living on pb & j

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


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Green Pastures and Still Waters

Lambs Suckling

Psalm 23:2-3: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

We just resumed school this week after a week off last week for spring break. I’m so thankful my husband was able to take the week off, too, and we were able to enjoy several activities as a family.

The week was full of sweet memories such as trips to the playground, lunch at McDonald’s, a Cracker Barrel date for my husband and I, a visit to our Abeka representative who was in town so we could order next year’s school books, a first for our girls – playing miniature golf, along with several stops to get ice cream.  My daughters and I ended our week helping a precious little girl who is battling cancer celebrate her third birthday. This was an extra special treat for me because it meant a couple of hours of conversation with a dear friend who is always an encouragement to me because I can be open and real with her about “mom stuff”.

Another thing that made last week special were the revival services held at our church Sunday through Wednesday. They were very spiritually encouraging, refreshing and convicting.  They reminded me just how precious a treasure we have in God’s Word.

Last week was our planned spring break on our school calendar, but two weeks before we were off for a week because of something unplanned-me dealing with a bout of what turned out to be pneumonia!

Having to take an unplanned week off from school could be cause for frustration and complaint, but through it God showed me His green pastures and still waters.   My being sick was part of His plan. Through my illness, God showed me so many things to be thankful for – my husband being able to take off work to look after our kids, his making meals and cleaning up, snuggling with my kids on the couch watching countless episodes of Curious George and Thomas the Tank Engine, my mother-in-law coming over on a day my husband couldn’t take off work to watch the kids, her doing our laundry, taking our girls out for lunch and keeping them for three nights while I was recuperating, my mom coming over to help watch our 2-year-old son who was recovering from a double ear infection, and so many other blessings, big and small.

Some of the sweetest things that happened while I was recovering were specific answers to prayer. A couple nights after I was diagnosed with the pneumonia, my little boy wasn’t sleeping well due to his ear infection. Two nights in a row I asked the Lord to help him go back to sleep and within minutes he fell back to sleep. A third night I prayed as he was struggling to sleep and I went to check on him. This time I gave him some toys, then went to get him some medicine. By the time I returned with the medicine, he had quieted down and then fell back to sleep, not even needing the medicine.  Such a blessed answer to prayer that neither one of us lost much sleep that night!

It is so easy to want our “green pastures” and “still waters” to always be like our spring break, full of happy memories and fun times together, but God knows we also need the days (and sometimes weeks and months and even years) of trials and hard times to bring us closer to Him and remind us of all the things we should be thankful He gives us day by day!


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Super Mom Defined

We hear many speak of “Super Moms” these days! Recently, as I pushed my cart out of my favorite grocery store, feeling like a very “UN-SUPER” Mom, I saw this van! I did a double-take. It was a white van with silver lettering!  Then, questions flooded my mind. Did her children put this on her van? Did her husband? Did her friend? Did she do it herself? Or was I seeing things? Did God just have that van sitting right there to send me affirmation that He sees my heart and efforts as a mother?  I mean… He did know my heart and efforts that no one else knew at that particular hour.  It certainly made me stop, think, and smile.

Google’s definition of “super” as an adjective is: “very good or pleasant; excellent.” Google’s synonyms for “super” include these: “excellent, superb, superlative, first-class, outstanding, marvelous, magnificent, wonderful, splendid, glorious, great, fantastic, fabulous, terrific, ace, divine, A1, smashing, brilliant, superfine etc…” Of course, after defining this title, what mom wouldn’t want to be recognized as a SUPER MOM?

Super Mom LPBJ

Assuming I am a normal mom, there are some days that life goes smoothly and being mom is glorious. More often than not, there are days that being “Super Mom” is a fictitious sport that people speak of.  We know how a super mom is defined, but how do we become one?

One way to ensure failure in becoming a super mom is comparison. We are surrounded by mothers everywhere we turn. After all, birthing and mothering was designed by God! What a privilege He gave to women. Every mother is different in some area. No two mothers are alike. Some are birth mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, single mothers, or stepmothers. Some are bright and carefree while others are meditative and melancholy. Some are physically strong, and some are frail. Some have Godly support in family members and friends; some have none. Some have one child; some have many. Some are financially stable; some live from hand to mouth. Some homeschool their children; some choose private or public education. Some have resources and knowledge to live very healthy lifestyles; others do not. The differences could go on and on. If I compare myself to any other mother, there will be at least one factor that is variable which negates the one-size-fits-all formula to become that “Super Mom.”

The only way I know to be a super mom on any given day is to live according to God’s way for my life. With a prayerful heart, I can let His Words direct me. Dependence on the Holy Spirit is a must to help me make decisions every moment of the day. I am called on to decide on instruction, discipline, entertainment, activities, meals, chores, schedule, ministry opportunites, etc… I will sometimes have to say no to some activities that are good in order to do what God has clearly impressed on me to do. Though I like to please others, my choices will not always match up to the choices of others. Ultimately, I am personally accountable to God for my actions and for my reactions. I will never be perfect as a mother or as a human being, for I am a sinner who will battle my flesh until I get Home to Heaven. Yet, I do feel God makes a way for us to strive for excellence in our calling as mothers. With so many voices screaming for me to do this or that in order to be superfine, it is much simpler to follow one Voice – the voice of the God Who made me who I am, with my individual gifts, idiosyncrasies, strengths and weaknesses. He knows my name. He sees my heart. Likewise, He knows the same about the people He’s entrusted to my care. He knows the circumstances He’s allowed in my life to conform me to His image. He knows my future. And He knows your name. He sees your heart. He knows the people He’s entrusted to your care. He knows every detail of your circumstances. He knows your future. He is an amazing God.

Below are some verses that are helpful reminders to me. I cannot be a Super Mom or a Super Anything unless I deliberately choose His power, His Spirit, His love, His wisdom, and His Word over my good intentions or my best performances.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

II Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Enter His presence, and tap into His power available to all believers.  We are nothing without Him. Be a Mom with a super God!

Blessings, Jeri Lynn


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Audience of One

Life can be exciting.

Life can be hectic.

Life can be hard.

Life can be AMAZING.

There are people in our lives that make it beautiful.

There are people in our lives that make it hard.

It’s fun to share our lives.

It can be a relief to vent about our lives.

…and with technology it seems like we are on a stage of our own, sharing to all the audiences around.  When little Billy takes his first step we run to our phones to share with the world.  When we get in a car accident, we vent online: #dumbdriver #notmyfault #crying #justpaiditoff or so on. We live like the world is our audience.

Do we think about just shutting it down, looking up and telling the Lord about Billy’s first step?  Do we live like we have an audience of One?

There is One who watches us.  He really does care that Billy took his first step and that my car is no more.  He really does care how I treat people publicly and privately.  He is the audience I should care about.

I don’t think it’s wrong to share our journeys and cares with our friends but, remember, we should be living for an audience of One.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. – I John 2:15-17

Can you think of any other great verses that speak of living for God and Him alone? Leave them in the comments below.

Rejoicing in the Present,

Joy

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