Posted in Christianity, Life Questions, Struggles, Uncategorized

Discipline

Every once in a while we’ll begin on Monday by talking about a principle — such as courage or hope — embracing it all week, infusing it into each day’s message of health. Welcome to such a week. But rather than circle our wagons around a singular truth or Godly characteristic, a verse will be our central theme. And while there are no ordinary verses, this is no ordinary verse. I’m even guessing some of you know it by heart. But whatever you do, don’t miss a day. We’re going back.

We’re going back to sit with Paul in prison cells and dark corners. We’ll watch as he painfully and poetically places each word of this sentence in its place. Of the many treasures he crafted, this was worth its weight in gold. If he were writing sheet music, this was a high C. If this were his closing argument, consider this his exclamation point; a point he made to help meet the needs of the people in Corinth, and a point that meets ours.

So as we begin a week full of every kind of obligation — obligations we’ve scribbled on our to-do lists — let’s meet each day right here. Let’s share the light of the lamp as he dips his pen. In order to do that, we have to get close. Let’s gather around him. No time to be shy, squeeze in. There’s room, so don’t hesitate. He’s about to write his first words.

“I discipline…

–Jimmy Peña

As I read this morning devotion, it crossed my mind; how do others implement this into their daily lives?  How do they stay focused on the RIGHT things?  How do I stay aligned with Christ’s plan? How do we follow the direction of Christ through Paul’s writings?  Do we honor Him at all?  Do Christ look down at us and just shake his head or does He think, “They are trying”?  Are we trying?  Are we really trying to succeed at what God has called us to be, to do, to live like?  Tell me, I want to know!

Posted in Uncategorized

Friends

We all grow up longing for that one friend that knows everything about you and still loves you. We long for that friend that we can phone any time of the day or night to vent, cry, or just chat about nothing. We long for that friend that wants to be there for all the fun moments. We all long for a Best Friend that doesn't leave us for anyone else.

I had that, have that. I have amazing friends that love me, even though they know all my faults and failures. They know my heart. They know my pains and my loves. They call me to just say "Hi!". Leaving them and moving over a thousand miles away was one of the hardest choices I had ever made.

So now I find myself longing for friends like that again. I long for someone that loves to just sit in a room with me and talk about absolutely nothing. I want a friend that thinks of me and just calls to ask me to meet for lunch. I long for a friend that complains about life and allows me to do the same. I want a friend that wants to be a friend.

Now, don't get me wrong, my husband is my best friend in the entire world, but sometimes you want a "girlfriend" that loves you and wants to be around you. My husband is the one that dries my tears and holds my hand when I am scared, hurt, or just in need. There are just moments you want a friend to go shopping with, hang by the poolside with, gab in front of a bottle of wine alongside. These friends are priceless!!

Don't take your friends for granted! Be there for them, love on them, and answer the call.

God Bless Y'all!

Posted in Christianity, Health, Struggles, Uncategorized

But…

How many times have we heard people say that they want to get better at eating healthy or working out, even reading the Bible, or reading at all?  How many times do we hear the words, “I just don’t have time”, “I am just so tired”, “I don’t have the energy”?  Oh my gosh!!!  I get sick of seeing and hearing of people say they want, want, want but they never do, do, do!!  (Yes, I said do-do, hahahaha).

Wasn’t Newton’s law discovered many, many, many years ago!!  Things that are in motion, tend to stay in motion.  Things that are still, remain so.

How many people have not figured this out?

If we get up each morning and set our mind to the fact that we are NOT tired, we WILL do what we set out to do, and we WILL achieve our goals then we are defeating half the battle.

Each morning, I awake and I have the option to roll over and sleep more, which I have done before (I am NOT perfect) or I can get up and begin my day.  That is the first step.  If you are so tired that you have to sleep, then maybe the television or the electronic device needs to be turned off earlier.  Pick up a BOOK!!! Read for a few minutes before bed, and that will relax your mind and allow you to fall asleep quicker.  The stimulation of television is proven to make it harder for people to fall asleep.  On those tired mornings, get up anyway.  Make yourself roll out of bed and begin your routine!

How about the choice to workout or not?  That is a big one!  Each day, we can chose to sit our fat butts down in front of a television, computer, or anything else we like or we can get moving!  If you are using a treadmill at home, prop up an electronic device and stream your shows (we all do it anyway).  Walk until the episode is over, then you have completed a good walk.  Or if you are real good, you can read while on the treadmill.  Deny yourself 30  minutes of sleep so that you can add years on to your life. By the way, the workout from the morning, if 30 minutes of cardio is done, will burn calories for up to 4 hours after completion.  It will also tire your body so that you get sleepy earlier in the evening.

What about reading the Bible?  This is a commandment, but I will NOT harp on it as I have recently within the last year read my Bible daily.  Before that, it was almost never!  So, this is also something that can be combined with a workout or the morning routine you currently have.  If you listen to podcasts while working out, find a sermon.  If you  listen to music, play Christian Music.  If you watch television, turn on a reputable sermon or download some to your device.  Start with this and then journal after the time, for 5 minutes at least.  Pray while you do your workout, asking God to help you remain on this path and stay focused.

trust

So, are you going to stay in motion or are you going to give in to the devil and allow him to defeat you?

Posted in Christianity, Religion, Struggles, Uncategorized

What?

Do you ever get to the point where you know you should say something or do something but not really sure what?  Do you tend to babble on and on about anything and everything that comes across your mind?  Do you end up speaking about the weather?  Do you simply stand there and nod?  What do you do when you have nothing to add to the conversation or could care less to add anything?

There are moments that I have blurted out exactly what I thought, exactly how I felt, and exactly what needed to be done.  There are times that I have faded into the background and just thought to myself quietly.  I have blurted and yelled and screamed.  But, what did it accomplish?  Did they change the way they did things?  Did anything come of what was said or done?

I like to think that what I say actually has an effect on others.  I like to think that some people actually believe my words and cautious advice.  I pray they do.

So, keep doing as God directs you.

If God says to speak, speak.  If He says to sit quietly, be still.  If He says to lend a helping hand, do so.

Hear His words, and do His will.

Posted in Family, Struggles, Uncategorized

Parenting

This role has been the most difficult yet the most rewarding.  We all have had the moment at a parent that we just enjoy watching our child grow and amture into whom they will become.  We love to see them stand up for themselves until it is against us.  We enjoy watching them find their way unless they act like us.  We love to haqng out with them until they act like their other parent, haha.

No, I am just kidding.  I love to be with my children.  I enjoy seeing them make friends and love on others with their whole hearts.  I love seeing them act out for Jesus.  I love watching them mature into a mesh of my husband and myself.  I love to see their smiles when they are proud of what they are doing.  I love hearing their laughter when they are enjoying themselves.

The times I don’t like are when she is screaming at me that unloading the dishwasher is not fair. Or when he yells and says he shouldn’t have to clean his room.  When they are trying my patience or testing my limits are the most trying times for me, as a parent.

What I feel is teh hardest part is that they are so different from one another.  My son is almost twenty-one and my daughter is almost ten and they are completely different.  Now, I love how different but the same they are and I love how much they try me but at the same time it is exhausting.

Days with my son were very different from days with my daughter.  My son is very calm and contains his emotions very well.  My daughter shows all her emotions at once.  We can go from happy-go-lucky to demon-child in a blink of an eye.  I love that she has strong emotions but I just never know how to handle it or how to take the words she screams at me.

I typically just smile and tell her I love her and send her to her room to do whatever it is that needs to be done.  Then I fall and pray.  I pray for her and for myself and I kick satan out, once more.  He is sneaky how he tends to slip in to our lives.

What I am trying to express to you is that you may be going through these same troubles at home with your child and there is hope.  Just pray and stay calm.  Never raise a hand in anger.  Our hands hurt more when they carry the angry to them.  Never lash out in anger.  Our words are sharper and cut deeper when they are said with anger holding on to them.  Never punish in the heat of the moment.  We are usually not thinking rationally and tend to overreact.  So, guard your tongue, pray over the moment, and react with a calm yet strong and powerful message to the child.

I will pray for each of you and I hope that this reaches those that need it.

Amen and God Bless y’all!

Posted in Uncategorized

Torture

Growing up, I grew to know that I was fat, ugly, and stupid.  My stepmother informed me of this on a daily account and my father never heard and I was too scared of her to tattle.  So by the age of eight, I was on diets to lose weight and I was learning regimes to make myself pretty and had to spend many hours studying.  I was always doing chores, workouts, or homework.  I did get summer times away from homework but not from diets.  I remember many days we would be sent outside and told we could not return inside until dark.  That seemed forever to a young girl.

So, many years I thought that I was never good enough for anything and fought the devil for the ownership of my head.  I struggled with thoughts of suicide and depression as early as ten.  Soon, I would have better people in my life and they would give me the way out of that home.  I began spending my days away from home at the park with friends, biking, and just being a kid.  I recall going all day without eating and then binging on the wrong foods at night, but they gave me comfort and that was what I wanted.  My home life continued to worsen and I was happy to have my much older sister move back to town.  I began living with her all the days possible.

My father and stepmother divorced and soon I had a new one.  This one was fun.  She and I would be silly together and I actually had a reason to come home.  I enjoyed many days with her as my father was gone a lot.

AS I grew older I still battled the feeling of not being good enough or pretty enough or skinny enough.  My husband of 20 years has shown me and told me over and over that I am beautiful and he loves me for me.  I still torture myself.  I don’t think of suicide, and haven’t in 30 years.  I don’t get depressed often, and when I do it is a flutter thought.  I do still battle with the feeling of being enough.  I know I am enough for others but I do not feel enough for myself.

Why do we torture ourselves this way?  Why do we continue to question God’s creation?  God made us this way for a reason.  He wants us just the way we are.  But satan wants us to think otherwise.  He wants us to think we could never be good enough for God.  But God made us more than good enough.

depressed woman

 

 

 

 

 

So, for all of you battling this fight, stand strong!  Pray!  I will pray with you.  Remember also, fill your children with words of LIFE, not death!!!  Tell them they are worth it.  Tell them they are smart and capable.  Tell them they are beautiful and handsome!  Tell them they can do anything with Christ on their side, and He is always for them!

happy child

 

Posted in Christianity, Family, Life Questions, Religion, Struggles, Uncategorized

Why Memorize The Bible

I have never understood why I should try to remember the verses of the Bible.  I was always told that you memorize verses in order to fight off the battles of the mind.  I always thought that it was ridiculous.  I was the type of person that could not memorize a single verse other than “Jesus Wept”.  Of course, I couldn’t tell you where it was located in the Bible of why I should remember it.  I thought of it as being stupid and a waste of time.

I have the authority to defeat the enemy and nothing will hurt me.  Luke 10:19

Then, I began trying to remember some verses.  I would write down a verse and glance at it occasionally throughout the week, month, or year.  My glances were simply that, glances.  I would get frustrated because I could not remember them like I could remember other things like phone numbers.  God then revealed it to me in a moment of struggle.  How can I remember something that I take little to no time with.  Phone numbers are only able to be remembered in my head because I use them all the time.  I dial these numbers repeatedly. So, what do I do.

The Lord will deliver me.  Jeremiah 1:19

I began spending time on one verse a month.  I would read it and recite it aloud.  This got me through about 5 verses in the 5 months of practice.  I then failed to continue, as I do many things in my life.  I am one that has a great gung-ho but little follow-through.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

One afternoon, my mind was racing at the stress in my life.  I was freaking out about my marriage, my children, my job, my future.  We had lost our home, our foster children, our dog had been run over, I got fired from my job, my son was cutting, my husband and I were not speaking.  I was laying on the couch wallowing in my pity and self-doubt.  I was a miserable person, a broken-hearted woman with no gumption to move. Then, it happened.  I heard this voice say that I will never amount to anything and that nothing will get better so I should get used to this pain.  This a small whisper said, “faith”.  The whisper was faint and I was in shock that these sounds were going on in my head as there was no one else in the home.  The whisper didn’t stop and I just kept hearing it.

Your words are spirit and life.  John 6:63

Then a memory came to me.  Someone had once said that they had once walked through their home asking for God to bless it and to kick out satan.  This memory was vivid, even though I had actually never seen of such but it played out in my mind.  So, I went to the bathroom and removed the bottle of anointing oil I had received 3 years prior when our daughter was blessed.  I commenced to reciting any verse that came to mind and spritzing that oil and cursing at satan and asking God to take back my home.  I screamed at the top of my lungs and I cried, and fell down on my knees weeping and asking God why I had to hurt like this.  The verses I said, I can’t tell you what they were or where they came from.  All I know, was that God pulled them out of me and He removed satan that day, giving my home a peace that it had lost.

No weapon formed against me shall prosper.  Isaiah 54:17

The healing was not over night but it started.  Each of us experienced it in a different way, but it happened over time.

I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ.  Romans 8:37

Now, almost 7 years later, my family is happy and struggling in all new ways.  Of course, I will take these struggles over those any day.  But I know that no matter what comes, God will overcome.  I will recite the verses that He brings to mind and I will praise Him through it all!.

The Lord is on my side, I will not fear.  Psalms 118:6-7

Posted in Christianity, Life Questions, Religion, Struggles, Uncategorized

Just Give Up!

You ever have that thought in your head that tells you to just throw in the towel?  Mine says that it doesn’t matter what I do that I will never be better, I will never change, that I will remain the same as I have always been.  It says that no matter what I do, I am stuck!

Well, I am here to tell you that it is just NOT TRUE!  You are told and misdirected by the words of satan.  He uses things that have been said to you and feeling that you have had in the past to hold you there.  The longer he holds on to you the better his odds are at keeping you and withholding your hope of a better life in the future.  He knows that if he continues to remind you of those words that he will hold the power in his hands and he will grow stronger and will overpower the love and whispers of God.

God loves you and He wants you to be the best you that He has planned.  He wants you to fulfill and achieve all the goals you have set forth in your life.  He gave you those goals, so why would He not give you the ability to hold them in your hand?  Why would He not give you the strength to overcome any battle that satan tries to instigate? Why would God give you His Almighty Hand and not allow you to use it?

goals11In the past week, I have struggled with doubts and fears along with misguided directions so I have had to call on Him numerous times.  And you know what happened?  HE CAME!!!  He not only came and overcame what I was struggling with but He allowed me to go farther than I could have imagined!  I simply call out His Almighty and Powerful name, asking Him to remove this doubt and to kick satan out.  I tell satan that my God is bigger than he could ever be and that He has defeated him before and will defeat him again.

I may look and sound crazy as I am walking down the trail in the park talking aloud, but I DON’T CARE!!  I simply do as God directs me and I know that He will strengthen me and He will accomplish my goals.  I don’t accomplish anything without God’s hand in the midst.  His strength allowed me to reach my goal of walking 4 miles but added almost a full 3 quarters more.  I walked 4.67 miles with the strength to keep going.  I simply made goal to walk 4 miles by the end of the week and that day I reached the goal of 6 miles for the day, just of walking.

goals2

So, don’t tell me you “can’t” or you “don’t have time”.  If you really have a goal then you do anything to get there.  You meet goals at work when they are given to you and you reach the deadlines that your boss gives you so why can’t you treat this the same way?  Why not set your goals, set a time frame, and just reach it!

Tell me your goals?  What is something you have always wanted to do?  What is it that you have been longing to do, longing to accomplish, but have lacked the strength to achieve?

Posted in Christianity, Health, Religion, Struggles, Uncategorized

Quiet Much?

There are so many mornings I awake and I just have no idea what I am going to write about.  I don’t know what God has planned for the expression on this page.  So, I wait.  I simply sit in the cool breeze around me listening to the birds and dogs speak to the squirrels and await God’s direction.

Then, BAM!!! Out of nowhere it comes to me.  It can be a song, a verse that read yesterday or this morning, it could be a feeling I had, or it could just be something I see while waiting on Him.

Today, I come with the word; Quiet.  What does quiet mean?  What does it mean to actually experience “the quiet”?  What does your quiet look like when compared to mine?  Are they the same or are that complete opposites?  Dictionary.com defines it in the verb sense as: verb (used with object) to make quiet, to make tranquil or peaceful; pacify:,to quiet a crying baby, to calm mentally, as a person, to allay (tumult, doubt, fear, etc.), to silence.  These are all the action parts of quiet.  This is how we react or control the quiet.  Does your quiet come close to any of these?

Dictionary.com also defines it as a adjective as making no noise or sound, especially no disturbing sound:, quiet neighbors, free, or comparatively free, from noise, a quiet street, silent, Be quiet!, restrained in speech, manner, etc.; saying little, a quiet person.,free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful:,a quiet life, being at rest, refraining or free from activity, especially busy or vigorous activity, a quiet Sunday afternoon.  This sounds more like what I want to speak on today.

How much do we say the word quiet?  Are we telling ourselves to quiet the noise in our heads or telling the children or family to quiet the noises going on around us?  Do we ever actually GET QUIET?  Do we ever allow our minds to rest?  Do we allow our bodies to enjoy the quiet?  Or are we just starting the next thing and the next thing, and so on?  Are we getting hooked on things that are unholy or ungodly to the life we strive to live?  Are we spending more time playing the games on our phones and watching the television shows we shouldn’t be watching than we simply stop and listen to God in the quiet?  Are we even trying?

I challenge you to walk away from the television, turn off the games and computers, close the door to the light of technology and noise that clutters your mind.Just be still and quiet and listen.  Listen for Christ.  Listen for the Word of God to reign down from heaven and provide you with love, encouragement, and direction for your life.  Give Him the quiet time that He so rightly deserves.

Posted in Life Questions, Uncategorized

Alone

I was sitting one morning while doing my devotion and I glanced over across my yard and saw this one lonely dandelion or flower, whatever it was.  I am NOT good at naming them.  A thought crossed my mind.  How many of us are just like that flower?  How many of us are in a sea of weeds and just trying to make it all alone?

We are a society that has billions of people within yet people express how lonely they feel and how much they don’t have people and friends to turn to for anything.  There are people that kill themselves for just such a reason.  Is it any wonder that there are so many self-help books and ways to train ourselves into thinking that we are worth more that what we feel?  Why is it that so many don’t pick up the Bible, reach out to a church, lean on a pastor or true friend?  This society has made friendship an entirely new verb.

How many people do we here say I have 500 friends.  Really?  Do they really?  DO they really even see them on a face-to-face context?  Do they really know their children?  Do they know anything about them that has NOT been posted?  They don’t really even talk to one another any more.  They text or instant message one another.  Have they ever talked to them?  So tell, me how many friends do they really have?

I have a small circle of friends.  I have about 6 people that know me intimately, other than my best friend that I married.  These people know more about me than many of my family members.  They know my true heart.  They could go shopping for a gift and know exactly what to get me or better exactly what NOT to get me.  They are the ones that I run to for encouragement, love, understanding, and guidance in my life struggles.  These people also know that they can turn to me for the same.  My social media shows that I have over 100 friends, but I would not share some things with them.  Tell me, how many friends do you really have?

So, why is it that society has changed the definition of friendship?  What has it provided for society to have these lacking friendship circles?