Setbacks by Sonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our family has been on a journey with my daughter Lydia who broke her elbow back in July. It has been 8 months since her injury and we have been through re-breaking her elbow and a second surgery to fix her elbow with screws and a wire in her arm.  We all thought this was all going to help and allow her to get full range of motion in her arm. We believed for God to heal her and then we got the news this month that her X-rays show her elbow is out of position again and dislocated. It was such a bummer to hear the news and see the X-rays as we thought we were on the uphill and finally going to be healed. Looking at the tears in my daughter’s eyes and the look of defeat that she wasn’t getting better was hard as she had been using a brace at night and going to physical therapy three times a week. We felt defeated and the doctor felt so bad as he had tried everything he knew. This setback made us feel heartbroken.

As I looked at this setback it was hard to trust that God had a plan in all of this, but I know God carried us through those setbacks and was never at fault. We may not understand it when we go through setbacks or trials and why this happened, but we have to put our trust in our Savior who knows all and has our best interest at heart. God is using this to glory Him as it is not our plan for our daughter, but God has bigger plans for her and we are to trust in that. God also showed me to look at what we have to be thankful for and that Lydia was not in any pain and we praise God for that, as pain would have been a constant reminder and distraction of our setback. If she has to sacrifice not being able to fully do the things she loves for a year then that is so minor in the big scheme of life. Learning to trust and find peace in God through those times of setbacks is what will bring you joy and growing deeper in your faith. James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its works so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in nothing.” I had to learn perseverance and being steadfast in my faith despite the difficulty being faced. Don’t give up, stay the course and let God be your guide through any setback or trial. This is what helped us through. Lydia has shown me through this to look at the positives and to be thankful that she is healthy with no sickness or disease. Our faith is made stronger through those times and refines and shapes us to be more like Christ. Thinking of Easter and understanding Christ sacrifice and all the trials and setbacks He had but God had the ultimate plan for Jesus and He stayed the course because He knew God’s plans never fail. Let’s praise God together that He will never leave us or forsake us when we have trials and setbacks and will carry us through! AMEN!

 

Photo Credit:ID 92751804 © Stokkete | Dreamstime.com

My Life Is In His Hands by Bombi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Valentine’s Day my husband and I took the day off to have a long Valentine’s date. What an amazing day! It was one for the books no doubt. Not long into our day date, the headlines hit about a mass shooting that took place at a Florida high school. What horrible news to read on such a special day.

 

Later that day my husband sat the kids down and began to talk to them about what had happened. I could hardly believe my ears, but we found ourselves asking the kids what their plan would be if they were in a life-threatening situation like a shooting. I don’t know if every parent anticipates the moment they’ll need to explain what to do if they encounter a school shooter, but when the moment comes, it’s surreal.

 

In my high school days the main issues on the table were teen pregnancy, gang violence, and drug prevention. School assemblies, guest speakers, celebrities, D.A.R.E officers, seemed like nearly everyone came together to help the issues. Today we face other tragedies like bullying and mass school shootings. I would never have believed this would be my world today, but here we are living in it.

 

I’m not here to bring you down or list arguments on gun violence prevention or whose fault it is when a tragedy to this magnitude has transpired, but what I will say is that I believe wholeheartedly that no matter the situation God is still watching over our children. We cannot control every situation. We cannot shield them from every evil. But we can put them in the hands of the best shepherd this world will ever know. This will probably be the shortest blog entry I’ve made to date. Honestly I am finding myself at a loss for words as I think about the 17 innocent lives that were senselessly taken just last week. All I can think about over and over is that internal knowledge that our lives are in His hands, and my children’s lives are is in His hands, and that’s the safest place to be.

 

 

John 16:33 (NIV)

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Fresh Beginnings by Sonya

As spring approaches I am looking at my life and the fresh beginnings God is showing me in this new season.

A fresh beginning for me is starting back to work as a substitute teacher at my kid’s school. It is such a weird feeling that I can’t explain since I have been a stay home mom for almost 13 years and haven’t had a job since before my kids were born. I am so thankful for that season in life but now God is showing me a new season and taking me on a new chapter. I have volunteered a lot and kept busy when I was at home, but this is so different actually clocking in and being under someone’s authority other than me being the main authority and in control of my day. There were so many mixed emotions. It was like coming out of college and trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and then going into my first job and being so nervous to make a good impression.  There are a lot of feelings that come with new beginnings in life and I love that God is in the business of fresh starts and second chances.

Do you feel like God has given you a fresh start too? Not only has God shown be a new beginning on my identity as far as a new job and being more than a mom, but also with my marriage. My husband and I went to a marriage conference this month and it was just refreshing to hear things we already knew but in a new way. I felt like we were dating all over again after we implemented some things we learned like connecting more throughout our day and focusing on each other and not just talking about the kids. Also they gave us a crayon to use to write messages in our bathroom mirrors to one another and reminds us how valued we are. This has been such an encouragement in our marriage to get notes and reminds us when we would write paper notes and letters to each other when we were dating. It gives us a new appreciation for each other and telling the other person all the great things we love about them. This shows fresh beginnings in our marriage and deepens our connection.

Also for me it reminds me when I read the bible in one season of my life, and then read it in another season, and it brings a whole new meaning and draws me closer to God. But in order to move into a new beginning we can’t hang onto the past. I like how Isaiah 43:18-19 puts it, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Therefore God is telling us He is doing a new thing in us. This fresh beginning is a great thing even if we don’t see it. God is making a new way in the wilderness and cares that much for us to give us fresh starts.  The last part of the verse says He is giving us streams of living water in those wastelands or trials in our life. What an amazing God we have where He doesn’t want to keep us where we are and allow us to stay the same person, but wants to take us to new levels in our faith and give us a fresh look at Him and who God is. So thankful God loves us so much that He doesn’t want to leave us where we are. We don’t have to be defined by our past but God has rescued us from that. Are you ready for a fresh beginning? Stop holding onto the past and step out today and see what God has in store! Taste His living water and let it refresh you in this season or new beginning in life!

Dispelling Lies by Trish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s 2018 and what are we as women going to do differently this year to grow, to challenge and to “become”?  By now I’m sure there have been many to-do lists, goals, plans and vison boards created to help us stay on task with what we desire to see fulfilled in this year. Be mindful that as soon as you take that first step towards self-improvement and growth, there will be an enemy waiting to launch missiles your way to get you off course and discourage your faith. One of the greatest tactics used against humanity are lies planted in our thought lives. The more we allow these lies to marinate in our brain the more power we give it to grow. Like a weed, it grows, rapidly choking out what was meant to give life and beauty such as those dreams and goals.

For us as women, most of us are moved by words. We take to heart what is said and what is not said. Some may refer to it as being, “too sensitive,” when in fact we have a God-given gift of feeling things very deeply. Our heart is attached to how words make us feel. It’s part of our make up as women.  So when either a person or the enemy speaks lies we must dispel these lies and replace them with the truth of God’s Word. As I thought about penning this article I began to list some of the top lies used against women and I want to encourage you to disarm the enemy by dispelling such lies.

Lie: 1 You aren’t valuable//Truth: Your worth is far above rubies

Proverbs 31:10King James Version (KJV)

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

 Have you ever noticed that exquisite items aren’t visible? They are kept behind a locked counter out of sight and definitely out of reach. That is because the owner knows what has been invested to obtain such an item of worth and is not willing to risk it being mishandled or taken without its value being compensated for. Before I was married I would meet guys I was interested in or vice versa and it just never worked out. I felt like I was doing something wrong or being punished for something. I felt that way until God revealed to me I wasn’t being punished I was being protected. YOU ARE VALUABLE and you cannot rely on someone else to identify or validate this for you. You are not being “shelved” or set aside because you aren’t valuable. If you haven’t been “revealed” for a particular position or person, perhaps God is reserving you for those that can handle correctly the gift you are and value you bring.

Lie: You aren’t pretty//Truth: You are made in the image and likeness of God

 Genesis 1:27New International Version (NIV)

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

 What defines beauty? Let me remind you it is not in the hips, lips, booty and breasts. Those are temporal and going to change in time. Society has created a picture that beauty is all of these things and more. The beauty you carry should come from the inside of you and when you know your worth and where your beauty comes from it will show up in how you care for yourself and represent the God you serve. Notice I did say it would show up in how you care for yourself. Meaning beauty isn’t only having a good heart, but it also means caring for and presenting yourself like the queen you are. The essence of beauty is found in the image of who you mirror or represent.

To the young lady who is constantly comparing your waist size to someone else. Stop. You are enough.  Take care of who you are and walk in your beauty confidently whether size 2 or 22.

To the lady who has never been told, “You’re beautiful,” I’m telling you now that you are.  To the woman whose husband has eyes that have wandered elsewhere, don’t doubt yourself and mistake beauty for airbrushed images and fake body parts.

Lie: You’ve made too many mistakes//Truth: You can do all things through Christ

 Philippians 4:13New International Version (NIV)

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 I love reading about people who have failed in life and yet have had this amazing comeback moment that launched them into destiny and purpose.  Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Colonel Sanders to name a few. Then in the Bible we have those who were unlikely candidates for success.  Moses with a speech impediment, chosen to lead God’s people, David, a ruddy kid on the back side of the mountain chosen as King, Mary, an adolescent girl chosen to give birth to the Messiah. So, who are you to tell God and others what you’re not capable of doing?

You are created to win, to excel and overcome EVERY obstacle. No weapon formed against shall be successful.  You are a daughter of God, which means you are royalty.  Don’t allow a lie to cause you to question your role or forfeit your dream!

Photo Credit:ID 46088472 © Stepan Popov | Dreamstime.com