Young Mother Redeemed

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Here I was, a young mother at the age of sixteen staring a new-born baby boy in the face and not knowing what was to come. Not understanding the Lord’s grace in my life nor my role to intentionally convey that to my child. I was a baby myself but I made a mature decision to carry out my pregnancy and “grow up.”

I made the necessary plans, secured a job and set my focus to be a mother instead of a child, and I thought my plans were all worked out. I carefully played along in life acting confident in who I was but in doubt not really having a clue. I worked, went home and tended to my baby boy, being present but unavailable.

Nobody counseled me on the hard times, sleepless nights and stress of being a single mother or a mother period. Nor the anger that came from regretting my past mistakes, the insanity I would sometimes face and the constant search of selecting the next man of my life. I ran to people and I let them tell me what the future held  for me and the decisions I should make and soon those very same people I learned were the one’s laughing in my face behind my back. I married so that I wouldn’t be alone and  hoped that those pieces I thought were missing would be put together again.

Well, growing up I learned that looking for love in the wrong place will leave you in a dark, lonely, and frustrated place. I grew further and further away from God and began to get angry at him. Now how does that sound? Me being angry at God for the choices I made and wanting him to make them disappear without reaping the consequences. I wanted a microwave faith. One that worked when I wanted it to.

But somewhere in my early twenties through divorce and other things I found myself on my knees begging God to meet me where I was. But he didn’t need to. Why? because he never left, I just pushed him away. Once I realized this truth it opened the door to other things. Things that I convinced myself of  weren’t making any sense and God’s truth did. So I decided right there that I would put my faith in Jesus and let him take the woman I saw in the mirror everyday and clean her up. And in exchange he helped me to understand that the battle’s I was trying so hard to fight were overcome in his name.

I can’t really say that things got better over night because they didn’t, but me knowing that because I put my faith in trusting in the blood that was shed for me on the cross by Jesus, I was walking in a new way. Not one where I started naming and claiming my future and blaming everything on the devil but a way where I understood the fact that I am a sinner and I will do it everyday. However, in Jesus I have the freedom to go to God, repent and start over again. And guess what? I had the freedom to forgive my self and know that all of my mistakes were nailed to the cross in Jesus’ name.

So I know this sounds like what an older person would say but trust me I look back and wish I would have listened to some of those things.

Young mother… you need to know your worth and what you were made for. You were born in the image of a king so great in his majesty that a single look will knock you out. How great is that? Even those ugliest things that you find about yourself are amazing. You were created to worship that king in everything that you do. Being diligent on your job or at school is worship, stepping up as a mother is worship, showing those little eye’s how you depend on God in your singleness or married-ness is worship.

Worship God with your life by doing the very best you can do and holding on to God when you have fallen.

Wait on God, you are not dented or bruised. You are not trash or reused. You are made whole by the Gospel of Jesus and it’s truth.

Your mission is now your child and getting that child to understand who he is and why he was created and for whom he was created. You were created to worship God. Focus on bringing up your baby or babies not having a man or things.

Be an example of what a godly woman should look like. And choose to receive the joy of the Lord everyday.

When you have accepted Jesus’ lordship in your life (allowing Jesus to wash you and restore you) you will be able to live redeemed. Knowing that nothing can separate you from the love of God and that he has a plan in the midst of your sorrow, happiness,pain, anger, fatigue and frustration..and that is for you to grow.

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.     -James 1:3

The Gospel makes people whole…that means it is for you.

Live life on purpose, with purpose, for purpose,

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Linking up with: wedded wednesdaysplaydates with GodTitus2sday

You might also like: Motherhood: The Jesus Culture (Guest Post by Jenn), Motherhood: The Jesus Culture (Guest Post By Victorine), I Don’t Like The Taste of Salt

Holiday Gift Guide: DIY Mason Jar Lid Coasters

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I’m so excited about this one because it just makes cents. Yes, it makes sense, but because this is a gift you don’t wanna forget to make, it makes cents. You’ll see because you probably already have a few of the ingredients at home. Well, if you don’t, borrow them or save them from the Christmas gift from grandma you are guaranteed to get.

Anyways, This summer was my first year canning and while my stock is pretty full for me I’m just thinking every time I pop open one of the lids for my go to spaghetti sauce or sweet peaches….”I don’t wanna through these away!!!” I literally have a fit every time I have to throw away a lid or seal, which ever you prefer. Let’s face it, canning saves me a ton of money but having to buy new lids each time does not. You all know me, the bang for the buck girl, I couldn’t fathom the fact that these lids could not be put to good use. So I saved them all, each and every one and you know what? I’m a friggin genius! (I had to laugh at that one. I’m crafty but genius is way to kind. Haha!)

I searched and searched pinterest and could not find one idea that I could do myself. Even something to hint at what I  could do would have helped me but nonetheless I dug into my crafting bag and pulled out my creativity. You know the thing about pinterest? It sometimes makes me too reliant on other people’s creativity, but don’t get me wrong, I’m still a pinterest junkie. However, my belief is that every now and again your own creative sparks need to be plugged in. And if you don’t have any? pinterest is a good place to get started. Eh?

I’m sure I could do a lot more with my lids so I won’t have to use up my good rings but I’m not too thirsty on rings so I had some to spare. If you buy a case of jars, you get lids and rings and there are plenty of things to do with the jars (i.e loose change, makeup storage, candy jar, tooth brushes, q-tips and cotton balls, razors, travel lotions and more) I even keep my brillo pads and sink stoppers in one from time to time.

So here’s what you will need:

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  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Cork card stock paper
  • Stamps of your choice (got mine at Michael’s for $1.00)( Make sure it fits inside of the circle)
  • Used or new wide mouth mason jar lid and ring
  • Stamp pad in color of your choice ( I used the one’s from our guest book, hubby hand drew a willow tree 🙂
  • A pen to trace with ( not pictured)

1. With the lid of the Jar face down trace around it as many times as you’d like to get your desired number of coasters. My sister gave me the left over cork paper from a project she did for my bridal shower. Then cut it out.

2. Next with your glue gun place a thin layer of hot glue in the bottom of the ring ( all the way around) facing upward like in the picture above. Only a thin layer or it will ooze out of the bottom.

3. Press your lid on top of the hot glue seal side up. So when you turn it over it should look like it is sealed together, like the top of a canned mason jar. Metal to metal, plastic inside.

4. Once that dries, squeeze out another thin layer of hot glue on to the seal side. Around the edge is best because you want to look smooth and not bumpy. Press your cork circle down on the hot glue.

5. Next press your stamp down on your pad and then stamp it on the cork as light or dark as you’d like, I did mine super heavy so It took a few days to dry. If you use color box it will take a few days. But they have the most vibrant colors in my opinion.

And then you’re done! Just wait for them to dry and voila!

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The good thing about these are? You can make them to keep or give away, they can say what every you want them to and you can make multiple ones to switch out for the seasons. This project cost me $1.00 because I had everything but the stamps, but if you were starting from scratch you can just buy the rings and seal here for less than $5.50. It’s still a cheap project if you ask me.

I so hope you try this! And as always with everything good thing I post, I know you’ll love this and add it to your list!

Happy Crafting,

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Linking up with: wedded wednesdaysplaydates with Godlivingproverbs31Titus2sday

I Confess I’m an Imperfect Mother

It’s so funny how this came about. Years ago I had plans to write a book titled Confessions of A Teen-aged mom. Don’t ask me what happened, I guess life took its toll and the book got lost. It may still come about one day.

I had plans of writing how my first child came and living through the pain of being shunned from my previous church. There were chapters on midnight feedings and how I was too tired and fell asleep breastfeeding. Along with many other chapters like anger and children, confessions of a single mom, suicidal roller-coaster and the like.

I feel like I’ve been through it all. I’ve got battle scars to prove my journey. Two failed relationships, one failed marriage, custody battles, living paycheck to paycheck paying for daycare and private school on my own and fears through the marriage I am in.

I’ve been compared, knocked down, looked over, mentally and emotionally abused and what have you. Who hasn’t?

Nonetheless, this day I get up every morning with new hope and a greater vision to seek God’s best in my life and the lives of my children.

But I am not perfect. I just laid that out. I’m not the screaming mom that takes single leaps in a bound when my boy’s cry. I am not the super organized mom or the mom that has her child in 10,000 biblical activities through the year. I’m not the mom that never catches an attitude or wakes up super early to start breakfast. I second that. I am certainly not the mom who get’s all her house work done, home school’s perfectly, nurtures perfectly or loves perfectly but these are very broad subjects.

If the chance comes I’m making a pizza and calling it dinner. I try to limit T.V. but sometimes, when I’m tired, there are pajama days. Sometimes dishes are left in my sink and the dirt on the floor may linger a few weeks.

Sometimes I don’t get dressed or even brush my teeth (don’t judge me).

But who is all these things?

Who has it together all the time? And if you do, then you are your own Saviour because there is no need.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

I fail and I fall. You got me. But I’m still growing. That’s the important thing.

I’m so imperfect and yet so glad that I am. Because through these imperfections God shows me how to slow down and catch up on life, the fun free one. He shows me to depend on him for his strength, his wisdom and his control. Not to compare myself to another mother or woman and what he has set before them. What God has given me is for me.

My crazy busy life, my personality, my husband, my struggles, my children, my ridiculous strength, my annoying yet amazing family, It’s all for Nykiah, because it’s apart of his work within me and the end of the story.

I am imperfect but He is stronger when I am weak and greater in my vulnerabilities. I am exactly what he wants me to be and how he needs me now. So that his glory can be completed in me. I’m just a dented, chipped, puzzle piece learning how to fit in his plan and stand where he wants me on the stage. I’m dress rehearsing for the real thing when all my responsibility will be to bow down and worship the king of kings.

I didn’t use to can but I do now. I never made pizza dough but I do now. I don’t have any girls, but I have boys. I don’t have a huge house but I have one. I don’t have long hair, but it’s healthy. I don’t always say the right things but I’m working on it.  I love God and I love people. Isn’t that really the point of all of this? Aren’t these really what the Lord has asked of us?

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22: 34-40 (ESV)

So while I’m focusing on what I’m not and who I could be, He is looking at greater things.

Praise God if another mom does more than me, praise God if another mom does less. We all have one thing in common, Jesus, his love and his work; Or that we love what we do and we are crazy for doing it!

I hope you can see your imperfections as another reason to give Christ your life. For someone already perfect needing nothing, it wouldn’t be a lot.

Trust him today and walk on the path he has you. Whether crazy and blessed or worst and a mess. Trust Him. And by all means, rejoice with other moms and women for their strength, humility and work that they were called to! (In other words, don’t hate, congratulate!)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

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Linking up with: Wedded Wednesday and thebettermom

HOPE FOR THE WORKING MOM

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We work like a dog all day. We come home without chance to unravel what our mind has been trying to comprehend since early morning.. to bright faces with missing teeth asking and begging for our attention. So we put our bags down and scoop up a handful of motherly love and our night shift begins.

I know how you feel….To not have enough time to spend with your children because most of your night involved your commute home.

And I know it gets worst.

You feel overwhelmed and under heard. Your mind is set to accomplish your many tasks of the day and before you know it your precious baby ended up watching T.V all day….but you got all your work done. You’ll do better tomorrow. But tomorrows to-do list looks just like today’s.

Motherhood. It has me down in the dumps. Too many times I’ve yelled for them to stop yelling at each other. I’ve sat them down to stare one another eye ball to eyeball. I’ve enforced punishments that exited their favorite’s. I’ve tripped over the last toy I can take and I don’t really feel like cooking. I’ve been doing laundry for the last three weeks and there are too many deadlines to meet. I’m tired and cranky and fighting for grace.

Motherhood.

Who called me to this?

God did. From the beginning of time he commands me to raise my children and nurture and care for them. He commands me to be their mother. (Genesis 1:28)

Times get tough. I lose a few marbles or some of them get loose. I lose sight of the benefit of serving and caring for my family.

2 Corinthians 4:1-18

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.  All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
This passage is titled Treasures in Jars of Clay.
What does that mean?
Possibly that somewhere underneath all the lack of sleep and to-do lists, God is molding and shaping us for our benefit…for his.
Perhaps that our families are being likened to his glory. So just think of it like this. Through all the rubble is a treasure to be held. One that marks eternity as it’s destination. So while you’re going crazy half the time. God is working. perfecting you, them. He holds the clay and kneads it well…And in the end it turns out to be just like he imagined.
So don’t be weary in your well-doing. Let patience have its perfect work. God’s gift and call can never be withdrawn. (Rom 11:29) He made us for this.
So there’s hope for us. Us working moms.

DIY {Pull String} Angry Bird Pinata

I must say that I’m a bit surprised by the interest in my pins on my boys’ birthdays on pinterest. It never ceases to amaze me how much pinterest brings traffic to this blog.

Anyway, I promised back in March that I’d put up the tutorial for all you homemade moms out there. I will say, we work very hard at pleasing our children through seasons of their lives. My little big one was extremely excited about this. Though neither one of them helped. Nevertheless I stayed up til 2 am putting party stuff together for him that weekend…And you know what??? I loved it! It kicked butt in my book to put all my time and energy into my child’s birthday. I never realized how much of a homemaker I am until now.  Wink wink. Well, you didn’t come here to read my voice did you? I thought so. Here is what you really want. This is a pull string pinata meant to be pulled from the bottom. All the kids had a piece of string to yank on. We didn’t have the option of hanging ours up at the party place so that is why we made it a pull string. You could easily just flip this upside down and hang it. Just make sure you secure the flaps a bit more before you do it.We cheated and made it a bit loose for the kiddos. My inspiration came from this lady.

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1. Get started by gathering what you need.

  • A pack of punch of balloons (.97 at Walmart)
  • Gather a whole stack of newspaper (I used my whole circular)
  • Make your paste using 2 cups of water and 2 cups of flour
  • 2 rolls crepe paper (any color you’d like)
  • Angry bird face printable(you could also use crepe paper to cover a party hat to make a beak and stick some black crepe paper to the butt for a fluffy tail)
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Few pieces of cardboard

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Once you have your balloon all blown up to the size you would like your pinata, cut your newspaper in strips. I folded mine in fours and cut the edges. Lazy I know.

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2. Dip your paper strips into your paste mixture and smooth until the excess paste runs off. Then lay your strip onto the balloon making overlapping patterns.

(Make sure you lay this out on a surface you don’t mind getting messy. I covered my table with plastic bags.)

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I was pressed for time after a while and just plain didn’t feel like doing it anymore at 12 am, so I dipped multiple strips in and went to work. Afterwards I smoothed the layers with my hand. I had regular latex gloves on. It felt really weird and icky!

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3. Set your balloon out to dry at least 24 hrs.

Funny story. I started on this project the night before my sons party. I knew I needed 24 hrs drying time but me being the “try it until you prove yourself wrong” mom, I did it anyway. What was my secret??? Fans. One ceiling fan and a big wind machine fan that sat on the floor. The sucker wasn’t fully dry that morning. (still a bit damp) So I let it dry a few more hours until I was done the cake. Needless to say, it can be done if you have one night and three fans at all angles.

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4. Cut a square in the top after the whole thing is dry. One that is big enough for you to stuff snacks in. and keep closed. Then punch holes down the sides of the squares. (Ignore the one in the middle. Ours was a bit fragile at the top due to lack of thickness. So make sure you make the paper thick on the top and bottom where you will be pulling and stuffing.)

5. Stick some ribbon or string through the holes and tie them in knots on the inside. So you should be able to dangle the pinata by holding the strings in your hand.

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6. Tape the knots down. I used gorilla tape to ensure that we’d have no trouble out of them. BOOM!

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7. Fill the pinata with whatever you’d like. I love this part because I’m that mom to put out apples and string cheese at a party. I stuffed mine with a few cookies, not much candy and some other good snacks. I was talked out of putting apples in. LOL!

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8. Next take a few cardboard scraps and cut them in tiny squares.

Hot glue them on top of the flaps to make sure the flap stays put while you hang it or hold it.

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Here comes the most tedious part of this all if your working alone.

9. Cut your crepe paper in strips and glue them to your pinata horizontally. (about 5-6 inches long) Then cut slits in the middle of every strip.

We used hot glue until we ran out and realized glue sticks worked so much better!

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You can see above how we’ve cut slits in the one’s at the bottom.

Keep going, we were being lazy and decided to finish that part at the end.

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Do this all the way until you reach the top. In our case the top was the bottom. Again laziness out of us! We fixed the peep holes aftewards.

My handsome did an awesome job helping me 🙂

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Lastly find your printable face that you’d like to use and show up at the party with your homemade pinata.

We taped the flaps and everything so good. That it took an adult to yank the pinata really hard with the kids to let the pinata down.

I would do it again. But not without my hunney. 🙂

How to Train a Super Hero {Beginners Edition}

Since the year 2013 rang in, there have been a number of ways I feel the Lord has tried to get my attention. Over the past few weeks I’ve been going through learning about grace, patience, love and the depth of those two from the cross.

When I look at my boys I immediately notice their differences and the importance of me catering to their very “different” needs. What a year this has thus far been!

In previous posts I’ve explained how different my boys are and it’s not until this week that I’ve truly taken in their “boy.”

So when I think of my blog title I think of the reasons I named it what it is and those reasons didn’t start out with the deep meaningful background that it stands on today. I was going for a supermom theme-cute type name. But never could I have imagined that God would reveal far more greater things to me through blogging.

So what exactly is a super hero?

When we think super hero we automatically recollect on red capes, big ripped overly exaggerated muscles, ridiculous voices, spider webs being shot all over the house  and the sound of “not so fast!” being used as a term of endearment.

Merriam-Webster defines a super hero as: a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers;also : an exceptionally skillful or successful person.

In real life my superhero is not so fictional. Instead he walks with a crown of Glory-one that he got through proving his love to the world. My super hero has suffered the scars of sin and affliction that were not his own. My super hero pushed me out-of-the-way of death when I was entrapped to a life of turmoil and mischief.

This man, this SUPER man sat at the beginning of earth with the Lord being Lord, came down to earth to experience my pain, my grief, my sorrow, my temptation, my sin; hung his head in love and rose to assume the role of Christ once for all to all people. My super hero is Jesus–and he is real.

You see, when I look at my parenting and as I look to rearing my children in the right direction, I can’t help but think “I’m not training them to be robots that adhere to all the standards of society, I’m training them to be like Jesus. My child rearing should be pointing them to JESUS and teaching them a daily lifestyle of confession and repentance. It’s important for them to know where they stand and where God stands so that they understand their roles in life as they grow.

What does that mean? What does life under the SON look like?

Life under the son is developing character and living in full submission to his lordship on a regular basis. It means we understand our lack of perfection and need to be rescued.

For so long I have tried to figure out ways to practically teach my children by sitting them in front me and reading the entire bible to them. But I realized that my children are watching me. They are learning how to love God and how to serve others through me. They are learning accountability and suffering, character and love through me. I can’t come to grips with that enough. That’s so overwhelming!!!

Training up my boys in the fear of the Lord means also that I need to understand them. What are their weaknesses, what are their fears, their strengths, their likes and dislikes. My oldest son very often falls into the line of people pleasing. He’s often too worried about what others think of him. I pray hard daily that the Lord will help him to understand his value as a young boy and the importance of his role as a growing man. My littlest is strong-willed to the point of no return. I pray daily that the Lord will break him down and help him to be humble. I’m still actually learning on that one. LOL

One thing I’ve learned in my journey of mommahood is to never stop praying and giving myself up to the Lord because when I do I miss things that are crucial to serving my children. Also, never to stop praying and giving my arrows up to the Lord. It’s a daily process that makes me grow so weary at times.

I fail. I forget. I yell a few times, I get exhausted, and I ask sometimes why me but that’s mothering. It’s a huge job.

I’m learning how to train a not-so superhero-Jesus’ way.