God’s Promise of Family

God’s Promise of Family

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Did you know hidden in God’s word like a diamond waiting to be discovered is a beautiful promise of family? It’s a promise that he would put the lonely in families. If God says it, then you can trust it to happen. That is the truth that I’ve been holding onto for years. As I look at how God has fulfilled his Promise of Family in my life, I know that this promise rings true for all of us.

gods-promise-of-family gods-promise-of-family-pin

psalm-68-6-pin

Promise of Family

The first time I read this promise in Psalm 68:6, I held onto it like it was my lifeline. At that time, my husband and I were in the midst of discerning which congregation God wanted us to work with. You see God called us away from the church family we grew up with and asked us to go somewhere where else. We couldn’t understand it at the time, but now see that God was paving the way for other things He would call us to later.

After eight long months, we found a family of believers that took us in as their own. We came to them as visitors and they treated us like family long before we ever placed membership.

I saw God’s promise of putting us in a family unfold. 

I remember being asked if they could throw us a baby shower when they found out we were pregnant with baby #4. This was only after visiting for a handful of months. After responding “thanks but we aren’t members,” we were met with a question that makes me cry thinking about it even now.

“Can we love on you anyway?”

How could I refuse allowing them to love on our family?  They truly showered us with love then and even after our move.

The Promise Answered Again!

About four years later, once again we were being called to leave. My husband had finally been offered not one but two jobs after spending a year taking care of his grandparents. Praying for discernment over which job my husband should take, was hard because I had to put my emotions aside. I did not want to move far away. On our way home from the potential job that was the farthest away from our “home,” my husband asked my thoughts on where God was leading us. I couldn’t help but burst out into tears as I answered him. I knew God was calling us to the farthest location away from all our family.

And then that same promise came floating back to my heart:

“God sets the lonely in families,”

A year ago I was in tears thinking about moving, and now I’m praising God for how He has kept his promise once again. We may not have any family by blood in this town but we have a spiritual family. And they are a blessing to my heart.

Here’s the cool part though…many of our spiritual family from back “home” did what they could to connect us to people they knew in our new town. One friend connected us with her family and they have been a big blessing literally from day one of our move. Others encouraged us to visit certain congregations or connected us through Facebook with their friends here. God has blessed us with amazing neighbors and blossoming friendships near and far. The more I spend time in different places, the more I realize what God means by family. It’s a family where there is always room for more! I am so thankful for those who have come into my life up to this point and look forward to those I have yet to meet.

Christ’s church is a Family No Matter Where You Are

Christ’s church was designed to be a family of believers no matter where you are on this planet. We are all one big family! I love this so much. Thanks to the congregation we attended before leaving Oklahoma, we had a wonderful opportunity to bring this understanding home to our children’s heart.

A couple months after delivering our 5th child in Texas, we received a package from the Oklahoma congregation. The kids were sooooo excited to open it and guessing what it was. Then one kid piped up and said, “Why are they sending us a gift?” They spent several minutes coming up with answers. Some were hilarious, but some hit the nail on the head:

They still love us. 
They still consider us family!

Yes, they do consider us family and we still consider them family, just like we still consider the congregation we grew up in family. No matter where you live on this earth, if you are a follower of Christ, we are family!

psalm-68-6

The congregation in Oklahoma had a baby blessing and delighted in blessing us too with a handmade blanket! And yes, I totally cried!

I share this because I’m sure I am not the only one who has felt lonely in my circumstance. God is always with us and praise God for Him and his faithfulness! He is my closest friend and always will be. But I praise Him for recognizing our need for physical families too. I hope this encourages your heart today if you are feeling lonely to reach out to those around you. And even if you are not feeling lonely, pray about who you can reach out to that might be praying for family right now.

Bless you and create a great day, my sisters!

The Tradition of the Silver Box

The Tradition of the Silver Box

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

One of the most sentimental memories from my childhood is Christmastime. The glow of the Christmas tree on the night of Christmas Eve. Candles lit throughout the house, special trinkets on display, festive music filling the air. The glowing fireplace filling the room with warm air, stockings hung on the mantel. Such beautiful traditions took place in this setting. Under the tree were beautifully wrapped packages–our family gifts, of course, as Santa had not yet visited. The sweetest gift we had to offer each other, however, could not be wrapped, but was symbolized by a small silver box that hung on our tree.

 proverbs-16-24the-tradition-of-the-silver-box-pin
Proverbs 16:24 tells us that kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Words of affirmation and life are something we all need from others and something we should be able to sincerely express to those around us.
kind-words-are-like-honey-sweet-to-the-soul-and-healthy-for-the-body
Family so often gets our worst. They are the ones on the front lines when life is stressful or frustrating. How beautiful it is to take a moment to say something lovely and life-giving to each other.
Our family had a special tradition of passing a silver box around on Christmas Eve, and with it, saying something kind to each other. We each took a turn to speak about every person. While it’s important to speak encouragement all through the year, there was something extra special about doing it at Christmastime. Our remarks to each other required time and forethought. Our kind words truly were a gift to each other. A sweet and precious gift.
Our silver box tradition was based upon the book Silver Boxes by Florence Littauer. In this book is a special poem that we read each year before we exchanged our kind words.

“Silver Boxes,” by Michael Bright

My words were harsh and hasty and they came without a thought.
Then I saw the pain and anguish that my bitter words had brought.
Bitter words that I had spoken made me think back through the past;
Of how many times I’d uttered biting words whose pain would last.
Then I wondered of the people I had hurt by things I’d said;
all the ones I had discouraged when I didn’t use my head.
Then I thought about my own life. Of painful words I’ve heard;
and of the times I’d been discouraged by a sharp and cruel word.
And now clearly I remember all the things I might have done;
but, by a word I was discouraged and they never were begun.
Lord, help my words be silver boxes.
Neatly wrapped up with a bow; that I give to all so freely, as through each day I gladly go.
Silver boxes full of treasure, precious gifts from God above;
that all the people I encounter might have a box of God’s own love.

On a night where God’s love is at the forefront of our minds as we are thinking about the babe Jesus, it is a beautiful thing to share God’s love in the words we say to each other. Oh, that our words might be silver boxes!

As we are mindfully preparing for our Christmas this year, let’s look for ways to speak life to each other, and to encourage each other with words as sweet as honey. The best part about this tradition is that is costs nothing, yet it is truly meaningful!

Merry Christmas, friends!

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Tips for a Stress-Free Advent All I Want for Christmas Spiritual Discernment When You Have Nothing Left to Give

What is the Focus of Your Table?

What is the Focus of Your Table?

Lori S

Lori S

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

Latest posts by Lori S (see all)

this-post-may-contain-affiliate-links-for-your-convenience-and-at-no-extra-cost-to-you-1

IF Table

For those who don’t know, the IF Table is a monthly gathering place where women connect with each other over one of the best things on Earth…food! A blog entry is posted about the monthly topic, and conversation cards are offered to facilitate conversation about the topic. For more information about how the IF Table works, click here (https://www.ifgathering.com/table)

The November blog was written by Bri McKoy, whose most recent book is Come and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace around the Everyday Table. In her blog, she references how Jesus taught us the importance of gathering people around our table. She stated that a table where Jesus is present is filled with meekness, humility, and service. She asks us to consider the “table,” Jesus’ experiences at tables, and our perspective of our own table.

what-is-the-focus-of-your-table-pin

What is Your Banner?

Bri brings up the word “banner” in her blog and her questions. The question that stuck out to me is: “Do you have an intentional banner for your table?” In other words, do you gather people around your table with purpose? If so, what is it?

This question hit me hard. Sadly, I am running around so much during the week that I don’t have a lot of intentionality with my table. I’m lucky to plan dinner! The phrase “intentional banner” made me think about my home, my family, and the intimacy that meals should bring. What do I want people to know about me and my family? What do I want our focus to be with guests in our home? One of the ladies in my group said she wanted people to feel not just invited, but WANTED when they come into her home.

How true is that? How many times have we received an invitation to someone’s home but were not sure if they would even miss us? Oh, I pray that the people we invite into our home know that they are loved, wanted, and important.

Holiday vs. Everyday Table

Is your holiday table more important than your everyday table?

Talk about deep. How often do we really focus on the importance of our everyday table? This wasn’t a direct question (or statement) from Bri’s blog, but it came up in our IF Table discussion. We take time to focus on the holiday table–the decorations, good food, ensuring that we are surrounded by loved ones. Why do we honor and celebrate the holiday table more than we do the everyday table? Holidays come and go…relationships are rekindled, and memories are made. But why are we quick to dismiss the importance of our everyday table?

We may rekindle relationships at the holiday table, but we make relationships at the everyday table. The everyday table is where we cultivate, develop, and strengthen the relationships of our families, our friends, and those who may need a seat at our table. The everyday table is where we honor and reiterate the importance of community, which is vital to the rhythm of the church.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited to have holiday dinners just like most of us are! But I love Bri’s focus on the table in this blog. Her written words, along with my group’s spoken words, reminded me that our everyday conversations around our table have significance. Don’t exchange “table” time for distractions. God created us to live in community with others.

What is the Focus of Your Table?

I’m still thinking about which word to use for the “banner” over our table.  What would your word be? Joy? Peace? Grace? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section of our blog!!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Embracing God's Love Nothing Left to Give God's will when I'm comfortable Six Easy Dinners

Extending the Hand of Hospitality

Extending the Hand of Hospitality

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

When November flips open on my calendar, I can’t help but immediately start to think about the smells and tastes of the season.  Pumpkin pie with whipped cream, turkey, green beans, banana bread, pecan pie with milk, cranberry sauce….now I’m drooling!

Now, what I picture alongside the food is my family and friends.  I’ve always had the opportunity to spend the holidays with my family except one year when I lived overseas. That year reminded me how wonderful hospitality truly is.

So this month, we want to encourage you to extend the hand of hospitality. Invite a friend or even someone you don’t know to share a meal with you.

Extending the hand of hospitality could take on many forms:

  • Have a picnic in the park with friends (depending on the weather and where you live).
  • Invite someone on a street corner to meet you at the nearest food establishment or bring them a meal.
  • Share meaningful conversation with a friend over coffee or hot chocolate, either in your home or at a local coffee shop.
  • Plan on making a double portion for Sunday lunch and invite another couple or family over.  Maybe that could be a visitor from church or the new family who just placed membership or a family who is just visiting.
  • Take dinner over to a friend’s house and surprise them with a home-cooked meal.
  • Reach out to someone you have been estranged from.
  • You could even invite a friend or an acquaintance for Thanksgiving dinner! If you live near a college, invite someone who can’t go home for the holiday. Or, if you live near a military base, invite a few soldiers over. College kids and soldiers always appreciate a home-cooked meal!

There are so many choices but one thing is for sure: sharing a meal means sharing our lives.  So be blessed by the presence of others and your heart will be blessed also.

Who is the first person that came to mind while reading this?  

That very well could be the Holy Spirit planting an idea.  Now, find the time to reach out to that person and plan a time to share a meal together.

extending-the-hand-of-hospitality-1

Standing Tall with Purpose

Standing Tall with Purpose

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

this-post-may-contain-affiliate-links-for-your-convenience-and-at-no-extra-cost-to-you-1

My daughter and I were recently reading The Scarecrow’s Dance by Jane Yolen. In this story a scarecrow gets blown off his post and in his happiness of freedom he takes off dancing from the cornfields. He comes to a window at the farm house, where he looks in on a little boy saying his prayers.

 standing-tall-with-purpose-pin

 

“And bless tonight
Our old scarecrow
Who guards the fields
And each corn row
So that tomorrow,
When we reap,
There will be lots of corn to keep.”

 

Touched by hearing his purpose he danced all the way back to those fields, and feeling proud of his duty to defend the corn leaped back on to his post.

Everyone needs encouragement to stand tall with purpose

From a mother’s perspective I held back tears. For how many times does the job of a mom feel thankless and trapping? I’m so thankful for the times my family have let me known why I’m important to them. Knowing what we mean to our family will give us purpose and joy as we fulfill our maternal duties.

 

But it’s not just moms. Everyone needs words of encouragement and life spoken to them! All of us long for purpose. The single woman who lives away from her family, the widower or the retired couple, the teenager, the parents of the teenager, the young couple couple without children. All of us!
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24 

 

let-us-consider-how-to-stir-up-one-another-to-love-and-good-works

Preparing for Thanksgiving

As we are preparing to gather with friends and family for Thanksgiving might I offer a suggestion? Let’s use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to let those we love know why we value them. It doesn’t have to be a formal ceremony! You might make a comment to them about how they are making a difference, or perhaps a short handwritten note to them as they leave. You could publicly share your thoughts at the Thanksgiving table, everyone taking turns to talk about someone.
However it’s done, let’s fill our Thanksgiving guests not only with food but also with purpose so that when the weekend is over and they return to normal life they will know that they matter. If you are the host or not, I encourage you to find a way to speak words of purpose to those you are celebrating Thanksgiving with. Would’t it be wonderful to know they might stand tall like the proud scarecrow on his post, filled with honor for the duties they hold? What do you say? Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving by honoring the precious people God has put in our lives!
standing-tall-with-purpose-social

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Thanking your husband Sacrifice of Praise Letter to my unborn child Embracing God's love

Bearing with Each Other: The Other Side of Forgiveness

Bearing with Each Other: The Other Side of Forgiveness

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

“Forgive and forget.”

It sounds so easy. I don’t like conflict so forgiveness usually comes quickly for me, but oh, the forgetting–that is where I have a hard time. The sting of past offenses stay with me, and the enemy uses them to distract me and even bring out sin I am ashamed of.

About ten years ago, I found out something had been said about me and it crushed me. To make the situation even more difficult to walk away from, this was not a person I could avoid. Someone I was going to be around for a long time had said these hurtful things. Despite my hurt and disappointment, I knew I was going to have to live with this remark and move on. I knew I didn’t want to hold a grudge, so I decided to take the comment for what it was worth and forgive in my heart.

Don’t Let Hurtful Words Destroy

As I said, this person is a part of my life, and whom I love. I’ve had good times with this person as well. In fact, I’ve even grown a little as the comment has helped me. However, that doesn’t mean I’m without memory of what happened. To this day I cringe when the memory pops up. I often feel intimidated and insecure around this person, all because of that one comment made ten years ago. The enemy wants to stir up past wounds and put anger in our hearts. He is out to destroy our godly relationships with others and wreak chaos in God’s kingdom. We can’t let that happen. We must put into practice the instructions offered in Colossians:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.  

colossians-3_12-14

How Can I Forgive?

I don’t believe I have to forget about my past grievances in order to forgive. I just need to be able to handle these hurts with:

  • compassion, as I seek to understand my offender’s point of view and situation;
  • kindness, as I choose to be respectful and pleasant despite how I’ve been treated;
  • humility, as I examine myself, and my own fault, realizing that I need Jesus to make me whole;
  • gentleness, as I respond to offenses, with my words, thoughts, and actions;
  • and patience, as I understand that this might happen again, and it might be difficult to move on.

When I read the phrase “Bear with each other,” it reminds me of ongoing struggles. It tells me there will be those who drive me crazy and might even upset me, but it’s not my right to hold a grudge. I’m to bear and forgive. I’m to live with it, and move on, realizing that the only perfect one is Christ.

Above all, I must remember to love. Strong’s Concordance defines this agape love as benevolent. It’s a love we give, not because it has been earned, not because we “feel” it, but because it is the right thing to do.

Bearing Each Other is Hard Labor

Learning how to move past my offenses in a godly way has been life-changing for me. I wish I could say that it’s easy, but “bearing each other” is hard labor. We should take the step of forgiveness, but we mustn’t forget that our relationship with that person isn’t over yet. The regard we hold each other in and the way we interact is important. We will likely feel the sting again, but we can move forward in love if we take on the characteristics described in Colossians 3. It is also helpful to remember that our enemy is Satan–not each other.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Ephesians 6:12

We must move past the grievances we have toward one another so that God’s kingdom is made stronger. 

we-must-move-past-the-grievances-we-have-toward-one-another-so-that-gods-kingdom-is-made-stronger

Do You Have Unforgiven Past Hurts?

What past hurts are lingering in your heart? Are you open to bearing and forgiving? It sounds hard, but you don’t have to do this on your own. You have a Father who understands because he continues to lavish his children with perfect forgiveness and reconciliation. Our Lord can empower you to bear and forgive, offering you the support you need. Won’t you seek Him?

Father God, You are Lord of the universe, yet you seek us out, one by one, drawing us to you in perfect reconciliation. Thank you for the forgiveness and life you offer us through your son. Thank you for your presence in our life and may we draw strength from you as we seek to have compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience in our relationships with others, bearing with each other and forgiving. Forgive us for the times we struggle to forgive and fail to take on these characteristics. Give us strength and wisdom to be united as your church in love. In Jesus Name, Amen

 

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest