Monday, October 31, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday

Did you know that God has designed specific types of communication to be used toward specific people?  There are times for words of warning, times for encouragement, as well as times for helpful and practical words.  The more we grow in Christ, the more He longs to use our conversation to grow His Kingdom.  I'm memorizing this one with a prayer that God will use my words in the right moments in talking with my children, my husband, and anyone I come in contact with.
 "Warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone." 
1 Thessolonians 5:14

Precious Father,
May you use my words for your purpose.  Give me wisdom and discernment in my conversations.  Discernment to see the need, whether it be for warning, encouragement, or help, and wisdom to choose words that you can use to further your Kingdom and bring people into relationship with you! 

In Jesus' amazing name... Love you so much!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday

Y'all.  I almost forgot to post on here this morning!  I never forget on a Monday morning.  I've been really excited about posting this scripture, because God really spoke it to my heart this week through a book I've been reading a book called Sheperding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.  So far I think it's a great read and it is really helping me to refocus some things in parenting.  Every parent needs a boost like that from time to time.  You can get burned out in your "home" responsibilities much like the way you get burned out at times in your job.  I find an encouraging book filled with insight and wisdom can be a great motivator!

One thing Tedd Tripp emphasizes in this book is drawing conversation out of your child and really hearing what they have to say.  In fact, hearing not only what they say with their lips, but hear what their heart is saying and finding the heart issues that need to be addressed, corrected, or even praised.  This has to be the biggest challenge!  Isn't it typical that we work to keep them quiet when they are little, then when they are teens we beg them to talk, and cannot understand where we went wrong?

There is a verse in Proverbs that addresses this very issue.  I actually wrote it in my scripture spiral so I can memorize it and pray for the kind of understanding it speaks of.

"The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out."
Proverbs 20:5

Help me to love and parent my children the way you love and well, even parent me.  You are our Heavenly Father.  You love our children more than we can even fathom loving them.  Give me the wisdom and understanding in drawing out the deep waters of my little girls' hearts.  Help me refrain from being the only one who is heard in conversations, but let me hear my children, so I can shepherd their hearts and lead them to You in every word and every deed.  Make me the Mom you've called me to be!
In the Precious Name of Jesus,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Incase You're Wondering

Incase you are wondering about the pages we have added to the blog, we want you to know that we will soon be doing some neat things with those!  We want to expand the blog to really show the ministries in which we serve here in Shreveport so those of you miles away can feel plugged in to what God is doing here and have direction in how to pray!  For those of you in Shreveport, well, hopefully this will be a source of pride and joy for you!  We will have some interactive times here as well as let you hear from some of our incredible students from time to time! 

So hang in there, and keep checking back for more PAGES!

Because of Love... 
Josh and Jill

A little side note...

Speaking of incredible students, here our two of our beloved students playing with Kylee & Aubrey at the spray grounds today.  Thanks Ashleigh & Carol for loving on our girls!  I don't know what they would do without all the teenage love they receive!  We feel so blessed!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday

I've had a passage of scripture on my heart repeatedly throughout the past week.  In our society, it seems that more and more often children are seen as an inconvenience rather than a gift from God.  It's easy as a mom to want that break or alone time so badly that I can forget to cherish the time I have with my children.  How it must grieve the heart of God when we become so wrapped up in ourselves that we neglect the gift He entrusted to us.  A young heart to nurture, love, care for, and protect.  Not only has He entrusted this task to us, we only get one chance in life to get it right.  There are no do-overs.  Sometimes that overwhelms me, but it's in those overwhelmed moments I know I need to go to the Word of God and hear God's perspective and rely on His guidance.  I love what it says in the Psalm 127:3-5:

Children are a gift from the Lord; babies are a reward.  Children who are born to a young man are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.  Happy is the man who has his bag full of arrows. They will not be defeated when they fight their enemies at the city gate.

The Message says it this way:
Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Children are a heritage from God!  A gift He must delight the most in giving. 

Help me to treasure my children the way you treasure them.  Give me the strength to be diligent, patient, consistent, and loving.  In the moments when I feel weary and even ungrateful, fill my heart with joy and gratitude for the precious gifts you've trusted me with.  May the desires of my heart and the attitudes toward my children line up with your Word.  Thank you for my children.  They are the best gift I could ever receive!

One last thing...
If you are a mom, a wife, or still single and waiting, I encourage you to stay strong in the 31 day "Make Your Home a Haven" challenge.  Check it out

A few fall pics of my delightful gifts:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday

I am going to be really brief on here today, as I so often feel I have to be!  Life with preschoolers is busy, but wonderfully so!

I came across a scripture today that encouraged me.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the task of parenting effectively, being a loving wife, and influential for God Kingdom in the lives of others. Sometimes I really fear getting it wrong or really messing things up big time, especially with parenting my kids.  Listen to what King David wrote in Psalm 25:14-15:

"The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.  My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare."

The Message translation words it this way:
"If I keep my eyes on God, I won't trip over my own feet."

I love that!  I don't have to have it all together, I simply need to keep my eyes on Him!  When my full trust is in Him, He will fulfill His very best in my life and will keep me not only from snares of the enemy, but snares that I might walk into on my own! 

So if life seems overwhelming to you, I challenge you to take a moment to assess if your eyes are truly on God.  If not, ask Him to help redirect your focus, and He will direct your path! (Prov. 3:5-6) 

One last thing, today is the official start of the 31 day Fall Challenge:  Make Your Home a Haven.  I encourage you to hop on over to Courtney's blog at Women Living Well and be inspired to make a little extra effort this fall to be the wife and mom your family needs you to be!  There are many principles that can apply to men as well. 

I'm lighting my candle, and commiting before God to make my home the haven He intends for it to be this fall!

Have a WONDERFUL day on this beautiful October Monday!
~Josh and Jill
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