Waiting

Do you find yourself waiting a lot? Waiting for a table at a restaurant. Waiting in a doctor’s office. Waiting for test results. Waiting for a pay check. Waiting on love or marriage. Waiting on a baby. That’s mine. I find myself waiting to be pregnant.

People insisted that we needed to be careful after our first arrived, because we may get a surprise sooner than we wanted. My thoughts? That would be AWESOME! I would have praised God for that gift. Time has passed and surprises were not given and now I find myself waiting. Waiting again for a baby to come from heaven, created by the only one who can create life, as a gift to our family.

Waiting is hard. Waiting is emotional (at least for me). Waiting teaches us so much. Because in the waiting we have to lean on God. In the waiting we have to rely on God. In the waiting we have to hope in God.

The Bible says in Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the Lord; I wait and hope in his word.” I know this scripture isn’t actually referring to waiting for a baby, but at the same time it is. The writer of this psalm is waiting for a redeemer, someone to correct his relationship with God. The writer is waiting on a baby who would come, a baby named Jesus.

I am so blessed to have a redeemer in Christ Jesus today. I am not waiting on someone to save me because I have a savior. But I love how this verse assures me that I can wait for the Lord and have hope in his word. I can lean on the promises of God and know they are true. I will cling to the cross, my redeemer and wait.

Waiting still isn’t easy, especially when people ask if there are plans for a second, or if we are pregnant, or trying,

but with hope in God’s word we will wait.

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Inward Struggle

Have you ever struggled with what to focus your time and attention on? I do…all the time.

As a teacher, I want to be the best teacher out there. I want to be the Ron Clark of my school. I want to show my students I care, not just about their learning, but about them. I want to engage students in rigorous tasks that they will remember.

As a wife, I want my husband to have no doubt in his mind that I love him more than any human walking planet earth right now. I want him to know I care by how I serve him, care for him, listen to him, spend time with him. I want to speak his love language so that his love tank is full.

As a mom, I want my daughter to know how much I love her and care about her. I want to teach her and support her dreams. I want to show her the way to live as a godly woman (one day). I want to spend time with her, showering her in attention and words of affirmation.

As a christian, I want to devote my every thought, attitude, and action to loving God and loving others. I want to spend time in my bible reading, studying, and applying His truths. I want to pray for others, myself, and praise God continually.

But my inward struggle is over which of these four will win. These are the big four in my life. I still want to be the best daughter, sister, in-law, designer, blogger, etc. too, BUT the four titles above are where my deepest desires are rooted. And I struggle. I struggle to put the phone down and focus on my daughter and husband. I struggle to pray continually. I struggle to engage all of my students. I struggle all the time.

As 2017 closes out and we are looking forward to a new year, new beginning I am struggling. All of the people I follow on Instagram have these amazing classrooms with fun songs and flashing lights, or beautifully put together homes with nothing out of place, or a million pictures of their families on these amazing trips…and here I am comparing myself to them. The exact thing I tell the teenagers at church not to do.

So today, as I have been reflecting on 2017, struggling with comparing myself to the Instagram world, and looking forward to 2018 I have realized where my focus must be. On HIM. On the Creator of the universe. If I focus on my relationship with GOD, He will pour into me and I will begin to overflow. These excess will only grow and benefit my marriage, my motherhood, and my teaching. I want to ooze Jesus when I am squeezed by the world.

Who cares if I don’t most ten pictures of Hannah each day? Most of you would probably be silently thanking me for not oversharing. Who cares if my classroom isn’t the most matchy-matchy? Who cares if dinner isn’t on the table at 6 and all of the laundry folded before bed?

No ONE!

2018, I’m ready. I’m ready to spend more and more time with King Jesus. Focusing on HIM so that my overflow will cover all of the other areas of me!

We are Missionaries 

A few weeks ago Kyle said he was going to live in Calhoun as if he were a missionary. Ummmm…okay. Those were my thoughts at first. We aren’t that far from where he has grown up. It’s 30 minutes away. We are living life very similarly to how we lived in Cartersville. We both work. We have a normal home. We are active in church, but missionaries? I wasn’t so sure. 

But the more I thought about his statement the more it makes sense to me. Jesus gave believers a task before he ascended. “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭28:18-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬) 

We are missionaries. We are living with a purpose to infiltrate our community with the gospel. We are here to take every opportunity to share Jesus with the people of Calhoun. We moved 30 minutes away to be missionaries. But truly, we are all called to be missionaries. We do not have to move to spread the gospel. We can share right where we are. We can shine Jesus even if we are living in the same neighborhood we grew up in. So yes, we are missionaries in Calhoun. Where are you a missionary at?

Overwhelmed by Tomorow

I’m trying to process through tomorrow. As I sit in my quiet home, I am overwhelmed by the meaning behind what is coming in the morning. Tomorrow is Hannah’s baby dedication at church, and my heart is bursting with joy and my cheeks are damp with tears. 

For years I prayed for this sweet baby and God has given us the happiest little girl, and now it is our turn to give her back to God in front of our family and church. Hannah’s name is special for many reasons, but today I am reminded again of Hannah from the Bible. In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah asks God for a son and then promises to give her son back to serve God. God hears Hannah and blesses her with Samuel. Later in the chapter it says, “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.” (1 Samuel‬ ‭1:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬) 

Tomorrow we are giving our daughter, and the life she lives, back to the Lord. We are going to be charged with raising her in a godly home, living a Christ-centered life in front of her, and teaching her all about Jesus! I am so excited for this moment! A moment I was unsure would ever come! These tears are tears of joy! My heart is so full! I will gladly and whole heartedly dedicate her to the Lord!

First 5 From Afar

I love the First 5 app! Do you have it? It’s a free app that has amazing devotionals to do in the first five minutes of your day.

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I have been using this app on and off since it started more than two years ago. About a week ago though I had a new idea about how this app could be used to help me minister to young ladies I do not see often anymore.

I was texting a student who was in our former youth group and realized that she wasn’t attending church the way I had hoped she would be. She admitted it and I encouraged her to attend somewhere, but I wanted a way to be able to have a spiritual conversation with her daily. I cannot see her nearly as often as I used to so I asked if she would be interested in going through a reading plan together and she was thrilled with the idea. I told her about First 5 and we chose a plan to go through together. Our deal is that each day we read before 8 PM and then we text each other something from the scripture or devotional that stuck out to us, taught us something, reminded us of something, etc.

I wasn’t sure how it would work at first. I mean, who wants a 29 year old texting you about the bible everyday, and I honestly have never had a 17 year old accountability partner before, BUT we are trying it. So far I have loved it and she has too! We are both learning about God and the Bible, but we are also learning about each other and how to be better sisters in Christ.

My hope is to be able to continue this with her and encourage her to do this with someone else too. Maybe someone her age, or younger, whom she can encourage in Christ and be there for. I definitly want to be doing this with more girls though. This has been a great way to minister to a young lady in a very comfortable setting.

How are you discipling others? Are you able to sit down face to face with someone you are discipling, or do you have to get creative like me in order to minister to someone?

Lord, I am Coming

I saw a beautiful picture on Instagram yesterday that said “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk to me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”” (Psalm 27:8) 


I had to screen capture it and this morning as I looked at the image again I wanted to read Psalm 27. This Psalm is David’s and is titled The Lord is My Light and My Salvation. It is such a beautiful prayer to lift up, but verse 8…how many times do we feel the draw of the Lord and actually go to Him? I know so many times I get distracted. I’ll spend time with you when my coffee cup is empty (I want to be fully awake for Jesus). I’ll spend time with you when my daughter is napping (what if she needs me while I’m doing my quiet time). I’ll spend time with you when my favorite show is over (I don’t want to be wondering what is happening in the show). I’ll spend time with you before I go to bed (so that you’re the last thought before I sleep). So many excuses! Why can’t I respond immediately with “Lord, I am coming” ? I know I am probably not alone in this struggle, but today my prayer is to put God first, before the boxes I need to pack, before the DVR, before my caffeine fix. God is first!

Temptation

I was remembering a time about 12 years ago where I was tempted, fell into temptation, and reaped the punishment when I was caught. I was a junior in high school taking honors British literature. My parents had a rule; we could exempt finals if we had an A in the class. When I asked the teacher what my grade was she informed me it was an 89.5. Oh the temptation… take the final or not? The teacher told me if I bombed the final she wouldn’t put it in and I would keep my current grade. I don’t know what I thought would happen…maybe that the teacher would have a heart and round my grade up, but I decided to lie to my mom and tell her I had an A, not take the final, and wait to see what the report card said three weeks later. Temptation means a desire to do something, especially wrong or unwise. It was so wrong to lie to my mom. It was wrong to not take the final. Everything about this situation was wrong.

Jesus was tempted. He withstood temptation. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:1-11)

WWJD…did you have a bracelet with those four letters? I did. What Would Jesus Do? When Jesus was tempted he quoted scripture and clung to God’s word in order to withstand temptation. It may be hard to believe, but the Bible has scripture for everything. In my situation I probably should have considered, “You shall not give false testimony…” (Exodus 20:16) or “Honor your father and your mother…” (Exodus 20:12), and definitely “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” (Colossians 3:23).

temptation

Whatever you do, gah that’s a lot of stuff…brushing my teeth, writing a blog post, teaching children, taking a test, playing a sport…WHATEVER YOU DO. Work at it with all your heart. I did not work at Brit. Lit. with all my heart. I just wanted to get out of that class. So many times we do things half way. God’s word calls us to do things with our whole heart. As working for the Lord. For the adults here…when your boss is around do you work harder? Imagine if God was in the room with you…😳 I would want to do my very best!

When my report card made it to my parents I had a B in Brit. Lit. and I was grounded. Not for the B but for lying to my parents and not doing my best. I guess the teacher had a heart change at some point though because on my transcripts I have an A in the class. Temptation is a tricky thing. Every time we meet temptation we should WWJD and use God’s word to help us fight it.

Mary Again

Our church had their Christmas cantata this past weekend and I was Mary again. This means that Kyle was Joseph of course, and for the first time we had our baby be Jesus (I’ve had the honor of holding other babies for the past few years). 


Weeks ago I was asked to sing a song while holding my baby. I listened to the song and cried. I knew if I was going to sing this song with my daughter that I would have to get over the lyrics. Give Me This Night is a beautiful song about Mary asking to just be Jesus’ mother and he be just her son for the night. Let him be just my son, not the savior, for just a night. The bridge of the song is what got me:

God you gave him to me, And I gave him life. Now with him in my arms, And me in his eyes, This is much more than I ever could wish, You can have his tomorrows, But please grant me this. Give me this night, to just be his mother. Give him this moment to just be my child. He has the rest of his life to be Savior, but so little time, to simply be mine. So give me, please give me this night.


Being a new mom I have a whole new look on Christmas (as well as other things). For the first time I identify with Mary as a mother. She carried him for 9 months, endured the pain of child birth, and has the overwhelming feeling of being the mother of the Savior. This song may seem selfish on Mary’s part, and scripture doesn’t say that she asked God for this, but singing this song with Hannah got me. Even after practicing with her several hundred times, I cried. I cried with joy! Just like Mary must of recognized she wouldn’t have much time with her son (because time flies!), I realized I don’t have much time with Hannah. I cannot slow down time and keep her longer. She will grow up, and she will move out one day (a LONG time from now), and I will look back and cherish these moments I have now. It won’t be long before she won’t want to be rocked to sleep, or want to be carried everywhere. I know if I blink she’ll be headed to school or driving. This weekend was special, and I will cherish it forever. 

My Victory

For those of you who haven’t picked up on it yet, music is a love of mine. As a former dancer, I was moved by music, physically and emotionally. As a so-so singer, I am drawn to music, especially the lyrics. It’s no surprise that Hannah loves music with how much I listen to music. She was stuck with it the entire time she was in the womb. Music leads me into worship and a time of prayer. Music prepares my heart to hear from God. Music is my introduction to God’s sermon.

My Victory by David Crowder has a line that moves me, but it also grabbed Kyle’s attention (as a non-music person, it’s a big deal when he notices a song). “A cross meant to kill is my victory.” Think about that line.

cross at sunset

Today the cross is everywhere. We wear it as beautiful jewelry. We polish it in the church sanctuary. We wrap purple fabric around it at Easter. But when Jesus was crucified the cross was a sign of certain death. It was the form of capital punishment for its day. It was a rough cut timber meant to kill whomever was nailed to it. The cross was meant to kill.
I know as a young girl my parents bought me a beautiful necklace with a cross on it. My Grandma Betty gave me a golden cross to hang in my bedroom. My view of the cross was skewed. I knew Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I had accepted him as Lord and Savior of my life at the age of nine, but my view of the cross was beautiful. The first time I think I realized how gruesome it actually was is when The Passion came out. I was 13 and saw it in theaters. I cried and cried. They treated my Savior like a criminal, and he had done nothing to deserve it. Before that moment I had Book knowledge about it, but it didn’t really register until I saw the Hollywood version. And how much worse the actual moment must have been.

The cross was meant to kill. It isn’t polished jewelry. It isn’t beautiful home decor. It is a sign of certain death. But that certain death that Jesus bore is my victory. Jesus died on the cross so that I didn’t have to. The cost of my sins, my wrongs, my disobedience to God is death, eternal separation from Him. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all of the sins ever committed, or that will ever be committed. Because I have accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life I have overcome sin and death.

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:1-5‬)

So this song is just beautiful. As it celebrates the cross, but also recognizes that the cross meant to kill is my victory.

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Forgiven

Have you ever heard a song that moves you? Not your hips or feet, but your soul? This song makes my salvation from sin seem so much more unbelievable. Why would Jesus, who lived a perfect life, die for me, a sinner? 

David Crowder sings this beautiful song and it brings me to tears almost every time I hear it. The part that grips my heart is when it says, “God, I fall down to my knees, with a hammer in my hand, You look at me, arms open, Forgiven!”

So many times we think of Jesus’ sacrifice as one done by the Roman soldiers. After all they are the ones who actually nailed him to the cross. Or maybe we blame the Jewish leaders. Because they are the ones who yelled “Crucify him!” But really, my sin put him there. He died for me. He wouldn’t have to if we hadn’t been sinners. We nailed him to the cross and he laid there willingly. He could have saved himself and not have gone through the suffering. But he chose to die for me, for you, for all mankind. I am so thankful he has forgiven me.

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