Tag Archives: motherhood

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The very •words• we speak are more powerful than we will ever know. The tongue is actually responsible for life and death.

Proverbs 18:21 (msg) Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

I saw a meme on Facebook that really stood out to me – it said “if the words you speak frequently were tattooed on your body what would they say?” Wow. Would your body be – a reflection of Jesus or an imitation of the enemy. 

When we’ve asked our kids to do something for what seems the hundredth time – what words and tones do we use? When our husbands miss the laundry basket by a foot with their dirty socks (or just one and the other somewhere else lol) how do we respond? OR do we react? I’ve had my fair share of reactions but the more I draw near to Him the more I’m learning to respond and quietly! Someone once said, “If you want your children to listen – whisper it instead of screaming it” (Kudos to the hubby who now puts his socks IN the laundry room 🙂 newly weds…the day WILL come for you – keep a gentle spirit ha)

So not only are our words vital but the tones that go with them. If we want life to the FULL and desire to have “good days” we must learn to •zip it• (speaking to myself here) Build •others• UP and you’ll notice the Father will build you UP – with a deep down  satisfaction that -no one- else can bring.

1 Peter 3:10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

When we meditate on Him and receive the words He has for us — it’s much easier to allow God words to flow out of our mouths.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Father help my words be -God words- ones that reflect and extend YOU. To the stranger on the side of the street to the President of the United States and all in between help them see YOU in me. Help my heart and mouth be pure and in sync with You. Thank you for Your Spirit who helps to keep us in check. My prayer is for the Helper to convict me more and more of the words and tones I use – it’s not only a “me thing” but for those around me – those to whom I speak to. Help my words be holy as You are holy. 

In Christ,

Jessica Fox

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Higher Thoughts 

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Higher Thoughts 

I know I’m not the only one that gets overwhelmed with the ins and outs of every. day. life. It’s easy to become •distracted• with our thoughts, worries or concerns. It’s also easy to take the mundane tasks for granite. 

Are you lost today in your thoughts? Do you feel as if you are walking in defeat? The Father says that’s enough and that He has come to give us *life* and life to the •FULL• The dictionary defines -full- as:

*Containing or holding as much or as many as possible; having no empty space.

*Not lacking or omitting anything; complete.

We get to choose what we are “full” of. We can ~choose~ fear and doubt to reign in our hearts which leads to chaos. OR we can ~choose~ faith and joy that is deep within us that leads to p e a c e.

The enemy LOVES for us to be fearful – the more fear the better. The enemy’s desire is for us to be so full of fear that we are completely distracted by it instead of dwelling in Faith. Faith is GREATER than fear but we cannot discredit or ignore the downspiral effect it has on believers today. I’ve read “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers a few times and I totally agree that the mind IS a battlefield. IF the enemy can sneak in – just by one. single. thought. He’s got you right where he wants you. It just takes a little space to create a flood of negative thoughts. 

Colossians 3:2 says “Set your minds on things •above•, not on earthly things.”

That’s a daily act…a million times a day act. For example, when your kids are acting up and you feel like you can’t handle another outburst – set your mind on things above. When you get a not so good report from a doctor – set your mind on things above. When you’re not sure how you’re going to pay a bill – set your mind on things above. When your car breaks down and you’re late for work – set your mind on things above. When you are unhappy at your job and feel as if you can’t clock in not even one more day – set your mind on things above. When the enemy whispers you’re not good enough – set your mind on things above.

When we •think• God thoughts and become FULL of His word and Spirit – there’s no room for anything else. The very definition of -full- shows us that statement to be true. “Having NO empty space”

My challenge today (myself included) is to think God thoughts – ones that align our hearts and minds to His Word. All other thoughts – take captive and release to Him. Personally, I find it helpful to •verbally• share my concerns with Him. This can be done in your car or in your kitchen – or wherever because He dwells in us and is Emmanuel – the WITH us God. 

Ps 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and He *will* sustain you; He will •never• let the righteous be shaken.

Set your minds on things above and walk in His fullness,

Jessica Fox

Send me – I’ll go

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Send me – I’ll go

Let me start off by saying I’m so incredibly thankful for worldwide missionaries – ones that •go• where others do not. Ones that are -called- and sent out to share His love. They have my highest respect!

Believers who share God’s love with their nextdoor neighbor also have my highest respect. The Word does not say that someone is valued more by the Father by occupation. Thank the Lord that HIS grace and love is enough for us ALL.

I’ve been meeting with a group of young ladies weekly and I am so loving the friendships that are growing while our relationship with the Father is deepening. It’s definitely had a “deep & wide” effect on me. 

We’ve been talking about praying dangerous prayers and being more bold in our Faith.

The book we are going through is entitiled “Set my Heart on Fire” by Lee Grady and I highly recommend you reading it!

Very inspiring and eye opening to the Spiritual realm. Life with God is so much deeper than salvation. While that’s necessary to be in relationship with Him and receive His grace – it is the foundation of what it yet to come. 

Thankful that His Spirit empowers us to walk in Him to the full! For example, we can share our faith with gentle boldness, we can speak LIFE into others, we benefit from His discernment, we can have a prayer language and so much more!

Personal story…a few weeks ago I felt led to purchase the order of the car behind me at Starbucks. I got up to the window and paid for mine and then said I’d like to pay for the car behind me. The barista at the window said “Wow what a generous thing to do” my response? “Thank you” – THANK YOU- 

I drove off and the Holy Spirit began to speak to me – I had taken credit for the generous act. For all they know I could have been a generous atheist. I did not acknowledge Him at all. Now I do believe the Holy Spirit can work regardless of me BUT it was a fear issue. I had asked earlier “Send me – I’ll go” but I went in fear and didn’t acknowledge Him with boldness. I believe Fear is the enemy’s “rest” if you will. He loves for us to be crippled and paralyzed by it so much so that we choose fear over FAITH.

I heard this deep in my heart, as a teachable moment, “The Father is SO generous to me daily and I wanted to share His love”

^^^That will be my response the next time. Who knows what could come from that statement? The Lord could open the door for me to lead the barista to HIM. But I must obey and speak with God confidence – that can only be found in Him. 

In our study one chapter talks about “flowing in the Spirit” and how when we *attempt* to in our flesh – it’s exhausting and not effective. When we flow IN HIM it is edifying and not only effective but contagious. 

My challenge to you and to myself is to pray “God send me – I’ll go, with God confidence that only comes from You. Increase Your Spirit in me and decrease my selfish motives. Help me keep my heart and intentions pure.”

When you pray “dangerous prayers” like that – watch out because God WILL use you. You may be heading to Africa or buying meals at restaurants or leading people to the Lord in the middle of the grocery store. You may be playing basketball outside with the neighborhood kids – extending God’s love to them because their family may be going through a divorce, you may be smiling at strangers or leading a small group at your church. Don’t put God in a box and allow Him to flow •through• you as you seek more of Him.

Proverbs 3:6 In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, And He WILL make your paths straight.

Much love,

Jessica Fox

(Coffee mug picture from http://www.anqu.com/tu_543/22890_7/)

Be a source of JOY – wife version

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Dear soon to be wife or newly wed, I was you – exactly 7 1/2 years ago! You know, we have it all together – working, volunteering, taking care of the house, planning a wedding and maybe even taking college classes. At the time, I thought I knew quiet a bit – I’m not saying I did not know anything but acknowledging now that I did not know as much as I thought.

One thing I’ve learned over the past several years carrying the title “wife and mother” is – we are CALLED to BE a source of JOY to our husbands.

Let’s rewind 7 years ago to a morning in our bathroom where I was literally about to kill my new handsome perfect to me husband (ok not kill but pretty close lol)
– I fell into the toilet bc he had left the seat up
– The toothpaste lid was off
– His underwear and socks were literally in every corner

I remember getting SO upset over “these things.” I mean how could two humans clash so badly but yet love each other over the moon and back and be on the same page in life?

You see God uses even “these things” to teach, shape and mold us. Ok fast forward 7 1/2 years (we’ve been youth pastor’s, experienced a miscarriage, grown more knowledge in financial matters, experienced heartbreak from unfulfilled dreams, Hayden going back and graduating from college after Gabe was born, death of our grandfathers, have two beautiful children, moved a few times….etc) we’ve been through a lot together to say the least – BUT GOD. He is faithful through every season. So anyways I’ll stop rambling. Wives how do we become a “source of joy” to our husbands?

1. Acknowledge that we cannot meet his every need and vice versa. First we must fill ourselves FULL of the Father. Read His word daily – multiple times a day (you ALWAYS have time) I encourage you to journal as well. Not a happy, fluffy or fake journal but one where you are REAL with God – about everything. There was a season when I was a new mom and felt like I didn’t “have time” to read my Bible and I went through a slump – that’s why I always say…you HAVE time – make it.

2. SERVE your husband. We live in such a “me” world that it’s gotten SO far away from what our Creator envisioned us doing. The moment you are “too good” to be a helping hand or to pick up after him without being asked then I feel we need to “reconnect” and make sure our hearts are truly aligned with HIS. Trust me I’ve picked up a LOT of underwear, socks and clothes that pile up on “that chair” over the years and the earlier years when I complained about it – did NOTHING. He at least gets them “near” the laundry basket now but what harm does it really do for me to pick them up? A few of my friends have lost their husbands unexpectedly due to car accidents lately and let’s just say – a moment like that – puts things into perspective. I thought to myself – honey miss the basket every single day, leave your guitar case wide open and guitar laying in the corner – I’ll gladly pick it up. I now pray over his clothes when I’m folding, ironing and putting them away – something as simple as “God, protect him, keep him safe and bless him with his meetings today. God pour out your favor on his work day and let him be a light for you……” (Expressing your feelings and desires in a sweet and calm way go MUCH further than bickering and nagging) Our Father actually teaches us wives NOT to nag and bicker. Ugh that’s a hard one! Be a source of JOY. SERVE with a smile. This doesn’t mean to be a doormat and let a man treat you wrongly but it does mean position your heart with the Father and when your source of JOY is from Him then you will overflow.
3. Live simple! So often we get caught up in the materialist things we possess in our marriage instead of the moments. Moments > possessions we recently decided to sell quiet a bit of our things (some still pending) just to simplify. We’ve been eating at home much more and there’s something so unifying about “the table” at home with your little family around it. Eating out has become a “treat”. Life is beautiful and when we are constantly working to just dust our collection we miss out and our own joy is dampered. Nothing wrong with having nice things but when you both crave more and more – once again, reconnect and make sure your hearts are aligned with the Father not with the world.

I feel like all three of these points are daily processes – meaning – we never achieve all of these. We need to renew our minds and reconnect our hearts daily! I’m FAR from perfect and still gripe about things from time to time but – the beauty of attempting to *keep* and follow these three points are G R A C E. When God sees our heart and sees us truly striving HE will fill the gap. Where we are weak HE makes us strong. Where we are stubborn HE makes us humble. Where we are impatient HE makes us patient. Where we are grumpy HE makes us joyful. Our ultimate source is HIM.

I want to challenge you to continually “dine” with your Creator and HE will sustain you, HE will fill you to overflow.

Go be joyful wives and truly LOVE your husbands.

Dear Christian Millennials,

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Dear Christian Millennials,

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Dear Christian Millennials,

 

I’m one of you. I’m an organic eating, green cleaning, coffee addict who is an iPhone photographer. My social media pages are full of all things ; children, recipes and selfies captioned with an inspirational quote (because of course we wouldn’t want to come across vain for having a good hair day 😜)

Our world has labeled us as “tree hugging, self absorbent, spoiled adults” OUCH!

I want to speak to you from my heart – how I see our generation. Like or dislike – I’m sharing my opinion on the world and age group I live in.

First off, kudos to us for “waking up the farmer”. 💚 We have seen the effects of poor eating habits and environmental factors that have played a role in health issues with the ones we love. I’m glad we are “getting back to the basics” and simplifying our food choices. It thrills me to take my kids to the farmers market (with our reusable bags of course) and purchase fresh produce grown with love. Makes me feel good to sew into that farmer so they can in return provide healthy foods for my family.

I’m glad sunshine has become our medicine and fresh air our relaxer. Our generation has been known to have hobbies such as hiking, kayaking, fishing etc I’m glad we find comfort from natural elements – ones GOD created for us to enjoy and thrive in. ☀️🍂🍃🌻🌿🌾

It’s amazing to see young couples make the decision for the mother to stay home with their children and some even homeschool. (NOT saying any less of a working mother or school attending student as I have been in both scenarios myself) I’m just stating that homeschooling and stay home mothers are on the rise within the group. Millennial moms have also been labeled “traditional”

Men within this group of course are known for their beards and “man-buns” I personally think men have become more fashionable – that can be a plus right? My husband totally rocks the “beard look” They work hard – some more than one job. Millennial dads are known to be more involved with their children by coaching sports, playground days, helping out in the kitchen and of course those “giving mom a break” Saturday mornings.

Ok so there are many more positives I could name about our age group but I want to share some concerns of mine:

•We seek authority. See our parents were servants. I grew up a pastor’s daughter and saw time and time again my parents giving of themselves when they were just plain exhausted. They worked HARD (still do) and didn’t expect anything in return. They believed in sewing and planting seeds. They believed in investing in others without a paycheck.

Us? Not so much. We want promotion and we want it now. We don’t see the need to be faithful and committed but will do what it takes to get to the top – and fast. Many of us live the lifestyle our parents live NOW when they have worked 20 plus years to be where they are. We believe we deserve this and that we are “owed” and very much so entitled. These questions rush through our minds…What’s in it for me? If I give this of myself what will be given in return? We are living in the fast lane with no plan. We do what feels good and what gets quick results – this is what happened to our food industry and we have noticed how poisioness that was…why can’t we see how poisioness our pride is?

•We allow our children to behave much more freely than we were allowed. We are afraid that discipline will “corrupt” them when actually corruption is the result from lack of discipline

•We are apology seeking. Everyone else is always wrong…right? We don’t like to take ownership for our words OR actions but we are quick to be offended and expect a fluffy apology.

•On the contrary we are silent. Crazy huh? Boisterous and silent? This generation is all about human rights and equality to the point it clashes with our beliefs but we are silent. My son was born at 36 weeks and I was in tears to hear that certain individuals want to allow partial birth abortions! My son was breathing, eating and eliminating just fine and could much earlier than that! We are quick to make a stance but slow to provide the solution (preaching to myself there)

•We are a people that want unity and oneness in our world but yet afraid for our kids to use public restrooms. We talk about how disheartening it is that our children don’t salute the flag or start the day with the Pledge of Allegiance but don’t go the extra mile – afterall we can measure our concerns with the amount of “likes” we get on Facebook. WHY don’t we share our concerns? WHY don’t we make a stand? I believe it’s because we are numb to society. We have “allowed” things to happen and have misunderstood acceptance with chaos. We have been sold the lie that we are the generation of peace, acceptance and unity – we are puppets to those who are selling the lie.

•Our churches have become “fan clubs” seeking numbers, approval and Facebook blurbs versus hearts, disciples and followers. We speak what’s wanted and pleasing to the ear but shun what God says and where He stands with controversial situations. I read a wonderful book “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman and I was amazed to see I fell within the “fan club” category more than the follower description. Eye opening!

God created boundaries within this world but we have ran away from them thus the result of chaos. We are “getting back to the basics” with so many other areas – why can’t we with our beliefs? Other religions are proudly making a stand but yet we can’t.

Our parents will be and some have already retired…we are the next leaders. We must stop caving into the thought that we can sit around a campfire and sing “kumbyah” God created man AND woman. He created us with strengths and weaknesses – on purpose. He created us with drive and ambition BUT to be used to chase after Him – and in return HE will direct and convict us on what to do – that’s not a maybe but a PROMISE. God will remember and fulfill His promises (not on our watch but His) because He IS faithful.

How long will we be silent? How long will we continue to be the media’s puppets? How long will we allow selfish ambitions to be our drive? How long will we allow our children and ourselves to be a “social experiment”? How long will we allow the church to dismiss controversies?

I do believe another •GOOD• point about “us” is that we tend to speak with love and are more conscious of others. We don’t need to mistake that with fear of taking a stand and voicing our beliefs, fears or concerns. Make a stand today. Live and love on purpose with GOD’s purpose. Millennials, our today is our children’s tomorrow – make it count!

I want to close with this quote by George Barna,

“We lack an active, clear belief system based on solid scriptural principals. Now more than ever, we need a way of life that brings us clarity in the chaos, peace in the problems and boldness in the bad times. We need a new way of seeing – A Biblical perspective that guides our every thought and action. So what is that Biblical perspective? It’s a way of dealing with the world so that we act like Jesus, 24/7 because we think like Jesus. We need to think like Jesus”

Love,
An awakened millennialIMG_0821.PNG(pictures from google images – no source notated)

Shhhh…Library

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“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”(Colossians 4:5-6)

This morning I took Gabriel and Natalie to the local library. We have attended the “Story-time” a handful of times but he has never checked out books. While I was giving my information to obtain a library card, he was busy winning the hearts of the librarians and the older ladies that were meeting for a book club. When we received our new card we made our way to the children’s section. Our library has a wonderful children’s room filled with bright colors, puzzles, toy mazes and computers not to mention the rows and rows of books waiting for exploration.

Gabriel loves everyone he meets, his innocence is so precious. I love seeing him interact with other children and make it a point to have him play with others. We have been learning about sharing and what it means to take turns. He has become pretty awesome at sharing (it was challenging at first but with learning patience, teamwork and shedding tears he has it down).

There was a little girl about 4 years old that was in the room. He instantly makes his way over to her and says “hey friend”. She smiles and they sit down and play quietly having a fun time together-sharing just fine. Her mother and I were chatting away as our kiddos played nicely together.

As they were playing a couple more girls enter the room. The four of us were sitting at the kiddie table that had four chairs. The children’s mother walks in and instantly takes over the room – I know you other moms have been in these kind of situations before. Loudly ordering her daughters to do this and do that (in THAT voice) and then she disappears into the main section of the library (trusting that her girls do no wrong). Meanwhile, her daughter comes over and pushes Gabriel out of his chair onto the floor. He as well as myself and the other mother were taken by surprise because he was sitting there quietly playing. Crocodile tears roll down his face (and I could feel myself getting really flustered inside-of course that’s MY baby boy). Gabriel says “Mommy she not share” “She push me” “Hold me Mommy”. I politely and gently say this to the little girl, “Sweetheart, my son was sitting in this chair before you pushed him and was playing with this toy. He will be glad to share with you but he will need to sit in his chair.” She pushes the toy aggressively and runs to the next one (again taking a puzzle piece out of another child’s hand).

Meanwhile, Gabriel continues playing with the first kiddo he was playing with just fine. The girl’s mother walks back in and asks them to finish making their selections, to find them pulling and tugging a book back and forth. The book they were fussing over was a popular one and Gabriel had his eye on it the whole time. I’ve taught him that when you are done with something you put it back up and it becomes available to others. Gabriel had waited and waited for this book-I even said “wait your turn, when they put it up you may get it”. So the little girls put the book on the shelf and walked away (their library bag was already overflowing with other selections). The second that book hit the shelf he quickly walks up with a huge grin on his face and reaches for it with his adorable chunky little hands. The younger sister darts over and roughly jerks it out of his hands. Gabriel looks at her and tells her “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”. I about lost it (LOL). I quietly said to my son, “Gabriel you didn’t do anything wrong. You patiently waited for your turn to get the book. Lets just pick out another one and you can check it out the next time”. The mother turns and looks at my 2-year-old son as if he understood her and says, “My girls were playing with this book and are checking it out. It was there’s all along. They made a mistake by putting it on the shelf and walking away”. The mama bear inside of me wanted to say something back to this mother SO bad. I wanted to make MY point clear that Gabriel was in the right and her children were in the wrong. (Not saying that he is perfect because he is NOT and we encounter learning experiences DAILY). I wanted to let her know that her behavior as well as her children’s was out of line BUT, I felt a still quiet voice say, “Let it go”. The “ME in me” was tempted to sarcastically begin singing the song “Let if Go” from Frozen but I remained silent.

“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28)

I allowed the Holy Spirit to put a “shhhh” over my lips. Ironically, we were in the library 🙂 I could tell it was bothersome to the mother that I didn’t flinch or retaliate. She proceeded to rub it in that her children had the book by saying “look how colorful this book is and it even has a turning wheel (Gabriel’s favorite part of the book) to change the color” etc…(BLAH BLAH BLAH) I again wanted to say, “your girls are at least 3 or 4 years older than my son AND you have the whole library in your checkout bag-could you not let him have the book that he so patiently waited for?!?! The one that YOUR girls put back on the shelf and turned away???” But I again, remained silent.

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”(Colossians 4:5-6)

This is not a big issue compared to others and may sound silly to you. But to a mother of young children, it breaks your heart to see someone do them wrong. The mother of the child Gabriel had been playing with so well said this aloud “Well I guess he will have to learn that’s how things are in the world. You are such a sweet and gentle boy. I haven’t seen someone as kind and well-behaved as you n a while”. Inside I was like BOO-YAH but realised that God had honored my silence and allowed this mother to brag on Gabriel (to build him up) in the midst of what seemed like a war to a toddler. As we checked our books out, the librarian looked at us as if she had apologetic eyes and said “he is such a sweet boy, he really is”. She gave him a sticker and said “thank you for sharing”.

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:14)

My challenge from all of this is to evaluate your words. Evaluate your behavior in the midst of a trial. I am working on this daily as words can fly out of your mouth so easily. God has called HIS children to a higher standard. To let your words speak love and cause peace among others. Even if your point is correct it is not always necessary to blab it out. He has called us to be gracious as He is with us daily. Walk in wisdom and choose wisely the words you say because you never know what someone is going through. This mother could have definitely been going through a hard time and maybe had been holding in her emotions and snapped at my 2 year old. That doesn’t make it right but it doesn’t make it right for me to lower down to her actions and retaliate either. (Had it been a more aggressive situation, of course I would have intervened) I’m not saying let others walk on top of you-but don’t allow petty stuff to steal your joy, composure or witness.

xoxo,

Jess

Fight with Peace

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Ok so you’ve read the title and it seems bizzare….when we promote peace we usually don’t fight do we??!?!

I’m going to be open and honest in this post…I feel like someone out there needs to hear this.

Before having Gabriel I rarely battled with a yucky 5 letter word…WORRY. I was carefree and didn’t really have a worry in the world. See, I grew up in a wonderful Christian home and I don’t recall having to “fight” many battles at all…I had a pretty awesome childhood and not “sheltered” from reality but not going through any major trials of my own. I saw my dad go through many health trials but I hadn’t faced anything “super mega” challenging in my own life…well except if my tan wasn’t dark enough or my hair wasn’t life enough 🙂 I had not honestly seen the “real world” until moving out, getting married and moving away from my sweet little hometown. When you do those three things…you really grow up…fast. (Especially once having children). When my precious Gabriel was born, it’s like I birthed something else into my life…WORRY! At first, it was just “normal” stuff like checking on him a billion times in the middle of the night to make sure he was breathing (because he was a preemie he didn’t wake up screaming to nurse like Natalie does). I do know now with having two children that your basic “motherhood worries” are normal and ease up some after you enter about month 3 or so of babies life…but continue all throughout their lives with different seasons and new worries. (they don’t have to control you though) But…mine wasn’t easing up in my life. It actually grew and grew and grew into fear. I began to think up scenarios of things that “could happen” but most likely never ever would. I became so full of fear I felt paralyzed. I felt stuck. I felt alone. I have been a Christian for most of my life and had never experienced anything like this. I had NO clue you could worry over someone so tiny and small so much. The responsiblity of being a mother is tremendous because all of a sudden you are responsible for someone else’s precious life. My husband was so sweet and supportive during this trial…always praying and encouraging me.(Even though I was probably driving him crazy…I was driving myself crazy haha) I spoke with my Dad multiple times as well and he told me I’m going to have to overcome this battle with the PEACE of God.  It’s that very statement that got me thinking…you overcome trials and battles by fighting back with the peace of God. I began fighting each thought and scenario.  2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”

This verse became my constant meditation. I had it written all over the house. I had it pop up as a reminder on my cell phone, I memorized it, I spoke it all throughout the day. See the enemy LOVES to get into your mind and fill it with junk. It becomes a battle…a constant one. A reoccurring one. I also began reading “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers…which is an incredible book for anyone to read. It helps you see that God is on our side and He is fighting for us all along…we just have to SUBMIT our minds and OPEN them to allow him to.

God doesn’t desire us to worry…actually fear=doubt. And this is the lesson that God taught me in all of this. I let the enemy STEAL my joy of a having my sweet Gabriel. I had LET FEAR IN. I had allowed my thoughts to run wild and far away from God’s word. I wasn’t keeping them in order or submitting them to Him. I was taking things into my own hands…and well we see where that got me..on my knees! See I am (with the Holy Spirit) the MASTER of my mind. I can either think on things of this world (doubt, fear, insecurities…) or I can think on things ABOVE (joy, peace, love, kindness, JESUS). Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. The awesome thing about our Father is that HE is real. He doesn’t beat around the bush…He says it like it is…and I adore that! He desires us to be the same way with Him. He already knows the thoughts we are having…so speak them to Him and say something like this “Father, I don’t have time to think about this mess…I’m so fed up with the constant chain of thoughts…I’m tired of my life being ran by the what-if’s. I’m just honestly fed up with my mind..please Father take these thoughts away.” And you know what??? The thoughts don’t disappear like you’ve taken a “magic pill”. They are STILL there. It’s kind of like a war. Just because a solider is standing there…doesn’t make the enemy disappear….the soilder has to FIGHT him. Speaking your thoughts to God is step one of the battle. You are now allowing and asking God to fight them for you. Step two is consistently renewing your mind! It’s a multiple time a day event for me. It can be as simple as saying “God I give my thoughts to you…help me to honor you with each thought” A simple way that I began “retraining” my mind was speaking little things like this throughout the day… “Father I love you.” “Jesus give me peace” “Father I’m so thankful for You” “Father You are holy” “Jesus I know you are the beginning and the end” “God I know that no weapon formed against me shall prosper”…I would mix different thoughts of thankfulness and praise…and as I began thinking on those things, I didn’t have time to meditate on silly unrealistic worries. As I meditated on Christ…the worries started melting away. See, the battle was being won! (In my illustration of the war….the soilder was getting rid of the enemy one by one by fighting them) The victory was here. I with Christ on my side had WON my mind…my battle. We FOUGHT WITH PEACE..together!

My challenge for you today is to first, open your lives to allow our Father to fight the battle with and for you. Secondly, renew your mind daily! Take every thought captive and if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God…tell it to get OUT. I still every single day (sometimes multiple times) give my mind to Christ…because worry is a dirty little thing that tries to creep in over and over again. But now that I’ve won a big battle with Christ…the little “fusses” are much easier to overcome. I’ll leave you with this verse.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

xoxo,

Jess

Picture Perfect World

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A friend of mine recently told me I had a “picture perfect world”… While I do feel extremely blessed, my “world” is not perfect! One of my hobbies…(as most of you can probably tell) is capturing moments of my little ones. While it may seem like I post and take MANY pictures..they are only 3-4 photo shots out of a possible 7637846287 moments…in a day. The 3-4 photos you see of my “world” are the highlights of my day. You see sweet pictures of Gabriel and Natalie laying on the floor hugging each other. You see a #selfie where I look all put together. You see the picture of my clean kitchen. You see the picture of a creative toddler craft. You see the picture of my toddler with all smiles. You see the picture of my delicious meal. You see the pictures of me gazing into the love of my life’s eyes. You see the pictures of my…highlights. While I was thinking of the pictures I post..yes we do have many highlights but we are REAL and we have REALLY hard days and moments too! What you don’t see me post is the photoshot of Gabriel crying because he wants his sister to take a nap so he can have Mommy all to himself. You don’t see the #selfie of me on the day that it’s 5 pm and I haven’t had a shower yet  and the “gourmet dinner” is burning because my precious newborn is wanting to nurse for the (what seems like) 100th time in 3 hours all while my toddler is screaming “coooookiessss” because he wants them before dinner. You don’t see the pictures where my amazing husband comes home from work an hour late (because he had to deal with a customer complaint) and dumps a big pile of stuff that’s accumulated in his car over the past few days (yes sometimes that includes a sippy cup of milk that Gabriel hid in the car..ew) on my CLEAN floors!

This post is for all the real mama’s out there. When my friend mentioned I had a “picture perfect world” it hit me…I never want anyone to think that of me at all. When people think of me…I want them to think of a mother that lives in the real world….and the real world has issues. I have been through a lot at a young age and I can say I am very thankful for the different seasons I have experienced. From a miscarriage…to the days where I could cry if one more goldfish gets crumbled in the carpet….I am a real mom…..Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

I am a real mom that has to rely on God’s grace. God doesn’t intend for us to walk this journey alone. He never expects us to have a “picture perfect world”. He never asked for each snapshot of our lives to be all giggles and grins. What He does expect of us, is to rest in Him. He knew before we began our journey as mother’s or whatever you are… that there were going to be bumps in the road. He knew that we couldn’t handle every situation alone. He already knew that as mom’s we were going to run to our closet and scream when we walk into the bathroom to find our toilets stuffed with everything it shouldn’t be…and it’s ok! He created us and knew we weren’t perfect. That’s why HE died on the cross for us. That’s why HE gave His life for us…so we don’t have to walk alone. What amazing love He has for us..and His desire is for us to bring that same love to the “world” around us. As a mom, I have learned that patience and grace are key. Thinking back on the past 21 years I’ve had a relationship with Christ…WOW how patient has He been with me??? I fail Him each and every day and He is still there with His gracious arms open wide.

My challenge for you today is to be patient and have grace for not only your children…but yourself. As a mom..it’s easy to be so hard on yourself and think you must “maintain” the 3-4 highlight shots of your day but that’s impossible. Feed on God’s word each morning because you can’t give out what you don’t have. (I’m speaking to myself as well) How can we expect our children to follow what we say when we aren’t following what our Father says? Joshua 1:8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. John 10:10 “I have come so that they may have life…and have it to the FULL”. I don’t know about you but I want to have a “FULL” life in Christ…and a “FULL” life to me is filled with ups, downs, ins and outs but is steady when “IN CHRIST”.

xoxo,

Jess

Laundry, Dinner and Dishes…oh My!

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” I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me.” ~Jesus

I have recently started a devotional titled “Jesus Calling”. Personally…I think everyone should read this! It’s incredible and you get so much out of it in such little time. Anyways….

My adventure on becoming a full-time Mommy has been beautiful and challenging at the same time. I was so used to managing my “work-load” and checking tasks off my continual lists of to-do’s. I’m a very administrative person so I really enjoyed the job that I had…coordinating a therapy clinic. Doing that job included..constant interaction with the public, problem solving, scheduling, match-making therapist with patients and much more. So, I being used to that pace, brought the same determination to homemaking..being sure Gabriel is busy learning age appropriate tasks and activities, not having a single dirty dish, making sure the house is spotless and laundry caught up. Trying out new recipes to wow my husband when he gets home from a busy day at work…and trying to squeeze in a nice shower somewhere in all the chaos. (LOL) Wow…what a job! (Please do not think I’m comparing a stay at home mom/working mom b/c I’ve been both and they are both challenging in their own ways.) Where did I mention Christ in any of that?? Then it dawned on me, things can’t always be “picture perfect” especially when you are 9 months pregnant and you have a 2-year-old “custom designing” your home. The Lord really spoke to me and I think it will help other Mommy’s out there…

The enemy loves to send distractions…even though they are not all bad. I do believe in completing tasks/lists with excellence and in a timely manner…but if the “lists” become your idol we’ve missed the point. God calls us to be in continual communion with Him. “Never stop praying.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT) That means as we are completing our tasks, we are acknowledging Him…praying to Him and asking for grace because we can’t do everything in our own strength. Usually while Gabe is napping, I will fold and put away laundry. As I am doing this, I turn on worship music and begin to talk to my Father. It’s amazing the conversations you can have with Him while folding underwear! Nothing formal about that…just keeping Him in my day…through it all. Christ desires to be in the successes of our lives, in the daily routines and in the low points. He doesn’t just want us to pray to him before we eat and go to bed. He desires us to meditate on Him. This doesn’t mean we walk around praying out loud all the time…it can simply be a thought “Thank you Jesus for your grace. Thank you for your Peace in my life. Thank you for helping me in this tough situation. Thank you for giving me the words to say”. Just acknowledging Him.

A quote from Jesus Calling spoke to me, “A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day.” That pretty much sums everything up…and I teared up as I read that because as Mother’s we put so much pressure on ourselves…society puts so much pressure on what all a “Mother” is supposed to do and complete in a 24 hr period. I wrote this down on my picture-frame board so I see it each day. (I think I should move it to my laundry room and kitchen haha).

My challenge to you (and myself) is to make sure our long list of to-do’s and tasks are not becoming our idols but that we continually find our completion in Christ.

xoxo,

Jess