3 Old Mascaras

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Digging through my makeup bag, I pick up three old mascaras before I finally find my brand new Cover Girl one. The others haven’t made their way to the trash yet. I’m always scared one will get jacked up and not go on right so I’ve kept the others as backups. Just in case. Can’t be having no lack of makeup emergency. Naw girl.

Kind of makes me think of how we like to hold to on things. People from our past. Friends from middle school we should’ve parted ways with. Notes from old boyfriends. (Don’t worry Gary, you’re the only one I have notes from! All the rest are long gone!)

2 Corinthians 5:17 says that once we begin our life in Christ, our old life is gone and a new life has begun. The person we were before is dead and gone. Sianara. Adios. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. You can giggle. I did too.

Let me ask you something. How’s that road kill smell? You know, the possum that stared at you with its beady little eyes before you punched him in the face with your car? Would you pick him up, brush that possum’s hair, put a VA Tech jersey on him and bring him to dinner? Oh gosh no. Sorry. I just threw up in my mouth a little. The thought of road kill makes my stomach turn.

Let the dead be dead. If God has delivered you from it – leave it. If someone or something hasn’t made its way to your present, maybe that’s your gift. Sometimes God tries to gently lead us away from things but He has to pry them out of our hands because we just cant let it go. Loosen your grip, baby. Some people never come back knocking on your door. Others don’t seem to get the hint. And sometimes you will have to man up and decide who makes the cut.

I’m not saying we won’t have our struggles. Paul admits he had his Achiles heel. Romans 7:15 tells us, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate to Paul. I love how God used a man who was so completely jacked up to do His will. One who killed Christians, had a God encounter, then suddenly becomes a representative for Christ. Wow. Talk about an interesting story for his class reunion.

The thing is, we can’t do what God has called us to do if we’re holding on to the old, dead things from our past. Mark 2:22 says, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” We are supposed to be transformed by Him. If we aren’t transformed and have hope to make it through this messy life and encourage others in the process, what’s the point? It’s a waste of time.

Thankfully, God knew we were messed up long before He sent His son to rescue us from ourselves. We do a pretty crummy job on our own. I know I do. We have the power to change. He has given us everything we need to make it through this life. It’s locked inside of us. We just have to go to a His word and seek Him to find the key.

And my friend, one of those keys involves getting lost. Get lost in Him. Drown in His endless ocean of grace. Submerge yourself in His love. He has a plan for you, darling. And it may just be on the other side of the trash can. Maybe that’s why you haven’t had your break through. It’s time to chunk those old mascaras in the garbage. Don’t settle and run back to the old clumpy mess. He has greater things in store for you! Don’t go digging through the trash. Leave it there and move forward.

Living Live Unscripted,
❤ Brittany

The Triscuit Man

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I’m on my 30 minute lunch from working a promo event at Walmart. Man, this Subway cookie is off the chain. No, the promo isn’t for Subway. It’s actually for Magnum ice cream bars.

A few minutes ago I watched the Triscuit vender stock product in front of me. He moved the cracker boxes around, oldest in front and newest in the back. FIFO. A technique I learned back at Chick-Fil-A. First In, First Out. I just confirmed that acronym with the guy sweeping next to me. He scratched his head and laughed and actually confirmed it with the manager. Haha. Life is fun. I live messing with people’s heads.

Back to the Triscuit man. This guy wanted to make sure he made his company look good. He took a minute to make sure the boxes all lined up and the labels faced the front. It’s a good idea to have a detail oriented individual on the front lines of your business to make it look great. No extra charge for that tidbit. You’re welcome.

The same goes for us. We are ambassadors for Christ. Daughters of the King. Princes and princesses. But we are not called live the royal life just yet. Oh no, my friend. We are called to serve the least of these. Not kiss butt with the fancy smansy fluffy dress people. And we are called to represent Him.

It’s hard to represent a holy God and help in the repentance process when we’re not properly uniformed. I’m not saying we all need to dress like Catholic school girls, but we don’t need our lady parts hanging out either. The Bible says we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and it also says we battle with our flesh. Would you wear a hoochie mama dress or short shorts to go hang out with your little brother? If your answer is yes, text me. We need to talk. But no! You wouldn’t!

Let’s say you’re the male owner of a restaurant. A line of girls is forming outside and they’re anxiously awaiting interviews. Some are twirling their hair, others are popping gum. Some have a 4 page resume. Others are lucky to have shoes without holes in them. You have a wide variety of girls to choose from. The first girl sits down with a low cut shirt and skin tight pants showing every curve and dimple. Where are your eyes? Be honest.

People generally want to buy into what’s being advertised. If you’re hanging out strutting your stuff like a pink flamingo on a hot summer day during mating season, what do you expect? Expect a bunch of losers trying to hit you up for your number. And know what they’re expecting. If you’re willing to show it off at the mall, they’ll expect you’re easy in the back seat. Oh no she didn’t go there… Oh yes. I did.

Embrace the royalty you’ve been born into. If you’ve asked Jesus into your life, you are a daughter of the most High King, baby! Act like it! Talk like it and dress like it. Do everything you do with excellence. Someone is always watching you. Maybe it’s the obnoxious 7 year old that lives next door. She sees how her cool 16 year old neighbor loves the Beibs and One Direction. How pure are their song lyrics? Or are they compromising your values?

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:26 offers us so much wisdom! There isn’t one single thing the world can offer you. You can’t turn on the radio or tv without sex before marriage looking normal and glamorous, alcohol being the key to having a good time, and drugs giving you a release to your problems. The more we give into the enemy’s lies, the more he feeds us the same lines of junk. And when we stop believing him, he alters his plan of attack and goes to the back door knocking.

Turn off MTV. Change radio stations. Fill your mind with pure things instead of the filth the world has delivered on a silver platter. Dare to be different. Philippians 4:8 gives us a great reminder. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Think on the pure things. When a negative, funky thought invades your mind, cast it out! Get rid of it and replace it with God’s word!

People take notice of how you carry yourself. If you claim to be a Christian, you need to act like it. You need to be separated and different from the rest of the world. The world should know you’re not one of them. We’re not created to fit in, beautiful. We’re created to stand out instead of settling for blending in.

Do everything you do with excellence. Do it for God. Regardless of who’s watching. Straighten up those boxes and make sure they’re presentable when others come desperately seeking to be filled. Payday is coming and all eyes are on you, babe.

Living life unscripted,
Brittany ❤

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Backup Singer

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You’ve been their biggest fan since their first album was released. The moment you heard their voice, you were hooked. You’ve had a few back stage moments snagging autographs and pictures with them at concerts, and you own every t-shirt and arm band they’ve come out with.

It’s Friday morning. Your phone rings. Omg. It’s them. They want you to come to Nashville. To record. With them. Omg omg omg!!! You never thought this moment would come around, even in your wildest dreams. And now they want you to be one of their backup singers in their latest album!

You’d be tripping out, wouldn’t you? I know I would be! Excitement, fear, happy dance, snot running down your face.. It’s a huge mix of emotions running up one side and down the other. What an honor that you would be chosen!

Would you be shocked if I told you that you have already been chosen? Someone greater than any singer, hot guy, actor, or Grammy award winning face has chosen you. You have the most amazing adventure waiting at your front door! The question is, are you going to accept it?

James 1:22 instructs us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” There are so many out there who warm a church pew once a week and hear a suited up guy with a tie preach the word. But so many times it doesn’t penetrate their hearts and take up residence. How do I know that? Well are they bearing fruit? Are you bearing fruit? According to Galatians 5:22-23, we should stand apart from the rest with our “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

God has an incredible plan designed specifically for you. Take an inventory of yourself for a minute. What are you good at? What do you like to do? What moves you? God wouldn’t call you to do something you hate. Your calling will be something you enjoy and brings life and joy to others. You may be stretched out of your comfort zone with where He calls you, but He will give you the tools you need to get this thing accomplished.

He has called us to be His backup singers. If we’re in His Word, we know the words. We can hum the tune. He has called us to proclaim His goodness and bring hope to this jacked up place. But I can assure you, if you don’t step up to the mic, He will call someone else who is willing. Don’t let fear wrap its cold, boney fingers around your neck. It will do nothing but suck the life out of you and strip you away from where God is calling you.

“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it–not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it–they will be blessed in what they do.” James 1:25 tells us we will be blessed in what we’re doing for God. If He has given you long fingers that can tear up a grand piano, play that thing for Him! If you can hit a softball out of the park and k of the game like the back of your glove, use it to teach others confidence in the game! There is ministry that is braided into every strand of everything we do, and God put it there!

It’s so awesome to me that God wants to use us. I mean, heck, He’s God! He has every resource at His fingertips, yet He chooses to use us. Imperfect, messed up, addicted, self conscious, us. You’re part of His plan! He doesn’t want to walk by You to go to the more talented girl on the front row. He wants you. All of you. Just as you are. No strings attached.

Embrace the road is is calling you to walk with Him. There is so much power in His name and through Him you can do anything! If He has placed a desire in your heart, He is going to introduce you to the right people at the right time in the right place and make it happen. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

Don’t walk in fear, tilt your head back and belt out the sing He has placed in your heart! The world is waiting to hear it!

Living Life Unscripted,
❤ Brittany

Hot Pink Scrunchies

 

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My kids could probably eat their weight in pancakes.   Landon could care less about syrup, thank God!  His 15-month hands would be a hot mess!   But Kendyl, on the other hand, pours on the sticky maple goodness before she digs in.    I have to pull up her hair before she eats because if not, her gorgeous blonde curls become a sticky, icky mess.   

 
So many times, God speaks such valuable wisdom to us in the simplest ways.   Like this particular morning.  My hair was pulled up with a hot pink scrunchie.  Kendyl needed her hair pulled back so maple syrup wouldn’t take over her golden locks.  I simply took the hair bow from my hair and used it to pull here out of her face.   And there it was.   The sweet, gentle voice of God.   
 
We pass so much down to our children; sometimes more than we would like to.  Our nature, our habits, our likes and dislikes..  We love Mexican food, now our kids love it.  When we ask Kendyl to pick somewhere to go for lunch it’s usually, “You know Mexican is my favorite, Mom!”  I’m not sure if it’s because of the cheese dip or the mints she gets afterwards,  but the girl loves her Mexican food.   If my hair is down, she wants her hair down.   Gary walks around being goofy and patting his stomach.   It’s no shocker that Landon does this now.   Grinning from ear to ear, he walks in the kitchen patting that cute little belly.   
 
Our kids watch everything we do.   Especially in the early years of life before they start school.  Even more so if you’re a stay at home mom or work from home.   They’re such copy cats at this age.   They mimic faces and sounds, behavior and habits.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who finds this scary!   I’m not the most patient person and frequently voice my frustrations in rather barbaric ways.  You know, grunting and huffing and puffing and the occasional throwing up of hands?  That’s me   Unfortunately.   And my two sweet babies are right there looking up at me thinking, “Oh, that’s what we do when we’re upset.   This is how to respond when we don’t get our way.   This is what we do when someone ticks us off.”  
 
Ever walked in on your darling daughter fussing at her Barbies the way that you fuss at her?   “If I see you don’t that one more time, you’re getting a spanking, you understand me?”  Ehh.. That stings a bit.   Have you ever heard your son screaming at his toy for not going through the right hole in the box?  Sigh.. It’s us!  Where else would they pick it up?  They copy the behavior they witness first hand.   
 
God has really been dealing with me on this for a while.  I get frustrated easily.   I wouldn’t say I’m a hot head, but I’m impatient and cranky when I’m constantly faced with the same thing over and over.   When I’ve requested a particular pair of underwear to be thrown in the dirty clothes instead of the middle of the floor, I don’t know, seven times?  I get flustered.  And many times I raise my voice.  I get upset and yell.   Why would I be shocked that when my kids want to get my attention or prove a point, they yell back at me?  Now we have created a war zone on home turf.   
 
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  There is so much truth packed into this tiny verse.   Think about it.    When you raise your voice, it causes the other person to get feisty and raise their voice above yours, further making you raise your voice.   Fight or flight overtakes both of you and neither of you can calmly hold a conversation.   Neither of you can process what the other is saying because you both feel frustrated and attacked.   
 
We must devise a plan of attack and put it in place for when we feel ourselves about to have a cosmic meltdown.  I love Jim Bob and Michelle Dugger from 19 Kids and Counting.   I have one of their books and really enjoy their stories and wisdom they’ve gained in so many years of raising children.  One of their battle plans is a whisper.   It may sound crazy thinking a whisper would be effective having a house overflowing with children, but they swear by it.   They said that when they feel themselves getting upset and about to yell, they purposefully lower their voice to a whisper.  They have even given their kids the permission to gently tell them when they are getting to that danger point.  Wow, wow, wow.   
 
I’m trying to adopt this whisper theory.   I mean, it couldn’t be any worse than it is now.   I feel like our house is a war zone on some days and I hate it.  I despise it.  Not my family, but the chaotic atmosphere.  When we blow up constantly at our kids, we come across so unstable, both to our kids and innocent bystanders.   
 
Ephesians 6:4 instructs us, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”   Remember the Golden Rule that we learned back in elementary school?  Treat other the way that you want to be treated.   Would you like a hard core drill sergeant in your face spitting out commands for sun up to sun down?  Unless you have military in your blood, I highly doubt it.  
 
In my quiet time this morning, I prayed God would help me be the mother my children need today.  Today that might mean being the calm, gentle embrace my daughter needs on her first visit to the G.I. doctor to see why she keeps having stomach problems.   Instead of insisting she’s fine and doesn’t need to be scared and drag her in kicking and screaming, I’m going to try to put myself in her shoes and just love and support her.  Fears are so real to children and they need our support instead of an iron fist all the time.  
 
Are you with me?  Will you arm yourself with a gentle whisper and use those unruly chaotic moments as teachable moments today?  Remember, we teach our kids how to respond.  We pass down so much to them, hot pink scrunchies included.   I’m all in.   How about you?  Can’t wait to hear how your day went!   
 
Living life unscripted, 
Brittany ❤

Glow For It

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Reading in Exodus this morning, I instantly fell in love with a verse and concept in chapter 33.  In verse 11, it says that God spoke with Moses, get ready now, face-to-face like a man does with his friend.    What an honor and amazing experience this must have been for Moses!   Could you imagine?  It just gives me chills all over!

When Moses went up on Mount Sinai a second time to receive the commandments from The Lord, he basked in the presence of the Almighty.    The cool thing about it, well other than the obvious – hanging out with the Creator of the Universe – is that when Moses came back down the mountain, his face glowed.   Because he spent time with the One who hung the stars, the Alpha and Omega, his face was shining from being in the presence of God.   And boy, were the children of Israel frightened by this.  Well think about it!   Man goes up mountain, man comes down mountain looking like a glow stick.   It’s not natural!

But my darling, that’s where God has called us.   To experience the supernatural on the mountain of God so that we can share our “glow” with this dark world.   The people didn’t have to wonder if Moses had spent time with God.   His face and demeanor made it bright and clear. He was changed.   Different.  Enlightened.

When we become satisfied, we become stagnant.  Fast.   And I’m not sure if you’re ever been around stagnant pond water, but it stinks!   Literally!   When the movement ceases, algae and other pond scum begins to grow on the surface.    Likewise, in our walk with God, when we stop seeking Him and walking with Him, we accumulate funk that gives off an awful stench to bystanders.   When we become satisfied with “religious” practices like just going to Sunday morning church to show off our new kicks, or just going to socialize in the lobby or roam the halls during service, we’re a prime target for pond scum accumulation.

There was an old cartoon I used to watch with my papa called Popeye the Sailor Man.   Popeye fans unite!   Anyway, Popeye was a sailor with his heart throbbing for this goofy looking girl, Olive Oyl.   Well this guy Bruto also crushed on the same girl and often would try to pick fights with Popeye, who would pull out a can of spinach, down it, and beat the crap out of him. But until he fueled up with that green leafy veggie, he wasn’t much good to anybody.  (I’m thinking this cartoon was created by a health nut who couldn’t get their kids to eat their vegetables.)  When we neglect, or may I go as far as saying when we avoid, spending time in the presence of God, we have nothing to offer those we come in contact with.  We’re like Popeye without his spinach.   Superman with cryptonite.   Wolverine after being declawed.   Not sure where the fascination with super heroes and old cartoons is coming  from this morning.   Hang in there with me a little bit longer.

One of the biggest tools of the enemy is overcrowding our plates.    When our schedules are overcrowded, we rush through our days checking off things on our to-do list making very little time for anything or anyone else.   So many times, the greatest ministry is right in front of our eyes needing to be fulfilled in our daily lives rather than church pews.   Not because it can’t happen in church, because there is so much strength found in being around fellow believers.  But because there are so many people around us who will unfortunately never walk through the doors of a church, but are dying inside to be shown kindness and love by someone.  Anyone.  Anyone who cares.   We are called to be the salt and light.  But to be these things, we must spend some time with the Son and be exposed to the Light.

Exodus 34:28 says that, “So he (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.”  He was so committed to his time with God, he refused to fill himself with things the world offered, even food.  He fasted and emptied himself of everything so that he could be totally focused on God.

Is there something that stands in the way of your quiet time with Jesus?   Facebook?  Twitter?  Instagram?  Hitting the ground running at 6am and not hitting the bed until close to midnight?   Somewhere in our crazy schedules, we’re going to have to make time to spend with the One who holds us in the palm of His hand.   We shouldn’t have to, we should want to.   The awesome thing is, the more you’re around the Light, the more light you give off!    Someone desperately needs to see you be His hands and feet right now.   Take a deep breath, focus, and boldly share the gospel and love of God today!

Living life unscripted,
Brittany ❤

Time Out.

ImageI went to bed close to midnight last night because I was trying to get some glitches straight with the website.  I’m one of those, “It has to be done right now and not a minute later” kinds of people.   I get it from my Granny.   When her mind is made up, there’s no changing.   And once she’s set on something, it’s time to get moving to make it happen.  I love that woman.  

 
This morning I was really hoping to wake up a few minutes before the kids so I could catch up on my Bible reading plan.  I’ve gotten so behind and it’s been so hard to make up for the days I’ve missed.   But at 7:13am the sweetest little boy sits up in his crib calling my name and is ready to start the day eating Walmart brand Apple Jacks.   Yep, that’s how we roll in the Jones house.   Just ask me about my mad coupon skills.   
 
I decided to let little man eat breakfast early so I could curl up on the couch and try to get some reading in.  I’ve gone too many days without a spiritual fill up and I can sooooo feel it.   So I choose the “catch me up” option on my Bible app and it brings me up to speed at day 55.   I started January 1st.   Yeah.  I’m a little off.  Don’t judge me. 
 
The passage started in Matthew 5:21 and talked about how we will be judged for our outbursts of anger.   Hmmmm.   Did that stop you in your tracks like it did me?  This immediately spoke to me because I have inherited the Lack of Patience gene that likes to rear it’s ugly head quite frequently.  
 
It really bothers me because I want so desperately to be a safe haven for my husband and children to be able to come and confide in.  Sometimes I have no problem remaining  cool, calm and collective.  But there are times, almost on a daily basis, where I’m just stretched well beyond my breaking point and I snap – on whoever happens to be in my path.   It leaves me feeling so empty, shallow, and like I have a closet full of horrible mom awards lining the shelves.  
 
Jesus continues to say that if we are offering our gifts at the alter and we remember the “big ugly elephant” that stands between us and another person, we are to leave the alter, go to that person and resolve it.   I remember witnessing a beautiful moment like this a few years ago during a worship service.   It was a sweet atmosphere in the room and the Spirit of God was beginning to move.   If you’ve never experienced this, oh my word, it’s the most amazing thing in the entire world!  
 
Well, one of the musicians suddenly stopped playing, walked off stage and bee-lined straight for this individual.   They spoke for a few minutes and he came back and continued playing like nothing had ever happened.   That left some of us scratching our heads wondering what just took place.   It was such a humble moment because we later found out he did just what Scripture intended.   he and this other person had some issues and he felt God tell him to go resolve it immediately.   
 
Wow!  Could you imagine?  The music is rocking, people are lifting their hands and their voices praising the King of kings and they lose a musician momentarily.   But honey, I fully believe he was set free in a mighty way that day!  He obeyed the Word of God and the voice of God and made things right.   
 
You may be up to your eyeballs in paperwork at the office.   Maybe you’re running late to a meeting because your 2-year-old hugged you with sticky maple syrup hands and you screamed and hollered at him the whole way up the stairs to go change your clothes.  Or maybe like me and you’re up to your eyebrows in housework that desperately needs attending to and boxes that need to be packed.  
 
Time out. Stop right there.   Don’t you ever become too big or too busy to stoop down and say you’re sorry.   It takes a bigger person to say “I’m sorry” than to just continue on like it never happened.  Our children learn more behavior from watching how we respond to things, and quite frankly that can be frightening.  If we lash out on them for spilling soda on the floor, then expect them to flip out when they don’t get their way.   They learn from the best, right?  
 
You’ve heard the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  Yeah. It sounded about as stupid in 1st grade as it does now.  Words cut so deep into our souls and they’re not easily forgotten.  They can lift someone up or tear someone down in a millisecond.  
 
Your spouse needs your words of affirmation and support.   Your children need to hear through your words and actions that you love them unconditionally.   It’s so important for them to hear us say we’re sorry.  We’re so far from being perfect.  
 
Be mindful of the words you speak.   Ask God to guard your lips and help you to speak wisely.   Take a time out right now and ask God if there’s anyone who has been waiting anxiously on a heartfelt apology from you.   
 
Maybe you’re the one hurting and not the guilty party.  Take a deep breath, pray for strength and wisdom and you approach them first.  Apologize for the riff between the two of you.  It’s possible they don’t see where they have offended you or they’re not capable of making that first step, but your words could help chisel the stone around their heart and expose the hurting soul underneath.   You may help to set them free!  How awesome would that be?  
 
God doesn’t want us to live with chains and shackles keeping us bound and imprisoned.   Guard your hearts and mouths.   And remember, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”    Take a time out and evaluate what’s on the inside today.  Lets do this thing together! 
 
Living Life Unscripted, 
Brittany ❤

Two Birds With One Stone

ImageThere are times when we call out to God and plead with Him to come through for us about certain situations.  Begging Him to heal our bodies, or to give our spouse a raise that we’ve needed desperately for years.   Then there are times when we simply lift a request once or twice to Him and His response falls so sweetly into our hearts.  Like tonight.   His favor is such a sweet fragrance that lingers long after our prayers have been answered.  

 
God has called us to walk into a new place doing ministry for Him that He planted the seed for a long time ago.  Time has watered it, dreams have fertilized it, and people have helped along the way to prepare the vision for harvesting.   He has gently called us two times before to this place and two times the peace wasn’t there to guide us into making the decision to go forward.   We couldn’t understand it,  but God’s timing is perfect and He sees around the curves in the road where we cannot.   It’s better that way, don’t you think?   Don’t everyone answer at once, now.  
 
God calls us to a life of walking by faith.  The scary thing is, sometimes it seems like we can’t see the road a few feet ahead of us.  It reminds me of when a child takes their first steps.   As a parent, you’re squatting in the floor a few feet from that sweet little snaggle tooth grin making funny faces and trying to convince that little booger to take those first wobbly steps.   They see you, someone they’re learning to trust, and either take the steps or stand still toying with you.   Doesn’t that drive you nuts when you’re cheering them on like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader?  Well, minus the I’ve-never-had-kids-or-love-handles-or-a-wiped-a-squirming-naked-butt-stereotype.   So maybe not like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.  At all. 
 
Well, let me assure you, God’s silence does not declare His absence.   He knows what we’re capable of.   He steps back with a smile in His face like the amazing Father He is and watches our sweet little steps.   One foot after the other.   
 
It simply puts our faith to the test.  Do we really believe in the One who spoke the oceans into existence and filled them with all kinds of unique and incredible life?  Or do we pray prayers with our faith tank on “E” and just hope He loves us enough to hear us if He’s not too busy solving the rest of the world’s problems?  Uh huh.  I think we’re all split up evenly between the two.  
 
Our faith is like the steering wheel that moves the heart of God.  It says in Mark 11:23, “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”  It’s very obvious that our faith moves God’s hands.  We can’t make demands and expect God to adhere to our plan, but when we lay down our will at His feet and trust Him, incredible things can happen!  
 
Incredible things like when you’ve prayed that God would open the door for you to record a devotional CD for moms that you know He’s called you to do, and suddenly a family friend contacts you telling you it would be their honor to do this with you.  Wow.  It’s amazing how God works!  Or when God connects the prayers of two people, answers them both at the same time killing two birds with one stone and hitting a double whammy.  Well, without the killing part.   That would be rather morbid.  And messy.  
 
Hebrews 11:6 tells us,  “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”  When you pray, your words exceed beyond the ceiling.  They don’t get stuck in the insulation in the attic.  He hears your prayers and will answer you.  Believe that!  There’s so much hope in that! 
 
His timing is so perfect.  Don’t rush God.  Wait on Him and let Him give you the very best instead of trying to push it on your own and settle for less.  He will open doors for you that no man can shut and He will close doors that no man can open.  If you’re willing to accept the call, He will connect you with the right people at the right time in the right place to make your wildest dreams come true.   And baby, this is no fairy tale.  In Christ, there really is a Happily Ever After.  

 

Breaking Free

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God, please help us not to take our children for granted.  Help us to truly cherish each day and not get so caught up in the things that we feel like we “have to” do and just take the time to love our sweet gifts God has given us. 

 

I don’t know about you, but I struggle SO bad with this.  Instead of spending time with my kids, I get so excited when a show they both want to watch comes on TV and I can clean up for 30 minutes.  I’m not saying I don’t ever spend time with my kids, because I do.  And I enjoy it.  But there are so many times that I let my desire for a clean and orderly house and the deep emotional attachment to social media over rule my inner Mommy.  (Hey, I’m a stay at home mom.  It’s not as easy as you think.  Life changes drastically when you have kids.)  Know what I mean? 

 

Smart phones and iPads and all this technology we have at our fingertips can be so crippling to us as parents if we’re not careful.  We can either use them to bond with our children or they become wedges that grow larger by the day.  I pin all these cute things on Pinterest that I want to do with my kids but I haven’t actually done many of them. 

 

Feeding, changing diapers, picking up everyone else’s messes, helping in the bathroom, changing out movies, cleaning up messes (oh wait, did I already say that?), trying to get a shower while their favorite show is on, snacks, trying to get yourself ready while little people keep banging on the door, more snacks, the major crisis’s that only happen during those few minutes when you have to go to the bathroom.. I am mentally and physically exhausted at the end of almost every day just trying to keep up with the kids, but some days I wonder, “Have I really spent time with them today?  Have I really invested myself in them today?”  I mean, I’ve taken care of their needs, but have I been present in their lives and just loved on them? 

 

Don’t let something major happen before you stop and realize the blessings that you’re surrounded by every day.  We won’t have these little people forever.  They’re going to grow up into teenagers who will hopefully still think we have a little ounce of coolness left and want to hang out with us.  Then they’ll go off to college and start lives of their own and we’ll only be involved on major holidays and special occasions. 

 

I’m declaring tomorrow a “Technology Free Day.”  It’s NOT going to be easy, I can assure you.  I normally have my iPhone within arms reach at least 12 hours a day just in case another person texts or calls me and helps me come back to reality to realize that I’m  really not on a deserted island with little wild haired people shouting demands at me all day.  Anybody with me here?  Tomorrow I will smell the roses.  I’ll get dirty doing fun projects with the kids.  I’ll enjoy the mess and chaos.  Well maybe not enjoy the mess.  Or at least I’ll try.  I don’t know.. Can’t hurt to try, right?  Let’s do this, mamas!  Enjoy your babies!  We only have one shot at this!  ❤

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