The Deep Valley Year

Has 2018 been a year of conquering mountains or stuck in a deep in a valley?

For me, most of the year has been a pretty deep valley. And I contemplated not saying a word… just skipping over this topic but I feel like it needs to be said if I’m going to call myself an honest lifestyle blogger. 

In 2018 I did something I never ever saw myself doing, I got a divorce. The word divorce, can be a heavy word. And it definitely felt heavy for awhile. Honestly, reaching that point in my marriage was the lowest valley I have ever found myself in life so far. Walking through that pain, mourning, and grieving has been difficult because it was not something I was expecting in life. It was definitely a curve ball.

But even though I was walking through a deep valley, I still had a community around me that helped me keep my focus on all things good. In 2018, I was blessed with family, friends, and a church family that did not allow me to stay down. I had a circle of support around my family as we walked a difficult road.

I feel like deep valleys sometimes are used by Satan to change how we view ourselves. It is so easy to buy into Satan’s lies about who we are. Satan wants us to believe that we are worthless, full of shame, unloveable, unwanted, and even horrible at life. However, that is not what God says. God says that we have worth, that He took our shame, that we are loved and cherished, we are wanted, and that through every single day He is with us. We need to remember to always set our sights on God’s truths about us every day. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We have a purpose designed by God himself. And He is on the ride of life with us. God has something good coming in 2019 and the years to come.

So yes, I am now a single mom. For the most part we have reached a new normal. We are doing pretty well. And 2018 was the hardest year of my life to date but the Good Lord and the circle of support that He put around me have gotten me through and will continue to do so. As a family we are picking up the pieces and letting God put them back together.

God has never and will never fail us. He has plans for all of our lives.

If you are facing a deep valley my best advice and hope for you is that you lean in to the Heavenly Father and find your support circle.

Blessing to all in 2019.

When The Unexpected Shows Up Uninvited

Life gets hard. We all know this. In fact, we are promised that in this world we will have trouble. But until we are facing trouble it is easy to say that we will lean on Jesus through it all. In reality, it is all too easy to try to handle it all by ourselves.

I have faced my fair share of unexpected trials. I can say for certain that trials are a lot easier when I let God handle them for me, even if what happens isn’t what I or those around me desire.

Trying to face a trial on your own promises to be taxing on a person. Trials always come uninvited but what about the unexpected?


The Unexpected Comes Hard

The unexpected can come like a freight train in the night. You didn’t even know you had anything to worry about and then all of a sudden it pops up. You know exactly what I’m talking about. That bill you really don’t have the money to pay. That unexpected series of illnesses that goes from one person to the next in your home. The unexpected battle that never really was truly complete with any number of enemies that may attack your home: sickness, financial strain, relationship problems with family, friends, or a spouse, or even addiction to anything, not just the obvious addictions that come to mind, although, those hand out extremely heavy burdens and trials (i.e. caffeine, television, phone, social media). Anything of this world even if it is intended for good can be twisted around and cause harm to you and those you love.

Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Make no mistake Satan is a pro at it. Satan has a 3rd-degree black belt in destroying lives, alright, so that is the reason we, as believers, have to know how to go into battle and be prepared.

So when a soldier is in combat what is he or she wearing? Armor, right? Protective gear. So why is it a struggle for us to remember to put on the Armor of God to protect us from Satan? The bible says “above all else guard your heart”. If you are a believer, putting on the Armor of God is step one. Now, does that mean that our life is going to be trial free? No, absolutely not. What it does mean is that our heart will be strengthened to the point that when entering the spiritual battles with Satan the light of Jesus will then shine brighter within us than the darkness of Satan trying to creep in.

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18


Six Pieces of Armor

  1. Belt of Truth- Knowing that God is the voice of truth and living life with integrity and honesty daily.
  2. Breastplate of Righteousness
  3. Feet Fitted in the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace
  4. The shield of Faith- Having the faith of a child. It is so simple just to believe. We, adults, make it complicated.
  5. Helmet of Salvation
  6. And the sword of the Spirit- the word of God

As you look at these six pieces of the armor of God are there any that you have weak links in or are you missing pieces entirely? I know that I have room for improvement in many areas.


In the Midst of a Battle

Even as I am typing this I am facing a trial, just like we all do. In the midst of this trial, I find my footing slipping at times. I have made mistakes. I didn’t find myself fully ready for this trial. I let my battle training (being in the word) slack. But, I have God’s Grace and it is sufficient. I find myself second guessing at times what I know what God has lead me to do because HE is the one directing my steps. But I have grace and it is sufficient.

I know above all else God loves me and is with me every step of the way. I know HE alone is the VOICE OF TRUTH. I have faith that ALL of God’s promises are true. I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I take my final breath on Earth I will be with my Father in Heaven. I know that as I face this I am not alone. God has placed a great village around me. And I am so grateful for my village. And even in the midst of this trial, I know that if I remain planted in God’s word and take up the sword of the Heavenly Father and fight then I will win because ultimately, God has already won the war. But if I leave the armor and the sword and fight without it, as the world would have me do, then I am sure to fail.

Are you in the midst of a trial? Are you going to put on the Armor of God? When the unexpected shows up uninvited how will you respond?

** I would love to pray for you. Send me a message or leave a comment with your prayer request.**

How to be Fierce in Your “Job Season”?

The Life of Job

We have all walked through seasons in life that were rough and life-altering. God’s servant, Job, was no different. In fact, Job faced a perfect example of a tough season in life. Job was a faithful servant of God and there was one person who hated that was Satan.

Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. God told Satan he could not physically kill Job but that didn’t stop Satan from taking every swing at Job as he could to sway Job to betray God.


Satan’s Actions

Reference- The Book of Job

Actions Against Job’s Household and Property

  • Satan took Job’s oxygen, donkeys, and camels
  • Satan murdered ALL of Job’s servants
  • Satan burned sheep
  • Satan took Job’s children

Actions Against Job’s Body

  • Satan afflicted painful sores all over Job’s body
  • Broken and peeling skin
  • Gaunt Body
  • Unending pain
  • Fever

Actions Against Job’s Mind and Spirit

  • Job was bitter, in constant misery, longed for death
  • Job could not sleep. He had terrifying dreams and visions
  • Job was in shame and fear of God
  • Job was Tormented
  • Job was Alienated by his Wife and other relatives
  • Job lost his dignity

Have you faced a “Job season” in life?

These seasons in life are absolutely gut-wrenching. You know the times I’m talking about right? One bad thing after another happens and you feel like you can’t catch a break. All you want to do is to come up for air.

My “Job Season”

I have been through one “Job season” in my life. My “Job season” caught me off guard. It all pilled up on me to a point where I couldn’t bear the load anymore and I fell to fear and anxiety.

During my “Job Season” my marriage was on extremely rocky ground, my son was having health problems and in and out of the hospital with GI issues, our finances were absolutely in shambles, dealing with anxiety and depression, and anyone and everyone close to me had their opinion about it all.

When this season hit I went into survival mode.

I did what I knew I needed to do to not drowned in this storm.

I knew I needed to remain faithful to my husband no matter what.

I knew I needed to do everything I could for my son to get better.

I knew I needed to eliminate any extras in our budget.

The thing about survival mode is it often leaves out the one person we need to make it through the storm. We leave out God. The one person that can get us through. I often let my pride get in the way. How about you? I think I can do it all but in reality, by myself, I will fall. Don’t get me wrong, I believed God could get me through it but my desire to control everything was not letting go of the reins. So I was praying for God to help but I wasn’t letting go of the control for Him to step in.

Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. ~ Job 40:1-4

In a dark season, it’s easy to be bitter, angry, stressed, tunnel focused, and do it all yourself. Don’t fall to that temptation. Always look to Him for strength and trust Him for the outcome because he has the master roadmap. He already knows what is to come so why wouldn’t we trust Him.

In a “Job Season” we need to remember:

  • Have faith and patience to be blessed
  • Know that Trials do not automatically equal sin. We are often brought to a trail to show us and others His strength and to build our faith. 1 Peter 1:7
  • Satan uses our pain and suffering for his benefit. Job 30:21
  • In the darkest times draw close to God. He knows anyway.  Philippians 4:13
  • Don’t question the creator and the all-knowing father.
  • Look to the people God has placed in your life for support.
  • God can handle your true emotions, even anger. Job argued with God and that was okay. God won’t turn you away. Job 3
  • God hears you. Just because God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you want doesn’t mean He didn’t answer or won’t answer in His timing. Pray without ceasing.
  • Trust God. Trust God. Tust God.

When I think about hard seasons in life I think about following the light (Jesus) through the pitch darkness.

How Job got through his dark season?

  • God showed Job His love for him
  • Job was in continuous prayer
  • Job was faithful

The Light at the END of the Tunnel

  • God BLESSED Job
  • God provided for Job
  • God gave him more beautiful children

If you are facing a “Job Season” be encouraged by the life of Job. He faced tremendous loss at the hands of Satan while remaining faithful to God. Job conquered his dark season with the most powerful flashlight lighting his way, the Heavenly Father.

Let the most powerful flashlight light your way.

Why Dare To Be Different?

“Dare to be different” is a phrase that is hard to follow through on a lot. What I mean by that is we live in a world that wants everyone, man, woman, and child, to fit into this box of “normal”. The box of “normal” is filled with all sorts of expectations for a person’s life, such as; body type, what we should be doing at a certain age, what we should believe, how much money we should be making, etc..

I dare to be different. I have never nor will I ever fit into the box of “normal” that society expects me to fit into.

My Story

When I was six weeks old I had a stroke while in the hospital for being malnourished. If you aren’t familiar with what a stroke does to a person’s body let me give you the clip notes version. I had a stroke on the left side of my brain but the stroke affected the right side of my body. The right side of my body is weaker than the left side of my body. Even my right foot is smaller than my left by two sizes which is why you will very rarely see me in heels because generally it doesn’t end well for me. But in all seriousness, a stroke is a life event that never stops affecting your life. You can make yourself stronger through exercise and therapy, which I had physical therapy many days a week during my childhood to physically get me to where I am today, but there are still going to be days where your body feels aftermath of the stroke even 26 years later.

But here is the thing, I wouldn’t change this life event for anything. I know you may be thinking I’m crazy but hear me out. From this one event out came a chance at a fresh start. A new beginning. For some reason God knew what he had to do to get me where he wanted me. God knew my place was not with my biological family but a different one. I was carried into a home at age one and officially adopted at age seven. God knew the exact family that I needed to raise me up not only to be strong but more importantly, to love and serve Jesus all the days of my life. You see, I was blessed with a family who didn’t always accept what the doctors where saying and believed in me anyways. My family stood by my side as I learned to do things that defied what the doctors were saying. My family raised me up to be faithful, loving, strong, independent, and stubborn. These qualities not only helped me get to where I am in life, but God will use them to get me to wherever he is taking me next.

Because of one life event, that many label as tragic, my whole life was changed. God knows what He is doing. He knew exactly what He was doing when he created you.


I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:14-16

 


YOU

If you take nothing else from this post listen up right now. God made you to be uniquely you for a unique purpose. There is no one else on Earth with the same fingerprints as you and there is no one else with the exact same purpose as you.

God can use you and will use you if you allow Him to take control. Have faith like a child. God knows your name. He’s got your back.

God didn’t mess up when He made you an out of the box of “normal” person.

If you are wondering how can God use me I have [insert your excuse here], I am here to tell you that God uses the not so “normal”, everyday people to do extraordinary things.


If you still need to be convinced look at my son’s life. My oldest son has autism. This is seen by most of the world as a bad thing, but I see it as a gift. He has the ability to see things, like faith, in a different light because of his autism. Now this isn’t a daily occurrence but when God gets a hold of my son to speak truth into someone’s life he does it with absolutely boldness and confidence, even if it’s his own mommy. I have gotten many truth bombs straight from my son’s mouth. God uses my son to speak truth, at what seem like random times to us, but it’s in God’s perfect timing. Connor is himself all the time.

Allowing yourself to be 100 percent uniquely you can be difficult when society tells you to do otherwise.

5 Things You Can Do To Stay True To YOU

  1. Know what God says about YOU
  2. Make Yourself a Priority
  3. Enjoy and develop your hobbies and talents
  4. Embrace where God has you right Now!
  5. Seek God’s direction for your future.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Psalm 23:1-6

With God all things are possible. Nothing is impossible. God made you to be uniquely you for a unique and divine purpose that only you can do.

Be Bold. Be unique. Be YOU.

How to stop shaming yourself? You are Enough!

Do you ever have those moments when you feel like the worst mom ever? Those moments have crept up on me more often recently. And to say it has been a battle overcoming those thoughts is a definite understatement.

Anyone else with me on this?

This summer has been a challenge for my boys who are both going to be in Kindergarten this fall. It has been hard getting used to a new school with growing expectations. Anytime there was an issue I would get a call. Every single time. For me, this did not settle well. I took it to heart. I put myself down and was definitely critical of my own parenting. Always asking myself, “What am I doing wrong? Why are they (the boys) not excelling like I thought they would?”

I am going, to be honest with you. I have not been in the best headspace this summer at all. I haven’t always focused on the right things. I have allowed my frustrations to get the best of me. I stretched myself to thin at times. I put myself on the backburner a little bit too much this summer. I allowed the negative to overpower the positive in my mind. I didn’t let go and let God. I was shaming myself.

The Negative Overpowered the Positive

As I said earlier, I let the negative overpower the positive. Does that happen to you a lot? It’s such an easy thing to do. It’s like your somehow blind to the wonderful things happening around you. I definitely had a case of this creep up on me this summer. I saw the boys not excelling at school overall instead of seeing the small battles being won on the way to prospering at school. I saw a power struggle instead of a lack of communication. I saw a long-fought battle with potty training instead of the potty training victories that are bringing my son to the winner’s circle (we are almost completely potty trained. WHOOP. WHOOP.) I saw my child being labeled by teachers instead of what I know my son to be and more importantly how God sees my son.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say Rejoice.”

“This is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it”

Search for the joy in every day. 

Guard Your Heart

It’s so easy to let this fallen world inside your head and deceive your thoughts. This is how we become ourselves worst critics. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all into this cycle of shaming ourselves for whatever reason. When we start seeing our life as the world sees it and stop seeing our lives through the eyes of Jesus that’s when we fall off course. That very moment is when we question if we are not good enough? I’m here to tell you, you are enough. Guard your heart always because the Devil is sneaky.

God’s the Master of the Plan

God has an awesome plan for your life and He will use you to do something unique. For example, there is a reason I am the mom to my three children and not the other mom down the street. God knew exactly what he was doing when he handpicked our family to be a unit.

5 Ways to Stop Shaming Yourself

  1. Stay true and Close to God- Do not give in to Satan’s lies. Put on the armor of God daily.
  2. Have a supportive group of people (I.e. spouse, church, small group, friends)
  3. Look for the positive
  4. Make yourself a priority- (i.e. write a blog, have a hobby, go to the gym, have that coffee with a friend)
  5. Show yourself grace in all areas of life- stop living life by a checklist or countdowns but instead resolve to be present in the day that you have been given. For example, it’s ok to play with your kiddos. Your house doesn’t have to be perfect.

The Bible says the Devil comes to seek, kill, and destroy. Do not give him that chance.

The Struggle is REAL. But So is OUR GOD.

We all struggle. We all have lemons. And we all will until our final breath on Earth because we live in a fallen world. But guess what? God is bigger than the mountains you face. When you’re in a struggle of mind and you need help to see God at work ask God to show you how he sees you. Ask God to show you how He is working in your life. Let God fight your battles.

The Bible says to cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

Let Go and Let God!

Life Lessons from the Life of Ruth: A Story of Love & Redemption

Being a fierce woman for Jesus in the world today is not easy but it was much harder for many women in the Bible, like Ruth. Ruth and Naomi are a mother-daughter duo that is often looked over. However, in those few pages of the Bible, an amazing story of strength, honor, courage, and love unfolds.

 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ~ Hellen Keller


Two Fierce Women

Ruth and Naomi face a series of losses in such a short time. Naomi’s husband and two sons die, including Ruth’s husband. Leaving Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah (Naomi’s daughter-in-law) to fend for themselves. Naomi told her daughters-in-law to turn around. Orpah decided to walk away from Naomi and Ruth leaving the two to survive on their own in a world where women were not seen as equals. Ruth stayed with her mother-in-law even though she could have easily turned around and made it easier for herself. Ruth chose to show loyalty, honor, and respect for her mother-in-law over an easier life.

The Dark Days

After so much loss Naomi was bitter. Who wouldn’t be? Naomi and Ruth are authentic people who keep it real. Do you keep it real or do you stay true to the always dependable standby “I’m good and busy,” or “I’m okay?”

“When things fall apart in your life sometimes it’s best to go home.” ~ Pastor Rick Cochran, Venture Church

The harvest is on the horizon in many ways in the story of Ruth and Naomi. It’s always darkest before the sunrise. Are you facing a time of bitterness? Have you been facing struggles or a hard time? Facing lemons in life is never fun but often through those times God forms us and changes our hearts to be better used for Him. Often I find myself in a waiting period. Those are not so fun either but God is never late. God knows what we need far better than we do ourselves. He knows when we need to look inside ourselves and check our hearts.

“When things seem to be at their worst it is a mistake to recluse into isolation.”

~ Pastor Rick Cochran, Venture Church

Ruth’s one prayer was to find favor with someone. And God took His time to answer.

Ruth is a hard worker. Ruth asked for the blessing of Naomi to go to the field and work.

 

Ruth worked in a field belonging to Boaz, a relative of Naomi, to provide food for Naomi and herself. Boaz was highly respected in the community. Boaz shows favor and protection to Ruth by allowing her to work in his field. Boaz is a man of prayer. He blesses those around him, including Ruth in Ruth 2:12.

 

Ruth’s beauty stops Boaz in his tracks. And no, I’m not talking about her physical beauty. Almost immediately he recognizes her character, humility, and honor. Can we be real for a second? I don’t know about you but when I have been working outside I look less than attractive. I look and smell pretty gross. But even when Ruth was at her worse Boaz saw her beauty just how God sees our beauty in our worse moments.

Just as God does for us Boaz gives her grace. He invites her to sit beside him at the table. He quenches her hunger and thirst so much so that she took leftovers home. He showed abundant generosity and grace just as Jesus shows us. What happens if we lose sight of that? What happens if our pride blinds us?

Boaz did his homework. He researched Ruth to find out anything he could about this captivating and humble woman. He used the Facebook of his day (aka word of mouth).

Ruth finds favor with Boaz. Her one prayer to God was answered through Boaz. It didn’t happen overnight though. It took time and some matchmaking by Naomi.

Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”

Ruth 3:1-4

Naomi’s Instructions:

  • Wash Yourself
  • Anoint Yourself
  • Change Your Clothes

Ruth and Boaz are very interested in each other romantically at this point but there is still one hurdle for the new couple. This last hurdle required patience from both Ruth and Boaz.

“When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night, something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer[a] of our family.”

10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.”

Ruth 3:7-11

Ruth and Boaz stayed true to God’s law and remained pure. Boaz even sent Ruth home early so that there would be no gossip attached to their relationship.

Boaz was a man of the law. He was going to do things the right way. Boaz was not the first in line for Ruth’s hand. There was another suitor in front of him. He went to the other man and discussed the issue at hand; Did he really want all the responsibility that came with taking Ruth as his bride? Boaz assured him that if not he was prepared to step in without missing a beat.

“I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you[a] will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

“I will redeem it,” he said.

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the[b] dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”

At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”

(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.”

Ruth 4:4-8

Now, I don’t know about you, but my patience level is not where it needs to be most of the time. I’ll be authentic and own it. How about you? How is your patience? Do you have patience like Ruth and Naomi? Ruth was a new believer but her faith never wavered. Is your faith tested during times of waiting?

Boaz declared that he was going to take Ruth to be his bride. Shortly after their wedding, they were blessed with a son, Obed.

“He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Ruth 4:15

Lessons from Ruth:

  • Patience
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Authenticity
  • Work Ethic

Ruth was a woman of great faith. An extraordinary example of a Proverbs 31 woman.

This world has a shortage of Ruths and desperately needs her character and loyalty. Be a Ruth in today’s world.

The Road to Turn Good Intentions into an Intentional Life

Living with good intentions. Is that enough? Have we been put on this earth just to live with our good intentions and accept whatever the outcome happens to be? I say no, living with good intentions is not enough.

We were all created in His image. Jesus never said, “well, I tried.” He did what God commanded him and saved the world. There were no excuses to be had. No emergency exits taken.

When Good Intentions Go Bad

It is so easy to let those good intentions go to the wayside without intentionality.

Answer these three questions: What are your dreams? What are you called to do? What are your struggles?

Too often we lose the battle to life’s struggles, quit our dreams, or ignore the call on our lives because of our very own good intentions. Good intentions start off great but most of the time get warped into the very excuses we use as our emergency exit. My prime example of this is my children, “Oh the kids need me to do this instead so I won’t write today.”

So what do good intentions with intentionality look like? Intentionality means taking action. If we don’t act on those good intentions they will never grow to be more than a 10-second thought in our minds. Without action our struggles will never be conquered, dreams will die, and the call on our life will go unanswered.

Intentionally Fight

We all face struggles in life. The bible says,”In this life, you will face trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” We all have trials. No one is exempt from them. Trials in life are never easy and are usually bigger than anyone would prefer, right? However, the fact that is often forgotten is that our God is bigger than any mountain we will ever face. He alone can conquer all.

With God, you can overcome anxiety.

With God, your marriage can be restored.

With God, you can fight addiction.

With God, you can overcome physical pain.

With God, you can be financially free.

With God, you can lead your children.

You catch my drift, right? With God, ALL things are POSSIBLE!!!

It’s easy to let wounds in life paralyze you from continuing the fight. Put in the work to fight your battles. Do not lose heart. You are not alone. God brought you to it and HE ALONE can get you through it.

No matter what you are fighting GOD is bigger.

Intentionally Dream

Dare to dream. In today’s world, it’s so easy to settle and to give way to the love of our worldly things instead of dreaming. What do I mean by that? Caring more about the American dream more than your own uniquely designed dream. Are you living for God or the world?

God created every part of us, including our dreams. So, the man that dreamed that one man alone could save a sinful world created and planted your dream inside of you. WOW! Your dreams are meant to be more than just a distraction from the world but to be a rooted part of your purpose.

Intentionally Answer the Call

When someone calls us on the telephone we generally pick up right away, right? So why do we linger with God’s call on our lives? Are God’s calls intercepted by the world? It’s too easy to let our struggles or day to day responsibilities become the emergency exit to answering God’s call on our life.

Is God calling you to serve within your church? Is God calling you to serve your community more? Whatever you are being called to do God will give you the strength and the resources to do it. We are all called to be the feet of Christ. How are you going to walk for Jesus today?

 

Will you answer the call God has for your life or leave God on Hold?

 

Live Intentionally with Action

Puting action to good intentions is the cure to the sometimes dead-end road of good intentions. Creating an action plan to tackle your goals and enlisting prayer warriors to pray for your good intentions is a great first step.

The rest is up to you. Do you want to continue living a life of good intentions or do you want to turn those good intentions into reality?

Does your family need to hit the reset button?

Being the CEO of a family can be a challenge. Do you agree? Running a household has many challenges. All these challenges can be simplified by setting priorities for your family. A few years ago my husband and I started reevaluating our family’s priorities every year. It has helped us make a lot of decisions for our family over the years.

How to know if you need to hit the Reset Button?

You may need to hit the reset button if you find yourself constantly on the go, if your kids are involved in every single activity you can squeeze into the waking hours, you find yourself extremely stressed or anxious, or your finances are upside down.


How to Reset Family Priorities?

  1. Define your core values
  2. Define your goals for yourself
  3. Define your goals for your kids
  4. Talk to your spouse or significant other about their goals
  5. Make a realistic plan of action

Define Core Values

Defining core values is your first step. This is when you need to really dig deep within yourself to decide what ultimately drives your every move. We thought initially about our spirituality, beliefs, and/or faith. Going beyond our faith we also thought of core values of honesty, kindness, loyalty, and the golden rule. What are your core values?

Define Your Goals

Defining my goals was a hard step for me. I’m not going to lie. As a mom, I tend to think about my kids before myself. I view my family as my first ministry and always will. It is family first for this mom. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have any other passions or talents in life. And the same goes for you. I’m a full believer in the fact that we have dreams for a reason. My dream is to encourage others through my writing. So what are your dreams? Go ahead and dare to dream.

Define Goals for Kids

Kids are in this mommy’s opinion the biggest blessing a person can receive. Most parents have the same basic goals for their kids, right? Number one, finish high school. Number two, get a good job. And number three, live the American dream. Let’s go deeper than that today. If you didn’t know I am a blessed mom of three young children. Each one of my children is wonderfully made and as individualized plan destined for them. Because my children are so young what they want to be today will change tomorrow.

How do we define individual goals for kids?

  • Talk to your child
    • Talk about core values
    • Talk about your child’s favorite activities or dream.
  • Define strengths and weaknesses to help children grow in both areas
    • Look for ways to help your child grow in areas where he or she thrives
  • Look at your child’s academics
    • Don’t expect perfection, instead; expect your child to give it their very best effort.

Parenting is a crazy rollercoaster because every child is different and handles your reactions differently. Just like every goal in life do not expect yourself to be a perfect parent because there is no such person on earth. Give your child and yourself grace.

Spouse Goals

Encouraging a spouse to reach for and achieve goals is a never-ending task. I am a stay at home mom so my hubby works very hard to provide for our family. Often he gets crazy focused on the need to make an income that he forgets about his future dreams. I know he’s not the only husband that this happens to on occasion. What do you do to encourage your husband or significant other’s dreams? I have made his dream my dream. I sit and daydream with him. I let him know that I’m right there with him till we see his dream through to reality.

Make a Plan of Action

The next step is to make a plan of action. Goals without action are useless, right? Now we are going to make these goals into 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, 1-year, and 5-year goals. The short month goals are designed to help you reset your family’s priorities in any area you feel is needed. The long-term 1-5 year goals are meant to dare you to dream. These goals will only be accomplished if you put in the time and effort to achieve and thrive.


Write Mission Statement

As a CEO of a family, you need a mission statement. A reminder you hang in your home that you see every day. After you design your plan of action think about all the priorities we just discussed to form your family’s very own mission statement.


What is needed to hit the Reset Button?

If you want to change your family life you have to be willing to put in the time and effort, be willing to give up things that you love for people you love more, be willing to walk the walk and put your family first second only to God.

Hit the Reset Button!

How to Pray Boldly & Persistently for Your Husband

Marriage is not easy. Those of us who are married know this first hand. There is a reason there is something called the “honeymoon phase”. But we don’t get married just for the honeymoon phase, right? We want a life pleasing to God with the man He gave as our partner in life.


The Tool Many Forget

I believe that one of the most powerful tools we have in our toolbox for marriage is prayer. It’s a tool that is not often used first but it should be.

Is prayer our first line of defense? Or is prayer farther on down the line after we have tried everything else?

I know I am guilty of, at times, running to seek advice from those I trust most instead of running to my Heavenly Father first. Do you struggle with this too? Or is it just me?

In life, we get thrown curve balls- things we didn’t expect to have live through or deal with in life. Jesus told us to expect it. Even in our marriages.

Define your curveballs? Define your husband’s curveball? We all have them. We all have our own personal struggles, big or little they all matter to God.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The Silenced Missing Piece

Marriage was not designed to be a two-person journey but too often we silence the third part. We are scratching our heads, trying figure out what is missing when the one thing that is missing is the one person we have put on silence and put in a corner so that we can manage our marriage. Don’t put God in a corner when He should be in the center. A great way to get God back in your marriage is to invite Him back. Put Him in the center and just be with Jesus. Yes, It is that simple.

Today I challenge all of us to boldly and persistently pray for our husbands. Being a man of God in today’s world is hard and leading a family in it is even harder. No matter where your husband is at in life your prayers over him can be a game changer in the game of life. 


How do you pray boldly and persistently for your husband?

Praying boldly for our husbands is not about giving God a list of every fault in our husbands that we want Him to fix. We are not filing a complaint with God asking for a recall. It’s about proclaiming the word of God and His promises for our husbands. Lifting our men up in their struggles not tearing them down.

  1. Thank God for your Husband
  2. Pray for your husband’s faith
  3. Pray for your husband’s leadership
  4. Pray for your husband’s career
  5. Pray for your husband’s dreams
  6. Pray for your husband’s relationships
  7. Pray for your husband’s struggles

These 7 tips can be done in many different ways. But once all these tips are put together as you actively pray for your husband he will be covered in prayer in every area of life. For verses to pray over your husband check out the FREE printable Below!!


5 Ways to Stop the Mom-Shaming Cycle

Fellow moms, can we get real for a minute? Being a mom is hard. Being a mom is the most rewarding and best job there is out there in the world, but there are so many challenges to being a mom in today’s world.

It’s so easy to jump to conclusions and judge a mom by how her child is acting at any given moment. We all have been on both sides of this scenario. We have judged. We have been the mom getting judged.  Or at least I know that I have been on both sides.

Motherhood should be a sisterhood where we all have each other’s backs instead of mom-shaming each other.

 

5 Ways to Stop the Cycle of Mom-Shaming

  1. Be a friend
  2. Be a prayer warrior
  3. Run your own race
  4. Don’t play the comparison game
  5. Don’t judge

Be a Friend

What does it mean to be a friend? I believe the meaning of this word has gone from a genuine face to face, interactive relationship to a button you click on Facebook. We consider a “friend” a person on a list of people we follow on social media. We watch the lives of our friends through posts on social media instead of being a part of the life of a friend.

What would the world be like if we made room in our day to day life to have face to face friendships?

5 ways to be a great friend
  1. Pray for your friends
  2. Get together on a regularly by going out to eat, working out, going on walks, or do a bible study (maybe even kid-free)
  3. Be there in the good and bad times- support friends through trials (i.e. financial, marriage, parenting, career, etc.)
  4. Have play dates with your kids
  5. Get your families connected (i.e. cookouts, game nights, etc.)

 

Be a Prayer Warrior

There is power in prayer. I have seen it first hand in my life and countless lives of those around me. Praying for our friends, enemies, and even our frienemies is one of the best things we can do even though it’s often far down on our to-do list. Lifting each other up in person is awesome but lifting each other up to the Holy Father is the best way to end mom-shaming because hopefully, the prayer is you are asking for a changed heart for you and potentially a fellow mom

So playing that thought process out, when we see a child melting down in the middle of Walmart let’s not be so quick to tell that mom how she should handle the situation, instead be slow to speak your mind and lift that mama up in prayer.

Run Your Own Race

Motherhood and life, in general, is not a sprint it’s a marathon. There are so many “experts” in this world that try to tell us how best to be moms that it’s hard to hear the voices that matter.

Most of us have probably heard this quote before but it’s true so it’s worth quoting yet again. “There is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a good one.” Just because we all parent differently doesn’t mean that we are all bad moms. God made us all unique and gave us unique children. To stay the course and run my own race I have goals that I set in many areas in my life. These goals help me run my race not just in parenthood but in day to day life as well.

Don’t Play the Comparison Game

Raising children in this crazy world is difficult enough on all of us to add the comparison game. The trick is that the world we live in thrives on the comparison game. All we have to do to be bombarded with this concept is to turn on our tv. It seeps into our lives and even our parenting.

I often catch myself playing the comparison game when I see children sitting completely still and quiet or a child who was potty trained at 1. That’s when my green jealousy monster tries to creep out. When does your green jealousy monster come out?

Let’s battle the comparison game together as a sisterhood. We were made for such a time as this. God made us for His purpose. God has us right where we are meant to be, so let’s bloom as the women God created us to be.

I choose to see uniqueness as beauty. How about you?

Don’t Judge

The only judge that truly matters, in the end, is the Heavenly Father, correct? So why do we try to give God and the mom we are shaming our opinions on any given subject? We hate to be judged so why are so quick to return the misfortune. Does the golden rule still exist in today’s world? Let’s revive it. Let’s join together as moms and sisters in motherhood to encourage and treat others the way we want to be treated. Who is with me?

“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success in will be how you treat other people- your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”

Barbara Bush (1925- 2018)

Let’s put an end to mom-shaming. Join the sisterhood of women who have been raised up and called blessed.

God bless mamas.