Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  Thanksgiving 2017 is in the books!

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We had a busy but great day.

And just like every Friday, I am linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci to share our FAVORITES for the week.

ONE

We’ve had a great week off with the kiddos.  Now, I’m not going lie, Monday was rough.  It started off great.  The girls sat by the fire and played while I read.  I thought, maybe this will be the break when they all get along. Ha!  Yeah, Monday was rough.  I am not sure what was wrong with my kids, but evil monsters they were!

I did snap this picture before the horns came out LOL!!!

So peaceful right?  Yeah…didn’t last long!

TWO

Tuesday, Jojo had a hair appointment.  While he was getting his hair cut, one of his best buddies came in to get his cut as well.  So of course, scheming began and Jojo ended up hanging with him the rest of the day.  I love those boys!

Since it was just me and the girls, we enjoyed lunch at Chick-Fil-A!

THREE

I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather.  I hate being cold so the rower has been my best friend.  Y’all, I prefer a rower to a treadmill!  If you are looking for something to have at home, I definitely recommend one!  I try to get a couple of 5Ks each week if I can.

FOUR

One year ago, we had our island installed in our kitchen.  We moved into our house two years ago and have loved making it our own.  We’ve made a lot of changes and still have a couple more to go, but the kitchen is by far my favorite room in our house.  We still need to replace the light fixtures above the island and our appliances.  We are also debating changing out the black granite to more of a white.  Here’s our progress so far…

Before

After

Our cabinets are Divine White and our walls are Revere Pewter.  Perfect color combo!

FIVE

A couple of weeks ago, we had Friendsgiving with our small group and my friend brought a blueberry dump cake.  It was delicious.  I’ve made it three times since then and it’s been a hit every time.  If you are looking for something yummy and easy, try this!

SIX

As always, love our CrossFit 30549 family!  Enjoyed working out with our crew Thanksgiving morning.

SEVEN

We had a great Thanksgiving Day!  Lunch at Joseph’s Nana’s and then back to our house for dinner with my family.  So thankful for this crazy crew I get to call mine.

I am known to be a little OCD.  Ok, maybe not a little ha!  I always want the kiddos dressed nice and sometimes even coordinate outfits.  But this year, I let them dress themselves.  I took a more laid back approach to the holiday. I am trying my best to not sweat the small stuff and enjoy all moments, big and small.

And that wraps up this week’s Friday Favorites.  I am off to pack and clean the house.  Joseph and I leave for our anniversary trip in the morning.  Please say a prayer for us and our kiddos.  Pray for my sister who will stay with our kids while we are gone.

I get super anxious when I fly.  This message has definitely been a timely message for me.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and week!  I will see you all soon!

-Maggie

Be a Good Friend Mags: Session Five

Good morning ladies!

I normally try to kick off the week with a video post, but that is not going to happen.  Let me give you five words….Kids are out of school. Ha!  Everytime I tried to start the video there was a scream or a fight beginning between the kids and then I would hear a “MOMMMMMMM!!!!!!”  So I gave in and decided to write a post instead.  The screaming and “Moooommmmmms!” are still happening, but at least now you can’t hear them. Let’s just say all electronics have been taken away and they are in their rooms indefinitely!

I really do enjoy my kiddos being home.  This morning was so amazing.  We turned the fireplace on and the girls played nicely while I read and watched session five’s video.  But then they turned into evil monsters and decided they were going to hate each other for a couple of hours.

But such is life with kids right?

Enough about that, let’s kick off session five!

I am so excited for this week.  I always struggled in the friendship department.  For years, I would beg God to give me a friend.  A person who I could hang out with, be close with, do life with.  I went through a very lonely season a couple of years ago.  I didn’t really have any close friends and I remember dropping Mary off at Pre-K one morning and crying the whole way home.  I specifically remember asking God to help me be ok with being alone in the girlfriend department.  I remember repeating through my tears, all the way home, “You are enough, You are enough for me God.”

And that season lasted a couple of years, but God truly worked in my life, teaching me to enjoy my husband and my children.  I really am blessed with Joseph.  We were best friends before we started dating.  Our relationship is super unique because he is not just my husband, he truly is my best friend.

But as a women, we all need our girlfriends.

In the last couple of years, God has brought some pretty amazing women into my life.  For years I tried to force friendships.  I would put up a front and pretend like I loved everything you loved because then I felt like you would think I was the best person in the world ha!  If you loved pink, I loved pink.  If you loved to craft, I loved to craft.  Newsflash…..Maggie IS NOT crafty!

During that lonely season, God taught me to be ok with me.  He taught me to be happy with the life He blessed me with and be content with what I had.  It took many years, many tough lessons, but I finally learned to be content.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with contentment, because one of my biggest struggles is comparison and jealousy.

I loved Melanie’s video and I took a lot from it.  It is so important to have friends.  People in our lives who we can relate to and feel normal around.  People who know the real us and still love us.

God places people in our lives on purpose.  Just like He brought David and Jonathan together, He does the same in our friendships.  I loved how she made mention that Jonathan not only chose David over his father, He chose David over himself!  Wow!  In this season of life, God is really teaching me to be selfless in my relationships.  As a wife, mom and friend.

Being loyal and trustworthy is so important when it comes to friendships.  We’ve all been burned.  Even Jesus was hurt by one of His disciples.  He knew what it felt like to be betrayed.  I’ve been there too.  This is why I kept that wall up for years.  When I would feel myself getting close with someone, I would sabotage the friendship because I had been hurt so many times. In the last couple of years, God has challenged me to work past this and has allowed me to have some pretty amazing frienships.

Our friendships should be a safe place.  We should love our friends as we love our self.  This being said, Melanie talked about comparison and jealousy.  We all are unique, we have our own gifts and we are walking our own journey. But with social media these days, it’s so hard to not compare our lives with others.  Melanie says, “And I know for me I never get more distracted than when I start looking at somebody else’s life and what they’re doing.”

Isn’t that the truth?  We can be going about our day so happy with life and what God has given us.  But then with a tap of our finger and a scroll through Facebook we can go from content and happy to thinking we are the worst wife, mom, friend ever.  Why?  Because we compare ourselves with the best version of others.  All while not knowing what they are battling because you better believe they have struggles.  The grass isn’t always greener on the other side…this is something that has taken me years to learn.  We are all human.  Life isn’t perfect no matter how perfect it appears.  We have struggles and hardships.  Every single one of us.

Theodore Roosevelt said it well when he said, Comparison is the thief of joy.

Ladies, do you want to know when I am the happiest?  When I am not worried about what everyone else is doing and I am focused on walking my road.  When I set a limit on my social media time. When I invest in the people around me.  When I try to bless others and make someone else’s day better.  When I focus on my home and getting things done. This is when I’m the happiest.

We all want to know the secret of being happy.  We are constantly reading books about being happy and not comparing ourselves with others but it is simple.  Look to what God gives you.  Walk your walk.  Be happy for others.  Realize that your friends’ successes take nothing away from yours.  You are you.  Focus on what God has given you and realize that the life you are living right now, is the life God intended you to live.  He wants you to be happy with what you have.  Look around, name your blessings, thank God for those blessings and be happy for others.

And lastly, our true friends should strengthen our grip on God.  Melanie says that friends are small everyday miracles that God gives us.  Every person in our life is in our life for a reason.  We need friends who are also walking close with God.  Friends who are like-minded and will encourage us and pray for us.  Friends we can do life with.  Girlfriends that will cry with us, laugh with us, rejoice with us.  Friends who will be there for us no matter the time of day.  Friends who show us the love of God through their actions.

You know…God has taught me so much in the last couple of weeks.  But one thing He is teaching me currently is that He restores.  We learned last week that nothing is too far gone for Him.  He heals us and uses the broken pieces of our life and makes us whole again.  He can do this for you and for that relationship you’ve given up on.

There is nothing more beautiful than letting God work in our lives and our relationships with others.  Nothing, absolutely nothing is too far gone for God.  Maybe you need Him to restore a relationship in your life.  Ask Him to help you.  You may find out that He wants you to work on you first.  This is what happened to me. Maybe there’s something in your life that prevents you from being a good friend.  Like me, you may struggle with comparison and jealousy.  Ask God to heal your heart.  Ask Him to help you be content with the life He has blessed you with.

What is God revealing to you about your friendships?

Dear God, I ask that you will be with us this week as we talk about friendships.  You show us throughout the Bible how important it is to have people in our inner circle.  People who will pray for us and encourage us, but that will also challenge us.  Lord I ask that you will help us look at our frienships and reveal to us what you want us to see.  Help us be better friends to those around us.  Whatever our struggle may be that seems to sabotage our relationships, I pray that in Jesus name you take it out of our life.  Help us focus on the race you have set before us.  The journey you are having us walk.  Help us stay focused on the blessings in our life so that we can be happy for others.  Help us be genuine, intentional and happy for others’ successes.  Thank you Jesus for being the perfect example of what it is to be a friend.  There is no friend like you.  Help us be more like you.  In Jesus name…

-Maggie

Praying for our Children

I don’t know how these bloggers do it y’all.  Blog every single day.  It’s hard stuff.

We had a really busy weekend.  Jojo played in a football tournament all weekend.  On Monday, he was exhausted and not feeling great so he stayed home and got some much-needed rest.  I guess sometimes you just need a day.

But over the weekend and the last couple of days, I’ve done a lot of thinking.  I’ve thought a lot about my kids.  I feel like this huge burden has been placed on my heart and I don’t know where it’s come from.  Maybe it’s been there all along and I just haven’t been receptive to it?

At the end of our women’s prayer gathering a couple of weekends ago, we all came together to pray for each other.  For the prisons in our lives that are holding us captive.  PK had us take time to pray for our husbands and for our children.  For the prisons in their lives, because who better to know what our family is struggling with than us.  We are their wives, their mothers.  We know their struggles.

It was at that moment that I realized that not only do I have prisons in my life, my kids do too.  Yes, they are only 10, 9 and 6, but I can see it.  So many children are going through anxiety, panic attacks and struggling to deal with their emotions.  We’ve been through anxiety with our older two.  It’s not fun.  It is the hardest thing that I’ve had to experience as a parent.  Especially as a parent who has also struggled with anxiety.

I began to pray for my kids.  For their insecurities, their emotions, their feelings, their heart and their soul.  I prayed for their friends and their families.  I prayed that they would choose to follow Christ at an early age and would choose to love and serve others.  From that moment until now, this burden of praying for my children and my husband has been heavy on my heart.

I was a little behind on my reading, but truth is, I was right on time.  Isn’t it funny how God brings things to our attention at the right time?  In Church of the Small Things, Melanie wrote about how a student in their community committed suicide after being bullied and how the community was rocked wondering what they could have done differently.  She writes that she may not have all the answers, but she did know a couple of things.  I wanted to share them with you word for word…

“I know the darkness wants to come for our kids.  I know that evil is everywhere and looking for a chance to whisper to them that they are less than, that they’re inadequate, that they’ll never be enough, and that their lives don’t matter.” (Pg. 104)

“What if we teach our kids that true identity and security is found in the fact that they are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for {them} to do (Ephesians 2:10)?” (Pg. 104)

“What if we showed our kids what kindness and compassion look like?  There is never any weakness in showing mercy and grace because those characteristics are the very heartbeat of God.  Let’s live in a way that teaches our children the importance of loving our neighbors and that peers aren’t our competition.  When we begin to see our own value, we realize that no one else’s successes or accomplishments diminish our own but rather we see that God has a unique path for each of us.”  (Pg. 105) Can I get an AMEN on this one???

“What if we instill in our kids the words of the apostle Paul to young Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:70)?  God doesn’t want us to live in fear.  We can call on His power and love to stand up to the bullies in this world and, maybe even more importantly, to speak up for those who are too broken and have been hurt too badly to defend themselves.” (Pg. 105)

And here is what truly hit home for me…

“The Bible says, “Point your kids in the right direction-when they’re old they won’t be lost” (Proverbs 22:6 MSG), which means it’s our job to give them what is basically a road map for life.  It takes work and perseverance and dedication to raise our kids.  It takes sacrifice and commitment and dying to self as we spend eighteen short-let’s be honest LIGHTNING FAST- years pouring into them and equipping them to be responsible, productive, kind, and ideally, employed adults.  And make no mistake; our kids will model what they see much more than what we say.” (Pg.106)

I was speechless.  18 years.  My oldest is almost 11.  Am I preparing him for the world outside of our home?  Am I showing him to be kind and responsible?  What am I teaching him and my girls with my actions?

Last week, Mackenzie asked me something that left me thinking all weekend.  She asked me if she would have to weigh her food and weigh herself when she grows up so she doesn’t get fat.  And y’all.  This really left me thinking.  She watches me.  Watches me weigh and log in my food. She sees the pictures I take to measure my progress.  Is this wrong?  Absolutely not.  Not saying if you do this, you are doing something wrong.  And I’m not saying that one day, I will come back to this.  But right now, for my family, maybe it’s time for me to focus on something else.

Maybe I should focus on teaching her healthy habits like eating clean and working out.  Focus on health instead of outer appearance…  We do this now, but my actions were showing her something different.  Maybe lowering my body fat percentage is a goal to be saved for later.   All of a sudden it doesn’t seem important anymore because all I can think about is how am I teaching my girls to be happy with who they are?  To be confident and know that they are beautiful and that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, unique in their own way.  Our outer appearance doesn’t matter if our heart isn’t in the right place.  Am I teaching them that our security, identity and significance comes from the Lord?

What Melanie said is 100% correct.  Darkness wants to come for our kids.  The enemy will take whatever it can and use it against us and our children.  It will take their weaknesses and insecurities and blow them up in their face.

Joseph and I have talked so much about our kids and how it’s time to take back our family.  It’s time to place God in the center of our lives again and to fight for our children.  To intentionally pray daily for them and for their friends.  To battle for them.  And by battling I mean praying.  Because prayer is powerful y’all.

Will they mess up?  Absolutely!  But that’s where the lessons of forgiveness and grace come in.  And above all else lessons of love.  Love like Jesus so that our kids will know Jesus.  Am I loving them like Jesus loves me?

I know every family is different.  No judgement here.  Each season is different and our journey is not the same.  But right now, in my season of life, I am choosing to be more intentional.  To take my family back and protect them with everything I have.

And it begins with prayer.  Covering them with prayer every single day.  Praying favor over their lives.

This is a lesson from my daddy.  He prayed every single day for us.  Every morning before we woke up, he was on his knees in our living room praying.  And I know his prayers are the reason that I am who I am today.  Did I mess up?  Gosh yes.  Over and over again.  But I can say that I always came back to what I knew was right.  And that’s all I can ask of my children.  That they will know what is right and that they will always come back to it.

In the end, I want them to have a relationship with Jesus.  That’s what is most important.

“Start a youth out on his way; even when he grows old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Lord Jesus, I pray for the lives of our children.  For their hearts, their souls and their minds.  Lord, I pray that you will guide and protect their every step.  That they may come to know you at an early age and follow you all of the days of their life.  Lord that they will know that hard times will come, but that you will be with them every step of the way.  Lord, help us teach our children that their identity is in you.  That they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Lord that they will know they are beautiful.  That they are smart and unique in their own way.  I pray that you will surround them with Godly friends who love you.  That they will love and serve those around them and be a light for you.  Whatever prisons they are experiencing…fear, anxiety, depression, insecurity, bitterness, hurt…Lord I pray that you will break those chains.  Lord that you will bring peace to their hearts and minds.  Lord help us as parents, love them like you love us.  Lord teach us to be patient and selfless.  Help us be intentional with every moment.  In Jesus name…

Oh Sweet friend.  I don’t know what you are going through.  Maybe you are dealing with a rebellious teenager or those toddlers have you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.  Whatever it is, take it to Him in prayer.  He listens friend, He really does.

I love you guys!

-Maggie

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  Honestly, I can’t believe it’s Friday again.  These weeks are flying by.

And just like every Friday, I am linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci to share our FAVORITES from the week.

ONE

Sunday night I introduced Jojo to the show Survivor.  Joseph and I started watching it when Jojo was a baby.  Jojo really got into the episode and asked if he could watch it with me again next week.  It’s crazy to think that we began wactching the show when he was only a couple of months old.  Almost 10 years ago!  Now he’s sitting with us watching it and enjoying it!

TWO

On Tuesday we went to a Patriotic Concert for Mary’s 4th grade class.  Jojo was never big into singing in front of people so he opts out of those events.  But Mary was totally in it.  I wish I would’ve gotten a video of her singing.  My girl was in the front row and sang her little heart out.

THREE

On Wednesday, we went to our local frozen yogurt spot, Swirlees for Mary’s End of the Year Softball Party.  This was her first year playing softball.  We were blessed with wonderful coaches who were patient, encouraging and taught Mary a lot.

FOUR

It was a bit chilly this week in Georgia.  I took advantage of the weather and wore my new boots from Target.

Here’s a better picture from their website.

You definitely need these!  Such a good shoe for fall and winter.

FIVE

So I tried something new this week.  I went to a girl who does lash extensions and decided to give them a try.  I’ve only had them on for about 48 hours, but I love them so far.  I know not everyone likes them and has the time for the upkeep.  I can’t really say since I’ve only had them on two days, but I will let you guys know how it goes.  I have really short lashes so I am loving the longer look.  And I’ve loved that I don’t need mascara!

SIX

My sweet bug is loving Math.  She is learning multiplication tables on her own just because!  Last night she came in the bathroom while I got ready for bed and showed me a new math problem she made up.

SEVEN

Last night we had the big kids’ Art Show at school.  I love love love buying their framed art.  The pieces I have so far are in our media room.  I can’t wait to add these on the wall.  I love how the school does this each year and how they use the same style frame.  It really makes this OCD momma happy!

EIGHT

I am still loving Church of the Small Things.  I am hosting a Virtual Bible Study using the study guide, but I’m also reading the book.  This paragraph really stood out to me this morning.

I can totally relate to her.  I spent so many years wishing and dreaming I had certain things.  I always lived in the future and I missed what was right in front of me.  I missed the blessings God had for me right then and there.  It’s ok to plan and look to the future.  But it is super important to live in the now.  To love and be intentional now.  Even if life isn’t great right now, God is using that time to teach you something.  Maybe it’s something that you will use to minister to others in the future?

And that wraps up this week’s Friday Favorites.  We have a super busy weekend ahead.  I’ll be honest, I’m already tired thinking about it.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of lots of family time and fun.  I’m hoping to start putting up our Christmas decor this weekend.  It’s super early for me, but we are ready!

-Maggie

Workin’ It Wednesdays:

Hi friends!

So today I am linking up with Erika and Shay for their Workin’ It Wednesdays Link-up.  These posts are all about how we “work it” in different areas.  They do them once a month so I thought I’d join in this month.

Today it’s all about planning for the holidays.

So I’ve got to admit, after reading Shay and Erika’s posts, I realize I am so unprepared!  These girls are on it.  They have this planning for the holidays thing down.

Can I just be honest for a second here?  Everyone talks about Christmas being the most wonderful time of year and how much they love it.  For me, Christmas is a time of high stress and anxiety.  Something happens when all of the Halloween decorations get put on clearance at the stores and Christmas throws up everywhere.  I begin to stress.

So I’m doing a little soul-searching this morning.  Here me out for a second.  Growing up, my family wasn’t really into Christmas.  I mean, being a preacher’s daughter, we celebrated Jesus’ birth, but we didn’t go all out into all things Christmas.  We didn’t put up a tree, didn’t do any type of Christmas baking, we might have watched a couple of Christmas movies here and there.  Christmas for us was a couple of Christmas Hymns from the Hymnal on Sundays in December and then a Christmas dinner with our church.  That was it.  No presents, no decorating, nothing.

Growing up, I really didn’t think anything about it.  I do remember one year we had a Secret Santa and we begged mom for a tree, but that was about as “Christmas” as we got around our house.

My Christmas knowledge came from Joseph and his family.  My senior year I experienced Christmas at his Nana’s house.  So as we grew up and got married, I chose to celebrate Christmas like everyone around me did.  I guess we can call it Americanized Christmas ha!

As the internet boomed and social media and blogging became popular, I began to see how the rest of the world celebrated Christmas and all of the traditions they had.  It looked so wonderful, but Joseph and I were living paycheck to paycheck and well, all of that cost money.  We could barely afford Christmas gifts for ourselves and our two kids, much less Christmas gifts for anyone else.  We didn’t really have extra money for baking ingredients, Christmas crafts, Christmas decor and Christmas events.  There were weeks when we had ONE DOLLAR before our next paycheck.

So Christmas became a time of stress, anxiety and worry.  I became very bitter and angry because we couldn’t afford to do much.  It became a season of reminder of what I didn’t have and what everyone else had.  And to make it easier for me, I convinced myself that Christmas wasn’t that great and everyone who decorated with more than one tree was crazy ha!

But, I missed the point y’all.  Christmas isn’t about the stuff or the traditions.  It’s about Jesus.  And to be honest, that is easier said than believed.  Because in a materialistic world with everyone’s life in our faces, it makes it hard to stay focused on the reason for the season.

I know now why Christmas is hard for me.  I’ve been celebrating the wrong things.  I’ve been measuring up our Christmas to those around me instead of focusing on what God has blessed us with.

Throughout the years, I’ve gotten better.  I’ve put up more than one Christmas tree and have worked hard to get in the Christmas Spirit.  God has worked in my life and I’ve fought hard to be content.  To be happy with us.  To be ok with what we have and not worry so much about what everyone else has.

Even now that things are better financially, the anxiety and the stress still come every Christmas Season.  I think it’s because I am still trying to measure up.  And it is so frustrating.

So this year, I am fighting the negative feelings, the reminders that I have to measure up to everyone else and I am going to enjoy this Christmas Season.  I am going to do all the Christmas things and continue in the traditions that our little family has started because I want my kids to have great memories of this time.  I want to instil in them the true reason we celebrate.

So here is my plan for the holidays..

1.Make Lists for Everything

I’ve said it before.  I am a list girl.  Why I don’t use this during the Christmas season, I don’t know.  But I am starting a list for everything.  Gifts for Joseph, kids, family and friends.  Parties I am planning or co-hosting.  Lists of baking ideas and crafts for the kids.

2.  Continue With Our Traditions and Add a Couple of More

We have a couple of traditions already, but I’m going to really incorporate them and add new ones to our list.

We are decorating early this year because Joseph and I are leaving for our anniversary trip after Thanksgiving.  I am going to plan a night of decorating with cookies, chocolate milk and the movie Elf.  We do this already, but have slacked some the last couple of years.

Pajama Christmas Night.  I am going to have all of us dress in Christmas Pajamas, go out for hot chocolate, coffee and donuts and we are going to ride around looking at Christmas lights and listen to Christmas music.  This is an idea Shay shared and I am going to add it to our traditions.

I am going to bake.  Gasp!  Yes, I am baking this season.  And I will use those goodies as gifts for teachers, friends and those around me.  Here are a couple of Christmas recipes from Shay.

North Pole Breakfast.  Our elf, Fritz normally visits us on December 1st or around that time.  I am coordinating with Santa and I am going to do a Christmas themed breakfast with all of our Christmas dishes and maybe Mimosas for the adults!

Christmas Music.  Sounds simple, but y’all.  I don’t listen to Christmas music.  Again, I think I’ve programmed my mind and heart to be a Grinch so this year I am listening to Christmas music.

3.  Serve and Give

The years we spent living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to give our children Christmas gifts have made me appreciate all that God has blessed us with.  I want to pay it forward.  But I also want my kids to be involved.  Operations Christmas is a great way.  Our church has already started talking about it so I am looking forward to doing this with the kids.

4.  Enjoy the Season.  No Stress.

I am going to fight hard to not stress about the material things.  I’m going to be intentional this season and remind myself each day of why we celebrate.  Not only do we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it’s also a time to spend with our loved ones and to serve and love those around us.  This season is going to be different.

So there it is.  My plan for the holidays.  Anyone else struggle with the material side of Christmas?  What kind of traditions do you have as a family?  Please share, I’d love ideas!

I hope you all don’t think I’m a horrible person ha!  I just wanted to be transparent and real this morning.  Maybe I’m not alone in this.  Maybe I am.  But I am working on it!

Y’all have a wonderful Wednesday!!!

-Maggie

 

 

A Word Fitly Spoken: Session Three

Session three!  We are halfway there ladies.

Last week was very encouraging…this week is very convicting ha!

In all seriousness though, this week is something that I struggle with…my mouth!  Am I alone here?  I hope not.  I am one who speaks before thinking and then feels awful about what I said.

I have asked God to do a mighty work in my life.  I have characteristics that I’ve settled with.  I’ve basically said, “well this is who I am and I’m never going to change.”  But in reality, it’s because I’m still hanging on to those characteristics.  I haven’t given them to God.  I want control and I have a hard time letting go of it.

So this week I am asking God to help me think before I speak.  To remind me that the words that come out of my mouth our powerful.  It’s hard for me to write this post y’all.  It’s hard because this is not a strength of mine.  This is probably one of my biggest weaknesses.  But I am believing that God will work in my life this week.  I am asking Him to help me be more aware of my words before they come out of my mouth.

Luke 6:45 says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”  

This verse reminds me that I must store up good in my heart.  I must fill my heart with things of God.  It is so important for me to read His word, to go to church, to surround myself with like-minded people.  Not because this saves me or is the reason that I will go to heaven.  Not at all.  It’s important because I need it.  Because it encourages me and keeps me accountable.  His word is a reminder of what I want to be.

Our words are powerful.  They have the potential to ruin lives, relationships.  Just as our words affect others, the words spoken to us do the same.  How have words spoken to us affected our lives?  I love what Melanie said about not letting the rest of our lives be determined by words that were spoken to us in the past.  Whatever words you are believing in your life right now, rebuke them.  Rebuke them in His name and ask Jesus to fill you up with His Words.  You are worthy, you are beautiful.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are worth His life.  He died for you.  You can do all things through Him.

Don’t let past words determine your future.

I think about my childhood and how I was affected by words.  And it makes me think about my kids and how quick I am to say negative things to them.  Who else is going to encourage them if not me?  My words should uplift, encourage.  The same goes with my spouse.  How often I am quick to shoot out negative words?

I am praying that God will help me start within the walls of my home.  I want to be a safe haven for my children.  I want them to know that I am proud of them no matter what.  I want them to feel loved and accepted.  I don’t want them to have to look for that somewhere else.  They are at such a crucial time in their lives.

Goodness…this is a tough subject.  But one that is much-needed.  I am thankful for this conviction and reminder.  If you want to watch my video recap, you can visit my Facebook page here.

I am praying for all of us this week.  May we be an encourager to those around us!

-Maggie

 

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, sweet friends!

I am linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci to share our FAVORITES from the week.

Today is a great day!  I wish I could share all the details with you, but it would take days!  Today is a reminder that second chances do exist, that patience during a waiting season brings great blessings and that God always, always provides.  Today is a day we’ve dreamt of for 10 years y’all.  10 Years.  One day I hope to share what today means, but for now just trust me when I say that God always comes through.  There will be moments of doubt and tough lessons, moments when you wonder if God will ever come through and when He does….WOW.  I can’t even put it into words.  I am so thankful for God’s grace, His faithfulness and His provision.  I am thankful for second chances.

I just wanted to take a moment to share that encouragement with you.  If you are in a waiting season, hold on and hang tight.  Be still and know He is God because when the blessing comes it will blow your mind!

Alright I’ve gone off on a tangent, but I’m so excited.  So back to Friday Favorites.  Sit down, prop your feet and grab your coffee.  Here are some of my FAVORITES from the week.

ONE

Last weekend Joseph’s Aunt hosted her annual Halloween Party. This year she challenged everyone to wear a Halloween hat.  What exactly is a Halloween hat?  Not sure, but my sister-in-law and I just went with it.  We met at Dollar Tree Saturday morning and came up with about 11 hats for our family.  We had a great time!  Aunt Rose throws the best parties.  Although the food hangover I had for days after wasn’t so great ha!  The time spent with family was great!

TWO

As many of you know, I am hosting a Virtual Bible Study through my blog and Facebook page.  I can’t figure out how to put my videos on my blog so make sure to like my page to see the weekly videos.  This week was such a good week!  You can read more about it here.

THREE

My mom and sister joined us for church on Sunday.  It was a sweet surprise.  Also, the kiddos got to have a little pre-Halloween fun and dress up in their costumes.

FOUR

On Monday, Joseph and I hosted the Young Life Leaders in our home.  This was such a sweet time.  I loved meeting each of them and spending some time with them as they ate dinner.  But what I loved more was watching them come together at the end to go over the night and pray.  Something about hearing young kids pray just blessed my heart.  It was a sweet sweet time.  Thank you Lori and Staci for helping me provide dinner for this great group of kids!

FIVE

Halloween started early for Joseph and I!  We dressed up for our CrossFit class.  So much fun!

SIX

We had a great Halloween.  But I have to admit, I can’t wait for Halloween to come on the weekend.  I always feel bad cutting the night short for the kids.  These boys go all out.  I’m afraid we don’t have too many years left of this…  This is the third year that the boys have celebrated Halloween together.  It’s become their thing.  They look forward to it every year.The girls had a great time too.  Look at those costumes and make up!  Props to my sister for doing Mary’s make up.  She got all the creative genes in our family so I am thankful she can always pull off the things I can’t!The boys trick or treated on foot and the girls rode in the trailer.

SEVEN

On our way home from small groups on Wednesday, I went by Kroger to pick up some cough medicine and saw this!  OMG!  I can not be happier!

That wraps up my Friday Favorites for this week.  I hope you and your family have a great weekend!

-Maggie

We are Created for a Reason: Session Two

Good morning everyone!  I am so thankful for this week.  This video session spoke so much truth to my heart.  If you have not watched it, go watch it now.  If you didn’t sign up for the study, you can watch it too.  Let me know and I’ll send you the link.

I don’t even know where to begin.  Everything Melanie talked about resonated with me.  I love how she reminded us that we are God’s masterpiece.  He made us carefully and thoughtfully.  We each have a purpose in this life.  If you are alive and breathing, there is a reason you are still here.

We go through life wondering if we are significant, wanting to be accepted.  We spend our time looking for meaning and purpose in all the wrong things when we know that Jesus is the “thing” that fills us up.  All the other things only bring temporary fullness.  But with Jesus we are eternally full.

But life is hard.  And finding acceptance in the worldly things brings us instant pleasure.  Sometimes filling up on Jesus means being patient and going through hardships.  It’s not easy to choose Him over things that bring us instant gratification.  I know I’m guilty of it daily.  It requires discipline.

Sometimes it means going through a period of time where we find ourselves in the “pastures” of life.  Seasons where we feel lonely, forgotten and insignificant. Those lessons are some of the hardest.  Those seasons are tough.

Melanie talked about how God sometimes teaches us the biggest lessons through obscurity.  I looked up the word obscurity and it means unknown, unimportant.  How often do we go through life wondering if anyone even notices the things we do?  As moms, I know, this is big.  We do so much for everyone and at times it can be exhausting.  We go through life making sure all of our children’s needs are met.  Wondering at the same time if we are even doing a good job.  We have different things pulling for our attention every day.  Work, bills, laundry, lunches, homework, deadlines…

But friend, God sees you.  He sees you in those hard, lonely times.  When you feel lonely, unworthy and like you can’t measure up.  He sees you trying your best to balance work and home life.  God sees us even when the world has forgotten us.  And it’s in those seasons when God is preparing us for the big things in life.

God called David to be king.  He wasn’t even in the line up when his dad presented his other brothers to Samuel.  He was a shepherd.  He was ordinary.  To the world probably insignificant.  But to God he was perfect.  He would use this ordinary shepherd to do extraordinary things.

Before David became King, he spent his days as a shepherd in pastures.  Probably alone with just the sheep.  I’m sure he had moments of feeling forgotten, insignificant and alone.  Wondering if anyone even noticed him.  My sweet friend, it’s in those pastures of life where we grow and come to know God in a more intimate way.  If you are like me, I tend to pull away when moments get hard.  I pitch a fit.  I really do.  So this reminder was huge for me.  To know that God sees me.  He hasn’t forgotten me.  The Bible says that in this life we will have troubles.  We will.  But God tells us to find peace in Him.  He tells us to take heart because He has over come the world.

God has a calling for your life.  And no calling is insignificant whether it be public speaking to a sold out crowd or washing dishes and laundry.  He has a purpose for each of us.  Going about your day, working hard in your job, being nice to the new kid.  All of those things are callings.

But maybe God has called you to something that you are not quite ready for.  Maybe you feel that uncomfortable feeling.  That feeling of wanting to say, “no Lord you chose the wrong person.”  The feeling of wanting to run away and say, “why don’t you call so and so.  They would do a much better job.”  Or maybe you know your calling, but God is asking you to be still and wait.

And the waiting….oh the waiting is sometimes the hardest part.  Melanie said something that really stuck with me.  She said that we are called to be faithful and trust even when we don’t want to.  That was such a real and raw statement to me.  I know there are days when I just don’t want to trust.  I don’t want to be faithful.  I want to fix things myself because some days I feel that will bring a quicker result.  But then that would be settling.  Settling for something under God’s plan.  And if we settle sweet sister, think of all that we are missing.  God has big blessings for you.  But when we settle we miss out.  Our pastor said something on Sunday that has stayed with me this week.  He said that God calls us to aim higher.  God doesn’t call us to settle.  Aim Higher girlfriend!  Shoot for the stars.  Embrace the woman God has made you to be and aim higher.  Don’t settle.

This was a hard post for me.  I started writing it on Monday and just felt like it wasn’t finished.  I let it sit for a couple of days and God turned it in a completely different direction.  Maybe someone needed this encouragement today.  Maybe you are in a lonely, feeling forgotten season of life.  Take heart.  God is there.  He sees you sweet friend.

Or maybe God has called you to do something you don’t want to do.  Aim higher and do it.  Experience the blessings God has for your life.  And if you are in the waiting season of your calling, be patient.  I know that’s easier said than done, but slow down and be still.  Enjoy life, even in the waiting.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Take heart friends and experience His peace today.  I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

-Maggie

 

 

Virtual Bible Study: Recap of Week One

Hi there!  I am super excited that you have joined me on this bible study journey.  I believe there are about 20-25 ladies who are signed up and are following along.  This is so awesome y’all.  I look forward to hearing from you during the upcoming weeks.

Each week I want to take some time to recap what we’ve learned.  I will post a short video and a blog post to share a little bit about what resonated with me during the week.

I went ahead and bought the Church of the Small Things book along with the study guide.  You do not have to read the book, but I’ve enjoyed it so far.  I read chapters 1-3 this week.

Throughout the week we talked about a couple of things.  The first was about remaining in Jesus and what that means to us.  I believe that remaining in Jesus goes along with trusting Him.  When we remain in Jesus we bear fruit.  We make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Many times when we are doing the small things we find ourselves frustrated, angry and just really fed up.  Remaining in Jesus keeps us focused.  It reminds us to be joyful in all things.  This week tested me.  I had a bad day where I let my frustrations ruin my day.  I had a bad attitude and really had to fight hard to change it.  I went back to reminding myself that the small things matter, but they will not make a difference if I am grumpy doing them.

In the book, Melanie Shankle talks about Abby Wambach.  She played for the US Women’s National Soccer Team.  Gatorade aired a commercial as a tribute to her and in the background she says these words, “Forget me.  Forget my number, forget my name, forget I ever existed.  Forget the medals won, the records broken, and the sacrifices made.  I want to leave a legacy where the ball keeps rolling forward, where the next generation accomplishes things so great that I am no longer remembered.”  (Church of the Small Things, page 43)

Wow.  What humility.  She had great success, but all she wanted was to make sure that those behind her accomplished great things as well.

But I agree with Melanie when she says that it’s hard to forget those that have come before us.  When you have lived life to the fullest, taken advantage of every opportunity, enjoyed the small and the big things and “you have carpe diemed the heck out of who and what God has created you to be, you leave an incredible mark on the people around you and on those who will come long after you’re gone.” (Church of the Small Things, page 43)

We leave an incredible mark on those around us.  And you know what?  Sometimes it’s the small things that make the BIG difference.

I think about my dad and the legacy he left behind.  You know, my dad was not perfect.  But he did take advantage of every situation to show God’s love.  Whether it was our waitress at a restaurant or the cashier at the store, he always took the opportunity to tell them God loved them.

He did those small things and those small things impacted the lives of many.  It took me to a memory I have of him growing up that I shared in the video.

I hated storms as a kid.  Especially the ones with loud thunder and crazy lightning.  One night during a storm, I woke up in the middle of the night and cried out for my dad.  To my surprise, he was already laying in the floor beside my bed and he let me know he was there.  “Aqui estoy hija,” he said.  (I am here my daughter)

That small thing that he did, to come lay on the floor by my bed, will be something I will never forget.  All of the little, daily, mundane tasks we do each day, they all matter.  We may go about our day thinking nobody notices, but they do.  You are making an impact on everyone around you.

Nothing is wasted when we look at it through the lens of what God has for us.  Everything we go through, everything we do is all part of who we are.

“For some, that may be a public role on a big stage, but for the vast majority of us, it’s about being faithful in the small stuff: going to the grocery store, volunteering in our kid’s classroom, befriending the new girl, coaching a Little League team, showing up for work every day, being kind to our neighbors.” (Church of the Small Things, Page 25)

What we do is important.  Big or small, it matters to those around you and most of all it matters to God.

We go through life looking for that big moment.  We pray and ask God to show us what His will is, what His purpose for our life is.  We desperately need Him to show us that big thing that we are waiting for.  But we forget that life isn’t made from just one thing.  Life is in all things, every single moment of our life.  That is where life is.  The small things may seem insignificant at the moment, but they are making a big difference in the lives of those we encounter every single day.

“A life isn’t made from one thing, one big moment, or one huge success.  It’s created moment by moment, often with pieces that don’t look like anything beautiful on their own but are the very fabric of who God meant for us to become as we pack lunches, raise kids, love our neighbors, and simply be who he created us to be; nothing more, nothing less.” (Church of the Small Things, page 15)

We finished up the week reading Ruth chapter one.  Ruth and Naomi were embarking on a journey on their own.  Naomi had lost her husband and sons.  She told both of her daughter-in-laws to return home, but Ruth chose to stay with her.  She took a risk and chose to be loyal to Naomi.  She was faithful in one small moment.  As we go throughout the study we will see how the story unfolds.

Sweet friend, you may be going through life, moment by moment wondering if what you do truly matters.  I want to tell you that it absolutely does.  I know you are probably tired, exhausted and worn out, but hang tight.  God is using you right where you are.  You may think your life is small, but the impact you make each day is big.

Live each day to the fullest.  Choose to be faithful in all things because one day our kids, grandkids and great grandkids will be talking about all the little things we did for them and what a big difference it made in their life.  Just like my dad coming to lay beside my bed is something I will forever remember, your kids will do the same.

Love hard.  Offer grace.  Enjoy every moment.

What resonated with you this week?  How did this week impact your life?  I would love to hear from you!

-Maggie

 

 

What’s Up Wednesday {10.25.17}

Hi Y’all!  It’s time for What’s Up Wednesday which means it is the last Wednesday of the month.  I can’t believe October is almost over.

Today I am linking up with Shay, Sheaffer and Mel for their fun link-up.  Every month we answer these questions:

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1. What We’re Eating This Week

I’ll just be real honest here and say, lots of fast food.  Ugh.  I haven’t made it to the grocery store this week.

2.  What I’m Reminiscing About

It’s Halloween on Tuesday!  This year we found everyone’s costume without any crazy drama.  I did have to order Jojo’s because he wanted a very specific clown mask.  What in the world?  I miss the days where they wore cute costumes.  Just look at my sweet babies…

3.  What I’m Loving

I am loving the cooler weather!  It finally feels like fall in Georgia.

4.  What We’ve Been Up To

Our CrossFit gym is celebrating our anniversary all month-long.  We divided into teams and have been working hard all month to accumulate points.  We’ve had a great time!

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We also celebrated our anniversary with a scavenger hunt, crossfit style.  We went all over our small town.  So much fun!

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5.  What I’m Dreading

This one is always hard.  I can’t think of anything that I’m dreading.  Maybe Christmas shopping??  I know, I know.  I’m the weird one, but Christmas shopping stresses me out.

6.  What I’m Working On

Laundry laundry laundry!  Ha!  No, I’m kidding.  Maybe.

Earlier this month we went to Hilton Head Island for Fall Break and then we had painters at our house for a couple of days.  I can’t take a day off when it comes to laundry so a whole weekend really put me behind.  I’m working on getting caught up and not stressing about it.

7.  What I’m Excited About

Basketball!  Football is over and now it’s time for basketball.  Don’t get me wrong, we love football around here but when it’s over it’s over and we move on.

The girls are playing ball through our local rec. department.  They are both on “big” girl teams this year so I’m excited to watch them play.

Jojo is playing with his travel team in a local league during the winter.  He’s a 5th grader playing on a 6th grade team which makes me a little nervous.  He did the same last year as a 4th grader and improved tremendously.

I’ve been reminding Jojo of this quote.  Some days he’s not very excited about practicing and going to lessons.  I know he’s young, but I want to instill the practice of practicing.  We can’t just count on our natural ability to do things.  We have to practice and work hard.

8.  What I’m Watching/Reading

I am working on finishing up Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker.  My goal was to be done by now, but I am not a fast reader.

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I’m also doing a virtual bible study through my Facebook page and blog for the book, Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle.  We started the study on Sunday and it will go for six weeks.

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As far as what I’m watching…everything ha!

Keeping Up with the Kardashians is my guilty pleasure.  This is Us is so good.  Joseph and I watch Survivor together.  We’ve watched it for almost 10 years.  Riverdale is on its second season.  If you liked Pretty Little Liars, you will love this show.  You can’t do Thursdays without Greys and How to Get Away with Murder.  And I am loving American Housewife.  It is such a funny show!

I think I realized why I can’t finish a book ha!  Yes, I watch a lot of shows.  There are a few more that I watch here and there, but these are my favorites.  Thank goodness for the ability to record episodes.

9.  What I’m Listening To

We sang this song at church on Sunday and it’s been on repeat this week.

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When I crank my car it will randomly select songs from my music library.  These were a couple of the random selections.  Took me back in time!

10.  What I’m Wearing

Lots of plaid shirts and jeans.  I’m excited to add in my boots now that it feels like fall.

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I’m wearing my Born Primitive Halloween Shorts and my new sweatshirt.  You can read all about Born Primitive here.  Use my BFF’s coupon code Sanders15 for 15% off of your purchase.

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I also bought this new sports bra from them and love it.

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This shirt came from one of our local boutiques, Polished Chic.  I got so many compliments at church about it.

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Earlier this year, a blogger posted a pic of the cutest house slippers.  They were gold and sparkly, but when I went to order them they had sold out.  While I was at Target yesterday, I decided to walk through the shoes and came across these.  I was so excited until I noticed that they were for little girls.  But I decided to try on a large just to see and they fit!  They are super comfy and so adorable.  Oh and only $17.99 since they are “kids” sizes.  I am a size 7 in women’s shoes and these fit perfectly.  Aren’t they adorable!?

I love my slippers, but I also love a good, comfy robe.  I wear one every single day.  I needed a new one and found this one while we were on vacation.  The brand is Calvin Klein and it is super soft.  I bought it at TJ Maxx in Hilton Head.

11.  What I’m Doing This Weekend

On Friday, I am going to a friend’s house for a Cabi Party.

Saturday is the first Saturday since August that we do not have football.  Joseph’s Aunt Rose is hosting her annual Halloween Party.  She throws the best parties!

Sunday we will go to church.  It’s dress up day for the kiddos so they get to wear their costumes to church.  Although, I told Mary and Jojo they would need to pick a non-scary outfit to wear.

12.  What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

Joseph and I will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary on December 11th.  We always take a few days to get away and enjoy some time to ourselves.  I am super thankful for my sister who holds down the fort for us at home.  We normally go the second weekend in December, but this year we are leaving at the end of next month.  We decided to go with a tropical trip instead of going to Grove Park Inn like we’ve done the past couple of years.  I’ll miss going to GPI.  It’s always a great trip but I’m excited to change it up this year.

13.  What Else is New

I think I covered it all!

Happy Wednesday friends!  Thanks for reading.

-Maggie