Praying the Eternal Word of God

Your word, O Lord is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.  Psalm  119:89

Your word, O Lord is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Psalm 119:89

What a glorious promise!   The word of God is eternal.  That means it is the same as it was when it was written.  It has the same power, the same comforting warmth, the same loving gentleness, and wisdom as it did 2000 or so years ago and most importantly it will be just as powerful, comforting, gentle and wise 2000 years from now.

I don’t know what you may be going through, but I encourage you to find some Bible verses that apply to your situation, write them down, and believe that the eternal word of God is working for you. If you don’t know where to look, go to google and do a search for Bible verses for ___________ (you fill in whether it is for healing, depression, love,  anger, substance abuse, marriage, family issues,  etc.).

Personally I use index cards  and will write one verse per card and  put them on my bathroom wall or refrigerator or will type the verses  out on 1/2 sheets of paper, print them out an put them in my Bible. That way they are handy when I do my devotions.  I also have a couple of books with Bible verses/prayers written in them for specific areas of life and will spend a few minutes reading over those scriptures.

One of the most comforting things you can do when going through a trial is to pray the word.  By that, I mean pray something like this, ”  God your word says _________ (fill in the scripture) and I believe that your word is eternal and stands firm in the heavens and I believe that you are going to  meet my need.  Thank you for your word and your promises.  Amen”.

Praying that way will help you to pray when you don’t know how and will help you get the word in your spirit.

My favorite verse in the Bible is John 10:10 ”  The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy;  I have come that they my life, and have it to the full.  Wow, that pretty much sums it up.  Satan (the thief) wants to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us.  However,  Jesus wants us to have a full life.  That means a life free from sickness, pain, emotional turmoil, poverty and lack, bad marriages, children not following God, and whatever else the thief is trying to do to reek havoc on your life.

So I encourage you today to take heart and remember that His word is standing firm in the heavens and is always the same.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Full Circle

William-Shakespeare-Quotes-about-life

Today is a very emotional day for me.  This is my daughter’s first day of school.  She has had plenty of first days of school, but this one is different.  This is her first day of school in an American school as a TEACHER!  Yikes, can it be possible!

I remember the day when we began homeschooling all those years ago.  She was so eager to learn.  She had such a love for reading and for learning about other cultures. We fought about her handwriting and she wanted to do things her way!  She led the way and it was quite the journey.

We did spelling bees with stuffed animals where she would spell the words for them.  One by one they would “miss a word” and she would ALWAYS win.  We went to the library and would check out the limit of books they allowed.  I finally got her a library card so that we could check out additional books.  And she read most of the books.

As she grew older, she loved to write and she wrote these sordid tales with love triangles,  romance, handsome leading men and women in distress.  She played basketball and became interested in speech through a speech class at a co-op.

When she began high school, we started attending classes at another co-op (the one I eventually became the director of) and that is where she began liking math.  When she took Algebra I,  she wanted her career path to include something where she could do algebra equations.

Upon entering college, she learned to love writing again through a creative writing class. Jana decided to major in English literature with a emphasis in Linguistics and a minor in Classical Studies

Once she completed college, she began preparing to go on the mission field and then taught in Burundi, Africa for 2 years.

Now for the full circle part, I was also a teacher before I had my kids.  I taught 11 years in a combination of public and private schools, and home educated both of my kids from birth through high school.  I have the heart of an educator even though I am not currently working in the field of education.  Wow, little did I know she would follow in my footsteps.

Psalm 37:23  (KJV)  The steps of a good man  are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

 

As your children are growing up, be encouraged.  Trust God, follow His word, and your children will grow up to be a contributing member of society.  Who knows, they may even follow in your footsteps.

IMG_0510 This is Jana on her first day of teaching in a public charter school and yes she is showing a little attitude.  And I am that mother who takes pictures of their children on the first day of school even if they are 26 and a teacher.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

When Missionaries Return

Two Birds Flew the Coop

734242_565939796758937_1770978632_n

My daughter, Jana, is home from Burundi. She has completed her commitment to YFC Burundi and is no longer on the mission field.

Along with being home, comes a lot of emotions and change.

Jana is spending the summer decompressing. She is tired, not so much physically, but emotionally. God called her to Africa in 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2012 and left for Africa in Jan. 2013. During that time, she worked hard and fundraised. While in Africa, she worked non-stop and when she was back in the states, she spent her time fundraising and networking.

I did not realize the struggles missionaries go through until my daughter became one. I thought the struggles were different than they are. I thought missions work was fulfilling because you were doing the “work of the Lord.” It is, but it is also exhausting. I thought it was exciting to…

View original post 292 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When Missionaries Return

734242_565939796758937_1770978632_n

My daughter, Jana, is home from Burundi. She has completed her commitment to YFC Burundi and is no longer on the mission field.

Along with being home, comes a lot of emotions and change.

Jana is spending the summer decompressing. She is tired, not so much physically, but emotionally. God called her to Africa in 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2012 and left for Africa in Jan. 2013. During that time, she worked hard and fundraised. While in Africa, she worked non-stop and when she was back in the states, she spent her time fundraising and networking.

I did not realize the struggles missionaries go through until my daughter became one. I thought the struggles were different than they are. I thought missions work was fulfilling because you were doing the “work of the Lord.” It is, but it is also exhausting. I thought it was exciting to live in a foreign country. It is, but it is also frustrating and lonely. I thought it would be cool learning about different cultures. It is, but it is also difficult because you must be culturally aware at all times (the last thing you want to do in inadvertently offend the very people you are there to serve) and the people, while wonderful, do not think like you do and you have to adapt to their ways; they don’t adapt to yours.

One of Jana’s fellow missionaries found this post online and it pretty much sums it up:

http://www.trinitykenya.com/10-things-missionaries-wont-tell/

When a missionary returns home, how should you respond?  Our first reaction is to want to see them immediately upon arrival home.  We want to hear all the great stories and about the great exploits that were done “in the name of the Lord.”  What missionaries need upon returning home is time to process and decompress.  They need your love and support and most importantly they need your prayers.  They are trying to re-establish themselves into American culture.  My daughter has commented that she feels like she has been under a rock the past two years.

Most missionaries still need financial support once they return to the states.  They need new clothes and probably need a car.  They need to find jobs and get insurance, a place to live and so on.  My husband and I are helping our daughter financially but I don’t know what she would do without us.

So if you know a missionary from your church  who is returning from the mission field, remember to give them your love and support, give them space, and consider helping them financially.

All dreams come with a price, even being a missionary.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Southern Beauty Tips to Beat the Heat

imgres-2 I am a southerner, it is in my blood.  I was born and raised in Louisiana and have lived in Mississippi and Florida and am now a proud Texan. I ran across this article  from southernliving.com and thought it was fun.  All southern girls know that nothing can sabotage their best look quicker than humidity, especially summer humidity.  What’s a girl to do?  Well I found this link about 3 beauty tricks that are worth your time. http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2014/07/09/3-seemingly-fussy-beauty-tricks-that-are-worth-your-time/ I’m considering #1.  I would like to try curls occasionally for a change.  Sometimes when I’m feeling lazy, I’ll forego blow drying my hair and I get a little curl.  The only thing with rollers is, are my layers too short to go around rollers? I love #2  and didn’t know clear lip liner was an option.  I have tried colored lip liner and looked like someone who had bad implants. I’m not too keen on #3.  I used to have an eyelash curler, but got rid of it because I never used it.  My eyelashes always seemed to look like a spatula, kind of straight instead of curved  like a spoon. My favorite beauty tip to beat the heat is to put a cold compress over my wrists, and on my neck and forehead.  I learned this when I was a little girl.  It makes me feel refreshed and we all know that when we feel good, we look good. My favorite go to beauty product is the Clear&Clean oil absorbing sheets.  They come in a portable pack.  You simply blot your face with them and they take away the dirt and grime and leave you looking fresh. And best of all you can find them in the big box stores as well as your local drugstore. Anyway, what is your take on these beauty tips and do you have any you would like to share?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Church Camp, A Life Changer!

unnamed

As I was checking my Facebook news feed today, I saw all these posts about people sending their kids off to camp.  Ah, summer camp!  Every kid should attend at least one in their life.

Yes, camp is fun! You get to play all sorts of silly games, swim, sneak and stay up late, relax, get sun burned, eat icky food and complain about it, play pranks, and meet people from other churches.  And yes those things are awesome experiences.

But oh, the spiritual aspects!  There is something about being away from it all, being in a service with nothing but kids.  I don’t know why, but God is able to show you thing about yourself there that we can’t seem to learn anywhere else.

For me, my first camp was when I was 9 or 10 years old.  I was not going to go.  Our pastor stopped by to visit (back then pastors visited congregants houses on Saturday afternoons) and asked my parents if I was going to camp and they made a last minute decision to allow me to attend.  And I am glad they did, because at that camp I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life!!!!

I went to many camps through the years as a tween and teen but the other major life lesson I learned happened as an adult.  I was a chaperone and God gave me a glimpse of what He had in store for my life.  God told me some things about a girl in our youth group that were spot on that no one knew. The evangelist leading the camp laid hands on me and told me to go and pray for kids in the opposite direction he was praying, and God showed me His power in ways I had never experienced before.

So when it was time for the kids to go to camp, we wholeheartedly sent them.  Jana was blessed every time she went but camp had the greatest impact on Jeremy.  Jeremy went through some spiritual struggles as a young teen.  But God came through in a big way one year at camp and he rededicated his life. God also dropped the desire to play guitar in Jeremy’s heart at camp.  And as a matter of fact, Jeremy will be playing guitar at four different summer camps this month.

IMG_0347Jeremy playing guitar at the San Antonio ATF.  And to think t all started at church camp.

So do not underestimate your child’s time at camp.  It’s a great experience socially, but most importantly it can be a life changer spiritually.

How did church camp change your life or the lives of your kids?  I would love to hear your story.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Reading Corner: Reading With The Reluctant 5-8 Year Old

 

9i4bLBeAT

5-8 year olds!    These kids are little intellectual sponges who can soak up an unlimited amount of information.  But what if your child is intelligent,  yet hates to read. First of all, no child will learn to read with ease until he is ready.

Think about when your child learned to walk.  Some children can walk at 10 months of age and some can’t walk until they are 12 or 13 months old.  There’s nothing wrong with a child who is a late bloomer.  The child who didn’t walk until they were 13 months old caught up with the child who walked at 10 months.

So take a deep breath and RELAX!  I would not worry if my child couldn’t read until he is  about 8 or 9  years old.  Until then, read to your child, listen to books on tape, and be creative.  Once your child is 8,  you may want to seek additional help.

Children need to feel comfortable with books.  If your child is not reading, get some picture books and let him make up stories. Read the material to him.  Use audio books.   Let him read road signs, magazine, comic books.  The goal is to let reading be enjoyable and not a struggle.

Don’t let your well meaning family members or friends dictate the reading habits of  your family.  Don’t compare yourself or your child with anyone else.  Remember we are all “uniquely and wonderfully made in the image of God” and it doesn’t matter if your child is a later bloomer.

Chapter books can be a bit daunting for a young child.  If they are story books with ease, slowly introduce chapter books.  First of all, show the book to your child and explain that they don’t have to read the book in one sitting.  Read with them.  Maybe you can read the first chapter together and then they can read by themselves.  Or you can read the book together.  Consider letting your child read a chapter book aloud to younger siblings.

Listed below are some books that your 5-8 year olds may enjoy reading:

1.  Magazines:  Highlights, Humpty Dumpty, Ranger Rick

2.  Books in the Easy Reader section of the Library such as the “I Can Read Series”, “Dr. Suess’ Beginner Books or “Bright and Early” Series or   “Berenstein Bears”

3.  Curious George series by H.A. Rey

4.  Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans

5.  Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

6.  Flat Stanly series by Jeff Brown

7.  Amelia Bedilia  series by Peggy Parish

8.  Nate the Great series by Marjorie Sharmat

9.  Harry the Dirty Dog series by Gene Zion

10.  American Girls series by various authors

11. Ramona series and any book by Beverly Cleary

12.  The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner

13.    Mr. Poppers Penguins by Richard Atwater

14.   Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White

15.   Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol

16.  Hank the Cow Dog series by John R. Erickson and Gerald L. Holmes (the audio books are great)

There are a lot of great non-fiction books for children this age written with all interests in mind.  Look at any  book that might appeal to your child carefully before  you check in out of the library or buy it.  Look for great illustrations.  Some of these books may be too difficult for kids in this age group to read alone but are great books to simply “read the pictures” or to use as read alouds.  These are also great books for dad to share with the kids. National Geographic has a great series called “Explore My World” for the animal lovers.  National Geographic has a great series called “Explore My World” for the animal lovers.

And above all, PRAY and ask God for wisdom.  Remember He gives wisdom to those who diligently ask, so ASK!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Reading Corner: 10 Ways To Get Your Kids To Read This Summer

summer-reading

Summer reading!  As a parent you either love it or hate it.  If your child loves it, so do you.  But if you have a child who hates to read, you probably hate to think about it.  You dread the eye rolling, sighs, complaining and all the things our kids do when they don’t like to do something.  But, you are the parent and kids need to read, they really do.  And for that matter, adults need to read too.

I recently came across this article that expresses concern about the reading skills of American school children:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/12/reading-report-_n_5307509.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000028

As a reading specialist, this concerns me.  It talks about the fact that kids aren’t reading for pleasure.  During the school year, schedules are tight and reading outside of school assignments does not always happen. However, summer is the perfect time to read for pleasure.

You may be thinking that my child hates to read and that it is a chore to make them read, especially during the summer.  Well, don’t make them.  Take them to the library and let them choose anything they want (provided that the reading material matches the values you are trying to instill in your family, of course). Or take them to a bookstore and let them choose something cool that is their own.    Don’t worry if it’s not well written.  The goal is to encourage your child to read.  They may choose to read  books from a series, books about motorcycles, joke books, cartoons, arts and crafts books or even magazines.  The goal is to get them to read.

Some things to remember as a parent who wants to get reluctant readers to read:

1.  One reason a child may not like to read is that the reading  material is too hard.  Let them chose something that is not particularly challenging.   This is summer reading time.  Your kids are tired of school  and you goal is to get them to read.  If you have an avid reader, encourage them to read something a little challenging.  Just remember that  when you are looking for a fun, beach read, do you choose Charles Dickens or Karen Kingsbury.

2.  If your child had a hard time learning to read, he may feel defeated and discouraged.  Who wants to do something hard, especially in the summer.  If that is the case, your goal is to get him to feel good about himself.  He needs to become a confident reader or he will continue to hate reading. Don’t force reading on him, let him ease into it.

3.   Another reason your child may not want to read is that the material they have been read is boring.  As a general rule, girls who are into frills tend to like romance whereas boys who are into mechanical things tend to enjoy reading sci-fi. Your child may not like historical fiction but may like mysteries.

4.   The reading material is too long.  They see a thick book and it overwhelms them.  Let them read something short, maybe a book of short stories or a novella.  An ADHD child has a difficult time sitting down to read for long periods of time.  Work with your child and the way God made them.

5.   You set the tone and are the example. Let your kids see you read, even if it’s a magazine. And kids need to see their dads read too.

6.   Not everyone likes to read and not everyone is a voracious reader. If you have a child who loves to read, count your blessings. I have one child who loves to read and reads classic literature for fun. My other child did not like to read growing up, but reads now. He doesn’t read as much as he’d like because he’s busy and does not have the time to. Remember that’s the way God made them and He did not make a mistake.

7.  Consider investing in a kindle or other tablet.  Tech savvy kids may enjoy using an electronic device.

8.  Do read alouds with your kids and with your teens too (maybe not your 18 year olds), but a 12 or 13 year old will enjoy hearing you read.  Just don’t let their friends know! LOL! Find a good book, maybe a mystery and read the first chapter or maybe the first couple of chapters aloud.  Then tell them that they have to read the book to know the outcome.  That may peek their interest.

9.  Sometimes your kids want to read the same thing over and over and that’s ok.  Kids love repetition.The goal is to get them to read.

10.  Set up some type of reward system for reading.  It could be that they get ice cream or a special movie night if they read a certain number of books or a certain number of minutes. If all else fails, don’t feel bad if you need to pay them.  Just remember that you are setting a precedent that may come back to haunt you in the future.   Bargain Shopper Mom  has a link to programs that offer reading incentives:

http://everydaysavvy.com/kids-free-summer-reading-programs/

When my children were growing up, we did not go outside during the heat of the day (unless we went swimming) and that’s when we read.   After lunch when we were all together, we had a  required reading time.  During that time, we sat down  in the same room and read for about 15 minutes 3-4 times per week.

To make this idea work with your family, begin with 5 minutes if you need to and work your way up.  If you have toddlers who won’t sit still for long, read to them quietly and then let them play quietly.  You might try  getting pillows out and reading on the floor, you may want to hang out on the sofa, or even read in bed.  My kids used to love to read and do their school work on my bed.  The goal is to enjoy reading and to spend quality time together.

Lastly, if all of the above fails, pray.  God made your child and did not make a mistake.  He has all the answers when we don’t.  He created us with the ability to read and He will give you creative ideas to get your child to read.

Look for future posts in the reading corner that focus on reading for the 5-8 year old, 9-13  year old, and 14  year olds and above (including suggested books), tips for reading with preschoolers, and instilling a love of reading in your kids.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Never Wash Your Jeans?

NEVER WASH YOUR JEANS, that ‘s right.  According to the Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh, you should never wash your jeans.  Instead, you should spot clean them  but don’t wash them.  To kill microbes and eliminate odor, it is  suggested that you  freeze them.

I for one wash my jeans.  I don’t wash them as frequently as I do the remainder of my clothes, but I do wash them.  I do spot clean mine but after wearing them several times, they go in the washer, not the freezer.  And the thought of going  a year without washing them,  that takes my mind to places I don’t want to go, not to mention my nose.

I think about all the sweaty little boys with grass stained jeans and their moms not washing them. Would everyone think you were an awful mom if they found out that you only spot cleaned them! I can hear the “mean moms”  in my mind talking about  how their children would never leave the house with “dirty jeans”.  And how would you get those grass stains out anyway?

How about the construction workers or ranch hands who work all day outside.  Certainly he’s not talking about them!

I wonder how long you need to freeze your jeans to get them odor free and how cold they would be when you finished?  Do you use a hair dryer to thaw them out?

Anyway, what is your take?  Let me hear what you think!

Link | Posted on by | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Life Is A Sombrero

unnamed

That’s right, my life is like a  sombrero and so is yours!   I was praying one morning and God spoke to me in that still, small voice that I know is His and He told me “life is a sombrero.”

I know that seems weird, but this is how I envision it.   My Christian life is like a giant sombrero with a huge brim.  It encompasses who I am and my existence on earth.

On top of that are my wife and motherhood hats.  I have been a wife for almost 30 years and a mom for over 26 years and I wear those hats proudly.

I also have a very worn daughter hat that I wear a little to the side.  I am still a daughter (thankfully both of my parents are living),  but that part of my life is not as important as my wife/mother identity.

I  also have  friend and neighbor hats that are a little smaller that sit atop my wife and mother hats  and that I wear them proudly.

Laying to the side but still attached are my student, teacher, homeschooler, and administrator hats that are part of my past.  They are important parts of my life and I could easily wear  them atop my current life hats  if they become a part of my future life.

Finally, I have a writer’s hat that I wear today.  That hat sits above the wife, mother, neighbor, and friend hats.

The sombrero is not full.  There is room for a grandmother and  mother-in-law hat and who knows what else.

One thing that is not a part of the sombrero is my sin nature.  I do not wear that hat.   At times, it creeps into my life but I do not put it on.   I also do not wear a guilt, insecurity, sickness, anger, or  negative hat.  Those things were taken care of when I put on my Christian  sombrero and they are no longer a part of my life.

One interesting side note is that when I begin to allow the junk from my sin nature back on my sombrero, my other hats begin to get tattered and torn.  They also don’t fit quite as well as when I don’t allow the negative hats on my sombrero.

I am in control of my sombrero. No one else can add or take away the hats I wear. I can choose to wear sickness, depression, sin, and all the negative things that go with our sin nature, yet I choose not to.

What hats do you wear?  Is your sombrero your Christian faith or is it something else?  Do your hats stay on well or are they tattered and torn from the negative junk that tries to infiltrate your life?

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment