The Prayer Jar

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
    You have given me relief when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
                                                     ~Psalm 4:1

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My children are too old for Easter baskets this year but a prayer jar will last forever!

Every week a new prayer is written and placed in this jar.  As troubles arise in each of their lives and verses are discovered they are placed in this jar and prayed over constantly. 

The girls’ jars are complete and finishing my son’s in the morning.

At the end of the year, they will get their jars to read through and it will be their gift to cherish. 

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Have a Happy Easter and remember the best way to be the best mom possible is to pray for yourself, your spouse/significant other, and your children. 

God Bless!

Myra
A very blessed woman in TX

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How to Pick Up Your Crown Step 2

1 Corinthians 10.31

In the blog, Pick Up Your Crown, Girl I discussed 10 steps to gaining confidence.  I also folowed up with Step 1 in the blog How to Pick Up Your Crown Step 1.  In this blog I explain the most important step of picking up your crown and owning it- coming to know God through a personal relationship with our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Another very important step in being able to pick up your crown is to Give the Glory to God ALWAYS and to honor Him ALWAYS!

Let’s face it it’s easy to love God and praise Him when things are going right but when things are falling apart it’s hard to say “thank you, LORD”.  I know, I’ve been there and done that.  I tithed when things were great and didn’t when they were bad.  I prayed when things were good and didn’t when they were bad.  When everything in my life fell apart, I blamed Him instead of praising him through the storm.

giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, ~Ephesians 5:20

The Bible does NOT say give thanks to God when things are good.  It says FOR EVERYTHING (good or bad).  This is very hard to do.  When I was learning this lesson I was living in a hotel because I had lost my job, got evicted from my home, and I had 3 children to raise and feed.  ALL BY MYSELF!   This was during a period in time when finding a job was next to impossible.  The economy had taken a downward spiral and jobs were scarce.

So that weekly hotel you pass on the highway and think who stays there weekly?  Well, me and my children did.  The PTA mom, the soccer mom, the baseball mom, the Jr. Leaguer with her hair done just right and dressed just like you -she stayed there. This is why I never judge a book by its cover-I’ve been that book misjudged many times.  I know what is happening on the outside is not a true representation of what is happening on the inside.

I look back on what seemed to be a very dark moment in my life and I am reminded of how great God really is because as I look back on that moment I am reminded of a  what was born from me being there in that moment of time.  A sweet friend of mine came to visit me at my worst at that hotel and as I was crying about my circumstance and complaining about my life, she saw a need I could not see.  All I saw around me was MY situation.

Out of my darkest moment a very good ministry was founded for the children who lived there.  Kids playing soccer next to a highway.  Kids running around without solid parental guidance.  Teens having sex in the hallways and rooms of a hotel because of the lifestyle they were raised in. They finally had a voice through my sweet friend and her Life Group from church.

Funds were raised and kids who didn’t know what a Christmas tree was like or the joy of decorating for Christmas suddenly found that joy. Children and parents were mentored on a life with Jesus and still are because I weathered a storm.  Because although I reached my lowest moment in my life; there were families reaching one of the highest moments in their lives-coming to know the LORD.  Only God could make that happen.  But if I had not lived in that place for that season of my life, it never would have happened.  My life made that happen.  That, my friends, is very empowering to know my life impacted others in that way.

I could tell you countless stories of weathering the storm, we all have them.  Some of us have more than others.  But the biggest lesson I learned through all my trials was that God DOES have a plan for me.  He does have a hope and a future for me.  I just have to listen to my Heavenly Father and see the beauty being created even when my life is a hot mess for that hot minute.  That, my sweet friends,  was so empowering to me.

My life is very blessed now but I have a past.  I had shame from bad relationships and poor choices in men.  I had guilt from bad choices that led to sexual promiscuity and poor financial management.   I had loneliness from low self esteem.  Sound familiar?  Good news is that it will get better.  You see one day I found out I have Jesus and my whole life changed. My Jesus is my friend and he held my hand when I thought no one else in the world was there.He led me to Central Texas.  He brought me to my beautiful life in my beautiful home with my amazing husband, my three beautiful children and friends who are now family.

It wasn’t easy and it has taken a lot of healing and a lot of forgiveness of others and myself.  It took me realizing that no matter  what God has a plan and no matter what He deserves the glory for all my hurts, all my pains, and all my success.  Without the trials and tribulations I would not be who I am today.  I would not know a life with God.  I would not be a mother who prays for her children not to know the experiences I endured in my life.  I would not be a wife who submits to her husband and prays for him daily.  I would be a lost soul walking on this earth filled with pain, filled with misery, and void of the love and laughter that my family and friends today bring me.

It’s not easy to always give the glory to God.  Sometimes we forget.  We are human, it happens.  But I have prayed for God to convict me when I fail to praise him even during the bad times and He does.

My challenge to you today is simple:  Find your hope and your future even when you are in the storm.  See the beauty in your hot mess moments.  We all have them.  Turn the negative into a positive.  Know that no matter where you are in life at this moment that God, and ONLY God brought you to where you are today. GIVE HIM THE GLORY FOR IT ALL!  But most importantly, know that even when we are a hot mess in those hot minute moments we still deserve to pick up our crowns and a know that even when we feel no one else is there our Heavenly Father is because we are the daughters of the King of Kings and LORD of Lords.

And that my sweet friends, makes all of us blessed women!

God Bless,

Myra

A Blessed Woman in TX

 

 

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Bringing Youth Group Home

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6

For the last few months I have been struggling to get my son to go to youth group.  As I have prayed over this fervently, God finally gave me the answer the other day in Lifeway.  “I’ll buy a study we can do at home together”.  So, since both the 14 year old and 19 year old can’t make it to youth group on Wednesdays, I’ll bring it to the house!  I’m a little nervous but also super pumped about this.  I haven’t done anything like this since they were little!!! But then I asked “why not?”

We have to remember that no matter how old our children are, we are still parents.  Yes, they can take care of themselves but without proper guidance and teaching and training, life can get hard real quick.  Everyday I talk to my 25 year old.  Sometimes they are long conversations sometimes they are a quick text message, and sometimes, I just don’t want to talk but everyday I hear from her.  When I don’t, I know something is not right and I reach out. My job as a parent never stops!!!

It can be tiring to be always “on”as a mom.  Even when they get older, they still only talk to you when you are on the phone or in the restroom or when you are trying to rest.  Even when they get older they still need you to cook them a meal, love on them and comfort them when they are sick. It can be exhausting shuffling kids from point A to point B.  But then they get the drivers license and you miss taking them and having those little conversations in the car. And you would give anything for that moment once again.

Here is what I know today:   I would give anything to go back and do it all over again to really bask and take in those moments with Megan and Marissa.  I am down to my last one at home and I am learning to put a new spin on this because one day there won’t be anyone to drop off in the morning. One day they will all have their own families, their own lives.  But the one thing I do know, they will never not know they are loved.  I will never not be there for them.   Just because they are grown does not mean they do not need me.  It means my job as a mom is different. I lean on my parents everyday, so why shouldn’t they lean on me.

So, today I prepared for youth group at the house and my son’s best friend and his mom will be joining us.  They have been our extended family for quite some time.  We will fellowship and worship together tonight at we study The Battle Plan for Prayer Teen Bible Study. 

To prepare for this I have put together my Mom Prayer Journal for Christi and myself.  This is where we will journal everything about being a mother and all our prayers for our children.

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wp-1456947669950.jpg In here I have a spot for all those awesome downloads, prayer calendars, bible studies, etc I find online.  Then I have a section with paper and dividers for our children and my step grandchildren. But I digress!  I will save this for another post another day……..

I have also put together some sheets for the kids tonight and found some on the internet.

The first thing I put together is the battle plan worksheet!  You can find it here–>Teen Battle Plan Session 1 I had to add some baseball images to it to make it interesting for the boys!  (In my internet search I could not find anything teen boy friendly so I created it).  This sheet is the main points I wanted to get across tonight.

One of the topics we will discuss tonight is confession of sins.   So after many hours of searching for something appropriate, I took an old favorite Catholic examination of conscience and made it into a Christian examination of conscience.  You can find it here –> Confession Sheet

I will also be using some others but again I’ll save that for some other posts.  There is so much I have done to prepare for tonight.  I just hope the boys have fun as they begin to learn what it has taken me 44 years to figure out-prayer is the answer to EVERYTHING!

I’m sure they will since we will also be making prayer jars!  WHAT? Of course my inner Martha Stewart had to create something!

At the end of the day, I will just be happy to teach these young men (and the young woman) about my new passion for prayer and all the good it brings to your life.

Tonight I will be blessed with 2 young men and a young woman and one of my dearest friends who all mean the world to me.  I look forward to what God has in store tonight……….

There is much more to come!  God has put so much on my heart lately and I can’t keep up (hence the reason for the many prayer journals I have purchased lately). Copious notes and conversations being recorded.  But until then…………

God Bless

A Very blessed woman in TX

Myra

 

 

That’s the Book for Me!

Do you have a stack of books you need to read?

  • In my living room, I have 25 new books.
  • In my office, I have 3 new books.
  • In my purse, I carry 4 new books.

All purchased in the last 2 months.

You know the books I’m talking about, ladies.  The ones that discuss growing deeper with God, they help you be a better Christian wife, Christian mother, make Christian decisions and all the Christian topics you think will “fix” or “help” you?  If you’re like me, then yes!

Why?  Because I’m going to read them all!  Right?  Well no.  However, in my defense, I am currently reading 3 of the 25 books.

My husband just shakes his head and walks off every time we are at Lifeway and he says “Why are you getting this book?” and I reply “Um, for Bible Study” and he replies “How many bible studies do you do?  Shouldn’t you finish one before you start another”  Um, OUCH!

This recent conversation with Lee and a group of friends who are in the same boat  with me made me think.  If we are doing this, there are others doing this!  We are overwhelmed with where to start.  We are tired.  Which one do we read first.

If you are like me, then you get on Facebook and join your Christian groups in a quick early morning conversation.  Then you head over to your devotional you go to in the morning where you click a link and  you are lead to read through a blog, that blogs leads to another, and another.  The next thing you know hours have flown by and it’s 10 am or 12 pm.  AND now your email is overwhelmed with the 4-5 devotionals you signed up for in the process.  Then you feel guilty because you don’t have time to read them all.  Guilt hits you because afterall, THIS IS GOD’S WORD!  ln the process you also came across 1-2 more books you need to purchase because if you get them, everything will be okay!!!!  You feelin’ me, ladies?

WE NEED TO STOP DOING THAT!

Don’t get me wrong, I love these books.  They all are written by wonderful men and women with awesome insight to the LORD.   And the blogs, I love them.  I write one and have friends who write some beautiful words and I cherish them all but Oh -My -Goodness I have become overwhelmed on where to start because of my desire to be a better Christian wife, mom, daughter, and friend

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. ! ~2 Corinthians 3:5

Ladies, hear me closely:  God says we are good enough!  As long as we are following Him we are enough.  Do we need insight and fellowship from our Christian sisters, heck yes!   Are these books awesome resources,  heck yes!  But that’s just it, these are resources not our whole source.  Have faith that God will lead us to what we need.  He did not intend for us to freak out and be overwhelmed in our walk with Him.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 

I’ve sat here with 6 books piled up, over 20 blogs to read through, and feeling like I would never get through it all in a day.  That’s because I won’t!  I work fulltime outside of the home, I’m a mom, a friend, a daughter and most importantly a wife.  I have a household to run and two regions to manage with 500 agents.  As great as it would be to sit with a cup of coffee nestled in the corner of my couch wrapped in a beautiful blanket reading and posting blogs about my new wonderful findings, I can’t. God blessed me with a family, a career, and a Bible.

God told me my solution was simple, when all else fails, start with the Bible and a simple conversation with Him to lead me to what and who I need in my life. I did this recently and was blessed with this wonderful group of mentors who are guiding me in ways I never thought imaginable.  I have formed new friendships and been guided to Him like never before in my life.  Who knew the solution to being overwhelmed by a simple, enjoyable act like reading and self improvement was so simple.  ASK and PRAY!

I reassessed my involvement in all things in my life.  I deleted Facebook groups and business groups I didn’t visit anymore or are no longer aligned with my values in all areas of my life.  I gave myself permission to read what God leads me to and puts on my heart.   I have a crown on my head put on there by God Himself.  I am His princess.  He is my King and He told me I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  He told me what studies I need to attend and who I need to be around right now.  Most importantly, God told me I AM ENOUGH!  My crown is straight again.  I just needed to slow down, take a deep breath and LISTEN!

So, if you are like me and want to “fix” your life or need “help”.  Yes, God provided resources but the most important source he gave us is the Bible.  Do a google search on scriptures that cover your topic.  Ask God to help you find what YOU need.  If you find a book, ask God if this is the one.  Sometimes he’ll show you through cost, shipping, difficulties ordering.  LISTEN TO HIM!

When signing up for devotionals know you only need 1-2 devotionals per day.  I have one for the morning and one for the evening.  And I know it’s the right ones because they usually address something I’m facing in my life at that time.  God’s timing is everything!

I was signed up for so many online bible studies before I did nothing but study, study, study.  I had no time for application and it was not fruitful for me anymore.  I was still receiving these updates and such and although the information is useful and awesome material I unsubscribed.  Not because I don’t like them, but because there was a time these were right for me, but now God told me I needed something different.  He has provided it.

Find what resonates with you right now, this minute.  Ask God to lead you.  It can be overwhelming and cause you greater stress as you try to read through a pile of books and click through blogs to fix your life.

I read blogs for fun and leisure.  I love seeing what my friends are doing and what God places on their hearts as well.  But I don’t look at each one everyday.  Sometimes I’ll read 4-5 when traveling sometimes all I have time for is 1.  Sometimes they are pertinent to me and sometimes they are pertinent for a friend and I pass it on.  No matter what I am reading, I have learned God leads me to where I am for a purpose.  I may not know that purpose today, but eventually it will come to me and be useful.

I love books, I enjoy reading and learning more about my walk with the LORD.  I am in no way saying don’t read books or blogs.  I am just saying read what is intended for you and your circumstances.  Maybe you are firm in your decision making processes so books on this are fruitless to you however, if your prayer life needs some sparking then books on prayer would be fruitful for you.

In 2016, I agreed to simplify my life and increase my prayer life.  So being the Type A personality I am and overachiever I have purchased every book possible to make this happen.  But God and I talked.

Today, I am reading 3 books:  Lord, I Want to Know You for bible study at church, Fervent for my online study and The Battle Plan for Prayer for my personal knowledge.  I also purchased the Audible versions since I travel so much.  The more I hear it AND read it the more it resonates with me.  I will also turn these on when cleaning or cooking at home or working in the office.  I have loaned out some of the other books I purchased to friends.  If I get them back great, if not, then when I need something God will provide it.

I am blessed with the resources God provides.

God Bless,

Myra

A Very Blessed Woman in TX

 

Green Chef – A Blessing to My Family

I received this as a gift from my former boss and I have to say I’m very impressed.

The portions are very generous but not glutinous.  There was no food left over and a serving for 2 actually served me, my son and my daughter.  The recipes are so easy to follow even my 13 year old could cook dinner tonight.

I have 3 meals that feed 4 people.  This means I have 6 meals for the week!!!  I’m super excited.  Tonight we had Steak Pizzaiola with Roast Potatoes and Spinach.  It was super yummy, small portions, and very filling.  No one was left unsatisfied.

I looked into it and as a mom who travels frequently this is a great option.   Being away from home  for dinner makes this a good option for my children to ensure they have a nutritious dinner.  Green Chef eliminates the need for ordering costly take out dinners or running through fast food drive thru’s at a late hour.

This also eliminates the need to stock up on pantry items I’ll never ever use but once in a while.  It also alleviates the need for a long Saturday morning grocery run!  I just need to be sure I have olive oil, salt and pepper stocked in my pantry.  My son loved it!  As a kid with a passion for cooking, this is a great lesson in cooking for him.  Tomorrow he and my daughter will cook the Quesadillas we received together. Tonight he learned about a new love for all things mushrooms and how to create a new steak sauce.

Fresh, organic, yummy, nutritious meals delivered to my door every other Friday! I can skip or add deliveries as desired.  I just have to be sure I eat the meals I receive within the week they are received because they are fresh foods with no preservatives.

I have been down with walking pneumonia and a cough that will not clear.  This has been a lifesaver for us in my down time.

Green Chef is running a special right now for your first six meals free.  To find out more click here! 

This was a blessing for our family.  Hopefully it can be helpful for yours as well.

Goodnight and God Bless,

A Blessed Woman

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Lessons from an Overworked Mom of Teenagers

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5

Being a single mom for many years, I prayed for the day my children would grow up.  I thought it meant I wouldn’t be needed anymore.  However, as I threw myself into my career over the last year and a half I look back and realize how much I missed just in the last 3 years with my daughter and all my children.

The other day we filled my middle child’s application to Texas A&M PATHS program.  Now, I have known since this child was born that this day would come.  However, since I have slowed down I realize how out of touch with my children I have become.  I have missed so many important moments in their lives.  She brought home her cap and gown order form.  This next weekend we do Sr. Pictures and I ask myself one question “Where did all our time go?”.

I look back and realize somewhere I was misinformed.  I thought once my children were old enough to care for themselves I wasn’t needed anymore.  Also, as the mother to a special needs child in the back of my mind I knew that raising a special needs child never stops. However, there comes a time I had to stop.  I had to stop because I was tired.  I was weary.  I could not do it by myself anymore.

Although I had relationships in the 14 years Lee and I were separated from one another, they were not fruitful relationships.  I still took care of me and mine all on my own.  However, as I look back now I realize where I didn’t take care of me.  Because I was alone I did everything for all three of my children 24/7.  I did not set boundaries.  I turned my back on God because of a disagreement and I was not fulfilled.  I thought things would fulfill me.  I thought this man who came into my life 3 years ago was the answer.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

But honestly, if I had looked up to God instead of around me for things I would have found my solace.  As parents we struggle with balance.  As a special needs parent, that balance is even harder to maintain.  You run and run and run.  You worry and you run some more.  You go from Dr. appt to dr. appt to therapy appts.  You are up late at night cleaning up messes.  You are up early in the morning fixing special meals.  You are given this precious special gift that God created for you and as much as you love him or her you get tired.  However, I now know it is okay to be tired!    I now know God is my refuge.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalms 46:1

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”  Psalm 18:32-36

For years, I felt guilty leaving my oldest and youngest however leaving my middle child was harder.  But because I did not take care of me I ran away.  I hid in my career for the last one and a half years.  It was my escape from dealing with life at home.  I ran away from the most important years in my daughter’s life and I am ashamed of what I did to her.  I abandoned all my children this last year. I am ashamed of what I had become running and hiding from my home and what I needed to deal with.

Two to three days a week I was in DFW.  Weekends I was in DFW.  Two to three days a week I was in Waco, Temple and/or Austin.  I left home at 5 or 6 am and got home anywhere from 2 -3 am or even 2-3 days.  I wore myself out to the point that over the last 3 weeks as I began to slow down I have been battling walking pneumonia.   All because I was too selfish to give it to God and let Him guide my ways.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

However, I have talked to many friends and we have all done this at some point.  We have to find the balance between being a parent, a child, a spouse, and being yourself.  It is not easy.  However, I am finding peace now as I transition to a more family friendly schedule.  I am finding this peace because of one simple fact–I give it all to God now.  He guides my ways not me or my children.

God has shown me that no matter how old my children are I am still mom.  I will never stop being mom no matter how old my children grow up to be in this life.  My 24 year old still needs me as much as my 13 year old needs me.  The needs are different, but I am still parenting.   I am sharing my faith more with them.  I am enjoying conversations with each child on their lives.  I actually talk to my middle daughter now about her day and it has made a significant much needed change in her life.

This weekend I did nothing.  I am tired.  I am weak. I am this way because I did it to myself.  I overbooked my schedule. I wore myself out!  I made my job my priority instead of God and family.  Learn from my mistakes.  God is first and your family is second and everything else follows.  This is why your quiet time is so important.  I know my best days start in the word with God.   If you are too busy for God and your family, you are too busy for anything else!

I am blessed with a family who forgives me for my mistakes.  I am blessed with a mom and dad who love me and help me and my children through anything we need.  I am blessed with three beautiful children and a very loving and supportive man.  And going forward, I will make sure they know how important they are to me.

“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  Psalm 16:5-8

Goodnight and God Bless,

A Blessed Woman

Decorating on a Budget with Hobby Lobby Clearance

Today was the first day I had a full weekend to myself.   With my new job, which I started this week, I have a more lax schedule.  So, I cleaned my house.  Then I took my son to sign up for baseball.  After, I dropped him off at home and I took a field trip to hobby lobby to get scrapbook paper for a project.  However, if I ever had a Happy Place, Hobby Lobby would be it.  So, 3 hours later I left the store.

While in store, I hit the clearance section.  I found a whole bunch of frames.  I spent under $20 on 7 frames that would have cost me around $100 even at 50% off.  I was excited.  These frames were not perfect, however, I thought I could paint them and create new frames that match my color schemes.

Below is the results of what I did…………

wpid-20150124_213945.jpgThis frame was made from all this:

wpid-2015-01-24-21.44.05.jpg.jpegThe blue frame was $6.80 and the black one was $2.45 and the embellishment was $3.99.  So, for approximately $14 I created something that would have cost me $30-$40 easily.

I also created this one but it is not complete yet……….

wpid-20150124_190814.jpgI still need to add the embellishments and finish this one but it was made from all this…….

wpid-2015-01-24-21.43.17.jpg.jpegThe brown frame was $2.45 and the blue frame was $1.08.  The embellishments for this one are $4.99.  So for about $9 I will have this one complete.

Tomorrow I plan to update my nightstand……….stay tuned!!!

Goodnight and God Bless,

A Blessed Woman