A blog about anything and everything that helps our roots grow deep in God.
One day late! I was super busy with tea party preparations and I just had the chance to upload this video. Ms. Alana surprised me by choosing a dare, but we managed to still ask her a question, he he. Topic this week is Biblical homemaking! The challenges can look different for each of us, but there are challenges! What are yours? It takes a lot of work and we'll never be perfect, but we can be perfectly happy serving God in our home! Choose joy!
Pray, seek God first, don't compromise, and do everything in love :D
For today's "Truth or Dare Wednesday" I bring up the topic of honoring our husbands. Many women struggle with the issue because we often see our husbands as human beings lacking logic and sense. We may not admit it, but when certain situations or conversations arise, we wonder, "How in the world do they figure...." Oh, well! You get the point. We're not wired the same way. The Creator made us different and we shouldn't expect our husbands to think the way we do or to read our minds. Seriously, they can't.
Of course there are times when our husbands are wrong (always....kidding!) and their actions are not thoughtful, respectful, or nice. Regardless of how they make us feel, THEIR behavior does NOT excuse OURS! We are called to be godly women in our homes, not just in the presence of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our true character does come out in the midst of trials and in our homes, when no one else is there to witness our poor representation of the Christ we claim to follow.
Here are my good friends, Blanca and Sonia, considering the topic.
Remember the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and give grace instead of harsh words or the silent treatment when your husband makes a mistake. We're not perfect either and if we can be honest, not too easy to live with at times.
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
Let's love our husbands and be grateful for them! Truth is, we would miss a lot of the things that annoy us about them if we had to live without them. Love and honor; they go a long way.
We all know this universal truth: If mommy's happy, everyone is happy! Let's face it- many of the household responsibilities fall on us mothers. Men are....well, just there, ha ha! Kidding, kidding! I'm very submissive (*wink-*wink).
Now, we don't always make the godly choices or have the godly reactions we would like to! Though it's no excuse, in our defense I must say that we have the toughest, most beautiful job in all the world. Pat yourself on the back, mommies, and try some of these ideas to offer your best instead of your left overs!
Time in the Word: Simple. We already know it and yet we tend to overlook it. No excuses, no exceptions, no substitutions. Devotionals are good, but it's still not the Word. Commit to being faithful to your time with the Lord. This means turning off the television and leaving your cell phone in the next room with the ringer off! Make time, not excuses.
Time With Friends: Don't let technology replace face-t0-face time! We MUST have fellowship with sisters in Christ. We are not selfish for doing so. Sisters, for your sanity and spiritual growth, go see a friend or have one over! Don't worry about how clean your place is. You will be refreshed and you will refresh your friend as well, putting you in a better mood, ready for the rest of the day!
Keep a Journal: You probably do it anyway! If you're on Facebook, you most likely write your moods, experiences, and memories. There is something wonderful and soothing about writing these down. Jot your thoughts down as you meditate on God's Word or your day.
Don't Set Yourself Up: Kids need structure and consistency in their schedules, yes! You also need to get things done. Jiminy Cricket, these little people want to eat three times a day?! Do they not know you need to get some cleaning done, maybe some reading, writing, laundry, etc.? Do yourself a favor: don't even try some of these tasks when you know you'll be doing homework with the kids. We only set ourselves up for more stress, as we only manage to read half a sentence before someone needs to interrupt us. I quickly learned cleaning CAN wait and the children and I are both much more relaxed when I don't leave the homework area (when they need help) to read, work, cook, or whatever. There are exceptions, of course, but I learned:
I say that many of the stressful times are my own making because if I already know that the kids need my help with homework, why on earth would I even attempt to read a good book, write in my journal, blog, talk on the phone, or anything that also requires my undivided attention, only to be interrupted at every read, written, or spoken sentence by the blessings God gave me, which I may turn around and scold for interrupting, when it's all MY fault in the first place because I already KNOW they need me? Phew! That was a long sentence. I won't even attempt to go back and check for proper punctuation, ha!
Choose Joy: Your family is not your enemy- promise! Don't take your family for granted. I have found myself a time or two (I'm ashamed to admit), waiting for my son's bedtime so that I can have time to myself to either get some work done or just to relax. Then I later go in his bedroom to give him a blessing and the guilt sets in as I see him sleeping peacefully.
Yes, we get busy and frustrated, but we CAN find joy in that! We don't HAVE to do anything, we GET to do it! It's a matter of perspective!
Don't let your husband steal your joy.
Don't let your children steal your joy.
Don't let the routine steal your joy.
It is OUR choice. Don't take your loved ones for granted. It's a beautiful thing to have a godly responsibility, partnering with God, in bringing forth the next generation of godly men and women. The next time you're tempted to run to the bathroom for a break (even though it doesn't quite work out), think of three things you love about that person that upset you and thank God for them. Did someone spill their drink? Did someone step on dog waste? Did they break something? GET OVER IT! Discipline if you see the need, depending on the situation, but if it was an accident, after your internal storm is under control, have them help you clean up (depending on their age) and move on. We do more harm to ourselves and our children when they see how a simple thing can cause a huge level of stress and raised voices in us. That's not the "godly" example we want them to follow.
Be spontaneous and step out of your "stressed-out-I-still-have-tons-of-things-to-do-so-please-keep-conversation-to-a-minimum-while-I-pretend-to-be-interested" mode.
Surprise the children with a picnic outside instead of the, "Hurry up and eat so you can get back to homework," speech they don't listen to anyway. Ask them questions! Ask them what their dreams are, ask them if they made someone feel special or helped someone that day, ask them what they like about themselves and others. Let's slow our pace and have an actual conversation! It's so vital that we show our children that they have value and worth, beyond their appearance and social status. Their worth is based on who they are in Christ. Kids need to know this powerful truth. There is joy in everyday life. Laugh often! It's good for your emotions and it burns calories! I, for one, plan on having a laughing marathon today so I don't have to work out. I just don't run, ha ha!. Ok, ok, I do need to be more disciplined in that area. One of my weaknesses. I'm not proud of it! Which leads us to:
Exercise: Another simple truth we often choose to ignore. We should be having at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on a daily basis. It reduces stress, anxiety, and helps fight depression! Sounds great, right? Not to my chubby body, but hey, the flesh IS a bully and we got it under control (sometimes).
Involve the kids in a walk around your block, some playtime in the yard, or park. If you don't enjoy actual exercise (running, treadmill, aerobics), start with playtime. A good game of basketball or volleyball will be fun for everyone and you'll manage to burn some calories, create memories, level off your temper, and maybe even put the kids to bed earlier, tired from the day (*wink *wink).
Exercise will improve your self-image, emotions, metabolism, energy levels, heart health, and therefore, your family life. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, John Ratey, says exercise will even help improve our memory and learning! Wow! I want some of that exercise now (not really, just trying to convince myself, lol).
Choose joy today! It's a beautiful day and the Creator of the universe adores you. What better motivation can we have to live our lives and treat our family in a way that reflects our relationship with Christ? Don't let insignificant things get the best of you. Reach out to someone if you feel too frustrated. One of the worst things we can do is keep silent when we should speak, and speak when we should be silent. Choose wisely and enjoy your loved ones! It is in our homes that our ministry begins. Where you lead, they will follow.
Let's go serve our King!
It's amazing how quickly our prayer lives can burn out. We often take for
granted that we can come into the very throne room of the Most High. It was no
small sacrifice that made it happen; it took the Son of God to die for our sins
to tear the veil. We can now come boldly into the throne room of grace (Hebrews 4:16) for, through Christ, we now have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18).
But do we make ourselves available? Do we give God our undivided attention? Do we take it for granted?
Miss Laura is a volunteer that helps tend to the school vegetable garden. Laura answers our question for this week's "Truth or Dare" Wednesday.
Consider your prayer life. There are certain people in your circle of influence that need prayer. Don't know what to say? Read the Psalms and get inspired. King David penned some of the most profound words of praise, depression, desperation, and joy of the Lord ever to have been written. Don't take it for granted. Our access to the Father did not come cheap. His love for the world compelled Him to sacrifice our Savior. Let's not let it be in vain in our own lives.
Let's go serve our King this beautiful Wednesday!
It used to happen only when it rained. Or perhaps it was the only times I noticed it. I could stare into the rainy night forever. There has always been something about the rain against the night sky that makes me nostalgic; almost as if the sky were crying with me.
It's come more often recently, even on dry evenings. I feel closer to God outside where I could stare into the sky, feel the wind, hear the birds, etc.
Nostalgic, but for what? Is it possible that I truly don't know? It's as if I long for a time past, something that never was or shouldn't have been. Not sure.
I saw a bird once sitting on a wire, while I watched from the porch. I thought, "Could that bird have more freedom than I do?"
I can't quite put my finger on it. Sometimes when I walk down the street, I could see the lights on in people's houses and hear their chitter chatter. It almost seems surreal, as if I were watching it in a movie and I can't help but wonder, "Do they know the Lord? Are they happy? What is their story? Everyone has one."
It's quite possible that this only all makes sense to me. But it doesn't make sense to me, ha! Does that make sense? Perhaps only to me...
Sometimes, on an emotional day (what girl doesn't have one or two in her lifetime?) I think I have the answer; I wish I could go back or somehow let the little girl I once was, know that Love came to save her over 2,000 years ago and He is the only Prince she'll need to get approval from. I would tell her that love is not always demonstrated, but should always be appreciated. I would tell her that true love waits and it's better when it does. I would tell her that her worth and purpose are found in Christ. I would tell her that her parents DO love her and always will! I would tell her that she'll hit "rock bottom" a few times, but THE Rock was firm and steady, ready to support her. I would tell her she was fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who saw her and knew her name. I would tell her to come out of her room and enjoy her family. I would tell her that the best is yet to come...
This is true and it's a possibility, but I just can't say. There is a longing, a hurt from something broken or absent and maybe even a desire to go back, but to what?! I want absolutely nothing from my past except the lessons I learned. Then what is it? What could possibly be so complex that I can't even think of it? Ah, the female brain; what a circus mine is :D
Still, my hope and trust are in Christ. I accept Truth over feelings. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away and all things have become new
(2 Corinthians 5:17). Glory to God.
Old wounds can be reopened, sometimes by our own hand. God still reigns.
These times of nostalgia can turn into acts of worship as I leave my confusion and feelings at the cross and praise God for being my All in All. Because He is. He just is and always will be. It's a strong Truth, more powerful than any longing or emotion.
Now, all glory to Him in the Highest. Holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 4:8). Amen, come, Lord Jesus. Save me from myself, Ha ha
We mainly base the decisions of what we wear on the weather and even our mood. I like to wear dresses, even on a rainy day! I wear tights under my dress, but I wear my dress. I make adjustments to be more comfy with the weather. We all do. It just makes sense. It's logic; if it's hot, we don't wear a sweater, making ourselves hotter.
What about our spiritual garments? Are we just as logical when the heat turns up? What are you wearing today? Are you fancy, wearing your garments of praise to God the Father, or are you wearing something more common and casual, such as pride, bitterness, resentment, anger, depression, or despair?
It depends on the "weather" around us. Unfortunately, instead of adjusting to the storms in life by wearing the right attire (the armor of God, for example- Ephesians 6:13-17), we end up dressing in the completely wrong attire, not fighting against the weather, but complimenting it; adding the cherry to the top of the sundae, if you will. Yes, we dwell in our storm, dress in unrighteous unbelief, resentment, and anger, getting drenched and weighed down. Look down, you're holding the key to the shackles.
What would it look like if we would purposefully dress right for our spiritual weather, as we do for the physical, earthly weather? First, let's take a look (with a bit of friendly sarcasm) at what it looks like when we don't:
Bitterness: Someone offended you (how dare they?) and you do NOT have to deal with it. You put on pride when dealing with certain people. If the bitterness took root and grew for a number of years, then everybody may get a piece of that pride. Life is just not fun, beautiful, enjoyable, or fair. You've been dealt a hard hand and there is no joy in the daily routine. You may have been in an abusive relationship and chose to stay. You may have had no father, mother, or affection while growing up. Your hard life entitles you to respect from others and no one can give you any advice because hey- they don't walk in your shoes so who cares what they have to say, right? Let's add a garment of denial to this. You're not wrong and you don't need certain people in your life.
Lukewarmness: What a pretty garment (NOT)! You may say all the right things, agree with what the pastor says, even! But you're so comfy in your attire, you don't want to ruffle anything out of place. Once saved, always saved, right? You can say bad words without much of a second thought, dress showing too much skin, be unkind to people, gossip, etc. And hey, there are people worse off than you are. That show you watch on t.v. has some inappropriate talk, relationships, and scenarios, but let's not be legalistic, for crying out loud! You believe in God and even pay your tithes. You raise your hands in worship and may even enjoy a happy peppy Joel Osteen message on several occasions. Then Monday through Friday, you work, work, work, and your Bible is sitting there, looking pretty, unopened. Maybe you did open it from time to time, read something encouraging, and felt good about yourself.
Unbelief: A very heavy piece of garment to wear, indeed! We almost seem to gravitate toward it more often than most would like to admit! We experience a difficult time in our life or ministry, and we fall apart. Well, this garment of unbelief is much easier to put on than the garment of praise that will actually help us out of our storm. Let's put on unbelief. It's comfy because we've worn it so often, it conforms to us perfectly. We know it. It knows us. We know God's promises, but it's quite difficult to choose the right garment when the other one just seems to grow legs and come to you itself. There it is, ready to wear. Not much effort. You don't have to try. It's sneaky, actually. What may feel like a simple "part of life" situation, becomes an excuse to remain in despair. That is not faith.
There are many garments. Many trials. Many reasons. But there's only One Way. God is faithful and will continue to be there for us, guiding us, helping us and making available to us, the freedom that comes with the garment of praise, so that in our trials, we can choose wisely what to wear- the garment of praise! It's OUR choice.
We can break out of bitterness, lukewarmness, unbelief, and any other type of storm that comes our way! Refuse to wear what will only melt you right in your situation. Rise above it. I can't say it enough; examine yourself and see if that light you think you're in is actually darkness (Luke 11:35). Commit to not taking the easy way! Yes, it's actually easier to go with the flow rather than allowing God to prune you so that you may produce fruit. It's a painful process, this spiritual growth. That fire you're in can refine you. That storm you're in won't drown you. Jesus stands above the waves, bidding you, "Come."
Take His hand and don't take out your unhappiness on other people. We tend to push others away. Don't. Let them see the power of God work through your life. Let them witness how good God is and the greatness of His grace, which is sufficient for you. Rise above your own pride, your self sufficiency, and mediocre way of thinking. Respect others and love God, passionately, whole-heartedly, and uncompromisingly.
Wear your garment of praise and righteousness; you look great in it!
Go serve your King,
Psalm 139 tells us about how well the Lord knows us. It also tell us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Of course we are! We're made in the image of our Heavenly Father who loves us. Even knowing this truth doesn't always prevent us from having insecurities or things we don't like about ourselves. We are our own worst critic.
Here are Ms. Judy and Miss Kasandra, considering the question for this week's "Truth or Dare."
We MUST, MUST, MUST teach our boys and girls (young and old) how valuable they are. Beauty and money come and go. Friends and possessions will come and go too. Our value is based on the fact that we are children of the Most High God and we are capable of doing great things for His Kingdom and the world we live in, because "We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. " -Philippians 4:13
Encourage someone today and remind them how valuable they are!
If you received a copy or downloaded a copy of the newsletter, please encourage your children to participate in the challenges and other activities. If you make any of the recipes, have any comments, questions, experience, or lesson learned you or your child would like to share, please send us a message (and/or picture) and with your permission, we may post it online or include it in the next newsletter.
The importance of facing our sin should go without saying, but we often remain
in sin because it's such a struggle. Not only do we continue in it, but we don't
open up about it so that we can receive prayer or be accountable to someone
else. Here, Mrs. Munoz considers the sin she struggles with most right now.
We are all in a different stage or level of our faith. The flesh is the flesh and will not be perfect while we're still on this side of eternity. It can be easy to look at someone else's sin and think, "They need God in their lives," but isn't it true that we ALL need Him? Saved or not saved, we all need Him. Some people just don't let Him work in their lives; they don't surrender. We must continue to pray for them.
Those of us that have surrendered to the Almighty will still struggle, but if we're willing to face the sin, we can do something about it out of our desire to honor God and be righteous. Our gratitude to Him should be so great that we find joy in honoring Him with every area of our lives. "Lord, please guard my mind, my heart, and my mouth, in Christ Jesus," Is my daily prayer.
Do you have a struggle with a particular sin in your life that you keep hidden? Shame plays a huge part in our decision to keep it to ourselves, but we don't do ourselves any favors or bring God glory when we stay with this mentality.
Scare yourself a little and tell a friend you trust- it is helpful! Examine, admit, confess, and deal with it! Don't let the flesh bully the Spirit that's working in you. The battle was won because God is mightier than any sin or struggle. Now let's do our part as we walk the walk, so that our walk matches our talk.
Hello, I'm Cynthia, founder of Faith Outspoken. I strive to be a woman after God's own heart. I love fellowship time with my sisters in Christ, and sharing the Gospel! Thank you for visiting!