Thoughts and Meditations (for birth) Part 2

2. God will call to mind techniques and such to try. He will guide and lead this childbirth.

a. Ps. 16:11~ You have made known to me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
b. James 1:5~ If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
c. Ps. 32:8~ I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
d. Ps. 37:23-24~ Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel…

*Every detail of this labor and birth You care for and You don’t overlook. You are helping me.
*You speak Your thoughts and direct my steps.*God is in control, not me; God is in control, not the midwife OR doctor; God is in control.
*Only with Your help do I remember Your truth, Your lessons and Your design and plan for labor. My hope is in You all these days leading to this labor, during this labor, and my whole life long.
*You make known to me the path of this baby’s life. You have filled me with Your joy; the joy of Your Spirit and the joy of this baby. Together we are working to bring this eternal soul into this world You created.
*You generously give me Your wisdom and counsel. You lead me and guide me in Your wisdom and truth. I do not fear or worry. You are in control, not me! I surrender all to You.
*You are with me always. You guide and counsel me, Lord, and You do so when this baby begins the entrance to Your world. You instruct me, counsel me, and watch over me. You have never left my side and stand by me as I labor. Lord, You open my ears and my heart to hear from You.

… in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… ~ Rm 8:37

2016-05-28 11.14.04

 

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Thoughts and Meditations (for birth) Part 1

  1. With God, I will succeed and be conqueror

a. Phil. 4:13~ I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
b. Phil. 4:19~ And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
c. Rom. 8:37~ … in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
d. Prov. 16:3~ Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
e. 2 Cor. 12:9-10~ … My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness… therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness… in hardships… in difficulties… for when I am weak, then I am strong.
f. Jer. 31:8-9~ Among them will be… women in labor… they will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back… I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble.

*I am more than a conqueror because You dwell within me. When I am weak, You are strong. I can rejoice in weakness as Your power and presence rest more fully on me.
*You are my strength and shield. You have promised to strengthen me and help me. You are strengthening and helping me even now.
*I commit this labor and delivery to Your hands and I know that together, we will successfully birth this baby with Your plans being my guide.
*You formed my body as a woman, capable of carrying and delivering babies. You meet all my needs; I only lean on You and focus on You. You give me Your strength.
*In my weakness, Your power and strength rest on me and sustain me. I fear not because You walk with me; holding my hand and guiding me. You are my peace. You lead me beside streams of water and on level paths so I do not stumble. I trust in You and Your ways.

115884fa191604fca56f81d76f1e5e67

Thoughts on Colossians 1

Scripture:
Colossians 1:3-12, esp v. 3-4 NASB

v3– We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
v4– since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;
v 5- because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel,
v 6- which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;
v 7- just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf,
v 8- and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.
v 9- For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
v 10- so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every  good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
v 11- strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
v 12- giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

Observation(s) & Applications:
-we should give thanks to God our Father for fellow Christians
-we should pray always for our brothers & sisters in Christ
-Christians should be filled with faith in Christ & love for all the saints
-we should show our thankfulness for the spiritual attainments of others
-this is a portion of a letter written by Paul to the Colossian church
-Paul focuses on (3) key aspects of Christianity: 1) faith in Christ, 2) love for the saints, and 3) hope
-“the hope laid up for you in heaven”–> as believers, we have security/assurance of salvation–> we *know* our future destination (heaven)–> knowing & recognizing this brings us FREEDOM–> we are now free to live for Christ and love others!
-Epaphras–> founder of the church at Colossae
-Paul gave us a beautiful picture of how to pray for other Christians: 1) that they would understand God’s will, 2) gain spiritual wisdom, 3) please and honor God, 4) bear good fruit, 5) grow in the knowledge of God, 6) be filled with God’s strength, 7) have great endurance and patience, 8) stay full of Christ’s joy, and 9) give thanks always.
-Paul also gives us (5) benefits God gives all believers through Christ: 1) He made us qualified to share His inheritance, 2) He rescued us from Satan’s dominion of darkness and made us His children, 3) He brought us into His eternal kingdom, 4) He redeemed us, that is, He bought our freedom from sin and judgement, and 5) He forgave all our sins–> we have SO much to be thankful for!!!
-v. 6– “constantly bearing fruit and increasing”–> this should be true of believers–> “fruit” meaning the fruit discusses in Galatians 5:22-23–>But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
-“grace” from v. 6–> Free Grace Theology is the view that 1) everlasting life is a free gift (which the Lord Jesus fully paid for by His death on the cross for our sins) which is received by faith alone in Christ alone, apart from works of any kind; 2) that assurance of one’s eternal destiny is based solely on believing Jesus’ promise to the believer and not at all on our works or on our feelings; and 3) that all people, believers and unbelievers, are accountable for their works, receive recompense for what they do in this life, and will be judged at the end of the age (in two separate judgments) to determine degrees of reward (believers) or degrees of torment (unbelievers) in the life to come, but not to determine their eternal destinies. An awesome article about grace: http://faithalone.org/magazine/y2014/What-Is-Free-Grace.pdf; awesome website: http://www.faithalone.org/
-being filled with “the knowledge of (God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”–> results in: 1) us walking in a manner worthy of the Lord, 2) us pleasing Him in all respects, 3) us bearing fruit in every good work, 4) us increasing in the knowledge of God, 5) us being strengthened with all power, 6) us attaining steadfastness, 7) us attaining patience, and 8) us joyously giving thanks to the Father–> even *more* things in which to give thanks to God for!

Prayer:
Father God, we as believers have SO much in which to be thankful for. You have lavished on us SO many blessings and benefit as believers. I pray that we give You thanks for all of it! I also pray for my brothers and sisters across the globe, that they would grow in their knowledge of You and that they would be filled with faith, love, and hope. I pray that they would have assurance of their future destination: heaven, and so, that they would in turn live our their lives fearlessly for You, loving others deeply as well. Strengthen us and help us to walk in a manner worthy of You, full of good deeds and good fruit, steadfast. Amen.

GiveThanksAndPray

photo cred: lindsayletters.com

I Want More Joy

The other night, my hubby and I snuggled down with the kids to watch the movie “Inside Out“, which we had received as a Christmas present. Only my hubby and Duckling #4 (aka Master Lieutenant) had seen it before at the theater. It was brand new to the rest of us.

Our entire family gave it a thumbs up. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should take the time to. It will be well worth your time. Very interesting, artistic interpretation at the inner workings of the human mind.

Throughout the movie’s entirety, I found myself consistently drawn to the character of “Joy”. She captured my heart and attention. No matter what life events were thrown in her direction, she always seemed to take a positive spin to it. Yes, she’d get distraught and annoyed… but she didn’t stay there. She thought the best of everyone and everything.

INSIDE OUT

“INSIDE OUT” (Pictured) JOY. ©2014 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

She did have some faults, though. She lied at one point. She shoved other emotions away from the control panel, as she didn’t quite understand their necessity or importance. She outright left Sadness behind as she clamored to get into the tube that would return her to HQ. (I know much of this isn’t making a lick of sense to those of you who haven’t yet seen the movie. But hang with me.)

I like what wikia said about Joy in her character profile:

Joy’s goal has always been to make sure Riley stays happy. She is lighthearted, optimistic and determined to find the fun in every situation. Joy sees challenges in Riley’s life as opportunities, and the less happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great. As long as Riley is happy, so is Joy.

After the movie, I got to thinking even more about “joy” in a more general sense. In my own personal life, I am totally naturally drawn to joyful, happy, exciting people. Now, I’m not saying I epitomize the character of Sadness (no thank you). But I guess my introverted tendencies lend themselves toward a more slightly melancholy demeanor. Happy people just make me happy. And I like that. I want to be with that. Alone… I really have to purposefully work at cultivating true joy. It doesn’t seem to come naturally.

But I’d like to change that about myself.

Now Biblically I understand that happiness/joy can come from several different sources:
1- being saved from sin
2- having a living, vibrant relationship with God
3- recognizing God’s sovereignty and power in every situation
4- seeing God as good
5- believing that God will work out ALL circumstances for good
6- having real community with fellow believers
7- BEING THANKFUL

It’s #7 that I believe I need to be working on…

Sometimes my circumstances loom big and scary over me and I feel like I’m drowning in them. My emotions will sometimes take the driver’s seat and get the best of me. Sometimes my focus can only see what’s dark and potentially bad. Eeek… and don’t even get me started on wandering in the land of “what if’s”.

It takes a real act of purpose for me to see the bright side of life.

All my life I have been drawn to the happy-go-lucky, positive, uplifting, adventurous types of personalities. That was the kind of best friends I had growing up. And although my husband may appear to be stoic to the untrained eye… he actually is terribly positive in his perspective of people and life as a whole.

One of my goals for 2016 is to be actively and purposefully focus of the goodness of life. To be intentionally filled with thanksgiving for all the many many blessings that God has richly chosen to give me.

To take Philippians 4:8 truly to heart and to fix my thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. To think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

What’s one of YOUR goals for 2016?

**A really great article on how we can experience Biblical joy can be found here. I always like reading the articles that GotQuestions.org has on their site. Check it out.

One of my favorite songs

Newsboys

“That’s How You Change The World”

That’s how you change the world
That’s how you change the world

All my life I had big dreams
To do big things and make a change
And all the while, I just passed by
The simple needs right here next to me

‘Cause there’s a breaking heart
That’s fallin’ apart
And tear filled eyes lookin’ back at me
God, won’t you help me to see

It’s the prayer in an empty room
Little things we do when nobody’s around
A hand reaching out to a heart in doubt
It’s the smallest spark that can light the dark

That’s how you change the world
Oh oh oh oh (Change the world)
That’s how you change the world
Oh oh oh oh (Change the world)

A million little drops of rain
Can be enough to cause a tidal wave
A flood of Your love
That no one can contain

‘Cause there’s an empty soul
That wants to be known
Around me now, that I can lead to You
Revealing love that won’t refuse

It’s the kind words
A simple smile
More than showin’ up
Going the extra mile
It’s giving everything
When you’ve got nothin’ left
Sharin’ a little hope
With a single breath

That’s how you change the world
That’s how you change the world

It’s the prayer in an empty room
A hand reaching out to a heart in doubt

change-the-world
What little thing can you do today to change the world?

True Repentance… what’s it all about?

Today, I created a chart for my middle kiddos that are struggling with what repentance really looks like. They now have this handy little chart in their rooms to help guide them in their prayers for repentance.

It looks something like this:

1- ADMIT and CONFESS sin. (Father God, I did _________.)

2- ASK for forgiveness. (Please God, forgive me for ________.)

3- ASK for help. (Help me God to stop ________.)

4- TRY to quit. (Decide: I will try to quit ________.)

repentance

My oldest child has a pretty good handle on this personally. When she sins, she’s actually grieved in her heart. She’s quick to make things right with God and those she may have hurt.

My next child is 50/50 on handling his sin issues. If he gets stuck, he usually just needs a quick repentance reminder and he goes and takes care of the sin.

My next two have really been struggling with this for a while. They have both accepted Christ and both understand that their salvation is sure and secure. But they’re struggling with taking care of sin issues as they crop up throughout the day. They don’t seem to be grieved by sin. They don’t seem to go to the Lord in prayer to make things right with Him. It’s very hard to get them to make things right with the people they hurt. And they keep committing the same sins over and over.

So today, out of frustration over a sin issue that cropped up, I sat Child #3 & #4 down and thoroughly explained step-by-step the process of true repentance. How they have to 1- admit and confess that *they* did XYZ and it was wrong. That they then need to 2- ask God for forgiveness for XYZ (being very specific about what action(s) was wrong). That they can totally (and should) 3- ask God for help to resist this sin in the future. And then, to 4- make the personal decision to try and not do XYZ again. To work this repentance process with God first… and then to follow this same process with whoever they sinned against.

It really seemed to open their eyes. They apparently had no idea.

Typically, I would rebuke and discipline and teach and they’d be like “yeah, ok mom”– but they’d keep doing the same thing over and over again. My teaching and discipline seemed to go in one ear and out the other.

After our discussion on this process of true repentance, an opportunity came up within the next hour to test out this process. Child #3 got into a squabble with Child #1. Feelings were hurt. Things were said that were mean. The relationship was broken. After disciplining Child #3, I sent her to her room to go through the repentance process with God alone. She was up there a while but eventually came down looking like she’d dealt with it. I nudged her to make things right with her sister using this same process (subtracting Step 3, asking for help to quit ______). You should have seen child #1’s face when her sister came to her and said, “I did ______. It was wrong. Would you please forgive me? And I promise to try and quit doing ______ to you.” Child #1 nearly fell to the floor. She’d never heard her sister talk like that! It was SO cool to watch them reconcile and make things right and hug! YEA!!! It worked!!! And I’m not kidding, Child #3’s disposition has changed drastically today! She has been SO pleasant to be with. It’s like *seeing* the process of true repentance written on paper for her to follow was just the thing she needed!

I KNOW we will be using this chart in the very near future. Sin unfortunately always rears it’s ugly head. But I know I can discipline and teach and help lead them through this process.

I guess I always just assumed they understood repentance.
Child #1 and #2 seemed to get it right away, without much teaching.

But I thought I would share this experience with you my readers. If you’re having a young child that is struggling with recurrent sin issues and you’re not making any headway, perhaps it would be helpful to actually ask them if they truly understand the repentance process. They may not.

Perhaps you could try writing out the above steps too so they could take something with them when they go and pray, something to give them direction and guidance.

repentance2

Hope you have a blessed day!

♥ Momma Duck

Dealing With a Mild Illness

I always hesitate a bit to share with people how to naturally treat illnesses from home. For a number of reasons. Some think it’s load of hooey. Some are anti anything-having-to-do-with-alternative-health (very pro doctor). Even if people are into natural healing, there are SO many differing approaches (herbs, homeopathics, essential oils, etc). And many people are quite passionate about their beliefs, to the point that some individuals turn nasty if you or someone else holds a different belief system. We seem to live in a very touchy/easily offended world. It honestly doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me why people feel personally attacked when someone has a different view point or set of beliefs. That’s just life. That’s humanity. It’s really nothing to get upset about or take personally.

Alas, because of the backlash I see so many people get when they speak up, I’ve chosen to remain quiet. 😦
I’ve never really been a big wave-maker or pot-stirrer.

But as I grow in my faith with God, though, I’m beginning to understand a few things more clearly.

Number 1– this “remaining quiet” thing is actually rooted in a “fear of man”. And I should fear GOD more than I fear man.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Gal 1:10

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…
Col 3:23

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
Prov 29:25

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:20

Number 2– if God has entrusted me with knowledge and wisdom and spiritual gifts, He wants and expects me to share and use those gifts to bless/encourage others for His glory.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Rm 12:6-8

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Pet 4:10-11

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, …
1 Cor 12:4-11

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, …
Eph 4:11-16

Number 3– I’m now an “older woman” to several ladies. I’m nearing 36 years of age and I have lived and learned a decent amount concerning marriage, motherhood, roles of womanhood, homemaking, etc. I was trained to be a worldchanger through education and having a career– so I started this road of homemaking and mothering as a newbie. I learned (mostly through failure, unfortunately) what I know now in regards to being a godly wife and mother (still learning, always learning, love learning). It is actually a biblically based mission for me to come alongside younger ladies and teach, help, strengthen, and encourage them as they establish homes of their own.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5

Number 4– I have gone through some pretty dark days as an adult. Frequently I battle depression… and this last year specifically: anxiety (so not fun). We had major financial issues early on in our marriage, and so, had to live with family for many years in order to get grounded. We had a miscarriage in July ’07. We also had a stillbirthed daughter born at 37 weeks (Miss Baby Rose) in April 2010. Adulthood has not been a walk in the park for me. It’s been real and it’s been tough. But God… He’s ALWAYS been there for my husband and I (and for our kids). He’s comforted me in SO many ways. I can, and most definitely should, comfort others with the comfort that I have received.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.…
2 Cor 1:3-5

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Ps 55:22

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Ps 9:9

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Ps 46:1

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Pet 5:6-7

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Ps 30:5

I could go on and on and on with all the MANY verses there are about “comfort” in the Bible!

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Ok, so wow. All that to say: I’m gonna share with you a *quick tip* on how to naturally heal mild illness in your family. LOL

I’m not going to fear man.
I *do* have knowledge and wisdom to share.
I am an older woman that can help a younger woman.
And maybe (hopefully) this post will be an encouragement and comfort to someone!

My 2 yr old daughter, Miss Pebbles, came down with a low-grade fever yesterday. Other symptoms: runny nose, lethargy, mild cough, and sneezing. She just has a little bug that’s getting her down.
Before I knew a thing or two about natural healing, I would simple “wait it out” and let the bug “run it’s course”. Or I would give over the counter (OTC) medicine that would only relieve the symptoms.
About the time we had our 3rd child, we started looking into natural/home remedies.
Now hear me out: we are NOT anti-doctor! We *do* take our children to the doctor if they are really hurt or if my home remedies aren’t working. Doctors truly have been given the gift of healing from God and if the situation warrants it, we’ll go! But… if I can treat it from home (like sniffles, chickenpox, mild cuts and wounds, vomiting, diarrhea, etc), I will.
As I learned about natural healing, I realized that the best thing you can do is *boost the immune system* when someone gets sick. As *soon* as symptoms of any kind start rearing their head, I am ON IT. I do *not* wait. I aim to boost that immune system as quickly as possible so the body can more quickly recover.
~~What I did for Miss Pebbles is the following:
1- rubbed a good lather of garlic oil on her chest, feet (put on some socks!), neck, and around (and in) her ears.
2- rubbed Baby Vicks on her back (yes, I still use OTC stuff– someday I hope to experiment with homemade baby vicks, but not today).
3- gave her 1/2 a tablet of chewable vit C (I like Puritans Pride brand).
4- gave her a bit of Tylenol for the fever (yes, I know… another OTC *wink*).
5- mixed a few drops of liquid echinacea (from Nature’s Sunshine**) with her juice and had her drink that.
6- kisses and cuddles and lots of touch.
7- prayer for healing.
8- put her down for sleep
The garlic gets into her bloodstream and starts attacking/killing the virus or bacteria or whatever’s getting her down.
The Baby Vicks opens her airways so she can breathe better.
The vit C and echinacea boost her immune system.
Touch has clinically been proven to aid in healing.
Prayer changes things. God is the Great Physician!
Sleep rejuvenates and heals the body.
I will give the garlic & herbs about 3x/day until the illness subsides… and then for a day after (or maybe 2 if it’s a tough bug) just to make sure the bug is really gone.
Guess as illness presents itself in our home, I’ll share other things that we do naturally.
It’s just so comforting to know that I can do *something* to aid in the process of healing (and not just relieve symptoms) and that I don’t have to wait for the bug to just take it’s course.
**If you open an new account with Nature’s Sunshine in order to purchase herbs, please let me know beforehand! You can “become a member” and earn 33% off retail price. I’ll share with you how!