Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I just wanted to take the time to thank you all for supporting me with my writing.  However, I am feeling a shift in my spirit and feel like I need to lay it down for a season...I don't know what the Lord wants to do with me, but I do know that I am to wait before Him and listen patiently..:)
Be blessed and go forth in Victory:)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Are you Dead or Alive?

 Are You Dead or Alive?
This past weekend we celebrated Easter, or what I like to call Resurrection Day.  For me, it is an exciting time spiritually because it is a reminder of what Jesus did for us on the cross. It also gives me an opportunity to reflect on my walk with God and what areas I still need to work on.  In a way, I take the death of Jesus as a symbolic gesture of what sin, old habits,unforgiveness, thoughts or past mistakes that I too would like to put to death for the new season to come.  The fact that Jesus was able to overcome physical death allows me to have hope that I too can overcome my physical challenges daily when I choose Him to help me.  
            In Deuteronomy 30:11 it says, “Now what I have commanded you is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.”  When I read this scripture it helps me to know that God never asks us to do anything we can’t do without His help. We all can use some improvement in areas of our life that may tempt us to veer away from God at times.  It may not be habitual sin, but rather small choices that can hinder us from having complete victory daily.  For example, maybe you spend too much time watching tv, rather than being more productive with your time.  I’ve been guilty myself of watching not so life giving shows allowing it to fill my mind with junk and discouragement.  Maybe food, shopping or Facebook are issues that keep hindering you in ways from doing what God needs you to do. Facebook is a huge distracter these days for a lot of people, including myself if I don’t keep myself accountable.  In other words, we have to make sure we keep ourselves balanced and aligned with God’s will for our lives.  Too much of anything can be harmful.  Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. 
            Romans 12:1 says” Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice-holy and pleasing to God.” What areas in your life do you need to be put to death so that God can be glorified more?  What areas can you sacrifice to God so that it can become pleasing to Him this season: your marriage, finances,broken relationships, thoughts, emotions, health, job, your past, or any habitual sin?  Whatever it is, remember that the Lord’s hand is never too short to reach in and help you (Numbers 11:23) When Jesus resurrected, so did we—as new creations in Him!  So are you willing to out your flesh to death so you can be made alive today in Christ? Thank you, God, for your promises to help us become new daily. Give us the confidence we need to be victorious on this Monday as we begin our week in you, celebrating that our Redeemer lives!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Make Your Bed!

“Make your bed!”  I use to hear this from my mother when I was younger constantly. I would  then sigh deeply and make it with an attitude, thinking the whole time, what’s the point?  Needless to say, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree and I get the same reaction when I tell my children to do it.  Today, as I made my own bed, I pondered the importance behind this simple task.  Why is making your bed so important? Maybe I am asking this question because this week has been a week where I have been struggling with my flesh, including, making my bed.  Let’s get real, who really cares if your bed is made, because how many people go into your room when they visit? Or, as my son would so boldly ask, “Won’t I be just getting back in it tonight, so why bother?”  It’s tempting to just shut the door and not bother.  Trust me, I’ve done it a few times, but this is what I’ve learned about making the bed, it’s a small discipline that has payoffs later…
             Let me explain, in Hebrew 12:11 it says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  Learning to make my bed in the morning is a symbolic gesture of me choosing to overcome my flesh.  Isn’t this what leading a disciplined life is all about—killing the flesh?  For some reason, it sets the precedence in my mind for the rest of  the day.  In other words, if I train my flesh from the start of the day, it makes it easier for me to continue to choose so throughout the day.  Some may argue, but I’m sticking with what I know works best for me.  No one knows or probably doesn’t care if you make your bed, but the way I see it is God sees and knows all.  Are you willing to be faithful with small things that may not seem to matter in the big picture?   What you do and don’t do matter.  Don’t get me wrong, the Kingdom of God is not going to crumble apart if you don’t make your bed.  However, it’s  not about the bed, it about a disciplined  mindset, a disciplined choice, a disciplined way of life that produces  fruit later.   Ask any great athlete or successful person how they achieved their goals and I can almost guarantee it began with small disciplines that led to greater ones along the way.
Are you lacking in the area of small disciplines that could help you get to greater ones? Do you have the tendency to only do the big things and skip the small things? If so, what small habits can you begin to help place you on the path to a disciplined life in God?  It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step, or perhaps one made bed..So, go make your bed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

His Name was Aaron...

The room was crowded, filled with many faces, each one scarfing down the food before them.  For some of them, it was their only meal for days.   As I scanned the tables, I saw him.    His head was bowed low as he ate slowly, as if it was painful with each swallow.  He was barely hanging on for life.  His dark hair appeared messy and he wore a  torn sweater with a white collared shirt just peeking through.  He was deep in thought, quiet and humbled.  My heart filled with compassion for this young man as I watched him.  It’s never easy to serve at the homeless shelter.  The faces of suffering and pain are almost too much to bear sometimes, but I know that this is where the Lord changes lives. So, I swallowed back my tears and kept serving, hoping to be used in some small way.  Lord, just help me be a light of hope here tonight.
            Then, like a soft breeze came a whisper from the Lord, Tell him he’s my creation, remind him how much I love him and purposed him specifically with a bright, powerful mind, remind him that he is mine and I have made him with promise.  He is smart—remind him!  Tears began to fill my eyes as I felt the love of God for this young homeless man fill me up, so much that it propelled me towards him.   At first I was taken aback by what God was nudging me to do, but love moved me!
            I pulled out the chair in front of him and nervously sat down.  He looked up with his deep brown eyes and quickly looked down again.  I swallowed and asked him his name.  His name was Aaron.  I boldly spoke to him the same words God had just given me for him.  I could tell he was taken back and speechless.  Then his eyes filled with tears and a huge smile appeared on his face, yet no words were spoken from his mouth.  The other homeless men got quiet around us.  In fact, one of them whispered, “Boy, that is weird, man!”   Aaron laughed gently but did not speak.  Instead he grinned from ear to ear.
            He knew…He remembered….. In that moment he was loved!  It was as if Holy Spirit touched him right there and healed him.  His smile said it all as his countenance changed before my eyes.  I said it again, “Aaron you are smart and God has purposed you and will use you—trust Him!”  He looked at me and I could tell that it was received.
            I then walked away with tears falling from my own eyes.  I was just touched by God through Aaron!  My heart was filled with so much joy and promise for a man that I didn't know.  But God knew Him!  His name was Aaron…
            Please pray for Aaron tonight.  He is a young man from the Kansas City Rescue Mission that I had the honor to meet tonight.  Like you and like me, he is has a destiny in Christ Jesus and a prayer for him tonight from you could empower him to that place….Thanks for listeningJ

Move Over Easter Bunny and Cadbury Eggs--There is Something Sweeter!

Easter is fast approaching and for most people it will be a celebration of families getting together, backyard egg hunts, egg decorating, pretty dresses, chocolate filled candy and possibly a sunrise Easter service.  Tradition has it that Cadbury Eggs hit the grocery store shelves at this time too. Who can resist those creamy little delicacies, right? To boot, there are egg coloring kits of all kinds available now.  I marvel at the neat decorations they have for coloring eggs: stickers, sparkles, color dye, paint, markers, glitter-you name it, at the local supermarkets and stores.  It beats the old way we use to color eggs…Wait a minute!  Oh, that’s right, I was robbed of that joy because my mom bought us only plastic eggs because she didn’t like the mess of coloring eggs.  I forgive you, mom, because now I understand-- I have kids of my own!-lol
            Speaking of which….Kids and Easter…How do you celebrate Easter in your home? What does it mean to you? What kind of message are you sending to the next generation? All of these questions have been floating around in my head over the past couple of weeks.  Actually, more so then ever as I look at the world we live in today where there seems to be no respect for anything.  Morals and traditions are at a loss and found to be controversial and unacceptable.  Like most Christians, I’ve been trying to reflect on the true meaning of this season-Jesus!  However, this year I really examined the traditions that were past down to me and how I’ve either incorporated them into my own children’s lives or not.  I grew up Catholic but today I claim to be a non-denominational Christian.  Bottom line for me is Jesus!  I simply love Him and take seriously the responsibility I have to pass the heritage of Christ to my kids.
            Exodus 12:14 says," This is the day you are to commemorate;for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as festival to the Lord a lasting ordinance."  This passage is talking about remembering the Passover where God went through Egypt and wiped out all the first born children because of the sin of Pharaoh and the people. But He saved the Israelites  who honored Him and placed blood above their doors. It’s supposed to be a time of thanksgiving and reflection of the grace and provision God has given us throughout the ages.  Last night while reading this with my family, my oldest son, asks me why God would do such a horrific thing.  To him it seemed unfair. His question was reasonable for an eleven year old.  Of course, I gently explained the character of God and how this was an act of judgment done in love. Father's discipline their children in love.  Ugh-not an easy thing to explain, right? Hopefully, by the time Easter season is over with and we get through the resurrection scriptures, God will reveal that love to Him more.  However, I was tickled pink for the conversation because although it was a tough question to answer, the fact remains that God was being talked about in our home. His name was being remembered, even if the questions were hard.   At the end of the day, this is what God wants for each of His children’s children—to remember Him through the generations!  Passover and Easter is a time to remember that God promised to take us out of slavery, set us free, redeem us and take us unto Him.   It is our responsibility to remember and talk about Christ and the inheritance God gave to us through the shedding of His blood with our children.
              Is Easter a time of celebrating  Easter sales ,trying to find the perfect dress attire for your kids or is it about the gift of life being handed to you by God? We will still have fun with some traditions.  However, Easter Bunny and Cadburry Eggs will have to move over because there is something sweeter to celebrate—Jesus! He will be filling my kid’s bellies and memories for years to come and hopefully generations thereafter…

Monday, April 18, 2011

Powerful Thoughts...

I read this from the book "Uncommon" by Tony Dungy.  Thought it was worth sharing....

Be careful how you speak to yourself; be careful how you think of yourself;be careful how you conduct yourself;be careful how you develop yourself.

"What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true." Job 3:25

What will you speak to yourself today? What will you think of yourself today? How will you conduct yourself today? How will you develop yourself today?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Growing Children and Ourselves

“Mommy, I can do it all by myself!”  I sighed as I allowed my strong willed ,three year old daughter finish the task that I tried helping her with.  More and more, I keep hearing her declare her independence.  It takes me back to my 18 year old who was just like her.    People tried telling  me how quickly the time goes by.  Now that I am facing my oldest child's  graduation next month, I am seeing it first hand.  So,  I am trying to savor these moments as much as I can.   Although, I know it is part of her maturing stage, I still can’t help but wonder what lies ahead in her need to be independent.  Trust me, I know the drill as I have raised one daughter already.  I am currently in the middle of raising another pre-teen and two toddlers following close behind.  Taking a deep breath, I say a quiet prayer asking God to give me the strength to help shape my precious Diva in the making, without losing my mind in the process.  I kiss her gently and say, “Go for it, girlie!” Do I have the strength? Will I make mistakes like I did with my oldest daughter? Will all my children become the Godly men and women they were purposed to be?  The answer to all those questions is –yes, yes, yes!  The answer is yes because God is in control and not me—thank god.
 After being a parent for almost 19 years now, I’ve learned a thing or two about the subject, myself and God.  First of all, I don’t have all the answers!  So, there won’t be another well meaning parent book out there to buy.  Thank God, huh?( I have enough of those to parent all the nations and then some!)  Mistakes are part of the growing process for parents and children.  In fact, my children have taught me more about myself than any one person I know. Let’s just say they are raising their mother well!   Secondly, God created each one of my kids with a purpose .  As their mother, it is up to me to help them find it and encourage them in it.  Sometimes as a parent letting them be who they are is hard.  We tend to have expectations for our children but I’ve learned the hard way, God’s plan for them is the best one out there!  The sooner I submit my parenting to His parenting, the easier it is for all of us.  Thirdly, my children will become who God created them to be one way or another. There may be bumps in the road and it may take longer than anticipated, but God is faithful in His parenting even when I am not.  His promises over them will not come back null and void—the Word is in them, right?  I’ve learned to lean on Him to fill in the gaps of grace, love, mercy and wisdom. 
                Trusting God with our children is a daily struggle.  However, it has been one that has allowed me to see God in new ways, building my own faith along the way.  There are so many unknowns out there and so many questions I still have when it comes to parenting. I don’t always get the answer right away which leads me waiting patiently for God to answer  when He knows I am ready to hear it!-lol 
                Parenting my children's  heart is my goal these days.  When I choose to do this first, I find that everything else falls into place.  Placing the values of God upon their hearts and minds ,naturally shape our children into who they need to be in this world.  However, that doesn’t mean that it will happen overnight—patience and persistence are key!  I will admit, I don’t have all the details worked out, but I know the One who does.   It takes faith to raise a child-great faith! Psalm 103:17-18 says, “ But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s Children-with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey his precepts. “  I can’t help but smile and be comforted when I read that promise.  As long as I commit to teach my children about God’s love and faithfulness, all that is good is passed down through the generations.  Even if at times it appears otherwise.  Faith is the substance of things not seen but yet hoped for, right?  So, if today I have a three year old , rebellious daughter who decides to  be the next  great Van Gogh by painting  a whole container of yogurt to express her creative side( she did this while I wrote this blog-how fitting!)  or a back talking eleven year old, who demands that doing laundry is child slavery and should be punishable by law,  it is all good, right?   One can only hope and I choose to put that hope in the Lord today!
                Where is your hope today when it comes to your children?  Do you trust God with their faith and lives?  If not, begin today by knowing that the love of a thousand generations for God began with one parent teaching it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Weight of Diets...

This morning during my devotional, I read a quote from the book, “Peeking into a Box of Chocolates” a book about temptations in life.  It read, “Fasting is an act of humility and dependence on God; dieting, except for health reasons, can be a proud act,( I can make my body look however I want it to”), whose goal is pleasing people rather than God.”  Hello…. What more is there to say because as a woman I’ve been there way too many times?   I use to buy into the world’s temptations of worshiping thinness and worrying about how people saw  me.  I can’t believe how many hours I wasted on such lies and not on the truth of God’s acceptance and love for me. 
                 Now, I’m almost forty years old (No shame here! ) and it has taken me this long to accept myself the way I am.  Sure, I’d love to be thinner, but what is the cost?  If it means, hours at the gym, comparing myself to weight charts, magazines and media—no thank you!  When I was younger, I would obsess over my looks and unfortunately, I probably passed that down to my oldest daughter too.  Forgive me, God and forgive me, Kayla!  Obsessive thinking can lead to an idolatrous heart.  I was guilty as charged!  Instead of obsessing over God’s promises and His love for me, I was too involved with myself –my pride was heavier than even my weight at times!  Needless to say, the weight of it was not easy to take off.  The need to be thin and the pressure to look a certain way was too much for me to carry, never mind the fat I might have been carrying. 
                However, God has been gracious to me and I’ve slowly learned that weight and looks are not as important as my love for God.   I’m so grateful for the freedom to be me, no matter what that looks like to others.    I now choose to exercise to be healthy because I want to be around for my kids and potential grandchildren.  Hours at the gym are a thing of the past.  Instead, I take walks on my treadmill watching a favorite show or outside.  Both are enjoyable and healthy!  No pressure, just peace.
                 John 6: 27, 35, 48-58 says, “ Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”  I’ve also learned that food can work for me or against me.  I look at it as a source of nutrients and energy, not my enemy.  God’s intention was for me not to be obsessed about what I eat but rather be filled with all the blessings He has for me.   Goodbye diets, goodbye tedious, long workouts, goodbye obsessive thinking and eating, goodbye lies! I won’t miss you or even grieve over you. I am a new creation In Christ!  Instead, I will enjoy the life that was meant for me--freedom!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cheer or Not to Cheer

                I had completed my 4th load of laundry, scrubbed the bathrooms clean, mopped the kitchen floor, went grocery shopping and even planned Spring Break for my family and it was all done by 2p.m. You go, girl!  I smiled, wondering why all my days weren’t always as productive. Heck, I even got my exercise and devotion in too.  Of course, there was no one around to give me a pat on the back or thank you.  So, I poured myself a cup of coffee and added flavored creamer and  real caramel to it to reward myself.  After all, I deserved it, right?
                Sometimes being a mother and a wife can be a thankless job. You’re left feeling unappreciated and unimportant.  However, we may know deep down inside that it’s one of the most important job there is; at least for me that is!  I am honored serving my children and raising the next generation.  Being a military wife is an honorable call that I take  seriously, too.  However, I have those days where I am tempted to wonder what it would’ve been like if I hadn’t gotten married or had kids. What would I be doing? Who would I be? Hmmm…..
Needless to say, I quickly come out of those places because I know that part of my purpose is exactly what I am doing, being a comfort and encourager to my children and a help mate to my husband.  Yes, some days I don’t get acknowledged for my commitment and hard work, but not everyone behind the scenes always does.  My title may be only, “mom” or “Mrs. Blow” but in my heart, I know I am worth a lot to my kids and my husband – and more so, to God!  The Word of God says, “For what a mean thinks in his heart, so he is.”  I know the value my life has a purpose and a meaning behind it.   I’m called to be a servant and there is great pleasure in this when I chose to see it for what it is and what it’s not. It is a high call to lay down your life so someone else can be strengthened by it.  Jesus did this for us in ways that go beyond understanding.
                Will Rogers once said, “ We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.”  How true this is.  One day, my kids will grow up and get married.  Hopefully they will become the people God created them to be.   I will have the satisfaction of knowing I helped in shaping and loving them to that place. I may not be perfect at it, but at least my heart was in it.  The same goes with my husband…
Are you willing to sit on the curb or behind the scenes, encouraging and supporting others today in your life, even if you never get acknowledged and thanked for it? I can only imagine Jesus might have felt that way when He decided to support us through His sacrifice. Today, cultivate a commitment to be great cheerleader and servant to someone today.  After all, you wouldn’t be here today had not someone sat cheering you on.   Have a great week cheering others on as God cheers you on behind the scenes.