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, March 14, 2008

Frugal Friday- My Simple Yet Creative Engagement

Today I wanted to keep up with Crystal's at Biblical Womanhood Frugal Friday momentum by sharing how me and my FHD and I have had to tap into our creativity to maximize our courtship/engagement for the glory of God without maximizing our spending.

First I must thank everyone for all the well wishes, they have certainly been a blessing to me. Being that I have been following Frugal Friday's for about a year now, I have learned so much form the different ones who post. In saying that, I knew that there was not way I could get engaged and forget it all.

Have I been caught up in the whirlwind of romance, YEP, but I found that there are some pretty frugal ways to entertain. For me, my engagement has been a family affair. So the small romantic dinners are usually loud, boisterous family outings. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Since he is an ex-athlete with the appetite to match, I have to cook for him. If we do go out, we share a meal or I will just eat off the kids menu or we will split an appetizer. Mainly, I share with my kids, because hey they never finish their food anyway.

Also, my FDH and I stand firm on our belief in an emotionally, and biblically pure courtship/engagement. Meaning, there is no alone time without adult chaperone's, ABSOLUTELY no touching of any kind, and no situations that will cause us to be tempted of the flesh. So what do we do? We find creative ways to always be together in a public setting. By doing so it allows us to always remember that our engagement is advertisement for Christ and it keeps us fighting the temptations that the enemy brings our way.Explaining this to some of my friends can be rather challenging, and my neighbors think I am absolutely nuts, but the difference between this and what I was used to in worldly dating is so much more beautiful. I love the fact that we can think of ways to be around each other and remain in God's will. They are memories that we will be able to share with our grandchildren.

One of the main things we do is to sit and talk outside on my balcony. I went to Fred's Discount Store and bought a cute little black folding table with chairs and I decorated it with a nice table runner and plant. When time allows we sit outside and talk. I have introduced him to the power of herbal teas. So I'll brew up some hot water and make herbal tea and we'll sit outside and just talk. This kind of proved to be a challenge this winter, but we dressed in layers, wrapped up separately in quilts and drank tea. I also cook for him and we sit outside and eat dinner or breakfast and drink tea.

This helps us fight the cost of always eating out since we don't visit each others apartments alone. Occasionally I have invited friends out, or cooked dinner and took it over friends so that we can hang out as a group and still take advantage of one on one time.

I believe whole heartily that trying to maintain an emotionally and physically pure relationship brings out the creativity in a couple. Plus it allows us to do what all couples should do before entering into something as important as marriage. We TALK!!! All the time, we just sit and talk. Best of all, it doesn't cost us a dime, and with all the money we save during our engagement, we can spend on our honeymoon!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Answer To My Prayer! I"m Gettin Married!

cake topper photo from stuartscreations.com

Okay, I have tried to be so suspenseful, and yes in my post yesterday I did mention that I said yes to my FDH ( Future Dear Hubby), but today I just felt like getting it off my chest and shouting it as loud as I could, with no leading stories or suspenseful posts. I am truly happy. I have been holding this in for a while, because I just didn't know how to jump out and say, hey I'm not going to be a single mom for long.
This has truly been a bittersweet moment for me. Am I happy that my life is about to change for the better?? YES!, but at the same time I am loosing a part of me that has made me so strong in the Lord. I still want my life to be that testimony to other single parents out there who are desiring not to be alone, and to have a traditionally complete family.

My sole desire through out this process is to:
1. encourage other single parents that living for God and waiting on him is the best thing that you can do for yourself, and your children.
2. Prevent past mistakes that I made from happening to others, especially children.
3. Provide encouragement for those who feel like they don't have a place to fit into. Life for us may be different, but we still are loved by the same God, and he will still accept us as his children as long as we obey and put him first in our lives.
4. To spread the word that Scripture is so, so true in that if you Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalms 37:4
5. Finally, my desire is to never, ever forget where I started on this journey. Being a single mom has been a big part of my adult life and there were experiences that shaped me into the woman I am today, and reminders of the woman I want to strive to be.
I ask you to pray for me during this chapter in my life. Things are happening so fast and I feel like I am being caught up in a whirlwind some days. Wedding planning has taken over my life.
Also, just to warn you that my posts for the next few months will probably chronicle this stage in my life and continue to hold up the banner of the importance and beauty of a God honoring courtship , engagement and wedding.
Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

RE-POST: In The Twinkling Of An Eye

Friends, I wanted to share this with you as a continuation of yesterday's post. Thank you Terri, Diane, and Llyah who prayed with me as if we were coffee mates without even knowing my the details of my desires.....

1 Corinthians 15:52- In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
twinkling of an eye graphic from art.com
I was thinking today about how amazingly fast God works in our lives. One moment we can be at one place in our lives and the next moment within a twinkling of an eye we can be in another. It could be good, or bad but God's work happens so fast.

I think about my past life and how dead I was to Christ, and how in the twinkling of an eye once I asked my sins were cast as far as the east is to the west (Psalms 103:12).
I think about in the twinkling of an eye I become an adopted daughter of an heavenly father ( Ephesians 1:5) . With that adoption, I receive all of the benefits ( Psalms 68:19) of being his child.

I think about how wonderful it is that I can feel like I am waiting years for a blessing but how one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day ( 2 Peter 3:8) - In the twinkling of an eye I receive my requests.

I think about how amazing it is that in the twinkling of an eye, years ago God created a man hundreds of miles away that would cross paths with his daughter and that decades later they would both share a testimony that would strengthen their love for him . And how fast forward to two years ago God allowed this man to be witnessed to and invited to a church by another saint so that he would meet a group of young friends that would keep him encouraged as he developed a longing for the benefits of being God's adopted. Its wonderful how this same man accepted Christ, lived a holy consecrated life so that he could hear the voice of God.

I think about how breathtaking it is that in a twinkling of an eye, God humbled his daughter who was tired of wandering about in a land of hurt and confusion, so he led her home to Him and allowed her to cross paths with a group of young friends at her church who would encourage her to "stay strong because God has a better life for you."

In the twinkling of an eye, God showed this man a woman who was praying for exactly what God was forming him to be. And how without his/ her knowledge God was shaping this woman into the help meet that he was praying for.

In a twinkling of an eye God planted a seed of a holy friendship that soon developed into a deep love in this man's heart for this woman and showed him the way to find her as she was hiding in Christ.

In a twinkling of an eye, God planted seeds of love in that same woman's heart for this man as she started to see his unshakable walk with God, and she started to see traits in him that she was praying earnestly for. In this same twinkling of an eye and under guidance of his pastor this man made a phone call that would change her life forever.

In the twinkling of an eye on Tuesday January 15, 2008 at exactly 8:55 am her phone rang and she heard these words that made her cry: " Jamala, I wanted to let you know that I believe that God would have for you to be my wife and I would like for you to pray and fast with me so that we can both know for sure God's will"

In the twinkling of an eye, my God showed me concrete Scripture that this was his will for my life.

In the twinkling of an eye, I talked to my daughters about it, and the response was "Yeaaaahhh, mommy God really does answer prayers, we were praying for him to be your husband" , (Yes, God does hear the silent prayers of children even if their mommies have no clue what they are praying for in their "head").

In the twinkling of an eye, I went from a single mom desiring a mate, to a courtship approved my God.

In the twinkling of an eye as the weeks progressed I heard those words that I have been so longing to hear: "Jamala I love you, Will you marry me???

In the twinkling of an eye, I said YES!!!

Never give up hope that God has forgotten you, or that he doesn't see you because in the twinkling of an eye your life can be changed above all that you could even imagine( Ephesians 3:20) .

To Be Continued.......

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hiding To Be Found

Hello my wonderful bloggy friends. I know that I have been a horrible blogger lately, but I promise that I have a good excuse. Most of you have come to know me as a happy single mom living for God and loving it. And its true, I am. However that has not always been the case for me.

When I started blogging about five months ago, I wanted a refuge to center my thoughts and feelings. I wanted to be able to write out loud and have someone read my thoughts so that I could remain focused and fight the growing battle of loneliness and desire to be a Mrs. Somebody. However, I didn't want to be the whiny, poor and pitiful single mom longing for a saviour to come in and make my life peachy keen. I wanted to give the devil a fight and continue to glorify God and be content in the state that I was in.

What I neglected to tell the world is that during this time, is that I was also praying very earnestly for a husband. I wrote a list out to God detailing everything that I desired. First thing, he had to have a unshakable walk and relationship with God, no ifs, ands or buts about it. He had to love God more that me and himself. He had to want a family, I wanted him to be my total opposite ( quiet, reserves, organized,patient,) but yet still be a deep thinker, and goof ball and probably even more of a nerd than I am. I wanted him to love me for me, and not any physical attributes that may and will fade away with time. The list does go on and on.

My list wasn't very long, but it wasn't entirely short either, but I have that relationship as a daddy's girl with my almighty father. I can tell him the desires of my heart and he listens. He doesn't always give me things when I want them, but I know he listens. Even better, I knew that he would give me exactly what I needed in his time and not mine.

God is still listening, he's still reading my list, he is still keeping my heart settled, focused and encouraged. There are so many things that are swirling through my head and heart right now. Does God answer prayers? Yes he does. Will he answer mine? Only time will tell........ Remember these words from a previous post I wrote about dating: I can't finish the entire story in this post, so I will just have to post more tomorrow :)

A woman's heart should so be hidden in Christ, that a man would have to seek him first to find her.-

Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged! -smfg

RE POST: One thing have I desired of the LORD- Beauty for Ashes

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

This is one of my favorite scriptures, because it sums up how I feel about my salvation, and keeps me in perspective about my ultimate desire of Heaven, however, there is this other 'one thing that I have desired of the Lord" and it has proved to be a training ground for my patience, humility, meekness, faithfulness, and self encouragement.

Today my post will not center around my children, but I would like to share with you a revelation that I had while reading a story on another blog from a blogger who also battled with a "One Thing Desire". As I read her story, it was as if God was reading the words to me, chills ran up my neck and I cried heavily on the inside. Not tears of sorrow, but tears of joy and confirmation. Have you ever had a situation before you where you know what God told you, you know you have to have faith and wait, but the enemy battles you with anxiety and over thinking; and then when you least expect it you read or hear something that jolts you and rejuvenates your peace about the situation? Well that is the type of moment that I had a while back.

"This one thing that I desire from the Lord" is not a bad desire, (well its really not a desire anymore is it?) he told me I could have it, but he didn't tell me when, but like an impatient child I keep wanting to ask " Lord, are we there yet?" "Is it time yet?" not realizing that I was treading the line of idolizing my desire.
The thought of putting my desire of this one thing before God and letting it consume the majority of my thoughts and prayers shook me to my core. I asked the Lord, "what must I do, I know you promised me, but how can I stop thinking about your promise?" " Put it on the alter" he replied "burn it up!!!" Hebrews 12:29For our God is a consuming fire. Exodus 12:10And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
So I did. I put my "one thing that I desire of the Lord", on the alter and let it burn up. I cried, I prayed, I fasted, I cried some more. I didn't understand why I had to let my "One Thing" desire burn.After all didn't he tell me I could have this one thing? He didn't tell me when, but he told me it was mine, but still I just let it go. I sacrificed it to him, burned it on his alter and sat back and watched it burn to nothing but ash... But my God is so faithful, after my one thing was burned to ashes, God so gently whispered in my ear.... I give them beauty for ashes! Isaiah 61:3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Now you are talking about some one who was snotting and sniffling, I was so happy in my soul that I could do nothing but praise, him. The more I praised, the more he sent scriptures to me. Ecclesiastes 3:11He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
Isaiah 64:4For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
1 Corinthians 2:9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I know I love God, I know I am waiting on him, and he is promising me that he will make all things beautiful in his time. What better thing to have, than the "one thing I desire, to be burn to ashes, and made beautiful in his own time. It can't get any better than that. So what is your one thing? What ever it is, if it is consuming your thoughts and prayers, try putting it on the alter, and trading beauty for your ashes... Stay blessed and encouraged to fight the good fight of faith. Praises be to God and have a wonderful weekend.

PS: I will let you know when I receive my beautiful "one thing that I desire of the Lord", I feel it won't be long"