You are Worthy

I grew up feeling loved by my Dad, and worthless by my Mom. I became a perfectionist in an attempt to pull some sort of affirmation from my Mom. I lived to make her proud of me. Sadly, it has never come to fruition and all I got from it is frustration and anxiety. I’m old enough to not be a victim or play the blame game for any bad behavior I can exhibit time to time, but it still gets to me after all these years.

My Dad has shown me such unconditional love over the years. No matter how mad I would get at him when I was a young girl, or when my mouth gets ahead of me as an adult, he still loves me. Despite the love I received, and still do, there was always this nagging voice in my mind that told me I would never be good enough or worthy enough. That’s where my perfectionism is rooted. This determination to one day be told I did something worthy of a mother’s love was my focus even when it wasn’t my focus. I felt like I was able to overcome so much of this when I was a stay-at-home Mom for almost 12 years. It was challenging at times, but I loved so much of it and felt like I was a success. I love my sons fiercely and unconditionally. I am always proud of them and their accomplishments. I’m also proud of them when they try and fail, because at least they tried!

When I finished my degree and decided to go back to work, this is when I saw that perfectionism and frustration raise its ugly head once again. When I work so hard and years go by without promotion, it brings me right back to feeling like I’m worthless. Realistically, I know I am not and I know my boss doesn’t feel that way, but it’s rooted so deep inside of me, I struggle to get rid of it. How is it even possible to feel accomplished, confident, and find success, yet still struggle with not being good enough?

This brings me to a turning point for me that still brings me to tears. I was at a Women’s Conference this spring at my church. Going to things like these are so out of my comfort zone as I struggle big time with social anxiety and awkwardness. Anyway, my church always has gifts and giveaways for these meetings and they display these gifts at the front, on the stage. I don’t normally win things, but as I look upon this big vase sitting there shining so brightly, I felt like the Lord told me I was worthy of this vase. Not necessarily this vase, but the meaning behind it was what this vase represented. I was shook. This vase was the Grand Prize. I was sitting there minding my own business when I felt God speak those words to me. As I drove home for the lunch break, I began to tell my husband about this and the emotion of it all brought me to tears. God said I was worthy. The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth said I am worthy. I could barely get these words out. This revelation was slowly pulling on that root of perfectionism and unworthiness that was instilled inside of me as a little girl. After lunch, I went back to the Women’s Conference and needless to say, I did not win the vase, but it was still such a good conference and I won that vase in my heart with those words God spoke to me.

Shortly after this conference was my Anniversary, and very unexpectedly my husband walks into my room with this Vase! I assumed he went out and found a duplicate vase like the one at the Conference, but as the tears streamed down my face, he told me how he reached out to one of our Pastors to find out where she got it. After he explained what the Lord spoke to me at the conference, she let him know who won it and the woman who actually won it was more than happy to give it to him so that I could have it. I was absolutely shocked!

This vase now sits on my dresser in my bedroom as a reminder that I am good enough. I am worthy of God’s love. I am worthy to be healed. I am worthy of promotion. I do work hard and I do believe effort is also necessary. You’re not going to give 50% of yourself at a job and expect to get promoted. Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me, or my husband to love me, or my family etc. In the same way, you don’t have to be perfect to feel worthy of being loved and appreciated. Don’t allow anybody else’s insecurities to tell you different. Sometimes God uses things like vases to speak to you. Listen to Him and understand who you are in Christ. God did not create us to feel worthless. He created us to be loved and to love because we are worthy of love!

Successful Mothering?

emoticon-1611977_1280One of the saddest times I have as a parent is when I ask my sons to say something nice about their brothers and it takes FOREVER! Seriously, how hard can it be to think about something good!? I have an extreme dislike for Obama and I can give him a compliment. He said he was going to fundamentally transform this nation and he kept to his promise. That is definitely a positive characteristic of his personality!

Parenting in this PC culture we have these days is so difficult. How many times have I held my tongue when I wanted to ask my kids what planet they learned something?! Most of my creativity comes from making up statements that aren’t too mean while still getting my point across. Why can I ask myself why in the world I did something so stupid, but I can’t ask anybody else that?

As I have a wide array of ages with my sons, I can see where I’ve failed in the older ones and attempt to chart a different course with my younger ones and hope I don’t turn too far in the other direction. I hear sarcasm come out of my oldest one and I have to explain that his youngest brothers don’t always understand sarcasm. I love me a sarcastic joke and he does too. I almost bought him a shirt the other day that said, “National Sarcastic Society; like we need your support!” That shirt still has me laughing, but probably not a good shirt for a High School student.

I can see the flaws in my sons as I’m sure they see all my flaws, but people still need words of affirmation, including my sons.

I love to build them up, but I also try to be realistic as I don’t want to add to this generation of snowflakes.

I am so confident in so many aspects of my life, but I still like to hear when others believe I am doing well. I am trying to teach my kids this. They can be so frustrated with their brothers, but they should always be able to remember the goodness in each other. They should always see the good before the bad. I am working so hard on this lately and I feel like I am failing at times, but I won’t give up.

When my husband wrestles with our sons he has taught them a motto, “Never give up!” I love that motto. Of course, it was the cutest when one of my younger ones thought it was, “Never GET up!” Life with children is truly a great blessing!

Moving on though, we should never give up trying to see the good in people before any flaws. I would love my sons to be able to have kindness and goodness rolling off their tongues as quick as their insults to each other. I’d like to think this would make me feel like I was a success as a Mother, but then I think if they could just aim their pee into the inside of the toilet bowl, that would make me feel successful too. Everybody’s desires are different!!

Love

When you think about love, what do you think about? Your spouse? Your children? Your job? Your parents? God? When I think about love, I think about so many things. Love is a word that I don’t think you can define beyond “God is Love”. How can one define God? We as mere human beings try to put things in little boxes with pretty little bows and when we take it out now and again, we know exactly what we are talking about. If we understood love and how God loves us, I don’t think we could even stand up. When I think about the love that I have for my husband, it sometimes overwhelms me. I think he must not even have a clue how much I love him; how much that loves grows daily. I think about my sons and wonder if they have a clue how much I love them. Love is giving something, but love is also taking something that somebody else is giving. Love is comfortable, yet love can be the most uncomfortable thing in the world to you at a moment.

Look back at your life so far. Think about good memories and even bad memories. Love was always somehow involved. I look back at my childhood at times and wonder how different I would be today if things had been better. I don’t think I would understand God’s love and grace like I do today. I don’t think I would be as strong as I am today. I overcame my childhood. Don’t get me wrong. My childhood wasn’t even near as bad as many children around the world. I have a Dad who loves me and is proud of me. I thank God for him every day. I could have turned to the world to fill that void of a Mother’s love in my life, but I chose to turn to God. I want His love to consume me and not a hatred and bitterness that the enemy can use for his purposes.

Love holds no record of wrongs. That is hard sometimes to forgive and let go. It can be hard for me to have a fight with my husband and not bring up his past mistakes. That is not fighting fair. When we ask forgiveness from God and repent from our sins, He erases them. He doesn’t even remember them! That is love. That is what we need to consume us; mind, body, and spirit.

The world today has perverted love. We use love as an excuse for our sins. We are literally perverting who God is. God help the nations that have perverted Him and have used God as an excuse for our sins. We need to pray for our nations and pray for each other that we can all come to understand who God is and what love truly is. One day every knee will bow down; One day every tongue will confess He Is God! Lord help me to show Your love to others. Open our eyes God!

1 Corinthians 13

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whetherthere are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Raise Them Up…

We hear that scripture all the time. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I pray this for my children. I pray that my husband and I are doing everything we can to train up our children to be Godly men when they are older. We want our sons to understand that the world will not like what they have to say, but we must stand firm with what scripture states.

I am in awe at how the world twists things into what they want. They determine a baby is only a clump of cells and a woman has a right to abort it if she so chooses. They determine that ‘love is love’ whether it be between a homosexual couple or a heterosexual couple, or even multiple partners. The world wants to quiet the church because they don’t want to hear that what they have ‘decided’ is morally corrupt. What the problem has become, however, is that the church is willing to compromise their beliefs in order to feel acceptance from the world. The church is willing to look at scripture and God the way the world does; incorrectly! Now, I don’t want to say that all churches are compromising what the scripture tells us, but there are too many who are. When the scriptures talk about the truth setting us free, I am pretty sure it doesn’t mean what the world tells us will set us free.

As parents, it can be so easy to assume we are sending our children to Sunday school, or children’s church and they are learning what they are supposed to, but we must remember that our family is our first ministry. If we aren’t ministering to our families, then we have no right to be ministering in the church. I am talking to myself here too. I can get real lazy when it comes to certain things with my boys. Sometimes it feels overwhelming just to get them bathed, dressed, and fed!

I want to decide today for myself, and maybe you all can make the decision with me, to raise our children up right; without compromise. Let’s talk with them about how abortion is murder no matter what the world will tell them. Let’s talk about how we need to love homosexuals, but their decision to live in sin without repentance is wrong. God hates the sin, but He LOVES the sinner. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but if we repent before God, and turn away from the sin, that is when freedom happens. Let’s talk to our children about how we need to work hard for what we want. Yes, the Bible talks about doing everything as unto the Lord. That means everything!

I want to raise my sons to understand love and forgiveness, working hard at everything they do, knowing that sometimes the world thinks things are okay when scripture is clearly against it, understanding purity and how to treat a woman, how to love their wives like Christ loves the church, how to be a good husband, how to be a good Dad, how to cook, how to clean, how to worship, how to pray, how to fight, how to be angry and do not sin, and once again….how to love and forgive. This is my prayer for my sons.

Forgiveness When We Don’t Deserve It

God is Love. I guess that is where He is continually leading me lately; teaching me about love. Love is something I fail daily. God helps us with what love is in 1 Corinthians 13.

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whetherthere are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

A couple of years ago I felt like I was supposed to write a song to this scripture and I began, but it is one of those songs that I just can’t seem to finish. I can’t find an appropriate ending. I still sing it in my room, and every time it truly makes the words come alive. I find myself in tears at my failures to show love. God shows me love and forgiveness and grace and mercy on a daily basis, yet I still get angry, and envious, etc etc. When my husband and I fight, I bring up old things that he has done and I have supposedly given forgiveness for. I wonder how God can forgive me so quickly when all I have to do is ask. Clearly repentance is turning away from that sin, but seriously, He forgives us and doesn’t even remember it. I find myself fuming at times even after I grant forgiveness. I am such a justice personality. I see things as just or unjust. I see the same thing somewhat in my sons and I hope it doesn’t trip them up at times. First I have to trust God because God is a just God. There are so many promises in His word about justice, so why do I feel the need to control everything!? Perhaps that is where the problem lies. I feel out of control. I feel like I have to punish my husband when we fight because I am feeling out of control, or because I don’t think he was ‘punished’ enough. That is not my job. My job is to love and respect my husband. When I don’t, I am being disobedient to God. When God forgives me, it isn’t because I deserve it. I don’t deserve it; none of us do. God forgives us because He loves us and that is who He is. I should forgive my husband perhaps not because he deserves it, but just because I love him and the Love of God that is in me, is now shining through.

I need to remember this daily, probably every hour of every day. It isn’t about what people deserve, it is about the love of God. God loves us not because we deserve it. He loves us because that is who He is. He forgives us not because we deserve it. He forgives us because He loves us and that is who He is. When you really think about love, it is truly amazing!

No Fear

When each of my sons was just a newborn baby, before we even left the hospital, I prayed a prayer over each of them. I prayed that God would help me give them back to Him. I prayed that He would help me understand that even though He gave them to me, I have to let them grow up and do what they are called to do. My boys are young enough that what they want to do when they grow up has changed pretty consistently over the years. My boys pray over different countries every night that God puts on their hearts. Some of those countries are scary and dangerous places. My motherly instinct is to say scream, “no! No you will not think of that country and you will definitely not be going over there.” I have to remember that my sons are here to bring glory to God in whatever they do. They may grow up and get an office job. They may be missionaries. They could even live in other countries in dangerous areas where they feel called to spread His word.

I love my boys so much I can’t even believe it. I never thought I could ever have this much love in my heart for my husband and my five sons. I can see how parents want to protect their children even beyond their childhood into their adulthood, but that is not what is supposed to happen. God called us to raise our children to become independent of us; to understand right and wrong; to fulfill the call of God on their lives. My boys have seen us just three and a half years ago sell everything we owned to move across the country because we felt that was what God wanted us to do. It wasn’t easy. It was hard to sell my beautiful things I had accumulated over the years. It was hard to hear the negativity from family members and the harsh words. It was hard to see the disappointment in my sons’ eyes when we told them we were selling everything and moving because we knew God wanted us to. It can be difficult, but they saw for themselves how God works. They have seen for themselves how our life is not our own. They have seen the tears and excitement as well as the anger from parents and other friends and family. One day, this may be them. They may feel called to move across the country, or even to a completely different country for that matter.

It is not unloving to let your children go. It is not unloving to let your parents go. So many parents don’t ever want to let their children go into this big scary world. We live in fear of the unknown; in the fear of failure. We have taught our children that fear is bigger than God, rather than God is so much bigger than our fears. Too many of our children are afraid to leave the nest and we are too afraid to push them over the side and let them learn to fly on their own.

I will always remember those prayers over each of my boys in the hospital. I have to remember them because one day I will want to not let them go and God will gently remind me of those prayers. I will always be their Mama and will always be there to help counsel them when they need it. They know that. They also know that God has plans for each one of them and one day in the future, they will work on fulfilling their callings.

Parents, don’t let fear hold your children back, or yourself for that matter. Children, don’t let your parents fear hold you back. Don’t let your own fear hold you back because our God is greater than any fear in this world. He loves us!

Humble Yourself

2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

I can be honest. Sometimes I struggle with humility. My personality demands justice and justice now. Sometimes I think God’s timing just isn’t fast enough. The opposite of humility is pride. I am being proud when I think my justice should be God’s justice. I could fill up this whole posting with so many scriptures on humility and God’s timing and God’s justice because is it so important. God doesn’t want or need us running around and enforcing our own forms of justice. Oftentimes we use manipulation as a tool to get justice. If one of my sons doesn’t think one of his brothers was punished enough, he often does his own form of punishment, or tries to manipulate me into adding more punishment. We see it in our children and we don’t tolerate it. Why should we tolerate it in ourselves as adults? We try to teach our children humility, yet we put ourselves above those standards.

If somebody hurts us, not only do we want them punished, we want everybody around us to know how they hurt us. Why do we spread discord among brothers? I think we all have that super close friend that we can talk to and they can talk to us where everything is private and we trust each other. That is not what I am talking about. How many times have we talked about a loved one negatively in order to manipulate or punish them, and when things finally get dealt with, we find ourselves wondering why our friends and family have ill will toward that loved one? We are sowing seeds of discord. We are gossiping. We are being proud and not humble.

When we lower ourselves, God raises us up. I know I would rather God raise me up than man. I would rather keep my mouth shut and learn to hold my tongue than to offend my King. Lord help me and all of us to learn what humility truly is. Help me learn that love and humility go together. Help me to learn that God is a just God and there is absolutely nothing He does not see. There is nothing He cannot change, fix, repair or correct. He loves us so much that He actually wants justice for those who have hurt us. Help me allow God to be my everything. God doesn’t need me, but I need Him!! Thank you Lord that Your mercies are new every morning!!

Finish Strong and Mature

My baby turned two yesterday. He was my last pregnancy. We feel like our quiver is now full. We love our sons and we celebrate each stage of life with love and laughter. As parents though, how many times have we stated how we want to keep them at a certain stage or age of life? I know we have. I absolutely love those first few weeks of my baby’s life where I can literally hold my baby day and night and just love on my perfect little angel. My husband likes it when they learn to talk a little more and he understands what they truly want!

We love our sons and ultimately we are raising them to be independent, God-fearing men. Though we all love certain stages of our children’s lives, we all know that life is a continuous journey. We grow, mature, and develop into the people that God created us to be.

As children of God, we need to continue to grow spiritually. As a newly saved Christian, we are spiritual babies, but we should never stay babies. The Bible tells us that we cannot survive on milk alone. Just as our babies move from milk to baby food to solid food, that is how our spiritual walk is supposed to be. We are supposed to read and study the Word of God and pray without ceasing. We need to learn our Spiritual Father’s voice just as a newborn baby learns his biological father’s voice.

God celebrates with us. He loves to see our growth and maturity. Just as it would seem silly for our kids to stay the same age and maturity level for the rest of their lives, doesn’t the same apply to our spiritual lives? God wants to see us mature steadily. He calls us to finish the race. That means we have to keep moving forward and never give up. I want to finish the race stronger than when I started. I want to do all that God created me to do and be all He created me to be. This life may be a race, but I am going to enjoy and celebrate each stage of it just as I enjoy and celebrate every step and stage my boys succeed in.

Empowering Women to Submit

“Women need to be empowered.” I feel like I hear those words multiple times a day. I am sure this may make some women upset, but let’s get real for a moment. Who is truly holding us down? Is it men; other women; God; children? In my opinion, every time I see or hear about empowering certain races or genders, I hear the word division. We are constantly dividing ourselves when we promote one race or one gender. Society has made leaps and bounds where slaves are freed, women are considered equal and we all have the power to make something of ourselves. I think another problem is that we would rather blame somebody else for our shortcomings than to be honest with ourselves. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and be honest about the choices we have made in our lifetime to get us where we are now.

I am saddened by the way many liberal women see the world. If you can’t kill your baby, somebody is taking your power away. How can you pick and choose what empowers a woman. I feel empowered when I have the right to bear arms and protect my family, but many of the same women who want permission to abort their own offspring, think that is absurd and outrageous that I would want a gun.

I believe that the spirit of Jezebel along with other spirits has truly blinded this nation and the world for that matter, to what God’s true order is. I remember when Candace Cameron Bure went on talk shows talking about how she submits to her husband and women were literally outraged. Marriage is an equal partnership, but God placed men to be the heads of their homes. God meant for marriage to be between one man and one woman. Too man women see submission as enslaving themselves to a man; giving up all power and choices. God meant for submission to be a protection for women and children. Too many women want men to become wimps and have power over men. There are too many marriages where the man submits to the wife and that is so against the word of God.

Yes, we all want to be empowered, but don’t allow the enemy [satan] to warp what God intended. Do not let the world tell you what you deserve or are entitled to; let God. God wants us to be blessed because He loves us, not because we are entitled to it.

Today

Today. Today is a day I want to take a moment and just be thankful. I am a blessed woman. I have five amazing and healthy sons who love me. I have an amazing husband who loves me and sticks with me no matter how terrible I can be. I want today to be the start of a lifetime of remembering to be thankful. I want all those around me to see me as a loving, caring, considerate, and happy woman. I don’t need to have any more “poor me” moments in my life. I don’t care what has happened in your lifetime, you always have something to be thankful for. We must stop looking at what we don’t have and look at all the things we do have. I want to be passionate about being happy. So today, let us stop and just be thankful. Thank you God for all that You have blessed me with. He has given me life. Life may be hard at times, but you have the choice to be happy or miserable. I choose to be happy!!