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, December 21, 2007

God's Guiding Light for 2008

The Guiding Light graphic from art.com
John 12:35Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

I will admit that last year I started writing this list of goals that I wanted to accomplish for 2008. I don't believe in resolutions but goals, so I prayed over them and wrote and re-wrote and added and subtracted all of these feeble goals that (I) wanted to accomplish. In all this I was thinking that this is what God wanted for me, this is what me and my husband discussed- WRONG!!!!
As I sat in watch service on Monday night, I felt so renewed that 2008 was going to be better because of all these goals I had made, but then the anointing of God came upon one of the brothers of the church who so simply put it all in perspective, directly from God by letting us all know that the only goal we should have for 2008 is to STAY SAVED! Nothing else matters, and by obeying God, everything else will fall into perspective. For me the scriptures Proverbs 3:5 -6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths and, Psalm 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off, lets me know that God knows what I need to do in my life that will glorifyHim and as long as I obey Him and keep His commandments and walk in His light at the sound of His voice HE will direct me to accomplish daily what He sets out for me to do. When I am not walking to the sound of His voice then I am not in His will, and I am leaning to my own understanding and the end result is I still won't accomplish any goal that I set out for myself.
Let us remember to stay in a position where we can walk in God's voice, keeping our heart and our lives pure and free from the sin that cuts us off from the ears and voice of our Heavenly Father. Our main goal for this yearshould be to continue to serve HIM and allow HIM to direct our paths and I have a hard time believing that HIS path won't turn out to be better to any goal that we can come up with!
Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged! smfg

So Good To Be Back

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!! I am so glad to be back in the blogosphere. I took some very well deserved and much needed time off to spend with my precious babies and I didn't have Internet access and figured that well, my life would not end if I couldn't access the Internet. I almost forgot how I used to function before technology.

I am happy in my soul, and in my mind, and in my spirit. The Lord and I really had some really nice downtime this holiday. I can't wait to share all the thoughts I jotted down. I did have fun with my girls... I needed this time to show me just how out of touch I have been with my children. I will always be grateful to God for waking me up to that! I just wanted to check in this year and I will return later today with another post. Happy New Year again!

The Reason For It All!

graphic from art.com
In case I don't get to post again or you don't get to visit my blog before the Holiday, I wanted to take a moment to first thank you for your contributions to my ramblings, musings, and thoughts. I wish each and every reader a Blessed Holiday Season for which ever holiday you celebrate. It has been a wonderful couple of months blogging and I am excited about the year to come. Lord willing I hope to hear from you all throughout the holiday season and even more in the new year. Even if it is just to say I am still alive! I plan to continue blogging during the holiday if time permits as I am on vacation through the first of the year and my time is promised to my precious babies and my family! Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged! Remember that Jesus is the reason for this season!smfg

Toot Your Horn Challenge Update

graphic from art.com

Earlier this week I challenged parents to take the time out and pat yourself on the back for being such a wonderful parent. I also challenged for you to take time out and write down a list of parenting skills that God has blessed you to to be successful with. I finally took my 15 minutes to thank God for what I feel are my parental strengths. As promised I would like to share them with you along with the goals that through his grace I seek to accomplish.

My Tootin'
1. First I thank God for allowing me and keeping me in salvation! I believe that raising my daughters in his fear and obedience resulted in their everyday success's.
2. I raise my girls believing in the power of prayer. Times have been hard lately but I show my daughters that we can pray for that ram in the thicket and I am sure to let them see me give God all the praise.
3. Well rounded-ness I thank him for giving me wisdom and desire to show my daughters other doors and avenues to the world outside of our four corners.
4. My protectiveness- I thank God for giving me the strength to be a protective parent. There are things that my girls want to do that I see would have a long term negative or be unpleasing to him, and as much as it hurts their feelings, I hold to the standards that God has given me.
5.I am content being single. While I do have a desire for my family to be whole and complete traditionally, God has blessed me to be content during this chapter of my life. I have no desire to date and parade men around my daughters. I believe that as they get older they will remember this example and I trust that it will leave positive thoughts in their minds about dating.
6.I stay active in their lives. I support whatever new adventure they want to try. I believe that if you take something worldly away from your children, then you must find a wholesome alternative to keep their minds busy- an idle mind is the devil's workshop.
7. Plain old TLC! Although I fuss and lecture, I shower them with TLC!

My Goals
I am asking the Lord to help me in these areas ( you can pray for me if you like:))
1. To slow down and embrace the little moments. They are getting older and my busy life sometimes keeps me from enjoying the little moments as much as I would like, time is flying by so fast!
2. To become a better listener, coach, and encourager.
3. To be more consistent in keeping a Haven of Refuge in my home
4. Organization, I need to be more consistent in following through and teaching their organization skills. ( no more of that I can do it faster stuff!)
5. More Kitchen time this year!
7. More hugs and kisses and all that stuff in between. I want to be more in touch with my silly side!
Keep praying for the SMFG family and I will keep praying for yours as we continue this journey of encouragement and edification in the Lord.

Why I Love Being A Mom This Time of Year!

children love the world graphic from art.com
I absolutely love being a mom this time of year! Even though the enemy tries to make it frustrating and commercial, just being around your children, seeing and embracing their innocence is refreshing. Yesterday my little one was sick and I really missed her so I went to the school to get a quick hug and to check on her. As I stood outside of the door peeping in I could see that she was looking a little puny and still lethargic and being unusually still and quiet but when I knocked on the door and she saw it was me, I got the biggest most excited smile and hug and it was genuine, and pure, and full of love. I then went to the other side of the school to surprise my 3rd grader and she was just as excited, she almost knocked me down jumping into my arms and this in front of her class! With all of the holiday chaos and materialism that surrounds us, the handmade crafts they made for me in art class Iwere the best Christmas presents ever! We also had fun baking gifts for the teachers and trying to find practical gifts of items that I have accumulated through the year from great deals that I save for times like these. It made me feel like a proud momma to be able to teach frugality to my daughters and to see them get excited about it!

Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged!smfg

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Saving our Daughters

Those who know me know that when I have something to say, then I can't hold it in and my blog will probably be no different. While I am expecting a lot o backlash to today's post I am confident that there are other mothers who understand what I am about to say.

Earlier this month I posted a piece entitled Pop Culture Idolization and Our Daughters and I really had the burden to send a message that we have to be careful what we expose our children to. Imagine my surprise when I read the news and there are articles about a young 16year old actress who is pregnant. Not only that, she is the star of a hit teenage/young children's program on a huge children's network and to add insult to injury her older sister is constantly in the news about her parenting skills or lack thereof! Now I am not taking personal shots at the young actress, my heart goes out for her because she is certainly probably really confused right now, she is in an adult predicament, with adults looking at her to judge, all the while she was given adult responsibility and she is just a child. I can't help but to wonder how a mother could turn her children loose in Hollywood. Not that I am pointing blame, I am not, but we can't always be our children's friend. Especially our daughters. There is a standard that we have to hold them to! Sixteen is not an age that a girl is ready to make responsible decisions about love, life, career and definitely not lifestyle. We have to be responsible for them. The only response the mother could say that she was shocked because her sixteen year old has always been the more responsible child- my response: is that an excuse to stop parenting? My 8 yr old is very responsible for her age, do I now just let her start making her own decisions? ( trust me it won't happen in my house!)

Statistically there are more young women getting pregnant now than ever, and what will happen now when they see this young star being glamorized in the media. We have parents who work full time, single -parent homes, families who really struggle with the family/ work balance so how is it that you have no worries because of the success of your children, no job to go to each day, you have nothing but quality time to spend with your children? I don't understand? It sends a confusing message. Dating is not cute, its not fun, its not a starting ground for womanhood. Our children have more distractions in this age, more pulls from the enemy, more temptation for their young flesh. It burdens me when I see girls as young as 8 starting to experiment with make-up, or 4yr old's with halter tops even the little karaoke sing a long/ video toys in where the children emulate their favorite star. It really, really burdens me when I see young girls thrown into the world of modeling, and acting especially when we have years of proof from other generations of child stars that talk about the wiles of the industry. Its almost as if I were to tell you that if you allow your child to play with my dog it will bite; and you gamble and say its such a pretty dog maybe just maybe it will like my child. Why do mother's feel the need to gamble with their daughters by not holding them to a standard, or at the very least just plain old fashioned values?

I did not mean to sound so politically challenged, it just makes me wonder what is this world coming to when a sixteen year old star gets major media coverage for being pregnant and the network that she works for supports her and parents feed that nonsense to their children. We have to take a stand against the act, not the person, but the very spirit behind the image. We have to be careful what we expose our children to. We have to teach them that all that glitters is not gold- for broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: ( Matt 7:13) just because everyone else is doing it does not mean that it is right! This is a point we must drive home to our daughters- they can not be like the world, or thier friends, your parenting responsiblities will differ because you parent according to the scripture and the leadership of God. I was led astray but you see I knew the road home, I knew the life my mom and dad lived, I knew the leadership and fear of God that was in their life and yes it does make a big difference for your children. When you are not there they will feel your spritiual presence!

Be blessed and stay encouraged! smfg

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You Are What You Eat

Daily Bread- graphic from art.com

Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. Isaiah 7:15

Lately I have been out and about in the blogosphere and just about every blog I read has some sort of reference to healthy eating, healthy recipes, and healthy alternative lifestyles. The more I read the more the thought came to me, you are what you eat both naturally and spiritually. Just as eating non-healthy foods can rob your body of essential nutrients and drain you of energy so can eating non-healthy spiritual food. Eating food that is not going to produce those godly fruits of the spirit will be non-producing and eventually purged and cast into the fire ( Matt: 7:19) So what are you eating? What fruit is produced from the nutrients flowing through your veins. What are you feeding your soul? How are you fertilizing the fruits of your soul, and most importantly just as seeds from a fruit can produce another tree or plant, what seeds are you planting for your child/ren's fruit! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree is more than just a literal saying it is a wake-up call for us all to think about what we are putting into our spiritual and natural bodies.

Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged!smfg

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Toot Your Horn Today Challenge!!

I wanted to take time today and encourage every mother(and father) who reads this blog to reach over and pat yourself on the back! Take a moment and toot your horn ( remember to stay humble! :) for being the wonderful, caring, thoughtful, God loving, God fearing, sacrificing, doctor, judge, nurse, teacher, and any other role you play parent that you are. If you are a single parent you are allowed to give yourself two pats;) !
We as parents don't always take the time out to toot our horns. I mean sure we do when we are reminding our children of what all we do for them, and how grateful they should be for parents like us, but do you actually take the time to give yourself credit for how wonderful you are?
I want to challenge you to take 15 minutes anytime today and just write down your your strengths and accomplishments as a parent and then take another 15 minutes giving God honor and glory for his blessing you with your strengths and accomplishments then make a brief list of parental goals that you would like him to help to accomplish. Lastly and most importantly take another 30 minutes to treat yourself!! Do something for you that is not related to cooking, housekeeping, taking care of the kids, the husbands and or pets or anyone who is not you!!. Do one thing that you have not done in a while, or continue a project that you always put off whatever it may be just do something for yourself!
I will toot my horn and tell you my indulgence later tonight or in tomorrow's post Lord willing, and I would love for you to share yours. Remember the key to raising confident children is to posses confidence yourself, how can you be confident if you don't know what to be confident about. Our heavenly father blesses us to walk and live in his light and as long as we don't exalt ourselves there is nothing wrong with embracing our brightness!
Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged-smfg
If you can't link your blog, then please leave a comment. Let others know how wonderful you are and most importantly spread the word so that others parents can be reminded of thier goodness!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fathers and Daughters -Filling the Void

I read another one of my good friend Lylah's wonderful posts on mothering and this one really impressed me. Being I have daughters I find myself drawn more and more to blogs and posts that center around raising positive daughters. Her post entitled How God Built Girls is a beautiful sentiment and reminder of how important the roles that fathers play in their daughters lives. I personally am a daddy's girl! I thank God daily for my dad and for the fact that he allowed me to be raised by a true man of God. My dad has also stepped in and accepted the role of father/pa-pa to my daughters and I am eternally grateful that he treats them as princesses and gives them that much needed fatherly attention. I realize that while I am blessed, there may be other mothers out there who unfortunately have no positive male role models for their daughters. Guess what, you do! I live almost 100 miles from my mom and dad so my daughters are not around them daily anymore, but I make sure to show them Godly men in the bible, and I allow them and encourage them to look to God for provision of all their needs. They are little now(8/6) but God has given me his peace and confidence in that as long as I serve him and raise my children in his fear and obedience he will bless me to raise beautiful, pure, productive, and blessed children. As single parents we must cling to that hope, we can not be moved by the fear of the enemy in the statistics and reports of failed single parent homes. Below is an excerpt from Lylah's post.

How God Built Girls.
Family Systems and Dad's Building Blocks God built girls to be loved, nurtured, doted on, cared for and kissed and cuddled a lot. He built little girls to need hugs and tender mom touches. He built little girls to need to hear words like, “I love you my precious, darling princess and I’m so proud of you.”He built little girls to be held on laps, taken for walks, and hear talks about God and how good He is. He built little girls to be protected and provided for (food, shelter, clothes, education). He built little girls to feel cared for and to be spoken gently too. He built little girls to LOVE being a girl!Good Mothering Good mothering gives little girls a needed foundation to love being a girl. God wants moms to provide the secure, nurturing place for her little daughter so she can grow up and feel secure and know that it’s wonderful being FEMALE. You'll know if it's happened because of the sparkle in the eye. (This is my 3rd granddaughter.)Culture tries to make it not so wonderful—but God says it is. Culture has distorted the beautiful image of being a woman. Fashion magazines, TV and things like that give an “impression” that is damaging.If you have daughters, what impression are you giving them? If you have sons how are you modeling being a Biblical woman? In what ways are you modeling respect?-LylahL, The Lylah Blog

You can read the rest of her post here

Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged-smfg