ANNOUNCEMENTS

** Don't forget to check out this week's Bible verse.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Who Do You Want to Be?



Who do I want to be?

This isn't a question I have taken the time to think about and answer before. It never occurred to me that there could be way more meaning than the typical answers you get to this question. Growing up, we're asked all the time what we want to be. My answers were a teacher, a mother, a wife, a friend, a cosmetologist, a massage therapist, a writer, and the best Christian I could be.

After taking some time to ponder on my answer to this question, I came up with this.

I want to be many things within my life. My childhood dreams still stand true, however, a few things have fallen off that list.

First, I am a teacher. I'm not the type of teacher I had thought I'd be while young. I don't hold a teaching degree but that doesn't mean I'm not qualified. As a mother of three (two physically with me), I teach them every day. I teach them about Jesus, life, and love. I've dedicated my life to these two amazing souls and I've promised God that I would do everything in my power to raise them in the way they should go. So far, I think I've done a good job. My daughter goes to a Christian homeschooling group and has daily instruction in basic education with teachers who love her dearly. She not only gets the education but also time with God. (LOVE THIS) My son is a baby, but not just any baby. He's the most joyful and pleasant soul I know. When we sit down and pray, he takes the hands around him, bows his head, and says his own prayer in baby words. (Another parenting win!) Yes, I am a teacher.

Second, I am a mother. I have carried three babies in my womb and I have given birth to two screaming babies and one angel baby. Even though the world sees me with two kids, I have one sitting on Jesus' lap while enjoying Heaven's choir. I have been immensely blessed to have been able to carry these children and experience the birth process. However, being a mother is so much more than this. I am a mother because I care for these children. I nurse them when they are sick. I play games with them that others would find boring. I get covered with the spaghetti dinner that my son decided he was finished with. I get the fights with my daughter when she pushes for something I don't believe would benefit her. I get the small art projects that were created with me in mind. I get the hugs, kisses, and love these children have to give. Yet, I mourn a child who has never looked into my eyes, kissed me, hugged me, or even called out for me. Instead, her beautiful delicate body is resting in her forever bed in a small grave in Pennsylvania. Yes, I am a mother.  

Third, I am a wife. I stressed over the dress, the flowers, the cake, and the decorations. I enjoyed the honeymoon after I walked down that isle. I was made to feel like a princess. However, there's so much more to being a wife. I supported dreams which weren't mine, passions that I didn't have a taste for, and I have experienced a different kind of love. This type of love is on a much deeper level that one can express. I have listened to hours of excitingness after a day watching a favorite sports team, I listened to the thrills of how great an eight-second car just ran down the drag strip. I listened to memories of war, military, and loneliness. I held in my own pain while the pain of a broken soldier cried out from the pain left behind after a tour in war within Iraq. I nursed sickness into health. I've loved more than I ever thought I could love another human being, other than my children. I am a wife!

Fourth, I am a friend. I gave my shoulder for the tears which fell, and my tears slipped from my eyes because my heart was overloaded. I embraced memories and laughter that only a friend could have. I have opened my heart to the purest love outside of my family. I listened to hours and tried to mend the broken heart, which wasn't mine. I dreamt those dreams with someone who didn't have to choose me. My heart cares deeply for the people who don't live with me but live within my heart. They have come and gone, and some still remain. Right now, a piece of my heart is in Oklahoma, Tennessee, California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Heaven. I am a friend.

Fifth, I am a writer. Four books. Self-published. Long hours and even years, I have spent sitting in front of a computer while creating a new world for someone else to enjoy. These books are part of who I am. My world. my tears, my dreams are all wrapped up in these pages. These books are more than just books. They are my passions, my hopes, my dreams! I have reached out to inspire, give hope, and to allow someone else to dream. I live in an isolated world for these books. My dedication will always be and I will NOT give up. I may second guess this nook of the world because that's part of who I am. I will be frustrated beyond my control and ready to throw in the towel. However, I can't because writing is part of who I am. I cannot survive without it. I am a writer.

Last, I am a Christian. I have a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. He is my peace, my joy, and my happiness. He has NEVER let me down and has always picks me, even when I sadly didn't choose him. He's always there waiting to embrace me, love me, and guide me. I have dedicated my life to Him, as He gave His life for me. I am a Christian.

Now, I'm asking you..... Who do you want to be?

Working Together to Build Jesus Centered Marriages

While doing research and talking with Christian couples about Jesus-centered marriages, I found one thing in common. Each person mentioned that they wished more events would center around building strong Christ-like marriages. Events just for spouses to attend and become stronger in Christ. People feel that there are too little resources bases upon marriage and Christ. 

I partly agree with this. However, my church in which I attend supports every walk of life and each step in which life has to offer. As a matter of fact, there's a couples retreat coming up this weekend, which I sadly won't be attending due to my husband's work schedule. But this is a start. (I pray I can catch the next one and have a babysitter for the kiddos.) 

This is one reason why I feel I was led to write Best Friends for Life; Yet, Husband and Wife. My mission is to help woman everywhere be the wife God called them to be. Sometimes it takes an outside voice to see where we are going wrong at times. 

Let me say, that marriage you want and dream of can happen with Christ at its center. I know that it's easier said than done. But we need to stand up and fight for it. Just as Christ fought for us. Our marriages are like a flower that need daily care and attention. If we don't show this attention and care, it'll wither away and eventually die off.


The first start to a Jesus-centered marriage is JESUS and a relationship with Him. My walk with Christ took off three years ago when my daughter was stillborn. (As I said in her story, her birth/death gave me a violent shove towards Jesus.) I've been following Him since. Now, I'm not saying that my way is the only way. However, it's just one way of many. What works for me and my husband, may not work for all spouses out there.

So, let's work together and start at the beginning. Let's build each other up starting with Christ and our relationship with Him. What's something that you and your spouse do to help keep Christ in the center of your marriage? One thing I have as a goal is to make a set time, every day for my husband and I to pray. Yes, we pray. However, with our schedules, it ends up that our prayer times are different and we're normally praying alone. We NEED to fix this and pray together!

Here are some resources I like to check out every now and then for my marriage (and writing):




Books






Websites & Articles:


The Purpose of Marriage is Not to Make You Holy by Jonathan Trotter for A Life Overseas




I would love to grow this list, so in the comments below, tell me what resources would you add?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Lukewarm Christians

God doesn't like us to be lukewarm Christians. He created us to be fearless and to stand out. “Lukewarm” for me means SITTING ON THE FENCE! In life, I don’t believe in sitting on the fence. I believe in taking sides. When we decide to "sit on the fence" we won't get anything out of life, except for maybe a few splinters. Many times, people don't hesitate to make decisions and they don't seem to have problems when it comes to making these decisions. Maybe because in today's world, we have so many options to choose from. When it comes to problems with decision making, perhaps they're run by fear and they're afraid of the outcome. Perhaps they feel that as long as they hang out on the fence is best because they're safe. 

However, they couldn't be more wrong.

When it comes to making the decision to follow Christ, this should be done now. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:2 that “now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” He doesn't say to hang out, test the waters, and see if it's something you may enjoy. He says NOW is the time! God created us with a vision in mind and then used the selfless act to give us free will. This free will is a blessing for us, but, in turn, we could use it to hurt us as well. We take this for granted. Accepting Christ as your Savior is a very important decision one can make. The Bible tells us that sin does not enter into Heaven, so choosing an eternity in the glory of God or in the depths of hell is pretty serious if you ask me. 

I know that some feel that if they choose Jesus, they're going to lose everything they ever enjoyed and basically live life like a robot going through the motions. Let me be the first to say, when you chose Jesus, you're gaining everything. You gain eternity, salvation, love like you have never experienced before, and a lifetime of blessings. Who wouldn't want that?

Now, when one calls themselves a Christian but picks and chooses parts of the Bible to follow and disregards the rest, this is also a form of being on the fence. I believe that if you're for God, you are ALL IN! I'm not trying to scare anyone, however, if you feel any type of conviction while reading this, perhaps the Lord is speaking to your heart. Open up and listen to what He has to say.

The enemy tries everything to keep us out of the church and away from God. He makes us believe that we can't serve God because of our past sins or because of something we're doing right now. It's all lies. He could be whispering any of these lines to you....

You can't serve God when you smoke or drink.
You won't have any fun doing that. You're going to give up everything you love.
You're not good enough. Look at your past, it's full of things that aren't pleasing.
What will your friends think?

These lies continue.

Becoming a Christian will transform you and it is a life changing event. Some believe you need to clean up and throw out the garbage before they can be a Christian. Once you make the decision to be saved and confess that Jesus is Lord, then Christ will do the cleaning. Jesus will be there helping you through all of it. He will never leave your side. Take it like this, we all have that one thing we do that doesn't line up with the Christian lifestyle but change isn't overnight. Change happens over time WITH THE HELP OF GOD!

When we start to fill our lives with godly things and start to take the instructions from the Bible into consideration, it begins to transform us and our life priorities. We really become like Christ. This change will take time, but moving in the right direction is key. We aren't sitting idle on the fence weighing the pros and cons. We are DOING something.

Joyce Meyer posted this quote on Facebook: “If you will start choosing to do what you know is right, your feelings will catch up with it.” I love this. Each morning when we wake up, we have the option to choose to do what we know is right. We have the choice to choose God or the world. The more we chose God, the better our relationship becomes and the easier it is to walk in faith. 

When becoming a Christian, there's not a list of the dos and don't of life. We don't get told how to dress or talk or how to act. Our instructional manual (the Bible) is the ONLY manual we need. As we pray and seek God, changes will come in our lives. These changes will happen deep within and work their way out. However, none of this will happen if we don't decide to GET OFF THE FENCE.

Choose for yourself today on whom you serve. 

I choose Jesus.

Spring Giveaway


If you would like to read the reviews and learn more about these books, please visit Amazon here.

Up for grabs:

2 ebook copies of Silenced
2 ebook copies of The Overtaking
3 ebook copies of Saying Goodbye
5 ebook copies of Stumbling toward Gratitude


That means there will be 10 winners total in this giveaway.
Starts today and ends on May 8th at midnight. Winners will be chosen shortly after.

Here's more about the prizes....





Description:

Amber Brown spent her entire existence believing Dave was her father. When her mother reveals this is untrue, she goes through an emotional spiral with depression. It's hard for her to believe her mother had lied to her all this time.

A move to a new home and town causes Amber to be consumed by her "darkness" and reverts to cutting to free herself from her pain.

When Casey, her new friend enters her life, she introduces Amber to parties, drugs, and Amber's new boyfriend Landon. The secret of cutting begins to take effect on Amber as she tries to hide it from her friends and family. In the midst of everything, Amber has the desire to find out who her biological father is.

Follow Amber through her trials of depression and cutting, along with the discovery of love.







In life when one thing goes wrong, it can feel like everything goes wrong. Secrets come to the surface while friendships twist out of control, romantic relationships end, and even a dear loved one can die!

In Silenced: The Overtaking Amber’s life turns to chaos when she finds out Sarah, her childhood friend dies suddenly, her stepfather reveals another devastating family secret, and her boyfriend begins pushing her away.

After all the truth comes out, Amber turns to her darkness for comfort when her worst fear becomes reality. Her secret with cutting is discovered when she loses control and ends up in the hospital. Amber’s long journey to recovery begins with a battle. While she’s fighting her way to freedom, she discovers the one love she’s been missing her entire life.


Will Amber overtake her darkness of cutting or will the darkness overtake her?





The journey of pregnancy brings hope, joy, and love for the expecting mother. The hope of giving birth to a new life. The joy of feeling this new life grow inside of her. The love that starts with a test that doesn't ever end. Dreams for the unborn child flood the new mother’s mind, as well as those around her. Each step of the pregnancy is a cherished moment. The anticipation of meeting her cherished baby builds from the very first month and ends after birth.

This is the story of one mother and how a few words changed her life forever. How a piece of her faded when she heard these words: “There’s no heartbeat.” When Rae-Beth Buda laid in the hospital in labor, she and her husband heard those dreaded words.

What happens when all of those dreams are shattered in a moment’s notice? How does one cope with the loss of their child? This is the story of their journey and of the devastating grief of the loss of her daughter, Dakota Emily Buda.






Gratitude is often thought of as a gift or a blessing. By choosing gratitude, we teach ourselves to see the blessing in all situations, which leads to a more thankful life.

This thirty-day challenge will take you on a journey, which will have you looking at different parts in life to find gratitude and give thanks. We will focus on the meaning of gratitude, seeing gratitude in difficult moments, ungratefulness, thankfulness, and even focus on saying thanks to friends and family who deserve recognition. When we choose gratitude, we teach our children to be more thankful and live a life with "eyes of gratitude."

Join me in this journey to better your life with joy, happiness, and an attitude of gratitude.





How do I enter? It's simple. Use the form below to enter.

**All entries will be verified before each winner is contacted.




Easter Giveaway ....EXTENSION

Due to low entries in the giveaway, I am extending this giveaway so more people have an opportunity to win one of the great books that's up for grabs. So, if you haven't entered, hop on over and join. Then, share so your friends can enter too!

Happy Spring!!!