Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Top 10 Reads of 2012

My family blessed me with a Kindle Fire this year, and I was so very excited!!! 

I have always loved to read, so this was a FABULOUS gift for me!!!

 Here is a list (in no particular order) of my top 10 books I read this year!
1. Lioness Arising - Wake Up And Change Your World (Lisa Bevere)

2. Warrior Chicks - (Holly Wagner)

3. The Centurions Wife - (Janette Oke)

4. Fear of the Lord - (John Bevere)

5. Relentless - The Power You Need, To Never Give Up (John Bevere)

6. Women Are Kingmakers - (Wellington Boone)

7. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Ann Voskamp)

8. Praying Circles Around Your Children (Mark Batterson)

9. Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together (Driscoll)

10. The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God (John Eldridge)

So many of these are worth the time!

I love my Kindle and I'm so excited for the list of books I already have for next year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's Almost Christmas Time....

A young woman, became a mother before a wife, all in God's great plan.

A young man, became an earthly father of the Child of God.

A young couple, with so little, trusted in a plan that was beyond what either could imagine.

A baby came down, birthed into life and He would chang the world.

A manger was all He had, but it was a throne in disguise.

Shepherds and Wise Men traveled to find this baby.

It was a baby that changed everything.

Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving "Catch Up"

Day 13 - Guess I missed this one... but I am thankful for the heritage of Godly women in my family. Thankful that I was taught about Jesus and His love for me very early. I saw my grandmother, great aunt, and my mom live a life of faith and strength. Such a blessing to my life.

Day 14 - Today I am thankful that God gifted me with strength. Sometimes my strength has hindered certain relationships, however, without this inner strength God has given, I would not have been able to walk through some of the things life has brought. I am not ashamed that I am strong, it is a great heritage from the women in my lineage... they were strong women, especially when they "had to be". Strength is a beautiful gift given by God.

Day 15 and 16 - I am thankful for my children. All seven of them.... they have taught me, mercy, grace, patience, unconditional love, how to pray the prayers that reach heaven, and the list goes on. I love them all so very much. Time is fleeting and they are all growing up and leaving home, one by one... hope they know how much I love them. Most of all, how much their FATHER in heaven loves them!!!

 Day 17 - Thankful for God's moving in my children's life. Just listened to my sweet Caden sing City On Our Knees for the kids talent on their final night of kids LifeGroup. Oh my... sang the whole song with soundtrack, perfect! He is 11, but has a sweet voice and I just know God has great plans for him!

Day 18 - So incredibly thankful for my church family. LifeChurch is my home and my family. Never have I been in a church, where there was such a desire for God in the staff, such a sense of unity and love within the body.... I know there is no perfect church.... but mine is pretty close...

Day 19 - I am thankful for the love of a great husband. We have (and still are) walking through life together, both good and bad, knowing that together with God who gave us each other, we can overcome anything. Regardless of what we face, I know that he is always there, and loves me more than I deserve. There is nothing in this world, more wonderful than knowing you are loved so very much, unconditionally, for a lifetime.

Day 20 - I am thankful for the colors of the fall leaves, for the chill in the night air, for the excitement it brings. For the sounds of creation and the beauty of the masterpiece God has painted all over the mountains around me.

Day 21 - I am thankful for the privileged of knowing and loving so many amazing people, I call my family. I'm thankful for great aunts and uncles and the stories they tell, parents and grandparents who still believe family is most important, and time spent with cousins who not only love the Lord, but are just fun to be with!

Days in between - I was in NON CYBER LAND - enjoying my family!  

Day 26 -   Another Day of Thanksgiving - well I have missed a few days, especially while we were tucked away for Thanksgiving weekend at Heritage Acres. I have so much to be thankful for! I have an amazing husband, who I love so very much, seven awesome children, each with their own gifting's, without these seven, life would never be the same! I have parents who love me and continue to give to my family in so man ways. I have a job that I enjoy, a church who loves my family, and welcomes my friends, and for that I am so blessed! The list goes on and on.......... and for it all, I am so thankful!!!

Day 27 - So very thankful for HOPE. Knowing that I have a hope in the future, a hope in the present.... brings such PEACE. God holds every moment, every breath in His hand, and learning to rest in that knowledge, brings freedom in every part of my life.

Day 28 - Thankful for my son, who serves with the US Army, and for his family.  And that today they welcomed my second grandchild.  

Day 30 - There are not sufficient words to express my Thanks and Gratitude to the God, for all that He has done for me and my family. I am blessed in so many ways... When you put your eyes on Jesus, and realize that what we have here on earth is only going to fade away, and realize that all our true treasures are to come... it changes your perspective. I'd love to say... I never worry or stress.
.. that I never waiver in my faith, but I do... I'm just very thankful that God loves me, holds my every moment, and provides for me all that I need. I am blessed with a amazing husband who loves me, children that God has graciously allowed me to be a "mom" to, family that continues to support and love me daily, a wonderful church and church family, and friends - real friends, who care and share life with me. Everyday is a day of Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I am thankful, that for whatever I lack, HE is enough. HE gives me strength, when I can not find it within myself. HE is my peace, in the midst of any storm. HE is the Great I Am....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for the blood of Jesus, that washes over me.  It cleansed my sin and has given me freedom!  That same blood heals, restores, mends and so much more.  I am so unworthy, and the blood has covered so much in my life... but OH THE BLOOD of JESUS it covers me!!!

Love this song............. so beautifully expresses my thanks... listen!  (You may need to shut down the side bar music or open in another page.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Our life was greatly changed when my husband lost his job a few months ago.

I truly believe God knows our entire path, before we ever even walk it......... because just a few days before he lost his job, I was offered a part time job at our church learning center. At that point I was not really looking at taking it, because I have been a stay at home and homeschooling mom for 15 years. 

Little did I know God was already working something out for our good ahead of the storm!  OH He is so good!!! 

The very day that my husband lost his job, he met me in one of the pastor's offices.  How my plans were changed (notice there, my plans)....   I took the job.

I must say, it has been a day at a time challenge, to learn a new schedule, work with the kids and school, and all the other things I do.  But I am blessed... because it is providing income to help my family.  God's blessings has poured abundantly through this job, and I am forever thankful!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my home. 

My home will never be "magazine" perfect.  At least for now, it is cluttered with kids belongings, homeschool materials, books, books, and more books, and just random things that make our house a home.

It is never as clean as I want it to be.  I would love new carpet, and new curtains, and the list goes on... but my house is a home.  It has provided shelter to the seven children I have, and my husband and I for many years now.... it is becoming a little more empty almost yearly now. 

My married children still call it home, and I am thankful for that.  I hope it is always home.  It is where our memories were made.  Their memories of Christmas, and Easter, and fun and silliness, of tragedy and of peace.  We have walked through every storm imaginable, and God has always been there with us.

Someday, my home may be clean and organized.  It may be neat and tidy.  But it will be so quiet, because those days will mean my children have left the "nest" for homes of their own.  I'm not ready for those days at all!  But wherever they are................may our home be a haven and a refuge and a place to come back too.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Today, I am thankful for Nyquil and Chloraseptic and all things made by medicinal companies.  Every fall, I get sick... and I hate being sick.  Doesn't matter what I do, when the seasons here in Alabama go from cold to hot to hot to cold all within the same 24 hours.... I will be sick with all the croupy cruddy!

I am thankful for the knowledge Doctor's have been given to create things that help people.  I know God is the Great Physician, I believe He has complete ability to heal.  I have seen His healing, I have felt His healing.  I am so thankful for that!

I also believe God has given people knowledge to help themselves, and that is why I see a doctor and get my meds.  I am thankful for doctor's and hospital's, nurses and more.  These people have given life to my children when they were born, taken care of my family when cancer has ravaged, and so much more in my life already.

Thank you God for all these things, especially for Your giftings to people and knowledge that can only come from You.  And most importantly that You are the Great Physician, and hold the ability to heal all diseases.  I know You are my healer!

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I am very thankful for the community of homeschooling families.  I am so blessed by the families I have met, and the ones that I have built relationships with over the past 13 years of educating my children.  

I am so thankful for those who are "like minded" in family and faith, we sharpen each other.  And they understand so much of what I go through as a wife, mom, teacher, and Jesus follower.

I am especially grateful for a state and a country (at least for now) that is supportive of homeschooling and educating our own children.  I pray daily for those at HSLDA who are fighting for our freedoms and rights.  And for all those who paved the way for what we have now.

I am blessed to be a homeschool mom, for all of my children to have been taught about not just the basics, but also about God and His Word.  I have been thrilled to spend every day (well for the most part) of their lives with me, at home, or at least together.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I am thankful that I know and serve the ONE TRUE GOD and that HE holds my future in HIS HANDS.  There is nothing like knowing that when the day closes, My God holds me in His Arms.

Love this song... it gives me such peace...

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I am thankful for the struggles. I am thankful for the times where I am at the end of my rope only to find Jesus is there too. I am thankful for what God has and is teaching me about depending on Him alone... that He truly has everything under control, even when I can not see it. Learning to see the gift in the struggles.

Read this quote today, and it is perfect for my day's thanks:  

What you think you can’t handle —
         might actually be God handing you a gift.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

In the same way, teach the older women to lead a holy life. They must not tell lies about others. They must not let wine control them. Instead, they must teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children.  Titus 2:3,4

For a very long time in my life, I did not have many women in my life.  I had (have) a great mom and I was blessed to have a Godly and wonderful grandmother, but for the most part that was it.

I had a few friends over the years, but although they were good friends, what I had always wanted were women who would not only be fun to hang out with and enjoy, but also to share a spiritual bond with.

But within the past 2 years, God has brought some amazing and Godly women into my life.  I am thankful that although we have a good time and a lot of fun together, we are knitted together much deeper, in our faith.  I am blessed that they take the time to encourage me and lift me up when I need it.  That they share their life with me and that I can share mine with them.  I am thankful for those ladies who can teach me and stretch me.  I am also thankful for those who can chasten me when I need it.

I love how God gives us the desires of our hearts.  And knowing that I was in need of "sisters" He gave me some great ones!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.

                                Prov 31: 17&18

I am so thankful that God has gifted me with talent and ability to do many things.  

I am thankful for the skills I have already, and for those that I am working to refine.  The abilities God has blessed me with has always provided me with jobs. They have given me the ability to be a good homemaker. 

With the gifts and talents that God has enabled me with, I have been able to serve His Kingdom and His people.  I am able to offer things to my church, and those who are in leadership that helps and encourages others in the work of the Lord.

I am thankful that God has given me strength and power.  That I am the kind of woman that can just pull herself up by the "boot straps" and keep going, even when there seems to be no way.  This was lived in front of me by my grandmother, and my mother.  I want my girls to know that being a strong woman is a good thing, and it is a feminine thing too. 

God enables me to be strong and have courage to walk on.  I am so thankful for all He has seen fit to give to me!  My prayer is that when my time on this earth is done, I can say to God, I have nothing left, I gave it all away! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

The free gift of God’s grace makes all of us right with him. 
Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free.  Romans 3:24

 I am so thankful for God's great grace to me.  He has extended grace to me so many times, even when I was so totally undeserving.  

I am thankful that God allows us to come back to Him, and be forgiven, and that He never stops loving us.  I am so thankful for where I am in my life right now, and how God is moving and changing me.  But there are days, when I regret so much wasted time.  I wish I could go back and change so many things, and make better choices.

Yes, I am in awe of how much He loves me and how much grace has covered my life.

I am thankful for His grace!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November - 30 Days of Thanksgiving!

I am so excited that it is November.  Although I am thankful every day, I love to make this month stand out from the rest!!!  This year, I have made the kids journals, and they will be doing it with me.  Thanksgiving ties with Christmas for being my favorite holiday.

Join me for a month of THANKFULNESS!!!

I am thankful for a God who's love never fails, never gives up, and never runs out on me.  He is a good Dad and His love is beyond all comprehension!

I will never fully understand the total expanse of how much He loves me, but I am learning more and more every day.  When I became a parent, I began to understand God's love more than ever.  And as I see my children grow and learn more about God, I am praying that they grasp His vast love earlier than ever.

Sharing the song that I'm worshiping with today............ enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31 - Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:
    “‘Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
   on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

I have really enjoyed these 31 days.  God has moved in my life, because I've spent a little extra time with Him daily, by writing these posts.  God is changing and growing and transforming my life in ways I can not explain or even comprehend right now.  I am so thankful.

I couldn't think of any better way to end than with the Lord's Prayer!  It covers everything we need to know of how to pray to God.  It is so easy.  He is ready and waiting for us to just come to Him.  I would be lost without the ability to call on my Dad's name and bring all my praise, needs and failures to Him.  

I wanted to leave you with the same prayer in the translation of my children's Bible.  It is so beautiful. 

“This is how you should pray.
“‘Our Father in heaven, 
may your name be honored. 
May your kingdom come.
May what you want to happen be done
on earth as it is done in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
 just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.
Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted.
Save us from the evil one.’

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30 - 2 Timothy 1:7

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; 
      but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 

Fear is something I have fought forever.  I think it was passed down to me... fear of the unknown, of the what if's, of the what could happens.  It crippled me for a while.

It is still something I fight with, especially over my children.  But I had to find the strength to lay my children, as well as things in my life down before the throne of God.

Fear will hold you back, and keep you from doing what God has called you to do.  We have been called for a purpose, we all have a part to play in this world, especially if we are part of the body of Christ.  

What do you fear?  How do you keep going forward?

I daily have to place everything I have in the hands of my Daddy God.  I know that He loves me and wants nothing but good things for my life, so I know I can trust Him.

Holy Father, daily I surrender my fear to You and I will trust in You.  Because fear is not something you give to Your children....... you give us power and love and a sound mind.  I will believe in what You have given me, not those things that are not of You!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29 - Isaiah 43:18-19

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

I can't explain it.... I do not know where I am headed, but I know God is doing something new in my life.  Through the storms raging, I am still seeking Him.  

I can no longer look back at the relationship that was mine with the Father, because it is old, it is time for something new.  It is time for a REFORMATION in my life.  

He has promised He will make a way, where they is no way.  He is doing a NEW THING!!! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 28 - Ephesians 4:2

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

My pastor has been teaching/preaching through the book of Ephesians this month.  And our Life Groups have been based on these messages.  (Oh wow, it has been so good!!!)

This week Pastor Tim spoke on Unity, and tied it in with this verse.  

The corner stones to living in unity are so simple, yet we make it so difficult.  

Be humble.
Be gentle.
Be patient.
Bear with one another.
Be love.

We were challenged at the end of the message - to pray and ask God to reveal to us which of these were areas we needed God to help us.  I'll be totally honest, patience is probably my greatest weakness here.  I become so wrapped up in the doing, that I lose patience with my husband, my children, as well as just people I see day to day going through life.     

What do you struggle with?  How much more should we pray for God to help us in these areas?  Unity in the body of Christ is so important.  If the "world" around us sees that those who profess His name can not abide together, why would they want our Jesus?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 27 - 2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Today has been one of those days.......... when I have struggled.  I see the things facing me and our family right now and I feel as though there is no way through.  I look at the bank account, the health problems, holidays, expenses for the kids, and all the things we are lacking................. and I feel overwhelmed.  I have felt fear and panic today. 

I know that God is able to do all things.  I know that He can handle everything.  I know it in my head... today, I've just haven't been convinced of it in my heart.

I was at work today at my part time job with our church, and it was just me in the building.  So I do what I do... :)  I started just praying and talking out loud to God.  I sang worship songs, I sang phrases from my heart.  I told God what He already knew.  I laid it all bare before him... 

Although I do not like this phase of my life and the things I am facing............ I can surely say, that it is teaching me and drawing me closer to my Daddy God.  I am learning more than ever before to crawl up in His lap and just lay it all down.  Big and deep heart to hearts!

In my weakness, He is strong and He is exalted.  In my weakness, I am seeing Christs power in me and on me.  I am learning to let Him take control of it all!  In my weakness, He is strong!  And I will celebrate my weakness, because it is then that His power is shown so effectively and amazingly! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 26 - Psalm 73:26

My body and my heart may grow weak.
God, you give strength to my heart.
You are everything I will ever need.

A few weeks ago, I was blessed to attend a women's conference at The Rock Church, in Huntsville, AL.  It was such an amazing weekend of renewal!  

I hadn't realized how much I needed God's touch in my life, until about five minutes after the worship started.   I spend so much time taking care of my family and all the things that entails, plus the ministries and service I give to my church, I admit, sometimes I just get worn out.

So often when we (you and me) minister in one way or the other, we spend so much time "pouring into" everyone else, that sometimes we forget we need to take time for ourselves and just allow others to pour into us!

Anyway.... one of the first songs of worship that week totally met my need.  I'll link the song at the end of this post.  But, the song reminded me of this scripture.

I get tired, and my heart grows weak and weary often.  There are days when I don't know what "else" I can take on and walk through.  Sometimes its because I take on too much myself, often it is just because of life's changes and twists and turns.  But I grow weary.  

But when I make it a priority to put myself first for just a few moments a day, or for a weekend, God showers me with His presence and gives me strength that I may not have found without seeking Him!

He truly is everything I will ever need.  I just have to stop sometimes, and make sure I am still looking towards Him for those needs!

I pray God gives you strength... to keep on walking.  My body (flesh) and heart may grow weak, but my God, He never fails!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25 - Ephesians 3:18-19

May you have power with all God’s people to understand Christ’s love. May you know how wide and long and high and deep it is.  And may you know his love, even though it can’t be known completely. Then you will be filled with everything God has for you.  Ephesians 3:18-19

God loves us so much.  God loves me more than I can ever comprehend.  It will forever go beyond my very imagination.  How can I ever grasp the love of the God of the Universe, who spoke all things into being with just one word.  His love is amazing.  

 In these verses Paul sees fit to include dimensions of God's love.  

I looked up some commentary on this verse and here is what Matthew Henry has to say:  

 " The dimensions of redeeming love are admirable:  The breadth, and length, and depth, and height.  By enumerating these dimensions, the apostle designs to signify the exceeding greatness of the love of Christ, the unsearchable riches of his love, which is higher than heaven, deeper than hell, longer than the earth, and broader than the sea, (Job11:8,9)  

Some describe it like this:  By the breadth of it we may understand the extent of it all to all the ages, nations, and ranks of men; by the length of it, its continuance from everlasting to everlasting; by the depth of it, it stoops to the lowest condition, with a design to relieve and save those who have sunk into the depths of sin and misery; by its height,  its entitling and raising us up to the heavenly happiness and glory!"

Isn't that just beautiful! 

I am daily learning to believe the love of God.  To truly know how much I am adored and cared for by the Father.  Even in the midst of all my lowest condition, His love reached me.  And now, as I walk daily to grow closer and closer to Him, His love is still seeking me out.

I pray that my friends and my family would understand how much God loves us, how much He wants us to seek after Him and do His will.  His love is overwhelming and transforming!  There is nothing like it in all the world.

Do you know how dearly you are loved?  There is no measure that we can ever see or feel with our being... it goes beyond all comprehension!   

He loves me, oh how He loves me.................... yes!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24 - Psalms 148

Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens.
    Praise him in the heavens above.
Praise him, all his angels.
    Praise him, all his angels in heaven.
Praise him, sun and moon.
    Praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens.
    Praise him, you waters above the skies.
Let all of them praise the name of the Lord,
    because he gave a command and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever.
    He gave them laws they will always have to obey.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all of the deepest parts of the ocean.
Praise him, lightning and hail, snow and clouds.
    Praise him, you stormy winds that obey him.
Praise him, all you mountains and hills.
    Praise him, all you fruit trees and cedar trees.
10 Praise him, all you wild animals and cattle.
    Praise him, you small creatures and flying birds.
11 Praise him, you kings of the earth and all nations.
    Praise him, all you princes and rulers on earth.
12 Praise him, young men and young women.
    Praise him, old people and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord.
    His name alone is honored.
    His glory is higher than the earth and the heavens.
14 He has given his people a strong king.
    All of his faithful people praise him for that gift.
    All of the people of Israel are close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.

Nothing I could say, could compare to the message shared by Louie Giglio - 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23 - Deuteronomy 5:29

Oh that they had such a heart in them, 
that they would fear Me and 
keep all My commandments always, 
that it may be well with them
and with their sons forever!

God our Father truly desires that His people would have a heart for Him.  That we would fear Him with a reverent fear, and be faithful in repentance when we sin.  God does not want any of us to suffer loss in eternity.

God longs for us to have such a heart for Him and His ways that we would follow every command.  That we would love Him so much that we would always want to live our life according to His plans and purpose.  We can't just follow one command, we have to follow them all, not just some of the time, but all of the time.  If not, we must be repentant in heart.  

We need to love God enough to seek Him constantly and keep ourselves "right" with Him.  In doing so, we will be "right" within ourselves.  We will have a peace and a comfort in this life, and into eternity.  I believe that when we have peace, and live our life for God, that it spills over into our children. 

My hope is that by loving God so much, keeping to His commands and with repentance going before the throne when I fail, that my heart will always be "well" and that it will follow my children.  Nothing is more important to me, than for my children to follow the same "good" paths as I have.  And keeping a heart after God... will hopefully keep them from following the wrong ones I went down as well!

Oh Lord, may I have such a heart for You!!!