Friday, May 19, 2017

Trusting Him in All Things

  So have you been like me and lately, I don't want to say worrying, but I guess thinking about our children and their future?  I am a homeschooling momma, so I am responsible for educating my children.  I get to where I think, "What is Siler going to do?  What are Savannah and Sarah going to do?  What will Seth end up doing?"  And good grief, who will take care of Sullivan?  These things stay on my mind and then I end up thinking and a little bit of worrying and immediately Proverbs 3:5-6 come to mind.  I know you know these verses:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
Lean not unto thine own understanding
In all thy ways acknowledge Him
And He shall direct thy paths 

  Looking at these verses I have to think to myself am I doing that right now?  It is just like the song, "I Surrender All."  It is so easy to read this and say okay, Lord, I am trusting in You.  It is another to actually do it.  I think that I at times am fully trusting in Him.  I am peaceful feeling and although there may be storms, I am feeling confident He has things under control.  Then there are those times that I let life get the best of me and cave in -- usually this includes momma meltdowns and a lot of crying.  It is in these times I realize that I haven't been in the Word and in prayer enough.

  How can I fully trust Him when I am too busy trying to do it all on my own?  Not praying, not spending time in the scripture, getting too busy -- put these together and you have the perfect storm.  I know I don't have to stay there!  Praise the Lord we don't have to stay there!  Just typing this out, talking to you, has made me feel a little bit better.  A little bit more peaceful.

  Dear friend, I hope that if you are like me and are in the midst of a storm - even a really big one -- please know that He is there.  He is able.  He is carrying you through this.  It may be that He has ordained you to go through this storm to grow you, to perfect you, or maybe to just show other people that in our weakness He is strong.  Again, we don't understand His plan, but we can trust His heart.

  Just having typed that made me think of a song that I love -- "Trust His Heart".  Click on that song title and listen to these wonderful words.  Normally I don't put lyrics, but I wanted to today.  These are so good!  

All things work for our good
Though sometimes we don't
See how they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth
Our Father knows what's best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just don't see him,
Remember your never alone

Chorus:

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When don't see his plan
When you can't trace his hand
Trust His Heart


He sees the master plan
He holds the future in his hand,
So don't live as those who have no hope,
ALL our hope is found in him.
We see the present clearly
He sees the first and last
And like a tapestry He's weaving you and me,
To someday be just like him

(Chorus)

He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you

(Chorus)

When you can't trace his hand
When you don't see his plan
When you don't understand
Trust His Heart

I am praying for you and asking that the Lord minister to you as you need Him.  I love you and am sending you hugs from up here on the mountain :0)

Love, {{Hugs}}, and Blessings!
:0)Chandra


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Things I Have Learned

  So I didn't get a post in for March, but I am shooting for at least two in April.  My time management as of late has not been the best.  But my sweet momma has told me to cut myself some slack.  That is hard to do, but I am trying.
 
  Today I am hoping to take my kiddos to Park Day.  You know how important these types of days are.  Sitting with your friends, watching the children play, talking, and laughing!  Such good times :0)
 
  I went to a Homeschooling Convention - their site is below  https://www.greathomeschoolconventions.com/.  I had a great experience.  One of the classes I attended was about An Angry Mom.  The lady I heard is Wendy Speake.  She and her friend, Amber Lia, authored a book called Triggers - Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions For Gentle, Biblical Responses.  This is just what the Lord had ordained for me to hear that weekend.  The first chapter is Disobedience.  I haven't finished it, but in the first couple of pages it mentions that parenting isn't easy.  I think sometimes we have this idea that when we have babies that it is going to be easier.  I have a friend that has six children and have asked her if parenting ever gets easier.  Her answer is genius.  Elizabeth Cooper Lopez, (I lovingly call her Coop), said to me that it doesn't get any easier but just different.
 
  As I sat in the class with two dear friends, I felt the Lord's Spirit drawing me to Him.  He has forgiven me time and time again for things I have said and done.  It was as if in that class, in that moment, He was saying, "Dear Child, I love you and I know that you can do this parenting job.  I have sent this precious lady who has walked in your shoes and has a tool for you.  You can do this!!"  See, I wasn't going to go into this class, but I forgot which one I had planned on going into, so I just went in with my friends.  I am so glad that I did. 
 
  One statement they make in this chapter speaks to me about how I am in my parenting.  They say,

"As parents we can camp out on a few select verses about justice and discipline, establishing a rigid routine for discipline.  However, I see far more biblical evidence throughout both the Old and New Testaments that supports an overarching attitude and character of patience, mercy, kindness, and grace extended towards us from a Holy God who loves us and gave Himself for us.  Even while we  were yet sinners.  Even when we were enemies.  Even when we reviled Him as He died on the cross for our sins....Proverbs 10:12 reminds us, 'Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses."

  So you can probably see how this was such a good place for me to be.  I have five children from 5 - 14.  In 9 years I had all of them.  One has special needs.  While he is sweet as can be, he has 3 therapists, a dentist, 10 specialists, his local dr., and his teachers at school.  My life is in a constant state of getting people here and there and making sure we are not late :)  Yes, I am a busy momma.  However, this doesn't give me license to yell at my children because I have had a stressful day.

  So this is where I am right now - learning to parent from peace and God's Word.  Learning to cut myself some slack.  Learning to manage my life so that I don't get stressed out.  I am so thankful the Lord loves me unconditionally and that He gives me chance after chance after chance.  Do I model that with my family?  I am learning :0)

  This song that I am ending with is probably one I have put in before, but after the stuff I have put in here, I think we need to do just what the song says -- it is called "Breathe."

  Know I am praying for you and your family as we all journey through our parenting together!!

Love, Blessings, and {{Hugs}},
:0)Chandra

  One more thing I have to put in here is a quote from their book that I LOVE..." Iron fists chisel stony hearts, but graceful hands shape responsive hearts."  I am going to really try to apply this -- more to come on the journey!  Take care!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love

  It is Valentine's Day --  Happy Valentine's Day to you!  I know this has been quite a year for many of you.  Some of you have lost loved ones, so this day may be bittersweet.  For others this may be a holiday of time with your loved ones.  I know B.C. - lol, Before Children - we used to have a romantic dinner and enjoyable time alone.  Now that we have the five little people, we have morphed our day into family time.  And I am really okay with that.  The more I read and talk to others, the more I realize that one day I will miss all the chaos that is my life.  Are you in that season with me? If so, let us embrace this time.  As Point of Grace sings in a song, "This day is fragile, soon it will end, and once it has vanished, it will not come again."
  I think of love on Valentine's a little differently than when I was younger.  I used to expect to get something.  Flowers, candy, card - anything.  Now, I am not like that.  The main reason is to not set myself up for disappointment, and then to also not set these expectations on others.  Sometimes people forget or don't have the extra money.  Last year my very artistically inclined daughter made me paper flowers.  I have had them up in the kitchen since.  This year I have found a poem - though not intended for my gift - that she wrote and it is lovely.

Love...
Is special...How?
Because...it keeps everyone close...
The world...is close to ending...
Soon...He will come...Who?...
You ask...It is your Father...Which thou 
art in Heaven...He will come and save 
His people...Are you ready?...
Because...I am...

She is 14 and has some wisdom beyond her years.  This touches my heart because it lets me in on hers.  And, with her permission, I get to share her own words!
  I hope today that you remember that the Lord loves you with an everlasting, REAL love.  He loved us so much that He gave His son - our ultimate Valentine!  Romans 5: says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  He pursues us and puts us through some hard times because He loves us.  I know that sometimes we wonder about the circumstances, but that is when we do some real trust-building.  He is still working on us.  And this is what convicts me so much -- He is trying to make us more like Jesus. To live and to love as He did!   
  I like to end with a song, and I have a song that I LOVE!!  It is called "You Are Loved," by a group called Stars Go Dim.  I hope you enjoy it as I hope you enjoy your day and remember that you are loved!

Love, {{hugs}}, and Blessings!
:0)Chandra

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Letting Go and Pressing On :0)

  This Wednesday will be our oldest son's birthday!  He will turn 12!!  I remember when he came into this world - mainly because it was a hard, back labor.  LOL!  And they are right - that infamous "They," that tell us you will forget the pain.  It is true that you do forget the pain;  however, I will not ever forget the moment of him coming into this world.
  You see, I had just had a loss the year before of a set of twin boys.  It was a very painful experience that was soothed by another pregnancy and delivery of a BOY!  I will share my story of loss one day and how the Lord carried me through it, but today is not that day.  I will, however, say that if you ever have experienced that deep, sorrowful loss, you can come out on the other side of it and be healed from that!
  In any case - Siler is going to be 12.  I remember turning 12!  It was a fun time in my life.  So I am really excited to be celebrating this with him.  He is a lasagna fan, so tomorrow night, we will have lasagna and brownies :0)
  I have been reading several books as of late, and I have one in particular that I am working through. It is Made to Crave by LysaTerkeurst.  A dear friend gave it to me.  I have to admit that when I first opened it up and started to read it, that I was having my toes stepped on.  I put it away for a bit.  I got it back out at the beginning of the school year and have been making my way through it.  It is a bit revealing of my inner-self, and so that is taking some time to work through.  If you have ever done some self-examination, it is hard and painful.  But since I am a Christian and I know that He is working on me, I am not down!  As a matter of fact, "

Philippians 3:13-16King James Version (KJV)

13 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,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Being reminded in these verses to not only work toward our goal(s), but to forget the past is life-changing!  The past can hold you back from what the Lord has in store for you.  So far in this book, I am grasping this message of loving the Lord first and not having anything, even my chocolate and sugar, above Him.  I have found that I am an emotional eater and look for chocolate to soothe myself when I am hurt.  Okay, and I will be honest, I eat it when I am happy, indifferent, angry, etc.  I need to get that out of my life, not forever, but for a space of time and allow the Lord to fill that need.  To talk to Him when I am struggling and not reach out to food - especially my precious chocolate.
  Lysa points out so much in this book, but I wanted to share just one more thing.  She states this  - "Only by being filled with authentic soul food from Jesus - following Him and telling others about Him - will our souls ever be truly satisfied.  And breaking free from consuming thoughts about food allows us to see and pursue our calling with more confidence and clarity."
  We cannot do things that are hard on our own.  I get that now.  I understand that instead of reaching for a chocolate or a sweet when I am emotional, I should pray.  He wants us to reach out to Him when we are struggling.  Now is that to say that I will never eat another sweet again - no. But it is revealing to me that food has become a little god that I was putting in the place of MY God.  I am not alone in this struggle.  My desire is not to get skinny but to put food in its proper place in my life.  To have Jesus as my soothing balm and not food.  I believe I am in a good place because just stating it, admitting to it, is a big step.  
   This is not a fun post, but it is one that has been on my heart.  I needed to get this said because my friends can help me and have helped me in this journey.  I love a song that is out on the radio "Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave.  This is an awesome reminder that we really need to let go of our past in any area (even misuse of food!) and be Redeemed!!!  Jesus died for all our areas of sin - the big and little.  I am so thankful for that fact and so blessed!  I pray for you, dear friend, that you realize this, too!  You are in my thoughts and prayers :)  Hope you have a blessed rest of the day!

Love, Blessings, and {{hugs}},
:0)Chandra

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  So our Christmas celebrations are wrapping up, and we are heading into a  New Year!  2017!!  Amazing!  I think the years are going by faster each year.  I have asked friends that are raising children, and they agree their 
children are getting older faster.  This year my family will be 44 (me), 43 (My Mr. Benson), 15 (Savannah), 12 (Siler), 10 (Sarah), 7 (Sully), and 6 (Sethman).  We will also celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary!!!   I am so excited to see what the Lord is going to bring about this year. 
   But Christmas is just freshly over.  How was it for you this year?  Was it fun with a little of that typical stress?  Was it sad? - you may have lost a loved one or received some not-so-merry news.  Was it completely stressful and you survived?  I think for me this year it was a combination of all of the above.  I have had some sad news as three people I know are dealing with cancer.  I know that the Lord has this in His hands but seeing the families first-hand deal with it is just so very sad!  I, of course, waited until a little late to finish up my shopping.  But, if you are like me, it is challenging to get to have time alone to finish it up.  I think I am going to adopt a genius idea of a friend of mine.  She had a Christmas box and bought a little at a time through the year.  I can aim for that this year!
  At Christmas time I love to hear the holiday music and the Message that Jesus was born and the reminder of why He was born.  A song I love to hear is "That's Why He Came."  It reminds us that He came for all the Lost and Lonely.  He came to mend our hearts and to complete the perfect plan that God had to redeem us to Him.  It is such a lovely time of year for we Christians because we know the end of the story.  Have you given your heart and life to Jesus?  I have, and I am so glad!  I am so thankful that I made that choice long years ago.  
  I am also glad that I am not alone in this journey - my Lord is along with me to carry my burden --Matthew 11:28-30King James Version (KJV)
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. This set of scripture makes me think of a song that I want to share with you, "Breath of Heaven."  This song reminds me that the Lord has chosen me and you for a specific purpose.  He KNOWS that we are the ones that need to complete the task(s) that He has prepared us for in this life.  He also knows that we need to have a Companion. So, He has given us the sweet Holy Spirit.  Can you sense His spirit?  Even as I type and listen to this sweet song, I feel His presence.  Breath of Heaven, hold me together!  Be forever near me, Breath of Heaven!  
  My dear friends, I hope this has been a time you have been able to receive rest and encouragement!  I pray that this year will be one of joy, love, blessings, peace, prosperity, healing, provision, grace, mercy, hope, and the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ that is and always will be our greatest gift!  And is the one that keeps on giving!!

Love and blessings and {{Hugs}}!
:0)Chandra

Monday, November 21, 2016

We are almost to one of my favorite holidays...Thanksgiving!  It is a time 

to fellowship with friends and family.  It is a time to reflect on just what 

the Lord has blessed us with.  I am so thankful for so many things.  As I 

told you in one of my earlier posts, I am going to cheat and put all 30 

things that I am thankful for in one post.


Before I list them, I wanted to share a few scripture verses that I have 

seen that have touched my heart.


Psalm103:1-4, 10-12

1Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

This leads me into my list of what I am thankful for.   After reading these 
verses, it is only fitting that I start with this for the first item...
1.   Jesus
2.   Salvation
3.   The Lord's Love to me
4.   The Holy Spirit
5.   My sweet husband, Benson
6.   My 5 sweet, challenging, loving children
7.   My parents!
8.   My in-laws!
9.   My brother!
10. My 5 sister-in-laws
11. My 5 brother-in-laws
12. My sweet Grandparents
13. My wonderful Pastor, his precious wife, and their dear son!
14. My wonderful friends!
15. My awesome church family!
16. Our precious dog, Bear
17. Our fun farm animals
18. Our home up on the mountain
19. God's protection from the forest fires!
20. God's provision for our family!
21. Our suburban
22. The ability to walk
23. The wonderful doctors, nurses, therapists, and aide that help us with Sullivan
24. Coffee!!!
25. Chocolate!!!
26. Hallmark Movies!
27. Christmas Movies
28. Thanksgiving dinner
29. Games with friends and family
30. Pictures and getting to take them

I always end with a song when I do these posts.  I love Hillsong, and this 
song, "Thank You, Lord," is just a blessing!
I hope each one of you has a most blessed, refreshing, and joyous 
Thanksgiving!
Love, {{Hugs}}, and Blessings!
:0)Chandra

Thursday, November 10, 2016

God's Will

  It is already the second week of November!  Time is flying by this year.  Before you know it, the Christmas decorations will be up and Walmart will start selling everything Christmas...oh, wait!  They had all that coming out before we even got to Halloween. LOL!  Not that I am complaining - I LOVE CHRISTMAS!  But, I think we need to take a little time to reflect on being Thankful.
  On facebook I have some of my friends that are absolutely awesome at posting every day of November things for which they are thankful.  Since I am not that good, I always cheat.  I am going to do it again this year.  So, next week, I will post my "Thirty Things For Which I Am Grateful!"
  This week, I want to remind you about God's will.  So often we pray and things don't happen in the way we want.  In the Bible Joseph of the Old Testament is a prime example of this.  I am most certain he did not want his brothers to be jealous of him, and I know that being thrown in a pit for dead was not something he thought would be fun.  As we read his story, this set of verses pops out.  


Genesis 50:19-21King James Version (KJV)

19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
  Wow!  I just love it!!  What they meant for evil, God used for good to save a people. Now I know that not all the things that happen to me and to you save a whole people group.  But as I have talked to a lot of people who have dealt with situations that they don't understand, the whole issue of accepting God's will comes into our conversation.  I want to remind us all that although our lives don't always turn out the way we thought they would, we have to trust that the Lord has a plan.  He has a perfect will for us.  As we follow Him, talk to and with Him -- you know, spend time with Him, He will reveal to us why.  Or He may not.  This is where we have to trust.  
  I don't know where you are today in your walk with Him.  I know that I am still trudging on alongside the Lord.  I have to say that I have experienced some major answers to prayer.  The Lord hears us!!  I also know that some of you and some of my friends and family are experiencing some "valley time" right now.  Let us pray for each other.  Let us encourage one another that while we may be going through some stuff right now that is more than we can bear, or we may have just had something happen that we don't understand, God's will has to be trusted!
  I love to end on a song when my entry is through.  This song has just blessed my heart.  Listen and pray as you listen.  Jesus is there -- He is here!  "Thy Will Be Done"
I just love you!  I am praying for you!!
Love, Blessings and {{Hugs}},
:0)Chandra