Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Forgive me Miley Cyrus

I'm sure we all have seen it or heard it by now that Miley Cyrus gave a pretty jaw dropping, mind blowing performance at the VMA's Sunday night. There was a ton of pervertedness, obscene gestures flying around, and just downright degrading things in her 10 minute spill on stage. I sat there thrown completely off guard and just couldn't believe my eyes...I was in utter shock.  As soon as the performance was over everyone was so quick to head to social media to post up jokes, comments, crude image comparisons and their thoughts on how it all went down. I will confess I was one of the millions of people that joined in. I tossed a couple, "achy breaky hearts, Hannah's left Montana, and wondered if she was still climbing or done fell off the mountain" jokes around and was also so quick to post my two cents on social media about it. I was disturbed, disgusted and appalled, but I went on to bed later than night with her and her family nevertheless so heavy on my heart and prayed for Miley...but truthfully...I was in need of prayer too.

Yesterday evening our Pastor from church shared a link to a blog on his Facebook wall that someone beautifully wrote about Miley. First couple lines into the blog stated, "
I wondered: What kind of people are we? What kind of culture have we created? What do we want our children to be? No more wondering. Tonight, I weep." The blog is title entitled..."I Weep for Miley."

 If you want to read the rest of the blog go here (def a must read for all) 

Needless to say...I fell under conviction. I started to reflect back to a couple weeks ago when our Pastor preached an amazing sermon on a Sunday morning about judging others and expecting those outside of the redemption of Christ to live a certain way. He said that we need to be pointing people to Christ instead of pointing out the sin in others and that we need to share our struggles and share the power of the Gospel instead of talking about the struggles in others.  I was right there "amening", jotting down notes left and right, and nodding my head at every powerful and spirit led thing he said. When in all truth my actions and words in regards to Miley's performance did not follow suit. Christians...we are just as broken and messed up so why can't we just remember that? Why can't we remember that we have fallen just as short of God's glory, that we are not without sin just as the next person...as Miley. Yes, Jesus may be our Lord and Savior...we may have eternal life, and may have accepted the Gospel...but it doesn't give us this sense of entitlement that we are better than thou. Who are we to judge those who are far from God? Are we God? How can we expect the unsaved to walk around acting like the saved?

I looked back at my notes that I took that Sunday morning and I wrote this down, 
"I struggle with sin and those that don't know Christ also struggle with sin...the only difference is that I am not enslaved to it any longer."  People, I (we) are no better than Miley.

I am not perfect...just forgiven.

But, here I was so quick to judge Miley. So quick to curl my nose up and act disgusted and appalled.  So quick to take to social media and give my two cents in on her performance. So quick to crack a joke and poke fun at a girl who needs grace and is lost, when In all truth...I was once a Miley. I was once so lost and in desperate need of a savior's love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. I have not arrived. I am still just a sinner saved by grace. I am sure people once curled their nose up at me. Was once disgusted by my behavior, and appalled at some of my actions. Would be so quick to judge me and point out my sin. 

But, then there were those beautiful people who didn't give up on me. People that were not quick to judge, but so quick to love. People that prayed and weeped for me. People that showed me their struggles, instead of calling out mine and then lead me to the source of truth and eternal life...Jesus. I am so ever grateful and indebted to those people that showed me grace, when I so desperately needed it.  For giving me love when I was so hard to love. For showing me mercy when I didn't deserve it. For leading me to the savior of my soul. It's those people that I want to strive to be to others. People who need Jesus the most.

So instead of laughing, mocking, cracking jokes, and making crude comments in regards to Miley's performances we should be weeping and praying for her and for our generation, future generations and our children! Let us teach them to do the same for others. Let us teach them to love as Christ has loved, to forgive as Christ has forgiven us, to be merciful, and to extend grace where grace is so desperately needed.

In John Chapter 8 it tells the powerful story of the Mary Magdalene. A woman caught in adultery who was getting ready to be stoned to death because of her sin. A woman who needed grace, forgiveness, mercy and love. Everyone was so quick to judge and was so quick to even put to death someone over sin who were in fact sinners themselves. Jesus said, "he who is without sin...cast the first stone." 

So let he who is without sin be the first to judge Miley.

We should be weeping and praying. 

Please forgive me Miley Cyrus. For I was so quick to judge you.


Corey T.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Confession and Katie Davis.

I have a confession to make. But, first here's a little back ground info.

It has been exactly 6 months since I decided to leave my banking career with Wells Fargo to be a full time stay at home mom. I knew this is what God was calling us to do for our family...to step out on faith and trust Him in our finances; to go cutting our income significantly in half to stay home with our little man. It seemed absolutely ridiculous, irresponsible, and no way that it would work on paper to the human eye. But, God's ways we can not fathom, they are unsearchable in our minuscule little brains. I did know one thing...that I heard God's voice clear as day and there was a great tug at my heart that this was the direction we needed to take. So we stepped out in faith with anxiousness and nervousness, but ultimately with an inner peace that we knew God was going to take care of us and supply all our needs.

Well...flash forward to the present. Actually, about a month ago.

Here's my confession.

I was overwhelmed, distraught, confused, shaken in my faith, and had a lack of trust in the Lord. I started to second guess if I even heard His voice correctly about leaving my job to stay home full time. We had unforeseen bills starting to pile up, our bank savings account was looking slim to none and on top of that our second little one is on the way! I was falling into a quick state of complete worry. I panicked...and doubted His will and plan for us. My sweet hubby kept trying to remind and reassure me what God had called our family to do. So thankful for his encouragement and logic daily. Nevertheless, I choose not to listen to him and choose to dwell in negativity, doubt and the "what if" syndrome. I had lost trust in the Lord's plan. In His will for us.

But, God has a way of always gently correcting, rebuking and guiding us (me) back into His will and direction. It wasn't until I picked up a copy of the book, "Kisses from Katie" that I was reminded of His unfailing plan for our family. The book is about Katie's life...a young girl's journey to serve the people of Uganda on God's calling. Oh, how great her obedience and faithfulness was in heeding His voice and stepping out on such extreme faith! As I read through just the opening acknowledgements and introduction of this book I found myself so convicted, and at the same time so overwhelmed with God's love. This girl "quit her life" and instead traded it in for all of God's will for her. She was absolutely abandoned to Him and such a willing faithful vessel. She was ready to do all He asked of her. As I read through the pages and felt her complete trust in God to supply all her needs, the needs of her adopted daughters and the African people that she poured the love of Christ into daily I was reminded of the calling God had placed on me and my families life. I may not be a missionary in a third world country, but I am a follower of Christ and we being followers are called to step out on faith. To trust God with the unforseen and the unknown. To rely on Him to supply our needs. To serve others and those around us daily...and being that I am also a stay at home mom is nonetheless being a missionary to my family; serving and loving and being the hands and feet of Jesus daily just like Katie is with these people and her daughters in Uganda.

With that said, this book was a God send. It opened my eyes to remember not just the calling God has placed on me, but on so many other levels and just things I take for granted for daily. Ultimately I realized that here it has been 6 months of us stepping out on extreme faith and doing His will...and in 6 months we have not missed one mortgage payment, fell short on any bills, never over drew our bank accounts, never had no food to eat or was in need of diapers and formula for John. We had Natalie's wardrobe and baby things almost completely provided for and furnished by people who were so willing to give and we are so grateful and thankful beyond on words at their giving. At the end of the day our air conditioner is still running, I am able to wash that last bit of laundry, soak in a nice warm bath, cuddle my little man while watching his favorite cartoons, and have medical care covered for us all. God has not failed us yet, and I know He will not fail us.

How foolish of me to lose trust in an unfailing God, to doubt His voice, to dismiss my husband's sweet encouragement, to worry about our needs, and to be afraid of what will come tomorrow.

God is bigger than our worries, fears and problems. He is faithful.  

So today I am still overwhelmed, but I am overwhelmed with thankfulness.

I am thankful for God's faithfulness to His people and encouraged by the outpouring of the love of Christ through the faithfulness of His people. I am thankful for His tender guidance, correction, and the nudging of the Holy Spirit who always convicts us when we tend to let our flesh win out. I am thankful for His goodness and our needs that are provided for daily. For His word which is truth, for a hubby who is so patient with me and is quick to love me beyond my faults, and for this book that was placed in my hands at just the right time. It has renewed my soul. It has given me a desire for more of Him. To live a life that is completely abandoned to His will and ways. To be a willing vessel and to serve my family and others with joyfulness and love like never before.

So please never stop trusting in our unfailing Lord. I pray this was some encouragement for you.

I hope you pick up a copy of Katie's book. You will be moved.


"But my God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

20 random things about my Hubby!

So this week on Instagram a couple of women on my friends list who are mom's were doing these "20 Random Facts" about themselves. It was so neat to learn just a little glimpse of them. So I decided to play along and listed the "20 random facts" that came to my mind as well about myself. Well tonight my hubby just did a number on my heart (which he usually does), but feeling extra in love with him and since I enjoyed doing the 20 random facts....I wanted to list some random facts about my hubby that I love and why. Just a little tribute to him...so here it goes.

1. He gets me like no one else ever has and completely knows me better than myself. Sometimes this is completely weird because it's like he is telepathic or something. But he some how manages to read my mind in most situations and because he is more logical than I am it has been a life saver when trying to make a decision.

2. I love how he is so confident, content, so comfortable in his skin and sure of himself. It took me such a long time to get to this place, and will admit I struggle a lot still with confidence. But, being his wife and being a mother has made me so much more if not almost completely comfortable and alive in my own skin and watching him exude with confidence daily is so sexy and I admire that so much in him.

3. He always puts his family's needs first. It doesn't matter who wants something done, what it is to be done, whether friends, chores, other relatives, work...etc. He always puts our needs first. I absolutely love that about him.

4. He is like a walking encyclopedia. It's like he knows a least a little bit of something about everything! He doesn't watch that much sport center or at least from what I see around the house and its like when he is around other males...he can spout off sports statistics like its his job...and there are many other things he knows randomly about. It's like the coolest thing ever...but at the same time can be quite annoying...because we I finally have some neat info to share...he pretty much majority of the times already knows about it.

5. He is so techy and such an electronic nerd! I never thought I'd marry (well never thought I'd get married period, but to a nerd...lol never) but he is one. He can build a computer from scratch knows more about electronics than I think the Geek Squad does at Best Buy. He has schooled our cell phone company on their own equipment and can quote number parts off the top of his head. Sexy? Oh yes!

6. He is so well rounded! Even though he is a complete techy, computer nerd and electronic freak he is so well rounded! So well rounded that he can work on cars. Could build a house with the amount of hardware and tools he owns in the garage. Goes off roading in his Jeep (which by the way was what sent me in love with him). Owns guns and shoots them extremely well. Loves to paintball and play flag football. Owns a pressure washer. Will spend a whole weekend out perfecting our yard. He can decorate. Can divide and multiply extremely large numbers with out using a calculator. Can cook some mean Italian food. Cleans the house sometimes for me. Omgeee the list goes on. I could prob write a book report so I will stop there.

7. Is so friendly. The man could make friends with a drill sergeant. He just has this way about him that any and everyone completely warms up to him and by the end of the night he has them cracking up!

8. Even though he hates coffee...he never fails to surprise me with a cup in the morning sometimes, or when the Keurig pods are on sale he makes sure he swings by the store on the way home form work to snag me some...and whenever we are out somewhere on an afternoon of running errands on the weekend he always ask if I want to go to Starbucks.

9. He is so giving. He will randomly surprise me with flowers, tickets, a card...something cool of of Groupon or pick up items like the Keurig pods mentioned above or my favorite ice cream from the store...just because.

10. He loves his son...and this totally melts my heart to see a Daddy love on their child the way he does and I just know miss Natalie is in a run for her money when she gets in Daddy's arms...but then again he might be too. :)

11. He is a home body.  I never was...until we got married. He loves being at home. He'd rather watch a movie on TV than go to the movies at the theater. He'd rather go pick out some high end foods at the super market with a bottle of nice wine and cook up a gourmet meal at home rather than go out to an upscale restaurant for a date night. Of course this took some getting use to because I use to love going out to random places and was always on the go...but I have learned to enjoy the simple things...and being at home and doing things in our home together instead of always being out! So now I absolutely love being at home and never thought I'd be a home body...but I am. Our home is my comfort zone, safe haven and our little dwelling as a family!

12. He supports me in whatever dreams or goals I have. I own my own little jewelry business on the side...which since having John has fell by the waist side a bit, but I am completely fine with that, but he surprised me with taking me to get my business license one day and opened a little business account for me at work. I wanted to go to school to get my AA degree when we first got married and he made sure I had the money for books, coffee when I studied and a new computer to work from. I felt called to stay home with John and he stepped out on faith with me. There are many other things that I am truly thankful for that he has supported me in...but this could take all night.

13. He loves the Lord and seeks His guidance. There are times where I freak out first before praying. Times where I want to do my own thing instead of seeking God's will...and he will always remind me of that. I pray he never stops having a heart bent towards the Lord and that he will encourage, and direct our children the same way he has me in this area.

14. He is so gracious and patient with me. Hence #13 above. I tend to over analyze, over think, worry and since I am pregnant my hormones are flying all over the place, but he is none the less patient and so gracious with me.

15. He is a leader not a follower. He does his own thing. He marches to his own beat. He doesn't care whatever one else does and never follows the crowd. He is a man of conviction. It's easy to get wrapped up in the newest craze, latest trend etc. But not this guy. Yea....it's hot!

16. He has a servants heart. A heart of gold. Will do anything for anyone. Loves helping others and making sure people have what they need. Always.

17. He puts me in my place (hence #13 and 14) and doesn't have a problem with putting others in their place in a loving way of course. If someone is out of line, he tells them. If someone is wrong in their thinking...he points them to the correct way and it's like people understand and listen to him. I think its a gift.

18. He talks with authority. When he speaks people listen (#17) because he has confidence and authority in his voice. It amazes me. I can't do that...I crack up under pressure and laugh or chuckle when I'm nervous. But he keeps his cool...remains calm and makes people stop what their doing and listen to him. I swany I think one day God is going to do great things (well He already has) but I mean truly big and great things through Nick. He has so many gifts and areas in his personality and life and he just excels in and walks in authority in. I can see him being the President. Like seriously. With his knowledge, the amount of authority when he speaks, and the way he carries himself...I very well could see that happening.

19. He is so funny! He makes me laugh...I mean really laugh. Like gut wrenching laughing to where you are crying, and your belly is sore for days. Because he knows me so well...he knows what things will make me die laughing...send me over the roof for weeks cracking up and things that will only cause a chuckle.

20. He is so handsome. His features are so profound and strong. I could sit here for hours and go over all his parts from his jet black hair, to his eyes and his hands...and well things I just absolutely love about him...but will stop there and save this number for my viewing pleasure only. But, he is so so handsome and lets just leave it at that.

So these are the first 20 random things that come to mind that I love about my hubby! He is not perfect of course...but he is mine. Now I just need to remember when we get into an argument or if we are having an off moment in our marriage that I come back to this and re read this list and celebrate the wonderful man I know he is! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

What Motherhood has taught me so far....

So the hubby and I have been working so diligently in Natalie's nursery the past couple weeks. It seems like every night I am working on some new decoration craft or nursery project after our little man hits the hay. Tonight I was in the process of finishing up painting this dresser white for baby Natalie that I had bought from a second hand store a few years back. While I was sitting there painting I started thinking about how just a little over a year ago here we were so diligently working and preparing the same way for John in his nursery...and a flood of emotions and thoughts invaded my heart and mind. With every stroke of the brush I couldn't help but think how sweet motherhood has been and how blessed by God I have been to get to experience it almost twice within a two year period. So with all of that being said...I wanted to take a few moments and list out a few things that motherhood has taught me so far within such a sweet short amount of time :)

Motherhood has taught me....

1. Just how much God truly loves us. When I look at John, I fall so much in love with him. I can't help staring in absolute amazement, and wonder at his adorable little body parts because He is so beautiful, and he is mine. From the cute little crown of his head, down to the nubiness of his big toe's (which happens to look just like his mama's hehe) it makes me so overwhelmed with joy and love because I know this is gazillion times infinity of how God looks at us. It says in scripture that He knits and forms us in our own mother's womb...Psalm 139:13 and because we are made in His image and He is our Creator I know He just marvels and stares in astonishment and amazement at us His handiwork because we are so beautiful and we are His.

2. Who truly cares what people think. I am a huge people pleaser by nature. I care immensely about what people think so much that for a portion of my life it controlled me. Since becoming a mother...I have truly relaxed in a degree to this. I honestly don't have the time, majority of the time, to care what people think of me. If anything motherhood has taught me to care more about what my husband, my child and God thinks of me rather than just everyone else. Of course...because I am human, I still catch myself getting wrapped up in other people's opinions about me at times, but it all comes to a complete halt when that sweet little voice echos from across the room or when I hear the key turn in the door around 5:45 pm every evening. It is then...that I'm reminded that this little guy and this sweet hubby of mine approves of me and thinks I'm wonderful, and at last...I do not have a care in the world :)

3. It's OK to not be perfect. I am a huge perfectionist. When I do something it has to be 120% done right and if its not I tend to beat myself up. But, since becoming a mom I've realized I don't have time to give my complete all in all into every single little thing that comes down the turnpike and to be this standout super human. As a mother, especially a stay at home one, if you can make it through the day with at least remembering to put deodorant on and put the clothes from the washer into the dryer then you are doing great! Your house does not need to look like it came out of catalog page in Pottery Barn because let's face it...it's destroyed in 30 minutes tops by a cute little 22 pound body that has as much force as Hurricane Hugo did. Not just your house...but everything does not have to be perfect all the time. With that said, I am thankful that when it comes to dinner...my hubby has complete grace when I tell him it's frozen pizza again for dinner tonite. :)

4. The joy of giving. Not that I was ever freakishly or obnoxiously stingy (ask my cousin Amanda though, and she will tell you every toy left at Grandma's house was apparently mine) but, I have this new found love for just giving. I see the joy on my son's face when I give him a cookie, a sip of my drink, his favorite blanket to go to sleep, when I turn on his favorite TV show, when I give up my time away from cleaning to just sit in the floor with him and read endless amounts of books, when I give him extra kisses and tackle him with hugs, and when I  just show him love and compassion after a fall or a boo boo. That joy overflows my heart...even in these smallest of things and it overflows into other avenues of my life and I just want to give to others to just see the joy on their face too.

5. What a true friend is...and what friendship with God looks like.  I know my son is too young to understand what a friend is...but I swany he does a beautiful job at it daily with me, his dad and others. He is so kind! I have seen him crawl over to another babies aid in the nursery when they are crying and he looks at them as if concerned. He has even gone as far as placing his little hand on their leg and it looks as if he is showing compassion. Talk about a total melt moment! Sometimes he picks up things off the floor and just comes over to you and holds his little finger up for you to grab it and he is so excited about it. He loves to generously give kisses and does it a good bit of the time without you having to ask for one. He loves to make you smile and sometimes will stop what he is doing and makes sure you are looking so he can give you the biggest grin ever! He loves to clap at anything that is funny, positive and uplifting...and he wants you to clap with him. It's like he just wants to celebrate non stop and it's made me realize that this is what a true friend does...they just love to celebrate life with you! He is quite the affectionate little man! He loves to cuddle, hold your fingers and loves to place his head on your shoulder. Seeing him in these moments makes me think that the heart of a toddler and baby is what true friendship is really like in its most innocent and purest form. It is beautiful to see the sweet little friendship of God shining through.

6. How to be a better wife. Since I have became a stay at home mom...I've realized that many things are not about me. It's about them! My job is not just a stay at home mom, and I'm not just raising my child, but I am serving my husband as well. This is my calling, these two are my duty and I love it. It is hard work lots of times juggling a husband's needs, a toddler's, your house, and lastly yourself, but it is rewarding to see the look on my hubby's face and hear it in his voice when I tell him there is fresh underwear and socks for him in the drawer. The relief on his face when I have packed his lunch for work the next day. The gratitude he has when the bills are paid, the pantry is stocked with his fave foods, the dog is feed, clean sheets are on the bed, he has fresh clean carpet to walk on, and he has a new toothbrush. I love serving him...and never even thought about it, or had it ever occurred to me before just how important serving him really was, but it so is, and I am thankful that God has given me to opportunity to fully understand that! I owe it to Him and motherhood.

So these are just a few things motherhood has taught me thus far...I am sure there will be tons more added to the list as months and years go by. I'd love to come back and revisit this post and keep adding to it in the future. What has motherhood taught you?