How 2 Years of Blogging Has Changed My Life

Next month, I will have been blogging for 2 years. At this point, blogging has taken up a HUGE chunk of my free time. This ministry has changed my life.

The emails I receive from hurting women – have touched me.

The encouragement and support from women whose lives are being changed – have touched me.

The criticism I have received from angry women – have touched me.

The writing of other bloggers in the “blogging community” – have touched me.

But most of all – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has touched me. He has opened my eyes to the needs, hurts and beauty of my generation. He has opened my eyes to the beauty of the Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman. He has opened my eyes to what the word GRACE really means.

We do not and will not all look alike. There is no cookie cutter mold for how we as women will serve our God. We each have our own story from where we came, where we are today and where we are going tomorrow.

We are journeying together in this thing we call life. If I have ever appeared to have it all together – I apologize – because I am a very flawed sinner saved by grace. Nothing more.

During these two years, I’ve been surprised by some of my bloggy happenings…things like the Rachael Ray Show producer emailing me (I remember being weak in the knees during that phone call!) or when my readership spiked over 1,000 visitors in a day for the first time. Sure, those moments are exciting. But it’s not what my blogging is all about.

It’s about me being faithful to what I believe God is calling me to do. As I listen to God, submit to my husband, train my children, serve in my home and then turn my attention to the social media world -I open myself up – and say – here I am Lord, use me.

Has God laid a ministry on your heart? Have you surrendered your life to him saying “use me Lord Jesus”. Oh, it’s scary to say those words – but let me testify – it’s so exciting too! There are hard nitty gritty painful days but THEN there are those moments when I sit on my deck, with my face towards the sun and the wind blows and I feel his presence like a warm coat around me. I have never been more confident in my life that this is the work God prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10) .

I am reminded of Noah building the ark for days on end. Others walked by and wondered what in the world he was doing! (and trust me I have had plenty of people say “you do what? You blog? Why? Who has time for that?) In Genesis 6:9 the Bible says “Noah walked with God”. This is what Noah was doing – walking with the King! And this is what happens when you walk with the King. The King might ask you do to something outside of your comfort zone!

Dear sister, take risks – follow the King of Kings! Is he asking you to submit to your husband? Is that scary to you? Do it – and you will find freedom there! Is he asking you to sacrifice something you enjoy so that you can spend time training your children? Do it – you won’t regret it. Is he asking you to step out of your home and talk to your neighbor, your cousin or a mom on your child’s soccer team? Do it! Be like Noah – who surrendered his all to the King – took a risk – and found joy on the other side. Do it!

If I can – so can you! But you must be listening – you must be sure that the quiet voice you hear is God’s. And when you are sure it is – surrender.

I’m reminded of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot’s quote “Where ever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

God can use anyone and he wants to use you. Below is a 4 minute video by Author and best seller of Crazy Love, Francis Chan. At birth his mom died. At 9 his step-mom died. At 12 his father died. His only close family was his aunt and uncle and at 16 they both DIED! And so at 16 Francis had nothing…

Are you living a “safe” life? Then You MUST watch this video – it is only 4 minutes long – but it will prepare you for the day you meet Jesus!

Join me in abandoning the safe life – let’s serve our King of Kings with every breath we have - till we all meet together in heaven! I’ll see you there!

Walk with the King!

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!

Our Very First Garden

The Plan. Teacher mommy and little pilgrims billow with hope as they write out the plan for their first garden.The Place is not inviting. The curse is remembered “Cursed is the ground because of you; (Adam) through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.” Gen. 3:17-19They work in the hot sun preparing the soil. An hour later perseverance and exhaustion battle. Exhaustion leads to irritability. Children waver…mommy chooses the route of encouragement and praise. It works – Perseverance wins!The stones are removed for we are reminded of the parable of the sower. “Some seed fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly…but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched.” Matt. 13:5. The seeds are measured and dropped into their nests and teacher mommy reminds the children, God says: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Cor. 9:6

And so the pilgrims sow and sow and sow, for they desire an abundant harvest.

Hope is born in children’s hearts. Lessons are taught as dirty hands dig and sweaty brows drip. Teacher mommy quotes one of her favorite verses: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24 Children are reminded how they are like the seeds, someday they will produce many more seeds if they are willing to be used by God. Life is a garden. We plan, we toil, we sow, we die to self and we wait on God for the increase.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting…

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1

The rain comes and comes 7 straight days in Ohio, the sun does not shine and the seeds do not sprout. The seedlings are beaten down and weary. Will there be a harvest?

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Heb.11:6

Teacher mommy reminds children “you have sown generously now be patient – your reward is coming.”

And then it happens, the sprouting of corn, the row of lettuce appears overnight, 10 green cherry tomatoes appear and the pinnacle – a ripe strawberry!

Persevere in faith, sweet Christian sister. Sow generously – Indeed rewards are coming.

Walk with the King!



No Guilt – No Regrets

Hebrews 12:1b “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Recently I was reading some blogs that were convicting me. Or should I say they were making me feel guilty. Guilty for using facebook, twitter and blogging. Guilty for the time I use on technology. So I had to sit back and ask myself – why am I blogging? Is it a selfish pursuit? Is it causing damage to my family?
And then like a wave rushing over me, my very next thought was – because I have ONE life – I’m living it full throttle for Jesus!

Blogging is hard work. The late nights writing and answering emails are not for the weary at heart! Women Living Well is not about me. It’s about my passion – my mission – my burden for my weary sisters in Christ!!!

I have one life and I’m living it full throttle for Jesus! I’m giving my all! I’m not gonna rust out sitting on my duff watching reality television! And I certainly don’t want to burn out, due to my failure to depend on God’s strength. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, I desire to simply be a light on the hill (Matt.5:14) burning faithfully till God calls me home.
I must lean hard on Jesus. Do you feel like respecting and submitting to your husband is so hard? Lean on Jesus for strength and go for it full throttle! Give it your all!
Do you home school and feel exhausted? Stop doing it in your own strength – call on Jesus and stay in the game – full throttle!
Are you exhausted in ministry with people’s troubles, back biting, complaining or lack of support – take your eyes off of your troubles and put them onto your worthy Savior and do it full throttle for him.
Reading our Bible’s daily, respecting our husbands, training our children, creating homes that are havens and reaching a lost world is NOT an easy to-do list – but we must give it our all. Not in a selfish way to receive something but for Jesus.

I’m reminded of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot’s quote “Where ever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
Why do I bother to blog, facebook, youtube and twitter? Because that is where the next generation of ladies are at and I want to make an impact there. Where has God planted you in this season of life? “Be all there, live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God”!Run with perseverence the race marked out for you.” (Heb.12:1b)I only have one life and I’m living it to the hilt -full throttle – no guilt, no regrets – join me!
Walk with the King!