Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Where He Leads, I Will Follow

Say hello to my beautiful babies. Caroline is four going on forty, and Anthony will be four months next week. These precious blessings from God are two big reasons I wake up every morning...why I am on this earth. I've always thought that one of the reasons God made me was to be a momma. I am a nurse by trade, but a momma by heart. But I have to confess something. I don't always appreciate the great blessing that is motherhood. I don't always greet my children with sunshine and smiles. Many times they've gotten frowns and scowls instead. I don't always bless their innocent ears with sweet words. Many times, I speak rashly instead of thoughtfully and fill their ears with words that are anything but sweet. I love being a mother. I truly do. And my children know it.  

But when I allow emotions of stress, frustration, and exhaustion to be my guide instead of looking to The One who heals us all, I blow it every time.  

When I try to get through the many steps of my day using my own strength instead of God's, it never works out.  

When I take for granted my relationship with God, my time with God, my day comes crashing down before it even has a chance to start. 

 I find myself doubting that I am the mom that God intended me to be. Did He intend for me to be a perfect mom who always has it right and ready without even looking as if she broke a sweat? No.

He intended for me to be a Godly mother.  

A mother who isn't only herself after God's own heart, but teaches her kids to be as well. A mother who is forgiving and patient with her children just as God is with her. A mother who treasures the innocence and individuality of each child, loving them for who they are right where they are in life...whether it is making home runs or striking out. That is the kind of momma I want to be. But I know I won't get there on my own. My Heavenly Father will lead me.

"Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, "the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him." Lamentations 3: 22-24

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"MADE TO CRAVE" BY Lysa Terkeurst

So being 32 weeks pregnant may be kind of a funny time to start talking about eating and acting healthier, but here I am!  I have to be honest...I questioned whether or not to even participate in this study because I thought how in the world could I possibly start a healthier lifestyle when I'm less than 2 months away from giving birth? 
(Thanks for this OBS leaders)
I decided to ignore those negative "I can't do it"..."This is silly" thoughts and give it a shot.  I prayed for God to show me that this wasn't a waste of my time, but an opportunity to learn more about Him and become closer with Him...and guess what?  It's totally working!  Not only am I making some healthy changes little by little...not so much with exercise right now, but definitely in what I'm choosing to eat...but I'm also arming myself with some fantastic tools that will get me started on the right path to get myself back into shape after this beautiful baby boy greets us!  Let me give you an example:  I LOVE CAKE!  I totally do.  It is one of my favorite things to eat.  Last weekend, the awesome women in my life who I love so very much decided to throw me a little shower get-together and they brought with them one of the best cakes I have ever had.  Of course, I had two huge pieces of it with extra icing.  And of course I got to take the leftovers home.  For a little while, that big beautiful cake sat in my kitchen, just begging me to eat every last bite.  And I won't lie...I did have a piece of it.  But by the beginning of the week, I asked my husband to take it with him to work for his coworkers to enjoy.  I may have actually waved at the cake as it was leaving, but it left regardless.  It had to!  It was a huge delicious unhealthy temptation literally smacking me in the face everyday.  And I've had temptations in my face everyday since...maybe not with cake, but with some kind of bad-for-me food.  But I made some decisions at the beginning of this week: #1 I was going to drink more water and less of the other sugary beverages that have been taunting me my entire pregnancy.  #2 When in the presence of healthy and unhealthy snack options, this girl was going for the healthy.  And you know what?  Even with a belly sticking out to the east coast and a backside sticking out to the west coast, I did a good job.  I drank loads of water this week and packed fruits and veggies into my snack and meal times.  So there you have my victories this week!  Now onto the verse mapping:
If you've ever read my blog before you know that I like to list several different translations of the weekly verse, so I hope you enjoy them!  
I Peter 5:7-8a
"Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.  Keep a cool head. Stay alert."

"Give all your worries to Him, because He cares for you.  Control yourselves and be careful!" (ERV)

"...casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  Be a sober spirit, be on the alert." (NASB)

"Leave all your worries with Him, because He cares for you.  Be alert, be on watch!" (GNT)
Talk about your good advice.  I love The Message translation that tells us to "Live carefree before God."  When I read that statement, I can literally see myself walking on a bright sunny day and just letting God be my gentle breeze, taking me anywhere He wants me to go with not a doubt or worry in my mind.  It brings me so much peace.  God brings me so much peace.  And He cares for us which is why He wants us to be on alert and practice self control over things that we could have complete control over us...things that rob our love we should be giving to Him.  He never intended us to live in this kind of bondage...living under a trap door of these things with no way out.  He wants us to be carefree and fill our hearts with His love so that we don't even have a desire for that other stuff...whatever it may be.  
Lastly, I've written down some identity statements based on a few Bible verses I always go to when I am bogged down with worry and self-doubt...

JENNY: the woman God will lift up in His own time (I Peter 5:6)
JENNY: the woman God will be with wherever she goes (Joshua 1:9)
JENNY: the woman God has commanded to be determined and confident 
(Joshua 1:9) 
JENNY: the woman God will never leave nor forsake (Deut. 31: 6)

Nothing about cake in these statements!  Cake doesn't hold me up in my time of worry, need, and self-doubt...God does.  And He always will!  God's blessings to you all!