All posts by ReNewedChick

Got Love?

So here is a little food for thought. It may be heavy and kind of “in your face” but I am done with superficial Christians living their superficial lives and presenting to the world that this is what Christianity is all about.

Christianity is not about performing “good deeds” and then being done with the person that the deed was done for, it is not about telling people that you are going to pray for them yet not having a praying bone in your body, it is not about wearing a certain type of clothing or not wearing make-up, it is not about being one person to the world while you are a different person behind closed doors. It is about being transparent, it is about serving others and continuing to build relationship with them, it is about displaying the character of God in the good times and the bad.

How can you display His character if you don’t know Him? How can you know Him if you don’t spend time with Him? This is why relationship is so important. Relationship requires us to be selfless, to forgive and to put others’ needs before our own. This world has gotten it so twisted and we don’t understand or hold relationships sacred anymore.

Religion has been intertwined with the Word, lies have been mixed with Truth, for a very long time and it’s about time we started to acknowledge it, address it and change it. If you are a born-again believer you need to begin seeking the Lord for understanding, as it pertains to His Word, because true understanding can only come from Him.

How can we love if we walk in pride?Some of us have been walking in pride for so long that we do not even realize we are in it. That’s scary but it’s the truth and I know because I was once the most prideful person anyone could have ever met but thank God for deliverance!

Pride and love cannot and will never mix; they cannot exist together. You cannot unconditionally love anyone if you walk in pride because pride forces us to love conditionally. God’s love is not conditional. Jesus did not die for us to love others conditionally! His love is so unconditional that we cannot wrap our carnal minds around it, which is why He tells us that our minds must be renewed. This truth may go over certain ones’ heads however, some things can only be received by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit that is. This is a continual process, not a one-time deal.

Don’t take my word for it, read the Word and seek the Lord in everything that you hear, see and do.

There is always something to learn, something to receive and something new that God wants to reveal to us through His Word. It is only when we do what it says in Matthew 6:33 and “seek first the Kingdom” and seek the wisdom, understanding righteousness of God, that our minds can be renewed, we can be delivered from bondage and we can walk in liberty and unconditional love toward all. Peace and love, family!

Delayed or Unanswered?

I met a young man while shopping.  He and I began talking and he happened to say something that would later send me on this journey of intense study and prayer.  He had recently gone through a very hurtful breakup with the mother of their infant daughter and said that he thought she was “the one” and now he was in a place of questioning and doubting God since he felt like God didn’t answer his prayers to be with this woman forever.  I’m sure many of us can relate to this type of doubt and unanswered-prayeruncertainty, in our own lives, in some way.  However, I could sense that this was much more than your typical doubt, if you will.

In the short time that we spoke, which was about half an hour, I learned more about this young man than I learned about many of my friends during our first few months of friendship.  I also believe that this young man walked away with a newfound faith and a certainty that he had longed for, for a lifetime.  To God be the glory!  You see, I am not the kind of person that believes in sugarcoating this thing called faith; I am not going to paint out a life spent with Jesus to be a life free from pain, struggle, tears or hurt.  However, as long as there is breath in these lungs I will forever let you know that in the midst of the pain and the tears, there will always be an indescribable peace and an unspeakable joy that can only come from Jesus.

Back to our topic, delayed or unanswered?…  When I was growing up, my grandmother, who was a mighty woman of faith, used to say, “Baby girl, there will always be times when God seems distant but that’s when you have to stand a little firmer, pray a little harder and trust a little longer.”  I’m not going to even lie and say that I understood what she meant by that but as I’ve grown up, had a family of my own, and continued my own walk with the Lord, I have begun to understand many of her words a little bit better.  349_1920x1080_angel_vs_demon

You see, we all have times when we want to give up or we feel stagnated in some part of our lives.  I’m sure many, if not all, of us have had times when we have prayed to some ‘higher being’ and things just didn’t pan out the way we thought they would.  It is very easy to stop believing, to stop trusting, and to give up on faith during those times but that is the trick of the enemy.  The enemy wants you to believe that there is no God or that God is not listening to you but that is a lie from the pit of hell!  The truth is that God does listen, God does care and God is real!

There are times when we, as parents, avoid giving our own children things that will harm them or take them off of the path that they are supposed to be traveling on.  If we, as parents, think about our children in this way and want to prevent them from ever being hurt in any way, what do you believe the God of all creation thinks about concerning us and our well-being?

DISCLAIMER: I take full responsibility, retaliation and backlash for the following statement: I honestly believe that there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer; there is either yes or no.

Man-Praying-at-DawnMany times, it is not that God has not answered our prayers.  Many times, God has either answered the  prayer with a “No” and that is why it feels like He did not answer us because He has answered in a way that we were not really expecting or open to.  And, sometimes, His answer is “Yes” and everything works out the way we thought it should or even better.  What we have to remember is that everything will be answered in the end so, whether or not we understand God’s Will, we can rest assured that we will fully understand everything (the good, the bad and the ugly) that happened, in this life, when we get to eternity.

My goal, in every post that I write, is to make you think, not to change your mind or belief, just to give you something to chew on.  If you happen to get something more out of the thoughts written into this blog that is wonderful but the goal is to really just present a new perspective about very real issues, subjects or questions that we all may have thought about at one point or another.

College: Is it really necessary?

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Some friends and I were talking a few days ago and we happened to get on the topic of college. That conversation was probably one of my favorites since I love talking about and understanding the impact that our choices have on our lives and on society as a whole.

So, one of my friends said that he and his wife feel that having a college education is very much needed to get to where you want to be in this life. A few of my friends were torn in what they truly believed or had no real opinion about it one way or another. The majority of my friends felt like most of their parents expected them to go to college and obtain a degree and, as such, they knew they would require this of their own offspring as well. I was joined by only one other friend who felt that while a college degree is great to pursue it is not absolutely necessary for lifelong success.

I’m of the belief that when the Lord has called you to a particular thing He will open the doors – that you will need opened – to get you to where He’s called you to go. God can, will and has already given you certain gifts that will help you on your journey of life. One of my dearest friends, who barely finished high school and is one of the smartest people I know, has a very evident gift of knowledge. A gift of knowledge, for those who don’t know, is having a mind that is able to figure out, quickly learn or just plain know things that most people only know if they’re “formally” taught those things. This is the way that the gift has manifested itself in my friend however, I am sure it can manifest itself in other ways as God wills. All in all, this IS a real gift that can make a person look – and sound – college educated without actually being so.

I understand that it is the goal of colleges and recruiters to enroll as many students as possible. That is their mission and their job and I’m not mad at them for taking their jobs seriously and holding their position in high regards. I’m appreciative to these institutions for being here for the many people who can, will, have been called and do desire to attend college. What frustrates me is that we, as parents, are not truly in prayer for our children and for our children’s futures. What grieves my heart is that we are not consulting God – in everything that we do – in how we are raising, what we are speaking and how we are guiding our children. Since my belief is that not everyone is supposed to go to college, it makes no sense for those individuals to go and put themselves in the position to incur student loans and other debts for an education that they will either never fully use or walk down a path that they’ve not been called to in the first place.

No wonder why so many college students change their majors on average 3 times before settling on one. We are sending our children into the world and expecting them, at 18 years old, to have a well thought out, surefire plan so that we can feel good about sending them out to begin and fulfill that plan. We are not setting our children up for success but rather for failure. If we will be real, we can all see how this is sending a message to our kids that conformity is better than being distinct. This message says, “Don’t have your own dreams, goals or vision, just do what everyone else is doing and be what everyone else is being and everything will be fine. Oh yeah, and God doesn’t need to know about this but you can bring Him along for the ride!” Are we serious?!?

I said all of this to say that it is up to us to understand how we are gifted, know what we have been called to do and to be obedient and walk in that calling and our own individual purpose. I know of so many people who believe if you do not hold a college degree, that you are uneducated and/or unintelligent and thus not on their level. This could not be further from the truth. I also know of those who believe so deeply in being college educated that if, for some reason, they are not able to attend college their identity and self-worth suffers. I was one of those people but thank God for grace!

As you can see, this is one of those topics that I could talk about for hours. It intrigues me, indeed. But enough of my thoughts on the subject, I’d love to get a real dialogue going. Go ahead, chime in and let me know your perspective.

Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

There are some days that you would never want to live over again. Then there are those days that you relive year after year, and you absolutely wouldn’t trade those moments for anything in the world. This is one of those days for our family… Those “good” days…

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Today is my second daughter’s birthday. She turned 10 years old today. It seems like yesterday that I was pregnant with her and experiencing some of the craziest emotions I’ve ever experienced in my life, up until that point at least. My husband, at the time, and I had just found out we were expecting again and he had also just received his first orders to deploy to Iraq within a couple of months.

I remember being scared out of my mind because not only were we in unknown territory, due to being stationed at Fort Campbell, KY and only being there for about 3 weeks before finding out we were with child, but my husband was leaving American soil and actually being sent to a foreign land where soldiers were being killed left and right. Nervous? Scared? Honestly, I think I was more petrified than anything at that point.

To make a long story short, he ended up leaving right before Thanksgiving that year and the holidays definitely were not the same without him. I ended up going to visit my family back in Illinois and the day after I got there we had a beautiful and healthy, yet tiny, 4 lb 8 oz baby girl. I had gone into labor prematurely. The doctors all said that it was due to me being stressed about my husband’s safety and now having two children, instead of just the one, to care for alone if anything were to happen to him.

I don’t know what caused me to go into labor early but I do know that this is definitely one of those days… Those good days that I will always remember and hope to never ever forget.

New Year’s Message

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Last year, 2015, was pretty tough for my family and I but we made it through. I know this had nothing to really do with us but it had everything to do with God holding us through the trials and storms. I don’t usually make New Year resolutions because I think we can sometimes go way overboard when making these “promises” and we end up either saddened by our lack of commitment or angered when we mess up. As such, I have gotten into the habit of doing a vision board at the beginning of each year. I have not completed my vision board for 2016 yet but many of the key points, as of right now, point towards career development and developing my spirit-man more this year. I guess you could say that 2015, with all its bumps and bruises, made me appreciate life more and has made me want to fulfill my purpose a lot more now than ever before.

While I am not much into making resolutions, I do believe in allowing God to reign in my life and inviting Him to take my mind, my heart, my life and to mold it into something that He can be proud of. So, my “resolution”, if you will, is just to be more like Him. To listen like He listens, to forgive like He forgives and most of all to love like He loves. Many things are easier said than done but this is my commitment to my family, to my friends and to everyone that God will allow me to influence, in any way, this year and for years to come.

So, here’s to 2016! May it be the beginning of the best part of your life! May you know love like you have never known before, know peace and joy like you have never known peace and joy before and be healed like never before. No matter what may come your way, in this new year, my prayer is that you will allow the Lord to see you through to the other side. For weeping can only endure for a night, but joy must come in the morning!

Happy New Year to you and yours! 🙂

Santa Didn’t Stop By Our House This Christmas

So, I am going to be completely transparent with you all today. I know that what I am about to say may make some people question my parenting and whether or not I am a good mother. However, I could honestly care less about those people right now. Most of my readers already understand and know who I am and what my children mean to me and how serious I take my role as a mother and role model. Either way, I do say this with great sadness but also with a peace that I did the right thing.

Before we get started, I want to pose a couple of questions to you. Feel free to answer in the comments section below or just within your own heart and mind as you read. Have you ever had to teach your children a lesson that you knew would hurt them? Did that lesson ultimately end up hurting you probably just as much, if not more, than it hurt your kids?

Yep, now you see how serious this is…

no-christmas-allowedI made the decision to cancel Christmas for my children this year. By that, I mean they did not receive any presents on Christmas morning. Now, I am not one who gets particularly bent on a day because I feel like I can buy presents all year round and any day of the year can be “Christmas” however, this day is, and always has been, a BIG day for my children (and most children, and
people, if we’re totally honest about it).

I did not withhold gifts due to poor grades because my children have been doing exceptionally well when it comes to their academics. I canceled Christmas for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons being that I have CHRISTmas
been trying to help my children understand the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it in the first place. I want them to know and forever understand that Jesus truly is the one and ONLY reason for this season, and every season.

The second reason was because I have gotten to my wits end in continuing to have to remind my children to do their chores, to the point that I am even doing many of their chores for them, and I wanted to help them understand that EVERYONE
contributes in a family. Also that everyone has a role and kinopoisk.ruresponsibilities within our household and that when we don’t do our “job” things just don’t function as well as they could or should. There have been other behavior issues with a couple of the kids but this is the bulk of why I chose to not have presents wrapped and under the tree on Christmas morning.

I wrestled with the idea of withholding gifts for quite a while. I had actually gone out and purchased presents for each of my children, multiple presents mind you, but at the very last minute I decided that some of their behavioral issues needed to be addressed and dealt with a little differently this year. I also did this because my children are far from jesus-vs-santa babies but they are not yet teenagers so, my thinking was that if I don’t teach them now, and begin to hold them accountable for their actions, they will never truly learn and adhere to it later.

All was not lost for our Christmas. We celebrated Jesus, ate ice cream, listened to holiday music, sang to various songs, my two older girls recorded their Christmas Day YouTube vlogs and we watched an outrageous amount of classic Christmas movies. We also made our feast of a Christmas meal that we have done every year since the children were all very young. I think they may have enjoyed Christmas a little more this year, even without the gifts, but Christmas-giftsmaybe that’s just the mom in me being hopeful that they actually “got it!” but who knows.

My original plan was to have a late “gift exchange” this year but I am still debating that. I am always trying to make sure that I am sending the right message to my children and I don’t know if giving them their gifts, after-the-fact, is sending them mixed messages. Y’all pray for me! 🙂

I hope everyone had a glorious Christmas and I will be chatting with you again in the New Year! Happy Holidays to you all!

True Strength

“Stop trying to be strong and embrace your weaknesses.”               – Pastor Jeremy Deweerdt

We are doing a series at our church. It is entitled ‘Rescue’. In this series, we have been talking about how God rescues us out of many seemingly hopeless situations and how, ultimately, we are (or have been) rescued to be a rescuer (for others). It has been simply amazing and very much eye-opening and life-changing for many, myself included. Today’s message was ‘Rescued from Hardships’. As you can imagine, this is something that many of us have faced at one point or another and something that we may currently be facing as I write this post and as you read along.

There was something very profound that was said in the message that really hit home. Obviously, there were many other great things that were conveyed in this message but I will only touch on this one for now because it honestly made something in my spirit shout “Yes!” My pastor had a number of different hardships that he hit on during this message and then he said the quote above and I knew this was a topic that I needed to do a post on.

Many times, when we are going through difficult times, we try to work things out in our own strength. I cannot begin to tell you how true that has been, in the past, for me. As believers, when we are going through a storm and we say that we “don’t feel God’s presence or strength,” it is many times because we have our hands in the situation and are trying to “fix” it in the way we want it to be fixed. Now, how true has that been for you???

Personally, I have experienced many people that talk about the perceived “strength” of men and women who have found themselves in the role of a single parent. While I do agree there is a strength that shows up in this type of situation, there is also a place where that strength is usually drawn from. I, myself, don’t like to have people tell me how “strong” I must be to have 6 children and to be parenting them alone because I know that is not the truth. My strength, as I have acknowledged before and will continue to talk about until the day that life leaves this earthly body, comes solely and fully from the Lord. I do not parent these children alone because God is my rock and my “co-parent”, if you will. He provides for ALL of our needs. His strength is made perfect in my weakness and I could do nothing without Him. I would not be able to love, guide and care for even 1 child, let alone 6, if it were not for the Lord loving, guiding, caring for and giving me the strength that I need, and being my strength, every single day.

It is kind of funny, to me, that we acknowledge the strength of single parents or the strength it may have took for someone to face their biggest fear and we fail to acknowledge where that strength comes from or what exactly true strength looks like. We are not always quick to acknowledge the strength that it takes to make a marriage work and to parent your child(ren) with your spouse, or the strength it takes to resist temptation, or the strength it takes to be obedient and remain in the will of God, or the strength it may take to continue working a job that you may absolutely hate in order to provide for your family, or even the strength it takes to confess and admit a wrong that we’ve committed against someone. One of the things that I’ve learned, is that we all have weaknesses and strengths. I’ve also learned that many of us like to focus and display our strengths for all to see, while we steadfastly hide our weaknesses. It may be something that we grew up being taught or it may be because we just don’t like those parts of ourselves. Listen, I get it! I grew up being taught to never let anyone see my weaknesses too but I think we need to understand that our weaknesses make us who we are, just as much, if not moreso, as our strengths. And that is okay!

My goal, as a mother, friend and woman, is to teach my children that we all have weaknesses and to not pressure them to ever feel like they have to be perfect, because that is a goal that we can never truly reach on this side of heaven; and to embrace my weaknesses, so that people not only see my strengths but also realize that I am human, I have flaws and that I am, by no means, perfect, although I may appear to be. 🙂 Let’s begin to acknowledge and understand where our true strength lies.

Freedom Isn’t Free: It Always Comes With A Price

What is a veteran? According to Merriam-Webster, a veteran is anyone who has had long experience in a particular field. Maybe I should rephrase my question… what is a military veteran? A military veteran can be a man or a woman. He/she is someone whoV_Day-Feature-Banner-300x176 may be actively serving, discharged, reserves or retired. A military veteran is someone who has sacrificed much, including: time with family and friends, lost limbs, higher salaries that they could have been making in the private sector and have even, sometimes, sacrificed their very lives for the sake of freedom.

Maybe that is why some people’s first thought is not to tell the young service members “Happy Veterans Day” or celebrate them the way that they celebrate and honor the older generation of military members. Our first thought is typically that a veteran is someone older, right? Wrong.

I think we need to realize that our world has changed and our military continues to be a major part of that change. We have 18-year olds who leave as boys and girls and return to us as grown men and women. 19-year olds who have seen and done more in a year or 2 in the military than most of us have seen and done with our enVeterans-Daytire lives. 20-year olds who are sent to war, who deploy and come back home with all types of mental and physical wounds. These young men and women, just like the 75-year old WWII veteran, are too America’s heroes. They deserve the same honor, celebration, gratitude and appreciation that we display to the older generation of military men and women.

With that said, if you have not already done so, tell a service member ‘Thank You‘ today. And, if you are a present or former military member, let me take this time to thank you for your service and your sacrifice. I know, from experience, that it is not easy and you deserve so much more than we can ever repay. Also, to the men and women who have found their place in standing beside a soldier, sailor, marine, airman or coastie, please know that you are never forgotten. I, also from experience, understand the difficulties that you face as a spouse, child or other loved one of someone in the military. I truly honor you on this day for your service and sacrifice and for continuing to stand and support your service member through it all. We salute and honor you all on this, and every, day.

Past, present and future…

Happy Veterans Day!

Will All The Real Fathers Please Stand Up?

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What do you say to a child who has gotten their hopes up time and time again only to be let down? What do you feel, as a mother, when you know that hurt is an inevitable part of life and you see your baby hurting in ways that a child never should know? How do you explain that dad is not coming to get them, once again, because he had something “more important” come up?

20130505-lifeclass-fatherless-sons-quotes-1-600x411This is my reality.

This is what I stay up at night wondering about.

This is my children’s reality.

This is what I witnessed, for the umpteenth time, over this past weekend.

This is a true story that has no happy ending.

We waited for over an hour and he did not show up. No call. No email. No text. Nothing. Six o’clock came and went. Seven o’clock came and went. Finally, at 7:11pm, to be exact, the phone rings. It’s him. My oldest daughter answers the phone. We are still waiting in the vehicle at the exchange spot for him to come. He asks what the kids are doing, to which my daughter responds, “We are still waiting for you.” A moment of silence before he asks who are you all with… “Mom.” I guess he feels ashamed or does not even care because he just says, “Okay. I will call you all tomorrow morning.”  fathershurt

No apologies.

No acknowledgement of fault.

No reassurance that he still cares for them.

No nothing.

Tomorrow morning comes. Tomorrow morning goes. No phone call from their dad. Finally, at 3:14pm a text message is received. It reads, What r u doing? To which one of my children respond. The next text, from him, comes a few moments after he receives the text from the children. It reads, I cannot talk to you about adult stuff. Tell your mom to give me a call today or tomorrow. That’s it. He’s gone. No phone call, as he said he would do the day prior. No more texts for the rest of the day or the rest of the weekend.

Now, ihavingkidst’s Tuesday.

No communications received from him at all since Saturday.

How do you live with yourself? is what I begin to wonder.

Many of you already know how it breaks my heart to see my children cry or suffer, in any way, and to know that there is really nothing that I can do to change their reality. Many of you also know how much I truly wish that there was some way for me to erase the past and start again with a clean slate; a blank canvas.

This is not possible.

This is reality.

This is our reality.

I cannot control the actions of my ex-husband but I can control my actions in (and beyond) their presence. I always find myself feeling like there must be something more that I can do to shield my children and guard their hearts from this unnecessary, externally inflicted pain.goodfathers

But what?

Do you know?

Does anyone know?

If someone does, please reveal this long lost secret to me because I cannot begin to fathom how someone who claims to love their children – their seed, bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh – can truly be so destructive in their behavior and actions toward those same children. Not to mention how they can destroy what little relationship, and trust, that they may have built.

Where trust once existed, is now a field of distrust.

Where certainty, now only doubt clouds those skies.

It’s mind-Father-to-the-fatherless1blowing to me how some men can father children only to leave them when the marriage or relationship fails. This is not adult behavior and it is not mature behavior, in the least. Why do we have so many men who want to play house but choose to skip out on their responsibilities and are nowhere to be found when the real “storms” come? Who said that it was acceptable for them to leave families shattered, homes fractured and hearts broken?

Enough is enough!

This will no longer be our reality.

Sometimes, I wonder what it will be like when my children become adults. How will they be with their own children and spouses? Will this affect their lives beyond what I can see right now? Lord, I sure hope that it will make them closer to You. I hope that this pain will reveal strengths to them that they did not even know that they had. I hope that through all of this, my children will learn to let their yes be yes and their no be no. When they are grown, successful and living out their purpose on this Earth, for all to see, I pray that they will not shun their biological father. If they do, I pgodslovebookray that he will understand and se
e how all of this time that he is missing contributed to their cold hearts toward him. I pray that at that time he will acknowledge his failures, apologize for his lack of affection and consider this misuse of his time. Above all, I pray that my children will understand and walk in forgiveness – to know it for themselves, to show it to others and to freely and graciously give it to their dad someday.

Humility.

Forgiveness.

This will now be our reality.