My dear friends keeping your faith steady can be difficult. Currently, there is a situation with a family member that is testing my faith. This individual continues to make bad choices in her life. I am unsure if she realizes how her choices affects everyone else in her life. I believe that she has an illness and cannot help what she continues to do repeatedly. It is difficult to hear about, and I am thankful that I am not witnessing it first hand. I am trying to have my faith steady. In times like these, I feel hopeless and helpless. I do not know what to say or do in these situations. I pray that if I am to do something that the Holy Spirit would nudge me. I am trying to believe that God has got this situation under control despite it looking like it is completely out of control. I am trying to believe that He has her in his hands and is carrying her. This has been a long, many years of addiction for this individual and many years suffering from depression. I pray for this individual for strength and healing. I pray that she realizes how important she is to God and that she is loved. I pray that she realizes that there is absolutely nothing in her past that God does not know about or cannot handle. I pray that she can let go of whatever negative thoughts flow in every day. I pray she can get past this rough period. Please pray with me!
I am so thankful that I discovered the Instant Pot. I believe I was introduced to it by Bobby Anderson the Plant-Fueled Trucker on Facebook. I saw a news story in my feed about him. Shortly afterwards, I started to follow him on Facebook. Overall, he is a lovely person. He started sharing his meals on his page. He told people about the Instant Pot. I cannot say enough good things about my Instant Pot. I will let you in on a secret, I loved mine so much that on Cyber Monday when a super good deal came up, I bought a second one. I can place rice in one and it is done it 24 minutes of cooking. The other one I place my frozen vegetables and it can be done in 10 minutes or less of cooking time depending on how soft you want your vegetables. It does take 10 minutes or so for the Instant Pot to get to the correct pressure to start cooking. It is easy cleanup too.
Today, I sit at the bus stop wondering about my prior students. I wonder how they are doing today. Are they married? Do they have children? Are they working? Are they happy? Were they able to reach their dreams? Are they believers? As I ponder these questions, flashes of my students faces I see. I see those students I taught during student teaching in Mrs. Sandra White’s class at Moscow Elementary School in Moscow, PA, the 5th grade students at Coolbaugh Elementary in Tobyhanna, PA, my third grade students at McDonald Elementary in Seffner Florida, the 7th grade learning support students I taught at Northern Lehigh in Slatington, PA, the 4th grade learning support students I taught at DeFranco Elementary school in Bangor, PA, and the 7th grade learning support students I taught at North Middle School in Bethlehem, PA.
I can only hope that I left a positive impact on these wonderful students. Despite a select few giving me a run for my money, overall I was blessed with wonderful students at each of the schools I taught. The challenging ones were God’s way to make me grow and stretch. Though at the time, I did not understand that. Thank you to those that helped me grow as a person.
I had the support of wonderful aides at the schools that I taught special education. They were amazing ladies who loved the students as their own. Most, had absolutely positive attitudes daily. I did not truly understand being a teacher until I became a parent. At times, I wish that I had seen my students the way God saw them. I wish I had seen them through a parent’s eyes. When you are in your early twenties and not have experienced motherhood that can be a difficult task. I did my best to show kindness to you all especially the ones who seemed pushed aside like an outcast. My students, I wish I had the opportunity to talk to you about God. That was not permitted in the public schools.
My prayer for my prior students is this: Dear Lord, watch over those that you have blessed and allowed me to teach. Keep them same from harm. Help keep them strong and healthy. Bless them with healthy, offspring. Draw them closer to you God if they stray. Help them become the men and women you have meant for them to be. Jesus, let them be a blessing to others. Most importantly, let them know you are always with them and you give them unconditional love! In Jesus name I pray! Amen!
I have faith in God that he is taking good care of my prior students and holding them when they need assistance. We serve an awesome God!
Too often as Moms we forget who we are. Yes I said it we forget who we really are. The real Sarah has gotten lost in between changing diapers, night wakings, grocery shopping, making meals, cleanup, laundry, bills, being a taxi, homework tutor, and the list goes on and on. At times, I am unsure who the real Sarah is anymore. I catch a glimpse of her when I sneak out with a girlfriend kid free. During these times, I forget how to act.
I forgot that it is perfectly fine to still have dreams of my own. It is fine to actually pursue some of those dreams while raising a family. My quest is to manage my time wisely so I can complete everything that is required of me and make time to follow my dreams of owning my own business. Yes, my husband and I have a successful business but he runs that business. It was a business that we ran together in the beginning and then I handed it over to him while I was pregnant with our second daughter. I am in charge of paying the bills and taxes. Selling other companies products on Ebay and Amazon is his passion. I am talking about my own business(es) that I will run. I am working on private labeling products to sell on Amazon and then eventually selling them on my own website. Also, I am working on selling essential oils since I love using them in my life. I am trying to build a team to work with me sharing and teaching about the benefits of essential oils.
Like any good student, I have been going through a program to learn what I need to do. My biggest challenges are the confidence in myself and the networking. If you really know me you would know that I struggle with phone conversations. If I know you, I can talk to you for along time. Making those calls to people I have not talked to in a long time or barely know, may be a challenge. Striking up a conversation with a total stranger for me, can be extremely difficult.
I have always struggled with my self esteem since I was a child. To this day, I still struggle with it. I am unsure why I have these silly feelings. Truly it is I letting the devil in. If I remember who I am, a daughter of God, then I will know who I am. I am loved, valuable, and I have a purpose on this Earth. At times, it is easy to let doubt sneak in. I need to literally look myself in the mirror and say, “You are worthy! You are loved, and needed! You can accomplish your goals and dreams. God is standing next to you cheering you on! You can do this!” I pray about it several times a day as doubt creeps in.
I can do anything if I put my mind to it! I will put my doubts to the side! I have the creator on my side. Honestly, if I doubt myself than I am doubting God since He created me. I must stop slapping God in the face like that. With God’s help, I will succeed! It is time to focus on the gift(s) He gave me. I will refer and reread the following verses:
Phillipians 4:13 (ESV) I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Isaiah 49:10 (ESV) Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Deuteronomy 8:18 (ESV) You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jeremiah 17:7 (ESV) “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
James 1:17 (ESV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Melaleuca is one of my favorite essential oils! I place 3-5 drops in our shampoo and conditioners. Around my house, it is often in a diffuser! It is known for its rejuvenating and cleansing effect on the skin. You can apply a few drops on after shaving. Add 1-2 drops into your facial cleanser or moisturizer for added cleansing properties. To purify and keep your nails healthy, apply Melaleuca to fingernails and toenails after showering. If you have occasional skin irritations, apply 1-2 drops onto affected area. In a spray bottle, add two drops with water and spray on surfaces to protect against environmental threats. You can add it to the bottom of your feet and inside shoes as a refresher. For the man in your life, combine Melaleuca and Cedarwood as an aftershave.
My now 6 year old, Deanna, loves morning snuggles. I think she looks forward to them so much. Two days this week, Deanna woke up early to use the bathroom and climbed into bed with me. This morning, her younger sister had already climbed into my bed late last night. I had already awoke and gotten dressed. Deanna looked upset and disappointed. With some persuasion, I got her to climb back into my bed. I sent my 3 year old to make sure the 8 year old was up. Deanna and I enjoyed about 10 minutes of morning snuggles without her sisters interrupting. I am hoping that this special time will keep her happy for her day at school. Kindergarten is hard to adjust back to after a holiday break. I see her struggling some with this. Now, I am thinking that after school I should take some time for afternoon snuggles after her long day. Tonight, I will pass the baby to my husband so that I can do snuggles in her bed at bedtime. There really is nothing like uninterrupted snuggles. If this is what my child needs, I am for it. I need to do what I can to make her feel special and loved being one of 4 children.
This morning I was sent this very verse via a text message from a Pastor friend of mine. I believe it was God’s way to remind me of this. However, just as I was deciding what verse to focus on I received the text. I think God wanted me to share these particular verses today because He wants to reach someone that is going to be reading this today!
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace. This is a priestly blessing that God gave to Moses to give to Aaron to give to Israel. It is a reminder that we all can count on God in this new year of 2016. Count on God’s blessings through Jesus Christ. Count on God who wills for your good and is committed to keep you. The priestly blessing shows God’s will for your good. God keeping us, is God safeguarding us. You can count on God’s presence and his favor. We do not earn favor, because it is given in Christ. We can count on God’s peace. God turning his face to us is God smiling on us. Peace he promises is the quality of life you will enjoy when you choose to follow Jesus Christ as your Savior.
**“Barakah” the Hebrew word we translate as blessing, is defined as a present. The root word for barakah (blessing) is baruch (bless) which means to kneel. When we say “God bless you,” we are saying God kneels and gives you a gift. Imagine God kneeling to present you gifts. His biggest gift to us being Jesus Christ, his son!
We all have our ups and downs. There are times when our day looks like a roller coaster with ups, downs, turns, and twists. There are times that we might be feeling like we are stuck upside down like on a loop on a roller coaster. Despite all this, perspective is so important and making choices. Will you choose to only focus on a small part of your day or on the day as a whole? Will you only focus on the negatives or see the positives? In reality regardless of what is happening in your life, there is always at least 1 positive thing of the day. I would guess that if you look hard enough, you would see many more positives. If you ate breakfast, have food, clothing, a warm house, a car that works, a job, then you are doing better that a huge population of the world. Just think about that. It was 7°F here in Pennsylvania this morning. I quickly filled up our pellet stove to keep our home nice and warm. I started my van this morning so the frost would be gone and my husband along with two of our girls would be warm as they waited at the end of our driveway for the bus. On very cold days like these, my mind immediately goes to those that are not as fortunate and are living on the street or in packed, homeless shelters. Immediately, I look up and thank God for my warm, cozy house and warm car etc. I try to appreciate what I have around me. Today choose to be happy with me!
Sometimes it is hard to keep the faith with the terrible stories in this world. I struggle when a nonbeliever or partial believer asks me questions like: Why does God allow bad things to happen? Where was God in this situation? Why did everyone praying not make a difference in this particular situation? I was asked all these questions this past weekend because a 5 year old child who has Autism and is nonverbal left his great-Aunt’s house and ended up drowning in the canal. This whole situation is absolutely heartbreaking to me. My heart breaks for the family, friends, and the community. Unfortunately, roaming is a common thing that some people who have autism and are nonverbal do. Some things I said about this situation was: “God has a purpose and some good will come from this.” “This child will be singing and praising God in Heaven.” “This is the beginning of eternal peace in Heaven with God.” “God needed this child now – his purpose was complete.” “The community really rallied together to find the little boy and that is what community is about.” “Sometimes God answers our prayers but just not in the way he had hoped for.” Yet all these comments do not seem enough to help explain why something like this is allowed to happen. I cannot begin to explain why God allows tragedies to happen and it is hard to explain to others.