Supermom!

As I’m sitting here writing this, I am feeling not enough. In fact, that’s how this post was birthed. Not being enough. But what if I told you that we, as moms, don’t have to be enough, because through Jesus, we already are? So many of us are striving for a perfection that doesn’t exist. Now lets all take a deep breath and relax, knowing that we don’t have to be. I took these thoughts to Facebook, because I wanted to see how many of y’all were like me. I asked you what were your insecurities were as a mom. The most common thought that was shared was something along the lines of this:

“My life doesn’t look like the perfect moms I see on social media.” Ok, first of all, that’s fake. But that’s a whole different post. I’ll save that for another day! Second, who is perfect? Not her. Not me. Not you. We can be anything we want to be on social media, but that doesn’t mean it’s truth.

If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time now, you know that I like to overshare. Some think of it as a bad thing, but I see it as a gift. I know not everyone is comfortable being that open, so I want to say thank you to the ones that participated on Facebook. It takes guts to be so transparent and vulnerable. To the ones that messaged me, I hope this helps you on your journey. Exposure is so important…things being brought to the light so they can be dealt with. The enemy likes to isolate us (hello, Eve!) so we feel alone. When we feel alone, he can trick us into thinking we can’t share because people will judge/condemn us, so speaking out can feel scary (look what it did for Esther though) but you’re in a safe place here. When we hide in darkness, bad things can grow and take over. For example, mold. When left unaddressed, in a dark place, the spores multiply and eventually take over. Same for an infection. When left untreated, it will grow into something bigger and more toxic. When you treat these things early on, they don’t get that chance. Same with our insecurities and toxic thinking. When brought to the light, they can be shut down and destroyed. My weapon of choice? God’s word. I read it out loud so it filters through my ears and into my brain and takes root in my heart. I know that God’s word is truth, so my thoughts have to change. Even if it takes me reading it out loud over and over again until I believe it for myself.

I’m going to talk about a few insecurities I deal with as a mom. A lot of the time I feel like I have to be Supermom, but really, all I have to be is the Abiding mom. Abiding in Christ.

“I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”-John 15:1-4

“I can’t provide the life I want for them”

Yikes. As a single mom, I deal with this ALL the time. Sometimes, providing means the bare essentials. Like paying my water bill. Forget about taking a vacation! I get angry about it too. Or sad. Or discouraged. But the Bible is so encouraging…

“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”-Psalm 34:10

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:19

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”-Matthew 6:25-27

“I’m not making a positive impact because _________________”

This one was left blank because you can insert whatever reason you want. Mine is that I don’t get enough time with my kids. They are gone for a week at a time. That might sound appealing to some, but I assure you, it’s not. Two different homes, equal amount of time. Two sets of rules. Two different parenting styles. Unequally yoked. It makes my job, as their mom and positive influence, twice as hard. My thoughts are usually something like this:

What are they being exposed to? How long were they in their rooms alone today? Lord, please be their filter while on YouTube. Are they getting outside play? Are they eating healthy?

Sheesh. It can get overwhelming IF I LET IT. That’s the key. Not allowing it to get to that point. So again, I turn to the scriptures.

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”-Deuteronomy 6:6-7

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”Deuteronomy 11:18-19

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”-Proverbs 22:6

So, you see, it’s not about how much time, it’s about making the best of the time that you have. If you’re planting good seeds, they will become fruitful! My oldest is 14. She has lived primarily with her dad since 2015. The things I’m about to say next are NOT SHADE being thrown.  Looking back at the way things have happened over the last few years, it was an absolute blessing. He has done a great job being Bella’s biggest support system. But. They don’t go to church*.

*Going to church doesn’t make you a good person or get you into heaven.

They don’t foster a relationship with God. Had those seeds not been planted in her since the age of 3, things might look a little different for her. She watches messages from Louie Giglio and Steven Furtick. She also watches my home church, West Ridge Church, livestream on Sunday mornings. Without anyone telling her to. Talk about a proud mama!

These are all great resources, by the way, if you are looking for a home church or just to be fed spiritually!

“I am not enough”

This thought is so damaging. It doesn’t just apply to us as moms either. We use it when it comes to all of our relationships. Our jobs. We don’t feel like we are enough with Jesus either. We are constantly selling ourselves short. We don’t even try because we self-sabotage before we even start. But this isn’t what God says about us….

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”-1 Corinthians 3:16-17

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”-2 Corinthians 12:9-10

WOW!! I’m just gonna leave that right there for you to chew on for a minute.

I know, being a single mom, about feeling alone. We carry all the weight of our families on our shoulders. But that’s not a weight we were meant to carry. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the everyday, I forget that I have a husband I can depend on. Yes, I said it. A husband.

But you just said you were single.

Yes I said both.

“For your Maker is your husband-the Lord Almighty is his name-the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”-Isaiah 54:5

That gives me so much peace. Jesus is the ultimate husband. He will never leave me. Never forsake me. He will give me good things. He gives me hope and a future.

I want to leave you with one last thought. Once you have made up your mind to trust Jesus, stay planted in that. Don’t allow your thoughts to toss you back and forth, wondering if you can trust Him or not. Watch this message from Pastor Louie Giglio, from this past Sunday. He goes into more depth about it and it truly changed my thought process on so many things.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.-Isaiah 26:3

I hope this has encouraged you to at least not feel alone. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, on any platform, if you need prayer. Before I write any of these messages, I pray over them. I ask God to be my voice and that it would help those that need it. So if you’re reading this, I’ve prayed for you. Thank you for taking the time to read it. If it has helped you, in any way, please feel free to share it, so it could possibly help and encourage someone else.

Remember. We don’t have to be Supermom. Just a mom that abides in Christ.

xoxo

 

Forgiveness??

If you were to make a list of the people in your life that you needed to forgive, could you be honest? Would your list have two names? 20? None? How many of those people are family members?

The family dynamics in Colossians 3:18-21 is God’s perfect plan. You can call me old-fashioned, sexist, barefoot and pregnant…I don’t care. It’s what I believe. Our family is supposed to be our first line of defense. Our parents to protect us. Our siblings to build and learn about friendships with, along with conflict resolution (even if that involves these hands! Right Lyss? You were so mean!). But instead we have strife. Jealousy. Bitterness. Anger. A house divided cannot stand (Mark 3:25). And no, I’m not referring to the SEC…at least not today haha!! Go Dawgs!

If there is division, it can destroy the family structure, causing us to “wander” solo. No one by our side to hold us accountable…yes we have friends, but we can talk about that later….that’s how Eve was able to be tempted. She was alone. When a sheep wanders away from the herd and it’s shepherd, it’s more vulnerable to its predators.

The funny thing about this blog post is that I don’t have an answer or resolve to what I just talked about. Which brings me to my next topic.

Today was my first counseling session at Elevate. I had one major issue in my life that was causing me a tremendous amount of stress. That’s what caused me to make an appointment in the first place. I wanted some healthy coping mechanisms for when I felt anxious. God had bigger plans, y’all. I wasn’t ready!! My first session and I’ve already learned that I’m dealing with un-forgiveness. I didn’t even know!!! It was so profound that I’ve decided I’m going to make this journey public. I’m going to blog after each one of my sessions. I will share my revelations, my heartaches, my joy and my victories. My darkest places. I really hope that my transparency will help you to see that you’re not alone. No, I won’t be sharing names if anyone, in case you were wondering! This is for my exposure, no anyone else’s.

I thought I knew how to forgive someone, but today I found out that I don’t. I’m excited to learn and share as I go. My hope is that it will inspire you to seek it out for you and your family too.

xoxo

Dry January?

Alright y’all. I didn’t know that “Dry January” was a thing until a few days ago. I had unknowingly participated. Let me tell you about it…..

Today marks a month of no alcohol for me. My decision to stop drinking didn’t stem (wine…you see what I did there) from a “problem” per se. At least I didn’t think so at first. Just like everyone else, my personality would change when I would drink. But I was in denial. I didn’t want to hear that I was aggressive and inflammatory. Those aren’t exactly personality traits anyone would want to posses. Well, maybe some of y’all but no judgement!

When I would drink, I would wake up the next day with a tremendous feeling of guilt. It was like my soul was wired to reject alcohol. Even if I didn’t do anything worthy of that feeling, it happened nonetheless. This next statement might sound contradictory, but a lot of times I would forget things I said. I was a binge-drinker. I couldn’t enjoy just a drink or two. It was always shot after shot, usually Fireball or Jameson, followed by PBR or Miller Lite. No apologies. I’m a redneck deep down!

Drinking would always cause my emotions to go to the extreme. If I was happy, I was giddy. If I was sad, I was sobbing. If I was angry, I was aggressive. Insecure? Yes, you guessed it. It was terrible. I was terrible. So I decided to do some soul-searching. It was time to lay my relationship with alcohol to rest.

I’m happy to report, that it’s only been a positive outcome from it. No more feelings of guilt. I’ve saved money. Lost weight. My skin is clear and glowing. I’m just happier in general. However, one thing I wasn’t prepared for was having to face my emotions dead-on, without a crutch or something to mask them. That has been the hardest part. January has been one of the most challenging months of my life, mentally. Doing a competition prep, fresh off a breakup, school…it has been overwhelming at times. But now I’m in control of me. I’ve had to do a lot of deep breathing and most of the time it doesn’t work but I’m trying! Growth in 2019. That’s my goal. Like Cher said in Clueless “I needed a makeover…but this time I would makeover my soul.”

Am I saying I won’t ever have a beer again? No. Let’s be real. Braves. Beer. Some things just belong together. But now, I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t. Being the drunken messy girl is not something I ever want to be again.

And to the person that forced me to see this reality, thank you. Hard truth isn’t something I’ve always been good at accepting, but thank you for loving me enough to hurt my feelings.

XOXO

A Letter

I’v been reading this book today, Don’t Settle for Safe by Sarah Jakes Roberts. Very rarely have I read a book that impacted my life in such a short amount of time. I will go into more details another time, but I wanted to quote one of the last pages.

Side note, I’ve cried multiple times during the course of reading it. God used it and will continue to use it to propel me to what’s next. At first, I was resistant. Growing hurts. Pruning is painful. You have to look at yourself, for who you really are, and face the things you’ve been ignoring and forgive yourself. Ok. Enough with that. This is taken from page 153-154 of her book titled Don’t Settle for Safe….

             You can no longer afford to trust the treasure that is your heart to anyone who says you’re beautiful. Anyone can admire a diamond, but few recognize the quality and care required to keep it beautiful. For too long your insecurities made you so desperate for attention that you handed over your golden heart to people who’ve only handled glitter. This is not their fault; it’s yours. You ignored the signs, hoping they would wake up one day and see your worth. The truth is it’s time for you to wake up. You can no longer go through life unconsciously hurting yourself and asking someone else to heal you. The power for you to overcome is already inside of you. The longer you stay, the more you deny the strength you have to move on. You’re better than the you’ve subscribed to. There is still beauty inside of you. There’s nothing you’ve lost in this process that can’t be restored, but you must determine how you will spend your grace. Don’t give your patience away to people that will abuse it. Don’t give your courage away to people who don’t understand it. Surround yourself with people who can reciprocate what you pour. Let their validation be an overflow that allows you to touch the lives of other broken people. This is bigger than you. This is about redefining love and esteem in a culture determined to make us feel less than. You are the hero you’ve been looking for. So put on your cape, get off your knees, and stop begging for someone to love you. Love yourself. Seek God and all other things will be added to you. 

I really can’t think of an appropriate response to that. It feels like I should mic-drop and walk away. But I can’t. I know you are hurting. I know you feel lost. I know you listened to the bad things people have said about you and allowed it to take root in your heart. Maybe you’re starting to believe those things. But i’m here to tell you. You are not your past. You are not defined by the things you have done. You have the power to change your trajectory. I know because, while failing over and over again, I’m still here. God still reminds me daily of the things I’m called to do. Don’t let your past weigh you down. Also, don’t repeat the negative things you are or have been ashamed of. I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you. I’ll be the first to tell you my flaws. But I have some locked away in my heart that I’ve recently started dealing with, so healing can take place, and I can be a vessel of love.

Buy this book. It will change your life. But don’t ready it until you’re ready to face some things that will be painful. It’s time to be real with ourselves.

XOXO

Jess

Only God can judge me

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I may say some things that will make you mad. Just a warning. But that’s the beauty of the first amendment. I can say anything I want. I’m not out to hurt anyone, I’m just tired of hearing people say “Only God can judge me!” They say it so self-righteously. Nowhere in the Bible does it  say that only God can judge us. 

First lets talk about the fruits of the spirit. You can find these glorious nuggets in Galatians 5:22-23. They are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Self-control is an interesting one to me because how many of us have self-control? We all have that one thing that gets us every time, whether it’s donuts, chinese food, pornography, alcohol…you get my point. Mine is oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. No self-control around those bad boys. I’ll eat 5 and not even blink!! Ok I’m getting off-point here. Sorry.

So lets say we see Sally out at Applebee’s and she is sloppy drunk, hanging all over the guy sitting next to her and slurring. I think it’s fair to make a judgement that she shouldn’t drive. In fact, this judgement could save her life.

I’m going to share a personal experience of mine to help you understand where I’m coming from.

I know I’m getting judged. I can feel it. You ever just know people are talking about you? I can feel it. At Bella’s basketball games, at her softball games, at her school. But I have to put myself in these people’s shoes. How do they view me? I mean, only the worst of the worst of mothers lose their children to the father. I would judge me too. Not to mention the things Bella’s father has said about me. No, I’m not being paranoid about this. I’ve had several people come forward and ask me about/tell me what’s being said. No wonder people stop talking when I walk by. They think I’m a monster. So it’s no surprise that I’m always on the defensive. I feel like I have to prove myself to everyone, that I’m not a terrible person. Let me tell you, that’s a humbling experience too. I feel like I should safety pin the judges words to my shirt and say, “See!! I’m a wonderful mother! And nurturing!!” 

I’m defending myself right now. Did you catch it?

I can’t shut it off. I’ve always been the person that wants to be liked; to please everyone. Unfortunately, Bella has this same trait. I’m trying to help her break that, but when you only get 5 1/2 days a month, it’s very hard to do. Now I’m off track again. 

But alas, I cannot, and YOU cannot, make everyone happy. I think Dita Von Teese (yes, I know what she does for a living) said it best, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” Well said, Dita. So now I just try to please God. Although I’m sure lately He hasn’t been very happy with me. I blame Him for what happened. But is it really His fault? I don’t know. I’ll never know until I’m standing before Him. Maybe by then I won’t care. I just don’t know how to channel all the heartbreak I experience daily. Hourly. 

Now back to judging. My (humble and unimportant) opinion is that we can judge people. If they’re not walking in the fruits of the spirit, and not bearing fruit (Matthew 7:16), we can form an opinion of them. But we CANNOT run to our gym buddies, friends, co-workers, twitter followers, whoever! and run our mouths about Sally that we saw drunk at the bar. We don’t know Sally’s story. She may be going through something so painful that she doesn’t know how to deal with it. Maybe she doesn’t know Jesus. And guess what? By you running your mouth about her, isn’t going to help her want to get to know Him. Christians have a terrible reputation for gossiping and being hypocritical. We need to change that. Pray for her, in your own quiet time instead of spreading lies. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Galatians 5:14). Some of y’all don’t love yourselves very much either. That’s a whole different blog post. 

The bottom line is this. Love each other. Build each other up. Don’t do things that will cause your brother to stumble(Romans 14:12-13), meaning if they are on a diet, don’t eat donuts in front of them. If they’re battling a pornography addiction, don’t ask them to go to the strip club with you. Hey you shouldn’t be going there anyway!!! 

Just remember, things are not always what they appear to be.

 

I love y’all. Thank you for sharing life with me.

No, I’m not ok.

I’m about to pour out my heart onto my keypad. Just a warning. It won’t be pretty.

I cannot put into words the hurt that my heart is feeling. I feel abandoned by God. I feel helpless. I feel so much anger because I feel helpless. Heart broken. Sad. Contrite. Despair. 

I’m a problem-solver. I’m a go-getter. I don’t like to just sit on my butt and wait for things to happen for me. But God has asked me to do just that. Sit on my butt. And wait. Somedays I wonder what the heck am I waiting for? I lose focus. I have to go back and read my journal to reaffirm that I heard God correctly. And you know what? I did. So now what?

Today I was angry with Him (don’t worry. He knows. We’re cool now). I couldn’t figure out how a Star-Breather couldn’t just fix things for me and my family. I mean, my 2 youngest are hurting through losing their sister, and lets face it, Bella’s dad sure isn’t making things any easier. Even though according to the judge he’s supposed to be. 

So why can’t God wave His sovereign hand and just fix this? That’s what I asked Him today. Actually it was more like an anguished, painful sob. Probably the way Hannah sounded when she was lamenting for a child. 

I have a point to this post, I promise.

The first one is that God wants you to be real in your prayer time. This is something my husband has taught me. God knows are hearts and can hear our thoughts, so why pretend everything is peachy, when in fact, we feel like we’re dying on the inside? There’s something about saying everything out loud. You may realize how ridiculous you sound for doubting the Star-Breather. I felt pretty stupid today. But I needed to hear it. God needed to hear it. And now that my heart has been (temporarily) cleared, we can move on to the next “thing” that God has for me. It’s all about the realization of who God really is in your life. Sometimes you need to throw a temper tantrum to get you refocused. 

Now my 2nd point. 

Whatever pain you’re going through, is going to birth something beautiful. I know it doesn’t look that way now. Trust me, I’m living it daily. I hurt every moment of every day that goes by. Literally. But just like David, I have to recall all the things God has already done for me. And that’s a long list. But it does something to my spirit when I do it. It revives me. Just like a defibrillator revives a heart-attack patient, it brings me back to life. It also gets me off my “why me” soapbox. Who cares “why me”?! It is what it is and I can sink and die or rise up and learn from it. You have the same choice. 

Which will you choose? 

You want me to do what?!

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Artist: Nicolas Poussin- “The Adoration of the Golden Calf”

1 Corinthians 10:14: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.”

The Greek word, Eidololatreia, for idolatry in this particular scripture means “to worship false gods”.

About 2 months ago, I was seeking God in a way that I had never sought Him before. I went on a 10 day fast. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:16, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

Two things stand out to me in this scripture:

1) We are supposed to fast!! He said “when”, not “if” and 

2) Shut up about it! I’m talking about it now because my fast is over. And what God revealed to me during this time was life-changing.

He showed me I was an IDOLATER.

Do you know how God feels about idolaters?? Let me share some scriptures with you.

In Exodus, while Moses was on the mountain with God, the Israelites for bored and told Aaron to build them a god to worship. Idolaters!! Hmph. We would never do that, right?

When Moses came back, God told them, basically, to start killing each other by sword! The ones that were left were set apart. This is all in Exodus chapter 32 if you want to read it all for yourself. You should. Don’t just take my word for it!!

Then there’s the whole “10 Commandments” thing. I’m sure you’re familiar with those (Exodus 20). The first two say:

1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me

2)Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images…

I’m sure by now you’re wondering what I was worshiping. Well I’ll tell you.

It was Bella.

Ever since my separation, I carried so much guilt because I knew it wasn’t fair to Bella. But what was MORE unfair to her was modeling an unhealthy marriage. I didn’t want her settling for the same things I did.

I always put her first. Before my current husband, my other 2 children, and yes, before God. I was living in fear, which doesn’t come from God (read 2 Timothy 1:6-7), that if I didn’t go above and beyond for her, she would resent me, feel lack; you name it, I was feeling it. So our whole lives revolved around Bella. Her feelings, schedules, any and all of it. I can’t imagine how that must have made my husband and other children feel. Ugh.

But I never would have known any of this if I had not fasted and prayed. It’s only then God can show you things about yourself that you may not see otherwise. I was so humbled when God revealed this to me. I felt sick. I couldn’t believe that I had been living like that for so long and not even know it. All I could do was weep and praise God for His grace.

So now, there is a new structure in our family. (See Ephesians 5:22-23 and 6:1)

I’ve let go of the guilt. It died on the cross with Jesus. When I pick it back up, it’s like I’m crucifying Him all over again.

God has healed my family because of prayer and fasting. Even though we’re not all together all the time, we are all at peace in our home. Everyone sees a happier and less stressed mommy. That is a wonderful feeling.

What are the idols in your life? What or who do you put before God? Don’t know? Fast. Yes, fast. I know it’s hard. But if you’re hungry and desperate for God, that is the fastest (no pun intended) way to hear His voice. Pray. Ask Him to show you the idols in your life. Then lay them down. There’s so much freedom when you put God first. Like, really first.

 

 

An apology

I feel the need to apologize for my last post. Apparently I have offended some people. Please know, that my intention is never ever to offend. These are my personal thoughts and feelings. Mine. You don’t have to agree with them. It’s okay if you don’t. But I have a right to speak my opinions, thoughts and anything else I want to share. But again, my intention is never to offend. I know the result is still the same, so for this I apologize.

So this is Christmas??

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Well, the holidays are over for the most part. I have to say, I’m relieved. It seemed like this Christmas, I was under more pressure than ever. Especially now that we’re not living in Georgia anymore. We didn’t do any of our Christmas traditions this year, which include hot chocolate and The Polar Express, new ornaments and snow globes for each child, Christmas Eve jammies and baked french toast on Christmas morning. I was feeling like a total failure. I mean, we didn’t even put up a Christmas tree!!

Fortunately for me, I have a very supportive and compassionate husband, and a wonderful set of in-laws, to help me keep my mind off of my “failings” as a parent. Did I mention this was Paisley’s first Christmas? Yeah. I’m sure you can imagine the disappointment I felt in myself.

Now I’m not one to go blaming everything on the devil. Sometimes, we reap bad things because we make dumb decisions. But I think, this time, he had it out for me. Go ahead and call me crazy. I don’t care. I’ve been called worse. Recently, too. 🙂

Because we were spending our Christmas in Nashville, Bella’s dad and stepmom offered to meet us in Chattanooga on Christmas eve. This worked out great for us because instead of 6 hours in the car, we only had to spend 3 hours in the car. This was planned for at least 2 weeks in advance, but probably more. The day before we were going to meet, he decides he doesn’t want to meet anymore. I saw it coming, I have to admit. For some reason, I keep trusting in man when I should be trusting in God. You think I would have learned by now!! Sheesh!!

But just as a protective Father does, He came to my rescue. What the enemy meant for harm, God turned it around and made into something, not just good, but great!! Just like Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” To see this scripture in action was something I will never be able to describe. But let me just say, wow!!!!!

It’s hard hearing your daughter tell you that you’re being talked about in a negative way. It’s hard to hear her express her anger towards her father, and to remind her that she still has to respect and honor him. It makes me want to throw up, honestly. How can you respect someone that is constantly lying to you, manipulating you and trying to alienate you? My daughter’s strength is admirable. She’s starting to see things for what they really are. But I know that this is necessary for what God wants to do in her life. I’m grateful that He has her in the palm of His hand.

I will leave you with this.

Job 42:10 “And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

Even though they are not my friends, I still have to pray for them and bless them. Just like I tell Bella, I have to do what’s right in God’s eyes, even if no one else is doing it.

Actions speak louder than words

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As I’m packing up my kitchen, I’m fighting back tears. As much as I’ve hated Douglasville, my whole life has been here. I grew up here. Ran around with the wrong kids when I was a teenager here. Got saved here. Got lost here. Got ‘saved’ again (if you can be re-saved. I’m not asking for a debate here, either.) Had all 3 of my children here. Had 3 miscarriages. Like, my life has been lived here. I know these roads so well, yet I still forget how to get there sometimes. I always said if I left this town I would never look back. Just leave in a cloud of dust. I won’t tell you what I always thought I’d say. 😉

But what I never considered was that my daughter would still be here when I left.

Without faith, it says it’s impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) The actual definition of impossible is “not able to occur, exist or be done.” That means that you could be doing everything else, i.e., “being” the church (by the way, keep your givings and the people you bless to yourself. Read Matthew 6:3-4. Quit bragging about yourself y’all), feeding the homeless, preaching, teaching, any ministry that you’re doing. If you’re doing these things, just going through the motions, praying for people but have no faith, you’re not pleasing God. Now I don’t know about you, but this was a major gut-check for me. I’m walking in obedience to God, but am I walking in faith?

This post is actually on parenting. I know I got a little off-track at first, but I had to lay things out for you. And maybe vent just a little.

What kind of example of faith are you being to your children? See, no one ever talks about the faith of Isaac. Only Abraham. I would think that Isaac had to have had as much faith, if not more, than Abraham. We don’t see anywhere that Isaac was like, “hey, dad, um, why are you tying me up?” or “hey, pops, why are you holding that knife over my head?” or “Dad, I thought you said God would provide the sacrifice? Where is it?” Why is that? I’ll give you my opinion.

Isaac knew that Abraham, not only spoke to God and had a relationship, key-word here y’all, with God, but that Abraham had faith that was pleasing to God. He showed Isaac in his everyday life. So for Isaac, there was no room for question. He just believed what his father told him. But Isaac also had a relationship with God. And I believe it was because Abraham’s actions spoke louder than his words.

If I’m packing things up and crying my eyes out in front of Bella, that shows her that I’m scared, nervous, etc. If I’m packing things up and praising God for His promise and speaking that over our lives, that shows her faith. No, I’m not saying it’s bad to cry about things. It’s okay to hurt and cry together because we won’t see each other as much. But while we’re crying, we remind each other that God doesn’t lie and this won’t be forever. Then we start rejoicing. That is what faith looks like.

So where do you stand? Are your children living by faith modeled by yours?