Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Tacky Day"

Ok so I am kicking myself that I do not have pictures of my kids in their "tacky day" outfits, but I am sharing a costume picture instead.

We received a flyer on Monday saying that the kids were dressing up each day. You know... pajama day, career day, red day and tacky day. You remember those days right? Well, I ask Matthew what he was going to where for "tacky day" and he said he had a lot of kakhi clothes and he could just where his kakhi pants. I laughed so hard and he said, "Well, I can feel a blog coming on," which made me laugh even harder. I explained to Matthew what "tacky day" was and his reply was, "Well, just let me pick my clothes out for the day because I can't match and whatever I pick is sure to look "tacky." I love that he knows that he needs help with fashion. We got everyone ready this morning with mix matched plaids, black socks, different shoes and colors that should never be worn together. They thought this was wonderful. I watched them leaving in these repulsive outfits understanding that this was an exception, not a rule for their dress code in life. They knew they looked "tacky" and that it was for one day only. What gripped my heart as they walked away was a prayer of petition that my children would not grow up to be "tacky" individuals in speech or attitude, not even for one day. You know the kind of people I am talking about. They just can't seem to speak unless they have something tacky or crass to say. They complain. They are negative and nothing is ever right or good enough and they let everyone around know it.  I pray that my children will grow up with words of grace on their tongues. I pray that they are quick to listen and slow to speak. I pray that their patience runs deep and they speak words of blessing and encouragement whenever their mouths are opened. I know some of you are thinking..."Good luck, you have 4 boys and boys can be gross and tacky." I know that is the attitude our world has adopted towards boys, but I do not buy into it. Boys, girls, men, women, all of us can learn to be gracious, patient and encouarging in our words if we are controlled by the Holy Spirit and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. Our "tacky" words begin as "tacky" thoughts. "Tacky day" is funny because we know it only lasts for one day. If people dressed like that everyday we would create a website about it or start a movement to see it changed, yet we tolerate "tacky behavior" (which is more offensive) in ourselves and others every day. Pray with me that we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will begin to discipline our tongues to be fashionable according to scripture and never "tacky," not even for a day.
 Colossians 4:6 NIV
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Are You Hungry?"

Do you ever get hungry? No I mean really HUNGRY? You know those times that a nice juicy steak sounds good or maybe a plate of hot wings and then there are those times that you are so hungry "everything" sounds good. Those are the times that we eat and eat and eat and just can't stop. My daddy use to say "You have to learn to eat right on past that full feeling." (We are not sure why our family struggles with our weight,) but...Anyway, I get hungry everyday. Well, maybe we don't truly know what real hunger is. I think I am hungry and there is not much that will stop me from filling that hunger. I have been known to sneak food from the happy meal of a small child if I was hungry and they were not looking. I will stay up late and miss out on sleep in order to eat. Our lives seem to revolve around not being hungry. We plan to have lunch with a friend. We have people over for dinner. We plan our holiday meals months in advance. (Well, we do.) We think long and hard about what restaurant we will dine at tonight. We get excited and love to make plans around food. Eating is absolutely a priority. When was the last time you were truly "hungry?" Hungry for the Word of God? My prayer lately has been that God would create in me a ravenous hunger for His word. I pray that nothing will satisfy me the way His word will. I pray that just as I put off housework and sleep in order to feed my physical body I would do so even more to feed my spiritual body. I want my life to revolve around His word. I want to have recipe books filled with my favorite scriptures and grocery lists of things that I need to fill my spiritual pantry with. It just doesn't make sense to fill our days feeding that which is temporal and that which will pass away while our souls are starving and suffering from malnutrition. I am preparing my body for the grave while my soul is screaming for attention. Ok, so maybe a little morbid, but this is really something I have been convicted of lately. I truly want to HUNGER for Him. I want to eat "right on past that full feeling." I want my life to revolve around His word. No, I am not giving up eating. (It would not hurt me for a few weeks. I have plenty of reserve.) I will continue to feed this face, but with every bite and every thought of food remembering to HUNGER for Him even more. This theme has so resounded in my soul the past few months that our Ladies Retreat is actually themed around this topic..."Hungry!" Join us November 13-14 if you are interested in hearing more about how we can "Hunger" after Him.
Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

Luke 6:21.Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Treasure In Heaven" (Part 2)

I have learned over the years that God blesses us because He loves us and He is a loving Father, but He also showers us with blessings in order to mold us and shape us and use the blessings to conform us into His image. I thankfully received the blessing of the van and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was a gift from God, but over the last year I have had to learn some really hard lessons that should not have been hard. We got the van the first week of July and the first event we drove the van to was our family 4th of July celebration. I made a strawberry pie that apparently was not set well and my husband placed it in the floorboard of the back of the van. When we arrived it had sloshed into a big puddle in the floor of this 1 week old van and I lost it. I was not a blessing to my husband, to my children and needless to say there was no godliness or patriotism expressed through my attitude that day. Oxi-clean came to the rescue and all was well, but this was the beginning of understanding this is a temporal blessing that will pass away one day. Now don't get me wrong, we need to be good stewards of our blessings, but if being a good steward means crying and snapping your husband's head off, then it becomes a choice to value possessions over people. About 3 months ago I came out of Walmart and had a big ding in the driver's side door. Needless to say, I was upset and vowed to never shop a Walmart again, or until I needed more laundry detergent. 1 month ago we were in Maplesville at a Homecoming service and we were visiting with some friends when I hear Jacob say look mommy and I hear scraping. He had picked up 2 small rocks and was creating his masterpiece on the side of the van. Thankfully, he does not know the meaning of elbow grease and the light scratches buffed out easily. The one that sent me over the final edge was 2 weeks ago when I walked out of Target and from the giant red ball I could see a long white scratch down the side of my van. I stopped in my tracks and said, "What in the world?" I called Matt saying that the van had been keyed and I was going to summons the surveillance cameras at Target, call the police and find who did this and they were going to pay for the damage. My loving husband calmed me down and said, "It is just a car. It is not worth loosing your peace over. You won't accomplish anything by doing all of that. We will take care of it." After returning home, Matt inspected the damage and said he did not think it had been keyed, but instead it looked like someone had been squeezing through and a purse, a belt or a stroller had scraped the side. That day God finally got my attention and showed me that He had given this blessing to me and yes I was to be a good steward of it, but not to hold it too closely or my blessing would rob me of my joy and contentment and become a source of stress and worry. The Lord has continued to encourage me to store up treasures in heaven and as Matt would say, "Send it on ahead." As we store up treasure in heaven where moth and rust and strawberry pie and rocks and keys cannot destroy, we have the assurance of knowing that we are placing our treasures in the hand of one who is a much better steward than we are and who will multiply and flourish those treasures. Matthew 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Where is your treasure today? See where your treasure is and there you will find your heart. I am thankful for the blessing of my van, but it is no longer where my heart is. I will continue to wash, vacuum and Armor All and care for this blessing, but by the grace of God I will never again loose my peace over that which is a treasure of earth.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Treasures In Heaven" (Part I)

Last year we knew it was "time" for me to have a new van. My old one was dying a slow and certain death and was not a reliable car for the boys and I. Matt and I had prayed for many months about this decision and Mr. Budget ( I say this with no sarcasm, but great appreciation) had it all figured out. I thought my heart's desire was a suburban. It would seat 9 and had lots of trunk space for soccer balls, strollers, soccer chairs and groceries. We looked high and low for a suburban, but never felt the peace we knew we needed to make such a decision. After my cancer treatment last summer we had to spend 5 days away from the boys for their safety. We went to South Carolina to spend some time with Matt's folks and probably put over 300 miles on their truck looking for a new vehicle. The first night we were looking, I sat in a Honda Odyssey convinced I did not want another van. After looking at this van I was in love. Skeptical that it would be within budget we went the next morning to talk with the dealer about the possibility of buying this new "dream car." Just as we suspected they looked at the bottom line of our car budget and politely laughed and told us their was "NO WAY!" We left disappointed, but also as two realistic individuals. (Well maybe 1 1/2 realistic individuals.) We continued looking and have many funny car salesmen stories that I will spare you, but that might produce a funny Dumb and Dumber style comedy one day. The next morning Matt went golfing and I slept in. When I awoke the Lord led me to these verses. Luke 18:2-5 "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with a plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!" "Interesting!" I thought, but I knew what the Lord wanted us to do. We had to go back to the Honda place. Matt called and said, "So what are you thinking about our car search this morning." I shared with him my scripture and my crazy plan to be laughed at again. The Lord was leading him to so the same thing. So we walked back into the Honda dealership and said, "You may laugh at us again today, but we are Christians and the Lord keeps laying on our hearts the parable of the persistent widow and we really feel like the Lord wants us to come back in and inquire about this van again." He did not laugh, but instead said, "Well, your chances are better today than they were yesterday because we have to move 14 vans before Monday." We sat down again and to make this already long story shorter...We left with my "dream van." They were able to meet our budget within literally a few dollars. We could have let pride stand in our way of asking and being laughed at again, but our God is in the business of making the impossible, possible. He spoke to both of our hearts separately and we obeyed together and the reward was the desire of my heart. I know it is just a car, but imagine if God cares that much about metal, nuts and bolts how much more He cares about the other details of our lives like the salvation of friends and family, the healing of your physical body or that of a child  and the spiritual health of overcoming strongholds in your life. Be that persistent widow. Keep asking. Keep knocking and listen to the Lord as He speaks to your heart and obey. Tomorrow I will share more with you about the lessons God had in store with me through this new blessing of  "my van."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Never A Question"

We had our first parent teacher conferences for the boys on Monday. Sunday night Caleb crawled into the bed with me and said..."I'm scared about my conference tomorrow." I asked him if he had reason to be scared. "I just don't know if I'm doing as good as I think I am. I get in trouble sometimes for standing up, talking and singing in the bathroom. I'm really nervous."  Up until that point I had not been nervous, but now my stomach was a little jumpy. What if my perfect, well behaved, well mannered children are really not? I met with Caleb's teacher and he had all "E's" which in second grade is the equivalent to all A's. They said he was a very respectful young man, a friend to all and the only thing he needed to work on was doing his best in all things and not trying to hurry. I started wondering if this was the same child I had spoken to last night. Caleb was convinced that his behavior was not up to par and that he was going to get a bad report. So I asked, "Does Caleb ever get in trouble for standing up, talking or singing in the bathroom?" "We had to ask him once to stop singing so loud in the bathroom and the other Caleb gets in trouble for those things, but not your Caleb." Ok, yes I had to fight the prideful Mommy moment of "That's my boy." Remain humble Monica, it is not you, it is by the grace of God and Him working in the lives of your children that they obey and are an example. I came home to Caleb with his shining report, but also with a lesson that I hope he will take to heart in life. Apparently, Caleb had not been living his life completely above reproach. He did not have the confidence that nothing was going to be brought against him. He was struggling within his heart and mind wondering how much the teachers would share. Apparently he had been standing up and he had been talking  and singing in the bathroom, it's just that the teachers have noticed others doing that more. Caleb felt the conviction in his heart. As I mom that means more than the straight "E's." I shared with Caleb that day that we are to live our lives in such a way that no one is able to bring a charge against us. We are to live blameless in every area of our lives. We are to stay as far away from sin as possible. If Caleb had been living above repproach he would not have had anything to worry about. He could have slept that night with full confidence knowing in his heart that he was blameless. Oh the torment my poor little man must have been in Sunday night and Monday morning until I arrived home. I don't wish that kind of worry on my children, but I pray that it was a teachable moment in life. I pray that it was a defining moment of character building in his life. I pray that he will walk blameless each day. I pray that for me and you as well. I've stayed awake before wondering if the things I said were going to come back to charge me. I have lived in fear over actions, attitudes and careless words wondering if brought to the attention to others or more importantly brought to the attention of my Savior I would be convicted. The truth is, He always knows, always sees and nothing is hidden from His eye. Lord Jesus, may I walk and live a holy and blameless life before you in all things.

1 Peter 2: 12 "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."

2 Peter 3:14 "So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"I Want To Make A Difference"

Yesterday I had the privilege of eating lunch with my Grammie and Pappy. While we were eating Pappy shared a few stories with me. One story that he shared with me is one I had heard in part before...
The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”I made a difference for that one.”
What my Pappy did not realize is that there are days when I struggle with this very thing. I would love to be a Beth Moore or a Kay Arthur or a Lysa Terkeurst, but I am not, I am Monica Hawkins. I would love to travel the country speaking to women and having books published left and right. That would be a dream come true for me. I am not a famous speaker or a writer, but what I am is a friend, a mother, a daughter, a wife, a blogger, a pastor's wife. Some days I feel like I don't do much more than throw starfish back into the ocean. How can I reach them all? Is what I am doing really of great value? Am I making a difference? Some days I seem to live a little defeated as I ponder these questions, but what I know is that as long as I am doing what my Savior has called me to do, He is making a difference through me. It made a difference to that precious little boy who needed a mother's love as he coughed all night. It made a difference to that friend who unexpectedly went into labor and needed her house cleaned. It made a difference to that friend who had no one to keep her baby while her child was in the hospital. It made a difference to that hurting wife who needed a listening ear. It made a difference to that mom who called at 11:00 p.m. in tears because her daughter would not stay in the bed and she needed someone to pray with her. It made a difference to my tired husband who needed a comforting meal when he came home from work at 2:00 in the morning. I may never stand before large crowds and proclaim His love, but I have an opportunity every day to make a difference in the lives of those around me. Some days it does not seem like much and some days it feels very mundane, but I am making a difference and so are you! I want to make a difference don't you? Find your starfish today and through it back into the ocean. You may not be able to save them all, but to that one you will make a difference.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Jaw Droppingly Beautiful"

Last Friday night our 15 year old friend/neighbor was getting ready for her homecoming dance. My boys were all out front playing "front yard football" when she walked outside to take homecoming pictures with her date. We walked over to see her dress, her shoes, her hair, her flowers and her beau. We don't have a girl in our home so we live vicariously through those who do. When we came in from the pre-homecoming photography shoot Joshua commented on how beautiful our friend looked. Caleb said, "She wasn't just beautiful she was incredibly beautiful." Matthew chimed in "She was jaw droppingly beautiful." The boys were correct. She was indeed jaw droppingly beautiful. We talked for a little while about what makes a young lady beautiful. We ALL agreed she was beautiful, but what makes her even more beautiful are the things that a camera will never capture. To watch this young lady as she interacts with her younger brother is precious. The way she respects and honors her mother and daddy is a true blessing. I know without a doubt that recognizing outward beauty is something that I will never have to teach my children. Inner beauty is something however that they will have to search a little harder to discover. As the mother of 4 boys I want them to understand what true beauty is and to search for that inner beauty. In today's culture that is not the popular or even the easiest thing to do, but it is the most important. As the mother of sons I pray for their future wives. (I pray Prov.31 and Titus 2) I pray that the qualities described in these two passages of scripture will be the things that are attractive to my boys. I pray that my boys will develop characteristics that would attract such young ladies one day. I pray, but I also teach my boys what these qualities look like. I know they are still young, but it is never too early to cast the vision within their hearts and pray that these are the convictions of their hearts. If you have young children I encourage you to begin to pray now for these biblical qualities to take root in the hearts of your children and their future mates.

I Peter 3:4 "Instead, your beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Pray For Me Please"

This is not a regular blog, but this is me asking you my precious friends to pray for me. We have Date Night With A Purpose tomorrow night and I am NOT feeling well. I cannot swallow without wanting to cry and my physical body is exhausted. I spent today at Kirklin Clinic in B'ham following up on my Thyroid Cancer so needless to say it was a long day. Please take a moment if you can and pray for my health. Matt and I will be briefly teaching together tomorrow night and we still have lots to do tomorrow. My God is sovereign and He knows that in my weakness He is strong. I need His strength. That is all I can cling to. Praying that I will become less and He will become greater in the testimony of my life. Speaking of becoming less...apparently the Dr. agrees with what God has been telling me and he wants me to STOP drinking soft drinks and eating salt. I know lots of fun! Right? He has encouraged me to lose 10% of my body weight before I see him next year. Everyone is ganging up on "Tina." Anyway,  pray with me that God will use tomorrow night to encourage marriages in our community. Right now we have over 90 people signed up. I am so excited. Thank you for praying and I will update you on what God does later this weekend.

In Faith,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Date Night With A Purpose" At the Movies

Matt and I have such a heart for our marriage, but also for the marriages of others. We live in a world that would seek to destroy our marriages at all costs. Matt and I speak with men and women everyday who are struggling in their marriages. Why? Because we live a world that tells us that we are number one. We live in a world that says "be happy no matter what the costs." Our world would tell us "if they aren't meeting your needs and making you happy then find someone who will." THE WORLD IS WRONG! God has designed marriage to be a picture of His relationship with the church. He gave up His life for us. We spend many hours of our energy each week pouring into our jobs, our homes, our education, our children, our sports and our friendships, but how many hours are spent actively working on our marriages? They seem to get the leftovers. If your life is like our life then there is not a lot left over. You have to make the time to pour into your marriage and seek for it to become a priority in your life. That is why Matt and I had a vision a little over a year ago to begin "Date Night With A Purpose." We want to be able to share with other couples how to "date" their spouse in a fun, non-threatening, non-churchy kind of way. We want couples to learn to enjoy being together. It is so hard these days to afford a date, what with the cost of childcare, dinner, a  movie and...exactly...what else is there to do? "Date Night With A Purpose" was created with the hopes of encouraging couples to rediscover the joys of being together, while being able to afford it and learn some practical marriage tips along the way. Your church may not have a "Date Night With A Purpose" or maybe you don't have a church home. If you would like information on how to bring a "Date Night With A Purpose" to your church please e-mail me @  If you live in the Auburn area and do not have a "regular" church home and would like to join us on Friday night please e-mail us at If you can't make it this time mark your calendar for February 12th 2010. Or better yet, plan a date on your own. Tomorrow!! Rekindle that spark! For more information go to

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"The Little Things Are Big To Me"

I use to think that it would be the BIG things in marriage that would mean the most. You know like a dozen red roses for no reason, a surprise date, an unexpected piece of jewelry or a special anniversary trip. Well, after 13 years of marriage it's not the BIG things but the "little" things that mean the most. Maybe it is because roses die, we do have an occasional date, but it's hard to surprise a woman with 4 children. Jewelry costs money unless you eat your way to jewel and I'm not a cracker jack fan and special anniversary trips apparently happen every 5 years and we've only been married 13. (You do the math.) It has become the "little" things that Matt does for me everyday that mean the most. He is great at swapping over laundry just because. Filling my car up with gas. Surprising me with breakfast in bed. Cleaning out the dishwasher because someone will have to eventually and my favorite...making the sandwiches for lunch boxes. I don't know why but I despise making sandwiches. I will stand in the kitchen and whip up a loaf of homemade banana bread, make a pan of brownies, a fruit pizza or made from scratch cookies, but I HATE making sandwiches. Last night we were getting the kids in the bed and tidying up for the night when Matt walked to the back and I asked "Whatcha been doin?" "MAKING SANDWICHES," was his reply. I was so excited. He knows how I put it off. He knows how I breathe a loud sigh as I pull out the bread, the mayo, the mustard and the turkey. He pays attention! He knows what blesses me. I wouldn't trade 100 roses or a sparkling tennis bracelet for all the "little" things my husband does to bless me. I know that the "little" things require a greater sacrifice. It requires that he pay attention and that his heart is one with mine as he senses the need and meets it. I am blessed beyond measure! I have been wondering today though, what "little" things do I do to make his life a little more blessed. (Well, there's that, but this is a public blog.) I use to lay out  his clothes and put the toothpaste on his toothbrush, but now I do that for 4 other little guys. I want to be the blessing to him that he is to me. If you have someone in your life that blesses you beyond measure (or even if they don't), pay attention this week to the "little" things they do that might not be so "little" to them and seek to meet that need. Join me in looking for ways to make "the little things big."  As my Joshua reminds me often "Jesus came to serve, not to be served."

Monday, October 12, 2009

"I'm Made from Dust and You're Made from a Rib"

I love the carpool conversations I hear in the afternoons as I play chauffeur to 3 adorable 5 year olds. Today I heard Joshua's friend comment that we were crossing over the "chocolate river." It is actually a bridge over a really yucky stream. Don't you love how children can make something so common seem so imaginative? Then I hear Joshua say  this..."Hey Abby I was made from dust and you were made from a rib. I wonder what kind of bar-b-que sauce Jesus puts on His ribs." The last part made me laugh, but the first part peeked my curiosity. So I asked, "Joshua, what do you mean by I was made from dust and you were made from a rib?" "You know mommy in creation, God created man from the dust of the ground and then He took one of Adam's ribs and made a woman from the rib, so men are dust and women are ribs."  Yeah, I don't know how he knows all of this, but I'm glad he does. He has grasped a concept that it took me many years to understand and that I am still trying to wrap my head around as I struggle to live it out. Genesis 2:21 "So the Lord God cause the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man." It does not say that he took the rib and created a woman around it. It says that he took one of the man's ribs (the structure that protects his heart) and made a woman from the rib he had taken and then He brought them together. Women, we were brought together in oneness with our husbands to protect their hearts. That is the purpose of our structure. We are a rib. How often are we the ones who jab at the hearts of our husbands? We know their weakness and their vulnerable places and in the heat of the moment of selfishness and anger we loose sight of the purpose of our structure and instead of protecting their heart, we puncture it. We use careless words that can never be taken back. We belittle and accuse all the while chipping away at the heart of our spouse. We speak negatively or allow others to speak negatively about our spouse. (You want to watch this daughter of the King quickly turn into a just say something bad about my husband and I breathe fire!) We have the privelege of protecting our husband's hearts as we pray for them, encourage them, respect them, love them and meet their physical needs. I pray that we as His daughters will embrace our role as a rib and learn to protect the hearts of our husbands.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Tina, You Fat Lard Come Eat Your Dinner"

"Tina, you fat lard come eat your dinner." Yes, I said fat and yes, I said lard. Two words that we think of in a not so nice connetation. Some of you are laughing hysterically because you know the movie and you remember the phrase. I must confess it took me a while to "get" the Napolean Dynamite movie. I'm still not sure if I really get it or I just watched it with people who do and it became funny, but nevertheless, Tina is my favorite character. First of all, she is content to eat leftovers when the rest of the family is always eating steak. So I guess you could say she has a "content heart." (Something I struggle with.) Ok so I'm reaching...bare with me. I also like her because she was the only relatively "normal" character if by chance a llama as a pet can be normal. Anyway, I decided a few weeks ago that I really needed to get serious about loosing weight and I needed some motivation. I have friends that have hung bikinis on mirrors, pictures of themselves in bikinis on the frig. or even had a pair of "goal" jeans. Well, that's not workin for me cause this body "ain't never seen a bikini." (Yes, I know that was a double negative.) And I don't have a pair of jeans that I would want to fit it. So I had this "bright" idea that if I became dissatisfied with how I looked and was constantly reminded about the way I looked then maybe I would do something about it. Do you ever feel thin, think you look good and then walk by a mirror and wonder who is walking with you? Oh wait, that's Just ME! In my thoughts I am thin and I am beautiful. (So glad there is no self esteem issue here.) Well in order to remember what I look like I decided that every time I looked in a mirror or sat down to eat I would address myself as "Tina, you fat lard!" (For those of you who have followed my blog until that statement and are now totally repulsed and have lost total respect for me...thank you for your support and God bless you.) For the rest of you, hang on, I know some of you get this...I really thought that hearing the words fat and lard throughout my day would be a motivation, but here I am "Tina, the fat lard, 2 weeks later and not an ounce lighter." The Lord has revealed to me in the last couple of days that this is not a physical issue. Yes, I do have some medical issues that make it harder to loose weight,(this is true, but way too big of a crutch) but the Lord has shown me that this is a spiritual issue. This is about me learning to "die to the flesh and render my body as a living sacrifice unto Him." I like to think I have it all together "most" days in most areas, but I know that in the area of my health and treating my body as a temple of the Most High God, I fall very short. I have struggled with this for some time. What if I try again and fail? But God, I have thyroid issues! I've tried every excuse. Nothing is working! After struggling for 2 weeks and seeing "Tina, the fat lard" in the mirror every day I have come to the place of knowing that this is something I have to lay down at the foot of the cross. This is going to have to become a covenant that I make before a Holy God to honor Him with my body. Yes, I want to live a long life. Yes, I want to watch my children have children. Yes, I want to feel good. Yadda Yadda yadda! I've said all this before. Do you know what I really want? I want to glorify God with every ounce of my being. Right now that is a lot of glorifying. I want to stand before my Father blameless, knowing that I can give up those things that gratify the cravings of the sinful nature. I know that once I click this "publish post" button, this is public and the proof will be in the pudding,(oh, no more pudding!) but what I know even more is that the longer I wait the longer I live in disobedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience! My children know this and I know it too. I've made comittments to myself before and those are easily broken, but I have never taken my weight loss before God as an act of obedience or as a comittment to Him. It's scary because I can break a comittment to myself, but I can't break a comittment to God. So, I ask you to join me in laying at the foot of the cross that sin which God has called you deny. What has He been tugging at your heart for a while to do? For you it might not be physical, it might be spiritual, it might be obeying Him in the area of a ministry or a job. Maybe he wants you to give up music, facebook, tv, coffee, biting your fingernails or saying certain words. Maybe it's not giving up anything, but picking up something. What has mastery over you or your body right now? What keeps you from standing blameless before your Father? It won't be easy, somedays it won't be fun. It will take work! It will take discipline! Whatever the cost for the sake of obeying and glorfying the one who died for me that's what I want to do! So my friends say one last good bye to "Tina, you fat lard!"

If you want to make this heart commitment too, then write a comment below and let me know what area of your life you want to surrender to God. We can walk this road together and encourage one another. For me this must be a lifelong surrender, but how about for fun we say 40 days from today (November 20th) we will check in and see how it is going for us all. Remember to post a comment and let's encourage one another as we seek to glorify Him.

I Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is permissable for me" but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissable for me" but I will not be mastered by anything."

I Corinthians 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Romans 12:1 "Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."

I Samuel 15:22 "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To OBEY is better than sacrifice..."

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Sleep in Perfect Peace"

We believe in rocking babies at our house. I don't care what the books say, I am not able to lay my children down and let them cry. I love to hold them and rock them to sleep. I love to have them cuddled up on my chest and sing them to sleep. It is a precious, treasured time in the midst of a hectic day. We believe in rocking so much so that we usually quit rocking one child when another one comes along that requires rocking. We have been known to rock two children at a time or Matt rock one while I rock the other. Since Jacob in our last, I guess we will rock until he is old enough to rock us. :) Matt rewrote the words to the song "You are my sunshine." It goes something like this..."You are my sunshine my "4th" (Jacob) sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You'll never know "boy" how much I love you. You have been my sunshine today." He changes the number to correspond with the son he is rocking. The other night Jacob was curled up on Matt's chest and they were rocking. I could hear Matt singing, but I also heard this tiny little voice singing along. He sang every word of this treasured song that his daddy sings to him every night. He was cradled in the arms of his daddy, he was safe, he was secure, he was loved and he mimicked the words his daddy sang to him. My friend that is how our heavenly Father wants us to sleep each night. Falling asleep in our "daddy's arms" safe, secure, loved and mimicking the words he whispers in our ears. Oh the comfort of the Father's voice. There is nothing quite like it. I use to pray myself to sleep at night and then I started feeling guilty that I fell asleep while talking to God, but then I realized as long as that was not my only conversation with Him during the day, it was the perfect way to go to sleep, in the safe and secure presence of my Father. I don't fall asleep worrying about the day to come or the one that just passed, but I fall asleep mimicking His Word and singing his praise. When I rest in Him and in His peace that passes all understanding, I can "sleep in perfect peace."

Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gullible or Convincing?

I have wondered for years if I am gullible or if my daddy is just really convincing. He has the best stories. I love to hear them over and over again, however I do not recommend numbering them and yelling out that number and then laughing when he starts telling one. My brother and I thought this would be funny, it didn't go over so well. It was weeks before we heard another story. Today I want to share two of my favorite stories with you. As I tell these stories ask yourself if they are true or false. Gullible or Convincing?

Story 1:
"Christmas is a happy time for most people, but for me it brings back some sad memories. You see we didn't have much money when I was a boy and on Christmas my older brother would dress up like Santa Claus and come over with a sack full of presents. This one particular Christmas we waited and waited and he never showed up. I went to bed sad and disappointed. Days went by and we never heard from my brother. Then one day we started to smell something and we called fire department because the smell was coming from our chimney and we found someone stuck there. It was my dead brother dressed in a Santa suit with a bag full of toys. He had tried to surprise us and got stuck. Christmas has never been the same since."
Now, my Daddy actually stood before a room of about 75 people and told this story with a straight face and a sad voice to boot. We were at a staff Christmas party sharing about our favorite Christmas memories and this "just came to him." (Straight from his memory of the movie "Gremlins.") People were crying all over the building. I had to put my head down to keep a straight face which only added to the drama. (His own daughter was so upset she couldn't even listen.) Gullible crowd or Convincing Storyteller??

Story 2:
"I had a pet when I was little. I had asked my daddy for a dog and he said we would talk about it if I could show I was responsible. So he gave me a pet rooster. I use to walk him around all over town on a leash. People use to say...'There goes Ronnie and his pet rooster.' I loved that rooster. Oneday when I came home from school he was gone. I looked all over for that rooster. 'Here boy?' Later that night I sat down to the dinner table disappointed, but excited to find a plate of fried chicken. Since we were poor, we didn't have meat that often. I looked for weeks for that old rooster. Years later I found out what happened to him. He was the dinner offering that night."
My dad told Matt and I this story when we were dating. It was about 5 years after we were married, Matt said something about Daddy's pet rooster to which he replied..."What pet rooster? You mean ya'll believed that story? I stole that from Kramer on Seinfeld.  But I did have some rabbits that happened to." Gullible or Convincing??

 I love that my daddy has this wonderful imagination. His grandchildren love his stories. (Did you know he was shot through the stomach by an Indian's arrow and that's why he has an inny belly button? He also knows the art of killing a man with one swoop to the neck, but would never actually do so. Papa is awesome!) Everyone loves to hear one of Papa Ronnie's strories. He is convincing and yes I might be a little bit gullible and so are many others. What kind of a world would it be if we didn't believe anything that was said to us? (I guess pretty close to the one we have now.) What it makes me aware of and what I pray for myself and my children is this...Matthew 10:16 "Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."  I also pray that my children will have discernment for the things of God. You see the devil is convincing and he delights in finding gullible people to believe His lies. Romans 1:25 "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised." Sound familiar in the world we live in today.  We are a gullible people who have believed the convincing lie that the created things are more important than the creator. It shows in our lifestyle, our giving, our serving and our busyness. We do not live in light of eternity. We as a whole live for today. We are caught in 'the cult of the next thing.' We seek to gratify the flesh. I want my life to be a convincing testimony to this world that I am not at home here. My home is Heaven and I am preparing for that home and storing up treasures for eternity.  I pray this for my children. I pray that my children will worship the Creator above all else. Don't get me wrong...I love my Daddy's stories and I love a good flowery story for the purpose of entertainment, but we as a church have become too easily entertained by this world and as a result we have become gullible. I want to be wise about the things of God. May we become a convincing people as we hold high the Word of truth in our words, our actions and our attitudes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"You Mean!"

"You mean!" Have your children ever gone through "that stage" of sin? None of mine ever had until...Jacob. A few weeks ago this became his response anytime he got hurt, mad or frustrated...He would yell "You mean!" at whoever was standing the closest to him. On Sunday he went too far, I handed him his drink on the way out the door for church and he said..."You mean mommy!" First of all, my heart broke, but then anger arose within me because I had given him something he needed, something he wanted, something he had asked for and his response to my gift is "You mean mommy!" Well before I go any further with that train of thought I must tell you the rest of our conversation...I looked down at him and said, "Jacob, what happens when you say 'you mean' to mommy?" and his reply in a very angry tone was..."Daddy not here mommy!" WOW!  This spoke to me on so many levels. Apparently, I must be the easy, pushover of a parent if he thinks discipline will not occur when daddy is not here. Time to step up and prove this little 2 year old wrong! CONVICTION! The more I thought about this incident the more upset I became, not because my 2 year old thinks I'm a mean mommy, he'll get over it. My increasing upset state was due in part to the fact that so many times I have asked my Father for something and He, being a gracious and always good Father, gave me what I asked for, what I needed, what I wanted and my response (never verbally but in action) was "You mean God!" Why, because it didn't turn out quite like I expected. It wasn't as perfect as I had hoped. Now, we may not say "You mean God" or even think it, but we complain...this house is so small, my car is so old or I wish it had heated seats...Disney World was fun, but it didn't last long enough and the lines were too long. For some reason we are professionals when it comes to complaining. It has almost become our primary vocabulary. It's like we are afraid to thank God and walk around with an attitude of gratitude for fear that the blessings will stop. How sad must our Father feel when He blesses us with more than we ever deserved and we want more or complain about the gift? Do you think He ever feels as if we are saying "You mean, God!" Commit today to develop an attitude of gratitude.  When I am cleaning my house I say..."Thank you God for this home where we can live and serve you as a family." When I climb in my car I say..."Thank you God for blessing me beyond my imagination with this vehicle and help me to remember it will one day pass away." Learn to thank God at all times for all things. I never want my actions, attitudes or words to say to my Father..."You mean!"

Job 34:18-19 "Is it fit to say to a king, 'Thou art wicked', and to princes, ' Ye are ungodly'? How much less to Him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor, for they all are the work of His hands." (kjv)

Philippians 2:14 "Do everything without complaining or arguing."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Aunt Bee Never Kept Her Leftover Chicken in a Ziploc Bag"

I have always wanted to open my refrigerator and find a plate piled high with left over fried chicken just like Aunt Bee. The problem is we never seem to have leftovers. Saturday I decided to cook supper and I cooked enough for our church picnic on Sunday. Sandwiches just never seem to be good enough for "this" over achiever's picnic basket. I might lose my nomination for Martyr, I mean Mother of the Year. I stood in my kitchen for 3 hours remembering why we only eat fried chicken twice a year. After I was done, I had enough fried chicken for all of Mayberry. I wanted so badly to find a really old platter and pile it high and place it on a shelf in my frig, but instead I filled up 2 gallon ziploc bags with chicken and shoved them in the refrigerator. My dream of being Aunt Bee was within reach, but for the sake of convenience I let the dream die. Aunt Bee never kept her leftover chicken in a ziploc bag. As I was standing their literally shoving these bags onto the shelves I thought about the convenience of this world we live in and how spoiled we as present day Americans really are. I want it all and I want it now! Have you heard that before? We want drive-thru food, drive-thru dry-cleaning, drive-thru pharmacy, drive-thru gas, drive thru banking and a drive-thru Jesus. We want Him there for our convenience, when we need Him and on our terms. We want to pray fast, read the word even faster and do nothing that will cause us sacrifice or take time away from our "busy" "convenient" life. We feel like the martyr if do anything for our family, for others, or for God that takes longer than 30 minutes. We wear the sacrificial servant badge if we spend more than 3 hours at church on a Sunday, if it takes over 30 minutes to prepare dinner or if we wait in line for more than 10 minutes with a good attitude. We are living in the day of ziploc bags than can be molded to fit our shelves, used as long as we need them and then tossed in the trash when we are done. The sad truth is that Americans as a whole are living for the wrong thing because one day all that remains of us will be stored in those ziploc bags deep within the earth and our REAL life will begin. I want to put ALL of my time, energy and resources into preparing for my eternal home. Convenience is but a fleeting reward if in the meantime we sacrifice that which will last forever. The next time you put something in a ziploc bag, commit to using the extra time it would have taken to wash that dish and spend time preparing your heart for eternity. It may not seem like much time, but if your home is like mine we use more than 12-15 ziplocs a day. Imagine adding even just that extra 15 minutes a day to the time you spend with the Lord. That's 5,475 more minutes with your Savior this year! May we live each moment of our lives for Him and His glory, preparing for eternity!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in His time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Worse In A Better Way"

Tonight as I listen to my precious Matthew cough and struggle to breathe normally, I feel led to share with you what God is doing in this amazing young man's life. He has what most of us would consider a small cold, but to him it is a battle for breathe, but also a confidence in life. He struggles daily with asthma and allergies, but he has found a way to use it for the glory of God. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but I did not feel flattered when Matthew recently started his new "blog" called "Worse In A Better Way" (A boy and his journey with allergies.) I felt honored; I was proud to call him my son and was encouraged that he was able to see the hand of God at work in his life. He began a blog with the hopes of encouraging other children with allergies and helping them to see that God can use the things in our lives that we think make us "worse" to actually make us "better" when looked at through the eyes of God. He came up with the title on his own.  Let me share with you an excerpt from his latest entry..."Most kids when they get sick with a cold they only get a regular cold but when I get it, me and my parents are up all night doing breathing treatments. But I know God brings me closer to him by that. I know your thinking but how because he's having a bad time? The answer is... I know that God is protecting me the whole time. Thats how he brings me closer to him." He knows! That is what he called "the answer" and that is the answer for all of us. We have to learn not to trust God based on our circumstances, but to KNOW! Isn't that what God himself said to us, "Be still and know that I am God." That should be enough. My 10 year old understands (because he KNOWS) that even though the Lord allows things to come into our lives that are not pleasant and that the world deems BAD, God is using it to conform us into His image and to bring Him glory. Our circumstances should never make us question God's love for us, His awareness of us or even our awareness of His existence, on the contrary, we should see Him and His hand in everything we are called to walk through. It is that blessed assurance of not knowing what tomorrow holds, but knowing who holds tomorrow. Have you heard that before? It sounds s little cliche, but so true. That is how Matthew lives his life. He rests in knowing that everything is filtered through the hands of his Almighty Father and for him that is enough. Oh, for it to be enough for all of us. Matthew doesn't even realize it, but he provides such encouragement and determination for me to press on in the face of adversity through the testimony of his health. He does not live angry or down trodden or in fear of the next attack on his breathe of life, but instead he looks for and actually seeks to find God in ALL things. He knows who controls and has ordained each breathe he will take. Do we KNOW Him with that child-like faith that He talks about and which Matthew is a testament to? When we face the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, a sickness, a van that was keyed in the Target parking lot (yes, that happened to me today! ARG!), a checkbook made of rubber or a relationship that has produced more hurt than we thought humanly possible, do we trust the circumstances or do we KNOW Him? Are we looking for Him? Are we seeking Him? Thank you Matthew for allowing God to use the testimony of your life..."Worse in a Better Way" to encourage us all to seek the hand of God as He works in all of our lives.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

"I Forgot"

"I Forgot!" Do your children ever say this? My sweet little Joshua has recently been "forgetting" a lot. He forgets to pick up his shoes, he forgets he is not suppose to lie, he forgets quickly the things which he is asked to apologize for, he forgets all the Hawkins House rules when it is convenient for him. Don't get me wrong he is still very respectful and obeys very well when our eyes are on him and most of the time when we are not with him, but occasionally (since he started kindergarten) he has moments of forgetfulness. I think sometimes he remembers to forget or forgets to remember. I have been known to do that, how about you? Do you ever forget to remember or remember to forget? (Think about that for a moment.) It is easy to obey and do what is right when eyes are on us or when the "right" eyes are on us, but how about when no one is looking? Are we obedient to the WHOLE counsel of God's word at ALL times? I guess the question becomes, why are we obeying? Are we obeying to fit the mold of who others think we are or are we obeying our heavenly Father who loves us, died for us and will one day return to claim His children? What motivates your obedience? If it is motivated by a heart of love and pleasing our heavenly Father, then why do we "forget" to obey Him so much? I explain it to Joshua this way, "When you choose to disobey Mommy, you are choosing to disobey Jesus, because His word says 'Children obey your parents' so not only are you breaking my heart, but you are breaking the heart of Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. When you knowingly disobey and say that you forgot, you are saying that what you wanted to do was more important than what Jesus has asked you to do. You must obey even when no one is watching because Jesus walks with you and He is always watching you."  (Parents promise me that you will never pull out the whole Santa Claus is watching and he will put you on his naughty list so you better be good. There is one who is always watching and knows not only our behavior, but the attitude of our hearts and His approval is so much more important. I want my children to have eternal hearts and minds, not temporal self seeking hearts.) I want to obey and do what is right because I am obeying my precious Jesus, not because I am trying to win the approval of man. I want to remember to remember. I must know His word and know Him so that I will know what He desire of me. How devastating to stand before my heavenly Father oneday and say..."Jesus, thank you for dying for me and thank you for the gift of eternal life, but..."I forgot!"

Colossians 3:22 "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, and do it not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord."

John 14:23 "Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.'"

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thank You All

I just want to say thank you all so much for following my blog. Thank you for the kind words, the encouragement and the support. I pray that it is an encouragement to you. This is something I look forward to everyday. However, I am actually taking the weekend off from blogging to spend some uninterrupted, quality time with my family. We just ate chick-fil-a and now we are going to snuggle up and watch a movie. Please check back on Monday, October 5th for more Moment by Moment encouragement. Thank you for understanding, but my family will always come first! I love you all! Please feel free to browse the archives for blogs you might have missed. I would love for you to pass this link along and share it with your friends and family.  Also, leave a comment on your favorite post and the one that has the most votes will be my entry in next months edition of Southern Child Magazine.


"We'll Leave The Light On For You"

"THIS MUST STOP!" Those were the first words out of my mouth. What must stop? Isn't that the question you are wondering? Well, hang on because I don't think any of us are ready for this one. "The Procreation (Mating) of Roaches in MY kitchen MUST STOP!" Seriously, last night after writing the blog about "Exercise" I became so hungry from the thought of all the endorphins I would soon be releasing that I needed a bowl of cereal. (For some reason, I do not like cereal early in the morning, but late at night it is wonderful.) I walked into my dark kitchen, knowing that my precious husband had washed the dishes and tidied up after dinner. I made my way through the dark, welcomed silence and flipped on the kitchen light. SCREAM!!! (Shattered Silence) There were not 1, not 2, but 3 roach couples using my kitchen as a rendezvous point for their midnight date. And this was not just any date, this was apparently 3 years into marriage, 1 stable job, 1 savings account, 2 car titles and a nice size home celebration date. These roaches were procreating in my kitchen. Now, I will be honest, I have seen a few(?) roaches in my kitchen over the years and when someone who is not afraid to stomp them or beat them to death with a sword or toy is awake, we will do what is necessary to keep these midnight screams to a minimum. Not to mention that little boys love to beat bugs to death.  I have no problem with these creatures gleaning in my fields as long as I cannot see them and they leave me alone. I however am not as kind as Boaz and I do not leave extra behind for them, but if they are there, that is just one more excuse for using clorox in the morning. But, I draw the line at allowing these roaches to raise a family in my kitchen. They had crossed a definite boundary. They had gone too far! So I screamed, got my cereal (hey, the only time in the day I eat alone, don't judge me!) turned out the light and went to bed all the while thinking of my plan for ridding this house of the family that contributes nothing. 1.Buy roach motels 2.Bug Bomb 3.Spray outside 4.Price exterminators. 5.Call exterminator. Those were my intentions for today. Ask me how many of those things I actually did? None, nada, zilch, zero. Do you know why? Because I didn't see the roaches today and other things grabbed and screamed for my intention. That which I was so passionate about at the time suddenly fell to the bottom of my to do list when it was out of my sight. I am still disgusted at the thought and I intend on doing something about it, but I guarantee you if I walked in there tonight those same roaches would be lurking about in the darkness. Do you know what hurts my heart even more and makes me want to scream even louder? This is the way so many of us are in our walk with the Lord. We recognize a sin in our life that we want to make right or a behavior or a pattern of behavior that we want to change and we make plans to change it because it disgusts us. More importantly, we know it disgusts the heart of our Savior. So we make a "new" commitment and we make a plan to change 1.Have a quiet time 2.Memorize scripture 3.Find an accountability partner 4.Join a small group 5.Be faithful to worship with my church. We have good intentions, but when the consequences lighten up and the spot light is no longer shining on that sin it becomes free to lurk in the darkness again and we become content to leave it there. The urgency is gone. Our attention is elsewhere! Our commitment has become a distant to do list that was never accomplished.  So we throw it away, continue in the sinful behavior and hope that no one will turn the light on. After all, if it is dark the roaches don't really exist right? Pray with me that the God of Truth will bring to "light" that which is sin and it will be confessed, destroyed and there will be in its place a new clean heart of obedience. I pray these exact words for myself, my husband, my children and those I walk closely with throughout my life. (However, now that this is public, my circle of friends and family may have just diminished.) Holiness and obedience above all else. That is my heart's desire. SIN "We'll Leave The Light On For You!"

James 1:22-25 "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"I Don't Want My Endorphins Released"

So here is how the conversation went...Monica: "I am so tired. I am ready to go to bed. (10:30 p.m)" Matt: "It's because you don't exercise." Monica: "That would make me even more tired." Matt: "You need to stay up in the mornings and get on the elliptical when the boys go to school and that will release your endorphins and make you not so tired." Monica: "I don't want my endorphins released."

Now, in my heart I know it is true, but think with me here. If I am going to bed at 12:30 or 1:00 and I get up at 6:30 and stay up, I am only getting 51/2 maybe 6 hours of sleep. Some of my best sleep is the 2 hours I get after my children leave for school and Jacob is still asleep. I don't care how many endorphins are released, I will still be tired come 12:30 the next night. Don't get me wrong, I am not against exercise, I am just against the time it takes away from other things in order to exercise. Against the will of my flesh, I WILL begin a NEW exercise program, so ask me how it is going.

I am finding that exercise for me must become a discipline like spending time in God's Word. I have heard that when you exercise regularly you start to crave exercise and you can't get enough of it. That is how I feel about God's Word. Once you get a taste of it you just can't get enough. Spending time with the Lord is not something you HAVE time to do, you make the time. You MUST! It must become like breathing. It is the true breath of life. Earlier in my Mommy years it was so hard to spend time with the Lord. When I had a moment to myself and all little people were napping, I wanted to mop, sweep, scrub or do know, all the things that are so hard to do with so many little helpers. The perfect time to have a quiet time was while they were sleeping, but, alas, so many other things would scream out for my attention. It had to become a discipline in my life, just like showering, eating and brushing my teeth. As it was first a discipline, it then became a craving that turned into a ravenous hunger, but I MADE time to spend with my Savior. At no point during my day did everyone in my house sit quietly, with all laundry done, the house clean and a neon light flashing "SPEND TIME WITH JESUS NOW!"  It is not built into my coo coo clock. It is a discipline that created a desire! I am hoping exercise will be that way in my life as well. Don't misunderstand me...I never want it to take the place or even walk equal with my spending time in the Word. The condition of my heart is much more important than that of my body, but I know my body is a temple and for that reason I will make this new exercise a priority. What do you need to MAKE time for in your life? What area of discipline do you need to focus on? What discipline in your life is quickly becoming a desire? Is it the Word of God? Let us encourage one another as we seek to be all He wants us to be in mind, body and soul.

Colossians 3:16 "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing pslams, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."

Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."