I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

 As I prepare for the celebrations over the next couple of days, I am reminded that the joy of Christmas does not come as easy to others as it does to me.  I know many who are struggling with the loss of a loved one, with the break up of family, with sickness,  with financial issues, or just tragedies of life.   God has placed Romans 12:15 on my heart... Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 

My prayer is that each of you have a very blessed Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It is About Who Gave it To You

This was originally posted in March of 2010... It is a lesson that we value, and I feel it is important to share again.
Over the last 6 years, God has really been working in the lives of my family. One of the greatest things during this time is that both of my children made the decision to follow Jesus. Praise!

Not only was God working in the hearts of my children, He was working in the hearts of myself and my husband. There have been tests that we passed immediately, and there have been others that we have taken more than once.

One of our biggest failures, rest almost entirely on my shoulders. When we moved to Texarkana with Jason's job, we had to sell a house that we built in Magnolia. I knew that God would not want us to go from home owning to renting even for a short amount of time. Please note I said I knew, I did not say we had prayed about what we should do. So we built a house. And we struggled. Jason was not happy in his job. We truly believe that God used that job to move us here, but because of our poor financial decisions (i.e. building the house), he was stuck in it longer than he should have been.

Before the house was even complete, we knew we had made a mistake. However, instead of confessing it, I just kept proclaiming that God was giving us this house. Even after we moved in, we knew we were not supposed to be there. Yet I was not ready to trust God with that. So, I kept proclaiming my version of the truth, and Jason kept struggling to figure out what to do next.

It was a beautiful house, but we were miserable. Jason finally decided to put the house on the market. I did not argue with him, but began praying that no buyer would come. And no buyer came. I prayed daily over this house that God would provide the means to pay for this house. One day I was praying, and I said, "God, you gave us this house..." before I could finish He said, "NO, I did not." I am sure He had been telling me all along, I just wasn't listening. I immediately dropped to my knees and I gave the house to God. That was on a Friday. On Monday, we had a buyer for the house.

We moved out of the house the we had built, and began renting. You see, we never owned that house... it owned us. We rented for about 9 months, and God worked wonders in our lives. Since that time, Jason is no longer in a job he hates. Instead, God gave us a business of our own. We are not renting, God gave us a house that we love. We finally passed the test, it is not about the stuff you have... It is about who gave it to you.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, November 26, 2012

Social Media is Stressing Me Out

As a wife and mom, I have to be very guarded about my time.  If I am not careful, my priorities can slip in a hurry.  That is exactly what happened to me.  I have been so focused on building my blog, that I have neglected my home... nothing major, but enough to stress me out.  

I maintain 3 facebook pages... my personal page, my Daughter of I  Am page, and our business page ... Plus I blog.  If I don't guard my time, I could literally spend ALL DAY staring at the computer.  It's real hard to be a wife and mom, if you are staring at a computer screen constantly!

When I started blogging, I would just type something whenever I felt God leading.  That was great.  However, lately I have been trying to post something daily or at least several times a week.  It may just be a verse, a picture, or a quick thought.  But even those quick thoughts are truly not so quick.  The more I posted, the more "number conscious" I would become.  I know that God did not have me start this blog so that I could increase my following.  He had me start it so that I might share the lessons He teaches me, and that they might help someone else.

That is what I am going back to.  I will blog only when God lays something on my heart to share.  That may be a couple times a week... it may be once a month.  But know this, when I do blog, it will be because I feel the urging of the Spirit, and NOT an urge to boost my numbers!

I will continue to post on my facebook page daily.  For sure each morning.  I love sharing verses or thoughts after my quiet time.  I will probably be checking in at night as well.  Just don't expect me to show up during the day very often.  

I was feeling stressed out, and wondering how I could continue to keep up with all my social media "obligations," when I read a great blog from a true Titus 2 Woman.  You can check out her words of wisdom at Deep Roots at Home.

that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Titus 2:4-5

The day may come when God has me doing more... but right now, Daughter of I Am is a part time ministry.  My ministry now is to be the best wife and mom I can be.  That is my focus. That is my priority.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Wishes

Image from unknown source
Let us remember to offer thanksgiving daily, not just one day or one month a year.  God daily blesses us, let us daily thank Him.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.  Give thank to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100:4-5

Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. Psalm 95:2

I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:17

They sang, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor  and power and strength belong to God forever and ever! Amen" Revelation 7:12

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How is the Foundation of Your Marriage?

This article was originally posted in May 2010. I decided to share it again because the message is vital to marriages.

Last night, Jason and I watched The Money Pit.  This was actually the first time I have ever watched it all the way through. I have seen bits and pieces of it through the years, and always thought it looked very funny. It did prove to be funny. Although there were parts of it I didn't care for, the end of the movie actually had a good message. As Tom Hanks and Shelly Long were standing in the completed house, the contractor was ready to give them the key. As he was watching the couple that had broke up mid renovation, he began speaking about the house. He said that at first he did not believe that this house could be repaired, but the foundation was good. If the foundation is good, the rest can be fixed.

Within the last year, I know of several Christian couples that are struggling with their marriages. Some of these couples have even discussed divorce. All marriages have rough spots. All married couples will have disagreements. However, if their marriage is built on a sure foundation, the foundation of Jesus Christ, they can repair the rest.

As I consider how to have this sure foundation, I am reminded that God has really been working on me about my priorities. Here is what He has shown me over the last few years...

First, I am a child of God. I am to spend time in His word, in prayer, and building my relationship with Him. I am to have no other God before Him.

Second, I am a wife. Please note, I did not list family as my second priority. I remember when I got married, my mother-in-law gave me a piece of advice. At the time I did not think much of it, but lately I have discovered the truth in what she had told me. She told me that one day I would have children, and when I did I should never love them more or put them before my husband. This is true. Yes, I love my children dearly, but one day they will have their own families. If I have spent years caring more for them than my husband, what will I do when they are gone? God created me to be Jason's helper, encourager, advisor, lover, partner...

Third, I am a mother. God has given Jason and I the responsibility of raising Ethan and Erin. We are to "train them up in the way they should go."

These are godly priorities. By keeping my focus on them, I am assured that the foundation of my home is strong. When a storm comes (big or small), we can withstand it. If any damage occurs, it can be repaired. Our foundation is Jesus Christ.

We are living in a society where traditional family is no longer a priority. This is because Jesus is no longer a priority. I challenge you to search your marriage, your home, your heart. Do you have the Solid Rock foundation of Jesus Christ?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What are we Modeling?

I watched as my daughter and one of her friends sat down at the kitchen table. They were leaning in close and talking. The friend said let me tell you about my dream last night. Erin asked her to wait, and ran to her room to get her picture Bible. The friend shared her dream, and Erin opened up to the story of Joseph in her picture Bible. They giggled and chatted for about 10 minutes, and then moved on to the next game.

As I watched this exchange I was struck by two things. First, Erin knew where to find a story about dreams in her Bible. Praise! Second, and possibly more important, Erin was modeling something that she had seen me do. Just a few days prior to this, I had a friend over. We sat at the table to visit. As we were talking, I got my Bible to share a verse that pertained to what we were speaking about. That was a good thing to model. Unfortunately, I don't always model good things for my children to see.

Copying what we see does not just happen with children. It happens with all of us. We tend to mimic what we see and what we hear. I know that I still occasionally use phrases from movies and TV shows that I watched years ago. When I am around someone a lot, I tend to say things the way they say them, or do things they way they do them. This is why it is very important to guard what you see, and to be aware of what we watch.

If we see something often enough, we become immune to the offensiveness of it. I remember hearing a man on the radio tell a story about taking his daughter to shop for a dress. While he was waiting on her to come out of the dressing room, another girl came out in a dress that was very inappropriate. So, when his daughter came out, she looked good in comparison. It was not until they got home, and the son asked him why he allowed her to buy such a dress that he realized that he had based his decision on what the other girl was wearing.

As God's people, we are called to be set aside. We should not do things as the world does them. In order to accomplish this, we must guard our hearts, our eyes, and our ears. We must be careful what we allow in, and we must be cautious of our actions. Just as we model other's behaviors, there is always someone watching and modeling ours.

Proverbs 4:23-27 (The Message)
Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Passing the Baton of Godly Values

I read this in a devotion by Right from the Heart, and wanted to share:

"Parenting children in the home means passing the baton of Godly values to the next generation. God's Word teaches us as parents to love God with all our heart, soul, and might, and to diligently teach the commands of God to our children when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. We need to teach our kids how to live as we go about everyday life; in short, our kids need to see that our faith in God is real and consistent. This calls for a lot of love for God and for our children. But when done well, the baton of Godly values is handed off to the new generation." ~ Bryant Wright

It is the prayer and goal of both Jason and myself that we are passing the baton of Godly values on to our children.  We pray that other parents are doing the same, and that collectively we raise up a godly generation.

May your day be greatly blessed,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Try the Up Look

"If your outlook is bad, try the up look!" 
~ Pastor Jeff Schreve

Habakkuk 3:16-19 (NLT) 
I trembled inside when I heard this;
    my lips quivered with fear.
My legs gave way beneath me,
    and I shook in terror.
I will wait quietly for the coming day
    when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
    He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    able to tread upon the heights.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

God Reminded Me

Last year I heard the song "Remind Me" by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.  It is about a married couple who have become passive in their relationship.  There were a couple of lines that really struck a chord with me...
1) "Now we keep saying that we're ok, but I don't want to settle for good not great. I miss the way the way that it felt back then.  I want to feel that way again."

2) "Do you remember how it used to be?  We'd turn out the lights and we wouldn't just sleep."
Ouch!  That is exactly where Jason and I had gotten... and it was mostly my fault.  Often at the end of the day... after being mom, teacher, housekeeper, cook, etc, etc, etc... I didn't have much left to be wife.   I no longer acted like the girl he married ... truthfully, I didn't even resemble her.  

In the song, the couple is asking each other to "Remind me."  I asked God to remind me.  I wanted to be reminded of the excitement I felt when I saw Jason.  I wanted to feel that tingle when he would touch my arm... even accidentally.  I asked God to remind me how I used to respond to Jason.  I wanted to remember how to flirt with him.  And I didn't want to just fall into bed and fall asleep.

After some prayer, God led me to read Song of Solomon.  Truthfully, this is a book in the Bible I had never put much time into... but as I began reading, a verse immediately jumped out at me...

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth - For your love is better than wine. 
Song of Solomon 1:2

That is what I used to feel, and I wanted that again! God is faithful, He helped me to remember... and He gave me the courage to apologize to Jason for my lack of effort in our relationship.  Now, I can say that Jason and I are back on track... Our marriage is no longer just good... it is great.  I love flirting with him.  I love dressing to please him.  I love putting the kids to bed early so I can have a "date night" on the couch with my man.  

God reminded me of the passion I feel for Jason... and it is a good thing.  I pray that I never forget or become weary of being his wife again.

This is a very personal blog... so much so, I have put off posting it for a while now.  However, I see more and more families separating and even divorcing because of issues like the one I just shared.  Wives if we don't take the time to love and care for our man ... someone else will.  Not all men will fall into this temptation, but do we really want to leave him open to it?  

If you are struggling with this area, ask God to remind you.  Then work to re-ignite that fire in your marriage.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Right Kind of Strong

I am a Strong willed woman,
but I want to be a Strong Woman of God.
(And I want to raise my daughter 
in the same way.)

She is clothed with strength and dignity, 
and she laughs without fear of the future. 
Proverbs 31:25

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Think on Joy

As we head into the holiday season, for some, it is easy to feel depressed.  Here are a few verses on joy to meditate on. Let them sink into your heart, and hopefully, they will help you to be thankful for your blessings and to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalms 16:11

You love him even though you have never seen him.  Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 1 Peter 1:8

Always be full of joy in the  Lord.  I say it again - rejoice! Philippians 4:4

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:11

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rules to Live By

He has showed you O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 Amp

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dear Daughter of I Am

Ok, I am not a big fan of advice columns like Dear Abby.  However, I was recently asked a question, and  I thought I would share the question and the answer I gave her in this manner.  So here is the first... and probably only ... edition of Dear Daughter of I Am.

How did you know God wanted you to stay home with your kids? When I read about the Proverbs 31 woman at first I just saw all the work she did and felt bad I couldn't make it happen. Yesterday I noticed that she worked out of the home. I don't know if I am right but from what I read she didn't work for another man. ~ A Good Friend 

Dear Friend,

God put a great desire in my heart to stay home. It was my desire long before it was Jason's... therefore, I worked outside the home for years before getting to stay home. I just continued to pray and trust God... this was not always easy. When Ethan was in 3rd grade, Jason also had the desire for me to stay home and homeschool. We began fervently praying together. God opened doors... and we took the step of faith. We have been blessed beyond measure in our decision. I honestly can't imagine working outside the home again.
In today's society, women are lead to believe that they can't find fulfillment unless they have a career outside the home. I have found just the opposite to be true. God created women to be a help meet to their husband. In Titus 2 it says that older women should teach younger women to "be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." This is my job description.
I believe that there are times that we as women may need to work outside the home or help to bring in income in some way. You see this with the Proverbs 31 woman.  In Proverbs 31, the home and family is always the priority.  The business opportunities were ways in which she helped her husband, and they did not become her main priority.  

An important thing to remember is that wives are not called to be the main provider of the family. That is for the husband. Women can however add to and supplement the income. Husbands and wives should pray together as they seek what is best for their family.
The important thing is that you Honor God by honoring your husband. Ultimately, wives are to submit to their husband. Honor God in this way, and God will give you the desire of your heart.
Hope you find this helpful.

                                                                                      Daughter of I Am

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stepping it Up for My Man

At the end of summer, I had an eye opening experience.  Sadly, I don't remember the exact day or reason... However, one day I dressed just a little nicer than I normally do.  Jason complimented me several times on my appearance.  Enjoying his praise, the next day I stepped it up again.  This time he asked me where I was going that day.  I replied, "No where.  I wanted to dress for you."  The look of appreciation on his face was enough for me. Since that point, I have made a point of dressing in a manner that gets the attention of my man. Now, I am not June Cleaver, but I am trying to put  just a little extra effort into my appearance each day.  

There has been an additional side effect...  Last Friday, I put on a shirt that Jason really liked last year, but this year it is a little big on me (I have been losing weight ... 19 lbs and counting ... Yay!).  I decided it would be ok... after all, I was taking the kids to the park after school so I was going for a casual look anyway.  The problem was, I felt frumpy all day!  I was not pleased with my appearance.  I discovered, I enjoy trying to look my best, and when I don't... I am not comfortable. Needless to say, that shirt is going in the donate pile.  

So, here is my conclusion... 

Jason appreciates the effort I am putting into my appearance, and I appreciate the attention and praise he gives me... It's a Win/Win.

Jason took me shopping and bought this outfit for me... because he appreciated my effort.

I decided to share this after reading Time-Warp Wife's post this morning. I highly recommend you checking it out.  For that matter, I highly recommend her ... She is great!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

How are We Building Our House?

Here is something to consider...
Are we building our house through wisdom and understanding?
Or are we building it on worldly values and selfishness?

Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Prayer - To Kiss the Face of our Father

"One of the words in the original language for prayer literally means 'worship.' Another means 'to kiss the face.' Prayer is worship and worship is prayer. Prayer is kissing our Father's face. Prayer is loving and communing with God." -- Andrew Wommack

How much time are you spending worshiping in prayer, and how much time are you asking God for what you need? (or want?) The primary purpose of prayer is to love God, and to grow in your relationship with Him. In Acts 13:2 it tells us that we are to minister to the Lord. We minister to Him by praising Him, thanking Him, loving Him, singing to Him, and worshiping Him.

When your primary focus is loving and worshiping God, you'll find that you won't have to spend much time praying over things. That doesn't mean that you can't petition God. The word tells us, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22 There is a right way to ask, just not all the time, and it must line up with the word of God. James 4:3 says, "When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." If you are spending time building your relationship with God, your desires will line up with His will for you.

Finally, don't let prayer become a religion. Don't struggle through an hour of prayer just so you can check off that task. If you are getting bored during your prayer, chances are God is not caring much for it either. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to "Pray without ceasing." That means that as we go throughout our day we should be in communication with God. If we only spoke to our spouse once a day ... telling them what we wanted, and not listening for a response ... our marriage would not be very good. The same is true with God. We cannot spend a little time each day telling God what to do and expect to have a growing relationship. I love the quote I placed at the top of this. The thought that prayer is kissing my Father's face is overwhelming to me. That is what I want. I want to spend my day, everyday, loving on my heavenly Father.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why We Vote

Jason and I, along with our children, went to vote as a family first thing this morning. When we got there, we had to wait in line for a few minutes. Both kids noted that there was a line today. You see, we always take them with us when we vote... and usually we can get in and get out with no waiting. We explained that there are always bigger crowds during presidential elections, and that this election is particularly important because so many Biblical values are being challenged. They know the issues, because we discuss them openly at our house.

We checked in, and waited. As the line was moving along, we noticed that some people voting needed more instruction than others. When we arrived at the front of the line, the supervisor greeted us. She recognized us... because we always vote, and the kids are always with us. She loves that we bring our kids, and always makes a point to tell the kids how important it is to vote. Then she told us that they have a lot of first time voters, and so it was taking a little longer than usual to explain how to use the electronic ballots.

This saddened me. Why? Because the ones needing the instruction were all older. These are the people that should have been voting for years... they are the ones that should have been setting the example for others. They should have been training up their children... yet they weren't.

I am not sure what their reasons were for not voting... or even what their reason is for voting now. But here is the reason Jason and I vote...

We want our children to know the importance and the privilege of voting. We want our kids to understand how our country was formed. We want them to understand how many men and women have died, and continue to die, so that we may live in a free country. We want them to understand how God blesses our country, and that He will only continue to do so if we recognize Him. We want them to understand the need to vote Biblical Values. We want our children to know that they live in the greatest country in the world!

Our children and their future is why we vote.

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

We the People

"We the People" of the founding generation formed this country on Judaeo-Christian Values. "We the People" of this generation need to vote in the same manner.

As you prepare to vote, and I pray that you do vote, please pray over your choices. There will not be perfect people on the ballot... but please ask yourself, which people line up closest to God's word.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Look at the Tree

Ethan came in this world wanting to know everything that was going on around him. He openly pays attention to conversations, and usually adds to the conversation. I have never been real surprised by what he may or may not say. Erin on the other hand, is reserved. She doesn't seem interested in what is going on when adults talk. I think this is why she does manage to surprise me quite often with the depth of her understanding.

This morning, she and I were driving to town. On the radio, we heard a commentator discussing the presumption that any one not voting for Obama does so because of the color of his skin. She knows that our family will not vote for Obama. She also knows that we do not judge someone by the color of his skin. So, she began asking questions about why this statement was made.

So, we began discussing Biblical values. I was explaining why Romney's values lined up closer to ours, and therefore we would be voting for him. It was at this point that she surprised me.

She said that everyone should look at the persons tree. I asked, their tree? She said yes, a good tree has good fruit, and a bad tree has bad fruit. She said the color of skin has nothing to do with their tree... but their heart has everything to do with it.

For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Luke 6:43

I wish more people would spend time looking at the tree of others.

Friday, November 2, 2012

It is Well with My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Billy Graham's Ad Urging Biblical Values

I was so excited to see this in our local paper this last Sunday.
“On Nov. 6, the day before my 94th birthday, our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the Biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Looking in the Mirror

I can so relate to this picture. I have naturally frizzy hair... that's right I didn't say curly, I said frizzy. As a matter of fact, one of my nick names in middle school was Frizz. Thankfully, it was given by friends and I laughed instead of cried over such a statement.

It takes a lot of heat and a variety of products to remove the frizz. However, even with all that work, a humid day will quickly diminish all my effort. There have been times, when I have styled my hair and thought... "Wow! I am having a good hair day!" As I go about my day, I will feel really good about the way I am looking... then I walk past a mirror. Yea, I quickly realize it's not such a good hair day after all. At that point, I have two choices. I can ignore it and pretend like I am still having a good hair day. This option doesn't work so well. My mind is constantly occupied with thoughts of how bad my hair really is. The second option is to fix the problem. This could be either by restyling or by pulling my hair up in a bun or ponytail. Either way, I control the problem and again feel better about the way I look.

As Christians, the same thing can be said about our walk with God. We can be going about life thinking we are doing great. We may even think that we are some sort of "super Christian" because we think we are doing so well. Then.... yep you guessed it ... we walk past a mirror. This mirror may be God's word, it may be a word from the pulpit, or it could be a loved one gently (or maybe not so gently) pointing out an area they have seen that we need to work on. However we receive the message, the same choices present themselves. We can continue on acting like nothing is wrong. However, to do this, we will have to ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Speaking from experience, this is not a pleasant option. Or... we can, with God's help, fix the problem. We can repent and turn from whatever it is that our eyes have been opened to.

I am so thankful that God does not pour all of our faults on us at once. Thankfully, He grows us, and as we grow, new areas that need work will appear. Just like my hair will never be perfect, neither will my Christian walk. But Praise the Lord, He is daily perfecting me until that time when I receive my glorified body. Until then, I will keep looking in "the mirror" and with God's help, fix the areas that need fixing.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Prayer - America's Only Hope

Four years ago, our church, FBC Texarkana, under the leadership of Pastor Jeff Schreve, had these signs made. This one has been in our yard all that time. I have seen them not just in the Texarkana area, but all over Arkansas and Texas. I have the feeling that they expand even further than that.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

America, we vote in 8 days. Please pray and seek God.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Praying Men

I am so thankful for these two praying men in my life... Jason and his Dad.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV)
Pray for All Men
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Goal

Titus 2:3-5 (NKJV)
the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Verses for my Children

Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. Titus 2:6-8 (NKJV)
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 (NKJV)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Monday, October 22, 2012

He is Known at the Gates

My husband is a contractor, and we have a remodeling business. This weekend, we were part of a local Home and Garden Show. It was a family affair, as you can tell from the above picture. We began set up on Friday, and then worked the booth all weekend. It was a tiring, but blessed weekend.

We have been preparing for this show for months, but last week was especially focused on the show. On Friday, as I was praying for the show, and praying specifically for God to favor our business through this show, this verse came to mind:
Proverbs 31:23 (NKJV)
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

I realized that my job this weekend was not about promoting our business (that was Jason's job). My job was to promote my husband. My job this weekend was to be sure that our family represented Jason well. Specifically, my actions, attitude, and appearance was to compliment my husband. This should be my job everyday, no matter what I am doing.

I am forever telling my children before we go out somewhere to remember who they represent. They represent Christ, their family, and themselves... and then I tell them that they do not want to embarrass or cause harm to any of those. I also need to remember who I represent... being a wife under the submission of her husband ... I represent Christ, my husband, and then myself.

I'm sure that this is not a popular view, especially since I threw that word submission in there, but I do believe it is Biblical.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Proverbs 3:1-6

Proverbs 3:1-6(NKJV)
Guidance for the Young
3 My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4 And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Exploring God's World

Just one of the things I love about homeschooling is that we have the freedom to go and do things any time of the day or the week. Now, I do try to keep a regular schedule, because routine is what works best for us. However, we have the ability to adjust our schedule quickly when needed ... or wanted.

Another thing that I love, is that our classroom travels with us. Many times, if Jason has an appointment out of town, he will ask us to go with him. Often, after the appointment, we will stop somewhere to look around and explore. The above picture was taken while on just such a family day trip. We were on a boardwalk looking at a river... and taking pictures... when the kids noticed a bug walking on the concrete wall. Just like that, we had a mini-entomology class. I LOVE THAT!

Learning is a life long experience. Even if you don't homeschool... or even if you don't have children ... your eyes should always be open and looking for opportunities and ways to learn.

And learning should begin with the Word of God. Hide His word in your heart, and He will give you a true understanding of the things around you.

Proverbs 1:2-7 (NKJV)
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
6 To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rejoice in the Lord Always

This picture reminds me of pure joy.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NKJV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Look Up - Psalm 121

Psalm 121 (NKJV)
God the Help of Those Who Seek Him
1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bible Teachers

In our society, we are inundated with Bible teachers. Not only can we attend church, we can watch on TV, we can listen on the radio, we can read books and magazines, we can purchase CDs and DVDs, and we can follow online. Record numbers of people can be reached... and reached all over the world. This is a good thing, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, it is great that so many people can have access to the teachings of Jesus Christ. No, because many people proclaiming to be Bible teachers are not teaching the true Word of God.

With so many teachers out there, how can we know who is teaching correctly? We need to ask God for discernment as we scrutinize the person teaching.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-23 (NKJV)
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

We need to ask some questions...

Does this person direct you to follow Jesus Christ? Or do they create a following for themselves?

Does the teaching and actions of this person line up with the Word of God? Or does it line up with the world?

Do they teach how to be a disciple of Christ and serve others? Or do they teach "how to make ME feel better?"

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NKJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

There is no perfect teacher, save Jesus Christ. That is why we must be diligent to study the scriptures for ourselves. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 Just because something sounds good, or even sounds right... does not mean it is right. It is only right if it lines up with God's Word. God is the final authority. His Word is true, and we cannot manipulate it to fit what we want. No! We must change to line up with what God wants.

Don't seek teaching that makes you feel good. Instead, seek teaching that challenges you to grow into the person God can use to further His kingdom.

Don't be a man follower, be a Christ follower.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

I Vow

I saw this on Pinterest this morning:

I don't know who the author is, but it is beautifully expressed.

I especially love the line that says, "I vow to fiercely love you, in all your forms, now and forever." I am so thankful that Jason vows to love me in all my forms... because believe me, I know, that I have some unlovely forms. And you know what? So does he... But I love him still.... And I vow to always do so.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Called to Serve Others

Let me just warn you that I am about to prove I am old... I am about to make one of those "when I was a kid" statements! So... When I was a kid, good customer service was a common thing. The motto, "the customer is always right" really meant something. My mom had several friends who were waitress, and I can remember them having to deal with some really irrational customers. No matter how rude or unreasonable the customer, these waitresses always smiled, spoke kindly, and worked hard to please the customer. Sadly, that is just not the case anymore.

A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I were out running errands. I drove through a fast food hamburger restaurant. I placed my order at the speaker, and listened as it was repeated. I then drove around and paid for the order. The cashier handed me two drinks. I told her that there should be three drinks. She informed me that I only ordered two. I checked the ticket... yes, there it was 3 drinks. So I tried to hand the ticket back to her for her to confirm. She wouldn't take the ticket, but continued to argue that I only ordered 2 drinks. This went on in circles for a couple of minutes. (Please keep in mind, this was during the noon hour... traffic was backing up.) Finally, I realized that she was not going to look at the ticket... and she was not going to concede that she was wrong, so in a very sassy manner, with my finger in the air circling toward the kids and myself, and then holding up three fingers, I said, "There are three of us, we NEED THREE DRINKS!" (Maybe not my finest moment, but it HAS made us laugh several times since.) She looked shocked, and said, "What is the third drink?" I told her, and thought, okay we can finish up and leave...

Oh ... no! I noticed that my drink was marked DR. Pepper. I had ordered a Coke. So, I tried to hand it back and she informed me that she had just marked it wrong. Being a little leery, and a lot weary by this point, I asked if she was sure. She said yes, so I kept the drink. We still had not got our food. I promise, it was not a complicated order... 2 cheeseburgers and 1 oder of chicken strips. So, while we wait I put my straw in the drink and hesitantly try it. Yes, it was Coke... good... but the cashier flings the drive thru window open and said not so politely, "I TOLD YOU IT WAS COKE." Refraining from the urge to climb through the window and teach her a few manners... after all, my kids were watching ... I just smiled and nodded.

AND we are STILL waiting for our food, AND the line behind us is steadily growing longer. Finally, after about 10 minutes (no exaggeration), she opens the window and asks me to pull around to the other side to wait for my food. REALLY?!?!?!?! Exasperated, I asked, in a not so nice manner, "Why?" She informed me that chicken strips take 7 minutes to cook. (remember, it has been 10 minutes) I didn't speak, I just pulled around. However, as soon as the window was up, the kids and I were all yelling about the rudeness... the length of time... and, yea, again, the rudeness. Finally, after a total wait of at least 15 minutes, the cashier walked our food out to us. I tried smiling... not sure how sincere it was, but I did try, and thanked her for our food."

So, as we are eating our lunch and continuing our errands, we have a discussion about all the things the cashier should have done if she were offering true customer service. It did turn into a good teaching moment... and a good laugh as we replayed the story for Jason to hear.

Sadly, this instance of poor service is not the only one around. It seems more and more common for employees, in any service industry, to be rude, unhelpful, and sometimes offensive toward customers. Now please keep in mind, there are still some very good employees out there, and for those, I give my gratitude.

So what has brought about this trend of poor service? And lets face it, it is not just in the service industry, it is in life. In my opinion, it is the shift away from traditional Christian values. Jesus set the example for us to serve others.

John 13:12-17(NKJV) So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Instead of looking for ways to serve others, we EXPECT others to serve us. We are living in a "What's in it for me?" ... "I want it my way" ... "It just feels right." ... type of society. If we are always looking for self fulfillment, then we are going to miss out on the blessings promised by Jesus -> "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

So, what can we do? Well first of all, when we are in a position to serve others, do it well. Serve cheerfully, and allow others to see Christ in us. When we are not in that position, look for ways that we can serve others. As Christians, we should know, it is not all about us... It IS all about Christ.

We are called to serve others. "So whatever we do, do it all to the glory of God."


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lesson Learned Through Life Application

I realize that I often share about my kids, and the lessons I learn from them. These posts usually involve something good they do, or some great insight they share. It would be easy to read this blog or my Facebook page, and decide that I have the perfect children. Of course, isn't that always the case... we tend to share the good not the bad. Well, to keep things balanced, let me share a lesson Ethan learned yesterday.

As part of his school work, Ethan copies one of "George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation." After he copies the rules as written, he is then required to re-write it in his own words.

Here is yesterday's rule: "The gestures of the body must be suited to the discourse you are upon." Ethan was having trouble with understanding. After some discussion, he wrote this, " Your body language should match the circumstances you are in." Even as he wrote it, I could tell that it still did not "click" with him. It wasn't long before a life application for this rule came about...

Ethan was doing something that I asked him to stop. He did stop, but it was after he did it a few more times first. (This is a bad habit we are working on.) When I realized that he was not going to stop immediately, I turned and picked up a wooden spoon. (In our house wooden spoons have many purposes... including being a good paddle when needed.) Now, I did not intend to spank over this infraction, but I did want him to realize I was serious. Usually, if I pick up a spoon, he will sit up and take notice to what I am about to tell him. For some reason, this time, he did not. He decided to try and make a joke out of it. He began acting goofy while I was talking to him. This did cause him to get a whack on the backside with the spoon. Then I had his attention.

So after we finished the discussion on stopping immediately when asked, we discussed his behavior while I was speaking with him. I explained that his gestures while I was disciplining did not match the circumstances he was in. He now understands the rule he copied... he also understands not to act goofy while I am lecturing him.

Life application is often the way God teaches us the meaning of his word. We can read scripture, and sometimes it just makes no sense to us. Then when some event takes place in our life, that scripture will come to mind. Then we can understand, and then we can cling to the word of God to get us through whatever the circumstance.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Creaking Bibles

Recently, Ethan and I were discussing a family that we have invited to church several times. This family has visited a few times, but they do not attend anywhere regularly. Ethan commented that he did not believe the son was really saved, even though he proclaimed to be. I quickly reprimanded him for judging and told him that just because his family did not attend church regularly did not mean that he was not saved. To which he replied, "Mom, his Bible creaked when he opened it."

That statement has left a lasting impression on me. What does a creaking Bible say about a person? It says that the Bible is not opened, read, or studied often, and therefore belongs to a person with little to no spiritual growth.

It is my prayer that I never have a creaking Bible. Rather, let it be like this quote from Charles Spurgeon:

Source: pinpal.in via Marya on Pinterest

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What Should We Teach Our Children? Respect

The reason I even started praying over this series, "What Should We Teach Our Children?" was because of a headline I read in our local paper. An historic cemetery, not too far from where I live had been vandalized on several occasions. The authorities had finally caught the culprits, and the ring leader (and oldest member of the group) was 13. There were 6 total kids involved, two under the age of 10. All of the criminal activity took place late into the night/early in the morning. I just sat there in disbelief for a moment... then in repulsion. There are so many questions that came up. But here is the where my mind finally landed. These kids have no respect for others. They have no respect for the family members who have loved ones buried in this cemetery. They have no respect for the caretakers of the cemetery. They have no respect for the people who visit or drive by the cemetery. The have no respect for the property of others. They have no respect for the authority of their parents. Which leads me to the point of this blog... Are we teaching respect to our children?

If you ever want to see an example of total lack of respect between parents and children, go hang out at your local Wal-Mart(or if you don't have one of those, whatever the discount, low budget, shopping chain is in your area). The first type of parent/child relationship that will jump out at you are the ones that have no respect for each other. It is sad to see the way some parents talk to their children, and in turn the way children talk to their parents. Another parent/child relationship you will see is the one where the child gets everything they want... sometimes just by asking, but most of the time by throwing a fit and demanding that the parent buy them something... to which the parent capitulates. You can also see children running all over the place, tearing up things, and the parents have no clue where they are... until they are ready to leave, then those are the parents yelling at their kids and fussing about why they had wondered off. Finally, let me add a parenting disclaimer... Wal Mart can bring out the worst in parents and children alike. And even the most respectful of relationships can have an off day while shopping in the busy, not so polite crowds. That is when you remember to ask for forgiveness from your children when you lose your cool at Wal-Mart... Yes, I speak from experience.

Ok, so now that you have a good visual image of children who are not taught respect, what should we as parents do to teach our children respect? Well, lets start with scripture...

Ephesians 6:1-4(NKJV)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

We need to teach our children what God has to say to them. Children obey your parents. Honor your father and mother. Why? So that it may be well with you. They need to know that God tells them why... too often we just state the first part and don't tell them why. AND we need to tell them that God also speaks to the parents and tells us we are not to provoke our children to anger, but that we are to train them. That is our job, and we will have to answer for the job that we have done.

Respect is earned. The way we treat others determines what they feel and how they act toward us. Just like love, respect is taught more by actions than by words. Teaching respect starts at home, and then carries over into the world around us. Do your children see you treating others with respect? Do you treat your children with respect? Again, these are not questions I can answer for anyone but myself, but I hope I have given you something to consider.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Should We Teach Our Children? Love

Mark 12:29-31(NKJV)
Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

I want to start my series on What We Should Teach Our Children with what Jesus said is the greatest of the commandments ... Love... We are to love God, and we are to love others.

Love is not something that can be taught with words only. It must be taught by our actions and our reactions.

Our children must see us loving God... daily, not just on Sunday mornings. It is easy to sing praise to God and say that we love Him when everything is going great. Can we sing praise and love Him while in the midst of a storm?

Our Children must see their parents loving each other... all the time, even when we disagree. Are we affectionate to each other? Do we speak with respect to each other? Do we speak well of our spouse to others? Do we tell each other that we love them while in the presence of our children?

Our children must see us loving them ... again all the time, even when they make mistakes. Do we hug and kiss and cuddle our children? Do we tell them we love them? When we correct them, do we do it in a loving manner? Do we reassure them that there is nothing they can do that would cause us to stop loving them? Do we spend time with them, encouraging them, helping them, training them, having fun with them and yes, loving them?

They must see us loving others... even those who are unlovely. We all know people who can grate on our nerves... Do our kids see us loving these people? What about the snarky cashier at a drive through restaurant? or the person standing behind us in line at the grocery store? Of course, we are not going to say, "I love you" to these people. However, the way we react to these people either reflects the love of Christ... or it reflects the world. So, how do we react to these irritating people? Do our children see us reacting with love?

I know this post is full of questions. Questions that I can't answer for anyone but myself.... and yes, there are some areas in love I need to work on.

So here is the bottom line, if we want to raise our children to love others, we must demonstrate love to others. We must get away from self-seeking love, and offer self-sacrificing love.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What Should We Teach Our Children?

As a homeschool mom, I daily consider what to teach my children. Of course, math and reading are a must! And then there is history... a true history, not a revisionist history, Science from a creationist point of view, grammar, spelling, writing, typing, art... the list goes on. However, there are many things that I should be teaching my children that are not in my lesson plans... though they should be.

God commands us to "train up a child," and though academics are definitely a part of that training, I believe there are bigger things that we, as a society in general, are missing when we are raising our children. Over the next few posts, I am going to do a series on "What We Should Teach our Children." The topics will include, but not be limited to the following: Love, Respect, Loyalty, Discernment, Perseverance, Diligence, Contentment,Patience, Service... The more I pray about this, the longer the list becomes. I am not sure how many of these topics I will cover, but all of these are areas that have been put on my heart.

Please pray for me as I start this series. If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment.


Monday, October 1, 2012

A Quick (and Funny) Peek at my Morning

My kids don't seem quite ready to let the weekend go, and it has left me feeling like this...

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Hope your Monday is going smoother than mine. May your week be productive and blessed. God Bless you!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Discussion with my Daughter

If you have children, or have been around children, you know that their questions can be random, and the discussions can take an unexpected turn that leaves you laughing, crying, or amazed at the insight. I had one of those discussions while driving into town a little while ago.

As we were driving to the store, Erin asked me why some people are missing part of their arm. That is the random part... there was no one around missing part of an arm, and I can't remember when we would have seen someone missing part of an arm. So I explained that sometimes people are born that way, and sometimes people have accidents that may cause them to lose part of their arm. I also explained that soldiers sometimes get injured and might have to lose an arm or leg. I tried my best to keep the discussion light... after all, I am talking to a 7 year old girl.

She had a few more questions, and then stated, "It's sad." I said yes, it is sad, but we have to trust God even when we are sad about something we don't have answers for. Then trying to help her understand, I caused the unexpected turn. I said, "Just like when your cousins Hamp and Daniel died, it left us sad, but we have to trust God that He did what was best." (Quick side for those that don't know... my nephew Hamp died in a car accident at the age of 12 nearly 10 years ago ... my nephew Daniel died of cancer at the age of 30 a year and a half ago.) Without hesitation she said, "Oh, I know why Hamp and Daniel died."

Of course, I was more than a little surprised by this claim. So I asked her, really? Why? She told me that that both Hamp and Daniel loved God and walked with Him. They had done all that God wanted from them, and therefore He took them to heaven to be with Him. Then she added, "Mom, you really don't have to be sad. It is a great thing for God to be pleased and bring you home early."

I don't know about you, but it left me with one word... WOW!