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!

Fight the Real Enemy

Everyone around the world probably knows about the hurt and divide that America is experiencing right now. It’s upsetting, it’s disturbing, but I think the prevailing emotion right now is fear. We as a country are really struggling right now with anger and being afraid of what’s happening right now between the men and women who have sworn to serve and protect their communities and the citizen’s who have been treated unjustly.

I actually didn’t want to write about this because I figured I would just be another voice that no one hears, or another bell sounding in a chorus; however, I have a dog in the fight as they say. My Father-in-law is a Police Officer, he has been for almost 30 years, my husbands best man is a Police Officer, as well as Hubby’s first cousin and his wife, so I feel deeply connected to this issue.

The problem is bigger than just bad cops, or racism, I believe the issue is Spiritual. We can not defeat these things with marches, or protest, not even with new laws. Those things may be effective in some way, but the real battle must take place in the spirit realm.  The Apostle Paul tells us that “though we walk in the flesh, we do not WAR after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 2Cor.10:3-4” Guys when I read the Bible I believe that what God inspired those men to write way back then is true for today!(2Tim3:16-17) I believe that if we would all just humble ourselves and pray that God would heal our land. I believe that there is a Word from heaven that can cause us to put down our protest signs and weapons. I believe this because I trust God, and I know that with Him all things are possible.

I don’t want to write a sad blog that causes us to think on all the ways that one side is right and the other side is wrong.  I want to encourage you to join me as I pray that God would heal the broken-hearted, that he would comfort those who have lost loved ones and that he would knit our hearts together so that we would love one another more fervently.

To be honest the whole world is hurting right now. There isn’t one place that doesn’t need the Lord today. I’m going to pray for our families and our children that they might know the Lord. I’m going to bombard heaven with prayers for my country and the world tonight.  I want to leave us all with this very popular scripture to hide in or hearts John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Overcoming My Fear of Success

As you can see in the picture I have finally completed my very first novel! It’s called Victorious in Love and it’s about a 27-year-old widow who goes to Montana on vacation to get away from the steroid scandal that her dead professional football player husband left behind for her to deal with when he died. An unexpected blizzard forces her to stop at what she thought was a friend’s house. However, the house belongs to 32-year-old Cord Law, a broken veteran who came home to Montana to heal from his wounds and to hide from the world. When Victoria walks into his home she turns his whole world upside-down. They come from different backgrounds, different races, and different walks of life, but they soon discover they don’t want to live without each other. 

“I love this story so much and I can’t believe I wrote it sometimes, and to be honest I almost never even finished it. When my husband and I got married I wanted to be a great wife to him and a great mother to our children.”

For me that meant me staying at home with our children and I could not imagine doing it differently. As time went on I began to only see myself as acceptable if I was confined to a box that I made for myself that soon became a stumbling block for me. I thought that if I did certain things differently that my friends and family would condemn me and that I would no longer be giving my family my best. There are so many reasons why I felt this way, but ultimately I became afraid to try certain things because I was scared of succeeding at something other than taking care of my family. I have always loved reading and writing, but I thought I couldn’t do that and be completely dedicated to my family at the same time.

I remember thinking that if I did ever write a book or freelance an article that I would have to hide that or keep it a secret so that my friends wouldn’t know that I was working outside the home. I thought that in order to be a good Christian Wife and Mother I needed to forsake anything that would take my attention away from what I felt God called me to do. Now, I’m not speaking against being a Stay-At-Home Mom, or a Working Mom because I think that every woman has a certain calling and her family needs her to be whatever that is for her family. As funny as it may sound, I was scared of being really good at something, because I didn’t want to be a bad mom.

I actually started writing this book in 2007 while my husband was on his second deployment. I was so excited to finish it, but the closer I got to becoming a published author, the more afraid I became. I wasn’t sure if the book would be successful, but all of a sudden I started to think, “I don’t want this to take me away from my family!” The only thing that I felt I could do was stop writing all together. However in 2014 I started going to a writers group and my flame for writing was reignited. I believe what ultimately caused me to start working on this book again was the strong desire to finish what I started.

I began writing a little here and there in 2014, and then one day I just decided it was silly to be scared of something that may or may not happen. I finally embraced my passion for writing and made it my personal goal to publish my book. I did still plan to use a pin name so that no one would know who I really was, but then I changed my mind. After all the hard work I put in I wanted everyone to know that I wrote this book!

“Starting a blog, writing a book and all the while raising children and being a wife has been a real journey! Nevertheless, even if I could change something I wouldn’t. The road to self discovery has many twist and turns, and sometimes you have to hit a few bumps along the way to get the best results.”

Finally, I would like to thank some very special people starting with, Ms. Gray, my highschool teacher. You helped me in so many ways, but the most impactful thing that you did for me was to always support my descisions. I don’t know how you managed to support me completely, while encouraging me to go after my dreams at the same time, but I appreciate your efforts.

I have to thank my sister Carmellia for just being my shoulder to lean on. God only knows where I would be had I not had your calm, level-headed advise to help guide me. You always help me work through my writers block by sharing a good laugh with me, and you’re never to busy to sing me a song!

I want to thank my BFF, Adena Mitchell, I cry every time I try to come up with the words to say that accurately capture my grattintde. You have been so supportive of everything that I have tried to do, you helped me proof-read, you inspired me and you volunteered to read my whole book several times! I love you girl!

I can’t end this blog without thanking my very good friend, my old college room mate Victoria. I may have never even wrote this book, had we not been having a spirited conversation that night many years ago. Thank you so much dear friend for encouraging me to write my own happy ending and to do what I love. It was you who told me that I could be a Mom and a Writer with no shame. You always pointed me towards my goal and you pushed me to finish this book, so thank you. I love you girl!

I hope you all plan to buy a copy when it is released and I hope you all enjoy it! Even if Christian Romance isn’t your thing, thank you all so much for reading and supporting my blog. You guys have made my heart sing, God Bless you all!

Thank God I’m not Alone!

I think the one thing that I struggle with most often when it comes to raising my children, is feeling like I’m the only one going through, fill in the blank, with my children. I have three boys and two girls. My oldest is almost eleven and he is…well, he’s a boy. He could not care less how he looks when he leaves the house, and according to my husband he’ll stay this way until he starts to like girls!!(I’m making a shocked face) One of the major things that I have to constantly be on him about is his personal hygiene.  I have to constantly say did you wash your face? Did you brush your teeth? Did you brush your hair? Did you take a shower? Are those clothes clean?

In fact I ask those questions so much, I’m thinking about making a CD and playing it all day!

Well, it just so happens that I was in my favorite store today, which happens to be a big warehouse, wholesale type store, and while I was putting my items on the conveyor belt I heard this parent next to me talking to their child. Now I was certainly not trying to eavesdrop on them, but what they said just jumped out and grabbed my ear. The parent said, “Did you wash your face this morning?”  To which the child answered by staring at the parent like a deer caught in headlights.

Their conversation was so similar to the ones that I have with my own sons on a daily basis! You know what… the strangest thing happen to me, I felt so relieved! I know it sounds a little crazy but, I didn’t know other parents were dealing with the same issue as me. Sometimes we work so hard to look like we have it all together just to make everyone else think that everything is perfect. Just imagine how much we could help others if we were honest about what issues we’re facing? If I wasn’t afraid to tell you that I have been there, or that I’m going through the same thing now we could all be better parents!(hypothetically)

In the same way, we could be better Christians if we would simply take off our masks. If we would allow our true selves to be seen more often more healing could take place. More restoration could take place if we would just be more open about the challenges we face. I know that an eleven-year old boys hygiene is not exactly a powerful testimony, but today it was for me. The word says that we overcome by the power of our testimony.(Rev12:11) Friends we must share our testimony, it could mean the difference between giving up or breaking through for someone. We must begin to see our stories as vital and important to someone else. Your testimony may not be for everyone, but trust me, someone needs to know that their not alone.

I had been so frustrated and so weary with the thought that I was the only one who had to constantly remind their child to take care of himself, that I began to feel like something was wrong with me or him. The adversary was trying to convince me that I was the only one having that problem, but friends the devil is a liar! Even if that’s not your issue, I want you to know that you are not alone! We are all going through some type of personal trail, some battle, we’re all climbing some mountain and we are all in this together. I want you to know that you’re going to come out of this better than you were before, stronger than you were before and with more faith than you had before! I want to tell someone that what you’re facing is not uncommon and that somebody out there has dealt with this same issue before and overcome by the blood of the lamb.

I just felt the need to encourage someone who might be reading this feeling defeated or weary. I want you to hear it from me, that I believe you can beat this and come out victorious. Thank you guys so much for reading my blog and if you would like to leave any encouraging words in the comment section please do so!