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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Stress-Free Sunday

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m exhausted!  My son woke up in the middle of the night screaming his head off due to YET ANOTHER ear infection. It was a “fun” night not filled with much sleep. I got out of bed later then I should have, had to deal with a very cranky boy, and got my daughter and myself out the door in time for church.

This morning could have been VERY stressful and I will admit it was not one of my favorites,but a few things that I started doing a while ago saved the day.

Sundays, in general, are stressful. It means getting your family, nicely dressed, to church, fed and happy by a certain time. It is also the day that the devil seems to attack MOST families. If you are pastor’s wife or a single mom, it means that you are probably getting your family ready by yourself.

After a few years of stressful Sundays, I decided I would have to eliminate the stress. Since, eliminating church was not an option, I came up with a few ideas that would help me. I have shared this post in the past, but since it’s been so helpful to me, I felt I must share it again for those who may have not seen it.

PREPARATION IS KEY

1. Start preparing on FRIDAY

Because the devil is smart and my flesh can be lazy, I start 2 days out so that I am prepared and ready. Saturday can be busy and stressful which, in turn, can make Sunday stressful.

I pick out and iron all of our Sunday clothes on Friday so that they are ready to go. Then I finish all the laundry from the week and put it away. Finally, I do a thorough cleaning of the house.  This way there is a more relaxed atmosphere for the weekend. Then, I don’t clean or do laundry again until Monday. I mean how much damage can the family do in 2 days. HAHAHAHA BUT, seriously, it does help.

2. Prepare on Saturday

I give the children each a bath on Saturday night. The next morning, my child may wet himself or there might be some accident (IT DOES HAPPEN) but it does give you the upper hand if you don’t have any accidents.

I try to make extra food Saturday night so we can have leftovers on Sunday afternoon for lunch. Another idea is to prepare a crock-pot meal.

Finally, I place anything I need to take with me to church by the door, so that I will see it when I head out the door. I also check my diaper bag and make sure it’s stocked.

3. Sunday Tips

I usually try to give my son a hearty breakfast so that he will be full; this will hold him for a while at church. I DON’T DRESS THEM until we are done eating. “A” usually sits at the table in a diaper at breakfast. This way food will not get spilled on my child’s Sunday outfit.

When we get in the car, we play some praise music. It helps to get your mind in the right place.

This Sunday, it wasn’t super stressful. Why? because we had clothes ready to go. I had a lunch ready for when we got home. I didn’t worry about the house. I just worried about getting to church to worship. For the most part, I was prepared.

I hope some of these ideas help. Sunday is God’s day.

You know, we plan for 3 months to a year for a wedding. Why? because it’s important. Is God and His’ day important to you? Let’s make it important.

Rejoicing,

Joy T


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When Fears Are Bigger Than Mommies

We have a new scenario to an old problem in our home. Old problem = fear of something that always hits at bedtime. New scenario = It is Elisha’s turn. My sweet little 5 year old has a new fear. Is it the dark? Nope. Is is scary monsters? Nope. Is it burglars? Nope. Is it a fear that the house might catch on fire? Nope. If it were any of these, it wouldn’t be a new scenario because we have already been through these bedtime fears!

Elisha’s fear is floods. Yes, you read it right. Floods. We do not live near water, we do not get tons of rain here in South Carolina, and we have not been in a scary water situation. He saw a school book that showed pictures of
a flood that wiped out a town years ago and that is all it took. Thank God for history books! 🙂

Every night right after he went to bed, he would come to us crying that he was scared. Now I am all over bed time manipulation but this boy was scared! He would shake all over. He would turn white as a ghost. He would cry in his sleep. Pure terror. I don’t know why the fear is so real in his little heart, but it is there!

One night we shared how it wasn’t even raining so it was okay. One night we talked to him about how far we were from any rivers or lakes and we were fine. One night we shared with him how dams and floods worked and that the town in the book was built right under a dam that wasn’t safe but we didn’t live in a town like that. He would say okay and calm down and next night he would be right back to us.

I knew at that point that his fears were bigger than Mommy and Daddy could handle and he needed Someone bigger than Mommy and Daddy. We have a song in our family that I have sang to my children since they have been tiny. It is based on Psalms 56:3 – “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” The next night when he came out, I told him that sometimes no one can help you with your fears except Jesus and that Jesus is always with us….even when we are afraid. He crawled up into my lap and laid his head on my shoulder. I felt his hot tears against my cheek as I begin to sing to him.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You, I will trust in You, I will trust in You,
When I am afraid, I will trust in You, in God whose word I praise.”

I felt his body calm down as we sang. When we were done singing, I prayed with him and asked Jesus to please lay beside him and snuggle him and help him to know that he is safe and loved. He hugged me and kissed me and ran off to bed.

I was anxious to know how he would be the next night. Sure enough, he got back up. But this time, he said, “Momma, I am thinking about that scary stuff. Will you sing our song and pray?”

“Yes son, I will.”

Every night we have a new routine. Hugs, kisses, bedtime prayers, song, more prayer….bedtime. Music is very calming to our little ones. Music is very calming to me! God’s Word is very calming. When you can put the truth of God’s to music, you have a powerful bedtime help! Now, Elisha sings with me word for word.

So far, we have had no floods. 🙂 I know that my son will outgrow his fear of floods as all of my children have their unrealistic fears. My prayer as a mother is that my children never outgrow the comfort of God’s Word and talking to Jesus who loves them more than I ever could.

Here is a link to the song I have always sung to my children when they are afraid. True confession: there have been many bedtimes when I have been afraid about real life and I have sung this song to myself. Enjoy!