Blogs by Christian Women is a way for women of Christian faith to share their lives, experiences, and empower other women. This blog aims to pull women of faith together to share stories and encouragement.
Understand, I didn’t just jump into this; I have been praying about it for a while, maybe since I moved to a different state eight months ago.
Is online dating even okay for Christians?
I struggled with this. I wondered if God would be upset with me for somewhat taking control of my destiny and not letting things happen organically, say, meeting a guy at a coffee shop or at work.
“Does God work through dating apps?”
It was hard for me to answer this question because the app format seemed too straightforward and easy to be a tool of the Divine. Oftentimes, the greatest blessings in my life have been unexpected and seemed to have materialized out of nowhere, not selected after a few screen swipes.
I took some time to really try to study this and eventually came to peace with it.
“God can use anything,” I concluded. I had heard of (and probably even met) thriving Christian couples who had met online, and they seemed to be doing fine, so it seemed like it was okay for Christians.
If you are a stay at home mom like me, you have your kids for the summer. We decided this year to keep my oldest home instead of sending her to summer camp to save some money. However, my 3-year-old is jealous that he does not have me all to himself all day now. They do not get along much to begin with, but now it’s worse. So, I came up with some scriptures to help me get through the summer with both at home.
A little backstory
With a five year age gap between my kids (my daughter is 8 and my son is 3), they don’t get along much. And they get bored very easily. But since we are saving money, our options are limited as we’re not taking a vacation or going on many outings this summer.
My daughter does not like water much so we can not go to the pool. My son is also hard to handle because he goes a mile a minute and does not stop. Tried playing board games, but my three-year-old doesn’t play well. I guess it’s the age?
Recently I attended a worship night at my pastor Sandi’s home. As I helped set up the snacks in the kitchen, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful large backyard, filled with flowers and fruit trees. In that backyard was a huge hammock towards the back in between two palm trees.
Y’all, I LOVE hammocks.
When the Lord finally allows me to own my own home, I want a huge backyard, with a garden and trees just so I can string up my large hammock. I plan to get in it every morning with a cup of Earl Grey tea in my hand and a Bible on my lap.
It’s a small dream, but it’s what I want.
So when I saw that hammock outside, unoccupied, just waiting for me to jump in it, I knew that I could not leave my pastor’s house without sitting in that hammock. Even it was just a minute, I knew I had to do it.
But, I was not sure that it was allowed.
You see the reason I was there was for a night of worship and fellowship.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” -Matthew 6:6 (NIV)
When my husband and l started apartment hunting last year, we asked God for a big space. Our previous place had been very small, so we were thrilled when God not only fulfilled our request, but He also gave us an additional room in the attic.
After we had moved in, every room in our new home was basically furnished – except the extra room. My husband Solomon was very eager to convert the space into a kind of tranquil man haven for himself, however, the room is only accessible through a small, steep spiral staircase that leads to an opening in the ceiling, making it difficult to lug furniture through.
Consequently, the empty room remained unused for months. Occasionally One-Ear, our pussycat, would wander up there to sleep for hours at a time. Apart from that, my husband and l had little reason to enter that room. It was a pity that we had asked God for extra space, yet we weren’t utilizing it.
Pictures of kids and their awards fill my Facebook feed this week. Smiling faces of moms and dads, kids holding up certificates and trophies, and posts about how proud everyone is of their family members. It’s a joy to share in my friends’ excitement with notes of “congratulations” and “great job”!
But then there are those who are silent.
No smiling pictures, no certificates, no proud posts. Just silence. And a sweet friend’s post about her daughter’s heartache and lack of awards prompted me to think about the Lord’s hand in this time of the year. I hope you’ll hear my heart on this.
Awards are a great way to recognize hard work and special talent. They often recognize things in a tangible way that otherwise wouldn’t be noticed. I love to give awards (and receive them).
The Downside of Awards
But the danger in receiving awards is like the other things of this world. Our hearts can become tied to them. The level of effort we put forth and the confidence we hold can be determined by the level of award we might receive. Or even worse, our joy can become dependent upon them.
For those of us in the USA, the Memorial Day holiday launches the official summer season. With the extended hours of sunshine and school-free kiddos, summer is a time filled with barbecues, cookouts, travel and family gatherings.
If you’re looking for a unique summer party idea, consider hosting an essential oils BYO “Sizzling Summer” potluck party.
With essential oil use increasing in popularity more and more people are using them. And hosting a Bring Your Own Oil “BYO” essential oil blending party can be a unique way to introduce newbies to essential oils and a fun, economical way to make your own essential oil blends.
Party Supplies Needed
Here’s what you’ll need for your BYO party:
Small group of family and friends who love essential oils
Stash of essential oils in a variety of scents
Clean, sterile eye droppers
Tiny plastic funnels
Empty, dark-colored essential oil bottles
Carrier oils such as jojoba, coconut, olive, and sweet almond
Essential oils resource to help those who may need more knowledge about which oils are useful for specific remedies or purposes.
For many years, I have struggled with depression, though many people wouldn’t know it by just looking at me.
I can easily wear a mask and hide those areas of struggle or hurt, but it’s still there. When I’m not vigilant about my mental and emotional health, and when I have neglected my relationship with the Lord, depression can quickly take over. Then, in the seeming blink of an eye, I can find myself in a really dark place yet again.
In 2018 I cut out social media.
I didn’t make a big deal about it. This wasn’t a social media “fast”; I realized it wasn’t good for my mental and emotional health and decided to make a change. All of my social media apps were moved to the last page of my iPhone, a place that I never need to go. I installed a newsfeed blocker extension for Facebook (I don’t have the app on my phone) so I can still use the application for business and went about my merry way.
My stepping away from social media was a huge step for me. There were so many awkward moments where I would get out my phone to create an Instastory about something, only to have to put my phone back without the payoff of my followers reacting to my post.
It’s really hard to see beauty from a broken place, from an unexpected end.
Or an expected one.
In hard seasons, the path seems long, daunting. The sky grey, the landscape, and trees broken, burned black and lifeless.
Of course, I want to get out of this wasteland as quickly as possible. No one wants to linger in the desert.
So I take off.
Spotting a trail, I run down that path as fast as I can, rushing through the hurt, pain, and brokenness that is lies sprawled before me. I have no idea which way is out, so I just run.
Because I don’t know the way, I trip up on uprooted trees, their roots blocking my path. I fall constantly, but I don’t care; I want OUT. If I can just run through it quickly, I believe that the way out will make it’s way known and you can be free of this wasteland.
Lately, my church and my Bible study group have been talking about the Holy Spirit. I am learning so much. You see I grew up Catholic, but now I’m a Baptist. So, this is all kind of new to me because I never really heard much about the Holy Spirit. I’m so amazed that He does so much for us.
Yes, I know that I can talk to God. But, I always wondered how I could understand Him. Why did I feel like I had Him listening and talking back to me in my mind? Especially, when I knew I was doing something wrong. His Spirit was convicting me.
Through the studies, I am learning that we can understand the Word because of the Holy Spirit. He interprets and helps us understand the Word.
When I first started to read the Bible I was not saved yet. Even though I was trying to read and understand I still could not. Looking at the scriptures wondering what does that even mean? I know you probably thought that or even think that for some scriptures. Now, I know that the Holy Spirit helps me understand.