Where is She Going With This?

   Is it just me or does everyone around you seem like they have their life in order? Like the blessings just keep falling on them even though according to your tally sheet they shouldn’t? I know that is me right now and I am not even too proud to say I’m​ jealous of it. I know I shouldn’t be but there is that sting of seeing someone not live for God and have everything they want while my husband and I work hard and struggle to get back to where we were before the horrific year of 2016 happened. We live pay check to pay check and others seem to have so much money they don’t know what to do with it. I know exactly what they can do with it, but no one ever seems to offer.

   I happen to know quite a few people who could completely change our financial picture and they wouldn’t even notice the money was gone. It would mean everything to us but they just might have to actually write it down in an accountant book. But no one offers. No says “hey, I know you guys have really tried your best to get back what you lost. What is the amount you need to pay off the debt you have now due to your huge loss last year?”

   Now granted that people have offered us things and time which I am EXTREMELY thankful for because it would have put us farther in debt of we had to purchase those things too. One thing I do know is that if one more person says “oh, I’ll pray that the money issues work out for you” I am going to scream. Maybe you are the person God wants to use to bless us and you are refusing to do what He asks?

   Now this isn’t a plea for money (even though my dream is to receive a donation for our debt but let’s get real) but rather a post to open your eyes to those around you. I know that if I had the money to spend and knew the family was truly under a hard time and not habit then I would write them a check to help if not wipe out their debt. I would want to share the love and compassion in the aspect that so far hasn’t been extended to us. Maybe that’s why God keeps not blessing us right now in being able to pay off debt and rather just keeps laying down more issues in our lap? Our A/C died day two of the giant heat wave hitting the west coast so that’s really enjoyable at the moment with a toddler.

   Once again my husband and I are living separately with me at my wonderful wonderful parents and he’s home and getting rides from a wonderful wonderful friend to work so I can have our one car. It’s just another summer of hard life.

  So what is my point? Am I a victim? No since I can’t stand that mentality. What I am saying is that I am an example. There are others around you who could really use that spare cash burning a hole in your pocket. That is what Christians are supposed to do with loving their neighbor is help them out however they need and, if you can help someone, you should. You not only will be helping a family who will be thankful forever but you will be helping yourself in knowing you are showing what the hand and feet of Jesus look like.

  All in all be generous. Love your fellow brothers or sisters in Christ. You will actually reap the benefit more then they will. God bless 🙂

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As We Grow As a Couple

Do you feel stuck where you are in your relationship with your spouse? Does it feel like you are still in the same place maybe financially like you were when you got married? I have to say that lately that has been the case for me. I look at our budget and think “man things looked better when we were first married and poor”. But were they?

When we pulled into church yesterday, I saw a cute couple cuddling in the guy’s car. They weren’t being inappropriate or anything. The girl was just leaning on the guy’s shoulder and he had his arm around her. It was actually really cute and reminded me of how my husband and I were when we were dating and first married.

The car the couple was in was older than me but they were happy. It got me thinking because when my husband and I got married, church mice were richer. We both worked but we were still in school and making minimum wage. (Depending on when and where you are reading this, that would be $9-$10/hour at the time.) We lived in the lower area of town and literally lived on love and kisses. Just like that couple was right now unless they are still living at home and then they don’t quite know what the real world is like.

Sometimes I still feel like that woman who is in the old car with nothing but my husband’s and mine’s dreams to keep the wheels turning, but am I still there? No. I am a home owner, we have a car with a 1 in front number of its age, we have a child, and he is now making more than double what he was when I met him. So why do I feel stuck?

Because honestly life sucks. We got dealt a really rough hand last year and we still haven’t recovered. We are still paying off debt that has happened and we will probably until next summer, but does that mean we are stuck? I hope not. Is it easy? No. We were setup how we were supposed to be financially until last year and now it has been blown to you know where. Will we get back there? Yes. I have hope we will.

How do I know that? Because we are not the same kids sitting in that old car living off love. We have experience now to where we can actually be the ones to give advice and encouragement. We have been through many things already and we still have many more in the future. It was just a nice reminder for me to see where we used to be so that I can see what I have now and be thankful for it.

Is it exactly what I want? No. Am I living in the area I really want to be in or have two cars like everyone else? No, but now that I have finally gone back to school I have a reason to power through it. I have a goal that I want to meet and it will keep me motivated along side remembering where we have come from.

Do you have some wisdom that you need to share about life and sticking with it? If so, feel free to comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Why Christians Won’t Go to Church

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   How many of you grew up thinking that the only way to get people to get to church was by fancy programs and flashy lights? These churches were deemed shallow and not a “good solid church”. Then you have the little church on the corner where the only way their numbers grow is if someone has a baby, but the preaching is sound. Which church is better? Honestly neither of them.

   What? I know. I just popped everyone’s bubbles in each court. This is the crazy part – I have played on each team so I know how each one thinks and plays. I have been to small churches were you maybe hit fifty people on Christmas and Easter and there was a reason for that. They were not friendly, nor loving Christians. Now not all of them but the ones who ran the church (yes pretty much one family would run these churches) were like that. I haven’t been around these people lately so I hope that they have changed and that their churches are growing by leaps and bounds, but, when I was there, they were not. They were neither hot nor cold. They were luke warm and everyone knows what God thinks about luke warm churches.

   Then on the flip side, I have been in big churches where they have the lights and shows and programs coming out of their ears. But here is the crazy part! They also were unfriendly and not loving Christians. Huh? Wait. I thought there was only one group who were the problem. “They” are the bad Christians, not my church. But that isn’t true either.

   So is there middle ground? Can you have a church with solid preaching that doesn’t tickle ears but also has a growing membership? The answer is yes and you don’t need anything flashy to do it.

   My church building regularly has 5000 people come through its doors each week. I have a HUGE church family and I have not even come close to meeting them all in my seven years of attending, but that isn’t the point. I have some really great relationships with others in my church but it’s not the end of the world for those who I don’t know. They are still in my prayers and are covered in my love when I hear about things the church is doing with missions or baptism. They have a cool family member in their corner and they don’t totally realize it. I think that is actually kind of cool and I am sure I am in someone else’s prayers who hasn’t met me yet either. That is what being a church family is all about.

   You might be thinking ‘well of course she is bias since she attends the church’. Really? This church is church number 6 for me in my short 25 years of life and I just found it 7 years ago. Before this church, the longest I had been at a church was 6 years. So I have seen many types of churches in my short life time. And my church is the most balanced church I have ever seen.

  Yes, I said balanced because everything requires balance and that is especially true for churches. I have been to churches who only preach about God’s wrath but never His grace and I have been to churches who only preach grace and never wrath. You need both or you will never see the full picture of God, and my church gets that.

   Now, we have some programs, but there were some that had to be set aside for awhile since we did just a big move to a new building, but we have the basics of ministry like Sunday school and out reaches. I would say that for a “big” church though we don’t have as much as people would think we should right now. There are things in the works, but the move required things to be set aside but not the preaching of God’s word.

   Our Pastor is such a strong and wise man of God that I feel privileged to sit under every week and not obligated. I can’t wait to go to church because I feel like I won’t be leaving with whispers behind my back. My daughter has a safe Sunday school program to go to where I know they have sound teaching so I can enjoy church and then they have VBS in the summer. The ministries out number the flashy programs and they are all about community and bringing people back to church who have left or never returned after being hurt.

   So with all that said, let’s recap. My church on Sunday offers Sunday school, worship, teaching and the option for prayer. Sounds like a good basic little church right? But remember that my church’s attendance regularly runs around 5000. So here is my question. Not that my church is perfect, trust me it has had its ups and downs but God has seen us through to only be better, but my point is that why do people think that there is only two ways a church can go?

   If you want to have your church grow, it has to be inviting, but not cheesy. You have to have good applicable music (not necessarily a rock band but something more than Count Your Many Blessing each week) to help people really engage with their Savior. And you have to have good solid preaching that is true but with love. My Pastor is the only pastor I have ever sat under where he has laid the hammer down on somethings going on in the church that he isn’t happy with or isn’t biblical and I still walk away feeling like he and God love me.

   I want more churches to have that same experience. I want more people to know that feeling of going to church because they crave to be near their Jesus and are bummed when they miss it. I don’t think it is good for people to go to ANY church where they feel oppressed when they are there and punished when they are not. It’s not how God wants  for His church.

   So if you have been hurt by a church and don’t know if you ever want to go back, take heart. There are good churches out there who are not like the one you came from. There are churches out there who do show the love of Christ without making you feel like a worse Christian when you leave. Don’t believe me? Check out this link. I have not been paid or anything for this post. I just want everyone to know and love Jesus how I have learned I can these past seven years.

Blessings!