Thursday, April 17, 2014

Homemaking with Boys



"Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
'Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.'"
Proverbs 31:28-29

Keeping a home is a hard job. Keeping a home with very active little boys is a whole different story. They want to help all the time. We have chores that they do each day. For instance, they feed and water the dog and take her out to do her business. They tidy their room and make their beds. They also help me with the baby when I need to do the dishes or make dinner. One of their responsibilities also is to keep the school room clean and tidy and put away books. They love doing these little things that help mommy out tremendously. I have started to let them help with the dishes each evening as well. I put the dishes in the dishwasher and they help me to hand wash anything leftover such as baby bottles, pots, and pans, etc. 

Having all boys is also tough on my bathrooms if you know what I mean. I am constantly giving lessons on how to properly "go". LOL! I know I can only give so much advice being a girl and all. I just cleaned my bathrooms and you wouldn't be able to tell if you come by tomorrow. I am going to start teaching them how to clean the bathrooms as well (maybe not the toilets just yet).



Here is a look at my schedule as well as chores that the little ones do also: 

Our daily chores include- dishes, making beds, de-clutter, 10 minute tidy up before daddy comes home, feed/water/walk the dog, put away books we read that day. 

Monday- Laundry,clean bedrooms (dust, vacuum, swiffer, etc.) 
Tuesday- Bathrooms (including sink, counters, floors, toilets, rugs)
Wednesday- Laundry (today would include all linens as well), Living room and Dining room (dust, tidy bookshelves, wipe tables, file mail)
Thursday- Kitchen (counters, top of fridge, inside of fridge, appliances, sink, and pantry), menu plan for next week
Friday- Laundry, school room clean up (put away supplies, books, etc.), all floors (sweep, mop, vacuum)
Saturday- Outside (clean out car and yard work), finish anything that didn't get done (like leftover laundry or dusting)

We try very hard not to clean on Sunday's because that is our day of rest as the Lord intended. We also use that day to do things with the children. We take them to the park or jump on the trampoline. The boys understand that Sunday is different than the rest of the days because we are intentional about what we choose to do and who we choose to do it with. 

I also choose one day per month or so and go through a closet or a room and get rid of junk. Hubby was cleaning the garage the other day and I went out there to see what he was doing. Low and behold, I ended up going through 5 boxes of old clothes and shoes of the kids and donated 4 HUGE trash bags to the DAV. It not only made me feel very accomplished it made my Hubby extremely happy. He can't stand stuff everywhere especially if we don't use it. Donating it makes me feel very good about getting rid of things. 

As you can see, I only do laundry 3 days a week. I know most people choose to do laundry everyday but that would really make me HATE doing it. I need a break once in a while. It works for me but it may not work for you. When it was just Hubby and I we did laundry maybe twice a week. LOL! Those were the days. I wouldn't trade all of my laundry for a single second with any of my children.

I love being a homemaker (or domestic engineer as I like to call it). Some people may look down on what I do but I have the most important job in the world. I have the job of raising my children to know and love the Lord. I get to watch them grow up and see them changing each day. I get to watch them learn new things and play outside on nice days. My boys have a love for each other that will last a lifetime. They are best friends and love to be around each other (even the baby). 

Thank you for stopping by to check out my homemaking schedule. Hopefully, I didn't forget something big. LOL! I really do clean everyday. If you come by and it looks a mess, I am sorry you missed it.

Go HERE for a free printable of "The Homemaker's Prayer". It is worth the read and you can print it, laminate it, and put it on the fridge as a reminder to be thankful for it all.


Blessings,


Kristy

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nailed To The Cross



"But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 53:5

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16


The Holy week is in full swing. Easter is in 4 days and I have been preparing my heart, my children, and my family for celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. I have been preparing myself by reading the story of Jesus in the bible and listening to songs and hymns that are about the Resurrection. I have also been talking about Easter a lot to everyone I meet. I have been preparing my children by reading LOTS of books about Easter (including the bible but also library books). My sweet MIL bought our family a set of Resurrection eggs and the book to go with them. If you have never seen them before it is a wonderful treasure. My boys are excited each day to open a new egg and discover the next link in the story leading up to Jesus raising from the dead on the third day. I have been preparing us all as a family by really getting into the spirit of Easter and telling the children about Easter and talking with my husband about the festivities of the day. We are really looking forward to Easter and a day filled with love and remembrance. 

The reason that I chose the title "Nailed To The Cross" for this blog post is because of why Jesus went to the cross. I am sinful by nature. I was born into sin and lived my life until I was 16 years old in sin. I gave my life to Christ and am striving toward being more Christ-like each day. I sin everyday but I ask for forgiveness and He does forgive...everyday. My sins were nailed to the cross with Jesus. He took them so that I could be free. Free from sin, free from a life in hell. I am so grateful and words cannot express how much my salvation mean to me. 

Here are a few songs that will get you in the spirit of Easter and the Resurrection. I really hope you enjoy them and have a very blessed Easter.

Resurrection Day- Matt Maher


The Power of the Cross- Kristyn Getty


Redeemer- Nicole C. Mullen


Christ is Risen- Matt Maher


Crown Him with many Crowns- Chris Tomlin & Kari Jobe


At The Cross- Hillsong


Lead Me To The Cross- Francesca Battistelli


Jesus Paid it All- Newsboys


Who Can Satisfy?- Dennis Jernigan


Nothing but the Blood of Jesus- Hillsong United


The Old Rugged Cross- Brad Paisley


He Lives- Alan Jackson

And two of my favorites:


In Christ Alone- Phillips, Craig, and Dean


When I Survey the Wondrous Cross- Gaither Vocal Band

Have a wonderful, blessed Easter celebrating the Resurrection of our Savior. We have plans to go to church and then home for naps and a possible egg hunt at another church. Later on we will go to have dinner with Hubby's folks. I am really looking forward to it. 


Blessings,

Kristy

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What We've Been Up To Lately {A Spring Round-Up}


This Spring has been so wonderful. It took so long to get here that we have been enjoying every single minute of it. Hubby took off for a week at the end of March. Unfortunately, it was still chilly that week but we made the most of it. We went on a trip to D.C. and Hubby's parents came along. We stayed in a hotel for a couple of days and the boys LOVED it. We went to the National Zoo, the Museum of Natural History, and the Air and Space Museum. We did A LOT of walking and rode the metro. Let me just say that I could not do that every day. It was so crowded and people do not get up for you to sit down...even when you have a baby in your arms. We had fun on our trip and the boys loved "the big city". I just wanted to share some pics with you of our Spring so far. I will caption each one so you know who is who and what is what. Hope you enjoy!

I got about 8 inches cut off of my hair. Feels great!

Me and my Bear. He loves to take selfies. 

The entryway to my house has baby pictures of each of my children.
I added a Bible verse about Love. Looks great I think. 

Flying a kite with daddy on a windy day.

Daddy flying the kite.

Daddy teaching the big boys how it's done.

Monkey is watching (and eating by the looks of the food on his face).

Bear was very in to it and learned very quickly.

My goofy Ducky. 

He was concentrating hard. 

My neighbor had her baby a month ago. 
Meet sweet Baby G. She is so precious. I visit often :-)

Sitting outside in the sun with Monkey.

I found Monkey getting into the diaper cabinet. 
He is a little stinker.

Went to the park with the boys.
They didn't want to leave. 

Bear has learned to swing all by himself.
He is growing up so fast.

Monkey really loved the swing and almost fell asleep in it. 

Ducky just wanted to be pushed for hours. 

My bestie and I went to a concert recently.
Girls Night Out was awesome. 
Third Day, Mandisa, and Brandon Heath were great!

This is a before picture of the hutch that Hubby bought for me.
He got it for very cheap at a Re-Store.

Here is the after picture. He painted it for me. 
I LOVE it!

The sun rise in our hotel room in D.C.

The Hope Diamond. Had to take a pic of this!

What we are learning in school. 
All of the fruits of the Spirit.

While making dinner a couple weeks ago I thought
all of the children were playing together.
Come to find out Monkey got into the diaper cabinet again
and decided to smear vaseline all over himself.
He was happy with his work. LOL!

My tulip garden.

Baby Kendall's Cherry tree in bloom. 
So pretty.

The Star Magnolia tree in our front yard. 

Daffodils in bloom.

Hyacinth smell so good. I love them!

Sidewalk chalk. We all love to play with it. 

A wagon ride with all the boys. 

My silly boys!


My orange-headed, freckle faced boy. Love him to pieces. 

My silly, fun-loving boy. 

Bear made some crosses for Easter on our front 
porch with Daffodil grass. He was proud of them. 

The crosses.

Monkey is learning to get around by himself.
He loves to crawl around outside. I can barely keep up. 

Monkey's 1st birthday cake. He had a small party and it was so lovely.
He had a lot of fun and smeared cake from head to toe.
We had to give him a bath after he ate his cake. LOL! Fun times!

I hope you have a wonderful Spring filled with love and laughter and memories. We are having a ball and plan to go to the beach soon and our local theme park. We get passes every other year (and this is one of the year's we get passes!). We plan to have picnics and visit the local gardens and parks. We also love to cook out on the grill and have people over. It is a fun time of family, friends, and fellowship. Have a great Spring!


Blessings,


Kristy



Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Spirit-Filled Home {The Wife's Role}



"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."
Proverbs 31:26

"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels."
Proverbs 31:10

"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives."
1 Peter 3:1

"But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God."
1 Corinthians 11:3

Recently, I heard a sermon about how to have a "Spirit-Filled Home". It was probably one of the best sermons I have ever heard. The Pastor spoke about the family unit and what our roles were. He said that in order to have a Spirit-Filled Home everyone has to be in working toward one goal: to be more like Christ. If even one person is falling away from the Lord it affects the whole family. The atmosphere and spirit of the home starts with ME. Yes, I know there are others in my home that have a role in this as well but I am only in control of myself and my actions/thoughts. 

It begins with my thoughts. It begins with my actions. It begins with my attitude. No matter how much I nag, yell, rationalize, etc. I can't control my husband. I can try to get my children to be obedient and loving but we all have those days that seem like no one is listening. Ha! I can ultimately only control myself. 

I want my house to be so full of God that when people come over they can feel His presence. Here are a few tips to help you (as a wife and mother) to have a Spirit-Filled Home:

Honor And Respect Your Husband

I know this one is a tough one. My husband recently told me that if a man feels respected and honored by his wife that makes all the difference in marriage. He said that a man needs respect more than any other thing on earth. Now, that doesn't mean that I respect him only when he respects me. It doesn't mean that I only respect him when he does what I want him to do. It means that no matter what my husband does or does not do, I respect him and reverence him. I don't mean to put up with abuse in any way. That is a whole different blog post. I pray that no one is facing abuse. I am talking about respecting your husband even when you know he is wrong. Listening to his opinion without telling him he is nuts. Not slandering him around town (even to your mother). Really respect him. 

Teach Your Children The Word Of God

I homeschool my children and the motto of our school is "Christ First". I know not everyone can homeschool. You are still responsible for teaching your children about the Lord. When they are home get out your bible and read from it. Let them see you reading the bible daily. Give them bible verses to memorize and hide in their hearts. Have a family devotion each day after dinner and talk about what you learned. Instill in your children a heart for the Lord and serving and worshiping Him. Teach them to pray. Our Pastor said that he believes (and so do I) that a family that prays together, stays together. Let your children hear you and your husband talk about God often. Believe me, they hear things even when you think they are not listening. 

Have A Cheerful Attitude

No one can be happy all the time. It takes great effort sometimes to put a smile on your face. But, if you have the Lord in your heart you have plenty to be thankful for. If you are having a hard time feeling joy in any given day just open up your bible and read some of the Psalms. They always make me feel better. Pray that God would lift your spirits and make you see all of the blessings in your life. I love my husband and I love my children. I have a beautiful home and food in the pantry and fridge. The sun is shining outside and I want for nothing. No, I am not rich or spoiled or anything like that. But, I see that what I DO have is a lot of blessings from God. Just remember the bible verse Philippians 4:8. It is one of my favorites.

Keep The Peace

Keep your house peaceful. Try not to yell or argue in front of the children. Solve problems the way the bible says to solve them. Peaceably. When your husband comes home from a long day at work don't greet him at the door with a list of demands. Don't immediately let him know how terrible the kids acted that day or how you feel horrible and just want to go to bed. Don't say "tag, you're it" and leave the room. Greet him with a warm smile and a sweet kiss. Tell him to change clothes and unwind while you get dinner finished. Prepare the children by letting them know that daddy will be home soon and he needs to unwind. Tell them that they can greet him and treat him like a rock star (at least that's how it is in my house) and then go play until dinner is done. Keep the mood of the home calm as much as possible. I know that it can't be done 24/7. Unexpected things come up all the time, especially when children are involved. But, if you have a peaceful attitude from the get-go then each situation will be handled in that way.

I truly hope that this blog post is a blessing to you. I may add more to this list of things to help you have a Spirit-Filled Home as God puts them on my heart. I will simply label them Part 1, Part 2, etc. The Lord's desire for each of us is to live for Him and serve Him. He wants us to tell everyone we know about His unfailing love. It all starts in the home. You know the old saying "Home is where the heart is". That is so true. If our homes are filled with the Spirit of God then they will be filled with love. Love for God, for your husband, for your children, and anyone else who steps foot into your home. I hope this encourages you to start fresh each day with the attitude of a Spirit-Filled Wife.


Blessings,


Kristy





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Comparison Trap {Mothers at War}



"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."
Galatians 1:10

This is going to be one of those blog posts that you will either love or hate. It has been on my mind for a while to write about comparison in families. For example, do you vaccinate your children or choose not to? Do you homeschool or send your kids to public school? Do you cloth diaper or use disposables? Do you stay home with your children or work outside the home? Do you eat all natural food or do you eat what you can afford? Do you breast feed or bottle feed? Do you have 10+ children or just 2 or 3?

In our culture the "it" thing to do is to write (or talk) about all of the above mentioned things. This is one of the reasons I closed my Facebook account (HERE is the post). I felt criticized if I stated my opinion by other moms. I felt like I was a bad mom because I chose something different than everyone else. Why do we judge one another and compare ourselves to others?

Like the above bible verse says, are we seeking the approval of God or man? Do we do things because it's the trendy thing to do or because we have prayed about it and feel called to do or not do something? These are all questions I have asked myself about life. I have been told by family, friends, and complete strangers that I am making the wrong decisions (no matter what it may be). 

One big thing that just really gets my blood pressure up is the big family versus small family debate. I have three children. They are all boys. They are ALL energy. LOL! For me, personally, I feel like I have a big family. I am not sure that I could handle much more than I already have. I don't feel called to have more children at this point. Maybe you have 6 children and really want more. That's OK. I don't hold it against you and you shouldn't hold it against me if I have "only" 3. I know God calls us all to have different size families. 

Lately, I have been reading a lot of blogs about "Large Families". I get it...you have more children than me. You have "as many children as God blessed you with". Well, what if God only blesses you with 3? Will you be content with that? What if God only blesses you with 1? Will you be OK with that? I think some of these women would not. We all judge one another so harshly as mothers because we want everyone else to think like we do. That is just simply not possible. I don't think God wants us all to be clones of one another. I have heard so many times that large families feel so judged and looked down upon by those of us with "smaller" families. I grew up in a family of 5 brothers and sisters. So, there were 6 of us all together. I love large families. 

What I need to get off my chest is how large families are making those of us with less children feel. I recently got an email from a blogger. It is a very sweet website that hires out writers to help them with articles. They were looking for mother's to write about their families and homemaking and such. The only catch was you had to have 4 or more children. Four or more? Why is that? If you have less than 4 children you don't have an opinion about how to manage a household? It just got me thinking about how I really feel about the subject. 

What defines a large family or a small family? Who is this person that sits on some throne somewhere that determines whether or not I can say I have a big family or not? My husband and I have prayed extensively about our family size. God may choose to bless us again someday with another child through natural birth or adoption. But, that is my business. I wish we would all just get off of our soap boxes and get on our knees. Pray. Pray for guidance, forgiveness, and discernment on the subject. 

Please don't look down on me with my "small" family of 5. I promise not to give you the crazy eyes when I see you with your 8 children. I will smile at you and give you a knowing look that says "Good for you mama for doing what God has called you to do." But, whatever you do, don't ask me when I am going to have another one. Don't ask me if I'm expecting. Yes, I have extra weight since having 3 children. I am aware of the way I look and I am fine with it. I promise not to ask you the horrible question all mama's of large families (and small) get asked "You know how that happens, don't you?" Or, the other question "when are you going to stop?" It's none of my business. Oh, and one more thing please don't be offended if I ask "how do you do it?" I am not asking because I think you are some crazy lady who has children because she wants to drive others nuts. I am genuinely asking because I have a hard time understanding how you do it when I can't even imagine more than my 3 boys. 

Let us promise to not compare lives with each other. Let us be content with what we have and be happy for others as well. Just remember, there are families out there that have no children and would give anything to have just one. Just one little person to call their own. Just one little person to love and teach and hold and watch grow up. I see nowhere in scripture that says "thou shalt have X amount of children." It simply says to "be fruitful and multiply".

We mother's need to encourage one another and lift one another up. We need to have each other's backs and look out for one another. Being a mom is not an easy job. It is one of the hardest (and most rewarding) jobs on earth. It is a high calling. I love what I do but I also know that I will answer to God for all that I teach my children. I take that very seriously.

So, whether or not you vaccinate, homeschool or public school, breast feed or bottle feed, have 1 child or 12 children, don't judge. God knows your heart and you know your reasons for what you choose for your family. Remember, we are all different and called to different things for our families. I pray that this blog post will help you to understand my heart and how I truly feel about the subject of family size.


Blessings,


Kristy




Thursday, April 3, 2014

{Thankful Thursday} Let The Sun Shine So Bright


Spring has sprung here in Virginia. It has been a long, cold winter. I am so, so thankful for warmer weather. I feel so depressed during the winter months with very little sunshine and not getting outside much. When Spring finally does arrive my body, soul, and mind feel so refreshed and renewed. It's like God has everything come back to life after a long sleep. The days are longer. The sun shines brighter, The flowers bloom and look to the heavens. The picture above is all of the flowers in our yard. The top left ones smell sooooo good. They are called hyacinth. They are planted in our rose garden...which is still asleep for the moment. The flowers on the top right are from a Cherry tree. I am not sure which kind (my SIL gave it to us when our precious baby Kendall went to heaven). It's my favorite tree in our yard and the flowers are a very light pink color. So pretty! Of course, you see the daffodils and then the red tulips. My wonderful hubby planted the tulips last fall for me as a surprise. I LOVE them! The bottom left is from our star magnolia tree in our front yard. It blooms about 4-5 times a year. This is my second favorite tree in our yard. Ha! The bottom right, honestly, I am not sure what they are called but they looked like tiny Iris's. Whatever they are, they are beautiful.

I am so thankful for the colors in my garden and the fresh scent of blooming flowers. It makes me feel alive. Have you ever gone through a period in your life that feels dark, dreary, depressing, and down right long. I have and it's horrible. It's almost like you are in a pit trying to scratch your way out. Finally, one day, you see the sun peeking through the clouds. You feel a warm breeze blow across your face. You smell grass that's been freshly mowed. You hear children laughing and playing out your window. Ahhh. Makes my heart sing.

If you've ever been in that pit of despair just know that you are not alone. God is right there with you. He's holding your hand. He's praying with you. I know for some people it's hard to see the light through the weight of heavy burdens. Burdens that have been piling up for years. They have chipped away at your heart and your soul. It could be your job, your family, health problems, an abusive spouse, a wondering child, an addiction, financial issues. Whatever is eating away at you and keeping you down is ultimately Satan. He's wants you to be miserable, angry, hurt, depressed. He wants to isolate you and keep you away from people who could help you. He wants you to feel like the victim and hurt those around you.

I used to be there. I know how Satan can manipulate and guilt and hurt. If you are there then I am praying for you. I pray that God will release the chains that Satan has on you and set you free. The sun will shine once again in your life. I am so thankful that the sun is shining again. It has been such a long time since I have had the windows open and the breeze blowing. How is the weather in your neck of the woods? If it's still cold and winter is still lingering, I pray that Spring will arrive very soon.


Blessings,


Kristy

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Baggage of Life {How to Cope}




Dealing with people and their baggage is a tough job. Everyone has baggage. It's how we handle it that matters. A long time ago I made the decision to give it all to God. He can carry all of my problems a lot easier than I can. It's a choice we have to make each day. Once in a while I like to get that big suitcase full of my past out and unpack each item carefully. I examine each thing and relive all of my issues like they are just happening to me. I start to get those horrible feelings of regret, guilt, hatred, anger, and selfishness slowly seeping into my every thought, action, and word. I shutter to think about this because I chose to give it to God but can't quite let Him have it all just yet. Why is that?

So, I quickly pack that suitcase back up tightly and ask God to take it once more. "Please, God, take these burdens and these pains. Take these troubles and this anger. Take my past and use it for your glory." A relief floods over me and I feel whole again. I feel God wrapping His arms around me and, like any loving Father, telling me it will be alright. That baggage is heavy and back breaking (and heart breaking). No matter how many times I take all of those troubles back, God willingly takes them for me.

Am I the only one who does this? Am I the only one who relives my past? Well, I know the answer to that question is no. We all do it. We have all been on the receiving end (and the giving end) of a person who can't let go of their past. Child abuse or spousal abuse can make you abuse others. Maybe not physically but emotionally or verbally. Not having good parents (such as having an absentee father or an alcoholic mother) can cause you to be the same kind of parent to your children. Having unhealthy premarital relationships can make you extremely cautious when choosing friends (or your children choosing friends) later in life. This list goes on and on.

I have seen and witnessed some of these things first-hand. I have had people lash out at me because their husband is no good or because they lost their job. I've been on the receiving end of all kinds of bad things in life. It doesn't matter what I did or didn't do. It built up over the days, months, years until the top blew off and a verbal explosion occurred. It could be something small that triggers it. How we react to others is so important. We cannot let our emotions control our reactions. I've been reading Lysa Terkeurst's book "Unglued". Wow! I am so convicted. I highly recommend this book to all women. I have hurt people with my words and over-reactions to things. I don't want that to happen anymore. I want to be more cautious of the words that I say. The bible talks about the "tongue" (our words) ninety-three times. NINETY-THREE times!! I would say that God wants us to pay attention to what we say to others.

We carry around baggage. The baggage becomes too heavy to carry. We hate carrying this heavy load around. Instead of seeking God and asking Him to take the heavy burden we lash out at people. We hold on to hostility and hurt. We hold on to it like an old friend. We are so used to having them around that we just...can't...let...them...go. We take it out on our spouse, children, family, friends. We isolate ourselves from the world because we think that will make it all better. We tell others we are fine, when in reality we are dying inside. We want to scream for relief. We want to scream for help. We try to tell someone close to us that we are hurting but they don't understand. We get depressed and cry out to God for help.

I say all of this because I have been this person. It's an ugly place to be. It's a miserable place to be and it makes your whole life miserable. It makes those around you suffer as well. They suffer because they hate to see you hurting. Sure, we can pretend to have it all together. We can fake a smile and make small talk like nobody's business. Deep down...way deep down we are crying and hurting.

How do we get out of this slump? How do we move on and really deal with our issues? I will tell you how I do it. I give it all to God. If my husband isn't treating me the way I think he should treat me, if someone close to me passes away, if my children are too loud too often, if I have a past full of regrets and guilt...I give it to God. It is not my husband's responsibility to make me happy. Only God can bring true joy to my heart. If someone I love passes away it is sad. But, I have to know that it was God's plan. And, being a mother is not for the faint of heart (especially a mother of boys...LOL!). Get up each day and thank God for each of your blessings and know that no matter what your children will put you through today there is someone out there who would give anything to have your loud house full of children. If we have asked for forgiveness from God about past sins then that should be the end of it. God has forgotten it and so should we.

No, it's not easy. There are certain people that push your buttons easier than others. Some of them are unavoidable. I am telling you I have been there. I am learning to hold my tongue and to think about what I want to say before I say it. You can't take back words. You can't undo an argument. You cannot unwrite an email that was sent in anger and hurt. What you can do is think about what you want to say before you say it. And, if you have nothing nice to say, well then, don't say anything at all.

I also like to live by the rule of "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." -Romans 12:18. We can't possible live peaceable if we avoid others (on purpose), lash out at our loved ones, have feelings of anxiety, feelings of depression, anger toward others, etc. I don't think harboring anger, bitterness, and hatred is healthy. It is mentally unhealthy, emotionally unhealthy, and it can be physically unhealthy. Someone told me once that God doesn't care so much about your circumstances as your reactions to them. Great advice.

What does your baggage in your suitcase have in it? Bitterness, anger, resentment, hurt, regret, sadness? Give it to God. He wants to help you and wants you to be happy. We will all go through trials and hard times in life. If we hold on to it all and stuff it in our hearts it is not what God wants for us. Let. It. Go. Live your life with no regrets. Live your life full of love. This life is a short one. If there is someone you need to forgive, forgive them. If there is someone you need to talk to, do it. If there is bitterness in your heart, cut it out. God wants you to have healthy relationships and a healthy attitude. God made us in His image. Do you think He wants this for you? No, I personally don't think that.

If you are carrying around a heavy burden I am praying for you. Don't unpack that suitcase. Look to Jesus and everything else will fade away. Live your life to glorify Him. Love others with reckless abandon. It will be worth it.

Blessings,


Kristy