Stirred up faith!

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:7

When I was in the 2nd grade my family was struggling financially. At this point in our life we needed assistance for food. One day my mom was on her way out the door to go to a church to receive several boxes of free food. I asked my mom, “Do you think that they will give us Kool-aid? My mom couldn’t answer. I know it’s such a silly thing to pray for but still I went to my room and prayed “Lord please help them to give us purple Kool-aid. I want purple kool aid so bad.” An hour or so later my mom returned home and asked me to help unload the food boxes. Looking into a box I pull out an extra large container of purple Kool-aid.

My excitement grew and I began to shout…

God answered my prayer!”

That day I learned a very valuable lesson that went with me for the rest of my life. That day I learned that I could place my faith in God for not only the big things but the small things as well. This moment in my life has challenged me to always put my faith in God. I want to challenge you to never underestimate what God can do for you regardless of how big or small.

I recently spent the morning teaching Ellie how to make purple Kool-aid. While making the Kool-aid I told her this story in a way she can understand. I want her to know early that she can go to God for anything. I will continue through out life to share this story with Ellie over a glass of purple Kool-aid because I want to stir her faith up in God!

Maybe you are reading this and you say what I need from God is bigger than a glass of Kool-aid. I want you to know that God is in your corner. He is fighting for you. You are not alone. He will come through for you. He will come through on time even when you feel he is already late. I want to encourage you to continue to stir up your faith in God until you…

“Taste and see that the lord is good.” Psalms 34:8

How do I stir up my faith in God?

1. Prayer! Don’t stop praying for what you need from God. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”

2. Read His word! The word of God is filled with stories of God coming through just in time! Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

3. Reflect on what God has already done for you and thank Him. 1 Chronicles 16:34-35 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!His faithful love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!Gather and rescue us from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.”

Thank God for what He has done and will continue to do for you.

Remember, God loves you so much. He’s not up there laughing at the struggles you face. He is cheering you on. Don’t give up. Continue to stir up your faith in God. He’s got you!

Socks for Seniors!

The fall season is just around the corner and our family has decided to begin collecting socks for Dayspring Living, a nearby nursing home. Did you know that socks are a much needed item during the fall and winter season for many residence in nursing home facilities?

I have always had a heart for the elderly. It breaks my heart to know of the many men and women who may never have someone visit them.

One of the many things that attracted me to Jessie is that he has always been willing to visit senior citizen homes with me.

Now that we have Ellie we take her with us when we go!

Jessie and I are excited to help Ellie collect and pass out these socks to the residence.
Ellie has even done her chores to earn her seven dollars for her sock donation.

Pours the laundry detergent.

Fills dads cup with water each morning!

Puts her books on the shelf.

Fall begins on September 22nd. We plan to Deliver the socks the first weekend in October. We need to collect 100 pairs of socks. Will you help us fill such a simple need?

How can you help?
1. Donate new men’s plain white tube socks. (7 dollars at Walmart)

*We chose to only collect men socks because they work best for men and women.


2. Pray that God does more then warm the feet of those who wear the socks but that God warms their hearts.

We are so excited to do something for the community with Ellie! We thank you in advance for your support.

Update: October 6th 2018 Today was a success. Ellie and Lizzy sure did melt some hearts and brought lots of smiles to the residents. They could not get enough of the girls and kept calling them into the main room to visit. We were able to donate 140 pairs of socks and passed out 100 of them. It was beautiful getting to see these girls in action. Ellie and Lizzy are being called “little missionaries” by the residents. Ellie got to high five a 101 year old lady. The best part was singing Jesus Loves Me with the residents at the end. We can’t say thank you enough for all your prayers and donations.

Prized possession!

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zep 3:17

I recently dug some prized possessions from a box in the back of our closest. In this box was a yellow shirt my stepdad wore to work in the yard, a keepsake box with his picture and Bible in it and most importantly the key to his truck that he left me when he passed away. Unfortunately I could not keep up with the cost of the truck and had to sale it. However, I always held on to that key. All these possessions brought me peace after his passing. For a while I kept them close looking at them daily and sometimes several times a day. I cried over them and even slept with his shirt under my pillow on many occasions. As time went on I looked at them less frequently and soon didn’t feel the need to run the key to his truck through my fingers as often. This is until recently. Years after his death, I found myself thinking of his memory once again and I immediately ran to the closet pulled out the box and admired all the memories found in it. Once again I ran my fingers over the key remembering the first time I learned to drive with Mike as my teacher. I can’t forget the time he forgave me after knocking the side view mirror off the truck while trying to park. I still have every detail in my memory of the time he held out both arms, handed me a knife and told me to cut him. “If you are going to cut yourself I’d rather you just cut me.” I didn’t! I couldn’t hurt him. Mike loved me so much and he helped me see how much I should love myself.

Then it hit me… I place so much value in these items yet at one time I shoved these valued items in a box and placed them in the back of my closet. God is different. He will never have to go looking for you in the back of His closet. He knows exactly where you are and the value he has placed on you will never change. Jesus loves you so much. He forgives you when you mess up. He took the shame of your sin when He painfully died on the cross! He has so much in store for you. You are His and He will never push you toward the back of His closet. You are on His mind all the time. He loves you. You are His prized possession!

Responsibility!

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6

I’m so thankful that Ellie is surrounded by friends who are being raised by parents who love the Lord. This picture brings so much joy to my heart. In this moment I am reminded that as Christians with children, we are responsible to point them in the right directions. This means We put Ellie in Godly social environments so that she can see the difference between a friend who loves the Lord and a friend who does not. We never want Ellie to believe that only “old people”can love the Lord but we want her to know that young people do too. In knowing and seeing this I believe she will build her strongest relationships with individuals who are close with God. We pray that in doing this one day she will fall in love with the right boy who always points her to Jesus like her daddy does for me. We often strive to place our child in the best environment for success. When it comes to our child’s education we place them in the best schools that will help them get the best career. We make sure our kids are on the best teams to help them become the best athletes. However, We often fail to push them toward creating relationships with individuals who know how to stay close to God when everything else falls apart. All relationships are important but as Christians we should want our children to play a significant role in this world and this means they are closest to people who point them to Christ.

A pineapple a day!

1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

I tend to worry more than what is probably normal. I’m often discouraged by this human nature of mine and each day I try so hard not to let the worries take root. Our human nature is not an excuse to stay broken. The truth is I fail… on many occasions. I am continually learning to turn each worry into a prayer.

Did you know that Jesus is not the least bit shocked by our worries?

I’ve realized that every time I pray about a specific worry I feel God give me permission to let that worry go. We often just need assurance that it’s ok to not worry. When we put all our faith in God and in Him alone we are giving ourselves permission not to worry. Jesus even tells us not to worry.

Matthew 6:25-27

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

When I was in elementary school my family was having a lot of financial trouble. We often worried if there would be enough food to make it through the month. I can remember being so consumed with worry that my family would not have food to eat that I would wake up in the night to check the pantry. I would pull out the little food we had and divide it up into sections on the counter. When there was not enough to make it through the month I would lay awake trying to stretch the food for the month in my head. Eventually my family hit a better spot in life and we had more then enough but you see that time I spent so consumed with “would we have enough” drove me into this feeling of discomfort around food. Suddenly I just didn’t want to eat. This worry drove me to an eating disorder. The worry won’t stop just because the problem has been fixed. The food issue was fixed but the deep rooted worry was not. Sometimes you can spend so much time worried about something that even when the problem is fixed the worry only grows into something bigger. We can’t allow worry to become a habit in our life.

I have excepted that by allowing myself to constantly worry I am only adding more fuel to the fire. I am missing out on all of God’s greatness when I allow worry to overcome me. You are too!

God loves you so much and He does not want you spending your life worried about tomorrow.

When I saw the expression

“A pineapple a day keeps the worries away,” my mind immediately went to God.

Praying daily keeps the worries away and when they comes back continue to pray.

I’m not perfect. I still wake up at 3am with a deep feeling of anxiety but I immediately give it to God reminding myself that I am safe. I now know that I can give my worries to God and He truly makes all the difference. I encourage you to begin turning all your worries into prayers. You have permission to let go and let let God take care of it all. Trust Him.

Oh Be Careful Little Eyes!

“In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” Titus 2:6-7

Yesterday in the church nursery these four were calming their babies by showing them the fish in the tank. This is something they see the volunteers do when a child comes in upset after being separated from their parent. It always works!

Kids listen and they watch us. They repeat what we say and they mimic what we do. Let’s be sure we are helping them say and mimic the heart of God.

The Mom Life!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Moms! Let’s get real Motherhood is hard! Last week I did 15 loads of laundry in a weekend. I’m not sure if I should be ashamed that we have enough clothes to build up 15 loads or worse that I let it sit there that long! After I finished the laundry it laid on Ellie’s bed for a week unfolded. Our house always looks like a bomb went off even when I’m cleaning ALL 👏THE 👏 TIME! We eat out way too much because I can’t cook and I’m too tired at the end of the day to learn. Recently I let Ellie drink two tall glasses of purple kool-aid because quite frankly her smile while drinking it made me too happy to stop her. My punishment: she peed… EVERYWHERE! If I’m being really honest I have slipped a few “No No” words too many times to count and I’m terrified she might repeat them. While I’m on a roll I let her watch T.V, I buy her too much, I think she’s more perfect then what is most likely true, I give her a sucker just so I can make it through the store, and one morning I forgot to feed her breakfast until we were on our way out the door and she started screaming “My breakfast! My breakfast!” To make it worse I lost her for an entire 10 seconds in the mall one day and thanks to a lady seriously sent by God I found her and she was ok. Is it terrible that My favorite part of the day is when Ellie has to do a breathing treatment which means I get 15 minutes to run in place in order to claim my exercise badge for the day?

I don’t write all this because I’m proud of it. Trust me I’m not proud! I’m not complaining either because as a mom I have it good because my amazing husband helps in so many ways. Honestly, I would much rather write all the things I’ve done right as a mother but I think moms need to see especially on a day like Mother’s Day that we are only human, not perfect and in serious need of Gods grace. As a mother who feels like I’m doing it all wrong at times I want you to know you are not alone. It is by the Grace of God and the hundreds of prayers I pray every day that I make it.

The truth is I love being a mom and I’m really trying to be a good one. It’s so hard and the worries that come with motherhood make it that much more difficult. However, Ellie is one of the best blessings that has happened to me. Until I held her in my arms for the first time I never knew how to love like this. I wouldn’t trade this messy chaos for anything else in the world.

To the single moms who do this Mom thing everyday by yourself you are a true rock star. It’s not easy but I see you rocking it!

As mothers we are worthy of being celebrated. Today is our day. When you feel like you are doing it all wrong know that in reality we all feel that way. Being a mom is tough but we can all agree it’s so worth it. Happy Mother’s Day!

Can’t stop won’t stop!

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.” Luke 15: 4-6

I decided to take Ellie to the Willow Bend Play area! I had my eyes on her the entire time. She took off toward the exit at a very fast pace. I obviously took off after her. As she made it out the exit of the play area I accidentally knocked over a two year old little girl because I was frantically trying to catch up with Ellie. In the moment all that made sense was to scream “I’m so sorry” as I left the innocent child on the ground crying and continued to chase Ellie. I finally catch up with Ellie and hug her tight. Then I do the walk of shame back through the play area to apologize to the little girl and her dad. Thankfully her dad as well as three other parents understood the entire situation. They even agreed that they would have reacted in the same way.

This one moment reminds me of Gods love for us. He can’t stop and won’t stop chasing after us. While He might not knock over innocent bystanders in the process He will always chase after us.

When Jesus chased me down I fought hard going where He was taking me. I was scared. I couldn’t see the big picture. He kept chasing me but as His sheep I had to choose to follow Him. Can I just say I am so thankful I did? He had such a great plan for my life but I was going the opposite way. He loves me so much that He continued to chase me even as I continued to run. It’s the same for you. He will always chase after you but you have to be willing to follow Him into the plan He is calling you to. Are you running from His plan? Stop! Let Him put you on His shoulders and take you back to where you are called.

Washed Clean!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

I can Remember at the age of 10 taking two baskets of laundry (one stacked on the other) to the apartment laundry mat and then back up three flights of stairs. This will always be the (I walked three miles in the freezing snow) story I tell my kids and grandkids. I did this often and to be honest it was just part of life. However, I very strongly believe that this chore shaped me into the strong and hardworking individual that I am today. Recently I took our big blankets to the washateria because our washer at home is not large enough. While sitting waiting for the blankets to finish God reminded me to never forget where He has brought me from. I don’t mean just in the materialistic or financial way either. God has brought me from complete emotional turmoil to an unbelievable amount of wholeness, maturity and peace. I have so far to go in so many areas but as I watch our dirty laundry be washed clean I’m simply amazed at the level of cleaning God has done in my heart. I’ll be forever grateful that He has brought me so far and is continuing to take me further.

Maybe you are reading this and thinking of all the areas that need work in your heart. You might feel its impossible. I’m here to tell you God can and He wants to make every inch of your heart whole. You just have to open it up and let Him. Will you?