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Plant a legacy of faith

Today I chose to read from my great-great-grandmother’s Bible. The pages are yellowed with age and the outside is worn but the truth in it still remains the same . I found myself reading Ecclesiastes 3 because it was written in the front of her Bible.

The Bible is marked “to Mama from Paul”. Paul is my great-grandfather. As I dug in, God’s word filled me with a sense of excitement1939655_620380091372648_1537100982_n. A small glimpse of my great-great-grandmother was revealed to me and God had a lesson for me to learn. I began to understand that she knew the Lord, and upon her passing, the Bible went to her son Paul and his wife Ruth. Ruth Ann Turner, Grandma “R.A.T.”, was my great-grandmother. Ruth also seemed to know the Lord.

In the Bible, there are things that my great-grandmother Ruth added when it became hers. There was a newspaper clipping about President Lyndon B. Johnson, prayers she cut out of things she had read, a couple of bookmarks and a page out of a devotional. On the devotional page, someone named Minnie had written a note to my great-grandmother Ruth. It said,

“This is for your own self. I just read this and it made me think of your life. Your smile does bless lots of folks.” -Minnie

There were a few generations between my great-grandmother and me that became unfruitful soil. Holding this Bible, their Bible, I understood that I needed to pick up where they left off. I realized that I have been given a chance to water what was once planted and then neglected for a few generations.

In God’s perfect timing, I found myself in Ecclesiastes 3. I was reading what either my great-grandmother or great-great-grandmother felt was important enough to write in the front of this Bible.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

In this passage, I see that it is time for me to make a change in my own family to prepare for the generations to come. I want to leave a legacy of faith for my children, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren.

My kids know the Lord, but I don’t want to settle for that. I want to dig in and turn over the ground, pull out the weeds, and water the seed that was planted by my great-great-grandmother and her daughter-in-law all those years ago. I want to leave behind a legacy of faith. To have people remember me as a woman who loved the Lord with her whole heart, that is what I long for. It is so important for me pass my faith onto my kids and the generations to come.

As you are reading this, I hope you want the same thing for your family. Do you want to leave behind a legacy of faith? Then start with your own kids. If there’s neglected soil in your family, even if it has been left for generations, you can make a difference. Dig in! Tear out the weeds, plant your own seeds, and water them. Tend to them and grow something beautiful. Plant a legacy of faith.

Originally written for the Whatever Girls

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The Reward Will Come

By Traci Mertens

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 10.59.44 AMEver since I can remember I have wanted to be married, have four kids, a dog, a cat, and a picket fence. That’s every girls dream, well maybe not every girl but quite a few! I had it all planned out. I would meet my husband in high school or college. We would get married and have all of our children by the time I was 30. Guess what. My plans have not come to fruition! I turned 31 this year and have never had a boyfriend, thus no husband or children for me. I do have my precious cat Piper but that’s about it from my dreams so far.

When I am frustrated that my plans are not working out I have to cling to my life verse, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” God has me in the palm of His hand and He knows the end result of my life so I don’t have to worry.

It is so important to remember all the blessings that God has given you inScreen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.06.31 AM life as you are going through the trials and the waiting. Trials will come to all of us, big and little, but we are blessed no matter what!  He cares about us more than we can even fathom.  Last year I had the word “blessed” tattooed on the inside of my left foot. I had been planning on getting a tattoo for quite a few years before I actually did it. I choose the word “blessed” because looking at my life I can see so many ways that God has blessed me. This summer I was working at a camp and heard a sermon on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. The Beatitudes teach us that we can rejoice NO MATTER WHAT because our reward is not on this earth, but is in heaven and we get to go there someday!

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My next tattoo (for my right foot) will have something to do with “no matter what” because I choose to declare that I am BLESSED, NO MATTER WHAT. This will be a declaration that I will choose to be blessed no matter what happens in my life but also a tribute to one of my best friends and one of the strongest women that I know. My friend, Danielle, is fighting stage 4 breast cancer but her devotion and unwavering faith is the epitome of being blessed, no matter what. When I lack faith I just have to think about her and the battle that she is fighting and her example increases my faith.   I am so grateful for her example in my life. We are praying for a miracle but know that God’s plans are already made. He is doing great things through her.

I encourage you to look at your life, reflect on the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon you. When the trials come, be blessed. When the good happens, be blessed. In all things, be blessed. Our Father is preparing our reward for us. Please, while you wait in anticipation for your heavenly reward rejoice in the blessings that He has given. -Traci

-This midlife domestic goddess is so blessed but the words of my sweet friend.  She has so many amazing gifts to offer.  I hope you have enjoyed what she wrote and that you will never forget that God has great plans for your life.  Hold tight in the promise that the reward will come 🙂

Please be sure to check out Traci’s beautiful work on Facebook at ABC Blanket company.  

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Like a moth to the moon

Originally written for Living Better 50 magazine.

Have you ever noticed the number of moths and other bugs that gravitate to your porch light? One flick of Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.58.31 PMthe switch and your porch light becomes a beacon in the night – just like Motel 6. Moths are attracted to the light because they think it’s the moon. Instead, they end up being confused and tired while flying around your light.

Moths use the light of the moon to navigate at night, and sadly, they often get pulled off course by a false moon (the front porch light). Moths are not the only creatures that are guided by the light. There is one true light that has been given to us as human beings, Jesus Christ. Sadly, many of us get pulled off course by the false lights of the world. Many may never even know that there is one true light to guide them; instead, they remain alone in the darkness.

My prayer is that God will use me as His instrument to touch the hearts of those around me. Out of the darkness, may I be a beacon of light, a light that people will be drawn to because Christ shines so brightly in me. My heart’s cry is to share His love in a way that turns the hearts of the broken, those trapped in darkness, to freedom in the light.

Today I pray that you, too, will want to be used to help lead others out of the darkness. Look around you. Who in your life is off course? Who is going through life wasting away like a moth that is drawn to a false moon? Moths will move from one false moon to the next until they die. How many people are we going to watch do the same as they bounce from one lie to another?

LB50ContributorSQMoths show us that false light leads to death. Be a beacon of light for those who are in darkness, direct them to the true light of Christ because in Him is salvation.

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