ADMIRATION

Welcome to this Month’s Word Focus – ADMIRATION!

Happy February!

We all admire something or someone. It can be a family member, a friend, or a Higher Being. It can be an item, something you possess, or even a place.

According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, admiration is wonder mingled with pleasing emotions, as approbation, esteem, love or veneration; a compound emotion excited by something novel, rare, great, or excellent;

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We may not like to admit it but we can become complacent with those whom we see or associate with all the time; whether they be loved ones, co-workers, or friends, we can lose the “admiration” that we should be maintaining.

This February, I would like to encourage you all to join me as I focus on the word, ADMIRATION, mainly for God and for our families.

We live in a world and a society that is constantly criticizing or belittling God and the roles of fathers and mothers.

Many have lost the “wonder” of who God is, the “wonder” of who fathers and mothers should be, and the roles they were meant to partake in.

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This month can sometimes be considered the “Love Month.”

Many go all out in honoring that special person or persons in their life. This month, I would like to encourage you in four different ways on how you can accomplish that.

 BE INTENTIONAL. 

Do things on purpose. Say things with purpose.

BE INTERESTED. 

Be concerned with what you say, do, or think.

BE INTIMATE. 

Be close, be near, be familiar. 

BE INVOLVED. 

Be enveloped, be entangled, and be all wrapped up. 

I look forward to expounding on these four points this month and hope you come back and see how we can all be a part of this month’s word focus!

 

Until Next Time.

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Definitions taken from Websters1828Dictionary.com

Featured image from Tim Bogdanov on Unsplash.com

 

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Cultivating Spiritually

One of the top 10 resolutions people make for the New Year is to read their Bible or read it through.

I have personally read the Bible through about 4-5 times since I’ve been saved. Throughout the years, I start off excited about improving my walk with God but since I’ve become a working wife and mom, it’s been a little difficult to be consistent. However, I am by no means making that an excuse. I know that if anything, my roles should push me to have a better walk with the Lord for the sake of those that I am ministering to and entrusted with.

I truly believe that there is no better way to get cultivated at the beginning of the year than by doing so spiritually. 

Now, not everyone that will read this blog post will be interested in spiritual matters and I do not want you to feel like I am manipulating or forcing you into whatever I believe in. I simply just want to share how I have been “cultivating” myself spiritually and the benefits of my doing so.

Amazingly, all of us have the same amount of time. It may seem as if some have “more” time than others because of how “un-busy” others may seem. However, being busy doesn’t always guarantee or produce good time management. Someone reminded me to “not be so busy with other people’s business.” With the day and age we live in, it is so easy to get involved with other people’s lives whom we have no business getting involved in.

Instead is us being busy with other peoples’ business, let’s get busy about the Father’s business. 

Three ways I have determined to improve on this month are:

I. SPEND TIME IN GOD’S WORD

Make Bible Reading time a Priority

I have found spending time in Bible Reading to be very encouraging and productive. One choice I made for this month is not to go on social media UNLESS I have already spent time in God’s Word. With two toddlers and a somewhat-demanding job, it is vital, I mean VITAL for me to have that time with Jesus. Does it always guarantee that my day will be great or go smoothly? Absolutely not. But that time spent in God’s Word is necessary in order for me to grow spiritually and to be the Christian, the wife, and the mom that God designed me to be.

Does prioritizing mean ALWAYS doing it in the morning? Honestly, no. I don’t always read my Bible in the morning. Sometimes, I read it in the evening before I go to bed. However, I have found that reading it in the morning is one step closer to having a great day (now, I didn’t say perfect). There have been times when I read my Bible and had a horrible day. Does that mean I blame it on my Bible reading? Of course not! Having a horrible day is a choice. Problems, distractions, or unnecessary situations will come up and they may even be out of our control but how we choose to handle them will determine HOW our day will turn out. Not only is reading the Bible important, but meditating on it as well.

II. STRENGTHEN MY WALK 

Memorize & Meditate on Bible Verses

Memorizing verses is tedious and takes discipline and consistency. If you’re anything like me, it takes a lot of work to memorize. Some have a photographic memory and they can memorize verses in no time. But no matter how hard or easy it is for anyone, we can all benefit from memorizing verses.

Some ways that have helped me with memorizing verses are:

     1) Having Motions. This is especially helpful when my husband and I are working with children because most children love having visuals or something to associate a certain word(s) with.

For example, any time a verse has the word “God” or “Heaven,” I point up.

    2) Walking Around or Making up a Song. Having a rhythm and beat to go with certain words also helps with memorizing. Sometimes, I emphasize by stomping on certain words. Sometimes, I just make a random “song” or remember Scripture songs I learned in church or college (I am definitely not musically-inclined).

    3) Making Time Each Week. Review is key to retaining Bible verses. Now, I can’t say that I have always made time each week for Bible memory.

In fact, I’ll be honest with you. I started memorizing some verses from Psalm 119 towards the end of LAST YEAR but stopped because….LIFE happened (and it will continue to happen so just DON’T GIVE UP!

With this new year, I decided to continue with them instead of starting another set. You can find those verses here!

Memorizing can have amazing rewards and benefits. Psalm 119:11 is one of the verses that I memorized from the set I was working on and if there is anything you would like to get from memorizing verses, it’s mentioned in this verse.

Psalm 119:11 – “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” 

In addition, meditating on God’s Word is something that pleases Him.

Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Not only should we make time for Bible reading and Bible memorizing, but lastly, we should spend time in Prayer.

III. SEEK GOD’S FACE

Motivate Through Prayer

As a Christian, I admit that I don’t use this “tool” of prayer as often as I should. Yes, I pray for my food; yes, I pray before I go to sleep; yes, I pray at our church’s midweek prayer meeting; yes, I pray when I’m at my lowest, and I pray whenever people have requests. However, I do realize that sometimes my prayers can be too general or repetitive.

This year, my husband and I have truly enjoyed hearing our older daughter pray. She has learned from us and has even copied our “style” which can be good and bad at the same time. We don’t want her getting used to praying just one certain way. We want her to eventually understand that praying is coming before the very throne of God. Prayer should be a special time because we are seeking the very face of God and are sincere about our prayers. 

Have you ever kept a record of your prayer requests and crossed off those that the Lord answered? My mother-in-law does a great job with this. I remember her showing me a few of her prayer journals – going back to when she would pray for her eldest son (who is my husband now) to find the wife that God had for him. I even saw some silly requests but our God has a sense of humor and can answer even the silliest requests.

Going back and seeing all the prayers through the years and how God was faithful to answer them should motivate us to keep praying. Isn’t our God just awesome to give us what we need and many times what we want? So, may we take advantage of the tool of prayer this year and not underestimate our Almighty, All-Powerful God.

 

Until next time,

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Featured Image by: Ben White on Unsplash.com

CULTIVATION

Welcome to this Month’s Word Focus – CULTIVATION.

Many may associate this word with farming or tilling land but this month, we will focus on Cultivating Ourselves. 

In simple terms, to cultivate means “PILE” and Friend, I do not mean a pile of laundry. To make it easier, I came up with an acrostic that corresponds with the definition of Cultivate.

P – Prepare 

I – Improve 

L – Labor

E – Educate 

I am not sure what it is that you would like to PREPARE for, IMPROVE on, LABOR at, or EDUCATE yourself on but whatever it is, just start.

Continue reading CULTIVATION

Mom, You Matter!

Has anyone ever told you that you were unworthy, not enough, or that you didn’t matter?

I’m sure more often than not, you have been told either one of these; whether it be from a family member, a friend, or even a teacher. However, there is one person who whispers in our ears and if we aren’t careful, we listen to what he says and that is none other than the devil.

The devil would like nothing more for mothers than to see them fail at what they’ve been given. 

Moms have such a great influence whether they believe it to or not and whether they admit it or not. I mean, can you imagine a world without moms? I can’t, because that is impossible!

Mothers have a role that play a big part in the puzzle that we call Life. Without them, life would definitely be incomplete and be missing that one vital piece.

Now, there may be a few men reading this who play the role as both mother and father in the lives of their children. Please don’t shut me out.

From someone like me who was raised by a Father the majority of my life, I can honestly tell you that YOU MATTER! If you ever feel like you’re alone, remember that you are not. God is there to help you and guide you!

Psalm 16:11 says, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Sure, you may not be able to meet the same needs as a Mother would, but if single-parenting is what God has put your way, all you can do is make the best with what you have.

Being raised by my dad for almost 20 years before my Mom came into the picture physically, did not result in the worst life ever for me. In fact, I am the person I am today because of the trials that God allowed me to face and the choices I made.

I admit that there were times when I questioned God because all my friends had a mom they could confide in, talk to whenever they were going through a girl-problem, or walk them down the aisle, Was it right for me to do that? NO. Was it human? YES.

And that is exactly what we are, Moms. 

WE ARE HUMAN. We make mistakes. We fail everyday and a lot of times, we become discontent with how we look. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you can better yourself, I’m all for you. But what I mean is, we tend to compare ourselves with other moms. We see how they seem to “have-it-all” together and here we are, barely “having it!”

“Although the pictures we see on Social Media can be worth a thousand words, many times, they don’t show ALL THE WORDS.” J.Cabal

A mom can have a smile on and the world can think she’s the happiest person but in reality, she can be struggling with something.

A mom can seem like she has the best job ever when in reality she’s barely making ends meet.

A mom can look like she has the “perfect life” with the “perfect family” but who are we kidding? There is no such thing!

We all have been given different lives but one thing we have in common is motherhood or parenthood.

The Bible says in Luke 12:48b, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:” 

We can all agree that being a mom is a great blessing if not the greatest, which means that it is considered “MUCH.” And according to that verse, when much is given, much is required.

I don’t mean to put a lot of pressure but I’m just quoting the Bible.

GOD REQUIRES A LOT FROM US. You can take that as something to encourage you to be a better mom or you can ignore it and reap the results of YOUR PARENTING, without Biblical wisdom or guidance.

If God has given us such an important role, then that must mean one thing: WE MATTER!

MOMS, WE MATTER! We are more important than we sometimes believe. Your words matter and your actions matter! How you say something and when you say something matters! How you treat your spouse and how you talk to your spouse matters!

Your love, care, support, prayers, advice, and time matter! So…

Love unconditionally! 

Care Sincerely! 

Support Consistently! 

Pray Fervently! 

Advise when Necessary! 

And Give of your Time Willingly! 

I’ll end with this. God can easily do anything. He doesn’t NEED us but He wants to USE us for the sole purpose of bringing glory to His name! To be used of God is a privilege, not an obligation, which is why we have a choice. We can choose to let Him lead us or we can choose to be led by something or someone else. Whatever we choose, don’t forget, our choice will affect our children because WE MATTER and WHAT WE DO MATTERS!

***Featured Photo by London Scout on Unsplash!

“I Don’t Love You.”

I don’t love you. The words that I never thought I would hear from any of my children, especially at a young age.  Words have a way to lift you up or bring you down.

Unfortunately, today, these four simple words pierced a hole in my heart when they came out of my 3-year old daughter’s mouth and were directed towards me.

Lately, my husband and I have limited what she is allowed to watch due to the negative influence some videos or shows have had on her. Bad parenting? Some say “yes”, others say “no.” But you, as your child’s parent know what is best for YOUR CHILD.

She was whining about something and I tried explaining to her that when she whines, the more I will NOT be able to help her. It’s difficult to understand what someone is saying or wants when they are crying and the same goes for children; in fact, the more difficult it is with children .

She cried for a good 5 minutes. I let her cry because sometimes, that’s what you have to do as a parent – let them cry and wait until they are ready to talk. I took her to a separate room while she continued crying and just waited for her to finish. Then, she said those hurtful words – I DON’T LOVE YOU.

At that moment, I didn’t know if I heard her correctly so I kindly asked her, “What did you say?” and surely enough, she said, “I don’t love you.”

CRAZY, RIGHT?!?

I sat there just staring at her and finally, I told her how mean and hurtful those words were. I could’ve blown up at my daughter but the Lord reminded me how many times I “said” those words to Him; maybe not verbally, but with my actions.

She did eventually cry again, but this time to tell me she was sorry and that she “LOVED ME!” After a few minutes, I got up to brew some coffee and make myself a sandwich. I figured my daughter would want one so I asked her and she replied, “Yes, please.”

As I was making those peanut butter sandwiches, God reminded me, “But I still love you” and that’s exactly how I felt towards my daughter and I had an opportunity to display God’s love towards her by serving her in spite of what she said or how she hurt me. 

As children of God, we can be guilty of hurting our Heavenly Father and sometimes even saying those four words, “I don’t love you.”

But it’s in God’s nature to still love us, no matter what we do or say against Him. 

“When we realize how UNCONDITIONAL God’s love is towards us, we will remember how UNDESERVING we are of His Love.” – JudyLynn Cabal

I finished making the sandwiches and handed my daughter, hers, which she was grateful for. And just to make sure, I asked her if she loved me or didn’t love me.

She replied, “I love you, Mommy.” 

So the next time you hurt the Lord by saying or showing “You don’t love Him,” just remember, He’s saying, “But I still love you.” It is then we will quickly realize that an apology is the least we can do but is a great start to repairing the relationship.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:7-8 –  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind;

 

***Featured photo by Ivan Jevtic Unsplash!

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A Spiritual Spring Cleaning

As humans, we’re all guilty of complaining or murmuring every once in a while. We even complain about not having anything to wear when we have a closet full of clothes. We murmur about how we can’t find anything to eat when our refrigerators and freezers are packed with food. We covet the new gadget our friend has because ours is an older version.

You see the real problem is not the complaining or murmuring; It’s a lack of gratitude towards God.

I remember when I was in the 1st or 2nd grade, my grandma was my main guardian since my dad was in the Navy and out at sea for 6 months. We lived in a 1-bedroom apartment, along with several other relatives. I don’t remember much, but I do remember lying to my grandma about a field trip I had. I knew that she would not allow me (or at least I assumed) to go on that trip (it was a swimming trip). So what I did was I packed my backpack with extra clothes. Every weekday, she would walk from our apartment to my school which was about 10 minutes. Since I knew that we would be arriving 20 minutes before school ended, I planned it out so I had enough time to change into the same clothes I wore when she dropped me off in the morning.

Nobody taught me to lie. It’s just in my sinful nature. In spite of my wrongdoing, I am grateful for a gracious and merciful God.

The Bible gives a list of things that God hates. Now, hate is not a “crime” if you are hating on things that break God’s heart. No doubt, as the Creator and Maker of this universe, He has the right to hate whatever would draw us away from Him.

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Spring is here and we all could do some spring cleaning. As much as we may need to clean out our homes, offices, or whatever else, we tend to forget or neglect a Spiritual Cleansing.

Rather than focusing on having clean homes,  let’s start having clean hearts. 

And here is how you can start today: Proverbs 6:16-19

  1. Get rid of your pride. We all have it and sometimes it can take its toll and make us into someone we will eventually regret being or cause us to do things that will disappoint. At the middle or center of the word PRIDE,  is the letter “i.” How incredible is it that the whole agenda of the the person with pride is centered around one thing – themselves? In addition, NOBODY likes or enjoys the company of those that are prideful. Proverbs 16:18, Psalm 101:5,
  2. Stop lying. Whether you’re a young adult or an older adult reading this, we all need to be reminded that there is no such thing as a little white lie. A lie is a lie and God hates lying. Proverbs 12:19, 22, Proverbs 19:9,
  3. Stop shedding innocent blood. I am against abortion, simply because the Bible says it’s murder. There could be reason after reason as to why someone would commit abortion but it does not mean it’s right.  “Wrong is wrong even if everyone else is doing it and right is right even if no one else is doing it.”  I could go on talking about this topic but I’ll just leave it at that. Exodus 20:13
  4. Stop planning wicked things. Whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Before someone does something wicked, they think about something wicked. Actions are a result of a desire instilled in someone’s mind and heart. Proverbs 1:16, Psalm 36:4,
  5. Start being wise. King Solomon is the wisest man that ever lived. However, he still did some foolish things. Many of us jump into something, before getting counsel or taking deep consideration. We become so quick to run to mischief and end up hurting ourselves and sometimes, those closest to us. Proverbs 12:15, James 1:5, Proverbs 16:9
  6. Stop being a false witness, speaking lies. Many times, people twist the meaning of somethings. Some use the phrase, “Please pray for so & so… or Have you heard”
    only to open up a can of worms. In reality, we don’t mean well when we say this; rather we are wanting to start the game of Telephone. This game can start off by having two teams or groups. Each group forms a line. The leader then whispers a phrase to the first person in line and that person is to repeat whatever the he/she heard to the next person and so on… The only catch is you are only allowed to say “the phrase” one time. The first of last person in each group to say the correct phrase wins. The point of this game is what you hear is not always the truth and when stuff gets spread, it becomes gossip and what was mentioned in the beginning becomes twisted, many times, far from the truth. Proverbs 16:28, James 1:26, Proverbs 20:19, Exodus 23:1
  7. Stop sowing discord among brethren.  I have heard that the only army that shoots down itself is the Christian army. As sad as that sounds, there’s some truth to that. How often do Christians criticize, discourage, or gossip about other Christians? It happens way too much in Christian circles and it ought not to. How is the world, (the unsaved) supposed to want to have what we have if we don’t act & live what we “preach?” Romans 16:17-18, James 4:11

So whether you’re the person with the cleanest home or the the person that is constantly trying to clean your house but stuff shows up out of nowhere, we could all use a Spring Cleansing of our Hearts during this season and we can start by applying this list.