Breaking the Chains

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My husband and I have been taking a financial class together for the past few weeks. Today in the class we learned about breaking the bonds of debt. In Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor , and the borrower is servant to the lender. This was a huge eye opener for me. When we are in debt we are carrying chains around our necks. We have become slaves to the person or company that we borrowed from.

God doesn’t want this for us. He promises us a better life, life more abundantly! God wants to break all of the chains in our life, not just the chains of sin and death. He wants us to be FREE! In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The burden that God places on us is light. We don’t have to carry it alone. If we come to Him with our burdens and cast them on Him, He will carry the weight. All we have to do is believe His promises and use the resources that He gives us.

I just want to encourage you that if you are going through some tough times financially that this is not what your Heavenly Father has planned for you. He does have plans for you and they are to give you hope and a future. Lean on Him and trust His promises. Also, if you would like more info on the class we are attending, leave a comment and I will be glad to give you more information. I HIGHLY recommend this class. God’s peace be with you.

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New Year’s Resolutions

Every year, I make a new year’s resolution, that I won’t keep even a week after January 1st. This year, I want to try something different. This year instead of making a ridiculous list of lofty goals that I won’t accomplish I’m going to try having a theme for the year. So here we go. This year’s theme will be Healthier. This is a theme that I feel I can go several different directions with. 

1. Eating Healthier. My family could definitely benefit from eating healthier. We are always on the go at our house and eating healthy is not something that we have made a priority in our lives. This year that is something that I would like to change. 

2. Living Healthier. Recently we have been working on de-cluttering our home. With 2 kids and a very stressful schedule for the first few years of our marriage, we have some closets that need to be cleaned out. Also, in this category, is slowing down. Our home needs to be a place of rest, security, and peace. A place to get away from all the stress of the outside world and be with people we love in an environment we are comfortable with. I want for this year to be the year that our home is a place of peace. 

I could go on but from here it gets a little more personal than I care to share on the internet. 😉  If you themed your new year resolutions what would your theme be? 

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Loosing My Cool

I have had a really rough day today. I came home from work last night at midnight. I sat down on my couch, popped in a movie, and was no further than 10 mins in and my daughter came walking down the hallway. 

“What’s wrong?” 

“I too scared to sleep in my room.” 

“Do you want to sleep out here on the couch with me?”

“mmhhhmmm…”

That was the last time I thought I might actually have gotten sleep last night. She was up and down all night. 

“Mommy, don’t close your eyes. The bad guys will get me, Mommy.” 

“Mommy, I want to watch tv.”

“Mommy, I drink.”

This went on until about 2am. I finally fell asleep at 3:30am. At 6am my husband got up for work. My daughter is a really light sleeper. She pops her head up and says, “Mommy I up now, Mommy.” 

Ummmm… I don’t think so little girl. I’ve only gotten 2 1/2 hours of sleep. Absolutely not. I lay down in my bed. She lays down in my bed for about 3 mins and then she starts talking, and talking, and talking. She stands up on the bed and starts talking. “Lay down and go to sleep.” Jumping on the bed and talking. “Stop jumping, lay down and go to sleep.” Repeat cycle 5 more times. I’ve had enough. I take her to her room and tell her to go to sleep. I start to drift off and I hear my son, “Leave me alone. I’m trying to sleep. Go away.” I say to my daughter, “Get your little butt over here.” She runs down the hall.

“Did you wake up your brother?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Cause I just want to take a nap with him.” 

I convince my son to let her sleep in his room. It’s now 7am. I go back to sleep. 8am she wakes me up. For some reason, she has decided that all of her little chairs in her room and a good portion of her toys belong in my room. I make her clean it up and put stuff back in her room. She’s not happy. 

I make breakfast. I eat. The boy eats. The girl plays with her bacon and eats 3 bites of her eggs and claims to be full. I argue with her for a while that she needs to eat. Its hard to reason with a 2 year old. I give up. 

We go through our daily ritual of the boy and I trying to convince the girl she doesn’t need to watch Veggie Tales for the Zillionth time. We watch Veggie Tales anyway. Thankfully its one we haven’t seen this week. The boy and I start doing school work. We get through most of it. We’re both exhausted from the night with Lizzy so we call it a day and he goes on to clean his room aka, watch tv in his room unless I ask then he’s obviously cleaning. 

Nap time comes around. Thank goodness. The girl goes down pretty easily for her. Me and the boy watch a movie. Girl gets up. World War III commences. 

“Mommy, I hungy.”

“Mommy, I drink.”

“Mommy, I no wanna clean up my toys.”

And so the day goes on. I put the boy in bed tonight and he tells me, “Mommy, you just need to be good tomorrow.” “What does that mean?” I ask. 

“Mommy, you just don’t need to be so crabby tomorrow.” 

“If you and your sister promise to not argue and just do what I tell you tomorrow, then I promise not to be so crabby.” 

We pinky promise. Hope that tomorrow goes better. 

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How To Not Prosper

     I was listening to some TobyMac today, a little bit of a throw back. My brother and I used to listen to Toby all the time when we were teens. We’ve been hanging out a lot more lately, thus the feeling of nostalgia. As I was listening, a song came on my iPod titled, “Lose My Soul”. I never really cared for this song. I always felt that it was a little cliche and just too worship songy. I don’t know it just never sounded, I guess, “cool” enough for me.

     Anyway, all of that is completely irrelevant. So, I heard this song and there was a line that stuck out to me. It said, “We preach about prosperity but the first thing that should prosper should be inside of me.” That hit me like a ton of bricks. It seems that so many times we hear in church about if we’re faithful God will bless us, if we pay our tithes God will bless us, if we give to the poor God will bless us. And all this is true, God will bless us. But I don’t think this whole thing works the way that everyone thinks it works. The problem with telling people that they will be blessed if they do such and such or so and so is that their focus immediately shifts from doing it to bring glory to God’s name, or to further Christ’s Kingdom, or to deepen their relationship with God, to an attitude of “well, God will bless me and I want that so I’m going to work towards that now.” I don’t care how much you tell people that they shouldn’t be working to get something from God as soon as you tell them that the reason that they should endure the trial is because God will bless them, you’ve shifted the focus.

     From my limited point of view it seems that the people that actually are blessed by God are the ones who do what they do for God’s glory and then one day they wake up and they see God’s blessing all around them. If you think that God’s blessing is something you can work towards then we end up with the problem of a works based faith. I’m not saying God won’t bless you, He will but I think it’s very different than most of us have been conditioned to think. So, keep your heart and motives pure and your focus on God and all these things will be added unto you. 

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When Mamma’s Not Happy…

I have been observing my 2 year old for a few days now and have come to the conclusion that she is a clone of me. She has been SUPER grumpy lately. Like the kind of grumpy that I really can not even stand to be around her for very long before I want her to go away for a while. This is how I know that she is just like me. Every morning, my kids wake up and most mornings its before I would like to. If they wake up before my alarm goes off and I haven’t had a cup of coffee, my whole morning is thrown off and I am terribly grumpy. I grump around the house and my fuse is so short I might go off before the fuse is even lit. Its NOT GOOD! But eventually I’ll get my coffee and have a little bit of quiet time while the kids eat breakfast.

My little Lizzy, however, my sweet, beautiful, amazing little girl, does not eventually calm down. She is everything but a joy to be around for the rest of the day. She has a short temper with her brother, she’s strong willed against me, doesn’t matter what I want her to do she wants to do the opposite, she gets angry at her toys for no reason, and she is not a pleasant person to hang out with. You see, when I woke up earlier than I wanted to and was all grumpy, I set the tone of my house, the tone of my children. Yes, yes, yes. Everyone is responsible for their own attitude but I don’t need to contribute to the negative side, especially for my littles who are so small they don’t understand what an attitude is much less how to control it.

When I was all grumpy and irritable I set my will against God. If I wasn’t supposed to wake up earlier than I had planned then my darling children wouldn’t have woken up earlier than normal. I was all grumpy because God said, “Get up!” and I said, “No! I want to go to sleep!”. When I didn’t get to play with my toys and check my facebook in peace and quiet, I got all crazy mad at my computer and had a very short temper with my children. This is exactly who my daughter becomes when I’m acting like a crazy person in the mornings. It has come to my attention then that the old saying is true and no one in my house is happy when I’m irritated and upset over small things I didn’t have control over.

That’s when I have to give it all back to God and say I’m letting you have control of my day. If this is the time you have set for me to get up today then I will be thankful that I am able to get up and didn’t pass in my sleep or wake up in a hospital with a disease or disability. I will be thankful that I have children who wake me up and that I have had the privilege of someone calling me mommy and they are in good health and are happy kids who want to see their mom first thing in the morning. I will be glad that you have given me the extra time to spend with my kids, to take care of my family, and to do your work. I’m still not a morning person but by remembering how blessed I am to be woken up early I set a better tone for the day and a better example to my kids. Hopefully this encourages some poor mother out there who is not getting enough sleep or is feeling burned out by the day to day grind or both.   

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The “Children’s” Church

Yesterday morning, I was sitting in church with my littles. They are ALWAYS so squirmy and a HUGE distraction. I do all the normal mom stuff and bring snacks for them and some quiet toys and books to keep them busy and quiet so they aren’t fighting over the hymnals or Bibles that are provided in the pews. Yesterday, my daughter was sitting on my lap actually being quiet while we were singing a song. A few people stood up during the song and started to clap. Then my little 2 got the great idea that she needed to stand up too. I knew this would be a disaster. My general rule is if I can get them to sit still its best if nothing in the service changes or they ask for congregation participation because as soon as my two move they are next to impossible to get to sit still again. 

I didn’t want her to stand up. I wanted her to sit still. I didn’t want her to clap her hands. I wanted her to be quiet. I didn’t want her to enjoy the service. I wanted to enjoy the service. Why can’t we both enjoy the service? Why can’t she just sit still and listen to the pastor and be quiet?

Then it hit me. What in the world am I doing? I’m teaching my kids that church is this awful place that you have to sit still at and you can’t do anything. You just sit and listen. It doesn’t matter how much you want to participate and get something out of the service, you need to quench that spirit and sit still so everyone else can enjoy the service. That is just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Little kids are treated as these little inconveniences. We need to be treating little kids like our guests. Little kids don’t know what church is about or how to behave “properly”. They’re more like people that have never set foot in a church. If a complete stranger were to walk into the doors of our church and tell us they had never been to a church before, would we expect them to know how they were expected to act? Of course not. We would be patient with them and assuming they kept coming back we would encourage them to participate and be an example of the kind of behavior that is expected. 

Now this is not to excuse little kids or their parents from teaching them how to act in church, but I think we need to try to be more patient with them. Give them the benefit of the doubt sometimes that they don’t know what they are or aren’t supposed to be doing at that moment. Most of the time when my kids act up I try to explain to them what’s going on and why they need to be quiet. I’ll tell them, “we have to be quiet while the pastor is speaking so everyone can hear what he’s trying to say.” or let them know its time to pray and we need to fold our hands and either pray or be quiet while others are praying. 

So, next time you’re in church and your little one starts squirming and you start getting frustrated with them just remember that you are not trying to get them to be quiet, you are trying to teach them what it means to be respectful in God’s house. 

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Homeschooling and Sick Days

So, I haven’t exactly been my best lately. Been coming down with a cold for a couple of days and its been making me really sleepy and grouchy. I can’t even get along with some of my friends right now let alone deal with my 2 year old, who is having her own set of issues with dealing with her temper and self-centeredness. That being said, today sounded like the perfect day to have one of those “teachers get sick days so why can’t homeschool moms get sick days” that I’ve been told we get to have. So, I basically didn’t prepare anything for school today. I plan my lessons for each week at the end of the week before so everything was written up and ready to go but I had no intentions of doing any kind of school work. I was prepared to lay around on the couch all day and watch The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the millionth time until the kids took their naps. Then, I was going to take a nap myself before I had to go to work at 5pm.

Well, as can be expected, that did not happen. We ate breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen and then I sat around on the couch for a while trying to drink my morning cup of Joe and catch up on the news. Then my 4 year old asks me if we can do his handwriting. I can’t hardly say no to that. I remember my brother doing handwriting and we practically had to duck tape him to the chair to get him to do it. So if my son WANTS to do hand writing, looks like we’re doing handwriting no matter how sick I am.

We do handwriting. A few minutes later, he wants to do his book work. I really don’t want to do book work. I want to pass out on the couch and the littles just sit quietly in their rooms cleaning them or playing with their toys quietly. This isn’t going to happen and I know I shouldn’t damper his spirit for school work. So, we do our book work.

About a half-hour after that he says to me, “Mommy, I love school. Can we do more school today?”

OH MY! I think a light switch just went off! MY kid LOVES school!!! This is fantastic! I know it probably won’t last. Which is exactly why I need to cultivate it now. It made me so happy to hear him say that. The whole point of school isn’t to teach you the three R’s or to learn a bunch of useless history dates or do experiments that you will only do the one time in school (although most of that is necessary for normal child development). The whole point is to teach a child a love for learning, a love of gaining knowledge, and how to fill up that little brain of theirs with the answers to all of the questions they have floating around in there. Teach that learning is AWESOME! That to learn something that they didn’t know before is a joy, not a burden.

So, dear mammas if you’re out there and you need some encouragement, just know that when you least expect it, God will send you some encouragement to get through the day.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.        Matthew 11:28

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