Trusting God: Wanting Him More Than Anything

Trusting God: Wanting Him More Than Anything

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

With my little baby bundled up in the back seat, we started the drive to the allergy clinic downtown. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Our little one hadn’t been doing so well, and we’d been working with a GI doctor and her pediatrician to figure out what it was her body didn’t like. I was scared and uncomfortable with the process. Uncomfortable with what we might find out. Uncomfortable with what we wouldn’t find out. And frustrated. So, so frustrated that my baby girl was having to go through this.

I was trying to pray, but I wasn’t sure what to pray for. I’d been praying so much for our sweet girl and her troubles. What could I possibly say right now, as we were nearing this critical appointment? About as soon as I had these thoughts I heard this song playing on the radio:

“And I know any second You could take my pain away, but even if you don’t, I pray

Help me want the healer more than the healing.

Help me want the Savior more than the saving.

Help me want the giver more than the giving.

Oh, help me want you Jesus more than anything.”

I burst into tears as I felt God’s arms around me in that moment.

The song went on to talk about the weakness we face on our own and the feeling of overwhelm we can feel from our burdens. It helped me realize that God has already done everything that we need, no matter the circumstance we face.

He sent Jesus. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 

Isn’t that all that really matters? Of course, in our humanness we forget. We become consumed by our circumstances and it’s not enough. This is nothing new for our generation.

God’s Presence is Enough

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the first few books of the Bible lately. Oh, the Israelites–how easy it is for us to judge them! This group of Hebrew slaves has been known through the ages for their complaints. God delivered them, but again and again their struggles consumed them and they started to question God. Their struggles were very real, by the way. Can you even imagine being in their place? Wandering about for years, facing the harsh realities of the desert, and going through foreign lands? Their complaints and questioning frustrated God. God wanted them to understand that his presence with them was enough. He would sustain their needs. He wanted them to trust him.

Why is this so hard? Why do we act like God is never enough? 

Trusting God is Enough

Thankfully, our God is a God of grace and mercy. He knows our weakness. In our faith, we can cast our burden on him (Psalm 55). He hears us and cares for us. We must remember, though, that our true battle is already won. Our hope is not in answered prayers, but in God. So through our struggles, may we want to be drawn closer and closer to the Lord. May we remember the love he has bestowed on us and find peace.

That day, I met my fears head on as I faced the situation I’d been dreading: peanut allergy, among other things. Our family entered a new reality that day, one I still don’t like. I pray boldly, asking God to take this burden away from us, to protect and heal our daughter. While I pray, though, I understand that even more than this, I want God to stay close with us. I want to remember what He’s already done for me. I want to praise Him still, knowing that come what may, He is God, the blood of Christ saved me, and victory is mine. 

Remember God is With You

Whatever struggles you are facing, I encourage you to take hold of the big picture. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8) I will end this post with Natalie Grant’s song “More Than Anything.” I hope this beautiful song comforts you and reminds you of God’s presence and redeeming love.

 

 

The Secret to a Successful Quiet Bag

The Secret to a Successful Quiet Bag

Tracy Watts

Tracy Watts

Wife, mom, daughter, teacher, blogger, crafter, organizer - but most and best of all, I am a Christian. I am passionate about my family and my God. I am married to my best friend and am blessed with a one year old son who keeps me busy all the time staying at home with him. And I am glad to be in the service of our incredible and awesome God.
Tracy Watts

Latest posts by Tracy Watts (see all)

You’re in the middle of worship. The entire church has their heads bowed in fervent, quiet prayer when suddenly your kid erupts like a verbal volcano and discovers that your previously vetted out and carefully chosen toy can be:


  • whacked noisily against the pew in front of you,
  • launched like a Cuban missile onto the other side of the auditorium,or
  • just in general be likened to an explosion of sound and excitement.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt that mixture of panic, frustration, and embarrassment. These things never seem to happen in the middle of a great, noisy, swelling song, only during Communion or a prayer! So what’s the secret to making your quiet bag a success? I’m here with the answers. Maybe…

Grace

Pack in grace for yourself. Grace for your kid. Grace knowing that no matter how hard you try or how well you prepare, you can’t always be perfect or utterly quiet or completely still. And that’s OK.

I’m not saying to let your kid run loose on Sunday morning while throwing him goldfish in the middle of the sermon. But I am saying that it’s OK if neither you or your kid are perfect. Give yourself the grace that you would extend to other moms. And find peace in the fact that God sees your efforts and will reward them.

Patience

I know. This is like a dirty word with Christians. The problem with praying for patience is that you get it, right?

But you’ll need it. You need lots and lots and lots of patience to quiet your kids, to miss yet another chunk of the worship service, to smile instead of strangle.

Patience is knowing that you’re doing this for the end game. Nobody in their right mind says, “Boy, that mother of two toddlers and a baby is coming to church and just filling her spiritual cup to overflowing.”

patience

What she’s doing is showing her kids that even when it’s hard for her, even when it’s not ideal for her, even when she may only get five minutes out of the worship service–it is still the most important thing to do. There is nothing more important than going to worship the Creator of the Universe. To give Him the praise and adoration He deserves. And to teach our kids to do the very same.

A Sense of Humor

This is, perhaps, the key to surviving not just a worship service, but motherhood in general! Laughing at the crazy, the ludicrous, and the full moon coming out in your kid (and perhaps you!) is the best way to relieve your stress.

It’s OK to find it funny when your son has a poopsplosion in the middle of opening prayer. And It’s OK to giggle when he happily shares his now-slimy cheerios with the little widow you chose to sit next to this morning. Finding joy in these moments is perfectly OK!

Without joy, you’ll turn into a little ball of stress–and that’s no fun for anyone.

So this Sunday, good luck! And good mothering!

proverbs-22_6

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Be a Bible Class Teacher Praying the Psalms God is in Control Submissive Wife

What Bible Time with Little Ones is Really Like (and encouragement for not giving up)

What Bible Time with Little Ones is Really Like (and encouragement for not giving up)

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

The Expectation of Bible Time

Before my oldest was born I had hundreds of ideas for how to spend Bible time with my children. Of course, my little ones would sit sweetly with anxious hearts for stories, songs, and activities. As a children’s ministry major, I’d even studied Bible class teaching in college. I couldn’t wait to do with my own children what I’d been reading about for years and years!

I can’t help but laugh as I think about my previous expectations. I’d spent plenty of time with of other children in Bible classes so it should have come as no surprise that my daughter would have a wonderful mind of her own! It did not take long for me to realize that Bible time at home needs to be casual and flexible!

The Reality of Bible Time

During Bible time with little ones you can expect wiggles, interruptions, and even resistance. It will feel like they are not listening. They might not sing along with you, or they might want to read a different Bible story than the one you picked out. It’s possible they might not understand the point you are making. Or  they might not want to do Bible time at all.

With all of this you might get frustrated and wonder if it’s even worth it. You might assume your kids are just too young and think about putting it off for the future. Oh, sweet momma, this is all so normal! Your kids are probably retaining more information than you think. I encourage you to keep it up because not only will you eventually see fruit from your effort, you are instilling a very important habit in their lives.

Establishing the Habit of Bible Time

Our kids, even at the earliest stages, have little hearts that need to be ministered to. I fully believe that, and I’m sure you do too! Let’s take a look at Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

The ways of the Lord are to be a part of our everyday life. We fill our time in so many ways: play dates, zoo trips, errands, ballet, sports, school, work, chores. But it is vitally important for our children to grow up with a developed habit of daily praising God, praying to him, and reading his word.

Trying to organize Bible time often overwhelms me. I want everything planned out, and I want to know where we are headed in our studies and have set out goals. I’ve come to realize that my methods for Bible time with my daughter are not nearly as important as the habit of doing it daily. The best Bible program you can do with your kids is one that you will actually do. What that will be for you family, I can’t tell you. I’ve learned not to get bogged down with a system.

Incorporating Bible Time into Everyday Life

We must also remember that this task of impressing God’s way on our children is not something we do ten minutes a day during our Bible time. This mission is to be intertwined into our lifestyle. We must intentionally make God a topic of conversation as we sit at the table with our children, as we are helping them change their behavior and work through their feelings, as we drive in the car, when we find down time at home, and when we go to bed. We must also be a living example for our children, doing all we can to live the way God calls us to live.

Are you embracing the task of raising your children to be part of God’s kingdom? It is surely the most important job we have as parents. Don’t be discouraged if Bible time with your little ones isn’t going the way you envisioned. Keep reading God’s word. Continue singing those sweet songs. Keep talking with them. Lastly, don’t forget to keep praying with them, and for them.

How do you engage your little one in God’s word? 

 

When You’re in the Trenches

When You’re in the Trenches

Tracy Watts

Tracy Watts

Wife, mom, daughter, teacher, blogger, crafter, organizer - but most and best of all, I am a Christian. I am passionate about my family and my God. I am married to my best friend and am blessed with a one year old son who keeps me busy all the time staying at home with him. And I am glad to be in the service of our incredible and awesome God.
Tracy Watts

Latest posts by Tracy Watts (see all)

When you’re in the trenches, it’s hard to see your way out. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, because you’re not even sure there is a tunnel. It’s hard to keep slogging through and exhausting to keep your chin up. You feel as if you are covered in slime, in mud, in disappointment and despair.

Perhaps you might have lost hope or energy. You might understand in your mind that this is “worth” it, but your heart is weary and burdened.

When you’re in the trenches, you can’t see your progress or the character built. You can’t see the shape of your heart or the influence of your efforts.

What if:

  • Your heart turns out to be right?
  • You are in it alone?
  • After all this work, you don’t reach your goal?
  • Despite the prayers and the tears, you come out empty-hearted and empty-handed?

Reach out your hand, and grasp onto the Father’s hand. Grip it with determination and desperation. Cling to it with the last strength you have.

Realize that, despite what you see, what you feel, what you are suffering, you are only seeing a tiny part. Yours is a small corner and one that you see with a skewed view. Just because YOU cannot see, does not mean that there is nothing to be seen.

Sometimes–no, many times–trust must come before character is strengthened. Faith must come before reason and experience can explain “why.”

Take heart. Take courage. Take perspective.

Think of Elijah. After drought and hunger, persecution and hatred, he comes before God’s presence. In 1 Kings 19, Elijah cries out to God: “And I, even I only, am left and they seek my life to take it away.”

Then God reveals the bigger picture:

He would anoint a new king and put to death those who deserved it and the last words are the ones that must have stunned him.

“Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

You see, from Elijah’s perspective, in the trenches, he thought he was alone. And yet, there were 7,000 others standing with him.

I pray that God helps you to see over those trenches, to see over the horizon, to see that even if you feel you, like Elijah, are left alone–that you can see a bigger part of God’s plan. That just as God helped Elijah, He can help you too. You are not alone.

Family Photo Perfect

Family Photo Perfect

April E

April E

I grew up in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma Christian University. Right after earning my degree in Music Education I moved to Germany to do mission work for 5 years. During those 5 years, I married my husband and we eventually became parents to our spunky daughter! We settled back in Oklahoma and added an energetic son to our family! I am now a stay-at-home mom who is still very passionate about mission work, Germany, singing, family, and most of all, my relationship with God.
April E

Latest posts by April E (see all)

My family recently had new photos taken…Please join me in a moment of silence.

Why do family photos have to be so stressful? There is usually lots of complaining because someone doesn’t want to wear what I have picked out. Or they would rather be doing anything besides taking photos. There is usually begging, bribery, and threats involved. I told the kids to please just do this for me because I really want a nice family photo.

“Everyone look at the camera and smile!”

“You Will Be Happy For The Photo!”

“Act like you love each other!”

OK, that is extreme, but sometimes it feels like that. When we did our photos recently, my son cried because he wanted to wear something totally different even though it didn’t go at all with what everyone else was wearing. I walked in my daughter’s room to see how far she had gotten when I discovered her still wearing her pajamas, sitting on the floor sulking that she had to wear a dress on a Saturday…the horror! As we were pulling out of the driveway, I looked back and saw a giant hole on the knee of my daughter’s leggings. So in we went to get better leggings, only to not be able to find any.

Honestly, I was surprised that the photo session was successful! Even though it was windy and cold when we took the pictures, the kids did a really good job cooperating!

dsc_4479

This whole situation got me wondering how many times do we do this to God? How many times a day do we find ourselves complaining because of the tasks God has set before us? How many times do I think, “I would rather be doing anything else, than serving someone else?” Sometimes I think we can be so selfish. Unfortunately, I know that I can be, even though I know that isn’t how I want to be or how God wants me to be.

Sometimes we need to just put our selfishness and pride aside to do something for God. Don’t you think that He just wants to see all of His children happy and smiling, helping each other and being thankful for Him and His gifts? It’s not always easy, and we for sure aren’t perfect. But in the end, we will have a beautiful family gathering in heaven. We will forever be grateful for the times we set aside our pride to do what makes God happy.

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

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The Gift of Trials

The Gift of Trials

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”

 

Job 42:5

The Gift of Trials

The heartache that accompanies trials is not something we look forward to, but there is a blessed gift that occurs in the midst of trials – a knowing that we’ve never experienced before. Take Job for example. He was the most righteous man on Earth at the time. Satan wanted to destroy Job’s relationship with God, and this is exactly what Satan tries to do with all who believe Christ is the son of God and follow him. Job endured physical and emotional devastation in hopes of bringing Job to spiritual ruin. Instead of losing his faith, Job held onto the Lord tightly. And there, in reflecting on all of his trials, Job saw the most amazing gift of all that comes through trials–the gift of a deeper relationship with the Lord!

Job said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Did you catch that? The most righteous man on earth at the time, who wholeheartedly believed in God and His holy nature, felt like he had only heard of God. Through his trial period, he truly saw God in action. It is not that he didn’t have a relationship with God before. It is simply that the depth of that relationship grew.

When you are in the midst of a trial it can be difficult to see past it. You must remind yourself to stay focused on the Lord and remember that He will bring you through it in His miraculous ways. His ways may not look like how you predetermined, but they will bring immeasurable blessings and solidify your faith all the more. You will be given the gift of seeing the Lord too! This is the ultimate gift of persevering through the trials of life.

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Dear Father, You are holy and mighty and love us beyond measure. You bring comfort and blessings when we are going through the most difficult of situations and gift us with a seeing you. Thank you for building our courage when Satan tries to attack it. In the One who is our defender – Amen!

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