Stand Back!

I forget sometimes who I serve.  I forget that He is known for great and amazing things and that my piddly requests are nothing to him, in the sense that it is easy to answer prayers.

Now, I know my God is not a genie, that I go to when I want something.  But, sometimes I forget He is my Heavenly Father, who loves me tremendously and would move heaven and earth for me.  little, me.

I mean, for goodness sake, his beloved son paid my price for eternity.  Wow.

So, I forget sometimes (okay, often) that He really desires for me to lay my burdens down.  To put them at his feet.  And to walk around a “free” woman.

I have not felt very free lately.

I don’t want to go into too many details for all of you – simply because there are many, and I do not have time. 

Last weekend, I put a name to my feelings lately.  Financial Bondage. 

We just finished Dave Ramsey.  I thought we would be good by now.  But man!  I feel like we are never going to get out of the place we are in.  I should say, it is not a terrible place.  We have a great home.  We eat well.  And we are all clothed.  But I have been scrounging money for the book fair.  You know?  And scrounge I did!!

So anyway, while at the bookfair I went to a seminar (I did not want to go to) about Entrepreneurship for our kids.  Honestly I remarked how “that is what so many are telling us [homeschoolers] to do – teach our kids to be entrepreneurs, but they cannot all do that – some need to find regular jobs.”  God laughed I think when I said that.  He knew what was coming.

So I went, listened and woke up!!  Got some great ideas, started turning some rusted wheels and I felt the first loosening of the chains.

Then, I went back to the same man, different talk, but more of the same – empowerment. 

Now, I should say, I have been praying about our finances for months.  I know it will take time, and it will happen –> being debt free again.  But I can be impatient (so they say).  So I have been praying.  For relief most of all- just enough room to breathe.  And God has answered in some crazy ways – tractor from an uncle, meat from a friend, and more…

But last weekend God woke me up.  He did – not Bob Farewell – not the bookfair.  But god.

He does not want me to live in Financial Bondage.  He wants me to be a free woman.  And I believe this is true in every area of our lives.  He has called us to live free – because the price has already been paid.  We are not to be in bondage to anyone or anything.  So I said – enough is enough!

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This morning we spent 4 hours in Athens (15 minutes from my house) selling bread at the Farmer’s Market!  It cost $10.  And I sold 15 loaves of bread, 4 bags of rolls, 6 jumbo pecan rolls, and 12 regular pecan rolls.  All of it.  I came home without bread!  Woohoo!!

 

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I made about $100 – for 4 hours.  I did make the bread the day before, but I like to make bread, so I do not mind some baking to get ready for a morning like this.  I like to talk to people too and the Farmer’s Market is a great place to do that!  Win – Win for me!

And guess what?  My boys are inspired. 

water buffalo

They sold water (for our Water Buffalo Fund for Gospel for Asia) and made $20 – and they sold para-cord bracelets & key chains and made $10. 

paracord stuff

It was slow today – it was chilly all morning.  So I know it will get better – but they were happy & helpful!!  And they are learning how to sell something, how to approach people, and how to work & earn some money on their own. 

So, a week after the chains started to loosen, I feel SOOO much freer – I think a few shackles fell off this morning.  I came home with $100 of our needed $350 for camp!!   God is amazing! 

I do not think he is an “ask” and “receive” God.  But he wants me to be free in Him.  And he is really blessing my efforts to get out of the financial situation we are in, and that is so great!!  So sometimes I need to remember to stand back and let HIM be God.  Trust Him!  Today I did and he blessed us!

so much gratitude

Sometimes it takes getting sick to really be thankful for all that we have.  When you are feeling too yucky to eat, and cannot really speak, you find out how thankful you are that you can normally eat, and normally read to your children without irritation.

Last week was a huge reminder of all I have to be thankful for.  I am thoroughly enjoying watching my boys fill in their printable Gratitude journal from Ann also.  It is a joy to see them opening their young hearts to gratitude.

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So today, with a healthy throat I am thankful for …

~ swallowing without pain

~ an upcoming weekend of relaxing, recharging, and fellowship

~ writing valentine letters to my children hoping to fill their love cups with words of encouragement and love

~ 25 chicks still alive and kicking, and getting 13 more very soon

~ a husband who means so much to us, but really does not realize it

~ the end of the 4 night shift

~ tears of joy during worship, feeling Him hug me through songs

~ teaching little ones, even a few extras, about Jesus and seeing that they get it

~ for a house that has enough Bibles that we each can look at one, and a few to spare

~ for a yard that seems to not end, and birds that fill our trees and our air with songs

~ little girls who believe they may grow up and be  real princesses one day, and knowing that one day she will grow up and know she is a princess as the daughter of the King

~ sweet valentines made by little hands, offered with love

I could go on and on, but for today that is my list.  My heart spills over with the many things I am thankful for – so many things.  We all have so much more to be grateful for than we realize.  Too often we are fretting about the next _______ (fill in the blank) the next project, the next thing for the shelf, mantle, etc.  But really, none of that makes us happy.  If it were all gone tomorrow, I would still be thankful for sweet hugs, for snuggling in the morning, for naps on the couch, for the little things.  Because really, aren’t those the big things?  Kids saying grace without being asked.  Praying for friends, for each other.  Holding hands in a parking lot with brothers laughing.  Playing games on the blanket in the living room sharing, encouraging.  Playing the game he wants, so that next they will play the game the other wants.  Reading to a little sister before bed, giggling in bed.  Having a sleep over with their sister while their little brother sneaks in with mommy!  Can you tell, the list really does not end…..

but I will end it for today.  I am grateful.  For everything, I just need to stop and think about it more – stop and realize I have more than I need.  It is not about remodeling.  It is not about a new outfit.  It is not about new paint, or new furniture.  It is about the real things that matter in life.  And in that area, I have far more than I deserve.

Spreading Joy

This has been a week full of spreading joy!

We have had so many great days – first, 2 day with friends visiting (old & new), then a fun trip to the library, and today we ventured out to the Trinity River Audubon Center, with friends too. We had to take advantage of their Free Third Thursday deal especially with the weather we enjoyed!!

And tomorrow we are looking forward to a great trip to the zoo with friends again!

But today, it was just so much fun to see the delight my children had over simply being outside and looking at mostly dead plants and trees (okay, dormant). The did enjoy the turtles we saw. They also really did enjoy looking at the various seed pods we saw throughout the trail. But to see more about that you are going to have to wander over to HERE – our nature blog.
But I need to mention a few things I have been remiss in sharing. We are now the proud owners of this beauty!

This is a treasure I was given by a dear friend and my children are in love with it. Not a day has gone by that they are not enjoying it

I love listening to the kids play – relearning skills they have forgotten from lessons last spring. Robert is not thrilled with our new addition, but says when they play a little better he will be happier….he may not realize that could be a while. 🙂

We are pretty excited anyway – it is making music to my ears!!

Scripture Sunday

I wanted to share a verse tonight – hoping to memorize this one this week. It was a verse my dear friend here in Irving shared with me on Wednesday night. She linked this verse with Proverbs 31. As a woman who has studies this chapter and felt intimidated more than once, I was thrilled to see Alicia link these two passages of scripture. So here it is :

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2Peter 1:3

Do you see the promise in that verse. First, I was reminded that God does not want us to feel guilty and intimidated by his word. He hopes to encourage us and inspire us to reach for him. On top of that, he has equipped us to attain the goals he sets before us by giving us all that we need. So when we start to feel inadequate or think we are not good enough, we need to stop and know that if we think that of ourselves we are also saying He is not good enough to help us. We are good enough, because he is in us and helps us be who he calls us to be. It is not about us trying harder, doing more, or anything else. It is about him, what he does through us and in us, and who he calls us to be.

Today was great, Sunday usually is. To spend the morning in the Lord’s house and be encouraged and inspired through a sermon, praise and worship songs, and to join together in prayer just has a way to making the small stuff –> small!! And it makes him seem so much bigger! And that is what we need more of!

So another week of schooling my kids and managing this home. We are starting on the right foot, oatmeal is in the crockpot for breakfast, dinner will go in when we finish breakfast – so 2 meals not much prep! School planned for the week. And I think I may even squeeze in some sewing projects.

My focus this week:

Another goal I have added to my list, to increase my joy and thus increase the level of joy in my home. This goes hand in hand with saying yes more – and I hope to focus on that this week. Impromptu game playing, special story reading snuggled on the couch and maybe even some craft time! I may not get it all done, but I continue to reach for that higher level. I hope to have contagious joy in my life and pass that on to my precious children!

Hope you are seeing God move in your life, hope you are feeling him close!