amberdover

The High King Lives

Don’t Snuff Out the Light November 17, 2015

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Hello Dear Ones, it’s been awhile but I’m still kickin’. You know, the world is a scary place sometimes…especially with terrorist attacks and such. There’s a lot of darkness, and we have access to that darkness 24/7. It is broadcast through our screens and airwaves. As I look at my little family I feel pretty small in this world, but through Christ, we are a light. We try to share love and hope. Sometimes the darkness attacks us. Sometimes it is an unwelcomed guest that pretends to be family. But by Christ’ strength, the darkness is held back. The love and light of Jesus flickers against a dark and scary world.

Dear ones, I implore you to hold to the light. Don’t snuff it out. I’m sure my readers aren’t terrorists, and that you are all the best of people. After all, you have a lot of grace to keep track of me. So how in the world could caring honest people snuff out the light?  Well, here are some ways:

  • Focus on the darkness. Let it consume you. Only watch the bad news, until anxiety robs you of the light.
  • Take your fears and anger out on others. Let fear drive you to hate.
  • Keep yourself so busy and stressed that you take it out on your family.
  • Don’t show love, peace, and joy. Don’t look for the light. Don’t surround yourself with light.
  • Don’t get to know the light and don’t let Him be your source. Avoid Jesus.
  • Bury your head in the sand. Shut people out completely. Hide from the world and close yourself off.
  • Don’t answer the plight of the fatherless and the widow, the sick and the poor. Care only about yourself and your wants. Don’t get involved.

I am preaching to the choir. When life is scary it is very tempting for me to run and hide. I put up walls. It is by God’s grace that he sends people and circumstances to break them down. Jesus nudges me out of the door. So the above list is all about ways you can snuff out the light. I really don’t want you or I to do those things. So how do we shine the light? How do we be the candle in the darkness? How are we to warm this cold world? Do and be the opposite of the first list. Here’s how to be the light:

  • First, know Jesus intimately. Accept Christ’ free gift of salvation and let Jesus fill you with His love, hope, and peace. Allow Jesus to be your source of light and life, because HE IS the LIGHT and Life. (Matthew 4:16, John 8:12) *All these verses are at the bottom.

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/inspirational-wednesday-part-two-the-power-of-the-cross/ (How to meet Jesus)

  • Focus on what is good and true. Focus on the light. When you hear and see bad news, take it to Jesus. Pray, and accept what you can and can’t do in the situation. Then let it go.

(Matthew 6:22-23, Philippians 4:8)

  • Give yourself time to breathe…time to enjoy the simple and beautiful things in life. Enjoy your family. Love and forgive them. You need their support. The world is too dark to face it alone. Don’t lose your loved ones over petty things. (Ephesians 5:21)
  • Take your fears and anger to Jesus. Pray and ask Christ to help you to forgive and love. Abide in Jesus and get rooted in His love. Let God’s love assure you that He is in control and God is bigger than any of your fears. (1 John 4:18)
  • Even though you’ve been hurt, don’t put up walls. Keep yourself open to people. Be involved in community and shine Jesus’ light to as many people as you can. You need people, because you are HUMAN. God made you for relationship and you are stronger when you are surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Take your focus off of yourself and help the needy. Feed the hungry, minister to the sick, and love the abandoned and unloved. Get involved in the causes God calls you to. When the world is dark, there is always someone who needs help. Help them.

Matthew 5:14-16 KJV

“14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

No matter what evil comes into our world or tempts us, if we belong to Jesus then we have light. There is hope. I know it is hard to see hope when all we hear is bad news. But if you look for the light you will find it, because when it is pitch dark the light shines brighter…even little candles. You and I may be little candles, but we are bright. I love you all, Dear ones. Don’t snuff out the light. Shine.

God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2015/11/mourning-with-those-who-mourn-looking-for-answers-to-the-terror-in-paris/

Suggested Songs

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Arms that Hold the Universe ~ Fee

I’ll Be the Light~ Colton Dixon

While We Sing ~Leeland

Let it Go~ Tenth Avenue North

Forgiven~ Sanctus Real

Verses

Matthew 4:16 KJV

“16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”

John 8:12 KJV

“12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Matthew 6:22-23

“22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Philippians 4:8

“8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Ephesians 5:21 KJV

“21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

1 John 4:18

“18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

 

 

Purim 2015 March 10, 2015

In this post: Crafts, treats, and Purim celebrations.

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Hello dear ones! This is how we celebrated Purim this year:

  • A Queen Esther craft~ I found this template for a Queen Esther puppet but our brown bag got thrown away. So instead we pasted it onto a paper plate and made it a centerpiece.
  • Decor~ We brought out the Haman and Esther shakers from years ago, the Haman ears cookie crafts, and a lovely vase of flowers with ornaments on it (a peacock, dragonfly, and butterfly).

Link:https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/crafty-monday-dinosaurs-purim/

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  • Peacock drawing~ Michael and I made this Purim sign using a peacock tutorial. Peacocks were special to the Persians. They believed peacocks were guardians of royalty. King Xerxes was the king of Persia.

Link:http://luntiks.com/topics/kids-drawing-painting/74.html

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    • Baking Haman Ears or Hats~ This is a beloved tradition of ours. This year we used raspberry jelly in part of the cookies and Nuttella in the others.

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    • Watching “One Night with the King”~ an embellished version of the Biblical story of Esther. It’s based on a fictional book.

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Well, God bless & remember the High King lives!~ Amber Dover

Purim pinspiration: https://www.pinterest.com/doverette/purim/

 

 

Mission Minded July 6, 2014

BelizeBabies

 

Hello dear ones! So…I took a trip to Belize and I learned a lot. I’d like to share something that stood out to me: what it means to be mission minded. First, I want to share some verses that most Christians know.

“37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 22:37-40King James Version (KJV)

We are called to love, God and others. We are called to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. The good news is that God the Father, sent His son, Jesus, to save the world from it’s sins, to restore the relationship between humanity and it’s Creator.  Jesus Christ died and took our punishment upon Himself. Three day later He came back to life and conquered death itself. We no longer have to be slaves to sin and death. If we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord, then we will be saved and we will be the children of God. It’s simple. Once we belong to God, He then fills our hearts with His love and Spirit. The Spirit empowers us to share God’s love and Truth with the world.

God has given us this great gift, but we are not to hoarde it. We are not to hide away from the lost. We are called to share this good news, to share Jesus Himself. Yet, sometimes we treat Jesus like our little secret. We have the keys to the kingdom but we’ve hidden them in our pockets. The world is starving and we have the food bank…but we’d rather keep it to ourselves, so the dirt and blood of the world won’t sully our white robes.  Yet Jesus, the one we follow, wasn’t afraid to touch the lepers, to heal the demon possessed, and set free the sexually immoral. He wasn’t afraid to embrace US in OUR filth and brokeness.

This was my first international missions trip but it wasn’t my first mission. I started my first mission the moment I became a Christian, in 1998.  I’ve been blessed, in that the Lord answered my youthful prayer: “Lord, please keep me on a tight leash. Please do whatever it takes to keep me from straying.” God has answered that prayer over and over. The times I would stray, something always happened to bring me back before I got too far. Usually it was hardship. I say that to say, my Christian walk has been a committed one. I can only give glory to God for this because HE is the one who made sure we stayed close.  This summer will make 16 years of the best friendship I’ve ever had. So I’ve known that my mission is to share Christ with everyone, in my home town, in my state, in my country, and in the world.  God made it clear to me my senior year, that my Highschool was a mission field. He took my eyes off of dating and the trivial issues of teenagedom and gave me a heart to reach my generation.

This missional mindset stayed with me for many years in my youth. But something changed when I got married and had my son. I still reached out, gave, and looked for ways to share the gospel…but I started looking inward. I started building up my lil kingdom. My focus was my family…protecting and prospering MY family. I made a little comfortable nest and I sat on it. Every now and then I would peak out at the world and throw treats: “God loves you!” “God bless!”

God had indeed called me to be missional minded with my family, to be a light at home as well as the world. But He had not called me to ONLY be a light at home…to isolate myself. Now, I understand how I slipped into it. My twenties have been filled with physical illness and several losses. I put a good bit of work into homeschooling my son and it’s a big part of the calling God has given me. Sometimes a calling can become an idol though. My love for my family has sometimes turned into idolatry, and fear has crept in. When you cling tight to your life, you will lose it. Fear is a great way to lose what you love.

“24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Matthew 16:24-26King James Version (KJV)

I issue this warning to all my fellow sisters: mother and wives: Be careful, that your family doesn’t become your god…that you don’t become so comfortable, that the cries of someone else’s child mean nothing to you. Don’t spend so much time building up your own kingdom that you forget God’s kingdom. Because if your family becomes your focus, instead of Jesus, then you will do whatever it takes to protect them…even if it hurts Jesus. Let God protect your family. Open your tight fist and give your treasures to God. They really belong to Him anyways. He can take much better care of your family than you can. 

So, back to the point of this post: Mission Minded. In Belize, I was thrown out of my comfort zone, and in my mind I acted like a brat at times. I got really upset when I found I couldn’t call my son every night. My phone card didn’t work. I got homesick often. But when you’re on a missions trip, you have to deal with yourself pretty quick. I couldn’t stay in a crummy mood. I had to get focused on God and put myself aside.

  • When you’re mission minded, you lay down yourself for the sake of others. You put aside your negative attitudes because you know you are being a witness. We were told to smile despite the heat and the bugs, because the people of Belize needed our encouragement. The people o f Belize live in harsh conditions all the time and it’s like Christmas when we come to visit. We give them a boost, to keep on ministering. But if we complained the whole time and focused on ourselves, then the people of Belize would not be encouraged. We would not be able to reach those kids for Christ, if we frowned while we were jumping and dancing to songs. Okay, I’ll admit…I got tired and many times I didn’t feel like playing. But when a sweet Belizean girl asks you to play, you just do. These kids die from fevers and infectious cuts. They have to worry about jaguars eating their livelyhood and then coming after them. Who am I to complain? It’s not about being fake, it’s about choosing to only share encouragement. It’s about truly loving others.
  • When you’re mission minded, you fellowship with others with the same mission. I couldn’t isolate myself from the group. I did everything with the group because we had to be on the same page for the mission to work.  We had to be unified. I had to communicate with the team. We encouraged each other at the end of the day. We prayed together. We worshipped together. We were able to do a mighty work because God used our unity. It was amazing to feel such closeness to people I barely knew. Most of us wept at some time or another. We remarked that this is how church should be. We were bound by our mission. The mission was the one thing we had in common.
  • When you’re mission minded, you’re open to be used however God sees fit.  The newcomers like me, didn’t know what to expect. I had no clue that I’d have to improvise and just go with the flow. We had to be flexible. When Drew, my mission leader, disappeared, I didn’t expect to be thrown into sharing the gospel on the spot in front of a bunch of kids. As scared as I was, I still did it, because the mission was more important than my fear. Many people had to throw away their inhibitions and step into roles they had never been in before. My friend who has a desk job at a hospital, had to give out medicines to people and explain how to use them. We all did whatever had to be done. No one said “Oh, I don’t do this” or “This isn’t my job!” We were willing vessels in the hands of our God.
  • When you’re mission minded, you leave your arms open.  When we got off the bus at the school, the children ran to us. “The gringos are here! The gringos are here!” That means “white people”.  It’s a bit overwhelming. But when you’re on a mission you have to be open to loving everyone. You embrace people with God’s love. You can’t hide away. Personal space, your reservations, insecurities etc…they all go out the window!  Some children were easier to love on than others. There was this crippled boy who followed me around a bit. My heart broke for him but it was difficult to be near him because he would just come up and slap me on the leg or something. It really hurt. He probably had some mental issues too. I’m not sure. Or maybe it was emotional because handicapped people aren’t treated with much kindness over there. In the U.S.A. we really look out for the handicapped. In Belize, they are sometimes treated like animals. I struggled with how to share love with someone who kept hurting me. But I couldn’t close my arms to this boy. You don’t close your arms when you’re on a mission.
  • When you’re mission minded, you abide in Christ and put aside distractions. I had some free time and I had time to goof off a bit…relax etc… But my personal devotions were most important. I didn’t have time to be distracted by social media. The schedule was pretty packed so I had to make an effort to put Christ first. Worship time and group devotions were great, but I needed to go to the life source myself. I needed to abide with Jesus  and keep my personal relationship strong, or I wouldn’t have had the strength to minister to others. Intense daily ministry can drain you quick, especially when you’re not in your comfort zone.  I could not share Christ’ love with others, if I didn’t know it myself. I had to be reminded that God loves me. I had to be comforted when I was lonely. I had to have God’s encouragement when I was insecure. My problems didn’t stay home while I flew to Belize. No, they all came with me. I just had to face them for once, because the distractions were not as available.

So what is my point? The mission didn’t end in Belize. The mission isn’t just for missionaries. It’s not for super christians. Dear ones, the mission of Christ is for all of his followers, every day of your life. We should be living mission minded always. The souls of the lost are too important, for us to be distracted, complaining, and isolated. I know it’s not easy. I have struggled trying to be mission minded at home. It’s hard to love the spoiled and the rich. It’s hard to love those who know better but still do wrong. But everyone needs grace. Everyone needs God. I’d venture to say, that those in first world countries, desperately need the mission minded. Why? Because they think they’re alive when they’re really dying. They think they are rich, when spiritually they are poor.  They’ve been given everything yet they still doubt God. It may be harder to be mission minded here, but it is just as important as it is in a developing country.

So my encouragement for you today is to remember that you ARE on a mission. Abide in Christ, so you’ll have the strength to carry it out.

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: More details on Belize (including pictures), to come, Lord willing.

 

 

 

 

Prepping for Belize May 21, 2014

In this post: A testimony to God’s goodness and how His ways are higher than ours.

Hello dear ones! Sometimes our best efforts just aren’t enough. In the end, it is faith in Christ that gets us through. Even if we seem strong…even if we seem able, we are still fallible, weak, human, and in need of saving. You’d think that we’d acknowledge our weakness and accept that we need God. We need Him to save us because we can’t save ourselves. We aren’t all knowing, all powerful, or omnipresent. We’re like the dust.  At any time God could pick us up in his hand and blow us away out of existence. Yet, God humbles himself and has relationship with us. Instead of crushing us like ants, God holds us like a mother holds an infant. We are like infants that refuse to be suckled or have our diapers changed ;). Seriously, we want to do everything on our own.

I say “we” because I am also like that silly baby that fights it’s parent. I know that Jesus is my life source and I know that I must abide in Him and trust Him for all my needs. Still, I want things my way and in my own efforts. I want to “make” things happen. I shouldn’t be surprised when my best laid plans fall apart. And then when they do I whine and kick and complain. I say “God, why?” Okay, no worries…this is not a sad post. Everything is still set for the mission trip to Belize. But I am seeing how my efforts to raise money and make this happen are really falling short. I have seen God bring blessings in His way though.

My Mom and I had this yardsale. I stayed up all night baking dozens of cookies and making peg doll fairies. The next day Michael tried to sell the cookies and lemonade. I had a nice table for my dolls, which I thought were awesome *cough*.  Anywho, hardly anyone stopped by. The biggest sale we had, I went down on prices so a little girl could have a book. Sigh…we made ten dollars. Yep, ten measly dollars after sitting in the sun for 7 hours.  Meanwhile. my gofundme account has yet to see any money. I was in bad pain on a Sunday when I felt I needed to help with our church fundraiser. I couldn’t help because I was stuck in bed. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many health issues hit me at once. Finances have went back n forth between looking hopeless and hopeful. I know God wants me to trust Him and finances ARE slowly trickling in. I say slowly because I am a very impatient person. I wanted this trip paid for a month ago. I really don’t “feel” like going the faith route. Yes, it’s whiney. I admit. I’m a whiney baby.

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I guess God let’s me cry a bit so I’ll realize that I have to rely on Him. Never have I felt more weak, more frail than I do now. Whether it be finances, physical illness, spiritual ineptitude, or emotional frailty; I’ve got it all. I’ll admit, I’m scared to death. I guess I thought I’d be more spiritual by now. I thought I’d be stronger in every way so I could make this trip. Instead I feel weaker. I’m terrified. It’s not been any easier, the idea of letting my son go for a week and leaving my family to go to a foreign country. You may think me silly. Afterall, Belize is an “easy” missions trip. The people speak English and I don’t have to get any vaccinations. But for someone as sheltered as me, it feels like I’m journeying to the center of the Earth.

Plus, I’m an introvert. I like curling up alone in my room and playing video games. When the world gets too noisy and crowded, I run away and hide. I doubt I’ll be hiding much in the rainforest. I’ll be surrounded by people with a different culture than me. People that I need to love on and that I will need their love.  That may seem dandy to some but it’s scary to me. Heck, I’m scared to lead VBS for 20 or so kids in a couple of weeks. Why is God using such a fearful and weak vessel like me? Maybe to prove a point? I don’t know. I keep asking him. Sometimes this faith walk feels like being in a crowd with only your underwear on. As much as this feels scary and wrong to me; I know I am right where I need to be. I know this by Faith. I know God called me because I would have never come up with this silly idea on my own (sorry, Lord). I also know that God’s word says He uses the weak things. I guess I didn’t expect to be this weak though.

My plans for prepping for Belize were to be much healthier. I had planned on having a better sleeping schedule and to drink several glasses of water a day. I had planned on being spiritually super charged. Yeah, I had a lot of plans on how I was going to be “ready” for this trip.  BUT despite my failings, GOD HAS been preparing me. He’s preparing me in a different way. To be honest, it’s kind of a frustrating way. It’s like when you’re learning to ride a bike and you have to fall several times to get the hang of it.  Here’s how God has been prepping me:

  • It seems like every sermon I hear, read, or watch applies to my situation. This happens often but even more so lately. I’ve spent a good bit of time crying.

Beth Moore~ Pressing Past Our Fears part 2 (email sub. please come to my blog to see the video)

  • Faith~ I’ve had to trust in God for the simplest of things and often humbling things. If you’ve dealt with the health issues I have, then you know that one’s own bowels can humble like nothing else. It takes faith when most of the bones in your body ache and yet you need to minister. Money will also test one’s faith. Homeschooling a strong willed & emotional child will also do the trick. And then there’s the battlefield of the mind, which is ever so brutal. Not surprisingly, my church Bible study group is studying “faith”. We’ve been on it for several weeks.
  • Opportunities to minister and encourage. God has allowed me to minister to those who are also feeling called to impossible things. He’s given me the words to say. It amazes me that God’s words can flow out of a mangled mess like me. God can do anything and He continues to prove my insecurities wrong.
  • Weakness~ This seems to be the opposite of being prepared but it’s not. Yes, in man’s reasoning, weakness is bad. God has a whole ‘nother way of doing things. You see, God likes to use weak things. It confounds the wise, the prideful, and the strong. It brings glory to God because it’s an obvious miracle when a weak thing accomplishes greatness. It’s obvious that it’s God at work, not the weak vessel He chose.  It’s almost like He has fun finding all the impossibles we throw at Him. As much as this frustrates me, I also love Him for it. I love that nothing is too hard for God and I love that He lets me be apart of His miracles. I love that God does that for His children.
  •  When I was little, my Dad would let me sit in His lap while he drove around the parking lot. I had my hands on the wheel but he was pushing the gas. I had no knowledge of how to drive but I thought I was driving. Really, my Dad was doing the driving but he let ME think I was driving. It’s a beautiful memory. I can also remember my Dad letting me stand on his shoes while he walked. I LOVED it! I felt like I was the one taking those gigantic steps. God is so much greater than my earthly father was. Father God lets us think we are driving and doing the walking when really it’s ALL Him. But we get to feel like we are taking God’s steps. For a moment we get to see God’s view. That happens when we minister. We think WE are the ones ministering but we’re not. God is driving. We’re just sitting in His lap as he lets us put our hands on the wheel. So it doesn’t matter that we are weak. Weak or strong, we rely completely on Jesus. If He gets out of the driver’s seat then we are gonna crash! At least in weakness we are aware of this Truth. 
  • Prayer~ The greater my need, the more I pray. If I had every thing I needed for Belize months ago, then I would not have spent so many days on my face crying out to God. Prayer is simply talking to God and usually laying petitions before Him along with Thanksgiving and praise. Need has a way of reminding me that I NEED to talk to my Heavenly Father.
  • The Kindness of others~ I’ve seen people who have little money, give a lot. I’ve been so blessed by the generosity of God’s people. I’ve also been encouraged by the prayers and support of others. There are people who believe God has called me yet they barely know me. I have friends who believe in my ministry and support me in prayer. The day of the “failed” yardsale, my Mom encouraged me and we had the best talk. She told me that I must have a big calling if the enemy is attacking me so much. I needed to hear that because I was very depressed that day. Had everything been super duper, then Mom wouldn’t have had the chance to minister and see through God’s eyes. I would not have been able to receive such a gift from God through my mother.  You see, this Church thing we do doesn’t work if we are self sufficient. We have to need people. They have to need us. And we all have to need God.
  • Bible Study~ I’ve been able to dig deeper in God’s word. Honestly, my flesh is a bit scared of the intensity. I almost feel like I have to take breaks and I’ll admit…I often do. I have a bad habit of running from intimacy. I’m finding that when I get to the point where I’m apathetic and my flesh wants to take over, that I have to listen to preaching to spur me on. The preaching recharges me and then I’m able to spend time worshiping and abiding in God’s word. I’m more aware of my tendancy towards complacency these days. I have to be. I should always be aware but it’s easier now because I know I’m about to enter a spiritually taxing time. I don’t mean that things are going to be bad in Belize. They’re just going to be intense.
  • God winks~ Whenever God speaks to me in the little every day moments, I call it God winks. Sometimes I’m listening to a song, a secular song even, and I hear God speak something to my heart. Here’s an example:

“Keep Looking Up”
by Landon Pigg

“Like a little locket hangs
Round your little neck so closely to your heart
So shall I be forever
I know you’re going somewhere new
And I know it’s never gonna  feel like home to you
But this time the only way around is throughSo keep looking up, on past the birds
And keep looking up past the clouds
And when you reach up and clear away the stars
I will be there where you areLike a little locket hangs
Round your little neck so closely to your heart
So shall I be forever
And even if you run away
Put on all your dark clothes, hide in shadows
Just remember one thing …”

Here’s another God wink: the day God made it clear He wanted me to go to Belize, I saw this movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s about a daydreamer who learns how to really live. Every time I see it I want to cry. It’s also part comedy. Anywho, here is the trailor.  It’s rated PG. I highly recommend it.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (email sub. please come to my blog to see the video)

God is speaking. Are you listening? It’s funny the ways He will reach out to us.

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/inspirational-wednesday-are-you-listening/

  • Life lessons~ Sometimes the best lesson I can get on faith, is through parenting. I learned a ton about having faith in God and not listening to fear, when my son was struggling with a bee phobia. It was a trying time because he was too terrified to even go outside. I’ll have to write about that sometime. As I helped Michael work through his fear and trust God, I also learned how to trust God. Even my parental mistakes have a way of teaching Biblical truth. I have to rely on the greatest parent, to even attempt this parent thing.
  • Social opportunities~ I’ve already mentioned that I am an introvert and that this trip to Belize will put me around people all the time. Now let me mention that I have social anxiety to the max. I just do a good job of hiding it, though it may come out in stutterings and slips of the tongue. I get sick to my stomach every time I go to church. I love hearing God’s word but groups are hard for me. I even get queasy when I’m preparing to talk on the phone. I usually rehearse what I’m going to say. I even write notes to make sure I won’t slip up. Do I give in to this anxiety? Usually not but every now and then I hide from the world. God’s been expanding my borders so to speak. He made a way for me to share an Easter play I wrote with a group of children. I’ve been more involved in church Bible study than usual. People have laid hands on me in prayer. I’ve helped at church fundraisers (yard sales & dinners). Now, I’m getting ready to lead about 20 kids in VBS Bible study. I thought I’d be helping with snacks or something. I didn’t expect to be asked to lead a Bible study.
  • Now, I’ve did all kinds of ministry before. Choir, Sunday School, even a dance team…It’s not that I’ve never did it. I’ve just been in my own little corner for awhile….my own little corner where my social anxiety could grow. It’s much easier to be a hermit when you don’t go out into the world. I was getting to the point where I felt I didn’t really like people. I was afraid that my love had went completely cold. I was afraid that I was too comfortable to change. I didn’t think I’d ever get back to being the girl who’s hands were bloody & dirty with ministry. I was safe but not alive….frozen. So of course, God threw me out of my comfort zone and I do mean threw!
  • I used to love getting to the heart of people. I was anxious but still I could easily talk to the broken. I hung out with the Special Ed kids, the handicapped, and even people of different religions (point: diverse people). I grew up around drug dealers and such. I saw the people bleeding and I would bleed with them. I’d rush to hold them but then…I found just a few people to protect (at least I tried to). I poured into just them and it was good but I learned to tune out the masses. I forgot that other girl and decided I was someone else. Then I had a terrible fright. If I lost my few people, would I have any purpose? Well, God showed me that the old girl wasn’t dead. He reminded me of dreams I dreamt. He showed me that I have a big purpose, even though I feel small. It’s not because of me though. It’s because I serve a big God. Every day I have to be reminded of this truth.
  • I was ready to die in a dusty corner.I just did not care. God hasn’t allowed me to do that though. I still feel like dying in a dusty corner, especially when the world gets too big. I feel like God calls me to jump off cliffs. My faith tells me that God will either catch me or give me wings. Fear tells me I’ll fall. The butterflies in my stomach are having a field day! Please continue to pray for me. I tell you all this because I have Faith that God is going to do a mighty work through this broken vessel. I want you to know that God is doing miracles.
  • Short-term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens by Tim Dearborn~ I’m enjoying this workbook. It’s packed with scripture and things to think about before going on a mission trip. Two points from the book, that I want to share are:

1.Walk with humility. Remember you are showing up late to a meeting. God has been at work among these people long before you arrived!

2. Live with vulnerability. Don’t be afraid of weakness- it’s normal.

(From section 3 of Short-term Missions Workbook)

http://www.amazon.com/Short-Term-Missions-Workbook-Tourists-Citizens-ebook/dp/B00408AKRG/

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I pray that as I continue to bare my heart that you will be encouraged. I pray I won’t discourage you in any way but rather that you will see that God uses weak things. I pray you will find hope in your weakness and in your humanity. Thank you dear ones for continuing to read and for continuing to support me with your prayers.   As the time gets closer I am waiting and expecting God to blow me away. I have faith that He will show himself big (again). And when He does…I’m going to continue to share it with you. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

The Birds May 13, 2014

Hello dear ones! I want to share with you this insightful article on worry and how to get rid of it.  Also I want to share a thought that came to me, an avid bird watcher.

Please check out this awesome article by Jaime:

http://jaimieramsey.com/2014/04/worry-kick-door/#_a5y_p=1570555

Birds

God blesses me with birds. In recent years I have seen how God cares about the little things. Whenever I see a bird in my yard I get ecstatic. I often text my mom and husband to tell them we have birds in the yard. I will stop homeschool and call my son to the window so we can watch the birds. The other day I was talking on the phone with my mom and telling her how we haven’t had any birds at our new bird feeder. My son and I painted the bird feeder specific colors that are supposed to attract certain birds.  So I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen any. After I got off the phone, I was sitting at the table doing my devotions when I looked up and saw a cardinal making it’s way to the top of our signs (seen in the pic) and finally up to the bird feeder. I texted my people 😉 and I called Michael in to have a look. I praised God for bringing me such joy. Sometimes I can get super depressed and worried. But it doesn’t take much to lift my spirits. God knows that birds and other little creatures make me very happy. I’m always running into little animals. It’s kind of ridiculous how attached I got to Harold, the turtle we found and kept for a night. I’m a very tender hearted person.

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/our-unexpected-guest-harold-the-turtle/

I also deal with OCD, depression, and sometimes paralyzing anxiety. Jamie’s article on anxiety hit home and really encouraged me. I pray you read it. It also brought to my mind the birds. Birds are unique. For some reason many people have the desire to feed the birds. We leave out bird feeders and we feed the ducks at the park. That desire isn’t as widespread for other creatures. Not many people like feeding the squirrels or opossums! I believe it comes down to God looking out for the birds. What a neat thought! And God loves us even more than the birds. We are way more valuable to Him.

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

 

 

God’s Purpose April 27, 2014

Dear ones, here are some wonderful vids by Beth Moore on God’s purpose. Also I’m sharing a bit of my story when it comes to purpose and dealing with abuse.

Email sub: If you can’t see the vids then please come to my site to see them.

I don’t want to take long because I truly hope you have the time to watch these insightful and Spirit filled messages by Beth Moore. I’ve been in too much pain today to get out of the house. So Michael and I let Beth Moore preach to us today. The Lord knows that I struggle with this issue of purpose, especially with the things that He has allowed to come through my life.  I went through a type of sexual abuse as a young child by a much older kid. It was confusing at the time. I just knew that I felt dirty and that when the door was closed nobody could know. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I began to remember all I had suppressed. A hurtful situation triggered everything. Then I began to have issues and I wondered why God had allowed me to suffer in that way. Any of you that have suffered abuse as a child can probably relate. As Beth Moore says, the effects of abuse stay with you your whole life. It colors your choices. Sometimes I think that is worse than the abuse itself.

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I know that God didn’t cause my abuse but in His sovereignty He allowed it. I am just now starting to move past my pain and look at the purpose of my suffering. How can my past help others? Well, I hope it is helping you today. Sometimes we just want to know that we are not alone…that we are not the only damaged ones. People wear convincing masks. They’ve got the nice hair and make up. They’ve got smiling pictures on Facebook. But down deep we are all damaged human beings. We are damaged by the curse on this world and how it has reeked havoc in our lives. We see the bloodiness of that curse when we look at poverty and the condition of orphans. It is often too much for us to bear. We want to cover it up and pretend it doesn’t exist because it hurts! But idolizing perfection and worshiping those who “have it together”, hurts too! Because we know we can never measure up. Praise God! We have a PERFECT God who gets knee deep in the BLOODINESS of our wounds and HOLDS us tight. He loves us now as we’re wounded and He loved us while we were being wounded.

His LOVE never fails. I have that comfort. God never left me alone. When the door was closed, God was still there. He saw a wounded naive little girl and He thought about the purposes He has for my life. He saw the people I would minister to and He set up those that would minister to me. He saw the beautiful little boy that I would bear and how I would do everything to protect that child’s innocence. He knew that the naive damaged little girl would grow up to be a warrior princess, commissioned by her King of Kings to protect the innocence of others and to offer hope to the wounded. He saw that. He purposed that.

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Jesus Christ, God’s son, God Himself in the flesh, came down to earth so He could be abused by others. So He could take on the sins of others and die with that sin, then be raised to life so we could overcome sin. Why did God have to come down to earth Himself and get in the dirt of things, to save us? I believe this with all my heart: How can we understand the wounded when we’ve never been wounded ourselves? Jesus became one of us so we can serve a God that understands us. He knows our weaknesses and He knows our pain. That matters.

When I see people like Beth Moore ministering with humility and understanding, it blesses my heart. I have hope that damaged people can be healed. God can still use me. I needed to hear that today. God bless you & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: After the vids I share technical info on how promises made to the Israelities can indirectly apply to us. Also, I talk about how it’s important to be God driven not purpose driven.

Part 1~ Beth Moore: God’s purpose for you

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4~ this one really spoke to me…the line between carnality and hyperspirituality

Part 5

Part 6- deals with abuse and God’s purpose

PPS: A note on Jeremiah 29:11. Some have asked how this verse can apply to modern believers when it was written to the Israelites. I truly believe it is important to take verses in context. I do not believe that every promise in the Bible is mean’t for us. Some of them I don’t want because they are curses! A majority of the Bible, including the New Testament was written to people in the past. It is not directly written to us but we can apply most of it indirectly. And all of it we can learn from somehow. I can apply Jeremiah 29:11 to my life indirectly because it lines up with the context of the whole Bible and what God’s plan is for humanity. I can read Acts 17:26-27 which speaks to all humanity and see the same truth that is found in Jeremiah 29:11.

I can see the outward blessings and convenant promises for the Israelites as it flips to the new covenant and manifest inwardly. I do not believe in the Prosperity gospel because it mainly focuses on the outward. We can see that people of great faith are suffering despite their faith. Faithful Christians are being mutilated and persecuted. They don’t have big houses and fancy cars. Some have just enough to get by. Yet, they have great faith. I do believe that while we do not inherit a physical promised land as gentiles, that all believers do inherit inward prosperity which is spiritual. We all have access to peace, joy, love, self control, and so on. The royal law of love is written on our hearts. So what we see as physical in the Old Testament manifests itself inwardly in our time. Christ performed many miracles and I believe miracles still happen. But the greatest miracle ever is that God Himself, through the Holy Spirit can dwell with us forever and that we can be born again (changed completely to be God’s child! A spiritual rebirth).

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Lastly, I want to say that there is a difference between God’s purposes, man’s purposes, and Satan’s purposes. We’ve already heard that Satan’s purposes are to steal, kill, and destroy. We know that God’s purposes are for our Good and to bring Him glory. But man also has purposes.

Proverbs 16:9 NKJV  “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

I believe it is very important that we are God-driven, not purpose-driven. This goes against popular beliefs but I believe it is Biblical. I say this because we can never fully know all that God has purposed for us. We may think that God has called us to minister in one area and pursue that but then what do we do if God tells us to do something different, something that doesn’t seem to fit our “calling”? If we are purpose driven then we will lay everything aside to follow what we already believe God has called us to and we may miss the mark. If we are God-driven then every day we will rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us into God’s purposes. God may have us in one job that seems to fit our talents and then later call us to do something that we have no idea how to do. We can never know God’s full purpose for our life, until we’re in Heaven.

At first it seems the same, being purpose driven and God driven. Shouldn’t we do all we can to pursue our callings? Friends, the enemy is subtle. The difference seems small but it’s effects are huge. No, I say. We should do all we can to pursue God and then we will walk in the paths he means for us. Callings change day to day. I love music and it would seem that with my musical ability that I am called to minister through music. That makes sense in man’s thinking. I did minister through music at a time. But there came a time with my health that I had to minister in another way. Did I lose my calling? No, my ultimate calling is to follow Jesus. Even so, I must abide with Christ and develop our relationship so I will even know how to follow Christ. If  I focus on all the things I can do to be Christ like but I don’t actually know Christ or spend time with him, then I am being purpose driven, not God driven. Make sense? It really is simple but as humans we like to complicate things. Focus on Jesus. Abide with Jesus. Simple.

 

The Importance of Easter April 19, 2014

In this post: Our Easter decor, another blogger’s post on the importance of Easter, and an article on the origin of Easter.

Hello dear ones! Please stick around after the picture for a great article and post. I just wanted to share pictures of our Easter decor. I wrote a post last year about why we used to not celebrate “Easter” per say with eggs and rabbits and such. I called Easter, Resurrection Sunday but we spent more time on Passover and the crucifixion than on the Resurrection. Here’s the link that explains: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/inspirational-wednesday-part-one-why-im-okay-with-easter-eggs-etc/

Now we celebrate Lent too. We’re not Catholic and we’ve never fasted during that time but we like to countdown to Easter. We have a Resurrection Egg tree with symbols of the gospel story. We have a poster for actual Holy Week where we count down. If you look closely you can see last year’s Easter crafts: The Last Supper diorama, tp Resurrection set, and the carton chapel. We’ve got a couple of new decorations though. We set up an Easter village for the first time. I found the bunny village at Goodwill. My first Easter tree fit well with it. I found a bunny basket I had as a kid. I also bought Easter magnets. I made an Easter wreathe for our door. I hung “D” for “Dover” from it.

It’s fun taking a whole month to focus on the Resurrection. Sure, bunnies and chicks have to do with Spring but they also remind us of new life. Spring itself reminds me that I am a new creation in Christ. Winter can feel like death and then all of a sudden, life pops up everywhere. The Resurrection is just as important as Christ’ birth. We should remember both all year long. Still, holidays have a way of cementing truths in our minds. We remember Queen Esther’s story because we celebrate Purim every year. Well, we get the gospel cemented in our hearts every spring as we experience it in a hands on way. The fun helps too. It brings out the joy of childhood and at the same time points to Christ. Now that’s hitting two birds with one stone! 🙂

Check out the article & posts below the pic.

EasterDecor

Is the name “Easter” pagan? Where does Easter come from? Great article:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/04/19/name-easter-pagan

 Mustard Seeds talks about Lent and Easter on her blog:

http://mustardseeds.typepad.com/my_weblog/2014/03/can-you-explain-lent.html

http://mustardseeds.typepad.com/my_weblog/2014/02/why-easter-is-a-big-deal.html

I really love Janna’s passion for Easter. She inspired me to start my own Lent/Easter journey. The last three years (including this Lent) have been great as we’ve truly dove into Easter. I think it’s more intense than Christmas at times. This year was wonderful because I got to share my Easter/Passover play with our homeschool group. I won’t be sharing that today but in the near future ;). We also took off this whole week leading up to Easter. It was nice :).

Past Easter Posts:

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/crafty-monday-passover-the-lords-supper-and-the-resurrection/

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/crafty-monday-charlottes-web-party-gearing-up-for-easter/

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/my-family-rocks-sunday-chinese-date-night-easter-passover-celebrations/

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/a-late-crafty-monday-resurrection-garden-coffee-filter-easter-eggs-mini-pies/

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Music Videos for the Spirit April 1, 2014

Hello dear ones! Today I want to share some uplifting music videos to encourage you. I’m including lyrics. Remember email sub. to come to my blog to see the vids. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Thrive by Casting Crowns (Lyric video)

 

Shake by Mercy Me. Their new album comes out the 8th I believe. I love this song but the Elvis meets High School Musical moves in the video crack me up :p. Check out Greater & Finish What He Started

 

 

Let it Go~ Tenth Avenue North (this one really speaks to me)

 

I Am ~Crowder  (Lyric vid) I’m so glad he’s still singing. He’s got to be one of my top favorite worship leaders.

 

We Believe~ Newsboys (Lyric Vid) They’ve done it again. Newsboys always delivers the truth with power.

 

Lyrics

“Let It Go”
By Tenth Avenue North

I’ve been holding on so tight
Look at these knuckles they’ve gone white
From fighting for who I want to be
I’m just trying to find security But you say let it go
You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one’s who lose control
You say You will be everything I need
You say if I lose my life it’s then I’ll find my soul
You say let it go Well it’s hard enough to hear
Harder still to move beyond this fear
We know there’s nothing I can bring
So tell me what do you want from me 

You say let it go
You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one’s who lose control
You say You will be everything I need
You say if I lose my life it’s then I’ll find my soul
You say let it go
You say let it go
Oh…

What do I love 
What do I hate
What will I lose 
What will I gain
How do I save my soul, oh
What if I bend 
What if I break
What will it cost 
What will it take
For You to save my soul, oh

You say let it go
You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one’s who lose control
You say You will be everything I need
You say if I lose my life it’s then I’ll find my soul

You say let it go
You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one’s who lose control
You say You will be everything I need
You say if I lose my life it’s then I’ll find my soul
You say let it go
You say let it go

“Shake”
By Mercy Me

I just can’t believe
Where my life was at
All that I know is that my heart was broken
And I don’t ever wanna go backAin’t no explanation
How I saw the light
He found me and set me free
And it brought me back to lifeBlame it on the transformation
Changed down to the core
His love is real
And I can’t sit still
Cause my name’s not shamed no more

Great God Almighty, gonna change this
Great God Almighty, He gonna change me

You gotta shake, shake, shake
Like you’re changed, changed, changed
Brand new looks so good on you
So shake like you’ve been changed

Come on and shake, shake, shake like you changed
Shake, shake, shake like you changed

Maybe He came to you
When everything seemed fine
Or maybe your world was upside down and hit you right between the eyes
No matter when it happened
At 7 or 95
Move your feet ’cause you are free
And you’ve never been more alive

You gotta shake, shake, shake
Like you’re changed, changed, changed
Brand new looks so good on you
So shake like you’ve been changed

Come on and shake, shake, shake
Like you’re changed, changed, changed
Brand new looks so good on you
So shake like you’ve been changed

Come on and shake, shake, shake like you changed
Shake, shake, shake like you changed
Shake, shake

Great God Almighty, gonna change me
Great God Almighty, He gonna change me
Great God Almighty, gonna change me
Great God Almighty, He gonna change me

No matter when it happened
At 7 or 95
Move your feet, ’cause you are free
And you’ve never been more alive
You gotta shake, shake, shake
Like you’re changed, changed, changed
Brand new looks so good on you
So shake like you’ve been changed

You gotta shake, shake, shake
Like you’re changed, changed, changed
Brand new looks so good on you
So shake like you’ve been changed

Come on and shake, shake, shake
Like you’re changed, changed, changed
Brand new looks so good on you
So shake like you’ve been changed

Come on and shake, shake, shake like you changed
Shake, shake, shake like you changed
Shake, shake

Great God Almighty, gonna change me
Great God Almighty, He gonna change me

 

Purim 2014 March 29, 2014

Hello dear ones! Last year we had a big Purim celebration. This year we were able to use crafts from last year. So we had a very laid back Purim. If you don’t know, Purim is a Biblical feast that celebrates how God used Queen Esther to deliver the Jews from genocide in Persia. It is an amazing story of faith and bravery. If it wasn’t for Purim then Jesus would not have been born on this Earth.

Purim2014

Our favorite tradition is making hamentaschen (Haman ears or hats). Haman is the man who tried to have all the Jews murdered. In the end, Haman was hung on the gallows he had made for Mordecai, Queen Esther’s cousin.  Hamentaschen are very good cookies with various fillings. We used raspberry jam.  We usually watch “One Night with the King” for fun but this year we watched the Veggie Tale’s version of Esther.  We got this great Purim board game at the Holocaust museum last year. We finally got to play it and it was really fun. It’s called : Queen Esther: Dancing Dreidels.

http://www.amazon.com/FVQE-0810-Queen-Esther-Dancing-Dreidels/dp/B006ISXK8C

We didn’t use the noise makers this year but usually we read the story of Esther in the Bible and we cheer for Mordecai and boo for Haman. You can see that we have paper haman ears for decor. I also like decorating with peacocks and bright colors to feel like we’re in Persia.

Here’s last years post: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/my-family-rocks-sunday-purim-princess-bride-date-night/

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Purim on Pinterest:

 

 

Mommy Guilt & Blog Envy: Focusing on YOUR God-given Abilities January 18, 2014

Hello dear ones! I wanted  to send out a short encouragement to moms. Thriving magazine (a Christian magazine for families) had a great article about Pinterest and Mommy Blog envy.It got me thinking. It’s easy in this world of Facebook and Pinterest, to compare ourselves to others. We envy what we believe to be the picture perfect family. We want OUR husbands to act like THOSE husbands. We want OUR children to behave like THOSE kids. We WISH our home looked like THOSE pictures. If only WE could cook like that or craft that way. Friend, don’t do it! Turn back now! Turn off the computer for a month if you need to. There is a much better way to live, I assure you!
Tyranov - Young Housewife

Alexey Tyranov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite verses is 1 Timothy 6:6

But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (KJV)
                 Contentment is something our society desperately lacks. We’ve got godliness to an extent. There are some wonderful faith filled people out there. But contentment is really hard to find. Media and advertisers capitalize on envy. You see it in the ads. You see it on social media. Our society’s thirst for more…for better. This is old news. So what?
                   Allow me to put words in your mouth one sec please ;). So, Amber, you say, what do we do about this conundrum? Well, dear ones (in my super voice)… Okay…sorry. I’ll quit with that. Seriously, cultivating thankfulness and thanking God for what you DO have is the first step. Then ask the Lord what He wants you to do with what you have. I’m not saying, don’t push yourself or learn from others. Sometimes God asks us to change. What I AM saying, is please don’t trap yourself and your family by trying to be someone you’re not and were never made to be.
                  I am not against social media. You know I love Mommy blogs and Pinterest. Here’s a suggestion that has helped me and maybe it will help you. I like to pin things that I want to actually try and have hopes of doing. I like pictures and sometimes I pin things just for the fun of looking at them. But I caution you and myself about pinning a bunch of things that just make you drool. If you look at those pins and regret the life God gave you, if you wish you were THAT person, or had THAT life…then slowly back away. If that Mommy blog makes you feel like crap about your own parenting then either unsubscribe or ask God to show you your strengths. It is possible to appreciate another Mom’s strengths and NOT want to BE her.
                  I get  a lot of people who compliment my crafting and I often hear “I wish I was crafty”. Please don’t put yourself and your kids through that. If you hate crafting and have no crafty bone in your body, please don’t stress yourself and others by trying to be a crafty Mom. What is your strength? What are your abilities? If God wants you to branch out in something new, then great. If it’s from God then HE will provide what you need and it won’t be based in envy.
                  Maybe you are great at cooking and eating healthy. If you’re a homeschooler then use your strength and bake bread with your kids to teach math etc. Or if you’re sporty then use that in your school. You don’t have to know it all. There is nothing wrong with hiring tutors. If your kid loves something that you’re not good at, then get them a class to go to or the stuff they need to teach themselves.  Whether a kid homeschools, private schools, or public schools there will be gaps in their education. No one kid can know it all or be taught everything. Kids will naturally do better in some areas and worse in others. If God has called you to homeschool then he will equip you. He doesn’t expect you to change personalities. I will never be sporty. So Michael has been in different programs etc…My gym, karate, flag football…etc. I don’t ride bikes with him. He does that with my Mom and step Dad who are much healthier than me.
                           Back to Mommy guilt & envy in a sec…I want to touch on spouse envy real quick. When I was newly married, we had close friends that were pregnant the same time we were (I was…lol Chris wasn’t pregnant). Every year they seemed to pop out another kiddo and well, we  became infertile. The wife was married to a Pastor’s son that I grew up with. Her hubby was super attentive and planned romantic dates. My husband is a loner and super redneck. He’d rather watch youtube videos and get his Jeep dirty. They stayed with us one weekend and I took the wife out for a pedicure. I was amazed that she had never had one before. She told me that her hubby didn’t like them to be apart for long and she rarely had time to herself. She told me how lucky I was that Chris let me have girl time so much. I was shocked. I realized that day, that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. I happen to love my alone time. I couldn’t stand it if Chris was super clingy. I love romance….but only when I want it lol….not every second. A girl’s gotta have time to think :).  Anywho, we parted ways, both being thankful to have the husband God had given us.  Over the years as I’ve seen the differences in our family, I’ve learned to be thankful.
                       Now…Mommy envy. A good bit of my friends are “crunchy” and super healthy. Many have bigger houses and more kids. I admire them for who they are. Sometimes I wish I was Michelle Duggar. I wish I had more patience and was barefoot and always pregnant. The truth is that my only lil girl will probably be my french bulldog Annabelle. Michael may be our only natural child. And though I want to better myself, I really enjoy junk food and video games. There I said it! I like being a night owl. I enjoy having just one kid to chase around and I enjoy how close I am to my son. I like being able to have a flexible lifestyle. I LOVE how my kid can make his own breakfast and let me sleep in a bit. Does that make me a bad mommy? No, I’m just a different Mommy. I blog about crafts and take a million pictures because I love it! It’s not because I want to be famous or make other moms feel insecure. I do this blog thing because I want to and it’s a ministry. I get bored quickly and I can’t stand the monotonous. I love homeschool because it changes each year.
                                       I love this life God has given me. Sometimes I complain and I wish but at the end of the day I wouldn’t want to be you or anyone else. I love my lil house and how the counters are short enough for me. I like the clutter and the art supplies everywhere. People ask how I do it all. Well, I don’t. No Mom does it all. You pick and choose what is important to you. My house is cluttered and honestly it only gets major cleanings before guests visit. Our carpet has paint on it and dog fur. My “office” is a mess. My grandma visited once and made the comment that she always heard that kids with messy houses are happier. Yeah, I felt dandy after that lol.
                              The truth is, if I tried to have a spotless house, woke up at 5 am, and cooked gourmet dinners every night, then what I am good at, would fall behind. If I had a dozen kids, I probably wouldn’t have time to write a book. I probably wouldn’t bother with intricate crafts. I’d probably be terrified of painting in the house. Sure, if we didn’t have an ark, we wouldn’t have so much animal fur and smells…..but then we also wouldn’t have so many crazy awesome pet personalities to keep us entertained. If we had a bigger house then there would be more to clean…ugg, no thank you!
                               Okay, so this was my “short” post…..another Amber thing. Hey, I’m a writer :). So I plead with you, be YOU…not me…not the other Mommy bloggers…not the fictional Pinterest Mommy that does everything. What does God want you to do today? You will always fall short in some areas because you are human. You will never be the perfect Mom, wife, or teacher. You can seem to be perfect and completely lack love. Whatever your parenting style is…run with it :). Love God with all your heart and love your family as yourself. At the end of the day, your kids will care more about your love than your superb craft or lesson plan. I’m here with you…learning. I know at the end of my life I won’t say “Oh I wish I had done more crafts.”
                      I love you dear ones and I pray for you. God made you unique and there are so many beautiful ways you can shine his light in this world. Trying to be someone else is not that way. It’s fun to learn new things, challenge yourself, and heck…even try a celebrity hairstyle. You know your motives….is it fun and to better yourself or is it envy? I challenge you to ask God to try your heart today. What are you thankful for? In what ways are you content? How can you practice contentment and mirror that to your family?
    Please leave me some comment love if you will. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
PS: This was directed towards mommies but others can definitely apply the same principles. Everyone deals with envy sometime in their lives.