Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When Life Feels Like Failure Upon Failure


I get motivated about something.  All charged up, determination blazing... only to give up and fail in the end.  Whether it be a hobby, a fad diet, a personal goal, etc... all I see is one big red "F".

So what do we do about it?

1) Stop comparing yourself to other people.
2) Stop seeing the red "F" as failure and remember its red reads "forgiven".
3) Maybe it's time to ask God to prioritize your ambitions?
4) Be careful to make hasty commitments in the name of your own efforts.  
5) What is the purpose of your goals/ambitions?
6) Everything should be for God's glory.
7) How bad do you want it?
8) Do what makes you feel most alive.
9) Push all the other unnecessary stuff aside.  
10) See God's vision for your life, not your vision.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Mama And Me Notebook Update... Get A Peak At Our Letters



I created this notebook for my daughter and I to write back and forth to one another.  It's a two-fold purpose notebook.  It's great seeing my daughter practice her writing and reading and it also creates and encourages a special bond between mother and daughter.

Here are some of the letters we've written so far.  Do you think this would be a fun project for you and your daughter?  Age is limitless... I think I may do this with my daughter into her teen years!  Go here to see how I made mine.

FROM RILEY


Mommy, you are nice and pretty.


Mommy, you are the best mom evre and a good ritre.


I love you mommy bcase you are nice to othrse.


I love you mommy because you makye me feel better when I feel sad.  Love, Riley


I love you mommy bcase you are the best mathre ever.


I love you for all youv dun for me mommy... theak you.


Dear Mommy, I love you becase you are so so cind to athers.


Dear mommy, I love you very very much because you made this diary for me.



FROM MOMMY (ME)


Riley, you are a beautiful artist and you are very kind to others!  I love you.  Love, Mommy


Riley, You are growing up so fast and God shines through you!  Love, Mommy


Dear Riley, You have pretty eyes and play soccer good.  I love you because God gave you to Daddy and I!  Love, Mommy


Dear Riley,  I love you no matter what.  I'm very proud of you and I'm glad you are my daughter.  Love, Mommy 


Dear Riley, I love the way you help me out and the way you love your brothers so much!  Love, Mommy


Dear Riley, Thanks for being such a good helper around the house and with yard work.  Love, Mommy


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Friday, July 27, 2012

WORD PROMPT: Beyond


Beyond this moment are seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years... eternity.  Most days I can't see past the piles of laundry, cranky children, and dinner plans.  The past, the present, the future is all carefully woven together by a precious Savior who redeemed me.

He, who bought me with the highest price, wants me to live a life of freedom.  He gave me freedom by purchasing me upon that beautiful wood, blood running down, water rushing from His side.  And so, I choose to see beyond my unfavorable curves and baby handles of love.  I'm not defined by this.

Beyond the music, 
beyond the noise,
beyond the messes,
beyond the joys,
beyond dusty frames of pictures on the wall,
beyond arguments,
beyond failures,
beyond triumphs,
beyond the furthest point of the sea, from the East to the West,
from the North to the South,

You, Lord... are forever the same.  
You see beyond my sin, and purchase my soul from bondage.
You see beyond my imperfections, and call me beautiful.
You see beyond my frustrations and make my end prosperous.
You see beyond my pain and call your work in my glorious.

Linking with FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY posts...


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pray For Your Husband - 20 Minutes A Day {Schedule}

A revisited post...

I must confess that I forget to pray for my husband (more often than not).  Oh yes, I think about him, text him throughout the day, and anticipate his return in the evening... but pray?  I forget.


Do you struggle with remembering to pray for your husband?  Try this with me:

At the top of each hour, spend 2 minutes praying for him {specifically}.  Do this between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm (give or take depending on your schedule).  THAT'S 20 MINUTES A DAY!





What does praying for your husband do for you {the wife}?

1) It keeps your thoughts pure.
2) It keeps your mind and heart positive about him.
3) It keeps you humble.
4) It keeps you safe (there is protection in God's will).
5) It keeps you in communion with your Heavenly Father.
6) It keeps you content.
7) It keeps you watchful for God's blessings in his life.
8) It keeps you eager for answered prayer in his life.
9) It keeps you free from a negative spirit.
10) It keeps your words praise-worthy about him in front of your children.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Marriage Takes Work... And It Can Hurt Our Pride


I think he's being insensitive.  He thinks everything is hunky dory.  I stomp off to bed, shed a few tears to be heard, slam some dishes on the counter... all to make a point:  you hurt me!  I climb into bed, and stare at the wall.  My anger is felt throughout my body; it is tense and not letting up.  My thoughts race and rehearse "my case" in my mind, over and over, point by point, why he hurt me and why he should be sorry and apologize.  I wait for him to come up to bed, determined to hold my ground, never budging an inch.  And then I remember...

Mrs. Law Or Mrs Grace.  I listened to the broadcast the other day and it convicted me.  The written Word pierced my heart... all throughout my quiet time God has been speaking to me about sowing peace.  Be a peace maker.  Be forgiving.  Give others grace.  I start to plead my case with God, and He answers back... "what does my Word say, Traci?"  

I begin to confess my own sin to the Lord; my body starts to relax.  I forgive my husband; my body starts to relax.  I ask the Lord to make me Christ-like by His Spirit; my body completely relaxes... and so does my mind and heart.

My husband climbs into bed and instead of keeping my back to him, I place my arm around him, showing him grace.  I'm learning that grace is motivated by a love undeserved; unconditional.  My case has been thrown out, because I choose to be free from a law-ridden heart.  I choose to love my husband, even when my pride has been hurt and all I want to do is argue and plead my case... but I choose to love and forgive and show grace. That's where the freedom comes.

Lest you think I'm some heroic wife, this is something I'm learning after almost 8 years of marriage.  The quote above our bed says, "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" and there have been many a time where I've gone to bed angry and ignored the writing on the wall.  I think we sometimes think as wives that we always have to be right.  To be heard.  To make our point loud and clear.  Yes, there are times (many times) where we need to "have it out" gently with our spouses... communicating with tears if necessary what is hurting us in our marriages.  But the majority of the time, offenses can be covered with grace and forgiveness...

If you get a chance to listen to Mrs. Law Or Mrs Grace, it will bless your marriage I'm sure.  Even if it just changes you at first...  

When we throw out our own "case" and choose to forgive and be Mrs. Grace, the freedom will astound you. Lay aside your pride, dear wife... and be a wife that chooses to let your pride be wounded.  It's the marriages that hold onto pride that are the most damaged... Marriages need more grace.  More humility.  More forgiveness...  What do you think?

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Collect Moments, Not Things


When your Summer is all a buzz, and you are tempted to love the gifts instead of the Giver, find contentment in the simple.  For the simple things never disappoint; it's the big things that do.  The big things that we think mean so much, but they just leave you wanting.  The simple joys of life cost little, and give the biggest paybacks.  Their rewards are necklaces full of flowered graces and perfumes of mercy sweep across the heart.

Summer breezes, windows wide and hair wild with anticipation.
Children's laughter and giggles as street lights glow and dusk rolls in.
Flip flops that flap with sparkly paint on toes.
Ice cream on a cone smelled like sweet waffle.
Babies are born and babes take their first step.
Old wise saints are ushered into glory; their testimony never dies.
Married couples walk through fire and come out with ashes turned to beauty.
Souls find rest in God alone and find the peace and purpose they longed for.

So when you move past the stuff and the things that tempt to trap you, remember they don't ever stand the test of time... the simple things do.  So today, stop... and start collecting moments, not things.  Take those mental snap shots and hold them tight and pack them away in the storehouse of your heart... safe and sound. 


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Being A Mommy Is Hard Stuff


There is a comment thread among mothers; we desperately need help!  There are so many decisions to make.  What do we feed our children?  How much?  How long should they sleep?  Are we doing this right?  Where should we send them to school?  Should I home educate?  Will I harm them if I do this?  Do I proceed with this intervention or let nature take its course?

Then there are the critics... the ones that have it all together.  Those other moms.  The ones that look like they have this motherhood thing down pat and can juggle 10 bazillion balls at once without dropping a one.  The reality is, we ALL drop our fair share of balls... some are just behind closed circus tents.

The fact is that we are all in this thing together.  If we are christian moms, our number one desire is that our children would come to know the Lord Jesus as their personal savior.  That the Holy Spirit would be real and living and powerful in their little lives.

Right now, raising little ones, It seems like a lot.  A LOT.  Breaking up spats, cleaning up milk, the Deja Vu conversations about please pick up your room and let's try to put our things away please.  Some mornings I struggle to get out of bed, knowing it will be the same thing all over again.... but then I remember, it is not the same.  It's a brand new day with new opportunities to train and teach and point them to Jesus.



I need to remind myself that this is just a season... this is just a season.  Our little ones will soon be grown and these endless, tireless days will seem only a distant memory.  So stay strong, weary mother.  Finish well.  Determine to live your days so close to your Savior that no matter what goes on in your home, your days will be invested in glorifying your maker.

I heard this from a pastor just yesterday and it really stuck out to me.  Like a whack across the face and a plunge to the heart kind of stuck out to me.

A man asked a friend, "How can I improve and better my prayer life?"  He was standing next to a barrel of water and his friend then took the back of his neck, and shoved his head under the water.  He let him stay under for a good few seconds and then lifted his head out.  "Why on earth did you do a thing like that?" he asked.  

"Until you seek God in prayer and reading of His word like you do your next breath, you will only catch a glimpse of all God has for you."  

That is the prayer of my heart these days.  I want to walk so close to my Savior that He is far more important to me than my next bite to eat or even my very next breath.  I want to live this out for my children, how about you?



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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Win A Devotional Bible For Your Boy Or Girl!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

The winner is..........



For Girls:  (retails 16.99)  My daughter has this bible and she LOVES it!  It's so neat to see her start to read and pick up this fun and sparkly Bible as her "book" of choice!  Get a sneak peak here:  VIEW


God’s Little Princess® Devotional Bible – Teach your little princess to learn and grow in the Lord with this best-selling devotional for girls.
*ages 4-7
*one of the most popular devotional Bibles of all time
*Storybook format includes actual International Children’s Bible® text
*Updated cover with exciting embellishments, glitter, and bling


SNEAK PEAK HERE:  VIEW

God’s Mighty Warrior® Devotional Bible – This popular devotional Bible teaches boys how to be the mighty warriors God created them to be.
*ages 4-7
*Engaging content appeals to boys’ imaginations and love of adventure
*Storybook format includes actual International Children’s Bible® text
*Updated cover with eye-catching embellishments

ENTER TO WIN!
(for that special daughter/son, niece/nephew, granddaughter/grandson in your life)

1) To enter, simply leave a comment telling me which bible you would like to win and why.

2) Extra entries each place/time you share this giveaway. (twitter, fb, email, blog, etc)

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