Your Calling in Life

Today I want to focus on your calling and tell you about mine. If you are a follower of Christ I believe that He has given you a purpose. You may not know what it is, but it is there and it will be revealed to you in His time. I was saved in 1997 and I started praying for my calling then. I got married in 2004 and had our first child in 2007. For the last twelve years my children have been my calling, or so I thought. For twelve years I felt like God was preparing me for something different.

In April 2019 I went on the North Mississippi Walk to Emmaus (you can read about that at The Walk to Emmaus. While there my anxiety hit me head on and I realized as long as I let it control me God can not use me. I’m useless! Before the weekend was over God led me to speak twice and a woman who I consider very wise told me that speaking to others is my gift. I know my other gift is writing. I have passion for writing, I have for years. Public speaking not so much, but I promised God if He called me to do it then I would never say no.

When I got home I was immediately asked to speak in front of one hundred strangers. I did it, I survived, and I felt God was with me. I promised Him again that I would follow, but I knew no one would ever ask me to speak again. I actually laughed about it. The next day one of my best friends asked me to be director of Mississippi for The Silent Voices Project. It involves public speaking and lots of writing.

My point is, when God places a call on your life you don’t have to do anything, it will fall into your lap if He wills it. I knew my friend was starting a nonprofit, but I also knew I wasn’t qualified. She, and God, saw it differently. I may not have experience (well, I have some now because I’ve been working diligently since day one), but I have compassion for others. That and my love for God drives me to help trafficking and cold case victims.

While you wait for your calling, be faithful. Pray, read your Bible, and stay close to God. Prepare your heart that it may not be easy at first, but when you know that God has orchestrated this moment, you will have peace. I was terrified and paranoid at first, but now I want to tell everyone about what we’re doing. I have a passion and an excitement that I haven’t known before.

If you want to check out my other blog, here is my latest blog post, Why Epstein’s Death is Bigger Than You Thought.

Thank you for visiting today!

Lots of Updates!

So today I kinda just want to update y’all on what is going on in our super busy lives (why I haven’t posted). I am hoping that as I get into the new swing of things I will be able to post more, but I can’t promise. So I won’t do that.

So, update number one: We are NOT moving AT THIS TIME. Our lives are in this location so it would be super hard to start over right now. That may change in a year or so, but for now we are staying put. We will be remodeling our 1997 Buccaneer single wide so look for those updates here and on Pinterest.

Update number two: I have a new career. I am the brand new director for Missississippi of the Silent Voices Project. We investigate cold cases, help search for missing people, and educate the public on human trafficking. The website is here and I am working on a blog for my state. I have been praying for sixteen years for a ministry and this literally fell into my lap one day. Every talent God has given me has been put to good use and I am still floored that my friend asked me to do this. It’s incredible!

The very last update is that I am also selling Scentsy as a way of funding the Silent Voices Project. Gas to do expos and education, business supplies, and future goals all cost money. By future goals I am talking about a home for human trafficking survivors as well as supplies for survivors in the United States as well as in Nigeria.

So, that’s what I have been up to these last few weeks. I don’t plan on slowing down any, but when I have a few minutes I’m hoping to update this blog. Thank you for stopping by!

What Our Homeschool Looks Like

Let me start by saying that my homeschool is not perfect and I’m not telling you to copy me or that this is what it has to look. The beauty of homeschooling is individuality. God made us all different and He gave me my kids and He gave you yours for a reason. This is simply an example for those who are new or who are looking for ideas.

This is our calendar for the 2020 school year:

  • Aug 5th: First Day of School
  • Sep 2nd: Labor Day (No school)
  • Nov 28th: Thanksgiving (No school)
  • Nov 29th (No school)
  • Dec 16th: Daddy’s birthday (No School)
  • Dec 23rd – Jan 3rd: Christmas break (No school) Some people take all of December off and that’s fine, but I prefer to get finish the year earlier.
  • Apr 10th: Good Friday (No School)
  • Apr 13th: Easter Break (Yes, one day)
  • Apr 21st: Mommy’s birthday (No School)
  • Apr 28th: Last Day of School!

I prefer fewer breaks so that we can get done sooner. They still do some school stuff during the summer, but it’s not required. Also, if anything happens we have plenty of room to extend the year if we have to.

We used to do all of our work at the dining room table, but this year I want to keep the kids outdoors more, especially since our daughter is still technically Year 0. We have a beautiful old tree in our front yard that provides plenty of shade.

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Since we primarily use Charlotte Mason’s methods, our daughter won’t officially start school until she’s six. We’ll begin “officially” teaching her next August and this year will be spent letting her play in a workbook geared towards four-year-olds. It’s not Charlotte Mason, but she really wants to get started and I don’t want to hold her back. We’re going to have lots of fun, though, so that she doesn’t regret begging.

Our youngest is two so we listen to worship music and I read my Bible aloud in the mornings so he knows what Mommy is doing. I love hearing him and his sister walking around singing songs that they’ve learned at home and at church. My oldest gets up later so he misses this, but he gets to hear the little ones the rest of the day.

If you are interested in Charlotte Mason, check out Ambleside Online. There are schedules, book lists, etc there to get you started. It’s free, you just have to buy the books. Many are free for Kindle which I like because our house is small and can’t hold the private library I would create with all of our books.

 

We Have to Be Foolish

We Have to Be Foolish

You may be wondering what I’m going to talk about today. Well, I was reading my Bible this morning and when I came to 1 Chronicles 15:29, I remembered a praise and worship song I dearly loved when I was a teenager. It says, “And as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out the window and saw King David dancing and celebrating and she despised him in her heart.” The song is called “Undignified (I Will Sing)” and it’s performed by many different Christian artists, but I love Matt Redman’s rendition. This is it with lyrics.

When we read God’s Word and obey it, we appear foolish to the world. 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Verse 27 goes on to say, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;”.

If we truly want to be Christ-like then we must be willing to be to look foolish to nonChristians. They thought Jesus was crazy! Why should they think different of us if our goal is to be like Him? Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

I encourage you to study the life of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to see how we are supposed to be. We are to love others, even those who hate us. We are to worship Him with our brothers and sisters, without fear of what others will think of us. We are called to fellowship together (attend church), but we are to worship Him without ceasing. My favorite place is when I’m in the car or my home with my three children. I want to raise them to be foolish to the world, too.

Why I Use the English Standard Version Bible

ESV

There are a lot of Bible versions out there including the King James Verson (KJV), the New King James Version (NKJV), the New Internation Version (NIV), the English Standard Version (ESV), and lots more. If you have followed my blog you have likely noticed that I only use the ESV. Or seem to.

I used to be a KJV-only type because that’s what I grew up with and what we use at church. The problem was that I struggled to understand it and I was missing the meaning because of that. For my birthday this year, I was given an ESV Bible so I started reading it.

The first thing I noticed was that it was saying the same thing as my KJV, but in modern English. This makes it super simple to follow along in church. I also don’t get distracted by the lingo so I retain more of what I’m reading. This makes me want to read more and I can spend more time doing so.

It does have the same issue as most modern translations, verses are missing. I did my own research and agree that they were likely added after the original manuscripts. I do have a journaling Bible so it’s simple enough for me to write them in. I did that when I realized my Bible was missing four verses in 1 Thessalonians.

I’m definitely not saying that you should choose a translation and just use it, I certainly do not. I use the NIV, NLT, KJV, and ESV personally. Occasionally I’ll use the CSB (Christian Standard Bible) on my Kindle. To make things simpler on this blog I stick to ESV unless I make a note otherwise.

Just Participate, Don’t Anticipate

DontAnticipate

“Just participate, don’t anticipate” was the mantra on my Walk to Emmaus. It made us slow down and not overthink our weekend, just enjoy the surprises that popped up along the way. I find that doing this now is almost therapeutic. I thought I was crazy, until today.

Every afternoon I start my Bible study with Jesus Calling  by Sarah Young. Today it says, “Concentrate on keeping step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you”. It references Proverbs 16:9 which says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”. This means that it’s okay to make plans as long as you allow God to guide your steps.

That’s what we have done with Berry Cottage. We asked God to show us where He wanted us and He showed us Berry Cottage. Then He blessed us financially to be able to move there. We serve a loving, merciful God who wants to bless us, but in His time and in His way. That’s what He’s teaching me.

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, I still have my struggles. I’m still praying to be content in our current circumstances, but I’m learning that contentment is really a choice. Some days I have to ask Him to show me the way, but it’s getting easier.

When Are You Moving?

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I get this question a lot. I have been praying that God would open a door so that we can move. Yesterday I told my husband that I want a move-in date. He said, “Show me the money”. I prayed and asked God to please help us. An hour later my mom called with a surprise for us. We are moving in July of this year!

To say that I’m excited is an understatement. The house won’t be perfect, but I don’t even care. That will come in time. I’m ecstatic because I know where God wants us. All we have to do is take what we need, which really isn’t much.

I will post pictures as we complete projects and start decorating. That’s my favourite part of this. Decorating and making our house a home. It’s going to be simple, but comfortable. Like the house itself.

If you are looking for an answer or you are struggling, go to Jesus. I can tell you with certainty that He loves you and He’s waiting for you to talk to Him. He still talks to us just like He talked to people in the Bible. We just have to take time to listen. We’re too often too busy for Him. He’s never too busy for us.

The Walk to Emmaus

WalkToEmmaus

If you have never heard of The Walk to Emmaus I encourage you to ask at your church and see if anyone has been. I went in April and I sent my mom on the very next one. It isn’t a secret society nor is it a cult. It is an incredible experience where you will see Jesus.

The Walk to Emmaus is based on Luke 24:13-35. It’s just after Jesus was resurrected and he appeared to two men on the road to Emmaus. They walked and talked with Him, but did not know that He was Jesus. It wasn’t until He broke the bread and blessed it that they recognized Him. Then He vanished.

The Walk to Emmaus ministry is clouded in mystery because if you know what is going to happen you will miss a blessing. The purpose is for you to focus on Jesus all weekend. To truly seek Him. If it’s like my weekend and my Mom’s, you will encounter Him. It may not be the first day, it may be the last, but He will meet you there. You only have to be receptive.

It is not a replacement for going to church. It is a place to go and get re-charged. Then you return to your church and your community ready to serve. While I was there I realized that I wasn’t serving because I had allowed my anxiety to overwhelm me. The devil still tries to use my anxiety, but I’m wise to his tricks and I rebuke him. Right now, this blog is how I serve until God shows me what He wants me to do.

The Walk to Emmaus is life-changing, just like it was for the two men on the road to Emmaus. I pray that if you haven’t been that you will pray about going. If you have been I would love for you to share your experience without revealing any of the secrets.

Travel Bucket List

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As you can see from the map above, my family and I have visited quite a few states, but there are so many that we haven’t seen. My husband and I are working on our travel bucket list. We are hoping to start sometime in the next eighteen months and see every state by the time I turn 40 in 2024. Some will require a plane or a boat, obviously, but if we can drive we will. Why? To truly see God’s creation.

My family and I love tent camping. Last year we had a shocking experience when my parent’s camper was struck by lightning and it fried the electronics in our tent. We have learned from that “mistake” and will use what we have learned to keep everyone safe. Or God may provide a pop-up. We’ll see.

I am really looking forward to Maine, Salem, Massachusetts, and Branson, Missouri. We’re discussing flying from Northern California to Anaheim so I can cross Disneyland off my bucket list, but we’ll see. The goal is to spend at least twenty-four hours in each state, so driving through doesn’t count. Except Texas. We can sightsee and visit cool places while we navigate our way across.

As I have said before, we homeschool so we feel this will be a great learning experience for our children and us. There are so many museums in every state along with some great national landmarks. No one should complain about being bored.

Fighting a Spiritual Battle

SpiritualWarfare

For over a month now my family and I have been struggling financially. I have made cuts that were somewhat painful, but I have also prepared to lose things that so far we have arrangements made. We have food, electricity, internet, both homes, and our vehicle. All of this time God has given me verses on not being afraid. I thought this was a physical fight in the sense that we’re struggling to keep things.

Last night God got my attention through a dream. My husband and I had just bought a house that was way more than we needed, but it was an old house. I’m talking two stories with a basement and a full attic. Everything was fine until it got dark. Then things started moving, I heard voices, and I was being attacked with our youngest child beside me. When I went to rebuke the dark spirit I was too weak, it laughed at me.

I ran to where my husband was sleeping with our other two kids and the spirit was after them, too. My husband and I stood there and pondered what to do at three in the morning in the middle of a spiritual battle. I called my dad, who I lost in February. In true Dad fashion, his response was, “You aren’t bringing that $%^& here!” So we loaded up and went to Berry Cottage.

When I woke up I realized that even though this feels like we’re dealing on the physical level, we’re actually dealing on a spiritual level. This fight is about Who we are going to listen to and where our trust lies. Do we trust God? Or are we going to let the devil take away our joy and our faith?

I haven’t been praying for strength, I have been praying for answers. I haven’t felt like reading the Bible so I have neglected it. So I’m not prepared for this spiritual battle at all and I’m not doing anything about it! I’m too focused on myself.

This realization was more terrifying than the nightmare I had woken up from. I stayed up a few hours praying and reading my Bible. God had my undivided attention and I was shaking too bad to fall asleep.

I realized that my husband and I need to come together to face the devil, he’s already fighting us and we’re letting him win. Every time I look at our budget in fear and panic, the enemy is winning because I’m not trusting Jesus. He’s got this. All I have to do is let go and remind the devil that he has no place here. Jesus always wins. Always. He already conquered hell and death, there’s no power in either one.

So, how do you fight a spiritual fight? Start with Ephesians 6 and put on the whole armour of God. Pray, preferably out loud, without ceasing. Get in His word and stay there. Go to church and ask your church family to pray for you and your family, too. The enemy comes to see who he can devour, don’t let it be you. Fight back! Remind him what God’s Word says.

On another note, I think seeing Berry Cottage as our sanctuary and refuge was a pretty clear sign, too. When we’re there you can feel the presence of God. It’s beautiful! Anyone who has been there has felt His peace, even in the yard! We haven’t heard from the mortgage company there yet, but I know that God’s got this. No matter what happens.