It’s been awhile…

I wonder where my love for writing went?

In my younger teenage years, not a day would go by without me writing in my journal.  These days, I’ll be happy if I get a few pages written each month!  And my blog?  A few posts a year!  

::sigh::

Well, here’s hoping for more writing in the new year.  Though I doubt it.  Life is just so busy… and, if I had to admit it, I’m a bit lazy.  Though I love to write, the demands of every day life (mom of four, wife of one, teacher of 12, daughter, sister, friend, coworker, tax payer, driver, planner, etc.) can get in the way of putting my thoughts to paper (or cyberspace, as the case may be).  Above all that, I’m a Christian.  That means my walk with God is the most important thing for me to grow and maintain.  My prayer life is most important, at least it should be.  Lord knows I’ve failed in that area – but praise God I’m not where I used to be in it.  

Well… not much of a post.  Samuel is running around in one of his hyper-crazy moods he gets into.  He’s terrorizing his older siblings and my name is being called out over laughters, cries of help, and muffled shouts.  So I must be off.

Will post again… at some point… I hope.

Yasmin

First Week as a Nursery Worker

So today, Saturday, marks the end to my first week at my new “job”.  My church hired me to work part time and temporarily in our school nursery.  It doesn’t feel like work, honestly.  It’s the first job I’ve had that I’m excited to go to work every day to play with ten toddlers! I love the children.  It’s amazing that they each have their own personality, but then they can act as one class with one personality.  For instance, they all love to watch Peter Pan.  Apparently it’s the only movie that they will all sit through and watch. Put another movie on and their attention comes and goes.  They also all love to sit under the tables; one by one they will line themselves against the wall and sit and laugh and wiggle their feet and bottoms.

Then there’s the fighting.  It’s not much, just the normal amount I guess… though some days are worse than others.  Once you get to know the kids, you can already sense when they will get upset before they do and try to diffuse the situation.  It’s happened several times already where myself or the other “teacher” (neither of us is licensed, so the term is used very loosely) will call a child’s name in warning because we see that they are about to do something before they even raise a hand to do it.  It’s amazing how that sinful nature of selfishness and hitting is alive in us without being taught.  We have to be taught to do good, because we are born with that sinful nature.  I see it and understand it more now that I have ten kids all together instead of just being home with my one toddler who doesn’t have to share anything with anyone. They all melt my heart, though.  I’m already dreading the day when I have to leave (I’m only there part time and temporarily until the end of the school year).  They each hold a special place in my heart after just one week.  I’m in love with each of them and I’m slowly falling in love with being a nursery worker.

I’m not good at the teaching part, my counterpart is excellent at teaching the kids and doing crafts with them, but I love to mother them all.  I love changing their pampers, taking them for walks, hugging them, disciplining them in love, washing their hands, rubbing their backs, sitting them on my lap to listen to a story… my day goes by so fast in doing all that.  Praise God, my Samuel isn’t really a jealous baby.  Another toddler can sit on my lap and Sam is fine with that.  Sometimes he might run over and want to sit on my lap too, but he doesn’t push the other child away.  Maybe he’s already used to sharing me with his brother and sisters, but it’s a blessing to love on other kids and not have him cry about it.

Sleeping… in the afternoon before I leave for the day, it’s the kids nap time.  It’s one of my favorite time of my day with them because I take the time to pray over each of them.  There are three rows of cots and I will sit at the head of each row and pray over each child by name.  Tearing down whatever plans the enemy has for them and praying blessings over their lives in the name of Jesus and the power of His blood.  I love praying over them while they sleep.  I think I will always keep their names written down and pray over them for years to come – my first nursery class.

Then there are the two sweet girls I get to share the class with:  Sarah and Lauren.  We all go to the same church, but because they are younger than me I never really knew much about them.  Now we are all slowly getting to know more about each other.  I just love sitting back and watching the two of them interact and feed off of each other – they are like a comedy duo team!  Two sweet girls that make me laugh and feel old all at the same time!  I love them!

I have nothing else to say, but that I’m so happy to have the opportunity to go to my church every morning and be amongst Godly women (and a few Godly men!) all day. I pray that God’s Will would be for me to stay there always – but if not, I’m fine with that too.  Even though I love my church and all my church family, ultimately I want to be in God’s Will for my life and go where He sends me.

At His Feet,

Yasmin

2013 Summer Survival Challenge!

Well, summer is just around the corner and pretty soon I will have 4 pairs of feet and 40 little toes running around this house looking for something to do… and they will be looking and running directly to me!

Nerve wracking.

For years I was the working mom – so summer plans consisted of weekend outings to the park, maybe the zoo or the pool.  I didn’t really have to think much about it.  I left the thinking to the grandparents!  But now? Now I’ve been a stay at home mom for two years and summers scare me!  My first year as a stay at home mom, I had my infant son, so we didn’t really do too much. Mostly the pool and trips to the zoo.

But not this year!  My youngest is two years old and LOVES exploring and being outdoors.  So this year, I am going to plan ahead of time and have activities and outings (and also days of rest and relaxation) and be ahead of the game!  So when Susan Heid contacted me with her new 2013 Summer Survival Calendar {affiliate link}, I knew this was for me!  I became a fan of Susan when I started using her Household Planner (which I STILL use and love).  Now she’s back with a great calendar full of ideas as well as strategies to survive the summer with your kids.

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Here’s what’s included:

  •       Summer Goals worksheet
  •       Ideas for Summer Fun checklist
  •       10 Strategies for Your Best Summer Ever Action    Guide
  •       Your Best Summer Ever Audio Workshop
  •       Quiet Time Activities worksheet
  •       Important Summer Dates checklist
  •       Standard Operating Procedures worksheet
  •       Weekly Menu Planner/Grocery List
  •       Summer Weekly Planner
  •       Be Summer Organized checklist

Not only that, but one of my favorite blog sites, HelloMornings, is doing a Summer Survival {mini} Challenge using Susan’s calendar! I love a good challenge, especially one that aims at preparing me for my summer goals with my kids.

Summer Survival HelloMornings

Participation is easy! Just head over to The Confident Mom’s site and purchase the 2013 Summer Survival Calendar, then head on over to HelloMornings every Monday to walk through some prep phases and get your weekly homework!  After just three short weeks, you will graduate and be ready for the summer!

HelloMornings is also offering a free calendar for three participants!  After purchasing your calendar, head over to their Summer Survival {mini} Challenge and leave a comment that you’ve purchased it! You will be enrolled to either get reimbursed or to send a copy to a friend.

I’m so excited about this and ready for this summer challenge!

Joyfully His,

Yasmin

Raised Hands in Worship…

This past Sunday was so moving for me.  It was the first Sunday of the month, which means communion and no children’s ministry (other than nursery).  It was my eldest daughter’s turn to work in the nursery, so she was there with my two year old.  That left me with Marissa (my 9 year old) and Jeremiah (my 7 year old).  We sat towards the front (Marissa’s choosing) and began singing praise and worship.

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That’s when he did it.  My sweet video game loving, monkey bar climbing, ticklish, funny, seven year old son raised his hands in worship.  My heart swelled and tears just started to flow – I was a crying mess and couldn’t contain myself.  He was singing and raising his hands in worship – and every once in awhile, looking at me sideways for approval.  To see my son standing there raising his hands in worship was just confirmation to me that my God is hearing my prayers.  I pray over all my children every morning – that the Lord would meet me where I fail as a parent and help me to raise these children to have a heart and love for Jesus.  That they would one day make this relationship their own and not just a family one.

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It means so much to me that my son is choosing to follow me in this path.  I pray that there would never come a day that he would refuse to go to church and instead stay home with his father, but rather his father would refuse to stay home and instead go to church with his sons.

DSCN5127The Holy Spirit was definitely moving Sunday morning.  His presence was so thick in that place, I could feel it and could not stop praising or crying.

Thank You, Father for meeting me there on Sunday.  Thank You for hearing my prayers.  I know You are working in my children’s lives – I can see the evidence of Your fingerprints all over their little hearts.

Lift up holy hands in prayer, and praise the LORD. Psalm 134:2

Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary. Psalm 28:2

I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. Psalm 63:4

I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Psalm 143:6

Forever His Daughter,

Yasmin

Maximize Your Morning Summer Challenge!

I, for one, don’t want to lose sight of what’s important this summer.  With the kids out of school, weekly trips to the zoo, laying around the pool, BBQ dinners, hot weather that just zaps all your strength, I can easily lose sight of God and my time with Him.  I’ll be the first to admit that though during the school year I will do daily morning devotionals with the kids, during the last summer vacation I didn’t even open a devotional with them!

That is why I’m so excited about the new 13-week challenge by the HelloMornings group!  The challenge is all about maximizing your mornings, via online accountability groups.  Maximizing your mornings is the idea that as a Christian woman, wife, mom, you are waking up early and “maximizing” (using to it’s full potential, making the most out of, etc.) your mornings!  Spend time with God, study your Bible, exercise, drink water, pray, do what you can to start your day at it’s most fullest potential possible!

The 13-week challenge starts May 6th and runs through August 2nd and registration is open through May 3rd!  Today is the first day of registration!  I’m so excited for all the ladies who are already signing up as you read this now.  I mean you can head over RIGHT NOW and register and sign up with a group today!  East Coast? West Coast? Those options are there!  Once you choose your timezone, then you can pick whether you are interested in a Facebook group or Twitter group.  I’m leading a Facebook group for this challenge and keep checking my page to see if I’ve gotten any requests – I’m so eager to meet other ladies for this challenge and Bible study.

Did I mention there’s also a FREE Bible study?! Meet Jesus is a FREE Bible study for all HelloMorning participants.  It’s a 13-week walk through the book of John – which is especially exciting for me because my pastor just started a study through the book of John last week! So I’ll be really digging into the book of John and I’m so excited what the Lord, through His Holy Spirit, will be teaching me this summer.

Listen, perfection is NOT a requirement!  Just a desire to meet with God in the morning and a commitment to checking in with your group.  We are here to encourage one another and lift each other up in prayer and supplication.  I’m looking forward to this summer and to the challenge of waking up each morning, spending time with my Father, my King, my Comforter – my God – and maximizing my mornings to it’s fullest and most blessed potential!

Eagerly Seeking Him,

Yasmin

HelloMornings

Five Minute Friday: Friendship

Lisa-Jo Baker is a blogger who has these Friday Prompts. She gives you a prompt and you write non-stop for 5 minutes. No editing. Just writing.  So that’s what I’m doing this morning.

Friday’s Prompt:  Friendship.

God made us to enjoy friendships.  I don’t have many friends, probably the season I am in with kids and just life.  But I have my two friends that I love and cherish.  I know I can count on them for anything.  If I need to talk about my day, cry on a shoulder, raid their fridge for something to feed my kids, borrow a dress, whatever it is. They will give me and then some.  But even more importantly than the food from their table and the shirt off their backs, they will sharpen me.  My sisters will tell me if they see me going down the wrong path or ask me if I’ve read my Bible today. My sisters look after not only my living body, but my living soul.  They don’t just care about my today, they care about my eternity.  So they aren’t just my friends, they are my sisters in Christ. God gave them to me and they bless my life.  We don’t see each other every day, we don’t speak every day. But when I do see them again, it’s like we were always together. There’s no awkward feeling or silence, just love, laughter, and tears.  I love my sisters. My friends. I pray my daughters are blessed with Godly friendships in their lives.  My sons also.  I have nothing else to write, my mind is blank! lol And I have twenty more seconds to go. I pray over my sisters today that the Lord would lift them up this weekend and just be with them and bless them. Amen!!

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Marissa being taught how to properly skewer a marshmallow by one of my sweet sisters.

STOP.

Five Minute Friday

My hearts need for a true Biblical women’s ministry…

I love reading and studying the Word of God.  I’m part of an online study group going through a few chapters of Luke for the next few weeks. Then over the summer I’ll be part of another online study group.  I love the interaction and the sharing of the word.

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But I wish we had something like that in person.  A ministry that would meet weekly or even monthly to encourage and equip women: young and old, married and single, mothers and daughters.  We need more Titus 2, Proverbs 31, 1 Peter 3 type of women to rise up and lead, encourage, pray over, teach, and equip the women of the church.

I’m not talking about a pretty ministry that teaches pretty things and everything is all pink and rosie.

I’m talking about true Biblical Womanhood/Sisterhood.  When I think of Biblical Womanhood/Sisterhood, I think of Deborah, Abigail, Rahab, Sarah, Hannah… these women did not have easy lives.  Abigail especially is someone I really connect with.  She lived with an unsaved husband, but still loved and protected his interest no matter what.  Now that’s strength! To love like that is to know the true meaning of what love is.   Our pastor defines it as: Disinterested Benevolence. I love you and bless you and expect NOTHING in return.  We need to learn that and teach it to the newcomers in our church.  So many married wives and mothers are being saved, but their husbands are not.

Biblical Womanhood is being a Prayer Warrior. It’s not pretty, nice, and elegant. It’s that get down on your knees and cry out to God until you have nothing left within you to cry with; it’s that courage and strength to look the enemy in the eye and proclaim victory over your family through the blood of Christ; and yet and still, it’s that beauty that surpasses all beauty in it’s submission and modesty.

Biblical Womanhood is what I try to attain in this life, it’s the legacy I pray to leave behind to my girls and the generations that may come after that, should the Lord tarry. I haven’t reached it, I don’t think I ever will on this side of eternity, but the Lord will help me to be the best He made me to be in His amazing love and never ending mercy.

I currently don’t have a ministry like that in my life.

It’s heavy on my heart.

Waiting on Him,

Yasmin

Our Saturday

Last Saturday my husband had to run his new truck route and meet all the store managers.

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This is hubby driving. He’s using my phone as a GPS because his phone’s GPS wasn’t working. Thank God I thought to bring my charger with me!

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I was so tickled to see Bethlehem on the map.  My hubby made fun of me and said I was sure to post that I had made it to Bethlehem on Facebook! LOL {I probably would have done it if he hadn’t had my phone the whole trip! lol}

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After a few stops and so many hours driving, the kids (and the parents) were restless. So we stopped at a restaurant to eat and let the kids run around on a hill before going inside.  Marissa ran up and started singing and dancing – typical Marissa style! Amazing how different each one of our kids is.

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Hubby also seemed pretty pent up from being in the car so many hours and started skipping and waving his hands…

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And skipping some more… LOL! We all got a good laugh out of that one.

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In the restaraunt  Sam drank chocolate milk… I think it was his first time drinking it. He wouldn’t put it down!

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Kaitlyn and Jeremiah.

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I love Cherry soda.  But this is Cherry Pepsi, which I don’t enjoy.  I love when restaurants add grenadine to the Coke – the cherry flavor really stands out then.  Sam, Marissa, and I always fight over my cherry.  I think I’ll start asking for three cherries so we can all share!

 

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I loved this photo! I have great memories of The Honeymooners from my childhood. I would always watch it with my dad – it started my love for classic shows and movies.  I love The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, Happy Days, and I listen to The Great Gildersleeve and Our Miss Brooks on old time radio. Love it.
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We drove by a jail!! It was so weird to actually see inmates walking the yard right by a highway.  What was even crazier was that right next to the jail was a baseball field and childs park!  Can you imagine having memories of playing ball as a kid… right outside a prison?!  Seems kind of sad…

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I took a picture of this because I had never seen this type of ice cream!! I so wanted to try it, but it was too cold outside to enjoy ice cream.

DSCN5054It was such a long day! We stopped at nine stores and drove over 300 miles in our little minivan.  This bridge was like a light at the end of the tunnel! It was our way to get out of PA and into NJ and our humble home.  I LOVE long trips, but this stop and go, stop and go, no place to rest kind of trip wasn’t fun at all. By the time I took this picture I was so done and barely speaking to anyone for fear I might let the grumpiness in my heart come out into the world (though my hubby will tell you that he felt it from his driver seat!).  We were all beat and GLAD to be home!

That was our Saturday.

At His Feet,

Yasmin

Five Minute Friday: Jump

There’s a blogger who has these Friday Prompts. She gives you a prompt and you write non-stop for 5 minutes. No editing. Just writing.  So that’s what I’m doing this morning.

Friday’s Prompt:  Jump.

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I want to jump. With no parachute. No backups. Nothing that will hold me back. I want to jump into a crazy faith in You. In my God.  I want to dive deep into Your love and deep into a relationship with You. I want to drown in Your presence, never to be seen again by friend or family.  I want to dive deep into You.  My old me is gone and all people can see is the radiance of You.  All they can hear is love and mercy in every word that I speak.  All they can think is “where did she go? That woman who used to curse out the driver who cut her off?  That woman who had to have the last word? That woman who worked full time, went to school full time, and gave her kids an hour at night – if that much?”  She’s not here! She jumped.  She dove.  She went headlong deep into her God and she is never to be seen again.  She’s gone. In her place? A reflection of love. A reflection of mercy. A reflection of Him.  Who is He? Who is it that changed her so much? Come, let me speak to You of His love. Let me tell you of what He’s done in my life. What He can do in yours.

STOP.

Five Minute Friday

Unequally Yoked…

Being unequally yoked is hard.

Listen to me all you unmarried girls, ladies, women.  It’s hard.  There’s a reason Christ told us not to be unequally yoked.

I married my husband when we were both lost in the world.

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Then I came to know the Lord and a few years later, so did he.  After only a year, though, he stopped going to church and that’s where we are now.

There’s pain in the choices he makes.  I feel like we don’t even live in the same world, let alone time zone.  I have to constantly remind myself that my eyes, my ears, my mouth – are all filtered through the Word of God.  The Holy Spirit is my veil.  My husband doesn’t have that veil.  So to be upset at his choices or his words is not really fair.

I used to argue with him, trying to get him to see the error of his ways and his thinking. But that doesn’t work.  I know that now.

So I don’t argue.  I let him make his choices and I try not to make him feel guilty over them.

Its hard when my husband, who used to read his Bible and agreed with me about situations or issues, now thinks I take my “religion” too seriously. Who tells me not to force it on the children.

I cry to God on especially hard days.  I cry out to God and ask Him to show me my husband in His eyes – not my eyes. To love my husband through these hard times. To not open my heart to sin by allowing myself to think negative thoughts towards the man who is my head.  Who else is praying for my husband, if not me?  Who else can show him love and tenderness, if not me?  Who else can pray him into the Kingdom of God, if not me? I praise God on Sundays with outreached arms and a broken heart to send me where he wants and I’ll follow Him anywhere… but I can’t love on my husband? Hypocrite! Brood of vipers! I can just hear Jesus calling down to me from heaven!

So no matter what my husband gives me, or doesn’t give me. No matter how he treats me. No matter the words he says to me. I will continue to love him and pray for him.  I will never deny him dinners or love.  I will never call a friend to complain about him.  I will never put him down.  I will love on him. Pray over him. Lift up his spirits.  He is my cross to bear and I will do so joyfully.

Jesus died for my sins.

So I too, pray intecessory prayers over my husband. I pray for his sinful words and sinful lifestyle to be put on me – for I am innocent of them. I pray that God will forgive me for my husbands sins, so that he may have a chance.  It’s hard to pray that sometimes, but Jesus did it for me. I love my Jesus so much. I want to be more like Him. And so I take my husbands sins and do the same.

And then I testitfy. I stand boldly and testify that my husband open his eyes and heart and bow his life down to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  That he will one day become a man of God and lead his family in a righteous way through these end times. My husband will be a man of God. He will be baptized by water, then by the fire of the Holy Spirit.  He will prophesy. He will lead his boys and love his girls.

Praise God! I praise God for His promises. I praise God for His love. I praise God for who He is. I have to praise God, because if I didn’t I would drop into the deepest, darkest, blackest dispair from which I couldn’t recover from.  And so I praise God in the bad times, and I don’t stop.  I shout praises to Him in my house. I shout praises to Him in my car. I shout praises to Him from within my soul.

And tomorrow?

Tomorrow is a new day to do it all over again.

But today is all I think about.

Today is all I can take, all I can handle.

He gives me strength for it.

And for that, I praise Him again.

Wrapped in His grace and mercy,

Yasmin