Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pop Beads

Sharing this story from Summit Church blog:
This illustration is truly fitting to my life right now and how I need to trust God even though I cannot see the big picture!
A little girl wanted some pop beads. All of her friends had necklaces made of pop beads, and she longed to wear a pop bead necklace too. She begged her parents for some. They told her that she would need to earn the money to buy them and gave her some chores to do around the house. Within a few weeks, she was able to buy the pop beads.

The day that she got them, she was ecstatic. That night after dinner, she sat on her father’s lap and couldn’t stop staring at the pop bead necklace around her neck. Gently, her father asked, “Do you love me?”

“Of course I do!” she replied.

“Give me your pop beads,” he said.

The little girl laughed and said, “Daddy, you’re silly!” and ran off to bed.

The next night, the little girl sat on her father’s lap. Again, the question came. “Do you love me?”

“Yes,” she answered.

“Give me your pop beads.”

The little girl was very confused by this, and went off to bed with the pop beads still around her neck.

This went on for several nights. Soon, the girl began avoiding her father. She did not want to face him because he kept asking for her most prized possession. Finally, one night her father called her over and sat her on his lap. “Do you love me?” he asked.

The little girl broke down into tears. “Yes, I love you Daddy, and I know you want my pop beads. I don’t understand why you want them but here…take them.”

The father took them and immediately threw them into the fire that was crackling in the fireplace. The little girl was mortified.

But then the father took out a beautiful pearl necklace and handed it to his daughter. “A real princess deserves real pearls,” he said.

Sometimes we need to give up smaller dreams to pursue God’s bigger vision. The little girl clung to her pop beads because she didn’t think there could be anything better for her, but there was.

I’ve been challenged this week to think about what “pop beads” I’ve been holding on to, and I can think of a few… Do you have any? It’s my prayer this week that we all trade in our pop beads for pearl necklaces

Priority Shift is my worst enemy. We hear it all the time and it is so true there are just not enough hours in the day! Where does time go it seems to fly by...this saying is true as well the older you get the faster time goes! I cannot believe my two sweet angels are already 3 and 1 years old! I just watched a video of Evelyn walking for the first time and the memory feels like it was just yesterday not 2 years ago!
 I reflect on a regular basis and pray about where my priority's truly lie. Here is my most recent list:
1. God
2. Family (immediate: husband, girls)
3: Extended Family and close friends
4. Work
5. Health...the list could go on and on.

I watched a sermon recently that discussed how God should not be a "place" on your priority list but should be all encompassing. He should be a part of each priority listed. God should be in your family, with your friends, at work, in your health life. This message in some ways was life changing for me. God in everything All the time.
There are many ways you can go about doing this for me the easiest and most natural way is by praying. I pray when I first open my eyes, I pray before I close them at night, I pray while I am driving. I pray when my patience is almost gone and a child is screaming...I pray, pray, pray.
I have also made it a priority in my to always learn and grow in my faith and I have started to become involved in the online bible studies offered by Proverbs 31 ministries. What I love about this is that it is not overwhelming or difficult to do, if I miss a week or day that is OK, no one gets on my case about not doing the homework, or fulfilling a blog. I can do it as time fits, for instance here I am blogging at 12:38 at night when the kids are in bed.
Something I want to work on is taking a few moments each morning and really devoting them to God..this is a huge struggle for me as I am not a morning person, but I truly feel my day would start off a whole lot better if I did this.
Another way I make God a priority is by being involved in my local church. I do this in a few ways:
*Attending church on a regular basis...hearing Gods word is a great way to get fed.
*Serving: Serving is a way to give back to feed Gods people. I serve every weekend in the preschool department.
*Small group: Being involved in a small group has been such a blessing to my life. It is a christian family of itself. WE are there for each other to support and meet each others needs.

All of these things help me to keep Christ the center of my life not just my number one priority but a part of Everything!

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Oh Lord! I am in need of the faith to trust in YOU! Verses swarm through my head as I suffer through anxiety, doubt and insecurity. I dont deal well with change and I have many changes going on in my life right now. At this moment I am trying to multitask I am watching Lysa's TerKeurst webcast, and writing this blog at the same time. Ha... I keep struggling with time there is just not enough hours in the day to: Be a good wife, keep a clean house, take time for each of my children, focus on God, have time just to do what I want to do.

Getting back to the point of this blog "Need". I am in need of God's peace and trust in HIm. Trust that I have to take a leap of faith and follow through with what I commit to. As I watch this webcast the theme of Women of Faith is "Believe God can do anything!" Oh how I need to hear this right now...I need to truly belive that God Can do Anything!!! I know I cannot do it on my own but with God by my side I can do all things through christ!

The one thing that brings me comfort is "I am a child of God and therefore God's word is with me!"  God is with me through his word and how he works through my life. I am so unsure of what the future holds, and whether or not the choices I am making are the right ones. I want to do the Lord's will but I am not sure of what that is. I am going with my gut...what I feel is the right thing.

Oh Lord I give up these circumstances to you. Jesus I put my trust in you! Help me to always remember you walk side by side with me in each and every moment.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Breaking Point

I reached my absolute breaking point in the summer of doctor called it  "situational anxiety". I called it absolute breakdown of the mind and soul. The previous six months had been a time of GREAT change.
 I had gotten engaged to my boyfriend of 6 years a year earlier, after Gods intervention was hired at my first teaching job in Arizona (I lived in Ohio, where all my family is located), decided to move a wedding from the year 2009 to 2008 which allowed us 6 months to plan all while orchestrating a cross country move. My husband and I were happily married on July 11 2008 and the very next day while returning a wedding gift were in a horrible 9 car accident where with Gods protection we lost a car but survived unscathed. We then proceed to drive/move across country which would also serve as our honeymoon to the sunny land of Arizona.
It took me about 3 weeks before it hit me...the wedding, the move, the new life away from family, brand new job. I couldn't do it...I knew nothing of being a wife, teacher, renter, and on and on. The anxiety started, then the uncontrollable crying...what was missing in the midst of all this despair was God.
One day my husband came home with flowers and a inspirational card to try and lift my spirits, when I opened the card it sang "I will Praise you in this Storm" by Casting Crowns. At that moment it reminded me that hey I am not alone in this, God is with me. I wish I could say all my troubles were wiped away and everything was better from that moment on..alas it was not.
It took months, years of God reminding me again and again that he is there for me, that I need not worry...

"Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? …" Matthew 6:25-27

Needless to say God has brought me healing. Although I still deal with bouts of anxiety I know where to go when I am feeling stressed, overwhelmed, etc. I turn to God and his word. They are the most powerful tools I know to fight off what is ailing me. God always has the answer, I might not discover right away, but if I reflect on the past 5 years God has always delivered.

Below is a picture of Gods greatest blessing to my life...they came after what I consider my breaking point...they were so worth it!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spiritual Vitamins

I have loved digging into this study specifically Chapter 9 of Stressed-Less Living "Choose Your Weapons". Of all the weapons to choose from I use Spiritual Vitamins the most. Sometimes on a daily basis and other times in life as needed. My goal after reading this chapter is to focus on using them on a daily basis to relieve my stress and anxiety. As I type this though I am slightly stressed as I just wrote this entire blog and then proceeded to loose it...

Moving on...

The Spiritual vitamins I use are digging into Gods word through daily reading, devotions and bible studies, and prayer. The summer time is when I really dig into Gods word and am more consistent about it...the reason being I am a teacher and that is when I have more time and less stress. I value the moments of quiet time I get with the Lord especially now that I have two small toddlers. I find I am most at peace and feel my best spiritually when I am routinely digging into Gods word, taking my time to understand and reflect on what I am learning. Really letting His word soak in and speak to me.

I also find prayer to be very effective. For awhile I would start my day off as soon as I opened my eyes in prayer and would pray a very simple prayer: "Lord, show me what your purpose is for me today, allow me to full fill whatever plans you have for me Lord, that I may do your Great work. Amen." But as life got more stressful, as I tended to wake up later and later the prayer time in the morning even though it only took a few moments of my time began to slip away. I believe that the more I pray the more I take time to make it a priority to take time to talk to God the less stressed I am and the more peace I feel. Any good relationship takes dialogue. I also strongly believe in having others pray for you. This was a rough year for me and through prayer and the faithfulness of others the Lord saw me through.

I am doing another bible study at the moment and we were challenged to keep God the center of our life, day and each and every moment. If we do this we will not only see God in the moments we designate for Him, but all around us, EVERYWHERE. I really want to attempt to do this as summer goes on...really take my spiritual vitamins on a daily and regular basis.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stressed-Less Living!

Now that I am done with teaching for my 5th school year I am excited to really dig into an online bible study I have been apart of entitled "Stressed-Less Living" based on a book written by Tracie Miles.
Stress has been a major part of my life for the past five years and I am learning spiritual tips to help me battle stress and anxiety.
At this point we are on week nine of the study and I have had ups and downs, there are times where I love this book and there are other times where the things being dicussed hit so close to home that I really feel as though I dont like this study at all.
Some things I have taken away so far...
1. I cannot live my life without God at the center...I have tried this year to make decisions on my own, or based soley on my feelings and it ends up being an utter disaster. I am not strong enough, smart enough or capable to do things on my own.
2. I have allowed stress into my life and I need to make the choice to eliminate stress. I am constantly on the go go go...i never stop and I really need to just take time for God, my family and myself.
3. I cant worry about making others happy...I am not ever going to be successful at this. I need to realize that although I love making others happy, I have to do my best at making the right choices regardless of whether or not it will make others happy or not. This doesnt mean I disregard others feelings, but I cannot base my happiness on whether or not others are happy. I can only make choices for me...I cannot control the choices others make.