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042615: It Is Well // Devotional

A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

I read this verse yesterday during worship because it sums up my heart and my life at this point. I plan, I am the most planningest-planner I know. I get anxiety when I don’t have a plan. Even a back up plan. I like knowing. I like being prepared. And there have been numerous times in my life where my planning was thwarted by God, and it always turned out well.

So, now, as I sit in and amongst a bunch of non-established plans… I know, that it is well in my soul.

For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the LORD’s declaration–“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Even though my plan isn’t working out, I know that God’s plan is. His plan prevails. I had started a new devotion on the bible app and it is prayer heavy. And I am realizing how much I’ve missed Him. I pray daily. Short, brief prayers in between sweeping up messes and wiping off hands and faces, but sitting down and focusing on him for long moments, I haven’t done in a while. And it’s been so refreshing, and I know that it’s helped keep my head on straight during this transition.

I’m losing my stay-at-home job. I was planning on working from home for the next year (July to June) just for a little added income. Just a little extra play money each month. Dining out money. Going to the Zoo, just because, money. Movie date with my husband money. But, we will have to either find that somewhere else, or… just not go. And that’s fine. But here is my dilemma and here is my heart.

I’m going to say something that a lot of people don’t say.

Being a stay at home mom, especially as an extrovert like me, is very hard. I don’t like being at my house for days on end. I need to be out – not outside. Out, around other people. I don’t neccesarily have to talk to them, but it would be awesome. And when I get trapped in my house with my kids for long periods of time, I get… Mean. And snappy. And my fuse gets shorter and shorter. And given that I live with an almost 5 year old who wants to do everything herself and an almost 3 year old who NEVER STOPS MOVING… It’s a plan for disaster and stress and snapping on the people I love most.

So I’m not worried that much about losing the little bit of income that I’m losing ($200 a month, at best). Not worried about that. I am worried about not having the money to be able to go on a date night with Wes to get away from my kids for a couple of hours because I’ve been with them for 5 days straight with no breaks. My job right now, is my break. And, I won’t have that. I don’t want to turn into the mean-stay-at-home mom that I’ve turned into before.

And saying all of that, just defines me as “Terrible Mom of the Year”. But I know I’m not a terrible mom. Raising young children is just hard. Period. I am not in full control of my flesh, and I had a way to reset myself with my job. I just wanted things to work out how I planned them, and they didn’t. I don’t get the job to balance my time. And the thing is – the funniest part of all of it – it isn’t God closing the door on me. It’s God letting me close the door.

I still could take the job if I wanted. I could accept it and the deal that comes with it (working inside of the clinic instead of my home). But I know that God has called me to homeschool my children, so God is letting me close this door on my own. He’s letting me turn down a job that I love. He’s handing the reigns over and saying, “I know you love this job, I know it’s your cushion, your escape and your way of having a break… but I want you to close that door and let me be all of that for you. You don’t need a 6 hour a week job to have escape. You only need me. I can help you control your temper and your tongue. I can give you rest, I can give you your breaks. But you have to let me. Close the door.”

And y’all. It’s hard to close this door. I do love my job. I am a lactation specialist, and I love helping moms with this hurdle. It’s a hurdle that a lot of women face, and it’s not easy in the early days. And when a mom calls me and is struggling, I love talking her down and helping her take a breath. I love knowing that because of me, some babies get a little bit more of what was made specifically for them. I love helping these moms nurse their babies – because God made our bodies to do this for  a reason. I’m passionate about breastfeeding. And I’m walking away from this job. Because I know God wants me to be at home.

So, if you are praying this morning, please say a prayer for me as I have to call my boss and tell her that I will not be taking the job this following year. Pray for me as my current job duties will most likely change (and I’m so unsure of how all of that will go…) and pray for me that my heart will not explode as all of my plans are falling to peices. It’s hard to ask for help, it’s hard to ask for prayer. But I know that I need it today.

As the song goes, it is well with my soul. It is well, it is well, with my soul.

I may not feel it in this very moment, but I will keep singing that because in the grand scheme, it is well.

Devotional: Micah 6

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously. Micah 6:8 MSG

The right man won the election.

Not because I voted for him, or didn’t vote for him. But because he won. God ordained that. Plain an simple.

So what do we do now?

It’s quite simple.

We have to be Christians. We have to be the change that we want to happen in our country. If we don’t like the amount of debt that our country has, then we need to also stop spending money that we don’t have. If we don’t like people having abortions, we need to comfort those girls who don’t know any other way.

Sometimes we will have to get our hands dirty to see some change.

I’ll never forget driving a woman who was quite the alcoholic to the health department to get some tests done so she could go to rehab.

Once I dropped her off, I smelled like alcohol.

My hands got dirty, but my heart got full.

Get your hands dirty. Be fair and be just. Regardless of who or what.

Get your hands dirty. Be compassionate and be loyal. Regardless of who or what.

Doesn’t matter the sin, none are too big for our God. People don’t realize/remember/trust that.

Our God is BIGGER. He’s big enough to keep you clean when you get your hands dirty.

So go get them dirty. Thats the only way we will ever see real change in the world we live in.

You gotta get dirty before you can get clean sometimes.

Devotional: Psalm 55 and The Seamstress

First off, I wanted to thank you all for being with me these last 15 weeks. I certainly hope that my devotions have helped you fall in love with God a little more. Next week I’ll go in to be induced to FINALLY meet my little baby boy. That also means, less sleep for me, and less blogging, at least until I can get our family of four used to being a family of four. Today will be the last devotional blog for at least a few weeks. I’ll be sure to post on facebook and Twitter when it is back. And I may can do some to schedule, but it will not be daily. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to starting back up soon!

 

Pile your troubles on god’s shoulders— he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin. Psalm 55:22 MSG

God is for us. Not sure how many times I have to say this before folks actually believe it, but He is.

Bad things do still happen, like I said yesterday, that’s due to the devil doing his job greatly. People don’t trust in God like they used to.

But you can. You can give your troubles to him, and he will deal with them.

David wrote this when he had been captured by the Philistines. He knew.

He wasn’t scared of them.

He wasn’t afraid of what they would do to him or his people.

He trusted God in a way that most of us will never even have to!

God will not let us fall to ruin.

Just like Paul said in Philippians- if we are alive, then we preach Christ, and if we die, even better because we are with Him! Most of us aren’t here yet. I know I’m not.

I do know there is No need to be afraid of someone who can’t take anything from you.

Our God is good. Let’s work toward believing that with our lives.

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Life Blog

Well, I’ve been busy. And in a good way busy!I found some really cute sewing tutorials online, and, well.. They were little girl dresses, so I HAD to try them. I’ve completed one, and started on another. Which.. I’ve had to redo parts.. so it’s taking me a bit longer. But first, let me catch you up.

Yesterday we went to Hattiesburg. I wanted McAlisters, then when we got there it was INSANE. SO many people there. Then we realized, it was “Free Tea Day!” apparently. I just like their food.. but, of course, we got their free sweet teas too, and enjoyed them as well. The place was PACKED out.
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Lucy enjoyed her free sweet tea.

Ok, for the dress… Here is where I found the idea. Here is her version:

I went to Shirlies to get the material. And of course, they don’t sell knits (T-shirt material), so I did what any hormonal, 9 month pregnant lady who is quite determined to make something would do. I bought some Tshirts.

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These were close enough in color and texture to work. Plus, they were only a buck a piece!

And after slaving away at my sewing machine, and following the instructions like a champ – I got this cute thing!

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Then I stuck my Cute-Lil-Lucy in her new Cute-Lil-Dress and took some pictures! She had just woken up, so she wasn’t quite as smiley as I would have liked. Still cute.
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And Sans Ribbon.. Lucy I guess liked it better without?
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I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve tried working with tshirts before, and… well.. as you have seen… I’ve never posted something made from a Tshirt. The fabric is hard to work with. But, I was ever so determined, and I made it happen!

Then we came home, and Wes was being good ole ‘Farmer in the Dell’ and went around back to feed our ravenous chickens. I took Lucy and was going to play with her on our big pile of dirt.

I look over.. and I see Wes toting the 50lb bag of chicken feed and I see our rooster (our STUPID rooster) run up on him, like ALWAYS. He doesn’t have spurs, yet, but I still don’t want to run from a chicken in my yard.

I’ve told Wes to kill him. He’s jumped on Lucy, Me, Other folks, Other Folk’s kids, and Wes. But Wes wanted it to be in the heat of battle.

Well.. here was his battle. Wes grabs my stick (I carry a stick every time I go feed them, because.. well.. I don’t want rooster jumping on me. I’m already a little lopsided, I don’t need to run from a bird and fall…). It was a little 1×2. Wes swings, and misses.

Rooster taunts him. Gives him the stink eye.

Runs back to get a better view on his enemy (Wes) and Wes chunks that stick like David did that rock toward Goliath. (Ok, I’m getting a little theatrical here… he did throw the stick though).

It caught rooster perfectly on the neck.

And the whole saying about a chicken running around with it’s head cut off?

Yeah..

That’s true.

They wiggle.. A LOT after they are dead.

Like, a lot a lot.

Very creepy.

About 1 minute into rooters death his comb and wattle (the red stuff on his head) had turned a very dark red. It was sorta sad. But then I was like.. Well.. You’re the idiot who kept trying to hurt folks.. Ya own fault!

Then, I proceeded to do something that I NEVER in a million years thought I’d be able to do….

Rooster was my favorite chicken. He was beautiful. Here he is as a teenager?
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And as a youngin.
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When he was little he would run up to my hand. He was never scared of me. He loved being petted. And then he got all.. hormonal.

I read chicken blogs about ways to tame them, and I tried them all. Nothing worked. He was a MAN rooster and would NOT back down. And with us about to have 2 small children.. I take no chances. So…

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I hope he tastes as pretty as he looked.

I never thought I could do that. Pluck a chicken? Skin a chicken? Drain it of its blood? Clean out the inside…

But I did. At NINE months pregnant.

I gotta finish taking the meat off the bone today.

He will be lunch.

I will say this, as LOUD as that joker was… I kinda miss hearing him wake us up. But, then again, when I have this newborn and I’m napping in my bed, I will NOT miss loud rooster crowing beneath my house. Rooster crowed ALL DAY LONG.

RIP Rooster.

Hope your weekend is better than his!

Devotional: Deuteronomy 30

Good morning! Happy Wednesday to you. Still pregnant. Ok, rant over 🙂

And I command you today: Love god, your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will live, really live, live exuberantly, blessed by god, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess. Deuteronomy 30:16 MSG

This is what Moses tells the people of Israel, what God told him to say to them. They had been wandering. For years, and they were about to be where God promised them but before they entered God set down some ground rules. This was one.

My favorite part of this- is not the actual commands that God gives, but the promises that follow… Keep all these rules, SO that you will really live.

He isn’t telling them to do these things because he’s a big mean God who just wants his way. He is telling them to do these things for their protection, to help them with guidance, and to make their lives better.

Just like us as parents, we don’t establish rules just because we want our kids to suffer. We establish them to keep them safe. Lucy isn’t allowed to stand on the back of the couches.

And it has nothing to do with me wanting to restrict her fun.

It has everything to do with me wanting her to have a full, and long, life, with no broken bones or head trauma.

She doesn’t understand now, but she will one day.

God isn’t just a far away thing that zaps us with a bad economy and hurricanes every now an again. He is our loving father, and wants our lives to be full. He cares about us. He wants us safe.

He’s a good Father. Sometimes we don’t know it, but one day, we will.

Devotional: 1 John 4

There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life-fear of death, fear of judgment-is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. 1 John 4:18 MSG

This is loaded. And good. And full. And rich. There is a lot to read here. A lot to learn.

Lets break it down.

If you are fearful, you are not loving. If you are fearful, you are crippled, and scared of judgement from others. If you are scared to death of what people think of you and your relationship with Christ, how on earth can you show them your relationship in the correct light?

God doesn’t give us fear. He gives us faith.

If you are terrified of what might happen, or what used to happen, or what will never happen, then you are totally, 100% holding back. And God doesn’t call us to live halfway lives. He calls us to live life, and life more abundantly. He doesn’t want us to go through our life scared of others and their judgements. Honestly, the only person’s opinion we should ever value – is His.

I will say, like I’ve said before, we (as Christians) need to be liked. No one will listen to or respect someone they don’t even want to be around, but their opinions about our lives shouldn’t matter… At all. How we live our life shouldn’t be based on their opinions. It should be based on what God has told us to do.

And what is that?

To love.

Yes – it is hard to love people. People can be quite unloveable. And what’s hard is, when we do love people, we end up valuing their opinions. So what can we do?

We can love like Christ. Love them, where they are, and where we can see them, but not to the point where they fog the mission that God has given us. Because, as we all know, people can lead us astray. Right?

Right.

How do we do this? How do we love with Christs’ love? Well.. that is easier said than done. That is for sure. There is no getting around it – God loves people that we wouldn’t even consider talking to. But He has also given us his spirit, and when we get in tune with it – can change our lives. And for the better – not just ‘different’. He can make us able to love the unloveable. He loved us when we were very much unlovable. We should return the favor.

As my husband has said many times – we may be the only Jesus some people ever see. And Jesus loved, so we should too.