Feb 192016
 

I clean the bathroom on Thursdays unless it needs it otherwise. Call me crazy for leaving it a full week before doing it again but Thursday seems to be what works for our family so that’s what I do. This week though I have been feeling sick still from the flu I had last week. Exhaustion comes simply from thinking and naps have been a must for the past 10 days or so. I did clean the bathroom last week so I wasn’t really behind. Yet yesterday I just slept most of the day and had no energy so it got moved over to the to-do list for Friday.

Isn’t that how everyone wants to spend their Friday evening?

I woke up from my long nap around dinner time, everyone had eaten and I had no appetite yet again. I sat on the bed contemplating whether or not being awake was a good thing and I wondered how babies sleep in such awkward positions without being stiff. This extremely deep thought forced me to conclude that that is why babies cry -stiff joints after a good nap.

I pulled out my planner to see what I hadn’t done this week and the list was a mile long and the bathroom stood out to me like a sore thumb. After some deep Biblical talk (yes seriously) with myself about cleaning the bathroom to serve the Lord I got off my butt and went upstairs and used that highly toxic mint scented toilet bowl cleaner and wondered to myself how on earth getting cancer was godly, then, I noted that I am only going to use natural cleaners once that bottle is gone.

I removed everything from the counters and wiped away, got mold out of the window, finished with the 7 toothbrushes and toothpastes, refilled the soap dispenser and then pulled out my trusty and equally toxic Lysol wipes and quickly gave the outside of the toilet a once over. Then, it hit me.

I was cleaning the bathroom to serve God and my family BUT I wasn’t doing it with a servants heart. Revelation right there on the floor. I pulled out a few more wipes and torqued my body around the toilet and wiped it properly, I was actually pretty grossed out by how much my once over missed and continued to clean. This time while talking to God about how I need Him to continue to work in my heart to help me make the mundane into something that can bring Him glory. Yes, I want my toilet to shine, not just for me, but to show God how grateful I am to have a toilet to clean, a family to mess it up and the cleaning supplies to get the task done.

I grabbed the toilet brush and scrubbed away while humming some of my favorite worship songs and for the first time in awhile it felt like cleaning the bathroom wasn’t a chore, but a duty asked of me by God.

When I was done with that I cleaned the mirrors in the rest of the house that didn’t have a streak free shine despite having just been done, because I wanted them to sparkle for God instead of just being half-done or done incorrectly just so they could get a check mark. I swept the floor around the dog crates, put 2 gallons of water in the fish tank and wiped down their glass.

I am still behind on my chores for the week, but I am excited to be approaching them with the mindset that I am serving not only my family, but the One who has gifted me all that I have.

Growing up I often heard that cleanliness was next to Godliness, and while I don’t believe that to be true because we all have different standards and ideas of what clean is, I feel that God is moving in my heart to do the job to the best of my ability whether I am wiping up crumbs, scrubbing a toilet, or simply taking care of myself. He isn’t calling me to be perfect, He is calling me to serve.

Feb 112016
 

My goosebumps had stood tall so long that my skin felt as if it was covered in a million needles and the thought of air brushing over was enough to cause me pain. My fever was at 102.9 and Tylenol and Advil combined weren’t making it budge. Room temperature water felt like swallowing rocks that just wouldn’t stay down. I was in agony and for a few hours I wasn’t sure I was going to survive. I laid in my bed shivering cold with beads of sweat soaking my brow and matting my hair and my lips were moving on their own speaking to the One who created me. The One who had bore my sins on the cross and had already healed me.

By your stripes I am already healed…” rolled from my tongue between body aches and for the first time in a long time I was excited. Excited to be able to fight the flu with scriptural truth without needing to pull out a Bible or an app or a search engine. The Word just flowed from my tongue and prayer was spoken to God without second thought and I was amazed.

Amazed that how I was in such a limited place physically, barely strong enough to stand, while the Word of the Lord came out of my mouth as though it had been there forever. Maybe it had been. After all, He created me. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” As part of His creation and His divine plan maybe His Word has been planted deep in me since the beginning and it just takes a little bit (okay a lot) of practice to get it to overcome the often easier sins that the world has to offer.

I never prayed like this before. I never knew that I knew as much as I did, and yet there it was and here I am less than 48 hours out with a sore throat and a fever that left hours after the prayers began. Atheists call it science. I call it God. Whatever the case, I learned that my knowledge of the Word isn’t limited by what I think I know or what I willingly acknowledge that I know. I learned that my knowledge has no bounds and that speaking to God without thinking about it was an awesome experience that I can only pray that others will get to share.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
~John 10:10~

Jan 302016
 

I woke up this morning and within an hour I had made tea, had a banana, washed the dishes from yesterday (wasn’t feeling well) and put them away, moved everything off the counter and wiped it down, cleaned the stove top, changed the trash bag and swept the floor and was working up a little bit of a sweat.

My muscles started to scream at me for water. I drank 32 ounces within a few seconds and remembered that I keep forgetting about me.

More importantly though, where was God?

As I guzzled water down fast the thought that God was searching for me when I wasn’t seeking Him was crossing my mind. Then, the words, “man cannot live off bread alone” slid into my head rapidly followed by fueling my aching soul with water from God’s well instead of my own.

It was definitely one of those moments where you are like “okay God, I am listening, I get the point. Slow down, take care of myself physically AND spiritually!”

As mama’s we forget to take care of ourselves and as children of God we tend to put our Bible studies at the end of our to-do lists instead of as part of our daily routine.

I have been studying the book of Ruth with Hello Mornings the past few weeks and it has been great, but today is Saturday and there was no reading for today, but God beckoned me anyway.

“Make ME a habit. Not a chore!”

So, I am going to focus on giving God the best of my day instead of fitting Him in.

How do you keep His Word on your tongue and have you heard God speak to you without any doubt before?

Jan 202016
 

Standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes while my girl reads to me the lost chapter she is writing for The Giver for her English class and I can’t help but think how much like me she really is. Only, this sweet child doesn’t know how to type very well and is growing increasingly frustrated because her typing isn’t able to stay caught up to the story in her head, giving her a case of writers’ block, which, I am definitely familiar with. I put the last dish to dry and wiped my hands and went and sat beside her at the table and read what she had, her paragraph cut short mid-way through and her having no clue where she was going with that thought because typing had hindered her.

I lean in close and she pushes her computer over to me and the story springs back to life, only this time my fingers are the ones bouncing up and down off the keys and she says to me with a bit of amazement in her voice “how do you type like that?” and she leans down real close with her face nearly on the table and her eyes staring horizontal across my fingers as they tap away and she watches me type, like she had never seen me do it in the 13 years she has walked this jagged line.

Within a few minutes her story is complete and she is proof-reading it, looking for spelling and grammar mistakes before I transfer it to my computer where software will do that. She edited away like she had done it a thousand times and deleted the odd sentence or paragraph that didn’t really make much sense and then I transferred it over to my laptop for a run through the software and to print.

I have been doing a lot of dishes lately. Yeah I know, I am a mom and that’s what we all say. But really, my mom normally does the washing up but I have been doing it the past month or so. There are a couple of reasons, one being that I really hate having dirty dishes in the sink and beggars can’t be choosers… I absolutely hate having to clean the sink to grab a glass of water or to fill the kettle but a family of five does that to you, even with a dishwasher, so I have been purposing to stay on top of the dishes just so I can save my sanity.

But you see something happened when I started doing the dishes. The girl child, she started sitting at the table while I do them. She comes out of her room and sits and chats, about everything and anything and that is the BEST REASON EVER to do dishes! She puts things away for me too which is also helpful, but praise the Good Lord for the 20 minutes a few times a day that she comes out and is simply with me. I enjoy our time together. I had no clue that we would grow our relationship over dirty dishes. Had I known, I would have started doing them more often a long time ago!

I am definitely a mom in the minority when it comes to having her kids do chores. They don’t have any designated chores. Why? Because they go to school from 8-4 and have homework when they get in and I don’t work outside the home and I would rather my children go to bed at a decent hour and worry less about chores and more about getting a good education, focusing on their grades. They help when they are asked and they often offer, which is fun because I get to see where they really enjoy doing things and where they don’t.

If my kids had chores I wouldn’t know that my son likes to work outside with my dad, especially when it comes to working on the tractor or anything with tools. I wouldn’t know that my daughter likes to cook, especially for me, and that she has a servants’ heart and takes great care in the things she prepares and how they look and taste, because once it becomes a chore, we treat it like a chore and school is a big enough chore for them right now and I absolutely love seeing what they have created or found while doing what they truly enjoy.

FYI my daughter is a bit OCD and does her own laundry on weekends and puts it away. Her bed is either completely unmade without a bottom sheet or made to the point you are scared to wrinkle it. My son is not a clean freak and is quite messy. He needs help cleaning his room and getting those types of things done because he has no clue how to even start, but if you say a wall needs built he’s in there like a dirty old sock (is that still a saying?) ready to help out!

I am so blessed to see some of the Proverbs 31 woman come out in me and to be able to, prayerfully, be a good influence to my children.

My daughter said tonight that her favorite song is inappropriate and my response was “sin is often easier, but it isn’t better.” I left her to think on that. Maybe we all need to think on that.

Jan 082016
 

Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons

1 In the days when the judges ruled,[a] there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

My Thoughts

This week I have thought a LOT about Ruth and Naomi and the type of women they were and how strong they must’ve been.

We read this week about Naomi losing her husband & her sons. I simply can’t even imagine how much this would hurt or what types of emotions I would feel. I am sure Naomi felt a ton of things.

When I was living a life led by fear I was really in survival mode. Nothing mattered and I couldn’t see through the trees to save my life. I did what I could not knowing God, but I am so excited now to know Him and to know that I won’t ever be in that position again because I have Him!

Right now, God is telling me to make do with what I have and to trust that He will always provide. Money is extremely tight right now and I am not worried about it. I KNOW that God has this and that He will provide so long as I follow Him! It is becoming so much easier to just trust and enjoy what we do have than it is to worry about a bill or where money for food will come from. It amazes me by how peaceful I am in this situation and I know if I didn’t have God right now that I would certainly be panicking.

As far as Naomi and her faith, I am sure it was like when we experience a loss. She likely asked why God was punishing her or how He could allow this to happen to her. Especially when a monotheist faith was fairly new. She may have even wondered if the ‘other gods’ were punishing her for her new faith. However, it is clear that Naomi trusted God even in such turmoil because she followed where He led her and she allowed her story to be one that has touched us for the last few thousand years.

That is amazing and encouraging!

Are you taking the Hello Mornings Challenge? How has it been going for you? Would love to hear what you have learned this week about both Naomi and yourself!!

Jan 012016
 

It’s the new year already and I am still trying to adapt to the fact that we already had Christmas. I am fairly sure this is the quickest year I have ever experienced so I am hopeful that 2016 goes a little bit more slowly.

I have been doing a few things in the last few months as far as changes go. I don’t want to make a New Years resolution because they seem to be broken so easily, so I decided to make some changes that were placed on my heart in the last few months.

The first thing placed on my heart was to quit spending. I know that sounds cliché but it really isn’t. I paid bills this month and all but one was a credit card and it was over 600 dollars for my minimum payments. I only make about 1000 a month so as you can see this is ridiculous. I need to purpose to spend less, use what I have, love what I have and quit bringing more stuff into the house. Another reason I want to quit spending is because of my back. As many of you know I have degenerative disc disease and RA in my lower back and hips. Cleaning is hard on my body and I am sick of having to hurt myself to clean up. I feel like I live in a constant state of chaos and I really need to just clear the clutter out and spending isn’t going to bring me clutter peace, donating what I don’t love, getting rid of what’s broken and not bringing in more things is what will ultimately make my space more enjoyable and be the best for my health.

The second thing I am doing is reading through the Bible. I have done this a few times when I was much younger, but now that I am older it seems to be something I begin and never finish. It is hard to stay on track. I am using Bible Gateway’s Chronological reading plan and began it in December with the idea that if I could keep up during the most-busiest time of the year then I had no excuse the rest of the year. I did fall behind a few days but catching up has been relatively easy and reading through the Bible chronologically is actually a lot of fun!!

The third thing is reading more in general. I really love to read and while I reach my book reading goals each year I really want to read more books for pleasure. I have spent so much time watching nonsense videos and such over the past year while feeling sorry for myself from pain and really, I could have been reading and doing something to exercise my brain on the many days that I have been laid up on pain medications. There really is something extra depressing when someone asks what you did that day and you say you watched YouTube and nothing else. See what I am saying? I just want to make the time count. So more books of all genres are on my list!

Lastly, I want to get organized. Not everything is labelled organized, but rather have a schedule for posts and take more photographs and take the time to really put in the work for blogging and reading and maybe even some videos! I also want to share more about Plexus and my Plexus journey and how much it has changed my life.

I lied, one last thing. I want to pray harder for people who don’t believe in God. I want to pray that they will come to know God and be saved. I want you to join me in prayer and I want us to use the power of the tongue to bring about change. In a world that seems to be falling apart the one and only thing that we have as Christians is God and His amazing gift of salvation. I want that for so many friends and relatives and people who I don’t even know. I don’t want any of us to have to say goodbye to someone and us not know if they were believers. I want faith to pour out of everyone in a way that can’t be missed!! So, I am going to pray for atheists, and people who are of a different faith. I am not going to go and try and convert them unless God places that on my heart. I am simply going to share my faith and pray that they will be changed by the miracles I get to witness every single day!!

What has God placed on your heart recently? Do you have a New Years resolution or are you making some lifestyle changes? Would love to know how everyone else is ringing in the New Year!!

Dec 272015
 

Picking a word for the year isn’t always the easiest task. Sometimes a bunch of words stick out to us. Two years ago Ann Voskamp touched me greatly with the word “eucharisteo” and that was my word for the year-without me even realizing it. I even bought the bracelet to wear to remind myself to give thanks and to live in thanks everyday.


Last year I had started so many things and never really finished anything properly. I was realizing that multitasking doesn’t always work and that I needed to finish things before jumping into a new one. I was creating chaos with unfinished projects and creating to-do lists a mile long that never got checked off. So, my 2015 word was “finish” as I just wanted to remind myself to commit and finish and to not over-commit to things because I want each project to get the best of me, rather than tiny pieces. My family deserves that, my pets deserve that, my home deserves that, I deserve that and most of all God deserves to be glorified by my actions -including my to-do lists!


For 2016 I have been looking around here and there trying to find the right word for me. I have seen so many awesome ones over the past year and I am always inspired by them. So, a few months back when I started to see the word “FOCUS” and remember that I had seen it I began to wonder if this was going to be my new word.


I have prayed over a new word and asked for God’s guidance and this word keeps finding me and sticking out like a sore thumb. I didn’t even realize that I was unfocused until recently when I was popping out of the #FMFParty chat and being sidetracked by everything from repotting plants, making snacks, and spending time with children. Over the past few days I have found this word in so many images and places and I have barely even been using any electronics because of the holidays. I am certain that this year God is telling me I need to “focus”.

Last year I also picked a verse for the year.

“All things are possible with God”
~Mark 10:27~

I haven’t picked a verse for this coming year yet. As some of you may know via Twitter, I began reading through the Bible chronologically about a month ago. I figure if I can stay relatively on track during the busiest time of the year than I have no excuse to quit during 2016. A TON of verses have been highlighted in my Bible already and I have also made several graphics that I have shared on Instagram and Facebook.

I am still praying about which verse I should really “focus” on for 2016 and have even wondered if my verse would stay the same!

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