living on pb & j

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


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Busy

“So, how have you been?”

“Busy”,  I replied and then went on to list the next 100 things that I needed to finish that week.

I, in turn, asked my friend how she was doing and she replied with the same dialog.

You see, busyness is almost a badge of honor in motherhood.  We identify who we are by what we are doing.

Image result for list… but this is a lie that the devil keeps trying to make us believe.

It is NOT about what we are doing but WHO we are.

I am first and foremost God’s daughter and if I am too busy to spend quality quiet time with Him, then something is terribly out of whack.

I am my husband’s wife.  I am the only one who can Biblically provide for his needs.

I am my children’s mother.  I am the only one who can really truly do this job and do it well.

It is not so much about what we do but who we are.  You see my child runs to me when he gets sick or hungry.  Why?  Because I am his mom.

So with all these responsibilities we can safely assume we will be busy, BUT we often overlook an important gift that God gave us.

Let’s go back to the beginning of Genesis….

Have you ever sat down and really meditated on creation?

We often teach little kids that there were 7 days in creation. Ok, then, what did He create on the 7th day?

Why didn’t God just say He created the world in 6 days?   If that is the way that it was written then we would most likely infer that He was done after the 6th day and that He rested.

Have you wondered why He put the 7th day in the creation story?

What did He create on the 7th day?

He created Sabbath.  Sabbath means peace, tranquility and rest.

He didn’t simply just take a rest.  He created a whole day to rest. He was busy working and then he set up boundaries so that REST was a part of that plan.

If God Almighty, the omniscient, omnipresent Creator of this world decided that rest was important enough to take a whole day for it, then why do we feel we don’t need it?

Why is busyness next to godliness?  Why do we walk around acting like our long list of stuff to do somehow makes us better moms?

Well, first off it doesn’t.  I don’t know about you, but I can be constantly doing and doing. That accomplishes nothing but stress for my kids and family dynamic.  There are days that life is so crazy that my quiet time gets skipped and I am fighting life all day with an empty tank.

Ladies, please let me encourage you to slow down.  You need your rest.  I am not talking about ME-TIME.  I’m talking about family-time.  I’m talking about God-and-you time.  I’m talking about simply relaxing and enjoying people.   I am talking about making cuts in your life so that your family gets more of you.  This doesn’t have to be a special activity.  Just simply being together.

One of my favorite quotes is this:  “Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”

As the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19 learned, God is not always in the storms and the busyness and loudness. Sometimes, He is in the quietness.

If we are not getting the rest and quietness we need, then we are living a crazy lifestyle that God is not a part of.

Ladies, do you want rest?  Do you want peace?

Then make sure to block out a specific time every day to spend with God in His Word.

For me, this is quiet time.  My daughter takes a nap and my son plays quietly.  During that time, I make a hot drink, grab my blanket, a heating pad and my devotions and curl up on the couch.  I place the heating pad on my neck, curl up in the blanket and open the Word of God.  It is such a relaxing time every day; when I get up from that time of rest, the energy that I have is like no other. I am physically relaxing my body as well as spiritually refreshing it.  IT IS POWERFUL!!!!!!

As a pastor’s wife and homeschool-mom with lots of stressors, there is nothing ….NOTHING.…that provides more energy to my broken-down body and mind than that time every day.

We have to learn to say no.

We have to learn to prioritize and create that rest-time.  If God thinks it’s important, then we should too.

One last thing to think about is this.  God CREATED peace.  Rest doesn’t come when I am done with my list.  (Is it ever done?)  Rest comes when you INTENTIONALLY create the time.  If we want Sabbath, peace and tranquility, we must be intentional.

Friends, we must learn to say no and to question our reasons behind what we do.

Let’s make this applicable–ask ourselves some questions.  These are some great questions for your husband and you to work through whenever you get offered new “busyness opportunities”:

  1. How does this activity better our family and or our ministry?
  2. Will this make my family stronger after I am done, or weaker?
  3. What can I take out of my life to create peace?
  4. What do I need to remove to make sure that I am having some refreshing time with God?
  5. Could someone else do this ministry?
  6. How many activities will we allow our family members to be a part of (great discussion to have with your husband about your kids, as well)?
  7. What is the most important ministry goal we have?  Are we staying true to that goal or are we adding other things that we could say “no” to?
  8. Is this what God had in mind for me?
  9. Do I have enough time that is quiet enough that God can speak to me?

I have had these discussions with other moms. Some moms would argue that they are just too busy but I truly believe that in EVERY stage of life, there is time for personal time with God.  God would not give you so much to do that you couldn’t have time to spend with Him.

At the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves:  God created rest on the 7th day, so what can I do to create rest in my home?

Rejoicing,

Joy

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For Better, For Worse

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My husband and I just celebrated our 11th anniversary this past Saturday. When we spoke those vows of “for better or for worse” eleven years ago, we never dreamed that the “for worse” would mean saying a temporary “good-bye” to our sweet Heaven-born Nathaniel. God was so gracious and loving to us through the days and weeks that followed. His peace is continuously with us as reminders of our loss come before us still. Nathaniel’s due date is still a little over a month away and I know that day will bring more tears, yet even more of God’s peace!

In the difficult moments that came after we learned that our son had gone to be with Jesus, my husband and I spent time crying and praying. We are thankful for the moments when even though we don’t know what or how to pray that the Holy Spirit is there with us interceeding for us with “groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26) God gave my husband a strength that I could lean on through those days that followed, and this continues.

When we were in the hospital we were given opportunity to spend time with our son. This was truly one of the hardest times in our lives, but a time we would not trade for anything! In it we knew that precious peace that passes all understanding! We got to hold our son, our little Nathaniel, and sing to him and read Scripture and talk to him and tell him the things that were on our hearts. Even though he wasn’t “there”, being able to do these things helped us, and reading the Scripture reminded us that he was living those beautiful truths right now!

Someone once told me that I would not be able to think of my son without thinking of Jesus and I have found this true over and over again! In the familiar passage about the rapture in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, I wrote Nathaniel’s name in the margin because he is one of those “which sleep in Jesus”. This passage has a more intimate meaning to me than it ever did before!

On our wedding day, my husband and I were focusing on the “for better”, but we are so thankful that God knew about the “for worse” and gave us the grace and strength we needed (and still need) for those times. We still have sad days, but we know because of the hope we have in our Savior Jesus Christ and His shed blood and finished work on the cross of Calvary, our future can only be “for better.”

A dear friend who has two Heaven-born sons said this on Father’s Day and it truly expresses how I feel about my husband during our son’s Heaven-going:

” I truly believe that it takes more love for a daddy to graciously accept their children being taken away, than to love them here in this world.” – Honorah Stewart Deatrick

A verse that has been special to me lately is the one I’ll close with. May it encourage you today as well:

“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Psalm 73:26

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A Letter to That Woman

Mother’s Day is always a hard day for me. On one hand, I want to praise mothers and thank them for all they do. …but on the other hand, there is an overwhelming cloud over my writing, because I know and am friends with quite a few women who have very heavy loads they are carrying.

Last year, I wrote this letter and I wanted to share it with you this year. I pray that each of you have a BLESSED Mother’s Day!- Joy T. 

Dear precious lady,

I may know your name or I might not, but you are on my heart today. I know Mother’s Day is hard for you and so I wanted to take the time to acknowledge you and send you my love. If I could write you a card or draw a sweet picture for each of you, I would.

….for that sweet lady whose precious baby was taken to heaven before she got to meet her/him, Happy Mother’s Day! You are a mother and you always will be. Sadly, you don’t get to carry that bundle around, just the burden/pain. One day, you will meet that sweet baby. Oh, how precious that will be! Until then, I pray you have a blessed Mother’s Day.

….for that sweet lady who soooo desires to become pregnant: every month is filled with pain and a reminder that you are still not pregnant. I am so sorry! I pray that God will give you peace soon and that today will be a day filled with love and joy for you.

….for that sweet lady whose grown child/children have walked away from her life. Her children have disrespected her, ignored her, used her or abused her. Happy Mother’s Day! You are to be honored and cherished and my heart breaks for you. Keep on loving them with God’s love. You are a STAR in my book.

….for that sweet lady whose child has died. …you have held that baby. You began to rear that child and now “this”. It is so hard. … I am so sorry! I pray that the good memories will keep your day filled with joy. I celebrate you as a mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

….for that sweet lady who is overwhelmed with raising her children on her own due to the military, a broken heart, or whatever the circumstance–Happy Mother’s Day! I know if your children had money or the ability to go to the store, they would buy one of everything for you. Keep on, keeping on. You are doing an amazing job!

….for that sweet lady who is raising her grandchildren. Wow, this is the time you were supposed to begin relaxing…and now this. You don’t always get applauded because you’re not the birth mother; however, I celebrate you and ALL your hard work. Happy MOTHER’s Day! You are a blessing. That child could not do without you!

….for that sweet lady who adopted older children who don’t appreciate her. They might not say this, but I will, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! You are amazing and you inspire me to be a better mom to my kids. You love, even when you are cursed at. What an example to us all! God will bless you for this.

….for that sweet lady whose mother is not with her anymore. I know you would give anything to talk to her again. I’m so sorry! I hope that you can enjoy all the good memories you had with her. I hope you will be inspired to be a better mom and grandma because of her.

….for that sweet lady whose celebrating her Mother’s Day in the hospital, whether for herself or for her child, Happy Mother’s Day! Hang in there, mama! This too shall pass! I pray that your day will be full of rest and peace.

….for that sweet lady who is waiting for a husband and so desiring a family. I hope you have a blessed day. I would encourage you to “adopt” a mother whose hands are full. Adopt a child who seems unloved by his/her family. You can still “mother”. We need your help!

….for that sweet lady whose battle I may have not mentioned; I pray that your journey will grow you. I pray that you will be blessed. I pray that you will know the peace of God which passes all understanding.

To “THAT WOMAN”: I celebrate you!!!! Have a joyful-in-the-Lord, peace-filled day!

– Rejoicing

Ps. Come visit us at http://www.rejoicinginthepresent.blogspot.com, to hear some of the real-life stories of “these woman.”