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Hi! I'm Lacey!

I am a full-time working mom from North Alabama. I love my family, my friends, and my God!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Faith of Jehoshaphat

Our pastor preached on 2 Chronicles 20 at church on Sunday and I just really loved this story about a guy named Jehoshaphat... what a lovely name!  This is somewhat of a lengthy post but it had so much good stuff in this chapter that I just wanted to share.

20 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites[a] came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.

Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from theLord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

Jehoshaphat was King of Judah and his people warned him that a vast army was coming to attack him.  So what did he do?  Right away, he turned to the Lord and called for the people of Judah to pray with him, to seek help from the Lord.  That tends to be what we do in a time of crisis to huh?

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said:

Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.

Even though his prayer was about an actual army coming to physically attack them, it tends to sound much like some of our prayers when things come our way.  But do we really believe these words and trust them?  If calamity comes upon us, we will cry out to you, and you will hear us and save us.  Isn’t it wonderful knowing that when problems and troubles attack us, we can just cry out to the Lord and he will hear us and help us?  I like what he says in verse 12… we have not power to face them.  We, alone, do not have our own power to take on the world’s problems and handle them all ourselves.  Many days, I don’t feel like I have the power to put on makeup and fix my hair, much less fight the struggles that tend to slap me in the face.  Jehoshaphat and his people felt this powerless defeat that we often do, but they turned their eyes to Jesus for help.  And not only did they just turn to Jesus, they did it first.  Often times, I tend to try and handle it on my own and then I am reminded how weak I am and that I cannot do it all.  After I fall and fail, I turn to Jesus to please come get me out of this hole I have dug yet again.  But oh how much stress and defeat I would miss if only I turned to him first.

14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’

18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before theLord19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

When the people of Judah cried out to him, he responded and told them to not be afraid.   He pretty much told them to go on and march to the armies and stand firm and he would have their back.  I love the end of verse 15 “For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” There are soooo many battles in our life that we wouldn’t have to face if we would just hand them over to God and have the faith that will fight them for us. He gladly takes on these battles for us. He tells us to not be afraid or discourages but to go out and face them and he will be with us, no matter how small or big our battle is.   But do we have the faith to actually do that? 

20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    for his love endures forever.”

22 As they began to sing and praise, theLord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d]and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah[e] to this day.

27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.

29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

The story goes on and tells us that as they started marching to battle, they began to sing and worship the Lord and trusted the Lord’s promise that they would be upheld and protected.  They gave thanks to the Lord and sung praises to him.  Let me make sure you got that… on their way to battle, they thanked the Lord and sang praises… on the way to battle!  What powerful faith they must have had.  Imagine heading into a war that you believe will be a slaughter fest of you and your family.   I cannot even begin to comprehend what would be going through your mind.  But instead of worrying and moping around about it, you begin to tell God thank you?  I’d like to think I had this type of faith but wow…

Anyways, when they got the battle field, their enemies had already been destroyed.  So much that it said it took 3 days to clean it up.  The “bad guys” had all killed each other before Jehoshaphat and his people even got to the battle.  God came through on his promise!  Just like he always does!

So… I know this was a pretty long passage but there are just some great verses throughout it that I couldn’t help but highlight.

  • God is with us and want to help us take on our problems.  He is powerful and mighty and when we cry out to him for help, he takes our troubles and saves us from them.  BUT, we have to remember we cannot do it all without his support!

  • Have faith that God will always be there to love us and protect us from evil if we have the faith and truly trust that he will.  Instead of worrying about everything, pray about it.  Ask God for help and thank him for his awesomeness.  Praise him for all he has done for you.

  • God will keep his promise.  When storms of life come, he will take care of us.  No matter how bad it seems, he is always there and he wants to help!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Life in Christ

"So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

5-8 And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.

9-11 Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

18 Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.

19 Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don’t take advantage of them.

20 Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end.

21 Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.

22-25 Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work." Colossians 3 from The Message

I love Colossians chapter 3.  My Bible titles this section as "Rule for Holy Living."  This chapter is a great reminder of how we are supposed to live like Christ.  A few things that stand out to me in this chapter...
3:2 -  Set your mind on things that are above, not on the things that are upon the Earth.  It is so easy to look at all the THINGS that we have (or don't have).  We often get caught up in making sure we have what everyone else has.  A nice car, the latest clothes, the newest gadget, the most toys for our kids.  And we worry about what everyone thinks about us, how to they see us, how we appear to have it all.  Instead of worrying about all that crap, set your mind on things that are above - on your Heavenly Father and the treasures we are storing up in Heaven!
3:7-8 - Rid yourselves of the life you once walked in.  I don't have just terrible things in my past but I know there are still things that I know better than to do.  When you gave your life to Christ, did you really change the way you walked in your life? 
12 - Clothe yourself in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and paitenance.  Be content with where you are and what you have.  Let others see that sweet kind spirit in you. 
13 - Forgive as the Lord forgave you!  Think about how many time we have failed and let Him down.  And he forgives us every single time we fail!  People are not perfect and they are going to hurt you and let you down... especially those closest to you.  Forgive them time and time again.
15 - Be Thankful!! This goes back to verse 2.  Be thankful for what you have. Don't worry about what everyone else has and wish you had that.  Instead of wishing for other things, be thankful for what you do have.... I guarantee you that the peace and joy you find in what you have totally outweighs the big house the stay at home mom down the street has!
18 - Subit to you husbands!  I really struggle with this one.  I like to be in charge and like things my way... doesn't everyone?  But the Bible tells us several times that we are to let our husbands be the leaders and we are to submit to them.  Sometimes this may require biting our tongue and just saying okay.  Sure, they are supposed to love us in return and I believe the more we learn to step back and be that submissive supportive wife, we will see our husbands learn to love us as Christ loves his church.
21 - Do not embitter your children.  Encourage them and lift them up.  Praise them when they do good and encourage them to be the best they can be.
22 - Work Hard.  Do your best even when no one is watching.  Don't just try to look good in front of your boss or other co-workers but sincerely do your best.
17 and 23 - Do it for the Lord ... not for man!  Both of these verses say in whatever you do.  Every little thing you do wether it be taking care of your kids, your job, helping at church, giving to the needy... do it for the Lord.  Do it with all your heart!
I am not a Bible scholar and really not very good at interpretting scripture and relating what it means but I just like to use these verses in this chapter to just give me a little reminder of how God wants us to live for him in everything we do.  It reminds me that He is the important one that we should be focused on working for and pleasing... not the others in this world!  We should turn from that filthy, worldy life and walk with Christ.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"I am not very religious or anything..."

I heard a friend of mine that I work with say "I am not very religious or anything so we don't really go to church."  Wow how uncomfortable that made me feel.  This is someone that I talk to every single day but I have never found the time to even ask about her religious views. There was my chance to step in and share the good news of Jesus Christ and let her know it's not just about "being religious" but asking Jesus in your heart and having a real true relationship with Him.
I can't help but wonder how many people are there out there like that think of church as only a religious thing?  How many acquaintances do we pass every single day but yet don't have the time or courage to ask them where they are going to spend eternity?  Witnessing is a very difficult thing for me.  Sure I can hide behind a computer and post Bible verses and encouragement but to actually stop and ask someone about their relationship with Christ scares me to death... especially someone that I talk to every single day and am not sure how they would react.  I am not confident enough in myself and my knowledge to really press someone.  What if they come back with questions or comments that I don't know the answer to?  What if they totally shun me and think I am "holier than though?"  I know so many times I tell myself that someone else will share it with them.
I once heard a preacher say "How much do you have to hate someone to not tell them about all the great things that Jesus can do for them?"  Ouch!  I know God put us here on this earth to be disciples for him, to share the gospel and bring people to Christ.  But wow it's a tough thing for me.  I know I can feel God pressing on me to speak up and not only share his love through my actions but also through my words.  I would hate for someone to spend eternity in Hell because I was too scared to speak up!  I pray that I have not let my one opportunity to share his word with this friend pass me by.  I pray that God opens that door for me to step in again and give me that opportunity to push aside my fears and give me the encouragement to share His love instead of stepping back and letting the opportunity pass me by.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. - 2 Timothy 1:6-12

Monday, October 7, 2013

You are beautiful my darling...

I am definitely preaching to the choir on this one...
How many times have you looked in the mirror and thought "If only I had a prettier smile or eyes without wrinkles, if only I had less freckles or a smaller nose, if only I had nicer hair or more defined cheeks...."  I'll admit it, I do this all of the time!  We all do.  Our world is so engrossed in beauty that it is so easy to get caught up in it all.  Just look at any store you go to, there are aisles and aisles of beauty products.  There are tons of commercials on tv and advertisements in magazines of beautiful women telling you to use this and you can be beautiful like them.  But we have to remember that God made us to look just the way he wants.  He placed every wrinkle, freckle, and hair right where he likes it.  Psalm 119:73 tells us that he molded us with his own hands.  How rude to tell him that it's not pretty enough or not tall enough or thin enough.  YOU are God's piece of art! 
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you." - Song of Songs 4:7
I need to blow this up and hang it on my mirror!
I believe it is easier to not focus on our outside "imperfections" when we focus on our hearts and the way that God sees us more.  We have all heard our moms say "It's what's on the inside that counts" but why is it so hard to convince ourselves of that? The Bible tells us time and time again that God cares more about our hearts...
"The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4
We should strive to have that beautiful, gentle heart full of God's love.  You are not going to find it at any makeup counter or beauty store... you can only find that from the ONE that we should desire to please most.  I promise you that if you work more on perfecting your inner beauty, you will find that zit or blemish or love handle on the outside is not near as important as you once thought!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Trust in Him at All Times

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
 Trust in him at all times, you people;

pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."
Psalm 62:5-8
Cancer. Leukemia. Tumor.  Scary, ugly, nasty words that I pray I never have to hear in the same sentence as one of my loved ones... especially my children.  It absolutely makes me sick when I hear another horror story about a sick child.  My heart aches for those mommies whose lives get turned upside down when they hear that their baby is sick.  And I pray that I NEVER EVER have to be in that situation.  When I hear about another sick baby, another sad mother, I have to stop and ask myself what I would do if that was me?  Would I really trust God to bring me through?  Would I honestly let him be my fortress so that I would not be shaken?  Do I trust Him that if I am ever put in that place, that He would bring me through it?  Honestly, I do not know what I would do. 
The Bible tells us to trust in him at ALL times.  Not just in the bad times or in the good times but in ALL times.  Some people find it easy to trust in God during good times, but when affliction comes, they lose hope, and think that God has deserted them.  Others turn to God in times of affliction, but during good times, they turn their back on Him and forget He’s there.  We must trust in Him at all times.
"One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strongand that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done."
Psaml 62:11-12
We have been told that God is strong and loving.  Strong meaning that he has the power to resuce us from any situation.  Loving meaning that he desires to work everything out for our good.  We have to remember these two things in time of trouble. I pray that I never face any hardships but we all know that God has not promised us a life free from any hardships.  I just hope that in those times, that I will let God be my rock and remember that He is strong and loving and will me carry me through whatever comes.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More than you can take.

I Corinthians 10:13 is one of those verses that I have highlighted and underlined in my Bible, written on a post-it note, and displayed so I can see it often!
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
 " No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it." - The Message
God promises us that He will never give us more than we can handle.  We are burdended with chores and kids and to-do's.  We are busy with our jobs and all that goes along with that.  We are thrown a million different "problems" and told to go in a million different directions and oh yeah be sure to take care of everyone else while you do it.  When we feel like we just can't take it anymore, we have to remember these two facts: GOD IS FAITHFUL and HE WILL ALSO PROVIDE A WAY OUT.   I honestly believe that sometimes God pushes us so that we have to trust in Him and turn to Him to help.  He wants to help you.  He wants to ease your burdens.  When these things pile up, do we turn to God or look somewhere else for an easy solution?  And we are not alone. He points out that everyone has troubles to. So all those women that seem like they have it all together and have no tests in their life, don't be fooled, they to need help sometimes!  Trust in God's faithfulness and ask him for guidance and he will provide a way out! I have to remind myself of this oh so often!  

Monday, September 23, 2013

I could sing of your love forever.

I was rocking the girls last night and listening to Praise Baby.  It was singing "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever."  That song just moved me to tears as I rocked my babies.  I think of how much I love my babies and then it just almost overwhelms me to think that God's love for us is that times a million! 
He loves us more than we can even fathom.  I know with my girls, they can test me and disappoint me 100 times but I am still going to love them the same.  And God's love for us is just like that.  We are just like small children who push the boundaries and let our Father down over and over and over again.  But that doesn't keep him from loving us any less.  In fact, it is in those times that he tends to love us more.  It breaks my heart to see Hadley upset.  In those times when she cries and kicks and screams because she just doesn't know how to express herself, I just hold her close and rock her and let her know that I love her and that everything is going to be okay.  God is the same way with us as his children.  When we are upset or struggling and don't even know what to say, those are the times when he holds us closer and just loves on us even more.   
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." Romans 8:26-27

Isn't that comforting to know that he helps us most during our weaknesses?  Even when we don't know what to say or pray for, the Spirit intercedes.  And no matter how much we feel as if we failed, he is going to pick us back up and just love on us even more... just like parents do for their children.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Desires of your heart.

"Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart."
                                   - Psalm 37.4
We all have big plans for ourselves.  We want to marry a perfect man at the perfect age and buy a big brick house with a fence and a big kitchen and walk-in closets and have 2.4 kids and a dog that doesnt chew up our nice leather furniture or pee in the floor.  And we want to buy a big family luxury SUV and wear cute designer clothes and be skinny and fit and beautiful.  These are the desires of this world.  The Lord promises us that he will give us the desires of our heart IF we delight ourselves in him.  He doesn't say that he will give us what WANT because the rest of the world says we are supposed to.  When we focus ourselves on Him and truly DELIGHT ourselves in the LORD, the desires of our heart will change and he will give those to us.  I find that when I focus more on him, all this worldly stuff doesn't seem so important.  I would rather live in a shack and ride my bike and be completely filled with Him and have such a feeling of peace and comfort than to live in a big house with a fancy car and be empty.  
We often pray for what we want based on the world's standards and not so much on God's.  Once we truly understand God's purpose for our life and that he put us on this earth solely for the purpose of his Kingdom, only then he will give us those desires... when our desires line up with his plans.  I believe our heart's have to change to be in his will and be truly delighted in what He has blessed us with before we receive his full blessing on our lives. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

He gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:11 is probably one of my most favorite and comforting verses in the whole Bible, especially as a young mother.  " He tends his flock like a shepard:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and  carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young."
I can't help but picture a shepard leading his precious little lambs.  I see a pack of sheep following behind him and one little one in the back strugggling to keep up.  He takes it upon himself to pick that one up and carry it in his arms.  And then I picture a young mother trying to gather up her little ones that are running around screaming and yelling.  Her hair is in a messy bun, her makeup all out of place, and spit up and peanut butter cover her mismatched clothes.  And then I see Jesus come along beside her, pick up her bags full of diapers and snacks and the empty bottle she forgot on the table, open the stroller and gently place the quite smiling kids in it, and then smiles at her and holds her hand, opens the door for her, and guides her to where she needs to be. 
I take sooo much comfort in thie verse that even when I think I am at my whitt's end,

I know Jesus goes out of his way to help young mothers like me when we have our hands full just like the shepard goes out of his way and takes a little extra time to gather up his sheep that need a little boost.  And he takes care of our "little lambs."  He protects our children and holds them close to his heart.  They are not only cared for by us but also extra cared for by Him.  I honestly believe that He takes extra care of us when we feel like we are just overwhelmed and just can't do it anymore.  He reaches out a hand when we need an extra and he understands just how hard it is for "those that have young."


Monday, September 16, 2013

Give it all...

Last night at church, we had a guest speaker.  He talked about laying it all down on the alter for God and how God can not fully use us until we are willing to give it all.  Most of us (myself included) want to take up our cross and follow God except we want to hold on to certain things.  Sure God, I want to be a Christian.  Sure God, I want to do what's good and right.  Sure God, I want to spend time with you but..... Don't make me give up (You fill in the blank).... Don't make me give up my favorite TV  show.  Don't make me give up my Facebook or my social circle.  Don't make me get out of my comfort zone.  Or even more... don't make me give up my new pair of jeans or my new boots so that I can use that money to further your kingdom.  Don't make me give up time with my husband and kids to serve you.  Don't make me give up my one morning to sleep in to go to church and worship.  And please oh please don't make me have to talk to someone about their salvation.  But God, sure I will do whatever you want me to... as long as as I am comfortable and it makes me happy!  Or how many times have we said, God show me your will but make sure it aligns with my plans.  As silly as this may all sound, it is exactly how most of us think! 
Until we can figure out that God is in control of everything and everything belongs to him, we are going to have a hard time to rightfully and truly live in his will.  And when we decide to finally give it all to God, we will be truly and fully blessed more than you can ever imagine. 
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but BE TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - HIS GOOD, PLEASING AND PERFECT WILL." - Romans 12:1-2
In order to fully receive what God has in store for us, we have to give up the rest!  Do not think of it as "losing" something.  When you give it all to follow Christ, you will gain the comfort of knowing that you are living in God's will... his pleasing and PERFECT will.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So Long 2012

We had a great Christmas break.  I have very much enjoyed my time off of work spending time with family and friends and doing some much needed things around the house!

We started last Sunday off with Hadley's performance as a sheep in the Christmas program at church.  She was really disappointed she couldn't carry Baby Jesus but at least we got her on a stage for a few minutes.  She might not have been the star of the show but I am going to have to say she was the cutest little lamb (pink crocs and all).

This is what a little lamb looks like when you take her Baby Jesus away!

Beginning Sunday evening, we attended six different Christmas events including Nanu's house, Mee Mee and Nancy's, Papa and Mimi's, Annette's, the Harrison get together at church, and Babu and Gigi's house.  Not to mention we also added in a 2 hour visit to the doctor because we had a sick little girl and a birthday party for Jesus thrown in there as well!  Hadley got sooo many toys and gifts from everyone.  We are definitely very blessed with great family who love us very much.

And Santa came!!!

The rest of the week has been spent mostly at home organizing and playing with all of our new toys and trying to get over the crud we all caught.  Papa and Jarrod have been busy painting while I cleaned out all of our junk and got some new stuff to redecorate a little bit.  I have also cleaned out and organized all of the baby clothes and started working on getting everything ready for Hunter Claire to get here!  The weather has been cold and dreery all week so it was perfect weather for staying inside and doing some much needed things around the house.  I absolutely dread going back to work tomorrow but we definitely need to get back into a routine (Hadley has been staying up way late and sleeping until 8:30 or 9:00 everyday).  It has been a great break and I have loved getting to spend so much time with the people I love most!