Change of Birth Plans

I feel like my blog has been so deep lately. I’ve been really talking about some heavy topics and I think I might have the perfect cure for that. I’m going to tell you guys about the night I gave birth to my oldest daughter. Now I have to tell you that my first birth experience was not at all what I wanted. It was thirteen hours long and I had to have all kinds of things that I didn’t plan on, so I bought a book by Jackie Mize called supernatural childbirth. I read that book cover to cover and decided that I wanted to give birth in two hours and that I wanted to have a natural child birth! What can I say, I’ve always been ambitious!

It was July 5, 2007 and we were living in North Carolina and it was hot. The temperature was about 100 degrees and when you factored in the heat index it felt like a 110 degrees outside!

Our air conditioner was only cooling the house down to about twenty degrees cooler than it was outside, so basically I was miserable! I was praying that she would not be ten days late like my son was, so I was doing everything to try and get her to come. I was walking up and down the street doing karate, squats up and down the hallway in my house, and I was doing all the other old wives tales that are said to induce labor as well. However, nothing was working and I remember staring out the window on the fourth of July watching the fire works go off thinking why am I still pregnant? My due date had come and gone three days earlier, and I was getting desperate to have my baby. I was running out of options, so I called my one Aunt, who swore by home remedies for every possible illness and she told me to take some castor oil, and out of sheer inpatients that is what I did. I can’t say that it works for everyone, or that it even actually was the reason that I went into labor, but it worked and I’m a believer now!

I had gone to all the trouble to write out my birth plan, bring food, pillows massage oils and music to play as I pushed out my beautiful baby daughter. I wanted the lights to be low and most importantly I did not want to take any drugs at all! I had planned to have an all natural birth, and then immediately take pictures after I did my makeup and styled my hair. I was going to have a ton of energy after giving birth since I wasn’t going to get an epidural, so my whole birth experience was going to be better than my first experience had been.

Well, it’s funny how reality is almost never like our plans! When we got to the hospital my contractions were getting stronger and stronger while we waited. The nurse couldn’t get a vein for my IV and my blood shot out of my arm all over the wall and my clothes. I was up on the bed, on my hands and knees rocking from side to side to try and deal with the contractions. The Midwife that happen to be on shift that night came in and started talking to me and taking all my important whatever’s. He, yes it was a male midwife, started to ask me a series of questions and determined that I was having back labor. He took his thumb and his pointer finger and placed them at a place on the small of my back and just like that my painful contraction went away and I immediately relaxed. He told me that he and his wife had ten children and that she delivered everyone of them all natural and that I could too.

Friends, I was like putty in his hands, he had taken away the discomfort of my contraction, thus wrapping me around his pinky finger! Wouldn’t you know it he had to leave and go check on his other patients so he showed my husband exactly how to touch me to help fight off my back labor pains. I will never forget he asked my husband, ” Did you catch how I did that?” to” which my husband replied yeah I got it!” The Midwife said great and promised to come back later and check on us, the moment that I had another contraction I called out to him to come and, “do the thing.” He came over and kind of poked me in the back a little and that was it.

Now you can probably imagine how terribly upset I became. I shouted and fussed! I could not understand why he would say he knew how to do it if he didn’t know how to do it!

I finally ended up begging for an epidural and delivering her three minutes before midnight. Nothing went according to plan! In fact everything that could go sideways did go sideways. In the end, there was no music playing softly in the background or a drug free delivery. No, there was no drug free delivery that night and plenty of yelling  and then I had a baby girl. The point of me telling yo this story is two fold, I want you to laugh a little, and I also want you to consider a time when things didn’t go according to your plan.

Did you fall apart or did you find a way to hold it together and create a new plan. When I realized that I was going to have my baby right after I got the epidural I was upset with myself for not waiting a few minutes longer. I was actually dialated to nine centimeters when I got the epidural.

They only gave it to me because I think they felt sorry for me. Right after I delivered her I immediately regretted the fact that I didn’t hang in there a few minutes longer, because I had to wait two hours just for the medication to ware off. Friends, wait on your promises or your dreams to come to pass. Be patient while you wait and believe that God can do just what He said. It may get hard, yo may feel uncomfortable but stick to your birth plan, even if things don’t go exactly like you wanted, you still have a promise.

My problem was that I let every little pain make me think that I should give up and change direction. Now sometimes things aren’t going to go as we plan, and that’s okay too. Sometimes the blessing is in the journey and not the arrival.

Share your stories in the comment section! Let me know how you all feel about a change of plans. Do you panic or do you roll with the punches?

The Issues of Life

Have you ever said something that you immediately regretted as soon as it came out your mouth? Well I have, and folks nothing feels worse than realizing that you really just said what you just said. Here’s my story. My kids had a dental appointment this Saturday and I was feeling really worn out mentally after what had turned into an unexpectedly long, and hard week. The appointment seemed to be super long and the dental office was crazy busy with people everywhere and lots of noise. Our appointments went well and we were on our way out after only about forty-five minutes. Everything was going really well, but then as I was chatting with the receptionist while we scheduled my next appointment everything went kaboom! Everywhere I go I hear people make all types of comments like, “Wow, you have five children! I could never do that? I would die if I had five children, or Wow, you’ve got your hands full!”

Guys, I hear these comments all the time everywhere I go!  I feel like I have matured more now and that I can handle them much better, but this particular time I let myself down. I jokingly told the ladies that yes it was a lot, but I thought it was a good number. I then went on to say that I really wanted another little girl and I got what I wanted. That should have been all I said but I didn’t stop there. I made another comment that I will hold back from the internet, but I essentially said that I did not want to have any more children!  Now truthfully it wasn’t like I used profanity or was rude or anything like that, but as soon as I said the words I had an, ” Oh-No feeling!” We finished up and we walked out to our truck and loaded up and went back to school shopping and the whole time, I kept hearing my words playing in my head over and over again and my heart was sinking with guilt.

Why would this make me feel guilty you may wonder, what’s so bad about not wanting to have more children? Well it’s not so much about the words that  I said as it is where the words came from. Honestly, I am more than satisfied with my five and I feel like I haven’t mastered being a Mother of five yet, so I am not praying that I get pregnant; however, I would welcome another baby because I believe that the fruit of the womb is the Lords reward. I am so disappointed in myself for responding the way I did and especially in the presence of my children. I never want them to think that I didn’t choose this lifestyle or that I don’t enjoy being their Mom.

It seemed like every place we went yesterday someone was coming up to us to comment on our family or my children’s good behavior, it’s as if God was allowing every person in every store to comment to me about how wonderful my children were.

No matter what I did that day my comments were playing in my head on repeat and I felt terrible. I was trying to figure out why I was having such a hard time controlling my tongue, and watching my words. I have been working so hard at guarding my mouth and closely screening my words before they come out my mouth. Than I heard Holy Spirit whisper to my heavy heart, “keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”(proverbs4:23) I confess to you that I cried a little bit. I realized that I was only trying to conceal my symptoms by watching my words, but I was ignoring the root of the problem…my heart.

I don’t know when it happened or how it happened but at some point I allowed my heart to become vulnerable to this world and the words that I spoke yesterday was a result of the heart issues that I have about having five children or the thought of having more children. It would take me all day to try and tell you how difficult it was for me to deal with the negative opinions and comments from people just six years ago. I didn’t know how to deal with people criticizing me for having children. Every little thing hurt my feelings and drove me to tears. It got to the point where I wouldn’t even tell certain people until I was almost ready to give birth, because I didn’t want to hear their thoughts about my life. I knew that God was pleased with me, I was happily married and taking care of my children joyfully. I really struggled with caring what people thought of me and my husband as well as my children.

The question that haunted me after I heard this scripture was, “When did I change my heart?” I think that perhaps it happen slowly, as I began to make friends with different women, from different backgrounds. I would begin to agree with them that five was a big number, and too much to handle. Maybe it happened as I started to tire of folding laundry or buying in bulk every two weeks, or possibly it was the fact that I wasn’t spending enough time renewing my mind with the Word of God and washing away the images that were being subtly planted in my mind day after day.

I would never blame anyone else for my short comings or failures, but I must say that the people we surround our selves with influence our hearts. The books we read the shows we watch, they all leave an invisible print on our hearts. Even though I had heard this before, I still didn’t realize what was happening to my own heart.

It was slowly happening to me, I was losing sight of how wonderfully blessed I was to have five amazing children. The cares of my everyday life were starting to look like they were multiplied by five and too much for me to manage. However, when I read the Word of God, it tells me that God will never put more on me than I can bare(1Cor.10:13), and it tells me that the fruit of the womb is the Lords reward(psalm127:3). The Word says that He makes the barren woman a joyful mother of children.(psalm113:9) This may sound like a cliché to you but, I know that some one out there would love to have five healthy children and a husband. I hate that I wasn’t being grateful enough, and that I was losing sight of who I am and the woman that I want to be, but now that I know better, I will be doing better.

I won’t just be treating the symptoms anymore, but I will be allowing the God to examine my heart and groom me. I want to be the kind of women who can inspire other women to be the best version of themselves and to be comfortable going against the norms. I want to inspire my daughters to live with purpose and seek to please God’s will.

It was hard for me to share this with you today, but I’m glad I did because we can’t help others if we pretend to have it all together all the time. Having said that what have you been covering up, but not healing? Share it in the comments if you dare!

Trust your Training

Are you watching the Summer Olympic games? I am and I’m teaching my children all about the excitement and the significance of these games. One thing you guys should know about me is that I really enjoy watching sports, and playing them as well. It’s only natural for me to watch the best athlete’s in the world on the world’s largest stage. Oh, if you all could see us, we scream and cheer for all the big winners, we sing the national anthem and rejoice as if it’s our family member up on that stage.

This all got me to thinking about how much pressure these athletes must feel when they think of what’s before them. Imagine the whole world watching you represent your whole country, and you can only do it once every four years! I mean if it were any other time, you know that you could just try again next week, or next year, but these games only come around once every four years!

Do you know what it feels like to be under an immense amount of pressure? Have you ever felt like the weight of the whole world was on your shoulders? How do you deal with the pressures of life? Watching the Olympics you see some people who seem to really turn on another gear and perform so well in the face of great distress; and yet, there are many athletes who fall to the self doubt and cave under the weight of strain and obligations.

I must confess as much as I would like to think that I’m cool as a cucumber when I’m feeling stressed out or worried about something, I’m actually not! In fact I would say that if I wasn’t married to a super great guy I would be a mess, when life’s test and trials come to try me. I get so freaked out about failing or not succeeding that I begin to over analyze every little thing and I start to panic. My breathing picks up and I have to sit down and regroup. It may sound funny, but it’s true, my first instinct is to say I can’t do this! I was listening to one of the winners talk about what she did to calm her nerves and she said many things but one thing that stood out was that she, “trust her training.”

What does that mean exactly, what kind of training could be so wonderful that it could calm your nerves when your standing there about to compete against literally the best people in the whole world?  Well let me tell you what I believe.

There is no doubt that these athletes have some of the best coaches and trainers in the world surrounding them. For three years they’re working with a team of people who are constantly monitoring their habits and helping them to form a wining mindset, routine and well conditioned body to be in top shape for this one moment in time.

You may be thinking well what does this have to being a mother or wife? Well as moms and wives who follow Christ we have to trust our training too when we’re feeling pressure.  When we’re faced with situations that seem too hard or choices that we  must make we have to take a deep breath and trust our training. Everything that God created us to be is already in us, we don’t have to panic like we’re not capable of making the right decision.  When we spend time reading the Word of God, or praying and worshiping God we are building ourselves up. We are becoming equipped for the challenge, and we can be confident that we are ready for the race!

Even though you may not think that you’re ready for the unexpected, let me assure you that you can handle this! I don’t care if it’s potty training, teaching your five year old how to read, or talking to your ten year old about the jr. version of the birds or the bee’s!

I’m feeling really inspired by all this talk about trusting my training right now! Let me know how you handle immense pressure. Do you blossom under pressure and produce your best work, or do you panic like me? Let me know in the comments.

Parenting through the Fear

It’s impossible to know just how much having children can change you, until you actually have children. The other day my children and I were riding down the street on the way to another Doctor’s appointment and my oldest son ,who is ten soon to be eleven,  asked me a question that really shined a light on how I allow fear to influence my parenting.

He said, “Mom since I’ll be a fifth grader in two weeks can I finally get to school early to play at the park with the other kids?” My natural response was to say, no you’re too young, but for some reason this time I said, “We’ll see.” I continued to think about all the reasons why I feel most comfortable saying no. I thought about all the things that I say no to automatically without even giving it a second thought, and the honest answer is I’m afraid. I think that I’ve always known this about myself, but I am constantly worried about the unknown. The fear of the what if scenarios.

I started to wonder how can I be a good mom if I allow my fears to dictate every decision that I make when it comes to parenting my children? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know that this is something that I really struggle with. I want to protect them from harm and danger, but I wonder if I’m actually hurting them more by not allowing them to have a little more freedom?

When I was a kid we walked to school every morning through the woods and nothing ever happen to us. We played outside until the street lights came on, we walked to the park with our friends, and we turned out just fine. Unfortunately, the world is a completely different place now and kids may never know the joy of roaming free until the street lights come on. I was really thinking it about it the rest of the day and finally it hit me that I survived and had a pretty goof childhood because God preserved my life, He kept me and He covered me with His wings. God is the reason why I think the world was a safe place when I was a kid, not because my town was some anomaly where there was no crime. If God can keep me and my husband then why won’t I trust Him to keep my children safe as well?

I don’t like the thought that I could be holding my children back, because of my fears. I want them to learn about life and people. I want them to learn how to deal with bullies and best friend drama, but I also want them to never get hurt and to never feel the pain of being rejected by their peers. I want my children to be okay when I drop them off at college. The only way to know how to do all the things that I just mentioned is to have real world experience. I want to trust that my sweet children will know how to carry themselves when I’m not around, so I might just allow them to have a few mornings at the park before class starts. Of course I’ll be watching from the car to make sure everything is alright.(Well, I never said I was perfect, I only said I was trying!)

It can be hard to step back and allow our children to have the freedom to make mistakes, but trusting God’s ability to handle every potential problem is the best decision we could ever make. Do you ever make important life choices from a place of fear? How do you balance allowing your children the freedom to grow and mature, with your desire to keep them safe? Let me hear from you in the comments.

Sowing and Reaping

I had my book signing this week and I was literally tied up in knots worried about how well it would go all this week. I had a problem that God reveled to me this week and He used my worry over this event to expose it to me. You see somewhere along this journey of writing and publishing a book, I lost sight of what was really important. I got tangled up in the superficial aspects of achieving my goals. I started thinking that because I had sown over here and over there, to this person and that person, that surely I will reap from those same places because I sowed seeds there. I thought if you put a seed in the ground over there, then that’s the spot where your harvest will grow.

However, that is not always the case, the bible says; “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal6:7)

I love the next verse as well, but I want to really focus on sowing and reaping right now. I was thinking that I had made a deal with these people that I would support them and intern they would support me. That may sound reasonable to you, in fact it sounded like a great idea to me, but here’s the problem; I was looking to people and not God.

I did have a lot of people whom I know and love buy my book or share it with others, so I just want to clear that up. I did have a LOT of people support me and I am so grateful! I hope you all know that, but I was too focused on the people who I thought would be there and were not. I was disappointed by their absence because I was expecting my harvest to come from them. The reason why I was doing things had become corrupted, I was doing things with the wrong heart. Naturally after God pointed this out to me I was remorseful and upset with myself and I immediately threw an epic pity party for myself.

I was moping around the house telling myself, all sorts of things. I guess my husband noticed and he decided to try and encourage me to come out of the funk that I was in by giving me a little reminder. He waited until I was done with my day, freshly showered, and getting ready to turn out the lamp on my nightstand before he spoke a word about my attitude. I was tossing and turning, fluffing my pillows trying to get comfortable when he said, “You know babe remember the saying, ‘You may not always reap WHERE you sow, but you will always reap WHAT you sow.’ This may not be the place of your harvest. This may have been the tight time for you to sow, but not the time for you to reap.”

Wow! That was some of the best advice that my husband has ever given me! It was a truth that I needed to be reminded of, because along they way I had started looking toward people for my return on the seeds that I’ve sown. Unfortunately, I lost sight of what was actually true. You see I was looking for my self value or validation in who supported me or how many books I sold, and I think that’s why I was sad at first. I let my husbands words to me really sink in and it changed my perspective of myself and I stopped allowing self doubt ruin my feeling joy of reaching my goal of becoming a published author. I made a decision to be grateful for all the people who did congratulate me and who did run out and by copies of my book. I don’t know why it’s so easy to focus on the negative things instead of the positive, but I chose to look for the good. It was not my natural inclination, but thank God for my husbands sage and sobering advice!

I felt like God was reminding me not to despise the day of small beginnings(Zac4:10) I have this tendency to want everything to be absolutely perfect and a guaranteed success before I try it, and that is the opposite of faith. I should say though, that I had two very lovely ladies make it out to my book signing and it could not have been more perfect. I really had the chance to talk about myself and my book and my family was there too, it was just what I needed.

When I left there, I was feeling like a million bucks! Those ladies helped me to remember why I wanted to write my book in the first place, because I wanted to tell a good story. I wanted to make people feel happy. Sometimes we just have to take a look at our lives and see all the many blessings we already have. Waiting on God’s timing might be difficult, but in due season I know that I will reap my harvest.(Gal.6:9)

We need to see the value that we already have, the worth that we already possess, and the harvest that we’ve already reaped. God bless you all for reading and please share a time when you had to open your eyes to see your harvest.

 

Seasoned With Grace

By a show of hands, how many of you lose control of your tongue every now and then? That many? Glad to know I’m not alone! (Releases a dramatic breath that I was holding and wipes the sweat from my brow.)  Great now that I know that I’m not the only one I feel more comfortable about sharing my struggles with you all.

I have to start off by saying that I love being a Mother! I believe that I was called to be a mother to many and I wouldn’t want to live anyone else’s life; however, I’m a yeller sometimes! I think it’s 60% my personality and 40% my children! I’m just a loud girl, I laugh loudly, I cry loudly, truly no one would ever accuse me of being quiet! That’s my husband, very quiet almost never yells, and he is very reserved. Even in moments of panic or extreme joy, my hubby is very low key.

Well earlier this week my oldest was literally driving me crazy! My kids are at home on summer break for about two more weeks and I feel battle tested! He is not a rude child or disrespectful or anything like that, but he is extremely forgetful!

My child leaves everything open, he leaves the truck doors open, he forgets to close the garage door, he leaves the side gate open, water running, fridge doors open, shower running, lights on, should I continue? Even as I’m typing this I’m laughing because on paper it sounds funny!

However, I was not laughing earlier this week, and let me tell you why. We were all sitting in the truck and someone forgot their shoes, so I asked him to run back in the house and grab some shoes from the shoe area by the door right inside the foyer. Ten minutes later he comes back with a snack and puts his seat belt on while we all watch. I was flabbergasted and frustrated that he came back with food and no shoes!  Well guys I yelled at him and I felt so bad immediately because he looked so regretful, and so sad about the whole thing.

Every since that day I feel like I’ve been trying to be make sure that I don’t yell at my kids because I don’t want to sow anger into them. I would hate for my children’s memories to be filled with me yelling. I want them to feel loved and to know that I love them, because I showed them everyday.  Naturally, I prayed about it, but I was still feeling some major guilt and I just couldn’t seem to forgive myself.

I was listening to the Word while getting dressed this morning and I heard this scripture and it was exactly what I needed. Col4:6 “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.(KJV)

You may be noticing a theme with my blog this week and that was totally unintentional I promise, but once again God was dealing with me on the subject of grace. I kept meditating on that scripture and I began to realize that what I’m lacking is grace and salt. When I speak to my children I need to use words that will strengthen them where they are weak and encourage them to be better. My words should be building them up and helping them grow.  I don’t know why it’s so easy to forget that I was a child once too, and I made mistakes and forgot things just like my son. I was allowing my frustrations to control my words and because of that I was speaking seeds of frustration instead of seeds of grace, joy, life, love and encouragement. My words should comfort the hearts of my children and when I’m not guarding my tongue

I’m finding that when I hide the word in my heart, that’s what comes out of my moth when I’m frustrated and upset. I don’t want to give off the false impression that I’m perfect now, or cured from yelling and that I’ll never yell again. That may be a stretch, but I do hope that I remember the words to that verse, and other verses as well that bring my mouth back under submission to the Word of God.

We all have things that we struggle with and we all can be strengthened when we share or testimonies of how we have overcome, or how we plan to deal with our problems. Thanks for listening to my issue today, and feel free to share something that you are in the process of overcoming in the comment section. You never know it might be exactly what someone else needs to hear!

The Great Mom With No Kids

Well obviously from the title you already know what I’m going to talk about with you today, but let me just tell you the back story really quick. I was on a playdate with my mommy friend who is currently pregnant with her fourth child. Their really looking forward to finding out the gender, but that’s about all. They haven’t started baby shopping or working on the nursery, and there is no panic about kindergarten or college because their NOT first time parents.

We (my friend and I) actually started laughing and swapping stories about all the things that we said we would, and would never do as moms before we actually had children. Do me a favor please, if you’re a Mom, or a Dad even, think back on all the judgmental comments that you made about other people’s parenting styles. Think back if you will on all the answers that you had for every parenting dilemma imaginable.

Are you laughing yet? Friends, I was the absolute best Mom ever before I had kids! There was nothing that I didn’t know and no problem that I couldn’t solve. Guys, I was super mom, and the only reason why I didn’t write a book is because I was too busy being awesome and judgey! Honestly, I was going to have perfect kids, who never threw tantrums, were good eaters and would be potty trained in like two minutes!(Because to say seconds would just be too arrogant.)

We laughed so hard at the mothers we thought we would be! We thought we would never give our kids sugar, never allow our children to watch t.v. and we certainly weren’t going to ever yell at our children. We firmly believed that we would have perfect children who would always eat their vegetables and follow every rule. In my mind I envisioned having perfectly well behaved children who were always dressed like little gap kids models with squeaky clean faces and hands. I don’t have enough time to tell you all about how easy it was going to be for me to lose the baby weight due to my healthy eating and impressive work out plan!! Seriously!!

Reality however, sounds a lot different! My car is only clean twenty percent of the time, I carry a huge Mom-purse, I am almost never early and very likely to be late every where I go. If you turn on my radio it’s always on a “kid safe,” radio station and every time I go to the store to buy myself something, I always leave with things for the kids! I bribe my kids sometimes, but I call it a reward for fill-in-the blank. My fifth child, has already had ice cream, cookies, and juice and she’s not even two yet! My oldest child didn’t even know what a cookie taste like until he was at least a year old! The mother that I am now, will let her kids play outside without me sitting outside, in the blazing heat to watch them run around screaming with their friends and siblings to make sure they don’t get kidnapped. The Mom that I was ten years ago, would have questioned what kind of woman would let her kids play outside without her present.

I remember seeing older children in the mall riding in a stroller or a kart and thinking, “shouldn’t little Johnny be walking he’s at least four?”(with my nose in the air.) Now when I see little Johnny riding in the stroller with his feet dragging the ground, I suddenly remember to count my kids and make sure I haven’t lost one, and then I wish I could stick a few more kids in my stroller too!

My point is we are not the people who we thought we would be when were younger, and that’s not always a bad thing. I think that if we were young and we didn’t think we would be totally awesome at being parents, we would never have children. I feel like it’s a secret that God uses that helps us get started. I honestly think that I’m a better parent now that I have five children than I was when I had one child. I do acknowledge that I was a much more attentive mother when I had just one child, but I believe that too much attention can hinder our children’s natural development. For example, I was OCD about germs and making sure that everything was super sanitized, but as it turns sitting in a public shopping cart without a protective cover might help you to get sick sooner, but it won’t kill you! Truthfully you might not even get sick, according to my husband it strengthens your immune system!

Having children has also helped me to better understand the concept of God’s grace and love for us, his children. I don’t know how God put up with me and all my knowledge, but he was long suffering with me and I’m so glad he was.

I hope you laughed a little bit as you read about what a smarty pants I was and I hope it brought back some happy memories for you as well. What has life taught you about yourself that you couldn’t see until you were in the thick of things? Are you the same mother you were when you didn’t have children, or have your real life children proved you wrong? Let me know in the comment section!

Faith Comes by Hearing

Romans 10:17″ So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

I have to be honest with you guys, I have been listening to all the negative reports from all the news outlets and my heart has been so heavy, but a few days ago something changed. I was listening to one of my favorite pastors and he said the verse above and my heart grabbed hold to it and wouldn’t let go. The truth is I had been listening to the world and it was feeding me, and the saying is true, you are what you eat. The more negative and heart wrenching stories I heard the heavier I became. I started to feel God calling me to His side, drawing me near, and I dropped everything and ran to Him.

That scripture reminded me that my faith is in God and what He said, not what the news said, or my time line on Facebook, or my group of close friends said. No, my faith, my peace, and my security can only be found in God’s word.

Friends this is a time to stay in the word of God! I immediately started playing the word everyday in my car, and while I was getting ready for the day. I began to make sure that I was reading the scriptures out loud with  my children everyday. I made it a top priority to hear the word of God and speak the word of God every day to my family and myself. Jesus said in Mathew4:4, “…Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” I had been eating from the wrong table! Somehow, I forgot who was really in charge, I forgot that God was holding the whole world in His hands and that He was still on the throne!

If you’re going to have peace that surpasses all understanding then you’re going to have to remain with God. That means that you’re going to have to know His word, and know what He said. The connection to having faith in God is hearing God’s word daily. We need the Lord now like never before, and we must be rooted and grounded right now. This is no time to get distracted by every sad story or every evil report. We must use the word of God like a shield and a sword, so that we can fight against the wiles, or deceptive games of the devil.

If I sound too churchy for you, sorry, but I had to really get my mind right. I was really bothered by all of the things that are going on in the world today, but hearing the word brought me back in line. It was strong enough to grab me before I strayed to far away in the wrong direction. I had to then share what God had shared with me with my children. I needed to make sure that I was leading and guiding my children in the right way as well, because I didn’t want them to have fear or anxiety because of me. This word saved me from living with fear and anxiety so I wanted to share this with you all as well.

I hope this post helped to set your heart free. I pray that these words made your heart burn as you read them. I certainly felt a weight lift off my shoulders! Please share your thoughts about this post and let me know how you feel about the state of your faith.

His Grace is Sufficient for Me

2Corinthians 12:9a says, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”

I’m sure we have all heard this scripture in it’s entirety more than once at some point in our lives. Truthfully, I never really understood what it meant to have perfect strength in weakness, until I was in the midst of  a difficult trial in my own life. The trial is not the point, there will be many test and trials throughout our life, the point is the strength that we possess. We might never know how strong we are, or how much weight we can carry if it weren’t for the test and challenges that come our way.

I was reading the book of 1Samuel today with my children and we were reading about Hannah and how she prayed for her first child. The surprising thing was that after she had her son, the answer to her prayers, she brought him back and dedicated him to serving God for his whole life. Whoa! That must have taken some real strength! The interesting thing is that her name actually means grace. You know the funny thing is I always thought that grace meant softness and meekness, but it also means strength.

When she gave birth to the child she literally prayed for, weaned him and then gave him to Eli to raise that took real strength, but God gave her the grace to do that. Whatever situation Paul was in, no matter what the difficulty was, and no matter how much he sought God about it the answer was the same. If his grace was sufficient for Paul, and Hannah and even Jesus then can we too be made perfect in our weakness. His grace is sufficient for us as well!

I can’t even tell you how many times I didn’t realize how difficult something really was until I looked back on it years later. I can’t believe all the things that we made it through in these short eleven years that we’ve been married.

The first ten years of my marriage have been filled with babies and deployments and TDY’s and moving from state to state. That may not seem like a small thing to some of you, but having two babies in diapers and my husband across the world, was one of my weakest times. I was so tired and so new to being a wife and a mother that if it had not been for the grace of God, I don’t know what I would have done.

I just really want to encourage someone out there who maybe reading this while you’re facing a difficult trail right now. If you’re going through something that yo feel like is too hard for you to bare, I want you to realize that God will never put more on you than you can bare. Whatever giant you’re facing, whatever problem that maybe causing you to continually seek the Lord to remove it, I want to tell you that his grace is sufficient for you. You are an overcomer and you can conqueror this thing. I want to tell you to keep the faith and hang in there. His grace is not just available to the ones who always do everything right, but to the ones who are broken, hurting and struggling.

I use to think that the only way God would help me, or hear my prayers was if I was doing everything that he told me to do. I thought that I had to be perfect before God would bless me. If you feel like that hear me when I tell you that our God is merciful and his hand is capable of reaching down and saving you no matter the mess you may be in. Now that is not a license to sin, but the grace to come to Him as you are.

I’m not going through a particular situation or having a really difficult time tonight, I just really wanted to tell someone that God’s grace is sufficient for you. I just want to encourage someone and let you know that during your test you’re being made stronger. You may be really feeling the weight of a heavy trial right now, but God is building your faith muscles right now. Please hang in there and allow God to build you up and build your testimony.

I love it when you guys share in the comment section! Please share with us your best advice to someone who may be going through something that feels too hard to bare! How did you overcome a bad situation with grace and perfect strength? Did you know at the moment how serious or severe the problem was at the time?

 

Control Freak

Hello my name is Torre Williams and I am a control freak parent. There you go, I admit it. I wish I cold say that I’m very relaxed and that I just go with the flow, but folks that would be a big lie!  The other day my sister and I were talking about our children and we were both lamenting the fact that we can’t make them be exactly how we want them to be. Now, I understand that as parents we are to teach our children right from wrong and take care of them, make sure that they become productive members of society and all that jazz.

However, what I did not understand when I had my first child is that we as parents can not make them be something that God has not called them to be. That is not our job as parents, our job is to be a good steward over the gift that God has given us. We have a responsibility to train our children up in the way that they should go. God wants us to point our children towards Him and His ways, not or unfulfilled life dreams, or what we think of as the definition of a man or woman.

My children are wonderful little people, but I would love to tweak a few things. I know that sounds ridiculous, and it truly is. The only reason why I want to change things is because I want them to be better than me, I want my children to be perfect! While I was talking to my sister and we were both voicing our complaints and concerns about how we want our children to talk, think and act, it hit us both that we don’t even live up to those lofty expectations ourselves! I came to the conclusion that I was actually trying to control who God called my children to be and the path that they have to travel to become the men and women that he wants them to become.

I don’t know how I’m supposed to raise my children if I can’t control them! I finally understand that God did not ask me to create my children’s personality or even to wrap them in bubble wrap to keep them safe and sound. In fact God wants me to raise them to keep His commandments, to respect and honor Him and to walk in His ways. God wants us as parents to point our children towards Him, not what we wish for them to become. We must lead them to the rock that is higher than we are. I finally understand that or children need us to encourage them to be who God designed them to be, because they were fearfully and wonderfully made by an awesome creator. Sometimes God will tell us who our children are, or who they need to become and when that happens we may have more insight as to how to raise them. If we never know until it’s obvious though, we still must love them for who they are and how they are, of course I don’t mean that we should allow them to lie, cheat or practice bad habits. As parents we have to lead our children in the right way, but I now know that we have to place the control in the right hands. It’s not my place to try and change my son’s personality, or make my daughter into my little clone. No, God already made them in His image and they already have an identity.

Have something to add? Please leave your comments down below!