Is your purse empty? 

Last week my husband brought home a wonderful surprise for me, a Kate Spade gift set. The set included a sleek, black, leather wallet and a chevron print phone cover. I quickly asked, “how much was it?” You see I don’t like for people to spend money on me. My sweet husband explained to me there was a promotion going on at work and he got it for free. Wow! I don’t know who Kate Spade is, but I love free gifts. Later I realized Kate Spade is actually a well known designer. Well, I need a new purse to go with my fancy wallet now, you see this wallet won’t fit in my current purse, plus if I was going carry around a Kate Spade wallet now, I need to have a name brand purse to go with it. So the following day I went shopping. I found a MK tote from TJ Maxx, it wasn’t full price, but it wasn’t cheap either. After a few days of carrying it around, I felt guilty. We are in the process of buying a new house and we need to be wise with our money, also, there are tons of other things I could spend that money on, so I returned it. 

The day after returning it, I went out looking for a purse again, I was on a mission. I spent an hour and a half between three different stores. Looking up and down the aisle, pushing purses left and right to see what was behind them. Even taking pictures with name brand purses like MK and Kate Spade, so I could send them to my mom and get her opinion. After searching and looking for what seemed like hours (my poor kids), I left! This was ridiculous! As I drove off toward my next errand, I felt like a spoiled brat, I was frustrated and pouty because I couldn’t find “the purse” I wanted one.

That night after cleaning up from dinner I got on the computer and started looking again, yes again! I was trying to find deals, but the prices were still in the hundreds! Finally, something said look at H&M. I found the perfect solid black purse, under $30 (after my discount)! Now that’s something I can buy!

As I laid down that night I started thinking about how much people feed the “brand” name, just hashtag brand names on Instagram! They also spend hundreds of dollars on the outward appearance from clothes to makeup and hours grooming themselves from manicures to hair treatment. But how much time do we spend investing on the inner self? I spent hours looking for a stupid purse that had the outer appearance altogether…it was cute, expensive, trendy, and had the hashtag liketoknow.it all over it, but none of that matters if the purse is empty inside because you invested all your money on the outward appearance. Who cares what clothes you wear, handbags you carry, and shoes you strut, if you have nothing inside that’s worth any kind of substance? 

Don’t get me wrong, if you have the money and you want to give me a name brand purse, I will gladly take it…lol. No, really if you have the money, fine. Also, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with getting your hair colored and your nails painted, I actually have an appointment on Thursday to get my roots done! I just want to encourage you to not get wrapped up in the outward appearance. For in 1 Samuel 16:7 it says, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Yeah, you might look real cute for your Instagram pic, but is your purse empty? 

Prayer: Lord, may our character speak louder than our wardrobes. Help us Father, to focus our attention on what pleases you, rather than be concerned about how many followers and likes we have on social media. Search our hearts and guide us in your truth. In Jesus Name, Amen

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

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Christianity Is Not About Rules

If I was asked to sum up Christianity in one word, what would it be? Well, I would choose a four letter word, L-O-V-E, LOVE.

People, the church and religion has complicated Jesus!

I have four beautiful kids. Each time I gave birth, the nurse would put my sweet baby in my right arm and a large rule book in the other arm…no, not really. The nurse didn’t need to give me a rule book of do’s and don’t’s.

You see, when she placed my baby girls and my baby boy in my arms, I instantly felt LOVE. I wanted to be the best mom possible for them.  As I looked in their eyes, the love was so strong, at that moment I knew my life wasn’t my own. From that point on, my life was their’s! I was there to protect and guide them.

Is it required to have a rule book to be a parent? NO, but I now wanted all the information I could get my hands on to help me raise my children! Why, because I love them. Parents that truly love their children are constantly asking advice from doctors, other moms, and family members. They spend time reading books and blogs on parenting, terrible twos, potty training, teenage years, etc…that’s because when we love, we give our best to those we love.

How many of us take our kids to sports practice, dance class, piano lessons etc. multiple times a week or even drive an hour or two to their event every weekend? Why do we do it?  We do it because we love them, we will go the distance for those we love.

That goes the same for our relationship with God. When we ask Jesus into our life, we are instantaneously filled with LOVE. We quickly realize our life is not our own, but God’s. We don’t need a church to give us a list of do’s and don’t’s, but because we love Jesus with all our heart we want to read all we can about Him. When we love Him, we long to spend time with Him in prayer, talking to Him. You desire to build a close relationship with Him and when you deeply love Him, you never want to leave Him. You will possibly find yourself driving 40 to 50 minutes to church, three to four times a week…why, because you love Him.

To be a Christian is not complicated at all. Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and the rest will follow.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ~Matthew 22:37

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ~Mark 12:30

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind..’ ~Luke 10:27

 

 

 

Perfection is Not the Answer!

FTH_1151Hi, my name is Moses. No, not really, but at times I feel like him. I am not eloquent with my words and grammar is my second worse subject (History is my first, I just can’t remember all those dead people and the dates they died!). But even so, I feel God’s call on my life, so strong at times, to speak, write, pray, and encourage others that I can’t silence it.

Exodus chapter 4 tells us about Moses. He was not a confiedent man. He was an insecure human that stuttered, and lacked his self worth.  He questioned and doubted God over and over in this chapter. Finally, the Lord has had enough when he tells him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

God doesn’t need a perfect man or woman to use. He receives no glory for the one that has it all together! He takes us as we are, does the impossible, and then he receives all the praise!

Friend, don’t let your weaknesses handicap you. Stop making excuses. There are people needing to be set free! They are enslaved in this world and the devil has pulled the wool over their eyes. Believe me if God is pulling at your heart strings, He will strengthen you to do the task ahead.

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. ~2 Corn. 3: 4-5 
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~Phil 4:13 

 

Faith to Move

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Faith is put into practice when you step away from the familiar. 

For almost twenty years we’ve been comfortable in our church. It’s where my husband was saved, where I rededicated my life, it’s also where I met and married my husband, then our kids were dedicated and baptized there too.  We didn’t just attend church, we were the church, we were leaders and volunteers!

Then an opportunity came, a promotion to be exact! It wasn’t a surprise to us, I had been praying about moving for a couple years now. I knew it was coming and I wasn’t happy about it. I’m a family person, I love being around family, and making memories with them! One early morning, on my way home from the gym, I was praying. I spoke the words, “I pray Javi walks in your will….”, and as soon as the words left my tongue peace came over me. I heard God say, “You’ve been praying this over and over, I’ve heard your prayers, do you not think He’s in my will? He’s in my will because you have prayed for it.” At that moment my heart was ready to go wherever God opened the door.

Five or six months later my husband was promoted and we were moving to Georgia! Now we had to have faith for God to sell our house, help us to find a new house in a good location, and a new church!

Again, I faced a time of doubt. I was flat out miserable because I was doubting God. It was like I was in a depression state, a needy loaf, constantly asking my husband for reassurance. Day after day I continued to worry about our house not selling. Then one Sunday morning on the way to church, I heard God speak to my heart. “When you are ready to stop all of this, I’m here,” so out loud I said, “Enough! I’m done worrying and fretting, this is in God’s hands and I’m done trying to be God!” Again, within seconds I felt peace and a calmness that can only come from Him.

I would love to tell you that our house has sold, but it hasn’t! Now ask me how are you doing? Well, I’m doing fabulous, thanks for asking! Yes, I can confidently say I’m doing great because I don’t just know who is in charge, but I believe it!

We have visited four churches, in all different areas of Georgia, since moving up here last month. If our house would have sold a month ago we would be at one of those churches. I believe it wasn’t meant for us to attend there, not because it’s a bad church, but it wasn’t the church for us. I choose to look at our house not selling as God’s hands moving in our favor. When He closes one door, He will open another. We are on an amazing adventure and our faith is growing as we lean fully on His direction and wisdom.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

Make Time

As I was taking down the Christmas tree the other day, I noticed a picture frame ornament that I had never put a picture in. For a month and half this ornament hung on our tree empty. Yeah, that’s pretty crazy, but the fact is it remained picture-less because it never made it to the top of my priority list. 

“I just don’t have time” or “it’s been so busy lately!” These are common statements I here way to often. 
The truth is we make time for what is important to us. 

What will you make time for this year? 

Here are some given priorities that should not waver:

*spending time in the Word and with God

*spending time with your husband (date nights, etc…)

*quality time with your children

*take time to invest in yourself and your health

If these above items don’t make it on your list you might want to consider reevaluating your priorities. 
 

One Word…

 As we close the door on 2015, I want you to think back on the good and the bad. Reflect on things that stick out that you wish you would have done different. Yes, it’s in the past and we can’t change it, but looking at our history will help us to make a better future.

Now 2016 is knocking and you have the opportunity to make it an exceptional year. Many do this by making a plan. They write down all their new year resolutions, which is great, but I want to change it up a little. 

A few years ago I was asked to choose one word to describe our new homeschool year that was coming. I choose fun! The past years had been challenging with moves and pregnancies, so that year we would learn, but I wanted to have lots of fun with the kids and we did!

I want you to think about all the hats you wear wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, etc. Let’s take it a little deeper and think about just “you”. What does God have for you in 2016? What is the one word that will define this year to come? 

Mine is RELATIONSHIP! 

2 Corn. 6:16 …”I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

God is here, He longs to be in a relationship with us. When you are in a relationship with someone you make them the priority. He will be the priority in 2016!

Divorce doesn’t occur because the couple had a strong relationship. By continuing to invest in my marriage, I’m building a relationship with my husband that won’t be easily broken.

We only have a few years with our children until they are off living their lives. I want to create strong relationships with each of them while I have the chance. 

Last but not least, how can someone trust you if you aren’t in a relationship with them. I want to make sure that I’m establishing relationships with others, so God can use me to encourage them. 

Receive It

 
This morning, while driving home from the gym, I started praying over big decisions that could affect our near future. Words like peace, guidance, wisdom and direction rolled off my tongue. That’s when I felt it! This was not a new prayer, these were not foreign words from my mouth, but this prayer I have prayed over my husband daily! In that very moment I felt His peace. It was there the whole time, waiting for me to just receive it. I felt God say to my heart, he’s already walking in my wisdom and my will because you seeked me way before the decision arose!” 

Friend, if we aren’t careful, our prayers can become redundant. Like a child shivering every night in his bed. His parents have already provided him with a blanket, all he has to do is WAKE UP and get it! 

God is standing at your feet with peace, wisdom, guidance, love…your answered prayer, if only you’ll WAKE UP from the motions of redundancy and receive it!