Saturday, January 18, 2014

Excellent Article on Social Media

I saw this article floating around Facebook earlier this week. I read it and was very convicted. I love both Facebook and Instagram and at times can spend way too much time on there. This article was a huge eye opener for me and really made me stop and think about the things I am posting on social media. 

"I was a freshman in college when Facebook came out and I distinctly remember thinking, “why would I need this? I have AOL Instant Messenger and MySpace!”
Well, times have changed. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram (and a slew of other sites I’m not cool enough to know about) have simultaneously brought us closer together and driven us further apart. With the exception of a few universally offensive statements or pictures, it’s a rule-free zone where we can interact with society while accepting minimal personal responsibility for the implications of what we do.
In absence of guidelines for healthy and polite social media etiquette, we are left to determine our own boundaries for navigating the seemingly endless opportunities available to us.
Before we snap one more picture of our hot chocolate topped with a foam leaf, perhaps we would benefit from a brief pause—an extra 30 seconds to ask five simple questions might suggest it’s time to unplug, or at least reconsider when and how we use social media:

1. Am I seeking approval?

If you’ve taken an introductory psychology class, you’ve probably heard of B.F. Skinner and operant conditioning. Skinner suggested that we learn behaviors through reinforcement.
When I seek validation through something I post and that little red flag starts popping up to notify me of each person giving me attention, it’s an addictive reward. And it works. I feel better, so I keep coming back for more. The next time I need to feel approval, I’ll return to the source that poured it out last time, and the cycle of reinforcement continues.
What are the bigger needs asking to be met here? Maybe it’s a desire for community. Perhaps it stems from unresolved conflict with someone I love. Or maybe I just thrive on pleasing people and hearing their praise. If your interaction with the internet is driven by a need for approval, consider healthier ways to address this issue and choose to stop reinforcing the unhealthy ones.

2. Am I boasting?

There’s sharing excitement and then there’s bragging. Truthfully, we each know which camp we fall in.
When the Apostle Paul described what it meant to love others, he specifically mentioned that love does not boast. That post isn’t “just a picture” or “just a tweet,” it’s an opportunity to love others in a way that reflects Jesus. Or it’s an opportunity to show them something quite different, something that looks nothing like Christ.
Examine your motivations and walk away before using social media as the adult version of show-and-tell.

3. Am I discontent?

Are you looking for something “better”? If so, walk away. Nothing you will read, write or see is going to solve this one.
Instead, ask yourself why you are discontent and address those needs. When we view social media from a lens of discontentment, whatever we find will be colored with bitterness and ungratefulness. Their lives will begin to look brighter than ours, while our lives will take on a sense of lacking.
Let us not forget—their world is as ordinary as ours and our life is as exciting as theirs. Do you believe that in your core? If not, take a break. Deactivate your account for a couple months. Create space to reevaluate and look for answers in the places you’ll actually find them. Stop asking the virtual world to solve dissatisfaction with the physical one.

4. Is this a moment to protect?

When my son crawls into my lap, he doesn’t want me to take his picture and shoot it across Facebook. He doesn’t care who else thinks I have a cute kid. He just wants me to hold him and see him. To feel his soft, chunky arms and to focus on the way his eyelashes move when he blinks.
When we interrupt lunch with a friend in order to quote her on Twitter, we invite hundreds of people into a conversation that could have been sacred; and we miss the sweet memories that may have formed had her words remained simply between the two of us.
Not every great moment needs to be shared. In fact, some of the best times are most enjoyed privately. If we suspend the present in an attempt to capture its beauty in 140 characters or less, we sacrifice our experience of the moment itself. We also rob each other of something that has been lost in our digital age—keeping a handful of memories between us and those we are closest to, or even just between us and God.

5. Is it kind?

Let’s return to Paul and his call to love. “Love is patient. Love is kind.”
Our culture tells us it’s our right to comment on everything, regardless of whether it was addressed to us and without consideration for how it might affect others.
We’ve replaced face-to-face confrontation with sharp comments and mocking memes. We write demeaning tweets addressed to celebrities or openly criticize individuals we have never met, hiding behind the convenience that they cannot directly defend themselves and nobody is putting our personal lives on display for public criticism.
We have been given covered space from which to throw grenades, without requiring us to take responsibility for the weight of our words, their effect on other people and their reflection on the Church. Jesus said the world would recognize us by our love. What messages are we sending?

A Better Way

Social Media seems to be built around the idea that it can infiltrate nearly every part of our lives. And if we let it, that’s exactly what will happen. We are the ones who say when its reach becomes unhealthy.
As children, our parents laid out rules for our protection and as adults we took on the task of caring for our own well being and personal growth. It’s our job to set boundaries and ask tough questions, tending to the bigger picture of our relationships and the way our actions reflect Christ’s love for this world.
It’s worth noting that these are questions we ask of ourselves, not criteria for interpreting and evaluating others. We cannot know their hearts anymore than they can know ours.
Let us pause and give ourselves an honest moment to reflect—bringing discernment, love and wisdom to each picture and word we share." Source: Relevant

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Beautiful Adoption Story!

I saw this video for the first time last night and I couldn't hold back the tears. (Especially when they share with the family--touched my heart!!) I love adoption for so many reasons. Adoption is what made us a family, but even more importantly, as a child of God I am "Adopted" too. I am so thankful for earthly adoption and also for our eternal adoption. They have both changed my life forever. Watch this video about God's Faithfulness to this family. I promise you will be blessed! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Less of me, and more of You Jesus!

Many of you asked for an update on how we are doing. First, let me start off by saying how much we have appreciated the love, prayers, support, and well wishes from you during my blogging break and also now that I have started blogging again. Second, I did want to give you a quick update on how we're doing but this won't be a normal for me on this blog. I don't want this blog to be focused on our family or what we're up to. Our life is really just ordinary, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who makes it extraordinary! In all honesty we wouldn't have anything without the Grace that God has shown to us. My passion for this blog is that the focus will always, always remain on Him! 

I want my life and this blog to be less of me, and more of HIM!

With that being said, I did want to give you a quick update on our family:

*Soon after I stopped blogging we were doubly blessed in the adoption of a precious little blonde headed baby boy and a beautiful blue-eyed baby girl all in one year. Talk about an unexpected and abundant blessing. ("Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us," Ephesians 3:20)  Ethan is now 3 and he is full of life! (he keeps me busy!) He loves any type of sport and could literally play outside from sun up to sun down. Even though he is all boy, he is still very sweet and compassionate and has been a wonderful big brother to Aubrey. Aubrey is 2 and she is our little sweetheart. She is very tenderhearted and has the sweetest little personality. She is absolutely hilarious and keeps us laughing constantly. Ethan and Aubrey are our joy and we feel so incredibly humbled, honored, and forever grateful that the Lord entrusted us with two precious children. I feel so undeserving to be their Momma.

*Soon after Aubrey was born we joined an amazing church here in town. I couldn't even begin to put into words what a blessing it has been to find such a humble, encouraging, selfless and servant-hearted body of believers to worship with. I am blessed over and over again every time I walk through the doors. We are so thankful the Lord called us to such a special church family.

*The past several months our family has drastically changed our eating habits. We stopped eating out and are eating mostly organic. We are also doing a lot of juicing. We are all much healthier and feel so much better! It has been a pretty drastic change for us but one we will never regret. 

*I recently started a small monogramming business which has always been a dream of mine and I am absolutely loving it! It has been so much fun making clothes and monogramming shirts for my little ones. 

*Since my previous blog we have been busy enjoying life and cherishing every second of this season of life. 

We have:
-Started new family traditions
-Taken several unforgettable trips
-Made lots of memories 
-Been on lots of new adventures
-Stepped out of our comfort zone
-Met some new life-long friends
-Experienced our first Hillsong concert (which was amazing!)
-Marked several things off of my Bucket List
-Made some tough and life changing decisions
-Grown closer as husband and wife and closer as a family   

After adopting Ethan and Aubrey not only did I not have the time to blog but I wanted to spend every waking moment I had being the best Momma I could be for Ethan and Aubrey. That is one of the main reasons I stopped blogging. In all honesty I had lost my desire to blog and really had no intentions to ever blog again. For whatever reason the past year or so the Lord put that desire back in my heart again but out of fear I chose not to. I'm sorry for the abrupt way I closed my blog, "A Love Worth Waiting For" but I'm not sorry for that precious time I had with my family. I am excited that many of our faithful friends have found us here on this blog and I'm also excited for the new friends! We are so glad you are here!

I pray that you see Jesus through my words and that you are encouraged here. Our family is not perfect--we are far from it. We are unworthy sinners and so undeserving of the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon our family. As unworthy as we are, we do have a deep desire to serve the Lord and to follow Him wherever He may lead. We are thankful for the valleys and for the mountain tops. It is in those times we have learned, we have grown, we have learned to lean on the Lord and trust in His promises. I don't know where the Lord will lead our family in the year 2014 but we are so looking forward to the amazing new adventures that are ahead! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Momma's Lullaby

There are times when I feel like my heart could burst with the love I have for my babies. I am always so humbled when I am reminded that as much as I love my children, Jesus loves them even more! I know as a Momma there will be times when I can hold them tight and protect them from the hurt of this world, but I also know there will be times when things are out of my control and I will feel like I can't protect their little hearts and minds. Whenever I start to worry and become overwhelmed, I know that I can rest in the Lord and know that ultimately my children belong to Him and that He loves them even more than I do!   

Good night
Looks like we made it through the day
The moon sighs
And I know that we're okay

Sleep tight
I love to watch you drift away
I would come with you but on my knees I'll stay

Good night
Five little fingers holding mine
Take flight
Into your dreams and lullabies

There's nothing more that I can do
But just fall more in love with you
And ask the angel armies to stand by
When I leave the room

I'm gonna fail you
I already have
Ten thousand times
I will fall down flat

You'll have a seat in the front row
Of everything I don't know
And all I'm trying to be
You'll see

Good night
There will be storms that we come through
In time
We will slay dragons me and you

I'll always wanna hold you tight
Keep you safe with all my might
So I will leave Jesus next to you
When I leave the room

And you will run ahead
As if you know the way
And I will pray more
Then one should have to pray

There will be words we can't take back
Silences too
And I'll be on my knees
You'll see

One night
When I am old and unsteady
You'll want me to fight
But I'll tell you that I'm ready

When there's nothing left to do
I will still be loving you
Then you'll fold your fingers into mine
And I will let Jesus hold you tight
When I leave the room

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Today has been such a busy day for us. In the business of it all I was reminded of the little saying below. Be a Blessing....Be a Friend....Take the Time to Encourage and Care! We will never have "today" again so make it count! 


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Am I preparing my Children for Jesus?

We've all heard the story of the boy with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish. (John 6:1-13) Today I heard that story again but unlike I had ever heard it before. First I have to say how much I absolutely love our Sunday school teacher. Every Sunday I leave encouraged, challenged, and deep in thought, and this morning was no exception. I am always so inspired by the way he studies the scriptures and with the humbleness he teaches. This morning the Lord used him through the message to speak to this Momma's heart. As we read through this familiar story once again he brought to attention the little boys Mother in this story. This Mother's name was never mentioned and yet she really was one of the unsung hero's in the story that day. This Mother packed her son's lunch so that he could stay and listen to the teachings of Jesus. Little did she know that simple lunch she packed would be part of a huge miracle. Without even knowing she prepared her son for his time with Jesus and allowed him to witness one of His great miracles. 

Talk about being convicted.....I couldn't help but ask myself what am I doing as a Mother to prepare my children for Jesus? There is no higher calling than that of a wife and mother and I pray that I will always embrace that high calling of Motherhood. I want to truly cherish every single moment I have with my children. I pray they see Jesus in me as I spend my days preparing their little hearts and lives for Jesus! I want to continue to ask myself daily, what am I as a Mother preparing our children for today? I hope the answer will always be.....Jesus!

I love, love, love this article written by another blogging Momma. I hope it will be a blessing to you Momma's like it was to me. 

“I can’t get anything done!” I lament, as the kids make their happy noises and leave sweet tokens of their presence all throughout the house. “I will never catch up!” 
This is a familiar scene at my house--is it at yours as well? Mom is exhausted and frustrated at the two steps she takes forward, just to take one step housecleaning, in laundry, in potty-training, in correction and discipline, in kitchen clean just feels never-ending. 
In the midst of one of my complain-sessions recently, I recognized the error in my assessment of getting things done: What am I so in a rush to get done for? What is the important stuff that I think I’m really supposed to be accomplishing that being a wife and mother is seemingly keeping me from? By my actions and attitude, it would appear that I have been charged with greater uses of my time than caring for my family; that the mundane and repetitive tasks of motherhood and housework are merely obstacles standing in the way of worthier priorities.
Nothing could be further from the truth. 
Motherhood IS my job. Caring for my home IS my privilege. Preparing a place of rest and renewal for my husband IS the important work to be done. There is a deep selfishness in my own heart that idolizes comfort and pride. It is the sin of desiring what I think will make my life grand more than treasuring whatever it is that the Lord has given to do, to care for, to endure, to carry, to count as joy. 
How would our attitude and actions change if we were to recognize that breaking up fights between our children, teaching them about forgiveness of sin, correcting them in love, and then repeating that entire cycle again and again--IS our jobs as mothers! And yet, we tend to want to get them behaving properly once and for all so that we can move on to something more important. We are disappointed and astounded when they are repeatedly sinful, whiny, impatient, or lacking self-control, when it’s for these very sins that God made you specifically to be your child’s mother. How humbling it is when I consider this reality and compare it to the attitude of my heart.
Would we do dishes, fold laundry, or train up our children with a different attitude if it were Christ we were serving? Wouldn’t it seem foolish to complain to the Lord about better things we want to do with our lives if He were a guest in our home? No, instead, we would cook and clean with a sense of honor because Christ is residing there. Friends, He does reside in our homes and in our families. We serve Christ when we serve our families!
Being a wife and mother is not glamorous. It is not looked upon with honor in our culture. It is not always immediately rewarded. It is NOT EASY. Being a wife and mother is, however, a high calling. It brings honor to God, and it bears eternal value.  He’s equipped us for any and all things He calls us to. It is through Him and for Him that we do all things!
Today, if you’ve been given the high-calling of mother and wife, I encourage you--as I preach the same to my own heart--to embrace the work with joy, with purpose, and with value. Be here, in the now. There is nowhere more important to be; there’s nothing more important to accomplish." -Gracelaced

Cherishing these Moments...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

World Changer

My brother, Madison recently went to Africa on a mission trip. Soon after he returned he felt the Lord was calling him to move to Africa. In my selfishness I didn't want him to go. And in all honesty, as horrible as it may sound, I didn't understand why he would want to leave the comforts of his life and his home to go into a country full of the unknown. The joy Madison has experienced since living in Africa is indescribable. You can see it on his face and you can hear it in his voice. Madison lives in a little house in the middle of town with no electricity. He sleeps on a tiny cot, his food and resources are limited, and he is without any family with only a few friends. He left for Africa with literally nothing but the clothes on his back, a passion for others, a desire to serve, and pure Faith in the Lord. Madison has given up all worldly desires and the comforts of his home to answer the call of the Lord and to selflessly give of himself to serve those in need. While I do not feel called to Africa, Madison's journey has taught me that I do not have to move to Africa to find my mission field. My mission field is right here. All I have to do is step out of my comfort zone and move "me" out of the way. In the coming year I want to serve more, love deeper, truly seek out the needs of others, and say "yes" to whatever the Lord calls of me, no mater what the cost. Madison went to Africa with a deep desire to serve the Lord and a passion to help change the lives of people he had never even met. I really don't think he even realizes that not only is he changing hearts and lives in Africa, but his life, his testimony, his joy, his passion for is changing the hearts and lives of everyone who knows him. He's a world changer and I could not be more proud to call this man my brother! Thank You Madison for living out a true example of the joy that can be found in following the Lord and obeying His calling! You have encouraged me and inspired me far more than you will ever know. I am so proud of you. Know that while I may be here in the states a piece of my heart will always be in Africa! 
You are so loved!!!! 

"I have but one passion- it is He, and He alone. The world if the field and the field if the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ."

"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
-Philippians 3:14

If you would like to follow Madison's journey he has started a blog and you can keep up with him here. Life as a Follower of Jesus

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Spirit Lead We Where My Trust is Without Borders"

I could seriously play this song over and over and over again! I pray that this year the Lord would "Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander" I want to step out of my comfort zone and go wherever the Lord may lead. I don't know what 2014 will hold but I pray that my faith will be made stronger than ever before. I want my life to have a meaning and a purpose. Lord, I am willing and able! Use me!! 

Happy New Year!

Some of you may remember me from my previous blog, "A Love Worth Waiting For...." After a long break from blogging I have decided to start blogging again. With that being said, this blog will be very different from my old blog. I want this blog to be full of praise, encouragement, and to remain focused on Him. I want my words to glorify the Lord and to bring nothing but glory and honor to Him. The Lord has been so faithful to our family and I can't help but share about His goodness. The Lord has blessed us abundantly, but this is not because of anything that we have done, it is all because of His Abundant Grace. I love the meaning of the word Abundant: "plentiful". That is how I feel, plentiful. My cup runneth over!

This past year has brought lots of changes for our family. Some that were unexpected, some that were hard, and others that brought great joy. I am so thankful for the trying times and also for the good times. For it is through those times in life when we learn, grow, and draw closer to the Lord and closer as a family. I know the Lord has great things in store for our family in 2014 and I can't wait to see what they will be. May 2014 be a blessed year for you and your family. May you draw closer to the Lord than ever before. This world in desperate need of Jesus and I pray that we will shine brightly for Him in the coming year. Happy 2014!