Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Unspeakable Joy Exchange Round Two (CLOSED)

Guess what, ladies??? The Exchange is starting up again! 

This time we are looking to support a family who lives and works in Haiti. Nick and Sara DAcquisto along with their children have been living and working in Ouanaminthe, Haiti at Danita's Children Orphanage. They are currently overseeing the girl's house and house parenting 26 girls from age 10-21. Do they rock or what? Meanwhile, they are adopting a precious little girl from there as well. Let's come together and offer prayers, support, and encouragement during their final months over there. You can read more about them here: https://dacquistofamily.wordpress.com/

So here’s the plan: Donate $5-10 or more, however much you feel led to give. Where do you donate? Head on over to their website on the right-side and find the two different ways you can support their ministry. 

 GO HERE: https://dacquistofamily.wordpress.com/  OR http://www.foreignmissionsociety.org/give/

If you would like, you can also send a donation to Danita's Children Orphanage. They rescue and care for orphaned and impoverished children. Please go take the time to read how the story of this orphanage started and if you are able, feel free to donate to them as well. Every little bit helps! To do so, go to: http://danitaschildren.org/

After you’ve donated, send me the following info through this form here:
Email Address:
Any Other Social Media Stuff:
Favorite Bible Verse:
Favorite Color(s):
Prayer Requests:
Do you mind shipping internationally? Y/N

*** What is this exchange and why am I sending you this information? This is so you can be paired up with another Sister in Christ. You will send them a package in the mail and they will send one to you. It's a fun way to not only help the missionaries above but also get to know another believer. You are also welcome to email me the info to unspeakablejoymccoy@gmail.com. Here's more about it below ***

You have until April 7, 2015 to sign up for the Exchange. This time’s challenge is to send your exchange sister: something with their favorite color, a floral/spring item, and the last item of your choice (Ideas: something with their favorite Bible verse, journal, Starbucks gift card, scarf, book, coffee mug, washi tape, picture frame, jewelry, snack, lip gloss, etc.). There are 3 items total you will be mailing to them and they need to go out on April 24, 2015. Let’s set the limit again to $20 spent.  

Here are the steps for this exchange:

Step 1:
Donate to Nick and Sara D'Acquisto at https://dacquistofamily.wordpress.com or http://www.foreignmissionsociety.org/give /   
Remember, you cannot participate in the exchange until you have donated.  This is the purpose behind the fun! :) We are helping to bless this family in whatever way we can.

Step 2: 
Sign up for the exchange through this  form here form here:
OR you can email me the above info to unspeakablejoymccoy@gmail.com. 
Step 3: 
PRAY for the D'Acquisto family!!!

Step 4: 
You will receive your exchange sister’s name NLT April 10, 2015. After you’ve received your sister's info, pray for her the next two weeks. Feel free to send her an email and introduce yourself.  If you have a social media account, find her there. Get to know her during this time.

Step 5: 
Get the package together over these two weeks.  Be sure to send them these three items:
1.)    Item of your choice
2.)    Item that contains their favorite color
3.)    A floral /spring item

Step 6: Mail the package by: April 24, 2015. If you can't make it to the post office that day, you can send it a day or two earlier. Just remember that it needs to be sent by that date! :)

Finally, share about this exchange with your friends and family. The more we have involved, the merrier. Even if you will not be able to donate at this time, please feel free to send Nick and Sara an encouraging note through their website. And keep them in your prayers. 


Carrie Lynne

Friday, March 27, 2015

When It's Time to Break Up

Sometimes it's necessary to take a break from a relationship with someone, whether it'd be a family member or friend. Perhaps, the relationship is toxic and you find yourself mentally exhausted just by being around this other person. The other person repeatedly crosses the boundary lines and no matter how often you try to put up a fence to be who you are, they knock it down without any consideration for your thoughts or feelings.

I recently read one of the best books of my life called Changes That Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud. It truly changed my life and has helped me have a different outlook on the relationships that surround me. Here is a quote that I found very helpful in this book:

"We can't determine how successful we are living the Christian life by who is unhappy with us. If we feel responsible for other's displeasure, we are being controlled by others, not God. This is a basic boundary disturbance.

If Jesus had tried to make everyone happy, we would all be lost. If self-centered people are angry at you, it means you are learning to say no to evil. If mean people are displeased with you, it means that you are standing up to abuse. If Pharisaical Christians judge you, it means that you are becoming like your Savior. If your parents don't like the decisions that you feel God has led you to make, it means that you are growing up. 'Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.' (Luke 6:22-23)."

So Why Take a Break From a Relationship?

  1. The other person is trying to control you by their thoughts, feelings, and behavior
  2. You do not feel like an equal in the relationship
  3. Broken boundaries need to be looked at and repaired
  4. The Matthew 18 model did not work
  5. To find space to work on oneself through therapy, a pastor, and/or with God.
  6. To keep from stumbling down the wrong path (2 Cor. 6:14)
  7. To get away from negativity and bitterness so you can re-find joy in your life (Eph.4:31)
If you are needing to take a break from a relationship with someone, I  highly recommend you go get that book. It will change your life. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Real You

Sometimes in our daily lives, we question ourselves and our identity. We struggle with finding out who we really are and whether we are good enough.

All I did today was chase children and change diapers. I washed soiled laundry and swept the floors like Cinderella. That seems so ordinary.

I’ve got my nine to five workday going on, same ol’ thing each day. I wake up to the alarm, shower, drink coffee on the way… work, work, work. I drive home, eat dinner, and go to sleep. That seems so ordinary.

Wow, all this schoolwork is piling up high. I’ve got papers to write and hours of studying to do before finals. That seems so ordinary.

But what if I told you that ordinary part of yourself is the real you?  All that you do each and every day, no matter how ordinary it seems, is part of the plan He has for you. He created you with a specific purpose to go forth and serve the world, wherever you are at in life.

If you have adult children and are retired, you have ways to serve by volunteering or helping a neighbor. You can make meals for a mother of littles who’s had a long week. Or you can follow the Titus 2 model with the younger women around you. Even more, you can take friends suffering from health problems to their doctor’s appointments, caring for them through each step.

If you have little ones at home, you serve them through diaper changes, story time, and yes, even potty training. You share the love of Jesus by training them up in the way they should go.

If you are a widow, you can serve the church with various tasks or grow a garden and give the best flowers to the people who need them most.

If you are working full time, you can serve those around you giving glimpses of Jesus through your good attitudes, actions and perseverance while sharing the Gospel at every opportunity.

 There are always ways to be the real you, even with the little things you do. In fact, God places desires in our hearts. When we trust His plan by following those desires, we can pour out our souls and service in ways that are beyond what we consider ordinary. Those ordinary ways are TRULY GRAND.  

Can I tell you something? God designed me to be a homemaker. There are days that aren’t always pretty combined with those who think that what I do isn’t worth anything. But guess what?  It is all part of God’s design for me. He designed me this way and this is the real me. It may seem ordinary to some… those who insist homemaking is a thing from the past. But it’s what I do and it’s what I do best.

Once I discovered the gifts and strengths that He gave me, I realized how I can use them for His kingdom. Sure, I want do-over days. The kind of days where I had a head cold, didn’t do much with the kids, or got a little discouraged. They are the days I need the most grace. But His strengths are made strong in my weaknesses. And by that, He can grow my faith to be BIGGER than a mustard seed. Can I get a Hallelujah???

The good news is we get to start over the next morning and continue our journey of serving with whatever gifts God gave us. Our different gifts are unique to us so that we can serve in different ways I n the community. So, GO! SERVE! And remember your life is more than ordinary!

What is the real you? What are your strengths? Are you using them?

***Do you enjoy writing? Do you have a blog? Come join the party. Every Friday, you are given a word/topic to write about on your blog. Spend five minutes (or in my case more), and link up your blog at www.katemotaung.com.

Friday, March 13, 2015

When We Allow God to Plan

One of my big personality traits would be that I am a planner by nature. I love to plan and organize. If an event is approaching, I will want to plan out every detail  by the minute. If we are going on a trip, I pack days prior with an area set for the things needed with everything in proper order. I've got typed up notes on how to run things. I like keeping all of my thoughts in good order. A person would think that all of the planning I do would be good. Unfortunately, much of the time, it gets me into trouble.

 Here's the bad part about it. I want to plan so far ahead sometimes that my plans don't go with God's plans. I get to thinking so far in advance without remembering that I don't need to be in control of each and every situation to the minute.  Someone will get sick and a trip gets cancelled.  Something falls through and whatever I was planning for doesn't happen.  Someone passes away unexpectedly. Sometimes, there is alarming news. Life is dynamic and things can change quickly. 

Over the past couple of years, I've really been working on allowing God to be in control of each and every situation.  I've seen the benefits of allowing Him to take the reigns. And you know what?  I am less stressed out. I am less worried. I don't overly plan as much anymore. And I am more joyful overall. 

There are various aspects that I've given over to God and the results have been AMAZING. If only I could spend a moment longer to write it all down to share what He's done for me and my family, you'd be amazed. Everything from allowing God to be in control of our family size to taking us to various locations around America with my husband's job.

Sure, I have days where I get on that track of wanting to think too far ahead. But God knows what happens tomorrow. He knows what is best for me more than what I think I know may be best for me. Since I've surrendered my agendas, desires, and plans over to Him, He has fulfilled me with new callings for my life. He has shown me things beyond my wildest dreams. 

The sacrifice of giving it all to Him isn't always easy. It doesn't always come without criticism from others on what we've allowed God to do in our lives. There are days when I'm not sure that what I am doing is totally the "cool way" to do it. I have naysayers along the way discouraging me and telling me that what I am doing isn't what the world would want me to do. I get discouraged sometimes. But it's all worth it when I see His plans unfold before my very eyes. 

 How about you? Do you like to plan out every detail? Have you surrendered your plans for His? 

***Do you enjoy writing? Do you have a blog? Come join the party. Every Friday, you are given a word/topic to write about on your blog. Spend five minutes (or in my case more), and link up your blog at www.katemotaung.com.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

So, What Is Joy?

Joy is...
  • the kind that comes when the sun rises each morning
  • the feeling of a fresh start
  • the unexpected hug from a child when the day is most stressful
  • cups of warm coffee and good conversation
  • a relational high from being with your spouse
  • the sights and sounds of nature
  • the beauty of nature
  • knowing you've been forgiven
  • laughter that hurts your stomach
  • the funny things children say
  • thoughts about upcoming events
  • songs that speak to your heart
  • books that  hold a special place in your heart
  • a moment of imagination
  • catching up with an old friend
  • doing a random act of kindness for someone
  • faith in Jesus Christ
  • making messes as a way to have fun
  • the smells of favorite foods
  • receiving special notes in the mail
  • the love of family
  • a well-spent life
  • breathtaking images of Creation
  • overcoming a difficult obstacle
  • learning something new
  • knowing about the sacrifice Jesus made for us
  • a good night's rest
  • being thankful for all of our circumstances
  • recognizing your gifts and talents
  • pursuing your gifts and talents so one can serve in His kingdom
  • stargazing
  • the couple who have lived a lifetime commitment to their marriage
  • being satisfied
  • not looking too far into the future
  • an encouraging message from a friend or family member
  • adorable hand-drawn pictures from a child given with so much love
1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Taking A Stand Against the Idol of Technology

I refuse to do it!  I refuse to allow social media to become my one and only source for communicating with others in this world. I don't want to wake up and go straight for my phone/computer to see what the latest is on Facebook. I don't want texting to be my shortcut for hearing someone's voice. I don't want to only rely on technology to do my main talking for me. I don't want to have a relationship with my phone.

I admit it! I love handwritten notes, one-on-one conversations, and being together with others. I get giddy when I open the mail box and get something that someone else put thought into sending to me. I love having a humble, real chat with another person and having that chance to go through life with them. I prefer that interpersonal side of relationships that today's world doesn't make room for any more.

Unfortunately, I have fallen on the addicted to the computer/iPhone bandwagon. I've found myself shushing my children so I could finish reading the latest on the newsfeed. I have ignored my duties at home so I could browse with both happiness and desire to keep up with the Jones'.  I have looked on with some envy at those who appear to go on multiple vacations and have perfect lives while wishing for it for my life too. Who else has done this? I know I am not in this addiction camp alone.

So I've forced myself to put up walls against it all. I deactivate my Facebook account for most of the time to keep from making that an idol in my life. I push myself to work harder at communicating with others without relying on technology. 

Yes, it can be useful. If I need to get the attention of a lot of people quickly, I can go on to Facebook to do it. Yes, it may be more convenient. I don't have to worry about being dressed and ready for the day to find out what someone else has to say in regard to a message I've sent them on there. Yes, it's fun. I can find people I usually wouldn't have normally talked to on an everyday basis, such as an old friend from childhood or someone from a previous location we've lived. I get to see pictures of their little ones growing up and find out what they've been up to at the moment.

But is it worth it? Is it worth the sometimes wishful thinking when I see their lives so "well put together?" Is it worth sacrificing our marriages, home lives, and health to spend so much time idle, looking for hours on end?  Is it worth sharing so many details of our lives such as what we ate for dinner, where we've been, and what we look like every day? Is it worth allowing ourselves to become so addicted?

Because that's what it has become for most people. It's an addiction. Studies have shown over and over that people are addicted. Headlines have said many times on the news that social media addiction is real and is worse than alcohol or tobacco. It's created to be an addiction and the more you use it, the harder it is to get away from it. Think about it. How many times have you used it today?

Not only that, but it's also causing society to turn into a bunch of narcissists. The mentality of people is that it should be all-about-me-all-of-the-time. Should it be? Do we really need to make everything about us?

It's that way when people post "selfies" over and over again. It's that way when one strives to get as many "likes" and "comments" as possible. It's that way when a person will post just about anything, whether it's an conflicting article that will cause some dispute or what they just ate. It's that way when pictures are posted, minute after minute and hour after hour of each day.

Snap. Post. Snap. Post. Like. Post. Comment. Post.

Do the creators of these social media websites want us to know that it's supposed to draw us in? When this is the number one way to communicate, are we really developing healthy relationships with one another? Does it's use take precedence in our lives above all else?

How about the time we don't have to play a game with our little ones? How about the time we don't have to make conversation with our spouse? How about the time we don't have to help out a neighbor? How about the time we don't have to read our Bibles and spend time with God? How about the time we don't have to live life other than something we hold in our hands?

As we all know, life keeps on ticking. We all have been given an amount of time to live on Earth  by our Creator. How do we want to spend our time? Do we want to spend it with God and the people He's surrounded us with? Or do we want to spend it wondering if someone we would normally barely talk to has posted another picture of their feet in front of the sunset? 

Our life is here and now. Let's make the most of it!