Sunday, April 25, 2010

Painting My Heart

Yesterday I spent most of the day priming the walls of the room that is to be the nursery. While I don't really care to paint (especially around the trim!), I'm thankful that no one was available to help me because it gave me a lot of time to spend with God while I worked.

God totally humbled me during this time. He pointed out to me that I haven't been gracious in many situations. He opened my eyes to some things I have been doing wrong and need to change. He reassured me that He will be with me every step of change I need to make. I realized that while I was painting those walls white, He was washing me just as white!

I first need to apologize to a friend. I made a comment on his facebook page that turned into quite a lengthy debate. While I didn't intend to make it a debate, the comments made back about my comment turned it into that. Then after being personally attacked by people who have never met me (or met me once over 10 years ago), it became even more "heated" and people were hurt. God reminded me that email/FB comments are not a great way to really "hear" a person because you can't really know "how" they are saying something. Without the voice, you can't know the true feelings behind the words. He also helped me realize that I could have worded some things differently to minimize the miscommunication. I also should have shown more grace to those who may not have a relationship with Christ.

He showed me where I have been too "legalistic" with my children and need to show them more grace. I need to enjoy them more and not worry so much about how they will "turn out". I need to remember that they are just children and will not always listen and obey. Although I need to continue to train them to listen and obey, I need to show more grace when they mess up. I need to stop panicking when something gets "ruined" because of something they did because those are just things and my children are way more important. If it is something we truly need, God will provide another! I love my girls very much but sometimes I let the formalities of having a large family cloud my eyes to how to truly just "be" with them.

God reminded me that He will be with me as I transition from how I have been into who He desires me to be. Making the changes necessary are definitely things I can't do on my own, but I can do them with Christ (Philippians 4:13!). I need to make sure I spend time with God so that He can refuel me when I am down. I need to accept His grace to be able to extend grace. I need to be so close to Him that I can hear Him when He talks to me in the midst of the "noise" of life.

Something else that He opened my eyes to was that just as it took more than one coat of primer to cover up some of the markings on the walls, it will take more than one time of me showing grace, forgiving, etc. to "cover" some of the hurts that I cause (or that others cause me). Most everything that happens in life leaves a "mark" on our hearts. The only way to truly cover those marks is with the blood of Christ. He is the only one who can heal us and help us become something new. As we spend time with Him and take a hurt to Him that we are having a hard time forgetting, He will "paint" another coat over that hurt until we one day realize that it doesn't hurt as much and eventually is gone.

I encourage you to spend some time with Him today. May He speak to you as He spoke to me!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Journey Through Philippians-Chapter 4

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!" (verse 4)

This might sound easy to do, but it isn't. However, just because it isn't easy, doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for this. Try to find the good in everything. Praise the Lord for even the smallest ray of hope in every situation.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (verses 6-7)

Be anxious for NOTHING! That is a tough one, but it is definitely something we should live by. If we take everything to the Lord in prayer, then He will grant us His peace which to unbelievers do not understand. Don't forget to raise praises to God as well and not just make Him your "genie in a bottle" with your requests. Although I still worry about some things, I am getting much better at taking it to Him first and receiving His peace.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things." (verse 8)

What goes in, is bound to come out. If we surround ourselves with what is pleasing to God and with people who are pleasing to God, then we are in a better place to live our lives pleasing to God. Meditate on what the things of God and it will show in your life.

"The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." (verse 9)

Will my girls one day say that they saw me live for God? Will they say I taught them how to live for God? My prayer is they will say, "Yes!"

"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." (verse 11)

Contentment is hard in today's world, but it is definitely a better way to live! We are surrounded by advertisements that tell us we need the next best thing or that we need to upgrade to be truly satisfied. Well, I have good news for you! There is much peace and joy in being content with what the Lord has given you. A bonus is that when He does "upgrade" something in your life, you are even more thankful because it is above where you are already content.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (verse 13)

This has been my life verse for many years. Christ lives in me; therefore, I can do anything. If I just keep reminding myself of this every time I am in a difficult situation, it makes it a lot easier to endure.

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (verse 19)

God will grant you all your needs. He may not give you all your wants, but what you need in life.

And the Winner is . . .

Kristy M!

Congratulations, Kristy, you won the copy of This Little Prayer of Mine! Please send me a message with your mailing address so I can get it mailed out to you.

I'm not sure why people were having problems commenting, but I entered everyone who contacted me either by private message or on FB as well as those who were able to comment. Hopefully we don't have this problem the next time I do a giveaway!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Journey Through Philippians-Chapter 3

"Not that i have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me." (verse 12)

No one is perfect ( and if they try to tell you they are, they are lying!). But despite the fact that I'm not perfect, I can still strive for perfection. I can still try my hardest to live the way God calls me to live. People often say they don't want to attend church because it is full of hypocrites. Well, guess what? No one is perfect. The difference is we are trying to become perfect. The fact of the matter is that we will never be perfect.

"For our citizenship is in heaven" (verse 20a)

Our time on earth is short. We are only here for a little while. We are just visitors. If Christ is your Savior, then your home is in Heaven with Him. Therefore, think on things above and not on things of the earth. Be proud to be a Christian and let others know where your allegiance lies.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Journey Through Pilippians--Chapter 2

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." (verses 3-4)

What a great reminder that we are called to be servants! We are to put others first. In this me-centered world, this can be tough to do, but do it we must. Christ came to this earth to be a servant to us. He gave up His throne to serve. It is the least we can do to serve those around us. We don't need to give up nearly as much as He did.

". . .work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (verse 12)

Read that again. It says "work out" not work for. Do you realize what that means?! According to my study Bible, the Greek term is was first used by an author when speaking of digging silver out of silver mines. Therefore, it is a gift that is already there; we just need to unwrap it and enjoy it. We can't work for our salvation. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father. Stop trying to earn it! It is a gift that is available for everyone.

"Do all things without complaining and disputing." (verse 14)

Again, read that a second or third time. Do you notice the second word? ALL! As Christians, we are not to complain when asked to do something. We are to just do it without whining or coming up with excuses as to why we can't do what was asked. This is something I definitely need to work on. Again, in this me-centered world, we don't want to do things that are out of our comfort zone, take too much work, or interferes with what I want to do. This goes along with verses 3 and 4--put others first. I often quote this to my children, but I need to ask the Holy Spirit to remind me of it when I start complaining about something as well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Journey Through Pilippians

In one of my Bible studies, I was encouraged to read Philippians. Although I have read Philippians many times before, I sat down and read it again. I was amazed at not only what God opened my eyes to see, but also what was reinforced from what I already knew. My plan is to share some of my thoughts on here.

Chapter 1

"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (verse 6)

We must have confidence that God will continue to work in our lives. Once He starts using us for His glory, He will continue to use us. When we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He will bless you and continue to bless you. You may be going through some tough times right now, but have confidence that He will use it for His glory and will bless you for enduring.

"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." (verses 9-11)

This is my prayer for my family! I've heard of praying scripture and I want to start here. I will pray this prayer not only for each of my girls, but for Chad and other members of my family as well as my friends.

"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (verse 21)

I need to remind myself of this daily. I am to live for God and not for man. It is God's standards I want to live up to, not the world's. I pray that I can say this with confidence in the face of severe persecution.

"For to you, it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for his sake" (verse 29)

When you accept Christ into your heart, it doesn't mean that your life is going to be all roses. We are told that we are going to face persecution and endure sufferings. We should take joy in those sufferings (not that it is easy to do, however!). His Word tells us that we have been "granted"; it is a gift.

I hope to post on Chapter 2 tomorrow so check back!

The Way Women Were Designed

As most of my followers know, I used to be a feminist. I fought with God about becoming who He not only created me to be, but how He designed me as a woman. When I read this blog post, it felt like something I could have written. The truth of the matter is that God created women different from men and contrary to saying, "Anything you can do, I can do better", God didn't create us to do a man's job better than he could. He did create us, however, to do some things that men can't do. That in itself is a reason to praise the All Mighty God!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This Little Prayer of Mine

I had the pleasure of receiving a two copies of This Little Prayer of Mine by Anthony DeStefano and illustrated by Mark Elliot (one to review and one to giveaway!). This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group and can be purchased from

This Little Prayer of Mine is a good book not only for young children but for all who read it! Not only are the illustrations beautiful, the book is written as a poem which flows well for reading out load and to keep little ones interested. The book is a great reminder that not only can we turn to God will our prayer requests, but also to thank Him for all He has already done. It turns our hearts towards thinking of others as well instead of just requesting for ourselves. It also turns little minds to the greatness of God. I really like that the prayer requests made by the child is for ways to help him live and not for a bunch of "things".

I definitely think this is a great book to give to the children in your lives. I look forward to adding this to our book collection and reading it many times to my girls.

To enter to win a copy of this book, please post a separate comment for each:
1. Become a follower and let me know, and let me know who you will either read this book to or give it to. If you already follow, just leave a comment about that and who you will read this book to or give it to. (Leave an email address if you don't have a blog for me to be able to contact you).
2. Blog about this giveaway and link to this post.
3. Mention this giveaway on Facebook and link back to this post.

Deadline for entries is April 13th at midnight. Winner will be contacted and posted on Wednesday, April 14th.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I have been reading another blogger's "Gratituesday" for a while and decided I would like to give it a shot!

I am so thankful for the rain we have been having! Our lawn is nice and green and I know my garden is being nourished! Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tough Relationships

We've all been there. . .in a relationship that causes pain and heartache. I really wish I would have been able to read this devotional a couple of years ago when we were going through a really rough time with tough relationships. One thing I learned is that God will lift you up in HIS time (1 Peter 5:6).