Author Archives: Christy

Breaking the fear of “Letting Go…” -Letting Go series Part 1

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We all have fears… fears of mice, snakes, and spiders, perhaps.  There are many outward fears that may stir our senses into spine-chilling dread.  In the still, small quiet of the world, inward fears will creep into our everyday lives… sometimes unnoticed, sometimes earth-shattering to our souls.  This ‘letting go’ series is one that has been on my heart since the New Year has begun.  I know that each day brings new fears and new overcoming to behold.  This short series is meant to help do just that… letting go of what entangles us.

Hebrews 12:1  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

This verse has become my focus for this year as it continues to ring through my mind and indwelling into the depths of my heart.  I thought this “Letting Go” series would be perfect to chalk it up and clean it up!

The start of this blog is first and foremost a huge “letting go” moment for me.  I have prayed and written, stayed up late on my knees and journaled, cried out and begged for “the perfect plan” for this blog.  With great grace from God, I am set free to “just write,” as my Pastor/Writer husband says.  What are our fears of starting with a clean slate, something new, a creative outlet… a canvas never painted before with an off-color palate.   We often think we do not have the right starting blocks, the perfect foundation, all our ducks in a row beforehand… and never start at all… or never finish at all.  Days, months, years, decades later, here we are with the same bounding passions and ne’er a path to run them.

As this passage whispers hope into the ears of the seeking soul, start where you are… with what you have… with all that is within you.  This brings glory to a Great God.  The fears that ‘entangle’ us just may be the fears that catapult you and others into a renewed, profound realm of freedom with your relationship with our Creator, the one, true and living God.

What entangles you?  What has helped you to overcome past fears?  What has resulted from simply ‘Letting Go’ and letting God have complete control of the reins of your life?    Please share if you would like that we may all ‘run with endurance the race set before us.’

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Living…through the pain.

tears-eyes-16143904-500-368So recently, there has been some sort of injury that has seemingly turned everything upside down in our house… Mommy’s down. Yikes! I have had some sort of back injury involving a disc out of place, a pelvis that continues to shift out of line, and all the muscles and tendons therin attached. It has been extremely painful to say the least.  We are in the beginning stages of our fifth pregnancy, so pain meds are just not an option.  Here we go with insanely cold ice packs, trying to relax through the pain, countless chiropractor visits, and all the fun from keeping it all going from the recliner!

It is a tough place to be when you really just cannot move much at all on your own.  Thankfully, my husband has  big, strong, beefy muscles and really can lift me up and down as we need him to.  Yeah!  The tough part is that although our children really do well on their current routine of a regular homeschool day, they are still pretty young and rely on Mommy moving about to make it all happen.  Daddy has stepped in to take over, and I have had to try to relax, really not look at the small stuff, and find peace in the midst of what could  be utterly disastrous if I was super OCD about how things were going.  It is just going to be okay, I have figured and my back is doing so much better now.  I am not back to what it was before, but making a gradual comeback!  Lookout! There are so many things that race through your mind as you sit, and ponder, and try to make the best of any situation.

Choosing to be joyful.  Choosing to look forward.  Choosing to embrace the time we have… together on the couch, reading books, doing all kinds of arts and craft projects, peek-a-boo and other lap games, and just many have-to-sit- and-do-it kinds of things you can do with your family.  I have learned so much from this experience the past three weeks.

1. There are times when you just have to rely on others.  What a blessing to serve (and to be served).

My neighbor came up to my rescue once when I thought I was ready to venture it all by myself… so thankful, yet it can be so humbling.

2. Children really, really can do so much more than we give them credit.  Above and beyond their usual chorelists and simple tasks, they really stepped up to the plate to help with 1 yr. old baby brother and everything else that was needing to be done. So thankful for our active 8, 5, and 3, and 1 year old helpers.

3.  It really is okay to not have to be up “doing” stuff all the time.  It is so peaceful and needed to just truly “Be still and know that God is God.”  He does His job perfectly without me.

4.  Everything doesn’t have to “look” like I think it should anyways.  It is really okay to focus on other things and not always sweeping, mopping, picking up, and focusing on how things look.  It is okay to just ‘be’ the family you want to be without stressing the ‘look.’

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Spending Wisely, Living Fully…

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My husband and I are currently working on a new spending plan.  More on this later as we move through it as to how it is working and what needs tweaking:)

We live in the day when it seems like the more one has or the bigger brand names on has, the happier one must be.  There can be such deception in this way of thinking for various reasons.  It is our human nature to desire ‘more’.  “More of what?” is the question we must ask ourselves.  Do we want more attention, more love, more stuff, more peace… what truly brings our hearts desire in fulfillment.  For the Christian, Psalm 63:5 states,  “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”  This verse shares with us that our true fulfillment is in God, and in Him alone.  There is nothing outside of Him that will truly bring us happiness.  It is this relationship with our Creator that brings us true fulfillment.

How do we spend wisely in order to live fully?  Here are a few questions to ask ourselves when budgeting your personal finances.

1. Does our spending habits reflect our priorities? This is HUGE!  Write down a list or your priorities and see if they match up with what your spending your hard-earned money on.  This can help in so many ways.

2. Are we bringing God honor in the way we are spending our money? Are we spending our money in ways that honor God? Look at the clothes we buy, the entertainment dollars, the way we tithe, sacrificially give, and help others in need.  Are these areas we could devote more of our finances in?

3. Are we able to pay cash for our purchases? There are times of emergency and times when borrowing may be our only option, but if the only way we can purchase that new outfit or new purse is to charge it, then we may not be able to afford it this month.  Budgeting wisely helps so much in this way.  We are currently working on this, and it can be so tough when there is a killer sale going on, and there is not a budget for it!  Yikes!

4.  Are we having to work overtime to buy those “wanted” things which costs us precious time with our loved ones? Sometimes, it is inevitable to work overtime during certain seasons of our lives, like when a medical emergency arrives or we are simply trying to get back up on our feet.  We must determine in our minds, that it is only for a season. There is so much to be said for living simpler and spending time with your family during such short seasons of life.

Just a few questions to think about as we journey together toward a healthier family budget in order to live a more full and happy life!

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How to rejoice when you just don’t ‘feel’ like rejoicing…

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 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. – Philippians 4:4

The dishes are screaming your name with every bit of breakfast earlier, late night chips and salsa, and maybe even a sippy cup found under the couch.  You just don’t feel like rejoicing.  The laundry has made its grande debut in the washroom, as the children have faithfully done their chores, but now it’s your turn.  You just don’t feel like rejoicing. Bags and shoes, diaper bags and others have made their way into the entrance of what is supposed to be your house from weekend travels. Happy Monday!  You just don’t feel like rejoicing.  Yesterday’s Church services and gatherings have left you exhausted, and … well, you get the picture.

We’ve all been there, or at least we are all there at various times and seasons of our  lives.  We just have to face it, there are going to be some busy weekends, and with several small children and even the most intentional-pared-down-schedule you can have may still find you not feeling the rejoicing thing at times.  Maybe it is other circumstances like financial struggles or health diagnoses.  It may be other life tragedies and events that leave you not desiring to rejoice in the Lord. There are several things you can do to help this situation.

1. Realize that you are not alone. 

Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” In our circumstance, we know that we are never alone… no matter what we feel!  Isn’t that the beautiful thing about knowing Jesus.  We are truly never alone.

2. Be content with what we have.

The above verse also shares a very important concept that we all forget sometimes… discontentment. Knowing that He has taken care of us in the past and will continue to take care of us despite what it may seem should bring great joy to our hearts.  The greatest thing that I have found to practice contentment is to keep a thankful journal of all the many, many gifts we’ve been given.  They are too numerous to count!  I have a simple, leather journal in which my youth girls Sunday School class and I write down a list of the gifts in our lives every week.  This is a simple, yet perfect way to remind yourself that we truly are blessed!

3.  Seek God first.

Matthew 6:33  says But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Pray and ask God to help you first thing in the morning.  This is a must-do  in a busy, distracting world.  It is so easy to lose focus on why we are doing something anyway.  God will bring the strength and direction to complete the task or the discernment to follow through with a decision before you.

4.  Know that the Joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:10 shares, Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  What tremendous release and refreshing that we have, knowing the God is the one who must muster up and give us the strength to take the next step.  We do not even have to try to have it all figured out, He  is God.  That is what He does.  We are just supposed to trust and walk in His light!

I hope this helps when facing a day like we started out with.  So, hopefully by know you’ve turned on that favorite praise music, passed out the chore list, and started to dance like David all across that freshly mopped floor!  Yeah, Rejoice in the Lord!

 

 

 

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A REAL faith

It has all started with a prayer… a long time ago.  You know one of those things that kept rolling in your head, but never got rolling on the ground.  I mean continuously rolling in your head. I just seemed to not have the right this or that, and who needs the just right this or that?  If you really look at life, there never seems to be the perfect time to start a new project, or a new blog!  There are many reasons to do so, and there just always seemed to be something more pressing… like a baby to change, a cheerio spill, or a school bell to ring!  Guess what? There are still all of those things happening in my life. I don’t know what’s happening in yours, but there’s always an interruption, right… or is it?  These are the moments cherished, the life specks that give us our true character, our real selves, our purpose and meaning to it all.

Life interrupted could mean life as it is supposed to be for you and I, because no matter who you are or where or when you lay your head, we all have a dream, a plan, and a purpose.  Somewhere along the way, there are interruptions or detours that don’t look like the picture we’ve painted, but  there is so much more to see in the final masterpiece that we just do not see.  God does.  He sees it all, has created it all, and most importantly, He is ultimately in control of it all, so why do we still fret the little things?  Hopefully, this site will help to bring the REAL in your faith as we meet face-to-face with REAL circumstances, REAL to-do lists, and a REAL Jesus who makes sense of it all.

 

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