Thursday, December 27, 2012

God-sized Dream Team!

A new year is almost here - 2013!! I don't think I have ever been more excited about a new year! I am part of the God-sized Dream Team and I can't wait to see what God has in store for me and the other 99 ladies that are part of this team. When I was chosen I wasn't even sure what my God-sized dream would be. I just knew He had a plan for me and He put me on this team for a reason. My dream is finally coming together in my mind and heart and I look forward to seeing how it all works out. It is a little scary but I know He will be right beside me the whole way and will work things our for His purpose.

Do you have a dream that you have not pursued because it seemed too big or you just didn't know how to get started? Check out Holley Gerth's blog where she has been introducing us to God-sized dreams...

Need more help getting started - like a step by step plan? Holley can help with that too. Her new e-book will be released on January 1.

So what are you waiting for? Ask God to show you His plan for you in 2013 and get started!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Do Not Be Afraid

I woke up this morning and quickly remembered what had happened yesterday. I looked at my children and thanked God for them. I can't imagine what each parent and that community is going through this morning. My heart aches for them. What we saw yesterday is the evil that is very real in this world. There are so many that don't know our God and look for something to fill the void. The devil is happy to swoop in and take over if someone will let him. As I watched the news last night I kept hearing the question "Why?" and "What was the motive?" That may be something we never know.

When I got home yesterday, I hugged and kissed my babies a little bit more. So happy to see them and find them home safe. It also hit me that we were about to put our two youngest in a public school next month. What if something like that happened here? I could overreact and never let them leave the house :-) or I can just trust my God. I love this verse...
We never know what is going to happen but we do have the promise that He will be with us no matter what!

I will be praying for all of those affected by the shooting yesterday. I pray that they will turn to God and He will give them peace.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Let Go & Let God

Monday is the day...I start my new new job! I am excited and very thankful but we have had to made some hard decisions. I have been very picky about where my children go to school. Patrick has been in a Christian school since preschool until this year and my other two have mostly been homeschooled. I left my job to be at home and homeschool all three. I thought I would be at home at least through this school year but God has other plans for me.

Now what? My mom can't help all three of them with was hard for me and I am a teacher. :-) My husband and I are doing something that I couldn't have done six months ago. We are sending Reagan and Katherine to public school. Let me tell you, this was not an easy decision for me and I shed some tears over it but I love the peace that comes when you turn it all over to Jesus. Through lots of prayer He let me know that it will be okay.

He also showed me the root of my fear. See I've never felt like a good enough mom to help them spiritually. I struggled was I supposed to help them? I felt that they had to be protected or go to a Christian school. I've seen what happens when good kids get around bad influences and I just didn't think I could prepare my children. I know I can't control everything and I can't prepare them for everything but I do know who is in control. I know my God will watch over them and protect them. I pray that God will use them to help and teach others of His amazing love. I now see this as an opportunity for them!

It is so neat when you can look back and see the things He planted in your life to get you ready for situations He knew you would need help with.I am changing and growing and building my relationship with Him and it is wonderful! I can't explain the peace I feel about so many things in my life now. What a difference when you give it all to God! Let Go and Let God...I say this to myself quite a bit so that I don't start taking charge (which is what I've done in the past).

What do you need to let go of and give to God?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I know the plans I have for you...

This is one of my favorite verses and I have gone back to it many times this year. It took every ounce of faith to take Him at His word. Has it been easy? No way! There have been so many times that I have doubted the decisions I made this year. How many people do you know that walked away from a 17 year career to stay at home with their children? I had no idea what He had planned for me and even now I don't know everything that is in store for me but I can tell you I know it will be wonderful because He said so!

After many months of praying, I knew God wanted me home with my husband and children. Financially it has been one of the hardest times in our lives but the growth and the blessings have been worth it. We are still struggling but I know He will take care of our needs. We have had money given to us or had a check in the mail at "just the right time" so many times this year. This time has taught all of us to be more thankful and realize how blessed we truly are.

I thought I would be at home this whole school year but again I did not know the plans He had for me. :-) One morning when I was working on our budget and all I could see is how much we couldn't pay, I cried out to him for answers. I asked him for direction, I asked him for help, I asked him to give me a sign so that I would know what to do. I was desperate for answers! Well...ask and you shall receive! I just couldn't believe it when UGA called later that day and wanted me to schedule an interview. So the next week I headed to Athens. I thought the interview went well and I was surprised at how much I wanted the position. The hard part was knowing that this would disrupt all of our lives. As the days passed I wasn't sure what to do if they even offered me the position. I let the worry and stress take over and lost sight of this verse. I knew I had to let it go and leave it up to Him. When I did that guess what happened...UGA called that day and offered me the position and I accepted with the peace of knowing God had given it to me. I wasn't about to reject a gift from Him!

I have a few weeks before I start my new job and there are lots of decisions to be made. I will just look to Him for guidance and KNOW that He has great plans for me and my family!!

Is there something in your life that you need to give to Him? Please let me know if I can pray for you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

One of those days!

It amazes me how fast I can lose my focus some days. I felt so good this morning. I woke up early, curled up on the couch with my laptop and Spark, and enjoyed the lights of the trees and the scent of the burning candle. I was able to read my Bible, do my Advent study, and work on a few things before the kids got up. I had high hopes for the day - lots to get done since I will be subbing for the next two days.

To say things did not go as expected is such an understatement. By lunch I was overwhelmed with fear about our finances, one child was not working on assignments like he should and then...CRASH! Our beautiful Christmas tree was on the floor. I don't know what happened to make it fall but I could see pieces of ornaments as I picked it up. I lost it at that point - I just busted out crying while my three babies stood there looking at me. I was upset that some of my special ornaments were now in pieces, I was upset about our finances, I was upset that nothing was going my way today even though it started off perfect! I felt like Satan was doing everything he could to ruin my day.

So what did I do?  I went back to what I had studied that morning - HOPE. We have hope because of a special baby that was born. No matter what life brings our way, we have hope!

The rest of the day went a little better especially after the hugs and kisses from my children. They didn't know everything I was crying about but they knew their Mom needed some love and support. I am looking forward to tonight when we all sit down and do some of our family activities for Advent. I hope that my day will end like it started - relaxing and peaceful and focused on the one who gives us hope.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Have you ever had "one of these days"? Do you ever feel like Satan works harder against you when you are striving to follow God's will? I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Making Your Home a Haven - Week 4 - Decorating

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet? We were able to get most of ours done this weekend. I love this time of year - the trees, the lights, the handmade ornaments made by my sweet children. I love the way my home feels when we decorate for Christmas - so warm and relaxing. This part of the challenge was easy for me!

Decorate! The holidays are upon us. Ann Voskamp says “Creating is good theology. In the beginning God created.” Be creative as you make your home warm, cozy and inviting for the holidays. Think about ways you can keep Christ in Christmas even in the way you decorate.  Decorate – to the glory of God!

How do you celebrate Christmas?

How do you celebrate Christmas? Is this a stressful time ~ shopping, cooking, parties, worried about finances, seeing "those" relatives, no time to relax? I know I have spent too many years stressing about all of these things and if you have children you might have the added stress of finding THE present they really, really want. :-) I have decided that this year will be different. The birth of Jesus won't be something we remember here and there and at church on Christmas Eve. This year His birth will be the focus - our greatest gift!

Have you ever celebrated Advent? This is the first year for my family and I am so excited! God put the right people in my life (other bloggers) and made it very easy to find some great resources for our celebration. We even have a live Advent tree for all of the ornaments the kids will make. My step-dad and oldest son went out in the woods and cut it down for us. I am ashamed to say that I got a little aggravated with the tree when we were putting it up. It is a prickly tree and I ended up with a few thorns in my fingers. After we got it set up and I sat down to look at it, I thought about the crown of thorns they put on our Saviors head. I was complaining about a few very small thorns in my fingers. My attitude definitely changed after that. Our Advent tree is my favorite one now. I look at it and think about that sweet baby that was born to save us and how he was ridiculed, beaten, and died for each one of us. His gift to us was and is eternal. It is a gift that we need to share with others. Do you know someone that needs His gift of salvation? Don't wait, share it with them today. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
I have always loved this time of year but this year we will truly keep Christ in Christmas.

If you are interested in Advent, here are the two books I plan to use this year (one for me and one for the kids).
Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus-
Truth in the Tinsel-