Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus

celebrating the resurrection of Jesus

Happy Resurrection Day, sweet readers!

Of all the holidays on the calendar, Resurrection Sunday is the one most worth celebrating. There is nothing more significant in all of time than the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! So it is right that we celebrate! It is right that we worship!

Because He is alive, because He is risen, everything has changed!

Because He is alive, we can be made alive!

We were dead in our trespasses and sins

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  (Eph. 2:1-3)

But God made us alive together with Christ

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:4-7)

Because of these amazing truths Resurrection Sunday never gets old. The Gospel never gets old. The Gospel is like oxygen for the Christian soul. When you are born and take your first breath, it’s oxygen that brings you life, it never gets old, we never stop breathing, and the more we cherish life, the deeper we sigh to breathe in. The Gospel is this way, it only gets more precious and more amazing as we grow closer to the one who saved us.

holy week story stones 2 tomb garden 2

I hope you had an amazing day celebrating our risen King!

Rejoice! He is risen!!!!

 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ (Luke 24:6-7)

holy week story stones 

Celebrating Biblical Marriage

celebrating biblical marriage

Happy Valentine’s Day, ladies!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to write on one of my most favorite topics. <3 Biblical Marriage. <3

Biblical marriage is something to be celebrated! Something to pray for and pursue! God shows us in His Word how to conduct ourselves within relationships, and has specific instructions for ways that we are to conduct ourselves within marriage. I love to blog about those things here at Abiding Woman, and will continue because they are very important!

God’s design for marriage is that we would be a picture of Jesus and His bride! We get the opportunity to be a Part of a Beautiful Picture! An integral piece of this picture is that we as women are submissive to and trusting of our husbands just as we submit to and trust the Lord. I said “trust” because trust is a huge part of submission and it is also a primary way to build intimacy within your marriage. It is difficult for your husband to be in intimate conversation with you (which is what women tend to crave as intimacy) when he feels that you do not trust where he is leading your family.  How can he be safe to share his heart with a wife who acts as if she knows better than he does about how things should go. That is not the design God laid out for your marriage.

Epesians 5: 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything

Now some are thinking, “well that is fine and good for some men, but you don’t know my husband…. he isn’t walking with the Lord, he makes terrible decisions, and he isn’t looking out for my best interest”. I am very sorry if this is the case, however we are told that our example is Sarah the wife of Abraham, and if anyone had a reason to doubt her husband’s judgments on some things, it would’ve been her.

 1Peter 3:5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

Think about it, what would you have done if your husband told you to lie and say you were his sister and let you be taken off by another man to be with him? What if your husband told you he was going to take your child up on a mountain and sacrifice him? Sarah submitted to her husband and trusted the Lord who was over her husband. That is what we must do also as we are instructed here. The Bible doesn’t say to submit to your husband if it sounds like he has a good idea, it says submit like Sarah did. Wow! That’s a tall order, and believe me girls, I don’t always do this perfectly, but when I fail I must repent to the Lord and to my husband.

If you desire to cultivate intimacy in your marriage, it starts with you! A disclaimer though: I can’t promise you that the result you desire will come from your obedience. God’s not a vending machine! We don’t obey to get an earthly result of blessing, we obey because God is worthy of our obedience.

I say this because my marriage hasn’t always been the blessing that it is today…. in fact we went through some REALLY hard years. During that time, I believed a lie that if I would just obey God and submit to my husband that the Lord would give me a good and happy marriage. There was one day that I will never forget, we had been fighting (I mean REALLY FIGHTING), and I left because I had somewhere I had to be, on that drive I prayed in tears the same kind of prayer I always prayed, “God where are you in this? I’m obeying your Word as best I can, why will you not fix my marriage?” It was at this time that the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart much like God spoke to Job after all of his questioning…..

I realized in that moment what a great sin I was committing, I was trying to manipulate God with my obedience to get what I wanted. A good marriage is a good thing to desire, but it is not something we can demand! In that moment, I felt the Lord say to me, “You must obey Me even if your marriage NEVER changes.” I then had to confess, and weep for my own sin.  I began to obey God in my marriage for the sake of obeying Him alone. Amazingly enough, God in His great mercy did end up changing the heart of my husband, and today we do have a marriage that blesses me daily! However, God did not have to do that for me! But I am thankful that He did! I have written a post about “7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Marriage” and this would be particularly helpful to the wife who is walking through a difficult marriage. The Lord has graciously shown me so much through those times of struggle, and I hope that I can use that to help others walking a similar path that I did.

And if you are looking for some practical ways that you can love your husband, I have a post from last Valentines Day entitled “20 Ways to Love Your Husband“. I hope that you and your husband will be blessed by it!

Overcoming Disorganization and Poor Timemanagement

SAMSUNGThe picture above is just a pic of my girls crafting, but this picture is what my life feels like when I am not fighting the good fight to overcome disorganization and poor time-management. I have struggled with disorder and lack of self-discipline my whole life! For as long as I can remember organization and punctuality and doing proper things at the proper time where just not my forte. I was diagnosed with A.D.D. in third grade and from there on figured I had a pretty good excuse for my struggle with disorganization and poor time-management. Interestingly enough, God’s Word says nothing about this (possibly fake and made up) disability. It says plenty about prudence, discipline, hard work, and order, especially in the Proverbs.  As I have grown in the Lord, I have also grown to understand that He has called me to do things decently and in order. This is still a struggle to this day! I’ve made many strides of improvement over the years. Sometimes this struggle is three steps forward and one step back, but I am slowly but surely progressing in this by the power of the Holy Spirit within me.  I continually must strive to die to the deeds of my flesh and to let His Spirit reign in this department of my life.

 

It is in fact a sin

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger,disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” -Galatians 5:19-21

I’ll never forget the day in a Biblical counselling session that I was challenged on the deed of the flesh known as sensuality. This wise man explained to me that this was not about sex, which most people assume it is…. instead it is about living a life that is ruled by your senses, the way you feel. He explained, “You feel tired when you get up, so you sit around and don’t get to your tasks…. then you feel like doing something fun, so you neglect your work and do the fun thing….. then you don’t feel like doing the particular task assigned for the moment, so you decide to do a different task that suits your liking better….. and in the evenings you aren’t really feeling tired so you don’t lay down and go to sleep. You are being controlled by the way you feel. That is sensuality.” You know what all this really boils down to? Selfishness! It is me-centered living! It is not living for the Lord, for my husband, or for my children….. it is living for me. OUCH, right? When I saw this was sin, I immediately began to confess because I know that the Lord is faithful and just to forgive me, but I also felt this desperation because I felt that freedom from it was near impossible for someone like me! I really began to understand the words of Paul, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15)

I’ve been on this journey to overcome this sin for quite a while, and there are a few things of value that I’ve learned along the way. If you are trying to overcome this same sin struggle, then perhaps these can help you as well.

Saying “NO” to excuses & psychology

For a long time I believed I had some pretty good excuses for why I procrastinated, couldn’t get organized in certain areas of my life, and couldn’t keep the family on a schedule. These were a few of my excuses:

I have A. D. D.– For a long time I really used this diagnosis as a crutch. I even took medication for it as an adult which didn’t help at all, and I no longer take it because first of all, it is terrible for your body and secondly, I don’t think I need it…. this is a sin issue… and God fixes sin issues, not medication. (not to say that medication in certain circumstances is wrong, just sayin’ I don’t think I need it.)

I wasn’t trained for this job. -I really came into marriage and housekeeping at a severe disadvantage. I didn’t even know how to crack an egg, let alone cook it, and I had no clue how to sort and wash laundry, didn’t know how to cook anything other than grilled cheese and even that was likely to get burnt, had never cleaned a bathroom (except from my serving jobs working in restaurants… um gross!), had never successfully kept a room organized and cleaned. I didn’t have chores growing up, I’m sure my parents would’ve wanted to give me chores, but I was a pretty difficult kid from the get-go and I think expectations for me were just low. I didn’t do things well and efficiently from a young age, so having me do chores was more work (and a head-ache, I’m sure) for my mother than actually doing the work herself, and knowing that I’d just back-talk and complain the whole time, I pretty much forfeited all my life-skills learning opportunities. Also, I went to school from age 5 and on, most days I left my home and came back at 3 or 4. Things were done during the day: laundry and dinner prep and mopping of floors…. things I never really got to witness on a day to day basis to understand what really took place in the keeping of the home. At one point when I was a teen and my mother asked what I wanted to do when I grew up I said, “I want to be a housewife so I can do nothing like you.” Clearly, I had no grasp on reality! I must have thought the cleaning fairies visited or something. I had no idea how much work my mother was putting in behind the scenes! She always made it look so easy! For a long time, I just used the “I wasn’t trained for this” excuse, but I’m realizing that this is still no excuse really. It may explain a bit why I struggle, but it can not be a reason to accept this behavior from myself. There are many many blogs and books and mentors that are available to help gals like me who feel like they have no clue what they are doing in this house-keeping arena. God has given me many resources and much help.

I’m more of an artsy, creative brain, free spirited person. And that’s how God made me!– While it may be true that God has given me a creative mind and a pretty ‘go with the flow’ attitude, it does not mean that I can do the work He has laid out for me poorly. Where in God’s Word does it say, “if a man doesn’t work he doesn’t eat… except for artists and musicians and free spirits”? oh wait it doesn’t! Just look at King David, he was a creative and musically gifted man, but He also did His work well as a shepherd, warrior, and as King of Israel. We never heard tale in the Bible of David not being very organized in his kingly duties because he was more of a creative type. Being gifted in one area is not an excuse to slack off in another!

God desires for us to do things decently and in order

“But all things should be done decently and in order.” -1 Corinthians 14:40

“for God is not a God of confusion but of peace” -1 Corinthians 14:33a

These verses above are giving instructions for how things are to be conducted in God’s house. These are directly speaking of the proper use of spiritual gifts such as tongues and prophecies. I believe that we can gain multiple applications though: if God desires for things to be done decently and in order in His houses of worship, then that tells us home-managers how things should be conducted in our houses as well. It goes on to say that God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. We as Christ followers who are longing to be like Jesus are called to not be people of confusion. Doing things decently and in order brings peace to our lives and homes.

Sure it takes work! The Bible says: “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7-8) We can’t buy into the lies of the world and the lies of psychology on this…. those are worldly fables! We must discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness (being more like God). It is work, and that’s okay…. it’s worth it! It holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come!

Now for What I am NOT SAYING

I’m not saying that if you have dishes and laundry piled up sometimes you are sinful. I’m not saying that when you have interruptions in your schedule, or when you sporadically choose to stop the chores and instead to go jump on the trampoline with your little ones is sinful. It isn’t… that’s the life of a mom! I am not saying that, please hear me! I am saying that if this is a life-style of disorder and unstructured time, if you know at the end of most of your days that you absolutely wasted time doing the wrong things at the wrong time (even if they were “good” things), that is what I’m talking about. I do not want to put an unrealistic burden on anyone or on myself. I’m not talking about a house that looks like a Better Homes and Gardens magazine or keeping a schedule like a military Sargent. Some of you will read this and be in the same boat as I am, needing to struggle and fight against the sin of self-centerdness and sensuality, and to embrace a life of self-discipline for the sake of godliness. Others will need to examine their lives and hearts and if you see that you are working with eager hands as unto the Lord, know that the house may still be messy and there will still be interruptions. I am talking about realistic organization. I say all this because my goal here is freedom, not bondage! I want freedom from my sin of disorganization, and I want that for others who struggle in this area, but I want some of you mamas to know that His grace is sufficient for you…. and you can’t do it all! Some people need to slow down and relax a bit… Martha Martha…slow down, sit with Jesus, read books with your kids, don’t panic if there are a few crumbs on the floor. Others of us need to get to praying and working. Balance and heart examination is key.

Here are some of my documents that I use for scheduling what to do with my time! These are my life- savers!!!!

Home Routines- Abiding Woman

family schedule template – Abiding Woman (this is one for you to fill out yourself)

Our Number One Ministry

number one ministryThen the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone;

 I will make him a helper suitable for him.” -Genesis 2:18

 If you are a married woman, then God has given you a ministry to be a helper to your husband. From the beginning, the first woman was made to be a helper to her husband, and that is God’s plan for us who are married as well.

Our number one ministry is to be a helper to our husbands!

Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t be involved in other ministries, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have outside hobbies, it doesn’t mean that you can’t work outside the home, it doesn’t mean that you can’t pursue goals outside of marriage and family life……. what it does mean is that serving your husband should be your number one priority and ministry. It comes first, it isn’t what little energy you have left over at the end of the day. Make your husband a priority! Ask him how you can help him while he is away at work? Remember that keeping a clean and relaxing home, food in the fridge, meals planned, and well-managed children is also a huge help to your husband! Whether your husband is a Godly man or an unbeliever, this is God’s plan for you to serve and help your husband. Always remember that our marriage is to be a picture of Christ and His Bride (the church). As the one who represents the church, we should be joyfully serving our husbands with our best efforts and energy.

Marriage Like Christ and the Church

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

You can see in the first set of verses above that we are called to be subject to (serve and submit to) our husbands as we represent the Bride of Christ in our marriages. And in a Biblical marriage with a Godly husband and wife, the husband will also be pursuing the Scriptures in the second half of this passage…. loving his wife like Christ loved the church. But even if your man isn’t loving you well, this doesn’t negate God’s ministry he has given to you to be a helper to your husband. Follow God’s commands knowing that your Father who sees in Heaven will reward you, that there is joy in obedience, and that God is worthy whether or not your husband is.

A message to those who are abused:

Dear Abused Sisters, These Scriptures are for you as well, but it will look much differently than what things look like within a normal marriage. I’m sad that I have to include a portion like this in a post of this nature, but it is necessary as many men use these same Scriptures to Lord over their wives in an unBiblical and abusive way. If you are in an unsafe environment, serve your husband well by seeking help from your church elders or Christians that you can trust, and serve him by keeping yourself and your children safe! Living in a fallen world makes things messy sometimes, and it can be hard to discern the best thing to do in all situations…. pray and don’t stop praying for wisdom and restoration!  The best thing that could happen to a husband abusing his wife is for what is being hidden to be brought to light so that he can be held accountable for his actions, and hopefully be called to repentance. I highly recommend seeking a Biblical counselor that is ACBC certified (formerly NANC) as soon as you possibly can! I’m serious…. do this right now. Find a certified counselor here.  Even if your husband will not go and it is just for you to receive counseling for guidance and healing.

Blessings on all of you ladies as you serve your husbands in your individual homes!

3 Thoughts from Psalm 1

psalm 1

A few weeks ago, I began memorizing and praying over Psalm 1, and it has truly been a cup of fresh water for my soul. It is so refreshing to see in the Scripture exactly what the Lord has been working in my life for some time now, and I’m sure many of you can relate as well.

1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

1. As Christians, our path is a very different path than the path of the world, and staying out of the path of the wicked is a blessing. 

Jesus tells us more about these two paths or ways in Matthew 7:13-14

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

There is a way and a path that MANY are on, and it leads to destruction. We can’t walk in the way that the world would counsel us to walk. It is even clear here that we are not even to stand in the path of the wicked. Many people think that they should participate in certain things that are evil or go to certain events that are worldly so that others don’t feel like they are judgmental or maybe so that their kids don’t miss out on fun things that everyone else is doing, but this could not be more of a lie! God does not even want us standing in the path of the wicked! We also should not sit and make ourselves unified with people who scoff at God or who scoff at His ways or His people. I become extremely grieved when I hear someone who is speaking slanderous things about other believers. We don’t all think alike, and we will make mistakes, but that is never a reason to slander of scoff at the bride of Christ. We are called to love one another and to forgive as Christ forgives us! And I recognize that there is a time and place to point out false teachers and problems that prevail in the religious establishments that have labeled themselves as “churches”, but please be careful to make that very clear that you are not talking about Christians, but instead you are referring to “so-called believers” and false teachers. Christ’s bride has no blemish, and if you scoff at her then you are scoffing at Him. There are also many people who scoff at God’s call on us as believers to live holy lives, and to put to death the deeds of our flesh. They may disguise it in various ways, even twisting Scriptures to say what they want, but ultimately they are scoffing and saying “I want to do what I want to do, my ways are better than God’s, my thoughts are better God’s.” We must be so careful not to sit in the seat of scoffers, and when a brother or sister begins to scoff or begins to stand or walk in the path of the world, we must lovingly pull them back into the narrow path through prayer and Biblical reproof.  Most notably is the person who does not sit, stand, or walk in these ways with the wicked is blessed! This is a good thing! You are not missing out, you are gaining something that sadly, many others are missing out on because they want to take that easy and broad path. Cling to the narrow way friends, it leads to life, it leads to blessing, it is the way of Christ!

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

2.  Our delight should be in the law of the Lord, we should meditate in it day and night!

I believe this is the how-to for verse 1! How will you know if you are receiving counsel from the world or counsel from God’s Word, if you are not delighting in and meditating in God’s Word? How will you recognize the path of the wicked if you do not know what God’s Word says is wicked? How will you know to avoid scoffers if you do not know what God’s Word says about scoffers and those who love evil?

In Psalm 119:11 we read:

Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

His Word should be a treasure! His Word should be our delight! It is food for our souls and we should crave it! And I recognize that this isn’t always easy, I’m a busy mom too. I can sympathize with a lack of time and lack of energy, but this is why Scripture meditation is so crucial! I may not have time to sit down and dig into an in depth study, to journal and track what I learned, and many Sunday mornings I often can’t take sermon notes because I’m holding a baby in my lap. What I am constantly doing is meditating and memorizing at least one set of Scriptures as well as reviewing and praying through the others that I already have memorized. I can pray over these Scriptures and think on these Scriptures. And wow, you would be surprised how many times that one little set of Scriptures speaks directly into many of my daily circumstances and keeps me from sin, as well as gives me wisdom to instruct my children in. This is so important ladies, pick out a set of Scripture and start meditating on it. Quote it to yourself as you do the dishes, pray through it as you shower, pray the Scripture over your family while you fold their clothing. Quote it to your children, and try to teach it to them as well. You will be surprised at how much Scripture a child can memorize, it’s amazing what their minds are capable of!

3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

4 The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.

3. There is a great contrast in the life and destination of the wicked and the righteous.

the life:

We see in these final verses that the blessed and righteous one, this one who is not walking in the counsel of the wicked, nor standing in the path of sinners, nor sitting in the seat of scoffers and who is delighting in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, yielding fruit in its season, leaf not withering, prospering in all he does. (side-note, this is not referring to an earthly possessions, health, and happy life “prosper”; this is a communing with the Lord and finding joy and delight in Him “prosper”.)

But contrast this with the wicked…. the wicked are like chaff which the wind drives away, this person is very unlike the one that is a tree with roots that are strong and firm. This person can be easily driven away by the wind. This person has no sure foundation, no platform of truth to stand on, and can be blown to and fro by the wind.

the destination:

The Lord knows the way of the righteous, other words for “knows” in other translations are “approves or has regard to”. However, we see that the way of the wicked will perish. One has God’s approval, one does not. One leads to life, one leads to death.

Now who is the blessed man? My children have learned to just say “Jesus!” every time I ask a question of this nature…. this time, they would’ve been right. :) Jesus is the only one who has ever done this perfectly! He is the blessed man that we want to imitate! Praise the Lord that He became a curse for us (Gal 3:13), so that we could be  blessed! And then He called us to take up our cross and follow in His footsteps (Mat 16:24), and He gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us to do so (John 14:16).

This just gets me excited! I am so thankful for His work in me and for His keeping me in His path!

Concerning Specks and Logs

specks and logs

After my recent post about “Why do I blog”, I began thinking about how kind it was for the people who came alongside me and lovingly pointed out some of those sin issues in my life. I began thinking about what a lost act this really is, even in Christian communities. Sadly, there are a multitude of people who adamantly proclaim from the rooftops things like: “Don’t judge me!” “Don’t say anything to me!” “It’s between me and God!” “You don’t know my heart!” And while we are not to condemn anyone or to be unloving or unkind in any way, we do have a responsibility to hold one another accountable to the confession of faith that we each have made. We should expect Christians to act like Christians, however we can not expect unbelievers to act like Christians.

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? (1 Corinthians 5:12)

Now something stands in the way of this often times, and I want to address that now…. It’s the whole “specks and logs” issue, and we all have to deal with this, so let’s dive in together.

I hear many people quote these two verses in Matthew 7:3-4

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?

But often they stop there, and they do not quote verse 5

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Verse 5 does imply that after we take the log out of our own eye,

we do in fact take the speck out of our brother’s.

Now, I’ll be honest, the wimpy me doesn’t like this one sometimes.

It is so much easier to not say anything and for no one to say anything to me…..

Easier for everyone to dwell on our “logs” and never actually repenting and getting rid of them…

… and never try to help anyone else see truth…

This is not what is suppose to be done friends. 

This is the tougher part of Christian fellowship… I don’t like having my sin pointed out (initially), but because it draws me to humility and repentance, I actually do. It is cleansing. It is refreshing. And I know that person loved me enough to say something and not just let me stay like that.

There is a way to do it wrong, and a way to do it right.

Let all that you do be done in love. -1 Corinthians 16:14

This is to be done as an act of love! Love for Jesus and love for our brothers and sisters that we desire freedom for.

And sure, it’s scary to do hard things like confronting sin, but here’s the thing about fear and love.

 There is no fear in love.  1 John 4:18a

The world in its “wisdom” (aka foolishness) tells us that love doesn’t act like this, but the Bible tells us another story. This is the most loving thing we can do for one another. It’s one of the hardest, but one of the most loving. We have to change the way we think about these things. Let’s quit thinking like the world, and start thinking like a Jesus follower.

Now this isn’t a license to run around pointing out every single sin you see in believers around you, that would be extremely hypocritical, and that is what the first part of this verse is trying to avoid, hypocrisy. It would be appropriate to go to your sister or brother if there is a sin that is continuous and blatantly in opposition against the Word of God. This is especially helpful to your brother’s and sister’s who maybe don’t see these sin issues as a big deal. Sin is always a big deal and it always hinders our relationship with the Lord. We want to help each other walk in freedom from the bondage of sin! We want to stir each other up to love and good works! What a beautiful picture of the church being the church!

 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24

We Will Never Get This Back

we will never get this back

Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere, I’ll be admiring the simplicity and trust that a child displays in these younger years, and then I will remember with a great sense of urgency that these days are limited and we will never get them back.

These sweet girls that I cuddle and discipline, teach and read to, play and pray with will only be this little for a little while.

Oh how I pray that I use this time well!

I fail, yes. There is grace, yes. and Praise God for that because I am a girl in need of Him constantly! But as I abide in Him I am reminded through His Word and through the Holy Spirit what my duty to these girls is right now.

I have a job to do! Something only I can do because I am the one who is with them almost ALL of the time. That is a great privilege and a great responsibility!

I believe we can take this seriously and delight in it at the same time!

I want to be a living example for them to see moment by moment, a woman who is not a slave to sin, but instead is a slave to Christ.

I want them to see someone who seeks to glorify God and who enjoys God throughout her days.

I want them to see a woman who loves and respects their daddy.

I want them to see my love for them and my contentment in these years of training and teaching.

What is amazing about all of this is that I don’t have to muster up these thoughts out of nowhere. Nope… God has already placed them in my heart.

Psalm 37:4 says

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

This verse has been so true for me in this area!

I have shared before how I struggled with my contentment, I struggled with my selfishness in my role as wife and mom, but as I spent more time seeking God just for the sake of getting God (not to fix my life!), that is when He took out my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh. He has placed new desires within me!

So I encourage you to seek God’s face! Enjoy Him! Worship Him! Repent of sin and rejoice in His grace!

Then He will give you the desire to be present, to be joyous, to be kind, to teach your children about Jesus through words and deeds.

When we have our minds on Christ, we will be made aware of the gift that this time is.

What a blessing to mother these young children, to nurse babies, to kiss booboos, to read the same stories over and over, to teach catechisms, to teach Scripture, to pray for and with these precious littles. It is so beautiful and such a joy to be a part of this! And we must do it now, today, because we won’t ever get today back.

But we can’t do any of this if we are not abiding in Him, a part from Him we can do nothing.

We must seek Him first!

My prayer for myself and you all my sweet readers is that we will do these things and bring glory to our Father in Heaven through the power of the Spirit that lives within us and through the grace of Christ Jesus.

Be blessed.

GGG Encouragement

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Hey ladies, I stumbled upon this youtube by Paul Washer (one of my favorite preachers to listen to online) and this was very encouraging to me! One of my favorite things he taught in here is that we meet with God in the morning not so we can have a little time with Him and be done, but instead so we can start our day with Him and walk with Him all day long. It’s short and seems choppy because the translator is edited out, but I think you GGG girls will be encouraged as I was. If you’re new around here, find out about the GGG (Get up early, Get with God, and Get ready for the day) Challenge and get your free printable to count down your days. 

Some GGG Encouragement

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Hey ladies, how are you all doing on the challenge? It’s not too late to join! Check out my post here! to get your free printable and join up.

So how’s it going with getting up and getting with God first thing in the morning? I have to confess some of the mornings have been a struggle… and some I haven’t done it at all. It’s funny how things change from one day to the next. One night I can go to bed early and sleep right on through til 6am, and the next night my baby girl is up til 1am or waking me up at 3am. A sweet friend of mine gave me some encouragement this afternoon as I was expressing my frustration with my lack of consistency, and it was so uplifting and rejuvenating that I wanted to share it! She quoted this Scripture to me: Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34) Our nourishment doesn’t ONLY come from that time we may or may not get in the morning! That time is a wonderful, precious, and nourishing time! But we also get our nourishment from doing the will of the Father throughout our day. This may look like loving our children and husband well, spending time with them, speaking to them kindly, cleaning the home, folding laundry, telling the person at the checkout line at the grocery store about the best news ever (the Gospel), or praying for a friend in need.

Now just incase you have something crazy come up and you miss your time in the morning, here are some other ways to dig in to God’s Word or have some alone prayer time throughout the day:

-If you have to nurse a little one this is the perfect way to slow down and read for a few minutes, listen to the Bible, or just pray.

-Listen to the Bible as you fold laundry or wash dishes. Or listen to some worship music and sing praises to the Lord.

-Take a walk and pray as you admire God’s creation outside.

-Write a Scripture that you are memorizing or need to be reminded of on your hand so you will see it and remember it throughout the day.

-Set your phone alarm with a Scripture to read at a certain time during your day, try to pick a time that is your most difficult time of the day to focus your heart on the Lord.

-Sit down at the computer and instead of reading a blog on cloth diapering or fashion, go to a lady who does devotional blogs or who uses a lot of Scripture in her blog, and learn from what God is showing her. (I love doing this! Soon I’m going to post a blog featuring my favorites)

-Download this ap on your phone or ipad and it will read the Bible to you! I love this ap!!!  And it’s free!

-Sing hyms to your baby or teach them to your children, and as you do… meditate on the words.

And most importantly, this challenge is wonderful, but it is not something to be legalistic about! It will not earn you any special favor with God if you do it, and you will not be punished if you don’t! The Lord wants to meet with us in each moment of our lives, so if you slept through the early morning hours, meet with him right now! He will not turn you away!  I do want to encourage you to keep at it, but also want to offer some encouragement if you’re like me and having some obstacles to overcome. I pray that you are blessed by the challenge and will not feel condemned if you don’t do all 21 days in a row!

Triple G Challenge Printable

triple g

 Are you ready? I am!

Today was a trial run…. it didn’t exactly go as planned (I woke up early, BUT so did two out of the three of my girls, lol), but still I was able to nurse and pray and have the other child stay in her room until I gave instructions to come out. I think I’m going to try a little bit earlier tomorrow. Even in the case of today, I felt better prepared after even a few intentional moments of meditation and prayer first thing in the morning.

The goal here is to GET UP EARLY! This may mean different times for different people, some feel that 4am is the time for them, but for me that is the middle of the night. However 6am is a good time for me. If you and your kiddos are use to sleeping late into the morning, then 8am may be a good time for you. This will differ for some of us.

Next, GET WITH GOD! This is the point of it all! Spend your first hour with Him! This may also look different from person to person. A sweet reader commented in the last post that she would do the challenge and use this time as her prayer jogging time. I’m not a runner, but for someone who is able to draw near to the Lord during a run this is wonderful!  I personally want to have some time to sit and be still before the Lord, to read, journal, pray, and worship through song just me and the Lord. I’m often feeling like I’m leading children or others in these things and not able to be fully present with just me and the Lord. I just need my cup to be filled by the Spirit so that I can overflow in to my children and those that I’m sharing with through out my day.

After this time, GET READY FOR THE DAY. After you have been with the Lord for some time, then get yourself ready; get dressed if you aren’t already, look at your calendar or planner or home-management notebook and figure out what you will need to accomplish today, and prepare yourself to greet your husband and children joyfully when they wake.

So…

Did anyone try it this morning? How did you do? I hope you were blessed by your time!

Here is a little printable to keep us on track.(link below)  Just put an x on the square after you’ve done the challenge for the morning. If you did it this morning then you can go ahead and check off box #1!

triple g challenge printable

printable here

My husband and I have been talking about this for a while, he has strongly encouraged me to begin this habit. At first I didn’t quite see it as important, but after prayer and consideration I see that it is Biblical and very beneficial! Consider some of these verses:

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3)

 “But I call to God, and the Lord saves me.  Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” (Psalm 55:16-17)

 “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 59:16)
 
“But I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” (Psalm 88:13)
 
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love; that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” (Psalm 90:14)
 
“It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…” (Psalm 92:1-2)
 
“Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the LORD.” (Psalm 101:8)
 
“My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (Psalm 130:6)
 
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.  Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you.  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.  For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.  In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.” (Psalm 143:8-12)
 
“O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you.  Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.” (Isaiah 33:2)
 
“The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.  He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” (Isaiah 50:4) (Read all of Isaiah 50!)
 
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
 
“In the morning the word of the LORD came to me” (Ezekial 12:8)

Keep me posted on how you’re doing!

hashtag on twitter #GGGchallenge !!!  :-) I can’t wait to hear from you about what God is doing in your heart during this precious time!

Don’t worry if you fall off the wagon for a day, get back on it the next day!

Pray pray pray for God to help you (and me…. I need it!)

Blessings to you ladies. <3