Month: November 2019

Things I Am Thankful For

My Life

I am thankful to be alive. The Lord saw me before I was born and I was created for this time!

My health

I am well, with no severe health problems and I have the freedom to use my body and am healthy enough to take care of my family and do what I need to do to live!

My Family

From my mom to my brothers and sisters, my husband and my children. Even my nieces and nephews, grandma, uncles, and aunts. I am grateful that I have a family!

My Home

I have a home! A place to live in, for protection and comfort. I can decorate, clean and sleep in my own bed and care for my children here. Praise God!

My sanity

I am able to go about my day and live in the world with a normal, sane mindset. That is huge to me, especially since I have struggled with mental health issues throughout my life. I am grateful for my sanity. I have the mind of Christ!

Transportation

I am thankful for my husband’s truck and the fact that it’s still running. It takes us where we need to go and the Lord provided it to us just when we needed it.

Food

I am fed every day. I eat well. I can feed my kids when they are hungry. We are not starving and the Lord provides our meals every day. Praise Him!

Clothing

I am clothed, my kids are clothed. My husband is dressed every day. We have clothes to wear, and as the kids grow, we have what we need for them. We are blessed with clothing!

Running Water

I am grateful that I have running water in my house. When my family and I need water. To drink, to wash clothes, to shower, to clean with; we have it.

Heat

It’s cold outside and our gas is on for heat. I am grateful that we have heating in our house. God is good!

Literacy

I can read! And read well, at that. Some people can’t even read. Some people read without comprehension. I have both!

My hubby’s job and our business ventures

The Lord has blessed our family with the job that my husband has. I also praise Him that I was able to work while I was pregnant with Manasseh. That helped out a lot. God provides for us financially and has given us business ventures to prosper with.

The Body Of Christ

I am always thankful that the Lord created community. Brothers and sisters who love Him and serve Him and pray for each other. Prayer and unity in Christ are invaluable.

Salvation Through Jesus

God had a plan for our salvation even before He created us. The cross is greater than my sins! Praise the Lord!

Prayer

God hears us when we pray to Him in the name of Jesus! And He answers when we are obedient to His Word. Praise Him that He knows what we need and desire, and wants to bless us with good things.

The Word of God

I am thankful that we have God’s Word to guide us through life. To comfort us and give us hope, as well as to teach us how to live to have the abundant life Jesus died for, how to treat each other to live in peace and make it back home to Jesus when He comes back for those who are serving Him.

Freedom 

I live in a free country. I am thankful for the freedom we still have! And for those who fight for it in the armed forces.

Protection

I am thankful for every time the Lord protected me and my family from the plans of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy us.

There are so many things to be thankful for. These are the things I thank God for every day. We all should have a list! What are some things you are thankful for that I didn’t list here? Be grateful! Not just on Thanksgiving, but every day.

 

 

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Coffee And The Cross

I love coffee, but I love Jesus more. Or…, I love coffee and I love Jesus. 

Which one is it?

Well, coffee is something that I drink because I enjoy it and it makes me feel good. But I don’t need it. It brings a certain joy to my day. But I don’t need it. Jesus, I need. To breathe, to see, to think, to sing, to rest, to live, I need Jesus. I can say that I love something, but it may not be vital.

There are even good things that you may love, but not be in dire need of. Some things are modern luxuries that we believe that we need in order to live, but in fact, are not. I’m not going to go into a whole schpeel about wants, needs, and must-haves, but I simply want to make it clear that sometimes we say we love some things because they have become constants in our lives, so we think we can’t live without them. In fact, we just don’t want to.

I’ll say it again. I love coffee. I do. I drink it every day. Some days, three or four cups. I use different creamers, I try different brands. And the mug I drink it out of makes a difference in the experience of drinking it. Coffee is a comfort that I don’t want to give up. And I don’t think I need to give it up. Though, I do think I should drink it with a sugarless creamer. I tried one and went back to the sugar-laden ones because they are more readily available (and I like the variety of flavor!)

BUT I love Jesus. Jesus is more than a luxury I can do without and I drink it because it makes me feel good. He is my Source. Jesus made the coffee I enjoy so much! When I am worried, he is my Peace. When I am happy (even when I am not!), He is my Joy. When I am tired (physically, emotionally, mentally), He is my Rest. When I am hungry, He gives me the sustenance that matters. An everlasting Life. I can depend on Jesus.

Yeah, when I wake up in the morning, I depend on that first cup to get me right; To give me a boost and really wake me up, But more than the coffee, I need the Word. The Word of Life that is found when I discipline myself to sit, open my Bible and read. I need that discipline because a lot of the time, I don’t want to open my Bible when I get up in the morning. I want to have my coffee and rush into work mode; Get stuff done, ya know.

Ultimately, I know that I need the Word more than my breakfast, my vitamins, or my coffee. But my flesh woman wants to feel good. My natural side that leans to the World and all that is found in it is opposed to the goodness of the Lord. When I do discipline myself to sit, open my Bible and read the Word, shutting out the distractions, makes Jesus my first love. He desires for me to give Him that honor and in Him, I find true fulfillment.

Other things are cheap firsts. Yes, I am going to take my vitamins, shower, have coffee and eat breakfast. Those things are going to happen in my day. But I believe that the Lord wants to fill me, to equip me with His love, His truth, and His purpose before I rush into these cheap firsts.

I don’t like New Year’s ‘resolutions’. Coming up with new goals that I’m going to abandon just because the calendar year changed isn’t something I want to do anymore. I do believe we should make goals, though. I think I should set the goal (maybe resolution IS a better word?) to open my Bible and read a couple of chapters first thing in the morning before I jump into my day!

Who’s with me? 

I don’t think it would be putting Jesus on the back burner to have my coffee while I read the Word, though. So long as I do this first! (After I feed my newborn, of course. It would be quite distracting to read my Bible while my son screams at me.) But as I type this, I want to resolve to read the Word of God first thing in the morning. Some days, I read a quick devotional, first thing. But there’s something about opening my Bible, holding it and turning the pages as I read chapter to chapter that nothing can compare to.

It is the best thing to do to build and strengthen a relationship with the Author of Life.

Coffee and Jesus. I resolve to make this the first part of my morning routine! (And if for some reason, some days I don’t feel like having coffee, it is not vital, the Word is sweet enough on its own!)

 

 

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Will I Buy Into Want, Need, Wear, Read This Christmas?

I just heard about the want, need, wear challenge on another blog. This challenge is essentially buying each of your kids for Christmas something they want, something they need, something they will wear and something to read. Before I read about this challenge, I was thinking about doing two gifts for each kid. I know that commercially, Christmas is centered around what you’re going to get and what you’re going to give. So I wanted to pare down the gifts this year. Making Christmas Christ-centered is really important to me, as well as to my husband.

In years past, the kids would get up to seven or eight gifts and I’m thinking now that that is excessive. After deciding in my head that the kids should get two gifts each, then reading about this challenge, I then decided to go with the challenge. Mind you, I have not yet discussed this with my husband! Me and him both believe that education and basic needs are mandatory so I’m sure he won’t have a problem with want, need, wear. read. As of yet, we have not taken lists from our 6-year-old. This year, he can read and write well, and I’ve told him that he should start writing what he wants for Christmas. That would take care of the want for him. Then there are the other kids (Heaven and the grandbabies).

Want, need, wear. read is appealing to me because it gets to the basics. I do want to get my kids something they enjoy (want). Of course, there’s always something they need. So getting them something necessary could either be a food item, clothes (but then there’s wear!), something to aid in learning, or something or other. There are a lot of possibilities! Then of course, since they are all so young and still growing, an outfit, a coat or shoes is always going to be a great gift. Then there’s read. If you don’t know this about me, I am an avid reader. I read every day, from different genres. I have a Goodreads account, my favorite FaceBook group is a reading group and two of my favorite places are the public library and Barnes and Noble. I want very much for my kids to be avid readers as well. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t read, and it goes to say that reading improves one’s intelligence. So, this will be one of my favorite gifts to pick fro them. A book: Go read!

So will we do the want, need, wear, read challenge for Christmas this year? Being that I didn’t discuss it with my husband yet, we will have to see! I think it’s a great idea. I hope that he does too! The traditions that we do have as of yet are pretty standard. We put a tree up, sometimes have stockings, watch Christmas movies pretty much throughout December, make hot cocoa… Oh, and we pray before we open gifts. This is essential. I need the kids to know that everything we have comes from Jesus. But I practice gratefulness with them every day of the year.

Father,

I pray that everyone reading this learns more of you this holiday season. I pray for you to be in every home and in every heart. Let us not forget that Christmas bears the name of your only begotten Son and we should revere Him above all! Lord, I love you, and I put my trust in you. Help me to teach my children your Word and your Way, by example. Nit just on Christmas, but by how I live every day. Help my husband and I to feed them spiritually sound doctrine and love them with your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

 

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Adorning The Dark by Andrew Petersen: A Review

This was a delightful book! And I am glad that I read it. Adorning The Dark by Andrew Petersen is a very encouraging book for a Christian writer like myself. I believe that any writer would be encouraged by this work, but especially Christian faith writers because he stresses that writing is a calling, from the Lord. When it gets tough, and you’re like, “Why am I doing this?,” to know that God Almighty gave you this gift to serve Him, is humbling but also confidence building.

Adorning The Dark is a memoir, as well as a guide to writing for Christian faith writers. Here are a few of my favorite passages:

“Let your words and music be more beautiful by their death in the soil of worship, that the husk of your own imperfection might fall away and germinate into some bright, eternal song only God could’ve written.” (Page 45)

“A confession: I don’t think I can do it. I’ve done the very best I can do already, and I’m afraid that God will remove the Spirit from me, that whatever that thing is that makes the song work, the mystical gas in the engine, will be cut off. This thing will slow down to a trickle and die, and I’ll put out an album that people hate.” (Page 127)

“While the obsessive tendency can be a boon to someone with a career in the arts, the thing can come back to bite you. Because like it or not, if you actually want to get paid to do this stuff, you have to actually do the work. And once you realize you’re responsible for your family by either caring for the children or providing a full time income, art- no matter how fun it was in the beginning – becomes work. It becomes a chore. It becomes burdensome.” (Page 119)

Also, I loved that he spoke of the controversy that has been openly displayed in the media of different artists saying they are not Christian artists (professing believers in Christ!) He didn’t specifically speak of someone else but said that when he moved to Nashville, it was cool to say as much.

Adorning The Dark is a beautifully written, poetic memoir of the Grace of God in the heart of a man striving to serve like Jesus and provide for his family while answering the call of God in the form of being ‘a creative.’

 

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Skin Care In Cold Weather

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Use Gentle Soap

When the middle of Fall gets here, my skin starts to get dry. And itchy. Right now, I am itching and I can’t help but scratch because it’s serious. My skin changes with the weather, so my skincare must, as well. The first thing I start to look at is what soaps I’m using. I prefer body washes over bar soap, and there are a lot of options. With my dry skin, I want to use something soothing, made for sensitive skin. This fragrance-free choice from Aveeno is great!


Stay Hydrated. Drink lots of water

For some people, it’s hard to drink a lot of water. I love coffee, energy drinks, and juice. So I try to sneak in a few glasses of water per day. But in the cold seasons, if you want to keep your skin hydrated, it’s important to keep your body hydrated from the inside. This is something I’ve got to work on! Something that helps when I actually do it: I buy sugar-free flavored drink packs to add to individual bottles of water. They add the flavor without the sugar so that I actually want to drink the water. A great option is this variety pack from Crystal Light:


Use a humidifier in your bedroom

My youngest son got a cold a couple of weeks ago. And my oldest gets a bad cough each season change. So our humidifiers have been on for weeks. I just make sure that I keep filling it back up with water when it runs out. In addition to keeping your nasal passage from drying out, a humidifier will also keep your skin hydrated. So it’s great, overall! I use an inexpensive option: The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier


Buy a rich moisturizer

In summer, I use body lotions, but not every day. I don’t have much problem with dry skin when it’s warm so I don’t use lotion as much because it gets so hot that it just mixes with my sweat and gets yucky. When Fall comes, I have to start slathering on the lotion and lip balm. I use Bath and Body Works lotions, but this season, I may go out and get something I can use on my body, hands, feet, and face. A multitasker is great because I get dry all over, and I’m sure many of you reading this do as well. Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a great option for this Winter. It’s a heavy, unscented cream that will moisturize the whole body. I’d even use it on the face, and just be a little less heavy-handed.


Keep your lips soft

Another big problem I have when the weather gets cold is dry lips. I’ve got to be using lip balm several times per day. There’s a classic balm that I love and stopped using for a while because it was in a tin that was really hard to open. I checked and it’s also available in a tube. The Rosebud Salve by Rosebud Perfume Company.


Keep your feet soft

The thick cream I mentioned you should be using can be used on the feet as well. I like to wash my feet before going to bed, using the cream, then wearing socks to bed. It really helps to keep my heels as soft as possible!

Pay attention to your hands

I can’t forget the hands! I don’t like having ashy hands when it gets cold outside. And they are if I don’t do something about it. I keep a small bottle of lotion in my purse so that I can apply lotion throughout the day. An  option I love is the  Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Balm in Lavender


Do you get dry skin when the weather gets cold? What are some of your favorite ways to keep your skin hydrated?

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Preparing For Thanksgiving

Preparing my heart

This time of year usually creeps up on me. Before I know it, it’s the middle of November and my husband and I are asking each other what we want to do. This year, I am a little more prepared. There is a lot going on in my family, and the Lord is blessing us right and left. I see His hand in our lives. This year, I have been learning gratefulness. Gratefulness is not just knowledge of what you have, but a practice of awareness that you are blessed. It is looking at your life, not just from a positive perspective but spiritually seeing the goodness that is in your life. If you are alive, you have reasons to be grateful. Even if you are not in an ideal situation, you can start noting ways that you are blessed. I have mentioned it before, but I may or may not start a gratitude journal. I have heard that it has helped so many people. For me, every day, in prayer I thank the Lord for each blessing I can think of for a few minutes. I have a Bible study journal that I also write prayers in, so it would be a good idea to write my thanks to the Lord in there too. Last year was a hard year for me and I am still praising God for the turn around that this year has been. The Lord has been impressing on me to put in place some spiritual practices that I started already, but didn’t continue. So I am working on consistency. I don’t want to leave room for the enemy. As believers, we know he is always looking for a place where he can slip in and deposit his essence of lies and sin. I want no part of the works of the enemy. I read a lot of books, but I need to read my Bible more. Every day, I read the word. Several devotions.  But if I can steal moments to read my books (fiction, self-help and such), I know I can get good time in the Word.

Preparing my plans

My husband and I have already planned to go see my mom for Thanksgiving this year. With that plan in place, there are some things that we have to do to prepare for that trip. Our transportation needs to be right, and he needs to see what days he has off of work. As I write this, we have already told my mom, but to me, it is not 100 percent until we get these things in order. So we know what we want to do and are moving toward that, but my mom does not live across town. She is hours away. If she were close, it would be easier, but it’s not. So I will keep this in prayer.

Preparing my family

We don’t usually decorate for the holidays and season changes. I’d like to start doing that. It would be nice. I like seeing other people’s Fall and Christmas decor. The one thing we do is put our tree up before Christmas, but other than that, things stay the same. I always tell my little ones how Christmas is about Jesus, tell them (especially my 6-year-old) that we are blessed. That we have a lot more than a lot of people. That all we have comes from God. I believe my 6-year-old understands. But I will continue to impress upon him and my other kids that it is important to be thankful. For life, a home, our family, transportation, food, clothes, heat, toys and everything else the Lord has given us.

The food

Usually, when we go to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving, we don’t worry about food. She cooks. Like she always has since I was a kid. Last year, we helped out in the kitchen a little. This year, we will help her a lot more. We may even do the whole dinner. So we are preparing for that dinner as well. It will be nice to cook with her again! Now that I have more skills, it will be even more fun. But she’s a master baker, so I’m sure she will do the pies.

Father, 

I come to you as humbly as I know how. I call on you as Jehovah Nissi. Lord, you are my banner. I pray for my family and every family represented by whoever is reading this. Lord. I pray for our spiritual eyes to be opened. I want us to see the blessings you have placed in our lives. Let us be grateful, and not complain about the little things; Or even the big things. The walls and negativity in our lives. Help us to change what we can and accept what we can not. I pray for us to welcome your presence and be aware of when you are tugging at our hearts to spend time with you, Lord. I pray blessings over our families as we travel and prepare for this season of Thanksgiving. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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10 Self Care Activities For Mothers

As a mom to three plus, life gets busy. Having a newborn, a preschooler, a first grader and 2 stepdaughters (one of whom is bringing her kids over to my house!), all while trying to be a good wife, it gets sort of hard to do self-care activities. My feet get rough, my nails get raggedy, my hair gets neglected at times, and forget about makeup every day ( I wish!) But I must make time for myself, here and there. If I don’t, I will burn out and, feel devalued and get anxious or depressed.

Mental health as a mother is important, as well as physical and emotional health. If you, the caretaker of your kids and your home, are not taking care of yourself, who else is going to? Some people can hire a personal trainer, a dietician/nutritionist, go to spas, pedicurists, and hairdressers on a regular basis, but personally, I don’t have it like that. And I’m sure many reading this don’t either.

Being so busy taking care of the kids, the home and wifely duties, I have to carve out time to take extra care of myself. Here, I list 10 self-care activities for mothers who have their hands in several different pots but are unsure of how to take steps to care for themselves to prevent burnout, mental health issues, and exhaustion.

Do a pedicure. I am not going to say do a pedicure every week, or once a month. I don’t know how much time you have. But you know when it’s time if your toenails are getting long and your heels are getting rough. Ideally, once a week is a good schedule to soak your feet, scrub them, cut your nails and slather on lotion. But even if you just make a point of washing your feet with a good scrub once every couple of days before bed and slathering on lotion, then sleeping in socks, that would be very helpful. Your feet would thank you, and I’m sure you’d feel good, knowing that you did something to take care of yourself. I love this Freeman Peppermint and Plum Foot scrub. It is a great option for a tight budget and is great quality for the price.


Read for 20 minutes per day

Reading self-help books has helped me build my confidence and learn what the keys are to building a healthy home, as well as what the habits of successful people are. I am an avid reader, so I not only read self- help, but I read fiction. Sometimes I read more than 20 minutes per day. I will sneak in time! But if you can only get 20 minutes, that is good too. Reading makes you more intelligent, teaches you new skills and boosts your confidence. A good work of fiction can also relax your mind and relieve stress! I love picking up a physical book, turning the pages and reading cover to cover. But I also have fell in love with my Nook Color. It’s a great way to read in the dark. It is also convenient because it’s a library in your hand! Instead of holding one book, you’re holding many. My son also loves to play chess and other games on it.


Get some fresh air

Open your door and go outside! I tend to coop myself up. So it’s a change of scenery when I go outside. Even if I just sit on my porch and read or watch the world, it helps out. It’s best to get moving and take a walk, but the porch does its job of getting sun and fresh air. With cold weather coming, it’s not going to be feasible to sit outside for a long time or take a walk, so I am getting the most of the warm days now; though they are getting few and far between!

Deep condition your hair

Another pampering self-care activity to indulge in is to deep condition your hair. It’s nice to just take a regular conditioner and soup it up with olive oil, castor oil, and an essential. Plop it in and sit with a plastic bag for an hour before washing it out. But sometimes, I will get a nice ready-made deep conditioner, put it in my hair and cover it with a plastic bag and scarf, then leave it in overnight. All I have to do is just wash it out in the shower in the morning. One of my favorite deep conditioners is the Silk Elements Cholesterol Deep Conditioner.


Call a good friend or close relative

Taking a few minutes to talk to someone close and dear to you can take your mind off of things that are going on in your life and help you sort stuff out. Don’t call your friend and complain. Call them and let them know what’s going on in your life and in your head. Ask them how they are doing. It’s nice to have someone to confide in, who is concerned about how you are doing.

Go window shopping

Just to walk through one of your favorite stores and look at the new items they have for sale can be a stress reliever. You don’t have to buy anything. Or if you do have a little bit of money, buy something small that you can get a kick out of. Or even something you’d never think to buy before that may really help you out! If you can’t make it out of the house, or just don’t have the time, open your computer and go window shopping on Amazon. Add some things to your cart that you may want to purchase later… And if you haven’t tried Amazon Prime, it’s awesome! You get free shipping on most items, and whatever you order will get to you in 2 days, sometimes overnight. Here are other reasons Why I Love Amazon Prime.


Write in a gratitude journal

Writing can also be a stress reliever. But specifically sitting down and writing out everything you are grateful for can impact you more than regular journal writing. Thinking about what you are grateful for, writing each item, and sitting with your gratitude is good for your health! Practicing being thankful can bring such joy into your life.

Get creative

Taking time out to create is healthy. Even if you don’t identify as a creative person, you can hone creative skills, Before I started my YouTube channel, I didn’t think I was creative. Before I started blogging, I didn’t think I was creative! There are even adult coloring books now that help you get creative. You don’t even need the skills to draw, just stay in the lines! Here’s a great option for an adult coloring book:


Crossword, word find or Sudoku

Whichever you prefer is best! All three of these exercises are great for mental focus as well as to help relax you. Soduku is probably the most difficult, so if you are looking to really sharpen your brain, you may want to pick that. Out f crossword puzzles, word finds and Sodoku, I probably like word finds the best. Here’s a good option:


Have fun with your kids

This is probably the last thing you’d think would be a on a self-care activities for moms list, but it works! I didn’t say spend time with them I said, I am actually suggesting that you let loose and have fun with them! When you find that you are yelling at them or that there is just too much structure, go do something fun with them. Some suggestions: Go to a book store with them

Watch a family movie and eat popcorn with them

Play a board game or do a puzzle with them

Get messy and paint with them

Put pajamas on and do one or all of these activities!

                                                              What ideas can you come up with?

 

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Introducing: My Family!

My husband and I

It’s been 7 years but seems longer. The obstacles, events and rough times in our marriage have grown us. Everything that has happened, good and bad has cemented us together as one. No, our marriage is not perfect, but we are happy and I think we are perfect for each other. I believe our marriage is divinely arranged. To read about how our relationship started, see The Story Of Our Love: The Beginning.

I love my husband with my heart. I pray for him every day and he makes me want to be better. More than anyone I have ever known, he pushes me. To be innovative. To love myself and others, to make the most of life. He is so full of life, so when I see him discouraged, I draw closer to the Father. I pray, and I seek Him so that he and I can change for the betterment of us.

Maurice and Unyque

Unyque was 2, about to turn 3 when I met her. So I have been in her life forever. I don’t think she remembers when I wasn’t with her dad. So she’s grown up with me. And when she’s around, she’s sort of like my right hand. She is a pretty good big sister to Reese, Heaven, and Manasseh. I wish I had more time with her, but she does learn from me. Unyque has things she needs to work on, that I always pray about. I do my best to be a good stepmom to her and show her the Way. I get on her about stuff, and she tries; To please me and behave. She’s a good girl 🙂 She helps me with the younger ones. Also, she is creative! She draws and paints. Oh, and once in a while, she will just start sweeping. Or cleaning the bathroom. Without me asking. I guess I’m doing something right!

Maurice, Maurice. Where do I start with him. He is my sweet boy. He gave me purpose when I had him. I came to Christ when I was pregnant with him. And started a new life with my husband as well. I am so proud of this boy. It has been an amazing experience, being his mommy. To help him get through challenges, potty training and speech therapy, starting school, learning about Jesus, getting him his first Bible. He is a quiet boy. I have had to help him with confidence issues. But he has become more self-assured. He doesn’t hesitate to help me out when I ask him (though the one thing he doesn’t like to do is the dishes; but he does them anyway!)

Heaven

Heaven is a hand full! She is sassy, smart, witty and sort of stubborn (she gets that from me!) When I ask her to come to me, she says, “Coming Mommy!” Then she hurries up and tried to finish playing! We put her in dance classes and she is doing well. She comes home and shows me her moves. See My Little Girl Started A Ballet Class. I am praying that the stubbornness and sassiness is just a stage. I believe these traits are a part of her personality, but I also believe that I can point her in the right direction and that these traits can be of good use. Maybe she will be a  strong leader and have her own high profile company when she grows up!

Manasseh

Manasseh is such a good baby. He is 4 months now, and I just gave him his first taste of baby cereal. He has been acting like the formula is not enough, so I decided it’s time. He has started to sleep through the night. The pacifier is his best friend. He barely cries, except when you don’t get him his milk fast enough! He tries to talk and makes cooing sounds and says, “Gooh!” When he smiles, my heart smiles. And I am enjoying every minute of him.

Mauriah

I think I am an awkward stepmom. I try to be open with Mauriah, but it’s sort of hard. Being that the first few years of my marriage, she was going through her teen years, it was rough. I wanted to give up, but chose to pray instead. See Praying For My Husband and Musings of a Stepmom. I thank God for grace in this relationship. I have not been perfect and neither has she. Being Mauriah’s stepmom has helped me grow. I have had to learn to love unconditionally and to give of myself, sacrificially. I want to be even better! She has definitely gone through her stuff and made some bad choices. But the Lord is a restorer and I see her starting to let Him work in her life. She will have her third child soon. I am proud of her because she is choosing to better herself, grow and raise her babies.

Our family is a blended family, and this is my husband’s second marriage. I have looked at the statistics of second marriages and blended families, and it doesn’t look good. It would probably have been easy for people to say we wouldn’t last’ And I’m sure they did, but here we are, better and stronger, pushing toward the future, in Christ. God is amazing, and He gets the honor for my family’s wholeness, happiness and stability. I love the Lord, and I love my family.

To another 7 years! Unyque asked me if me and her dad were going to renew our vows. I told her, probably when we get to 10 years being married. That is going to feel so good. But I am not pushing for it; Just trying to take one day at a time.

 

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How Do I Know That God Loves Me?

Creation

When you look at creation: The plants and animals, as well as the plane of the earth, the sun and moon, the sky, the stars; Everything works perfectly and can only be explained by a creator. This is God. Everything He made is good! We can rely on the seasons to change when it’s time, the sun to set and rise every day! How often do we sit and think about that? That we can rely on the day, the week, the month to play out in nature, without fail? This is all dependent on the God of the universe. He is good and he commands creation’s symphony of nature because He loves the humans He created in His image.

The design of the human body

Our bodies are fragile, in this world ridden with sin. BUT at the same time, we are designed perfectly for our bodies to work. Our lungs breathe, our hearts beat, our brains’ nerves network and send signals to our body parts to work without us having to think about it. The Lord created us in His (good and perfect) image because He wanted to love us and have us as His companions to bring Him glory! Isn’t that amazing?! God, in His eternal, infinite nature, created us because He wanted to express His love in a most amazing way. You and I are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of an awesome, almighty creator! If that’s not love, tell me what is.

The Word of God is real

I have been reading and studying the Word of God for close to a decade and have put much of it to practice in my life. I am not perfect, but the Lord has shown me that I can rely on the truth of the scriptures found in the Bible. I have put the Words of the Bible to work in my life. I know the Bible is true because it has not failed me. On top of that, I have seen the Lord’s hand in many other Jesus followers as well. Try the Lord for yourself and I promise that He won’t let you down!

He answers prayers!

I prayed to God before I was sure He is even there. I became desperate to know real love. I used to be insecure, depressed and lonely. When I started looking at Jesus and I sincerely cried out to Him for a new life, He answered prayers I prayed for my whole life. After I became a believer, I started to see the Lord’s hand in the form of answered prayers a lot more. No, the Lord doesn’t always answer prayers the way we expect Him to. But He gives us what we need. Because He is a good Father and He knows what we need more than we do. He is not a genie, ready to give us everything we want on a whim.

God sent His son, Jesus so that we don’t have to go to Hell for our sins!

Heaven is real, and so is Hell. There is a spiritual realm that is more real than the physical we see here on Earth. God demands judgment for sin, and that judgment is Hell. BUT He sent His son, Jesus to earth as a human (fully God, but also fully human. What a mysterious truth! Jesus willingly died on a cross, taking the full punishment for our sins so that we could choose to accept his sacrifice and live with him in Heaven, eternally instead of going to Hell. He became the sacrifice for our sins! Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is the biggest gift we could ever accept!

 

If you don’t know how to find real love and maybe have never experienced love in your life, I am praying for you. I know that true love is found in Jesus Christ! And I pray that you come to see Him for yourself. Just as the Lord has a good plan for you, the enemy of our lives and souls has an evil plan for you. I pray against his schemes! I pray for you to encounter Jesus for yourself! I pray He becomes real to you. In the name of Jesus!

Go and get a Bible. Read it. Start to live it out Go to a church. Find Christian friends. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal himself to you. He will. I promise.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, KJV)

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3, NIV)

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7, NIV)

 

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