A place of encouragement:

Living By Faith, Walking in the Light, Saved By His Amazing Grace

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

As The Fog Rolls Back, Will You Choose To See The Beauty?

Sun has risen but you can't tell through the fog and yet there is still light. It rounds out the shadows and pulls figures out 3-D. It's quiet and the fog is heavy and thick in the air.
 Another morning to pull back the covers and rise to start a new day. Yesterday is gone with all it's laughter,and emotional outbursts. Heavy with apologies, hugs and kisses. Laced with memories all tied up, waiting to be untied again someday.
 And I grab and hold on tight to this very moment while I'm alone with Him. I ask him to give me GRACE for the moments I try so hard to push away and yet they still find a crack to creep on in through . I ask Him to fill my day with wonder  as I take the time to delight in their eyes and watch them live and breathe another day. I'm thankful He chose to bring the morning in this way, all sleepy eyed and slow. I watch as He rolls the fog back like a blanket to reveal the beauty He so graciously paints everyday. And I'm in awe as I remember this life and all that it holds...........

 When I slip up and act like a child, forgive me. When I'm selfish and begin to believe it's all about me, forgive me and show me the way. And like the heavy fog rolls back to reveal the day wont you please reveal the path I should be taking instead of the path I'm tempted to take?......
This Mama Journey isn't easy but it's filled with Joy's and triumphs even more than the struggles we so often find our selves swallowed up in. And it's in talking to Him and trusting Him that you feel the warmth of the Son  burn away the heaviness of the day as He is refining me........you?

I can tell you that these moments, the really hard, heavy moments of being their Mama they don't last near as long as it feels like when your in the midst of it all. I can tell you your gonna look back and wonder what all the fussing was about. I can tell you because I'm looking into the eyes of a girl and a boy who are now 14 and 16. and I've had my days all turned up side down and many days I still struggle, but as I watch them grow into young adults I sit back in amazement and remember how God had a hand in it all. I've had so many people tell me that "the terrible twos are dreadful" and to be honest I really enjoyed that time. I'm really enjoying this time. And they would say "if you think that's bad wait til the teenage years they are even worse." but I gotta tell you I'm really enjoying them!

It all depends on how you want to see it. You have a choice.....You can see it all thick and heavy like the fog covering all that is beautiful or you can see the Son slowly bringing out the beauty....Yes it's hard work! Nothing that's worth the price of a soul is easy.

And you were called to be their MAMA there is no higher calling. There is no job harder than the shaping of little souls....Oh, but how priceless are the moments all wrapped up in ribbon waiting to be untied someday......

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Loving Conviction

When the mundane tends to fill your days and the laundry buries your joy, there is always a way out. When lazy bones take over and the "why should I bother?" moments settle in, don't forget to look out and look up.
Because so soon does the full moon rise and another day is done. Your going to wonder where it went.....Every precious moment. Yes,  even the teary eyed, scream all day, mess after mess moments....I promise, you will want to find your Joy during these struggles.
It isn't any joy that a night out with the girls can fix, or a shopping spree in an afternoon can cure. Those things, they quickly fade and leave you burning and wanting all the wrong things more. Wanting to leave your home and your babies more.......This Joy can only be found in Him. If you ask, He will show you how to keep your joy in the midst of your "day after day" routine. When you think what you do and who you are doesn't really matter He's there to prove you wrong.........And you will find that you will want more of Him and His unconditional Love that illuminates your soul.

Right now your most important roles are being a devoted, supportive wife to your husband and a loving Mama to your children. There is no higher calling. For you were called to support your man and mold little souls. No one else can fill your shoes.....no one else should!

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't have your girlfriend time. What I am saying is that you shouldn't let it consume you. Always thinking when the next escape can be planned. It will soon rob you of who you were called to be and will surely keep from your priorities.

There is Joy in becoming the daughter God wants you to strive to be. There is true intimacy with the very word of life. The more you search, the more you reach out, the more He gives back and the more you will understand your roles as a wife and a Mama. And the more you will find comfort in knowing who God has called you to be. All the more, you will keep your JOY!

And if you struggle with wanting more "me time", may I make a suggestion?  Get involved in your church. Find women your age who are going through the same struggles. You may even want to find an older woman to mentor you. God wants us to meet together, to spur one another on in goodness and love. Take advantage of women's bible studies and mother, daughter teas. Most of the time they will have child care so you can break away for that hour or two but, still have your babies close by. Ask what is available for the Mama's of the church. You may be pleasantly surprised.

It's important to be with the flock when things seem like they are falling apart around you.....And to know your not the only one with the same feelings or struggles. That there are women who have been there and done that.

I love the group of women that God has chosen to surround me with through out the years. And I'm so very thankful for the ones who have chosen to stay by my side.

 And I remember as a young Mama how thankful I was for the women who took me by the hand, gave me a hug and loved me through those every day mundane,screaming, messy moments. (And there are still moments I struggle at trying to be their Mama.)  But what really helped me the most is when they would quote God's Scripture to me.......Loving Conviction will get me every time!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Grace And A Long Way To Go

As He hung there on the cross, the crowds mocking Him, He speaks 10 little words that have more power than tens of hundreds of words. And as I read them again and again it hits hard and pierces deep into my soul.....
I've read it before, I've heard it over and over.  I'm always amazed when He meets me right where I am. Right here in the midst of a troubled heart and actions done all wrong.

"Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34

Forgiveness for things done unaware.....And He had it down to a perfection. To the point where He could forgive the very men putting Him to death. The very crowd mocking Him.

And me sitting here in the comfort of my home thinking one should know better. Thinking one knows what he's doing by his actions too offensive.......

Then my man comes to me and says what I should already know...."But Kimmy, he wasn't brought up the way you and I were. How is he to know what is expected of him?"  I can be stubborn....I was born with a stubborn streak. But I've learned that in the midst of my streaks that I can still  have an open heart, an open mind. When my man thinks I'm not listening....I really am. I tell him I don't believe it. One always knows right from wrong......Don't they?

And right now I'm contemplating my own harsh actions. My very own unforgiving feelings and I ask the Lord to forgive me......Because I know what I've been doing and I did it anyway..........

That's the  most amazing thing about His grace.....He forgives those that are unaware of their actions just the same as He forgives the ones well aware of what they are doing.

Father, I now know it has been my heart that needed molding. It was my heart that needed opening. This adventure turned all wrong has turned out all RIGHT for your GLORY.....And I pray I never feel that I have arrived to the point where I don't have any more room to grow....To learn....To be stretched and molded. And I'm thankful for your unending GRACE. And just when I thought I have completely comprehended what GRACE is, what it means, what it does, I find I have a long way to go......

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Walk Is Not Your Walk

Your life is  unique. Created and planned out according to His will. And what others say you should be, may not be what He wants you to be. For you are apart of His plan, not theirs.

I've seen people of all walks of life and have been tempted to judge and criticize and to be honest I have judged and put them under a microscope......And at times I believe I have all the answers when in reality I have no clue.

My walk is not your walk. I believe I have been called to be a stay at home Mama to 5 precious beings. To homeschool and serve my family to the best of my ability. To love and adore the man that God has given me. And I will not force my walk on any one but, I'm here to give advice and to let you know what has worked for us. And please know you are free to pick and choose what advice you believe to be the best for you.....And I understand that you may not agree with me at all, but I'm good with that. I understand. I'm not the one you should be turning to anyway......I just want you to know I am here for you and this is my walk that God has chosen for me.

I'm a believer that children are a true blessing from our almighty God and they should be cherished and loved and not looked upon as a chore or something that has gotten in your way and complicated your life.  I believe if you ask God to give you a heart for children and you are faithful to Him, He will go above and beyond your expectations.

My walk is not your walk. But I believe that if you have made the decision to have children and God has chosen to graciously bless you with children, then you are called to give it your all. Because those precious souls need nurturing, attention, guidance and care. They were placed in your hands not someone else's. Which means SACRIFICE on your part.

I am most passionate about the God who sent His one and only sacrifice......I believe He is the one that ultimately gives my family and I GRACE everyday. I believe the closer your walk with Him the more you will hear His plan for you and how quickly your plans will fade away.

In my walk with God I have heard Him speak to me conveying His plan in only ways that He can. I have learned that Judging someone else's life and comparing their walk with yours could be devastating to you, to them. He has a purpose in the walk He has chosen to give you. The only way you will find His path for you is to dig deep into His living word. Everything you need to know about living this life is right there written in black and red. You have questions? Do you want to know what His plan is for you? Read His love letter and BE STILL AND KNOW HE IS GOD......

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When I'd Given Up, Shut The Door And All But, Said Goodbye.....

When I'd given up, shut the door and all but said goodbye......My little man reminds me how precious this life. How never giving up on any one should be a priority.

I've always been quick to slam the door when one has proven my patience short. And although I can say that I have tried. Over and over again I have tried to see things new. To forgive and move on. But when sin is constant. When it's never ending and there is not one sorry, not one thank you, I tend to shut down and give up....

But not my little man. He sees a lost soul and his heart literally aches and bleeds for this soul. No matter how hard it is to continue giving grace he still pushes forward and moves on as if he is on a mission. And yesterday I was put to shame....

Beginning announcements, prayer request and praises at our homeschool co-op yesterday and my little man raises his hand. "I want to pray for Daniel. Every night before I say my prayers I ask Daniel to come pray with me. And every night he sighs heavy not really wanting to, but doing it to keep me happy." And if I could of scooped my little man up in my arms I would of.....but no one would of understood why.....They don't know our plight.

You see we've been on this journey my family and I, We've taken one in from a far away land. And here in our home where two cultures literally collide we all have been put to the test. And I must say I've failed miserably.....

Hosting people in my home, that's what I do. To feed people and make them happy....that's what I love to do! And at some point what I love to do has turned into a chore. I hate that it has turned out this way. But I have to be honest it's not at all what I had expected. I expected laughter and wonder. Learning and growing. Gaining a good friend.........

I believe my expectations were set way too high. And that's my fault.

I never knew little man was praying with him. I never knew in the whole 3 months he has been here....until yesterday. And this is where I have no words. I humbly admit my eight year old son is wiser than I. His heart is larger than mine. I know better, I should know better.

And although our worlds are different, we still are created by one maker. A maker that sent Grace and Mercy, that teaches Forgiveness and Peace.

What ever you do with your hands do it with all your might. Serve others as though you were serving unto the Lord.  All this, floating above my head. I've often asked God what His purpose was, what I was suppose to be learning? I believe I have been shown through the words and actions of my little man yesterday.

Where you see bitterness and anger, one with out hope, He sees a lost soul. When you have given up, He never does and neither should you. When you think you were the one to give something, to teach them something and you were actually the one who needed to learn and receive. Serve with JOY because you have a JOY like no other. You don't serve to get thank you's or admiration, a "that a girl" or a pat on the back. You serve because of the love and the grace that was given you. You do it for Him. Because He did it all for you.

We have 8 days left....At this point I feel that all I can do is pray. I should of been praying all along. Somethings just go way beyond what we can handle, but should we really even handle anything by ourselves?  My little man knew exactly what to do when nothing else seem to work..........He knew to fall to his knees and pray! And he started right from the very beginning.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why We Homeschool

Eleven years ago I believe My man and I made  one of the best decisions that directly affected our children's lives in a very positive way. Our decision to Homeschool was one I never had to hem and haw over. I knew with out a doubt I/we would find a way to make it work! Beside the fact that I could not bare to be away from my children for that long. And to this day I still feel the same way! I love to have them here with me!

And through the years I have been asked a myriad of questions along with the intentional remarks from curious onlookers. I felt like we were under a microscope by family and friends alike waiting to see if we would succeed or ultimately fail. The decisions on curriculum would make my head spin and the fear of wondering if I were doing any of this right would be overwhelming at times. I've been on my knees in tears fearing that I've damaged their future. I've been through times where I thought my child would never read and be delighted when I had an early reader. I've discovered I have two that have to learn while they are moving and can focus better when there is some kind of noise in the background. My oldest needs complete quiet, while my Butterfly girl does well in either scenario.

I've had days where I thought they would never end and days when I felt like I was a super Mama! We've laughed at the days that got turned upside down and have quickly left them behind. And when I thought they weren't learning a thing and I was wasting my time, they would come around and show me I was wrong! what I used to stress over yesterday does not faze me today. I've learned the ultimate NO NO! Never compare your child with another, albeit your own or someone else's. I've learned it's okay if they learn at their own pace. It's actually better!

The reasons we Homeschool are many, but the the most important is the one that gives them a good solid foundation. Christ is  the center of how we live. The morals and values that they are being taught here at home are the ones I believe they will not be taught in a public school setting. I have seen the village and I do not want them raising my children! My children are not easily swayed by other children who have different objectives in life. I feel confident and secure in their decisions when they are out away from home. I have been told by many that they are the most well grounded, polite, respectful, socially delightful children they have met in a long time! I have been told that my children are some of the hardest workers (even surpassing some adults) that they have ever seen.

It may sound like I am bragging and maybe I am just a little bit. But I am most boastful in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! For they would not be who they are now if it weren't for Him!

 I am not saying that a public school child can not be the same well grounded homeschool child. And I agree that there are homeschooled children that do not have the same morals as we do. But we do not want to take the chance in them being surrounded by other children who may have a very negative impact on our kids. God gave them to me to care for, nurture and to teach and I take my job very seriously!

If you asked me right now, Have I ever regretted my decision to Homeschool? My answer would be with out a doubt ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I know that some of you who may be reading this will feel that I am attacking you for your decision to send your kids to public or private school. I want to make it clear that I am not judging anyone for their decision as a family. All I know is that this is what works for us. I've seen too many good things come from keeping my kids at home with me every day! The proof is in the pudding. 

I am thankful and truly blessed to be their Mama. I embrace this full time job that God has given me and I wouldn't change a thing!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Winds of Change

I've seen the winds of change blow in and just like a burst of cool air that whips up and takes you by surprise, I am surprised......

I find that even when change is expected, after waiting so long you tend to bury it. Stuff it down. Place it way in the far corners of your mind where it's not thought of. Until that burst of cold air blows in and snaps you off balance.

And this change, it's not about me.....not all the time. It's those around me growing and learning, being stretched and molded. Breaking the shell of their youth and bursting forth into young women and strong men. I stand back with my man, I hold his hand, caress his cheek and have often whispered "I'm so proud of our kids." I love to watch them grow and blossom into faithful, loving servants of Christ.

And does this Mama have the right to boast?

I've watched the change blow in on a blond curly headed little boy, who is now quite the strong, polite, thoughtful gentleman. Always helping. Never saying no. He gets that from his Daddy. And he's way beyond his years. A vintage soul encased in a young man's vessel. still playful, but more in private now. I am in awe of what God is doing in and through him!

I've watched the wind of change blow across my Sunshine's face. From this once spunky, vibrant, determined little two year old, to this beautiful giving young lady. Her heart is in the right place as she serves with a smile. And the Son follows her even on a cloudy day, beams of light are always shining on her face. Still has that deep giggly belly laughter. And there are days where I swear she is wiser than I.........

I have been blown away. Surprised that the wind of change  blew in so fast. And last night they both walk in the door, they are home from church. Him driving his own truck that he worked so hard for.....And her sitting right beside him, trying not to be a distraction while he keeps his eyes on the road. and I smile wide when I hear the sound of all four wheels hit the cracks of pavement in our drive way..

I've trained myself to shut my mind off when he's out there driving......And when the wind blows him in I am thankful......

I am thankful for A man who leads the way in this Christ centered home. I am thankful for the 5 growing blessings we have the  privilege of raising and watching them grow. I am thankful for this life and all who bless me by just being a part of it........

And as I embrace the winds to come, I do so with a grateful heart no matter how harsh the wind, He is the ROCK that I cling to......

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"And When You Have Returned To Me...."

I let it sink in....I take it and I dwell upon it. The one thing that was said out of the many last night.....

We talked about turning away, our faith being tested, our impurities being sifted. It hit me hard as if it were meant for just me.

"And when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren." Luke 22:32

I remember the day I returned, the day I sifted what was holding me back from truly becoming His messenger. And there are many in my life that I know need to be sifted. Many that I know need encouragement and strength to get past today. Many with stone cold hearts. These are not just strangers, but Loved ones and friends from the past on in to the here and now.......

And I plead with Him, beg Him, if there is a way.....Let me find it. So you can reach their hearts and turn them back. I ask if it's me you want to use, then use me. I shouldn't know this many that are so close to me and yet so far away.

And I pray because that's the only thing left to do. Some have said that we should keep the Bible and all that goes with it to ourselves. And I find to my surprise that the ones I thought could be reached are the very ones with the hardest of hearts.........

My soul aches to the point where I fear there is no hope....Because what they feel is that I have lost my mind, I'm not thinking too clearly, or that I have gone religious and left the sane to be with the insane......

But my God is bigger than all of that!  And there is always HOPE with Him! And there would of been a time when it would of bothered me what they thought.......Now I'm at a place where I fear for their souls.

I must say this LOVE, this GIFT is not religion, It's LIFE.

This LOVE does not keep you in bondage. It doesn't tie you down. It makes you new and sets you free. It forgets and forgives your past. It gives JOY even through your struggles. It fills your heart with a LOVE you have never known and helps you to love unselfishly. It builds your marriage, strengthens your children, makes strong friendships and proves to be FAITHFUL all the time!

There is only one way to HEAVEN....I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's not something you earn, you don't have to work for it. It's not something you buy. There aren't many roads that lead to life. There is only ONE.......

I am the way , the truth, the life. No one comes to Father except through me. John 14:6

I have been where you are.....I've turned away. I've walked among the dead, and I know how it feels. Life doesn't have to feel this hopeless. It doesn't have to be this bitter. There doesn't have to be this hatred and anger......Life can be so much better when you choose to walk among the living...

All you have to do is ask, You ask the God/Man to move out all the junk in your heart and if He would be so kind to take up residence there. Then get His living word and grab a friend, one that's breathed in life and have them help you with it's passages.  I promise you, you will never regret it! And you will never be the same. Take it from one who has turned away and has come back to strengthen you, my brethren!