Thursday, May 31, 2012

And the Angels Rejoice!

And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”  Luke 15:9-10

 On Sunday night, my sweet daughter, Dasia, asked Jesus into her heart.  I was surprised when she said, "I don't know how to do it."  At first, I didn't know what she was talking about.  We were reading a Bible story from one of our children's Bibles and talking about heaven and hell.  After a couple questions, I discovered that she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart.  After putting Dylan to bed (he was exhausted and fell asleep before we finished our nightly routine), Dasia, Dale and I talked about believing that Jesus was God's Son, asking forgiveness for your sins and asking Him to come into your heart.  We prayed together and Dasia asked Jesus into her heart.  After we finished, the smile on her face was glowing!  I praise God for tugging on her little heart to become His child!

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Monday, May 28, 2012

Keeping Our Eyes Wide Open

 I took advantage of our long drive to Orlando to read a book I mentioned in an earlier post called “Unmask the Predators: The Battle to Protect Your Child” by Lisa Cherry and Kalyn Waller.  I read (devoured) most of this book while we were driving.  My husband and I used to attend the church that Lisa and her husband pastor. 

While I knew some of Kalyn’s story, there was a lot that I did not know.  This book not only explains what Kalyn and her family went through when she became involved with a sexual predator, but provides insight into how Satan attacks families and how God can set your family free. 

Even if you do not have children, this is a powerful book to help you see how Satan works to deceive every one of us.  Following are a few excerpts from the book that I felt were very powerful.

“As Christian parents we tell our kids that God has a plan for their lives.  Perhaps it is time to tell them that the devil has a plan for their lives also!”

“The alarming thing about deception is that it is deceiving!   Think about it.  You cannot self- recognize when you are deceived – for you cannot see what you cannot see.  Or, in other words, you do not know what you do not know.”

“Just as light always dispels darkness, truth always dominates over lies.  To protect our children in these difficult days, we must have the tenacity of faith to ask the Lord to reveal any pockets of deception operating in our home.  Then we must intentionally step out of all deception and walk into the power of truth.”

You can find out more about Lisa and her family on her blog

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We are finally home!  We had a wonderful but busy vacation.  We went to Orlando, Fl to visit Disney World and Sea World.  It feels like we have been gone forever!

This was our first family trip to Disney World and our first vacation where we had a lot of activities planned.  Normally, we just do a couple activities and spend the rest of the time relaxing and shopping.  When we planned our trip, it didn’t cost much more to add extra days to Disney so we thought we would make the most of our time and money. 

The first Disney Park that we went to was Magic Kingdom.  We were so overwhelmed!  We didn’t know that you had to take a boat to get into Magic Kingdom.  Dale and I were both thinking, “What have we done?!  And we have two more days and two more parks to do after this!”  I found that this trip was a great opportunity to practice controlling my emotions!  Dylan kept saying that he wanted to go home.  I was thinking, “I’m a terrible mom to bring my kids to Disney World.”  (I mean this to be funny.  We did have fun!  But, I really did think that thought while at Magic Kingdom!)

We spent one day at Hollywood Studios, which we loved!  We went to Sea World, Animal Kingdom and spent a few hours at Typhoon Lagoon.  I was so thankful that Dale was able to push the stroller the whole time.  My kids are getting so big that I can barely push the stroller without having to navigate through so many people.

Anyway, we had a good time, but are thankful to be home.  We had a few funny things happen, so I’ll probably share a couple of those in another post. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Might Be Missing for a While

This might be my last post for a little over a week.  We are going to Disney World!  I'm very excited.  We've been taking family vacations every year, but I think this will be our most exciting trip.  Dale isn't excited about the drive, but I'm kind of looking forward to it.  I have a book that I'm excited to finish reading.  Dasia will probably be fine on the drive, but I'm not so sure about Dylan.  He has been known to say "Get me out of here!" on past trips when were in the van for quite a while. 

We hadn't planned to go to Disney this year, but when we started looking at our options, everything seemed to just fall into place.  You can read about our trip planning at Family Vacations on a Budget.

I just reread my first paragraph and it's obvious that I'm excited to take this trip!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Giving with a Joyful Heart

Are you a joyful giver?  I always thought I was....I have tithed since I started walking with God and we give to various ministries on a monthly basis.  I'm not frustrated when I write the checks.  I give knowing that is what God asks of me and that He always provides.

The other day as I was writing a couple checks for graduation gifts, the thoughts were rolling in my mind that we had just given several birthday gifts and Mother's Day gifts.  I was becoming frustrated as I was reminded that more birthdays are coming up and so is Father's Day.  And I heard Him speak to me...are you giving joyfully?

Well, of course not.  For some reason, giving to God through tithing and offerings comes easily to me.  I do it joyfully!  But, I believe that I am often, not every time, but often frustrated with the miscellaneous gifts that must be purchased.  As I am writing this post, I can feel encouragement rising in me.  I have been giving with the wrong mind set.  And, guess what?  Now I'm getting a break through that I didn't even know I needed.  God is awesome!

So, what is the break through?  I was not giving God control in this area of giving.  Was I trusting Him with our finances concerning giving gifts?  No, and it is obvious to me that I wasn't trusting God in this area because I was feeling very frustrated.  If I was trusting God to provide a blessing for us to be able to give the gifts, then I would have peace and joy.  Instead, I was mad at whoever decided to put Mother's Day and Father's Day so close together on the calendar!

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

God wants me (and you) to be a cheerful giver not only when giving to the church, but also when giving to your family and friends!  

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Thing That Keeps Me From God

I feel "busy".  Am I overloaded with things that need to be done?  I cannot quite put my finger on it, but I don't think that is the problem.  I believe that the busyness that plagues me is in my mind.  Now, realistically, the last few weeks have been busier for our family due to various circumstances.  And, I do need to complete more tasks this week than normal because we are leaving for vacation on Friday.  However, I have noticed that there are certain thoughts that I have regardless of my position.

As a single person, I was busy.  Looking back, I feel that I should have felt that I had lots of free time because I had no one to take care of except myself.  I worked 40 hours a week and went to church several times a week, but I only had to feed, dress and do laundry for one person.

Fast forward a few years and I'm married and busy.  Now of course I would feel busier due to having to cook and clean for 2 people instead of one.  Plus, there wasn't as much alone time which would increase that feeling.  At this time, we were heavily involved in our church which did take more time than our current situation.

Fast forward a few more years and I'm married with one child and work 40+ hours a week.  At this point, it is obvious that I have quite a lot to do.  As any mom that works full-time would tell you, you are pulled in many directions and do not feel like you are able to do and be everything that it appears you should.  I remember being aggravated at others that did not  have to work and had time to choose when they would get their groceries and had the option of sleeping in every once and while.

Fast forward to the present and I'm married with two children and have the privilege of being a stay at home mom.  And guess what?  I feel busy!!!  I can honestly admit that it took this long for me to realize that I am in charge of my own life.  I do not have to attend every event to which I am invited.  If I want time to read and relax, I have to choose to use my time in that way.  I will never get everything done.

Maybe some of you cannot relate to this, but I'm sure that someone will understand.  Each life is different and each one of us have various levels of responsibility concerning work and family.  However, I believe this busyness is what draws many of us away from God.  It is exactly what causes me to not spend time with my Savior.  Before I became a stay at home mom, I would blame not taking the time I needed with God on the things that I had to do.  I'm not talking about watching television and surfing the internet.  I was busy cleaning, exercising, taking care of my family and going to church.  I was consumed with doing the things that would be considered worthy.  I was Martha and the Lord longs for Mary.  (God brought this to mind as I was writing this blog.)

So, how do we get from Martha to Mary?  Ask God to show you how to prioritize your life.  When you feel frustrated and rushed, call out to Him and ask for direction.  This isn't the life that God wants for us.  He wants us to spend time with Him.  Satan loves our busy lives.  Whether we are busy in the many things that really do need to be done, or we are busy in our minds and unable to concentrate on our Lord as we go about our daily activities, Satan doesn't care.  He is overjoyed that he can control us and keep us from the God that we so desperately need simply by consuming our time and our minds.

I shared recently our family vision.  Knowing that this is my desire, I am asking God to prioritize my life.  I want a clean house, but more than that, I want to be passionately in love with God and that love to spill over onto my children.  Lord, make me a Mary!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Where Did the Week Go?

The past two weeks seem to have passed by in a blur.  It wasn't that we had many extra activities to attend, but things just kept happening.  Last week, Dale worked an extra 20 hours.  Although that didn't affect our schedule that much, it did mean that I was alone with the kids 20 extra hours which does mean more work for me too.  This week, we have had lots of visitors.  We enjoy the visits!  It's just a little difficult when everyone decides to visit in the same week! 

The most frustrating part of this week, was that I had determined to get us all in bed earlier.  Instead of getting in bed earlier, it was later every night!  I think between not getting enough sleep and the feelings of chaos this week, my mind has been "overwhelmed".  I was hoping to get us on a better sleeping schedule this week because on Friday, we will be leaving for our vacation!  We are very excited, but still need to get things in order before we will be ready to leave.

On a good note, the kids had their first "pay day" yesterday when Dale got home from work.  They were excited!  Dylan did have a little trouble parting with his "tithe" money.  I really would like to get both of them a bank by Larry Burkett that has a section for "church", "saving" and "spending" money.  For now, I'm going to label their banks "saving" and "spending" and just put the tithe money in my purse to take to church each week. 

I am praying that this next week goes smoothly and we can finish up everything to get ready for our trip and rested up.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

VeggieTales $5 Sale

VeggieTales is having a $5 DVD sale.  I love these movies!  The DVDs and books are a great way to teach your children about following Godly principles. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

5 Disciplines - Week 5

It is the final week of the 5 Weeks 5 Disciplines 5 Challenges by Courtney at Women Living Well.  I'm thankful that I was a part of these challenges because it helped me in several areas.  I now have a cleaning schedule and an exercise schedule.  However, this past week I did not clean everything that I had on my schedule.  But, I was able to regroup and decide to just do it this week.  I'm trying to maintain the attitude that it is good to have schedules but I need to be able to be flexible when needed.  You can read about the past challenges here: Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4.

The challenge for Week 5 is:

Week 5 Challenge:
Work with eager hands this week!  Pray and ask God to give you an eager attitude all day long.  Do your work as unto the Lord.  Remember the meaning behind your work in the home – all of it added up equals a well nurtured home and family.  Research and find inspiration in magazines or on-line.  Find a woman with eager hands and learn off of her.   If all day long you have been feeding and caring for babies, listening, comforting, training, teaching, cooking and cleaning – you will be tired.  REST – guilt-free!  God does not condemn rest – he condemns laziness (2 Thess. 3:10).  (from Women Living Well)

This week as I "work" in my home, I am going to pray and ask God to bless the work of my hands, to show me what is most important and to cause the seeds of faith that are being planted in my children to grow.  Enjoy your week!


I'll Be Happy When....Part 1

I'll be happy when......Have you ever said those words?  I have.  I remember many years ago being in high school saying those words.  It went something like this.  I'll be happy when I lose 5 pounds and I have a boyfriend.  At one point, I lost the pounds I desired and had a boyfriend.  And guess what?  I was NOT happy.  At the time, I realized that what I thought I wanted did not bring happiness, but I did not know what did.  A few more years went by and still I had the same thoughts.  I'll be happy when I get a car, get married, have children, etc.

Is it possible for possessions to make you happy?  For a time, you may be caught up in the excitement of your new purchase.  But it will not bring lasting joy.  The same is true for a spouse and children.  They will not bring you true happiness.  They may bring lots of excitement and fun to your life, but they will not provide the joy for which you are longing.  They cannot provide it.  God did not create husbands, wives and children for that purpose.

Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.  John 8:32

God alone can bring the joy and peace that you need.  Since He desires to be the source of your joy, He will not allow you to be completely happy without Him.  There will be an emptiness inside of you that can only be filled with a true relationship with your heavenly Savior.   We loved him because he first loved us.  1 John 4:19

Happiness does not depend upon other people or circumstances.  If it did, who would seek God?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Training My Children - Chore Charts

I did it!  The chore charts are on the closet door and we started using them Saturday.  Dasia is very excited because she has already decided on a toy that she would like to purchase with her "commission".  I think Dylan may not understand at this point that he is going to earn money for completing his chores. 

It may seem early to some to start paying "commission" (Dave Ramsey uses this term to replace the term "allowance".  My husband and I liked it, so that's what we are calling it. ).  My son is 2 and my daughter is 4.  For us, it seems right.  We now have a system to help us teach responsibility to our children in the area of work and money at the same time.  I believe this will also help me deal with the issue of buying toys when we are at the store.  Dasia understands that she will now have her own money that she can save up to buy something that she would really like. 

We will have the kids separate their commission into 3 categories: tithe, save, spend.  I'm still thinking about how to separate the money.  I would like to have three separate jars or banks each labeled with one of the categories above.

I expect that we will revise the chore chart after the next two weeks, but at least we have started. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Unmask the Predators

In a previous post, I talked about our family vision and mentioned a family that had made a big impression on my walk with God.  Well, the authors of the book above are part of that family.  Lisa Cherry and Kalyn Waller are mother and daughter.  They will be releasing this book very soon.  If you have children, then you will probably be interested in reading their story.  I watched the book trailer the other night and it was very moving.  If you want to watch the trailer or learn more about their ministry and family, you can find Lisa at Frontline Moms.  I am going to buy this book!  I plan on sharing parts of it with you in future posts.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Training My Children

A few weeks ago, I posted about creating an official chore chart for my children.  I thought about the various chores that could be assigned to each one of them.  I bought poster board to make a chart.  I told both of them about the chore chart.  I discussed ideas with my husband.  But, I still haven't made the chart and set our system in place. 

A week or so ago, I ordered a book by Dave Ramsey.  I expected the book to be about saving money and getting out of debt.  What I did not expect, was a lot of discussion about teaching your children responsibility.  Wow!  It is obvious that God is talking to me.  It is time to get our system of chores set up.  Dave Ramsey shares some very good information on training your children to be responsible with their money.  He believes that this should be done early.  Here's an excerpt from his book, "More Than Enough":

   Do not pay allowances to your children.  You don't want your children to internalize that everyone    should make "allowance" for them.  We already have too many people in this country who selfishly believe that.  Instead, pay them commissions.  Commission means work, get paid; don't work, don't get paid.  If the table is not cleaned, or the dog not fed, and Mom or Dad has to catch your slack you get docked some of your pay.

  Teaching your children how to use their money responsibly means teaching them to save.  

I love the idea of "commissions".  I mentioned this to my husband and he apparently liked it too because he told both kids tonight that we were going to start paying them commissions for chores.  In the book, Dave Ramsey did mention that for his children, some chores were mandatory and not for pay, some were mandatory and for pay and others were for bonus money.

Today at Wal-Mart, Dasia wanted to look at the Jessie doll (from Toy Story) that she wants.  Normally, we tell her that maybe she will get the toy she wants for her birthday or Christmas.  Today, I told her that she could save up her money from doing her chores and buy it herself.  When we got home, she helped me put away all the groceries so she could earn her doll. 

Rather than just pay "commission", we will discuss and set up banks or jars for tithing, saving, and spending money. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Organizing Electronics

 I found this cute shower caddy on clearance at Wal-Mart this past week for 50 cents.  I bought three of them figuring I would find something in our house that could be organized better.  So far, I've used one.  I found that my digital camera and video camera and all the necessary cords fit perfectly in the shower caddy.  This was pretty exciting for me because I'm always looking for my digital camera and the cords.  Now, I no longer have to search the house, everything I need to capture a special moment is in this caddy which is in the closet. 

                                                                 I'm linking up to

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word - Moved to Facebook

I'm moving the Sharing the Daily Word posts to Facebook.  If you like reading those, like My Walk with God on Facebook and you can see them there.  I recently started a Bible reading plan to read through the Bible in one year.  I have been posting scripture from each day's reading and sometimes my thoughts on those on verses.  Posting Sharing the Daily Word has provided a wonderful accountability "partner" for me on my daily reading.  However, I think it would be better to do that only on Facebook.  Look for my daily Bible reading posts there!