Monday, March 31, 2014

What Can I Pray For

A while back I posted a blog on what God has been challenging me most about. I've reread it many times since then. Prayer is how we come before The Father. Prayer is how we talk to our Creator. Prayer is such a precious gift from God. I grew up saying the routine prayers before meals and before bed, but lately God has really been speaking to me on prayer.

I could go into more detail, but it's really all up there in that link. Go check it out and then come back. I promise I'll wait.

You're back? Great!

I love praying for people. I seriously love it. It seriously brings me immense joy knowing I can go to The Savior on someone else's behalf. I have watch God answer prayers over and over in my life and the lives of others. I believe whole heartedly that God knows our hearts and God hears our prayers. And while He may not always answer how we want Him to, He always answers.

A friend of mine said it better than I ever could have: "The best/strongest/most powerful/loving thing you can do for someone is to storm the gates of Heaven on their behalf."

What beautiful words.

With all that said, I want to pray for you. I have a board on my wall in my room where I write my prayer requests and requests for others. I'd love to be able to lift you and your circumstance up to Jesus.

Every so often I actually post a Facebook status asking what I can be praying for people and I thought it was a good idea to start asking here. In fact, I may start a monthly thing where I ask.

So how can I pray for you? You can leave a comment here if you don't mind others seeing it. If it's a private request, you can email me at carefuss{at}aol{dot}com. If you don't want me to know the situation you can just leave your name.

Also if you don't mind me putting these on my blog for people to see.. I'd like to start a page at the top for prayer requests and when they are answered I'd love to be able to share that, too!

So how can I pray for you, friend?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, friends! I started writing a Thankful Thursday and a Five on Friday post this week, but just couldn't finish them. Lincoln's been on Spring Break all week, we're planning for a bridal shower on Saturday, and I have a test Monday on nine chapters. Things have been too hectic to finish any posts. 

With that being said, PLEASE be praying for my test Monday! I've been studying and preparing, but still feeling a little like I don't fully know the material.

Next week after my test I can start writing again. I have a few posts floating around in my head. A post about Jonah, Lincoln's upcoming birthday party, a precious zoo day, and a post on studying the Bible. God's been doing a lot in me lately, and I'm excited about that! 

Next week is April and that is beyond crazy. Lincoln's birthday month! Tuesday we have his dentist appointment so please be praying for that, too! 

What can I be praying for for you?

I hope you have an amazing weekend! 





Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When Uncles Come to Town

Last Monday I told Lincoln that we had a special visitor coming to stay with us. The special visitor? His Uncle Pearce {my brother}. It's no secret how much these two adore each other and Lincoln was beyond excited that our visitor was uncle Pearce.


When Pearce got here he told Lincoln he had a surprise. A nerf gun for Linc man. But then he pulls out a second one and tells Linc it's for Mommy. How precious is he to think of Lincoln {and me}! 


Monday night our family went to dinner. Pearce doesn't get to visit too often, so it's always amazing when he comes home. My parents, sister and brother, and Lincoln and I all went to dinner. {We missed Matthew.}


Tuesday it was cold and rainy so I asked Pearce if he wanted to go to 'the jumping houses' as Lincoln calls them and he did. When we got there I had planned on only Lincoln playing, but once Pearce saw him playing by himself he paid and started playing, too. Seriously SUCH a great Uncle!


Tuesday afternoon Pearce let me take a short nap while they played. {He's an awesome brother, too!} I woke up to the sound of them laughing.


But my favorite thing about when Uncle Pearce is here? The way he so intentionally pours Jesus into Linc. I have to say this of my family.. They never fail to bring Jesus up. It's what I love most about them.

Wednesday morning Lincoln woke up Pearce to tell him bye before he went to school. When I got home from taking Linc to school, Pearce and I did what an brother and sister would do.. We had a nerf gun war. It reminded me of when we were younger.. running around the house laughing like crazy. A little before lunch Pearce had to head back. He'll be back in April for Lincoln's birthday {and party}!

We love when Uncle Pearce comes to town!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Changes

You know those people? The ones who wake up completely peppy and ready to take on the day? My dad is one of them. I, however, am not.

To saw I'm not a morning person is a huge understatement. I literally wake up annoyed sometimes. Over the simple fact that I have to get up. Seriously how awful is that? I'm one of those people who can fall asleep pretty much anywhere. If I didn't have child or anywhere to be, I could literally wake up between 9 and 12 every day for the rest of my life. When people ask what my talent is, I should seriously say sleeping.

I understand that there are people who love to get up before their children and get things done. They love to feel productive and they don't mind at all sacrificing their sleep to get a few extra things done. It's okay to hit those people. {Kidding. God bless them and their overly cheerful morning attitudes.}

I have an alarm clock. His name is Lincoln. And until he comes into my room and says "It's 48!" {Which means it's morning, get out of bed! I have no idea where that came from.}, I stay cuddled up in my warm bed dreaming of rainbows and unicorns being done with nursing school and living in a mansion.

And heaven knows If it's dark outside, I should be sleeping. Period.



With that being said, I posted this on my Instagram almost two months ago.

I stand by what I say so often, my God has a sense of humor.

Over the past few days God has really been speaking to me about my time with Him. If I can get completely honest here, my time with God is so sporadic. Thankfully I've gotten to a place where I spend time with Him daily, but a lot of the time it's rushed and chaotic.

I never read my Bible at the same time of day, never for the same amount of time, and I almost never actually study it. Lately I've made excuses that I'm so busy but at least I actually read a few chapters. While I may have read a few chapters daily, I couldn't tell you what I read. I couldn't actually tell you what God spoke to my heart through it. Because in all honesty I was seeing my time with Jesus as something to check off on my busy to-do list.

I hate when reading my Bible and praying becomes a thought at the end of the day. When I've basically said, okay God, work, school, blogging Lincoln {and social media} are important, but You're not. That's a huge slap in the face the The One Who created me. He left Heaven to die for me and yet, I can't give Him His own time. That really makes me feel ashamed.

Everything I've read in the Bible points us doing thing out of the right heart. Jesus considered the widow's gift of everything she had of greater value than the rich people even though their gifts were far greater in monetary value. They gave a lot because they had a lot. She gave all despite not having much. She gave out of a right and generous heart. {Mark 12:41-44}

So while I may be reading my Bible, I haven't been doing it out of the right heart. I've been doing it because I know it's what Jesus asks of me, not because I want to spend time with The One I love most. 

After realizing that my heart wasn't right and that I needed to really seek God and study His Word, instead of just run through a few verses and be done with it I started praying about when I could definitely set aside time for Him. Alone. Quiet. No phone vibrating. No toddler begging for my attention. No study guides to look over. No emails to check. Precious time with Him.

And guess what He said. Mornings. As in that dark time where it should be illegal to be awake. 

Yikes. Give up an hour of sleep to read my Bible?

I went through a lot of justifying. But I can't do that because I'm a single mom, I work, I go to school.. I'm so busy and I need my sleep. But I can't do that because I won't learn anything that early in the morning. And the list went on.

So I'm learning sometimes God calls us out of our comfort zones. And I'm not trying to be funny when I say this is not in my comfort zone. I like my sleep. I despise mornings. There is nothing comfortable about me waking up early to a beeping alarm clock when it's pitch black outside. I understand it may not be as uncomfortable as what others are going through for Jesus, but it's going to be hard for me.

I don't say any of this for you to feel bad about enjoying your sleep. Because the truth is, I read about someone doing this months ago and didn't feel the least bit bad about doing my quiet time later in the day. But now, He's called me personally to be more intentional. If God has called you to get up early and seek Him, that's awesome. If God has called you to spend time with Him later in the day, that's awesome, too! God places different callings on all of us. What a beautiful thing!

So starting tomorrow morning at 5:30 {Yikes!} I'll be getting up to drink coffee and love on Jesus. Prayers are welcome.

You can pray for me to turn off my alarm and not go get back in bed. You can pray I will actually retain what I read {because heaven knows my brain does not work well that early in the morning}. And you can pray for the safety of those in my house dealing with my sleep deprived self.

I love my sleep. But I love my Jesus more.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

It's Friday! And I am SO excited! Tonight my parents and I are taking Lincoln to his first ever college baseball game! This is monumental, folks. I'm thrilled. Until then, here are my five things for today!

{One}
Lincoln did the most precious artwork at school for Valentine's Day for me and I didn't want to just put it away in the box that his other stuff goes in so my wonderful mother {I should be your favorite child for saying that, Mom.} picked up a frame at Michael's and now it's sitting proudly on top of my bookshelf in my room! I love it! {I also want to frame a Christmas one he did and display it in our home during the Christmas season.} 


{Two}
Lincoln has his first dentist appointment April 1st. If you read this post then you know I am terrified of dentists. I'm not terrified to be there, I'm basically just sad we have to go to dentists at all. So obviously I'm not jumping for joy to take Lincoln.


{Three}
I go to two amazing churches. One is The Journey which is my home church and in my town and the other is Celebration Church. I love Celebration so much. I would go there twice a week if I was married to someone rich had more money to pay for gas. Sadly I'm not and I don't, so I go to their 18-30 year old ministry called Sub30 about twice a month and absolutely love it. If you're looking for an amazing, Bible-believing, God-fearing, grace-filled church in Jacksonville, Celebration is for you! My whole point of this is to say that Celebration just came out with their own worship CD and you have to get it. It's amazing! You can find all the details here!


{Four}
We are in full getting-ready-for-the-party swing right now! Yesterday I bought Lincoln's big present, a few days ago we bought gift bags for the kids, and Lincoln's shirt for his birthday should be here anyday now! I'm so excited for April 19th! 


{Five}
I got a new Bible! My old one that my parents got for me when I was 12 or so is falling apart and isn't a study Bible so I got a new one! I love it! 



What is something you're looking forward to?? Have an amazing weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday, friends! {Wasn't it just Thursday two days ago???} Anyways. The weeks are flying by, which happens every year right before Lincoln's birthday. Here's what I'm thankful for this week!




I'm thankful for peace. This world, life, circumstances, all try to throw worry at us. They threaten our comfort. But for us believers, we have a Father who promises to give us a peace that passes all understanding {Phillippians 4:7}. What a beautiful promise!

I'm thankful for visits with my brother. My brother came into town {blog to come!} to see us for a few days and what an amazing time we had! Lincoln adores him and had an incredible time and then when Lincoln went to school we reverted back to our little kid ways and had a nerf gun war. The few days were filled with laughter and joy and Jesus. The best combination!




I'm thankful for Jesus. The perfect and blameless man loves me enough to give His life for me. I can't completely fathom it, but I'm grateful for it every day.

I'm thankful for Lincoln's heart. I don't ever want to make people compare their lives/jobs/kids to mine. I know we are all so good at making our lives look perfect on social media and blogging and I can promise you my life is far from perfect. But my precious baby, his heart is so sweet. I look at him, and he's my mini-me. He hates to hurt people, he hates to be in trouble, and he hates to do the wrong thing. I watch as his heart breaks when he gets in trouble and then he apologizes ten times. I really pray so hard about this because I know God has called us as parents to discipline, but I also never want to hurt his heart. He has a heart full of gold, and that is just the sweetest thing.



What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Resting in Jesus

{Sometimes I go through my list of posts to see what I need to finish and today I did that and saw this post below. It was completely done and I forgot about it. I wrote this a while back, but I'm not changing any of the words. So in the first sentence, 'yesterday' was really a while back. Hopefully it will speak to you like it spoke to me.}

I'm tired. Yesterday I spent three hours in class, two hours studying with a friend, and two hours studying by myself at home. 

Life is tiring. Life is busy. Life is hectic. 

Sometimes I think, well when school is over, life will calm down. And the truth is, no, it won't.

You don't need a circumstance to be at peace. Because whether you're crazy busy because you're a single mom going to work and school, or just crazy busy because that's how life is, life is going to be hectic.

Things will go wrong. Some seasons are tough. And sometimes you're just downright exhausted.

I find that I don't need a less busy lifestyle to be at peace. I need time with my Creator. {And praise God for that, because we don't usually have the option to be less busy!}

Because although sitting down and talking to the One who made me won't take away the test I have Monday or get the laundry done, it does put me at peace to tackle my day. It's a beautiful thing to sit at The Savior's feet and know He's speaking peace into your life. It's a beautiful thing to know that with His help, we can do all things {Philippians 4:13} 

We don't need an easier lifestyle. We need The Creator to invade our lives.

Monday, March 17, 2014

IPad Apps

Happy Monday and happy St. Patrick's Day, friends! Yesterday I found out that my brother is coming home today and staying for a few days! I am completely thrilled and SO excited to see him. I told Lincoln this morning that I have a surprise for him after school so he is going to be so excited to see Uncle Pearce!

On to today's post! Today is all about mine and Lincoln's favorite iPad apps!

Lincoln loves to play on the iPad. My dad has had one for quite a while but I just got mine for Christmas and it really doesn't matter whose it is, he just wants to play on it. I like to let him play fun games, but also educational ones, so here are some of our favorites! 



Early Learning Academy - For this app you have to be a member of ABC Mouse. ABC Mouse costs money, but the app doesn't. It's our most educational app and the one we spend the most time on. ABC Mouse is somewhat expensive, but completely worth it! {Thank You, Geesh, for insisting that he needed it and paying for his ABC Mouse account.}

{All of the apps below are free.}

ABC Alphabet - This is an app that outlines letters and lets the child draw the letter. Lincoln can't do it too good yet, but he absolutely loves it. 

                                            

Bible for Kids - Lincoln and I both read our actual copies of The Bible more than using the app, but it's still a good app. It reads to the child, asks questions, and has amazing visuals.

                                             

Creativity Studio - This isn't educational but it's fun. It's a Disney app that allows children to draw, color, connect the dots to make pictures, and more. 

We have a few more apps but these are the ones the we spend the most time on. What are some apps that your kids love? We love adding to ours!

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