Good, Good Father

I’ve really been struggling these past few weeks, feelings of discontent, guilt, anxiety and weariness. I’m not even sure if that covers my emotions lately. Obviously being pregnant can cause a woman’s emotions to be all over the place, but I think all of the changes our family is going through have just overwhelmed me and taken a toll. I’m incredibly happy to be in Tennessee now, I think in the long room it was the best decision for our family.

However I can already tell you that we won’t be staying in our new home for an extended period of time. We know we will outgrow it before long, it’s inevitable. And despite our long conversations on the matter, both J and I know that we can’t continue forever with his long commutes. It’s just not for us. By the time he leaves and returns from work, he’s gone for almost 9, sometimes 10 hours a day. That doesn’t leave much time for us as a family.

I can also tell you that I am really struggling with the fact that we can’t seem to find a church that fits our family’s needs. I know we are being picky, our home church is amazing, I hate that we can’t be there and live in our new home at the same time. We have a great church family back in NC and considering J and I are both kind of anti-social these days, it’s really hard finding a church that feels like home here. We have at least found a church that offers ballet classes for Boogie and a church that offers Awana for her and Asher as well. But we haven’t been able to visit the church with ballet for worship services yet, and the other wasn’t a good fit. Between illnesses and traveling we just haven’t had the opportunity to visit many more.

We are starting our first official year of homeschooling, Boogie is a kindergartener this year and I’m trying to get into a good routine so that we can stay on top of things. It’s much harder than I anticipated, I didn’t think I would still be suffering from this awful “morning” sickness and I wasn’t expecting to have to be running around town so much while my brother was staying with us. So we are yet to be on any kind of schedule and it’s been hard on the kids and myself. I’m also worried that I won’t be able to keep up or provide the best education for my kids, I know this isn’t true, but it’s hard to not think this when there’s so many other things piling up on your shoulders.

Blogging isn’t as fun as it used to be either. I’m not enjoying it like I used too, now it feels more like a job instead of a hobby. Which I guess, technically it is now. I can’t decide how to continue on as Mustard Seed Mommy, but it just doesn’t give me the joy that it once did. Lately I can’t find anything to fill my personal time with, when I have personal time, that is something just for me to do. My life revolves around housekeeping, laundry, parenting, cooking, errand running and trying to be the best wife that I can be. I just can’t figure out where Sarah fits into that.

Are you still with me? The one thing that keeps me going, that keeps me from collapsing into a heap on the floor is knowing that my Father is here. He’s holding me up and keeping me going, His love will never waver, He will never doubt or forsake me. He is a constant in my life that I can completely and totally rely on. I am so very thankful for that. So, now that you’ve made it through my super depressing post, could you be praying for me? Pray that things will turn around a bit and that I can find some contentment in where we are right now in our lives? Pray that I can find confidence in my role as a mother and teacher to my children?

Until next time, here’s my song, the song that brings me to tears every time I hear it. This song is my heart’s cry.

Phil Wickham “Children of God” Album Review

download

I am so excited to be reviewing Phil Wickham’s new album, “Children of God“. I discovered Phil Wickham several years ago and have really enjoyed his music, and this new album is AMAZING! His single from this album is “Your Love Awakens Me” and Wickham sings about love of Jesus and how it is life giving and amazing – and the song is phenomenal. It’s upbeat and my children and I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this in my van every day!

 

When I received my CD for review I was also sent a bio for Phil Wickham, it’s a pretty awesome testimonial. Apparently Wickham experienced some throat trouble back in 2014 and after having some tests the doctors discovered a vocal polyp (a lesion on his vocal cord), there were ways to get rid of it but healing would take a while and there wasn’t a guarantee that his voice would return to normal. Through it all, the fear, the uncertainty, he clung to Christ and now he is back with a new sound and a new heart.

You can learn more about Phil Wickham’s new album at his website HERE – you can find his album on iTunes and Amazon now!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in return for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions and statements are my own.

My 4 Favorite Bible Study Tools

Realistically, the only thing you need in order to have a great bible study is your bible. God has given us all the tools we need just by providing that alone! I, however, have found that with a few simple and fun tools that I learn more and I spend more time in the Word. It may seem silly, but it helps ME!

My 4 Favorite Bible Study Tools

  1. A Bible – I have two bibles that I would like to purchase for myself soon. The first one is the Home School Mom’s Bible and the Inspire Bible (Coloring Bible)I’ve always enjoyed having multiple styles and kinds of bibles, I even had magazine bibles for teens when I was in high school. It’s not necessary, but it’s something I love! My current bible is this Real Life Devotional Bible for Women (except mine is in a raspberry pink color!) I love the devotions in this Bible, they have been spot on for me every time I use it as my devotion for the day! IMG_2468
  2. A Journal – You can’t go wrong by keeping a journal. You can do this any way you wish, and you can even purchase a bible that space to journal in like THIS one. I have chosen to start journaling for my children, I have a composition notebook for each of them. I choose a verse to copy into the journal, I write them a note about the verse I chose for them and then I doodle, color and decorate it however I’m inspired too. I’ve really enjoyed doing this for my babies, and not only do I think it will help them someday, but it’s really helped me to learn more about what I’m studying!IMG_2471
  3. Pens and Colored Pencils -If you’re going to be doodling and journaling like me, then you need some great pens and colored pencils to help inspire you. I try to pick pens that I can use in my bible and in the journals, I hate for things to bleed through the pages of my journal but you’ll have a hard time finding pens that do a great job of that. THESE pens are my favorite for writing and underlining in my bible. They have a super fine tip and while they do bleed a little, it’s not enough to bother me. The colors are fantastic and I’ve been using these for a year now and haven’t had any issues with the ink drying up. These are great for journaling and doodling as well, but for that I prefer THESE PaperMate pens. They have a slightly thicker tip and the ink flows more quickly, these are definitely not recommended for use in your bible, but I love them for journaling. The colors in these are also vibrant. As for colored pencils, some people like the soft flow of a watercolor pencil, I on the other hand am a devoted fan of Crayola colored pencils!IMG_2465
  4. Devotional Book  – A great way to know exactly what to study is by picking a great devotional book to guide you. I’ve seen so many great bible study books out there, I could recommend so many to you but truly the best way to choose one is by picking something that speaks to you. What I need to study isn’t necessarily going to be what you should be studying. However, if you’re a little stuck, this 365 pocket prayer  book found HERE is a great place to start. This particular one is for mom’s but they have more for dads, women, men, etc. I did a review on this a while back as well, you can find that post HERE.IMG_2466

That’s it! I gather these four things every time I hunker down for a meeting with my Father… He hasn’t failed me yet when it comes to getting on top of the things I NEED to learn about.

Is there a bible study tool you enjoy using that I haven’t listed here? Feel free to post a comment below and let me know!

I Am Yours

I’m hoping I can put into words what I’ve been feeling and experiencing lately. I’ve purposefully avoided posting anything personal these past few weeks because I want to be more intentional with what I write and share. I have continued to share reviews and giveaways, but I truly want to use this blog for good, and for now the reviews are providing us with goods and a tiny bit of income for me to continue keeping Mustard Seed Mommy live.

We returned home from our vacation to Pigeon Forge, TN a week ago… and oh man, this past week has been very challenging. J went back to work and was hit in the face with a storm of epic proportions, he is so short staffed and has been covering those shifts and trying to complete his own job. On top of that he is also working to get his Associates in Computer Information Technology… and those classes started the day after we got home. So basically my children got to see their daddy four times in the past 8 days (including this afternoon). Returning to school for him is a huge deal, I’m so proud of him… and this past week has shown us both that it was the BEST decision. We will be glad to say goodbye to dietary management once he receives his degree!

Returning home from vacation also meant getting back into a routine with the kids, however with J’s crazy schedule we weren’t able to do that. Everything that’s happened this past week has thrown them from a loop. Bedtimes have been insane, daily routine has been thrown out the window… I haven’t been able to complete a single chore. It’s seriously been insane. So insane that I have found myself grasping at the only One I could possibly hold on to during hard times.

This past year I have needed Christ more than I ever have, honestly I don’t know how I would have made it through without my faith or relationship with Christ. Through anxiety, depression, loneliness, disappointment… it’s all been so overwhelming. I struggled during my pregnancy with Baby Bird, I struggled through job changes and job loss with J. It’s been a tough year. Through these trials God has revealed Himself to me in some of the most inspiring and awesome ways. The passing of a friend shook me to my core and opened my eyes, words from my children’s godmother have reminded me that I’m not alone… I feel like that despite everything we are going through I am finally realizing that with God holding my hand I will never be lonely, I will never need to be afraid, I will never have to feel the terrible ways I have felt this past year. I can lay everything at His feet, I can fall on my knees and just hand every emotion, disappointment, mistake and fear to Him. I don’t have to wonder or question what my life is going to be like if things don’t go my way… because His way is perfect and flawless.

I’m still going to have tears, fears, anxieties, sadness… but I can pull myself up and brush it off because Christ is pulling me up and giving me the strength to press on. I’m never going to be perfect, I’m never going to have the “dream” life I’ve always hoped to have, I’m going to struggle through my relationship with J and my relationships with my children… they won’t be picture perfect, they’ll be flawed and I’ll mistakes along the way. And that’s okay.

I will call upon His name, I will keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise my soul will rest in HIS embrace because I am HIS and He is mine. Thank you Lord for showing yourself to me in such a BIG way. Thank you for loving me and forgiving me despite the many flaws I have and mistakes I have made. Thank you for using my children, my husband and my friends and family to teach me the many lessons I need to learn.

Peace Be With You

I woke up this morning snuggled up to my sweet Baby Bird, nursed her back to sleep and decided to grab my phone to see if J had emailed me this morning at work. Before I checked I logged on to Facebook and the posts that flooded my newsfeed stopped me in my tracks.

11234001_581358133118_7419982477222373660_o

Early this morning, at 3:40am, an amazing and beloved friend passed away. He was and still is an incredible inspiration and real life superhero to many who knew him. Aaron was a phenomenal friend and I am so grateful to have known him. Aaron will be missed but his life will continue to inspire and bring others to Christ.

It’s never easy saying goodbye, it’s never easy accepting that God has taken a friend too soon… but oh, if anyone served the Lord, Aaron did. He lived, breathed and emanated the love of Christ. Please pray for his family during this time and if you have the means to do so, please consider donating to help with his medical and funeral costs at THIS gofundme link.

10423678_576435413288_9134740160809688751_n