Haiti Mission Trip Fundraiser

In early 2018, my husband will be going on his second mission trip to Haiti.  We are hosting an online ViBella Fundraiser to help with the cost of the trip.  We chose this fundraiser because it is a Win-Win (Win).

  1. My husband earns money for his trip.
  2. You get amazing products.
  3. You put money back into Haitian and Mexican communities.

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Each purchase not only helps pay for a piece of my husband’s trip, but it also continues to provide employment for Haitian and Mexican artisans.  ViBella teaches them the skills needed to create beautiful products and also provides them with the opportunity to know Jesus and grow in their relationship with him.

 

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Your support would be greatly appreciated.  Follow this LINK HERE to browse the online catalog and shop.  I am not only a ViBella Ambassador, but I am also a customer.  I love my ViBella products.

 

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Yes, We “Elf on the Shelf”

I’ve seen the debates (ahem, memes) about Elf on the Shelf.  I mean really…..using an elf to make your kids behave before Christmas???? What about the belt on the shelf? Or just straight up do what you’re supposed to do.

Yeah.  That stuff is out there.

But yes, at my house, we have an elf.

World, meet Bill Skylander Hotdog and Penelope.

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Bill and Penelope are a great addition to our family Christmas traditions.

When we adopted Bill a few years ago, we were afraid we’d made a mistake.  After going in to Target to shop, we came out to see him buckled in the seat.  The little sucker was already into mischief less than 2 hours after his adoption.

But Bill is also lots of fun. This guy….you never know what he will do. We are afraid some of his naughtiness will rub off on Penelope now that she’s been with us for one full year.

Bill is a fun fella. Full of mischief, but we anxiously wait to see what he will do next.

We don’t press the issue of Bill and Penelope tattling back to Santa about the kids’ behavior.  They know our expectations, and they know the consequences.  We don’t need Bill or Penelope for that, or a belt for that matter.

Whether Bill and Penelope come for a few days and hang out our house or Santa comes down our chimney, the most important thing about Christmas is remembering why we celebrate.

In my family, we celebrate Christmas because of Jesus.

He is our focus of our Christmas celebrations.  When we give gifts, as our children receive gifts, we keep in mind that Jesus is the greatest gift of all.  Our kids know that Bill, Penelope, and Santa are fun, but Jesus is the whole reason we have Christmas.

And we celebrate Him every day.

We talk about Jesus every day.

We read about Jesus every day.

We pray to God every day thanking Him for Jesus.

Jesus is the center of our family, not just at Christmas, but every day.

So, yes, we “elf on the shelf,” but most importantly, we live for Jesus.

 

Unto You I Dedicate My Child and Myself

Tomorrow is a very special day in our church…..It’s Baby Dedication Day!  It’s the day where parents stand before the church and before God our Father and dedicate their children to Him.

For me, the event is personal.  You see, it is through our church’s Baby Dedication that I came to know the Lord.  When my husband and I married and later had our first child, it was important to us to raise him and any other children we would have in church.  Yet, I didn’t know Christ myself.  I soon found out there was a difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord.

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Our 3rd Baby Dedication, Father’s Day 2010. My husband was away at Basic Training.

When I met with my pastor to discuss the upcoming Baby Dedication in the summer of 2004, Bro. Copass asked me about my personal relationship with Christ.  I lost it.  Tears flowed down my face because I knew I didn’t have a relationship with Him.  For too long, I had denied Him by not committing my life to Christ. And it was in that beautiful moment that I surrendered my life to Christ.  That follow Sunday, after dedicating my son to the Lord, I publicly professed my faith in Jesus.  My husband joined me and our lives were forever changed.

I am thankful for my pastor’s wisdom in asking about my relationship with Christ.  He knew that standing in front of the church for the annual Baby Dedication meant nothing if I didn’t have a personal relationship with the Lord. You see, the whole point of a Baby Dedication is to promise before the Lord and church that you are going to raise your child in a Christian home, that you will teach your child the ways of the Lord, leading him or her to Christ.  However, if as parents we aren’t believers ourselves, if we are not continuing to grow in the Lord, we are unable to lead our children to Him.

My prayer for those families tomorrow is this….

I pray that you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. If you don’t, I pray that He will touch your heart, convicting you of your sin, and that you will surrender your life to Him.  I pray that as you grow in your relationship with God, that you will model Christian love, that you will model faithfulness to Christ, that you will model a Christian marriage, that in all you do, your child will see and know Christ through you. I pray that you not only dedicate your child to the Lord, that you will also dedicate yourself, your family, and your marriage.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Familiar

The familiar makes us comfortable, brings us comfort.  When we are a long way from home, we ache for what is familiar.  When life is chaotic, we reach with outstretched arms for what is familiar.

 

When my husband was deployed 5 years ago, I reached for those familiar coffee cups.  They brought comfort.  They reminded me of lazy weekend mornings sipping coffee with my husband as we cuddle on the couch.

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When I miscarried my fourth child, I devoured one banana Popsicle after another. I was weak, but those Popsicles brought back the memories of my grandfather who showed his love for me in tremendous, yet simple ways.

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And God does that…..He uses the familiar to bring us peace and comfort.  Yes, sometimes he will ask us to go into unfamiliar territory, to step out of our comfort zones. But He is faithful and true and provides for us in amazing ways.  He may present a familiar sound or smell. He may make strangers like long lost friends.  No matter the situation, God is there and will provide for us in the way we need it the most.

 

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Thank you for joining me for this week’s Five Minute Friday.  Has God called you to something unfamiliar?  Is He providing something familiar to bring you through?  I’d love to hear about it!

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I’ve recently stepped out of my comfort zone to become a ViBella Ambassador!  I fell in love with the ViBella story at the first Five Minute Friday retreat.  I’d love for you to follow my Ambassador’s Facebook Page by clicking HERE.

 

 

Going Out of My Comfort Zone

The older I get, the more I go outside of my comfort zone.  Why is that?  Is it because I’m just getting older?  Is it because I am determined not to let fear hold me back?

Whatever the case may be, I’ve also want to be able to say that I lived life with NO regrets.  I’ve also learned that your “big” and my “big” are sometimes different and that is perfectly fine.

So, right now, my “big” is working with  ViBella Jewelry as an ambassador. You can call it a salesperson, and I’m ok with that.  But I like the word AMBASSADOR. Here’s why.

ViBella wants to provide a way out of poverty for women. They teach women the skills needed for a special job.  They don’t give handouts, but provide working opportunities. In the process, they also teach the women about Christ.  As a ViBella ambassador, I can have a part in that.

I don’t feel called to foreign missions.  At the season of life, I feel that my ministry is in my home, my workplace, my church, and my local community.  But God allows me to have a part in this ministry too.  There are no other ViBella amabassadors in my area.  Most people have never heard of ViBella. But if I can spread the word through selling their jewelry, they can continue to provide employment and the opportunity for women to know Jesus.

By nature, I am totally not a salesperson. This whole adventure may be a major flop.  Yet, I am willing to try.  I am willing to step out of my comfort zone and see if I can do this.

What about you, Friend?  Are you staying in that comfortable little box, or are you taking a risk?

 

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If you’d like to learn more about ViBella or allow me the opportunity to be your ViBella Ambassador, please click HERE.

 

 

A New Journey: Vi Bella Jewelry Ambassador

I am so excited to announce that I am joining Vi Bella Jewelry as an Ambassador.

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I was first introduced to Vi Bella while attending the first Five Minute Friday Retreat. I fell in love with Julie’s mission and purpose. I even got the chance to wear some of the jewelry and take part in a denim cutting party. Knowing that my old blue jeans were going to make a difference in the lives of others was an amazing feeling. I’ve since purchased several items, but wanted to be more involved. After learning about the Join for $1 initiative and being encouraged by my husband, I decided to take the plunge and become a Vi Bella Ambassador.

 

I would love for you to CLICK HERE to check out my webpage.

Giddy Up, Eunice Chapters 11-13: I Wanna Leave a Legacy

In this final section of Giddy Up, Eunice, I loved Sophie’s look back at the influences in her life.  Yet, it reminds me that we all come from so many different backgrounds.  Some of you have been raised in church and have always been surrounded by Christian women who’ve guided you and prayed for you.  Some of you are just starting out, and you’re new to the whole discipleship process.  And that’s what Sophie has been talking about this entire time: discipleship.

 

I know, I know.  When you think of disciples, you think of those guys that hung out with Jesus. They followed him around, took care of him, and told others about him.  I guess you could say they were like Jesus’ posse.  The cool thing about God is that he wants us to have a posse as well.  He wants us to be discipled and then to disciple others.  As socially awkward as I am, I love the fact that God wants me in relationship and communion with others.  He wants me to share what he’s done in my life, and he wants others to share with me what he’s done in their lives.  In order to disciple others, we must first build relationships with them.

 

This brings me to Sophie’s first challenge to us: “Wherever you have influence with the generation behind you, start investing. Pray that the Lord will help you find the folks He’d like for you to encourage.” Many of you are like me (and Sophie), you are a teacher.  We have easy access to the younger generation. Although there are groups out there that don’t want us talking to kids about Jesus, we can still show them his love.  We can still model his example.  I’m assuming those of you in this group are also church members.  Again, that role gives you easy access to the younger generation as well.  And have you looked around your neighborhood?  I’m sure there are some younger folks there you could pour your life into.

 

 

Sophie’s second challenge to us was this: “Wherever you have interaction with the generation ahead of you, start blessing. Pray that the Lord will help you find folks He’d like to come alongside you.”  I don’t think this challenge will be that difficult for us either.  When you start a new job, especially in the education field, you are given a mentor, someone to learn from, someone to lead you and answer questions for you.  In real life, that person isn’t directly assigned to us by a supervisor, sometimes we must seek them out, but other times, the older generation answers God’s call to seek out the younger generation. If you are a young military spouse, find a more seasoned military spouse to connect with (I can definitely hook you up with some).  If you are a young mother of a special needs child, let me tell you there are some amazing moms that have experience in this area as well that would be more than glad to share some wisdom with you.  Oh, and I have it on good authority that there are some older women within the church that would love to connect with the younger generation as well.

 

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One thing I loved about this final section of the book was the fact that in this part about Lois and Eunice, they were the models for Timothy.  As a boymom, this isn’t lost on me.  I see the importance of building a “discipleship relationship” with my sons.  I see the importance of modeling what a Christian woman is to be like (if you’re like me, you’ve probably been praying for years for your sons’ wives, that they will be strong Christian women who love Jesus more than anything else).  As a woman, there are things they can learn from me that they can’t learn from their dad.  They need to see how I interact with their dad, they need to see how I interact with my friends.  They need to see the effort I put into building my relationship with Christ so I can be the mom they need me to be.

 

The bottom line is this: We are to be a model of Christ to everyone we meet.

 

That’s how we will win people to Jesus.

 

That’s how we can lead and guide others along this path.

 

That’s how we can be the women God has called us to be.

 

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I want to ask you a question: What do you want your legacy to be?

 

When people remember you, when they look back at your life, do you want them to remember your fashionable wardrobe or your Southern Living magazine worthy home?  Do you want them to remember that you were a member of the country club, attended all the hottest concerts, and ate at the most expensive restaurants?  Do you want them to remember that you were on the activities committee, the PTO, in the church choir, and worked a hectic full-time job all the while rushing your kids to their many after school activities?

 

Or

 

When people remember you, when they look back at your life, do you want them to remember that your heart was so in tune with God that you ached for those that didn’t know Christ?  Do you want them to remember how you opened your heart and home to those that were hurting, those that were lost, and those that just needed a little love?  Do you want them to remember that you were that “Go To Girl” that prayed and stayed no matter what life was throwing your way?

 

What do you want your legacy to be?

 

 

The thing is, it’s your choice.

 

Tomorrow starts a new week.  Many of us are going back to work from Fall Break.  You have the chance to make a difference in the lives of others for the glory of God.  You have the chance to pray over those who are hurting and to have a wise soul pray for you.  I urge you to take a look around and accept Sophie’s challenges: invest in the generation behind you and have someone in the generation ahead of you walk beside you.

 

 

A penny for your thoughts.  What captivated you about this final section of the book?  What takeaways do you have from Sophie’s final list (pages 235-238)? Which generation do you feel God leading you to connect with?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.