Finding Peace When We Feel Like Screaming

I usually try to write happy posts.  I like to keep it light, but today has really made me think about what really truly matters in life.  Most people hate trials.  They hate it when bad things happen.  Now, I’m not saying I like it when bad things happen, but I am very much thankful for the trials I have been through.  Whether it be the death of a young loved one, or financial hardship, or physical pain, I am thankful for the things I have been through.  Yes, it is extremely hard when bad things happen.  I have had many times where my life felt hopeless and the grief was unending and so hard to bear, but after the storm is over, there is always a rainbow.  There is always a purpose for my suffering.  No matter what the situation is, it always brings me closer to Jesus Christ.  It helps me to relate to others going through the same struggles.  It helps me to grow wiser, stronger and to become a better person.  A better Christian.  I know it is hard when bad things happen, but instead of pushing away God, try clinging to Him.  Try coming through the pain, not as a victim, but as a survivor.  Whatever your struggle, you don’t have to remain in victim mode.  Yes, grieving and crying is very healing, but after the grief and tears comes healing.  And it only truly comes from Christ.  Trusting in Jesus was the best decision I ever made.  Did it stop anything bad from happening to me.  No. Did it change how I handled the sorrow? Absolutely.  If you have trusted in Christ, you will never be alone.  Your trial is for a purpose.  You may not see it now, but through your struggle, God can do great things.  No matter what happens, I choose peace.  I choose joy.  Some days is harder, much harder, than others, but we have a choice.  We can choose to have peace knowing God has a plan, or we can choose to wallow in our pain, in our suffering.  I honestly believe that I am a better person for my struggles.  I am wiser with money, more sympathetic to others, smarter, safer. . . I thank God for my struggles, because they made me who I am today.

 

**If you are not sure how to get saved, I got this from: http://www.christianevangelism.net/tools/abc.html

 

ABC’s of Salvation

The ABC’s of salvation are an easy way to explain salvation to someone.  In addition to being easy to explain, they are easy to remember so anyone can share the gospel without a lot of memorization.  The ABC’s are:

·         Accept

·         Believe

·         Call

Accept that you are a sinner.  Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  To sin is to miss the mark.  God has set standards for us to live by and no matter how good we are at keeping them, we’re not going to be perfect.  Even the youngest of children know right from wrong and they know when they have done wrong.  We need to accept that we’ve done wrong things.

Believe that Jesus died for our sins and then rose from the dead.  Romans 5:8 tells us “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  If we only accept that we’re sinners, we’re in trouble because the first half of Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.”  Sin means separation from God eternally which means we would suffer hell away from God in heaven.  Fortunately Romans 6:23 doesn’t end there but continues by telling us “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  We were dead in our sins but God did something about it by sending Jesus to die in our place.  We must believe that Jesus was able and willing to take away our sins by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.

Call upon Jesus to be saved.  Belief requires action to back it up.  Romans 10:9-10 says “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”  Continued belief calls for continued action.  We don’t have to keep getting saved but we should continue to put our faith into action by the way we live.  We should continue to confess that Jesus is Lord of our life.

Let’s Talk About Money

Money is always a touchy subject.  A lot of people don’t like to talk about it.  Parents don’t teach their kids to be wise with money, and kids don’t go to their parents for advice about money.  It seems like it’s a don’t ask, don’t tell subject.  So, of course, I am bringing it up here 😉

For those of you that have not read Dave Ramsey’s My Total Money Makeover needs to stop what they are doing and go and get this book.  If you don’t have any money, your local library will have it in stock.  It is an amazing book and will change your life!  Simple things, like pay off your debt (the borrower is slave to the lender), and to save for a rainy day (you WILL have problems, you NEED to prepare for them).  Having an emergency fund is not hording money.  It is being wise and preparing for WHEN you will have a problem.  No if, only when.  Your roof will leak, your car will blow a tire, you will have medical bills.  No matter what happens, you will not have the stress if you have money saved up.  If you are married, having no debt and a 6 months expenses savings account will take the financial burden off you both.  We all know financial problems are a leading cause of divorce and marriage fights.  How would you feel not having any debt (no car loans either), and having a bunch of money in savings?  That would really lighten the load.  You may have a small shovel and can only save $50 a month.  But you know what?  $50 a month is so much better than nothing a month, and it will grow over time.  The older you get, the more money you will be making and the more money you can sock away.  This book that Dave Ramsey wrote changed my life.  It changed my husband’s life.  It taught us to be in control of where our money goes.  We don’t drive fancy cars, or eat out every week, but we have peace.  The peace that comes from having freedom.  Start today and pay off your debts, build up a savings cushion, and taste the freedom that comes with it.

Making your house a home on a budget

Since my husband and I refuse to use credit cards and rack up debt, we have to find creative ways to make our new house into a home.  One cheap and fun idea I had was to take a kids table/chairs we got a couple years ago from a yard sale, and repaint it to make it look nice and new.  I went to Lowe’s (they sometimes have rejected paints for only $5) and I found a nice pale blue color I thought would look nice.  The kids and I spent the day painting the table and chairs.  Now they look nice and new and it only took a few hours and a little elbow grease!  (The little grooves were a pain to paint and kept dripping!) It might take some time, but if you are willing to do the work, you can have a nice home at an inexpensive price.

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Vacation’s over, now what?

Spending a vacation with your family is a great way to make memories, but what about when the vacation ends?  How can you keep your family close the rest of the year?  As our kids get older, and they start becoming independent, how can we stay connected?  The answer is simple. . . Time.  Give your family part of your time every day.  Whether you work outside the home, or stay home with the kids, our time can slip away very quickly.  We need to make a conscious effort to spend good, quality time with our families EVERY DAY.  We do not know how long we will have together.  Accidents happen every day.  Who wants to live with regret from what they should have done?  We need to make the effort.  Just 20 minutes a day of one on one alone time, will mean the world to your child, or your spouse.  Play a game, just the two of you.  Read your child a book, snuggled up in a chair.  It can be very hard to do this while you have little ones in the house, but times like that make one on one time that much more meaningful.  Yes, you are exhausted, but 10 years from now, you won’t remember being exhausted, you will only remember spending time with your kids, or ignoring them.  You will either have fond memories, or the sinking feeling of regret.  Even with teens, you can find something to do with them.  Be creative.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  For example, my teen is studying Italian this year.  So I taught her how to shuffle cards properly (a lot of laughs ensued!) and then we played a modified version of an Italian game.  We didn’t have the proper deck of cards, but our American cards worked just fine and we had a blast.  Simple, little things can make a huge difference.  Bake together, build something together.  The point is to spend quality alone time with each member of your family.  Make them feel important and worth your time.  One more thing, and this is a HUGE one. . .  do not, under any circumstances have any electric devices with you when you are spending your time together.  Nothing sucks the joy out of special bonding time like a cell phone or tablet.  Kids will most certainly feel ignored and unimportant.  If you can’t be away from your phone for 20 minutes at a time, you may have an addiction.  Show the people you love that THEY are important to you.  Not some cyber friend, or game, but that person you are face to face with is worthy of your undivided attention.  I even tell the other kids that they will get their turn, but not to disturb our time alone together.  They are pretty good about respecting that.  Not always perfect with the waiting rule, but pretty good 🙂  I challenge you, for one week to spend quality time each day with all the members of your family.  Even 5 minutes a day can make a difference.   I guarantee it will change your kids attitudes, it will make them feel loved.  Do whatever it is they want to do, let them win the game, let them experiment with their own baking recipe.  You will have fun and bond your relationship for life.