Stop and Refocus

When I sat down to have my quiet time this morning, I looked at my Bible study book and just couldn’t pick it up.  So after a little prayer, I began getting the kiddos working on their lessons for the day.  I really felt God wanting me to stop and refocus.  Not exactly what I wanted to do this morning.

Here’s a little insight…

Ok, so we’re working to get settled in.  Unpacking is just as much fun as the packing was. Moving-Homes-The-Unpacking-Nightmare-700x466I’m honestly, OVER seeing boxes everywhere.  But, unpacking and living in a place at the same time makes it slow-going.  That’s ok.  It really is.  But, here’s what happened over the past few days.  The hubby has started officially at the church.  He’s keeping regular office hours (and not just across the parking lot), so he’s not around during schooling hours if I need a little assistance.  (That’s really ok, too.)  I, however, during this transition have not been as diligent in keeping the Enemy out of my thought life.  That’s a very dangerous thing!  Little unpacking has been accomplished this week.  All of my time has been spent schooling & cleaning.  (I mean, you have to clean if you are going to live in a place…even if it isn’t unpacked.)  Insert LOTS of frustration over not being able to find items needed for cleaning.  More frustration over being interrupted by children needing assistance while I was looking for missing items needed for the cleaning task I was involved in.  Dishes. Laundry. Creating a home atmosphere. Sweeping. Vacuuming. Dishes. Laundry. Trip over a box. (Did I break my toe?) Try to develop a cleaning/shopping routine.  Realize it doesn’t work.  Try again.  Redirect kiddos back to school.  Etc. Etc. & repeat.

During all of this, the Enemy is whispering: “You are going to have to do this all by yourself.”  “Look at them all, playing around & not helping at all.”  “You’re never going to get anything accomplished.”   See where he was taking me?  UGH!!

Insert God saying “STOP!” “My daughter, I need you to refocus!”

Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: “Many women are capable but you surpass them all!” Proverbs 31:25-29 (HCSB)

He directed me to read and meditate on Proverbs 31, again.  I love my Abba for times like this!  Sure, I may get overwhelmed at times, but I don’t have to listen to the Enemy’s lies.  As long as I recognize them, I can rebuke them.  God created me for the purpose of “watching over” my household.  That doesn’t mean I have to do it all myself, but I do have to delegate responsibilities & ask for assistance when needed.

Why do we, as women, make things SO much more difficult than they need to be?  ;)

May I encourage you, sister, if you are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged with simply everyday life, take some time to stop and refocus.  Pray.  Listen to God.  Obey Him.  Maybe read through Proverbs 31. (And please don’t feel that you EVER have to live up to her example.) Be inspired by her!  Be encouraged by her!  God created you for a beautiful purpose!

Be blessed!

-De

Terrifyingly Exciting

How’s that for a title?  Seriously, though, God has brought us down a path over the past 6 months that is both very exciting and completely terrifying.

Where to start…

How about here:  About a year ago, at a women’s conference, I first heard the song Oceans.  You know the one.  I was so moved by it…literally moved to tears.  I wanted God to do that kind of work in me.  I wanted to not fear His will, whatever that may be.  I wanted to be willing to go wherever He called.  So, I began to make that my prayer.  Every time I would hear the song, I would make it my hearts cry.  God kept it on my mind and in my heart.  I would find myself singing it at random times, my heart’s prayer.

Fast-forward several months, late summer I believe, all I know for sure is that I was in the throws of a “Who Do You Think You Are?” season and totally in my genealogy state of mind.  My sweet hubby comes in one afternoon and asks me, “How close is Kershaw, South Carolina to where your ancestors are from?”  *Insert nerdy squeee*  Um, my great-grandfather was born there!!  Then he tells me that he’s been contacted by a church there.  Excitement ebbs a bit and terror takes over.

*God, that’s SOOO far from our family!*

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown, where feet may fail

Deuteronomy 13.4Well, that’s all it is for several months.  My husband and I purpose to consistently pray for God’s will over our family & His church.  God revealed to my hubby two very specific tasks to complete at our current church.  Not easy tasks mind you, many nights of prayer went into these.  It was very difficult for him at times, but I love my man of God, he faithfully followed.  Here’s the most awesome thing…the morning after he finished the final of the two tasks, the church called him again.  (God doesn’t play games guys.  He is full of awesome!)  It was a serious call, a we’d love to talk more in depth call.  A terrify this little girl to the core call.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed, and You won’t start now

So, we began the task of SUPER heavy prayer (with the addition of a few faithful prayer warriors) and conversations.  You’d think by this point in my life, and through all the things God has brought us through, I’d have no fears with following Him with blind faith…WRONG.  This little mommy is a worrier!  This southern belle is really a home body!  This planning girl doesn’t like for things to be “up in the air” or unknown.  (You’d also think I’d know by now that God doesn’t work like me.)    Ministry at the intersection of one place and another is HARD, I’m not going to lie.  If you are serious at all about loving and working for Jesus, you can’t just “check-out” from your current ministry home.  Things still need to be done.  Things still need to be planned and organized…even when you know you aren’t going to be the one to see it through.  I can’t even begin to accurately describe how hard that is.  My emotions have been a roller-coaster.  But, I know God’s holding us in His hands.

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine

And now, after many months (and I must confess, a Gideon prayer or two) God has finished the task of preparing us for His work in a new place.  We are going, with full faith in Him, to South Carolina.  We are excited to see the work He has for our family there.  Our hearts continue to pray for His church here, I know He has amazing plans for His precious people here.  Change is always difficult, but it can so often be a wonderful thing, especially when it is ordained by the Creator.  Commit yourselves to Him!  Follow Him without fear and question!  It’s terrifyingly exciting!

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Be blessed!
-De

A Prayer for This Christmas

Father above,

As I sit this morning, coffee in hand, to catch up on the news of the world, all my mind can think is how badly we need to cry out to You.  Our world is lost and crumbling without You. Forgive us in this Season of Holiness.  Forgive us for our lack of holiness.  Forgive us for abandoning You.

Break our hearts for You, Father.

I close my eyes and see Your perfect love…

In a tiny little stablearts-graphics-film_1189811a
So very far from home
You gave up Your throne in glory
For a humble bed of hay
You put Yourself in the care
Of simple mortal men
To allow Yourself to learn and grow
To fully understand
How broken and in need of You
Our world truly is
You taught us faith and showed us love
As You walked upon this land
You endured our pain and took our place
While shamed upon that cross

Father, give us each Your eyes to see through during this Christmas season.  Let us not see with the hate of the world, but with Your unconditional love for all of mankind.  Give us Your wisdom and desire to pray.  Pray like we’ve never prayed before.  Prayers for a lost world to come to You.  Prayers for wisdom to show Your love to those who need to see & experience You.

Help us focus on You!  Rejoice in You, for You are worthy of so much more than we can give!  Remind us to praise You on Christmas morning for Your greatest gift and abundant blessings!

Amen

If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Merry Christmas & Be Blessed

-De

Take Off Those Steel-Toed Boots

2_timothy_3_16_by_treybacca-d5vmg7vBut as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2Timothy 3:14-17 HCSB

Preface: This verse actually popped up in my children’s lesson a few Wednesday nights ago.  That set it rolling around in my brain.  God has had it on simmer for the past weeks, allowing me to draw some amazing things from it.  Speaking its lessons to my heart.

How often do you wear your “steel-toed boots” to church?  You know what I mean…the imaginary armor you put on after a few weeks of the preacher’s words stepping on your toes.  It’s so easy to become exhausted of sermons stomping our toes into the ground.  You may even be tempted to ask your pastor to give your toes a break once and a while.  Ever been there?  I have.

You know what friend?  Don’t be tempted to ask your pastor to “tickle your ears.”  There are warnings against that.  Paul specifically warns Timothy of this just a few verses later:

I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom:  Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.  They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:1-5

Prayerfully, if your pastor is truly seeking God’s will, he/she will not listen to your counsel anyway.

We are human. We don’t like to be told we’re wrong in any way.  It hurts.  It makes us uncomfortable.  It often makes us angry.  We may want to lash out.  We may want to withdraw.  There are many ways we respond to rebuke or correction.

When your pastor or teachers are teaching the Words of God in truth*, friends they fulling God’s will for them.  If those words from scripture stomp on your sensitive toes…LET IT!  That usually means that you need it.  I know that is the case with me.  When something my hubby preaches just pierces me to the core, I know it’s time to get with God and do a check-up!  (Not always willingly…I have been known to throw a toddler tantrum or two.)

God’s truth can hurt as well as encourage.  I’ve heard messages in the past that I found incredibly encouraging only to be told by a friend how much it stomped her toes, and vice versa.

Let’s take those old steel-toed boots and toss them in the trash!  Let’s allow God’s Word to pierce our hearts and stomp our toes!  Only then, when we’ve been taught, rebuked, corrected, & trained will we be complete & equipped for the work He has prepared for us.

Be blessed!

-De

*Please be aware that there are “teachers” and “pastors” who do not teach the Word in truth but in twisted versions of the scriptures.  I encourage you to study the scriptures & hold them accountable.

Being Crafted

DeAnna:

God brought this blog post back to my heart last night. Reminding me of it’s meaning and not only its personal implications, but also those that are for His church. He is refining all within His body of believers. Church, allow Him. He is the Master Craftsman.

Originally posted on Jesusfreak Mommy:

Over the past several years, like many, I’ve had spiritual ups and downs.  This is how it goes it seems.

I’ve talked with several people about the struggles of being a Christian.  For some strange reason, many in the world have the idea in mind that being a Christian is a life filled with ease.  (HA!)  Being a Christian is more like a process of being hand crafted by the Maker of the world from a rough hunk of rock into His perfect vision.

Now think about that a few minutes.  What must the Craftsman do to achieve His vision?

First, He begins break away all the excess.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

What part of that process sounds easy?  Imagine His tools…

Nothing about this…

View original 380 more words

Pastor Appreciation from Your Spouse and Children

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As October draws to a close & with it the end of Pastor Appreciation Month, I felt led to compile a little thank you to pastors from their families.

As spouses and children of pastors, we see a completely different side to your ministry.  (Thanks to all the ministry wives & children who helped me compose this.)

To our pastor,

Thank you for being not only our pastor but the foundation builder of our home.  To some of us, you are our very best friend & spouse.  To others, our father & friend.

Thank you for modeling servanthood to us.  Although we may sometimes become frustrated when you work long hours, we appreciate you showing us a model of sacrifice to minister to the body of Christ.

Thank you for allowing us to see your discerning heart as you choose to speak or remain silent as you interact with the church.

Thank you for coming home to us with a smile and grace after seemingly endless hours of meetings.

Thank you for being a constant for us through the transitions and relocations that ministry can bring, even though you may be struggling silently while comforting and reassuring us without fail.

Thank you for modeling fasting and prayer for us as we see you diligently seek after God’s will in His church and the messages He has given you to deliver.

Thank you for the deep compassion and care you model for us on those many sleepless nights that the church will never see.

We know you endure so many things.  We know you are easily the target for so many who are hurting.  We see your pain.

We see so many things that no one else ever will.

And we love you so much more than you will ever know.

Thank you!

**Father in heaven, we truly do thank You for our pastors.  We pray that You will continue to lead and guide them in Your perfect way.  We pray that You will give them Your vision for the church.  We ask that You will strengthen us to give them the encouragement, support, and unconditional love they so need.  Send them mentors, encouragers, and most of all friendships that will help them grow in You.  Amen. **

Be blessed!

-De

(Special thanks to Bro. Joe McKeever for allowing use of his awesome artwork.  Thank for your wonder pastor heart & for being such a wonderful encourager of our pastors.)

A Much Needed Getaway

When you are a family in ministry, family time is a VERY important thing! We were very blessed to take a family vacation this month, and not just any little vacation, a magical vacation for this family of Disney addicts. ;)  A wonderful week of disconnecting ourselves from the world (aka cell phones were only for trying to reach each other in the park, the “do not disturb” function is a beautiful thing), and enjoying our family.

Here are a few of my favorite memories:

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We opted for the Memory Maker package on this trip, and I really loved it. That allowed my hubby to concentrate on videos (notice his camcorder in almost every pic) for our video scrapbook. :) It’s such a cool way to document our family time. He even let the kids take his old camera & capture videos from their point of view, aka “Kid Cam”.  I’ll share a few segments of it when he’s done editing it.

Be blessed & enjoy your family!

Disney Signature