Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Washed Away"

I must confess to you that I have a problem! I have a bath fetish. Not just a fetish, but an absolute need for all those living or visiting my house to take a bath before bedtime. I have been known to pull into the drive-way at 10:00 p.m and wake up my precious boys who had fallen asleep in the car and make them take a bath before returning to bed. It has actually become a joke among my friends that if your children are here for any length of time they will get a bath. Their parents are scared to linger too long at our house in the evenings for fear that "everyone" will be forced to take a bath. Now, one reason  for this fetish is that I like for everyone to smell clean, but I also do not like to do laundry so going to bed clean cuts down on how often I have to wash sheets and pajamas. Makes since to me! Apparently this is a learned behavior, but it is possibly herditary, since my children all like to be clean. (I know...4 boys?) They shower or bathe before bed and they shower when they wake up. If there is ever a time during the day that Jacob gets really quiet, I can usually find him in the back taking a shower. We all LOVE to be clean. I love the ring that is left behind in the bathtub because that shows that the dirt was washed away. It also means I can get out the clorox and I love to clean with clorox. (I told you I have a problem.) As much as I have a desire to see my children clean, I have an even greater desire to see that their hearts and minds are clean as well. I want the dirt in their heart to be "washed away!"  Psalm 51 is such a beautiful picture of what I desire for my children. Psalm 51:2-7  "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts, you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleans me with hyssop (branch used in sprinkling blood) and I will be clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me." As parents we know that our children can and do sin. God has placed them in our loving hands to teach them the truth of His word. Now, I don't go around saying..."You little sinner!" But, I do point out the things in my children's lives that are sins and we define them as such, but it does not stop there. It is not enough to just say... you lied to your brother and that is a sin. Then they walk away going, "Oh, ok, so I sinned." We must teach them the rest of what God commands them to do. They must confess that sin to God and ask for forgiveness and confess that sin to the one they sinned against and ask for forgiveness. Then we can guide them in how they should have handled the situation. Wow! This parenting thing is a lot of work. It is not for the lazy, but it is absolutely worth it when we see our children growing in righteousness and having a heart for the things of the Lord. When I am bathing my young children I pray that the word of God will wash over them and wash away the sin and the dirt of their heart. Daily I pray that my older children will learn to identify the sin in their life and be convicted to confess it by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, not the prompting of Mom. The next time you are standing under that warm shower and the water is soothing your aching back, pray and ask the Lord to use His word to soothe your soul and wash you whiter than snow. The next time you fill up that tub full of water and bubbles to wash your precious children, remember the blood that Jesus shed on the Cross so that our sins could be "washed away." May we never look at bathing the same again. May it become symbolic of the cleansing our hearts and souls have received through Jesus Christ, the one who came so that are sins could be "Washed Away!"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"No, No, My Wock (Rock)"

Tonight we had back to back soccer games! During the break Jacob and I decided it was a good time to walk to the potty. On the way back from the potty, Jacob stops in his tracks and began to sob. Being the loving, caring mother that I am...I kept walking and said.."Come on. Run. You're ok. Stop crying. We are going to watch Caleb's soccer game." I walked on thinking I would call his bluff, he would see that he was alone and he would run to catch up. He continued to cry and stand in place. I decided I had better go and see what was wrong. The closer I walked the more I could see how deeply hurt he was. When I got to him he said, "Mommy, me drop rock. Me find it!" So, I helped him look and look until we found what he thought was the lost rock. He picked it up and said, "My rock! Now me can run!" He had lost his cherished rock and he wasn't taking another step until he found that which was lost. His mind was made up, he was standing firm and once he found his lost rock, he could run again. Remind you of a story from the Bible?  Luke 15:4-6 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep."
Jesus, our shepherd cares about His children so much that He will wait and seek after the one that is lost. Isn't that a comfort to know that He loves us that much? Yes, this is comforting, but it is also an example to us told as a parable so that we might learn a lesson. When was the last time you stopped and put everything on hold to find one of those lost sheep? When was the last time you even allowed yourself to be inconvenienced for the sake of speaking a kind word to the clerk at the grocery store or helping an elderly person unload their groceries into their car. We are so "busy" and wrapped up in ourselves that we rarely stop and take the time to help others, much less intentionally going out and looking for a "lost" sheep to take home and rejoice over. There was a time that I prayed and asked the Lord to bring people in my path that I could minister to. I prayed that the Lord would make me sensitive to the needs I saw in others and He was always faithful to bring those people. I never saw it as a inconvenience, but I also did not have to "sacrifice" much except for my time. Pray with me that the Lord would begin to bring people into our paths that we can serve and minister to. We can also take it a step further and pray that He would bring people into our "lives" that we can minister to. (This takes a greater commitment.) It has been a while since I have had the privilege of introducing a lost sheep to their shepherd. It's Time!! "Thank you Jacob for reminding Mommy to "seek that which is lost."

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Mommy, I'm Scared"

"Mommy, I'm scared, can I sleep with you tonight?" Do you ever hear those words at your house? I've heard them 3 times already tonight. I'm an old softy and want to say "Sure baby!" This is not because I am the  gentler, caring parent, or even because I am mommy. It is because I too struggled with fear for most of my life. I totally get it! I can remember being a very little girl and waking during the night afraid and the longer I laid there, the more noises I heard and the more afraid I became until I was confident that there was an entire army of "bad guys" lurking outside my bedroom, waiting to do away with me. This fear carried over into teenage years as I walked in fear day and night. Even as an adult I have struggled with fear. I have feared the loss of a loved one, the loss of a child, the loss of my husband, car wrecks, running out of money, those I love hurting me, losing a job, poor health, the dark and even mice and roaches. Fear has consumed my life for many years. I do not boast in this statement or say it with pride, but with much regret, as I have wasted many precious days "worrying" and "afraid" over the things in life that are what we like to call the "what ifs." My precious Matthew reminded me last year as I said, "I am afraid and worried about..." "Mommy, to think this way is to dwell on the "what ifs" of life and that is the same as worry and the Bible says not to worry. It also says in Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things." So mommy, think on the things that are true and you will not be afraid or worry." Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking the same thing I was thinking, "WOW." He is 10 and he totally gets it. I stood that day before my son humbled as I heard his words and took them to heart. It was that day that the Lord began a process in my life of being obedient in the area of worry thus claiming the victory in that area. I began to wake up each morning and say "Ok God what do you have for me today." I began to trust Him because of what he has done and I began to replace those worries with promises from His word. "Taking captive those thoughts and making them obedient to Christ." For some reason this was easier in other sin areas of my life. I never really saw my "Fear" as a sin. I saw it as a "struggle." Using my gift of justification I reasoned that there was a difference between a sin and a struggle. God began to show me that there was NO difference. They both broke His heart. This is what my fear was communicating to God  "God, I don't think you are big enough to handle this." Now, I would never have verbally said that, yet with my actions and the attitude of my heart I spoke those words loudly each day, thus grieving the heart of my savior. He hung on the cross to conquer our sins. Two of these sins being fear and worry. My friend, what is your fear today? What are you fretting and worrying over? What do you lay awake stressing over at night? Is your God big enough to handle it? Did He die to conquer it? I encourage you to do today what it took me 36 years to do. Recognize that worry and fear are sins, confess them before a loving Father, be obedient to trust Him in all things and walk in victory! It is the most freeing, trusting, light place to be. I walk lighter each day. I walk in confidence knowing that I am no longer in control (never was, just thought I was) He is! Lay those fears and worries at the foot of the cross. Rest in His loving arms and as you dwell in His presence you will never again have to say..."Father, I'm scared."

Amy Carmichael "If I covet any place on earth, but the dust at the foot of the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love."


To inquire about speaking availability and fees contact Monica Hawkins via e-mail at

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Homecoming Day"

Do you have a special place in your heart that when you think about get a warm, fuzzy, loving feeling? Today my family spent the day at that very place. We spent the day with a group of people who are very dear to our hearts. 10 years ago we went to a little town I had never heard of, to pastor a small church in the country. Now, I had been a city girl all of my life except for 2 weeks each summer that we spent out in the country with Grandmother and Granddaddy. I was very apprehensive about living in the country, but God placed us in the love and care of some of His precious children. We lived there 4 years, saw 2 little boys born there and felt loved and secure in the company of friends who quickly became family. Today we had the privilege of returning to our little church in the country and preaching their homecoming service and let me assure you there is nothing "little" about this little church. We were welcomed like long lost family; arms opened wide, a banquet feast fit for a king and flattering invitations to return to the country. Although God has placed a definite call on our lives to serve Him in Auburn and we LOVE it, I know that these precious people will forever be in my heart and be family. I was reminded today of the love that we share in the bonds of Christ. When hearts are bound together by the love of Jesus, there is a bond that exists that is as strong if not stronger sometimes than that of earthly flesh and blood. That's what  HEAVEN will be like! We will all be together worshipping our Savior, arm in arm, all in one accord (Not the Honda). Today made me even more homesick for our home in Heaven when we will not be separated by death, denominations, associations or individual buildings. We will worship as one. I will close with a portion of the song they sang today that gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside because it brings back treasured memories.

"Homecoming Day, what a wonderful morning, when we get home, when all of God's children from all of the ages meet on that day. Millions of voices, singing praises to Jesus, what family reunion, sweet, sweet communion, Homecoming Day."

I Thessalonians 4:16-17 "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with aloud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

"True Victory"

WARNING: This blog post is not funny in any way, but a transparent look at what God is doing in my personal heart!

We all love a good victory and we love to talk about it long after it is over. My boys all returned home wet from watching the Auburn Tigers play football in the rain. They came home early celebrating Auburn's impending victory. To quote Joshua "We were creaming them so we came on home." We all love to boast in our victories. I love the word "victory" but recently God has been changing the way I view the victories in my life.   Matt and I had the privilege of attending Lakeview's preaching class reunion this weekend. We look forward to this each year because it is such a sweet time of blessing and refreshing for us. Each year the ladies (all ministry wives) have a special time of sharing and praying for one another. In years past I have shared with them some of the things I have struggled with such as fear, church struggles,  health and worry. This year I was happy to provide a praise report that 2008-2009 has been a year of victories for us in so many areas. I have been reading Jerry Bridges book Pursuit of Holiness and last night I became very convicted about my praise report of victories. I realized that "I" was becoming conceited about the victories. I was more concerned about becoming victorious in these areas than I ever was about grieving over the fact that these were sins in my life. Victories come out of obedience to God. I never saw it that way before. I was "waiting" to be free from these things in my life that had me bound and I was "waiting" on God to take them away, when all the while He was waiting on me to be obedient. As we are obedient to God and His word in thought, actions, spirit and in words, we do become victorious over sins, but it is to His glory. It is my prayer that I will be more concerned about the fact that I am grieving the heart of God by sinning than I am about "gaining" these victories in my life. I want to walk in obedience to Him thus winning the victory over sin, but for His glory not for my book of victories. May we all walk victorious lives as we obey Him all the way, right a way and with a happy heart.

I Corinthians 15:55-58 "Where, o death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that you labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Friday, September 25, 2009

"How much does the $5 footlong cost?"

Tonight Matt, Matthew and Caleb had soccer practice. With 3 out of 4 boys playing soccer, we are on the fields 5 nights a week. They decided to stop and pick up a Subway sandwich on the way home. (No, I did not have a hot 3 course meal waiting on them tonight. I was at a Miss Patty Cake Concert. More on that to come later.) Anyway, while waiting in line Matthew asks the question..."How much does a $5 foot long cost?" This is now our new Matthewism. No he is not air headed or ditsy, he just asked the wrong question. How often do we do this in our spiritual life? How often do we ask the question when the answer is in the question? For Example: Is this something I need to pray about? Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God ." Do you think God would want me to share the gospel with this person? Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Is it ok to lie in this situation? Colossians 3:9 "Do not lie to each other."  James 5:12 "Let your yes be yes and your no be no or you will be condemned." Do I really have to give 10% back to the Lord?  Malachi 3:10 " Bring your whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Do I really need to go to church? Hebrews 10:25 "Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching."  God's word has provided the answers we need! His word is our guide, but how often do we seek answers to our questions from an outside source? (friends, neighbors, magazines, self-help books, websites) God wants us to seek Him while He may be found and KNOW Him and KNOW His word. He has the answers! He IS the answer! So when you find yourself asking..."How much does the $5 footlong cost?" Remember where you need to go to find the answer to your question.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Picky About His Clothes"

My sweet Joshua is sooo picky about his clothes. Long sleeve shirts have to stop right at his wrist. If a shirt has a big neck he has to wear an undershirt. If a button down shows any of his chest he will button the top button. (you know Steve Urkel style.) Shoes have to be double knotted and tight. Pants cannot be loose in the waist, they must fit extremely tight. Socks have to cover his ankle and fit his heel perfectly. OK seriously, these are the rules we deal with everyday. He is picky about the way he is clothed. My prayer for him and for me is that we would be equally as picky when it comes to how we are clothed in Christ.

Colossians 3:12-14 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

I guess Joshua is on to something because how we are clothed matters to God too. Each day do you clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, patience and love which binds them all together? Some days I do and then other days one or more of these articles is missing. We need to dress ourselves each day with these things because we are holy and dearly loved. We need to learn as God's chosen people to be "picky about our clothes."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Are My Children Loud?"

Are my children loud? "Not when they are sleeping." Do you ever feel that way about the little people living in your home? Jacob just crawled up behind me and wrapped his arms around my neck. I said, "Are you loud?" He said, "No, I'm a Hawkins!" I told him he was a "Loud Hawkins." Somehow today they have been extremely loud. I can definitely hear my children. I can hear them play, I can hear them sing, I can hear them "argue", I can hear them!!! Even though it can be ear piercing at time, I love to hear the sound of my children's voices. I love that Matthew sings off key, I love that Caleb does impersonations all the time. I love that Joshua can't say his 'r' and 'l' very well, but uses the vocabulary of a 40 year old. I love that Jacob talks like a cave man. (Me want juice. Me take bath. No, night night.) Others cannot appreciate the sound of their voice quite like I can and they don't enjoy it nearly as much, if at all. They are my children! I love to hear them!

I'm so glad my Heavenly Father feels that way about me. I can be loud, I can sing off key, I can impersonate whether it be good or bad the voices of others and I can be demanding like a cave man. "Me want macbook pro,God!" No matter what I say or do He still loves me. Not because of what I say and do, but in spite of it. He longs to hear His children talk to Him, pray to Him, sing praise to Him. He loves the sound of our voice. His love for us is long, it is deep and it is wide. Even when it is ear piercing to others and sounds like the phone conversations of a Charlie Brown cartoon "waaa, waaa, waaa waaa" it is precious music in His ears. He is our Father and He loves to hear His children. Talk to Him!

Ephesians 3:18 "May you be able to feel and understand as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep and how high his love really is and to experience this love for yourselves."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!"

Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Jacob is the family mimic. He says "whatever" anyone else says, especially his brothers. Each night as we tuck them into bed we take turns praying and Jacob says "me turn, me turn." And this is his prayer..."Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, AMEN." Do you ever feel that way? There are days when I am so exhausted and so emotionally spent that all I can do is cry out His name..."Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!" Oh, but what a powerful name it is. All that we need is defined in that one name "Jesus." The answer to everything is consumed in the name of "Jesus." Who do you need him to be today? JEHOVAH--YAHWEH - the God of your salvation, JEHOVAH-RAPHA - the God your healer, JEHOVAH-JIREH - the God who provides, JEHOVAH-SHALOM - the God who give peace, EL-ROI - the strong one who sees, EL-OLAM - the everlasting God. Take heart...He knows what you need and who you need Him to be. He is all that we need and all that we never knew we needed. Comforting isn't it! Just remember that when you know nothing else and when you are too tired to say or do anything, do the first thing. Call on His name, the sweetest name I know..."Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Come To Me!"

The first thing that comes to my mind when I here the phrase "come to me" is my crazy little Caleb. He says this all the time in a funny little voice, "Come to me my mommy. Come to me my little Jacob. Come to me!" Recently this phrase spoke to me in a life changing way. Before I left for a conference at the beginning of August I asked the Lord to speak to me and share with me the specific message He had for me. While at the conference I went into the prayer room. (Really cool!) The conference staff had prayed over each attendee's name and the Lord laid on their heart a specific name of God and a verse for each person. My verse was Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." I thought "Well, this is fitting, after all I do have 4 little boys and we do live a  busy life." Little did I know the message He "really" had in store for me. That night my precious roommate gave me a gift. It was a photograph that she had taken, framed with the verse...Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Ironic, Right? Wrong!) Still thinking this must have meant that the Lord wanted me to start taking naps, I pressed on throughout the weekend. The last morning during worship we were to walk down front and take a verse from the foot of the cross. As I walked down I prayed and asked the Lord to truly speak to me through His word and allow me to be touched and changed as a result of my time with Him. At a conference with over 600 women in attendance, I walked down front and picked up a verse. I read it on the way back to my seat and it said...Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Now maybe I'm a slow learner, but I walked away from that weekend feeling like the Lord was telling me that I did too much and I was entitled to some rest. Over the past few weeks what He has revealed to me through this verse has rocked my world. "COME TO ME!" Monica, come to me with your fears, come to me with your worries. Friend, come to me with your sickness, with your sick spouse, with your depression, with your financial struggles, with your marriage, with your children, with your strongholds, with your sins, with your what ifs. "COME TO ME!" So often we spout out in the form of a "prayer" our weariness and our burden and we long for the rest, but we miss the first part. "COME TO ME!" Jesus wants us! Jesus wants ME! He longs for us to come to Him. Are you weary? Are you burdened? Rest is found when we stop trying to carry it all and we "COME TO HIM." So often we seek His hand, not His face. We want results, whereas He wants US! That is where I found my REST! I wake up each morning and I say "Ok, God what do you have for me today?" I seek Him, I long do be with Him, I long to fellowship with Him. And I do not worry about the rest. Yes, I still have cancer; yes, there are days our finances are questionable; yes, there are days when I want to pull my hair out because I am pulled in 100 different directions; and, yes, I can rest in the midst of it all. "Come to me" is only one phrase He uses, but God desires us to approach Him. (Seek my face, follow me, worship me, approach my throne) Rest is found when we answer the call "COME TO ME!"

"What's That Smell?"

We all have smells that remind us of something! Crayons and paste remind me of my kindergarten class. Skin-so-soft reminds me of catching lightning bugs in the evening and being covered from head to toe to avoid what we now call "West Nile Virus." The smell of oranges reminds me of sitting in front of Grammie and Pappy's fireplace in the winter and watching Grammie peel and feed us oranges. Bath and Body Works "Plumeria" reminds me of when Matt and I were dating. The smell of baby lotion takes me back to 4 precious years of my life as I slathered each of my babies from head to toe. Celery and onions and green bean casserole cooking reminds me of Thanksgiving and cinnamon and spruce reminds me of Christmas. We all have those certain smells that take us for a walk down memory lane. Joshua and Caleb are my two boys with super sensitive noses. (Poor Matthew can't smell because that would require breathing through your nose and his allergies prevent that.) They can smell pork chops cooking a block away and anytime they smell Clorox or Pine sol, they want to know who is coming over. Joshua and Caleb walked in from outside the other day and both said, "Hey, I didn't know it was fall already. It smells like fall in here. Yippy, fall is here." It took me a minute to understand where this talk of fall was coming from and then I remembered. I had just changed my wallflower plug-in to pumpkin spice. Now, normally year round I'm an apple girl, but we were all out of apple and fall was getting close so pumpkin spice it was. This smell sparked a memory in my boys. This is the smell of fall! This sensitivity to smell reminded me of a passage of scripture. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him, For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being save and those who are perishing."  Wow! God has commissioned us to be His fragrance of Christ to the world. It makes me ask a few simple questions. Could that waiter today smell Jesus or a stench? Did those in the line at Walmart get a whiff of Jesus or were they turned off  by the smell? Do my neighbors and friends desire to spend time with me so they can take in that pleasant aroma or do they turn their nose and walk the other way? We are the aroma of Christ to those being saved and those who are perishing. I'm sure you have heard "You may be the only Jesus they ever see." Try this one "You may be the only Jesus they ever smell." Have you ever noticed that sights are not has repulsive as smells? It is hard to get a nasty smell out of the lining of your nose. However, a pleasant smell makes you want to linger and breathe deeply. I want to be such a fresh fragrance of Christ to this world that they long to breathe in the aroma of Jesus. I want to live is such a way that people chase after me and ask "What's That Smell?"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Praise Him in the Storm"

Once again it is Saturday and that means it is time for Auburn Football here in the south. We have our new game day shirts on, I made my corn dip and spinach dip with waterchestnuts and we headed off to the tailgate. It was so much fun! "Smokin Joe" had the grill fired up with 12 chickens, an incredible ham, hamburgers, spicy sausage sandwiches and he fried some catfish and biscuits. (We are serious about our tailgating here in the south.) We were right in the middle of the WAR EAGLE battle cries and lots of fun and fellowship when out of nowhere it came. The clouds thickened and we could feel the rain dropping. We played for a while longer, because after all little boys enjoy playing in the rain and mud. We huddled under tents and ate a little bit more. We found a quick open door in the weather, loaded the car and hurried away from the madness. We were just in time! The skies turned black and the bottom fell out! I was so glad we were home nice and dry. As I watched the game footage on ESPN2 I was amazed at the number of people who were so committed to Auburn Football that they were willing to stand in the rain, the lightning and the sweaty crowds just so they could cheer for their team and celebrate with their fellow fans. There is not much that can deter us from football celebrations. However, how often do we stay home from church or small group because we don't want to get out in "this" weather? (Spoken like a true preacher's wife, but follow me here.) How often do we cheer for our team (Jesus) or celebrate with our fellow fans (fellow believers) when we are facing the storms of life? Sometimes we can see it coming and other times the storms appear from nowhere, but instead of praising Him in spite of the storm or because of the storm, instead of uniting with our fellow fans, we run, we hide, we sulk, we complain. I want to praise Him in spite of the storm. I want to praise Him because of the storm.

I want to thank Him for the storms. Don't get me wrong, I know it's not easy, but the rewards are so much greater than standing in a torrential downpour, wet to the bone, lightning flashing around you just to watch your dearly beloved team choke! He promises eternal rewards, he promises completeness and maturity! Because of who He is and because of what He has done, I will cheer, I will celebrate and I will "Praise Him in the storm."

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."

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Choosing to Obey ALL the Way"

Matthew is 10 years old and he is a very obedient young man with a precious heart for the Lord. However, he is very pokey! Getting ready for school in the mornings requires blasts of dynamite, lighting fires under his feet, showers of ice cold water and a bull horn. Well, not really, but I have considered all of these things at one time or another. Caleb and Joshua can get up, shower, brush their teeth, dress and eat breakfast, whereas Matthew is still sitting on the floor of the shower mumbling. Now, I must be honest, I kinda know where he gets it from. OK, so I really know where he gets it from. I HATE MORNINGS! I am trying and doing better. Raising young men, Matt and I want them to be disciplined and prompt. As a result of this goal, Matt has decided to enforce the morning routine a little more. The understanding is "if you are not at the table to eat by 6:50, you will be grounded." Wednesday morning Matt went to check on Matthew and he was sitting on his bed in his underwear and socks watching cartoons. (Stop gasping, yes we have a television in our child's room. It's either that or he plays playstation in the den. Uh NO!) Well, Matt grounded him from T.V., friends, video games and computer, lit that imaginary fire under his feet and hurried him along. When he came home that afternoon, he did his homework, read for 20 minutes in his book, had his quiet time with the Lord, helped me with some chores and then had nothing to do. (It was raining outside!) I had forgotten about the grounding, but Matthew reminded me. I suggested that since he couldn't play video games, that he go and sit and watch Caleb play. His response was, "Well, daddy said that I was grounded from watching T.V. and since Caleb's games show up on the television, I feel that I would be disobeying daddy because technically that is watching a T.V." Well didn't I feel like the serpent that said, "Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden." Matthew heard his father's words and he knew his father's heart and he chose to obey ALL the way, even when his father's eyes were not on him.  He did not choose to justify and say "well, daddy said not to play video games, he did not say I could not watch them." He chose to stay as far away from evil and the appearance of evil as he could. He wanted to obey with a sincere heart out of love and respect for his earthly daddy and his heavenly Father. Do we do that? Do we obey ALL the way? Do we choose to do the right thing even when eyes are not on us? Do we justify getting as close to sin as we possibly can? Do we twist words and actions so that technically we have obeyed God, even though we know His heart and what He would  really desire of us? "Lord Jesus, I pray that I would have a heart for obedience. Father may I know your word and know your heart and desire to obey you no matter what. God I pray that I would choose to obey you ALL the way."

Colossians 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."

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 andt reverence for the Lord."

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

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Mommy, I'm Going To School"

Ok before I begin I need you to take a solemn oath. Repeat after me..."I promise...I will not...Call DHR...After hearing...the following story. I promise...not to friend Monica. I do so promise...

Thank you! Now I can begin. Earlier this afternoon I was watching 3 maybe 4 kids for some friends and 2 mothers came by to either pick up their children or chat. While we were chatting, Jacob comes into the room and says "Mommy, I go skool! I ride bus! My backpack!" (Please remember Jacob is 2!) Playing along and not wanting to send him to therapy in years to come by not encouraging a healthy imagination, I said, "Ok, see you when you get home. Have a good day!" Now at this point I thought he was "PRETENDING!" The next thing I know Caleb comes walking in the house laughing hysterically. They (he and the other 5 friends that were playing outside) had found Jacob standing at the corner waiting for the bus. (That is about 4 - 5 houses away.) His brothers had watched him and were waiting to see where he was going. Staying on the sidewalk, with his backpack strapped to his back he ran all the way to the bus stop.  He was determined that he was going to school. I was mortified that my 2 year old had wandered so far from home without my knowledge. Granted, his brothers had an eye on him, but brothers are not born with that maternal instrict.

He set his mind on something and he was determined to make it to his destination. He knew the way! He knew how it was done by his brothers each morning. He had mapped out his course and he looked straight ahead and nothing detered him from reaching his goal. Oh, how I wish I was that way in my pursuit of God's will for my life. I know my goal. I know my destination. I know what it takes to get there, but so often I do not stay the course. I become distracted by the temporary, instead of focusing on the eternal. Sometimes I get so caught up in the things that God has placed in my life and the ministries that He has entrusted to me that I forget the reason He gave them to me in the first place. (To conform me into His image and bring Him glory.) I desire to know Him more! My goal is Christ likeness! My destination is Heaven, but so often I live like it is that bigger house, that better car, that skinnier body(well, a girl can dream), that social status in life or any other destination besides the one I am truly seeking. I want to be determined in my pursuit. I want to look straight ahead and never look back, not even a glance. I want to be a student of my Father's word each day as He continues to map out my course. I want to say with Jacob, "Father God (Daddy), I'm coming to school."

Proverbs 4:25-27 "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or left; keep your foot from evil."

Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"I Was Celebrated Today!"

Joshua came home from kindergarten yesterday and said, "Guess what mommy, I was celebrated today!" He was so excited! He had that big goofy smile across his face and he was beaming! I asked him what it meant to be celebrated and he said, "I wrote words in my journal that my teacher could understand and I could read them back to her and so they celebrated me." I was so excited for my little man! He deserved to be celebrated. Isn't that what we all long for...someone to celebrate us. We enjoy the usual celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries and Mother's day and Father's day, but I want to be celebrated "every" day! I want to know that what I am doing is really being noticed and that someone cares about it. Have you ever noticed how much children love applause? If you clap for them, they will do the same thing over and over again until it gets really old, but they love the praise. Not much changes from childhood to adulthood, except for the fact that we don't admit openly how much we want to be celebrated. I will be honest, I really struggle with this. I want my cooking to be celebrated. I want my cake decorating ability to be celebrated! I want my parenting to be celebrated! I want my marriage to be celebrated! (I want my blog to be celebrated!) We (I) put so much effort into doing things in this world so that we will be celebrated, so that we will receive a pat on the back, so that we would receive (as we said when I was young) a bozo button, all the while forgetting that our Heavenly Father celebrates us everyday! 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." Did you ever think about the fact that the Lord our God, the creator of this universe rejoices over us with singing? We bring Him great delight! My God is celebrating me!!! I want to live each moment for Him! I want to make my Father proud! I want him to delight in me and to rejoice over me! Because Jesus Christ is who he said he is and he is, the Lord our God, then you and I have the assurance that we can wake up each morning and say..."I Was Celebrated Today!"

Excuse My Progress!

Sorry for all the blog confusion today. I am working on this becoming my website as well so I have had a little technical confusion today. If you need to catch up on reading the blogs please check the archive list to the right. More blogs to come later tonight!

Thanks for your patience!


Speaking Schedule

Coming Up in 2012:

February 17-19, 2012
Wynne Baptist Church
Youth Girls Conference
Wynne, Arkansas
Contact Person: Randy Presley

Previous Events: 2011
(Due to an unexpected illness in my oldest child in December of 2010 speaking engagements for 2011 are limited.)

December 14, 2011
Lakeview Baptist Church
Women's Christmas Tour of Homes
Auburn, AL 36830
Contact Person: Melissa Rohling

Precious Events: 2010
January 29-30, 2010
Ladies Retreat "The Lord's Ladybugs"
County Line Community Church
Warm Springs, GA
Contact Person: Beth Waddell

February 1, 2010
Radio Interview (Matt and Monica)
WANI Morning Show
Contact Person: Andy Burchim

February 12, 2010
Date Night With A Purpose - Destination: Honeymoon
"Let's Talk About Sex!" (Matt and Monica will be speaking together)
Auburn, AL

February 14, 2010
"Wait Night" (Matt and Monica will be speaking together)
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL
Contact Person: Steve Thompson

February 16, 2010
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL
Song of Solomon (Matt and Monica will be speaking together)

February 18, 2010
Lakeview Baptist Church
"He's Called, Am I?"
(Pastoral Wives/ Intern Wives)
Auburn, AL
Contact Person: Kem Jackson

February 20, 2010
Ladies Conference
Pauline Baptist Church
Valdosta, GA
Contact Person: Sally Burkhalter

February 23, 2010
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL
Song of Solomon (Matt and Monica will be speaking together)

March 2, 2010
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL
Song of Solomon (Matt and Monica will be speaking together)

March 26, 2010
Redland Baptist Church
Valdosta, GA
Wisdom For The Virtuos Woman Conference
Contact Person: Elaine Southall

May 15, 2010 - CLOSED

May 21-22, 2010
Crestview Baptist Church
Griifin, GA
Marriage Conference
"No Longer Two" (Matt and Monica will be speaking together)

June 14-26 - Vacation (I am available to speak if you are in the Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Washington DC or Lancaster, PA area)

September 3-4, 2010
Preaching Class Reunion Wives
Lakeview Baptist Church
Auburn, AL

October 1, 1010(This Event Was Post Poned)
Date Night With A Purpose (Prom Night)
NorthRidge Community Church
Auburn, AL

November 13, 2010
Northside Baptist Church
"Traditions" Women's Banquet
Valdosta, GA
Contact Person - Joey Broadwater

Previous Events: 2009
January 13, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

January 20, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

January 27, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

February 3, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

February 10, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

February 17, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

February 24, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

March 3, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

March 10, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

March 24, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

April 7, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

April 10, 2009
Date Night With A Purpose(Through the Decades)
Auburn, AL

April 19, 2009
Mommy Moments
Northridge Community Church

April 26, 2009
Mommy Moments
Northridge Community Church

May 3, 2009
Mommy Moments
Northridge Community Church

May 17, 2009
Mommy Moments
Northridge Community Church

May 24, 2009
Mommy Moments
Northridge Community Church

May 31, 2009
Mommy Moments
Northridge Community Church

August 7, 2009
Hope's Inn
Lafeyette, AL

August 18, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

August 25, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

September 1, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

September 8, 2009
Baptist Student Center
Auburn, AL

October 16, 2009
Date Night With A Purpose (At the Movies)
Auburn, AL

November 13-14, 2009
"Hungry" Ladies Retreat
Auburn, AL

Previous Events: 2008
May 2, 2008
Wadsworth Baptist Church
Deatsville, AL

October 10, 2008
Date Night With A Purpose
Auburn, AL

December 5, 2008
Date Night With A "Christmas" Purpose
Auburn, AL

Previous Events: 2007
September 23, 2007
Hillcrest Baptist Church
Maplesville, AL

Speaking Topics

Monica is available to speak at ladies events, home school seminars, weekend retreats and together with her husband Matt, at marriage seminars and parenting seminars. The following is a list of topics, but Monica is happy to adjust to meet the need of the event.

Ladies’ Topics:

Finding Order in the Middle of Chaos
Soccer, baseball, school, laundry, cooking, cleaning…how will I ever find time to sit at the feet of Jesus? We will never find time. We have to make time. In this talk Monica shares how we can find order in this chaotic world and learn to be teachable as we look at the lives of Mary and Martha.

My Doors Are Open
The thought of being hospitable makes some so nervous that they break out in cold sweats, and others so excited that their heart jumps and skips a beat. In this delightful talk, Monica looks at many different aspects of hospitality and explores how we can “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

The Restless Evil at Home
Why is it we hurt those we love the most with our careless words? Monica looks at some specific ways we can tame our tongues and learn to speak words of blessing and encouragement to our husbands and children.

On My Knees
As wives and mothers if you are not praying for your husband and your children then who is? In this talk Monica looks at why we pray and how we as wives and mothers can pray God’s will for our families.

“Just Mommy”
Have you ever heard someone say…? “I’m just a mommy.” “Just?” Monica explores how being a mommy is one of the highest callings we as women have and what God’s purpose is for the calling of “Mommy.”

I Want To Be A Princess!
Am I beautiful? Is this my fairytale? Why does prince charming look like a toad and Cinderella looks like an old nag? In this lesson Monica explores why we choose to live as paupers and believe the lies of this world when we are already princesses with a royal kingdom.

The Restless Evil
Do we really have Freedom of Speech? Can we say whatever we want? In this talk Monica looks at that restless evil, otherwise known as the tongue, and explores how as believers in the Lord Jesus we can tame or take under control that which is wild, and use it for the glory of God.

Praise Him in the Storm
It is not a matter of “if” we face trials, but when will we face them. We know they are going to come. Monica very candidly shares some of the trials she has walked through and how, through the grace of God, He made it possible to “Praise Him in the Storm.”

What My Husband Needs From Me?
As Godly women we should be actively seeking how we can better minister to our husbands. Monica openly looks at eight needs our husbands have and how we as their wives can minister to those needs.


Marriage Topics:
In this series of topics Monica and her husband Matt speak together bringing a fresh biblical perspective of what God desires our marriages to look like.

Help, This Isn’t What I Expected!
“Help, this isn’t what I expected!” is what most couples utter 2 years, 2 months or even 2 weeks after the wedding ceremony. What happens when the marriage doesn’t look exactly like the bride and groom envisioned it? In this talk Matt and Monica address the adjustment that all couples must make when they are not experiencing their ‘ideal’ marriage.

Mars and Venus Collide!
Men and women are different and thus have different needs. In this talk Matt and Monica share personal stories describing what those general needs are and how each spouse can meet the needs of the other.

Yard Work for Marriage!
Just as it takes work to keep your yard green and free from weeds, so it is in marriage. In this talk Matt and Monica will discuss applications every couple can implement to keep their marriage healthy and protected.

No Longer Two?
Matthew chapter 19 says “The two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.” Oneness is God’s goal for our marriages. Together Matt and Monica look at how even in the midst of selfish world we can learn to live as one, no longer two, in our marriages.

Can You Hear Me Now?
Spouses long not only to be heard, but also to be understood. Together Matt and Monica will share mistakes they have made and how some simple principles can improve the communication in any marriage.

Let’s Have a Fair Fight!
The goal in boxing may be for one person to win and the other to lose, but in marriage the goal is for both people to win. In Let’s Have a Fair Fight, Matt and Monica share some rules to follow in marital conflicts so the marriage wins rather than one spouse.


Parenting Topics:In these talks Matt and Monica share what God has taught them and is currently teaching them about parenting as they raise four boys to love the Lord

This Is Your Mission…
Why does God give us children? What are we suppose to do with them? In This Is Your Mission, Matt and Monica look at the purpose behind raising children and what the bible has to say about this divine mission we call parenting.

The Heart of the Matter!
The Bible is very clear, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Biblical discipline, however, is not as much about changing a child’s actions as it is about changing a child’s heart. When our children love Jesus with all their heart, they will seek to please him in everything. Therefore, in this talk Matt and Monica share biblical principles and illustrations from their own lives to describe how to biblically discipline children and, thus, get to The Heart of the Matter.

Every Moment of Every Day
The most meaningful biblical lessons are learned most often not in family devotions or sermons, but in the midst of everyday life. In Every Moment of Every Day, Matt and Monica will share how to take advantage of everyday opportunities to pour biblical applications into the hearts of our children based off of Deuteronomy chapter 6.

There’s no ‘I’ in Team!
Just as any athletic team strives to operate as a single unit, so should the family. The family team, however, is under constant attack and the unity of the family is challenged almost daily. In this talk Matt and Monica will share ways to keep your family operating as a team.

About Monica

Monica's "Professional" Bio:

Monica Hawkins has been equipping and encouraging women through ministry for over twenty-two years. Since the time she accepted Christ as a young child she has had a love for Jesus and His word and a heart to teach and encourage others to love the Lord. Through the years she has taught many women’s Bible studies, discipled young women, taught classes on purity and has a heart to see young mothers and wives understand their biblical calling. She is the founder of Mommy Moments Ministry, Moment by Moments ministries. She serves alongside her husband Matt in ministry in Ripley, TN. They have been in ministry together for 22 years. Her greatest mission is her four sons.. Monica stays busy teaching senior English  and discipling her four sons Matthew, Caleb, Joshua &; Jacob.

Monica's "Personal" Bio:
I have been in love with Jesus since I was 5 years old. I've been in love with and married to the most wonderful man in the world for 22 years. We have 4 wonderful boys...Matthew - 19, Caleb - 17,  Joshua - 14,  Jacob - 11. I love frogs, snuggling up and watching a fun movie with my boys, watching them play soccer, wii and hearing them sing praises to Jesus. I love going out with my husband for sushi and being able to flirt with him all day. He still makes my heart flutter with the wink of his eye, the sound of his voice, the touch of his hand and the smell of his cologne. I love him more everyday. I love to cook and I already know that I will be the old lady that says..."You've hardly eaten a thing, go ahead eat some more...What do you need baby? You look hungry." I love having a house full of kids and I love that I have complete and total OCD where my house is concerned. I live paranoid, always wondering if everyone I know is o.k or if they need something. I absolutely love watching those around me grow in their faith and learn more about Jesus and loving Him everyday. I have cancer, but I also have a total peace about it and actually I am thankful for it because of what I have learned from it and what I have seen my children learn through it. I love keeping my house very cold and I love sleeping with lots of pillows. I have trouble reading anything fiction, but I love a good old sappy movie. I love pajamas and I am obsessive about everyone in my house taking a bath and smelling good before we go to bed. love taking lots of pictures and I like them to be upclose. I love decorating for every season, especially Christmas. I love anything that my family can do together. I think the only drink in the world is Coke and is possibly its own food group. I love to sing in the shower, but I love hearing my children sing when they are in the shower even more. I love that all four of my boys are so different and I savor each moment with each of them. I identify candles by their flavor even though they are not a food. I despise potty talk and even with four boys I insist on good manners and no crude or gross noises. I still believe in chivalry and I am teaching my boys what that looks like. I love my life!!! I seek to honor God and serve Him in all that I say and do and my hearts desire is that when all is said and done He will say..."Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Be Thankful For What You Are Served"

I am a country cook! Yes, I fry food, I use bacon grease on occasion and I feel the need to grow my own vegetables and can and freeze them instead of buying them at the store. My children are really good eaters and love the way mommy cooks. Last night I decided to cook a meal that I loved as a child. I can remember my Grammie cooking this and when I serve it, I am flooded with memories. Fried ham steak, navy beans and kale. Make a little red eye gravy for the ham, put some salt pork in those navy beans and season that kale with some homemade pepper sauce and whee doggies, we got ourselves a supper. I fixed my children's plates and we all sat down to eat. Joshua took a bite of his ham and said, "Oh my goodness that ham is so good. That's the same kind of "chicken" we eat on Valentine's day." Every meat at our house is a form of chicken. Caleb looks at his plate and says, "I think I like everything, but the seaweed (kale)." Now my boys usually are not very picky, but let me just one ate the seaweed. They devoured the ham and came back time and time again for more. They were all starving, but they only ate what they liked. A part of me wanted to yell, "BE THANKFUL AND EAT WHAT YOU ARE SERVED." or quote my mother from years ago and just say "EAT IT!" I refrained! I began to think about the fact that I am not always thankful for what I am served. I like some things that the Lord lays on my plate, but then there are other things that I just do not want to partake of. I know those things will strengthen me, help me and make me stronger in Him, but I don't like them. I love the yummy things in life that appear as blessings, but the cancer, the lack of money, the sickness of a child, the adversity, or anything else that requires me to be inconvienced, I would rather just leave on the plate and not partake of it. I know sometimes the Lord wants to say to me..."Eat it!" But instead He says "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8 I know Him and I know that He is good! He is always good! His will is always good, pleasing and perfect. If I know that my Lord is good, then why would I not want to partake of whatever He places on my plate? I trust Him as my Father and I will "Be Thankful For What I Am Served!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

"No Don't Get Rid of This"

I have never thought of myself as a pack rat...until today. I have been very organized with all of our little boys clothes. With four boys we believe in hand-me-downs, so I box them according to size and season and we keep them in the attic. Since Matt calls Jacob the caboose, I have decided to sell all of my baby stuff and winter clothes. I took them to a local consignment sale that our community has twice a year. I am ashamed to say that I had over 200 items for 24 months and under. PACK RAT! (Also, see yesterdays blog on stewardship.)

As I was tagging these items for the sale, Joshua kept pulling out items and saying..."Oh mommy, you can't get rid of this!" "Oh mommy, not this too." "This was my favorite outfit when I was a baby." "I just can't let it all go." I am a Pack Rat, raising Pack Rats.

Have you ever been a pack rat in your spiritual life? I have! There are things that I just want to pack away and hold on to. The problem is they are taking up space. Space that could be filled to overflowing with abundant life, joy and the Word of God. I find things in my life that because I have not chosen to get rid of them, they rear their ugly little heads from time to time and they clutter the place where peace and joy long to abide. I am very much like Joshua, I have a hard time getting rid of all these things. I love to pull the clothes out and remember my babies at different ages. I love to hold them close to my face and smell the lingering baby smell. In case you can't tell...I have trouble with change. I have trouble letting go. It's the same in my spiritual life. I hold on to past hurts, past failures, past fears, past disappointments and especially past sins committed against me. I hold on to them and on occasion pull them out and feel sorry for myself, get down on myself or harbor unforgiving attitudes towards those I "say" I have forgiven. These are the things that hinder and entangle and keep me from moving forward in my walk with Christ. I pray that I will be able to throw off all of these things and press on in my walk with Christ and never again say "No Don't Get Rid of This."

Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Philippians 3:13-14 "Brothers, I do not consider to have taken hold of it. But on thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Isaiah 43:18-19 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!"