Fallen branches

Every day around here is pretty much the same. Get the girls up, help them get breakfast, wipe their faces (although, I admit, sometimes I forget about this step and I find myself frantically rubbing their faces as they get on the bus), pack up their backpacks, making sure they got their lunches, shoes on, jackets on, and head down to the bus stop.

On the way down to the bus stop each morning I notice many fallen branches. Some small, some really big. Unfortunately, that means some of our street trees are nearing the end of their lives, but other times, it means the branch was dead, barely hanging on, and they fell. They needed to be released from the tree firmly planted, because otherwise that dead branch would continue sucking life nutrients that the still alive tree needed. It could eventually hinder the growth of the healthy tree, causing it to become unhealthy. This reminded me of something gardeners do to keep plants and trees healthy and beautiful:

Pruning.

Just as beautiful trees, rosebushes, plants, etc need pruning from time to time, so do we as God’s most beautiful creation. Sometimes, we have things we are holding onto that are sucking life out of us. They are taking the nutrients our hearts, souls, and minds so desperately need. We all will have times in our lives that require pruning. It may look like stepping back from a relationship that is toxic. It may look like getting rid of certain environmental factors that are causing unnecessary stress.

Sometimes, however, it will be reaching into the deepest, darkest, most secretive places in your soul to finally release control of that area of life you have so desperately clung to. You know it is causing your soul to be sick, but you are afraid to let it go. You are afraid to prune it back for fear of what it will expose underneath. You are afraid if you prune that part, it will leave other parts vulnerable.

But, you see, by pruning your heart, you leave room for growth. Beautiful growth. Fruit bearing growth. Pruning prepares your heart for something more beautiful to come. Pruning allows the life giving nutrients to reach those places that used to be covered by the tangled mess of dead branches. Pruning allows the sun to finally shine on those cavernous places in your soul, bringing with it all the warmth, beauty, and light it was starving for.

Pruning, though painful and hard at the time, gives life.

I realized that I have a place like that. I have a place in my soul, in my life, that I am holding onto so tight you couldn’t break into it with the jaws of life. I need to uncurl my fingers and unclench my fist. I need to allow God to prune this area in my life. I need to cut off this diseased portion so that the beautiful parts can grow and be used.

Do you have a place in your soul that needs pruning? Will you release that today? Allow God to prune the dead so your beautiful shows even more? So that God can use you to bear even MORE fruit?

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” John 15:1-7

❤ XOXO
~Emily

 

 

On aches, twinges, and Christ

The following was something I posted on Facebook… but the more I got thinking, the more I felt I should also share here.

I hope it helps and encourages someone today ❤

Knowing-when-your-family-is-completeI know I have been super crazy (blog friends, just read THIS TOO haha), back and forth, schizo mama about having more babies. I know I have probably annoyed quite a few people (especially my poor hubs haha). I am sorry for that. I wanted to share tonight how God has spoken to me, given me peace, and that I just feel content. Complete… It may be a little long, so bear with me 🙂

Andrew and I had a wonderful talk last night. He said something to me that God REALLY used to help me. No matter how many babies we had, I would miss certain ages and stages. It is OK to feel complete with our family, yet simultaneously feeling sad certain stages are passing and just because I am sad that my babies are growing up is not a sign that I HAVE to have more. (does that make ANY sense!? HA) I can also be both sad at passing stages yet be excited for new ones to come.

I was planning on writing a blog about some of the extreme views in Christianity that I have struggled with. One of those is the “continuing to have babies” (and if God has called you to this and this is YOUR conviction, PLEASE obey. Anything less would be disobedience). I was going to write how the number of babies you have doesn’t equate to how good of a Christian you are. More kids does not mean more love from God. More kids doesn’t mean one is a better Christian than those with fewer. They are just a Christian family with less (or more) kids.

Well, thinking on this last night, God seriously threw an explosive slap on the head… He spoke (quite loudly) to my heart — “Emily, how can you write that when you don’t even believe it yourself?” (OUCH) ***hanging head in shame***

God is right (isn’t He always? HAHA)

I have been seeing SO many people having their 4th (or 5th… or 6th… or 8th! HAHA) babies that I love bunches and bunches, and look up to, that mix that with the feeling sad on certain stages being over, and it is almost like I felt I *HAD* to have another baby to be a “good enough Christian.” Dumb, right?!

I was comparing myself. I was basing my worth and value in Christ, and how much God loved me, on whether not I had more babies.

I am a person who is completely head over HEELS in love with being a mother. I would not trade the puke filled bedding or 3 AM wake up calls for ANYTHING (though I do hate puke and I do love sleep LOL). It is my JOB, and I (at least I hope HA!) am DANG good at it (though I suck with babies hahaha) I am a person, who no matter my age, will probably ALWAYS get that baby itch around a certain time. That ache, in a way (which I know is normal. Even mothers WAAAAAY past the kid phase feel that twinge sometimes.

I also LOVE loving on others around me. I love being the light of Christ to those around me. We moved here to BE that. We moved here because we know the Lord called us here. I love that we are being able to minister and love on the kids around here. I know that if we had more babies, I would hide away, struggle with PPD (not to mention pre term births, nicu babies, colic babies, back issues etc, that make pregnancy hard for me), and I would not be a very good light to others. My first and most important relationship is God. I feel so much peace that God is breathing into my soul. That I am NOT being selfish for realizing we are done. I am NOT being selfish for missing stages, yet not necessarily wanting to do them again. We have a CALLING here. An important one. One that I want to make Jesus proud with. I can admit, that I KNOW I would not do that if we were to have another. I think it, no, I KNOW, it would hinder our ministry. I almost feel *if* we were to have another, it would not be biological.

I LOVE helping in Katie’s (and soon to be Holly’s and Simon’s) school. I want to be able to do it more. A lot more. I love all the things I have been able to do with the kids now that they are older… and I don’t think it means I am selfish, or a bad Christian, because part of me is excited for that.

I want to make a difference for Christ here in Towson. I want to love others like Jesus SO HARD they don’t know what hit them, and they won’t be able to help but fall in love with this beautiful and amazing Savior. The Savior who extends grace so amazing it is almost scandalous! I want that. Desperately. And I think that desire is an important one to fulfill.

Anyway. Sorry this was so long. HA! I hope this made sense. I am just SO SO SO much at peace! I am SO beyond happy. I am joyful. I am content. I feel… complete ❤ Thank you for those who prayed. And congrats to all my friends popping out babies. Just message me ya’lls addresses and I will get my “buying baby clothes” fix through ya’ll 😉

XOXO!!! Love all you guys! Thanks for putting up with my crazy.

So there you have it 🙂 trust God. Listen to Him. Don’t compare yourself to others, for He has different plans and purposes for all of us.

Love. Laughter. and Littles
❤ XOXO Emily ❤

P.S. This is also a wonderful post. I read this awhile back and felt peace. I need to keep that peace.

together-we-make-a-family-family-quote

It’s easy when it’s going good…

stormWe have all heard that song/saying “Praise Him in the Storm”

But how many of us REALLY do that? It is easy to praise the Lord, be joyful, happy, thankful, have faith, believe in God, etc, when things are going well. When your job is great, when your kids act well, when everyone is healthy, when you are not in want, when you have plenty of food, when you have a “big enough” house, when you have shelter, when you have comfort, when you have lots of money, when you have your smart phone, tv, cable, sassy computer, iPad, Nook or Kindle, etc etc etc…I could go on and on…

Also, it is easy, when you are in a good place, to tell someone “Oh at least it isn’t this, or that…” “Oh well just trust God…” Yet, when you find yourself in that position, or something similar, you don’t really follow the same advice. Do you? Be honest… We ALL tend to do this. Dish out advice, but forget to follow it when we find ourselves in that position, or something similar. We try to excuse it away, oh well mine is harder than so and so, or this is scarier, or this is worse, etc… That isn’t the right attitude. We all have struggles. We shouldn’t compare struggles.

But what about when things are bad? Scary? What about when you are struggling (everyone struggles)? What about when your child is diagnosed with a disease or another issue? What about when your child is born early and fighting for their life in the NICU? What if you lose a child? What if you suffer a miscarriage? What if you get diagnosed with cancer? What about when your husband loses his job? What if don’t seem to have enough food? What if you have to cut from the budget comfort items (no, you don’t REALLY need cable, or smart phones or your tablet, they are a luxury)? What if you lose your spouse? What if your spouse leaves you? What if you lose your home? or car? or anything else you feel is important? What if you have no idea how you will pay bills? What if family abandons you? What if you end up pregnant and are a teenager? What if your spouse cheats? What if you are abused? What if your church family betrays you? I could keep going…

Do we praise God then? Do we trust Him then? Do we believe in Him then? Do we trust in His goodness, love, mercy and grace THEN???

Faith isn’t just about believing in God in the good times. In fact, it shows your faith more how you react in the BAD times. If we abandon God when we are in a storm, throw it in His face He must not care, or be real, be love us… that is not what following Christ is about. The Bible is pretty clear that in THIS life we will have struggles. This world is NOT our home. This World is broken, but you see, God has already won.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

You may think I am going to post the song “Praise you in the storm”… but I am not 😉 I have sorda written about that before, today I want to take a different spin on storms.

Blessings, by Laura Story is one of most favorite songs. It REALLY makes you think. You see, we are humans. We only see what is right in front of our faces, but what we forget is God sees the whole pictures. I believe that some storms and struggles we go through are to protect us from something greater. To make us into something greater. I think they are sometimes God’s mercies in disguise, as the song states.

Please REALLY listen to the words of this song. I really encourage you to contemplate what it is saying. Do you praise God in the storms as much as when it is going good? Would you praise Him if you suddenly found yourself with nothing?

Anger, Trust and Happiness

This has been a very rough few days. Something came up with the house we were supposed to get and it seemed the sellers were pretty much using it as an excuse to change their mind about selling… The rent was going to sky rocket here, so we couldn’t afford to stay. We only have a month on the lease. We didnt know where we were going to live. There were a lot of tears, confusion, anger, and frustration. I was even sad!

BUT….

Thank the Lord I think we are working something out…. if it still somehow goes to pot (even though our option would make them HAVE to hold to the contract) we THANK goodness found another apt, still close to here, normal home type apt, not high rise, so smoke smell woudn’t be an issue. It is alot cheaper and we would have a space for our bed. So. I am much calmer today. lol.

I had a few people try and say not to worry, it will work out. Keep it together. things like that. I KNOW what they mean, and I love them for it. I LOVE my friends and all the love, support and encouragement, AND prayers, they were all giving us. I hope they know how much it means to me. THEN, we had people get on us about Katie “knowing” too much and we shouldn’t have talked to her about the house. We didnt’ really have a choice for one, she had to go with us when we originally saw it and another reason, she is not good with transitions, so if she saw us packing up, she would be asking questions. And also… she asked on her own, so we told the truth. She noticed things and picked up on things. AAAAAND lastly, the issue that happened was NOT normal. It really wasn’t. It isn’t something that really should have happened, sooooo therefore we had no idea we were even in danger of not moving. It was crazy.

In the emotional state I was in yesterday, there were high emotions, I am sure I over reacted. I am sorry if we were snappy to any of our friends. PLEASE understand. Just try putting yourself in our shoes. I think we felt we were being “scolded” or told it wasn’t a big deal. We have 2 small kids, we cant afford the apt we are in now, plus I dont really want to stay due to constant cigarette smoke coming in, making everyone almost constantly sick. We had a shock and didnt’ know where we were going to go. We would be out 1000.00 from appraisal and inspection money that was just GONE. AND there was nothing else out there. We even expanded our search, nothing in our price range, and we cant go too far out, or it would be WAY to costly for andrew to commute. We are dealign with 1 car now and it is saving us A LOT of money. Andrew walks to work. So, we were very stressed, trying our best to make compromises for people who wouldn’t. We were upset. Scared. Confused. Anxious. Frustrated. I know in my heart what everoyne was trying to say. Be strong for my girls. If they see me ANXIOUS, they will be too. I know that also doesn’t mean our children cant SEE us sad. I realize that. I know we over analyzed comments in the heat of the moment yesterday. We are sorry.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. ” Luke 12:22

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything,  but in everything by prayer and supplication  with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phillipians 4:5-6

I DO think it is important our children see our emotions. Jesus had differant emotions. Jesus was sad, angry, confused even, BUT he never sinned in them, he STILL trusted his Father, he was STILL strong. I can be strong, but human. I can be together, but still cry. I want my children to see that frustration, sadness, and even anger can be totally ok. I want them to realize its OK to be upset. The Bible says:

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” Epesians 4:26

Humans can get angry. Humans can get sad. Humans can be upset. Humans can be frustrated. We ARE human. We HAVE emotions. We are part of a fallen world where things happen to cause these emotions. Sometimes I think that we think we have to “hold it together” all the time, or that TRUSTING God means you are never upset, never sad, never confused or question, never frustrated. You can trust God, and still have these feelings. IT IS OK to be upset. I am NOT going to hide what I feel, that, to me, would be a sin… it would be a form of lying, and I don’t think it would be right.

BUT, do not sin in those feelings. Do not take out those feeligns on others, etc… I still need to be an good example for my children and SHOW them that YES you can feel these, but we do need to do it in a biblical way. YES we can have these, but I really shouldn’t worry. The bible says not to. I realize this. I think sometimes though when people are first going through something hard or frustrating, simply saying they REALIZE its hard, it sucks, and they are praying for you, can be most helpful, not just telling them don’t worry about it, let it go, etc… I think it can cause more upsetness, because it can make people feel like their feelings are being negated, or they shouldnt HAVE those feelings.

BUT, ultimately, God IS in control. I should not fear. This song came to mind…

“Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me

Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

And this Bible verse: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But  even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore;  you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

I know this is what my precious friends were telling me ❤ Sometimes life DOES suck and you feel abandoned, but God never does. I don’t need to worry about homes, clothes, money etc.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and  be content with what you have, for he has said,  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

We really do appreciate all the support, encouragement and prayers. And again, we are sorry if we did sin in the emotions we had. Forgive us. Thank you for being our friends. Thank you for praying. Keep praying. God IS in control.

Go to the Lord with ALL your emotions. Trusting God doesn’t mean you cannot show emotions. . . it means you GIVE those emotions to Him 🙂 TELL God what you are feeling. PRAY about them. CRY to God, your friends, your family. whatever. pray, give it to God, and then TRY and let it go. TRUST HIM.

“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts  on your beds, and be silent.” Psalm 4:4

Faith and Focus

We always here the term child like faith. They are so trusting, loving and caring. It is ashame we as adults grow up jaded and become so scared to love and trust. I fully believe it effects our ability to have trusting, open, MEANINGFUL and life changing relationships with people. The other day, I laid down with Katie in her bed. I am not sure which was funnier, the fact that I as a near 31 year old woman can still FIT in a toddler bed (Yeah, I am short and small, lol, so what) or the fact that I meant to lay down with her to pray and cuddle. maybe snooze a few min, and I fell asleep for over 1.5 hrs, IN the toddler bed. LOL.

 

So, as I was laying with her and praying for her, many noises began to distract me from the purpose I had come in there to do. Lay down and pray and take a little snooze with my girl. There were at least 2 fire trucks, the bass blaring on cars driving by, people screaming and shouting, banging, etc. Anytime I heard one of these noises I stopped what I was doing and started trying to figure out what the noise was and where it was coming from. The noises made me lose my focus on the task in front of me. Katie? nope, those things didnt’ phase her. She came to her room and laid in her bed with her focus on ONE THING. SLEEP. And nothing, was going to stop her from getting that sleep. She was able to BLOCK OUT distractions so that she could focus on what was important at the time. Too bad I couldn’t do the same.

This got me thinking. Many times when we call our children and they don’t answer, it isn’t that they are being naughty, misbehaving, disobeying, or whatever other lies you want to believe (yes, sometimes they are, but most times I dont think thats the case). The truth is small children have SUCH focus sometimes. When they are playing with something they want to be doing, something that excites them, etc.. they have the AMAZING ability to totally block out ANY and ALL distractions around them in order to give 100% to the task in front of them. Most times, I dont think my girls are purposely ignoring me, I think they are just SO focused on the tast at hand, they dont hear me, or anything else. When they are doing something they love and enjoy, the rest of the world fades away in to a blur.

This got me thinking more. If I am watching a show I enjoy, reading something I enjoy, sometimes I am pretty focused, so why is it that sometimes reading my Bible, hearing a sermon, etc… I lose focus SO easy!? :/ It’s kinda sad. I should LOVE spending time in God’s Word! Anyway! another weird thought by crazy me 🙂 I am gonna try to have MORE focus. I want the focus AND faith of a child. I think part of the reason they can have so much focus IS because they have such faith. They have faith things will work out, even if they dont know how. They have faith that toy will work, even if they don’t how or why it does, they just know its supposed to do something, and they have faith it will do what it is meant to do.

We should be that way with God. We know God works all things to the good of those who love him. We dont always NEED to know the how or why, but we KNOW he will. That should be enough. I think if we have MORE faith, we would naturally have MORE focus as well. Our minds wouldn’t be filled with the distractions of the 5 W’s and the how (who, what, when, where, why) of the situation or problem. We wouldn’t have to know. We would just have faith and believe it WILL work out.

Sunglasses

This has been a LONG week. Apparantly it has been for others, because I commented yesterday on the fact it was ONLY Wednesday and several people agreed. Why does this week seem so long? ugh, I dont know about you, but I have MY reasons! LOL. They all center around a precious little girl, whom I love DEARLY, Katie Rene’ Kulp. LOL. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not blaming her for anything, persay, it really has just been one of those weeks. Grantid, I am pregnant, so I am sure that adds to the tiredness as well as the emotional part of GETTING frustrated! LOL. For as long as I can remember, Katie has been a GREAT sleeper! She slept through the night before 6 months and has pretty much done that since. We could probably count the number of times on our hand we actually had to go in. Most times, when, well really, IF, Katie woke at night, she put herself back to sleep on her own. Of course, we had roadbumps along the way, what parent doesn’t? We had a few nights here and there of her CLEARLY fighting bedtime, lol. But, overall she has done great. . .

Well, this past month or so sleep issues have started. Katie now has 12 teeth (the molars are still working their way through, but they are all there and I can see most of the tooth) and has never really had sleep issues with any of them. The worst that happened was she’d have a hard time napping, so maybe nap 1.5hr rather than 2 hrs, and she may wake up half an hour early. No night wake-ups, she was still sleeping fine. We could put her to bed around 7:30 and count on 12 hours (sometimes more) of good solid sleep. YAY for us. Well, that has changed. Recently, she has been waking up at night, only once a night (so far), and only a couple of times a week – but it is still VERY unusual for her. She has had nightmares, poop, teething pain (she is working on all 4 canines, so I am guessing thats why it hurts more, that and they are rubbing on other teeth to work their way down, and she is “blessed” wtih a small mouth like her mommy, soooo ya I can see that hurting. My mouth wasn’t even big enough for all my teeth, which may surprise some people, haha, I had to get 4 pulled!!!) Katie has always  been such a good sleeper, we have pretty much come to the conclusion that if she wakes and cannot put herself back to sleep, its a legitimate need. So far, we have been right. As soon as we give her what she asks for, she curls back up and goes to sleep. So, I don’t think she is playing us. Of cousre, with my hormones, I have been getting really frustrated about it sometimes. I thought we must have done SOMETHING wrong. We didnt’ teach her to sleep right, we didn’t do sleep training soon enough, when in reality, we did it a little SOONER than our pedi recommended, but he told us to go ahead with it, our nighttime routine is too long, I sing to her too much, rock her too much, etc. I was blaming myself. Well, as parents, this can be bad. We have the tendency to do that when something goes wrong. We question ourselves, our instincts and abilities. We think we are bad mom’s. We wonder, HOW will I EVER have more kids!? We worry we are “screwing” our kid up. Mom’s, some of you can SAY you dont think these thigns, but I am pretty sure you do. Almost EVERY mother I have talked to has these feeligns in some way shape or form.

So, anyway, this sleep stuff has made me exhausted! I will have JUST fallen asleep at night, and she wakes up. I need to remember though that my poor daughter is suffering from it too. She isn’t doing it on purpose, I am pretty sure. As moms, we learn to read the cries. Part of me gets frustrated because I feel SO bad for her and I know there is really NOTHING I can do to help her sleep better right now 😦 Last night she woke up and asked for a drink. She said “dink fo mouth, water!” LOL. I gave it to her, she GUZZLED the WHOLE bottle down in 2 drinks!!! not kidding. When she was done, I said are you ok sweetie, its time to sleep now. She said ok mama, laid down and went to sleep. LOL. So yes, pretty sure she wasn’t manipulating me. On top of the night wakings, she has been waking earlier than normal pooping!!! Gotta love how teething messes up EVERYTHING. Literally. It is also making her stuffy, though she  may  have SOME alleriges too. . .which a stuffy nose is another reason sleep is hard. Poor kid. So far, though, she poops, I go in change her in the dark (interesting I know, lol) put her back down and she sleeps more. YAY! Today, she pooped at 7, I know that isn’t THAT early, but Katie normall sleeps till 7:30, but with waking at night she is more tired and I can tell she wants to sleep. So, this morning I put her  back down afterward and she slept over an hour! YAY! She just got up around 8:20! Poor kid.

Ok, so you are probably wondering why this is called Sunglasses. . .well I admit, I have a “losing it” problem. I get WAY to frustrated sometimes. So, last night when she woke up I almost started crying. I was SOOOO tired and I had JUST fallen asleep. UGH. So, I was so frustrated I picked up my old pair of sunglasses and threw them across the room! :/ Yes bad, I know. I really need to work on this. I know Katie isn’t doing it on purpose. I know I am a good mother and can at least calm her to where she goes right back to sleep within 1-2 minuets. I know it could be worse. I know now, honestly, to go to bed NOT knowing IF she will sleep ok or if she will wake up. I kind of expect it. If I expect it, why do I get so dang frustrated!? I am making it worse for myself. Next time, I am going to say,  Oh boy, she woke up, I was right! LOL. I am just thankful, so far, anway, that she is calming quickly and she is only waking one time a night, and it isn’t EVERY night thankfully. . .at least not yet. . .My friend told me this is VERY normal for kids this age. They have A LOT going on around this time. Growing, teething, milestones, major language bursts, etc. . .their little minds and bodies are working overtime. SO, I am sure it HAS to be hard to settle 😦 I am glad I dont remember all that, yikes. My friend has a little girl several months older than Katie and other friends with kids even older than her daughter, so yes, i trust her views. she has been through it. Her friends have been through it. I am SO thankful for her!!! She calms me down, helps me see it from a better perspective and she helps me realize I already KNOW the answers 🙂 I am a good mother and know Katie better than anyone. She is right. God has entrusted Katie to me on this earth. God knows ME better than anyone, he also knows KATIE  better than anyone. God does NOT make mistakes. Therefore, if God chose to give Katie to us, He must have confidence I can raise her, love her and not totally screw her up. He has given me accountability, friends to help and encourage, family advice and of course, a loving husband to  help too. I do NOT have to always have things figured out! Where is the fun in that!? 🙂 hahahaha. Anyway, so thats my week so far. I have just been so tired I have not written a blog in awhile. . .

Honestly this blog reminds me of something. . .as moms when we question ourselves or question God “What were you THINKING” I am not capable of this, I will screw her up, etc. We are NOT being humble about motherhood, but prideful. I know, it sounds weird. . .but here, read this blog, it is a GREAT explanation, better than i could explain. IN fact, I  have TRIED explaining why low self esteem etc, is prideful, buts its is HARD to! This pastor does a GREAT job. SO moms, lets work on our self esteem ok? Not only with ourselves, but with our kids too. We are GOOD parents. God wouldn’t have blessed us with our kids, if He didnt’ think we could do it! We dont have to do it alone either! PRAISE THE LORD! 🙂 Ok, here is the blog:  READ ABOUT PRIDE/HUMILITY HERE

Success

I am working on reading through the Bible.  I don’t always get to it everyday, so I am sure it will take more than the year that it is supposed to. . .Today, I was reading about Joseph.  Joseph went through a lot of, well, crap, but ended up with great success.  This will be a relatively short blog, because this scripture speaks for itself.  This shows my heart’s desire and prayer for Andrew and me, not only in dealing with our heart for ministry, but in our marriage, as parents and as disciples of Christ. 

“The Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love. . .” Genesis 39:21
“. . .the Lord was with him.  And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed”  Genesis 39:23

I pray this for Andrew and I, that whatever the Lord has for us, He will allow it to succeed.  Maybe we are in a waiting period because if we were to go before now, it WOULDN’T succeed.  As Christains, we ask WHY alot, but as Christians, we also know, God doesn’t always answer the why.  We have to trust Him, His plans, His timing, His will. . .and also trust that during those times of “why asking” He will provide for us and our needs, because He will.  He ALWAYS will.

New meaning

This passage has new meaning for me today

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!  Matt 7:7-11

All I can say now is to be praying for Andrew and myself as we make a huge decision.  No matter what we choose in this circumstance, it will take faith, trust and reliance on our Almighty Father.  I know He is there, we can trust and believe that He is who He says He is.  Sometimes, it is hard to remember that when your vision is clouded by confusion and fear.  We all need to remember that Christ came to give peace, not fear.  We can trust him.  I am sure many of you out there are seeking answers to something in your life, waiting on someone or something, hoping for something, etc. . .read this verses and meditate on them.  Sometimes, I think the reason we do not always feel like we get an “answer” is because we are too afraid to ask!  We are afraid to be specific with God!  Don’t be.  God hears you, sometimes he says wait, and he may say no at times, but he always hears and responds.  We just need to be faithful, and not afraid, to ask!  Please pray for Andrew and I.  God Bless!

Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Well, more of the Baltimore assesment stuff is underway.  We have been giving out some surveys for people to fill out and then mail back and we have booklets we will fill out and send back in.  I am beginning to become a little overwhelmed with all the “stuff” we have to do!  It is good that Andrew has been through this before because he is really encouraging me that it isn’t that bad and not to worry about all the little details, just fill them out and trust God and God’s will for us.  He is so sweet and I appreciate him very much.  I think all of us need to be reminded sometimes about not “sweating the small stuff”!  I am a worrier.  That is one of my weaknesses I have at times.  Although I am getting better, sometimes when things are new or I am unsure about something, I get a little anxious about it.  Andrew is so good about helping me realize there is no reason I need to be anxious.  Geez, the Bible even talks about it HERE.  That is one of my life verses (probably should be my MAIN life verse, haha).  Andrew is also right in that all these little surveys are “sweating the small stuff”, because the infamous (hehe) “Balitmore people” are going to care more about meeting us, hearing our hearts and listening to where we feel God leading us, not just reading stuff we have written on paper.  I need to trust God is going to allow HIS will to be completed, (He promises HERE and HERE) and that when the time comes, God will give us the words to speak and the courage to be ourselves!  I am still really excited about the church plant though and part of me is ready to move to Balimore now!  However, I will miss a lot of people here, so you guys better keep in touch! 🙂  And I will miss Journey and JourneyKidz (and the kiddos in J.K!).  I will miss alot, but I know we are giving up things we love and enjoy here to fullfill God’s purpose and plan for our lives, so I know overtime it will be worth it.  Following God’s will always is!  Following His will can and will be scary and you will probably be unsure a lot of the time, but that is when God is calling you to trust wholly in Him.  He won’t let you down, and His will for our lives is better than anything we can try to accomplish on our own!  To God be the glory!!!