Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

The past two weeks we've been praying about what the Lord has planned for us in 2016. We'll soon begin to get things set in order to create our vision boards, too! And that is just what my confession is about today...I'm so excited thinking about the things to come in the New Year, that I think I'm beginning to live in the future and not in the present. I don't want to do that, though.

How many times have we so looked forward to an event, a trip, a particular day coming that it seems all we focus on is THAT day, and we begin to miss out on the everyday blessings right in front of us? I know that I have had that happen. I so looked forward to a trip, that I forgot to plan things leading up to that day! Then I seemed to rush to play catch-up and get back on track. Well, as much as I am wanting to get started on my vision board and focusing on that more and more, I have to reign myself in, like wild horses. I can't let my ideas and thoughts of the future guide me. Just picture a bunch of wild horses running. Nothing guides them; they just run! I can't do that! I have to have a plan and focus on what God has for me.  I MUST lean on the Lord and the direction of the Holy Spirit in order to set myself up for success for this year because this year isn't over yet, so I can't move on to the things of next year yet!
Used with permission from Pixaby
So, what are you looking forward to that might be stealing your time from living in the present? Do you need to reign in your own "wild horses"?


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I haven't really talked much about when our homeschooling day, or really any day for that matter, begins to frustrate us. The kids are arguing (again, in my case!), the dog puked on the carpeting just off of the tile (which would have been far easier to clean up!), one child is screaming at the top of his lungs and another is coloring on the permanent marker! Ahhhh!!!

With my older children, I would yell at them to stop doing this or that. I would threaten them with taking a toy away or worse...wait until your father gets home! And I would spank. Correction is not what I'm going to address today, though. That is a post for another day...

What I really want you to know today, mama, is that we all get stressed. We all have troubled days. None of us ever has perfect days all the time. And, just like any other time when we seize the moments we can teach our children something valuable, a day like I just mentioned is a great day to show by example how to respond.

Sometimes we have a bad attitude. We get frustrated with something or someone and we just want to throw in the towel on everything...homeschooling, child rearing, cleaning, etc. But this is a great time to teach our children some character traits. Yes, we've gotten frustrated, but now what? Well, take a timeout. Tell the kids why you are in need of a timeout and step away for a few minutes. (Never leave the house or leave small children unattended!). Be honest with your children. They understand so much more than we give them credit for. "Mommy has a bad attitude and I need to sit in the bathroom on a timeout for 5 minutes." This is a great time to be in prayer, too. When the allotted time has passed, come out and ask your children to forgive your for your bad attitude. This does 2 things: It shows them that it's okay to have a bad attitude every now and then. But it is NOT okay to continue to have a bad attitude and that it must be changed. Plus, you're teaching your children to be humble and to forgive!
This week, I encourage you to look for those moments where you can teach character to your children. It will change their lives and yours!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Vision Boards: Preparing for Your Vision

I am so excited to be talking to you about starting to create your vision boards! I am going to begin working on mine, too, as we get closer to the New Year, so don't think you have to go out and get the answers to your questions right away. You may be wondering "How do I know what my vision is?", "I don't know if I can really accomplish this dream.", or "I don't even know where and how to begin!"

Well, today we're going to begin to prepare for creating our vision boards. And the best place to start is in prayer. In the coming weeks, ask God what His plans are for you. Ask Him to reveal them to you as you go throughout your day, during your daily devotional time, and as you sleep. This is where I get the first glimpses into what the Lord has for me for the coming year! As you hear from the Lord, begin to write things down and don't stop and look over what you've written. Often times this is when we will say, "Oh, why did I write that?! I can't possibly achieve that! I'll cross it off my list of things the Lord has for me in the coming year." As soon as your carnal man sees that it isn't possible in the flesh, it will begin to protest and reason with why that thing is even there. Don't let yourself listen! Allow your spirit and the Spirit of God to communicate and "hear" from the Lord what He has for you. 

Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NKJV). And finally, Matthew 19:26, "But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" He didn't say only the things we think we can do. He didn't say only the things other people think are practical. He didn't say as long as these things fall into a certain category. He said with God ALL things are possible.

In the next few weeks, just wait on the Lord. Listen to what He's saying to you about 2016 and the things He's going to do for you! This is going to be your BEST year yet!!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

Good morning, sisters!

Today, I want to talk to you about choices. Everyday we're faced with several choices. Do we want paper or plastic? Jeans or a skirt? Painted nails or not? Get out of bed or stay in? Go to work or call in sick? Frappachino or green tea lemonade? McDonald's or Chick-fil-A? And the list goes on and on. We also have to make the choice of what to do with our lives. You may think, "The only way I can survive is by working at a job I don't like." But that isn't necessarily true! You have to make the choice to have a dream or vision for your life...and follow it!

My 'fess up today is that I am choosing to pursue the Lord and cast a vision for my blog, my books, and as a speaker! As I told you all on Monday, I was blessed to be able to attend a women's conference last weekend. I was so inspired by the motivation of the speaker, that I actually told her I am going to be at your event in a guest speaker! Now I'm not being boastful about that. It takes a lot of faith to believe you heard something from the Lord and act on it. And that is just what I was doing, being obedient. I wrote that on my vision board and I look at it on my app everyday believing the Lord to cause that to come to pass.

You can do the same thing! The Bible says that God is not a respecter of persons. Meaning, he doesn't look at the big name evangelists any differently than he looks at you and me. So this week, I would encourage you to be bold in your faith believing God for your dreams and visions!

Have a blessed weekend!!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Dare to Dream!

This weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to go to a women's conference hosted by one of my favorite speakers. Her sister is one of my other favorite speakers, too. Anyway, the weekend was infused with a powerful message to dare to dream and to allow God to cause your dreams to come to pass. I know we have discussed vision and dreams and goals before, but this weekend something lit up inside me. It was more than just acting on emotion. Let's face it, some of those motivational speakers can really rev you up...until you get home and back into reality. But this was different.

This time I felt a nudge from the Lord. I believe He was telling me it's time to kick it up a notch, as Emeril Lagasse likes to say. I can't merely continue in the complacency I've gotten comfortable with in writing. I have to be willing to do something to take this vision and dream of mine to the next level.

Sisters, I want to encourage you, too, that the Lord has given you visions, dreams and goals because He sincerely wants to see you succeed in them and have what you have put your faith on! I don't know what that is for you. Maybe it's writing a book, speaking to a particular group of people, saving for a special vacation, increasing your household finances, losing weight, becoming more bold in sharing the Gospel of Jesus. Whatever you had a passion for an pushed to the back burner of your life, God gave you that dream, that passion for a reason. He wants to use you for the Kingdom and now is the time!

In the coming weeks, I'm going to talk about creating our vision boards once again. This time, we want to celebrate the victories as they happen to each one of us! So let's get ready for an online vision board party! Walt Disney once said "If you can dream it, you can do it!" And Dr. Dave Martin, a Christian motivational speaker, said, "It (your vision, dream, goal, passion) has to be seeable before it is believable!" In other words, you have to see it in your mind before you can believe you can achieve it. Habakkuk 2:2 says, "Write the vision and make it plain." Read on to the next verse (this is powerful)...

You have to write the vision, make it plain and focus on it knowing it will come at the right time!

In the next few weeks, I'm going to talk about how to make a vision board and explain more why a vision board is so important for you in your life.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

This week, as you probably noticed, I took most of the week off from my blog. I am gearing up to go to a wonderful women's conference, and I'm expecting good things. In order to prepare for this conference, I wanted to make sure I finished up my typical end of the week tasks, spent time with my husband who will be driving his route while I'm gone, and took time to allow the Lord to work in me those things I will need to be willing and ready to hear from Him.

I confess that while I am willing, I wasn't sure I was quite ready to accept ANYTHING the Lord wanted to do. But I kept coming back to this quote--"Do it afraid!" You know being willing to go to Africa and actually having to GO are two very different things! Well, the Lord wouldn't give me something that wouldn't be for my good and His glory, so I decided today that I AM willing to do whatever it is He requires of me at this conference. I have no idea what that means! It might mean to lead someone to the Lord as we make the drive from Colorado to Texas. It might mean that I have to give something up that is distracting me from my calling. Or it might mean that I am going to be used in a way I cannot even think or imagine! I just don't know! But I do know the Lord is a loving God and He won't let any harm come to me.

So today and Saturday, I'll go where I'm called and do what He asks of me...even scared.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

I try to be very transparent when speaking about my walk with the Lord. I hope that is what you see here in my blog. This week I had a particularly challenging week. I felt as though someone was trying to take advantage of one of my children, and I intervened. That was my first mistake. This person that I believe is and was trying to take advantage of my son is also family. It was through a deal that was very ambiguous and my son was doing his best to walk in integrity...and he did. But I stepped in to battle this family member. That was my second mistake.

I began to turn to the Word and see what the Lord said about situations like this. I quickly found Matthew 18:23-34. This is the story of the servant who owed his king a debt, but couldn't pay. He threw himself at the mercy of the king begging him to not throw him in jail. The king had mercy and released the servant from his debts. The same servant then went to those who owed him debts and demanded they pay. When they couldn't pay, he had them thrown in jail and gave them no mercy. When the king heard of the servants actions, he had the servant sent to the torturers until he could pay his debt.

That was sure fitting for this situation, so I felt justified in standing up for my son even at the expense of my other family member.

Then I came across this verse:

The Lord will fight for me...except I didn't give Him that opportunity and stepped in to do it myself. My confession today is that I didn't have to do or say anything, but I did! God was going to take care of things on my son's behalf. But I blew it. But my God is a merciful God and even though I acted on my emotions, He works all things for my good.

If you found yourself doing or saying something this week instead of allowing God to handle it, ask Him to forgive you. And ask the person you acted out on or spoke out against to forgive you, too. I know next time I will remember Exodus 14:14 before I speak out!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

In our homeschool, we use a variety of curricula. Some of the kids use an online curriculum and some use regular textbooks and workbooks. But sometimes, even when the kids don't want to, we have to do lessons in the books and by the books. The key to getting the kids to cooperate is making learning fun! 

  • Have each child take a turn playing "teacher" and work through explaining the steps involved in solving a math problem
  • Play classical praise and worship music
  • Relate the skill or topic, if possible, to an interest of the child (such as evaluating the points standing of NASCAR drivers!)
  • Dress the part when it comes to history (dress like pilgrims, like minutemen, etc.)
  • Use dry erase marker boards so everyone can see even the younger children
The idea is to focus on what IS learned, not what you didn't finish. Also, remember that we want to teach our children to become lifelong learners, so we want them to become creative in how they learn, too. Kids don't fit into cookie cutter shapes, so don't be afraid to try something different!


Monday, October 5, 2015

The Time is Now!

I am passionate about writing. It's one of my favorite things to do along with social media, public relations, and women's and youth ministries. Recently, I've been neglecting some of those thing that I really am on fire about. How did that happen? When did it happen? I know that God gave me these talents, so why is it so difficult to stay focused on them? What am I waiting for? What changed?!

The fact is that nothing has changed. I have simply allowed myself to get more and more distracted by things that have nothing to do with my passion. If you're feeling like that with your passion, calling, dream or vision, I have good news for you! You can reignite that passion once more. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Write your passion down
  • List those things you have committed to that do not align with your passion
  • See what you can eliminate in your daily activities that is stealing time from your passion
  • Read the Word everyday
  • Pray and ask the Lord for more opportunities to use your talents and passion

This is just a short list to get you started. As you draw more and more near to the Lord and are about His business, He will be about yours. He didn't give you the talents and passion you have in life to have them hidden and go unused. The time is now to focus on those things and pursue them!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I know this is a day late, but I thought about some of the things we teach our children aren't academic but sow into their character...

This week, my husband, three of our sons and I helped a friend move out of her hold home and into a new one. We didn't do school that day at all. But we were able to show, through example, compassion, service and willingness to help others. We don't always have to be wrapped up in completing the workbook and textbook. 

Filling our kids with information is not all there is to educating them. We must also remember that we are raising competent, intelligent and capable children who will become adults who have strong morals, values and beliefs. Instilling good character in our children now allows them to be prepared for situations they will encounter throughout their lives. Consequently, instilling a strong relationship with Jesus will help us in teaching these valuable character traits in our children.

Don't be afraid to step away from the books to help someone move, to spend the day with an older person from church, or to help someone around their house with cleaning. This is school, too, even if it doesn't LOOK like school!