Category Archives: inspirational

“Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” – The Bible

 

And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23 ESV)

Have you ever wondered how much hope you have to know and love God because you’re a middle class American?

I have.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to romanticize poverty and I am so thankful that any “oppression” I might face is nothing compared to pretty much the rest of the world. I’m not begging for trouble.

But I also feel like I understand what Jesus is saying here. It’s so easy for me to rely on other things. To ignore God.

I feel bummed out. 

Time for pizza!

My friend is mad at me. 

Let’s go shopping!

My job stinks. 

Go back to school!

I’m bored. 

Hello, Facebook. Pinterest. Twitter. Tumblr………..Crap, it’s 3am. 

I have the money and resources to theoretically solve all my own problems. Oh, you know except the problem where I’m separated from God by my sin and returning to him and loving him is the ONLY thing that really matters in life at all.

But I can just ignore that problem….. with facebook, pinterest, tumblr….

It’s so incredibly easy for all my thoughts to be superficial or any deep thought or emotion tp be drowned out by distraction.

And there’s a highly customized brand of distraction for everyone out there, but I think that’s another post all on it’s own.

And if there is any problem I seemingly can’t fix? What’s the answer??  ………More money.

Or, at least, that’s the American answer. We all say that, “money can’t make you happy,” but I sometimes feel like we don’t really believe ourselves.

Image result for first world problems meme

Thank you, Ron. That is very true.

This “first-world” is the world in-which I live, but how can I know God when my comfort and ease threaten to devour me?  (not unlike a roaming, roaring, lion)

Some very practical things come to mind.

1. Turn my heart and mind daily (sometimes, hourly) to Christ.

I don’t know why, but I have always felt like I kinda stunk at reading my Bible everyday (More on this later). I’ve been a Christian for 24 years and have only recently discovered the awesomeness of connecting with Scripture consistently. Some days – let’s face it, most days when you have littles – it’s a real challenge to make the time, but I love those tiny people so much better when I make the time to talk to God and get some perspective from His word. It is the single most impactful thing to get my eyes off the stuff, the worries, the fluff of the world and on to truth, love and hope.

2. Memorize what the Bible says.

Another one I have only been on and off successful at, but it’s also one that most recently has transformed my life.

I feel bummed out. 

Why am I so discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise Him again – My savior and my God! – Ps. 42:5

What can I be thankful for?

My friend is mad at me. 

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. – Romans 12:18

I wonder how I can make things right with them?

My job stinks. 

Do all things without grumbling… – Philippians 2:14

I’m thankful for what I have and I wonder if I can do something to enjoy my job more?

I’m bored. 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for goodworks, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10

What can I do right now to honor God?

3. Commit to obedience, even if it costs me… or worse, makes me uncool…

There is a lot about being a Christian in America that can make you popular or cool. There are some social bonus points – or votes in the case of some politicians – that you can get by being religious or attending church. However, there are lots – lots and lots – of things that will make you really unpopular by being a Christian, by believing and adhering to the Bible. If I really want to know and follow Jesus, committing to obeying his word will do a lot to keep my focus on what’s important.

4. Do life with people who really know Jesus themselves and are living for him.

I’ve mentioned several times now that I have only recently found a lot of depth in my relationship with God, and it is without a doubt the result of spending a lot of time with people who are really wise and who are committed themselves to following Jesus. My parents did an amazing job raising my brothers and I and were awesome examples of what it looks like to follow Jesus. However, once I became an adult, I fell into the trap of arrogance – thinking I had the Christian life figured out. My arrogance only created distance between me and God. After facing some tremendous failures in my own life, I connected with some people really trusting and following Jesus, and I was able to start from scratch on walking with God.

5. Sacrificially serve.

I’m not really talking about volunteering a few hours on the weekend at your local shelter – although that is really great! I’m more talking about helping that really annoying co-worker, cooking dinner and letting your husband rest (even after you’ve had a long day with the kiddos), playing that game your kid loves for the 5th time today, calling your mom (even though you know she’ll bring up that thing she always does), giving when you don’t have the time, helping when you don’t have the energy, laying down your life for the good of others, as an offering to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Oh…. and give your money away. That’ll help. Not just to charities, but friends, your church, coworkers, your leaders at your church – my experience has been they don’t typically have a lot of “fun money.” Leave a gift card on their desk. Drop off a bag of date-night stuff on the door step of a couple with a new baby.

There’s obviously more you can do to keep your eyes focused on Jesus, but those things are my top 5, I guess. Haha!

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. – 1 John 3:16

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Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

**Warning** This is a total mommy post.

I did not start out our family life as a SAHM. I actually taught 9th grade Latin and drama until our first born was almost 2. I know what your thinking… WHY?? But that is not the story I’m telling.

When I became “with child” for the second time (sometimes I hate the word “pregnant”), it was apparent that me working was really not practical – financially speaking. And, it wasn’t something I really wanted to do anymore. I enjoyed my job, but leaving Tex for someone else to take care of everyday was a MAJOR bummer. I cried more than he did…

So, when we decided to reduce our two incomes to one, I vowed in my mind that I would ROCK IT.

My house would be like, BAM!

perfect house

Look at all that white. I mean LOOK at it!!
You know, my dinners would be this:

woman-preparing-dinner-450

Look how happy I am chopping tomatoes! And this, ya know, just every night…

perfect dinner

And of course there’d be pie!

pie

Then obviously my kids would be all…

perfect kids
And my husband too:

loving_couple

EVERYONE IS HUGGING!!! All the time…

And my friends and I would be:

Friends drinking coffee

We’re so trendy! And, look! More white!!

So, my life?

its-gonna-be-awesome

 

And then I actually started doing it. Let’s get real.

My house looks like this:

photo 1 photo 2 photo 4
My dinner table looks like this:

photo 3
My kids look like this:

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More dirt, less hugging… but still cute!

My husband looks like this:

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Ok, yes, still lots of hugging going on there. Just not in as trendy a hat.

My friends and I look like this:

tired friends

But really, my life is still an…

epic-win-meme_133614103669

Staying at home does not equal picture perfect life.

Why, you ask? How, you ask? Let me drop a little inspiration on you, fellow momma.

The quality of our lives is not reflected in the amount of laundry put away, dishes done or organic-from-scratch dinners we’ve prepared. THANK GOD.

This is important: It doesn’t ULTIMATELY matter what our kids wear, where they live, or – dare I say it? – what they eat. It matters that they learn how to love God and love people. Everything else is just a bonus to (or a distraction from) the important stuff.

I think we get caught up in the fear of becoming Honey Boo-Boo’s mom and the guilt of making a choice. We have to choose between laundry and one more game of tag in the back yard. We choose laundry and we’re bad moms. We choose playing with the kids and we’re bad moms.  Oh crap, our kid has turned into Honey Boo Boo!

YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM. DO YOU LOVE YOUR KIDS?? ARE YOU TRYING YOUR BEST??? THEN YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM.

Sorry I had to yell.

Our lives are awesome because we sacrifice all-the-dadgum-day long. And, by the way, this is true of you working mommies too. We know love because we lay down our lives for our kids, and our husbands and our friends. We get the opportunity to live like Jesus everyday – and, hopefully, it’s making us awesome too. Let go of the expectations put on you by the internet, La Leche League,  your mom, and, most importantly, yourself and focus on loving the heck out of your family and friends.

Yeah. I feel really good now about writing this blog post instead of doing the dishes. Happy.

win

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How to Make a Bad Day Worse

you are awesome meme

We’ve all done it. At some point in a day we have all had a moment of realization that we should have retreated to bed 3 hours ago. Instead, we took our bad day and made it more awesome…. awful. I mean awful. But, in case you are having a bad day and can’t imagine how to make it more aw(ful)esome, then here are some helpful hints to get you started!

1. Pick a fight with your spouse.

funny-manly-man-fight-meme

This is pretty obvious. So simple. So easy. You’re already grumpy. So, it’s the perfect time to tell the hubs the ten things he’s been doing lately that really get on your stinkin’ nerves. Stinkin’ nerves!

2. Pick a fight with your kids.

come-on-dude

If not one, than the other. Right? Or both! Nothing says “Best Bad Day Ever!” than yelling at the offspring.

3. Go to Krispy Kreme.

krispy kreme

Don’t get me wrong. I love Krispy Kreme just as much as the next good person with a soul, BUT going there on a bad day is just makes it worse. Not only will your hips pay for the two dozen circles of melty sugar you just stress-ate, but you will also get to enjoy the awesome self-loathing stomach ache that corresponds with binge eating. 10 pounds + a heaping dose of “I-hate-myself” = Whole Notha Level of bad day.

4. Buy that Gucci handbag, you deserve it!

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Shopping is a special kind of bad day enhancement. It ultimately fuels #1 and #3, but it also hits you in the groin of your happiness – the checking account. Plus! For some reason, this particular vice manifests itself in the completely unncessary – except you don’t realize it until after you walk out of the store. A solid gold bust of Chewy, Han, Luke and Leia? I totes need that!!

5. (Intentionally) Break something.

broken

But it feels so good! Yes, perhaps it does, but you know it will only leave you madder than you were before, because now you have a bad day AND a broken plate from your mother’s china (oh, and yes, it’s discontinued). However, if you are going for totally Aw(ful)esome day, then by all means….

6. Post a vague, melancholy status update on Facebook.

facebook fail

The temptation is almost too great, isn’t it? You’ll get all this sympathy and know that people care about you. ….BUT, then you’ll be annoyed that you have to explain everything to everyone for the next six weeks because they didn’t see your follow up status on their newsfeed and REALLY, why didn’t anyone call? And what’s up with getting 6 likes??? Why are people liking my terrible day. Unfriend. <—Bad day, biggie sized.

7. Read/watch the news

news

Another duh. If I really want to wallow in all the awfulness of a day, all I have to do is check out the latest horror in the world and I suddenly am not sure if anyone will ever have a good day again.

8. Give up.

giveup

This is the ultimate, the pinnacle of bad day dead ends. If you really want your bad day to win. REALLY WIN. Then give up. Check out. Look your day in the eye and say, “Whatevs, I’m out.” – take your ball and go home.

Truth? Don’t do it. Don’t do any of it. “Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” (proverbs 24:14)

Take your bad day. Stand it up. Dust it off and look at it. Look at it real hard. (Bad days hate this. They always lose a staring contest.) Once you’ve looked that booger square in the face for a minute, you size it up for what it really is: small. Your life – you – are so much bigger than your bad day. Psh. Just shake it off.

shake it off

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