freedom

31 Days of Praise {Day 6} – Created for Praise

And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. – Luke 19:40

Back when my husband and I were teaching Children’s Church, there was an object lesson we liked to use when teaching the children how to praise God. It involved filling up a long balloon with water, reading Luke 19:28-40, and then allowing one of the children to squeeze the balloon with all their might until it popped and water flowed out between their fingers.

We then explained that was how all of creation would feel if we didn’t do our part in praising God. Praise would burst forth from the cracks in the ground and all of creation itself would cry out that we aren’t doing what we were created to do.

Creation will cry out in the only ways that it can, all of creation will cry out if we keep our peace, we remain silent, we refuse to put our faith into words. There are some things that must be said, and they will be said , even if we do not say them.

God has given most of us the gift of a voice, shouldn’t we use it to praise Him?

Please visit the other ladies who are participants in the 31 Days of Ministry Online:

Amy Bayliss {Cajun Inspired} : 31 Days of Heart Matters
{A Martha Heart} : 31 Days of Prayer
Karin {Mommy Matters} : 31 Days of Intentional Parenting
Jenny {867-53oh9} : 31 Days of Social Media
Dawn {My Home Sweet Home} : 31 Days of Encouragement
Lisa Boyd : 31 Days of WordPress

*Links to all posts on this subject can be found here.

A Return


I read a strikingly good post the other day about the return to authentic blogging and one woman’s struggles as she sailed the turbulent waters of writing and blogging because she had to in order to keep her readers and sponsors happy and coming back for more.

I’m not naming her because she wrote it semi-anonymously, but I think that anyone who has been blogging for any length of time and has earned any type of income will empathize with the feelings of burnout.

Bûrn·out: a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest.

It really resonated with me on so many levels. This summer marks 4 years of blogging for me. In that 4 years, I’ve had highs and lows — I’ve been in the top 25 and in the bottom 25. I’ve had tens of visitors a day and thousands of visitors a day. I’ve had ad networks featured on my blog and I’ve removed ad networks on my blog.

Through it all, I’ve struggled to maintain integrity and stay true to who I really am, instead of who I want people to think I am. As the numbers climbed and the ad networks paid more and more, my stress inched its way up the scale a bit. Anyone that knows me would laugh at the thought of me worrying about numbers. I couldn’t pass a statistics class if my life depended on it, but I became obsessed with numbers and metrics and optimization and socialization and and and…the list goes on. The need for perfection grew (out of my own silly insecurities) and I often felt that I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t getting noticed like some of the “other” bloggers were.

For someone who is as competitive as me, that’s quite a tough pill to swallow. I was never a stellar athlete in high school, but I had some game in me. All that changed after one little innocent comment left on my blog by Sophie. I was discussing the pros and cons of watching your metrics and the little counters in the sidebars and she simply said, “Oh, I never watch any of that stuff…in fact, I don’t even have it on my blog – it would drive me nuts.” {insert screeching tire sounds here} What? The Boo doesn’t watch her metrics? How can that BE? So I began to think about it…and the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of not looking at those things. So I took them off.

The pressure to post daily was gone almost immediately. I began posting three or four times a week and then tapered off to twice a week, then eventually whenever I felt like it. When the ad network began sending me emails asking me to post, instead of succumbing to the peer pressure, I removed the ad network. Then life took over and I all but quit blogging through some personal issues (which I’ll blog about eventually – when I’m ready to share). And here I am, one full year later, a recovering statistics addict. With no blog income a page rank of ZERO and no readers.

The bright side? I can write whatever I feel like writing about and say whatever I feel like saying whenever I feel like it. I have no rules to follow, no disclosures (for the most part) to worry over and I can finally be ME again. Plus, I now have a thriving little design business and am tickled pink whenever I think about the prospect of blogging again.

How I’ve missed you, little blog of mine. You may be small, but you’re mine. And I shall take you home with me and hug you and squeeze you and call you George. Because no one loves you as much as I do, which is why I’ve returned home. Home is where the heart is.

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Slippery Slope, Indeed

We just returned from a 4 day mini-getaway in the Big D, and I have much to write about.

Yet, this blog post I read on Kim’s blog this morning left me feeling that discussing my little vacation would be so wrong when our country’s freedoms are literally being stripped away while we sleep.

The end of America as we know it is not as far away as we think, folks. It’s frightening to look at how many freedoms and rights have been taken in the last few months. Gun sales are up because people are terrified of losing the right the even buy them.

It’s come to the day where we have the right to burn the American flag, but not criticize our government. Funny, I thought the flag was a symbol of our government…someone help me, because frankly, I’m confused about this.

I am positive we are headed for a communist society. The very idea that we as a nation would be “okay” with the government taxing ex post facto the bonuses of those AIG execs? While I’m not pleased with the fact that the execs at AIG grossly mishandled taxpayer money – I am quite sure that the federal government is not going to give that money back to us. And I am not at all pleased with the idea of a government that can go about changing the rules as they see fit with executive orders that open us up for foreign attacks on our soil and at the same time, use our money for murder-for-hire causes.

I know what you’re thinking…”She’s done gone off the deep end”. I say that jokingly, but I’m no conspiracy theorist…anyone who has half a brain can see what’s happening to our country. As Christians, we need to be aware of what is going on – it’s truly a time for prayer. I am praying for our nation and our president. I am praying that he will come to know the Jesus I know.

I am praying the prayer of Abraham…that God will be able to look down and spare the nation for just one righteous man. I am thankful to have the peace of God through this time, because as frightening as it is – I have read the back of the book and I know how it ends. Romans 8:18 states “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

I think my biggest concern is that if Jesus doesn’t come back soon, my children are going to be living in a vastly different world than what we know today. It has already changed drastically from my own childhood, I hate to postulate as to what it might become. I can only cling to my favorite verses (Romans 8:37-39) that remind us that no matter what happens, we cannot be separated from the love of God.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I realize this is quite a departure from my standard “fare”, but I’m really interested in your thoughts on this subject – are you talking with your kids about this? (You should be) Do you think I’m crazy? Do you think I’m right? Have you even thought about this? Is this the first time you’ve been exposed to some of these articles? So don’t hold back….shoot it straight to me in the comments. I can handle it.

And here’s one of my favorite songs on the subject, for your listening pleasure:

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UNRC Treaty – What it is & What We Can Do

The vital child-parent relationship is deeply valued in millions of homes across the nation.

Yet most American families have no idea of the extent to which this precious relationship is now jeopardized by the threat of international treaty law.

Today the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is approaching a possible ratification by the United States Senate.

This treaty, as harmless as it may appear, is capable of attacking the very core of the child-parent relationship, removing parents from their central role in the growth and development of a child, and replacing them with the long arm of government supervision within the home. – from parentalrights.org

My understanding is that if a treaty is ratified by the United States, it becomes law.

So in the case of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNRC), if the United States signs it, an international body will be in control of deciding what is best for our children!

International law will supersede our own state and federal laws.

International law will govern our children and our parental hands will be tied. There won’t be anything we can do about it at that point. The time to act is now.

Please familiarize yourself with the dangers of the UNRC.

Many countries around the world have already signed the UNRC treaty and the results have been horrific. If you have not already done so, please consider signing the petition at parentalrights.org.

The founder of parentalrights.org, Michael Farris, is working on an amendment to our Constitution that will protect our parenting rights in the U.S. Can you take a moment to read and sign the petition, and pray for the protection of our parental rights in the United States?

Share this information with your friends and family so that we can all take a stand together to protect our precious freedoms.

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