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Choose wisely, my dear.

2 Sep

It’s been long…way too long since I’ve been on here. But you already should be used to my lack of blogging, since I’ve made such a bad habit of it. Sad, i know. Forgive me? 

Anywho, I’ve had a certain topic On my mind for a while now and i thought I’d pour my heart out and hopefully encourage my fellow Single brother’s and sister’s, especially church kids, out there on the topic of dating, within the church. (our fellowship, in particular)
I started thinking of this because a lot of our church kids are growing up into beautiful young ladies and handsome young men and i couldn’t help but notice That they’re noticing it about eachother, too.  

I don’t want this post to be a list of do’s and dont’s That u must follow while dating as far as dating clean goes, because for the most part that’s already been established. If not, talk to your parents and/or pastor. They’ll be more than glad to help you understand & explain the importance of That. 

My question to you is what is it that you’re looking for?

First, I’d like to share my dating experience in the church…

 My husband & i dated clean. Our first touch, kiss, hug, hand holding was on February 7, 1999, the day we said “i do”. I had just turned 20 and he was 21.  We honored God and each other. We encouraged each other. We challenged each other spiritually. Neither one of us had Christian parents or family to help guide us through this. We had our pastor and other couples In the church, our own personal convictions, and God’s grace. We were one of the first couples to meet at church, date, and have a Jesus people wedding! 

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I remember our pastor had a singles class and he had us write down what we’re looking for in a future spouse. I wish i still had My list, but i remember the first thing i had on that piece of paper was he needed my pastor’s approval to date me. It was a must... especially since i didn’t have a father to put some fear in him! Hehe 

And then of course, the obvious, he had to be saved & on fire for God, faithful to regular church services, as well as every function the Church had. He had to have a good testimony in&out of church and be a servant. I didn’t want a lazy man, so he needed to have a good decent job & vehicle. I didn’t want a carnal one either. I knew that Jeremiah had a calling on his life so i knew if this was gonna work out, i had to make decisions as a single girl to prepare me to be the help meet that he would one day need. Another thing i noticed was that he was a man of integrity & Godly character. This is something that tends to be overlooked sometimes. No, he wasn’t perfect. Yes, he made mistakes. But he had, and still does have, a heart after God’s. And that right there is what drew me to him. 

Because honestly, i wasn’t looking to date anyone and i definitely had no interest in a white guy. (That’s another story, which i think in one of my older posts i explain all of that.)

Hey! I’m just being honest here! 

Listen y’all, Godly Character is much more important than Charm and/or beauty. The bible says that charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeing. If a guy/girl shows you more charm than good character, I would reevaluate some things. If they lack some things that are important to you like maybe they aren’t tithing, not going to morning prayer or prayer before church,  not attending bible studies, or outreach etc, then these are things to consider. For us, this was a no brainer. Being faithful to church was a given. 

Let me add something else here, if y’all don’t have your dad’s and/or your pastor’s approval- let it go. It’s not worth it. More than likely, they either know something or sense something that isn’t quite right with them. Just trust them and God. I totally understand this b/c our pastor told Jeremiah to wait on pursuing me bc i was only saved 3 months when, as he puts it, “God whispered your name in my ear on my way home from Atlanta.” I’m so grateful for my pastor and our standard of waiting at least 6 months to date bc I needed some more time…lots more time… to grow spiritually, to change my way of thinking, etc. Come on y’all, i was a very clueless new Convert! I knew absolutely nothing about the gospel, much less about  dating clean, I was your typical raw Convert. Anyway, you don’t ever want to rush or force a relationship into existence. It’s not smart and it’s not spiritually healthy for either of you. 

Don’t think that they’ll change once you’re married, because if they ain’t doing it now, they won’t do it then. 

I have one too many friends who’ve ignored red flags while dating, hoping&praying that things will change once they marry. And guess what? Most of them haven’t changed one bit for the better, and i see my dear friends still hoping & praying that things will change, that their spouses will lead their family spiritually, be better with their money, etc. So please, don’t ignore any red flags that you may see, because once you’re married- it’s for life.

You can trust God with your future. 

He knows exactly who & what you need in a spouse. And he will tell you when it’s time. Do not awaken love before its time, it’ll happen, I promise, and when it does it will be worth the wait. So worth it! Dating clean doesn’t guarantee a problem free marriage. It just eliminates so much unnecessary drama to your life & to your future family. 

I came into the church as a very lonely, used broken hearted 18 year old girl. I had plenty of experience In the world and a lit of baggage. I’m not happy About any of it, but what i am happy about is that God pulled me out of that mess, cleaned me up inside & out, and gave me a fresh start at life. 

Maybe you’re not a “church kid”per se, but you came into the church with a past- Jesus can&wants to bless you. He can & He will if you surrender your life & will to Him.

To all the church kids out there- please wait on God! Don’t rush anything. Don’t awaken love before its time, and when it is time, pay attention to their character. Ask yourself are they making me want to get closer to God or are they pulling me away from Him? Do my parents approve? Is it b/c they’re cute & I’m flatterd? Try to see past their charm & beauty, although those are important, it’s just not the most important!

Gentlemen, if you want a woman of God, then shouldn’t you strive to be a man of God?
Ladies, if you want a man  God, then shouldn’t you strive to be a woman of God?

To my kids, this is especially for you. You’ve had the privilege of growing up so differently then dad & i. We did all of this to be right & pure before Jesus, yes, but also, we did it for you. So please don’t take it for granted. Fight for purity & righteousness. Fight for modesty & Godly character. Fight for the things of God. And fight to stay pure for your future spouse, just as we’re praying they’re doing the same for you. 

Dating isn’t a one size fits all thing, so choose wisely, my dear…choose wisely.

The day we said, “I do.” 18 years ago. ūüôā 

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Truth or Reality?

28 Jul

I woke up this with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. You know, where something just doesn’t feel right? Within seconds, fear gripped my heart and with that came a flood of memories of things…sins…that i have done in the past. Shameful things. Sins that i have been forgiven for long ago. Things that I’ve shared in my testimony many times, for many years, of what God has delivered me from, in hopes of encouraging at least one person in the crowd. Why is it that i woke up feeling so dirty, so shameful…so scared? Scared of all the “what if’s & what could’ve been’s.” You know how our mind works…pretty fast. And in my situation this morning, it was all over the place in a matter of seconds! I thought of different seasons in my life and decisions that I made during that time all in a matter of seconds…seconds! That’s just crazy! 

Once i snapped myself back to reality, and saw my now 14 yr old daughter sleeping next to me, i realized what was going on. 

But I had to ask myself if I’ve opened any doors to sin. No. Have i talked to anyone from my past that might have triggered the memories? No. 

The only thing that came to mind is that it was a fiery dart from hell trying to distract & discourage me. 

Distract me from taking my eyes off of what is truth to what is a lie.By even for just a few seconds, taking my eyes off of Jesus.

Discourage me by trying to suck me back into that moment of fear&regret. By making me feel so unworthy of forgiveness and grace and mercy and Christ’s unending love.

Immediately, I got up and prayed. I started thanking God for delivering&for setting me free from all of my dirty sins and dumb decisions. I began to worship & praise Him for everything He has done for me & for everything He has blessed me with. The devil wanted me to wallow in self pity & condemnation. But I turned it around and glorified God. 

We can’t change our past, so why dwell on it? All of what i was reminded of this morning is all true, but not reality. These are all echoes from my past. Echoes that Satan, The father of lies, tries to throw at us. 

“The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus comes so that we have life more abundantly.” John 10:10

Remember we have to take every thought captive. (2Cor 10:5) Rebuke the lies of the enemy. Always, always, always be prayed up and Put on the whole armor of God. (Eph 6:10-18)

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On a lighter note, Jeremiah & Jordyn are both taking a college class at our local community college and will be getting dual credit for it. 

Jeremiah has his driver’s learners permit!

Jordyn turned 14 yesterday! We made her breakfast and brownies. 

On Monday, my hubby took her to Fiesta Texas and ended the day by giving her a purity ring! 

Joshua has been enjoying his summer just hanging out with the dogs! 

…and dressing up as a cow for free food!

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My heart is full!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Goodbye 2015…Hello 2016

6 Jan

Well, hello there friends.  It’s not unusual for me to be MIA from the blog world from time to time, but I think this is the longest I’ve been away.  There have been plenty of times where I’ve thought about blogging, but didn’t. Or those times where I did actually  sit down to blog,  but my mind would go blank. I like my posts to be encouraging or funny or uplifting.  Wait, doesn’t encouraging and uplifting  pretty much mean the same thing?! ūüôā 

Anyway,  2015 seemed to be the year of goodbyes for me. (At least the second half of it was.) Like I mentioned in my last post, the boys we were caring for moved back with their mom in early May. They came back to live with us in August for 2 more months,  then it was time to say goodbye…again.  I think this time was harder than the first time because we all knew it was for good.  It was a sad goodbye for all of us.

During that time, my cousin and her baby moved in with us, too. They stayed here until baby boy went on to be with Jesus on October 18th…Another goodbye. I would have to say that was the hardest goodbye of all.

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Saying goodbye to a 4 month old baby boy doesn’t seem fair at all. I’ve had my share of questions to God and trust me,  I’ve cried until I had no more tears left.  But I do know this, baby boy is in Heaven with Jesus. No more heart issues, no more needles, no more oxygen, no more feeding tubes, no more Dr’s and nurses and hospitals, no more meds, and no more pain. That is what comforts me, to know that he isn’t in pain anymore…to know that he is safe in the arms of Jesus…to know that he really is in a better place.

Then my husband answered the Call to be an Evangelist, so he’s away from home a lot more than we’re used to…we say goodbye to him more frequently, but those aren’t sad goodbyes! ūüôā We’re all actually very excited.

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All of these goodbyes happened in the same month. Thankfully,  All the sadness and pain that we may have experienced hasn’t rob us of our Joy. We hold fast to the promises of God and trust Him with our lives.

There is one more goodbye that I failed to mention….I said goodbye to being 36 years old in December…Hello, 37. Very nice to finally meet you!

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Okay friends,  2015 has come and gone. Let this be a year of renewal. That’s my friend, Angela’s, word of the year.  Renewal. I like that.  It seems fitting for a new year.

What are some things you can renew this year?

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My imagination gone wild

6 Feb

I had a rather interesting conversation with my sister in law, Tatiana, yesterday via text message. It started off fairly normal then got pretty dramatic.

It went like this…..

Tat: I was just thinking about you! How I haven’t talked to you!

Me:  I’ve sent you a few texts but you’re too good for me to respond. I’m not even worthy of a simple hello. Denied. Rejected.

Me: My own dog cares more about me than my sister in law. My NEIGHBOR’S dog cares more about me than my own sister in law. My…… I think you get the point.

After a few seconds I continued with…

Me: See… you’re not even responding to me now as I’m desperately crying out to you for attention… Wow… I feel so….so…. alone. Alone in this big cold world where there are predators ready to pounce on fragile abandoned women like me…. Where the lion is waiting patiently to attack me at my weakest moment when I least expect it, when I finally tire of holding my guard up… that’s when he’ll take advantage and dig his long claws into my skin and do what he’s been longing to do the moment he discovered I was a victim.

Tat: lol, you’re a nut! I’m getting ready for church at the gym.

Me:  A nut you say!?! It may be true considering the circumstances that have been brought upon me by my kin.
My own kin have abandoned me. Left me to the wolves to feast on. They stand back and laugh as they watch the vicious animal lay claim to his meal.

Tat:  Who’s the wolf? What book have you been reading?????

Me: Suddenly I woke up, with sweat beads dripping down my porcelain skin. It was only a nightmare! I cried out for my beloved and it was then that I knew he would never leave me to the wolves. What a merry day it would be after all!!
Oh, and what of my sister in law you ask? She fell at my feet weeping as I told her of this horrific nightmare and she clung to my legs pledging her allegiance to me and made a vow to never ever let any harm come before me. The end.

Tat: You have an amazing brain! I could not have come up with half that!!  At your feet I fall dear sister in law ūüôā

Me: LOL!!! that was fun!! I was envisioning the whole thing too!!! That was fresh off my pewny brain!

So there you have it, my lovely conversation with my sister in law!

Joy & Simplicity

4 Jan

I know I’m 3 days late but, Happy New Year!¬†

Is it me, or did 2013 fly by!? Geez, I was strolling along with life and then outta no where, BAM!, the holiday’s were here. I was not ready, but ready or not I had to face it….and I survived!¬†

At the end of every year, I like to sit back and ponder all that happened, or didn’t happen, ¬†during that year and possibly compare to the year before. ¬†And I have to say, I was pretty pleased about our year as a whole. Yes, we could’ve done more of this or less of that, but overall we had a wonderful year, especially if you compare it to 2012. Now THAT was a year of craziness!¬†

So for 2014, I want to focus more on joy & simplicity.

I want to enjoy my life, my husband, my kids, and just soak in all the little things that I tend to over look. I noticed that I can be a bit snappy with my kids and one day it dawned on me that my oldest is almost 14! Before you know it, he’ll be 18 and ready to spread his wings and fly and venture out in the real world! I then realized I needed to loosen up a bit. I have some pretty amazing kids and I need to be focusing on making some sweet memories with them during these teen and preteen years BC before I know it, they’ll be adults and…..

Okay, enough of that before I start to cry!  

Simplicity BC sometimes we tend to be pack rats and end up with a whole bunch of stuff but still have nothing to show for. I scanned around my house and that’s exactly what I found: a whole bunch of STUFF! I saw things that I bought but have never even opened or used… I felt ashamed. I can honestly say, that I already begun the process of purging and rearranging my life and putting it in order. I even ordered me an awesome simplified planner from http://www.emilyley.com that should be arriving in the mail in a few weeks!¬†

I’d say, I’m taking this ¬†simplicity thing pretty seriously!¬†

What about you? What are you focusing on this 2014?

 

 

 

Your life is about to change

24 Nov

Last week our church had a revival with an Evangelist from our fellowship, and boy let me tell you…it was A.MAZ.ING! ¬†The title of his first sermon was, Your life is about to change, and for a lot of people it did….especially mine. ¬†I have a confession to make, I’ve always struggled with unbelief and with that comes doubt and fear. ¬†I can believe God for other people and encourage them that God would move in their situation, while believing it with my whole heart. ¬†But when it comes to MY needs and/or wants, well….now that was a completely different story. It’s not like God has never met any of my needs before, because he has, numerous times. ¬†This is just an area that I have ALWAYS struggled with.

I know it’s very common for someone to say, Man that sermon/revival was totally for me, well, I really believe that this revival was for me. ¬†God wanted my attention….and He got it! ¬†

His first sermon was on how distractions can lead to destruction and how we are easily distracted….with worry/unbelief! ¬†Our problems begin to dictate how we think. ¬†They get the best we have: our time, our years etc. ¬†God wants to distract us from our distractions!! ¬†He also said, “You can let go of the steering wheel now and let God drive.” I bet you can’t guess what song immediately popped in my head!? Yup, Jesus take the wheel, by Carrie Underwood.

He encouraged us to depend on God for our children, finances, and future, today NOT tomorrow. ¬†When you surrender yourself 100% to God, you’re at peace. ¬†During that altar call, I had some major business to take care of with God. ¬†I let go of all doubt, unbelief, fear etc, and when I got up, I knew something had changed. ¬†

That afternoon, I got a call from my brother, he was mad, crying, frustrated with life.  I encouraged him to come to church but he declined.  After we hung up, I prayed for him.  I actually was sincerely believing God to do a miracle in my brother without unbelief screaming at me!  And you will never believe who came to church with us on Monday night and got saved? MY BROTHER!!!

¬†The miracles don’t stop there!

¬†After the preaching, the evangelist asks a girl what her name is, and my daughter thought he was talking to her,and told him her name….I was sooooo embaressed!…but he wasn’t talking to her, he patted her on her head and went on talking to the other girl. ¬†But then he called Jordyn to the front and said God is gonna do a miracle on this young girl, she has scoliosis and her left foot is an inch and a half shorter than her right foot. ¬†I was like, “WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!” ¬†I thought, “Oh no, he called the wrong girl, my daughter doesn’t have scoliosis!” ¬†He was right. ¬†He foot was an inch and a half shorter, we had a ruler to measure. ¬†I was stunned. ¬†We prayed for her and she got miraculously healed!!! ¬†Proof that God knows our needs before we know them and He wants to meet them if only we believe and trust in Him!

Two miracles in one night…I think God was trying to tell me something!¬†

But I have a few more miracles I want to share! 

Before we started revival, we had our week planned and budgeted.  I had all my meals planned for the week.  We filled our gas tank and planned to make that last the whole week for revival b/c we live 30 minutes from our church.  That Sunday night of revival,  our pastor asked my hubby if he would be able to pick up the evangelist for prayer everyday that week!

¬†Uh Oh, that was NOT in our plans OR our budget! ¬†He said yes, of course, and we both laughed and decided we had to just trust God…without me freaking out with worry on how it was gonna work! ¬†Well, on Tuesday night, my hubby got a Holy Ghost handshake from a lady in the church for 100 buckaroos! ¬†God provided and we had more than enough gas for the rest of the week! ¬†That same night, my brother came back to church with his girlfriend and their 3 kiddos AND a neighbor of theirs! ¬†

I am so grateful that God loves me so much He refused to let worry/doubt/unbelief/fear rob me of what He has for me.  

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” ¬†Matt 6:33

 

Raising Arrows

28 Aug

We officially will be starting our homeschool year next week and we are all so excited!  We tried it last year, and between all of my health issues that lasted 3 long horrible months, the holidays, and moving back to Austin, homeschooling was not a very pleasant experience for any of us.  We had an extremely inconsistent year, to say the least.  We decided on a few different curriculums to try this year.

Our oldest son, who is in 8th grade, will be meeting every Thursday with a homeschool group for teenage boys. His teacher will be teaching them: Bible/Theology/Discipleship, Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies.
His first class was last Thursday and he had a blast! We’ll continue to use Saxon Math this year. And for Science, we’ll be trying out Apologia Science.

For my 6th grade daughter, we’ll be using My Father’s World curriculum which include: Bible, Geography, Science, Reading, and Art.
For English, she’ll be meeting every Thursday for an hour and a half with One Day Academy. She took an english class during the summer with them and loved, loved, loved it!! She’ll have the same awesome teacher this yr. We couldn’t be more happy!:-) And for math, she’ll use Saxon math like her brother.

They both will be reading lots of books that relate to whatever we’re learning about in most subjects. So if we’re learning about China, we’ll check out books from the library about it, play Chinese checkers, and maybe make a Chinese dish…something like that.¬† We’re definitely gonna dig deep, especially on subjects they show more interest in.¬† I’m sure Pinterest is gonna be my lifesaver for this!

I really want to add a foreign language to their curriculum but might wait until we get a routine down then invest in one.  I know a free website called Live Mocha that teaches foreign languages but not sure how kid friendly they are?!

As for my youngest son, we decided after much prayer, to keep him in public school for now…long story.
His first day was yesterday and so far he’s happy with our decision!

Okay, so as I’m getting my homeschool schedule all planned out, I remember hearing another mom say that she gave her homeschool a name, made ID badges with the school name on it, the school year, and a picture. One for her, the teacher, and one for her child, the student. That way she can get discounts at teacher stores and print shops etc, also to make her schooling a little more formal.¬† Sooooooooo, I got to thinking, “What in the world am I gonna name our homeschool????” I sent out a text to a few of my homeschool mommy friends asking if they have a name, if so, then what. A few did & a few didn’t.¬†¬† After a few hours of going back and forth with a crazy friend of mine, who had me rolling on the floor laughing hysterically and my son, who wanted to name it, “The Wack Attack Christian Academy!” Lol……please, no need to worry, we didn’t go with it! Uhhhhhhh, Thanks but no thanks, son!!

We decided on calling our homeschool, Raising Arrows Christian Academy. Based off of the following scripture:

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3

My hubby says our mascot should be a lion/lioness and our school scripture should be:

“The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1

Waddya think about the scripture? A bit much?

I was thinking our mascot should be me wearing armor reaching for an arrow with my kids faces on the tip of the arrow ready to shoot!!! Lol just kidding!

Our emblem will be an arrow and a target…..we’re still not 100% sure on the emblem but something along those lines.¬† What do you think?

As you can see, we are really super excited about this school year!

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh! Please let me know if you know of any foreign language websites that are kid friendly. B-)