Right Where You Are

You Are Loved 2

Image Courtesy of Good Morning Girls

This week, our study at Good Morning Girls really hits home for me. Chapter 6 of our book is titled, “You’re Invited!” How often do we, as moms, feel that what we are doing isn’t important? That to do ‘something big’ for God means anything OTHER than what we are currently doing? Homemaking? Homeschooling? Any other home related job you can list, and it’s a resounding, “Nope, not big enough!”

Quotes from Angela Perritt in the book:

  • She saw her mom open her Bible in the mornings to read it and spend some sweet time with Jesus. Peggy’s mom talked to her about God, about the importance of telling others about God’s love and free gift of salvation. Peggy’s mom made Jesus’ mission in life of seeking and saving the lost her mission in life, too, so she passed that same desire and passion to her daughter. (pg. 93, You Are Loved)
  • Our main job here on earth is to give Him glory as moms, grandmas, working women, and single women. Every stage and area of our lives should point to Jesus…..You never know who is watching and whose life may be impacted. (pg. 95, You Are Loved)
  • Don’t for a second place a value on your life by what you see. What you are doing in your home with your kids, in your neighborhood and community, matters….Be women who plant simple seeds of faith in your homes, work places, and schools. Then trust God to water those seeds and create a mighty harvest. (pg. 95, You Are Loved)

 

Dear friends, this is something that has been on my heart lately. I, too, have chased that lie that the world has given us that motherhood simply is not enough. But don’t be troubled–we can find much hope and encouragement in the Scriptures too! Our jobs ARE important! Building the next generation….Kingdom Building Mamas!!

  1. Proverbs 31:10-31
  2. Proverbs 6:20-23
  3. 2 Timothy 1:3-5, 3:14-17
  4. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
  5. Deuteronomy 11:18-19

These are but just a few verses encouraging us in our walk, and important calling of motherhood. I also wanted to end this note by sharing a quote that I hold dear in my heart that came to me as I was making a major decision and feeling that ‘teaching my kids’ just wasn’t enough. It now stays in a Note on my phone to read when I get discouraged.

“Let no exhausted mother, with her hands full of home and children, bruise her soul with the conviction either that she has no way of serving Christ in this way or that she is somehow  prevented by her children and her home from doing something worthwhile. Rather, that is the very sphere of her labor. Her mission field is at her feet (and quite possibly under them and in her arms and on her back and currently drawing something indelible on something irreplaceable). Indeed, for her to feel falsely guilty about what she is not doing or to transfer that guilt to her children in resentment and bitterness will only prevent the good that she is called to do as a minister to her children. Consider some of the earlier examples of Augustine, Spurgeon, and Paton, to name but three. We tend to look at those men and think that they are the evangelists,but each of them was first evangelized by his own parents.”

(Jeremy Walker, The Brokenhearted Evangelist)

 

Seeking Ancient Paths part 1

20140613-173807.jpg

This is what the Lord says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves. But they protested, “We won’t!” (Jeremiah 6:16 ESV)

This search started a long time ago. About 5 years ago to be exact. You see, all I ever wanted to do was to worship God, “in spirit and in truth.” I became completely obsessed with Church History. Then, with Christian denominations, the Hebrew language and customs, the VERY early church and why we were so split up. Especially from Acts and up to about 200 AD. I couldn’t understand this at first. Slowly I worked my way up to, and studied deeply, the Reformation period.

I became deeply disturbed. I keep noticing a recurring theme. Mixing pagan ideas and ‘borrowing’ from Philosophers. Mixing their thought patterns/doctrines/traditions and even holidays with ours. Something was off.

Enter a conversation with a friend recently converting to Christian Orthodoxy. I had never heard of this before. I stayed in my ‘safe’ Protestant Evangelical box my whole life convinced we had most, if not all, of the truth, however occasionally messed up by normal fallible humans. As I began to research Orthodoxy, I suddenly saw a belief system that read early church Father readings-meaning EARLY, not Luther/Calvin, etc. While I don’t agree with a lot of practices in Orthodoxy, it did create a stir in me. Questions about my formative faith abounded. Things that never made sense before, questions unanswered, confusion in my own walk and answers given by others suddenly came full circle.

So many have said no ‘true’ church exists. We are all fallible humans. I wholeheartedly agreed with many others who decried the notion that the Pope was infallible. WHAT?!? He is human! However, that idea would soon be shaken as well. I remembered 2 churches in Revelation that received ZERO rebuke from Jesus–Smyrna and Philadelphia. Hmm. No ‘perfect church?!?’ Suddenly that idea seemed laughable. After all, the Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion, right? Jesus IS the Truth. Paul admonished Timothy to preach the TRUTH. Surely it was preserved SOMEWHERE.

So, my search began with Christian Orthodoxy which led me to read a letter from Polycarp, a student of the Apostle John, to the Philippians. In it he quoted much Scripture. It wasn’t HIS words, HIS interpretation he was speaking–it was words directly from Paul’s mouth/pen. That led me to Ignatius of Antioch, a friend of Polycarp’s. Suddenly my Evangelical Protestant background made no sense. There was no personal expounding/explaining Scripture or ‘doctrine’ which was different in each church. It was simple. Pure. Unmixed. Matter of fact, there were no ‘denominations’ either. No splits on Baptism, Communion, Salvation, Saints or Angels. Zero.

And then…
Much of the church Fathers we read…mixed philosophical ideas and thought processes. We went off course. We came up with ‘Trinity,’ ‘baptism-symbolic or no?’, communion-who/how transforms it or is it just a symbol to remember? Look up the Greek word for it–it is NOT symbolic. Nor is Baptism. At all.

Still, much of the Orthodox beliefs DID NOT line up with Scripture. They will probably agree to a point-after all, they quote 1 Thessalonians and state that much of their doctrine comes from ‘traditions’ passed on. Yet, in my search, I found ZERO evidence of much of these traditions.

I moved on……..

*part 1 of a series. Subscribe or keep watching my posts for the rest of the story*

Can You Feel the Love?

you are loved invite

 

This was our first week of study at Good Morning Girls and what a powerful week it was! We are currently working through the book ‘You Are Loved: Embracing the Everlasting Loved God has for You‘ written by Sally Clarkson and Angela Perritt, while still doing our Bible SOAP reading/journaling each week. That’s the thing about GMG–all Bible, all the time!

I have recently been on an ‘odd’ spiritual journey. I hesitate to call it odd because I have been in a similar place 5 years ago. That restless feeling when you know ‘something’ is missing but you aren’t sure what. No, before all of my good Christian friends comment, it is definitely NOT Jesus that I am missing. I love Jesus with all my heart. Without knowing me, it’s difficult to tell you in a blog post what ‘it’ is.

This week, like all weeks, begins with goals, a challenge, and a memory verse. Then, we have our SOAP verses for the week and read one chapter. This week impacted me dramatically and answered a ‘big’ theological question I had recently asked God.

Perhaps the one thing that kept ringing in my heart this week is how God continually SHOWED His love for us in the birth, death and resurrection of Christ. His was no ordinary death. He suffered long and hard for all of us. Yet, an interesting theme came out of this when I began studying our verses in Romans on DAY 2!! Many times we hear people say that “Jesus died for me, I should live for Him,” yet the image I saw when reading Romans 8:35-39 was different. You see, I try to read Scripture in “context” meaning looking at the surrounding verses. One verse up, it says that CHRIST makes intercession for us. That lead me to Hebrews 7:25. He LIVES to make intercession for us. Hmm…not only did Christ DIE for us, but He LIVES for us too.

Intercession in the Greek means “to primarily fall in with, meet with in order to converse, then to make petition; plead with” (Strong’s). Strong’s also says this about the verse, “in this verse, Christ praying for the saints” (which is us!!)

I have been amazed over and over of how much love God, in Christ, bestowed on us. Perhaps my greatest ‘aha’ moment happened today. In reading Psalm 86:15, I could see Jesus in ALL of this. John 1 tells us that the Word, Jesus, WAS God. To KNOW, to EXPERIENCE, to SEE the love of God in action, we must know Jesus. Read about His life in the Gospels and the early parts of Acts. Continue on with the disciples as they continue to spread His message.

I’m not sure where I am on this journey, but I know one ‘litmus test’ that I desire to measure things against….Acts 2:42 tells us what our ‘doctrine,’ what our ‘spiritual life’ whether at home or public should be….God has not changed in that time, but WE, the body have. We currently have 41,000 Christian denominations world wide according to research. Some of those may overlap due to different practices of the ‘same’ faith. Salvation, baptism, communion and doctrine seem to be the major dividing points. Yes, Christ said He would bring division, and has…yet the disciples continued to preach UNITY within the body. Yes, we have different gifts…we should not have different doctrine OR different practices. It breaks my heart as I am sure it does His.

Check out GMG! There is still time to join the study!!

 

What I Have Learned: Homeschool Edition

Blog main pic

We are rapidly approaching our 5th year homeschooling! Wow…it doesn’t seem like that long ago when we started! So many changes have occurred since then as well. This upcoming school year will see 4 children from grades 11 all the way down to Kindy!

I am still new at this and learning all the time. I have had many friends either considering homeschooling, or have already made that decision, contacting me often. I am so thankful we have others when we are just starting out…sadly, I didn’t have that luxury BUT God provided. Which brings me to a little bit of ‘advice’ I have learned along the way and wanted to share.

  1. Pray. No, this is not cliche, I really mean it.
  • If you are considering homeschool, pray and ask God to help you make the decision. A year prior to our start, I heard vaguely about this thing called homeschool. I knew of NO ONE, in person, who did it. So, I asked God if this was something we were supposed to do, could He make a way for us to ‘try’ it? Fast forward one year–people at my husband’s work who homeschool began coming out of the woodwork. A temporary long distance move caused homeschool to not only be an option, but a necessity. Proverbs 3:5-6  He will guide your path.
  • If you have already taken the leap, pray and ask God to bring you mentors. Those who have walked this path before. NOT just online mentors, but in person ones as well. Specifically Titus 2 type women who have done this a while, and maybe even graduated one. I prayed on this one often. My mentor ‘accidentally’ entered my life via a Facebook blog, only to find out we lived in the same area! I am constantly asking her questions and for advice. And yes, she has graduated a few already! I also was blessed with 3 online that I have spoken with, and an amazing Titus 2 mentor from my church who doesn’t homeschool but has strong family values. We NEED these in person relationships.
  • Pray for your homeschool and your children. This is big. This is where I often fail. When we started this journey, I prayed this verse often for my kids….”All your chilren shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.” (NKJV) I ask God to teach my children…and He always has! Pray for opportunities for you and your children. We have found fantastic co-ops, teachers, programs, and an amazing Christian Homeschool Group to join! There are so many activities, mom fellowships and helps that you could literally find something to do everyday. However, that leads to my next point…

2.  Just Breathe. There are SO many choices these days: curriculum, activities, and                                      so on that you could literally burn out quickly! Yep, I’m living proof! I                                      had to back out of a LOT of really good things for me and my kids,                                        but if mama and kiddos are stressed to the max…well, it’s not pretty!

3.   Surround Yourself. With encouragement, Bible verses and so on. Surround                                                        yourself with support, both online and in person. Negative                                                      nellies will drag you down. Don’t research so much that you                                                  become convinced that your curriculum isn’t working right.                                                    Yep, preaching to myself. I am a very visual person. I both                                                      need and love to have things to look at to learn and                                                                remember. So, I took that to include my homeschool. See                                                      picture below.

My NKJV Life Application Bible provides the verses, and nourishment I need.
The cross is a gift from my friend and is located on my office wall to look at often and change verses as needed.
I have a corkboard with verses and encouraging posts I have found to help remind me of the why and what.
My desk calendar which is nothing but Scripture everyday.

All in all, just remember that He who called you is faithful and He will do it. No matter how fancy or shiny the new curriculum may look, use what you got or what He leads you to. Remember, it’s not about the curriculum but about building relationships with your children AND passing on your values to them.

We can learn to be content in all things. Remember, Phil. 4:13. ALL THINGS. That includes your homeschool.

 

Will She Choose Life? Sarah’s Choice~a Book Review

In Sarah Collins’s mind, only one thing stands in the way of her success…her unborn baby.” (excerpt from the back of the book)

This book was a very compelling read. Written by Rebecca St. James, an award winning singer and author, as well as the star of the pro-life film, “Sarah’s Choice”, along with Nancy Rue, a best-selling author, as well as speaker and frequent radio guest, this pair introduces a dynamic book.

Step into the shoes of Sarah Collins, a businesswoman on the track to success, trying to get out of the slum she is currently living in. Things finally seem to be looking up for her. Until….a long lasting ‘stomach bug’ creates a stir in her mentor and she has Sarah take a pregnancy test. It turns out positive. Then, something ‘magical’ happens….

Follow along with this captivating story that will have you laughing, crying, and often times screaming at all of the ‘voices’ clamoring for Sarah’s attention. Including Sarah’s. See the weaving of the hand of God in and out her life…and then, in her darkest hour even after Sarah turned from Him after an emotional turn of events. The God who cares; the God who sees and the God who loves is poignant throughout her lifetime.

I am volunteering at a Crisis Pregnancy Clinic this week and I believe this book would be an AWESOME read for anyone who walks in those doors. It is an awesome read for anyone who has found themselves in the same shoes as Sarah. It is also an awesome read for those who haven’t, purely to see the other side of the coin and maybe understand. I also believe it is an inspiring read for anyone who has felt like maybe God was far off or distant at times; for anyone who feels they have turned away from Him for too long and long to come home or if they are just on the fence.

Review disclaimer