being thankful, family, God's love, Identity, love, ministry family, pastor's wife, preacher's kids, sabbatical, sisters, vacation

Someone I Can Identify With 

Today is Sunday?! Wow, it doesn’t feel like a Sunday!

Cub 3 made this statement earlier this week, and the truth is, our Sundays haven’t really felt like our normal Sundays since Poppa Bear’s (PB) sabbatical began at the beginning of this month. We haven’t seen our church family in about three weeks, but it feels like three YEARS!!

The summer months do cause us to lose sight of what day of the week it is at times. Most of this sabbatical feels like any other summer except that PB gets to participate in all of our summer activities without having to work around his church schedule.

Like most families, we take more trips during the summer than any other time of year. When I know that we’ll be around a big crowd of people, I make sure to dress the girl cubs alike. It’s easier to pick them out in a crowd and if they were to get lost, I would be able to describe them easier (yes, that’s how the worrier’s brain works). I used to do the same with Cubs 1 and 2 until they no longer wanted to dress alike. So, Cubs 3 and 4 have many matching outfits just because of summer outings that help me to identify them as my girl cubs.

So, I’ve been thinking about this identity thing. Our identity is everything, right? We can be identified in SO many different ways – some good, some bad. I can be identified as a woman or an African American or a mama bear or a preacher’s wife or as being short or a friend, an aunt, or a sister. However THE most important one is a child of God. 

Being a part of God’s family comes with many perks because identifying with Jesus means that I am all that and a bag of salt n’ vinegar potato chips to him!! My cubs may have features and behaviors that identify them as our cubs, however our love for them doesn’t even come close to how much they are loved by our Creator as a part of his family.

He loves us…ALL of us so much!  Don’t pay any attention to the negative identities that the enemy wants us to focus on.  We are God’s children and that means…

…we are a part of God’s family; an heir.  Romans 8:16

…we are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10

…we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

…we were set apart before we were born. Jeremiah 1:5. 

…we’ve been called out of darkness (those negative identities) into His marvelous light. 1Peter 2:9

…we are forgiven. Ephesians 1:7

I love being identified with Him!

Mama Bear

cancer, celebrations, family, God's plans, God's will

Happy Birthday, Cub 4!!

This was the plan:  four children, four years apart.  Cub 1 was born in 2000.  Cub 2 was born in 2004.  Cub 3 was born in 2008.  Cub 4 was born in 2010.  Huh?…..SURPRISE!!!

I’m a planner, and Cub 4’s early arrival rocked my entire world.  I cried for about two weeks and couldn’t wrap my head around how we would manage two babies who were going to be 18 months apart!  We discovered that we needed a bigger table in the kitchen, we needed to figure out new sleeping arrangements for the cubs, we even had to buy a bigger vehicle to accommodate two car seats and a booster.  

I didn’t really get it yet, that God was in control and not me.  So, to ensure that we didn’t have anymore surprises, I convinced Poppa Bear (PB) to go “take care of himself” because if we did decide later on that we wanted more children, his procedure was reversible.  Little did we know that this procedure would lead to the discovery of prostate cancer.  Prostate cancer screenings are recommended beginning at the age of 40.  PB was 35.  Look at God!  

God knew I would still try to be in control.  

God knew what was ahead for PB.

God knew that having PB go through that procedure would reveal a bigger issue.

God knew that PB wouldn’t make it to his 40th birthday if the prostate cancer hadn’t been discovered earlier.

God gave Cub 4’s life a purpose before she was even introduced to us.

God knew that I needed a lesson on trusting in Him, and he orchestrated it in such a way that I felt convicted, forgiven, and extremely thankful.

Convicted for thinking that I was in control of my life.  Forgiven for how much I complained and the shame I felt for thinking that I needed to “help God out” like He didn’t know what He was doing.  Thankful that He has blessed PB to live six cancer-free years, and thankful for Cub 4. 

Cub 4’s entrance into our lives has been pure joy and happiness.  

She is our little dancing machine.  

She is always smiling and friendly to everyone.  She is creative and active.

She is loved by all who know her, especially our Party of Six!  Most importantly, she is a daughter of the King!

Happy 7th Birthday to our baby cub!!

Mama Bear

family, Nature

30 Days of Gratitude Through Pictures: Day Two – NATURE

I am a summer baby, but my favorite season is fall!  

I love the cool mornings and evenings.  

I love the colors.  

I love Thanksgiving.  

I love the thoughts that nature reminds me of during this time of year. 

Things naturally have to fall and die in this season in order to make room for the new growth that will take place in the spring. Nature is such a great life lesson for me and you! 

Momma Bear