My Sister… Amanda

I met Amanda a few years ago at church, a single mom of a very lively 2 year old (at the time) daughter.  It seems like we hit it off right away and we’ve just been close ever since our first encounter.  I love her. She’s been through so much in life and yet she’s always smiling, laughing, and shouting! You can hear ‘Manda from across the church – and you’ll probably hear me right along side her because we are just LOUD.  It’s the Hispanic in us – LOL!

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Amanda loves my kids. And she tells them all the time.

“I freakin’ love you guys!”

She says that constantly. And texts it too.

Here she is taking a picture on our computer with Marissa.

Photo on 2013-04-07 at 18.24And here she is with my eldest, Kaitlyn.

And finally she called out to me, “Sissy! Come take a picture with me!”

I brushed her off and said I was cooking and I had to get us all to church on time for the evening Bible study service.

“Come on, Sissy! Just a quick picture!”

And so I stopped, because I love her, because she’s so persistent that I knew she wouldn’t stop until I did, because she’s fun and spontaneous – and sometimes I need more of that in my life.

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Here we are. My “Sissy” and me (and my Kaity photo-bombing in her usual style!).

God sent her to me.  

A younger woman to bring up and share my faith with.  A younger woman to encourage when she’s going through difficult times.  A younger woman to call and ask if she read her Bible today.  A younger woman to invite over for dinner or BBQ – so she and I can fellowship while our children play.

And while I encourage her, she encourages me.  

When she calls me and asks to come over – I know she finds comfort in my fellowship and it reminds me that someone does like my company.  When we laugh so hard that we literally cannot breathe – it reminds me that I have a sister I can have crazy, fun times with.  When she cries on my shoulder and tells me her deepest, most intimate secrets – it reminds me that the Lord put me in her life for such a time as this.

I was there. And now I’m here.

So I can share that with her. Just like Jesus shares that with us.

He’s not a far off God that doesn’t know our pains, our temptations, our happiness.

No, he became flesh so that He might share that with us.

I’m grateful for ‘Manda.  She’s my sister and I love her and pray for her constantly.

At His feet,

Yasmin

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The Desires of My Heart…

Last month, during a prayer session for our Easter Drama, I snuck over to some Prayer Warrior sisters who were praying together in a group.  I bowed my head and just sat next to them, taking in their prayers. My hearts desire is to be like them – women of prayer.  So I just wanted to see how they prayed and take it all in.  It was beautiful how they prayed. They all seem to know each other intimately and lifted each other in prayer: each others husbands, children, issues.  Some prayers were short, some were a bit longer. I love how they quoted Bible verses and held onto those promises.  They declared victory – not just praying and backing it up with a “but thy will be done” just in case there was no victory. No. They prayed victory over each other and over the souls coming to watch the Easter Drama.  These were women who stood on the word of God and boldly declared it to one another.

It was beautiful.

When they finished I began to cry out in my heart to be like them.  I prayed to God that He would give me the power to become a prayer warrior and pray His word and lift others in intercessory prayer.

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder.  One of the Godly sisters began to pass her hand over my shoulder and prayed to God that He would hear my hearts desires. She began praying over me and interceding for me, asking The Lord to grant me my hearts desires. She even began praying for my husband and my children.  It was such an amazing blessing.

A week later, after much praying and staying in the word of God, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit during church service.  

I feel changed and now have this power within me that comes out in my prayers.  I’m still learning.  It’s a new language and I’m still learning it. But it’s helped my prayer life.  I pray longer now. I can’t wait to be in prayer.  During the day, when my son naps, I will fast that time of eating or cleaning to get down on my knees and begin to pray. I wait on the Holy Spirit to reveal to me who to pray for as well. And He does bring people or situations to my mind.

The power of the Holy Spirit is such an amazing thing.  He teaches and instructs. I couldn’t be a prayer warrior without Him.  I’m not a prayer warrior yet… but I think I’ve just entered training camp for it.

In awe of the Father who saw my hearts desires and granted it to me.

Yasmin

The Prodigal Son…

This week shook me. 

I found out something that just turned my world upside down – and I never use that expression.

It made me realize that no one is exempt from being blinded by the enemy.  Even if you are blessed enough to have a Christian heritage, Godly women and men surrounding your life, a Godly spouse who is in ministry.  None of that matters.  It’s all you and your heart with the Lord.  The enemy can trip up anyone.

Image That was a huge realization for me.  If someone so immersed in God’s love and blessings can be tripped up and blinded – why not me?  Outside of my church family, I’m alone in my faith.  I try my best to raise my children under the Lord’s love and guidance.  But I don’t have support from family or friends.

If it can happen to that person, it certainly can happen to me.

It scared me.

Brings me to my knees in fear of ever leaving my God – the Love of my life.  The Lover of my soul.

ImageIt makes me want to be closer to Him.  Makes me want to repent more.  Open my life up more to His eyes and cry out that He would reveal even the smallest of sins.  Makes me want to love others more. Love my husband more.  Be more like Jesus so that I can feel Him within everything I do.  With every action, with every word, with every breath.  So I can see that He is with me.  Do I have the fruits of the spirit? Am I showing love to my neighbors? Am I forgiving and living in that forgiveness?

 

I have a heavy burden to pray for this person.  The Lord brings them to my heart constantly throughout the day. It breaks my heart when I think of how they are living.  And I can only think about how it’s breaking the heart of my Lord and Savior.

But this morning, it was no coincidence that my devotional was on the Prodigal Son.  The son that demanded his portion and went off to live a wild life.  But when he found himself eating and living with pigs (a Jewish boy living with pigs!!), he repented.  He came back to his father humbly, hoping to just be a servant in his household.

The father’s reaction?

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Joy! He ran to his son when he saw him – which means he was always attentive. Always looking and waiting for his boy to return to him. I’m sure he prayed for him daily – even hourly.  

“He was dead, but is now alive!

He was lost, but is now found!”

What wonderful sentiment! So I pray for this person… but I cannot forget to rejoice! Because I know who my God is. I know all the great things He has done. And His arm is not so short that He cannot reach a lost sheep of His.  So I praise God for the day that this will happen.  The day that my friend, who is dead, will be alive! The day my friend, who is lost, will be found!  

Praying and praising God for you until the day you return.

At His feet,

Yasmin

Birthday Wish…

Today is not only Resurrection Day, but it’s also my birthday! Yay!

Today I am 33 years old.  

When I told my dad my age, he said something that really made me think.

“Ah, the same age Jesus was!”

I know he just threw it out there because it’s the Easter season and we know that Jesus started his ministry at 30 and then died 3 1/2 years later.  My dad said it, then moved on to another topic.

But it caused a check in my heart.

Jesus died at the age of 33.  In 3 1/2 years he walked 100s of miles and healed thousands of people. He did so many miracles that they could fill this earth if they were all written down. He loved. He sacrificed. Jesus was anointed and completed His calling while He was on earth.

What about my calling?

As a daughter of the King; a wife; a mother; a sister; a friend. Am I completing my calling on this earth?

I know it wasn’t by accident that my birthday falls on the 31st day and the 31st Proverbs is my favorite chapter (so reading a Proverbs chapter a day, I would always read this chapter on my birthday).

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I want to be a Godly woman. A prayer warrior. A Titus 2 woman. A virtuous woman. I don’t want to just pray, I want to live a life of prayer.  I don’t want to just sing a worship song, I want my life to be a life of worship unto the Lord.

That is my birthday wish.

At His Feet,

Yasmin

Resurrection Day

He died for me on Friday. Bloody and beaten. Nailed to an old rugged tree. He gave up His life for MY sins.

They laid Him in the tomb.

And today He is risen. He conquered death and rose from the grave!

I don’t know how to celebrate Easter – it wasn’t something we did growing up.  So Easter and bunnies and eggs… it’s all foreign to me and I don’t know how to use all that in the context of the resurrection.  We also didn’t celebrate Jesus’ resurrection growing up, but its now my heritage. I want to celebrate it and remember it.  So I do.

I recently had a conversation with my mom about why I celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.  This is not something Jehovah’s Witnesses do.  I explained to her that it was to remember the great thing that Jesus did. He died for our sins and rose from the dead to show that he has conquered the grave. The veil was torn and now we have access to the very throne of God!  Why wouldn’t we celebrate such a thing?  The Jewish people were a people of celebration and remembrance.  God told His people to teach their kids the great thing He had done in their lives so they could remember and it would be passed on from generation to generation.

But my mom just shook her head and could not understand why we would celebrate His resurrection.  She states that the only thing Jesus told us to remember was His death and to commemorate it every year. Yes, we can remember what Jesus did for us, but not celebrate it.

“Mom, you celebrate the anniversary of your wedding! You remember the day you were married and have friends and family over to celebrate and remember that great day… but you can’t celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior?  That doesn’t make sense to me.”

But she just shook her head, no.  No celebration, it’s not what He told us to do.

As I celebrate my Lord’s resurrection today, I think of our conversation that happened right here in my kitchen.  I love and respect my mother, but I don’t understand the logic… I don’t know how not to celebrate this day. He conquered the grave! I mean ~ that’s amazing! Who on this earth can die a death like our Lord and then rise again?!  He died for my sins. I will celebrate His resurrection.

Thank you, Lord Jesus for all You’ve done. I serve the only One True God who gives life and conquers death.

At His Feet,

Yasmin

God in me…

Today I spoke to a hungry heart about Jesus.  I shared Bible verses. Listened to her hurt, her pain… then shared some of my own.  I pray there was a connection.  I was introduced to her by another sister at my church.  Then found out she lives in my same town.  No coincidence.

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Then I went out with a dear sister from church – we went to the mall with my son and her girls.  She has teens and they were shopping for Easter dresses.  I bought a smoothie, and invited the person who made it for me to our church Easter Drama.  I left a store at the same time as woman and her child, and invited her as well.  Then I went grocery shopping and invited two more people.

That might not seem like a significant day to you.  But to me, it’s huge.  I don’t do that. I don’t talk to people about Jesus.  I don’t share my story.  I don’t invite complete strangers to church.  But today I did.

It’s God in me.

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Spending more time reading the Bible, studying His word, listening for His voice. It’s all grown my spiritual life.  I haven’t watched TV in a week. And I don’t miss it. I didn’t purposely say “this week I’m fasting television”… I just had no desire to sit and watch it.

Instead I desired time with Him.

More of Him, less of me.

At His feet,

Yasmin

Thinking of returning to writing…

…but not necessary “blogging”.

Before I concentrated so much on blogging and growing an audience… but honestly I have nothing to say.

But writing. Oh, how I miss writing. Expressing my inner thoughts. Turning them over in my mind, writing it out on paper (or screen), and understanding how I really feel.

This is for me.

God has been growing me. Stretching me. My spiritual life. My prayer life. What it truly means to ‘give myself away’… I say that all the time now to myself.  When someone cuts me off or annoys me; when I’m being inconvenienced or asked to do something I don’t want to do… “I give myself away” comes to the front of my mind now.  This is what it means, here and now. Give myself away and respond as Jesus would.  Give myself away and be inconvenienced.  Give myself away and do what I’m too tired to do – and do it in love and with a real smile and real joy in my heart.  I give myself away.

It’s late. But I had it on my heart to go to my blog and write.  It wasn’t planned, but I felt a tug.  A small tug. And then the words just started to spill out.

Thank you Lord for the gift of words and thoughts and expression.

At His Feet,

Yasmin

Blogging pause…

Hello All!! I’ve been a little absent lately and I apologize. I actually am going to stop blogging for awhile. Not sure how long… however the Holy Spirit leads I guess. The Lord met me on Sunday night and I had such an amazing experience and just feel renewed and refreshed by His Holy Spirit.

One thing I felt so strongly within me is to stop blogging. I KNEW it was of the Lord, because I love blogging and wanted to try and up my game… but that’s just not in His plans for me right now. I struggled with it for a day… but once I decided to just let go and do what I felt He was putting on my heart – I felt such a sense of relief! Which is odd because I didn’t know I wasn’t feeling relieved… know what I mean? I’ll still be sharing posts and pictures by others. But as far as my own blogging… I’m just going to take a little break and be filled by Him for awhile.

God bless!!!

 

In Christ, 

Yasmin

Menu Planning Catastrophe

I’m new to keeping a grocery budget and planning my menus around the sales of the week.  It’s all new to me, but I’m trying my best.  Image

Last night, I spent hours looking through circulars, calling Sam’s club and getting prices of fish by the pound so I can compare to our local supermarket and getting all my coupons together.

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I was pretty tired but satisfied that I had our menu for the week done.  Let me add here that my menu included items that I had already prepped and frozen as well as items that were on sale this week for me to buy.

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So when I came down this morning to find my prepped beef stew meal was defrosted on the counter, you can imagine the emotions that coursed through me!  This beef stew was not for this week at all! It was for next week since we had beef stew already last week! All my hard work! My husband doesn’t appreciate or understand the work that I do while he sits and plays with the kids. This throws my plan completely out the window now. Now I have to rearrange the menu completely (I don’t have us eating meat more than 1-2 a week so I space them out between Vegetarian, fish, and chicken meals) and I was just so upset about it.ImageNot to mention the lovely cans he left out after a midnight snack of soup.ImageAnd the messy plates in the sink that were mostly done after I went to bed.

So yes, I am mad.  But lately I’ve been taking this homemaker business and treating it like it was the job I had previously working for a big company.  If I feel to lazy to do a chore on my daily checklist, I think about how it would be at my previous job.  I would never not do something and tell my boss I was just too lazy to get it done. No! I always got it done and if I couldn’t, for some reason, I had a good reason for it – not an excuse.

So this morning I thought to myself, what if I was back at the office and someone had done this? Would I throw a tantrum to my boss and complain about the person?  (We actually did this in the past when a new worker came in and did things different than what we were used to. My boss looked at me and my coworker and told us to figure it out, this isn’t preschool!  Ah, she was a good boss. Seriously. I grew up a lot under her watchful eye.)

Anyway, so I choose to just roll with the punches – as any good homemaker worth her salt will do.  I will put this stew in the fridge (since I don’t want to refreeze it and I don’t have potatoes and carrots for it today) and use it tomorrow. Yes, I’ll have to rearrange my menu. But I view it as a challenge I can take on.

And yes. I will talk to my husband and explain to him what I do and ask him not to take out any freezer meals in the future. Calmly. Smiling. And with a kiss on the cheek.

Because that’s how a Growing P31 Woman does things around here.

Yasmin

 

eBook Review: Becoming the Confident Mom You’ve Always Wanted to Be by Susan Heid

I have to start off by saying I am a huge fan of Susan Heid.  Not only do I use her Weekly Household Planner on a daily basis, but I listen to her podcast daily while I clean house (her podcast comes out once a week, but since I’ve only recently discovered them, I’ve been playing catchup).

So when I found out that Susan was coming out with a new eBook – I was so excited.  Susan’s ideas on keeping a home and on parenting, all from a Biblical point of view, has been so helpful in the short amount of time that I’ve found her that I was just beyond excited to get my hands on this eBook.  I’m glad I did.

The eBook is filled with great strategies on how you can be a confident mom – like real, everyday strategies that you can actually implement in your life.  My favorite thing about this book though is that for every strategy she uses (and there are 31 strategies), there is also a Bible verse (or two) that goes along with it.  They are all Bible based and that’s important to me.

Susan’s eBook is already an extremely important and valuable resource in my library.  If you’re looking for ways to be more confident in your parenting and in yourself, this is a great resource for you!

The book is currently on sale for $0.99 today only.  Tomorrow it goes to its regular price of $2.99.  Both prices are hard to beat for the value of the information you will be getting.

If you are interested, please use the link in this post (or on my sidebar) to purchase your copy.  I pray this book will be a blessing to you as it is to me.

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In Christ,
Yasmin

I was given a free copy of this book as an affiliate member of The Confident Mom, but all opinions are my own.