Friday, January 23, 2015

The Well-Oiled Machine

The Well-Oiled Machine Part 1: The Importance of Order

I used to sit in amazement at our local MOPS meetings as I would listen to the speakers talk about their families’ lives.  They would talk about how Sally Sue would wash the dishes while Jim Bob would take out the trash.  Even baby Martha, who was only 18 months was putting away her own toys and laundry!  I was lucky to get my kids to not eat off the floors and take a bath once every 4 days (which was like bathing a cat, by the way).   Clothesbasket?  Wasn’t that what you used to put the toys in when unexpected people showed up at your house to drop off your Girl Scout cookies?   I secretly dreamed that my family was like these ladies and was run like a well oiled machine.  Although my blog might be better suited to head in the direction of why we should not play the comparison rat race (I promise to leave that subject for another day), I would like to talk about that well-oiled machine and what I learned by the time my household held 6 children and desperation became the catalyst for improvement in this area.  Because, after all, we all could improve upon ourselves, right?

The Importance of Order

Since the beginning, God has shown that His creation was set in order.  We find order from the smallest divination of God’s creation in the DNA of our very cells.  We were made for order!  There is something within each one of us that seeks out stability, structure, and order.  From the time a baby enters this world, it has a need for security.  Security is found in a world of schedule, routine, seasoned with love and patience.  Providing this for your children allows them to grow strong, stable, and independent as they blossom into thriving children of God.

Although keeping a schedule is not always easy, especially for the weary mom that has been up all night with a growing, crying baby, it is absolutely essential to meet the needs of a child.  Creating a routine allows a baby to build expectations that their needs are going to be met.  Then, when their needs are met, bonding takes place between the child and parent and trust is well on its way to being built.

Here’s my little caveat: This is not a death sentence to those new moms out there that have just had a baby and is just trying to figure out what that baby’s routine is going to be.  I mean, think about it.  That little baby has just entered a new world outside of mom’s warm body that provided every comfort that was needed.   Food was needed?  Bam!  There it was!  Exercise was needed?  Bam!  Just push that gas peddle, aka bladder, one time!  Mommy’s soothing voice lulled baby to sleep and that loud beating heart muffled out any noise that would startle baby out of her peaceful slumber.  But now!  Now there are overwhelming stimuli that are over-circuiting the brain.  Now baby must figure out how to tell momma she’s hungry.  And quiet environment?  Have you heard that two year old scream???  So, mommas need not feel condemned if they’re still figuring all this out.  Schedules will come as the baby becomes familiar with their environment.

As you provide order and predictability to your child’s day, they will thrive in the environment.  As your child grows older, there will always be opportunity to define your expectations of your children.  Let them know the boundaries that you have set and what consequences there will be if those boundaries are broken.  Provide charts and incentives that will visually give a child boundaries, responsibilities, and rewards that can be earned.  This not only helps them know what is expected, but also teaches them delayed gratification.  It also teaches that we DO need to work for those things that are worth having.

Once order is established, you should naturally fall into the next topic,   The Importance of Chores.  But we’ll save that for another week.  Join me next Friday as we learn to become a Well-Oiled Machine.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jehovah Shammah - The Lord is There

by Debi Baker

"35 The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. 
And from that day the name of the city will be 'The Lord is There.'"
Ezekiel 48:35 NLT

photo credit
God is an encourager and in Ezekiel 40 through 48 He is encouraging the exiled Israelites as He gave Ezekiel an amazing vision of the future.  This vision showed a beautiful temple where God would return and bring along His Glory.  It also showed a new holy city.  God even told Ezekiel what the name of the city would be...Jehovah Shammah - The Lord is There.

This tells me something special.  We can say 'the Lord is here' and it means the 'here and now - the present.  But it doesn't necessarily imply that God is in the past or in the future.  Jeshovah Shammah - The Lord is There says to me that God is a yesterday, today and forever kind of God.  It tells me that He will be with me no matter the time or place.  He is THERE - everywhere, all the time, not just HERE and now.

If you are struggling doesn't matter the cause...take comfort in knowing that Jehovah Shammah - The Lord is There is with you.  He desires to always be with His creation...and you are created by Him.  Rest in knowing that your Creator desires to be with you.  Rest in His arms and He shall comfort you.

Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Listen for God's Voice

By: Shari A. Miller

"Do not conform to the patter of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2

Today I am excited to announce our second week in the study of, "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God," by Lysa Terkeurst

Have you ever heard that still small voice in the back of your mind and just wondered?

Wondered if it could be the voice of God?

I know I have.

It hasn't been until the past 4 years that I have been able to hear the voice of God speaking to me. I remember the first time like it was yesterday. I was crying out to God about a medical situation concerning my daughter, I remember asking him,"Is everything going to be okay God? Will my baby girl be healthy?" Afterwards I turned and looked out the window, towards the glisten sunlight that was dancing across the front yard, and I heard his voice, "She will be just fine. Everything is going to be alright."

I had such a sense of peace wash over me. I knew that I had just heard the Father's voice, it was like a soothing balm placed over my weary heart. I knew that God was in control and all would be well.

Sometimes, it's not as easy as this to hear his voice.

In chapter two of Lysa's book, she states that, "God wants us to live in expectation of hearing from him." She gives us five steps to help put this into practice.

1."Does what I'm hearing line up with Scripture?"

In order to hear the voice of God we need to be in his Word daily so that it transform us. Once we know his Word, we will be able to hear him more clearly when he speaks to us.

2."Is it consistent with God's character?" 

God will not tell us to do anything that is not in line with his character. When we look at Galatians 5:22-23, we can see a mirror of what God's character looks like, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." When we hear him speak to us if we don't hear his words line up with those of a loving and caring God, as well as the character traits he posses, we know the words are not from him. If they are from him we move to question number 3.

3. "Is it being confirmed with messages that I'm hearing at church or studying in my quiet times?" 

When we hear God speak to us, he will confirm it through outside influences. For example, last year, I specifically felt the Spirit nudging at me, to confront another individual with an issue I was having. Low and behold, that person had heard the same message. The person heard sermons on the issue at hand, on their way to work and home from work over a two week time period. God was definitely trying to get our attention.

4. "Is it beyond me?"

Sometimes God asks us to do everyday things that we have little difficulty in accomplishing, and other times God will ask us to do things that are extremely hard, things that we would never imagine tackling on our own. These are things that we often give God an answer of, "I can't. No way, not me Lord, this is just to hard." It's here where me must dig down deep and rely on faith alone to see the Father work through us. It's in these types of situations where we obey the Father, move forward, and we get to be marveled by his results.

5. "Would it please God?"

When listen to his voice and know that whatever he asks us to do, would be pleasing to him, we know that we are on the right course.

These 5 questions are a wonderful place to filter through and discern whether or not we are actually hearing God's voice. Once we feel a confirmation of his voice, it's up to us to walk out boldly in faith at what he has called us to do.

Have you ever heard God speaking to you? How did you know it was the voice of God?

Photo Credit: kfergos via photopin CC

It is time for our Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories in their comments.

Use the hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday! 

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. You must link back to W2W somewhere in your post.
3. You must visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Taco Casserole

Recipe courtesy of
By: Melissa Baker

Biscuits are coated in taco sauce then topped with spiced ground beef and lots of cheese in this family friendly dinner idea.
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 16 oz. taco sauce
  • 12 ounce can buttermilk biscuits
  • 4-6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced olives, drained
  • chopped cilantro, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish. Spread taco sauce evenly over bottom of dish.
  2. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. Place biscuit pieces in hot sauce, turn to coat. Sprinkle biscuits with half of the cheese and the olives. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet, combine ground beef, peppers, mushrooms, cumin and chili powder. Cook until ground beef is cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle the ground beef mixture over the baked biscuit mixture. Sprinkle the olives over the top, then top with the remaining cheese. Bake an additional 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve topped with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Best Move You Can Make As a Wife

By: Jenifer Metzger

There are many great things you can do as a wife. You can read marriage books, go to marriage retreats, give your husband the remote for the night, iron his clothes, make his coffee, wear lingerie, so many great things. But there is one thing that beats all others. One thing that is vital to your marriage.

The best move you can make as a wife #marriage

Be a woman of God.

When you are a woman truly seeking God, truly seeking the heart of God, everything else will work itself out.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, 
who have been called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

If your husband is not a believer, by you being a woman of God, walking in His ways and living for Him, you are being a witness to your husband. Believe me friend, your life and actions will speak louder to your husband than your words. Win your husband to God by living for the Father.

If he is a believer, you are still being a witness to him and drawing him closer to the Lord. Whether you realize it or not, you are the biggest influence in your husband's life.

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Proverbs 31:10

A wife living for God is worth more than precious rubies. So sister, live for the Father, it is the best move you can make in your marriage.