How to Find Peace in the Midst of Moving

The importance of your quiet time with God when moving.

We moved. Not just down the street or the next town over, not even to another state, but we moved out of the country. 

We moved to Mexico!!  

It has been about a month an a half now - in this new country that we now call home. Mexico!

It's beautiful here. I love the hillside view from the top of my mother-in-laws home. Downtown has it's charming streets filled with people selling their homemade goods. Vibrant colored homes glitter the hillsides. The architecture is amazing and I particularly love the old large wooden doors. 

Although it has been stressful, our family is thriving. 

The kiddos get to play with their cousins and the neighbor kids everyday. Back in the states, we lived in a neighborhood with no kids. I don't even need to express to you how much fun they have and how happy they are to get to run and play every afternoon with around 8 to 10 other kids. 

My husband and I worked out a family schedule that includes, but not limited to homeschooling, alone time with God and with each other. It seems to work most days. We will tweak this as we go, making changes where needed. 

In the evenings you may, often times, find us playing in the streets with all the kids. Volleyball, our own street version of it, is my favorite playtime with the family. 

I enjoy getting to know the community. Talking with the family and neighbors helps my Spanish, as I'm not even close to being fluent yet. The neighbors walk past our door a couple of times a day and I get the opportunity to greet them with my broken Spanish and a smile.

My heart swoons as I get to witness my husband encourage old friends, family and even the local kids in Christ. 

Several times now we have got a bible story together, gathered the local kiddos and right there in the narrow street by our apartment, we share God's word. 

I get to witness my husband reading the Bible to his grandmother. She is in her 90's and still, inch by inch, walks the narrow street right outside our apartment door and faithfully attends Mass every Wednesday evening. 

What about me you ask? I've made a friend too! Since there is a major language barrier I use Google translate a lot, but I am learning. She introduced me to hand embroidery. I've been working on the same flower for almost a week, but this time consuming craft is becoming a favorite hobby of mine.

I won't pretend with you. This move has been stressful. 

Our apartment is super tiny and I hate to admit this, but it's been hard for me not having my own space. 

I've cried ugly tears, on more than one occasion, as I have swept/mopped the kitchen floor because water has overflowed from the washing machine and poured into the alleyway. The water, in the community, only runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So that water is precious to us. 

I've been stressed and frustrated the week we had to take the hour and a half long bus ride back and forth to the immigration office. All the employees are courteous and helpful, however, you cannot call to get information, but must arrive in person to seek answers or help. (Please be in prayer with me as I'm still waiting for them to approve my residency application.)

I've burst into lonely tears that time my dad sent me a pic of him and my mom on Facebook. I miss them most of all. 

Finding Peace In the Midst of a Major Move

How do you cool the hot tears that threaten to stain your cheeks or how do you surrender the heart ache and soothe it with peace and joy?

Alone time with God 

Forcing my schedule to stop in the midst of a crazy, stressful day to make time to rest and refill in the Word of God and prayer.

If I do not allow this happen, I most certainly can feel it. I am more stressed, frustrated and grumpy. And most definitely not being the "light" that I am called to be. 

How do you make time with God a priority

1. Make a daily schedule

I love my planner. It helps me keep on track of my daily schedule. Of course, in life we must leave room for flexibility, but keeping a daily schedule has tremendously helped my life and quiet time with God. 

2. Be intentional about your quiet time with God. 

You know what works for you. Does having a quiet space help? Soft music? Do you like starting off by reading or listening to a devotion?  Make this happen.

3. Rest

Sounds too simple to be true, but we all must learn to make our hearts and minds stop and REST in God. Taking a deep breath, closing your eyes, and while releasing that breath - leave at Jesus' feet all that weighs heavy on your heart. Learn to stay at the feet of Jesus, expanding your faith while resting in Him. 

  On our craziest day we tend to let the time slip by and ignore that gentle touch from our Heavenly Father. He often times will remind us that He is waiting and looking forward to the quiet time you spend with Him. 

I challenge you, my friends, and myself - Make time for God. 

He is the only way to find peace in the midst of moving. 

Jesus is the only way to find peace in this life! 

Please tell me, how do you find time for God when your life is chaotic?

Much Love, 

Starla J.
photo source

photo source 

Celebrating Mom’s Birthday in Heaven

Celebrating Mom’s Birthday in Heaven

September is a special month in my heart, and not just because of college football and pumpkin flavored everything. My Mom was born in September. Her life makes me want to celebrate!

It has been 14 years since Mom went to be with Jesus, but her presence lingers around her family and friends now. For many years, I mourned the loss of my mother and my girls’ grandmother. 

Sometimes the pain is still so real and piercing, but it has lessened over the years. I am at the point where I am grateful that I had the best Mom for 23 years. I can now smile at memories. 

Mom’s birthday used to be a sad affair until someone pointed out that it didn’t have to be. We can celebrate her life! 

For the Newlywed or Not So Newlywed

Marriage is fragile. Handle with care.

If that was a bumper sticker, some people might mock it. There is so much truth to it that we don’t always want to see. “The old ball and chain.” “Life sentence.” 

We make jokes about marriage, but it is a gift. 

It was intended to be the closest relationship we can get to God here on earth. We are supposed to love, honor, cherish and protect each other. More often we take advantage of the fact that that person is stuck with us. We treat them like their feelings don’t matter and we rip into them on a bad day.

God's design for marriage. A biblical marriage.

5 Ways to Pursue Your Husband

This coming July marks the 16th wedding anniversary for my husband and I. Boy oh boy, have I learned so much and have come so far in my marriage. Thank God for His grace, mercy, and guidance. What a blessing I have been given. 

One lesson I've learned is the importance of pursuing each other.  I believe this one thing can make or break a marriage. 

I know for me, when my husband takes the time to fill up my love bucket, shows appreciation and makes an effort; I feel closer to him, cherished and loved. 

Husbands need to feel respected and loved. 

Pursue your man, ladies!

As christian wives, God calls us to pursue our spouse whether they return the pursuit or not. Of course, marriage as a whole functions so much better when both spouses submit to God and honor their spouse, but reality is - sometimes you have to fight for your marriage. 

5 Ways To Pursue Your Husband

To read my list click HERE

Much Love, 

Starla J 

photo source

The Pretty Blogging Planner: Freebie

My blogging planner is great for all bloggers and can even be used by moms needing a monthly and weekly calendar. 

Have you ever had a great idea for a blog post, made a mental note to write it down only for it to disappear in your mind no where to be found? 

That's me. So many mental notes, more than I'd like to admit, have been lost on a mental notepad. hahahah

For me to ever remember my "to-do" list or that awesome blog topic - I MUST write it done. And to be successful at organizing these ideas and plans I needed more than sticky notes through out my house. I know I'm not alone in this dilemma.

I needed a planner. More specifically a blog planner.  And if was a pretty one that would be even better!

Intentional Spending

Our family is coming up on a very important anniversary. July 1st will mark two years since money started giving up its hold on us. It had us in its grasp in more ways than we realized at the time. That July day was a pretty ordinary day. Nothing spectacular happened, but everything shifted in my mind. 

We made a decision and haven’t looked back.

That day, we started something that I call intentional spending. See, for most of my life, I wanted to be more giving. I always said that when we had more money coming in, we would start giving more. The problem was there was always some other way to spend that money. Sound familiar? 

I also realized in my desire to give the girls what they wanted, I wasn’t doing them any favors in the long run. So, the plan to change all that started. I was a woman on a mission!

How to spend your money wisely, Get out of debt, Control your spending

How to Prepare Your Family for Spiritual Battle

How to prepare your family for spiritual battle. 

The war is over, but the battle continues. 

Imagine a war of two countries. Soldiers in hand to hand combat. The bullets are real, the death toll rises and the damage is overwhelming. Then, the smoke dissipates and peace arises! A winner has been chosen! A hand shake between the countries and a promise of peace is signed. The war is over. 

But, behind the darkness, the battle still wages on. The continued prowling for people to destroy doesn't affect who wins in the end. Remember the war is over. A winner has already been chosen. None the less, darkness continues to move in an effort to bring down anyone they can. 

Jesus has won the war, but the battle still wages on. 

Here is how to prepare for spiritual battle. 

The Word of God, tells us how to take our stand, as Christian soldiers, against the enemy. 

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people."  Ephesians 6:10-18