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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Yes. No. Wait.

After we moved from Florida to TN, my son started praying that we would have snow on Christmas.  I was so sure that it would snow; I figured that God would answer a sincere little boy’s sweet prayer request.  But, well, it didn’t happen.

Christmas came.

It did not snow.

I was not happy.

Yes. It was immature of me. Yes, I knew better.  It doesn’t help that I have been a Christ-follower for years and that I am a pastor’s wife.  You would think I would know better.  But I simply thought that this would be a great way to build my son’s faith and teach him how God answers prayer.  I didn’t “get” why God didn’t “get on board”.

Well, a few weeks passed and it finally snowed. I was furthered annoyed, questioning why God could not have brought it earlier.  But I decided to make the most of it. I bundled up our two little ones, grabbed our new sled and took off up the hill.

We went flying down the hill, giggled, threw snowballs and enjoyed the white beauty.  As we were climbing up the hill, my son started talking about God. “Mom, God told me to wait, didn’t He?”  I tried to decipher what he was talking about; when I understood, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

My four year old trusted God better than I did. “A” realized that God had heard his prayer. It wasn’t that God was ignoring him. It was that God had different plans.  God brought the snow when He decided to bring the snow.

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“Yes, ‘A’, God had you wait.

…but when He brought you snow, it was perfect. It was beautiful, it was fun, it was exactly what we needed.”

I’m so thankful that God doesn’t give up on us. …AND I am thankful that my son has learned to trust and love God even when his mama messes up.

Rejoicing,

Joy

 

 


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Keep The Lights On

Against the outline of a dark house, Christmas lights shine brightly.

Ladies, there is just something so cheery and comforting about a drive through the neighborhood lit up for Christmas, during the cold Christmas season.

…and so (as tradition in our household has it) we put up our outdoor lights the day after Thanksgiving.

This year, we put up white icicle lights on our new TN home and put out our lighted outlined nativity. They looked so pretty. I just love to drive home at night and see our house so bright. 

 

One day, however, I noticed that our nativity was not lit up. We had had construction workers at our house and I thought maybe they used our extension cord. When I went to investigate, the extension cord was plugged into the same outlet as the freezer.  They were both still plugged in, so I figured that something else was wrong.

I let the matter go for a few days, thinking in my head that I would “get to it”. On Saturday of that week, I made a bunch of freezer meals. When I was finished, I carried them down to the freezer, where I found out that my freezer was off and had been turned off for as long as had my nativity.

I was sick to my stomach. All of the fresh peaches that I had frozen were ruined. The extra meat that I had stored was spoiled.

I realized quickly that when our construction workers had turned off our electricity, the outlet had to be reset, but it was not. Therefore, the freezer and the nativity were shut off.

I grabbed a large trash bag, filled it up and dumped everything in the garbage can.

Then it hit me…

If I had cared more about the nativity being lit, I would have figured out that this freezer had been shut off.  If I had been more concerned about Jesus being lit up this season, my food would have still been frozen.

I lost out, because I wasn’t concerned with what was really important.

What are you losing out on, because Jesus is not lit?

Peace? Security? Love? Relationships?

This was such a great reminder to me, to keep the important things “lit”. I hope you have a great Christmas season and remember to let Jesus shine the brightest.

Rejoicing,

Joy