Your Best Year–Your Best You

MWM blogger

MWM blogger

Well Mamas, here we are at the edge of a new beginning. Don’t you just love the chance to start fresh? I don’t know how many resolutions you made going into the new year, but I’m sure some are right on course and others have already become old news. The good news is we still have 347 days of opportunity and promise ahead of us, 347 days to move closer to the you and the family and the life you’ve always wanted. Whatever you can dream, God’s dream is bigger. He says so in Ephesians 3:20, and I am excited to get refreshed in my spirit, renewed in my mind, and re-energized in my body.

Last year was a tough one for me. Lots of struggle and lots of loss, and I have to admit there were times I threw my hands up and said, “Why bother?” As a result I was sick often, tired more, gained a bunch of weight and lost a lot of energy. Maybe you understand. Maybe I’ll have a year of even greater challenges. Maybe not. I can’t predict the future. But I can say that come what may, I still intend to have the best year and the best me of my life.

I’m a firm believer that God did not create us to just live and die, to struggle into midlife only to watch it all go downhill from there as we age and watch our children leave our homes and our dreams leave our hearts.Jesus says in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” I believe Him. I believe wholeheartedly that we were meant to thrive every single day in every single way. I believe that every age and every stage should be better than the one before.

That’s my quest this year–to grab hold of the abundant life Jesus promises. Will you join me? I hope you’ll decide to be what only you can be. I’ve learned that we can never afford to be stagnant, especially as mothers. Too many people are counting on us. Moms, the world needs you. Besides the details you attend to every day that only God sees, no one inspires, encourages, and challenges quite like you. But you can’t do that if you are drawing from an empty reservoir–physically exhausted, mentally dull, and spiritually drained. Your life matters because you matter to every else’s life.

Let today be the first of 24 hours that moves you closer to your purpose. Not mine. Not your best friend’s. Yours! It is uniquely yours and only you can be what you were meant to be. But in order to have it, you must first see it. So capture, or perhaps recapture, the vision. What do you want you and your family and your life to look like? What you think and can see today is what you will live tomorrow, so think big and see great things.

I’m starting today and I hope you’ll come too. I’m believing with you and for you that a year from now you will be stronger in body, mind, and spirit and it will be said of you, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:25, NIV).

I’m standing with you my sisters as we press in and press on with confidence and joy.

God’s 2015 Promises For You and Your Family–Will You Claim Them?

IMG_2117 - Version 2Well, I always have plenty to say, but I thought as we close this year and head into the new one, I’d say less and let God say more. His words are more important and reliable anyway. So instead of giving you my list of resolutions, I thought I’d share just a short list of His promises for you and your family instead. He is anxious to see them fulfilled in your life, but

There is a catch: You have to claim them.

It’s true God’s promises are real and powerful, but they do typically require our faith and cooperation. Think of it like this. If you receive a paycheck for services or goods, that check is a promise, but unless it is cashed in, unless it is claimed, it is useless. You can stare at it all day and it will not put food on your table or clothes on your back until you deposit it or cash it in.

God’s promises are likewise. They do not automatically come to pass. You must receive them as truth in your heart and take them to Him in faith and claim, “Lord, you’ve said this and I believe it”. Then Oh! what miracles take place when we pray God’s word with expectancy over our children and our homes! And let me add, whatever faith you have to believe them is all the faith you need. He will meet you where you are and grow your own faith through His faithfulness.

So, here are just a few of the many promises of God. I keep a journal of them so I can find the ones I need when my heart is anxious and I don’t know what to do. Perhaps you’d like to write down those that speak to you most and do the same. I promise you this. As you learn God’s heart for your family and speak His promises over them, your own heart will find more rest.

God Bless you and yours in 2015!

Promises of Provision:

“…those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” Isaiah 34:9-10

“And my God shall supply all your need…” Philippians 4:19

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” Matthew 6:31-32

Promises of Salvation and Deliverance:

“…the children of the godly will go free.” Proverbs 11:21 NLT

“For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.” Isaiah 49:25

“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” Acts 16:31 NLT

Promises of Blessings:

“I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.” Isaiah 44:3

“The generation of the upright will be blessed.” Psalm 112:2

Promises of Protection:

“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” Proverbs 14:26

“The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psalm 121:8

Psalm 91–the whole chapter! My go-to chapter for all that frightens me concerning my children.

Promises for Guidance:

“You will guide me with Your counsel…” Psalm 73:24

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ ” Isaiah 30:21

Promises for Wisdom:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

“For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;” Proverbs 2:6

Promises of a Plan and Purpose:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer 29:11

“The Lord will work out his plans for my life.” Psalm 138:8 NLT

More Promises You Can Count On:

“I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace.” Isaiah 53:13

“He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ ” Hebrews 13:5

“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9

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

 

 

Beyond Easter Morning

Rita Clucas smBy all normal standards (or at least my own), I totally blew Easter week this year. It came and went without a single picture worthy to put in a scrapbook or timeless moment to write about in a journal, and I’m left worrying that my kids will be in therapy one day (or worse yet, on the Dr. Phil show) because of all the things I failed to do.

We usually spend the week before Easter preparing in order to make it full of special memories, but this year everything went awry, and I simply juggled the urgent things that came until I found myself putting the turkey in the oven Easter morning, surprised that I’d managed that. Somehow though, despite my lack of planning, my running out of forks (which I’m convinced are in my husband’s truck), and my forgetting to cook the lamb (yes, I did), Easter day was amazing. I spent it with those I’m blessed to call family and I was surrounded by life, which after all is what it’s all about. And I learned something. This Easter was a lot like my own life. My long line of mishaps, missed opportunities, and downright failures became something beautiful when God showed up.

I know that not all of you share my faith, and I understand because even I too often forget what my faith is all about and the power it holds. I forget how the God who raised a body to life also can and does resurrect the dead places in my heart and my life brought by fear, pain, loneliness, rejection, and loss. He took my complete failure as a young wife and gave me a captivating marriage. He took my pitiful efforts to be a perfect mom and gave me amazing children. He took my lost hopes and unfulfilled dreams and gave me a life I wouldn’t have known how to dream. Easter reminds me that God not only traded his life for mine so many years ago, but he continues to do so daily if I let him “because God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power” (1 Corinthians 6:14).

I don’t know what you need to trade or what needs resurrecting in your life; maybe it’s a marriage that’s barely hanging on, a relationship with your teenager or grown child that’s been cold for too long, or maybe even just joy for the endless tasks at hand. What I do know is that there’s hope and that it extends far beyond Easter morning.

It’s the reason Easter is so much more to me than a flurry of egg hunts, Easter bunnies, and way too much candy. It is a reminder that I’m okay, or at least that I will be, no matter what. It’s proof that all that is dead can live again and that I can trade in all my failures for God’s abundance. He’ll do the same for you just for the asking.

Easter isn’t a day. It’s a life. Enjoy every moment of it!