Do you ever feel as if the Lord is calling upon you to do something great? Do you feel the stirrings in your heart that He has laid something important before you and he is asking you to step up to the plate? When God calls us he doesn’t look us up in a directory or use the phone to give us His to do list. His magnificent plan for us begins to unfold when our hearts are profoundly moved by something. Only when we let go and allow ourselves to fully trust in his will is when we know we’ve answered his call.
Negative thoughts can be your greatest obstacle and keep you from accomplishing the duty God has summoned you for. You respond to God by saying, “I’m not worthy enough.” or “How can I make a difference when I’m only one person?” The Lord is mighty and able! He has gone before you and knows you are capable. He gives his boldest tasks to his bravest warriors. Silence your inner voices by saying, ” God is greater!” He is more powerful than all of the hurdles you may have to jump to achieve what it is He has in store for you. Release all of your worries and have faith! What are you waiting on? Answer his call!
What do you think of when you hear the word defeat? I think of my favorite team winning a game against our biggest rivalry. The word defeat means “to have been beaten in a battle.” However this word can take on a whole new meaning if we let it. It’s like a yard full of weeds. No matter if you pull the weeds of doubt and self pity somehow they keep growing back. Many days we give this word the power to predict the outcome of our day. We feel it weighing heavily on our lives and often give in to it before our feet even hit the floor in the mornings. We feel defeated if things don’t turn out as we were hoping. We feel as if we have been conquered when our day takes a different path than we had planned. The emotions we are left with leave us feeling like we have lost. When you allow yourself to give up and surrender to these negative thoughts, Satan is sitting in the corner and clapping because you have thrown up your red flag. You have let yourself surrender to his lies.
Don’t be tempted to lose heart! Don’t give the enemy a place in your life to grow bitterness and resentment. You are a child of the most High God! This makes you an overcomer! This means the battle for you has already been won. Often it is necessary for us to go through trials in life so that in the end we can see that the journey was worth it. So rise up! Don’t lie down and let Satan defeat you today. You are only finished if you decide to quit.
Now that all of the lights and tinsel are boxed back up and the confetti has fell on a brand new year, a lot of us are posed with the question, “Now what?” Some of us go into an after Christmas depression because the magic leaves us until the following year. I have been guilty of feeling this way before. However this year, I wasn’t dreading saying farewell to the hustle and bustle. I didn’t go all misty eyed like normal when I had to pack up the Christmas decor. You see, in our household, we celebrate Christs birth all year long. Still, theres something refreshing about having a new start. Whether you made resolutions or didn’t, truth be told, once we’ve said goodbye to the holidays life will eventually return back to our ordinary day to day routine.
Doing the same thing all the time can leave us tired and weary. Another day at your desk, picking up toys, or fixing the same old supper can easily make you feel as if your life is uneventful and boring. But, friend, let this be a reminder to you that your life is much more than that. You were created in the image of an extra-ordinary God! Your ordinary story is another chapter in his eternal plan for us. You can be used in magnificent ways to serve God right where you are! Even changing dirty diapers or folding laundry! God can transform your ho hum days if you will let Him. But first you must choose to seek the extra in your ordinary.
Several years ago, I came across this neat little project called “The One Word Project.” The purpose is to choose one word, instead of resolutions, to shape your entire year around. Most of us go into each brand new year with a long list of intentions we are planning to make in our lives. We view it as a golden opportunity to wipe the dust from our slate. Like so many, I have made numerous resolutions yet only to fail shortly after. The pressures of everyday life can get in the way of the new goals we have set and eventually we find ourselves falling back into our old ways. A list of resolutions can be daunting and unrealistic. That is why a majority of those big plans we have are never achieved. When I heard about “The One Word Project”, I was deeply intrigued. I wanted to know how one word could improve me and mold me into more of the person I strived to be. So, in December of last year, I chose my first word: Present.
I didn’t have to think hard when it came to choosing my first word for 2015. I immediately chose present because it represented my hope as a new mother for the coming year. I wanted to be completely alive in every moment, capture every smile, experience every first, and slow down and pay more attention to the world around me. Often we are so busy planning the next big thing that we lose out on the joy of the moment we are in. I think this past year is the first of many years that I have actually achieved what it is that I set out to do. I became a stay at home mommy and for me it was easier to become more engaged in every aspect of my sons day. There are times when I still have to take a small break for me but for the most part I am living my dream!
As I sat and pondered on a new word to commit myself to in 2016, I look next to me at a picture hanging on my wall. The word “Journey” is staring me boldly in the face. The quote on the plaque reads: ” Life is a journey and love is what makes that journey worthwhile.” It’s as if the Lord placed this word before me. I am excited what the coming year has in store. For me, my hope is that I will learn to fully embrace this journey of life that I’m on. That along the way, I will accomplish all of the things God has written on my heart. That I will grow ever closer to Him as I walk along this path. And even when I grow weary from the trek I will be reminded that on this journey I am not alone.
I pray blessings over each one of you in the coming year. May you each fulfill what it is that you set out to do and may you be reminded that God is with you today and everyday of the year!
The giving season is in full swing and the presents are piling under the tree. You have shopped for the perfect item that is sure to surprise everyone when they open it on Christmas morn. One thing that you won’t find in a bright shiny package, wrapped up in strings is time. Each day is a gift. We are not entitled to another 24 hours and our days here are numbered. How do you choose to unwrap your day? Do you choose to start each day with a grateful heart and thank the Lord for another blessed day on Earth? Or do you go throughout your day just barely making it by?
You will never have this day again. Stop and take notice. Savor your coffee just a little longer. Enjoy your hot shower for an extra five minutes. Laugh a little harder. Eat the biggest cupcake. Get down in the floor and see the world from your child’s perspective. Today is all that you have with these little blessings. Tommorow they will be just a tad bit older. They will view things a little differently. Mamas, our time with them is fleeting. Make the most of the present by being engaged in the world around you. Pay attention today and enjoy your children. Let their sweet grins and sticky kisses cling to your heart. Let their little hands grasp your soul. Unwrap this day and appreciate all of life’s gifts because you won’t get it back again.
I have always struggled with the desire to “do something” greater than myself. No matter what I have found myself doing in life, I’ve always aspired to make an impact in others lives for the better. Don’t we all strive for this? To be remembered for something good?
The constant need to always do more can drain you of your enthusiasm and steal the joy you receive as an incentive. It’s human nature to want more-have more-and do more. Still, you can begin to feel the actual weight of it all dragging you down. God wants you to know that no matter where you are..right at this very moment reading this…you can serve Him! It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you can give God the glory..right where you are! (1 Cor 10:31)
Whether you lead a life outside of the home working a 9-5 or you are at home changing diapers all day, the impact you make on your children’s lives are the same. You are raising these littles for the glory of God. You were called upon because He knew you had the strength to do it! No job is too big or too small for Him. Praise him while changing diapers! Praise him while preparing your big presentation! God doesn’t care what it is. You are a part of his beautiful plan. He is painting his masterpiece with you in mind. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the negative thinking trap that the world is just to big of a place. Stop listening to those lies falling upon your ears. Making a difference in the world starts with one person. God looks for faithfulness. He looks for willing hearts. No matter what you can learn to serve God right where you are.
This year, I really wanted to focus my time and energy on gifts that can’t be found under the tree. The most important gifts you can give your children doesn’t neccesarily have to cost a dime. Most things you anticipate them opening up on Christmas morning normally end up getting tossed aside or broken within the first year. Here is a list of five things that you can give your children that will last more than a year–they will last a lifetime!
- The Gift Of Jesus Christ. The greatest gift of all won’t be found under a tree. It won’t be packaged up pretty with a shiny bow on top. It will be found in a stable. When we teach our children that Christmas is the celebration of a Savior being born, we are sharing the most important gift we can give them–the true meaning of this special time of year. The greatest gift of all time was a babe that lay in a manger one starry night. He was born to fulfill a purpose–born to be put to death. This Christmas teach your children the reason for the season! “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whomsoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
- The Gift of Presence. Your “presence” is more meaningful than “presents.” Being present means slowing down and making time to enjoy the little things. Take initiative to pay more attention to your children and decide to live in the moment. Put down your phone and spend more time focusing on your greatest blessings today. You only have so much time with these little lives. Make a commitment to be all there!
- The Gift of Laughter. There is nothing that serves as music to my soul quite like my sons laughter. One of the things I enjoy most about the holidays is the fellowship with loved ones and the laughter that fills our home. When I look back on my life, I don’t remember what I got for Christmas. I recall the times spent cutting up and joking with family (mostly at my own expense!) Share in these moments with your kids and give them something to laugh about this year!
- The Gift of Tradition. Tradition is about giving your children something exciting to look forward to each year. It’s about celebrating the joy of the season as a family. There are a multitude of ideas out there if you are looking to start new traditions of your own this year. My favorites include: Christmas Eve box filled with Christmas pajamas, Christmas movie, and a treat. Looking at Christmas lights. A special ornament for your child each year. Going to a Christmas program at church. There are endless ideas you can peruse on Pinterest! Make the holidays merry for your littles by surprising them with a new tradition that will last for years to come!
- The Gift of Joy. Let your children know how happy you are to be there mother. Fill their hearts with gladness and cheer. Fill your home with light and love. Be silly. Have a pillow fight. Chase them around the room. Play hide and seek. Make memories. Let them unwrap the joy of childhood this year!
Being a parent is one of my greatest blessings! Although it can be a challenge sometimes and we can easily be swept up in the busyness of this time of year, remember that your children deserve the best! Give them something money can’t buy this year!