Saturday, December 24, 2011

APPLYING THE WORD

Good morning! December 24th and it has been quite a whirlwind of a 2 1/2 months! Let's list what's been going on: Oct 7th - Had a C-section & invited Trinity Faith McCart into the world, packed our house up... Nov 22nd closed on our house and began moving, Nov 26th completely out of our old house & everything in new house, Nov 26th - left for vacation!!! (ahhh can u believe it, can u imagine the mess we left of boxes!), Dec 1st - returned to our new home, Dec 17-18 - traveled to Georgia for Christmas with in-laws, Monday Dec 19th - had knee surgery.... on crutches. 

Whew!!! Could we have any more life events?! I'd rather not!!! Still unpacking, obviously... lots to do for awhile... but ANYWAYS.....

Today... is more or less a journal entry. I'm in the Word this morning and thought I'd share how I'm using it for me! Maybe it will help you in your situation. Knee surgery went well, and as I believed going into it, I'm going to have a VERY speedy recovery! Despite some of the things the Doctor said... I am choosing to believe the report that GOD has for my knee! Since He is the ALMIGHTY Jehovah Rapha, God our Healer... I'm believing for a completely healed knee, as HE created it to be! 

I began digging into scripture to back what I'm believing. 
  • Isaiah 46:10 - Declaring the end AND the result from the beginning!!!
    • MY KNEE FUNCTIONS PERFECTLY, WITHOUT PAIN!
  • Isaiah 40:31 - Those who WAIT on the Lord... they shall RUN & NOT grow weary, they shall walk & not faint or become weary.
    • I WILL RUN and not grow weary. My JOINTS, muscles, bones, cartilage WILL NOT grow weary! My body operates in PERFECTION to how God created it to function! 
  • Isaiah 41:3 - He pursues them & passes safely & unhindered, even by a way his feet had not trod & SO SWIFTLY that his feet do not even touch the ground!
    • Now THAT is fast!!! I will not only run, but I will run FAST!! 
  • Proverbs 4:12b - ...when you run, you shall not stumble. 
    • I will RUN safely, preventing any injuries. Wherever my feet trod I will be safe!
  • Isaiah 58:8 - Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
    • MY healing springs forth SPEEDILY! The WORD says it!!! I believe it! My KNEE is healed & without pain!
Word application! How we use the Word for ANY situation! Find a scripture or 2 or 3 for WHATEVER the situation, STAND ON IT, believe it, confess it! 

Have a blessed Christmas & Happy New Year! Praise the LORD for God sending JESUS to die so that TODAY we may live! Despite our past mistakes, failures, times we've fallen short, said the wrong thing, done the wrong thing, lied, cheated, hurt someone.... JESUS CHOSE to die so that we could have life! Thank you God for the birth of Your Son & being willing to give Him up so that we could have ETERNAL LIFE!

XOXO,
AMY J. MCCART 
 
 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homestretch!


Good morning!

Well... let me just say I think I have wrapped things up for the McCart family! Tyler Junior spent 2 days throwing up, then it went to Tyler Sr, then me. After throwing up a lot last night, I woke up this morning feeling a bit weak, but for the most part better! The sad part has been to pump and dump! Breastmilk down the sink, such a sad sight. At least I have a good supply in the freezer and Trin can stay healthy and whole.

Just wanted to give ya'll a heads up! Excited that my family is back. I call us the HEALED in Jesus Name!!!

Have a blessed day! I'll catch up with you soon! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#236 - Above All Else

Good morning! :) SO.... let me put out a preface. I read the devotion from Friday on my mobile phone over the weekend. I noticed some obvious spelling errors, that almost made me laugh... (hear & here... and there was one other that I caught). Anyways, thank you in advance for grace! :) With kids, sometimes all the time I have is to read my Bible, have my own quiet time with the Lord, and write a devotion. It's a jam-packed time that doesn't always allow me to proof-read before posting when someone is yelling from there bed, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" And before he tries crawling out, I need to go get him and get his day started. So, THANK YOU for your grace in the occasional spelling or grammar errors. Sometimes I go back, read, catch & correct them... but sometimes I do not. Well... with all that said, let's go ahead and jump into the Word this morning. :)
Proverbs 15:14a - The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge and inquires after and craves it... 
Proverbs 31:15a - She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household...
Isn't it great to hear from the Lord? When you ask & He gives you direction. Not just general direction, but direction very specific to you and your situation. Direction that encompasses the details of your life. How to accomplish what needs to be done with a strenuous work schedule or with kids running around (feeding them, changing diapers, feeding them again, etc, etc). Isn't it awesome that we have a Voice that not only is alive today, but who actually will speak to us & direct us. He looks down and sees what we may not see. He sees the outcome before we are even obedient to His direction.

This morning, this is part of what He told me,
Continue in this priority with Me. This time should be above all else. I have the answers, the solutions to the questions you have not even asked yet.  
"This priority with Me." As I have had a 6 week or so break from writing devotions, I've really enjoyed my mornings and getting into a routine with my newborn. Trinity has been a definite blessing from the start. Although, I knew it was important to maintain my morning quiet time with the Lord. Sometimes it morning passed, and it was my "early afternoon" quiet time, but nonetheless, it was time receiving direction from my Maker.

"Above All Else." The Holy Spirit reminded me this morning, that above ALL other priorities, above everything else that "I" think is important, my time with Him is the MOST important. I may not have nailed down the status that the Proverbs 31 woman has, in rising "while it is yet night" and getting spiritual food, but my continual goal is to get DAILY spiritual food for myself and my household. "Above All Else." Gaining this spiritual food is ABOVE ALL OTHER THINGS, it is the MOST important task of the day. It is the FIRST "big event" of the day, as my husband would say. This time allows us the opportunity to get direction.

I remember a time in my life when I did not spend daily time with Him. I remember the feeling of chaos that accompanied me throughout the day. I remember the feeling of "not having enough time" to do it all. I remember the feeling of stress that followed me. I was making decisions and acting on my OWN knowledge and abilities, I was not relying on the wisdom & direction from the Holy Spirit. As I compare that time in my life with my current life, I can definitely say life is much more peaceful now.

Two people come to mind who have children & many responsibilities. As I think of the last conversations I've had with them, I remember the feelings that permeated from the one mom... just talking with her I could hear the stress & chaos in her voice. From previous conversations, I knew that in the process of having children, her time with the Lord had been pushed to the back burner, and it was obvious. Life seemed to be filled with chaos & stress, disharmony & lacking unity. The other mom that comes to mind, has an equally full schedule with many responsibilities, actually probably more responsibilities, though with I speak with her on the phone, peace rings through the receiver. Peace. If I have been questioning something in my own life, just talking to her and hearing her voice brings a peace that is indescribable. I KNOW that she spends daily time with her Father. I know that she has a "prayer closet" that sometimes she wakes up to visit in the middle of the night. I know that her time with the Lord comes Above All Else. It is obvious by her life. Her life is still definitely full, but a life of peace & joy. A life filled with DIVINE direction from her Maker.

Above all else, that is how I want others to speak of me. I want my Maker to shine through when others speak with me. Above all else, I want Jesus to be who people see when they see me. Above all else, when I make decisions about my day, my family & my life, I want it to be decisions directed by the Holy Spirit, not merely thought up on my own. Above all else, I want the peace of God to shine through my life & my home. I want people drawn towards me because they feel the peace of God when they are around me.

Above all else. What is the priority that shines through your life? What is "Above All Else?" Is it obvious to others? Is it your job? Your family? Your business? Soccer practice? Basketball? Swim team? Crafts? Working out, exercising? Or... is it your God? Is it your time with the Lord? Above all else. What is "above all else" in your life?

Friday, November 11, 2011

#235 - Don't Die on the Vine!

Good morning!
Slow but sure... I'm coming back! An update? Trinity is doing great! We are working on getting into a routine with her. She has been sleeping very well through the night, which is a blessing! Anywhere from 6-11 hours through the night. Praise the Lord!! The house? Well... as most of you know, we have been building a house. The original "closing date" was October 21st.... well, we still have not closed. At this point, I've decided not to get frustrated despite the delays. My new mindset? We will be in the house SOMETIME!

Well... let's jump into the Word for today! :)
Proverbs 11:2 - When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness.
Proverbs 31:10 - A capable, intelligent, and [a]virtuous woman--who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.
Wow! This morning as I began reading Proverbs 11... I barely got to verse 8, as each verse just jumped off the page at me! Verse 2, verse 3, verse 5.... it was as if I had never read Proverbs chapter 11 before! But we all know, through this monthly journey of Proverbs & the Proverbs 31 woman.... we HAVE read Proverbs 11 before! Many times!

I can relate to Proverbs 11:2... and unfortunately, have personal experiences that ring in my mind when I think back over the years. Swelling & Pride. Firsthand, I can relate to the whole cycle that Proverbs 11:2 is talking about! Swelling & pride, leading to emptiness & shame, then leading to what for me has been painful pruning & chiseling, but now coming out on the other side with soundness. A cycle somewhat unavoidable if one wants to bear great fruit. I'll share a personal story shortly, but as I was meditating on this verse, this is what the Holy Spirit had to say to me about it:
Being pruned IS part of the process. For every great tree, bearing great fruit, pruning is necessary. A time is involved where cutting back may cause a season of no fruit, BUT because of the pruning GREATER harvests are to come. As long as you are willing to grow through the process of pruning, as long as you are not willing to give up, to throw in the towel, to lose home & lose your dream - as long as you are willing for the pruning to lead to the harvest - you will experience the joy of completion. The joy of fullness! The joy of expectations being fulfilled. Will you come out strong after the pruning takes place? Don't die on the vine.
I read briefly how this actually takes place with the growth of grape vines. "Pruning is simply getting the plant or in this case grape vine growth to encourage more growth. Grapes will not appear on your grape vine for at least a few years, in the meantime you will need to maintain and care for your vines and this is done through careful pruning. How you prune your grape vines will have a massive effect on the sort of harvest that you will yield." 


OK... take off your robes & put down your stones for a minute.... I'm going to share ONE of the ways I've personally had to change in this area. Back 8-9 years ago after Tyler & I started our own business, with good intentions, I remember speaking to a group of people saying if they didn't do "________" they were "saps." I remember saying that everyone should be able to grow their numbers and business to a certain level within a certain period of time. I know, horrible, huh? What kind of terrible person would be so cold? I was fiery and excited, I spoke with passion & believed what I was saying. I was just overly excited. I look back on that time and season, and I now would love to apologize to anyone who may have been in hearing distance. My zeal most likely hurt feelings and was based in a degree of pride versus humility. 


Shortly after that time, the pruning process in me began. If you are the one being pruned, is it fun? I would answer that with a HEARTY NO! :) But, has the process been good? Absolutely. Some of the things I have gained from the pruning include; feeling compassion for others, seeing where others are coming from, being able to truly empathize, learning how to allow GOD to be in control instead of "my ability" to do or accomplish through my own efforts, not judging (I'm still learning this!), allowing people to grow at their pace versus my pace for them.... and the list goes on! 


As I read about the Proverbs 31 woman, I read in verse 10 how she is a capable, intelligent & virtuous woman. I see her having encompassed compassion, having most likely traveled through a pruning season coming out on the other side bearing much fruit. Eyes full of compassion. A heart that sees where you are and where you have been. Ears that listen & when you stop talking, she allows the silence to penetrate so you will continue talking.... ears just listening, as if they are saying "Go on. Tell me more. Don't stop there. I want to hear what YOU have to say. Tell me your story. Share your pain, I will be here and won't judge." The Proverbs 31 woman encompasses trust. Not only does her husband trust in her (Proverbs 31, verse 11), but those she knows trust her too. 


Pruning WILL produce a harvest for you. Will you, can you be patient even in the season where the harvest is not coming in? Will you allow the pruning to produce a growth in you and around you that will bring completion? It will encompass what you are called to do and be. As the Holy Spirit reminded me, I'll leave you with this too.... Don't Die on the Vine. God is not through with you yet. Enjoy the growth. Enjoy what you are learning and allow the pruning to take place. Proper pruning produces extraordinary crops! Don't Die on the Vine, allow yourself also to be pruned! 


Have you experienced a season of pruning? Do you have a harvest you'd like to share? I'd love to hear your story!




Monday, October 17, 2011

Update: Overwhelming Blessings

Good morning!

As I write this it is 9:13 a.m. on Monday. I am sitting here thinking about everything that is going on in our lives and just overwhelmed by the blessings of the Lord! The scripture that continues to ring in our home is Proverbs 10:22, The blessings of the Lord, IT maketh rich and he adds NO sorrow to it. The blessings of the Lord are truly reigning in our home! Let me just share what is going on!

Blessing #1 - Trinity Faith McCart is 10 days old today..... and guess what??? She went to bed at 11:00 last night and is STILL sleeping!!!! WOW! UH-MAZING! Being our second time around with a child.... we are doing things a lot earlier that worked with Tyler Junior. For example... last night, we gave her a 3 1/2 ounce bottle (around 9:15) so we could gage how much she was getting before bed, and so we knew she had a full tummy.... not to mention, she did nurse a 3 times before we officially went to bed at 11:00. WOW! It worked! That means mommy & daddy got a FULL night sleep! Praise the Lord!!!

Blessing #2 - I am a milk machine! It's a bit overwhelming.... I have over 100 ounces of milk already in my freezer for Trinity! WOW! And it keeps on coming! For sure an "overflowing abundance!" I think my freezer is more full right now with milk than it ever was with Tyler Junior and we've only officially had Trin home for a week!

Blessing #3 - My parents were here for 5 days helping out!!! WOW! What a blessing they were to us!! Since I did end up having a C-section, it was extremely helpful having them here! My mom cooked UH-MAZING meals for us the whole time.... AND both my mom & dad cleaned our house pretty much from top to bottom while they were here!!! WOW! Tubs, showers, toilet, baseboards, mirrors, dusting, vacuuming, laundry, hardwood floors, tightened loose tables... and the list goes on! Some things I had not done in a LONG time!!! And... my mom woke up with Trinity and brought her in to me so I could nurse her at night. WOW! Thank you Mom & Dad!!! A true blessing of the Lord!! Tyler Junior, Trinity, Timothy & Taylor will really appreciate the standard my parents set! I'm sure I will do the same thing when they are older and married and beginning their family!

Blessing #4 - We are MOVING into a NEW house THIS MONTH!!!! We have been building a house.... it's bigger than the house we are currently leasing AND our monthly expenses are even going to go down SIGNIFICANTLY! Brand new! We walked through it this weekend... the carpet is in, the wood floors are down, it's painted, the granite counter tops are in, the fence in the backyard is up & looks awesome... we are scheduled for a walk-through on Friday & probably closing and moving before the end of the month! It's so fun to see things get done!

Blessing #5 - We have continually been blessed from Tyler's parents with things for the house, Tyler Jr & Trinity! What an amazing blessing! Things we didn't expect or even think about! Thank you Dwight & Jeannine!! Praise the Lord!!!

Blessing #6 - My sister, Angie & her family are coming to visit this weekend to help us pack!!! :) I'm so excited to see my sister!!! What a blessing! It will be a quick trip, but how awesome that they are coming to help us!! AND I get to spend fun time with my sister!! I'm SOOOO excited!!

Blessing #7 - My husband has been an awesome help! He's been great with Tyler Junior, playing with him, rough-housing and making him feel special. I think that has helped a lot with Tyler Jr adjusting well to having a sister in the house... and not acting up. :) What a blessing! Not to mention all the diapers he's changed!! Thank you "Daddy!"

Blessing #8 - Awesome friends! We have so many awesome friends... and family members who have been willing to help on different levels! Watching Tyler Junior, providing a meal (thanks Jilly & Doug!), gifts for Trin... and the list goes on! I feel so blessed!!!

Thank you Lord!!! I could think of more.... but that is just a start to the extreme blessings! Truly, the blessing of the Lord IT maketh rich and he adds no toil with it! Thank you Lord!!!!

xoxo,
Amy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Trinity is Here!

Trinity has arrived! Just wanted to share some pictures with you! :)

Trinity Faith McCart
Born: Friday, October 7th, 2011
Time: 12:11 p.m.
Weight: 8 pounds, 9 ounces
Length: 21 1/2 inches










Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Update: Awaiting Trinity!

Good morning! I just wanted to post something while we await Trinity's arrival! I'm going to take a break writing "blog posts" as there is still much to get ready for her big debut! Not to mention, just doing a bit of relaxing until my baby girl changes our lives. :)

I thought I would include some pictures we took over the weekend! Granted, we waited a bit long to take "prego" pictures. I was 38 weeks and 5 days when we took them on Saturday. I took some when we were pregnant with Tyler Jr, so I didn't want to regret not taking them. Anyways... I think we got a few shots that really made it worth it (and I edited them over the weekend). Big brother with his little sister! I'm so excited to see how he is with his little sister. :)

After Trinity does arrive I will take a few weeks off I'm sure.... looks like October may be the month for me to adjust to being a mother of two AND we will be moving into a house that we are building not far from where we live now. Keep checking back periodically. I have not left you! :) Most likely I will have at least started back by the beginning of November. :)

Be blessed! Enjoy some apple cider or something yummy that has to do with fall!! :)













Thursday, September 22, 2011

#234 - Gifts

Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 31:25b - ...she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
Have you ever just looked at your child and thought, "Wow, they would be great at ________when they grow up!" As they develop you begin to see some of their natural giftings towards art or music, sports, interacting with people, making friends, making people laugh, being organized, being funny, being helpful, being good with animals, and the list could go on!

Here in Proverbs 22 verse 6, the amplified version gives us parents a bit more instruction and direction in "training up our children." Not just what we typically think of from the Proverbs as it relates to discipline, but also in steering our children in their giftings. What are they truly good at? As a parent, to me, this is talking about beginning the process of steering Tyler Junior towards where he is shows some natural gifts. Being that he is not even 2 yet, we will continue to introduce him to activities and new things, but as a parent, you begin to see some natural leanings pretty early on. For example.... Tyler Junior is a HAM! He most definitely a people person. Everywhere we go, he is interacting with people, making others laugh, smile, talk to him. He has a way of drawing people to him. Yesterday, we met Tyler for lunch, and as ladies were leaving the restaurant, Tyler Junior was saying directly to them, "Bye bye. Bye!" And then he proceeded to blow them kisses. These three women stopped, talked to us for about 5 minutes, commented on his pretty eyes, and Tyler Jr just "carried on a conversation" with them the best a 22 month old can! That is everyday and everywhere!

His natural bent? His natural gifting? So far, it is something with people. He lights up when he is around people. He loves making friends. As a parent, it's my responsibility to steer him towards his natural giftings. I know a lot of times parents may have a tendency to want to steer their children towards their own unaccomplished goals or dreams. It may or may not be a "natural gifting" of the child, but the parent has regrets for never fulfilling that dream, so they steer their child in that direction. We'd love Tyler Junior to pursue Track & Field when he gets older.... but, we will need to be cautious that we are not just trying to push him to fulfill some of our dreams if it is not his natural, individual gift.  A politician? Maybe! I could definitely see that in Tyler Juniors future.

Check out the Proverbs 31 woman in verse 25. She is rejoicing over the future. She knows that her family, all her children are ready for it. As she has raised them, she has most likely found gifts, talents and abilities that each of them possess. One child's gifts & talents is most likely different from the next child's gifts. As she recognizes her children's talents, she is able to point them out and begin to encourage them in that area. Then each child is not wanting maybe the older brother or sisters gift, because they know they possess a gift that is unique to them. Here would be some examples and ways that we will try to encourage our children (& future children) as we begin to see gifts they possess.
  • "Wow Tyler, you make friends so easily! You are so good with people! You may just be the President of the United States one day. Maybe you'll be a politician. Your love for Jesus and ability to be so good with people, our country could really use someone like you. I'm so proud of you."
  • "Trinity, you are such an amazing athlete. You are so good at so many sports. You could go on to be an amazing coach one day, or you could go to the Olympics! You are such a great little athlete! I'm so impressed Trin!"
  • "Timothy - wow! Your ability to play music is amazing! Your ability to just pick up an instrument and play is such an awesome talent! Your knowledge and desire to learn is also amazing. Tyler Jr could really use someone like you to help him in politics! You two could be an amazing duo!"
  • "Taylor. Wow! You have such an amazing talent at dance & art. You are so funny and easy going! What an amazing spirit and gift you have! I can totally see you helping little girls dance, and find joy, and find Jesus!" 
Finding ways to encourage and steer our children is important. The Proverbs 31 mother knows that her children are ready for their future! They have developed their gifts. They KNOW their gifts. As they get older, they are not like the "aimless wandering" high school and college students that don't know what they want to do. The children of this Proverbs 31 mother KNOW their gifts and talents, so their calling is more evident. A light has been shined on their calling and their gifts.
Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
I encourage you today.... find an area you can encourage your child. What is their gift? What is their natural talent? Can you speak into their life in that area? Can you encourage them with their gift? If you do, when they are old, they will not depart from it! Train them. Teach them. Encourage them. What a world this would be if ALL CHRISTIANS were actually walking in their calling and not just what would pay the bills! Begin today. Encourage your child in their gifts! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#233 - PREPARE for YOUR Victory!

Tailgating! - You can definitely see Trinity!! I'm about 38 weeks pregnant at this game. I ran some bleachers hoping that might help her come on! We're ready to meet her!

Good morning! :) We are excited to welcome Trinity Faith whenever she decides to arrive! Over 38 weeks pregnant, I am READY! Excited to move around without grunting and making noises. Can any of you mom's relate?? It is time! I did want to share a few prego pictures from this last weekend. Tyler & I enjoyed going to a Georgia game! They played Tyler's alma-mater, Coastal Carolina University! You notice Tyler came out supporting GA! The score was 59-0, Georgia! Quite a game! We had a great time and were joined by Tyler's sister & brother-in-law. A beautiful, blue-sky, Georgia day!

Well... let's get into the Word this morning. 
Proverbs 21:31 - The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance and victory are of the Lord.
Proverbs 31:25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
Are you in a stage of preparation? Have you been preparing for something big? For your battle? For your victory? This morning, as I got into the Word, the Holy Spirit spoke to me about "preparation." Have you felt like you have been preparing FOREVER? When is the battle going to come? When is YOUR VICTORY going to come? Will I ever get out of this stage of preparation?

Let me share with you some of the insights the Holy Spirit shared with me....
Enjoy the preparation. The period of preparation is longer than the battle. A boxer prepares for a long time, for a fight that lasts but minutes. There is satisfaction in being prepared. Confidence comes with being prepared. And, it is but a season. Can you last the season without give up before the true battle begins? Many quit the preparation period before even getting to "THEIR" battle. They aren't able to experience victory because they gave up too soon. 
Who agrees with me, sometimes the preparation period seems to be a drag?! I know personally, I've found myself thinking, "Come on already! I'm ready to move on! I'm ready to be done with this stage. I'm ready to be done with this season! Can we move on already?!" Like the horse, the boxer, the basketball player, the business owner.... we have one job, preparing. Prepare, Proverbs 21:31 says. Once we are prepared, once that season is over, we can rely on the VICTORY being from the Lord. Once we are prepared, we have done our part. Then, it is GOD's job to step in and bring the victory to pass. What will the season of preparation be? One day? One week? One year? Ten years? Twenty? Whatever the season of preparation is, DON'T GIVE UP before your battle and your VICTORY!

We are called to PREPARE. We are called to get ready. Our season, our time will come when our battle, our fight, our race will be face to face with us. We will be in the midst of the fight and we will be ready! We will be confident because we are prepared!

Don't grow weary, friend, in well doing. Don't grow weary in preparing. Don't grow weary in this season. The preparation period is often longer than the fight. Enjoy this season of preparation. Take the time to soak enjoy the fall weather while you are preparing. Enjoy a roasted marshmallow while you prepare. Enjoy your fall sweatshirt and jeans while you prepare. Take a minute to drink in the changing of the leaves, the crunching under your feet. Enjoy this season of preparation because your VICTORY is coming! Just like the horse is PREPARED for battle, YOU may be preparing too! Get prepared! Anticipate the excitement of VICTORY coming! Not victory that you have manufactured, but a victory that is here to stay! A victory that is from the Lord! Your job is but to get prepared! Don't grow weary friend. Drink in this season. Drink in the smells, sounds, feelings, experiences. Enjoy this season because your victory is right around the corner!


At the UGA vs CCU game. 2nd row! :)
Tyler Jr wanted to say "Cheeeese" too! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

#232 - When You Feel Like Thomas...

Proverbs 15:29b - ...He hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him). 
Proverbs 31:30 - Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! 
John 20:24-29 - 24But Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
    25So the other disciples kept telling him, We have seen the Lord! But he said to them, Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe [it].
    26Eight days later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though they were behind closed doors, and stood among them and said, Peace to you!
    27Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] BELIEVE!
    28Thomas answered Him, My Lord and my God!
    29Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.
Have you ever been in a situation where doubt just seemed the easiest thing to believe? The odds were stacked against you, your faith level felt low, automatically the 'rock-kicking' position was the state of your feelings and faith. You look at past situations and see what appeared to be failure, and by how things look with this new situation, it's just going to be a repeat. Friend, today, there is hope for you to believe!


Earlier in John chapter 20, the disciples are gathered together in fear. They are in fear of the Jews. They sit behind closed doors, in one feeling, fear. Little did they know, their Friend, their Beloved, their Missed Savior was just moments away from walking through that closed door. Just moments away. Upon seeing Jesus, and the holes in his side, hands & feet, the disciples believed. They saw! All but Thomas saw. What if one of the others would not have been in the room that day? Eight days later when Jesus reappeared, would we also be reading about "Doubting James?" or "Doubting John?" All the disciples except Thomas were there when Jesus appeared. They saw. 


Now go with me, go with me back to that time. Can you imagine the grief you would feel after the passing of your Friend, your Savior. The mourning, the sadness. Sure, He promised He would come again, but sadness still held an overwhelming sensation in your body. When would He come? Was He just saying a parable again? Telling a story? And here, eight days after Jesus appeared to all the other disciples, He appears to them again and Thomas is present. Though eight days prior, Thomas says, "Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe [it].


As Jesus walks in the room, it does not say that Thomas actually did place his finger in the nail prints, or put his hand in Jesus' side. But he just says, "My Lord and my God!" I can only imagine at that very moment Thomas may have fallen to the ground, embraced his Friend, his Lord, his Savior. So happy to believe. So happy that He really was alive! 


Then Jesus talks about you & I! He says BLESSED are those who have believed and have not seen! That's Me! That's You! "Believed" in the Greek (Jn 20:29), also is translated, "to place confidence in."


Have you trusted Jesus with your salvation? Have you turned your life over to Him? Are you saved? Then, Jesus HERE, in this scripture is talking about YOU! Two thousand years ago, He was talking about YOU!  


Today, from the worlds perspective, the odds may appear to be stacked against you... but all we have to do is to CHOOSE to believe. We don't have to know the details, the outcome, how everything is going to come together on our behalf. All we have to do is CHOOSE to believe. All we have to do is place our confidence in the ALMIGHTY ONE!


Build your faith up today! Build your belief up today! Put your situation in God's hands and leave it there! Put scripture to work for you. Check out the power behind these confessions! They are for YOU & for ME! 
  • All things are possible to him that BELIEVES!
  • My God shall supply ALL my needs according to HIS riches in glory!
  • I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!
  • With God for me, who can be against me? 
  • My God gives me the desires of my heart!
  • I have FAVOR in the sight of God & Man!
  • My God does exceedingly & abundantly above ALL I can ask, think or imagine! (WOW! That's a lot!)
When you feel down & out... when you feel like Thomas, "How could I possibly trust or believe until I see some results." I encourage you... cast your situation on the One who came to save you! Cast your situation on the One who CHOSE to die for YOU! He CHOSE you! Will you CHOOSE to believe in Him for your situation? When you feel like Thomas, Choose the Word. Choose the truth. Choose to trust. Choose to place your confidence in your Savior! Choose Jesus!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#231 - In Need of Some Confidence Today?

Proverbs 14:26 - In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children shall always have a place of refuge.
Proverbs 31:30 - Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!
Today, are you in need of strength? Are you in need of strong confidence? Are you in need of just a knowing in your heart that everything is going to be OK? Maybe it's financial struggles, health challenges, relationship issues, marital struggles, tiredness, weariness, job challenges, lack of fulfillment, a family health challenge, a child who has gone astray from the Lord. Have you been doing things right and feel like it hasn't paid off? Have you been following the Lord, being faithful, and feel like it hasn't gotten you anywhere. You look at people who have done it "their own way" and feel like they have just catapulted in success and happiness. Do you need a strong confidence? Do you need that knowing that GOD is still GOD? That God is still on the throne and blesses HIS children for their faithfulness and obedience?  


Friend, God still is on the throne. And, God has a strength waiting for you that you've been desiring. He has that strong confidence available for you that you have been longing for. In 1 Chronicles 16, the chapter is filled with David directing the people to give praise to God... and HOW to give praise to God.  
1 Chronicles 16:7:12 - That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the LORD in this manner: 8 Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 11 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 12 Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.....
As I write this, the song playing has these words ringing. "Shout out to God with a Voice of Triumph, Shout out to God with a Voice of Praise!" Are you waiting for that strong confidence? Choose today to receive it through reverent worship! Like in 1 Chronicles 16, Give praise to the Lord! Sing to him! Tell of His wonderful acts! Remind Him of what He has done for you! Give Him glory. Look to the Lord and HIS strength. 


Get alone. Allow yourself to have a time in reckless abandon to praising Him! Allow yourself to be taken away in worship. Allow yourself to get on your knees, to worship, to adore, to honor your Heavenly Father for all He has done and all He is doing. Maybe with your eyes, you do not see it. Maybe like Thomas, you want to put your fingers in the very holes of Jesus to know what He did was real. Maybe you want to SEE that God really is working.... but friend, allow your time in worship to SHOW God, to prove to Him that you CHOOSE to trust, even when you don't see. That you CHOOSE to trust, even when you can't touch the hole in his side, the holes in his feet & hands. Allow your worship to be a sacrifice of praise that says, "GOD, I trust you and what you are doing! I trust YOU and where you are taking me, even when I don't SEE the outcome yet. I surrender all to you."


As you praise Him, receive the peace and strong confidence that He has waiting there for you at the alter of praise. Everything IS going to be OK. Cast all of your cares upon Him, for He DOES care for you! Receive your confidence from His throne today!

Monday, September 12, 2011

#230 - What NOT to say!

Proverbs 12:18 - There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
Have you ever had someone tell you something that you were simply shocked to hear? Have you ever thought, "Did you really just say that out-loud? Are you serious?" Well, today is probably going to be a bit more of a lighter post, but I wanted to share some of those comments of "what NOT to say!"

Today, I am officially "Full-Term" in my pregnancy with Trinity Faith, so she could technically come any time now. Being pregnant, over the last several months as Trin has grown, it has been quite an interesting journey of WHAT people will say to a pregnant lady! Some people COMPLETE strangers, some friends, some family, some women, some men, some other pregnant women, some fellow church goers.... ALL of these are people who have made a comment to me (or other pregnant friends of mine) that have been completely shocking! It has provided for almost daily, interesting conversation at home! I have a several good friends and we are all due within a few days/weeks of each other. We frequently will text back and forth the funny, yet shocking things we heard in the grocery store or some other random place. People are funny!

SO... save yourself from being the conversation piece at the someone else's dinner table.... here are some tips....


WHAT NOT TO SAY TO A PREGNANT WOMAN

  • (Our pool attendant, a rather BIG fellow, said this to another pregnant woman) - "Wow! You look like SHAMU! Aren't you due to have that baby?"
  • (Said from another PREGNANT woman!!) - "Wow _________, you look like you are about to POP!" 
  • "Are you having twins?" 
  • "Are you SURE you're not having twins?!" 
  • "You must be due ANY time now!"
  • (Said from a family member!) "Yah, we're just not like those skinny, cute, pregnant people that look like they are carrying a basketball. We just carry differently."
  • (Said from another female.) "You look way overdue! When is this baby coming?"
  • (Said from a woman to a friend who was pregnant.) "You just look like you are a lot further along than you are."
  • "You look so tired. You must be ready to have that baby!"
As I read over the comments that have been said to me or one of my 5-6 pregnant friends... I'm just amazed that people will say some things OUT-LOUD! And WOMEN at that!?!? The pregnant woman receiving the comment is most likely thinking, "Really? So you are saying that I look fat. I'm already feeling tired, heavy, sore from carrying this 20-30 pound bowling ball on my stomach 24/7, I'm trying to be able to breathe because this baby is squishing my lungs, I haven't slept great the last several nights... and now you are going to TELL Me that's how I look?! Thanks! It just made my day!" 

WHAT IS OK?
  • If in doubt, don't say ANYTHING at all!
  • "Wow you look so cute!"
  • "You look like you are ALL baby!"
  • "From behind, I couldn't even tell you were pregnant. You look super cute!"
  • "Mam, you don't look like you are having twins!" (My husband told this to a woman on Saturday as he overheard the man in front of him say to her, "Wow! You look like you are having twins!")
So.... take notes from the Proverbs 31 woman. Open your mouth in skillful & godly wisdom, on your tongue, speak the law of Kindness! Even just the common practice of "Thinking Before Speaking." Not JUST to pregnant women, but to anyone. How is your comment going to sound coming out? Is it going to encourage, uplift & build up (Eph 4:29)? How would you feel if someone said the same thing to you? 

Just some food for thought this morning. Sure.... it's kind of funny stuff, but hopefully good to hear! A thought to leave you with..... Think Before Speaking! :) 

Have a blessed day!


 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Update!

Hello! :)

I guess the whole "Cut Yourself Some Slack" devotion was applicable for me THIS week since I only posted ONE devotion/blog (versus the normal 3-4)!

I'm taking my DOR today.... but in the meantime, I thought I'd give a quick update on "What to Expect" since I'm expecting! :)

Monday I will be full term (37 weeks) and definitely ready to have Trinity whenever she wants to arrive after that (my official due date is Oct 3rd). I still need to pray about it, but I imagine at minimum after she is born I will take a few weeks off from writing devotional posts, possibly a month off. I'll check with the Holy Spirit and see what His thoughts are on the subject, but I anticipate, there will be a bit of an adjustment time when Trin gets home.... AND since we are building a house and we will also be moving in October. :) WHOA! Lots going on!

Anyways... just wanted to give you all an update.

Prayer Request: 
When you think about it, please agree with us in prayer that Trinity will come naturally, versus having a C-section like I had with Tyler Junior. I know the recovery time would be much better and quicker. So... PLEASE when you think about it, THANK GOD with us for a natural & speedy labor with NO complications! Amen?! :)

Love ya'll! Thanks for keeping up with me. Please keep me posted on how I can pray for you!

xoxo,
Amy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#229 - Cut Yourself Some Slack!

Proverbs 31:10 - A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman--who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.
Let me just be honest, is that OK with you? This morning as my alarm went off at 6:30, I hit snooze. At 6:35 I hit snooze again, then again at 6:40, 6:45.... and so on until after 7:00 I heard Tyler downstairs and jumped out of bed just because I didn't want him to leave with my Bible still in the car (I accidentally left it at church Sunday so I had to pick it up yesterday.) 


Why do I say all of that? Well, to be transparent, because I've felt as of lately I've been in a bit of a funk. As I sat down this morning to begin journaling and talking to the Lord... the first 10 lines or so of my journal was equivalent to a whining session to the Lord. Really just telling Him all the areas I feel I've maybe dropped the ball, or felt 'dry' in certain areas, lacked motivation in others. One clue that quickly revealed my state to myself has been the 'snooze' button. Where at one time, even not too long ago, my alarm went off, and I looked forward to jumping up, getting out of bed, beginning my morning routine of writing in one of my books, spending time with the Lord, talking, fellow-shipping, then writing a daily devotion from the insights the Lord gave me. I enjoyed delighting in getting up. I enjoyed the fact that I looked forward to getting up to spend time with the Lord. I anticipated that I would hear from Him. I looked forward to what He was going to say to me. Would He direct me in a certain way? Give me insight into something? Reveal a break-through revelation in the Word? Or maybe just pour hope & belief into my heart?

After my brief whining session, the Holy Spirit cut in. Well... I actually took a brief moment to stop whining and decided I would focus on listening. What did He have to say? Was I off-base in my frustration? My failed attempts to be the super woman of productivity, would He give me some insight into how, why & where I failed? Would He give me a 3-step solution to being better, more productive, more accomplished in my days? Being a stay-at home mom, I am the one in control of my daily calendar. "If only I was a 'female version' of Tyler," I've often thought, "I'm sure I would get more done. Have a system of execution. Be better. Be more. Be SUPER!" You see, I am married to a 'self-starter,' someone who constantly is working on improving himself. When he is not diligently (& consistently) reading in one of the 3-4 books he's reading at the current moment, he is planning, watching some amazing leader or minister on-line, listening to a pod-cast or audio about 'improvement'.... since he was 17, he has been a walking, living, breathing reflection of someone always getting better. Indeed, amazing! You may also be able to see where it COULD be easy to compare myself to him? :) Praise the Lord I'm married to such an amazing man.

Well... as I stopped this morning, and chose to stop & listen to give the Holy Spirit a moment to maybe give me some insight, He did. Praise the Lord. Here are just a few of the nuggets He shared with me in the 3 pages that I journaled....
You will have seasons of what seem like great productivity. You will also have seasons of rest, preparation. During this time, don't get discouraged or be despaired. Take this time to enjoy Me. To sit & drink in from My well, from living waters, to get refreshed daily in My communion. Amy, I don't want you to feel pressure from Tyler about being "productive." I don't even want you to feel "pressure" from Me. My intentions are not to push. My intentions Amy, are to mold & make you, through TIME, into the woman I have created you to become. The key is - TIME. It's a process to develop & does not, can not be done overnight! Trying to do it overnight causes burnout & frustration. 
His Words led me to flipping open to Proverbs 31, verse 10, like I have done countless mornings. What more could be hidden in this Word? What more could He have here? As I read the first verse that talks about this amazing godly woman, I realized, like it jumped off the page to me, it coincided exactly with what the Holy Spirit said to me. One word, TIME.

I decided to check into how long it takes a precious gem to form. You'll notice some of my "inserts" in parenthesis. Here is what I found (www.SmithsonianMag.com):
There have been attempts to try to date inclusions in different parts of diamonds, and those have largely been unsuccessful. It may be that diamonds (Godly Women) form over periods as short a time as days, weeks, months to millions of years. Typically, as with many crystals that grow on the Earth, it's not a continuous process. The diamonds (godly woman) may start to grow and then there may be an interruption for some reasona change in conditions (marriage), temperature  (job change), pressure (having a baby), source of carbon (moving), whatever—and they could sit for millions, hundreds of million of years, and then start growing again. That's part of the problem of trying to put some sort of a growth period on them; things don't always occur continuously...
I found similar information about the formation of a pearl. The one common thread between diamonds and pearls is this, TIME. It takes TIME.

What can we conclude? We are a work in progress. We take time to develop. This woman of God, this Proverbs 31 woman, is said to be more valuable than rubies or pearls. We can conclude, she does not become this woman overnight. She isn't just born with all of these qualities & attributes. It has taken her time. And maybe, just maybe, like the formation of the diamond, there are interruptions at times. The growth process is halted, or may even temporarily stop for a season of rest or change. Ultimately though, it is ALL part of the creation of this beautiful gem. Ultimately the pressure, the pauses, the time, the growth, is all part of the process of this rare & beautiful woman forming into who we know as the Proverbs 31 woman.

So.... today.... cut yourself some slack! Allow time to be on your side. Allow time to do it's work. Relax in the TIME. Relax in the process of becoming. Let God do His work in you! Because we know according to Philippians 1:6, I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.


God is not going to leave you! He is going to COMPLETE the work that He has begun in you! So... cut yourself some slack! Rest in the Lord. Enjoy the process. But mostly, cut yourself slack! You are becoming. You are in the process. Love yourself where you are. You are a process!




Xoxo! Have a blessed day! :) 
Amy


Friday, September 2, 2011

DOR

Have a great day! I'm going to enjoy my Day of Rest! :)

Yippee!!

xoxo,
Amy

Thursday, September 1, 2011

#228 - Freedom of Choice

Proverbs 1:23-33 - 23If you will turn (repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold, I [Wisdom] will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you.
    24Because I have called and you have refused [to answer], have stretched out my hand and no man has heeded it,
    25And you treated as nothing all my counsel and would accept none of my reproof,
    26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when the thing comes that shall cause you terror and panic--
    27When your panic comes as a storm and desolation and your calamity comes on as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
    28Then will they call upon me [Wisdom] but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently but they will not find me.
    29Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord,
    30Would accept none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,
    31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices.
    32For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, and the careless ease of [self-confident] fools shall destroy them.
    33But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.
 
Proverbs 31:26a -  She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom...
Recently, Tyler said something to me that was really profound, it helped me. He said, "God will respect anyone's right of freedom of choice." Everyone has complete freedom of choice! For the sinner or Non-Believer, God will completely protect their right to go to hell. He does not force ANYONE to choose Him. He is a Gentleman and allows each person to make their own decision whether to follow Him or not. He does the same for the Christian. He allows each Christian the CHOICE to follow and be obedient to Him. Equally, He allows them the choice to choose wrong if they want. If they want to choose to go "their way," He will allow them that choice. Again, He is a Gentleman and does not have ANY forced followers. Every person who follows Jesus, follows by their own free will. 

I typically don't include such a large section of scripture, but this morning I just couldn't decide what to leave out, so I included Proverbs 1:23-33. I study out of a Zondervan Parallel Bible which includes the King James Version in one column and the Amplified Bible in the other column. I really like it. This morning, as we were introduced to Proverbs chapter 1, I read some of the notes at the bottom of my Bible. It made a great recommendation in saying this, "Wisdom here is personified. Read 'Wisdom of God' instead of 'Wisdom' and see the wonderful power of this book." That has been helpful to me as I have read Proverbs 1. 

It has been helpful to realize that we can not change people, we can only be obedient to the leading of God's Voice & direction. In interacting with Christians and Non-Christians, He may lead us to share the Gospel with them. He may lead us to just listen. He may lead us to live by example. Ultimately though, however God may lead us in each situation, the person we are interacting with has choices to make on their own. They have the freedom to allow the Bible to be their guide, and be obedient to the Bible. OR, they have the free will to choose their feelings & "their" wants over what the Word says. Proverbs 1:23-33, to me, is a bit scary when read from the eyes of the person who chooses to go "THEIR WAY." I want to do what I want. I want to go MY way. I want to do it MY way! I don't care what the RIGHT thing to do is, I want to do it MY way. I don't feel like doing it the way the Bible says.  

All I have to say is, YIKES! That is a scary place to be for that person. As believers, we have the responsibility to be obedient to what God tells us to do. If it's directing a friend, we need to be obedient in directing them. But.... ultimately they have Freedom of Choice. 

Don't forget the power of prayer. Prayer changes things. When someone we love chooses to go "their way," remember that the power of prayer can always help them to soften to the leading of the Holy Spirit. That their "Freedom of Choice" would change to be a choice that would please our Heavenly Father. 

Is their someone you need to pray for today? Is their someone you need to talk to today? 


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#227 - Laying the Foundation for Godly Children

Proverbs 31:1-2a - THE WORDS of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother taught him... What, son of my womb? What [shall I advise you] son of my vows and dedication to God?
Proverbs 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying]...
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Here in Proverbs 31, we could almost ask the same question because we are truly going a full circle with this Ultimate Woman of God. As we take a look at where the teaching of the "Virtuous Woman" really came from, we see in Proverbs 31 verse 1, the teaching is coming from King Lemuel's mother. She is ultimately teaching him basic godly principles. Early on in the chapter 31, she teaches him to not drink wine lest it pervert his judgement, speak for those who are not able to speak for themselves, judge righteously over the poor and needy, and then she wraps up the entire remainder of chapter 31 with qualities and characteristics of a godly woman, who we refer to as the Proverbs 31 Woman or Ultimate Woman. King Lemuel's mother is responsible for laying the foundation of what he should desire in a wife.

The Ultimate Woman does TWO things:
  1. Mother's TEACH Who the Proverbs 31 Woman is. 
  2. Mother's MODEL Who the Proverbs 31 Woman is. 
As we begin in Proverbs 31:1, we see firsthand how this King is learning what to look for in a wife, his mother taught him. His MOTHER taught him what to look for. His MOTHER is "advising" him as to the godly characteristics that will help him to accomplish God's calling on his life. This mother has vowed and dedicated her son to God. She has committed him to God. Now her desire is to raise him up to find his ULTIMATE COMPLETER. She knows his flaws, his weaknesses, his pitfalls. She knows those very areas in his life where she has had to provide assistance, maybe a crutch for him. Maybe support, encouragement, maybe some polishing up details of a project he has started but not completed. Mom knows just what qualities her son needs in his life to complete him VERSUS compete with him, in order for him to accomplish the great calling God has on his life.

I wish we knew a bit more background on this "King Lemuel," but he is an unknown king, and his background is a mystery. They Hebrew says he may be the same as King Solomon, but it is unknown. Knowing the background of kings in the Bible, we can look back to II Chronicles 24:1 and see that Joash began a 40 year reign as king beginning at age SEVEN!! He began as King at age 7!! Wow! Quite an early age to be running a nation! Do kids these days even tie their shoes at that age? Have they graduated from velcro to actual laces? I'm being a bit facetious here, but in all reality, most parents barely let their children play outside after dark when they are age 7, and here we have a 7 year old running a NATION! 

So... the question is... Mom's when is it too young to begin teaching your boys the qualities that are important in a wife? Mom's when is it too young to begin teaching your daughters the qualities they should aspire to attain as a godly woman/girl? In the case of King Lemuel, he could be 7, we do not know. But teaching our children from an early age is something that is a responsibility of mother's. 

I would anticipate that King Lemuel's mother isn't speaking from a hypocritical platform. I would anticipate, the characteristics she is teaching, she also models. At least, aspires to model most if not all of them. If we could go back and watch her, I bet we would see her raising up her girls to learn these qualities. One, through them watching her live out the qualities. Two, through teaching them hands-on to hone in on these qualities as well. As for her sons, as we can see in Proverbs 31, she is verbally instructing her son what to look for. She is steering her son towards the women of God he should be looking for in a wife. She is warning him to steer clear of the "loose woman" that may tempt him along the way (Prov. 31:3), she is addressing even the tough topics. She does not blindly let him just fall into the hands of the wolves (the loose woman). She is guiding him. 

Are you a Mom? If so, how can you begin today to lay a foundation for your children? Are you doing this already? What are some tips you may have to steer children in this way? Please share!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#226 - Wake Up Your Brain!


Proverbs 30:2-3 - Surely I am too brutish and stupid to be called a man, and I have not the understanding of a man [for all my secular learning is as nothing]. 3I have not learned skillful and godly Wisdom, that I should have the knowledge or burden of the Holy One.
Proverbs 31:10a - A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman--who is he who can find her?
Brainless. Have you ever went through your day and just felt like you had your brain turned off? Like you left your house without it? You left your brain & your cup of coffee on the counter as you headed out the door for work. Then... you went about your day just taking whatever came, accepting it and adjusting accordingly. Good & bad, you just accepted it.

This morning before I got into reading the Word, the Holy Spirit addressed this very issue with me. Here were some of His thoughts to me:
You have a lot more choices than you really are aware of. Choices to accept things & live with them, or simple choices NOT to accept certain things & live with them. Many believers go on with life never thinking, just accepting! If you & others would wake your BRAIN up, you would realize areas, little, simple areas of victory you COULD be walking in. These victories causing you to be more productive with less toil, happier & more fulfilled than you could have thought. 
Little, simple victories. I'm all about victories in my life! For me, part of what the Holy Spirit was referring to related specifically to energy, or lack there of.  Being 35 weeks pregnant, I have definitely had LOTS of times recently where I have been completely drained and in need of a nap. I've got to the end of my rope many days and had to sleep. The Holy Spirit addressed with me, speaking to my energy levels BEFORE getting tired. Speaking to my energy levels during a time I felt fresh. As it says in Romans, calling things that are not as though they were. Sure, we all have choices. I could leave my brain off, and when fatigue hit, just go with it and take a nap. Wrong, no, not necessarily. BUT what the Holy Spirit was wanting to reveal to me was this, I do not just HAVE TO accept what comes. I have choices! You have choices! So often, our brain is turned off to our rights as a believer, the promises that are ours. It takes a conscience effort to keep our brains turned on. To really evaluate, Is this right? Should I accept this or choose something different? Is there something better? What does the Word say?"


As it talks about in Proverbs 30:2 and Proverbs 31:10, we can live being stupid or being intelligent. Proverbs 30 talks about the stupid man living off merely his secular knowledge and this knowledge is as nothing. How awesome that as believers we CAN walk in skillful & godly wisdom. We have access to not just walking through life accepting what comes our way, but with our brains ON, and being tuned in to the Holy Spirit, we truly can live a better life! We can life a blessed life even in the simple areas. Even in the simple day to day activities like housework or grocery shopping or having energy! We can look to the Word for ANY situation we are going through and apply the Word, confess it & walk in it. Specifically for me & energy, I could choose to apply the Word this way:
Thank You Father that Your Word says in Isaiah 40:31, "But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired." Father, since Your Word says it, I'm going to believe it! Therefore I CHOOSE to have ENERGY! I choose to be RENEWED! Thank you Father for giving me energy! Thank you for being true to Your Word and performing it! I praise you that I can have a day filled with energy, energy that YOU promised! Thank You FATHER for ENERGY TODAY!!! 
Do you see how easy it would be turn on or off our brain? For me in this situation, to turn off my brain and accept fatigue without even a second thought. Or turn ON my brain, accept the WORD of God & His promises and receive energy! Unfortunately, many a days have went by where my brain has been turned off in this area, and I have just accepted fatigue.

What is it for you today? I challenge you today, don't just accept what comes your way today. Filter it! Do you REALLY want to receive it? Does it REALLY line up with the Word of God? Wake up your brain and walk in the promises that God has for you!



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