Do you ever get that feeling that God is 'calling you out' on something? How can we be sure that God is trying to get our attention. Can we expect to see a sign drop down out of the heavens? Should we be awakened to a thunderous voice in the middle of our sleep? Well, I think those things are still possible with our God but, more than that I know for me God speaks through a continual tug at my heart. A heart burden you could say. Whether it is a form of conviction due to un-confessed sin, or that I am not being obedient to something God wants me to do. No matter which direction you go in, the feeling does not seem to go away, you may be able to temporarily 'quiet' the voice but, when you are alone you begin to hear it very clearly and louder than before! We can all keep ourselves so busy that we push away the things we are being equipped to do for God. I recently had a situation occur with God that was pretty funny. It was a little moment between He an I. I knew He wanted me to bring up a certain issue but, I was reluctant to do it immediately because I did not want to cause anyone to feel uncomfortable. However, when God wants us to do something He is persistent and we eventually have to face that situation. I had been going back and forth with Him as to why I did not feel like it was my place to do this particular thing. I believe God knew my heart and He decided to make the situation a bit easier on me by having someone else bring up the issue first, then allow me to come along side and basically chime in my thoughts : ) I knew as soon as I heard the topic come up this was God's way of 'calling me out'. He was such a gentleman about it though! I was able to follow through with sharing my opinions, He just helped give me a little nudge in the right direction. What an awesome God he is! Of course, there are times when we cause Him frustration. Blatant disobedience, or continuing to sin against a brother or sister. There are many things we do that God sees fit to bring to our attention. It should matter to us that another person is hurting. We should care about how we impact others with our words and actions. We have become so desensitized to grieving the Holy Spirit that we do not even recognize it when we do it. Jesus says in Ephesians 4:29-32 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one-another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" (ESV). These scriptures are direction for us to know how we are to treat one another. Just as we were treated by Jesus although we did not deserve it. If God is calling you out on something HANDLE IT! Get it right with God. You will feel so much relief when you do. God is there waiting patiently for us to reach out to Him. To take our hand, lift us up and dust us off. He is not calling us out to embarrass or humiliate us. He is doing it so we can get back in line with Him and fulfill the purpose He has called us to. Please feel free to share your thoughts, prayer request, or praises! I would love to hear back from you. It would be an honor to pray with you or for you. God bless you as you continue to seek God on your journey. Amen!
Let us begin with our children at home.
Let us be the light so that they don't roam.
Wandering around in the darkness alone,
Afraid of the thoughts they have when they're gone.
Out in the world with no source of light.
Just shadows to show them the truth that's not right.
Scared of the dark and what they can't see,
They turn back to seek their family.
From a distance they see a faint light.
Like a glimmer of hope in the darkest of night.
They're drawn back in because they remember.
The things that they saw when the light would shimmer.
So you see, it really does matter what we teach them at home.
So they carry it with them once they are grown.
And return to the place from which they were shown.
A love that comes from a light that is grown.
I wrote this while considering the things that are going on in the world today and all around our children. I hope that it blesses someone else. It is nothing fancy, or profound--just words that come from a mother's heart for her children. Share your thoughts or write back with any poems you would like to share. God Bless...
Being the light in such a dark world is not as easy to do as it seems. We know that we should be kind, honest, and helpful. Most of us were raised in such a way that those things are just givens to us. But, when it comes to being a 'light' to others we may need a little practice. Our families, communities, and nation have become so self-absorbed and greedy that we rarely take the time to stop and think about what we can do to be a blessing to someone else's life. We have every excuse you can think of. We are too busy, too tired, too stressed, too over extended, or to broke. But, being the light does not always require that much of us. I am working with my own children and with the youth at our church hoping I can get them to see the light they can be to others. I want them to understand what it is that God means when he calls us the 'light'. I believe that some of the tragedies our world is experiencing today may not be to the extreme it is if we as parents, family, community, and a church would continue to work at teaching our young ones the importance of selflessness. We just studied Matthew 5:14-16 which says, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house, In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (ESV). I was so impressed with how well the children understood the word when we started digging into it. I explained to them that the importance of being the light for them could be applied to their family, friends, places they go, things they say, and do. By them displaying their acts of kindness in word and in action they are being the light of Jesus to others who may be watching or listening! Those who know the Lord will see them shining their light and give glory to God! How cool is that?! To know our children are reaching the lost through their words, actions, and light! It starts with us, their parents continually showing them humility and selfless love for Christ. It starts in our own homes and then spills over into the lives of those we come in contact with daily. If you are dealing with your children having an ungrateful attitude or displaying behaviors of selfishness go over these verses with them. Be transparent and open with them about how important it is that they shine their light for others to see! It will make a difference, it did in our home. I would love to hear your thoughts, prayers, or praises. Feel free to share with me here on my website and I will respond to your request. God Bless... and remember "Let Your Light Shine". Amen!
I was doing a study this morning on 'endurance'. As I was going through my concordance in the back of my bible I came across some wonderful verses that I had forgotten about. First of all lets take a look at the definition of the word. Merriam- Webster defines endurance as "the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially: the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity <a marathon runner's endurance> (Merriam Webster, 2016). When I found the first scripture in the bible (Luke 21:19) I was not quite sure what it meant, it said, "by your endurance you shall gain your lives". Gain our lives, exactly how do we do that with endurance? Endurance here in the same context as "patience" meaning constancy or perseverance in sustaining afflictions (Barnes', 2016). We might wonder why anyone would want to persevere in afflictions. I know I sure do not like pain, or suffering, or sadness. I do not like to see others going through tough times either. So, what is the reason for this? Take a look at the second part of the verse "gain your lives." The word gain here means "possess" or "preserve" so to better understand the verse we could read it like this, by persevering in bearing these trials you "will" save your lives, or "preserve" your lives. Do not give in to the hardships/difficulties but bear up under them for the one that endures to the end the same shall be saved. We can also compare this verse to Matthew 24:13 to see similarities. As, I began to dig a little deeper into God's word I found the verse in 2 Corinthians 6:4 which says, "but as servants of God we commend (entrust) ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, and calamities (ESV). Because I am a servant of God I am willing to withstand hardships and adversity knowing I can entrust God to save my life or preserve my life. With each trial I get through my dependence upon God and my trust in God is strengthened. Then I can go out into the world, share my testimony and save other lives for Christ. This is what kingdom work is all about. Please be encouraged. Trust God as you have endurance in the midst of your difficulties. I would love to get some feed back here on my blogs, share your testimony, or request prayer & praises. God bless....
I am about to talk some 'real' life talk here. If you have ever been in a place of addiction than you will be able to relate to what I am about to share. Yesterday, Father's Day, I had 6 mos. of sobriety. This is a sickness I have battled most of my young adult life. At one point I had almost 5 years. I was able to remain sober through the last living days my mama had- which is a tremendous blessing. The reason for me writing this post is because I feel like it is important that people understand where I have been and where I am today because I surrendered to Christ. The whole purpose of this website was to reach out to other families and marriages in hopes that I could give them just a little encouragement, a little hope, and a little glimpse of the restorations God can and will give if you have reached the place of true brokenness. I believe then and only then are you able to be useful again. "The Family After" is truly about what it is like to be restored back into right relationship with God, and one another in your family. Everyone suffers when there is one with an addiction problem. Alcohol, drugs, pornography, food, and many other things can become a crutch for people who cannot seem to deal with the reality that is around them. We look for ways to numb the pain. We look for ways to escape dealing with the things that hurt us so deeply. It was not until I began to seek God again and develop my personal and intimate relationship with him that I could forgive myself, accept forgiveness from God and those I harmed (my husband and children). I did not believe that there was any way God could heal my husband an I from all the mistakes that had occurred while under the influence. And if God could not help than, there was no way I could possibly forgive myself for what I had done. I was hopeless, in despair, a pit with no bottom-complete isolation and total darkness. I was scared to sleep, scared to go outside, scared to hear birds sing or the sun shine. It was the most consuming fear and terror I have ever experienced. The small steps I have taken to begin this road of recovery have been the most difficult steps in my life. But, little by little and day by day I have a piece of my heart mended by Jesus. He whisper softly to me, "I love you my daughter, YOU are valuable and priceless to me". He tells me that He has a purpose and plan for me but, in order for me to fulfill that I have to remain useful, willing, and sober. I am a wife and mom so those are two things he has called me to do and I need to do those things with the best of my ability. My children need to see me trust God, put HIM first in my life, and be obedient to his word. They see me actively doing the things that have been suggested to me in order to stay sober. Is it easy? Most days it is not. But, because I serve a God who is compassionate, merciful, and forgiving He has equipped me to be able to handle this. We do have freedom from the bondage of addictions through Christ! There is hope for a marriage that may seem broken AND you can be all you were intended to be by allowing God to help you daily. One of the verses I read over and over is Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Once I realized not only who I was but, 'Who's I was' there was a radical transformation that took place in my spirit. I am here to tell you that there is freedom through Jesus. There is freedom from the chains of any addiction you might be struggling with. If you would like to request prayer, or have me pray with you I would be happy to do so. I look forward to reading your post. Be encouraged!!
I was in prayer this morning and reflecting on my testimony...my life. I thought back to when I was a little girl and the things I have carried with me throughout my 39 years. As I was quietly speaking with God I began to have memories of Him at work in my heart. Although there was much turmoil around me with alcoholism, abuse, and neglect I always had this tender place in my heart for others. This included my very sick and broken parents. I thought about the memories my parents had helped make for me. Many were not so good and others were wonderful. I began asking God to reveal to me the ways I am creating memories for my own children. How will they remember me when they are grown, with their own families, and I am gone? What is the mark I am making in their lives? Yes, we go to church and have since they were little but, what is it outside of that they see me do for others, for God? I have some struggles with my oldest and youngest son. We have three boys..one is 21, the next is 12, the youngest 11. I decided I should start a prayer journal years ago for my children. But, it was especially on my heart for my eleven year old. So, I began doing that, I also wanted them to see and hear me pray daily. So, I started doing that. I want them to see me give my tithe, obediently-freely- the first of what I get. I am now on that journey and teaching them the importance of that blessing. They should see me reading God's word outside of church. They should see my love for God through the way I respond and love others...especially their father. I have been pricked by the holy spirit in a way that I have never been before. I want to reach out to moms and families to help them see it is not to late to start making those memories for their children. To build the legacy that their children will look back on and say, "My mama loved the LORD, and His people". What a testimony that would be! In Galatians 6:9 it says, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (NIV). Let us not give up moms! Let's start right now, today...
It is quite interesting what the word sister(ing) means. If you take a look at what comes up when you Google it one of the first definitions is "The reinforcement of a structural member by nailing or attaching a stronger piece to a weaker one". I first heard this term at a ladies conference where a sweet friend and our pastor's wife at the time put together a wonderful lesson on being exactly what that definition says. Lately I have been so burdened over how many ladies seem to be broken in spirit. We are all facing so many challenges every day. As women we strive to be what it is that other's expect or need. Many times we feel empty. We put aside the one thing that is vital to us remaining strong and capable. That one thing is Jesus! 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (ESV). Ladies we have to find a way to lift each other up when we see that one of us is down. Whether we do that through prayer, fasting, serving, relieving, driving, babysitting, crying together, or sharing in moments of laughter and great joy! We must stand in the gap! We need to pull together inside and outside our church homes. If we see the opportunity to address something in truth and love we should pray and ask God to give us the words to do that. That their hearts would be willing to receive it. There will be times that we are called to do something outside of our comfort zone. Are we ready to step out in faith and do that? Will we be obedient? Let's come together like we never have before sisters. We only need to be willing to do it! God will help us with the rest. We will not always know or understand the circumstances but, as sisters in Christ we are called to love in truth. We can be bold! We can be fearless as we proclaim the word to those we care about. Pray continually- please share your thoughts with me. I would love to pray with you or for you! Be encouraged as we do this together...hand in hand! Amen!
I often ask myself..."Am I doing the best I can?" As a mama, a wife, a sister, friend, an employee? These are just the daily things I know I have to do. I think there is always room for improvement. I want to dig a little deeper these days. My best, what does that look like, feel like, sound like? How is it that I can improve in these areas where I feel I am lacking? First of all I have to remember that in myself I am only able to do so much. Things begin to unravel when I get in the way of what God is doing. I start feeling overwhelmed and like I am losing control of situations. My life begins to resemble the art of a two year old, a lot of scribble and scrabble, and there is no balance. So- how do I regain my peace? How can I make a difference? A difference so profound that I don't even understand it? A difference where my children are left in shock, my husband says, "Where is my wife?", and on the job co-workers are left wondering what has taken place in her life? This is the impact I want to make! To start with something small and allow God to take it, mold it, shape it, and grow it into something incomprehensible! FAITH! BELIEF! TRUST! #FBT! James 1:6 "If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open" (MSG). I love the way this is worded. I only need to ask God to help me, HE loves to help! How cool is that! The catch is that when I ask for help I need to believe. No doubting. Well, there you have it brothers and sisters. Make a difference, ask God for help and BELIEVE! I would love to receive feedback so please feel free to respond to my blogs any time.
The link at the bottom is to a video I created for Mother's Day to my mama. I wanted to share it here because I am sure that someone out there is experiencing the same sense of overwhelming waves of memories. Whether they are some of the sweetest moments they can remember or maybe it is the flood of grief that returns whenever this particular day comes around. No matter what the feeling is, it is yours and you are allowed to have it. I can say this from my own personal experience of losing my mama at fifty-two years old...the pain does not seem quite as sharp today. I do still long for certain things at times though. I miss her voice and wonder if I might sound like her, I miss her sense of humor, I miss the smell of fried chicken when I would walk in the door, and I especially miss her hugs and prayers. Isn't it wonderful that God places ladies in our lives to fill that empty place! Wonderful examples of godly women who come along side us and give us 'mama' hugs when we need them, a good meal or a shoulder to cry on. No one could ever replace that loss but, God sure does know how to help us when we are in that fragile state. Feel free to share your thoughts or feeling here, or request prayer. I would be honored to pray with you or for you. Happy Mother's Day! God Bless. https://animoto.com/play/tdF5SIEujUl8nbl6sOr4Qg
Mother's Day. One of the most sweet, sincere, emotional days out of the year. This video above is very touching and as a mom it will bring tears to your eyes. I have four children of my own. I became a mom very young. My oldest son is grown and living out of our home now. As a young mother I have made many mistakes but, God was gracious enough to allow me to have two more boys in 2003/2004 and then a little girl in 2011. I lost my mama in 2009 to a ten year battle with cancer. I remember the years leading up to her passing and with each Mother's day that came around I was so grateful for her to still be here. Our last Mother's day together was probably the sweetest one of all. Even though she could no longer speak, or walk, or eat. She still wanted to go to church and she was wheeled down to the altar where I got down on my knees with my head in her lap and cried and prayed to God! I knew what was about to happen in the next few days but, my prayer was answered that she would be able to be with us through that Mother's day. I wrote a poem for her and wanted to share it here on this website with those of you who may be facing a hard time with this approaching Mother's day. We must treasure each day we have with our moms because God has specifically chosen us for them and them for us! If you need prayer or just someone to listen please send a post or email. (Proverbs 31:10-30 NIV)
Hand in hand we're walking, forever by your side. No fear will overtake us, together we will ride. This road that you've been given seems off the beaten course. But, now we know your purpose is one of much reward. For God would never lead us in a direction where He'd forsake us, & He would never choose us for a plan that wouldn't make it. I step each step with you & I pray you through each day. You are an inspiration & a joy to portray. My mom my best friend, how I love you so. I pray you understand and I hope that you will know. This isn't just your journey but, ours to travel together. God gave me to you mom because He knew I'd leave you never. I will treasure every moment holding on to your hand tight, knowing once I let you go the LORD will have you in His might. Hand in hand we're walking forever by your side. No fear will overtake us together we will ride. (By: Cherease Kincaid written: 12/12/08)