It’s Really Tough Sometimes…..

Have you ever had one of those days? The ones that make you question everything about your life? It seems like I have those days more and more often here lately. I have had so many questions, concerns, and crying sessions than I wonder sometimes if it will ever get better. The truth is that even when I feel like I have it all together, there is something falling apart in the background. I have pondered the decisions I have made so much that I don’t even know which way is up anymore.
Then, I hear a still small voice. This voice is not something I can hear over the waves crashing around me until I choose to listen to the voice I know is always there. I hear my Father telling me everything is going to be ok. Even in the middle of all my doubts and failures He is still telling me that He is in control. I am learning to trust that voice. All he said I had to do was trust Him and he would take care of everything. God is telling me to trust him even when I can’t see the answer, because He is fighting the battle for me and all I have to do is raise my hands and praise Him through the struggles, storms, and confusion.
Today I have chosen to listen to God telling me that he has this under control. He also has your situation under control. We have to remember Daniel. He had prayed and prayed and was growing discouraged when the Angel of the Lord broke through and told Daniel that the Lord had heard his prayer the very first time he had prayed. However, the enemy had been fighting against the answer and they were still fighting and the angel alone had made it to tell Daniel to wait and to trust the Lord. We don’t always know what is going on in the heavens but God is fighting for us. We can’t give up now!
“God, I thank you so much for all that you do! You remind me to trust you through everything because you have my best in mind. You are omnipresent and my Father. I love you so much! I pray that even in the midst of all the troubles of this world I remember that you are fighting for me and that I just have to wait for the answer that you are bringing my way. Thank you for loving me when I am down and loving me when I am on the mountain. Keep me close and save the lost, Father. Amen”

Friends and Family

We all have friends. They are the family that we choose for ourselves. I have been so blessed over the years to have many friends that have turned into family. My husband and I have added people to that list over the years that are aunts and uncles to our baby girl. Others of those friends are ones that I have had for many years and will always hold a special place in my heart.

The friendship that means the most to me is not one that I have made with an individual (although those are very special). I can honestly say that the friendship that I have with Jesus means more to me than anything. He has been there for me when even loved ones have walked away. He has loved the parts of myself that I couldn’t even love. He truly has been “the friend that sticks closer that a brother.” I have been able to call on him and he has answered in my darkest hours. If I have needed to be the realest parts of myself he is always listened and loved me. He is my best friend.

Do you have someone like that in your life? Have you met the greatest friend that there is in the entire universe? He is just one whisper away from being there. He loves you in your mess. He loves you in your victory. He loves you through everything. Ask him to be that friend for you.

“Father, I thank you so much for sending your son for me. He is the most wonderful part of me and I would give up anything just for him. I pray that anyone that is listing to this message is hearing the love that you have for us. I pray that they would ask, pray, seek, and find you in their lives today. We need you now more than ever. Save the lost, father. I love you. Amen.”

Changing Times

This has been a crazy month with so many things happening. First, my brother nearly died and I was busy taking care of him. On the up side he is better, so we are relieved. Next, we went on our vacation to the gulf, which was much needed on my part. Lastly, a cousin on my dad’s side of my family died and we have been grieving with the family for the last 1 1/2 weeks. Crazy times!

There have been many things happen in that amount of time. My daughter has started to pull up and will be walking any day now! I thought my life had changed when she was born but it is nothing like how it will change when she starts to walk! My husband has finished college till the fall so he is working some odd jobs for the summer till classes resumes in the fall. He is doing wonderful in college and only has one year left till he gets his degree.

Our garden is growing by leaps and bounds! I am so excited to watch it grow and know that it will provide for our family! I am already gearing up for canning this fall and I can’t wait till the veggies start to fill my table! My chickens are huge now and hopefully in the next month or so we will have plenty of eggs. I will be posting pictures of both the garden and the chickens soon!

My family is gearing up for 2 summer traditions that hold a special place in our hearts. The first to come is the towns homecoming. This will be my daughters first year to attend and my dad is crazy excited. There will be people from all over in attendance and we look forward to the games, food, and fellowship that this weekend offers. The next tradition is our annual camp trip to the creek. My mom’s side of the family has been camping like this for the last 85 years on the same weekend. The last few years has been low in attendance but this year promises to be one of the best because of the boost in the people that are planning to camp. We actually have to take everything that we need and there will be no cell service for the whole trip. We sleep on the gravel bar and eat s’mores till we are sick. My husband thinks this is the best tradition and he looks forward to it every year. He is even in charge of making sure we have our “beacon of light”, which is actually just a tiki torch! There will be many stories to tell when we return, so keep a watch out.

I have started to feel like I am not happy with where I am and all the things that I have been doing for the Lord. I have always known that there was a calling on my life to be in the youth ministry and for many years I served somewhat in our church doing that very thing. Then I fell away from the Lord for a time and ran from the calling that he has on my life. Since the birth of my daughter, I have worked very hard to bring my life totally back to the Lord. Things have been changing and I have started to mend some fences and to heal some broken relationships. This past Sunday I have even made sure to be a part of our churches “Bible School”. I am so thankful that the Lord has forgiven and restored me to him. I miss ministry and I know that he is working that out in his time for me to be a part of his work again.

I will leave you with this verse to think on.

Romans 8:28New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

“Father, I thank you for your love. I thank you for making all things good, even when we mess up and have to be pulled out of our mess. You don’t take everything away and leave us with no hurts but you promise us that we will see good in our struggles. I have my beautiful daughter because of the choices that I made and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I am ready for the new season that you are bringing in my life and I pray that I have the strength to hold on for the answers to my deepest prayers. I love you, Lord of my life! May those that read this see your heart in my words and may they be brought closer to you. In your most precious name, sweet Jesus. Amen”

 

 

 

Day 1

Well, I officially went and talked to the local college about earning a masters degree. What do I want to major in? No clue. To top it all off, my chicks are growing so fast that I am trying to get the pen done as quickly as possible to be able to move them to it. I also work for a small business that I thought would take just a little time out of my week, but I have been blessed so that my small business is steadily growing and I am finding myself a little bit more busy than I would have originally thought. This is wonderful, because I love the products that I sell, and now I am sharing them more and more with other people. The Lord is truly blessing me. I will also get to plant my garden in the next week! I cannot wait to get my bare feet in that wonderful cool soil and watch life happen right in front of me! I know I am a little crazy when it comes to plants and animals, but what can you expect from a country girl like me?

My husband and father have been on the mission to catch the White Bass that run at this time every year. The best place to catch them is not far from our home but there is only about 2 weeks that they are “running” so they have been going every weekend to see if they  can catch a few. There was always this story told about my Papa and his friend going to this fishing hole. He was part Cherokee Indian, so he had his own way of doing things. He would wade out into the middle of the water and have his friend drive the boat over next to him and he would catch and toss the fish into the boat by hand. He was a wonderful person that I still miss very much.

The biggest blessing is that now I have the opportunity to earn a masters degree and then move toward teaching college online. Not many people see the blessing in this, but the reality is that I will be able to earn an income to help support my family and I will also be able to stay home with my children. The world has changed so much since I was in school and the things that I faced were nothing compared to what my children will face if they attend public school. I am just not okay with what the world wants my children to believe. I want them only influenced by Godly people who are truly living the word of God, not some watered down version that has been changed to fit their current mood or choice of lifestyle. I want my kids to grow up not knowing foul language or anything to do with the sex-crazed world that we live in. I want them to have a Godly upbringing and become adults that know nothing but church and the things of God. Is that too much to ask?

For some people in this world, and even in my life, that is so out of the ordinary that I face a constant battle to guard my children’s hearts against the ungodly things that try to steal a child’s innocence. This is one of the greatest things that a parent can do for their child is to help them stay children for as long as you can. The greatest calling on a parents life is for the parent to raise up godly children that will devote their lives to serving God. I want to honor this call as best I can.

I am counting down the days till our vacation to the ocean. We haven’t been in over 4 years and I have missed the smell of the salt water and the feeling of the sand between my toes so much! My daughter will get to see the ocean for the first time but she will be too little to remember it but I will have pictures to show her when she gets older.

Growing up is hard for everyone. This is even more true when it comes to adults that have to do the biggest growing up later on in life. I am so thankful for God’s patience with me!

“God, you are such a good, good Father. Thank you for loving me through all of my mess and keeping me close to you when I get distracted by the crazy of this world. I know that you will always direct my steps as long as I honor you and seek you first. Help me to see the world through your eyes and love how you love.” 

   

Changes

I would never have thought it would have been me. I mean, these were never words that I would have thought I would have uttered, “I want to be a stay at home mom.” Granted, I have always wanted to have a hobby farm, garden, take responsibility for my own food source, all of these really old fashioned ideas that have died out in favor of the “feminist” movement. I always said that I would send my children to the same school that I taught at so that I could be actively involved in their lives. Then, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. The truth is, up until the moment that she took her first breath, I still believed that I would go back to work in a timely manner, but she spent the first 3 days of her life away from me and I spent the longest 12 hours of my life waiting to hold her. Needless to say my whole world changed (much to my husband’s horror).

Now I am home and going through more changes than I ever thought possible. I am even thinking about teaching college online…. which scares me to death. There are so many changes that take place and for the most part I never notice some of them. The ones I never notice are usually the good changes.   Here in the last 7 months, I have been bombarded with such huge changes that I almost want to throw in the towel.  Sometimes, going back to work just to make it a little better seems like the right course. Then I hold my sleeping daughter. I know that I am doing the right thing by being home with her. The even bigger message in this, is the fact that God loves me in the same way I love my daughter.  He brings me the changes that are necessary to help me grow and become the woman that he has planned for me to be. I am so thankful that even in the changes, God has not changed! I feel his hands holding me and telling me that everything is going to be okay. What a blessing!

So now, we are living with my parents which has been the biggest change of all, especially for my husband. I am the proud owner of 10 chickens (pictures to come later)that my mother has protested from the beginning and a new tiller for a large garden spot that my father has assured me he will never be using. I take care of a house full of too many animals that we would never trade in a million years, 3 adults that have supported me when I needed it the most, and 1 small baby girl that has just learned to crawl (Lord, help me!). I am so thankful for the changes and I look forward to the changes to come in this simple country life!

“I praise you, Lord, for the changes. Even when I strain against the reins and won’t cross the mud puddle, you have so much patience with me and help me to take the steps forward toward you. Lead me to you, Lord! Help me to embrace the changes in my life as your will and rejoice in you! I love you, Sweet Jesus.”

Welcome to my crazy chicken coop!