The Waiting Game of Life

“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said.  “You have not kept the command of the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.  But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’ command.”  1 Samuel 13: 13-14

Waiting…have you ever been in line at the store and the aisle next to you seems to be moving so much faster than the one you’re in?  You do this mental thing trying to calculate how long the person in front of you will take as compared to the people moving so much faster in the other lane.  Then, you just can’t take it, you must move!  You get in the other checkout lane just in time to be boxed in when the person in front of you has problems and has to get the manager or get a price check because they’re missing a tag.  There you are, watching as the original lane you were in zips along and you aren’t even moving.  The three people that were behind you in the other line are now out the door.  You end up wasting so much more time than you would have if you just would have waited.  Familiar?

Sometimes it’s easy to do this in life too.  Waiting isn’t fun.  Patience is a thing we don’t have time for.  When God doesn’t move on our timetable we get anxious and we kinds get the same feeling that we get standing in the checkout line.  That’s the way Saul felt in the passage above.  The set time of seven days came, Samuel was late, and the army was leaving him. He took things into his own hands.  But no sooner had he made the disobedient sacrifices that Samuel shows up! Busted!  The original checkout line would have been a better choice.  Because of his actions, Samuel tells him his kingdom will not endure and that the Lord has sought a man after his own hear to be appointed the ruler.  OUCH!!!  Not only was he being reprimanded, but his kingdom was taken away.  He lost everything because he didn’t trust God enough to trust his timing too.

Oh man, have I struggled with this! I feel the need to “help” God so often just because I don’t see the way and I get impatient.  But when I jump lines, it never fails, God shows up and I feel stupid because I didn’t’ wait on him.  And more often than not, I have a mess to clean up from my rushed actions.

My prayer today, for all of us, is that we will stay in our own lane and find ways to praise God in our checkout line.  I want to be the woman after God’s own heart, not be told that someone else will take my place because I was disobedient.

Lord, help us today and every day to realize that trusting you means trusting your timing as well.  Even though we don’t like it and we don’t understand it, give us the fruit of patience in our life.  Make us woman after your own heart, which includes your timetable. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Amanda Keller

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan.  While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Amanda's passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter.  Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College.  "your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise." ~Andy Stanley

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan. While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota. Amanda’s passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter. Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College. “your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise.” ~Andy Stanley

One In Twenty

There comes a time when you just want to sit down and cry.  We have all been there, right?  Right! It’s okay to admit it.  I mean it’s just you and me here.  I am an open book of emotional crazy and no one is next to you to hear you admit that you are too.  It’s really not a bad thing.  In fact, God designed us to be as such.

I wrote that first paragraph at six o’clock in the morning and didn’t really have a chance to even think of finishing until well – it’s now going on ten.  I would like to say that I walked away from the computer happily to serve my children breakfast (they were asking over and over and over again) and drink a cup of coffee with lactose free creamer (just one of the many things that my body now rejects – insert a complete frown here because I totally love cheese and dairy L), but I would be lying.

I traipsed into the kitchen with a scowl on my face and two children following me with their orders spilling from their mouth.  So, when did I become a short order cook? Ha! My scowl grew.  I let my emotions and frustrations get the better of me and yep; snapped just a little. Okay, maybe more than a little. I sent the kids out of my kitchen so I could think and take just ONE sip of my now lukewarm cup of coffee.  They were less than thrilled and if I can remember back to this morning, my nine year old daughter stomped her feet all the way to the table and growled at me.  Oh yes, growled (No Proverbs 16:32 existed in my home at that moment).

Did I get them breakfast and fed? Well, yes.  That’s what mommies do, right? Kinda! So, the rest of the house was waking as I was putting the last of the reheated blueberry pancakes on the counter for the munchkins and well, there went my day.  It was project after project, cleaning,  laundry, going through the few bins we mailed to Alaska when we decided to move here, and trying not to get even more sick than I already woke up with (that last one did not work and I oiled up good so to not get worse – um totally stuffed up nose and can’t taste a thing).

Okay, I was mentioning something about us being emotional and I swear that my rambling ties in.  I would be remiss if I told you that my day ended much better than it began.  Truth is, I just wanted to sit and cry today.  The attitude I received from my nearly fourteen year old alone was enough to give me at least fifty new grey hairs and a good cry on the bathroom floor.  I sat on my deck at one point in the afternoon as my children were screaming at each other and closed my eyes and cried out (a quiet cry) “Lord, I just can’t take much more.  What am I doing wrong?  Please help me.”  I hope you all didn’t think that I have this whole momma thing down and have like the most well behaved and lovable children.  If you did, then you should probably stop reading now and find another blog to follow.  This one has none of those mommies here.

He totally made us vulnerable and emotional so that we would need to depend on him for strength and wisdom and courage.  There was nowhere in the Bible that said being a mother was glamorous or easy.  This day would have been so much better if I could have picked up my Bible sword and gotten every word I needed to turn the day around.  Just prayer.  That’s all.

You guys, this mom thing is totally crazy hard.  One good day makes up for a minimum of twenty bad ones.  We don’t post all the bad days on facebook.  Just the cute things our kids say and fun memories.  We don’t want to remember the bad moments, the hard moments, the worried moments.  If someone would have told me (and I actually believed them) that this momma thing was harder than anything else I would have ever done, I probably would have waved off the idea of having children.

Thank God I didn’t.  I was blessed with four amazing, gifted, bright, and beautiful children.  I pray for more and would love to adopt.  I will take my emotional crazy and the one good day after twenty bad ones and soar.  Sometimes it’s just hard, but then it’s amazing.

Check these out:  2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 3:15

Lord, I am just one hot mess.  When I needed to be more of a mom, I let my frustration and anxiety and tiredness take control.  I’m sorry for not praying the minute I felt my anger control me.  I need your guiding hand in every second of my day.  Be with me as I go and show me how I can be better at this mom calling.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tara DeMaris

Tara, graduate of Crown College, is the mother to four beautiful children.  Together, Tara and her husband, David, and their family make their home in North Pole, Alaska.  Tara is passionate about reaching the hearts of women and young ladies.  She loves to write and teach God's Word.  God put a desire in Tara's heart over seven years ago to start a ministry that reached women and today she has founded Titus II Woman Ministry.  God is showing her miracles and his hand at work every day.

Tara, graduate of Crown College, is the mother to four beautiful children. Together, Tara and her husband, David, and their family make their home in North Pole, Alaska. Tara is passionate about reaching the hearts of women and young ladies. She loves to write and teach God’s Word. God put a desire in Tara’s heart over seven years ago to start a ministry that reached women and today she has founded Titus II Woman Ministry. God is showing her miracles and his hand at work every day.

Who’s Journey Am I On?

Galatians 6:4-6 (MSG) “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

I recently started a nutrition program and was encouraging one of the ladies that I coach. I wrote these words to her, “Your journey is your journey. Sometimes seeing other’s success can discourage you, but that is their journey, not mine. Stressing over numbers or comparing yourself to others will result in frustration and discouragement.” After reflecting on that advice for a few days I found myself thinking, man how true that is in our spiritual journey as well.

Sometimes we get discouraged by other’s successes, feel a twinge of jealousy instead of rejoicing with them. Satan loves to make us think, “Hey wait a minute, I could have done that, or I deserve that too.”  But we must remember that that is their journey. God has made us each for our own purpose on earth. Comparing ourselves to others, whether to make us feel better about ourselves or when we feel like we don’t measure up, robs us of embracing who God created us to be and what he created us to do.

I find it hard sometimes when life isn’t turning out the way I think it should to not focus on what’s right or wrong in the lives of those around me. If only I had what they had, or think man they sure have it good. But then I remind myself, that is their journey. See, we don’t know the full story of what it took to get them to where they are; the heartaches, the sacrifices, the unseen worry or sleepless nights. God prepares us each for our own journey. He didn’t give me the DNA to handle what my neighbor is blessed with or what they might face. He made me to handle what he gives me.

We give Satan a victory when we choose to focus on other’s journeys and not concentrate on what God has for us. When we focus on God and make his will and his ways the main thing, our life will take the path it was meant to take. Others may not understand it and may even think you are crazy, but you know what, that’s okay….it’s not their journey, it’s yours!

Maybe you need to take some time and write out a few things you know that God wants you to do. Make a list so that when you start comparing yourself to others you have tangible goals or guidelines to help you stay focused on your calling and course.

Lord, help us to make you the main thing. When we see others around us succeed, help us to rejoice with them and continue our course, and not try to take theirs. We want to be who you want us to be and what you’ve called us to do. Help us navigate through this journey of life doing your will to the best of our ability. Amen

 

Amanda Keller

 

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan.  While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Amanda's passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter.  Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College.  "your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise." ~Andy Stanley

Amanda is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan. While Amanda grew up in Jordan, Montana, their family makes their home in Bismarck, North Dakota. Amanda’s passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter. Their family loves to support Compassion International in whatever way possible. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College. “your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise.” ~Andy Stanley

Magnificent

Isn’t it just like God to take what you think will just be another Saturday (um…garage selling with four kids who love it as much as you do) like any other and turn it into a day of remembrance and the realization that we really do live in a small world after all.

I woke to a quiet house this particular Saturday.  Relishing it, I took time to study and read and write and well, all those things that this momma wants to do while it is quiet and my attention is not averted to my, most of the time, loving children.  I had finished some of my study and checked facebook (any good mom does-insert my rolled eyes and laugh here) and was reminded by a post that there was a sale going on in my new town that had some goodies I really wanted to check out and possible buy.  It was now eight in the morning! Yep, we sleep in well on Saturdays (you can go ahead and giggle because you KNOW what I am talking about)! So, I rallied the troops and didn’t even make them brush their teeth (honestly, I didn’t even feed them breakfast).  We stormed out the door and headed to the site where there flea/garage sale was happening.

We were just two tables in when my youngest daughter spotted Barbie dolls.  Usually I would deter anything of the sort, but we recently had to sell most everything and my kids were left with no toys, so, I stopped and let her look and eventually purchase said dolls.  While I was waiting patiently with my older girls, the man who was helping run this table commented on the sweatshirt my near FOURTEEN year old daughter was wearing (can I add here that she is also over three inches taller than me now and like a size one).  It said NEBRASKA on it.  That’s it! The exact conversation went like this;

Man: “Nice sweatshirt!”

Ems: “Thanks.” (weird look on face at kinda crazy guy)

Me: “Well, we don’t really claim that state, but it is a good sweatshirt for days like today.”

Man: (looking slightly offended) “Where abouts did you live?”

Me: “Well, I lived all over it actually.  Two of my girls were born in Valentine, but we know                           the whole state.”

Man: “I grew up in Ord.”

Me: “No kidding! My mom graduated high school in Ord. My grandpa built the                                                 Assemblies church there and a house up on the hill. We spent our summers with                                 them and I got poison ivy every stinkin’ time.” (probably too much information)

Man: “What was your grandfather’s name?”

Okay, I was a little freaked out and excited. I really thought this man was going to be some distant relative or something.  Turns out that my grandfather had purchased the land he had built that house on from this man’s uncle who had just recently passed away.  This man had just been in Ord for the funeral and saw my grandfather’s grave site.  He knew who my grandfather was and remembered him well.  He said that many thought highly of him when he was alive and served the community of Ord.

Seriously?  Did that just happen? is was I was thinking as I walked away from that table after about thirty minutes more of conversation about how we were linked.  Ya’all, I now reside in North Pole, Alaska!   You can’t get much further away from central Nebraska and still be in the United States of America.

I was thinking about this the whole rest of the day.  It was a complete turn to my whole day of, what my family calls, looking.  I just couldn’t get over it.  I remembered faces of my grandfather and how amazing of preacher he was.  He had this one-of-a-kind laugh that I used to be so afraid of, but oh how he loved me.  He died many years ago while I was still in high school, but his memory is very much alive and even in North Pole.

Tears ran from eyes the very next day during out worship service.  We ended up singing my grandpa’s most favorite hymn, sung at his funeral, and the special speaker at age 83 was much like my grandfather.  He spoke with conviction in his voice and his heart was just as I remember my grandpa’s.

I don’t know that there was really a lesson in my day as much as just the reminder that God is bigger than this big world we live in and He cares enough to give us wonderful memories of people we love more than life itself.  He cares about the smallest of details, even a house built up on a hill by the very two hands of my grandfather – a house that still stands and is lived in today.  It was a glorious house.

jer 32  17

Lord, in all my days help me to never forget that you are so much bigger than the world I live in.  Thank you for the memories you have given me to look back on and smile, cry and relish.  I am more than a blessed child of my parents and grandparents, but a daughter of the One True King. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tara DeMaris

Tara, graduate of Crown College, is the mother to four beautiful children.  Together, Tara and her husband, David, and their family make their home in Northwest Missouri.  Tara is passionate about reaching the hearts of women and young ladies.  She loves to write and teach God's Word.  God put a desire in Tara's heart over six years ago to start a ministry that reached women.  Today Tara has founded Titus II Woman Ministries and God is showing her miracles and his hand at work every day.

Tara, graduate of Crown College, is the mother to four beautiful children. Together, Tara and her husband, David, and their family make their home in North Pole, Alaska. Tara is passionate about reaching the hearts of women and young ladies. She loves to write and teach God’s Word. God put a desire in Tara’s heart over seven years ago to start a ministry that reached women and today Tara has founded Titus II Woman Ministries through which God is showing her miracles and his hand at work every day.

A Change with Psalm 34

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.  I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  Psalm 34: 1-4

What a concept these verses convey!  “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  I remember just after my second son was born, my husband and I packed our things and moved six hours away to live in someone’s basement for a time.  You don’t have to know the details to know things weren’t the best they could be.  What couple with two young children randomly pack up and move into someone’s basement that they barely know?  I remember going to church and the song “Blessed Be Your Name” was being sung.  I couldn’t even force the words out of my mouth because I was so hurt.

That was nearly ten years ago.  Since then, we’ve had two more kids, six more moves, many more hardships, and countless blessings after blessings after blessings.  Do you know when those blessings began?  They came when I finally realized that when I bless the Lord at all times, when His praise is continually in my mouth, I see the blessings through anything that comes my way.

Through deaths, difficult jobs, bad choices, lack of money, sickness, broken bones, big bills, cross country moves, bad days, and any and everything else that came my way, I saw blessings.  All of the sudden, the list of blessings poured out.  In came healing, amazing people that I could never have imagined asking for, money for bills and sometimes extras, health, restoration of relationships, new relationships, good days, a new home, desires of my heart that I never thought to even verbalize or ask for came to be. The only change was in my heart and attitude.

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.  When your heart is full of all of the daily downers that are thrown at you, your attitude and mouth speaks of that.  All day things are thrown at us.  That’s not wrong, that’s life.  Our choice is how we react.  When we resolve to always have HIS praise on our lips, our heart changes, our immediate reactions change.  We are not perfect, but our heart begins to be filled with blessing and praise, thankfulness and gratitude.  Soon, our heart is not only filled, but is overflowing.  Out of that abundance, we speak.  When we speak life and blessing, we begin to see the life and blessing in and around us.  For me, it was at that moment that the blessings began to flow.  I’m not sure that all of the sudden everything turned great in my life. Bad days still exist, I just am better equipped to handle them and hopefully shut them down a little earlier than I used to.  I honestly think that some of the blessings were there all along; I just didn’t notice them because blessing wasn’t what was flowing out of my mouth.

Here’s my challenge to you:  use Psalm 34, other verses of praise to God, or write your own and meditate on it.  Seriously think about it and make it be on your mind and lips constantly.  When things come up and are thrown at you this week, when dinner doesn’t turn out as planned, you are late, or your kids don’t pick up after themselves, say what you’ve been thinking on.  Bless the Lord in that moment and thank Him that you have food to mess up, a job to be late for, or kids to teach.  Make that be the first thing come out of your mouth and soon it will be the first thing in your head and heart whenever something comes up.  It doesn’t make life perfect, but it does clear the way for you to notice the blessings in and around you.

Dear God, thank you for who you are.  Thank you for the way you love me in my lowest, dirtiest, most desolate times, just as you do in my put together, happy times.  Please teach me to fill my heart with your praise, help me to notice all of your blessings, and be grateful for everything before I can complain.  You are amazing!  Thank you that I am yours. Thank you that you created me, love me, and desire good things from me.  Thank you for everything you do for me.  Help me to express that constantly and always have praise for you on my lips.  Amen.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.  I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  Psalm 34: 1-4

Nikki Rasmussen

Nikki is the mother to four and she loves spending as much time as she can get with her greatest blessings.  Together, Tim and Nikki make their home in Tacoma, Washington, a long leap from her home state of North Dakota.  Nikki is a graduate of Trinity Bible College and about to start her Master’s program through the University of Texas at Arlington. “On the day you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a way that on the day you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” ~Author Unknown

Nikki is the mother to four and she loves spending as much time as she can get with her greatest blessings. Together, Tim and Nikki make their home in Tacoma, Washington, a long leap from her home state of North Dakota. Nikki is a graduate of Trinity Bible College and about to start her Master’s program through the University of Texas at Arlington. “On the day you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that on the day you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” ~Author Unknown

OVERWHELMED

Overwhelmed!

Lately, that’s the only word that has come to my mind as I take a deep breath and try to just get through another day.  Overwhelmed by life and the responsibilities of it all. Overwhelmed by endless piles of laundry and stacks of dishes (not to mention the thought of actually cleaning my house), by three year old tantrums and picking up the same toys over and over again. Overwhelmed at constantly needing to prepare meals for my family, at not consistently meeting my own expectations for myself; personally, spiritually, emotionally, and in marriage, in taking care of my son and simply being a mom. Overwhelmed at my husband working overtime because we need the money, and feeling so alone and so completely responsible, and yet so incompetent, to take care of things at home all by myself. Overwhelmed by constantly having to monitor what I’m eating and what my blood sugars are, which is SO important for being pregnant AND diabetic. And here I am, about to become a mom for a second time, and I’m thinking, “WHAT in the world am I thinking?!?” If I’m already this overwhelmed, how can I possibly fit a newborn baby into the mix??? And then I crumple into a hopeless mess of tears and complete apathetic helplessness, and I find myself self-medicating with over-indulgence in chocolate and donuts. It just seems that if I can’t do it all perfectly, I just can’t bring myself to do any of it!

Whew! Okay, to some of you, these things may not seem overwhelming at all (you must be the type A, productive, motivated and organized personality I have always been jealous of!), but others of you may know exactly what I’m saying; how I’m feeling. You can completely identify.  Oh, the life of a frustrated perfectionist!  It’s the one thing I really and truly wish I could change about myself. And yet, I know God created me perfectly, so He can still bring good out of what appears to be something so weak and so frustrating. So, last night as I sat down, exhausted, for the first time in a couple of hours after picking up toys and doing laundry and dishes and making supper, silently crying out over and over, “Oh God, I am SO overwhelmed!”, almost instantly I heard Him whisper, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)

I had known and read this verse many times, but it seems that often you don’t really need a Scripture until you just NEED it. I immediately looked it up in my Bible and found that the rest of the psalm really ministered to me as well and I was amazed at how timeless these words that David penned so long ago are! That he lived in such different times and in such different circumstances, yet he felt the same way as I have often felt lately… overwhelmed. Despairing, utterly trapped by his situation, desperate for hope and help and change. Truthfully, his circumstances I know were more dire than my own, yet his first response was to cry out to God, to the only One he knew could help. “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer; from the end of the earth I will cry to You. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” He chose to look upward in his time of desperation, and encouraged himself in the Lord, reminded himself of the TRUTH: “For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy.  I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your Wings.” He knew that his only hope would come from the One higher and stronger, who was holding him in the very palm of His hand. The God who had been, was, and always would be faithful to bring Him through every season of his life.

Even as I write this, I fondly remember a time when I spent hours in God’s presence, just soaking in His amazing peace, often listening to Darlene Zschech sing a song called “Overwhelmed.” The lyrics to the chorus are so beautiful: “I exalt You, I will come with shouts of joy into Your presence! Faithful God, my heart is overwhelmed by You.  In Spirit and in Truth I’ll stand, to worship You with all I am. I’m Yours, Lord, I am Yours, Lord…Jesus, my heart is overwhelmed.” Oh, to be THAT kind of overwhelmed again!  To know that there is a place to go, a Rock that is higher when we are overwhelmed within ourselves.  We can find a place where we are overwhelmed with not our own problems, but with His presence. With His complete goodness. With His super-abounding joy! With His love and His peace, that surpasses ALL understanding and ALL situations. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to be overwhelmed, I want it to be not by my circumstances, but by who Jesus is to me in the midst of them.

So I encourage you today…whatever things in this life have you overwhelmed, remember that there is hope. There is help. There is a Rock that is higher and His name is Jesus, the Name above ALL names! There is nothing better, nothing greater, nothing more able to lift you out of your hopelessness than His presence. So go now. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate! Find that place where it is just Jesus and you, and enter in. Quiet your soul in His presence. Look away from the things that overwhelm you and weigh you down, and instead behold Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, our Savior and Burden-bearer. Run to Him, who has become everything we need, our Healer, Provider, and the Lifter of our Heads. Turn your eyes upon Jesus and watch the things of this earth grow strangely dim, watch them melt away, in the marvelous light of His glory and grace.

Overwhelmed-moms encouraged

Sharilyn Edgerle

Sharilyn is the mother to an adorable little man, Isaac, and met her husband, Enoch, through eHarmony in.  She grew up and graduated high school in Montana.  Together they make their home in Michigan. Sharilyn’s passion rests in sharing the love of Jesus with others through evangelism, music and writing.  She has recently been asked to lead worship for a local church and started writing for the Titus II Woman blog team.  Sharilyn is a graduate of Trinity Bible College with an Associates of Arts degree in Music Performance.  Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord.”

Sharilyn is the mother to an adorable little man, Isaac, and met her husband, Enoch, through eHarmony in. She grew up and graduated high school in Montana. Together they make their home in Michigan. Sharilyn’s passion rests in sharing the love of Jesus with others through evangelism, music and writing. She has recently been asked to lead worship for a local church and started writing for the Titus II Woman blog team. Sharilyn is a graduate of Trinity Bible College with an Associates of Arts degree in Music Performance. Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord.”

From Child to Mother

GandM young

As a young wife, looking forward to a life with the “love of my life”, I had little thought as to what that would involve.  Children, yes, we wanted children and soon.  Our love could not be contained between just the two of us. We wanted to share that love with a family.

We married on August 12, 1978 and on August 6, 1979 we welcomed Michael Leon Christian III into our lives. I thought my heart was full all the way up. But then just 21 months later we welcomed a beautiful daughter to our lives. On May 28, 1981 we welcomed Tara Nicole Christian into our lives. I believed my joy was complete at this point. God had other plans and ideas for me for just one year and nine days later on June 6, 1982 we welcomed our youngest son, Anthony Blaine Christian into our lives.

But this article isn’t about me. I want to share about this beautiful young woman. From the child she was to the woman she has become.

momandmeprom

Tara is a joy to my heart. I have always been proud of her and her accomplishments.  As a teenager she challenged me as any daughter will do, but she would allow me to speak openly and freely to her when those times would happen. Tara had dreams of singing one day and she worked hard at the God given talent she has.

I stood on God’s word when it tells us: “Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.  I would quote this verse in my prayers for Tara as she grew up. I bathed all my children in prayer continually. I attempted to live my life as a godly example to them and loved them with all my heart.  I had no real problems with Tara as she grew into being a woman, sure she made mistakes along the way, but I trusted in God to see her through.

On one occasion, God spoke to my heart while we were moving our oldest son into Bible School housing. Of course, his room had to be on the top floor of the dorm, with NO elevators. After making my third trip up the stairs and back down again, I reached down to grab my ankles and breathe deep, when a young man burst through the doors. He had slightly long hair, a nice looking young man, he stopped short, looked at me and said, “Are you the mother of the girl that sings?” I said, “Yes, if you mean Tara. We are moving her brother, Mike, into the dorm.” He said, “That’s her”. He then headed up the stairs. The Holy Spirit stopped me right then and there and said, “Start praying for that young man, he is going to be your son-in-law.” I honestly can say, it was not something I really wanted to hear at that moment in my life. My daughter was not out of high school and I was not ready to even think of marriage for her, but I did as God had asked me to and I started praying for David DeMaris from that time on.

God, heard me, Tara and David have been married for almost FIFTEEN years. She has become a mother to four beautiful babies that this Nana is so very proud of.  Greater still is the love that Tara has for her Lord and Savior.  This touches my heart like no other thing can do.

Tara told me once as a teenager, that she never wanted to be like me.  But, my sweet daughter, I take great joy in knowing that you are following in my footsteps in so many ways. But the most important way of all; you love My Jesus, Your Jesus!

When Tara was very young.  I went to a Women’s Retreat in Lexington, Nebraska. We were called up for prayer. After praying, I turned to leave the altar area, when a women on the stage reached out and touched my arm. She said, “Look up at me”. I did so, then she asked, “Do you have a daughter named Tara?” I responded “Yes I do!” she said, “Pray hard for her, for God has great plans for her.” I asked, “Do you know my daughter?” No, was the reply.  Then, “God just spoke to me to share that with you.” So for many years I have held this little truth in my heart.  I now share this with Tara and who ever she wants to share this story with.

My advice to all mothers, but especially new mothers, as you hold that precious bundle in your arms and gently love and kiss that beautiful face; NEVER stop whispering that prayer. Also, pray the promises of God over that child and you will be have someone as amazing as this:

youngertara

I pray God’s blessings on all mothers new and old!

Love and prayers

Glennette Christian

Lord, Change Me.

I heard this simple, yet powerful prayer on the radio a while back.  I didn’t think it sounded like much when I first heard it and dismissed it as a nice little prayer, but, upon further consideration, I began to see just how powerful that little prayer was.

You see, when we harbor anything that isn’t of God in our hearts, we rob ourselves of the blessings that He is waiting to bestow upon us because it keeps us from having the relationship with Him that He created us for.

Do you have something or someone in your past, or even right now, that you simply can’t forgive?  Jesus commands us to forgive others, and it’s not a suggestion.  Matthew 6:15

Are you harboring hate in your heart for someone?  We are called to love others as ourselves.  It’s the second greatest commandment according to Jesus.  Matthew 22:39

Anytime we feel self-righteous, jealous, self-centered, hateful, bitter, vengeful, spiteful, or prideful, we need God’s help to change our hearts.  How about when we worry?  We are told to not be afraid, and to not worry, but how can we not without God’s intervention?

Jesus Christ said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  Yet when we hold on to the things of this world; hurt feelings, bitterness, worry and such, how can we possibly feel His peace?  We can’t, because we’re so busy looking around at our pain and our situation that we take our eyes off of Him.

And in Romans 12:12, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  How do we do this?  The renewal of our minds can only come through relationship with Him, and by getting ourselves into His Word.  Pray before you read His word; Lord, change me.  Trust Him, He will.

I am weak and He is strong.  Oh, how I long for His peace to wash over me.  So now, whenever I begin to feel like I’m unraveling or find a seed of bitterness that I can’t seem to dig out, this will be my prayer.  When I worry; Lord, change me.

Thank God I’m not who I was, but I’m still not who He created me to be, and will not be that person until He comes for me, so until then…

Lord, change me.  Amen.

Kim McDowell

Kim is a facilitator for financial peace university.  It brings her great joy to help people overcome their finances to glorify God.  She supports Faith Rocks in their mission to hep kids and horses.  Born and raised in Abilene, Kansas, Kim and her husband, Kelly, still make their home there where she coordinates a group of greeter for their home church.  Kim will leave a memorable impression with her fierce, but gentle hugs as she welcomes you into her life.  Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (NIV) - http://www.myfaithrocks.com/

Kim is a facilitator for financial peace university. It brings her great joy to help people overcome their finances to glorify God. She supports Faith Rocks in their mission to hep kids and horses. Born and raised in Abilene, Kansas, Kim and her husband, Kelly, still make their home there where she coordinates a group of greeter for their home church. Kim will leave a memorable impression with her fierce, but gentle hugs as she welcomes you into her life. Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (NIV) – http://www.myfaithrocks.com/