Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Diaries of a Mother's Love part 1

As I look back on 2013 my heart is filled with happiness. I welcomed my new daughter into my growing family and there were so many blessing big and small throughout the year.

I also reflect on the things I could've done differently.

To be honest, I wish I would've spent more time with my kids.

2013 was extremely busy for me. Not the working kind but the every day, just added a newborn to the mix kind of life. The hustle and bustle of getting my son to school, running errands, grocery shopping, taking my daughter to ballet, trying keep the house clean and tackle loads of laundry. That left me with, Wow, it's 9:00pm already. Time for bed! Then I did the same thing again the next day.

I am a stay at home mom, but, that doesn't mean I get to sit on the floor and play with my kids all day everyday. Running a house with 3 kids and 2 dogs is a lot of work.

I was so consumed by the everyday life that I didn't stop enough to read more books to them, do crafts and pinterest ideas with them or even just snuggle holding them all while watching a movie.

I wish I would have giggled with them more and cherished moments more often.

The laundry will always be there, there will always be dishes to wash but my kids will NOT be little forever.

Even one year in a child's life makes a huge difference in their little personalities.

They grow up so fast.

So, does all of this make me a bad mother?

Absolutely not. They know I love them and work hard to take care of them.

If it wasn't for God reassuring me that I'm doing enough I might just go crazy.

We can't be super moms. Everything can't always be perfect.

Kids could care less how sparkling the house is or the house is decorated... they care about feeling loved.

If all they remember from their childhood is how much they were loved then I think I'm doing what I need to do.

They don't care about expensive vacations or clothes.

They just want to know their special in Mommy's eyes.

In 2014, I plan to kiss, hug and giggle more with my 3 kids.

That's all that matters.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mary's Joy

As we've entered the Christmas season, I've thought more and more about Mary. The Mother of Jesus, that is. And that's because I'm a mom now. In the year 2012, my son was born, and was about 4 1/2 months old at Christmastime. And this year, he's 16 months old. I'm in full blown mommy-hood. I'm passed the waking up at night stage, however we are in teething, running around, climbing, screaming, throwing fit, disobedience, picky eating stages. And I wonder how Mary, the mother of the Son of God, did it. Granted... as a human, Jesus Christ never sinned, but he was tempted. And he was still a baby - waking up at night, needing constant attention and dependence upon his parents. He took first steps, went through the teething stage, learned to climb, and probably learned to throw things too. How did Mary do it?

She had to have been terrified that day when the Angel of the Lord came to her, informing her that she, a virgin, would be carrying and mothering the Son of God. But we also know that she trusted the Lord even in her fear. She had a husband, Joseph, who took her in, loved her, and baby Jesus, despite knowing that baby was not physically his. Together, they watched her belly grow and felt the JOY of baby Jesus kick from the inside out. Only Jesus knows what Mary's heart sounded like as she loved him before his day of birth.

That night when Jesus was born, I wonder if she feared for her physical health, knowing she was not indoors, and amidst animals. Yet, in that amazing moment, when she finally got to hold the baby that had been growing inside her for 9 months, as a new mom, I'm sure she was overcome with JOY despite her circumstances around her. The overwhelming feeling of knowing what unconditional love is - to hold it and have it, hold you.

Those sleepless nights... as a new mom I thought they'd never end! I'm sure Mary felt the same. Yet those moments when you hold your baby in your arms as they nurse in the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes you don't want to put them back down. Such JOY in those tired, sleepless, wonderful moments.

Mary had such a huge responsibility of growing, birthing, raising, and loving the baby, the child, the teenager, the man... Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And despite the fear, worry, doubt, and hard times... Mary was JOYFUL. And now I ask that Mary's Son, Jesus, fill me this Christmas season with HIS JOY that provides strength, perserverance, and fullness. Amen.

Monday, December 16, 2013

a strive for perfection

This year as Christmas approaches I have been reflecting over what Christmas really means. 

I've seen everywhere, Jesus is the reason for the season! And I love it. Sometimes I wonder if I lived in a hole & never realized this catchy saying until this year. Regardless, Jesus IS the reason for this time of year. He is the reason for Christmas. 

Of course I had to find a printable & put it at my front door!
During my devotional time earlier this week I came across a "wow" moment. I love those, times where everything just clicks. And it's something so simple but the Holy Spirit just REALLY speaks to you LOUDLY. 

I will never be perfect. And I know this. But as a Christian we strive for perfection in a lot of things. But what do we strive for when we know we will never be perfect?

Christ was & is perfect. How beautiful is this? He is our example. To become Christ like. 

I wrote this poem, I know it's not really a poem but it's my journal so I can call it one!
As a wife, I love my husband so much that I try harder to please him. I do things for him out of love. 

So as a daughter of the King it's not any different. I love Him so much that I simply try harder to please Him too. I walk in His ways out of love. 

I desire this. 

I crave this.

It's not that I want approval of anyone or Him because I know He already approves of me.. But I want to please Him & honor Him.

No, I will never be perfect. But Christ is & He has set me free.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rest in the Lord

Happy Friday girls of God's heart!

We are now about a week and a half away from Christmas... the birthday that we anticipate all year as believers in Christ.

This is my most favorite time of the year!  I however, will admit that it is a struggle for me to not become overly busy during this month.  Do you struggle with feelings of chaos and stress around the holidays?  Do you have the added emotional turmoil of dealing with difficult family or grieving the absence of a loved one?  I know that the holidays can bring many unwanted thoughts and feelings for some of us as well.

I recently read something that really impacted me.  It's a quote by a woman named Hannah Whitall Smith, who lived in the mid 1800's to early 1900's.  Read what she has to say and see if you can take something away from it to soothe your soul...

"Do you recollect the delicious sense of rest with which you have sometimes gone to 
bed at night, after a day of great exertion and weariness?  How delightful was the 
sensation of relaxing every muscle, and letting your body go in a perfect abandonment 
of ease and comfort.  The strain of the day had ceased for a few hours at least, and the work 
for the day had been thrown off.  You no longer had to hold up an aching head or a weary 
back.  You trusted yourself to the bed in an absolute confidence, and it held you up, without 
effort, or strain, or even thought on your part.  You rested.  Let this analogy teach you what
 it means to rest on the Lord.  Let your souls lie down upon His sweet will, as your bodies 
lie down in your beds at night,  Relax every strain and lay off every burden.  Let yourselves 
go in perfect abandonment of ease and comfort, sure that when He holds you up you are 
perfectly safe."

pic source

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tis the Season #2

This is the time of year for giving. I absolutely love to give to others but sometimes don't know what to give or how much to spend. Many times this year I have heard one gift that can mean a lot to someone and it doesn't take very much money to do so!!

1) Be giving of your time. Is there a friend or family member you haven't seen in awhile that would like to catch up with you and just spend some quality time with you? I think especially of older people during this season. Is there anyone you can give your time to?  Christmas can be very overwhelming with all the preparation and decorating. If you aren't feeling so overwhelmed yourself, maybe you can help someone who is!! This is one way that I personally love to give. I enjoy helping others bake and decorate. :]

Maybe the person you are thinking of lives too far away and you cannot go see them or you just don't have the time to make the journey or maybe money is already scarce after buying gifts and you cannot afford to go see who you would like to. So instead here is an idea...

2) Write your friends and loved ones encouraging letters. It could be short or long. Just take the time to slow down and write. Tell them what has been going on, ask how they are, encourage them, tell them what they mean to you or how you are thinking of them. (You could also do this in an email or Christmas card... but since less and less people are doing those... letters are always good too!! After all who doesn't like getting mail?!?!)

I have been hearing these ideas on the radio and in my Bible study this week. Just easy ways that can really brighten someone's Christmas! I know how much I would love getting a letter or a visit from someone I haven't gotten to see in awhile so that is my goal this year! To be giving of my time and my heart:]

Give what you can this season!

2 Corinthians 9:7
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

I am ready for a season of giving:] Are you?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Handprint Ornaments

This is a fun DIY ornament that the kids can get involved with!

----Dough Ornaments----
4 cups of flour
1 cup salt
Large Mixing Bowl
rolling pin
drinking straw
cookie sheet
craft paint
elmers glue
wax paper

 Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
In a mixing bowl blend flour and salt together. Then slowly add in water to form a dough. You do not want it soupy. Just enough water to make a good solid dough.

Pull out a sheet of wax paper and roll your dough out onto it. Create the shape that you want. Kids can help!

*you can also spray a baking sheet with pam and roll it out on there.

Once you have the thick shape that you want. the take a straw and poke through it leaving a hole big enough for your ribbon to go through.

**Make sure your shape is thick enough to leave a good handprint in it.

Place your childs hand on the dough and press down on each finger and palm on the wax paper.

Lift up the wax paper and transfer directly to the oven on a cookie sheet.

* The kids also used cookie cutters with the dough.

Bake until dry...mine took a few hours.

Take out of the oven and make sure it cools off

paint with the craft paint of your choice. I used white

Place elmers glue where the hand is and use your paint brush to brush the hand completely with glue.

Sprinkle glitter over the handprint and then shake off.

add the ribbon of your choice so you can hang it.

This is what you get!

Remember to write your child's name, age and date on the back so you can treasure this forever!

Hang on your tree and enjoy every year.

via www.thefancyyanceys.blogspot.com

Monday, December 9, 2013

When God Says "Yes, Now"

The Lord has put a passion on my heart to lead. Lead what I had not a clue. I don't do well telling others what to do & I can easily be distracted. So at first I was confused why He would put this on my heart. But I trusted Him.

I became one apart of the thousands of women across the world to join the Good Morning Girls community. I got linked into a group of women from all over via a Facebook group. I loved it. It was a way to stay accountable & in the Word consistently & interact with other women.
An opportunity arose to apply for the Mentorship program to become a leader. I felt a tug on my heart. So I signed up. And I got into it! I was excited & I loved this 2 week process. At the conclusion of it I still didn't feel "ready" to lead, so I said I wasn't going to start until January after the holiday's but I'd still be apart of a group just not lead.

The Thanksgiving study came & I was feeling unmoved within my group like I needed more. So I said, God? Now? You want me to start for the Advent study? Are you sure?

The next morning I woke up & it was so heavy on my heart that I knew He wanted me to move now. So I sent a message off to friends on Facebook. I got an overwhelming positive response. I felt so blessed. I still feel so blessed.

One week has passed into this Advent study with Good Morning Girls & I feel so amazing & beyond blessed by it.
So I thought back to what God laid on my heart awhile back & feel so rewarded by this. He knew I could do this where I thought I could not. And I still cannot without Him.

Leading an online study may be small to some but it huge to me.

Be blessed.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Cheerful Heart {Peace It All Together}

Good Morning! I am so excited to be guest posting for Girls of God's Heart today. My name is Sybil and I blog about my life, faith, and family at Peace it all Together.
At beginning of February, several other bloggers and I began a challenge. A challenge to find a scripture passage each day based on a particular theme or word. The task for one of the days was to choose your all time favorite. Not only is this verse one of my favorites, but I remember having it highlighted in my Student Bible, years ago.
I shared on my own blog in February about the importance of including laughter in our love relationships. What I want to share with you are some of my thoughts on how to maintain a cheerful heart.
I used to think that if you felt happy, you would act happy. Feelings first, then actions. Recently, I have started to realize that our actions can change our thoughts, which can then alter our feelings. Simply put, if you want to feel cheerful, think and act cheerful. 
While this is not always easy for me, I do find that by intentionally focusing on and aligning my actions with what is good, true, honest, etc., those thoughts begin to change my attitude. So, how do I focus on the positive?

WHO'S THERE? I have found that surrounding myself with cheerful people makes my heart happy. It is much more difficult for me to maintain my own joy when I am around others that are not doing the same.
Being a complainer is part of my genes. So, I can get caught up in a complaint fest just as easy as the next person. Therefore, I must stay away from it. Similar to a compulsive gambler staying out of a casino or an alcoholic avoiding a bar, I must separate myself from those who complain without purpose or desire for change. 

HAVE PRAYER? One of my goals this year has been to spend more time in prayer. Instead of reacting negatively to a problem, worrying and allowing it to create stress in my life, I am attempting to choose prayer. Although I have a long way to go in this area, I have found that on the days that I submit to God in prayer, letting Him lead my actions, thoughts and feelings, I experience greater joy. It doesn't mean that bad things don't happen, it just means that God enables me to maintain a cheerful heart, instead of letting those things take my strength.

BLESSING OR CURSE? One of my two words for 2013 is blessing. I wrote a post earlier this year about looking for blessings in unexpected places. 
Are you able to look at your life and see the blessings, even if they might be hidden? I believe that by focusing on blessings in each situation, our attitude about it will change. Remembering that God's thoughts and plans are bigger and better than my own, has helped me with this.
WHERE'S THE LOVE? Showing love to others is another thing that brings me joy. Over the past year, I have been more intentional about listening to God about who He would have me be friends with and how He wants me to treat them. I have responded to His voice and sent my friends texts, emails, cards, etc. This has sometimes felt awkward, but I have done it anyway. Showing love, is sharing God with others. Helping my friends and family feel loved, can often turn my broken spirit into joy.
Do you desire a cheerful heart? Which of these things do you need to focus on? 
I hope and pray that I have brought you joy by being here today. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tis' the Season

As Christmas approaches we can easily become overwhelmed by all the planning and shopping we have to do. This year I have been trying to focus my eyes not on all that I need to accomplish but on WHO we are actually celebrating! Christ! Several phrases have caught my attention and have helped me grow over the past few weeks and I hope they can help you as well!

This first phrase has really hit home to me...

is caused by unmet

Woooooow!! So often we become frustrated with the little things of life. As sad as it is to say, a lot of families get frustrated with each other this time of year. Is it because of unmet expectations? So instead of expecting things let's focus on celebrating the most wonderful miracle, Jesus Christ's birth!!


~Be Strong and Courageous~

Did you know that in the book of Joshua this phrase is used four times in the first chapter alone!!! God said it over and over again because it must have been extremely important. It is for us too! Everyone deserves to hear the good news of Christ coming. My prayer this week is that not only myself but all of you as well, won't shy away from telling others about Jesus! Be strong and Courageous ladies! Even if it is as simple as telling someone you are praying for them or "Merry Christmas, God bless you". Whatever it is do it for the glory of God! I know sometimes it can be intimidating to talk about Jesus with others because we don't want to offend them or turn them away but when we rely on God we can help Him to plant seeds and who knows, maybe even bring another to Christ!!

"The Lord Himself goes before you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Deuteronomy 31:8

Monday, December 2, 2013

9 Reasons Why I Love Fall

Here is California, fall comes in November. I grew up in the midwest, fall came every other day, just depends what the mood mother nature was in that day. By November rolls around I am dying to pull out my boots & hoodies & wear big ol' baggy sweatpants. 

I've been writing in my journal things of gratitude. I am so thankful for everything in my life because I know God has provided me with it all. So this lead me to writing about fall. Because who doesn't love fall? Here are just some of my reasons. 

Reasons why I love fall?

1. The drinks. Why do we have to wait all year long for pumpkin anything? Hot cider is now acceptable too.

2. The leaves. Hello gorgeous radiant colors. God's beauty is so point blank in fall time. It's like all of a sudden I am aware of how grateful I am of trees.
 3. Football. I may not over indulge nearly as much as I used to. But a football game echoing through my house is plenty for me. 

4. I can wear long sleeves & enjoy being at a park with the babes not sweating bullets.
 5. I can finely convince my husband to use the fireplace. Well it's December 2nd & it's yet to be turned on, but hey he did say I could use it.

6. Thanksgiving. A time to reflect how grateful you are. A time to come together with family. A time to eat more than you can stand. 

7. Christmas lights. Christmas trees. The earlier the better right? That's my motto. Holidays make my home so much more homey!

8. Mantle decorations steps it up about 10 notches. 
 9. Pumpkins. They are so pretty. Real ones on my front door step or fake ones on my mantle, they just look so content.

What do you love about fall? The weather? The radiant colors? 

Now on to a month reflecting Christ as our Savior!

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