Five Minute Friday Intentional

I am really late to the five minute Friday party this week. In fact, I wondered if I should skip it this week. When I saw that the word was intentional, and thought about how well it fits with my #oneword for this year present, I knew that I needed to write about it today.

Oh, how I desire to be an intentional wife and mother. I find more often than not, that I am a “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” wife and mom, but I don’t want to live my life that way. I want to leave a legacy, and I want that legacy to be intentional. My children are going to have memories of their childhood, either way. I want the memories to be of a loving, hands-on mom, who took the time to show how much I really loved them. I want to be available to them. I want my husband to know that he can count on me. I know, first off, that God needs to be the most important relationship in my life, and then my relationship with my husband, and then my children. I spend too much time chasing the wind instead of being intentional in the way that I spend my time. Help me to remember these words of wisdom from Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:15-16

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

 

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Five Minute Friday Simplify

This is one of the occasions that I picked the song for this post, before I even really thought about what I wanted to write. As soon as I read that the word was simplify, I thought of the below song by the Newsboys. I have to admit that I am not great at simplifying. Even as a teen my Dad would joke with me about my knack for making things far more complicated than they needed to be. I tend to wander down rabbit trails, and put way too much thought into “what-if” scenarios. Here is the kind of “what-if” that could be helpful for 2018. What if I stopped worrying so much? What if I stopped overthinking things? What if I had the courage to simply love God and love others, and to live out that love. Maybe I would be more at peace and more joyful throughout 2018. This sounds like a good way to simplify to me.

 

 

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My #Oneword for 2018 Presence

There has been something that I have been thinking about often lately. I only have one more decade with my Princess before she turns eighteen. She turned eight last Summer, and I sometimes scratch my head and wonder where the last eight years went. It does not seem that long ago that I was bringing my newborn baby girl home from the hospital. I think that the next ten years may pass as quickly as the last eight. I want to be fully present for them.  I have chosen Ephesians 5:16-17 as my verse for 2018.

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

I want to think practically about the word present. I want to be on my computer less, and spending more quality time with my children more. I want to say yes to more time baking cookies, to more reading stories, and playing board games. I want to say no to things that will not matter next week, next month, or next year. I want to be all in in my roles of wife and mother, and memory maker and memory keeper for my family. I need to remember that every day is a gift, even the hard ones, and I want to make sure that I am not taking one single moment for granted. So, did you pick a word for 2018? I would love to read about your word for 2018 in the comments.

 

Kristin Hill Taylor - Porch Stories

 

 

 

What the word Yours meant to me in 2017 (#Oneword wrap-up)

A year ago, I knew that I needed a change of perspective. My circumstances often seemed to loom so largely in my mind that I would forget who I am in Christ. I needed to remember that God is in control and that I belong to Him. So,  for this reason I prayerfully chose the word “Yours” for 2017.

I am an auditory processor, and music speaks to my heart in tangible ways. I believe that God has given me many songs that speak truth to me this year. These songs have grounded me in His love and reminded me that I am His. I would like to share a few of these songs with you, and describe what God is teaching me through each of them.

 

An important truth that I needed to embrace this year, is that I am not alone. Even on the days that I feel the most alone, I need to trust that God is with me, and that He will never leave me. On these days, I need to cry out to Him. This is a lesson that I am still learning. I am so thankful that I can sing this song and remind myself of truth on hard days.

 

The lyric in the For King and Country song “I’m desperate for grace.” describes how I have felt much of this year. I am so desperate for God’s grace. I need to remember that He is holding on to me, especially when I feel panicked or overwhelmed. This song has been such a comfort and encouragement to me this year.

“Jesus, I believe. Help my unbelief God. Jesus I believe.”  I needed the word His this year because I far too often get into a pattern of negative thinking. My frailties, failures, and circumstances seem so overwhelming that I feel like I may be fighting the same battles, learning the same lessons indefinitely. I get impatient, and forget that God’s time table may be far different than my own. He is at work, and I need to trust him. I need to keep surrendering to Him, with the simple prayer. “I believe that You are at work. Help my unbelief.” This is what the word Yours meant to me in 2017. I will be back in a couple of days to talk about my #oneword for 2018. Until then, I hope that each of you that read this, has a very happy start to the new year.

 

Kristin Hill Taylor - Porch Stories

 

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday Different

Oh, how I wish I could be different, that my life would be different, that my circumstances were different. I often feel like that I have to learn the same lessons over and over. I guess I didn’t learn what I needed to the first time. So, here I go again.  There are so many flaws that I had that I just wish that I didn’t. I wish I was stronger in this area, more organized, less frantic. I wish that I was a better wife and mother. I think that part of the problem is that I forget that I am a child of God. He loves me imperfections and all. He is not waiting for me to get my act together. I actually think that He is waiting for me to remember that I belong to Him. I am His. Only when I am submit and surrender to Him, can He work in me, and I can see growth and change in the areas that I so desperately need growth and change. Instead of spinning my wheels, trying to be different in my own strength, I need to remember that God needs me to give Him my heart.

 

 

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Five Minute Friday Familiar

The smell of bacon, eggs, and potatoes being fried up on a Saturday morning. A smoke alarm that buzzes every time the oven is opened that also served as a signal that it was time to get up and eat breakfast. These are memories from my childhood. A warm mug of hot cocoa, a well-loved book- these are all memories that come to mind as I think of the word familiar. My children’s favorite nursery rhymes and songs, the sound of them pretending to be cats or dogs as they frolic in their imaginative play. The weight of their sleeping bodies on my lap; the sound of their laughter- these are the sights and sounds of my ordinary life. A favorite Bible verse, a familiar hymn, asking God’s blessing through prayer before meals and at bed time. These are moments that are familiar to me, and I pray that they will be fond memories that my children have as adults.

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Five Minute Friday Silence

Ecclesiastes 3:7

a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

I am not always good at keeping silent. Silence can sometimes feel awkward and I want to fill that awkwardness with words, even if the words aren’t necessary. Silence can sometimes make me feel nervous. “Should I say something? Is anyone else going to say something?” But when I embrace the awkwardness of silence, I sometimes learn things that I would not have known if I had been quick to fill the silence . It may mean giving my daughter time and space to talk, without injecting my two cents worth right away. If I do this, I may learn more about her heart and her hopes and dreams. It may mean listening even when I really want to speak to show others I truly value what they are saying and want to share. Sometimes, even awkward silences are good. Living life addicted to noise can leave me feeling empty. I need to take the time to enjoy the beauty of silence.

 

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Five Minute Friday Need

If you ask me on any given day, there are many things that I may tell you that I “need.” As a homeschooling mom of three kids eight and under, I may tell you that I need more time to get everything done, or I may tell you that I need a few minutes peace and quiet to clear my head. On some days, I might think I need to another cup of coffee or a piece of chocolate, but what do I really truly need? I need Jesus, and I need to recognize that I need Him more than any other thing that I might desire. I love the line in the Jars of Clay song I Need You “Do I need the shelter from the rain, the rain to wash me away?” Most days I do not know whether I need shelter from the storm or if I need to stretch my arms to Heaven and embrace God’s healing rain. The good news is that, God does know what I need. I can trust that He will meet my needs, and that His plans are for my good and His glory.

 

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31 Days of surrendering to God Day 31 Rest

As a mom of three children, I find it hard to rest. There is always more work to do, and if I do somehow find myself caught up with my to-do list, my children’s request can always help me fill that list right back up again. I am tempted to think that I cannot rest until everything is done. I then get discouraged because I don’t know if there will ever be a point when everything is done. Most nights I go to bed with my to-do list for tomorrow already pretty full. I think I need to start putting rest on my to-do list. After all Jesus rested. He took time to get away from the crowds either alone or with the disciples and He prayed. I am so thankful for the example that Jesus set for us. I need to rest, and be still and know that God is God. (Psalm 46:10) I know that rest is a critical step for being the wife and mom that God has called me to be. What are some ways that you find rest in the midst of busy seasons of life?

 

 

Day 30 of Surrendering to God Being Open to the Refining Process

John 16:33

33 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.

Jesus did not say in the above verse that we might have trouble. He said that we would have tribulation in this world. It is a part of living in a fallen world. Then, why I am so surprised, and discouraged when I find myself or those that I love in seasons of trials? I need to remember the below words from 1 Peter.

1 Peter 4:12

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

I have been studying Ephesians 6, and learning about the shield of faith. I told the other ladies in the Bible study that I sometimes think I panic drop my shield of faith, and cover my head with my hands, instead of taking up the shield of faith. I need to constantly remind myself of what is true, and keep pressing on in faith in what God has called me to do. I need to not fear the refining, but remember that God is with me every step of the way. I need to call out to Him and lean on Him.