Monday, February 18, 2013

Money & stress

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
MONEY & STRESS: These two subjects have really been an issue in my daily struggles for the last month or so. So I decided today to blog a little bout them hoping it will be some sort of self therapy. lol
I try so hard to be positive, uplifting & fully relying on the Lord. But lately I've struggled with this in these two areas. The Spiritually part of me knows not to worry for God will supply all my needs. The Natural (flesh) part of me wants to just crawl in a hole sometime.
     My husband & I prayed for two years for a local job for him so that he would no longer have to work out of town & be away from our family long periods of time & also get custody of his son. Around October of last year, he got the call for his new job & a week after that we got the call to get his son! We were beyond excited!!! We knew it was going to be a huge cut in pay but was willing to make the sacrifices to have him home. Its been close to 4 months & we have had to cut every corner possible. We did get his son (THANK GOD) and my husband is now home every evening. We are so thankful for this time together & truly can focus so much more time together as a family.
     I have a few side jobs (cleaning some houses) that I do during the week but still our income doesn't match our outcome. We have little to no debt, it's just everyday expenses, monthly utilities & small bills that we are struggling with. Which makes it oh so much more frustrating to me. I know so many people that live beyond their mends, have lots of adult toys & charge every thing they have. We do not believe in credit cards so this is not our issue.
     Having 6 people in the household is a huge expense within itself! (4 growing, energetic teenagers, 1 grown healthy, hard working man & then me). lol I clip coupons, thrift store shop, yard sale, make our own homemade laundry soap & do many other frugal living things. Our auto insurance now including a 17 year old son is not pretty! Our health insurance is absolutely nothing but ridiculous! Then of course we do have cell phones (which I have dropped the plans down) and considering getting rid of them completely once out of contract.We have a fireplace so we don't run our electric heating unit much. I have a clothes line that I use to dry our clothes instead of dryer but i don't use it much in the winter. (but our electric bill this month was over $300!!!) Our kids take their lunches to help save on their lunch expenses & my husband takes his also. We try to plan all errands out so that we don't make unneeded trips to town & save on gas. Which is terrible for 3 vehicles! My husband commute to work is over 50 miles one way so its very costly. My son & I travel very little during the week. My kids have started riding the bus a few days a week to save on gas also.
     Together as a family we try to do cheap fun stuff. We really enjoy the outdoors together. (camping, canoeing, hiking, bonfires, grilling out, swimming, etc.) We are involved in our church & our kids are also involved in sports. I pack snacks for any trips & avoid concession stands, convenient store stops, etc.
     I do have faith that God will bring us through these hard times & I'm so thankful that we are all in good health, have a warm roof over our heads, food in the pantry (not much but enough/lol), and clothes to wear. We are truly blessed! I stress when I shouldn't. God has a plan for our family & a financially blessing is just around the corner. I believe with everything in me that all things work for the good for those that love the Lord. In our household we have Jesus as the center so I know he is there & watching over our little situation. He is an on time God & has never let us down so I don't know why I let the devil get me all worked up about money! My God is greater, awesome in power & I'm walking in faith knowing he is there! Thank you Jesus for transforming my mind right now! Hallelujah!!!!
If you are stressed about money today, try not to be. Put your eye on the Lord Jesus right now & know that no matter what, this life will soon be over. We must push through till time to meet our Father. Oh what a day that will be. I'm focusing now on my mansion that is designed just for me. I'm focusing on all expenses paid by the blood of Jesus! Are you focusing on what is to come? This life is that of a vapor! :)
May God bless you & your family!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Decluttering & slowing life down

Hello again. I have not been able to write for the past week so I wanted to catch up on some things that's been going on in our household in order to slow our life down & fully focus on the blessings of our Lord.

I shared with you back on Feb. 4th, that I wanted to slow our busy hectic life down so here are some things that really are helping us so far:
1- We have turned our satellite service OFF! Which we do not miss at all! :)
     Our evenings now consist of focusing on our family time & God! We eat dinner together & then share stories about our day with each other. We added a prayer time in which we share things that we need help praying for. Examples: The 1st night I asked my kids & my husband to help me pray for my temper & speaking out in anger. My husband asked us to help him pray about him not reasoning out Gods plan but just fully trusting God with decisions & his word. My oldest son wanted us all to pray that he starts making better decisions, my step-son had the same request. My daughter requested that we help her pray for her temper & my youngest son needed help to control his rude comments to others (sister & brothers). We then go to our secret prayer spot & spend time alone with God. Seeking each others struggles & needs. It has started to draw us closer to each other as a family. :)
2-  Decluttered closets, drawers & personal belongings in rooms.
     God wants us to focus on him not things of this world. As we become closer to him we understand Gods desire even more. Our sole purpose of this life is to witness & grow in the Lord. By decluttering, we clear up space, time, energy & money. Which allows us to interact with God more. When we get frustrated because we cant find something, cant decide on what to wear because of to many choices, spend to much time getting ready because of the clutter & waste money buying unnecessary items whether we want to admit it or not this effects our relationship with God.
I want to continue making more room for God in my life! He is so worthy of our time. Think about how much time you spend preparing for your day. Think about all the unnecessary items you have in your home. Can you make more room for God?
I pray right now that you feel lead to start decluttering your life & allow more time to be consumed with God.  May God bless you :) Love in Christ Jesus

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Be careful little mouth what you say

Ephesians 4:29- "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Let this verse be our reminder that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything. Our words can hurt deeper than we intend. When my children were little I use to sing this song to them:

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little ears what you hear
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little hands what you do
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little feet where you go
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little mouth what you say

O be careful little mouth what you say
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say

Now as they are teenagers that same song comes to mind. Their words can be so cruel sometimes, their eyes see so much bad in this world, their ears hear so much trash spoken around them in public, their hands are often tempted to touch things that are ungodly & their feet often roam areas that are unclean. 
As I think back on the words of this song, I trust that God hears my heart & knows the desires I have for my children. 
If you are struggling with your teens being involved with things of this world that are not of God, I pray that you repeat the words of this song right now & ask God to let it be your prayer for your children. You may also let it be a prayer for yourself. If you are struggling with your words or maybe you struggle with going places you don't need to go. Whatever your own personal struggle is let God help you with it.
Myself, I lose control sometimes & speak out of anger. I ask God right now to help me control my words so they do not harm others around me. 
Start right now being more Christ like. (showing a Christ like love that is unconditional) 
Smile bigger! Hug a little tighter! Say I love you more often & give God praise for all your blessings today!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Take me back to the good ol days

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
I get so caught up in LIFE! I start my day off with prayer but once my feet hit the floor I'm running. I go full speed all day long. Most of my days do not even consist of a lunch! By the end of the day when I need to be in a good mood for my family, I'm stressed, ill & just ready for everyone including myself to go to bed!
Yesterday, we got up went to church, came home, ate lunch then my family & I went for a ride looking for our dog that is lost. We drove for hours down back roads & my mind started thinking back to my childhood.
I want to go back to the good ol days! I want my children to know a lifestyle like I once had. I can remember going to my granny's house, watching her cook, study bible lessons, quilt, shell peas, etc. with her friends. They sat & visited for hours while the kids played. We climbed trees, dug for worms, made forts, etc. We also helped pick the garden, bring in vegetables, feed the animals, etc. We had so much fun! We laughed together, took walks down dirt roads, rode on back of my grandpa's truck, rode horses & even cows. lol
Now days kids look at you like you have lost your mind if you suggest digging for worms, climbing up a tree or riding on a cow. We had no cell phones & we survived! We had no computers & we survived!
I've been researching The Amish & Mennonite lifestyles & I'm really desiring that type of life for my family. That's how my family use to be. They were not Amish or Mennonite but they were simple! They were family focused & hard working Christians that desired the love of a family more than keeping up with the Jones'. My grandparents didn't have the fine things in life yet they were rich in the eyes of God. I want to be so consumed with my relationship with God & my family that nothing else matters. And truly that's how God intended it to be. Our sole purpose in this life is to witness to others about our Lord & Savior!
This morning I was thinking, no wonder why us Christians face so many trials & hard times. Look at how we are living!!! We put our eyes on things of this world instead of whats important: God & family should be our main focus.
I'm starting today by turning my family around. I do not want to go forward with the lifestyle I've got caught up in. This change will not be easy but I know with the help of God it is possible. The next few post in my blog will be about the steps I'm taking to change my families lifestyle. I know some people around me will think I've lost my mind by wanting to live this lifestyle but I'm doing what God has laid on my heart. I'm not worried about what others think, say or do. I'm responsible for my family. I will be the one to stand in front of God & be judged for how I raised the children he trusted me with. Was I the mother he intended me to be? Was I the witness I was created to be? Was I the wife he planned for me to be? I want to be able to stand before him with no blood on my hands. No desires of this world just a Godly love overflowing from my heart.
I pray right now that if you are reading this post & are stressed at how hectic your life is, that you will consider making a change. Analyze your life, see what you are focusing on the most. If its just stuff, work, getting everything done, rushing, being here & there. I urge you to turn back to God. He gives us the promise of eternal life. This life is that of a vapor (very short). Make the most of it the right way (God's way).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Alone Time With God

Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Do you have a special place (prayer closet) to spend with God?
My favorite place to pray is in my daughters bedroom. That may sound strange but her room is the darkest room in our house. When I go into her room to pray the only light I leave on is her fish tank light. It becomes a very peaceful escape from the rest of the world. It's a place where I suddenly feel my blood pressure start dropping & feel the presence of God surround me.
When I pray in her room, I kneel down right in front of the fish tank so that the light shines on my bible.
Last week as I prayed to God, I was lost for words. It seemed that I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything seemed to be going wrong. I was crying out (actually just groaning) to God & praying silently for him to just listen to my heart through my cries. I opened my bible & started reading in Romans.
Through Romans 8:26 God spoke to me. The spirit helps us in our weakness. He intercedes with us through groaning that words can not expressed. As soon as I read this verse, my tears begin to stop and all of a sudden words begin to come to my mind that I wanted to pray about. All of my frustration went away & I was able to fix my eyes on the Lord again. I had allowed myself to get so worked up that day about stuff. None that even matter in the big picture. Such little stuff that today I can't even remember what I was so upset about.
As mothers, we get so tired & frustrated about STUFF! We work ourselves into a mess. When all we have to do is keep our eyes fixed on the Lord & we will be able to stand firmly on his promises. Rest in the word given to us in Romans 8. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
As a mom of 4, I have to remind myself daily to keep my eyes fixed on God. (nothing else really matters) If I solely trust him, he will meet all my needs. 
I urge you this morning to find a special place to spend some time alone with God. Even if you don't have the words to pray, just meditate on his love & the promise of eternal life with him when this old world comes to an end. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Just breath & walk in FAITH

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
As a mom of 4 teenagers, I have to constantly remind myself to just breath. I get so upset about stuff that I have no control over. Kids are going to make mistakes! I know this but I want MY kids to be different. I want them to be the kids that do no wrong. Well, this is not possible. I'm learning as we go that it is so important to calm down & just breath. Everything happens for a reason & God is control of every situation.
I have given my children to the Lord & I must trust him with them. He can be with them at all times.
Christian parenting is a HUGE walk in FAITH!
I struggle with control issues. I want to fix everything. I think that I alone have to do it all. When I really need to step back, get out of God's way & let him control the issues at hand. I need to let him fix everything in his own way & in his time. God does not need my help! I'm only making a mess of things & prolonging God's will to be done.
If you are a mom that feels like you are so busy watching over your kids, worrying about every move; I pray right now that God gives you the peace to step back out of the way & relax some. We as mothers have got to learn to have faith. Trust God with these children & let God handle the issues.
Yes, God trust us to raise them & be their parent but he also wants us to trust him when they are just growing & becoming the child of God that he intends for them to be.