I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full. Psalm 139:14
Kim R. is today’s Monday’s Mom! She bakes some of the most delicious treats I have ever tasted, right in her very own kitchen! Seaside Sweets Bakery
is her way to share her love of baking with others. I have heard many wonderful stories of the mouth-watering cookies she ships everywhere in the United States. One of Kim’s greatest inspirations is the beauty she sees around her every day. This is why today’s blog entry fits so beautifully! Enjoy; be inspired; and have a SWEET day! God bless, Christy
This is our first year living in the home we are in now, and there are many trees and shrubs on the property, some of which desperately need trimming. It’s a stunningly beautiful day today, and with it being the first day of daylight savings, I decided to tackle some much-needed yard work. As I surveyed our backyard and looked at all the branches my boys have turned into swords or light sabers throughout the fall and winter seasons, all I saw was an overwhelming mess in the midst of bare trees and brown grass.
After about an hour of working, I stopped to see if I had made even a dent in the mess, and a glimmer of bright color nestled behind a sea of brown branches caught me eye. Investigating further, I discovered the most beautiful flowering tree/bush. Each pink petal so delicately placed exactly where it’s supposed to be was framed perfectly by strong, shimmering, green leaves. I could do nothing but stand in complete awe of it’s beauty. The first words that came to my mind were–you are fearfully and wonderfully made!
As our seasons begin to change, we are easily reminded to look closer at the beautiful details around us; from trees budding and flowers blooming, to birds chirping melodic music in the morning. What if we all looked closer at the beautiful details in the people we encounter each day, too? What if, instead of rushing through our days caught up in the stresses of our own lives, trying to bypass any unnecessary hassles, we noticed others. Are they smiling or do their eyes tell you they could they use a hand or maybe just a simple kind word?
That amazing pink flower stopped me in my tracks, and I noticed it because of it’s stunning details. When we really think about how fearfully and wonderfully He made each of us, it’s imperative that we notice the details in each other.
To God be the glory!
By Christy M.
I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me the strength. Philippians 4:13
Welcome Heather P., our Monday’s Mom! I have known Heather for almost ten years now, and without a doubt, I can definitely say that she is truly a networking extraordinaire! She loves people, and she loves to share, whether it’s a great household tip, a new recipe, or spreading the word about someone’s new blog or project! That’s why I’m so thankful I am able to share one of HER projects today! First, enjoy her powerful entry below, and then please be sure to check out this Facebook page
to see a project that is very near and dear to her heart!
I have always tried to encourage my boys in whatever way I can. One way is to remind them that they have to maintain control over their thoughts or the enemy is sure to take over with negativity and lies. One of my more common “nuggets of wisdom” is to tell them that “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, chances are good that you will be proven right in either case.”
However, there’s something about those nuggets of wisdom, at least for me…
God tends to use them to motivate and encourage me as well. See, I too am subject to what I call stinkin’ thinkin’. This is where I throw myself a pity party saying, “I can’t do that, I’m not good enough,” or “I can’t do that, and it’s not fair!” It’s those times that my Heavenly Father reminds me that if I think I can or I think I can’t, chances are good that I might be right–usually after one of these pep talks and lots of prayer going something like this:
Ok, God, you are right. If I think I can’t I might be right and I am willing to think that I can, but I need your help. Equip me with the wisdom I need, your wisdom and insight, to find the solution to this problem.
Most recently, a perfect example of that happened. My boys and I had plans to go out of town and travel to my parents’ house a few states away. While we were there, we were going to celebrate with a baby shower for my youngest sister. Unfortunately, though, there were a variety of things going on here at home that resulted in us not being able to travel. As you might suspect, a subsequent pity party ensued. My frustration was clearly evident, and my children definitely felt my disappointment in addition to feeling their own. We all became more short-tempered with one another and less tolerant of the little irritations.
However, once I finally gave in to giving the situation to God and let Him have His plan, we were able to find a workable solution. Internet video chatting! We did a test run the night before the shower so my boys could see their grandparents, aunts, and uncle. We worked out the particulars for the next day, and I was able to attend my sister’s baby shower – virtually! Now, I admit it wasn’t quite like being there, but given the circumstances and my willingness to give the situation to God, I believe He honored my wish and helped us find a workable compromise.
This all served as a powerful lesson for my boys as well as myself. In addition to their own disappointment, they were able to see that their mom was also upset, and it helped them see that I am human, too. More importantly, though, we were all able to see how God sometimes says no to the way our plans are originally laid out. In the end, I was able to model the appropriate way to handle the situation, albeit after a some stinkin’ thinkin’, a hissy fit, and pity party thrown by me; and thankfully, He still granted me my desire to be a part of my sister’s baby shower.
Father, God, we thank you for the fact that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in your image. That when our hearts are willing, you work through us to grant our hopes and desires. May we be continually reminded to put our trust in you!
Restless, frustrated, uncertain.
Offended, hurt, obstinate.
Not sure what to do.
Di-secting, over-analyzing, exasperated.
Defiant, defensive, ready to attack.
Weighing the consequences.
Not sure what to do.
Not sure what to do.
At the end of self.
At the end of self.
Crying for help.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Humble yourselves, therefore, under [My] mighty hand, that [I] may lift you up in due time. Cast all your cares on [Me] because [I] care for you.
1 Peter 5:6, 7
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye. Psalm 32:8
Trust in [Me] with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all ways, acknowledge [Me], an [I] will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5,6
Able to forgive. Free.
Able to clearly see His path.
Able to listen to HIS plan….and follow it.
May we turn to you in uncertain times and fall into your loving arms. May we grow closer to you. May we allow you to work in us, so we may become more like you.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4,5
Today, on the Cross Moms facebook page I shared a quote from a friend that said, “It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult…choose your words wisely.” This quote spoke to me so strongly this morning, but more as a conviction rather than an inspiration. You see, last night was one those *”terrible, horrible, no good, very bad… wish you could move to Australia” kind of nights.
One of the long-standing battles in my house is laundry. When I worked full time, I paid someone to do our laundry. That was definitely a “luxury” I gave myself and my family because I knew how horrible I was at it–not to mention, I hated doing it. Since we moved and I am now staying at home, I have embraced the idea of doing my family’s laundry…and I will say that God has been working on adjusting my attitude.
However, yesterday, while the boys were at school, I came to the realization that lately I have been washing and folding more than ten loads of laundry per week! We have five people in our family. If we all dirty the clothes we wear for the week and then include our towels and sheets in another load, that comes to only six loads of laundry! Where are all of these extra loads coming from?
Okay–stay with me here….Another long-standing battle in our house is the boys’ bedrooms. They are notorious for making huge messes playing in their rooms and not picking up after themselves. When I worked full time, I never cleaned their rooms for them. I helped them by showing them how to break the cleaning up into chunks, i.e.–pick up all books first; throw away all papers next; find all dirty clothes, etc…but I rarely cleaned it for them. Since I am staying home now, though, I have found myself cleaning their rooms for them; and unfortunately, they have just come to expect me to pick up all their messes.
And this is where the two long-standing battles collided yesterday in an all out war…
The boys came home. I asked them to pick up their rooms. They did. Friends showed up at the door, and they quickly dashed off to play. Later on, as my youngest son was getting ready for bed, I was on my way to grab another load of laundry to fold, and I took a peek in their rooms to see how well they cleaned. The rooms looked nice! Cool! Then I passed their laundry closet—an entire load of laundry, which I had folded earlier and lay on their beds to be put away, was stuffed in the dirty clothes. THE CLOTHES WERE STILL FOLDED!
This is where I kind of lost my temper–okay–no “kind of”–I definitely lost my temper. I failed to do what I always tell my children to do–count to ten and breathe before speaking–and I poured out my frustrations on all three of my boys with a loud booming voice. My heart aches right now as I think of my youngest one pleading, “Okay Mommy. Please just don’t yell anymore.” Needless to say, when he spoke those words, I stopped yelling. In fact, my voice softened to almost a whisper because I wanted to cry.
In that moment, I asked God to please forgive me, help me calm down, and say the words HE wanted my children to hear. And HE did! As the tension began to wane and the mood settled, the words new mercies came to my mind. Because of Jesus, we are given new mercies every day! Praise the Lord, because I needed them right then and there. Tucking them in and scratching their backs, I asked my children for forgiveness for yelling so much, but also expressed that there are many things we all need to work on as a family, so we can be better stewards with what God has given us–including our voices.
If your heart is burdened with anger, frustrations, failed attempts at communicating or parenting, know that Jesus died on the cross so our “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad…wish we could move to Australia” moments can be forgiven; so we can experience true mercy; so we can have an example of how to show mercy to others.
I praise you and thank you for your loving forgiveness. Thank you that there is so much more you want us to learn.
* Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst
By Christy M.
…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God… Ephesians 3:17, 18
I always love talking to God throughout my day; from little breath prayers when an ambulance races by, sirens blasting, to whispered exaltation’s when I see His awe-inspiring beauty around me. Either way, I am always talking to my Best Friend. In fact, my oldest son witnessed a stunning sunset on a camping trip this fall, and he said he leaned over to his buddy and moaned, “If my mom were here, she’d be saying, ‘Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!'”
Recently though, some have shared that they would like me to pray for them because I seem to be a “prayer warrior.” I have been quite humbled by their sincere requests. For most of my life, though, I had never heard of this term. I honestly had assumed it was someone who just always prayed a lot. Yes, that I do, but by no means do I come close to the definition of warrior in God’s spiritual army praying for His intervention in the greater world around me. You see, my prayers are usually, honestly, more selfish. They focus more on my day-to-day needs for my family and friends. They focus on seeking God’s will for my life.
As I researched the term prayer warrior, I came across an amazing post that defines one beautifully and shares examples of those warriors found in the Bible. I have never considered myself a prayer warrior, but as I am learning more, oh how I want to be one!
There are so many overwhelming and daunting challenges we face in this world. I find that I feel somewhat helpless in making a real change at times; however, as my understanding of a prayer warrior grows, I am feeling more and more empowered to take up my weapon–PRAYER!
May we all discover the prayer warrior in each of us, and take our place in His army.
Have you ever felt the Lord calling you to do something for His Kingdom? About five years ago, I felt that tug for the first time in my life, and I took a step in faith. I immediately saw the Lord working. I had never experienced before the thrill of truly being a vessel for change. The passion and excitement that filled my entire being felt like no other. I was Ready. To. Go! With some great ideas in mind and the gift of gab to make headway, my pursuit for the Lord commenced full speed ahead. If He was with me, who could be against me, right?
During the first year or two everything went so smoothly, and I truly believed the Lord was guiding my steps because everything I was trying to do was coming to fruition. However, with each little success, I put another little feather in my own hat, and as my ego inflated, the lines between God’s will and my actions became blurred. You see, I had convinced myself that since He was with me and He called me, no one could be against me. What I had lost sight of though, was—was I with Him? Was I continually seeking Him for guidance?
Fast forward one year. Many challenges began to arise as this new change was implemented. Frustration, dissension, and hardened hearts followed. My ego took a huge beating, and I immediately defaulted to a defensive mode. But this is what God called me here to do! How can people not see that this is what is supposed to happen?
Then one morning, a very dear person whom I have always loved and respected shared a devotion. As she spoke of how the Lord gave her 1 Peter 5: 5-7, I knew deep in my heart they were words the Lord wanted me to hear.
“….God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
And that’s exactly what I had to do. In the long run, yes, God’s will was done and change did come where He called it. But change also came in me. I learned so much during those five years. Even as one of the most challenging seasons of my life, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Because now, as I am feeling that tug again to do something for His Kingdom, He has given me insights I never knew before.
I pray that if you have been called by the Lord to do His will, no matter what it is, please be encouraged to:
- Seek Him first and continually.
- Humble yourself.
- Know that He loves you no matter what, and your worth is not tied to the job He is calling you to do.
- Recognize the people He places before you are also His children.
Thank you for letting me share.