Thursday, May 27, 2010

Faithful Provision

Matthew 6:26 - "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

A few weeks ago my little family of six drove up to the mountains in Georgia and had a week long adventure at a creekside cabin. We anticipated this vacation for some time as the days in our home seem to drag on and never end. It was just what we needed and the boys had a great time playing in the creek behind the house.

While we were there we checked out a local BBQ place. The food was good, being with the kids was fun and what happened when we left was one of those teachable moments straight from the Word. A little bird had escaped his mother's nest and found itself almost trampled under our three year old's foot. Barrett went skipping across the front lawn of the BBQ place and stopped just short of a newborn bird. All the kids went hysterical and the little bird was wide-mouthed just waiting for someone to feed him. We gave him a little to drink (which we later found out was not the right thing to do but he didn't choke so it ended okay) and then after several minutes of contemplation, decided to find a nice big bush to place him under. Of course as you can imagine, the children were not at all happy about this decision but didn't understand that we'd be driving home 10 hours the next day and could not possibly take an orphaned bird with us. That is when it hit me...share the verse about how God takes care of the birds of the air. It was accepted well by the boys and they were able to leave the bird behind trusting that the little bird's Creator would take care of him.

How many times do we doubt the Father, our Creator, will really take care of us - the apple of His eye, His bride? There is another story in the Old Testament about birds and trust found in the book of 1 Kings. God send the prophet Elijah to King Ahab to deliver a message that drought would be in the land for three years. And then God tells Elijah to go hide from the place where he was and that God would give him water from a brook and food from the ravens of the air. Now, I don't know about you but I'd have a hard time going out into the wilderness and believing for a second some dang black birds were going to feed me - and not to mention, they didn't just bring him berries and nuts but meat and bread! Anyway, Elijah did what he was told and eventually God moved him to another place after the brook dried up (that's an entirely different story with an entirely different lesson - we'll save it for another time). Bottom line, God took care of Elijah!

Just as God was faithful in the Old Testament, just as God is faithful to other believers around us, just as He cares for the birds of the air, He will provide what we need for our lives. I'm sure there were moments when Elijah was making his journey to the Kerith Valley he must have wondered how God would ever provide for him...not only was he in a valley, it was during a drought!
So, an age old message many of us have heard time and time again about believing God provides despite circumstances. Let it be a reminder to you today that your God will take care of you, He will provide the resources -whether it be money, time, or relationships-to fulfill the purpose in which you were created. Take time to look for them, keep your eyes and ears open in order to see the incredible ways God will provide. I'm sure Elijah never dreamed that one day a bird would be serving him dinner!
Today's Reading: 1 Kings 16-17; Proverbs 27
Additional scripture references: Hebrews 11 and Matthew 6

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it."

I seem to have boxed myself into a theme this past week of endurance, victory, not giving up. I think as mothers we can all say that not a day goes by where we do not feel the need to endure. This is partly the reason for my, "you can do it" attitude. (Okay, I'll admit, I wanted to use this picture of me from the 11th grade. Back then I never thought that I would use my days of XC racing as a life lesson on being a mommy.) Anyway, just so you know, I am not just sharing a word with you but letting you in a little bit on what God has been doing in my own heart. After three weeks of feeling down right cruddy with a head cold and brochitis, I am finally feeling like myself again. When the pressure came to start writing on a regular basis for a devotional blog I was smack in the middle of late night coughing fits, completely blocked sinus passages and, AND an 8 mos. old baby dealing with the same stuff on a lesser scale. No mother can tell me she enjoys being down at the same time someone else in her household suffers. It doesn't allow us to care for our loved one's as well. Energy is lacking and the desire to take up another's needs is just not there. It has been during the past couple weeks that the Lord reminded me of another time in my life, after my second child was born, I was recovering from a c-section and trying to keep up with a 15 mos. old. A friend called me right while I was in the middle of a meltdown. She listened to me cry for a few minutes and then said, "nuh, uh, get up off that bed right now, you start speaking the Word over your life and you endure! There is no one else who has been called to this task but you and you WILL succeed!" So, I stood up from the bed and I sucked in the tears, raised my chin and started speaking life into my tired body. Let me tell you what, the memory of that moment consumes me with strength because it was packed full of God's truth and not the lie that I am not capable of enduring tough moments.

So, again today I want to encourage you to stand strong, endure this race for the sake of your sweet family. No one else is called to do your job, no one else knows those sweet faces as well as you do, no one knows the way you do, that husband whom you go to bed with every night! You were created for such a time as this and His promise is already manifesting itself in your heart as you take up His will during this season of your life! Run girl, run for the prize!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Great and Precious Promises

2 Peter 1:2-4 "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises..."

This morning I woke up with this verse on my lips and just a few minutes later, as my husband was getting ready to leave for work, the same verse left his lips as he spoke over me to begin my day! That is how the Word applies in our daily lives. That is why it is so important for us as mothers to make sure we immerse ourselves into the refreshing waters of God's promises over our lives.

I love how verse two of this passage begins with, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you..." What an amazing way to begin the day! The next part speaks of the knowledge of God and of Jesus. According to the Word believers are given the mind of Christ (2 Cor. 2:16) and as we work out our salvation by getting into the Word our minds are going to recall the promises of God. As this passage continues we see that we have everything we need through His divine power (the Holy Spirit) to lead a life of godliness. But I'd like to think that this verse does not leave us with no responsibility to lead this life, even with the Spirit's power. In verse three it says He calls us by glory and virtue. That word, virtue means goodness, moral excellence. God can only place within us the ability but we must exercise our right to choose to live in such a way.

Choose today to walk in goodness and moral excellence by sacrificing your own needs and desires to serve the needs of those people around you whether it be your children, your spouse or your co-workers. Choose to believe that you have everything that pertains to life and godliness and that you have been given exceedingly great and precious promises! Now if that doesn't make you feel like you can take on that next big task....
Today's Reading: 2 Peter 1; Proverbs 24 (Other passages cited: 2 Cor. 2:16; Philp. 2:12)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

Galatians 6:9-10 "So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. "

Since having children I have come to appreciate the finer things in life. Things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread, going to bed at 9:00 at night, and best of all, Disney movies. Before I had children Finding Nemo was on top of my favorites list. We're all familiar with Dori, a Regal Tang who has short-term memory loss. She is the "against all odds" character who pushes Marlin to find his son Nemo despite the treacherous conditions of the vast ocean.

There are days where I feel like I am swimming upstream in a fast moving creek and all I can do is tell myself, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Our grandmothers would use the old biblical phrase, "this too shall pass." It is all the same. Trying to keep perspective during the days of hectic chaos - please note it is not just hectic or chaotic; it is hectic chaos, totally different - is sometimes almost impossible. But again, our dear friend Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:9 not to grow weary in doing the things of the Lord because there is a harvest to reap at the end. I don't know about you but I'm interested in reaping that good harvest. For too many years I reaped a harvest that was no good and I'm excited to see the fruit of good,Godly labor! Even in those moments of weariness there is rest for our souls according to the Gospel of Matthew - "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest..." You see, God does not hang us out to dry without a solution for our weary sowing. He promises us that He will give us rest. And after we are able to rest in Him we will, in the proper time, experience the satisfaction of a job well done.

Momma, today when you are at your wits end with the task you are so diligently laboring, remember that He showers abundantly, refreshes His weary inheritance and gives strength to the weak. Our God provides all our needs according to His riches in glory....He will give you all that you need so you are able to keep swimming!
Today's Reading: Galatians 6; Proverbs 21 (other references used: Ps. 68:9; Isaiah 40:29

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Embrace Your Place

Hebrews 10:35-36 "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

For the past seven years my life has taken a dramatic turn - I have become MOMMY! Of course like any girl, I spent many summer days playing house with my friends. I always had several dolls. During the Cabbage Patch craze my Gramma Holzberger made special trips into Canada to buy me the latest doll (we lived right outside the border of Ontario in Michigan). But even then I never really saw myself as a mom. Especially as I got older and more independent I was satisfied with the successes I was experiencing in my life. I didn't give much thought to having a household full of little children but that is the road I'm travelling on and frankly, I don't always feel like I have what it takes to do this job God has assigned me.

The writer of Hebrews said it best, " not throw away your confidence;" The confidence I once had as a young woman and even still experience in some areas of life was not always a confidence in Christ. Sure, I can sing well, I'm not afraid to be on stage in front of people and something a lot of people don't know, I was a pretty successful school teacher before I started having kids. But just because I am good at something or just plain horrible, I should never place my confidence in my own abilities but rather in the power and strength of Christ Jesus. He is my confidence, He is my strength, He is the reason I can be successful at whatever I set my hand to! I might not feel like I am a good mom some days but I know that the Word says, "Children are a blessing from the Lord," therefore I know my days are blessed if I am serving my children.

Today, be thankful and stand in confidence in the season of life you are called to, whether it be mommy or secretary, housewife or administrator. The assignment we are on is one that God wants to reward so don't cast off your confidence because of a lousy day...remember you are His and He desires to see you succeed! So embrace your place in this season of life and perservere!
Today's Reading: Hebrews 10; Proverbs 20

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hebrews 13:5 " content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

The word mediocre has several synonyms. Words like, ordinary, average, and second-rate. These are all words that you rarely want people to use when describing their thoughts of you. "Oh, she is a nice girl, ordinary in her appearance." I don't know about you, but I don't want people to say I'm ordinary! I want people to think I'm extraordinary! But in the grand scheme of things most of us will lead a life that is fairly average, ordinary, middle of the road. Heck, let's just admit it...down right mediocre. The problem is we are not satisfied being average and ordinary. There is something deep inside of us that desires to be something more! The culture we live in testifies to everyone's desire to be a rockstar by airing shows like, American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance. These shows give us the hope that those average, ordinary people just like us can really go somewhere, do something memorable with their lives. We talk up our children to help them feel that they are the best at what they do, allowing them to compete in sports by the age of 3, awarding them trophies and words of affirmation that go far beyond their ability. This mentality sets us up for serious disallusionment when real life begins because not everyone can be a rockstar. Not everyone can be the star athlete. Not everyone can be a Billy Graham or a Joyce Meyer.

Paul said that he had become content in every station of life, whether living in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12-13). There is a reason every Christian needs to embrace the ability to be content in every situation. If we do not embrace contentedness we open the door to become frustrated with the call God has on our life at that moment. It is in the ordinary that God creates in us the extraordinary. If we take hold of the ordinary moments in life and find the pleasure in being an "average Joe" God has time to prepare us for the greater things to come. Just because we may never stand on a stage to speak in front of millions, become the NFL's first draft pick, or have a number one song on the charts does not mean that God can't use our daily sacrifice to do memorable things.

Today while you are folding laundry, cooking dinner (a mediocre dinner at that), scrubbing toilets or whatever it is you find so monotonous and dull, remember that you serve the God of the Universe and He made you and He's your biggest fan! In God's eyes, when we are going about His business, we are all superstars! Nothing about that is ordinary or mediocre!
Today's Reading: Hebrews 13; Proverbs 19

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wow! The Pressure Is On!

So, I'm at my friend Jessica's blogspot - Books, Bucks, and Beyond - and she mentioned my blog as one of her favorite spots to find encouragement as a young mom! Wow, the pressure is on now because I've only been posting book reviews for books lately!

I decided that because of her taking the time to mention I might want to stop and share a little encouragement as a young mom of four very young children.

Last week we spent time as a family in a beautiful mountain cabin up in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The cabin came furnished with everything a family needs to have a great time - games, hot tub, two bathrooms, three bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchen, you name it we had it just like being home. Although we were on vacation, just like any good mom, I was still making dinner, making beds, giving baths, the usual. But for some reason there was no pressure. So I decided when we came home I was going to live the same way, NO PRESSURE! In order to take some of the "daily pressure" off of my schedule I needed to find things that took up unnecessary time and always left me frustrated. One of the first things I did was to widdle away at my 650+ friends list on Facebook and get it down to only out of town family - this is a great way to stay in touch and keep them up to date on new pics without having to remember to send everyone posted mail! Second, I decided to run my dishwasher everyday! That might not seem like much but to me it has been such a relief in the kitchen. And third, I decided to look at my children, square in the eyes at least once every day! Again, this might not seem like something we should have to purposefully do but if you pay close attention I will guarantee you that if you are a busy mom there are days that go by that you do not look directly at those sweet precious faces.

So, what's the point of my blog? Well, I do not know to be honest with you. I enjoy talking, I enjoy sharing the days pleasures and faux pas with other friends. I'll use this time to encourage in the Word. I want to be the best mom to Braden, Andrew, Barrett and Abigail. I want to fulfill this calling on my life with as much passion and abandon as the Lord has put in me, just as I would any other type of adventure! So, I guess I'd like you to join me as I take the road less traveled and make this the most wonderful season of life I've ever known!

God's Promises for Boys!

I have been waiting for a long time to see a book like God's Promises for Boys come out at the Christian Bookstore! I recently received this book via Booksneeze to review. I was so excited to see it on the available book list that I hurried to read my last book just to get a hold of this one. As the mother of three young boys I can't say enough about this book. The illustrations are fabulous, the verses chosen as God's promises while trying to be a good brother, an obedient son, being happy, being a soldier for God - all absolutely wonderful. My favorite aspect of this book is definitely the illustrations as they will capture any young boys attention. This book can be used as a daily devotional or as a resource very similar to the adult version God's Promises book can be used. It provides an at arm reach resource to address every day issues a parent may face with their young sons. Having the Word compartmentalized into a few verses to help children remember how much God loves them even when they are afraid or trying to make new friends is a wonderful addition to any child's library!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Righ to Lead by John C. Maxwell

My third book to review from Booksneeze was such an amazing and easy read. John C. Maxwell is the Billy Graham of leadership writing. This book is just as amazing as every other book writen by Maxwell. This particular edition is a gift book which would be an excellent filler gift for any high school or college graduate. It also provides a great foundation for a leadership small group at churches or in bible study. In this book Maxwell uses several different historical leaders in order to lay the foundation for what a real leader looks like to others. It is a basic "what not to do" book for those people who seek the position of leader or who naturally find themselves in the role of a leader - in business, in the home, at church, wherever leadership is necessary. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an easy read, a gift for a graduate or even a gift for a person seeking a higher position at work. Leadership is more than just telling people what to do and how to do it, it is "knowing the way, going the way and showing the way." Thanks to Maxwell for another great read!