Tic-Toc, Time Does Not Stop

Yep, sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m in my thirties! How can this be?! I still feel like I’m a spry young chick in her twenties….that is until about 9pm when I lay my baby down for the night and then realize just how exhausted I really am! I feel proud of myself when I resist the urge to crawl into bed before 10 pm! Ah, the life of a parent!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life – a prosperous life, a well-fulfilled life, a life of abundance, meaning, and purpose. You see, I just celebrated my birthday yesterday. I turned 33! Yes, I know – I gasp myself when I think about it. 😮 Turning 33, though, is monumental to me. Why? Well, it seems that many historians believe Jesus was 33 when He completed his ministry on this earth. Wow – to realize Jesus was my age when He fulfilled and completed His father’s plan is amazing! Even at this age I still sometimes feel like a kid and not a grown up! I so lack wisdom and understanding in life. I have so much room to grow in my walk with Christ. I have so much to learn as a godly, submissive wife and a joyful, loving mother.

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Of all the passing years Jesus spent teaching, ministering, serving, and performing miracles, His final year at 33 years of age was by far the most impacting. He accomplished so much from His birth yet it was His final year that proved to be the most significant. If it wasn’t for what He accomplished during that final year, all else would have just made for some pretty amazing stories. But it was during His final year at, what we would consider, the prime of His life that He gave the ultimate sacrifice of love. He died providing forgiveness and eternal life and then rose from the grave signifying victory over sin and defeat.

For me, I want this year to be the most impacting from all previous years. I want to impact the world around me during my 33rd year. I want to impact them with the pure love of Jesus. I want to show compassion and gentleness and meekness. I want to woo them to the cross in earnest expectation of forgiveness and spiritual life. I want to impact my friends to seek a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I desire to be an inspiration to them, exemplifying a woman who pants after God and seeks Him with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength by spending time in the Word and prayer daily. I want to impact those closest to me: my dear husband and sweet baby daughter. I want my husband to feel adored, respected, loved, and cared for. I hope to love and cherish my baby with a tenderness and patience that can only come from Christ dwelling within me. I want to train her in the ways of the Lord so that she might love Him at a very young age.

Could this be the year for me? Could this be the year that I leave a ginormous mark on the world?! Can I dare say that I want this year to be the most impacting by far? Will I see God do exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think (Eph 3:20)? I certainly hope so!

Interestingly enough, I learned that the number 33 in the Bible can relate to the promises of God. The 33rd time Noah’s name is used in the Old Testament is when God makes a special covenant with him. The 33rd time Abraham’s name is used in the Bible is when Isaac, the child of promise, is born to him. It also is the numeric equivalent of the word AMEN. God has been so good to me and has certainly proved faithful to His promises throughout the past years.RAINBOW RESOURCES GROUP

I cannot deny the fact that I was privileged to grow up in a God-fearing home with parents who raised me in the fear and admonish of God. They taught me Biblical principles that still stick with me today. They provided discipline and instruction that kept me from wandering aimlessly in my life pursuits. They cautioned me against the evils of this world which I am so very, very grateful for. They gave me ‘wings to fly’ as I ventured to establish my purposes and dreams. They loved me in such a way that inspires me to now love my family in the same way. I’m far from what I should be but by the grace of God I am what I am.

As a wife to a godly man, I’m thankful for the training I had in my younger years to prepare me for this season of life. As a mother to a 6 month old baby, I’m thankful for the example my mother was as she laid down her life for her children. I’ve learned so much from the godly influences the Lord has brought into my life and I’m still learning each and every day. I hope I always have a heart softened towards the things of the Lord so that I never cease to learn and grow.

I’m thankful for a God-fearing husband who puts up with my spontaneous whims, erratic emotions, and OCD tendencies. 😉  I’m amazed by his kindness and patience with me. He’s always so eager to serve me and never gets angry even when it’s so obvious that I am in the wrong.

Realizing how blessed my life is, I feel so unworthy yet so thankful. I look forward to see what changes this year will bring for me. Yes, I may get a few more grey hairs. I might even get a few more wrinkles under my eyes. The passing of time will continue to age my body regardless; but as I age, I want my spirit to be renewed. I want to wake up in the morning excited to live the day with Jesus by my side accomplishing His purposes so that I might leave a legacy of grace and holiness to those who will come behind.

So even though half of me feels like a spry young chick and the other half of me feels like a tired, worn-out aging woman – I say “bring it on!” I’m gonna hold on during this roller coaster ride of life and hopefully when it’s finished think……”now that was pretty awesome!” 😀

Love Them to Christ

This past Wednesday night, I was hit hard by a statement our pastor mentioned: Love them to Christ.

Hmm. For some reason, this intrigued me. I know we are suppose to love as Christ. We are to love our enemies. We are to love the lost. We are to love our family and friends. Of course, I know this! But growing up in a Christian environment I had always heard that we want to “lead” others to Jesus. Lead them to the cross of Christ. Lead them to repentance. Maybe even get the privilege of leading them into a prayer of salvation and surrender. Now I am not saying that we shouldn’t lead the lost to Christ. No, please don’t get me wrong! But where did this term of “leading” people to Christ come from?

I opened the concordance to look up the word “lead” in the New Testament. There were several passages using the word in a general term…ie, the blind leading the blind, leading an ox to a watering hold, and Paul explaining his authority as an apostle to lead sisters, wives, etc. However, it was not mentioned leading the unsaved to the Lord. The final passage that references “lead” is in Revelation 7:17 where it states that the Lamb of God will lead us to living fountains of water.

There is no wrong in leading others to the cross. But think with me here. To lead according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary means to guide on a way, to direct on a course, to serve as a channel. We should, as followers of Christ, be channels and guides for those seeking a better way: the right way. But if the lost are looking for THE way, what will give them the incentive to look to us for guidance? What will cause them to even listen to us? Figuratively, how can you take someone by the hand and urge them to walk down a “different” path than what they are accustomed to? What would cause them to trust you? Why would they willingly follow you?

The more I thought about this, I came to this conclusion. Before you “lead” someone to Christ, first “love” them to Christ. Let them see the love of Christ manifesting itself in your life: your words and actions. How do you relate to them as unbelievers? Do they sense and feel that we genuinely love them?  That we don’t condemn them but that we accept them with their faults, failures, and sins? Now we don’t condone their sin. We should never justify it. We should hate their sin – just as we should hate our own. But we can love them and show it by how we treat them.

God alone is the One who draws a person to Himself in repentance. We can’t make it happen. It’s not our job to force it upon someone. However, if we want to be salt on this earth; if we want to be a light in the darkness; if we want to be a channel of peace in the midst of troubled waters – this is the key! Love them by laying down your life for them; love them by praying for them; love them by opening your home to them, love them by speaking words of peace to them; love them by helping them. Love them by sharing the wonder of Christ’s salvation and the amazing change it brought about in your life. Express your joy in Jesus! Let them hear your heart of thankfulness for all that God has blessed you with instead of complaints. Let them hear words of life flow from your mouth not the idle words of the heathen.  If they see this, they’ll know there’s something different in you and that something is definitely REAL. And when they are compelled to seek after God, they may just come to YOU first! And you then can be given the privilege of “leading” them to the Lord!

This concept of “loving” them to Jesus applies mostly to those we associate with on a more frequent basis. Remember, God can use any means to bring someone to Himself. Even if someone were on a deserted island, they can still be fully persuaded to trust in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour as the law of God is written on every heart. In the few brief seconds it takes to hand someone a gospel tract, love may not be the first thing they feel. But that’s okay. We are still called to “go and make disciples”. However God instructs you to do so, be obedient to that call! Just remember, when you are given moments of opportunity to show love – do it! Ask yourself “what would Jesus do?”. What DID Jesus do? Jesus was and continues to be the ultimate example of love personified. He gave His life so that we might live!

I will caution you to please be careful in not getting confused. There is a difference in loving the lost to Christ versus loving the lost to yourself. We are still called to “come out from among them and be ye separate” (2 Cor. 6:17). Remember the  verse, he who is a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4)?  If we are socializing with the lost and condoning sinful selfish behavior in our lives just to be accepted or liked by them – this is not the true meaning of loving them to Jesus. This is a friendship based on selfish desires. This is a friendship based on selfish gain and satisfaction. The lost need to see us as different – exemplifying our Master whom we should be loving with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We may have to take stands based on our convictions. Sometimes we may have to say “no” but this doesn’t mean we don’t love them. This shows that for us it’s not just a religion but a real and thriving relationship with Jesus.

So at the onset of this new year, as you converse with those outside of your home or (maybe for some) even within your home, let the first step in leading them to the Lord be loving them to the Lord. Perhaps the fruit of love will bear forth souls one day standing before the throne of God being welcomed into heaven for all of eternity.

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12

New Year, Ultimate Desire

So it’s here – the new year! I’m pleased to say that I had enough energy and whim to stay up joining the millions counting down the seconds to 2016! This was a HUGE deal to me as most nights I’m utterly exhausted and falling asleep early as if I were an old lady! 😉 The baby was asleep for the night so my man and I spent some quality time together cuddling on the couch and thinking of how amazing 2015 was – just in the realization that we celebrated our first anniversary and welcomed our first child! This past year was good because God was good. We welcomed the new year in prayer and asked that God would protect our marriage and lead us in wisdom; we need it for sure!

I have a good feeling there may be a lot of changes come this year…..maybe even trials that will stretch us. It’s a bit daunting thinking about it. Surely this day is the first page of a blank 366 page journal (remember, it’s a leap year!). What will be written on each page as I look back come December 31st? More importantly, what will count for eternity? What will bring a smile to my Saviour’s face? This year, I want to have a heart in hot pursuit after God; I want to enjoy a marriage that is on fire and burning with a passion of intimacy as I love and respect my husband; I want to be the mommy that God knows I can be as I encounter situations that bring me to a standstill in my lack of knowledge and expertise; I want to be frugal in our finances; I want to encourage and bless those in the body of Christ that we know, I want to get physically fit and maybe lose some of the pregnancy “flubber” that still remains (haha!); and I want to be thankful and joyful in the easy and hard times. To sum it all up – I just want to have Christ seen vividly in my life like never before!

Can I do all of this? Why sure I can! Not in and of myself for sure – I would be guaranteed to fall flat on my face! I lack the determination and strength and the day-to-day desire. Can I do it because it’s a new year and it’s a resolution of my heart? Nah! I can do ALL of this because I can DEFINITELY do all through Christ and Him alone! Do you know how I know this? Because not only can I do ALL things through Christ but these things bring Him honor and glory and pleases Him so He WANTS me to accomplish these things this year and every year! He will give me my heart’s desire if I lean on Him and walk in the way He has ordained for me.  My part is to stay committed and faithful. How do I do this? Simply by staying close to Jesus. So this new year may the song of my heart be” Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross”.

What is it that you desire to see as fruit produced in your life this year? Will you join with me this day and the 365 days that follow? Join me and come; stand at the foot of the cross and let us remember the glory and wonder of His love and our very own unworthiness. Let’s stay close to Jesus! This could be the start to a brand new beginning!

Adjustments and Learning Lessons

Dear Readers,

I’ve been meaning to blog for quite awhile but life with a brand new infant takes its precedence in our home at the moment. 🙂 It’s hard to believe that our little princess is already over 5 weeks! She is growing, putting on pounds, and starting to show us her beautiful smile and open her eyes more frequently now.

IMG_0102Am I enjoying every moment of this stage right now? Well, no. Are you shocked?! I’m just being honest. I love my little girl with all my heart and soul. She is my great blessing and treasure. A special and rare gem and her daddy and mommy love and cherish her. However, we continue to adjust to what life is like having a colicky baby. Our hearts break when our dear little one suffers through spells of hysteria at any time of the day or night. Even though I love watching her during this stage of infancy, I look forward to the day when she mostly smiles and coos and can be happy and content. We are tired and often overwhelmed; but through it all, I’m blessed beyond measure.

You see, I don’t want to take advantage of this precious little life. When Abigail was born, we were encouraged to stay at the hospital for an extra day as the staff was concerned with the drop in her weight: it was more than expected. Once we were discharged, a nurse visited our home to check on her. That week, we went to Abbie’s first checkup and the pediatrician had become greatly concerned with how Abbie’s weight was declining. We tried all we could to help her gain weight but feared she would be hospitalized as that was a step the pediatrician was leaning towards. A 2nd visit to the pediatrician left us devastated. Abigail was labeled as ” failure to thrive”. This seemed to be more than I could bare. Fears attacked me. Was something physically wrong with my baby that was going unnoticed? Would I lose my dear child? Difficult days full of heartbreak and tears followed. But God was gracious. Over the process of time, Abigail slowly but surely started to gain weight. What a relief. We were thrilled! Now, when we look at her and see her pudgy little cheeks and belly, we couldn’t be happier!

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Through all of this, the Lord impressed upon my heart 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I realized that if I had “perfect” love for my Saviour, it would cast out all the fear that I was being tormented by. I had to trust Him. I had to put Abbie in His hands and wait in expectancy on Him. It was a hard lesson and continues to be a lesson as I look to Him when I don’t have all the answers and struggle with the uncertainty of motherhood. I’ve never done this before. I lack knowledge and that is scary to me. But to know that God has instilled within me the ability to be the “perfect” mother to Abigail brings its relief. He chose me for this work! He chose me, and me alone, to be Abbie’s mother. I just need to look to Him, the All-Wise One and follow His leading and direction while being open and responsive to those He has put in my life who can offer wisdom and advice. Oh, I’ve so much to learn – but I do love being a mommy! I count it a privilege to look into those precious dark blue eyes and know that I am raising one of the daughter’s of the King. This little human being has a life that’s been ordained of God and can bring Him honor and glory and advance His kingdom on this earth! What a responsibility and what an awesome undertaking!

"Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."

“Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.”

On a lighter note, the man and I are looking forward to a vacation out west. We will be going to visit John’s family and “show the baby off”. 😉 I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with everyone as we haven’t seen the family since last November at our wedding!  I’m looking forward to the reuniting for sure.

If the Lord brings our family to your mind, please keep us in prayer. We are flying for this trip and going out and coming back will be long days with very early and late flights. We are hoping that Abbie will feel well and be a good girl on the flights. 🙂 We don’t want to disturb the fellow passengers with loud screams if we can help it!

Thank you to those who have left kind, sweet comments! Thank you for your encouragement! It is a beautiful thing to be surrounded by the family of God and know that we are cared for and prayed for!

Blessings always!

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Abbie got to meet some more of her cousins!

Getting some sunshine and fresh air

Getting some sunshine and fresh air

Mommy loves to give kisses

Mommy loves to give kisses

A Sweet Sip

A few ladies of our church have been going through a Bible study of the Patriarchs. This 10-week study has proved to be very informative and I’ve been so blessed to be learning so many nuggets of truth that I have overlooked the many times I’ve read the ‘stories’ of Genesis.

This morning, the reading was focused primarily on Joseph during his time in prison and the opportunity he had to be the interpreter of dreams to the chief butler (cupbearer) and baker.

A statement that was expressed was that we as Christians are cupbearers of Christ offering a taste of God to those around us! Wow! I had never thought of that before. Does the outflow of my life as a born again believer of God allow for others to “taste and see that the Lord is good”? (Psalm 34:8). Do they get to experience some of the sweetness of Jesus and his love for us by the words I say and the things I do? Am I a refreshment to weary, discouraged, dry hearts just like a sip of sweet grape juice may be on parched lips? Or do I live from day to day grumbling, complaining, having a negative outlook, and maybe even condemning others so that the ‘outpouring of juice’ from my cup ends up being distasteful and bitter causing the world (and maybe even Christians) to turn away and have a wrong view of the character of God within me?

Oh, would to God that I would always be a surrendered vessel in the hand of the Potter. I desire to always seek Him, listen to Him, and obey Him so that my flesh is crucified and He is glorified! I want others to want Jesus because they see Him living in me!

2nd Trimester!

I’m so very thankful and excited! Today marks the beginning of my 14th week and this means I have officially entered the 2nd trimester stage! For me this is a major milestone! The past weeks have been tough, sometimes really tough! I’ve weathered the storm of nauseousness amongst many other symptoms but I am thankful to the Lord that He has seen me through. I’ve had a great support system looking out for me! My husband has been ever so faithful and kind, my parents have cared for me despite the many miles that are between us, and my family and friends have in their own ways put many a smile on my face! I’m not out of the woods yet, for sure, but I can say that I am having better health days and feel more encouraged and energized at this point!

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the wee one is the size of a lemon!