Weed That Garden!

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The Bible says to think on things that true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report. If there be any virtue or praise. Can I please point out that all of that is focusing on positive things?

God didn’t say think on things that are false, deceitful, unfair, immoral/dirty, hideous, sinful, or of a bad report. Putting all of that together sounds horrible to think about, doesn’t it? It sounds depressing. Angry. Frustrating. Negative.

I love quotes! I read a quote “Your mind is a garden what will you grow? flowers or weeds?”

What do weeds do in your garden? They spread quickly. They take over. They choke out the flowers. If you wait too long to weed you have to be really careful not to pull the flowers up. If you wait any longer and let the weeds stay they will eventually kill the flowers.  If we continue in life with negative thoughts running our mind and not fixing them our souls will reap what our minds have sown. The negativity will be entangled into the depths of who we are. Negativity causes bitterness, ugliness, a feeling of defeat, sadness, anxiety, adds to depression, and stress which can eventually leads to sickness. Weed out the bad thoughts and replace them with good thoughts.

I know when people hear positive thinking they may think hippie but look at the scripture. God knows exactly how intricate he made our minds and bodies. Everything is connected.  Studies show how stress affects the body. The Bible also says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 We aren’t going to be happy-go-lucky all of the time but we can find a place of peace. We can train our minds to think on things that are good instead of bad. If you don’t know Christ as your personal Saviour that is a start. To have peace without Him is like trying to grow flowers without the sunshine. If you are a saved Christian in a place in your life of negativity, unrest, confusion. A place where you can’t find peace don’t give up. Ask God to help you change your way of thinking. To help you change your life. To show you the way. Listen, I know it isn’t easy. I have been in some pretty bad places mentally where it looked bleak and unpromising. Sometimes, we have to hit bottom before we are built back up.

Phillippians 4:7-8  “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 

Things that have worked for me:

Prayer

devotion time

an adequate amount of sleep (early bedtime)

Chiropractic Care

Change in diet

Lots of water and herbal tea

Exercise

Yoga

breathing techniques

Essential oils (newbie)

Filling my mind with my favorite scriptures and positive quotes.

Retraining your mind to think on good things

Detoxing from social media

Accepting I can’t change people or certain circumstances. I can only change ME!

 

 

 

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pexels-photo-776651.jpegI love how our Saviour loves each and every one of us. I love His love. A love that sets free. A love that doesn’t look at skin color, hair or body type. A Saviour who doesn’t look at the bank account, what we drive or wear. That’s how we should be as Christians. We should refrain from turning our noses down at anyone because we think they aren’t good enough. If we were more honest with ourselves, we would realize we alone are not good enough. Only with Christ. Washed in the blood and forgiven. If not for Him then we would be nothing. Love with a Christ-like love today.

Guide in Love

pexels-photo-590798.jpegThe teenage girls and young women don’t need the judgemental looks of the older Christian women in their churches or lives. They need the older women to answer them in a way that instead of turning them from the Lord makes them want to search His ways more. We can’t be the Holy Spirit in their lives. It isn’t our job to guilt them into changing. I know for me I never changed because someone turned their snooty nose down on me. It is our job to lead them. To pray for them. To be real with them. To be truthful? Absolutely! But in a way that shows some love. To open our hearts to their problems instead of brushing them aside. We can sometimes push children and teenagers away because we have been through harder things in our lives so this obviously is nothing. To them it is big! It is a problem!
I look at my teenage daughter and nieces and I am starting to remember how difficult it was to navigate this life. I am still navigating and so thankful for the older women who give me words of wisdom. We have to look at these young women with compassion and strength from the Lord. When God places a young woman in our lives. Our daughters, nieces, friends, a girl from church let us pray to God for guidance so we can help guide them through the difficulties in life. Let us teach them how to search the scriptures for their answer. We need to pray for them. We need to teach them that sometimes you don’t always find the answer but that through it God gives grace. It is our job to help them through life. Lift them up like you would if it was your best friend. Take a deeper look and put yourself in their shoes. Who would you need if it was you at that age?

Proverbs 31:26 “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

 

Spiritual Deserts

desert-drought-dehydrated-clay-soil-60013.jpegA desert is a dry, parched, harsh land with little relief. Little water. Why do we go through these dry times in our Christian walk? Is it possible that being in a spiritual desert teaches us how badly we need the Lord? Our eyes are more open to why but yet we continue to trudge through the sand. We see nothing for miles. We search for water and find nothing. Our thirst continues to grow. We can often feel defeated and dry during these times in our Christian walk. We need to know that no matter how harsh the environment is God is still there. Let us be women that are not defeated easily. We can allow our desert to be used by the enemy. He has hopes that we will spiritually give up the fight. A spiritual death. Or, we can allow God to show us that He is our oasis in this life. You will find it the day you open up your Bible and finally you get spiritually watered. Your parched soul can feel the coolness of the Word of God. He has not left you. If you are in a desert keep walking and praying through it.
“I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” Isaiah 41:18

 

Things to do
Pray through it.
Continue to read the Word of God even if you feel like you get nothing from it.
Be honest with another Christian friend about your struggles. You may get encouraged.
Realize that others have been there too.

Questions to ask yourself?
Is there a sin in my life that is causing me to be spiritually dry? Contrary to popular belief God does chastise His children. Am I ignoring it?
If not
Where am I searching for relief? What am I turning to?
What is God trying to show me and what can I learn from this?

If we hide because of who we were or where we came from, we live defeated. We all have a story. A past. If God’s grace is woven throughout our story we can’t live ashamed, it’s our duty to tell others of His love; what God has done. His forgiveness. How He brought us through. It is how others can come to know a God that is merciful. A God that loves with no boundaries. To walk in this life defined by circumstances hinders the work of Christ. It isn’t because of what we have done but what He has done. We are loved by Him; regardless of who we are because of who He is. #1John419 #1John410 #Romans839

Women with Little Discretion

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Proverbs 11:22 “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”
Proverbs 9:13 “A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.”

Discretion is the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information. The freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.

Clamorous is making a loud and confused noise. Other words to describe it are loud, noisy, vocal (expressing your opinion loudly)

When discretion leaves your lips. Oops….
These verses in proverbs describe a type of woman who I don’t want to be known as. A good way to watch our conversation is to pray for God to guard our mouths. To take heed to scriptures. To speak with a purpose. The Holy Spirit will convict us if we learn to listen and not push that still small voice aside. When we don’t listen in the moment we usually regret it later. There is always a time and a place for certain conversation.
Why not talk about the same things in public as you do in private? Hypocritical? No. Our culture says everything is acceptable if we are not careful we will fall into that trap. Some things just aren’t meant for others to hear. Men. Children. Save any conversation, even if you are just seeking advice, that has to do with sex, lady stuff, and personal relationships for coffee on the patio, not at your local Chick-fil-A.
We need to be more considerate of those around us. To be more aware. The conversations we have in public should not embarrass others and should bring honor to God.

Sometimes there are things that shouldn’t be talked about in private. Choose wisely. Proverbs 10:32 “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.”

Happy Wife, Happy life? Poor Husband!

IMG_1175Are you a happy wife, happy life kind of gal? How is the atmosphere in your home? Do you blame your kids or husband when you are having a bad day? When someone doesn’t do what you want them to do they fear the consequences? Do you recognize when you are being selfish? We all struggle with selfishness. Every one of us.  Proverbs 21:9 says “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” Proverbs 21:19 “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

I won’t teach my sons or daughter the phrase “Happy wife, happy life” I won’t use it in our home. Why? It shows my sons that they have to work to make someone else happy. I won’t teach my sons that they have to walk around on eggshells for a woman because he isn’t doing what she wants. It shows my daughter that if she throws a big enough fit she will get her way. It tells her that her happiness depends on what a man gives her or does for her. That is untrue and an unhealthy mindset to have.
To be happy is a choice. You find joy in the love of God. It is not our job to fulfill another or to be filled by a person. Don’t put that stress on your husband or yourself. Don’t teach that to your children. We are complete when we know the Saviour not when we find our soul mate. Yes, we should want to do nice things for our spouse and we should like when they do something for us. It is when we expect our husband to cater to our wants and make him pay when he doesn’t. That is a sign of a selfish marriage. We should never put expectations on our loved ones that are unreasonable.
How do we show our children to have an unselfish marriage? To not have the mindset that their spouse’s job is to complete them. Simply, be an example. Being unselfish towards our spouse. Towards our children. By not having a demanding attitude. By respecting one another. Husband and wife alike. Cherishing one another. Laughing together in the hard times, not just the easy. Saying nice things about one another especially when the other isn’t around. Doing little acts of kindness for your spouse. Teach them that it’s better to give than to receive. When something doesn’t go your way let your husband off the hook. Smile at him instead of scowling. Be understanding instead of critical. Speak a soft word instead of an angry one. Most importantly, have a relationship with Jesus Christ. When we are not happy with our life we need to turn to our Saviour. We need to pray and dig into our Bibles. Our children will see and they will take notice. Let us show our children to resist the temptation to be all about me. Throw the happy wife, happy life out the door and appreciate what you have.

Is Your Soul Weary?

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This morning I was woken up around 3 am. From there I tossed and turned. I was unsuccessful in falling back asleep. My mind refused to stop thinking about things that are out of my control. I tried to change the direction of my thoughts. Ha! Didn’t work. Pray? I tried. Nothing….My mind continued to wander. So, there I was at 4 am doing a few chores that wouldn’t wake everyone else. Coffee brewing.
See, I have questions for the Lord lately. Questions that I haven’t gotten answers to. I decided to read scripture knowing that searching anywhere else is not going to get me the answers I need. Knowing that keeping my Bible on a shelf will do more harm than good in my personal relationship with Christ. How do I know? Because I tried both of those ways. An hour later, I still don’t have the answers. Honestly, I am going to have to do some soul-searching and digging deep into scriptures to get them.
I did, however, see Isaiah 40:27-29 “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”
God never faints. He is never weary! When I am weary He will sustain me. My stress that is too much for me right now is not too much for Him. My life that has been a little off track is not too much for Him. The problem I have with anxiety is not too much for Him. My people-pleasing issue is not too much for Him. My frustrations and anger towards relationships that aren’t how they should be, are not too much for Him. None of it is too much for Him.
Whatever we may be facing our Creator is not blind to it. He is not weary of it. He is not weary of His children. I believe He is on call for us. He wants to help, but as humans, we tend to do other things before we go to the Lord. For some reason we believe just maybe we can solve this problem. What happens is we push God aside. We put God on a shelf. We stress. We fail. We stumble. We finally realize not by our strength but His. Though we may grow weary in this life. Weary even in our Christian walk the good Lord above does not. Psalm 68:8-10 says
“The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.”
Read that scripture a few times and let it sink in. If your soul is weary and your mind is tired, rest in the presence of God. He can move mountains.

A Beautiful Messy Life

I was sitting on the couch. Eyes closed. Breathing. Trying to pull it together before the husband came home. He came in the door knowing something was wrong. Him asking only made the tears that I was trying to hold in pour out. I messaged one of my best friends and told her I was pretty sure that I am going through a midlife crisis at the young age of 33! Dramatic much? Definitely. My husband tried to encourage me and my best friend wouldn’t entertain my pity party. People who care for you don’t always tell you what you want to hear.
I realized this morning that when we grow and God is trying to teach us something it is uncomfortable. I have been asking God to help me say “no” to unnecessary things in my life. To simplify. To help me prioritize and focus on what is most important at this moment. It’s okay that I cried and had a pity party. Mommin’ is NOT easy. Life just gets difficult sometimes. That’s okay. It’s okay that I had a break-down over what my purpose is. It’s okay that I am stressed. It will pass. I hope….Maybe I need to do a faith study.
What isn’t okay is when I tell the wrong things “No.” I can’t say “No” to my Bible reading or to prayer time. I can’t say “No” to church. I need to be around other Christian friends. My kids need to be in church. I can’t say “No” to spending time with my kids or my husband. They need me engaged. Honestly, Isn’t it easy to check out from people? From church? From life? I also know that occasionally to recuperate from this life we need to get away. Though, it is dangerous when it becomes a habit. I know God is trying to teach me what to say no to and what not to. How to simplify without removing the most important things. How to be content with me being a mother. Life is a beautiful mess. I am a beautiful mess. We all are!

Things we can and should say “No” to:

*Putting a fake smile on your face for the women at church. I am so guilty. There are a few ladies that know it is a fake one.
*To being a people pleaser
*To perfectionism
* To criticism (from others or from yourself or towards others)
*To complaining (it steals our joy)
*To busy days. Busy doesn’t mean productive.
*To things that take you away from your family.
*To things that distract you and stress you. Stop adding more activities of any kind if you already have too much on you.
*To keeping up with the Joneses (aka the mom who looks like her life is perfect)

Is Social Media Taking Over Your Home?

 

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I believe one day some will say the constant use of Facebook or other types of social media ruined their lives when their marriages have ended and their kids have grown.
Until then we as a society will sit idle, numbly staring down at a screen that means absolutely nothing yet everything to us. We feel the need to connect? I don’t think so. It is mind-numbing. It teaches us to ignore the real problems around us. Real Relationships are difficult social media isn’t. Social media can’t give us what people and experiences can. It is a false sense of happiness. We feel connected to the world yet completely disconnected to the people living in our own homes. We teach our children to do the same by giving them iPods, iPhones, and tablets. It’s like we as a society say “Here, this will help you feel like you belong.” They suppress their feelings of neglect by engulfing themselves in a screen. We tell ourselves that they are okay and in reality, they aren’t. It isn’t. If we are not careful our homes, marriages, and relationships with our children will deteriorate right before our eyes.

We as spouses need to turn off the television and put down the phones in the bedroom. Lock the door and get “connected.” Yes, you may have issues. Don’t we all? Sex is an important part of marriage. Sex connects you more together than liking the same post or getting likes on your couples photo. It isn’t okay to ignore one another. Sometimes we don’t mean to and it becomes a habit. Break that habit and enjoy one another. Husbands and wives need to guard themselves while on social media. What if someone single sends you a message hinting around? You shut them down. Simple. Your job is to protect your marriage. We need phone free fun date nights with our spouses.

As parents, we need to put down the screens and listen to our kid’s talk. Yes, I know it’s hard but give your child full attention about his 3rd favorite animal and play UNO. We need to be aware of why the teen is storming through the house. We need to be there to help them through these years. Do you really want them getting any kind of advice from an online forum, Teen Vogue (shame on them for publishing an article about having anal sex), Cosmo, or the Seventeen Magazine? I don’t think so! There needs to be accountability on the social media sites. Parents don’t get comfortable thinking your child isn’t going to come across temptations, pornography, or a pervert. Rules need to be set. We need to get back to our families. We need to have game nights with the kids. As my kids would say marsh marshmallows over a fire on a beautiful night or just go on a walk.

I know this may seem like I am slamming screens and social media. I am not. I think Snap Chat can be fun if used with caution. My kids love Minecraft and tons of other online stuff. I know a lot of good can come out of social media but so can a lot of bad. It is our jobs to be wise about how we use it. We need to ask ourselves if it is taking over our families and our relationships. I’m not completely against social media. We have social media accounts and our kids have iPods and such.

Like everything in life, there needs to be a balance. Too much of anything is not good! It’s time for our society to wake up and do better. It’s time for families to get back to the roots of family stuff! It’s time for Dads and Moms to have more influence on their kid’s lives than social media or the world does. It’s time to put God back in our homes! God only twice a week, if that, isn’t good enough! They need a daily relationship with Him. We need a daily relationship with Him! Yes, it’s hard to do. I know first hand because I am human. Take time to unplug as a family and just be together.