Thankful to Be Thankful

This month I have the honor to guest post over on Devotional Diva http://www.devotionaldiva.com.

It’s a gratitude theme as it’s Thanksgiving month…but each day is an opportunity give thanks!  In every situation, in every success, in every failure, give thanks!

Click here and enjoy-

http://www.devotionaldiva.com/2015/11/thankful-to-be-thankful/

 

❤ bbprep

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Co-Signer! Not Needed.

How many times have we looked over our lives and find situations that are unchangeable.  Maybe so bad that we dare not entertain the idea of attempting to make them better.  ‘Cause if left as is, maybe no one will notice how horrible they are?  Or maybe through the superpower of ignorance…..it’ll disappear?

The bible story of Daniel explains how-as unfortunate circumstances arise, Satan attempts to CO-SIGN on those circumstances, to guarantee your situation will not change!  Daniel a servant of God, made a decision to go against the status quo and serve the one and only true God.  In doing so, he was thrown into a lion’s den never to be seen again!  Daniel 6:16-17; So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.

Bam!  Daniel is a goner!  Not only was a heavy stone placed as a barrier, but the King and the nobles, co-signed on Daniel’s situation, to guarantee it would not change.  But a loving God had a different plan for Daniel.  No matter what others did to ensure his demise…God wouldn’t allow anyone to co-sign on his fate. Daniel 6:22; My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in His sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, your Majesty. (NIV)

Even when the world has co-signed on your situation, saying that it will not change, have the faith of Daniel, knowing that God can change any situation.  Bad credit, death, personal hurt, financial distress, hopelessness, depression, self loathing, greed, despair, pride, anything that seems insurmountable…..GOD CAN RESCUE YOU FROM THE MOUTH OF THE LION.  As a matter of fact, he has already done so through the blood of Jesus.  Jesus died for us so that in any situation, His selfless act of love can redeem us for sin.  So there’s no need for a co-signer!  We’ve got this!

❤ bbprep

Characters of Change

Today as I sat and felt the cool crisp North Carolina air…..I realized the seasons ARE changing.  Although, here in Carolina, it’s hard to determine our seasons, with 75 degree weather in December and 40 degree weather in May, it can be quite confusing.  But feeling the morning breeze across my face, I realized that change is coming.  Sometimes in life, change comes as expected, as clockwork, or maybe even as a surprise….its arrival is the only certainty.  We’d do well to be prepared and ready as no one can accurately predict its path.  In the coming days as the green view turns into hues of brown, red, orange or yellow, take deep breaths, allow the cool air to wash over you, and determine what role you will play in this change.

Stay well my friends-

❤ bbprep

Eccelesiastes 3:1-8

A Time for Everything

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace

“Mommy Don’t Be Angry”

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photo credit @lifeofaministermom

She stood on her little stool in the bathroom, pieces of her curly hair bouncing across her forehead as she brushed her teeth. She paused and looked at me with with an earnest expression that comes from a state of deep contemplation. She opened her mouth and the conversation went as follows:

Alex: Mommy, why aren’t you my friend anymore?

Me: Where in the world did you get that idea from? I’m your mom, the first friend you’ve ever known. I love you very much.

Alex: Well, because you get angry at me. Yesterday you got angry at me. You can’t get angry at daddy, me, or Lily Girl. Friends are nice to each other. You have to be nice to us.

Mommy: We all get angry sometimes honey. That doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. Sometimes mama gets frustrated because you’re not a very good listener. But I love you very much OK?

Alex: Ok mama. But don’t get angry with me today. Just be kind OK?

Me: Ok, my love. I will do my best.

So that happened this week. Sure I can view it as my dear old threenager lecturing me because she didn’t get her way about something, and to a certain extent that’s true. But that ‘yesterday’s anger’ she referred to was very real. The night before this heart-to-heart took place, I distinctly remember getting so upset that I had clenched fists and angry eyes. I was furious and had to remove myself from the room just to keep it together.

The sad part is I don’t remember what caused this intense feeling to bubble up inside me. Unfortunately I feel as though it’s happened quite a bit lately as my daughter has tested my patience and I have responded extremely poorly. It hurts my heart to know that my smart, aware, and observant little girl absorbs such negativity from her own mother.

One of my favorite artist/authors is Ruth Chou Simons of http://gracelaced.com/ . She coined the Instagram hashtag #motherhoodissanctifying, and this was certainly one of those moments.

Why do I have so little patience towards those closest to me? Why do I have so little patience for my three-year-old child?! Is something really wrong with me?!

I recently shared these thoughts with a dear friend of mine, and bared my soul about the guilt I felt. I told her that I prayed and prayed, and sincerely tried my best to be a more patient parent.  I was downtrodden and discouraged because it seemed like progress was not being made at all, and I didn’t want this despicable side of me to be all my children would see. This individual is a wonderful and patient mama in my eyes, and the kind of woman and wife that I only strive to be like one day. So it certainly surprised me when she shared a few stories of having outbursts when her children were younger or losing her temper more times then she cared to admit.

During our talk she reminded me that I am seeing her now, and not the person she was then. She also reminded me that just because God doesn’t seem to answer a prayer immediately, doesn’t mean that we have been overlooked. “Patience is cultivated,” she said. “Patience is cultivated.”

       “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking       

         nothing.”James 1:4 NKJV

These wise words from my friend preceded the conversation I had with my child by some weeks, so clearly I still have a long ways to go in the patience department! However, I am realizing more and more how important it is for me to lean on God and not my own understanding. I know I want there to be an immediate change, but sometimes there is a process to things that we don’t always want to face or admit.

I know there are going to be plenty more days where I feel like I screwed everything up as a mom, but then there’s grace.

Holy, freely-given, and gladly received grace. Grace I often forget to extend to myself, but it’s the same grace that I see my child give me, even when mama is very, very, very mad.

In the trenches? Back up against the wall? Tears streaming down your face? Take a deep breath mama bear and repeat after me: patience is cultivated!!

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photo credit @lifeofaministermom

BE BLESSED!!!

Patricia A. Taylor is the proud wife of an amazing godly man, and mama to two precious girls. After having her first child she realized that motherhood, like life, is a journey best shared with others! Her heart’s desire is to cultivate a down-to-earth and faith-filled space where real experiences are shared, and sincere encouragement is given. Visit www.lifeofaministermom.com and join her on this faith-filled adventure!

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Partners for Life

Proverbs 5:15-23

Drink water from your own cistern,
    flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
    streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
    and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
    and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19     a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicated always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
    and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
    and he ponders all his paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
    and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
    and because of his great folly he is led astray.

This passage of Proverbs is a bit steamy as we read about marriage.  A partnership for life!  Often times, society will have us to believe that marriage isn’t until death do we part, but its more like until I can’t take anymore, then I part!  Marriage is a covenant between three folks, God, man, and woman.  Should for some reason, the covenant becomes shaky, cracked, or broken, we gotta remember that all parties matter.  A partnership only works and is a true partnership when all parties involved are active, present, and doing their jobs!  In a marriage its just that simple…..the husband should focus on pleasing the wife, the wife focus on pleasing the husband, and together, they both focus on pleasing God.  For if God is pleased, the rest will fall into place.

I’ve been with my life partner, my husband for 16 years, and during those times time, I’ve wanted a divorce.  It’s when times were hard, whether at my hand or his, I couldn’t find the extra umff to carry on.  When I finally realized that it wasn’t about him, but it was about me seeking God, asking Him to change me, and to give me understanding for my husband, that’s when the turn-around began.

There’s no magic trick to marriage……just a willing heart to follow God, and the rest will come.

Seek to be partners for life-

❤ bbprep

Will you be my friend?

On the back row of the school bus, I’d been watching this girl who was well liked, but not popular.  She was cute, but stood out.  She didn’t blend in, there was something different there.  I went up to her, not really knowing her or what she was all about and said..”you wanna be best friends?”  Looking back at me, sizing me up, looking me up and down, she said, “yeah”.  Twenty-nine years later….she’s still my very best friend.  Friendship is one of the greatest gifts given to man-finding the one(s) who share your ups, downs, dreams, and despair.  But among women-friendship is a special treasure, finding that one gem or rare stone, is well worth it.  A sisterhood that plays out in sororities, clubs, ministries, it helps to have a true friend.

What makes a true friend;-honesty-she’ll tell you when you’re fat!  -Dependable-she’ll arrive at your doorstep for support, even after you’ve said you don’t need her to come.  Supportive-she’ll listen to your gripes and complaints about the rotten boyfriend she told you to dump 2 years ago.  Objective-she won’t agree with all your decisions but will give objective feedback and scenarios so you’ll be able to do what you think is best.

God loves us so much that he gave us friends.  The very best friend in Jesus Christ!

John 15:15-I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.   A friend that died for us so that we could live, love, and share his sacrifice with others.   

Will you be His friend?

❤ bbprep

Wow Wednesday-“Let’s Pray!”

Prayer? communicating with God.

Why pray? communicating with God, our Father, through the name of Jesus, using scripture, is THE most powerful tool we have against the satan.

Should I pray? yes.

How? by simply speaking your heart to God.  Simply communicating to Him desires, fears, hopes, needs, passions, for you and for others.  Prayer isn’t just a time for us to dump on God, but a time to be intimate with Him, a moment to be open, honest, and transparent…after all, He already knows.

Is there a guide for prayer?-Matthew 6:7-13

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

Can you pray with me? sure!

Let’s pray

Father, in the name of Jesus.  Today was a good day.  Even if it wasn’t, we still proclaim that it WAS a good day, because you made it!  Lord, we are soooo thankful for your son Jesus, that came to earth to teach us more about you, and to die for our sins.  Because of that, we are saved from the death of sin!  We are set free!  Never to die the death of sin.  Father, we pray blessings over our neighbors, our friends, our enemies, our government, our family, and ourselves.  We open our hearts to be the people you want us to be.  We trust your plan, your direction for our life.  We aren’t smart enough,or brave enough, to do anything on our own.  We invite you to take a permanent place in our lives.  For we know without you, we WILL NOT survive.  Thank you for being who you are.  We love you, honor you, and magnify your name.

Amen.

bbprep ❤