When They Look At Me



The Jesus They See In Me


Driving down the road, I glance in the rear-view mirror.


The little guy I dropped off at the beginning of the school year is now a whole year bigger. 


I can’t believe a whole school year has passed. I can’t believe my guy is getting so big.


He is so sweet. I turn around to see his beautiful face that is now almost a third grader and give him a great big smile. I keep sneaking peeks of him in the mirror and he just laughs and looks away like he doesn’t notice. Being my first born and the only one in school I can only hope that this gets easier.


The end of the school year is hardest for me. I know some people struggle at the beginning of the year but I spend the last few days of school sad about another year passing by.


As the tears stream down my face, I quickly search for my sunglasses to keep him from seeing me melt right in front of him. As I force a smile through my sadness, he just giggles. Thank God for those angel smiles that He sends through our little kids when times are tough.


As I look in the rear view mirror at my guy, I wonder what he sees when he looks back at me.


My inner struggle lately has been with second guessing my thoughts, actions, and reactions to my children. My greatest desire is that my kids will grow up to love Jesus with all their hearts. I feel this pressure as being the person that they look at and see the genuine love of Jesus. I just wonder who the Jesus is they see in me. As mothers we have a great influence on our children that we should consider carefully.


One of our favorite things to do is sing. We spend every morning driving to school singing to the tunes of our favorite Christian radio station. We crank up the radio and sing loudly, well okay maybe just I sing loudly. But I can see their little mouths ready to break out in song any day now.


I often times get strange looks as I am driving down the road because I have one hand on the wheel and the other hand lifted to the heavens praising my Lord. I usually get funny looks because people are not sure if I am waving at them or yelling at them (I do sing loudly in my car, not well, just loudly).   Don’t worry I focus on my driving.


My kids know that I love Jesus. We talk about Him at every opportunity. He is a part of who we are but my desire is that He is not just a part of who we are or just pieces of us but that He defines all our actions, thoughts, and ways. We Praise Him for constantly transforming us and making us more like Him every day.


Paul gives us great direction for our personal responsibility in Romans 12. In verse 1 Paul tells us that we are to give ourselves to God because all He has done for us. This means that daily we have to consciously and intently give up our own desires to follow Him.


 In verse 2 Paul continues, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.


If I want to be able to look at my kids in the mirror and wonder what they are seeing when they look back at me I can always look to the instruction manual that God gave us for daily living, His Word.


Don’t copy the behavior or customs of this world. That is hard. That is why we have to be intent about our choices. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.   


How many of us often times turn to the people around us for counsel on our daily lives. We turn to our significant others, our family, our friends, and social media. What is the problem with that? Some of you may be thinking, nothing. Look at these two verses.


Proverbs tells us to trust in the Lord and not in ourselves and our own understanding, Romans 12:2 says Let God transform you and your thinking, not to conform to the thinking of this world. 


What is the harm with turning to others? What is the problem with going for advice or help with our kids, family, marriage, jobs, and finances, to other people?


My thoughts and your thoughts are limited to our own understanding. We are finite. Limited to what we can see and understand.


Psalm 147:5 says, Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. (NIV) Other versions use the word infinite. He can see it all, past, present, and future. He can see the whole picture.


If I want my kids to see Jesus in me, Proverbs 3:6 says, In all my ways, every situation, the Good, the bad, and the often times messy, I turn to Him.  I acknowledge Him first. I go to Him first to teach me to be the mom He wants me be and to be like more like Him.


His promises are He will guide my paths, He will make my paths straight. He will guide me and transform me to be more like Him. I have to let God transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. Changing the way I act. Changing me from the inside out.


Please SHARE with us. How do you handle the end of the school year? Please comment below and encourage us with your walk with God.
If you missed last week’s posts follow these links and check them out.  
Am I In the Way?  and Family Fun Friday

                                 

Family Fun Friday

I had the amazing opportunity to go to my son's classroom for Family Fun Friday. I was actually going to have my sister go and talk about her job as an ecologist but it turned out that she was sick and I had to go in her place.

I love how God changes our plans in unexpected ways. Since last minute is my specialty, I decided to go and talk about my current pursuits in serving God in my life.

I had a great afternoon talking to the students about writing, blogging and loving my Lord. What an amazing opportunity to mix things that I love most. My children, my opportunities to spread the Good News of the Gospel through writing, and talking to the students about how much God impacts my whole life.

I extended to the students an opportunity to guest blog on my page. This was voluntary (and meant extra homework), so I am glad to have received an entry.

This entry is from Olivia. I asked the students to draw a picture and write about how God affects their lives and gave them several writing ideas.

Thank you Olivia for your entry. Great Job and thank you for sharing your beautiful heart.



Olivia wrote "When God Helps me!" Inside with her picture her quote says, "God help me, now I am not scared."

Thank you Olivia for sharing a simple yet profound truth. How many times do we try to do things in our lives through our own strength?  We sometimes even let our fears get in the way of God doing His work through us. Read Am I In the Way? for more on getting out of God's way so He can do His work in us.

Once we submit our fears to the Lord and rely on Him, He is free to release our fears. 

Olivia, remember this amazing promise that Moses gave to Joshua before entering the land God had promised to His people, from Deuteronomy 31:8. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. (NLT)

We are told time and time again, DO NOT BE AFRAID! I love this promise. We are told that the LORD will personally go before us. How awesome He is! With that amazing promise we don't have to be afraid. We can embrace our fears and in His presence we can be Fearless.

Enjoy this beautiful new song called Fearless by Mia Fieldes.

 

Music video by Mia Fieldes performing Fearless (Official Lyric Video). (C) 2015 Provident Label Group LLC, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment


Friends, Please Comment below to encourage Olivia in her walk with Christ.  Thank you!

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Am I In the Way?


My family and I have recently been going through a bit of a transition period. My husband and I have talked about this, prayed about this, and mulled the conversation over and over again.

Every time we wanted to go through with “next step things” we always had a “but what if” pop into our conversation.

                “But what if the kids won’t be okay…”

“But what if it doesn’t work out…”

                “But what if the kids don’t behave…”

“But what if we don’t have a peace about it…”

                “But what if the change is too much”

But what if… But what if… But what if…  Became our song. It became our family anthem.

On and on this went for about three years. Until one day I was listening to a preacher speaking on the subject of change. They said, “Today is a new day, you need a new song.” Psalm 40:3 says He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God, many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.
My husband came home from work that day and I said to Him. “We need a new song. We need to turn the page.”

What we needed was to stop embracing the “but, what if’s” in our lives and completely turn them over to God.

What it came down to was our underlying fears. Isn’t fear often times the driving force behind our hang-ups. We say, “I would do that or I want to do that next thing but what if… something doesn’t go right. What if something happens that we are not prepared for?”  

We fear the change. We fear the unknown.

We decided to hang our “but what if’s” up. We decided it was time for a new song. We decided it was time to TRUST GOD and HIS PLAN, not our own. Proverb 3:5-6 says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will make straight your paths.

We decided to go for it. We decided to jump in with both feet and land on the solid foundation of a GOD who is the rock of our Salvation. Psalm 62:6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.
We turned our song from but what if… it doesn’t work out
to… GOD WILL WORK IT OUT AND IT WILL BE GREAT.

Romans 8:28 says and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
So we turned our, “we can’t figure this out” over to God.  We trust, if we seek His will, and ask Him to serve His purposes through our lives knowing that for Him nothing is too hard, that he will straighten our path.

 
Sometimes we have to get our excuses out of God’s way so He can do His work through us.
 

We had to ask ourselves these great BIG questions.
DO WE TRUST GOD?  DO WE BELIEVE HIS PROMISES TO US? DO WE BELIEVE THAT HE IS FAITHFUL?

YES!  YES!  YES!
Then what if’s became… God is faithful. God blesses us for being obedient and trusting Him. God leads the way. God equips us for His work no matter where or what He is calling us to do.

Our problem with fear does one thing, it wraps around us. It grips us. It even sometimes paralyzes us from moving forward.
When we release those fears to God and let Him take them. Let Him free us from the bondage. We have the open arms to embrace the next thing He has for us.

Now we move forward, not because of what we have done but what He has done through us and in us. Not because of our strength, but His strength being perfected in our times of weakness.

Today we sing a new song, a song of praise to the One who puts a song in our heart.
 Psalm 98:1a A Psalm. O sing to the Lord a new song; for He has done wonderful things.


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Don’t miss these May posts: He Can Move Mountains and Change? ME!?!
 

He Can Move Mountains!


Being a parent, often times, things are out of my control. I can do my best to teach my kids right from wrong but then the decisions they make are up to them.

Being the mom of small kids, out of control seems to be sometimes more regular than not. Kids have a mind of their own and when their minds start flowing, rerouting is not always an option.

When I first became a mom, I had ideas about how the whole thing would go. When things didn’t go my way, trust me no one was happy.

You know the saying, when momma’s not happy; no one is happy.  That was me in my family.
What an unrealistic way to live because no mom or dad can control things all the time. 

I don’t know about you, but I like to be in control. I like things to go my way. I’m selfish. Anyone with me on that? I know you are not raising your hands on that comment. Who wants to admit their own selfishness?

In fact, when my husband and I had our first son, my husband could do nothing right. He couldn’t correct our son properly, or calm him just the right way, or talk to him the way I could. Ridiculous, I know. The ridiculous part is I thought things could only be done my way.

What a miserable environment I created. But in my head I thought it was my environment and I had to be in control.  

How did God move me from that way of thinking? God has a way of drawing us near to him. Although I am going to give you this story briefly (I will write more about this another time), this was my turning point.

When our oldest son was about 15 or 16 months old, we found out that we were having another child. Perfect. Our planning was just right. My kids would be about two years apart, just the way I always planned it.

Doctors appointments went as normal.  Child number two was on the way.  In the middle week 21 we went for our ultra sound, and got quite a surprise. We were not having child number two but child two and three.

WOW! We were not expecting that. But what we were not expecting was the words that came out of the technician’s mouth next, “I can’t find heart beats.”

The only thing I could cry over and over was, “What? I don’t understand?”  I was so confused.  Just a couple of weeks prior there was a heartbeat.

Life? I had it figured out and now it was out of my control. My heart was broken into a million pieces and there was nothing I could do to fix it.  

I had to carry the twins for a week before they were able to take them. In that week Christ changed my life in ways I would have never imagined.

I had been saved when I was younger but had never really surrendered my whole life over to God. I lived under the false impression that giving my life to Christ didn’t really mean giving “MY” life to Christ.

I would lay on my bed with my Bible open just searching for some hope. The verse that I came across was:  Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

 For the first time in my life, I got down on my knees and surrendered “my life and my control” to Christ. I not only surrendered my life but I surrendered my unborn children. It may sound kind of strange, you may be thinking they were not living, but I knew that God could do a miracle.

I knew that God could move mountains and I believed that He could move them in me.

On bended knee I said to Him, “No matter what you decide for my life and the lives of my babies, I will love you and I will trust you. I cannot do this on my own. I ask for only one thing, a peace that surpasses my understanding.”

At that time, I didn’t understand how and why this happened. Now I know, MY GOD IS IN CONTROL, and He wanted me to know it. He can move mountains and He moved them in me. I praise Him for revealing Himself to me in such a powerful way.

You see, my life is not my own. My children’s life is not mine.  We belong to Him. I praise Him for being a God bigger than all my situations.

I praise God for not only being a God that could move mountains but for being a sovereign God who knows better than I in matters of my life. 

Are you in a situation right now? Do you need to know there is a God who is bigger than all you are facing right now?

He sees you. He knows what you are going through. He has been through all your pains.

Do you trust Him? Have you surrendered “your life” to Him? Are you living under the impression that you are in control? Do you want to release that control to Him?

If you have given your life to Christ, you can have this assurance from Philippians 3:20-21, But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.

Paul tells us in his letter, written from prison, everything is under HIS control. Amen! Are you thankful for that assurance? Being a follower of Christ is not about me. It is not about my own control. It is surely not about my own selfishness. Daily, I have to put myself aside and chose Him. 

Praise God! My life is always being transformed; I pray that God will make me more like Him.

Please SHARE with friends and comment below about a time or something you want to give to Christ.

Don’t carry it with you another moment. Give it to Him today. Feel free to even post anonymously something that you want to surrender to Him today so your friends here can pray with you.
   

Change? ME!?!

As I look back at my wedding photos that we have hanging on the walls of our house, I often times look at my husband and I and wonder, who are those two love birds?

My husband has a few less hairs (I had to add few) and I had fewer gray hairs. We practically look like babies. Where did the time go? Where did we go? We used to be fun and wild, crazy, and free. Did he change? Did I change?

We are going to be celebrating our tenth anniversary this year and as I reflect on the past years, I see how our lives constantly transform.

Quite honestly, I am glad I am not that girl anymore in some ways and in some ways I miss her a bit.

Do you ever wish you could go back and tell your younger self a thing or two or three or are you glad you had to figure it out the hard way?

Often times you hear couples say, especially in times of struggle, “You’re not the guy or girl that I married.” 

Some of you may be thinking Hallelujah, and others may be holding onto resentment or bitterness toward the fact that your spouse is not the same person.

When Scott and I first got married, we struggled, as many couples do, in our first years of really settling in together. Things become quite different; kids come along, the daily grind grinds in, and life becomes well, life. But that man I fell in love with is now my best friend.

What Happens? Those two people that often got married and were head-over-heels in love, start to change.

Some of us are open to the changing relationships in our lives but some people are saying, Change? Me!?! 

We quickly respond, “I am the same person or I am not the one that changed.”

Let’s be real, we all change.  We were not the same in first grade as we were when we were seniors in high school. We were not the same when we began college or our careers as we are five or ten years later.

People have to change, they have to adapt to the changing environment and life around them. It can be amazing, you can become a better person, or it can be detrimental and you can go in the opposite direction.

I don’t stress over our changing marriage. In fact, I look forward to new things and new phases, and praise God for renewed mercies every morning.

 I feel our marriage is better now than when it began. My husband and I have grown together and created a bond grounded in faith. With the grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father, we are not only surviving but we absolutely enjoy each other.

I am not saying that we never struggle, but we have an ingredient that is, what I believe, key to any marriage. It is grounded in faith and held together by a foundation in a God that is bigger than all our issues, all our changes, and all our finicky ways we bring to our relationship.

If you are in a marriage or any relationship, where you won’t change or the other person won’t change, you will come into struggles. Change is essential. Just as you get up and change your clothes everyday (hopefully), you have to change you attitudes and behaviors to work together and that is okay.

Don’t be afraid to change.

Embrace the change.

Embrace the opportunity for new beginnings and being able to sing a new song.

The key or the essential element to any strong relationship is the reliance on a GOD that doesn’t change. He is eternally constant. He is eternally consistent.

So as we change, as we grow, as we mature, we have a constant that we can rely on to never change. His promises are the same. His expectations of us are the same, day to day.

The awesome thing about serving an eternal God is He sees the big picture, in fact He sees the whole picture. When we see only our day to day or our past, He knows our future. He knows what He has in store for us, for our families, for our marriages, and for our friendships.

Personally, I have had to grow up a lot in the past ten years. Every time I have a struggle it comes down to this, Asking God to change ME. 

No matter whom the relationship has involved: family, friends, spouse, children, acquaintances, and people I met in my everyday life, God has required my submission.

He has left me in my, sometimes miserable, state until I have realized, I cannot change people, but He can. What I can do is ask a God who is bigger than any situation I have ever faced to

Change Me!

I have asked a God that is bigger than all my struggles to make me more like Him. It is not always easy, but often times, a necessary change.

Psalm 102 is a prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring our problems before the Lord.

Do you ever feel like the overwhelmed person pouring out you problems before the Lord?

Here is some constant reassurance for you, Psalm 102:27-28 says: But YOU are always the same; YOU will live forever. The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.”

We can't say that about the people in our lives but we can say that about an AWESOME GOD!
So you can put your hope and faith and trust in Him.

So as you face your next struggle or next encounter that may not be a pleasant one, challenge yourself in this way, ask God, to make a real change, but ask Him to make it in you.

Please leave comments below and read from others about their journeys.

Be Still

Be Still
Be Still My Friends! You can rest assure that God is in Control.

For Sharing...

Seeking God

Hope In Him Alone!

Hope In Him Alone!
Thank You, Lord, for deciding who I am!

Seek Him First! Today's Bible Reading

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
If you have questions about how to know more you can email me at youresewtrendy@gmail.com

2 Timothy 1:7

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