Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blessings in Arkansas

Well, we have lived in Arkansas for almost a month and what a wonderful showering of blessing it has been! I always thought of myself as a big city girl but Ill tell you, I love it here! I truly feel like God has placed us here and is showing us blessings daily! So far these are some of the blessings we have seen:
-Our new church home University church of Christ.(The girls love the youth group, I have met some amazing godly women, great bible classes, I was invited to sing anytime with the praise team, and I have met and connected with an amazing elder.) 

-My new Celebrate recovery: ( Ill be honest, I was nervous the first time I went to their CR. I had a case of the "what-ifs"-What if it isn't safe?; What if they won't let me serve?- well, it is safe and ran by people who love The Lord, love their own recovery, and are passionate about helping others along in theirs. I am already plugged in and read the principles last night and spoke to the leaders about serving anywhere else they need me.)

-An amazing chiropractor (I met my new chiro at church! She is awesome and I love their clinic!) 

-A great doctor for fertility issues (I was really frustrated with my primary care doctor here because I had asked for a referral June 4th and I still don't have it! I mentioned this to my new chiro and she recommended Dr.Michael Wood! We spoke about my medical history and infertility issues and for the first time I felt like someone listened and related my past medical history to our fertility issues. When I left his office, I sat in my car as tears of hope streamed down my face.)

-Seeing God's beautiful creation daily: (It is beyond beautiful here! Beautiful creeks and rivers cut through the lushus green trees that line the roads and there are lakes everywhere. The sunsets and sunrises are some of the prettiest I have ever seen!) 
-A great house (I really like the house Misa picked out! It's a little outside of the city limits and it is super quiet.) 

-Are family is together again: (Living apart for 6 months makes one really appreciate little things like 9:00 pm frosty and French fry runs, little trips to SAMs together in Little Rock, movie nights, and Sunday Morning pancakes before church.) 

-Getting to spend the summer with my girls: (We are blessed that I will not have to find a job right away. I am very thankful to get to stay home with the girls and help them adjust, get the house in order, and just be in the moment with them whether its Allie baking up a storm or late night talks with Chloe where for a moment it's like she forgets she a teen and listens to some life lessons I have learned and we laugh together about silly things.)

-Awesome flea markets: (Every 5 feet there is a flea market here. I have browsed in a lot of them and so far my favorite one in located in a little town we live by called Greenbriar. So far I have bought two old windows and an awesome piece of 1930s barnwood!)

-The friendly people of Conway- (The first timeI went to Walmart I thought it was strange that the people behind me at the checkout line started talking to me about something in my basket but after going several times I have learned that is just how people are round here. Their drivers are also friendly and let you in!)

I will always be an Okie at heart but I really think we will live a life of contentment here! 

God is so good and as a dear Irish friend told me almost 10 years ago during the biggest storm of my life, "Jennifer, God is in this! Just like he has been there in the calm, He is right beside you in this storm." Through my recovery and spiritual growth, I have a lot more calm these days and I am able to stay a little more centered when those storms of life come.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"No more unglued Mama Mornings!"

One of my BIGGEST struggles in life is patience with my girls especially in the mornings! I have began a study on the Bible app called "No more unglued Mama Mornings!"
 I truly felt like God wrote this for me. For years I have prayed about this but often feel like a failure. It is a five day devotional and when I read the first day's Devo I cried because it was like some one was writing what was in my head...

I'm making a bold commitment: No more unglued mama mornings. In other words, I want our mornings to go better with less frustration, yelling, and chaos.... I thought to myself, "Something has to change. Each day I promise myself I won't yell at the kids in the morning and yet every day I do. I don't want to. But each morning something happens that triggers me to just lose it." 
Ever been there? 
It's not like we wake up in the mood to get frustrated with our people, right? I mean honestly, I usually wake up in a pretty good mood. But then the stress of getting everyone ready and to school on time makes the crazy creep in. This one can't find her shoes. That one needs a report printed, and we have no ink in the printer. The dog just had an accident on the new rug because no one listened to my instructions to let her out. The bread for sandwiches is still sitting on the grocery store shelf because I forgot to buy it yesterday. And to top it all off, I have no cash to give the kids so they can buy their lunch at school. 
The whining. The complaining. The feeling that I just can't ever get it all together. It all just escalates and sends me over the edge. 
Well, I want our mornings together to be different. 
Do you want more calm and less chaos too? Then we have to start by exchanging whispers with God before shouts with the world. Our key verse says, "Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin." (Proverbs 10:14) Even if it's only for a few minutes, I have to store up some knowledge from the Word of God first thing. 
I know, I know—mornings are way too stressful to add something else in. But I like to think of it this way—when I wake up, my mind is like a dry sponge. What I soak up first will saturate me most deeply. If I don't want to be consumed with the stresses of my day, I must soak up what will renew my mind instead. When things like tight time schedules, a kid's attitude, or conflict with another person squeezes me I want to leak out peace, patience, and gentleness. And this is much more likely if I've soaked up God's transforming truth. 
Even if it's only for five minutes, I've got to put the world on hold until I've had a few minutes of peace with God."

Each day has a "MAKING IT A REALITY" section:

Day 1:
Make a commitment for the next 31 days to read one chapter of Proverbs each day. The chapters aren't long so as you read take time to stop on nuggets of wisdom that apply to things you are facing right now. Write at least one verse per day on a 3x5 card or sticky note, and put it somewhere you'll see it throughout your day. 

Day 2:
Make the choice to bring the atmosphere you want by writing out the words that describe what you want your morning to be like. Try using a dry erase marker on your bathroom mirror. You can also write these 3 statements for "bringing it" on other windows and mirrors throughout your home:
* "Feelings are indicators not dictators."
* "Bad moments don't make bad mamas."
* "Find the joy treasure." 
When your family asks you about these statements you've written, just smile and proudly proclaim, "They help me bring it." 

Day 3:
Write each of your kids a note and list five things you've noticed about them lately that you love and admire. It's amazing what happens in our hearts and theirs when we focus on their blessings rather than their chaos. 

Day 4:
Go ahead and think through some logical and realistic consequences you can give when your kids need your correction. This is especially good to have for rushed and stressful morning routines. For example, tell them what time you expect them to be in the car ready to go. For every minute they are late, they will have to go to bed 10 minutes early that night. Six minutes late will mean they'll be heading to bed an hour early. For older kids you might want to adjust their weekend curfew time. 

Day 5:
For the next week, write the words imperfect progress (Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace … imperfect progress) at the top of every day's to do list. If you have a smart phone, set an alert to pop up each morning of this week to remind you, "Make imperfect progress today." Then determine that making imperfect progress with your reactions is the most important thing you can accomplish today.

 We are only on day 2 but it made a huge difference yesterday and I am prayerfully confident that change is coming "One day at a time!"

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A prayer for my children: World Changers

Those who have reverence for the Lord will learn from him the path they should follow. They will always be prosperous, and their children will possess the land. (Psalm 25:12, 13 GNT)

Lord, I pray that CHLOE & ALLIE will "inherit the land," that he/she will be a person of influence in this world. I believe that through my child You will mold and shape the values of his/her generation in a positive and powerful way. I also confess that CHLOE & ALLIE  will inherit the land in a literal sense, ruling and reigning with You in the kingdom of God to come, forever and ever. In the name of Jesus, amen (let it be so)!

World Changers

"Psalm 25:12-13 is evidently referring to more than just acquiring real estate. On a higher level, "inheriting the land," speaks of having prominence and influence in order to transform individuals or society as a whole with the values and character of God's kingdom. This can happen for believers' offspring on a local or global level; they can "inherit" everything from neighborhoods to nations. (See Psalm 2:8; Isaiah 54:3.) 
A good example is Martin Luther King Jr. Not only were his parents strong Christians, but also both his father and grandfather were preachers. When Martin was around the age of seventeen, the "ministry mantle" passed to him. Though he never held a political office or owned large masses of real estate, Martin Luther King Jr. "inherited the land" in a more profound way. As he selflessly began promoting racial equality in Alabama, God began promoting him to a place of international prominence. If you have surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, expect Him to awaken in your son or daughter a similar potential of being a world changer and a history maker."

A prayer for my children: Hope for Restoration

There is hope for your future; your children will come back home. I, the Lord, have spoken. (Jeremiah 31:17 GNT)

Lord, I confess that as long as there is a God in heaven, there is hope. If CHLOE & ALLIE ever strays from Your will, or if this has already happened, I confess that my child will always come back to the "boundary" of the truth. I claim that CHLOE & ALLIE will be blessed to dwell in a spiritual land of promise, a land filled with both the promises in Your written Word and any living word promises You have spoken over his/her life. Most importantly, I confess that CHLOE & ALLIE will be restored to the perfection of paradise when You return in glory. In the name of Jesus, amen (let it be so)! 

Hope for Restoration

"In Jeremiah 31:17 God was speaking of the children of Israel, who were captives of war, carried away into the bondage of Babylon. Enslaved in a foreign nation, they longed to be free and to see their children return one day to the Promised Land. God testified in this passage that their hopes would be fulfilled. 
This scripture can also be claimed in a spiritual sense concerning backslidden children of godly parents. Though their offspring have been "carried away" into the "bondage" of a worldly lifestyle and "enslavement" to sin, committed parents can trust that their offspring will be brought back to the "border" of a spiritual land of promise: a place of blessed and fruitful relationship with the Most High God. On a higher level, this promise is applicable to all of us. It celebrates the hope we have of returning to the perfection of the original paradise state-returning to the "border" of the Garden of Eden and the intimacy with God that our foreparents knew."

A prayer for my children: The Outpouring of God's Blessing

“I will give water to the thirsty land and make streams flow on the dry ground. I will pour out my spirit on your children and my blessing on your descendants. They will thrive like well-watered grass, like willows by streams of running water. (Isaiah 44:3, 4 GNT)

Lord God, I thank You by faith for Your blessing descending on my child. Let it pour down like the rain of heaven. I believe that this divine blessing will be evidenced in every area of my child's life-physically, materially, socially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Your Word declares that "the blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it" (Prov. 10:22). Thank You for enriching CHLOE & ALLIE with all the benefits You have promised in Your Word, crowning his/her life with the best that heaven can provide. In the name of Jesus, amen (let it be so)! 

The Outpouring of God's Blessing

"In Isaiah 44:3-4 God promises to pour out two things on the children of those who thirst after Him: His Spirit and His blessing. A blessing is any benefit from God that causes happiness, fulfillment, or wholeness in a person's life. When God pours out His blessing on our children, we can expect their needs to be met physically, materially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Blessed children are happy children. They do not have fragmented personalities and are not empty-hearted. They are fulfilled and contented, walking in God's purpose. They tend to then pass the blessing on to others that the blessing of God might fill the earth."

Monday, June 17, 2013

A prayer for my children: Salvation

They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your family.” (Acts 16:31 GNT)
Lord, based on these promises I claim salvation for my child. I believe You will contend with any satanic force that may be contending with our family. You are the God of an army of angels that have been "sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1:14, KJV). So dispatch them, Lord, to protect and defend my child. I pray You will save CHLOE & ALLIE from the deception of this world and grant him/her all the benefits of salvation. In the name of Jesus, amen (let it be so)! 

"Amazingly the promise in Acts 16:31 was not made to a seasoned saint but to an unsaved man on the verge of suicide. God had just responded to the praise of Paul and Silas by sending an earthquake that shook open the doors of the prison in which they were held. Assuming the prisoners had escaped, the Philippian jailer was about to kill himself. 

"But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, 'Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.' Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household'" (Acts 16:28-31). 

If a man just introduced to the faith could receive this divine commitment, how much more those who have fought the good fight of faith for years! We who believe have a legal right to claim our families for the kingdom, for the King has pledged, "I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children" (Isa. 49:25). Salvation means deliverance, so God is promising to deliver our children." 
-Promises from God for your children Day 4

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A prayer for my children: Covenant Relationship

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT)

Lord, I confess that I am in a covenant relationship with You, and I believe my descendants are as well. I am committed to You, and You are committed to me. I believe You will honor our relationship by committing Yourself also to the welfare of my child in body, soul, and spirit. I believe You will grant CHLOE & ALLIE grace to walk in a covenant relationship with You and prosper all the days of his/her life. In the name of Jesus, amen (let it be so)! 

"A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties, each binding himself to fulfill certain obligations. When we surrender our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ, we enter a covenant relationship with Him. He in turn obligates Himself to always be with us, forgive us of our sins, fulfill His promises, and preserve us unto eternal life. 

This covenantal arrangement overflows to our offspring also. Of course, they must surrender to God in order to receive the fullness of all the covenantal blessings and benefits, but this verse implies that they are automatically on a certain level of covenant connection with God-simply because their parents are already walking with God. Want proof? Remember what God said to Noah, "Behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you" (Gen. 9:9, emphasis added). The God of Noah is our God. The way He felt then is surely the way He feels now." -Promises from God for your child day 3

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A prayer for my children: Deliverance

Lord God, there are many deadly influences around my child. The world's system, which is dominated by the evil one, will destroy the souls of children who are unprotected. But I claim the blood of Jesus over my home and my offspring. I believe CHLOE & ALLIE will be preserved from evil for "the eye of the Lord is on those . . . who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death" (Ps. 33:18-19). In the name of Jesus, amen (let it be so)! 

"It was the first Passover in the land of Goshen. In the early evening thousands of Israeli men dipped hyssop in lamb's blood and applied it to the upper doorpost and two side posts of their homes. The destroyer would visit Egypt that night, and every firstborn son would die. But God promised His people, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Exod. 12:13). The next day wails were heard all over the land. The Egyptian sons were slain, and great grief, like swelling waters from the Nile, flowed through the streets. But the Israelite sons were delivered. 

The men of Israel had no idea their act of applying lamb's blood was prophetic in nature. They were actually making the sign of the cross, prophesying of another Lamb yet to come who would deliver His people from death-not only physically but spiritually and eternally as well. In a way similar to this grand biblical event in Exodus, we must mark our homes, claiming the blood of Jesus as a protective covering over our seed. As many young people succumb to the deadly influences of a society that is becoming increasingly evil, it is our responsibility as parents to make a prayerful, prophetic statement in our homes that heaven will honor. " -Promises from God for your child Day 2

Friday, June 14, 2013

A prayer for my children: Life

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20 NLT)

Lord, I claim this promise from Deuteronomy 30. Because I choose to live for truth and for God, I believe spiritual life will be passed to my child. I pray that he/she will continue the family tradition of choosing life and be filled with the very life of God. In doing so, CHLOE & ALLIE will escape the destructive results of a life of sin. I confess that the life-giving attributes of God's nature-love, joy, peace, righteousness, and goodness will fill our home, our lives, and our relationship. Yes, I choose life for myself and for my offspring. In the name of Jesus, amen (let it be so)! 

"Deuteronomy 30:19-20 can be seen as a promise of a long and prosperous physical life. (See Psalm 91:14-16.) But more importantly, it refers to life in the mental, emotional, and spiritual sense. Anger, pride, lust, depression, fear, rebellion these attitudes will take you and your children away from God's best for your lives. A home dominated by these attitudes is very dark and full of death indeed! When parents choose life, they tend to walk in attitudes that are the polar opposite: love, humility, selflessness, joy, faith, and obedience to God. These life-giving attitudes of the heart are then passed on to their children, and the life of God embraces them also."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A prayer for my children:

The last few weeks have been a wonderful whirlwind of answered prayers for our family! Last night in class, one of the Ladies shared how her friend prayed this scripture over her children as they were growing up. 

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower CHLOE & ALLIE with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in CHLOE & ALLIE'S hearts as CHLOE & ALLIE trust in him. May CHLOE & ALLIE'S roots grow down into God’s love and keep CHLOE & ALLIE strong. And may CHLOE & ALLIE have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May CHLOE & ALLIE experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then CHLOE & ALLIE  will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than CHLOE & ALLIE might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT)

Praying scripture is something that is a little new to me but I love how personal it makes God's word. In this prayer, You simply replace your child or children's names in place of "you". It has inspired me to take a journey the next 7 days with a daily devotional called "Promises from God for your child." I will share these prayers with you for the next 7 days.