Did you pray?

Have you ever had that moment when you want to look at your children and ask why they are so set on driving you insane? This was my morning. Imagine if you will, I’m in the middle of a crowded grocery store, my three young children in tow. One is riding in the cart perfectly content, another crying because I won’t let them walk around the store, and the third screaming I hate you, you’re so mean, and give me that toy. In these moments you start off with patience, but the louder they get and longer it last that last nerve gets very close to unraveling. I will be honest, I was attempted to just grab all three of them and walk out of the store. But then I’d feel super guilty for leaving a cart full of groceries for some poor associate to put back on the shelves. Recently a new set of rules have been placed in our home, where respecting others is high on that list. So, where I would cave before just to quiet my children and get through the shopping trip I instead put my foot down. No they would not be rewarded for being disrespectful, and they are going to have to learn to behave during shopping. A very kind older woman approached me and told me, don’t worry mama you will get through this. Those words helped me get through the rest of that trip, I realized that someday, maybe not soon, my children will appreciate that their father and I took the time to set rules. If we want our children to grow up with strong values and good manners then we have to make sure to be on the same page. A few months ago if you would have asked what our basic ground rules are I would be willing to bet that my husband and I would have said different things. We realized that we truly need to communicate better. We need to sit down weekly and discuss important things about our family, see where we can improve and we have noticed that the more we work on our marriage, the happier our children are. We actively make sure to carve out time for each other, for our children, and time with God. The improvements in not only our marriage but our family too has been astonishing. I was watching Joyce Meyers today, and she talks about the assignment that God has for all of us. How we need to pray for guidance and actually listening to know what our assignment is. I have always felt the strong desire to be a stay at home mom, but I have also felt like there was something more I could do while staying home with my children. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that the overwhelming urge to share God’s word really started to hit me. The problem was, I really didn’t know where to begin. I will admit, I was a back-slider. It had been awhile since I cracked open my bible, and months since I had been in church. So I dusted off the bible, found a good scripture journaling plan and went from there. I began spending more time with God everyday, working on praying for guidance and strength for whatever he wanted me to do. Since then he has become number 1 in our home. We pray at every meal, we are working with our children on learning scripture, reading the bible and learning the Lord’s prayer. I have set my goal for next year to become more like miss Clara (if you don’t know who I mean, purchase War Room, you will love her), I want to not only know God but I want to live a Kingdom Life, raise Kingdom children and inspire others to find Christ or grow closer to him. I made a big mistake this morning before leaving my home, and it’s one I hope to never forget again. I will be placing a reminder on my dash or radio….PRAY. I should have never went on the journey without praying first. Praying that God guide me on the journey, that he be with my children and that he would kind me to show my children his way. So while I’m thinking of making this note, I’m going to do it. I also encourage you to do this. Place a note reminding you to pray in the areas you frequent often, for me that would be my coffee pot (I do have 3 young children after all). Keep a notepad or dry erase board in a central location so you and your family can write down things they need to pray for that day. At supper or before bed you can all come together and pray for these, it’s a great way to involve the entire family. So I will leave you with this.

The Lords Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver is from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power, and the glory, forever.
Amen

Matthew 6:9-13

God Bless

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New Year, Better you

This time of year I often hear people setting their New Years resolutions, and it has really made me think this year.
Some of the more common I have heard:
*I’m going to lose x amount of weight
* I’m going to eat better
*I’ll go to the gym
*I won’t drink so much
*I’m giving up pop
The list just continues to go on, but one thing I’ve realized is I never hear, I will grow closer to God. I will read my bible everyday, I will pray every day. Most people I’m sure would say they could improve their relationship with the Lord somehow. I’m not saying you should make these your New Years resolutions, lets face it most of those are forgotten about in a week. Instead make a promise. Sit down and pray for guidance, let God lead you to what you need to do to grow closer to him. I personally do have my favorites, and maybe they can help inspire you too.

1. Bible Reading:
I find it relaxing to sit down with a cup of coffee and my Bible. What better way to become closer to the Lord than by reading the book that is here to Guide you through everything in Life! I also prefer to have more than one version with me when reading. I like to read the NIV Bible, but when something sticks out to me I also go and re-read it in my KJV. I mark scripture in both bibles and write little notes. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, pick up your bible, I bet it makes your day better too.

2. Bible Study:
You can participate in a Bible Study in many ways. There are often groups available at your church, you can order individual studies, or you can participate in online studies. The current Bible Study I’m doing is the book of Ephesians, however next week we will start the Present over Perfect study, this is a dvd/study guide package. If you would like to join us you can go to my home page for the link to purchase this. I try to keep the studies affordable, and will bounce between ordering materials or picking a book in the bible and studying it daily.

3. Reading:
I love to read, which is also why I offer reviews on here. I read a lot of Christian books that are Fiction, Lifestyle books, Parenting, Marriage, and family books. Tony Evans, Pricilla Shirer, and Stormie Omartian  are a few of my favorites when it comes to Christian marriage, parenting and family books. My husband and I have recently started the Kingdom series by Tony Evans. We have the couples devotional, Kingdom Man and Woman, Raising Kingdom Kids and The Resolutions for both Men and Women. I will admit this is also why I haven’t been putting out reviews almost daily, I am currently reading at least 2 books at a time. For those of you that travel for work, I would suggest getting audio books to listen to in the car.

4. Devotionals
A daily devotional is a great way to get the good word and doesn’t take much time. If you are married I would suggest a couples devotional. We really like the Kingdom Marriage, it has a  very short daily passage and then follows up with 3 questions for you and your spouse to answer. Quiet times for couples is another favorite of ours, and we recently received the Love Dare devotional so we are excited to begin that one too. My husband enjoys the Duck Commander devotional and my daughter likes her 3 Minute Devotional for little girls. I personally use the Daily Wisdom for Women everyday in addition to my couples devotionals.

My point is that there isn’t one set way to do a little more. Without my faith I’m not sure how I would have gotten through the holidays. I used to shut down when grieving. I’m not saying that the depression didn’t creep in and make me want to crawl in a hole, it did. But I prayed, over and over, for strength and peace. I knew I needed to be there for others as well and we needed to lean on each other. My husband played a big roll in helping me through it. He dropped everything and stayed with me, he prayed with me, and was there when I needed to just cry.  1 Corinthians 13:2 really stood out to me ( If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. ) Without love you truly have nothing, and one thing that I realized I am truly blessed with is the ability to love so many people and have so many people who love me. Love and the Lord  is what got me through the holidays this year. If that’s not blessed then I don’t know what is.

God Bless and travel safely home!