Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't judge a book by its age?

Last year I was asked to be the teacher for the teen class at my church beginning 2013. I was a little hesitant at first since everyone always gives these kids a bad rep, but I decided I'd do it.

Being a teacher is a big role. As a teacher you have the responsibility of opening your students' minds to new ideas, aiding in their spiritual journey, and also being a friend to them. As I thought about all the responsibilities I had agreed to take on, my insecurities rose. The comments I received did not help. 

"Good luck. They don't listen to anyone." "They're so disrespectful." "They don't want to learn about the Bible." You get the idea..

I prayed and prayed. God gave me the strength to keep from resigning before the year even started. I decided to change everything about how their class was done, I added new things, changed the studies that we do.. For the first two weeks everything was going well. The kids seemed to enjoy the activities and I even had volunteers to read scripture!

That was, of course, until church let out that second week. A mother was questioning what we were doing in the class, and the fact that we changed the bible studies. She confronted me in a hostile way, and I can honestly say God was with me because I handled it very well and she walked away. 

What I wasn't expecting was this... She went to an elder and complained about my changes in a way that made it seem like I was teaching the kids bad things. They had a talk with me. I explained everything to them and gave reasons for my changes. Of course, they were surprised at everything I said because they were thinking different from what they'd heard before.

So why the title?

Last week my class learned about their importance and worth- without age restrictions. The majority of them are 13-16. It's a very difficult age to be a Christian, and they need to know that they matter, that they aren't all rebellious, they aren't all bad, and that they are all part of God's kingdom

This message really stuck to me as I am only 22, and get judged the same way they do a lot of the time. It's really hard sometimes to stay in church, to do the right thing, to be a good example when you're surrounded by older people who talk down on you without knowing your heart or relationship with God.

“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:11,12

Reading this verse literally lifts me up every time I feel attacked by anyone at church. It's a great reminder of who I am, what I am here to do, and who I am doing it for. If you are young, don't let anyone's comments get to you- be an example. And, don't forget that while you're living your life, there will always be someone younger watching your every move.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 2 of the Marriage Challenge!

What did you do for your husband today? I had to get creative today! Usually I don't make my husband anything to take for lunch. That's something he does for himself and sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) he forgets his lunch and eats fast food. Today, he was working around our house and I was still home, so I made him a quick lunch and snuck a little surprise in there to help him with his stress. (He owns a concrete business)

I had to leave for work before he could pick it up, but he called me later to say thank you and that he loved the drink I surprised him with. It's a Neuro Bliss. (If you haven't tried their drinks, you should!)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Be My Valentine- Marriage Challenge Week One

Valentine's Day is right around the corner! What are you planning to do with your spouse?

My husband and I have never really made a big deal about it, but this year I am doing the Marriage Challenge by Courtney at! I have to say I was a little hesitant at first as my husband and I aren't at our best right now. But it's only four weeks, and what will it hurt, right?

This week is about praising your husband, taking the initiative, and being consistent. I am always thanking him for working so hard and being a good dad, but this week I have to step out of my comfort zone. I am determined to tell him these things and let other people know how I feel about him. Even though we have our differences, he really is an amazing husband and father.

This is how I praised my husband today:

It's hard to dig for the right words sometimes, but I encourage you to take some time to think about how your spouse has made you and your life better, and give thanks for it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A little about me!

Hi my name is Jacky. I'm happily married to an awesome man that I've known pretty much my whole life. Don't get me wrong we are not always happy and we have lots of problems, but we are strong and willing to work on it together...

Liz and I have been doing a bible study for the past two months on Proverbs 31 "the Proverbs Wife".
These two months have been a learning experience on how God wants me to be as a wife- especially since I am so.... head strong. LOL. Especially in this time and age were they tell us, women, wives to be our own person and that we don't have to do a thing for our husbands if we don't want to. "They (guys) can make their own food, wash their own dishes, clean up after themselves". Now, don't get me wrong that is not necessarily bad and guys can do all that by themselves. Actually, the other day my husband made me a surprise breakfast and I didn't even know he could cook!

I've learned that us, as wives, should do the things that are expected of us to do: cook, clean, and other wifely duties. We will be happier doing those things for our husbands. I know when I clean or do other things at home and I see my husband smile cause I did it makes me soooo happy. Then they will be happy and I 100% believe that then they will start doing things for us to make us happy.

Trust me, what I just wrote I would have never believed it, and I never did or wanted to. This was before I started studying Proverbs 31. I would just sit at home watching TV and I wouldn't do anything at home. I'd clean whenever my husband offered to help clean and I was super depressed, but I chose to do nothing about it. Cleaning is not only a wife duty but honestly it makes you feel better living in a clean environment.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New year, new me.

Haven't we all said this at least once in our lifetime? And, every time we say it we think we actually mean it, but by the time March comes along, that resolution has been long gone. What happened to that extra weight we wanted to rid ourselves of? What happened to those boxes that needed sorting out? What happened to the clothes we said we'd donate?

I know I've let myself down many times before. Maybe it was because I was trying to do too much at one time. It gets overwhelming trying to change every aspect of your life at one time- especially if you're a working mom and wife. (Oh, please. Don't get me started!) So why is it so difficult to stay focused? I've wondered this many times myself, and I've realized it's not so much about focusing but more about being motivated. I am terrible at motivating myself.

I never realized how bad I am at keeping my own head up until this holiday season. I had two weeks off from work for Christmas and the New Year holiday. I could NOT get myself off that sofa! Pitiful if you ask me. I thought I was going to clean out my closet, cook every day, start my workout regime, take my daughter outside to the snow, etc. Don't get me wrong, I cooked, cleaned, took my daughter places, worked out- once or twice, but it wasn't what I was hoping for.

And that's where our troubles begin. Expectations- of ourselves, our spouse, our family, society, organizations, the government, our finances, etc. It is so hard to live a life where our results never meet our expectations. The sad part is most of us live this life. I know I do. It is extremely frustrating. 

God is the only one who can go above and beyond our expectations, and we must learn to accept that. We've gotten so used to waking up every morning, breathing, and having all our needs met that we forget He's doing this because He loves us. He has NO obligation to do anything for us, but His great love doesn't let Him stay away from blessing us every day of our lives.

Is something bothering you today? Did someone do less than expected? Are people treating you as less than you deserve? Don't forget The One who is always by your side, who loves you unconditionally, and who was willing to give His only son to die- for you.

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)