living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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Enjoying the Little Blessings

Thanksgiving is coming up for those of you in America and I know, I’m getting a jump start on the”blessings” and “give thanks” posts that will undoubtedly be inundating your reader feeds and email inboxes. But as I’m sure at least one post will tell you, you can’t just be thankful one day a year. It’s an every day thing.

What I wanted to tell you is just a simple little reminder though. Don’t just count the big blessings. Count the little ones too. You know, the big blessing of a healthy family, a loving spouse, a Bible in your language, a wonderful church, your salvation, etc. Those are the ones everyone counts right off the top. And that’s great. But what about the little ones? Like, indoor plumbing. (Or is that a big one??) Or a day of homeschooling where no one cries? A front or near-to-the-front parking spot at Walmart? I tell you, if you only focus on the big blessings, you will be missing out on the little ones. I think it’s through the little blessings that we are reminded the most that God does love us and cares about everything in our lives. Even the little things.

I had a small blessing while out shopping with my Mom this week. Do you ever just feel like you’re life is in a rut? You do the same things every day. You wear a lot of the same things (admit it, most of us have that one comfy
outfit that is our go-to outfit for days we aren’t expecting to see another living soul with a judgmental eye). Things are just monotonous. That’s every day life. Sometimes though, you just need something to break the monotony don’t you. That was me. So as my Mom and I were walking through Kohl’s one day this week with a 20% off coupon burning a hole in our pocket, we hit every department’s clearance corner. Now I hardly ever find anything in the home goods department but I look anyway. Never know right?? And I saw this:

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I added the floating bear and smiley face on the sun. I wish it had that smiley face because that would be totally awesome! So I’m standing in Kohl’s looking at this end-cap of miscellaneous mugs, I spot this little guy. I think yellow just screams happy. I don’t know if you can see it, but it says “Beautiful Day” on it. It has birds and some fluffy clouds and rolling green meadows. The whole inside and handle are yellow! I picked that little guy up and flipped it upside down to see the cost and to my surprise it was on CLEARANCE! Yes! *Christian happy dance* It was only $1.99 and we had that extra 20% off! Now, I know all you practical ladies are out there shaking your heads and saying to yourselves, “Yeah but did she really NEED that mug?” Of course I didn’t! We are probably all guilty of having a bazillion mugs in our cupboards. But to be honest, it seemed just perfect for breaking up my daily routine and monotony.

I didn’t walk into the store looking for anything special. I didn’t expect God to really care that I felt things had gotten a little dry in my life. I FULLY believe He sat that little mug there just for me. He knows I love yellow. He knows I like happy looking things. And He knows I’m a near-broke mother of six, homeschooling mom who refuses to pay full price for most anything. Haha! Can I get a witness on that!?

To me, that mug was a little blessing. I don’t drink coffee but I do drink milk, tea, and hot chocolate, and this has become my go-to drink container. In fact, I just took a drink out of it after that last sentence! :) It makes me smile. My husband just shakes his head at me, but I’m okay with that! I can take the judgmental head shaking!

So look around you today. Don’t wait till Thanksgiving comes. Start TODAY looking for those little things. Maybe it will be the stain treatment working on your favorite shirt, or your kids actually liking something you make for dinner. The Bible says that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” – James 1:17a So everything GOOD. Did you see that? Good AND Perfect. So not every gift will be perfect. But it will at least be good. :) And that’s all the little things too! So tell me what some of your little blessings are. I guarantee you will find some if you just take the time to pay attention! Remember to say “Thanks!” to your heavenly Father Who loves you enough to even orchestrate the seemingly little things in your life! And now I’m off to refill my happy mug! Woo!


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Where’s Our Focus?

A few of my favorite verses from Psalm 61…and some simple thoughts.

1. Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

I am so unworthy….for the One and Only Great and Mighty God to hear and answer even one of my prayers, yet He is so faithful! He DOES hear us…cares enough about us to “attend” to our cries.

2. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Has your heart ever been overwhelmed? Surely it has. And He’s always there for us. But, if we’re not careful we may be guilty of only calling upon Him WHEN our heart is overwhelmed….and not faithfully as we should. I’m so thankful He can calm….and ease an overwhelmed heart.

3. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

He surely has been faithful to me! I’ve faced many storms in my life….my family has faced many storms….trying, hurtful times..but we can say…God is good! He HAS kept us…and continues to bless and strengthen.

4. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

I intend to be faithful….faithful to attend His house….faithful to read His Word and pray. I plan to trust Him…..though  I realize my weakness and my potential to fail. I DO fail….daily.

But He’s SO worthy of our efforts for Him. And we…I…give Him so little time sometimes.

I recently heard someone say….How much do we really love the Lord? Do you ever sit in church and as the Pastor is preaching your mind wanders to…where you’re going to eat? What TV show you’re going to watch as soon as you get home? What you’re going to do tomorrow…what you’re going to wear? What’s the score of the ball game? What time is it getting to be?

O I have been guilty.

But I believe we should be SO in love with Him….SO focused on worshipping Him….SO full of Him…that we could never deprive Him of  time that’s meant for Him. It’s easy to call on HIM…but HE’S worthy of OUR attention and devotion.  And may He ever be on our minds through our day…with praise and prayer on our lips….in our hearts.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose MIND IS STAYED ON THEE: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

We can have all we want of Him. How much do we want? What controls our mind….our thoughts…our hearts?

I certainly need/desire to be closer….fuller of Him.


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Delighted Mother ~ Delighted Child

Mom picture by JP mjcThough my face resembles a pumpkin (Hey, it is fall!), and my ankles are much bigger in real life, this drawing encourages my heart. My seven year old son drew a picture of me and a picture of himself as a gift to me. I did not ask him to draw this for me, but he labored on it and placed it on my nightstand where I would find it. This is so precious to me. He was so delighted to present his gift to me – his labor of love, and I was delighted to receive it.

Maybe, we could picture ourselves as the child and God as our Heavenly Father. When we give our individual gifts to HIM out of a heart of love for Him, what delight we experience! How delighted God must be when we serve Him just because we love Him!

If I had told my young son to draw me a nice picture of me and him, it would have been a good drawing and a job completed. I would have been satisfied with his obedience to my request. When he did it on his own, just because he loves me and he knows I love him, it was delightful!

Looking at this picture, I notice all the details. God knows all the details of our labors – even when they seem to be unnoticed or unappreciated. How awesome to have a God Who knows the strength needed to carry out our jobs some days, and Who has an ample supply of grace measured out for us!

I am delighted to be my son’s mother, and he is delighted to be my son. I want to consistently be delighted to serve my wonderful Father, and I am humbled that God delights in me, His child.

“Dear Father, my jobs as mother are not always delightful. Sometimes, they are mere duty. Help me see the job you blessed me with – being mom – as a meaningful opportunity to labor in love for You. When I get my eyes on the nitty gritty, mundane, overwhelming tasks that seem to never end, I easily lose my gratitude for the wonderful God You are to me. I desire to delight in the gifts You have graciously given me, and I desire to be a delight to You, my Father.”

Psalm 18:19 “He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

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