Blog

Do you ever struggle?

Oh man. I got this question from a dear sister in Christ yesterday: “Are there days you ever struggle?”

Can I just tell you something? This question made my stomach hurt and brought tears to my eyes. I had gone to bed early with a headache that wouldn’t give up and I was feeling overwhelmed because my husband is away with our two biggest kids. I forgot how hard it is to have 4 kids six and under! Seriously! Way harder than 6 kids 9 and under 🙂

The second thing I did was ask the Lord: “Father! Am I presenting a perfect life? Am I making others believe I ‘have it altogether’?”

Oh. I hope not. I certainly hope not. Lord help me to be genuine. To be the same on social media that I am at home. (A true danger for all of us.)

You see, no one posts those ugly moments do they? No mom jumps on facebook to post: “Oh hey guys! Just got finished yelling at my children and making them feel terrible about themselves. I am concerned that they are going to be permanently damaged from what a lame mother I am.”

But honestly, that is the type of post that would be honest. That’s the type that would make moms all over the world say: “I am not alone!”

And you know what? You aren’t alone! Moms everywhere are struggling EVERY day. Motherhood, like everything this side of heaven, is a struggle. It strips us of pride and selfishness perhaps more than marriage. It tests us and tempts us to let that real, raw, fleshly side come out way more than we want it to!

So what do we do?!

We once again turn our eyes and hearts back to our Savior and away from ourselves. We once again remind our children to do the same. We ask for forgiveness again. We seek godly counsel from wise women who love the Lord. We listen to godly podcasts and great audio books. We read the Word through out the day and listen to it online. We find biblical sermons on the subject.

We basically feed our spirit and starve our flesh as much as possible. 

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5

This is where the struggle begins and ends. Between our flesh and our spirit.

Jesus said in Matthew 26:41- “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

That’s it. Our spirit, who we are in Christ, is so willing and eager to be a good mama. But that flesh is so weak. That flesh takes over in moments of temptation and dominates and we fail once again.

Here’s the good news. God knew we were a failures before we did. He knew we would fail. He knew we could never be good enough on our own, not only in motherhood, but in life as a whole. That’s why Christ came. Don’t forget the gospel in your mothering mamas! Don’t forget that if you could be perfect then Christ had no reason to come. 

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Galatians 2:21

You see, Christ died for a great purpose. He died because you could not be righteous in your own efforts. It is the grace of God that we need. It is the grace of God we need when we want to yell at our children in order to get them to obey or respect us. It is the grace of God we need when we want to throw in the towel because the house is a mess all the time. It is the grace of God we need when we want to quit and hide in our rooms.

It’s Him we need.

We all need Him.

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

These temptations you are facing in motherhood are common to mamas all over the globe. BUT GOD is faithful. He will show us those ways to escape our flesh and walk in the spirit.

Walk in the spirit today. Seek Him. Point your children away from you and toward Him. As always, set your hearts and minds on eternity.

And yes, I struggle. Every day.

“For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Colossians 1:29

Love, Katie

17621861_10155246995240555_5394266431301337598_o

Be What You Want Them To Be

Any woman can set rules. Any woman can boss people around. Any woman can instruct others. But it takes a woman of God to lead by example. It takes a woman of God to live out what she is teaching and training her children to be.

Do you tell your children not to complain? Then don’t complain. Do you instruct them to be joyful? Then you better be joyful. Do you tell them they need to eat their veggies? Then you better eat healthy. Do you tell them to be thankful? Then you better be giving thanks.

Be what you want them to be. Don’t be “domineering over those in your charge, but be an example to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:3

When we lay heavy burdens on our children and don’t show them how to live it out we are being more of a pharisee than a loving, godly parent.

Listen to how Jesus describes the pharisees and see if it sounds like your parenting: “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” Matthew 23:4

A living example is what our children need. More is caught then taught. Oh how sobering this is for me mamas! I am failing daily! But God. But God can help. But God is there. But God knows. He knows what we need to succeed in this area and it’s His Spirit!

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5

The Spirit is willing but the flesh is so weak. That’s why we must be reading our bibles, listening to sermons, praying to God, singing to Him, listening to the online bible and godly audible books. We must be continually filling our minds with godly thoughts so that our actions follow suit so that our children SEE us live out this life we are training them up in. 

Don’t give up. Contend. Fight the good fight. Live the life. And be what you want them to be. I am right there with you along with millions of other mamas that want to live out the Christian life before the eyes of their children.

“To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” Colossians 1:29

Love, Katie

17621861_10155246995240555_5394266431301337598_o
A picture of my sweet flock. 

Struck down, but not destroyed!

I wrote the following back when I had a five year old and three kiddos that were two and a half and under.  As things become easier over time and we become more effective and efficient as Mamas, these were still very real feelings as a younger Mama.  Praying you are encouraged today.

Love, Janell

_________________________________________________________________

Where do you find yourself today friend? Amidst trials? Adversity? Are you in the trenches of life?

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
(2 Corinthians 4:7-9 ESV)

I am in the trenches of Motherhood. Diaper bombs, late nights, sippy cups, whiney kids, and sticky fingers. Most days I feel afflicted, crushed, perplexed and driven to despair…persecuted, forsaken & struck down. How can I keep up with three kids in diapers? How can I effectively train my five-year old & teach him truth? When will the terrible two’s be over? I just don’t have enough energy or strength to get through…

It’s mucky, it’s hard, and it’s down right NASTY as times…and that is JUST where He wants me. Weak, tired, and at the end of myself to finally see that I am NOT destroyed and that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us!!!

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:8-10 ESV)

Paul continues to show us that God triumphs amid our human weaknesses, which in turn reflects the principle of Christ’s crucifixion. Christ died for our human weakness which is a result of sin, and He TRIUMPHED!!! Thank you Jesus! So if God was able to overcome the whole worlds sin and triumph, then His grace TRULY is SUFFICIENT!!! His power is PERFECTED in our weakness! Did you see that? That Christs POWER rests on US for His sake. And THEN I can be CONTENT with weakness, insults, hardship, persecution & calamities. (Easier said then done…contentment. But just lay it down as Jesus feet every time you are tempted.)

So, I know that my “hardships or calamities” may be nothing compared to a Father who has lost his child, a Mother who has broken fellowship with her sister, or a daughter who has been abused. But I am SO THANKFUL that Gods promises for believers can carry us through, no matter how BIG or small our trials are.

So whatever trench you find yourself in this season of life, may you rest & trust in this promise that the surpassing power belongs to God, BUT that the POWER of Christ may rest upon US! So go boast in your weakness & to God be the glory, for when we are weak…He is STRONG!

 

A Million Little Deaths

Most of us would say that we would be willing to die for our faith in God, yet we are so unwilling to die a million little deaths to the everyday things for our Savior.

I have been mulling on this thought for a while now. It is amazing to me how easy it is as believers to be “all talk and no action”. It’s easy to say we would die for our faith if it came down to it, but when God convicts us of sin or requires more out of us in the minutes and days that he has so graciously given, we retreat, avoid, or totally flake out!? We are SO like Adam in the garden hiding from the all-knowing God just hoping he doesn’t see us…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)

He is SUCH a loving Abba Father, and here in this life He is so good to faithfully use these “deaths” to strengthen our faith and grow us in righteousness.  What we don’t realize is that on the other side of the “death” to the sin, and the stripping off of sin, that there is TRUE life and freedom in walking in repentance and obedience.  And yet we settle?

It’s like when our little one year old is sitting in her high chair so eager to eat her meal.  You prepare her dish and sit down eye to eye with her, ready to fly that spoon right into her mouth.  As she starts to eat from your hand, she can taste and see that it is good, but as you go back for another spoonful she starts licking whatever has fallen onto the bib thinking that will sustain her.  You come in for another bite.  You have a full spoon right in front of her.  Sustenance that will carry her on until the next meal, yet she is ignoring your best for her and insists on eating the leftover crumbs and food that have fallen onto her bib because she’s not willing to look up and see what you have for her.

That is SO us at times!  Why settle for crumbs right in front of us, when we can look up and have The Bread of Life?  A lot of times that involves dying to our selves, our wants, and our abilities and just being willing to look up and move forward in faith trusting that what the Father has for us is far greater than our crummy leftovers.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10)

Friends, we’ve got a race to run!  What is He asking you to put to death or to lay down today? Trust me, you can be confident in knowing that what He has for you is FAR greater than what you are hanging on to. Look up sisters!  Say yes, repent, let go, be faithful, and taste and see that the Lord is good!

❤️ Janell

#preachingtomyself #dieamilliondeaths #allbecauseofjesus

A Running Plan for Life: It’s NOT what you think

Whether you know it or not, we are ALL runners.  But you may be sitting there thinking, “I haven’t laced up my shoes and ran since Middle School when we ran the mile for our fit test!”.  Or maybe you are sitting there thinking, “I know I am, I just started an in-depth couch to 5K running plan for the New Year!”.  Or, you may be thinking, “I’m more like the weightlifting type….or book type!”  Well, wherever this finds you, if you are a daughter of the King then you ARE a runner, trust me.

It was in God’s design.  We were created to be runners.  There is a race that has been set before us.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

The first thing the author of Hebrews points out is that, to run this race well, we need to lay aside every weight and sin which clings.  What are the things that weigh you down?  What are the things that cling so desperately for your attention that is not of the Lord? Seriously, think on this for a moment and evaluate these areas in your life.  I know for me, the weight I usually feel is a direct result or is hand in hand with a particular heart sin. (i.e.: laziness, anger, control, lack of control, pride, etc.)  Isn’t it just like sin to cling on and weigh down?!  Let’s be intentional to continually lay them aside, minute by minute, day by day as God faithfully changes us into His image.  Repent, Renew, and Run!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Secondly, we are to run with endurance the race that is set before us.  Dictionary(dot)com defines endurance this way:

  1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
  2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina:

The need for endurance is major as this life is hard.  Where do we receive this energy to go on and the power that we need to endure well?  I LOVE what Jesus says to Paul when Paul was praying and pleading that God would remove this thorn that was in His life.  Jesus said,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

His power is found in our weakness.  We are so quick to hide or be embarrassed when we show weakness or when others see weakness in us.  Yet, THIS is the very thing God uses to perfect His power in our lives as He provides the grace for us to RUN!

This race of faith that is set before you is tailor-made specifically for you!  Specific and by design, as we all struggle with different things and are gifted in different ways.  Don’t be tempted to look over at the other runners.  They aren’t running YOUR race.  Keep your eyes laser focussed on what is set out right in front of you.  Your race may be in the form of the husband who is hard to love, it may be that child that is beautifully different or has special needs to tend to, it may be in the church that didn’t meet your expectations, or in the relationships around you.  It may be in the financial situation you are in, or just in the call to run.  Be confident in THIS very thing, He is not only the perfecter of our faith but the perfecter of our race.

Thirdly, look to Jesus the founder of our faith.  I LOVE how this verse is worded in the NASB.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Not only look or glance, but FIX your eyes on the Author of YOUR race, the Author of YOUR story.  He is the one who makes it perfect, not by Hollywood or America’s standards, but by His Eternal Kingdom standards and plans.  No matter what race you find yourself running, our King can relate as He modeled endurance to the cross to the point of death that we might live.  We are called to endure as runners in our race of faith, and we can because of Jesus and the gospel.

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrew 10:35-36

We want to be women of faith right?  I told you that you are a runner!  The only way our faith can grow in Christ is by running through the hard things.  Persevering  with endurance through the obstacles that reveal our weakness and dependency on Christ, and faithfully (moment by moment) fixing our eyes on the one who is strong and carries us when we feel we can’t continue running the race set before us.

We ARE weak, we ARE in need, we WILL run it imperfectly.  But our God is faithful, He is perfect, and He is Great.  He didn’t ask us to run it perfectly, He just asked us to RUN!  We don’t run this alone friends, everyone knows that any good Coach runs alongside His team.  We have the BEST!

“If the LORD had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.” Psalm 94:17-18

Love, Janell

5 Ways To Ruin Your Children

If your goal is to ruin your children, look no further! I have found the perfect ways to do so!

#1. Coddle and spoil them. Give them whatever they want whenever they want it! If they whine about something give it to them. It’s like you are rewarding them for whining! If they moan, groan and complain about chores just do it yourself. It’s easier that way. Definitely don’t discipline them and definitely don’t give them more chores. If one of your children is prone to manipulating you and making you feel guilty for not coddling them, be sure to give in and baby them. You will surely ruin them for life if you give into their every complaint and want! They will grow up thinking the world owes them something because mama always spoiled them and never disciplined them. Never mean what you say or say what you mean. Make it clear to your kids if they nag you enough that they will get what they want.

Forget about this verse: “Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.” Proverbs 23:13

And please strike these verses from your bible and never read them again: It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7-11

#2 Never tell them what to do. Many of us are already really good at this. We love to tell our children what to not to do: “Don’t talk to your brother that way!” “Don’t let your room get so messy!” “Stop being so selfish!” “Don’t procrastinate!” But we forget to tell them what to do! We are really good at telling them what to “put off” but terrible at telling them what to “put on”. Whenever you are training your children be sure to never finish that training by not explaining to them what they need to start doing. Don’t read these verses: “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

Do not print this chart out and do it as a bible study with your children!

Whatever you do! Don’t listen to this message with your children!

#3 Think that you are in control of their hearts. This will lead to lots and lots of frustration on your part and it will come out in your parenting. Forget about the fact that the Lord is the One who is sovereign over your children’s lives. Pretend that you are! Get really, really mad when they aren’t meeting your expectations or responding exactly how you want! Better yet, let them see your frustration with this on a day to day basis so that they can grow in bitterness and not in faith. Parents who see the Lord as the one in control often have lots of faith and we don’t want our children to see us that way if we want to ruin them. Never think about these verses: “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7 Yep. Forget that God is the one that makes your children grow. Think that you are the one that does that day in and out. You will get exhausted and your children will get exasperated!

#4 Be prideful. Never admit you are wrong. Never apologize to your children. Never share your weaknesses with them. Be one person at church and a whole other person at home. This is bound to ruin them! Nothing ruins our children faster than pride and hypocrisy. Make sure if your children ever approach you about some inconsistency or sin in your life that you dismiss them immediately and tell them it’s not their place. Don’t ever let them confront you, even if they do it in humility and sincerety, because you are the parent after all! Who do they think they are?!

#5 Don’t teach them a biblical worldview. Saving the best for last. Don’t train your children spiritually. Expect their school or youth pastor or pastor to do that. Don’t sing songs of praise in your home. Don’t explain to them how to view the world through a biblical lens. That way, when they go off on their own, they will have no strong foundation on which to stand and they will fall over very quickly. The world is powerful with it’s pull and if our children aren’t ready for it they will willingly be swept away by it’s spell. Forget about the fact that the Lord has made you their parent to “train them up in the way they should go.” Get lost in facebook and your favorite tv show so that you “don’t have time” to teach them spiritual things. Ruining our children comes so much easier if we are lazy in their spiritual training. Don’t think about these words from our heavenly Father: “‘You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied…'” Deuteronomy 11:18-21

That’s it! That’s all you have to do to ruin your children! Not so hard is it?

Love, Katie

(Some of you may be thinking: “Whoa Katie! What’s up with the sarcasm?! I thought you were a Christian!” My hope is the Lord will use my sarcasm so that you won’t forget this post. Most Christian mamas read hundreds…thousands of blog posts over their life. It’s hard to remember them…sarcasm helps 🙂

If you are looking for ways however to NOT ruin your children be sure to listen to these sermons:

Consistent Parenting

Avoiding Hypocrisy In Parenting 

 

 

Being Faith Led In The Year Ahead

Every time the New Year approaches our email boxes, social media news feeds, and NY Best Seller list are always filled with the Top 5 ways to be the very BEST you in this New Year.  Top 5 ways to declutter and simplify.  Top 5 ways to be a stellar homeschool parent.  Top 5 ways to slim down and get strong.  Top 5 ways to be more successful in business.  Top 5 ways to consolidate debt and become debt free.  The lists, articles, and blog posts go on and on about planning for success, creating your best life, and living a life of design. THIS is how to be your BEST YOU in the upcoming year!

The thing is, we forget the Creator of all things who gives life, has already drawn up plans for us and has a specific purpose for us.  In the imperfect day-to-day’s He IS doing His work to make you the BEST you…through Him!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)

These books, articles, and tips aren’t bad things as we aspire to be better stewards of our body, mind, time, and possessions, but may we not forget to first pray and seek God first and foremost.  Are we seeking God with ALL our heart regarding the changes that need to be made in our life, body, relationships and finances?  Are we asking Him first if these are the things He has for us in our life calling? Or are we making decisions and resolutions based on things that we feel others think we should be doing?  Are we striving for Pinterest Perfect and Facebook Fabulous, or are we desiring holiness and righteousness offline?  Everything we say “yes” to ultimately gives a “no” to another area or other people in our lives.  Are we praying for wisdom, discernment, and direction?

Though culturally the New Year is a great time for reflection, adjustments, and change, the awesome thing about being a child of the King is that we don’t have to wait until January 1st to start over.  We don’t even have to wait until Monday as God and His grace are available to us minute by minute and day by day.  When we fail to follow through perfectly with our resolutions, we can know where our hope lies and we can find rest and satisfaction in our God who is faithful to change us.

The steadfast love of the LORD never cease;

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.”  (Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV)

 With all the New Year’s resolutions, they tend to be rooted in who we are (or hope to “appear” to be), what we would like to be known for, and what legacy we want to leave. If you look in Hebrew 11 we see the “Great Wall of Faith”.  It is this awesome list of people who did great acts of faith in their life time.  All their acts of faith were in God and what He had uniquely designed for their lives.

  • Abel- Offered the best parts of a lamb as a sacrifice to the Lord. (Gen. 4:1-6)
  • Enoch- “truly loved God”. (Gen. 5:21-26)
  • Noah- Believed God’s warning that God was going to destroy the evil people of the world in a flood. Built a large boat (ark) as God commanded to save his family and animals. Gen. 6:1-9:17)
  • Abraham- Left the comfort and security of his homeland, when God called him to go to a new land where God would give him many descendants. (Gen. 12:1-9, 17:1-8, Rom. 4)
  • Sarah- Was too old to have children, but she had faith that God would give her a child anyway. (Gen. 18:1-15, 21:1-8)
  • Isaac- Gave a blessing to his sons Jacob and Esau. (Gen. 27:1-40)
  • Jacob- Blessed his grandsons (Joseph’s sons) Ephraim and Manasseh. (Gen. 48:1-22)
  • Joseph- Used his position in the Egyptian government to save his family when they went to Egypt during a time of famine in Caanan. He also trusted that God would lead the Hebrew people of Israel out of Egypt. (Gen. 37-50, 50:22-25)
  • Moses- Refused to be considered the king’s grandson; led the Hebrew people out of Egypt; and celebrated Passover. (Exodus 1-15, 19-34)
  • Rahab- Helped two Israelite spies escape Jericho so they could make a report to their commanders. (Joshua 2:1,3; 6:21-25)
  • Gideon, Barak, Samson, & Jephthah- Performed acts of heroism and helped the Israelites to gain control of the land (Canaan) promised to Abraham and his descendants. (Judges 4-16)
  • David- Slew the giant Goliath and helped the Israelites to conquer Canaan. (1 Samuel 16-1 Kings 2:11; 1 Samuel 17)
  • Samuel- Led the people of Israel as a judge and prophet. 1 Samuel 1:1-1 Sam 25:1)

 These men and women weren’t out creating and designing life for themselves and for their glory, yet they were ordinary everyday people with sin struggles just like you and me who needed a Savior and sought the Lord.  Who followed His leading and truly LIVED the life that was already designed for them.  It’s so amazing if you take the time to go back and read about these people.  They mess up, they accomplished great acts of faith through God, but some even missed out on blessing and opportunity.  This wasn’t a list of perfect people.  It wasn’t a list of the most fashionable of 2016, the wealthiest of 2016, the most fit of 2016, the most organized, successful, etc.  These normal everyday people God saw fit to use were imperfect and willing to step out by faith and live the life that was tailor made for them.  I’m pretty sure “Save my Family during the Famine” was not on Joseph’s New Year’s resolution list.  Yet God had brought Him to that very place to be available to do the unthinkable.  Just think where God might place you this year if you are only willing and listening?

So, as we prepare our hearts, thoughts and time for the New Year, may we seek eternal things, Kingdom things.  May we seek God and His righteousness and these things will be added unto us.  He truly will lead us by faith!  As we slow down and seek Him first, may we hear from Him and see in His word what He is calling us to.  May we be Spirit lead and have wisdom and discernment to know what our best “yes’” are for our home, our family, and our ministries.  May we take it one day at a time as we continue looking up.  Then we can boldly and faithfully step out in the power of the Holy Spirit and do mighty things for His Honor and Glory!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)

Love Always,

Janell

 

 

What if you died tomorrow?

A friend of mine had her daughter in law die suddenly just after her 40th birthday. When I talked to her about it she said: “One day she was cooking in the kitchen and the next day she was dead.” Oh mamas. Broke my heart. Also got me to thinking: “What if I died tomorrow? What if I’m cooking in the kitchen today and the Lord brings me home tomorrow? How would today look different? Would I cuddle my little loves more? Would I extend grace more and overlook offenses? Would I not make a big deal out of little things?”

Death is imminent. We don’t know when we are leaving this earth. Everyday we are laying the groundwork for our legacy. Everyday we are closer to our journey heavenward… but we certainly don’t live that way do we? It’s so easy to get caught up in this life isn’t it? We are so prone to forget this is not are home! That is one reason Janell and I decided to call this ministry “Eternally Minded Mamas”! We want to encourage you in that eternal perspective! To set your mind on things above!

This video below is just me sharing some thoughts I had on my mom’s birthday. She passed away about 6 years ago. I often ask myself, when thinking of my own mom, how will my children remember me?

 

What if you knew you were going to die tomorrow? How would today look different? What is keeping you from living that way? 

“…it is appointed unto men once to die…” Hebrews 9:27

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

“…you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14

Keep eternity in mind today Mamas!

Love, Katie

A few Mama tips before the New Year

Hey Eternally Minded Mamas!  In this great calling of Motherhood it can be so hard to juggle everything or get it all in.  I made this live video back in August on my personal Facebook page, it was back before EMM was even around!  As the New Year is upon us I’ve been thinking again about how some of these things can so easily get out of order in my own life, and I always feel my best with balance as I’m seeking God in all things.  I thought it might be fun to share this video here with you today.

I pray you are encouraged by this video and I’d like to say that if you are a Mama with a new baby, you are breast feeding, and up in the night then please know that there is room for creativity and grace.  The specific season you find yourself in is truly short in light of everything else, so go slow, rest, and snuggle that precious gift as this is not meant to be another list of things to add to your season.

Also, I challenge you to take a few minutes this week to yourself to think about the three things I cover in this video.  Pray and ask God how this can possibly look for you in the new year.  Maybe it isn’t 15 minutes, but 20!?  Tailor this to your family, your needs, and your obedience to our Lord.  Do you!  I love you ladies and pray that 2017 is just another opportunity to set our minds on the things that are above, where our God is.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

Love, Janell

When you don’t feel Jolly and Bright at Christmas

 

This Holiday season has been packed full of hard and unexpected things, and though I’ve tried to be super upbeat and jolly, there are days that my heart breaks and has me feeling lonely.  I’ve been in a funk and though I have known the Lord for years and have many things to be thankful for, we don’t always know how we will actually respond in specific circumstances until we are right in the middle of them.  It’s this battle and spiritual warfare of the flesh and the spirit and in God’s goodness He reveals to us areas of our doubt or unbelief. It’s humbling to say the least.

But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-12)

As I read these scriptures today, I noticed that it said, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”  If you know God, then the Spirit that is in you is the Holy Spirit, and according to the scriptures, the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit.  Read that last sentence over one more time slowly…If you know God, then the Spirit that is in you is the Holy Spirit, and according to the scriptures, the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit.  So the very Holy Spirit that knows our Creator God and His thoughts intimately is the VERY same Holy Spirit that searches and knows our thoughts!  The thoughts that we wouldn’t breath to another soul.  The thoughts of insecurities, doubt, hurt, longing, and disappointment.  The Holy Spirit connects and bridges the deep things of God and our human hearts.

My heart leapt for joy as God reminded me that He loves me SO much, enough to search me and know me.  So much in fact that He not only gave His son, but then gave His Spirit to dwell in us.  We are NEVER alone.  Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3, the Image of God was with them as they chose truth and were tossed into the fiery furnace.

Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” (Daniel 3:21-25)

The Holy Spirit is with us through every trial, every fire, ever uncertainty we walk through this side of heaven.  Notice that God did not provide an additional friend to stick in there with them, their Mom or Dad didn’t come to the rescue, and their Pastor wasn’t there for “moral” support.  It was our God all Mighty who stood with them.

If you find yourself in the midst of the fire this Christmas season and are tempted to despair and believe you are all alone in this, be encouraged. We are not alone as we have been given the Holy Spirit.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?                                  (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Nothing is wasted as He is faithful to complete the work He has started with all who believe.  No matter how long we have known God or what we continue to face, we will always need God to fight for us.  May we come to a place where we can be strong and courageous as we walk through trials, all because we are absolutely sure of the One dwelling inside of us, and may we fight the temptation to dwell on how we feel, but be rooted in what we know.

 

Same Power

I can walk
Down this dark and painful road
I can face
Every fear of the unknown
I can hear
All God’s children singing out
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

We have hope
That His promises are true
In His strength
There is nothing we can’t do
Yes, we know
There are greater things in store
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

Greater is He that is living in me
He’s conquered our enemy
No power of darkness
No weapon prevails
We stand here in victory

“Same Power” by: Jeremy Camp

 

Love, Janell