Sunday Musings: I don’t have it all together…and that’s OK

Sunday Musings: I don’t have it all together…and that’s OK

I don’t have it all together. Not even close.

If most of us are honest, we will admit that we don’t have it all together. In today’s Pinterest-perfect society, we are expected to be perfectly dressed with perfect makeup, not a hair out of place, with perfectly clean, magazine worthy homes. We are expected to have a home-cooked dinner on the table every night, with perfectly dressed and perfectly behaved children.

I don’t have that; at least, not all the time. And never all at once. So, who holds us to this impossibly high standard? We do. We hold ourselves to these impossibly high standards we can never meet, but luckily, God does not.

God chose us, even though we are a long way from perfect. We don’t have it all together and God chose us anyway.

Ephesians 1:4 says “For he chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before Him.” We don’t need to be perfect; we just need Jesus. There are no perfect humans, and there don’t need to be. Jesus already fulfilled the role of the perfect human.

It’s tempting to spend all of our time trying to be perfect and live up to those impossible standards, but instead, let’s put that energy into trying to be like Jesus. He already knows we aren’t perfect and he loves us anyway.

Have a blessed week.

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Sunday Musings: Philippians 4:8

Sunday Musings: Philippians 4:8

As we are preparing to return to school, there are so many things on my mind. We observe “back to school” in two ways in our home. Our oldest daughter is going in to second grade, and I am a teacher. We do the typical “first day of school picture” each year, but we do some other things too.

We talk about how we need to behave and how, as Christians, we need to treat others. As my daughter gets older, I want to make sure she understands that how we act, and how we treat others aren’t the only important things- we also need to pay attention to what fills our thoughts and what we listen to or watch on TV. I had a teacher several years ago who told me she used to keep her mind clean by reading Philippians 4:8 each morning before school.

 

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There are so many things we give our time and our attention to that aren’t Godly. I recently went to church with my grandmother, and her pastor preached on guarding your heart. He talked about how listening to or watching unGodly things invites things into our minds and hearts. He also talked about how we are accountable for what our kids are exposed to, and how it’s important to guard their hearts as well.

I want to teach my child to memorize this verse and carry it with her as a reminder to think only on those things that please the Lord.  When we keep our minds and hearts pure, others can see the difference in us as well. This is what I want for myself and my kids this school year- to radiate the love of God.

I plan to print off this Bible verse and hang it on our fridge, or somewhere where we will see it each day and be reminded.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy school year. May you learn much and make many new friends.

Scripture Sunday: James 4:6

Scripture Sunday: James 4:6

Have you ever felt “proud?” Not the kind of proud where your kids do something awesome and you’re proud of them. Proud has two definitions: proud can mean “feeling a deep satisfaction as a result of one’s possessions, accomplishments or those of someone close to them,” or it can mean “having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.” That second definition is the one that gets us in trouble every time.

Have you ever been too proud to humble yourself and ask for help? This is something I struggle with frequently. I think I’m big enough and bad enough to handle my own problems and I don’t need anyone else. It’s not how big your problems are; it’s how big your God is. I need to realize that I can’t do everything on my own…and that’s ok.

Our pride gets to us and it makes us feel that if we don’t do it all on our own and perfectly, we are not good enough. The truth is, we were never meant to do all of those things on our own. God meant for us to give our worries, our burdens, our struggles and our concerns to Him.

After all, he already knows all about them. Isn’t it a comfort to know that God knows everything about us and still loves us anyway? Set your pride aside and seek His face.

Scripture Sunday: 2 Corinthians

Scripture Sunday: 2 Corinthians

My husband’s grandfather had a favorite hymn: “Amazing Grace.” To all who knew him, He was truly a Godly man and he’s now living in God’s amazing grace in Heaven.

Every time we sing “Amazing Grace,” I think about him. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s Amazing Grace.

God extends his Amazing Grace to us when we are suffering, when we’ve sinned, and when we have spent years running from Him and His will.

Eleven years ago, I was fresh out of college when I landed in a new town. We found a new church to attend where we enjoyed being. Still, I wasn’t following God and hadn’t been since high school.

One Sunday our then pastor held the invitation longer than usual. When no one came to the front, the pastor reluctantly closed the invitation saying, “I feel like someone needs to respond to Him.”

I was the person who didn’t come to the front. And that night, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned that night, and the next few nights. The following Sunday, I sank into a pew, exhausted and defeated. It was that Sunday I made the choice to stop running from God and start following Him.

What does that story have to do with Grace? A lot. I could have died that Sunday afternoon and never got the chance to be saved. But God didn’t do that. Grace. Even though I was living in sin and running from God, He still loved me and wanted me back. Grace. And then He saved me and forgave me of my sins. Grace.

God extends His Grace to us in a variety of ways, but His grace is and will always be greater than all our sins.

How have you experienced His Grace?

Simplify Saturday: Finding Peace on a Daily Basis

We live in a fast paced, stressed out world and sometimes it’s hard to find a moment’s peace. Who else sometimes finds that they are spread thin, with too much to do and you feel like you have no time to breathe?

There are a few things I’ve been trying to do to relax and destress. They work well and they don’t cost a thing!

1. Pray daily

Prayer makes your day much less stressful. Anytime you’re struggling or stressed out, just talk to God about it. I find that praying about my stressors is a major source of relief. You have a confidant who is always available to listen 🙂 Prayer for me is often instant peace.

2. Stop and notice the beauty around you

Take a moment to stop and notice the beauty in the world around you. I took this picture while traveling to my grandma’s house. Sometimes, we have to struggle to see the beauty around us, but if you’re willing to pause and look, you can usually find it.

3. Spend time in the company of those who bring you the most joy

If you want to find peace and contentment in your life, spend some time in the company of your family or friends. Actual time- no phones, no TV; just conversation and good fun.

4. Forget about what people think and just do something that makes you happy

Is it silly to get in a giant kiddie pool with your children? Sure! But I don’t care. I did it, and my kids loved it…and seeing them happy makes me happy.

5. Do something nice for others

What brings you more joy than doing something nice for someone else?

6. Get a hobby that you enjoy and spend a little time doing it each day.

My garden gives me a lot of joy. I love to water it and spend time working in it. And I love to eat the food it produces. Working in this little garden gives me a lot of peace.

What brings you joy and peace?

Scripture Sunday: How to deal when you’re overwhelmed

Scripture Sunday: How to deal when you’re overwhelmed

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Have you ever been overwhelmed? Most of us, if we’re honest, will admit there have been many times when we’ve been overwhelmed. Maybe everyone in your home is sick at the same time, and everyone knows moms CAN’T get sick. Maybe there are a million things at home AND at work that need your attention and you feel there is no way you’ll ever catch up. Maybe you’re running low on money and your car is making expensive-sounding noises, and you’re wondering just how you’re going to manage to cover everything.  I can honestly say I have been overwhelmed on a frequent basis, and sometimes, I’ve handled it pretty poorly.

In recent years, I’ve realized there are two things you can do when you’re overwhelmed. You can throw your hands up and give up, or you can give it to God. And while we’re often tempted to just throw up our hands in frustration and just stop, we know it’s truly not an option anyway. Too many people need us and depend on us. It’s in those moments, when I’m screaming and in a place of despair and yelling, “I can’t do this on my own,” that I hear that little voice echo in my mind.

“You were never meant to carry this on your own.”

When you’re overwhelmed, hurting, and ready to give up, don’t. Give it to God instead. He is higher than we are. He is bigger than any struggle we might face, and He is there to walk beside us and shoulder our burdens along with us.

When your heart is overwhelmed, give it to the God who’s bigger than anything you’ll ever face.

Sunday Musings: Raising Godly Children

Sunday Musings: Raising Godly Children

It’s important to us to raise our children in the Christian faith. The easiest way to do that is to take them to church, but there is so much more to raising Godly children than attending church. We are far from being perfect Christian parents, and this is truly an area where we are working hard to improve. I thought I’d share some of the things we are trying to do, in the hope that some of you would share some of your great ideas with us 😉

We are a family of four, with a six year old daughter and a two year old daughter. We attend church regularly and also participate in Vacation Bible School and a summer camp program at our church during the summers.

1. Sunday school

We have recently begun to attend Sunday School after not attending for several months. Sunday School lessons for children are the Gospel tailored for their age and comprehension. This is why it’s important for them to be there. My kids have learned so much from the children’s programs at our church.

2. Read a devotional each day with your kids

We, as adults, get a lot out of our kids’ devotions. Not only are we reading and learning about the Bible along with the girls, we are modeling for them the importance of reading and studying the Bible. And don’t think because it isn’t written for adults that you can’t be blessed by it as well. I have learned from my kids’ devotion book as much as I have from my own.

3. Buy your kids a Bible they can read

There are so many wonderful Bibles on the market today you can choose from. There are Bibles available for little children, tweens, teens and primary aged children. My daughter has this “Big Picture Bible” which works in conjunction with a phone app. She loves it and it does a great job teaching and explaining the Bible stories to her.

5. Pray together

My children and I read the Bible and keep a running prayer list. We spend time thanking God for the things for which we are grateful and praying for the things we need or the people we know with needs. I’ve also started praying aloud in the mornings as we are driving to school- not only to pray, but to model prayer for my children.

What ways do you model living the Gospel for your children? How do you ensure your children are Godly? I’d love to hear ideas or suggestions!

Have a wonderful week.