Choose JOY!

April 13th, 2015 was my son’s fourth birthday. It was also his fourth birthday in Heaven. (You can read here on what my thoughts and feelings were on this a two months ago leading up to his day.)

I have always been anxious and riddled with panic attacks leading up to his anniversary. How would I feel? Would I be too sad to do anything? Too heartbroken? How would the let-down be? (The time *after* our attempt at celebrating when I feel like I am about to be so distant from him for the next 365 days and that possibly his celebration wasn’t good enough.)

This year, a few days before his birthday, I decided I wanted to have hearts fill my Facebook page. I believe I get hearts as signs that he is okay, and I will be too. (We got the first heart when we were driving home from his burial). Within hours of my event being created on Facebook, hearts began trickling in. They cam from family, friends and strangers! A woman I have never even met released four heart balloons and a Happy Birthday balloon in memory of my little boy! It was uplifting!!

With that momentum, I decided that this year would be different. Last year, in honor of his third birthday, I donated three books to the hospital “Someone Came Before You”. It is a book that explains the death of a child to their sibling. I thought it would be my “thing”. What I would do every year, donating a new book to the hospital. As I searched for a book I was going to donate a few months ago, I found “Ethan’s Butterflies” and it explains death to his baby sister, Emma. I thought, of COURSE this is THE BOOK I need to be donating every year. It is a sign!

But as the hearts began to trickle and than flood in, I realized that so many people, like me, don’t focus on Ethan’s death (I try not focus on his death or the “what if’s” anymore) but were focusing on his LIFE with me; And that is when I switched gears in my head. I decided I didn’t want a moment of his birthday to be about his death, I wanted it to be about his LIFE! Even though he never took a breath on this earth, his life still lives on – through me, my husband, my family, his sister.

On the morning of April 13th, I did briefly let me heart weep for celebrating a son that I couldn’t be with, but then I choose JOY. And it is by the Grace of God that it was even an option available to me.

We got Emma up and in a SUPER SISTER shirt, and I wore a Team Ethan shirt (my husband wore the same one under his work shirt that day) and we drove to Starbucks near my house. We went inside and bought four gift cards that had messages written on them and went and sat outside. For the next two hours we sat together on a bench and selected four random strangers and gave them the gift card and all we said was “Choose Joy” or “Have a nice day”.

Afterwards, my husband went to work and my daughter and I came home, followed by going to my sister’s house for pizza and to release a balloon for Ethan. I than came home and looked through all of the hearts and messages I received.

I didn’t know how to thank everyone for their kindness and outpouring of love. I was humbled.

It was than that I decided to put the hearts into a slide show for everyone, with a song attached. I chose “Sweet Child” by Rictor and went to work. (My video is below)

I now know, finally, four years into my grief, that I *can* choose JOY. I also know that some days I will fail at that choice. That some days, I will still cry; Some days over the next year I will grieve and be angry at the world for taking one of my dear ones; Some days I will just be a broken Mother. And on those days, on those days that JOY is the farthest out of reach, I will know that it will be okay to be human, and that after my heart is done weeping and my tears dry, I will be able to choose JOY again.

Thank you, my Sweet Baby Boy, for teaching your Momma yet another lesson on this earth.

Please keep that rocking chair ready, grab the best books you can find and the softest blanket. I have a whole world of cuddles and stories waiting for you!!

Love,

Your Mommy

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Is it you Holy Spirit? It’s Me, JennRose.

I have been away from church for awhile now – both with Bible Study and attending service because of poor scheduling with Jason’s work. For Bible Study, Jason has been working until the store closes. For service, I have had bridal showers, birthdays, weddings and family events, all on Sundays. I have been missing church so much and today the stars aligned so I was able to go.

Emma and I got there around 9:00 and I got her settled into her classroom while I went and sat in Fellowship Hall until the first service was over. When the Sanctuary began to empty, I went in to find my seat. I usually never sit in the same area twice, but I like being close to the front.

Today, however, I sat on one of the sides, on the aisle, and about four rows from the back. After service, I was shadowing in the Two’s Room and in case service ran over, I would have to excuse myself and didn’t want to be a disturbance if I got up to leave.

We sang the first few songs, led by Holly Kluge, and I felt like I was home. She also sang a beautiful original song called Be Still and that song moved me to tears. The kind of tears that just well in your eyes and slip out down your cheek, unashamed and comforting.

During Great Are You Lord by All Sons and Daughter’s, a song we have song numerous times in the last 12 months, I was overtaken by emotion – not emotion, but an actual sensation, like I felt like my insides were electrified. I can’t explain it any other way. I was wishing I was there with a friend because I wanted to reach over and touch them and ask: “Do you feel this?” and than I began to softly tremble. When the song was over, we all sat down and I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath or like I had just run around the Sanctuary or like I was holding in a full-lung-capacity breath, – but this wasn’t an overly uncomfortable feeling, and it wasn’t an overly calming feeling, it was just, I don’t know, so much bigger than me.

I prayed to God and asked Him that whatever “it” was, could it please stay with me? I questioned to myself if this is what the Holy Spirit feels like……..sitting here typing this hours later, I still wonder. Did I have a glimpse of the Holy Spirit? The feeling slowly dissipated on it’s own less than ten minutes after it’s arrival and I haven’t felt it again. I wonder if I ever will?

I am going to read the Bible and see if any bits are more clearer than before, because I have been struggling with understanding the Bible, so maybe the Lord sent down a little help?

And if I can’t understand the Bible better, or have anything (else) spectacular happen, I don’t believe that it makes my experience un-validated or anything less than what it was. I can’t explain it, but I know what I felt. And I know it was something good and whole and pure.

The Sermon itself was wonderful, as usual. We read from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.

The main points that Pastor Rob highlighted was the following:

  1.  The Life of Faith requires a long time commitment.
  2. Waiting for the perfect conditions will paralyze your Faith.
  3. God is calling us to live a life of total engagement.

Point one was self explanatory for me. If I am going to be a faithful follower of Jesus, it isn’t for a season, it is for a Lifetime. My lifetime, so I should get comfortable and fully acquainted with this new life I want to live. (As I have for the past twelve months or so that I began following (or stumbling) towards Him.)

Point two really, really hit home for me the hardest. I remember when I very first started this journey, before I even knew what a journey like this was going to entail and was just asking questions.

As I started to feel like yes, I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior and felt like I wanted to invite Him in my heart, I was reluctant too. I had a lengthy conversation with my friend, who was one of the first to talk with me about Jesus, and during our conversation she asked if I had been Saved yet (she may not have used that term) – if I had invited Jesus into my life and heart and accepted Him as my Savior – I said No. I said I was thinking about it, but wasn’t sure that I could live up to the lifestyle and obedience of a “true” Christian and was waiting until I knew I couldn’t fail.

I was terrified of jumping in feet first to follow Christ and sinning.

She honestly and openly told me that we are expected to fail. She also went on to teach me about Grace and Mercy. I realized that I was waiting for the perfect conditions before trying Christianity on, and she said there will never be a perfect condition because we are humans and humans will sin and “fail” and that is precisely why we need God in the first place! Talk about an awakening!! Right then and there, I accepted Jesus into my heart and my life – because, Point three says that God is calling us to live a life of total engagement.

The Lord wants me to be “All In” – with my sinful humanness and my hopeful heart. Pastor Rob highlighted this point best when he said that we may not understand God’s work, but He wants us to engage Him regardless.

Just reach out to Him. Tell Him you don’t have it all together. Accept the fact that you never will and just be open to the idea that it is okay. God doesn’t want our perfection. He wants us. If He created us to be perfect, or even to be able to evolve to perfection, He never would have had to give us a Savior.

May God Bless You Today, Tomorrow and Always.

I am handing in my credentials…….

Here you go. I’m handing them in, returning home and finding where my “normal” disappeared too. I am no longer going to be a veteran of grief. I am no longer going to find the bright side, because the sunshine-side will be the side I am living in – with BOTH my children.

Emma will be two and a half in March. Ethan should be four in April. By worldly time, Emma is older than Ethan ever will be. And I know. I know. I know all of the wonderful Bible verses on loss and comfort and love. I know he is better off with my Lord. I know he was spared the grief of this world. I get that, but it doesn’t make my Momma-heart feel anymore soothed today.

I won a book “Hope for the Weary Mom”. I am about 46 lines (guesstimating) into the book and I am reading about a Mom’s child. This is what it said: “………I hope they always want to rescue damsels in distress, bring flowers to their mommy, and fight bad guys.” She is talking about her two little boys. And as I am reading that line I found myself picturing Ethan running through my living room with a blue cape and a sword yelling “Rawwww”. And as quickly as the beautiful thought was in my head, I am crying. I don’t have that, I *wont’* have that. I won’t have my little boy running around fighting bad guys. I won’t have him bringing me flowers, I won’t have HIM. Ever.

I was talking to my Mom last night how this birthday coming up is so much harder for me than possibly all the years combined (other than my first year of loss leading up to the one year anniversary) and I think it is because before Emma was a baby, but now she is a toddler, walking and talking and running and pretending. She is hitting milestones that I would never see with Ethan, and even the small milestones, like learning to walk, etc didn’t hit me as badly as seeing Emma so much older than I have ever seen or have been able to imagine about Ethan. Ethan’s baby sister is “older” than Ethan. How is this possible?? And I just Miss. Him. So. Much.

I am so thankful for the changing seasons of my grief, being almost four years out, but there are still so many times that the wind gets knocked out of me and I just miss him. I just want him here. With me and my husband *and* Emma.

I want Ethan and Emma to be getting into sibling rivalry together, in mischief together. Plotting to gang up against me and me at my wits end. I want it all and I want him back and I don’t want to be a veteran of grief. I want to be on the opposite side and naive to all of it – that baby loss is “rare”, there is no such thing as 1 in 4 and loss just doesn’t happen in my families world.

My heart hurts today, but I still pray that God Blesses You Today, Tomorrow and Always…..

12 Weeks and change

Four years ago, I was 12 weeks and change pregnant with my son. My son that is Heaven-side. My son that I am doing everything in my power to return too when I die, which is by trying my hardest to be an obedient follower of Christ. My own salvation aside, he is worth it. I would do ANYTHING for my children, and this is one of the things I have left to do on earth for my son – becoming an obedient follower and daughter to the Lord. This is a bit of a difficult task, based on the world I live in, but I am trying to remain diligent none-the-less. Supported by others or not, this is my path that God has waited for me to find and I am on it, stumbling and blister-bitten, but staying focused.

Tomorrow, I will be joining a family as they say goodbye to their son who was born too soon. At just 18 weeks, he was too small to survive with no lung structure to support his small frail body against this angry world of ours. He was born peacefully from his Mother’s womb to the Savoir’s arms. The image sounds so breath-taking while we twist our hearts and minds away from the mercy of it all and absorb the heartbreak and the grief….…..but the children that were born “too soon”, were really born right on time, to New Life.

And for how many times this image has brought me comfort, is the exact same amount of times this image had brought me crying out “Why him?” “Why from us?” “Were we not going to be good enough for him?” I remember feeling numb and feeling angry. Feeling comforted and feeling un-consoled. Feeling broken and feeling whole – as if there were two of me experiencing the loss simultaneously – black and white mixing in my soul.

I have offered to walk with families in their rawest moments of loss for nearly the last four years because that is all I wanted as I was saying goodbye to Ethan. If there is even one family that wants someone beside them, I don’t want them to be alone when they want to be comforted. They will have many days ahead of them where they may feel alone on their grief-walk, the first moments of loss should not be one of them.

I have entered a families hospital room, with their sorrow still cascading down the walls, twice now. And twice I have brought the Holy Spirit with me, praying hard and concise to Jesus as I am walking down the corridor to the door of the room, requesting that they be with us in the quiet moments and help me speak when it is right. I am always a bit nervous when I go see a family. “What will I say? What should I do?”

When I am just a few steps away, I remember, and ask Jesus to have the holy spirit open my heart so I can speak from my very soul – from that un-bandaged place in my being that still holds my grief and pain. 

That place that still howels inside of me, almost four years later, that I miss and want my son.

My grief has changed a lot in the past four years, and I can only imagine it is going to continue to change. But the one thing that remains unchanged is the accessibility of those first few minutes, hours, days and months following my loss. 

I can just close my eyes and access it. 

And not to bring it to the surface in an uncontrolled episode bubbling about, but to access it and bring it out for the families I am with. 

“See, see this broken, twisting, retching portion, that was me too, that is inside of me, everyday, but I am surviving with it, and you will too, when you are ready.”

I think that part stays so easy too access because I never want to be with a family as a veteran of loss, I want to be with a family sitting loss with loss.

I want them to know that those moments they are living inside of, those full of hurt and pain and sadness and confusion – they are allowed to be there.

It. Is. Okay.

It is okay to be in the moment of loss for many minutes and days and weeks to come. I want them to stay in those moments as long as they need too. And when they are ready to take a new step on their grief-journey, I want them to know that it is okay too.

Little by little, they will twist inside out and the grief that is in front of them, the grief that encompasses them and makes it hard to move, and harder still to breathe, will be the grief that is one day behind them, following in their shadow until their last breath on earth.

But before that last day comes, they will one day be able to be whole again, on earth.

There is so much comfort that can be felt in just grieving together. 

Being silent together…… 

Weathering the moments together as one minute unfolds on top of the other. 

I am never with a family to rush them through any one moment- I am only there to be reachable when I am needed, and silent when my presence alone is enough.

Today, hours before I am walking with a family to say their final goodbyes to their child, I am thankful to my Lord, who brought me through to the other side. 

May He always stay accessible to me for the moments when I need Him the most.

Becoming His disciple

I am 31 days into 2015. It has been a smooth transition from the old year into the new. An appreciated calmness.

     Yet, my spirit hasn’t been as calm. I’ve had moments of pure and raw anger. Anger that boils in my core and pours out into my veins. Anger that causes me to forcibly pause and take in a breath.
     In these moments, I could swear it is Jesus soothing His child – just like in the moments when He kindly leans down and makes sure no words that can’t be erased escape my lips when I feel like I NEED to say something. Although that was the old me of 2014. I am still becoming the new me.
      Tomorrow I will be going to church service at 9:30 and than shadowing in the small group in the Children’s Ministry to see if that is where God is leading me next. There are a few areas in Children’s Ministry that are volunteer opportunities, and originally I was drawn to the large group in the Theater since that is in my back ground, but as I was getting the tour of the Ministry areas, the Spirit showed that there maybe another place God has planned for me.
     It is amazing where our life can grow from just being still enough to hear His voice.
     At first I thought I heard from God wrong. I thought, “of course I belong on the stage. That is what I love and am passionate about.” And I even considered not doing the tour of the area and just signing up on the dotted line. But when the leader of ALL of the Ministry wants to show you around, you don’t say “no thank you.” So I went, and on our brief travels around the campus, I felt a new passion stirring.
     I went home and prayed on it. “Am I hearing you right, Lord?” And than it hit me….I want to bring the Word of God into my home daily for Emma. This is why I started on this Christ-seeking to begin with, it wasn’t for me (originally) it was for my sweet baby girl. If I want to bring the Word home to my child, what better way than to be a teacher to children!?
     I truly laugh inside. Of course if I truly am His Daughter, then I must trust Him. He knows every part of me. He knows my coming and goings and He knows where I am destined to be. I just need to trust Him completely.
     I can’t wait to begin experiencing what God has recently laid on my heart.
I will update as this journey unfolds.

What surprising places has God been leading you? Are you answering the call, even through hesitation?

God Bless you today, tomorrow, and always……

Happy New Year!!

I apologize to my faithful reader’s for my extended absence. Another blogger recently wrote “When this page is left empty, my life is most full” or something to that effect and it is oh so true.

My daughter is now two and a half and we have been reduced to only one nap a day, which is anywhere from two to three hours so my alone time window is very short. I hope to someday get up before my daughter awakens so that I can sufficiently start my day with prayer, exercise, coffee and my blog, but with her up at 7:00a, that is as early as I can get my body out of bed.

Luckily, I believe the Lord is use to my sporadic routine and I think He is okay if my morning Devotional happens after 1:00pm on occasion, which is read from my 2015 book, and that my quick good morning to Him as a get out of bed isn’t a brush-off, its a request to join me in my whole entire day.

How have you been doing on your own faith-walk?

I’m more consistent in my prayers to God – requests and thanks, throughout the day than when I last blogged.   I’m much more open about my faith-walk and my Christian life than my last posts here as well.

I’m learning – and 21 days into the New Year I discovered my “Word for the Year” which many people are doing in replacement of resolutions – OBEDIENCE.

I didn’t even realize I had a word this year until I saw it on a friend’s fb post and was like “oh, yes, that is what I am focusing on this!”

My obedience is in many areas.

First and foremost, to God and how He calls me to live. Obediently to His teachings. But how? And wasn’t I already when I became a Christian?

I thought I was, but about four days prior to the New Year ending, I was disobedient to everything God requests of a Christian Life.

If you have stuck through this long post to get to here, thank you. Here, as very first promised at the start of this blog, is my transparency of the day….

A situation arose in my home town with the Mayor of the City and our City officials and the community. It left the community torn, still largely so, and caused such an upset in my core that I lashed out everywhere on social media. I blew up pages upon pages with my outrage and disgust with the situation. I was angered to my core. I was human to my core, reacting as one would who lives “of this world.” I was fighting beside family, as we were outraged together and we were standing up for those that had little to no voice. It took me a few weeks to let the dust settle and a random post I saw from a friend, not even directed at me or the situation, that made me re-think my anger and feelings.

Sure, I had a right to be angry, but I didn’t have a right to be Unchristian. And I wasn’t swearing or anything. I thought I was being a Christian outraged by injustices, but their post made me realize that my actions were wrong.

So I began praying about it. I began asking God to send the Holy Spirit to guide me in my words or actions. I prayed this dutifully and more than just daily. Every time I felt like I needed to “fight the good fight” and speak out on something, I would immediately stop and pray on it.

I can not tell you the changes that have taken place in that area of my life! How many unposted and even “unthoughts” have occurred. This is a life-change. I can’t even fully explain this magnitude, this weight lifted, this Guidance I feel on a daily basis! The good fight isn’t always in words and actions – sometimes it is in silence and stillness – sometimes it is just not. my. fight.

The other area of Obedience I am focusing on this year is my fitness. First, let me explain that I am not a woman of Fitness. I do not work out. I Do. Not. Run. I am just me.

But for 2015, I have decided to push that boundary and have signed up for a run.

And not just any run, the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

And not just one run….but THREE!

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is the most intense of the three with running and obstacles and, well, MUD.

The other two are the Color Run and Color Vibe.

I don’t know exactly how, but I am going to do these events for my children and for Jesus. I am (somehow) going to use my faith to train and succeed. I may memorize bible verses while working out to use as a mantra on the courses. Or maybe my attire will reflect my faith. At this point I am unclear where God is leading me here, but I believe, 100%, that I am really working in letting Him have the reigns.

I will update you all as my workouts progress, and I will blog again soon on the recent going-ons of other areas of my life.

Until next time,

May God Bless You today, tomorrow and always.

Psalm 139

If you have followed most of my blog from the beginning, you will know that from my son’s brief life (in my womb), he has brought so much new LIFE and meaning to my own life. Through HIS LIFE, I live….just as through my life, I strive to have Jesus live.

I am currently involved in two Bible Studies and a Christianity Explored Series (although I have realized, spreading myself so thin over God’s Word, I am not completely fulfilled.) I need to let one go, and right now, I need my Sunday service more than I need to explore God’s Word for Christian Living. So Christianity Explored will have to be a series I explore at another time as I return to Sunday Service.
So what about Psalm 139? This is the first reading we explored in my Hope Mommies Bible Online Bible Study. This Bible Study is for Mom’s that have lost a child. When I was a child growing up, I never ever imagined I would be a loss Mom, and as an adult, loss happened to “other” people and it was “SO RARE” that it hardly ever happened to anyone. Well 1 in 4 isn’t other people and 1 in 4 is hardly rare.
I am sure, even as a new follower, most of my reader’s are familiar with pieces of Psalm 139: ……”fearful and wonderfully made….” …….”knitted in my Mother’s womb…..” Those are pieces from the Psalm, but diving into it whole-heartedly and in portions, I have a new set of eyes on the Psalm and am ever-so-slowly finding another piece of my grief feeling comfort.
Here is it is, in it’s entirety from the NIV:

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Through this Psalm, and the study questions in my Hope Mommies group, I am comforted that no medical intervention, or my prayers to God for intercession, would have saved my son. His time was written before he was born and while he was being crafted in my womb. The safest place he should have been, was the farthest place from safety, but God was with him and he was birthed from my love to eternal love. He was held every moment of his life. I held him every moment of his life. God allowed me to hold him every moment of his life. How can I not find a thankfulness in that? How can I not count myself anything but blessed?

I am making my decisions in this life based on the needs I have in my next life, to be in God’s Kingdom with my son. I hope I am not too late and God has seen my RSVP.

I am coming Lord. Every broken and un-holy part of me is working on walking the righteous path to join you. Forgive me when I stumble, just as I need to learn how to forgive myself. Lend me your hand to hold on to as I gingerly make my way through this lost world. Help keep my eyes on you and help me to be an instrument of teaching to my child on earth, so that she may always carry you in her heart.

In Jesus name I pray this, so may it be so.

Amen

Prayer from my Pastor

We started a new series at church a few weeks back called “All In” (My last post was from the All In series)

Pastor Rob has written a prayer and it is on the front of the handout that we receive each Sunday. It is so all-encompassing that I wanted to pass it on to my readers to borrow (or even alter!) for yourselves. I am planning on using this as my morning prayer.


Today I surrender to you

my desire for success,

my desire to be influential,

my desire to be happy,

my regrets and my many sins,

my self deprecating thoughts.

Remove from me any branch that does not bear fruit-

any behavior that is offensive.

Take captive my anxious thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.

Help me die to the things of this world,

that I might take hold of the life that is truly Life.

Make my life a lasting fruit.

Complete my joy with Yours.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Do you have a serious relationship with God’s Word?

I am sorry I have been away from my blog since July. I have been busy with summer to-do’s and my daughter has been ever-changing. Coincidentally, my bible study group ended at the end of June, so perhaps not being immersed in God’s Word with like-minded people has had its effect on me?

I’ve still been attending church on Sunday’s through out Summer because that is the only good way I know how to start my week, and I have been praying at home, but in an effort to always remain transparent to my reader’s, I have completely lacked in my own Bible reading at home. I wish I could blame my lack of reading on my husband’s lack of belief, but he would never keep me or fault me for reading God’s Word, so the blame is all my own.

Which leads me to today’s post which is ripped from the Sermon at church and was delivered to this tired and weary soul right on time. I am always so thankful and awed when God meets me where I am…..”Do you have a serious relationship with God’s Word?” And my transparent answer is “No.” I have a serious relationship with God, although at time’s I feel as if it is limited and lacking based on my home system at the moment, but I do not have a serious relationship with His Word. And I use too a few months back, so what has stopped me?

Social Media pulls me in so quickly that hours could pass during Emma’s nap time and I have barely moved from my seat. Sometimes I forget that listening to Worship Music should coincide with my Bible reading and not be in place of.

Some points of importance (for me) from today’s Sermon, led by Pastor Rob:

  1. Christianity starts with the Bible and the rest of (my) Christian Living is secondary to this main point.

What this means is that Living a Christian life starts with the Bible. If you don’t read and have a grasp on the Bible, than you aren’t living a true Christian Life.

2. Life-change begins with a whole-hearted engagement of God’s Word.

At my church, the underlying theme is always “We are inviting you to a life-changing relationship with Jesus” because you just can’t be in a relationship with Him and be unchanged. And if you are unchanged, than you are doing it wrong. You can not be changed until you read and understand (DAILY) God’s Word. (Refer to Acts 1:12 – They came to God’s word eagerly)

3. Life-change is experienced as God’s Word becomes central in your beliefs.

This pretty much says, when you read and truly absorb God’s Word, the beliefs enlisted there will become your central belief system, as you become Life-changed. Wow. (1 Thessalonians 1:5-7)

4. The evidence of Life-change is God’s Word reaching others through you.

So I am struggling with this one. Point four can also be worded as “Courageous Faithful” that I have written about before. And I have been a courageous faithful this summer, but not, I believe, always at the right time and sometimes, when it is the right time, I have no idea how to share my faith. I need to learn when it is the right time to share God’s Word and when it will fall on deaf ears and (on occasion) lead me to feeling a little hurt and confused that perhaps I don’t know how to live a Christian Life at all. And I need to learn how to explain my relationship with God. This blog helps, but I can’t really always just ask people to come read it to understand what I am trying to say.

Here are some questions Pastor Rob asked of us to think on:

  • Do you have a serious relationship with God’s Word? (this begs repeating)
  • Where are you in your faith?
  • Are you building a faith that can be drawn from? (I feel like there could a a great sermon just on this question alone.)
  • Are you living the Bible “out loud”?

So there you have it. I am back in the saddle with my posts (I hope!), I am a few blocks further on my path than I was before, and I still have doubts and uncertainty and fears that I am doing this wrong, but I am learning that it is okay. All of it. Every last fear and feeling.

Stay dutiful on your journey. It is going to be worth it. I promise you.

Feel free to comment below on any of the questions I posted above and perhaps we can grow in our faiths together.

God Bless you today, tomorrow and always.

My Addictions

So, I have a small addiction to reading. When I get the chance, I love to pick up a good book, I also now have a second addiction, it is to the ChristianBook web site, where I am constantly buying bargain books and having them shipped to my house.

My recent finds that are on the way to me:

  • The Marriage Code by Bill and Pam Farrel (2 of these, one for me, and one for my husband, who HATES reading. Hahaha! Maybe I could text message the book to him?)
  • The Marriage Code workbook (again, 2 of these, for myself and for the above fore-mentioned hater-of-the-printed-word)
  • God Can Handle It…..Marriage by S.M. Henquires
  • 99 Things To Do Between Here and Heaven by Kathleen Long Bostrom and Peter Graystone
  • Gardening Eden: How Creation Care Will Change Your Faith, Your Life and Our World  by  Michael Abbate
  • You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded) by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

Oh, well since I am confessing some addictions of mine, BARGAINS!!! LOVE ‘EM!! So, the above books retail at  $100.89 (before shipping and tax) but I bought everything for $12.20 WITH shipping and tax because they were running a 90% off sale!

I spoke with a friend of mine and was telling her about the books I ordered and she looked at me concerned and says: “Oh my, is your marriage in trouble?”

I honestly responded, No. It isn’t in trouble. It isn’t even headed for trouble. But it does lack in communication, and I am “God-ing” alone and I have consciously decided I am going to work on my marriage now so that my marriage doesn’t have a chance to get into trouble. If we are always working on our marriage, we will not have the need to resuscitate it. I don’t know, maybe my idea is flawed, but I am going to stick with it for now and I will let you know how it progress’. (And if my husband truly picks up the book!)

The 99 things book was just a deal TOO GOOD to pass up and sounds good.

The Gardening Eden caught my eye because I really,really, really want to garden, but lack skill and, honestly, an overall bone of motivation, but if I can Garden for Jesus?! Yes, I may be able to do it. I will also update on this.

And, lastly, the You Can’t Make Me book is a book on child upbringing. I have questions and concerns on raising my daughter so I am just slowly starting to pick up some books to see how others have done it. (I can always relay on my family for advice, but I want a Christian aspect as well…..not that my family doesn’t have a religious belief, but just another perspective from devout and practicing Christians.)

So these are my addictions and I am ANXIOUS for them to arrive in the mail to me this week before I unplug for a bit of R&R. And all of my addictions have God in the center and as the focus, so I think I am going in the right direction here and not looking to break them anytime soon. 🙂

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