Welcome To My Refuge Spot

Welcome Friends to my blog about single motherhood and living for God. I hope that you find my thoughts and musings thought provoking and in alignment with God's word. Thank you for visiting and please feel free to share your comments and pass the word along to others who you feel could be blessed!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Bondage of Materialism and The Safety of Our Children!

Forgive me in advance if I seem a little politically radical today. I didn't post yesterday because I was researching a topic that I have been burdened about the past 48 hours.

In light of all the recent news about the massive toy recalls and the dangerous chemicals and unsafe products being used to make them I had to ponder on the thought of are we as parents helping enable our children to a spirit of materialism? Are we as mothers, who have an animalistic instinct to protect our children, letting our guard of protection down by spoiling them with toys and "things" that are harming them not only physically, but mentally and most important spiritually??

As I sit and shudder of the thought of what type of bondage this time of year brings upon parents, and any other adult seeking to soothe the materialistic desire of a child by going into debt, not showing Christian stewardship to the less fortunate, greed, envy, covetousness and many other ungodly abominations, I wonder if God allows things like this to happen to shake our attention back to the reason for this season? Is he trying to let this country, (which was founded on spiritual principals and a need to worship God without reprove) know that he is not at all pleased with how we are creating generation after generation of materialistic children who covet everything they see?

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we should not buy our children toys and presents and shower them with love, I am simply saying that everything that we do for our children should empower them spiritually, educationally and naturally and not the instant gratification of playing with the next hot thing or to be bound by what I call the "Gotta Have, or Must Have spirit. " We have a God given responsibility to evoke and teach our children a sense of appreciation for gifts, a gratefulness of receiving something new, we should teach them to be good stewards of the blessings they receive and most importantly that any gift they receive is a blessing from God not an expectation!

I think it is so sad when I see children put a guilt trip on their parents for not having the newest toy. It hurts me to see the young and innocent equate love with gifts before they are even old enough to hold a conversation. It saddens me even more when parents are bound by their children's covetousness , greed and desire for materialism... If I am burdened about it, how is God feeling about it?? He must be so sad, so frustrated, so furious.....

I have to cry out to God in this area too.... Only recently did I have to sit down and accept the brutally honest truth that I have allowed my children to become entangled in the expectation of materialism, and I have allowed a seed of ungratefulness and greed to be planted in their hearts because they covet every new toy that is introduced. At one while every conversation would include "Mommy I want, or Mommy can you buy me?" One of my children even knew my paydays and would say when you get paid on this day can we go to the store? I knew then that my weakness as a single mother was trying to make up for the absence of the father figure by buying gifts and always buying things they wanted. I had to ask God and my children for forgiveness because this is not what mothering is all about, and was very unpleasing to God.

I (we) have a responsibility to dig out this seed before its roots anchor and plant seeds of gratefulness, and appreciation, and self worth even when you don't have what everyone else has. I have to teach my girls that not all toys are good for you, and I am glad that I have allowed them to follow the news with me about the recent toy recalls. It makes them grateful that mommy didn't buy that toy, and that we don't need it because it is not safe.

If you are guilty of this, don't let the devil beat you over the head with condemnation, simply ask God to forgive you for this, and to give you wisdom on how to buy those things that are desired by your children. Make sure that every toy or game you buy can be nurturing, and serve as practical applications and learning. For instance, one of my daughters wants her very own set of pots and pans, and a couple of new video games. I love the idea of the pots and pans, because it can be used as a practical and biblical application to her daily life for a lifetime. I may replace the video game with an online scripture or biblical game that she can play that will benefit her educationally and spiritually.

With God's help, we can do this. We don't have to raise a generation of children who's favorite words are I want or can I have? We can raise children who are selfless, who want to be good stewards and who realizes that every thing given to us above that which we need is an extra blessing from God. We can watch the news about dangerous toys and feel good in our soul that we don't have to fear for our children in this area. I encourage you to sit down with your children and inform them of what is going on around. Show them the signs of men pleasers, and of men being lovers of themselves and how this is not pleasing to God. Tell them to write a list of 5 items they can think of that will help them learn, and that are safe. Getting our children involved in this early will help them see the bondage and sin of being materialistic.

Let us all continue to pray earnestly about this and for the children who have been affected by these dangerous toys. Let us pray that God ( our Husband remember???) will choose the gifts he wants our children to have and that we will seek his guidance about the spirits behind and associated with the toys and games that are on the market. Ask him to help us protect our children from and not enable them to this bondage of materialism.

God Bless and Be encouraged!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Merry Heart

Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Today I am dedicating my blog to someone who I consider a very good friend who's kindness and thoughtfulness inspired today's post. I posted yesterday that I was having a testy day. What I didn't add is that I was mentally, physically and emotionally drained. I didn't mention it because I didn't want my readers to think I had what I like to call a whiny post.... I didn't want to seem as if I were whining about my day, but honestly I was exhausted and wasn't my usually chipper and quick witted self. My broken spirit literally dried my bones!! But, I thank God for the friends that he has given me. Notice I say given me, not the ones I chose but the ones I let my husband pick out for me. He knows what and who I need best in my life and I let him choose.

Proverbs 27:17
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

My dear friend sent me a few hilarious emails centered around a topic we rival harmlessly about. I immediately broke out in hyena-like banter and felt so much lighter afterwards. All day I have been laughing about the email and thinking less about the shots the enemy tried to take. There is an old saying: " Laughter is good for the soul" indeed it is.

Proverbs 18:24
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer
than a brother.
When my children ask me what I am laughing about when I think about funny things my friends say or encouraging conversations, I simply use it as a teaching moment. Mommy is laughing at something a friend said. I teach them that God will send you people who when you least expect it will encourage you, no strings attached. I will teach them that a true friend is most happy when you are happy and sad when you are sad. They will pray for you when you know they are praying and they will pray for you privately, they will always be honest and tell you things you don't want to hear but need to know about yourself. I show them scripture about how a true friend is supposed to be, and if your pray and ask God to give you friends, he will give them to you according to his word. Its important for them to know at a early age that God sends them the best friends, the friends they choose may be fair weathered! Plus I want my children to have pure, saintly friends, ones who will not taint them with teaching contrary to the things of God!

I thank God for my friends who are like family to me. Our situations may not be traditional, but God will surround us with people he has chosen to be our natural friends, but our spiritual family. I think of this scripture that another friend would use to encourage me. Psalm 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

We have to embrace those friends and family who build us up spiritually and naturally. We have a duty to teach our children about praying to God for true friends who will help contribute to them having a merry heart!

God Bless you and stay encouraged!
And to my friend- Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement Gal 6:9 will come to pass sooner than you think! gOOOOOO fg

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Intersting Dialog on a Sorrowful Topic- Please Read

Crystal from Biblicalwomanhood http://www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/2007/11/there-are-no-words.html has a very intersting post on a very sensitive topic; selective abortions. The story is too sad for me to even discuss right now, but I posted comments centered on forgiveness and compassion for the woman involved, but want to give a reminded of how we have to stand firm against this sin and all sin. Abortion is not a woman's right to choose. There is no situation that God can not deliver you from. Not only do single unwed mothers make this type of decision, there are married prominent women who make this type of decision also. We must teach our children early the sanctity of life, and obedience to God's law against sin. Check it out........

A Husband with a Good Name

Ecclesiastes 7
A good name is better than precious ointment

This has proved to be a testy week for me and its only Tuesday. But I am claiming my joy and victory over the devil and everything that he throws my way. I am resting in the joy that I am married to a husband with a good name, the best name, the only name.....

Last night I had the pleasure of loosing my keys.... I turned my house upside down and the only thing that I could come up with is that I must not have taken them out of my door last night as I was really busy and rushing. A feeling of panic, anxiety and fear came over me, but I prayed and fasted and left everything in God's hands. He knows where my keys are and maybe he wanted me to just learn patience and how to truly lean and depend on him when things go beyond my control.

Anxiety is a natural reaction, its also a fleshly reaction. A vise that satan uses to steer our attention off of turning to God for the simplest things. Long story short, I used my spare key to get to work and requested a new office door key and called my apt manager to request a new lock and key. I as cast down those thoughts of how expensive this would be, I simply told God, its in your hands. You know what I can and can't afford. You know how to work this situation out so I am going to let you have it. Really that is what the husband is for right???

As I talked to my managers and they started quoting me figures, my managers husband took the phone and said, for you its free! Your a single mom, and a wonderful tenant and I don't want you to worry about it one more second!! Isn't God wonderful! Instead of focusing on the negative of my situation, I was blessed for turning it over to him. Satan tried to taunt me all day, but I kept putting the word on him and resisting him and he retreated.... for now. I appreciate how being saved causes you to maintain a good report with people that pays off. I could very easily be out of a nice sum of money, but thanks to God and his teaching me how to have a good name, I can claim victory and keep spreading joy!

Remember, no matter how bad things may seem maintaining a good attitude and being nice always goes a long way. When you are saved and say you are a Christian, you are set upon a pedestal. The world is looking to either point out your flaws, or your testimony. A husband with a good name will take you far....

Stay encouraged and be blessed!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Think on the Little Things

Sorry friends for not posting earlier today. Today has been the typical Monday and for me quite busy day full of hustle and bustle. Both of my little angels are under the weather and my weekend was uneventful due to the main water pipe bursting in my neighborhood so we were without water for the majority of the day on Saturday. (Thank the Lord for my new appreciations of the little things in my life- mainly running water!)

I was reading a devotional today that I thought was fitting to share. It is a quote from Norman Vincent Peale:

"You are a creation of God, unequaled anywhere in the universe.....
Thank Him for yourself and then for all the rest of his glorious handiwork".

Enjoy the little things of God today. Tell your children about the little things that you are thankful for, teach them to start appreciating all those things we take for granted.

Stay encouraged and be blessed