that I had BIG dreams for blogging. BIG. If I was going to do this, I was going to do everything just so and I was going to keep up with everything there was to know as it changed repeatedly… Then I hit a burn out. I was tired. With all of my reading and listening, I wasn’t really getting anywhere. What did I have to show for it? Days wasted that could have been spent with my family. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did learn a lot of things that actually did help! However, when I let go, asked God to have His way with this little ministry, and just went with the flow it was then that our blog seemed to begin thriving again. I should have known better. Sorry, Lord!

  4. I can’t keep deadlines.

    The same goes for schedules and being consistent… This used to be doable. Currently? No. Just no. Not just because I procrastinate, but because my life changes rapidly and constantly. I realized one day that with my family and the health issues I have, there is no way that I can guarantee anyone anything that I can not do right then at that moment. It was so hard to learn how to say no, but making that rule for myself has caused me to not feel overwhelmed. Now if I could just stop giving myself unnecessary deadlines and then beating myself up emotionally over not keeping it. (Okay, I may have actually punched myself a few times… I’m kidding… or am I?) If my husband doesn’t care that I didn’t cross off something on my to do list for the day, then why am I distraught? Silly, I know. I’m working on it.

  5. Monetization, Schmonetization

    If you read back through some of my older posts that have affiliate links, you will see I tried. I really tried. We had banner ads, links, affiliate discount codes, the works. But it just didn’t seem natural for me. I prayed about it, because along with the blogging rules, it was causing part of my burnout. Lo and behold, God put it in someone’s heart to cover our hosting costs for Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven every year. The pressure was gone! Thank you, Jesus! Now, don’t get me wrong… When I buy something online, I try to remember to use a blogger’s affiliate link. I enjoy seeing deals in my Facebook feed from other bloggers. I love to see what someone’s favorite cleaning products, books, fabric stores, sewing notions, and homeschool curricula are. I have nothing against anyone who monetizes! I don’t even have a problem with those who blog for ministry that are monetized. In fact, I believe God has blessed those families in allowing that to work out for them! As for me and my blog, it did not please the Lord. Maybe someday I will have a switch in my brain that flips and then I will be able to naturally fit in affiliate links, banners, and all that stuff and it work. Never if it isn’t more than 14-78 cents a month though… if that… (Really, that is about what I averaged. Ugh.) and never on Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven. God spoke loud and clear to me on this one. Not gonna do it!

  6. It takes me way too long to write out one.single.blog.post.

    I have friends that can type out several posts an hour. Obviously, these friends don’t have ADHD and anxiety. I will be typing right along and WHOOP! there was a flash of color on the other side of the room and an hour later I will remember that I was writing a blog post. Really. Sometimes I will over proofread what I have written to the point that it makes little sense because I worry that I will be taken the wrong way or that I put a comma where there should be a colon. (Which is why I now just don’t care… Too much time wasted! This occurred to me when I noticed the wrong punctuation on another blog and thought, “Hey! I know where her heart was in writing this. This silly mark on the screen made no difference in what I took from this!” And freedom was born…) Add in there that I usually have at least 1 child awake while I am, and if all children are asleep then I actually have a chance to sit in silence with my husband if he is not traveling for work… Yeah, my kids seem to have something wrong with me keeping my thought process on track. I’m sure your kids never interrupt you. HA! Just kidding. 😉

  7. I can’t bring myself to spend money on something other than hosting.

    This kind of has to do with the above mentioned lack of monetization. You’re probably like me and don’t have an abundance of money floating around. Since this blog does not bring in an income, I cannot justify spending much money on it. Everything on this blog is done by someone who contributes to it. We don’t spend money on graphics or stock photos. We don’t spend money on design (and it shows! 😉 ) or schedulers. Sometimes I wish we could, because many of those things would make it all easier and prettier… But I just can’t.

  8. I am random.

    This shocks you, right? Not. I can’t stick to one topic. Sure, this is a Christian Mommy blog, for the most part. But we talk about everything on here. In fact, I would say it leans more towards “Christian Mommies that write a lot about Christian Womanhood.” I would probably like to write more often about sewing, crafting, cooking, baking, etc. as well. Hmm, maybe I will… You know, someday. Not now. I’m not setting a deadline either. Should that period of have been a comma? Oh well…

  9. My family needs me more.

    Now, not everyone who has a blog is sacrificing their family to keep up their post count. That is obviously not true! However, our family has more than a few unique situations that cause me to have to come and go from the blogging world. This used to really stress me out. I used to feel like a loser if I didn’t publish a post on schedule… you know, the schedule that I developed myself. Isn’t that silly? But then, I FINALLY handed it all over to God and my priorities became clear. My first ministry is my family. If I can do more outside of that and God is willing to allow it, that is wonderful! However, during this season of my life, my focus is at home. Everything else is icing. Not long after the Holy Spirit helped me realize that my guilt was a lie put in my mind by the enemy to make me feel as though I was letting God and everyone else down by not getting a post up (I know, that had to be ridiculous to read… It was humiliating and painful to type!) I was checking my email one night and read this post from Preschoolers and Peace. I remember I sent it to Emily as her and I had been having a similar discussion. She sent a nice reply saying she liked it and agreed, but she probably wanted to say, “Duh, Angie. Duh.” Being Emily is very Southern though, she’d be more likely to just say, “Bless your heart.” Anyways, with that, the guilt was gone. I still have times where I miss writing all.the.time. But years from now, I would rather the memories of my family than the memories of my laptop screen and blogging binder… Which brings us to…

  10. I abandoned my blogging binder.

    I have a HUGE blogging binder. It is gorgeous from an organization perspective. You would not believe how detailed it is! Why so detailed? I don’t know! But I remember that I had a reason for every bit of it in there at the time. It is about 5 inches thick and includes every type of blogging related document that I would ever need… Except I have a hard time remembering to use it. As of this moment it has been inside a cubby of my coffee table for… um, not sure, but a long time… and really needs to be moved to a better place if not re-purposed. Now, when we attempted monetizing the blog, it was so handy and kept me sane. I had quite a few of my ideas and deadlines for reviews written out, many of the sites that we were affiliates with listed, the list goes on. But when I don’t keep up with it, it just becomes a mess and an anchor. An anchor that holds me down and makes me not like blogging. I will admit that I have been thinking of bringing a smaller version of it back in to play here soon, but it will probably be more like a notebook and less like an encyclopedia.

 

So after all that, why do I do it all? The first reason is that I genuinely feel like the Lord wants this website up. In 2011 when it began, I had already had several blogs that were similar and felt like they had run their course. My 2 followers disagreed, but I was done. Then God began to lead me back to it little by little and I followed. He seems to have a purpose here, and if that purpose is for the sake of just 1 person, then it is worth it. So until He tells me to stop, I will continue. I do enjoy writing. I love to encourage others. I am blessed greatly when readers encourage me in one way or another. But what it really all comes down to is Jesus… and that is why no matter how terrible I am at blogging this site stays up.

ByJennifer A. Janes

Whose Side Are You On?

I started reading Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst recently, as part of Proverbs 31 Ministries’ latest online Bible study. (If you haven’t done a study with them before, you should consider it! Click here for more information.) It was the subtitle that caught my attention: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Raw Emotions. Is there a mama alive who doesn’t need some wisdom in the middle of the mess of daily life?

Whose Side Are You On? "I have to make the decision, once and for all, that I’m on God’s side and I trust Him, no matter what." - Jennifer A. Janes - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

A passage in chapter two hit me right where I’m living. (Doesn’t God often do that when we pick up something to read or study?)

If we determine that, no matter what, we’re on God’s side, it settles the trust issue in our hearts. And if we ground ourselves in the reality that we trust God, we can face circumstances that are out of our control without acting out of control. We can’t always fix our circumstances, but we can fix our minds on God. We can do that.

Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued

I have so much facing me right now. There are giants in my life that are staring me down, threatening to take me down. I’m determined to make it through to the other side with God’s help, victorious. The only way I’m going to do that is to quit looking at my circumstances, at the very things in my life that are trying to take me down into the pit of discouragement and despair, and look up. I have to make the decision, once and for all, that I’m on God’s side and I trust Him, no matter what. Only then can I come through the fires of adversity unscathed.

What do you think, mamas? Let’s quit looking at everything that we’re frustrated or disappointed about, everything we’re worrying and fretting about, the fear that lurks in the pit of our bellies every moment of every day. Instead of focusing on all of that, let’s spend time in the Word, praying with each breath, playing praise music and singing (and dancing!) our way through our days, confident that our Father has everything under control and we can trust Him. He is faithful, and He is good.

I’m going to do it. I’m going to follow the instructions in Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 10:5 and work on my thought life. I’m going to remember who’s in charge here and choose to live a faith-filled life. I won’t perfect this walk overnight, but I’m willing to try.

Are you with me?

ByAngie

The Porch Light Is On… It’s Time To COME HOME!

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.

 

What are you waiting for? Don’t wait until it is too late!

Posted by Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven on Wednesday, September 2, 2015


 
The night that I posted the graphic to our Facebook and Instagram profiles, I had a dream.
 

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.

 

It's beginning to get dark out. The porch light is on... It's time to COME HOME! - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

I woke up excited, but concerned.

The church is on the verge of a revival. God wants His children, our brothers and sisters, home before it gets dark.

 

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.

Call them in the gate so that they will be ready to go inside when the light turns on.

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!

Let’s do this! Are you with me? We need to let everyone know that it is time to COME HOME!

 

When I woke up from my dream, I had a song in my head that was sung during many altar calls in my childhood… Listen and enjoy!

ByAngie

Let’s Chat! 2 NEW Facebook Groups From RSHTH

Over the last few years, I have joined more than a few Facebook groups.

I am in Facebook groups for homeschooling, sewing, chronic illness, alumni of schools I attended… the list goes on and on.

 

Come join us on Facebook!
All of these groups are great, but I have often thought that I wish there was a group for Christian women everywhere. Where we can lift each other up and chat. A place where someone could post a prayer request and know that those who saw the request would be reaching Heaven in prayer for them.

I also wanted another type of group. An online support group for non-custodial moms where we can talk about the challenges that only we know.

It was actually part of my original plan in establishing Raising Sticky Hands to Heaven to create a community, but for some odd reason I didn’t feel “good enough” to do this. I finally realized that I needed to just create the groups, and this week I did.

Would you like to join us?

CLICK HERE to join RSHTH Christian Women’s Facebook Community.

You can find our RSHTH Non-Custodial Moms group by CLICKING HERE.

Simply click “JOIN” and we will approve your request as soon as we are able.

Hope to fellowship online with you soon!

ByDanielle

I Can Almost See Your Baby Fingers

For Brian-

I can almost see your baby fingers.
I can almost taste your baby toes.
Gone in an instant it wasn’t slow.
It went by too fast.
A moment.
A cry.
A blink of an eye.
I wish you were here.
Oh how I wish you were here.
Gone too soon.
Loved so much.
Now
Now you know
How loved you are.
How loved you are.

I Can Almost See Your Baby Fingers - For Brian - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven