Friday, April 26, 2013

A Moment in Time - Week 2

A New Song

Feel free to join in, grab the button code above and link back to here. Share a picture of where you saw God's beauty this week! :)

I’m asking God for one thing,

    only one thing:

To live with him in his house
    my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
    I’ll study at his feet. - Psalm 27:4

And - until I get to be with Him forever, I'll partake in the beauties He grants us here.  Enjoying each "Moment in Time." - Be Blessed!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Lesson from a Lesson..

It was these very words I read to my oldest son tonight. We were talking learning a lesson about HOW to overcome selfishness, pride, and the desire to always be right. We talked about God being a priority, not an afterthought. He wrote this passage numerous times, and as I read them, again and again, it occurred to me, he wasn't the only one learning a lesson.

How much time to I spend, preoccupied with worldly things? AND, while I want Him to be top priority in my life, how often does He actually occupy that spot? It seems that this parenting thing teaches as many lessons to the parents, as the parents do to the children. 

The part that really got me, probably isn't the most notable part of the verse. "People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God AND the way he works." --- Yikes! What does this say for me? About me? To me? It said, "Read on!" And I did. "Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find ALL your everyday human concerns will be met." 

Steep your life in God-reality. Powerful words. But do I? Sometimes I do, sometimes I have days where I am completely in His presence. But more often, I'm not. God-initiative, God-provisions. How much of the abundant life am I missing? LOTS!

I know that I want my children to struggle less than I do, in all things, but especially in developing their faith. I want them to seek Him daily, without having to "make" time for Him. I want them to know Him so dearly, that He is a part of their every breath, their every moment. And so, it occurred to me, that I must steep my own life in Him! It is my example that they will most likely follow. I want them to KNOW that their everyday human concerns will be met, because He is good and just and ALWAYS sovereign. 

So my priorities were made clear tonight, through a lesson I thought I was teaching. What lessons are you learning? What are your priorities? 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Love Worth Fighting For...

Lately, I have found myself fighting  in "intense fellowship" WITH my husband.  It's typically over the usual "marriage" issues of kids, money and (let's just be honest) *s*e*x*... and it has been when we are both EXHAUSTED. Well, we had an EYE OPENING moment this past weekend. It was the Love Worth Fighting For Marriage Event this past weekend that REALLY spoke to us BOTH. Let me say, if you EVER get the opportunity to attend one of these events, GO! It will REVOLUTIONIZE your marriage.

In my heart of hearts, the deepest inner part of me, my desire is to be a submissive wife, a Proverbs 31 Woman, if you will. I've studied these things, prayed on these things, and continue to work on becoming the best "ME" I can be. Fact is, I'm human. And sometimes often, my flesh wins. 

You know, certain times of the month are harder to control emotions; when you're tired, it's hard to want the "same thing" as he does; when you're a single income family that has taken been forced into a lower paycheck, and the money doesn't stretch quite near as far as it use to; when your kids are just at their worst and you both have different opinions on how to handle them....I could go on and on and on... If we were to all be honest, we've had those times. I just haven't learned to "temper my tongue" or as my sweet girlfriend tells me, "just be quiet." I try, I really do. I just don't always achieve.

There are ALWAYS going to be circumstances to challenge your marriage. This weekend opened my eyes to so much, but what I loved was hearing that most often, what we are fighting about isn't even the issue. Most often, it goes back to SELFISHNESS! And, in being honest, I will say, thinking back to a day before the conference, that is SO true. "I" wanted. What I wanted, I can't remember now, but I know I wanted to be heard, and validated, and most likely to be acknowledged as being right.

Marriage is give and take. But someone has to be the "bigger"person and in what I've learned lately always known, but preferred to forget, it might be ME! I am commanded to be submissive (subject) to my husband, AS UNTO THE LORD, for as Christ is the head of the Church, is the husband the head of the household. This might probably means I don't need to criticize, or nag  constantly, like the wife who was compared with a dripping faucet in Proverbs. I can't change ANYONE ELSE, but I can, with my Father's help, change me. 

In the end, it seems, if we get back to the real reason we came together, it is because we loved one another enough to pledge to one another, before God; and enter into a covenant relationship with Him as the center. So why in the world is there so many opportunities for strife? Satan. He hates peace, he hates successful marriages, and most of all, he LOATHES love.

Well, I'm taking back my marriage. Satan cannot have ANY part of it. I have spent the last 2 days prayerful over my marriage and talking to my husband about what WE want to fight FOR! We are worth fighting for. Our children are worth fighting for. The rest? Not quite so important anymore! 

I challenge you to take a look at your relationship. Are you on the same page? Are you praying together? for one another? Are you discussing things, or letting them fester until they become "the BIG one"? Dig into His Word. There is so much instruction for wives and husbands in the Word. 

This is Me....

I thought I'd make a formal introduction, and give you a glimpse of me. I am Dee. I am a Child of God. That is my ultimate claim to fame. It is because of the mercy and blessings of my Heavenly Father that I am who I am, and will become, what I become.

He has blessed me richly. I started in a childhood with not so great memories. One that left me with no desire for marriage or family. I had AMAZING grandparents and extended family, who assisted in my upbringing, but that alone was not quite enough to instill in me the desire to raise children or be a wife. I do not dislike or feel badly towards my parents or "hate" any part of my life. It was because and through my experiences that I came to know Christ, and ultimately have the life that I now have.

I met my husband my freshman year in high school. We don't have some crazy romantic "love at first sight" love-story. As a matter of fact, he wanted to meet me, but I didn't like jocks, least of all, football players. He, of course, not only played football, but ran track, and played soccer. Apparently, God had other plans. I had, at this point in my life, been a "perfect" kid. I hadn't done any of the "forbidden" things, I was good, stayed out of trouble, obeyed my parents/grandparents. I had a plan. I was graduating high school and becoming a child psychologist to help children with childhoods like my own. Again, marriage and family...NOT on my radar. 

Through choices we made, and again, I don't regret them, mainly because I know I've been forgiven and I have a BEAUTIFUL blessing from it, I became pregnant while still in high school. Shawn, my husband asked me if I would spend the rest of my life with him. Crazy thing? NO ONE questioned such a HUGE decision from such young "kids." Neither set of my devout Baptist grandparents, not his equally devout Southern Baptist grandparents..NO ONE! As a matter of fact, we were cheered on. It was as if they could see something in us that even we couldn't see.

So, on April 16th, 1994, I became his wife in a tiny little ceremony at a "courthouse" where they employed a minister. We said our "I do's" and finished high school. We had a beautiful baby girl in the fall of 1994. We moved to WV where we both attended Marshall University. We raised her, we had help, with childcare when we were in highschool from my family, and in college, from his mother; but she was ours, entrusted to us by God and we took that very seriously, even as teenage parents. 

We moved to Maryland, where he began his career in Industrial Maintenance. While we knew Maryland wasn't our forever home, it was the beginning of many great things for us. It was where we decided for me to become a stay at home mom, where we had our first son, and where he laid a path for a great career and built his abilities to be a sole provider for our family.God's blessings have continued to pour out on us, taking us next to NC, where he furthered his training and career, and I dug further into the trenches as a mom of a child with some special needs. Later on, in NC, we welcomed our second son (and last child) to our family. We are now the proud parents of Kelsey (18), Matt (12) and Luke (5).

Our blessings are still rolling in, and though that "fairytale" story seems just that, it's not. It's a road we've walked with forks and twists and turns and bumps and cliffs...but we've weathered them...together. Our latest path brought us HOME. Back to TN, where it all began. Our daughter proudly graduated from OUR high school! Our boys are home schooled now, and we love this leg of our journey as well.

I am NOT a professional in anything, except trusting God's guidance to make each decision, to guide me through each day, and to maintain my sanity when I have those days it's in question. We have a tight budget, but happy hearts and a loving home. We welcome friends, family, and pets....our home is always busy with something or someone. 

I think in a nutshell, that is who I am. I am a wife, a mother, a homemaker...and I wear a LOT of other hats and titles as well, but those, are my priorities; centered around my desire to be a Proverbs 31 Wife/Woman. It's funny, God saw this in me LONG before the desire was there, yes, even back when I KNEW thought I didn't want to be married and have children. And, I have to believe, when I look around at what He's done in our lives, He knew what He was doing. I live with no regrets, or at least I try. I am just a grateful sinner, saved by grace. 

I rest in peace and comfort with my favorite verse, directly from His word: "I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." (Jeremiah 29:11 - The Message)

Be Blessed!

Monday, April 22, 2013


It's the little things. It really is. And, it's the ones that are completely unexpected that absolutely touch you in ways the giver could never have imagined. I believe it is important to share your love, to reach out and touch someone's life, if even in a little way, whenever you can.

I have been the recipient of such love recently, and just wanted to take a minute to share HOW important these gestures were to me. Since my Mammaw's fall, stroke, and throughout her recovery, my life has been turned upside down. 

My days are not my own (not as if they ever truly were, but you know...), I often struggle fail to accomplish ANYTHING on my to-do list, I've NOT been a good friend to my nearest and dearests, and sometimes often, even a phone call is too much for me to handle. My emotions are all out of whack, my nerves on edge, and yet....even in the midst of this, those very people whom I've stepped back from, to focus my attention elsewhere, have loved on me in HUGE ways! 

I received a card a few weeks back. This dear girl has been a sweet friend of mine for so long it's not funny. We use to talk weekly, and sometimes daily, and to be honest, while I know where I was sitting the last time I talked to her, I couldn't tell you when. There's an occasional text, a facebook post, or a voicemail (from her) to say "I love you and miss you." As I said, emotionally, some days I had NOTHING left to give (not that she was asking), and yet, I know, when I can, we'll fall right in place and have never missed a beat. That's a true friendship. 

Today, I was sitting here, in a mess of papers, multitasking - planning school curriculum for next year, working on a blog, balancing the checkbook, etc. And in walks a dear sweet girl whom I absolutely love. She brought candy for the family, and for me, a Dr. Pepper and my favorite, Reese PB Cups. She loved on me and was going to leave, never planned to stay, just to stop by and say "I love you" in her special way. 

This afternoon, I check the mail to find a card. It's from one of our Worship Leaders at church, it was a "Thinking of You" card, and her message was simple, but filled with His love. It brought tears to my eyes that she took the time out of her day to say "Thank you for your work at church, and YOU are special to me." 

To say the least, I feel loved. I feel supported. AND none of these people could fully know the weights I feel sitting on my shoulders, and yet, they reach out in their own ways to love me. Grateful. That's where I am. 

(Thank you, Courtney, from Women Living Well, for this photo)

If ever the thought crosses your mind, that someone needs an encouraging word, or the Father places someone on your heart/mind, DO NOT DELAY! Act on it. It may be the very thing that helps them move forward and keep smiling. It was for me. 

Be Blessed!

A Moment in Time

A New Song

My intention was to begin this on Friday, but life happened and I didn't get it prepared. So, this is the beginning of what I intend to be my weekly Friday post. It was birthed through much conversation and thought with my dear (real life) friend, Jennifer at Jen's Journey. My vision for it, was a picture (new or old) that captures some of God's amazing beauty; it may be a person, nature, whatever is beauty for that "Moment in Time." It was brought to life by this post, completely unbeknownst to me. Jen called and let me know I had named the "baby" of which we'd been speaking of. And so, here we are.....

Life is fleeting and passes us by so quickly, so my thought was by taking the time to seek out His wonders, we'd enjoy those moments with a bit more awareness. Please feel free to join up, just title it "A Moment in Time" and share your pictures, linking back here. Feel free to grab the code for the button for A Moment in Time at the top, that Jen lovingly created! 

So, here is my 1st official 
(though not my original, because something better happened Friday) "Moment in Time."

My BABY! He lost his first tooth on Friday, and it was followed almost IMMEDIATELY by his second. I cried and giggled, because this is a definite sign that my baby is growing up, yet he was so excited and determined that for losing 2 in a day, the Tooth Fairy would most definitely bring him a bonus. My Moment in Time captured, and ENJOYED! Hop on over to Jen's "A Moment in Time" --- which of His beauty will you share?

Be Blessed!

$100 Blessings Unlimited Giveaway

Heather at Raising Mighty Arrows is having a $100 Blessings Unlimited giveaway!!!!! Below is the information, and you can click the picture below to take you directly to the post to get entered to win! --- Good Luck!

Be Blessed!

Blessings Unlimited ~ 'a DaySpring Company' offers a full line of meaningful products in the areas of Home Decor, Jewelry, Kitchen & Tableware, Stationary, Be Compassionate, For Kids, and Gifts for Her.

Blessings Unlimited's products are made of high quality material and inscribed with God's Holy Scriptures.

Here's a look at a few of the products Blessings Unlimited has to offer...

"Blessed by the Grace of God" Wall Decor

Blessings Carafe

Psalm 90:17 Square Tray

Tea Cup & Saucer

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring, my Journey...

Spring has sprung!!!! It's not (unlike many people) my favorite season. Oh no, THAT is reserved for my beloved Autumn. However, even in me, Spring brings a certain excitement, a certain newness, and a desire for all things new, clean, and orderly. 

I have found myself pondering over which blooms shall appear in and around our home. I've spent too much time planning, organizing, and creating cleaning plans, routines, and enjoying the newness of it all. Now, will I stick to these routines? I believe so. See, I've learned to hear the voice of the Spirit, instead of wondering around aimlessly trying to figure it out alone. 

Spring. It's the season of new life. I have prayed, throughout my life, that I would be a wife, mother, and homemaker who is respected for her love and devotion to her family and home. Yet, I have failed faltered in all of those areas for many years. I manage to keep one area going well, and fall down on my prayer life, or time devoted to another. I truly struggle balancing my inner Mary and Martha. I have the desire to have the heart of Mary, but the home of Martha. Yikes. 

I am grateful for Spring. Since it's the season of new life, I began to pray about what this really means for me. See, I'm not a big "New Years" resolution kind of girl. I've tried (even this year) to start new stuff during the shift from one year to the next, thinking of it as a fresh start. It's not for me. However, it seems, prayer, plus planning, has helped me to realize, THIS is my season.

He created order AND beauty in the buds that turn to full trees; the sprouts of green, that become tulips, irises, hostas and more. He also, created order AND beauty in me. 

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? - Matthew 6:28-30

Since He lovingly created me...and assures me, in Matthew that I shouldn't worry about what I will wear, I have to venture to think that He ALSO knew, as He "knit me together," He knew what I was to become. He knew the vast job I'd be doing, and He equipped me FULLY for this job. 

To consider myself "failing" at this job, is simply an insult to Him. No one considers a flower a failure when it wilts, at the end of its season, or the tree a failure when it drops its leaves in the Autumn, or the grass as it become brown with the cold of Winter. Why? Because they aren't. They were perfectly created to change with the seasons, as He divinely ordered it. 

What I've come to realize, is I went through a season of change, and have been trying to live as if I were a tree in Winter, attempting to maintain it's leaves. My new season isn't just the same as it was 2, 3, or even 4 years ago. I've added children to my day - ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, and teaching, on top of the regular "homemaker" duties. My husbands work schedule is different, my oldest started college and works, my 12 yr old is mowing with his father on the side this year, and my 5 yr old is trying to assert his independence..not necessarily the right way. My days don't all look the same anymore. It's time to adjust to my new bloom where I am planted. 

So, I am on board with a new season. My Spring has sprung. I'm trusting His guiding, and He has provided me with some pretty awesome guides to get started. I found a calendar, a deep cleaning list, and an amazing book by Sarah Mae, called 31 Days to Clean -- Having a Martha House the Mary Way.  

I don't know what will work and what will need changing, but my heart has changed, along with my season, and the Holy Spirit is my guide. From here, I'm just excited to watch what "blooms." I'm curious if any of you have found yourself in the same kind of ruts, where life has changed, but you haven't. How did you dig out of the trenches and adjust to the newness of it all?