Ellie’s flower!

Noah dropped a flower off for Ellie a few weeks ago! It was so sweet! It sits on Ellie’s work table. It’s a reminder of how Jesus is always growing something beautiful within each of us, even during the most difficult seasons in life. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Philippians 2:13 NLT

Choose joy! Choose laughter! Choose Jesus!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV.

We can’t deny that we are in tough times. Life is scary right now. Don’t allow your current situation to take away the joy the Lord has given each of us. I can remember as a child, when life was really beating us down. I can remember my dad getting that diagnosis, my mom working three jobs just to not have enough and my teacher asking me how long it had been since I showered last. Life was hard, embarrassing and lonely. I can remember thinking that my only option was to sit down and be sad. I didn’t know I could choose joy still. I didn’t know I could trust in Jesus. I didn’t know I could talk to him. I didn’t know he loved me and was taking care of everything behind the scenes. I didn’t know that no matter what was going on around me that God was still in control. That’s what I want to share with you today. God is in control. He is strong and He is mighty. He is taking care of everything even when we can not see. I refuse to lose my joy no matter how hard life gets. Choose joy during this time. Choose to find joy in even the simplest of things. Choose to continue to trust in Jesus. Choose to laugh in the face of the enemy. Don’t lose hope and don’t lose joy.

4th birthday letter!

The older you get the more that I cry. The taller you grow the more I ask why. Today is your birthday and we’ll celebrate. But first I’ll thank God that I get to love you each day.

This year was big. You asked Jesus in your heart in the backseat of the car, at the red light, right outside of the Casey’s Store. While I know there will be a time later when you ask again because you might not remember I’ll always remember and so will Jesus the very first time on July 11th 2019 at 506 pm that you said “Jesus you come in my heart?”

You are strong, you are brave, you are kind, you have so much joy, you are filled with endless amounts of humor, you have wisdom beyond your years, you are filled with compassion, you are a leader and as much as I want to proudly shout that you are mine it’s just not true because YOU ARE HIS. You are so loved by Jesus and I am honored to be given the important role of your mother.

This year you made me proud on so many levels. One of my favorite memories is the night we were at a pizza restaurant. You ran up to dad asking him to help you find the girl who was sitting alone. He was confused so you ran up to me. It took both dad and I together to try and understand what you were asking. We didn’t see a girl sitting alone. Then we told you to show us and you did. You walked us right up to a young girl sitting by herself and you said hi. Ellie, I want to be like you when I grow up because you know how to love others just like Jesus does.

Today we will celebrate with furry stuff friends a homemade cake and presents. You didn’t let having to cancel your party get you down. You are so thrilled to celebrate in isolation. We will always remember Corona2020! You are thrilled no matter what because Jesus lives in your heart and as you always remind me “Jesus wants us to have joy!” You my child are filled with his joy.

Today you turn 4. I can’t even process how this happened. Today you turn 4 and already you are starting your birthday with a bam. You get to be a big sister. My heart overflows imagining you holding your baby sister or brother for the first time. You are so proud. Today you turn 4 and for some odd reason as we celebrate my heart breaks because slowly I’m watching you develop into your own and I Know that moment will come when you venture out on your own. Until then, we will continue to point you to Jesus because as long as He is first in your life nothing can break you. I love you my cheese taco. Happy birthday!

This picture was taken over thanksgiving!

The light that leads you out!

“Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.“ Micah 7:8

I love the way Ellie looks at me even when I’m struggling. I can feel how proud she is of me even when over the past few weeks I’ve found it difficult to be proud of myself. I haven’t been the best version of myself as a mother or wife. I’ve been tired, sick moody and a couch bum. This part of pregnancy is so difficult when you have a 4 year old who still depends on you so much. I’m so thankful and blessed that while slowly, the morning sickness, fatigue and moodiness are disappearing. I’m so ready to be back to my normal mom/wife self doing fun projects with Ellie and cleaning my house. This season in pregnancy has been a great reminder to me of how Jesus looks at me despite the way I view myself.

There will be seasons in life when we are not the best version of who God made us to be. But guess what? Jesus still looks at us proud of where we have allowed Him to bring us. He looks at us proud to call us His child. No! I’m not saying it’s fine to give up in life because Jesus will love you anyway. What I’m saying, is this, we will struggle. We will have bad days, weeks months and years. We will struggle to be who Jesus has called us to be BUT In the mist of that struggle, Jesus will be right beside us, always proud to call us His daughters and sons. Are you struggling right now? Rest in knowing that you are a child of the most High. He loves you so much and right now He is looking at you with love and joy. You will fall but the enemy won’t win. Allow the Lord to be the light that leads you out!

A Bathtub of Hearts!

A bathtub of hearts!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10 NLT

This week in kids life we talked about Gods love for us. He loves us so much that He gave the life of His son Jesus for our sins! We brought out foam hearts. We encouraged the kids to write and draw some things on their foam heart that are not pleasing to Jesus. After our hearts were covered in mistakes we talked about how Jesus was sent to forgive us from our mistakes. When we accept His forgiveness we are made like new. We have a fresh start and a new beginning. Temptation and sin is all around us. We are going to fall. We are going to mess up and make mistakes. How blessed we are to have a living father who we can call on daily. Daily we need to be asking Him to “create in me a pure heart…”. (Psalms 51:10) As one of our kids life friends so eloquently put it, “let Jesus give your heart a bath!”

Don’t catch the marshmallows!

Don’t catch the marshmallows!

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

We played a game this past weekend in kids life. Two kids were called to the front. One was handed a bucket and a shield was put at his feet. The other player was holding a bucket of marshmallows. The marshmallows represent the darts that the enemy will try and throw at you. These darts might be but are not limited to; anger, frustration, temptation, depression, doubt, and discouragement. The child holding the marshmallows was encouraged to toss the marshmallows toward the other players bucket who would catch them. We didn’t give any other instruction other then remind them what each marshmallow represents and the tools they had. There was only one time when a friend chose to put the bucket down and pick up the shield. Rather then stand there and catch each marshmallow of discouragement and anger he chose to shield off every one.

How many times do we stand in life catching every marshmallow tossed our way by the enemy? I was talking to a friend recently. I was sharing some concerns with her. Only they weren’t concerns they were more worries and fear that the enemy was disguising as yummy marshmallows. Guess what! I was devouring each one. She said…..

I read in Jesus Calling the other day “Fear makes us re-live our worst fears over and over again. God doesn’t want this for us. If we are going to experience something traumatic, we are only supposed to live it when it actually happens.”

These words were so powerful to me. She is so right. I don’t get to fear I get to pray. I realized I was catching every marshmallow the enemy was throwing at me when I should have been picking up the shield that God has given me. I realized in that moment I was living in a past moment that was indeed very painful but not meant to be lived out again and again. If the enemy can keep you down he will keep finding new ways to keep you down. If the enemy can get you distracted he will keep finding new ways to keep you distracted. If the enemy can get you angry he will find a way to keep you angry. We have to pick to the shield that we have been given as armor and begin shielding off every fear, every frustration, every doubt, every fiery dart that the enemy will fire.

The word tells in 1 Peter 5:8 to … “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

Guys! Don’t catch the marshmallows! I repeat DONT CATCH THE MARSHMALLOWS! Pick up that shield and shield off every doubt, every lie and every word the enemy throws at you because you can bet he is throwing them.