Joy over Grumbles // Making the Choice

“I’m so filled with joy and thankfulness that my children are waking me up super early and have been persistently and consistently sharing how hungry they are and that they are basically going to starve if I don’t get up and feed them right now!”

Those are NOT usually my first thoughts each morning.

With babe number three cooking and the increased fatigue and trouble sleeping that accompanies growing a human, my go to morning attitude is not always one of joy and thankfulness.

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There are definitely seasons that are harder than others. Seasons where it is hard to choose joy. Seasons where it seems easier to complain and check off the things that would seemingly allow you to have more joy…if only.

But if I take the time to really choose joy, there’s an awful lot of it. When I take the time to actually give thanks for the good, good gifts that Jesus has given me, the joy is evidently abundant and lovely.

So here it is. Today I’m choosing joy and thankfulness. I’m going to make a few mistakes. I’m going to grumble or sigh, but I’m going to keep making the choice that finds joy in God’s good gifts.

A growing baby//Healthy girls with healthy appetites//A husband that wakes up early and makes pancakes//Morning cuddles//Family time//Rainy nights//Sunny mornings//Nap time//Colorful flowers//Watching imaginations at play

How about you? What are you thankful today? How are you going to CHOOSE joy?

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Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

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Be There // Hope in Christ Through Change

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Change can be hard. Change can be good. In the past few years our family has gone through a lot of changes. We moved to Africa, starting a new chapter. We started fostering a four month old that we knew would someday return to her family. We now are anticipating the change of a new baby entering our lives sometime in January 2017!

Sometimes we put all our hope in change. We think that once this change takes place things will be better.

Or maybe we fear the change. We let the worries of the unknown overtake our thoughts and control our actions.

Our hope should never be in change, and worry should not dictate our lives. Our hope is in Christ alone and because of this we need not fear what is to come.

the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.Psalm 147:11

 

In the days that seem mundane with caring for littles, washing dishes, folding clothes, playing referee, and taking care of all the seemingly little things of life, change can be the idol of our days. We seek the change that we all too quickly will miss. In these days of caring for littles wherever you are, be there. Don’t place your hope in the change to come. Don’t let the worries of change guide you. Be where you are and place your hope in the One who is orchestrating your days and the changes in your life and working them out for good.

He is the one who longs you to draw close to Him and beckons you to let Him lead through the changes.

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Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

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Fruit of the Spirit // Faithfulness

Faithfulness. Would you describe yourself as a faithful person? There are a lot of different things we can pledge to be faithful to. From pledging your faithfulness to your spouse alone to vowing to faithfully work out at least three times a week. While I think we can all agree that faithfulness to your spouse falls into a higher level of faithfulness than getting your cardio on, sometimes faithfulness can be hard for us human beings.

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If you take a read of the Old Testament and follow the story of the Israelites, they are a prime example of just not being able to remain faithful to God. Though He draws them back and gives them chance after chance after chance, they somehow always seem to mess it up!

Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me. Hosea 7:13

The thing is, even though I may shake my heads and sigh with exasperation as I read their story that seems to involve a great lack of faithfulness, there are too many times when my story looks much too like the Israelites.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. Isaiah 53:6

If there is nothing else you’ve learned from reading along with this fruit of the Spirit series, I hope you remember this. We cannot produce any of these fruits on our own! They are the fruit of the SPIRIT. We need the Spirit to abide in us and work on growing these fruits in our lives! We need to invite the Spirit into our lives, ask Him to plant good seeds, and work at nurturing and tending these plants as they mature.

Faithfulness doesn’t happen as a result of our own good works.

Faithfulness is steadfastness, constancy, or allegiance; it is carefulness in keeping what we are entrusted with; it is the conviction that the Scriptures accurately reflect reality. Biblical faithfulness requires belief in what the Bible says about God—His existence, His works, and His character. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit; it is the result of the Spirit working in us.

We must invited the Holy Spirit in to plant the seeds of faithfulness and tend to it carefully and consistently.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; Hebrews 10:23

God faithfully leads us and calls us back to Him even when we fail in our faithfulness to Him. He sees our human weaknesses and has sent us a Helper. The Holy Spirit to guide us in our walk of faithfulness.

BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. GALATIANS 5: 22-23

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Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
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A Summer of Grace & Gratitude

In a land of practically never-ending Summer here in Uganda, it’s easy to take for granted clear skies and high temps. We haven’t been out of the land of bipolar weather (aka, Ohio) for so long that I can’t remember the fleeting season of Summer. Summer is a season that holds anticipation and perhaps some high expectations to do all the things! It is a time to take advantage of the longer days and warm weather. You may be planning to get a lot of house work done. Maybe you’re planning a big vacation. Maybe you just want to spend every minute you can outside and have loads of fun activities you can do with the kids. Whatever it is, sometimes the ideals that we place before ourselves, don’t always turn out looking so….ideal.

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You know that big summer barbecue you planned? You invited over all your friends and their kids. Everything was set up outside and then…it rained.

Remember all the special trips you wanted to take with your kids over the summer? The museums, the fairs, farmer’s market? You ended up spending more time at home than you thought. Before you knew it, the season was coming to a close and it was almost time to start school again.

Remember all the home improvements you wanted to get done? You planned and you prepared, but activities got in the way, and money was a little short.

It is easy to make those Summer bucket lists and feel a little defeated if they aren’t all completed when Summer has finally kicked the bucket! I’m not saying that we shouldn’t plan and prepare for a Summer of fun, but let’s also make room for a lot of grace and a lot of gratitude.

Grace has to be one of my favorite words and one that I’m truly thankful for! Grace for the Summer allows us to take full advantage of those long sunny days. To greet them with excitement and anticipation, but then at the close of the day, even if everything hasn’t gone exactly as planned, we can smile and rest in the goodness of grace.We need grace for the moments that aren’t Summer Bucket List perfect.

Grace then makes room for gratitude. When we give gratitude for things just the way they are, even when they aren’t picture perfect we allow ourselves to experience joy in the moment. Gratitude allows us to make beautiful memories when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Take time to enjoy this Summer and whatever comes with it. Whether you get everything checked off your bucket list or are left with a long unfinished list, meet the moments big and small with an attitude of grace and gratitude. Let your days be filled with the joy of soaking up the moments for the season it is.

Today, I am joining eight other bloggers in sharing encouragement for your summer! There is a little bit of everything in these posts and we hope they encourage and inspire you!

A round up of 9 posts of encouragement for your summer!

Summer Reading Tips for Preschoolers at Grammie Time
Summer Fun on a Budget at Life Planted Here
Let it Go Summer Fun at Foxy’s Domestic Side
Celebrate Summer at The Queen in Between
A Summer of Grace & Gratitude at Oh Tiny Gifts
Craft with Purpose this Summer at While I’m Waiting
Summer Fun at Home: Family Picnic Favorites at Sweet Little Ones Blog
Taking Babies Camping: What to Pack at These Kids Mom
Finding Balance with Summer Routines at Living In This Season

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Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
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Fruit of the Spirit // Goodness

Goodness. A word that seems hard to define and pin down. What is good and how do I live it? Does goodness mean I follow all the rules? I never speed and I always floss my teeth? (whoops!)  With a little searching I came across a Biblical definition that I love.

“The Greek word translated ‘goodness,’ agathosune, is defined as ‘uprightness of heart and life.’ Agathosune is goodness for the benefit of others, not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous.”

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Goodness as a fruit of the Spirit doesn’t mean I’m good in order to simply build myself up and appear virtuous to others. Goodness as a fruit of the Spirit means that I am selflessly good for the sake of others.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:15-16

Whew! I can tell you that I often fall very short of this one. I’m as human as they come. I get selfish and lazy and often think much more about what is good for me than for others. And that is exactly why we cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit on our own!

I can’t grow goodness in my life without inviting the Holy Spirit to dwell in my life! If I try to grow goodness on my own I am left with depleted and malnourished soil. Soil that will only produce goodness that is self centered and self motivated.

When I am firmly rooted in God’s word and invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in my life daily, I am nourished with God’s grace, love, and truth. When I invite the Holy Spirit in, I allow God to sow seeds of goodness in my life and fruit that is healthy and selfless can grow and thrive.

“It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It’s a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person.”

I know I want to be a Spirit-filled person. A person that desires to bless others because I walk with the Lord and follow His will. I want to #getonblessing! 

Thank goodness for His grace as we walk this journey!

BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. GALATIANS 5: 22-23

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Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
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Follow along with Keri
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A Look at “A Worthy Mama”

Today you get a look back at a post I wrote just a little over two years ago. Lillie was still a fresh little babe and I was a new full-time stay at home mama. To be honest, I still have a lot of these same feelings. It’s a journey of walking with the Lord and continuing to discern His will for my life.

Though we may not always feel worthy, we can know we are worthy, because we are His!

A Worthy Mama

I’ve been reading and hearing a lot  recently about moms. With mother’s day just behind us, there has been a lot of focus on the wonders of motherhood. I’m now 3.5 months into being a full time stay at home mom, from previously working two days a week as a hospice nurse after Gracie was born. I love being at home with my girls and I wouldn’t trade it for the world (don’t ask me that at 3 o’clock in the morning when they are both awake) but as I expected, I have lost something that made me feel…worthy.

The sweet girl that made me a mommy of two and stay at home mama

It’s a word that was hard for me to pin down. Part of me felt fulfilled by a job that helped people and their families through an emotional last journey that led to heaven. I miss feeling the purpose I felt in connecting with families and giving them support. Now I find myself searching for ways to fill that feeling of being “worthy”.  The problem is that I sometimes have this churning, anxiety like feeling that tells me I need to do it all. All as in everything. All as in going above and beyond and to the moon and back again. I need to do it all,  especially now that I’m not working outside the home.

This nagging feeling tells me, I need to enjoy my time with my girls and help them explore the world around them as they grow. Teach them the ways of Christ and be a godly example for them. This nagging feeling tells me I need to have a clean home, especially now that I’m home more and that it’s something I should do as a gift to my husband. It also tells me that I need to cook better…meat and cheese or cereal for dinner doesn’t really count. It tells me I need to workout and tone up and get back to that pre-pregnancy or even better physique. It tells me I need to stay up to date on the happening of this world and not become ignorant. The nagging feelings tell me I need to volunteer my time to other’s more, find ways to give back daily with small acts of kindness. It tells me that I need to grow my little Etsy shop, increase my sales, and use those profits to support others that need it. It tells me I should be a good friend, make time to hang out. Be a good sister, wife, daughter, mother, coach, neighbor, Christian. It tells me don’t be lazy, don’t be scared, read your Bible more, don’t lose your temper, kiss your husband and the list goes on and on and then some. These thoughts start competing for room, jostling each other around and turn right into that churning, nagging feeling.

I try to check mark the never-ending list of needed improvements in my life that will make me feel more worthy. I compare my journey to others out there and decide undeniably that they are doing a better job at, well, just about everything. Yes, these are all good goals and something that I can continue to work towards little by little as I examine my gifts that I have been given to share, but is being worthy the right goal? And worthy of what? If I don’t have a clean home, or toned arms is God going to tell me I’m not worthy? If you take the time to read just a few stories in the Bible, you will see that God often chose people that didn’t seem “worthy” to fulfill His plans.

So while I will continue to work towards these goals with Christ’s help, my prayer should be one of submission. Submission to His plan and His will. A prayer that He will use me where I am and that I will listen. That He will be the guiding force in my decisions whether it be at home with my girls, or with the stranger at the store. That His light will shine through me where I am and I won’t be afraid to let it out.

If we could all choose to let His light shine through us right where we are, the world would be that much brighter.

Because this picture is just real life, people.  Real life with a toddler and a baby and a moment in front of the camera.

So to anyone out there reading along on this journey, would you join me in this prayer? A prayer to let God use  us today, and tomorrow and the next.

That we will be present in the moments that God has gifted us, wherever we may be. A prayer that God will use us through our mistakes and meet us on our journey. That His light will shine through us and that we will grow. That our gifts would be shared with others and we would know we are most worthy of His love. Focus on the Cornerstone and keep building one brick at a time. Know that His hand is outstretched and His love is always present. I pray this prayer for myself and others that join me. Will you do the same?

God is going to meet us on our journey. Whether we’re in the car, or hanging out of it in our Easter best.

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Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
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Contentment for Today

Cherish the past. Invest in the present. Hope and plan for the future.

Find contentment where you are.

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In the midst of chaos and trials, the unsettling of the world that stirs up our hearts and makes us long for a peaceful day, find contentment. When you are a natural born worrier with the tendency to obsess, and overthink, and in general feel like you have let someone down somewhere, find contentment. In seasons of  hustle, and schedules, and stacked responsibilities, find contentment. In the seasons that move slow and smooth, where the clock ticks slow, and you feel the weight of the should be’s, find contentment.

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. PHILIPPIANS 4:11-13

Let the contentment flow in and quiet the unsettled cries of your heart that tell you you are not where you should be. Your strength is found in Him and He has placed you where you are for a reason and a purpose.

Our God is good.

He is steadfast and strong.

Our hearts can reap contentment when we sow our  roots into the depth of His love and goodness.

When today rushes in against you and the calls of your to do’s and the cries of your emptiness shout loud, call to the quiet of His contentment. When regrets of the past, comparison for today, and fear for the future unfurls it’s tendrils and squeezes too tight, call to contentment to release their grip.

Today is the day that the Lord has made. He has place you where you are for a purpose. Dwell closely in His love and awaken yourself the truths He holds for you today. Find contentment in the journey.

Find contentment for today.

Accessorize with Meaning

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I don’t always wear jewelry because of the stage of life I’m in…aka grabby, chubby, adorable hands stage!  The pieces that I do own and wear have special meaning. Most of the pieces I wear have also empowered women in their purchase. When the time is right to pull out a cute necklace, I LOVE what I am wearing. It feels good to accessorize with meaning! Here is a little peak of my favorites, and most of my current necklace collection!

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Oh Tiny Gifts & Smile Africa

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Oh Tiny Gifts & Smile Africa

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Oh Tiny Gifts & Smile Africa

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New Eve Jewelry

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New Eve Jewelry

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Amani

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Amani

Learning with Littles // Tips for Tot Home School

Learning with two little ones, ages two and four, can have its challenges. Add in a one year old miss Hellen, and schedules can sometimes get a little complicated. We are by no means doing things perfectly. We by no means have it all down, but we are learning-together. Each time I put together and teach a lesson for the girls, I learn something new myself. Whether it be a fun fact that I didn’t remember, or the opportunity to practice some hard core patience, I’m learning. Here are a few tips when trying to figure out how to home school your own tots!

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  1. Be flexible.

    If you’re a parent, you’ve probably already learned this one to some degree. Having kids causes you to have to be flexible in certain situation. Have to leave the house in an hour? Start getting ready now because there’s 100% chance that one of your kids is going to have a poopy diaper, not be able to find her shoes, or have sudden hunger pains! Just like you can plan for some flexibility when you’re getting ready to head out the door, plan for flexibility in your school day! Give yourself permission to skip an activity if focus is just not there. Let them choose between worksheet A or worksheet B. Be flexible.

  2. Start with movement.

    I’ve been starting our school days with songs. There are a few songs we do every time that help create a routine and get them in the rhythm of school time. Then I have been adding a few movement songs to get those wiggles out before we have our listening and sitting time. You can find some fun moving songs here. 

  3. Keep quiet sitting time short.

    Now obviously as they get older they should be able to sit quietly for longer periods of time, but a two year old is not going to sit still and quiet for an hour-most likely. After getting the wiggles out, maximize some time to sit still, listen, and work on activities that may require more concentration. Often 10-20 minutes is enough. You can break up these quiet times and interject more active ones in between.

  4. If at a loss-READ!

    If you’re not sure what to do next, pull out a book! My girls love reading and could bring me book after book to read. There are so many benefits to reading with your kids. You’ll get some quality time with them, and help develop those little brains! Check out this previous post for some thoughts I have on using living books in the Charlotte Mason Way.

  5. Let them play. 

    While playing, kids are learning A LOT! They are learning how to problem solve, be creative, develop fine and gross motor skills, interact with their world and others just to name a few! Play is an important part of childhood, and even in home schooling, it’s important and shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked!

I hope these tips leave you feeling encouraged as you plan your next home schooling steps! If any other tot home schoolers have any wisdom, I’d love for you to share here with us all! Check out some of my other tot home schooling post here and here for a few more ideas. Or follow my Pinterest board here!

Fruit of the Spirit // Kindness

Most of us would like to see ourselves as possessing qualities that exhibit kindness. Kindness speaks to me along the same vein of love. It’s easy to be kind when we like the person we are called to be kind to. It’s not so easy to be kind when we don’t like the person we are called to be kind to.

Google biblical kindness and this is what you’ll find:

“An attribute of God and quality desirable but not consistently found in humans.”

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Kindness, just like the other fruits of the Spirit is an attribute of God. We would like to see ourselves as kind, but kindness is not something that we can consistently produce on our own.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

God calls us to be kind, but He knows that because of our human nature, we are going to need a lot of help from Him. We are going to need to consistently and authentically seek Him and listen for His direction.

Kindness can be hard.

I want to be kind, really, but sometimes, my pesky human nature and desires just seem to get in the way. Things like selfishness, fear, and plain laziness can get in the way of reaching out to someone and putting their needs ahead of my own.

It truly is a battle against the devil that we go through daily in one way or another. We have to die to our own flesh and selfish nature in order to show God’s kindness to others.

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:22-24

But we don’t go into battle alone. We go into battle armed with the Holy Spirit and His good Word.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

Christ has equipped us.

He has equipped us to share kindness when we dwell with Him and live in the fruit of His Spirit.

When I try to be kind on my own, only the worldly, superficial sort of kindness shows up. When I work to be kind by dwelling in the fruit of His Spirit, Godly kindness is invited to enter in and overflow into the lives of others.

Let’s invite His kindness to take seed in our hearts today.

Let us water and nurture it.

Let His kindness grow and bloom.

BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. GALATIANS 5: 22-23

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter

Follow along with Keri
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter