Considering Your Trials a Joy

Last night my Good Morning Girls enjoyed a Girls Night Out. (We are missing 3 ladies in our picture)
There are 11 women in my group emailing each other each morning after we have our quiet times – I LOVE it!

We are now at over 1,000 Good Morning Girls Groups and at over 150 Groups from around the world! It has been SO exciting to see women from nearly every state in the USA including Hawaii and Alaska plus from around the world in Croatia, Australia, Korea, Austria, Germany, Scotland, France, and Canada.


Some of the ladies have joined me for a walk through the Book of James. And today we have completed week 1 in our study. Every Friday I will be writing or making a video to go with our study and it will be posted on my sister site at GoodMorningGirls.org

Going forward I will not duplicate my Friday post here but since it’s only week 1, I thought I’d share the video with you all here too. (Sorry it’s a bit too dark)

If you are not reading in God’s word on a daily basis, I invite you to join me in my walk through the book of James!

Walk with the King!


This is linked to Amy at Finer Things Friday.

Failure

Who likes failure? Not me!!! Back in June I shared with you the planting of our very first garden. It truly was a joy to plant and the hope of juicy fresh veggies was on everyone’s minds. Well…let me be honest…I failed.

We had very heavy rainfalls for 10 days straight after our planting – and moss began to grow in our garden! Uh oh – I knew that couldn’t be a good sign. Then weeds began to grow and I couldn’t tell a weed from a seedling – uh oh! That can’t be good either. So I let the weeds grow a little, while we looked at books and tried to decipher. Eventually it was clear the seeds had been washed away and most of what was growing in our sweet garden were weeds.

There were a few hopes though. Our strawberries were beginning to get plump and turning light shades of red. Our corn stalks shot up to the sky and our tomato and green pepper plants did have signs of veggies. BUT then the birds came and ate the berries. And something (I don’t know what?) tore down and ate all of our corn stalks in the middle of night just last week! Devastating!

At this point all we have in our garden are tomatoes and green peppers. Both have unripe veggies forming BUT I just noticed yesterday one of the tomatoes has a huge bite taken out of it. This is not a good sign!

SO, I failed miserably at our very first garden…

I shared this with a bloggy friend who has ten children and lives on 16 acres where she grows her own food, raises beef cattle, has her own dairy cow, sheep for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, ducks, geese, cats and dogs for pets and horses as well.

Today she wrote a blog post for me at A Moment With M.O.M. Maybe you will find something in there for you too.

The children are very disappointed but I have already told them – we will not give up and we will try again next year. After talking with a few friends, I have realized some of my flaws and why we have had our failure.

It’s a part of life…falling down…getting back up again…the feelings of defeat….rising with defiant joy .

Life is filled with hard moments. We do have a choice – will we choose defiant joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Don’t let your failures define you.

Get back up again and Walk with the King!

Teaching Our Children Self-Denial

It’s link up Wednesday over on Raising Homemakers! So on July 3rd, I began to prepare Alexis (age 5) to be my junior hostess for our 4th of July family picnic. Her role was to greet everyone at the door with a hug, kiss and offer to carry their things into the kitchen. Rather than running off to play with the first child who came through the door – she was to stand post and be ready to warmly greet ALL of our guests and serve them.

We read together pg. 299 of Polished Cornerstones and then read from Luke 14: 12-14 and Hebrews 13:1,2 on hospitality. Then our first guest arrived and she played shy. She would not give a hug or kiss and she would not take my Uncle’s drinks into the kitchen. So I released her from her Jr. Hostess duties and decided we’d work on it another day.

The next day we discussed what happened. Alexis was disappointed that she had lost her opportunity to be my Jr. Hostess. But another opportunity was coming, I had a play date planned.
This time – she stood at the window waiting to greet the mother’s and their children. This time she eagerly took the bowls from the mothers and brought them into the kitchen for me. This time she warmly greeted her friends. This time she lived out the character trait of hospitality.

Will she do it next time? I don’t know – training our children is a process. There will be good and bad days. Some personalities will be easier to train in certain areas than others. Sometimes they will respond to our training and other days they will not. We must seek to know our children – know their strengths and weaknesses. We must seek to drive the sin of selfishness and self-centeredness out of their little hearts and give them opportunities to serve others.

In Luke 9:23 Jesus says, “If any man will come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.”
In the end, Alexis experienced the joy of denying herself. We must continually give our children opportunities to deny themselves. Satan has deceived the next generation of children into believing that joy comes from cartoons, toys, video games and the next great gadget. But true joy comes from walking in the footsteps of our Savior Jesus.
It’s seems to be a dichotomy to say that denying yourself will bring joy. But the best moments in my life were when I was serving Jesus. I have fond memories of missions trips, Bible study groups, gatherings in our home or service projects where the joy of the Lord was so full in my heart it overflowed. It’s the same in motherhood. All my daily sacrifices added up have equaled joy in our home.

This parenting thing is a journey for me. I am learning as my children learn and then sharing it with you. There are a lot of things I am unsure of, but one thing I am sure of, learning self-denial starts in the home. Let’s teach our children to serve others and give them something money can’t buy, true joy.

Walk with the King!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

I Don’t Want to Go Into Heaven Gasping

Yesterday I did a book review on Sally Clarkson’s newly released book Dancing With My Father. And then I came across this video that goes with it! So I thought I’d pass it on! I love the part where she says “I don’t want to go into heaven gasping and straining, I want to experience the fullness of God’s joy here on this earth.”

I also failed to mention that at the end of each chapter is a group of Bible study questions that can be used for personal study or for a group discussion.
If you would like to enter to win a copy of this book – I am giving one away here. Just click over and leave a comment in the comments section. You have until next Friday, February 26th.

Walk with the King!

Book Review and Giveaway: Dancing With My Father by Sally Clarkson

I read my first book by Sally Clarkson 4 years ago and immediately fell in love with her. I have recommended her book The Mission of Motherhood here on the blog, the message board and to many friends over the years. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that she has a blog over at I Take Joy. After connecting with her there, she gave me this awesome opportunity to not only review her newly released book but also give one away to one of my lucky readers!

I have so enjoyed her new book Dancing With My Father. In it Sally shows how God leads us into a life of grace and joy when we surrender to him and allow him to take the lead in the dance of life. “When dancers attempt to turn in different directions, there is no beauty, no synchronizing of movement. But when they learn to read each other’s movements and move as one body, there is beauty, a grace and a skill of step that grants the joy of unity and elegance to the dance.”pg.81

Do you ever feel out of step with God? Like your expectations of marriage or parenting have disappointed you and the joy you once had as a new Christian is faltering? As a homeschooling mom of 4 (3 are now grown) and a missionary who faced many hardships – Sally openly shares her heartaches and struggles that all women face.

“Joy is not found in performing for people or in doing all the right things for God. Nor is joy in the absence of difficulties or problems. Joy is found in the presence of God in the midst of all circumstances, in delighting in the life he has given.”pg.39

Do you ever just feel like you will be happy when…when you are married, when you have a baby, when your babies are out of diapers, when your husband makes more money, when, when, when… Sally openly shares “Not realizing it, I had built values in my heart and a foundation for a kingdom that was pretty much dependent on this world and on people rather than on God…I was reaching for all the things I thought would bring me joy instead of reaching for the true source of joy – God himself. Psalm 16:11 says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”Pg.55

Sally gently beckons you as the reader to drop your burdens, place your hands in your heavenly father’s hands and allow Him to take the lead. It is so hard for women to put our burdens down and let God carry them for us. We want to do and fix everything to make this world just right. But God never intended for us to do a solo dance. He stands waiting each day in the morning for us to come to him in his word and prayer so that he can take the lead. Will you join the dance? One day we will see our heavenly father face to face – and trust me you WILL dance for joy!

If you are struggling in your walk with God and in finding joy on this fallen earth, I believe Sally’s book will be a huge inspiration and encouragement to you.

To enter to win a copy of this book wonderful book just leave a comment below and I will randomly choose a winner on Friday, February 26th!

Walk with the King!

3 Ways to Put "Merry" in "Merry Christmas"

The word “merry” means cheerful, joyous, and lighthearted. We all want to create a “Merry” Christmas for our families – but is our family experiencing a wife and mommy who is “merry”? Are you smiling at home? Who you are at home, is who you really are. You can smile at church, smile at your neighbors, smile at strangers in the grocery store – but if you aren’t smiling at home – then that’s who you really are.

For the past 12 years of marriage, Christmas has been the season where being “merry” in the midst of the stress from my huge to do list has been a struggle. There’s cookies to bake, parties to attend, presents to wrap and messes from the kids to stay on top of! How can we honor God and not let our stress steal the word “merry” from our Christmas?
1. Tend to your Spiritual needs – Do NOT neglect your time in the word and prayer. If all you can do is read one verse – write it out on a post-it note and carry it with you all day long. Squeeze all the nourishment you can from that one verse through out the day!
I recommend meditating on Galatians 5:22 & 23 which says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” We must be walking in the spirit to have a merry heart!
2. Tend to your Emotional needs – Light a candle and put on classical music (or Christmas music) – it will have a calming effect on the entire family! If you are not able to smile in the midst of your busyness…your inner soul is not at peace.
The Proverbs 31 woman – smiled. Peace comes through prayer. The way to worry about nothing is to pray about everything.
3. Tend to your Physical needs – Get your rest. Studies show that we need at least 7 hours of sleep at night. It is difficult to be pleasant to our husbands and children when we are exhausted. Take a 15 minute bubble bath as soon as all the kids are in bed. The relaxation benefits will far exceed watching television! Extend the bath to 30 minutes and read a good book! Get a little exercise. Studies show even 10 minutes a day up your energy and mood.
Only you can take care of your deep spiritual, emotional and physical needs. No one else can do the list above for you. Use these as tools to help you accomplish all that is piled on your plate this Christmas. May this Christmas be your merriest Christmas ever.
Walk with the King!

Dealing With Loss During the Holidays

For some, you will experience your first Christmas without a loved one. Whether through death, divorce or distance you are dealing with loss. I want you to know that you are not alone.

I am reminded of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who on Christmas day, 1864, received word that his son, a soldier in the Civil War, had been wounded. Just two years before, Henry had lost his wife in a fire. As this devout Christian man sat alone with his grief, on the most joyful of Holy Days, he penned words of hope to challenge his own despair. He called his composition Christmas Bells. Little did he know that those words would someday be set to music and become a blessing to millions of people around the world.
If you are struggling to find peace in the midst of the holidays this song below and my dear friend Kelly’s story may comfort you.

Kelly lost her father at the tender age of 10. Following his loss she went through a long journey of pain, sadness and depression. None of us are immune from life’s tragedies and Kelly’s story of hope and strength in God – is a source of inspiration to me. Read it here!

Walk with the King!

Will You Choose Joy or Defeat?

Little eyes stare up at me, her head is hot and feverish and she’s thirsty. With her lamby lovie in one arm and her purple blanket in the other she heads to the couch to get some rest and drink from her sippie. I lay a cold wash cloth on her head and the dimple gleams for a moment “thank you mommy.” She chooses joy.

Little eyes stare up at me as he begs to play monopoly. Exhausted I answer, “Not tonight dear”. Son’s countenance falls…my heart feels heavy too – “go get the game.” We play, we laugh, we love. We choose joy.

Leader husband is weary…problems, troubles, burdens and cares bring hardship in his work. We cannot lift his burdens for him – he must carry them on his own. But he is not alone. Little hugs and kisses, cuddles and cards are made – he chooses joy.

How do we stand the hardships of life? How do we as weary moms and wives help those in our home as they face their own hardships? We have weary pilgrims in our house who need comfort, rest, love and a replenishing of spirits. We must role model defiant joy! We must choose joy and smile despite our feelings of defeat at times..

We have the power to bring joy to our entire family.

As I walked along outside in the cold last week – something beautiful caught my eye. My hydrangea was blooming – yes, it was nearly December in Ohio and one little bloom was fighting to survive. As a matter of fact it seemed defiant. In the midst of hardship, even snow – that bloom smiled and glistened in the November chill! Oh to be strong like this bloom. To be able to smile in the face of hardship.

We do have a choice – will you choose joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”


As I grabbed my camera to capture this bloom with definat joy – it winked at me and whispered, “see me, I can rise up and sparkle in the sunshine despite the fact that I am surrounded by trouble and death. You can too!”

Walk with the King,