More than mom

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The Best Way to Start the New Year

As we start the new year we can feel overwhelmed by so many things we want to change for the next year……eat healthier, lose weight, read more, go to the gym, pray more etc.  

A great option is to spend time in God’s word so that He can speak into our lives and help us make the proper changes or to set priorities.  

God’s Love Language

I was making scrambled eggs for 40 people when I realized God must have 5 love languages.

I have the tendency to be an internal processer, which means I’m constantly wrestling with ideas when I’m doing things like washing dishes and cleaning. This time God spoke to me through scrambled eggs.  

I suddenly undertood that if God has designed each human being to be a respresentation of Him, and he designed us to receive and give love through 5 languages (see The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman), then GOD MUST RECEIVE AND GIVE LOVE IN A SIMILAR WAY!  After this realization, I believe that this idea of love languages can be a huge breakthrough for my faith.  This is something I understood personally, maybe it won’t make sense to anyone else but it works for me. ūüôā

In my life, I have gone through stages where I don’t “feel” connected to God.  Maybe I’m going through a tough season and he feels distant.  Maybe things are going great and I have forgotten about God in the midst of worldly success.  I now understand that in the same way I need to intentionally speak my husband’s love language in order for him to feel loved, I need to be intentional in showing God Iove Him!  It may not happen automatically.  This is what this may look like in my life…..

Acts of Service: Serving others for God’s glory is a channel for me to express my love to God and to receive His love for me.

Words of Affirmation:  Reading God’s word and prayer to find out what He says about who I am and then responding to Him is another channel for me to express my love to God and to receive His love for me.  This is why worship is a great way to connect with God.

Gifts: Being generous with what God has given me to bless others is a great way to express my love to God.  Allowing Him to provide for others through my life is a way to love Him and recognizing that He proprovided for me because He loves me.

Quality Time: I spend quality time with God while in prayer, by reading my Bible, going to church-doing anything where I’m engaged with Him.

Physical Touch: I have had moments in my life where I was in desperate need of a hug or a pat on the back.  And suddenly the person I least expected to notice, came up to me and gave me a hug.  I have also been on the other side when I felt I needed to embrace someone, which I don’t do very often, and afterwards they have told me that they really needed it.
When I share God’s love with others, no matter which form it takes, I am showing love to God as well. 

You Make Me Brave

God is the One who makes me BRAVE. ¬†It is almost ironic because brave is not an adjective I would naturally find next to my name. ¬†Vanita the Brave is not going to be in any history books. ¬†But when I decided to follow God into the world of full-time missions he began to call me into crazy adventures with Him. ¬†These adventures are voluntary and I’m not usually required to go, but when I say yes amazing things happen.

This is my most recent example of how God made me brave.

I started with fear of the zika virus and ended on the top of Machu Pichu literally walking on the clouds.  Are you curious yet?!?  Keep reading.

My husband had committed to one of his roles in missions that has become routine and some what easy for him to do.  It is the role of leading youth groups from the United States into unfamiliar terrain to serve God on the mission field.  This role requires logistical planning, translation and of course lots of energy-all things my husband is great at!

Suddenly, they needed another person to join in this team to lead this group down to Peru. ¬†It would not just be one week but three. ¬†I was asked to join. ¬†I immediately said no way because I had a list that was too long to ramble off of reasons why it would be a bad idea for me to go. ¬†Included in this list were the usual ones, ¬†“I have two kids, I can’t go!” and “We don’t have the money for that!”

I was told that our whole family could go and that our organization would cover two of the tickets if we could cover the other two.  By that point in time I was already decided and my fears had already taken root in my heart and they would be tough to pull out.

Our organization, YWAM-Minneapolis, continued their search to find another translator and they couldn’t find anyone. ¬†They came back to me and I continued to stand firm that it was too hard and I couldn’t do it.

psx_20160512_162445.jpgGod began to soften my heart through passages in His Word-The Bible and different words of encouragement from people who are influence in my life.  There was a worship song by Bethel Music that I have been listening too alot over the past year.  During this time it had my attention in a new way and as I sang in my kitchen and in the shower I believe the Holy Spirit was working.  Here are the lyrics.

You Make Me Brave by Amanda Cook with Bethel Music

I stand before You now
The greatness of your renown
I have heard of the majesty and wonder of you
King of Heaven, in humility, I bow

As Your love, in wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us
You are not against us
Champion of Heaven
You made a way for all to enter in

I have heard You calling my name
I have heard the song of love that You sing
So I will let You draw me out beyond the shore
Into Your grace
Your grace

You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way

My husband informed me that we had the finances to cover two tickets because God had already provided the extra money.  I realized that this trip would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for our two boys and our family as a whole.  It seems silly looking back now, but God even gave me peace about the Zika virus and those annoying mosquitos.

The final push was when God used my husband to get through to me, yes it does happen! ¬†Sometimes we need to really be willing to listen to our spouses. ¬†The next morning I woke up puffy eyed, because I was crying before I fell asleep, and I told my husband “I’m ready for our family to go to Peru for three weeks. ¬†I’m ready for us to take this next step in ministry and do missions as a family!

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Our boys building houses

Wow God!  You made me brave!

We had a great time working with the team of 36 people.  Together we built three houses for people who were using a hung sheet for their wall.  And did six kids programs where kids had the opportunity to have fun and learn about Jesus, and my kids were there too!

 

 

When we were done with the ministry our family had the opportunity to see Machu Pichu! ¬†god didn’t just make me brave, He went above and beyond my expectations. ¬†How could I not join Him for more adventures in the future?!?

 

 

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Our family at Machu Pichu

 

Creative Bible Journaling

Are you looking for a new way to engage with your Bible?  Recently, I came across this idea of Creative Bible Journaling and I LOVE IT!

The basic idea is that you read your Bible and doodle in the margins.  You draw pictures, draw designs or add titles with fancy lettering.

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This has been great for me because it helps me process what I’m reading in my Bible.  It causes me to take time to think about what stood out to me in the passage I read.  As I come up with a creative way to display what God spoke to me, I am processing God’s written word which then helps me actually remember what I read.

My journaling is basic yet I am enjoying it and my Bible is getting a makeover in the process.

If you are looking for a new Bible study tool you can click here to find out more.

It may seem simple but I look forward to my Bible reading time more now than I ever have before.  All it took was a sharpie, some crayons or colored pencils, stickers and a little creativity.

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If you have any experience with creative Bible journaling please comment below!  I would love to get some pointers.  ūüôā

Vanita

Would Jesus say, “Black Lives Matter?” – Connected Families

Considering everything that has been happening in the United States-especially in my state, Minnesota, this is one of the best articles I’ve read about how to talk to your kids about what is going on . ¬†As a Christian I agree that I my first consideration should be what Jesus would do.

via Would Jesus say, “Black Lives Matter?” – Connected Families