What I Do When I Am In a FUNK

  1. Make an appointment with my counselor and keep it.
  2. Let my inner circle know – especially my husband, just saying it helps those around us know that we are in a tender spot.
  3. Worship music. I love country music and listen often but I also know what music can do to me when I am vulnerable. Music is created to dance on our heart strings and can wreck already damaged emotions but worship music will heal the feels. This also applies to what I read and watch. “Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear”
  4. Give myself grace.
  5. Get people to hold me accountable to my health – I did a water challenge last week and this week is no sugar (NOW THIS MIGHT PUSH ME OVER THE EDGE) and now my husband keeps throwing around dirty words like whole30.
  6. Get moving – go on a walk, run, kick box – get those endorphins flowing
  7. Be real with God. Get in the psalms and hash it out. Then get to the end of Job (Ch.38-41) where God shows Job how (insert your own adjective here) God is.

 

These are in no particular order so do them all.

20 Things I Have Learned in 20 Years of Marriage

1) the rocky start doesn’t define a smooth finish

2) my way isn’t the only way

3) frustration and love are closely connected

4) women mature quicker than males – hang in there

5) One day you will wake up and realize that he is the one holding it all together

6) his way of correcting/disciplining kids is so very healthy and needed

7) I don’t know as much as I think I do

8) I am easily deceived (ask Eve)

9) asking myself “what is it like to be married to me?” Makes me want to cringe

10) your husband loves/wants you the WAY you are

11) “FAT SEXY”- convo about what husbands want – weight doesn’t matter to men – they want curves and confidence #allaboutthebass

11) the longer together= the better

12) death/heartache can bring you closer

13) counseling helps

14) God made us different to compliment yet our sinful nature desires conflict

15) focus on what you like about each other – we all stink at life and the more we look at what one stinks at – the harder we are on each other

16) I stink at life and so does he- get that – the Gospel- we are two fools searching for grace and mercy.

17) enjoy each other / take time away, relax – and spend concentrated time together

18)lock the door, to your bedroom=keep kids out

19) don’t quit – marriage gets better

20)use the places/circumstances God places you in to share His story of salvation

5 Ways to Make Your Home a Missionfield

I have watched so many women struggle with the idea that they aren’t doing enough, being enough. The idea of packing up and moving to Africa to run an orphanage feels more important to the daily tasks of raising kids. God might be calling you to Africa, Boston, or your own home – listen to Him but He also might be calling you to life, in the here and now – in your own home.

I remember the “radical movement, because I was all in and asked for God to make a difference in me.” My prayer was, “God, do not allow me to live for me, I want to live for you,” it was my continuous prayer.

My husband and I lived for three and half years in a low income neighborhood, loving on His people and saw so much fruit. However, right now we live in a “normal suburban” neighborhood and do the same.

I have been asked over and over, “we want to have a home like you.” Most of the times I say, “no, you don’t” because having a home like us is full of messes and mistakes,  so many times it looks like this car ride   but it often looks like this (this is Jackson and Daquan practicing the dance they learned on their Dominican mission trip this summer).

But the question still remains, how does a typical “suburban” home become missional?

  1. Get over the normal rules – we have boys who spend the night on school nights and are here for weeks at a time. I HAD an Instagram post (before my original account was hacked by a half naked lady) of numerous shoes – letting me know how many kids were staying at my house that night. Get over normal -school nights are not sacred. (neither will your couch, car, or any clean space)
  2. Most of the money you make WILL (for sure) be spent on groceries each week. End. Of. Story.
  3. My youngest son has a unique calling and personality for this and God has called him to be a minister/pastor to his generation (our other son will take over the world in a different way -no doubt about it)  but for our youngest -this is normal life . So, don’t begrudge the personality/gifting God has giving to each kid – one child might employ the nations with his personality yet one chid might  change with world with his determination and business sense. IMG_5352
  4. You will love/mourn kids like they are your own. We personally have done the hard stuff with many teenagers for years, only to see them “move back home,” knowing that was best – loving for a season is hard, BUT SO WORTH IT. We love when needed up close and love from a distance when best. (We had a man/child who lived with us for years and I loved him like my own,  yet one day he went home to his momma.)
  5. The nations are in your neighborhood. We have friends that joke with us like we are the United Nations (UN=EW) the “mission field” is now in your backyard – how are you going to impact them? One meal at a time, one more pizza delivery, one more spend the night, one more ride to church. One relationship at a time. IMG_5362.jpg

Our mission field is next door (the nations are in our neighborhood.)  Moms, it is time to respond to the call (traveling to Africa – no longer needed) missions is next door – to you and me.

And, you mom, whose kids are so small the nations aren’t yet impacted – your time will come –  the children you are giving bottles too – one day, will bring home friends who need the Living Water and you (mom) will show them how to acquire it.

 

 

 

Question from a friend, “Stuck in my walk with God”

“I wanted to reach out to you because I have been feeling stuck in my walk with the Lord and would really like some guidance on how to move past it.
I’ve been wanting to feel more connected and intimate with God and really feel as though he is absent in my life. He has shown up in immeasurable ways during difficult seasons and I believe he is active, but I’m longing to have that same intimate connection with him in the stable seasons of life when things are going smoothly.  I’m just not experiencing it.”
Here is my response and I thought we could all use this . . . . myself included. One danger that can happen in leadership is that we know the solutions but we ourselves aren’t working out the problem. Why don’t we commit to try one of these? Let me know how it goes?
I have experienced this in my life too – especially when I have encountered a “difficult” season and felt Him so near. I have come to realize how I seek him more in those seasons and need him more. But I have also realized that God does something so sweet with us in those difficult seasons and His presence is so close. I am learning to appreciate that grace He gives in those moments/seasons and know that is a special gift from Him during that heartache.

However, I do understand your question and I have some suggestions although in no particular order and I pray this helps.

A few suggestions:
worship music – spend time in with worship to him my favorites are Shane and Shane Shane and Shane
 and my newest is Zach Williams especially Come to the table  and Chain Breaker this whole album is so good.
unrepentant sin  – I’ll attach an excerpt from “prayer portions” that helps walk through some Little Foxes
Loving Jesus but living in sin  this blog was life changing for me to read and read. Also, confession to a friend is recommend – helps you know you aren’t alone and that there is some accountability James 5:16.
Get on your floor – get down, face in the carpet and tell Him this all of it, word vomit it all, all the fears, doubts, worries, loneliness, the” want to feel you” heartfelt cry. I often sing the song “word of God speak” as my prayer starting this time Word of God Speak
Fast and pray – nothing creates in me a dependence quickly than fasting from food. I like my food and I have to repeat the verse “man doesn’t live by bread alone but by the very word of God” over and over again. I often tell the story of a night I cooked a meal for Brad (my husband). He is usually the cook and I thought I would surprise him and since he isn’t used to me cooking he ran through and got dinner on his way home from work (again, not expecting for me to have food for him) so when he got home . . . . he had already eaten. I had a wonderful meal for him and he tried to eat it but he was already full. I think we are like this with the Lord ( I know, I am) we are so full of other things that by the time we feast on His Word, we just don’t hunger for it.
Spend time asking the Lord what you are filling yourself up with that are hindering your relationship.
The feeling train – Feeling Train  also, understanding there are times when we just don’t “feel” Him but must by “faith” KNOW that He is. We, as women, can rely on feelings a little too much. Lauren and I are sharing the feeling train here in this video for the times we don’t feel Him. There have been times, I have done all of this and still don’t get that “feeling/experience” I am longing for and then I have to just trust that He is there.

That time I taught on marriage . . . . after 17 years I have learned a few things

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/116828098″>1.07.15_Staying in Love Week 1</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/116828099″>1.14.15_Staying in Love Week 2</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/117452387″>1.21.15_Staying in Love Week 3</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/118243338″>1.28.15_Staying In Love Week 4: The Foxes – Making an Appeal</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/119405420″>2.11.15_Staying in Love Week 5: Enough</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/newvisionwomen”>Kasey Ewing, Director of Women's</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>