Availability is Valuable

I have been so blessed through my life as a daughter at home. One of those blessings has been to see certain circumstances as blessings in disguise…

Availability, believe it or not, has been one of them for me.

availability.valuable

When I started this season in life after my journey as a homeschool student ended, one of the main things God placed on my heart was service. I wanted so dearly to serve those around me: first and most importantly my family. I want to learn under my mother and father’s guidance and constantly be growing in the Lord (serving my family has been one way God is using to draw me closer to Him). I also have a desire to serve others in my community.  Things like babysitting for a family at church or baking cupcakes for my neighbors are a small effort for me that hopefully is a big blessing for others!

Because the Lord has placed service on my heart, He has also placed me in a very unique position of living at home and therefore allowing me more opportunities to serve. Availability is one of my most important assets. I need to constantly remember that when I am discouraged because some personal goal has not been met.  Blessing others, whether it be my sister or my neighbor …. or a complete stranger, is important.  It is an important aspect of my ministry of service and it takes the emphasis OFF of ME and ON to OTHERS. Besides, it truly is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

It is always tempting to lapse into the mindset of self first. Thinking that my own personal dreams and goals “matter, too” so why shouldn’t I focus mainly on them?

They do matter! and if they line up with God’s plan for my life then they will happen, but in God’s timing. People come first. Loving people is more important.

I do want to add that while aspirations are important, if I’m not chasing after God with my whole heart then my goals are not going to line up with God’s divine plan for my life and therefore are either, 1) not going to happen, or, 2) when they do happen might hinder me from fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.

God’s plan for my life is far greater than any material goal of mine. People are more important than that.

I desire, more than anything, to be in the center of God’s will.

People are my goal.

Loving and serving them is my dream.

So this place that I am at in life (available to serve my loved ones and community) is an incredible blessing.

 

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” -Galatians 5:13-14

Holiday Homeschooling {HEAV link up}

I am excited to share with y’all my latest blog post for HEAV about fun ways to add a little extra learning into the year! Something that I thought about at the beginning of the year was a way to do some sort of project for each holiday that comes up throughout the year.

I hope you will stop by HEAV’s blog today to read about this idea some more!

Holiday Homeschooling

 

 

Thank you and God bless,

Maiya

Resurrection Sunday Activities

Resurrection Sunday is just around the corner and that makes this girl very excited! I love this time of year! The weather gets just a little warmer, and the flowers will begin to bloom soon!

It is also a time to remember what Christ did on the cross of Calvary for me so many years ago. This day reminds me that I am a sinner with a steep penalty to pay for the sin in my life and that I am in need of a Savior. I am in awe that Jesus willingly paid that price for me.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8

 

ResurrectionSundayActivities

 Well, because it is coming up quickly, I wanted to put together a small list of activities I am planning on doing either on or in these next few weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday!

 

  • Resurrection Rolls

I did this for the very first time last year and it was so much fun to do with my siblings and some neighborhood friends. It is super easy and has an incredible message behind it… and it tastes pretty yummy, too. You can’t beat that combo!

I have attached a link here to where I originally got the idea. Enjoy!

 

  • Resurrection garden

My family has been doing this for several years and it is one of my favorite activities to do in the weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday. This is a fun project to put together! The little ones love running around outside on a mission to find rocks for the garden.

If you haven’t made a Resurrection garden before, here’s a quick read with the instructions on how to get started.

 

  • Color coded Easter egg hunt

Genius, right? Unfortunately, I cannot claim the idea for my own. But it definitely makes keeping track of who’s got how many eggs a lot easier during the hunt if each child knows they are only supposed to grab the eggs that are the color they’re assigned to! That way the older ones won’t take the easier-to-find eggs that are placed for the younger hunters.

I might add that this activity doesn’t really have any meaning that will point us to Christ’s resurrection. It is simply a fun way to find candy for Easter. ;)

 

  • Construction paper cross

This is actually the only “new” thing on this list I am doing this year. I think it will be a fun and super easy/quick craft to do. After the kids have cut out a cross from construction paper I will have them write out their favorite Bible verse on it having to do with God’s love toward us. (Examples):

John 3:16

Romans 5:8

Galatians 2:20

1 John 3:1

 

 I think it is so important that little ones know just how much God loves each one of them individually and what Resurrection Sunday is all about: Jesus rising from the dead after being hung up on the cross to die for each of our sins.

It is equally important that, as we carry out these activities for the little ones, we always remember this truth ourselves. God loves us so much that He was willing to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to the world to make a way for us to enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven one day. He died a horrific death for me. Because He loves me. Jesus died so that I might live. I believe that even through these simple activities with the young ones in our life we can be reminded of the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf. And, Lord willing, even help those little lives understand that there is a God who loves them more than they could possibly understand.

Have a very blessed Resurrection Sunday.

…and remember, He is risen!

 

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” –Isaiah 53:5

 

 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” -1 Corinthians 15:3

Staying Afloat {Mama Monday}

Today I am eager to share with you this blog post written by my very own mama for her “Mama Monday” blog post! I pray that someone is touched by this heartfelt post written for all of those trying to “stay afloat”.

 

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Staying.Afloat

We stood there staring at each other in shock and confusion. We were best friends but were beginning to realize that we both had been through difficult, life changing events. It was our first day back in school after going through traumatic crises – only neither of us knew it due to our own grief. It was tenth grade and my step-father had died suddenly. I was shocked she didn’t even know until I discovered that her father had had a massive heart attack the same week. And I didn’t even know because I had been so engulfed in my own grief.

 

This last year was full of blessing for me, for which I am grateful, but it was also full of heartache and several life-altering changes. Frankly, it’s been a tough year.

 

Others in my life have also experienced difficult times lately and I wasn’t there to help them through. I don’t think I would do anything differently but I do regret that some were hurt by my lack of attention. I do wish I could somehow change that.

 

My point? Well, if you’re going through a hard time and someone isn’t there that you thought you could count on, maybe they’re trying to stay afloat too.

 

There is only One Who will always be there for you. While I want to become more and more like Him each day, I fall short. Each and every day.

 

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” -1 Peter 5:7

 

The Greatest Love {HEAV link up}

This time last week the world was getting ready for Valentine’s Day! I also had a blog post published on HEAV’s website about this very special day and what is truly the greatest gift of love ever given to any human being, single or married, man or woman.

I am sorry it is a week late; everything has been so hectic lately, but I truly hope you are blessed by this post that really is applicable to any day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day!

 

The.greatest.love

 

Please head over to HEAV’s blog to read my newest post, The Greatest Love!

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (KJV)

 

Have a blessed day,

Maiya

Keeping Your “To-Do” List {HEAV link up}

to_do_

 

Being a stickler about getting my own agenda for the day accomplished has gotten me in trouble before. A constant reminder I try to keep in mind is that goals are excellent, but we must hold the openly in our palms so that God may adjust those desires of ours to fit His plans. Yes, even in the small, day-to-day to-do list.

In my latest blog post for HEAV I mentioned,

“Daily responsibilities often pile up faster than I can remember them, so I like to write myself a list of things to do. I am definitely a list person, and always have been. However, along with daily responsibilities come daily disturbances—things that get in our way. I have a nasty habit of getting annoyed…angry, even. I just know that getting my writing done or finishing an organizing project is so important and it is so unfair when I have to make last-minute adjustments like a trip to the grocery store or taking care of a sibling during a busy time.”

Head over to HEAV’s blog to read the rest of my latest blog post, Keeping Your “To-Do” List. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Blessings,

Maiya

This entry was posted on February 6, 2015. 1 Comment

Four Things I have Learned through Change

I recently wrote on my blog that my family and I had experienced several months of change last year. Now, obviously everyone goes through change in their lives. We as human beings go through change numerous times throughout our lives. But one of the most important parts of change in a person’s life is what they have learned from it. I wanted to share with you all some of the things that I have learned through these past few months.

Change

  1. God isn’t a genie. He doesn’t grant all of our wishes because, frankly, we are selfish. I am selfish. If we all got what we thought we wanted, well, it would be bad. This seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? I’ve known it for a long time, but it was really impressed upon me last year. God won’t always give me what I want, but He will always give me what I need. And you know what? I am overwhelmingly happy because of this fact. Some of my biggest blessings in my life have come about in “I didn’t get what I want, but God gave me what I needed” times in my life. It is just a reminder that we can only see one step at a time (and sometimes not even that) while God can see the entire staircase. This is because God is omniscient … all-knowing!

 

  1. If I am willing to let Him, God will work on my heart. This can be looked at as the next part of #1. I can’t tell you how many times things haven’t turned out how I originally planned or wanted them to go. But after I make a conscious effort to pray for willingness to see God’s will and know that things turned out the way they did for a reason, I feel renewed. He will turn my heart from disappointment and selfishness to willingness and gratefulness. It isn’t instantaneous, but it does come. It takes time and patience (which, really is another thing I have learned. I’m not good by any stretch of the imagination, but I have seen a little evidences of progress).

 

  1. I can’t do it. You’re probably thinking right now, “Well, I could’ve told you that.” Again, this seems like a no-brainer, but in all actuality it isn’t. At least I know for me it most definitely is not. I “forget” all of the time that I am NOT in control. I’m kind of a perfectionist and when I have a list of things I know have to get done, I like to get them done. But one of the biggest things I have learned through these past few months of change is I can’t do anything without the Lord. IF I am able to do something right and well, it is only because of the Lord working through me. He will use me, but I have to be willing and allow Him to use me. In fact, He wants to use all of us, but He also wants us to want Him to want to use us (yikes! I hope you made it through that alright!). That’s why He gave me (and you) a free will. He isn’t going to force us – He will prompt us to do the right thing, but won’t force.

 

  1. God needs to be first in my life. This, I believe, is an ongoing, reoccurring realization in one’s life. I need to remember daily that I need to put God first in my life. I am His. He created me. Therefore He needs to be my number One. This paves the way for joy. Dictonary.com defines joy as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good. My something (or in this case, Someone) ‘exceptionally good’ needs to be my Lord. If God is first in my life, He WILL be my cause for great delight. If I have joy in the Lord, because He is first in my life, it will also cause everything else to fall into place:

Jesus

Others

You

But like I said, this is an ongoing decision that I have to make. God could be number one in my life one day and then the next, if I am not aware and intentional about keeping Him there, something else could slip into that sacred place of “first” in my life.

 

Learning isn’t always fun to go through, but I count all of the things I have learned these past few months as true blessings that I would not trade for the world.

 ~

 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” –John 15:5