Saturday, May 25, 2013


 the state or fact of remaining the same one as under varying aspects or conditions the condition of being oneself or itself and not another He doubted his own identity condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is a case of mistaken identity the state or fact of being the same one as described the sense of self providing sameness and continuity in personality over time.

It is very easy to get lost in someone else's identity and let your life become their goals, ideas, wants and desires.  This is not what God has planned for us for we are each a new creation in Christ as an individual.  He created us equal but yet different at the same time.  He has a purpose and a plan for our lives.  One thing that must remain steadfast is that we keep our identity in Him and not in others.  This is a lesson he as taught me to lose myself in Him and not others.  During an amazing church service I felt the Lord's presence, I felt His love and His peace just wash over  me.  As I was leaving the sanctuary I felt that presence leave and all of a sudden I felt very alone. I saw all my church family talking, laughing and making lunch plans.  I walked through the crowd and I suddenly felt invisible, I felt like I was walking in slow motion.  Then the doubting words of the enemy began to creep in my head.  I heard things like, "No loves you", "If you left right now and never came back no one would notice".  I was so confused because I had just had an glorious time with the Lord, how could this be happening?  I gathered my boys up and walked  fast to my car  holding back the tears.  The words of doubt got stronger and louder, they were the only things I could hear.  I was trying to put on a happy face for my kids I didn't want them  to know that anything was wrong.  We made it home and through lunch without any incidents.  I told boys I was not feeling well and was going to lay down. When I got into my room I let everything out.  I started crying out to God asking why did he leave me.  A small still but yet firm voice said, "Find your identity in Me".  "I am the one who makes you complete, I am the one you need to turn to in your time of need".  It took me a moment to realize that He never left me, and that I had let the enemy come in and steal my joy.  I had gotten to a point in my Christian walk where I was finding my identity in others around me.  I was seeking approval from my friends and not seeking the One who made me for who I am.  The One who loves me completely and has my best interest in mind. Now days when the enemy wants to come in I don't fall into the trap, I just reach out to Jesus and ask Him to help me through.  For now I know those are the lies that Satan wants me to believe.  I also start to reach out to others when this is happening, by doing this it takes my focus away from me and onto others.  I am not perfect and I will probably continue to fight this battle, but now I have the tools on how to win it.  ~Blessings Missie~

 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20     

Thursday, May 16, 2013's okay

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present 

you before his glorious presence without fault and with great

 joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and

 authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, 

now and forevermore! Amen.  Jude 1:24-25

     The Lord is faithful in all that he does, through the good times and the bad times He is always there for us.  The season that He has me in is both wonderful and hard at the same time.  I am currently going to school to get a degree in Nursing.  I am just at the beginning stages.  Getting the pre-requisite classes out of the way so I can apply to Nursing school.  Every class that I take now is critical in getting this accomplished.  I just finished year two second semester, I knew going into it, that it would be hard.  In fact I would send out text messages weekly asking for prayer.  My two toughest classes were Biology 227 (Anatomy and Physiology), and Math 108.  Right off the bat these two classes were a struggle for me, but I had the drive to keep pressing in.  About halfway into the semester you have the opportunity to drop them so as not to receive a failing grade.  After much prayer, I committed to stay in the classes.  
     I didn't want to be considered a failure by dropping both of them or even one of them.  This could be looked at as a pride thing...the verdict is still out on this.  I really just wanted to put my faith and trust in the Lord that he will pull me through.  What I needed to remember is that I in turn needed to do my part.  Meaning to be more diligent in my time management, be more focused on what is important and what is not.  As the semester progressed and my grades where slowly falling I let the enemy come in and steal my confidence in myself.  I started stressing about every little thing and was not at peace. 

  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.  Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  1 Peter 5:8-9

     It became so bad that I was feeling like a friends and family would tell me that they were so proud of me and what I was doing.  They were proud of my hard work in going to school, but what they didn't realize was that every time I heard those words I would cringe inside!  I felt like I was failing everyone because I had two classes that I was barely passing.  I would respond with something like, "Thanks, but this semester has been a really hard one... I knew it would be going in, just keep me in your prayers".  I was afraid if I told them what really was happening I would have to see the looks of disappointment on their face.  In a sense, what I was not doing was trusting the Lord to help me.  I told myself I was letting the Lord be in control when actually I was really trying to do it in my own strength.  Then one morning, as I was getting ready for school it hit me... I had let the enemy come in like the roaring lion and devour me.  Then I got mad and in Jesus's name I began claiming the ground I had let Satan take from me.  A great peace settled upon my soul and I started reaching out to friends I went to school with and asking them to study with me.  I was past the point of receiving a high enough grade to move to the next level for these two classes, but I wasn't going down without a fight!  During this process, I had to eat a lot of humble pie so to speak and swallow my pride to let the Lord take over.

 Well, the semester is now over and I am signed up to retake Biology and Math in the fall semester.  My thoughts and feelings on this are in a positive direction.  The Lord is faithful to have us walk through these journeys, they help us gain strength and wisdom.  I learned a lot about my self this past year.  It is okay to reach out and ask for help, it is okay to be transparent and it is okay to fail.  I really don't look at as failing just a way to move forward as long as I have the Lord with me. ~Missie

 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.Psalm 31:34

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dying to Become the Perfect Mom

My world comes crashing down around me, yet in the darkest valley, they still need me and I get up, responding to their needs and putting my own aside.

Sacrifices made go unnoticed and their ungratefulness pierces my heart like a dagger.

“You don’t love me!”

The knife twists. If you only knew how much I love you, like I’ve never loved anyone, so much that it hurts.

Memories wash over me and I’m back at that moment when he first came into this world. I remember how every agonizing moment of pregnancy and labor was instantly forgotten and I’m amazed, once again, by the beauty of it all. Where did I go wrong?

“Why don’t you cook something I like?”

Feelings of failure cripple me as I pause, look at my children, and wish I could be so much more for them.

Three years post cancer-diagnosis and I am still exhausted all the time. I am not the mother that I long to be. They don’t even remember what I was like before. They were so young. 

“Why don’t you ever play with us? Why can’t you be fun like Daddy?”

Tears burn in my eyes and I look away. I’m so tired. So unbelievably tired. And they are just too young to understand.

No more field trips and adventures. No more intricate meals with secretly hidden vegetables made to taste delicious. No more story books at bedtime or enriching activities. No more charts that transform chores into games. No more consistency in anything.

Aren’t these the things that make me a good mom?

Parenting has changed me. It has exposed my heart, revealing all that is inside and leaving me raw and vulnerable. My weaknesses and character flaws are exposed and brought into the light. And I want more than anything to save my children from them, from all my mistakes and shortcomings.

I fall to my knees, desperate and humble, knowing there is only one place left to go. What I find there is not what I expect. I expect God to heal me and make me strong. I expect him to make me into my image of the perfect mom. I cry, “Do it Lord! For their sake!”

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
~ 2 Cor. 12:8-10

Do I dare believe this? As I take the step of faith, the perfectionist in me gasps for air and takes its dying breath. I find grace. And I yield to His will.

He comes into my room and tucks me into bed, hugging his little body tightly to mine.

“I love you more than sugar cubes and popsicles!”

He’s learned to comfort those who are weak.

”Mom, can I make dinner so you can rest?”

He’s learned to serve.

“I want to be a mommy when I grow up – just like you. Except I want to be a mommy princess that lives in a tower.”

She admires me. Not because of all the wonderful things I do for her, but because I am with her, all the time.

They don’t need a perfect childhood or perfect parents.

They need to know I’m on their side.
They need to know that God is there in the darkest times.
They need to know life doesn't always go the way we want.
They need to see what depending on the Lord really looks like.
They need to know where to run when they fail.
And they need to learn that it is in their weakness that God’s power is made perfect.
Not in their good works. Not in their success. Not in their perfectionism.
But in their weakness.

And there they will find God’s grace.

Thank you Stephanie Lasaster for sharing your heart with us.  What an amazing journey God has brought you through. ~Jennifer and Missie

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Facing the inevidable...CHANGE


     Change comes whether it's welcomed or not, So a long time ago I learned that it becomes what you make it. This approach doesn't "fix" it, but it certainly seems to make it a little more tolerable.

One of my favorite songs goes like this:
It's a new season, it's a new day
Fresh anointing is flowing my way
A season of power and prosperity
It's a new season coming to me.

     The steadfast lyrics to this song have such promise for any situation. I hear the tenderness in it's words coming straight from the Lord. The one who happens to know the out come of every walk and season of life.  

     When I reflect on how quickly the time passes with my kiddos, and how much they grow and change each time I look at them, I'm forced to face the fact that no matter how hard I may try to get a grasp on the present moment and freeze's already changing. Resisting it only holds them back. You see, my duty as their Mom (and biggest fan) is to ensure that each one of them reaches beyond the present. James 1:4 says it like this: Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

     Now, my personal application to change looks a little bit different. I am a woman of consistency. Schedules, routines, menu's, and order...It's how I survive the hustle and bustle of life happening constantly around me. So, unfortunately spontaneity isn't my strong suit. Though in my day to day it shows up unannounced on a regular basis and every time, I'm faced with my responses to it. A recent scenario was during a track workout with a dear friend. We had our kiddos running around the field(like they have several times before) while we walked around the track, and for some reason on this particular day, there was just no possible way
I was going to get far. One child was picking at the other, one was feeling overly sensitive (it sounded a lot like whining), and another was insisting she be carried around every lap. In that moment, I had a choice to make. I could pack my kids up and be filled with the disappointment of defeat, OR instead I took a deep breath and pressed in by administering to each of children's needs quickly and then continued towards breakthrough!

     "Forget yesterday, It has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow, You haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift, Today."-Steve Maraboli

     With so many things beyond my control, from spilled milk to the weather, In every circumstance I am reminded that He has placed me in that situation as an opportunity to be molded by His hand for growth and a deeper dependency on Him who has complete control. I can also be assured that He has fully equipped me for each and every task at hand and all I have to do is call on His name and He will walk me through it.