January 31, 2008

Hope

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Proverbs 13:12

Every woman is familiar with unfulfilled longings that can come in the form of material possessions, attention, another child, etc. We wait and wait in hope that someone or something will fill our desires. In the end we only end up being disappointed, heart sick and in deep despair. We begin to seek a way to resolve our disappointments and often we act in manipulative ways. Sometimes we catch ourselves demanding others, at their expense, to fulfill our desires. We can even reach a place where we put a limit on God or settle for less than what He has planned for our life. Whether we limit God or settle for less, we lose either way. How much better off would we be if we chose to trust in God alone to fulfill our every dream? What if we learned to wait patiently on Him and trust His timing instead of demanding our way or giving up? Only God can see the big picture, and only He has the power to fulfill what the heart desires. He is so gracious and longs to show us compassion. His Word says that we are blessed when we wait on Him.

“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him!”

Isaiah 30:18

No matter how bleak our situation may be, He knows the path that is laid out before each one of us, and He knows the ultimate outcome. He does not always answer our prayers immediately. Sometimes He answers by making us wait so that His plan will spring forth in His perfect time and our faith can grow. When we have hope in the Lord, we can trust in His promises and His timing and soar above the feelings of emptiness. This hope can renew our strength, we will be able to run and not grow weary, walk and not feel faint, and we can soar on wings like eagles.

“but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint
.”

Isaiah 40:31

Writtten by Nicole

January 30, 2008

Love

I was in the middle of writing a post today on love when I received an email from a friend with this story along with another forwarded devotional email on love. Both affirmed to me that love should be the topic for today. This story I have copied says what I wanted to say and more so I'm going to use it as the post.

How many times do we put ourselves or our children in a bubble, trying to "guard" them/ourselves from the things or people of this world? We think that by sheltering we are protecting but in fact we are breaking the heart of our Father. We were created to glorify God which means sharing His love, compassion and grace with everyone no matter their race, status, lifestyle or religious preference. Sometimes we forget that even our children can show how big God really is and how great and how much His love is for everyone. Children do not judge or see the worldly things we see and so they love with a heart that is pure and not tainted and never judgemental. It's time that we all "pop the bubble", step out in faith and rely on His protection so that we may love a world that is dying and that needs to know His unconditional love.

Enjoy this story and I hope it speaks to you as it did to me.

~ A Baby's Hug ~
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.


I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks thinking, 'What do we do?'
Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.


We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'
Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'

I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity.
The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'


January 29, 2008

Lesson 2

For those of you wanting to know, the movie (The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything) was wonderful and I would even go to see it again. I highly recommend taking your preschoolers.

In order to explain the next lesson I learned, I must give you a brief rundown of the movie. The three main characters were chosen to be heroes by a King whom they felt had made a mistake in choosing them. They felt as if they were nobodies, unworthy and unable to carry out the tasks that had been presented to them. In the end, they completed their responsibilities and the King told them he had not made a mistake and that he had been with them along the way and had provided everything they had needed.

On the drive home, I thought about how often we doubt God’s plan for us. We question our ability to accomplish the tasks that He so diligently lays out before us. We wonder why we are even selected and deal with waves of unworthiness. We begin to question Him and the purpose for which we were created and these waves of uncertainty can totally leave our faith shipwrecked. (1 Timothy 1:19)Have you ever felt Him asking you to step out into uncharted waters? To do something that you feel there is no way possible you can do? It is easy to step out in faith when we know it can be accomplished in our own strength but it takes a lot more trust when we are asked to do something that causes us to rely totally on the Him. We as believers are called to live by faith and to cling to God’s promise that He will provide the wisdom and strength we need to achieve the tasks that He has for us. His Word says that when our faith is lacking and we are without deeds then our faith is ultimately dead. (James 2:26) If we fully trust in Him then we will live godly lives that lead us into acts of service and love that could only be done when one is walking with the Lord. When we have this kind of faith then we become a reflection of who Christ really is and will look different to those around us. When we choose to trust in Him and rely fully on His strength then our lives will be filled with joy, hope and peace. (Romans 15:13)

Written by Nicole

January 28, 2008

Lesson 1

I took my four year old on a date this afternoon and boy was it rewarding. He has been begging to go see the new Veggie Tale movie and I have been putting it off simply because I do not get too excited about talking vegetables. As always, God taught me two important lessons today and I will share the first with you today and the second tomorrow.

Lesson number one:

As we got in the car and headed to the theatre, my little guy turned into a chatterbox and he glowed with excitement. As we approached every stop light, he would announce that we were getting closer to the movie place. Once in the parking lot, he jumped out of the car and grabbed my hand. I asked him if he was ready for our big date and he said he was too little to be going on dates. He said that this was special time with mommy. We went inside and got his popcorn and candy and headed to the theatre. As he carried his popcorn and drink in that cute little cardboard carrier, running as fast as his little feet could without spilling it all, he kept saying over and over, “I’m so excited I get to see the Pirate movie with you mommy".

WOW! Suddenly it made me think about my walk with the Lord. Do I go into every quiet time with that kind of enthusiasm? Excitement about spending some personal time with my Heavenly Father and the new things He will show me. There are days I do and days that I totally miss the mark. Should we not always be thrilled about getting to spend time with God?

You know, just as I was excited about spending time with my little guy, God is always waiting with excitement for us to draw close and spend time with Him. He waits for us to come and grab His hand, walking with Him saying, I am so eager to be with You. Fellowship with the Lord is such an important part of being a believer. In fact, God sent His Son to die so that we could have that one on one time with Him whenever we choose. What an awesome privilege to know that He waits with anticipation for us to come and fellowship with Him. How incredible that He created everyone and is thrilled when we choose to spend our time with Him. As small and unimportant as we think we are, there is a big God who desires to meet with us every day. WOW! Have you met with Him today?

Written by Nicole

January 24, 2008

Perfectly Loved

As I look at my baby daughter, I realize that there is no other baby in this world as beautiful and wonderful as I think she is. Would you love to be thought of that way? Would you love to be loved so completely without any restrictions? Would you love to be the object of someone’s affections? Well, guess what? That is exactly how God looks at us. We are His wonderful and beautiful creation, His children.

Do you long to be so greatly loved that someone would give anything and everything for you? That they would never give up on you or stop loving you? That that person loved you so much that they would trade their life for yours? That they would call you their princess? God loves us that much and more. His love is more than we can fathom and more than we could ever love on our own. In fact, He gave up His own Son to die for us out of love.
He takes great delight in us and looks upon us with such love and adoration. He rejoices over us with singing when we honor and glorify Him with our lives.

“The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save,
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love
He will rejoice over you with singing”

Zephaniah 3:17

He cheers us on as we run the race and He’s there to pick us up and brush us off when we fall down. He cries with us when we are hurt and records every tear that falls.


Record my lament,
list my tears on your scroll-
are they not in your record?

Psalm 56:8


When we get into trouble and turn away from Him, He’s right there waiting for our return with His arms open wide. He is always there no matter what the circumstance.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you
or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8

His desire is to be in constant fellowship with us at all times yet we find it so hard to give Him five minutes of our day. He gave the life of His only Son out of complete love for us so that we could have an intimate and personal fellowship with Him. His love is unconditional and perfect. His love can quiet our fears and calm our doubts. He is the Father that we can always count on and who will never let us down.

Written by Nicole

January 23, 2008

Whatever is....

We know that Satan inundates our minds with deceptive thoughts and we must oppose his attacks with truth (the Word of God). This means that we must seize every thought and take it captive, focusing on whether there is truth in those thoughts. In fact, Philippians 4:8 commands us to do just that…


“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”
Philippians 4:8

Uncertainties fill our minds regarding every aspect of our everyday life. Satan uses these tactics to divert our attention from God so that we will focus on ourselves. He directs our thoughts towards feelings of worthlessness that lead to questions and feelings of what ifs and self-pity. We have to allow our minds to focus on the truth of God’s word and remember that He fearfully and wonderfully made us and has a purpose for our lives.


“who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,…”
2 Timothy 1:9

One of the biggest untruths thrown at us by Satan is that of failure for our past offenses. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory but as long as we repent and seek His face, He will use us for His purpose. God will never stop loving us. We will remain His children because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. We must cling to the truth of His word and find comfort in knowing that He will never turn away from us or leave us.


"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:35-39

In life, we will experience many valleys of feeling lost and hopeless, like we have failed but there is nothing that we will ever go through that is a mistake or that God didn’t already know would happen.


"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11

No matter what has happened in our life, God is sovereign and omnipresent through time. He knows every event of our life and He knew every detail and direction it would take even before He spoke this earth into creation. He has allowed our lives to unfold the way that they have and has overseen everything that has taken place. He has always been with you every step of the way and has been involved, as His plan for you has unfolded. He is the author and finisher of your life. (Hebrew 12:2)


" O, LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD."
Psalm 139:1-4

"your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:16



But when our lives take a direction that is painful or confusing, we are quick to throw the “what if’s” or “if only" at His face. When we do this, we are ignoring the fact of what His truth says and that He is in control. We are failing to acknowledge His role in our past experiences and ignoring that He was with us then, just as He is today and will be tomorrow.


"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory."

Psalm 73:23-24


When we focus on truth then we are able to stand on the mountaintops and rejoice that His grace and power are sufficient for every circumstance we encounter.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10


We have to meditate on what is true and real and it all comes back to warfare, which is a battle of the mind. It calls us to make a commitment to obey His word and it takes real energy and effort on our part but in the end, we can fight and overcome this battle through the grace of God and the truth that is His word.

Written by Nicole

January 22, 2008

Possessions

It is human nature never to be satisfied with what we have and to desire more. We are human, and human nature says to focus on ourselves and to make sure we are happy and have everything “WE NEED.” Can we really find true happiness in material possessions? Can that new car or new house really make us happy? In fact, it can, but only for a moment. Then we are off looking for the next new thing to bring us real pleasure.

I think we can all name at least one person that has had everything his or her heart could ever desire and still he or she has yet to find true satisfaction in any of it. We spend money on material things and find ourselves getting lost in the need for more. For some it may be a want for fame, entertainment, the right clothes, the bigger home, the newer car, the right membership. Maybe it is even more knowledge, higher income, more friends, better titles, finer foods or the right look. However, the temporary disguised satisfactions only fade and leave us dissatisfied. They even can become our gods in that the desires for them reign over us. In the end, even though subtly, they destroy our marriages, witnesses, relationships, finances and ultimately our lives. Our insatiable materialist desires and unhealthy worship of them have their source in the one who purposely comes to steal, kill and destroy.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”
John 10:10

There is only one light in the world that will permeate our hearts with the satisfaction we so long for in this world. His name is Jesus Christ and His desire is to have a personal relationship with each of us.

“…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

He wants to saturate that empty void in our hearts. Our efforts to buy things, meet new people, try new jobs, explore new activities will always be in vain and will still leave us feeling empty. The longer we search the more obsessed we become with stuff and it becomes harder to recognize our need for a Savior.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”
Titus 2:11-12

Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for us when He died on the cross so that if we choose to believe in Him will one day spend eternity in Heaven and be complete. His blood covered the sins of everyone in this world and He so desires to fill that place in our hearts. His desire is to have a personal, intimate relationship with each one of us and in that, we will find fullness of life and be truly blessed.

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”
John 10:10

Once we have given our lives to Christ and have been filled with the Holy Spirit we recognize that He is the only one thing that will ever satisfy our souls. The hunger we mistakenly feed with material possessions will finally be quenched, and we will then know the abundant life He has promised for us.


Written by Nicole

January 18, 2008

Strongholds

Spiritual warfare is a real thing and it involves all believers.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Ephesians 6:12

Satan will attack from every direction and he knows our very strongholds. Strongholds are what hold us in bondage because we begin to think a certain way based on a distorted idea of our circumstances. We remain imprisoned by these things as long as we believe the lies presented to us. Satan is always trying to attack our minds with doubts and fears, discontent and irritation. He develops a well laid out scheme that takes time to cultivate. His attacks are persistent and he is relentless in his cause to send us into a downward spiral that leads us stumbling in our walk. His plan is so laid out that sometimes we do not see it coming until it is too late and we are already caught up in the middle of it all. We are going to be constantly under attack when we choose to live for the Lord and place Him on the throne of our life. Satan cannot physically harm us but he is constantly at work trying and wanting to see us fail. We were bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ and no weapon fashioned against us will stand when we put our faith and trust in Him.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Christ’s death on the cross was the ultimate defeat over Satan and his attack to claim our souls.

“And having disarmed the powers of authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Colossians 2:15

We now make the choice to accept Satan’s invitation to dwell upon our past or our weaknesses. This is what he hopes for and encourages us to do. We must stand firm in the word of God and hold to the truth He sets before us, that we have been forgiven.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…”

Ephesians 1:7

“as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Psalms 103:12

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we have His strength and can overcome the cleverness and deceit of Satan and his attacks. We must remember that sin does not come from bad genes and Satan definitely does not make us do it. We choose to act on the things that surround us or lies that are put into our minds. Satan does not ever force our hand; those decisions are made entirely on our own. This occurs when we are focused on ourselves and away from the Lord. We cannot live a God centered life when we are on the throne. So be encouraged, when you put on the Armor of God and place Him on the throne, stand firm in His promise of protection and love against the battle that wages on daily when you choose Him above all else and trust His word.

Ephesians 6:12, II Corinthians 10:4-5, Colossians 2:15, Ephesians 1:7, Psalms 103:12

January 17, 2008

Trials

Everyone in his or her lifetime will experience some kind of hardship or pain. Scripture says,

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

James 1:2

This verse gives us hope and a reason to be joyful in times of heartache and pain.
I once heard a speaker say, “if you won't worship God in the wilderness then you won't worship Him in the promise land."

It is so very easy to praise Him when times are good. We get that pay raise or someone we know is healed from an illness and at those times, it is very easy to rejoice in Him. What about when those beautiful blue skies turn dark and the clouds roll in and the rain begins to fall? When those storms come, where do you find yourself?

We choose whether we will stand in the middle of the storm with our arms lifted to the sky praising Him or fall into the "why me" trap that Satan sets up so that we focus on the circumstances that surround us. God allows us to experience storms so that we may put our focus and trust completely in Him, so that our faith in Him will grow. It is part of His plan to grow us and to complete the work He began in us when He created us.

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Philippians 1:6

He has it all laid out before Him and when we question Him or try to avoid the "speed bump" before us, it becomes an act of faithlessness in what He promises He will do for us. Rejoice in where He is taking you and realize that it is only for your good so that on the other side you will have grown and matured which will make you usable to help someone else who may come upon the very storm you once weathered yourself.

James 1:2
Philippians 1:6

January 16, 2008

Introduction

Okay, so I’m excited. I’ve just realized that I’ve jumped into this blog without an introduction. I am a sinner, a radically changed sinner who is very much in love with Jesus Christ. I am still growing everyday and He is Lord and Savior over my life, and I want to serve Him with all that I am, with all that He’s given me. I want to love and reflect Him in the words that I speak, and the writings that I post. I want to wake up every morning with a desire to seek after Him more than I did the day before. I don’t want to ever put a limit on to what He can do. I know He’s bigger than any circumstance and can accomplish anything according to His will. I want to share what He reveals to me in my life and the life of my family and friends with you, every valley and every mountaintop. I want to be purposeful, and I want to be contagious. If I come across boastful it’s only because I’m zealous for the God who saved me, forgave me and is the Lover of my very Soul. I want to be an "exclamation mark" for Him.

The entries that I post aren’t necessarily things the Lord has shown me that day. In fact most of them aren’t. Most of them are and will be lessons that the Lord has shown me over time. How neat it is to see that something the Lord was beginning to show me two years ago still has real relevance today and it will still have relevance tomorrow. The Lord never changes and neither does His word. He’s faithful in all seasons of our lives! His love for us is perfect and blemish free.

You will notice I have Zephaniah 3:17 at the top of the blog. This is one of my most favorite verses in the bible. It is a reminder of how very much He loves me and how special I am to Him.
“The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

What an awesome reminder of God and how He loves and protects His children.


I can’t speak about the Lord without talking about the Holy Spirit, Forgiveness, being a believer, Spiritual Warfare and many other topics. If ever I speak of something you don’t agree with or understand when visiting this blog, please feel free to email me at alignwithhim@gmail.com . I would love to hear from you.

Prayerfully join me in this race to know the Lord intimately, to hunger after Him and to earnestly seek to be more like Him daily.

In Him,
Nicole

January 15, 2008

The Armor of God

WAHOOO! God is awesome and is doing awesome things.

You know, I have learned in one week that Satan will do anything possible to kick us and beat us to the ground. He will use anyone and everyone along with everything to try to discourage us or hurt us when we are really trying to live the way that God has called us to live. There is freedom for believers in knowing that we do not have to fear Satan. He still has freedom to harass and tempt but having Christ in our lives gives us protection against demonic attack. This does not mean though that Satan is not at work continuously messing with our minds, our emotions and even our will. He even uses other people to attack us. We are so fortunate that the more our minds are filled with God's word and His truth, the less likely we are to fall to Satan's schemes. God gives us full protection and it is found in scripture.

In a matter of a week, I have learned the importance not only of praying for the Fruit of the Spirit every day but also the importance of praying Ephesians 6:10-18 as well. We must wake up every morning and put on the full armor of God so that we can battle not the flesh and blood of this world but the very forces and powers of the dark world and the spiritual forces of evil that make it up. We have to suit up in the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet fitted in readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. We have to take on His shield of faith, which will thwart all those fiery arrows shot from the evil one along with the helmet of salvation (Praise the Lord) and the sword of His Spirit, which is the Word of God. When we take on that armor, Hallelujah, watch out Satan! We cannot be touched! We are totally protected from his evil ways and attempts to steal, kill and destroy our hope, our joy and excitement for the Lord. Praise God today for His protection, His unfailing love, His sovereignty and His grace.

January 9, 2008

Supermom, I'm not

I have been up since four this morning because of a sweet Spirit that woke me and began tugging at my heart. He (the Holy Spirit) woke me up at four this morning urging me to get out of the bed. For an hour, I lay in bed and argued but quickly learned that when the Holy Spirit is trying to get your attention, you listen. As I laid there and could not go back to sleep, my head was being filled with the most awesome words that the longer I fought it, the more I wanted to get up and write it. I finally conceded, grabbed my journal and began to write. Things became clear to me and I want to share with other people what God has put on my heart.

One thing I did realize that I want to share is something that people keep sending me in emails or say to me when they see me. I have five kids and people look at you in such an odd way when you have more than two. It is as if they feel sorry for you and sometimes it hurts your feelings but you realize it is because they do not understand how wonderful it is to have a large family. Anyway, when we are out sometimes people will come up and ask how we do it or tell us we are brave. They will also say things like "you have got to be the most organized and patient person in the world". Well, anyone who knows me at all is laughing at this very moment. Organization of any kind is really not me. I do not even keep a calendar. As for being patient, well let us just say my children try mine every day. What I do have, is the most powerful and wonderful thing living inside of me. It is the Holy Spirit. Just about every morning before my feet hit the floor, I lie in bed and pray that for that day, the Holy Spirit will take the throne of my life and fill me with His fruit and to be remind myself of all He has to offer, I name all nine.(love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

Now, let me just say, there are those days when I realize I'm running late, I jump out of bed without saying that prayer and my day begins. Those are the days I wish I could do again and the days that I lose it with my husband, my kids and my friends. The days I cannot find joy in a single thing and l have no self-control over the chocolate hidden in the cabinet. I also find it very hard to love those people who I feel have wronged or hurt me. Those are the days that Satan attacks and I feel sorry for myself or get all depressed. Why would anyone want to live his or her lives everyday feeling that way? It is hard to fathom but it is reality for many.

There is nothing like having the Holy Spirit sitting on the throne of your life, and seeing the world through the eyes of Christ. Loving the unlovable, being patient and listening to the women in the middle of Target who for some reason has picked you and decided to confide in you all of the ordeals taking place in her life at the moment and even finding the joy in the huge scratch going down the side of your almost new car because your son wanted to help you get the mail. Being able to do all these things does not come from us. We are sinful, self-centered human beings who do not want to be inconvenienced by other people in this world. These things can only come from the Holy Spirit as does taking care of a home filled with five kids, a ton of laundry and dirty dishes always in the sink. There is no way possible for me ever to keep up on my own strength. My strength comes from the Lord.

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

I have realized the importance of being ready for whatever God throws at you. This means that our door is always open but our house may not always be picked up. I have learned that when people need to be loved on they do not care about the condition of your house but the condition of your heart. That is what really matters. What really matters is having a heart that is filled with the Spirit and His Fruit. My friends have given me the nickname “Supermom” because I have five kids but the reality of it all is simply this; it is not me, It's all Him!