Chronological Order

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One thing that God expects for our lives is order. Order in our finances, order at our jobs, and order within our homes. Our wonderful Master is a creator, He created all good things, and of those good things He created marriage. What a gift we have in covenant marriage. When marriage is executed the way He designed it, its beautiful, loving, passionate and respectful. Colossians 1:16 states that all things were created through Him and for Him, marriages included! In fact , our marriages are intended to be used as an outward display of Christ’s love for us, and that display should bring glory to The Father, as well as be an encouragement to others. Married and unmarried alike.

God designed marriages and families in an orderly fashion. A chronological order if you will, with our never ending pursuit of Christ coming first, followed by the commitment we have to our husbands, and lastly the responsibility of caring for and raising our children. When a woman becomes a mother it is easy to get those out of order, but Titus 2:4 maps out the order in which our lives should be fashioned “that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,”  Loving our husbands comes before loving our children. Period. And by doing this it doesn’t make you a bad mom as the enemy would have you believe but it positions you properly and in turn causes you to be a better wife, AND better mother. By displaying an example of a Godly wife for your sons and daughters you are setting them up for a successful marriage later on in their adult years. Keep this in mind, a good mother puts her husband first, a good mother, shows her husband respect publicly and privately, a good mother fosters her relationship with God before she fosters the one with her husband. When you get out of order you are snatching not just yourself but your entire family out of God’s will, leaving yourselves exposed and uncovered. Delight in knowing God already laid out the order of your priorities for you. It’s in His unchangeable word. Knowing this increases your confidence and eliminates the uncertainty of your heart and mind when you prioritize your life according to His will. You can never go wrong with sticking to the map, no matter how tempting a shortcut may look.

Stay in order ladies, and by doing so you paint a beautiful picture to others of what marriage is suppose to be, and encourage those around you that may have gone off course that God’s direction is not only best, but also the most fulfilling. Your attempt to be the best mom this side of Heaven by putting your kids first is sloppy, not biblical, out of order and is certainly unpleasing to God. I don’t know about you but I want to maintain a Proverbs 31:28 life where my children call and see me as blessed and my husband praises me. The only way to accomplish that is to stay in God’s chronological order for your life.

The Gift

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The very thought of a gift makes everyone excited. In fact just the word gift brings a smile to my face. Anyone that has attended a birthday party, baby or bridal shower knows there’s  much anticipation when the announcement is made that the guest of honor is going to start opening their gifts. There’s almost always someone standing or sitting next to the special person taking detailed notes on who each gift is from so that a thank you note can be sent out in the coming days following the party.  All of the party guests sit ready to marvel at not just the gift but even how the gift is wrapped! Once the gift is opened comments like “oh wow who bought that” or “what a great gift” will start being muttered from the crowd of on watchers.

Imagine the anticipation in Heaven once we start opening our God given gifts here on Earth. Think about the eruption of excitement when we begin to tear into the wrapping paper of our destiny, without a moment of hesitation to think about saving the wrapping or tissue paper. The look on our Heavenly Father’s face when we reach for His gift, the ultimate gift of salvation. How He must feel when we thank Him for taking so much time and putting forth so much effort to craft something just for us. What an opportunity we’ve been given to publicly thank and recogniz Him for the sacrifice!  At a natural birthday party it’s pretty easy to figure out who the gift giver is because their face is just as excited as the person who is opening the gift!  Having spent days searching for just the right thing, in the perfect color, making sure the size was just right, and then going on to select the best way to wrap it. The gift giver knows their investment, the time spent, and the value of what’s inside the box. God has invested so much into our lives, He sacrificed the very life of His only son, and allowed the precious blood His sweet Jesus to be spilled for the very moment we reached out to grab the box of our purpose and destiny, and unwrapped the gift of eternal life.

Much emphasis is put on the recipient of the gift. They’re given a special chair to sit in, and a microphone to make sure everyone can hear their remarks about each special item that’s unwrapped. Yet the person standing in the corner making very detailed notes of each gift, and gift giver is never mentioned. It is due time to shift our focus from the recipient to the giver. The moment has arrived to recognize the one who provides the public platform for the world to witness our moments of unwrapping. The person taking note of all the wonderful things opened up is overlooked and usually never  appreciated, until the day we open our mailbox and see the personalized hand written note that outlines how much the recipient appreciates what was in the box, and how much use they’re going to get out of that perfect gift they picked out. Our thanksgiving is meant to be personalized, and our praise should never be presented as a cookie cutter offering.

As believers in the gospel, and recipients of the most precious gift ever given, we have a responsibility to make sure our God is glorified and thanked! I encourage you to have someone in your life who will not only take note of the gifts God has given you, but will also assist you giving Him the glory, and remind you to send out spiritual thank you notes to the Father, and to send them often.

John 1:17 states “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Join me in thanking Him for every gift He has presented us, every good thing He has graciously wrapped, and all the beautiful things to come! Our God is more than worthy to be praised, and His love for us is the most incredible gift of all.

Saying No Actaully Means, Yes! 

 
The enemy is constantly trying to fill our minds with guilt, remind us of our past, and distract us from seeing God’s glory. He attempts this and is often successful in all three of these things by convincing us to overcommit ourselves. In saying yes to every volunteer and ministry opportunity, we are actually devaluing something that is so precious to God, our time. In becoming too busy, it takes away time we could be spending with God. This is how the pattern of “I’m too tired”,or “I have too many things I need to get done to read my word” starts. Our Heavenly Father deserves the absolute best we have to offer Him. This includes our finances, time and resources. As tithers we joyfully give back to God 10% of our household’s income. The tithe comes before our mortgage, electric or grocery bill. We would never offer The Master our leftovers with our money, so why are we so quick to do it with our time? The biblical principle laid out for us in Malaki 3:11 explains that being in covenant with God concerning our money allows Him to protect us from the devourer. Shielding us from the enemy who so desperately wants to rob us of our bountiful harvest. Our harvest in terms of time with God would be a prophetic words, instruction, and words of knowledge. When we become too busy to quiet ourselves and hear from Him we are missing out on huge opportunities to have an encounter with our Lord.

We know God values time by the way he organized the creation of the world in 6 days, when He certainly has the power to have done it in one. It is because of our Father’s love for us that He spared no detail. Focusing on only certain things each day. This is how we now have the pleasure of enjoying the over 7,500 types of apples that there are around the globe. God wanted to give His children the best, so he rushed nothing! As women, wives, and mothers we have been convinced by Satan that unless we say yes to every large and small tasks that is asked of us; we are somehow worthless, lazy, or selfish. The spirit of obligated guilt that has overtaken the minds of Women must be exposed and cast out swiftly! We must regain our authority in boldly saying no and delegating tasks responsibly.

The account in Exodus 18, is so relevant to the lives of wives and mommies everywhere. Moses has his father in law, Jethro in town for a visit. During this time he explains to him all of the different responsibilities he has in leading the people of Isreal. Moses lists all the tasks that have fallen on his shoulders, and that have overcrowded his already full plate of responsibilities. The very wise Jethro gives Moses some sound counsel and advice saying in Exodus 18:17-18 “So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.” 

God did not create us to do everything, nor does he expect us to say yes to everything. In fact, by saying no you are actually proudly and unapologeticly saying;
Yes, I recognize my time is valuable.

Yes, I value this ministry, committee, ect enough to not offer you an overworked, burnt out me. 

Yes, my quality time with the Father is a priority.

Yes, I take my responsibilities as a wife and mother seriously.

Yes, intimate time with my husband is a priority in my life.

Yes, actual face time with my children is important to me.

Yes, God is ok with me saying no. 



Exodus 18:23 says “If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”
Titus 2 Women, not only do you deserve the peace of saying no, but so do the people around you. We all desire more peace in our lives , and we can attain that by limiting our “yes”, “sure”, and “why nots”. When you overcommit youreslf it shows a lack of self control which is one of the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. 
I encourage you ladies to start being more responsible with your time. There is much power, respect, and authority given to those who are responsible enough to say no. Remember to value the time God has given you by being a good steward of it.

Not Right Now Kids.. Mommy Is Clocked Out!

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Bold title huh? Yes i know! But that’s a sentence my 4 kids hear three times a day, every single day. I make it a point to tell people all the time, wherever i go that i love my job. I’ve worked at the same place for 8 years, and i can’t imagine doing anything except what i know for sure is the best job on the planet. Oh my gosh what do you do? Is the question i hear so often when in line at the grocery store making small talk with the person behind me. I hold my head high, puff up my chest and proudly declare, I’M A MOMMY!!! What follows next is usually “Awwww how many kids do you have”, or “Oh wow you must never get a break” To which i reply with “Oh you’d be quite surprised that i manage to take two 10 minute breaks, and a 30 minute lunch everyday”.  Yes you read right Titus 2 Women, I take 3 breaks a day, and if you’re not doing the same I’d advise you to start TODAY! It will enhance your life, and you will mother better! I’ve mentioned before that i have the best husband on planet Earth that truly appreciates and understands how much actual work i do on a daily basis in our home with our four loves. Early on into my career as a “professional mommy” as one of my dearest friends so affectionately calls me, my husband Erick encouraged me to rest, and relax during the day. He also reminded me that by law his job makes him take breaks during the day so that in the long run he is more productive, and i should have the same right by the law of the Castelin land.  Now in the early years, I’d hear nothing of it. I wanted to do as much as i possible could and maximize every waking moment during the day. While that was successful, and i ran a organized home, that was always tidy (and still is now) the enemy started to plant seeds of resentment in mind, i started to feel burnt out and i even began to believe that i wasn’t deserving of a break because after all, I’m a mother. Mother’s don’t need breaks. They certainly don’t take breaks, and if they do take them they must not be good mothers. Its tragic to think how many mommies around the globe have had their minds twisted by the adversary and actually believe they are unworthy of a break, despite doing the most physically and emotionally taxing job on Earth. Mark 6:31 reads;

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.

Now, I’m in no way comparing myself to Jesus after feeding the 5000, but i can say after making food, and feeding 4 hungry kids lunch, I myself am pretty tired LOL! After studying the scriptures i noticed a common theme… God actually ENCOURAGES rest! That was breaking news to me, and i had to repent. Not just because i failed to listen to my husbands instruction, but because God Himself encourages us to rest, and to rest often. If God can see the value in the refreshment that comes after taking a pause, they why couldn’t I? I am not God, and i should not try to be. It didn’t take long for me to implement my three breaks a day rule. Here’s how it works: I have a digital kitchen timer that stays on the fridge, we use it for EVERYTHING! In the morning after we’ve had breakfast, finished school drop off, and I’ve made a few phone calls or done some house work i set my timer for 10 minutes. I let the munchkins know that I’m about to go on a break, and ask if they need anything before i do. After all, they are the bosses 🙂 They know not to bother me during those 10 minutes unless someone is bleeding or throwing up, and i always stay where i can still see and hear everyone. I use the timer instead of just simply keeping track on my phone, so that the kids will hear and know when mommy’s break time has ended. During those 10 minutes i browse Facebook, Instagram, and sometimes even eat a light snack like apple slices and drink some water. Its like my own teeny, tiny mini vacation.  I always feel like i can ease through the rest of the day after my break. I repeat that process in the late afternoon before i start prepping dinner and after I’ve gone through the school pick up line. I remind them that mommy has done a lot of work this afternoon and a break would make me feel better. Refrain from calling it a “mommy timeout” you are not in trouble. Quite the opposite actually, its a reward for your efforts. By explaining your need for a break to your children, they will value all the work you do in the home so much more. Also, they won’t think that all the laundry folding, vegetable chopping, and floor mopping is effortless. It does take effort. Effort that is noticed by God, and your husband , It should be noticed and appreciated by your children. Ladies don’t allow the enemy to rip away one of the things you need most.. REST. Do what is best for not just yourself, but for your husband and children. It may feel as though someone is laying on the fast forward button, so i encourage you to hit the pause button in the middle of the day. Its been proven that companies that treat their employees well, and show their appreciation in small ways often don’t have as high of a turnover rate as those that don’t recognize the efforts of their employees. Now you obviously can’t go “work” or a different family, but the burnt out feeling you have in your own home will go away. Ladies, clock out and take a break. You most certainly deserve it, and your Heavenly Father encourages you to.

  
 

You must be steadfast in preparing yourself for not just the birthing process, but also for the eventual baby. So often we talk about God’s timing in a way that seems as though everything we have prayed for will take a long period of time before you see those prayers become manifest in your life. That is not always the case. God is ready to bless you. He’s your Heavenly Father, it delights Him more that it delights you for Him to bless you! But you must get yourself ready for it. You must be ready for the amazing thing God wants to suddenly do in your life. You may have prayed for it, but have you prepared for it? Preparation and prayer should go hand in hand but far too often they do not. When we want to sound super spiritual we say things like “God won’t give you more than you can bare” which the absolute truth. But you may have not received your Boaz, business, or ministry yet because you haven’t made yourself ready for it. You may really want that sudden shift in your life, but have not gotten yourself prepared for it. Have you studied the scriptures on the characteristics of a Godly wife? Researched what it takes to start and run a business? Fasted on the direction in which God wants to take your ministry? Our Heavenly Father is looking for us to prepare our own selves for the blessing. The waiting game is your time to prepare, not your time to remain idle. Ezekiel 38:7 reads; 

“Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 

You must prepare yourself and be ready!!!! Think of it as a 16 year olds hat just got their drivers license who desperately wants, and has begged their parents a Ferrari. Any responsible parent knows their 16 year old child is not prepared for the speed and power of a Ferrari, but what they are prepared for is a Ford Focus. That child never looses the desire for the Ferrari, but instead drives the Focus and gets well acquainted with the laws of the road, and different scenarios that happen while driving. All the while their parents are paying attention to the care, and responsible way in which their young adult is handling that car. Then one day seemingly out of nowhere to the 16 year old, they wake up to find a Ferrari with a big red bow waiting for them in their parents driveway. It will be suddenly to them, but the parent has watched for a period of time (it could be long, it could be short depending on how proactive they are in readying themselves) and feels confident knowing they are now well ready for the responsibility of such a fast car. I urge you ladies to not let your prayers and request to God hit the ceiling by your unwillingness to prepare for that which you ask for. Become a lady in waiting that maximizes her time by not just praying but by also preparing. 

Two become ONE

I know what you’re thinking… Another marriage post. Not quite. In fact the two I’m referring to is you and your Heavenly Father. How to go from being separate in thinking and doing, to becoming so in sync with your Father that you have a mind like God. Think like Him, make decisions like Him, and act like Him. It is only until you have a complete renewing of your mind (Ephesians 4:23) that the unity can take place.

After taking notice that the Holy Spirit had lost its place in many  homes I was pressed to start this blog. Our hearts desire should be to mirror God in every thing we do. From folding laundry to picking up dry cleaning on Saturday morning. The Holy Spirit wants to consume our lives but we have to created a welcoming atmosphere for Him.

In order for the Holy Spirit to come back into our kitchens, laundry rooms, and minivans we must start to court our groom again. Spend quality, meaningful time in the presence of God. Talk with God, cry out to Him, share our thoughts, desires, and needs with Him. I promise if you make time for Him, if you start having daily dates, you will begin to hear quite clearly His instructions, nuggets of wisdom, and even words of affirmation. When you worship God He will fill up your love tank. He will satisfy your mind and body more than anything on the Earth ever could. Titus 2 Women, change your attitude about how you spend time with God, from wanting to go on speed dates with Him reading your 10 minute morning devotional while packing lunches with GMA blaring in the background. To wanting to have those long walks on the beach where you loose track of time because you’ve been gazing into His eyes for so long, staring at His face, studying every freckle and wrinkle.

I remember when my sweet husband Erick and I were courting we were so in tune with each other that he knew what I was thinking and I knew what he was thinking by just looking at each other. Today that has ballooned and we now finish each others sentences, and often beat each other to doing something the other was planning to do. There’s not a day that goes by where you won’t hear the sentence “aww man, you beat me to it” in the Castelin home from either Erick or myself 🙂 we are truly one flesh, a unit, a two person power team. That should be the same with you and Christ, your groom. There shouldn’t be a second thought about how to handle any challenging situation when you are walking hand in hand with the Father. The Holy Spirit should be on the inside of you helping you to navigate through life. Seek Him in how to start that business, how to handle your defiant child, how to pay down that debt, how to be a more submissive wife. Welcome the Holy Spirit into your life by spending time in the presence of God. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Don’t allow the world to trick you into believing God is some far away being that doesn’t have time for your silly little mommy problems. He wants to be close to you, inside you, filling you up so that your overflow can spill out into the world. Yes, your world of bibs, crock pots, and Disney Jr shows is important to God. The other wives and moms you come in contact with are important to God.

If you are reading this and have not established a relationship with God, and accepted Christ as your savior this is your moment!!! It doesn’t matter of you are reading this on your iPhone while waiting for your oven timer to beep. Pray this prayer with me. I assure you your life will be forever changed. You will become a better Woman, wife, and mommy once you have.

Dear God,

I accept your great big gift. I believe that Jesus died for me. That may sins would be washed away and I am made perfect in your sight. I thank you for loving me enough to send your only son to suffer and die so that I could live an abundant life. Father fill me up with your Holy Spirit, let it overflow into every area of my life. I love you Father! Amen.

If you just prayed that for the first time ever, or just recommitted your life life to Christ I would love to hear from you! I’m so excited for you because I know that you have just become one with the Father, you are no longer alone. There is now unity in your heart and will be unity in your home. Enjoy the greatest gift of all, and that’s to unwrap something new about God every single day for the rest of your life. Uncovering His goodness, and wonder learning everything you possible can about Him as you will be forever courting your Groom.

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Daddy who?! 

 
  
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. What happens next isn’t what I would call a hit record, but it certainly holds true that once you put the baby carriage to use the love that got you the baby starts to fade away in the rear view mirror. Let’s be real Titus 2 women, with baby comes sleepless nights, stinky diaper pails, sippy cups and bottles with a mixture of water juice and likely a little bit of milk that you just didn’t bother to rise out ALLLL the way. None of that is sexy, cute, or appealing to any of the five senses. Laundry piles up, and casseroles need to be made, but one thing that should NEVER get repetitive is your interaction with the man that blessed you with that best job you’ll ever have. Your husband. At times he may seem like another one of your children; someone that you have to clean up after, make meals for, and help find the charger block to their iPad for the 600th time. But I assure you, he is so much more than that. In fact, there’s likely someone at his office, gym, church, or the kids school that thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread AND  Keurig coffee machines. So why isn’t he to you? The one that vowed to love, obey, and cherish you in the good times and bad. When you had to clip coupons for groceries and during the times that you could splurge on your favorite designer hand (or diaper) bag. 
I know what you’re thinking oh but you’re not married to my husband, he won’t take out the trash unless I ask him 52 times, or he won’t help the kids with their homework, ect. But I’m certain that when you were dating him, you wouldn’t have to ask twice for things to get done. That’s because you were putting your best foot forward each and everytime you saw him. And no, I’m not referring to your outward appearance. Although that’s VERY important too! The way you spoke to him was full of love, respect and kindness. You gave him the best of what you had to offer, even if you didn’t feel like it. He was your priority, and everyone else had to wait. Even your very best girlfriend who likely served as your maid of honor. You would submit your body to him, and would make yourself available. (Hopefully not sexually until AFTER you were married). You would submit your ears to hear about his hopes, goals, and dreams no matter how far fetched they seemed at the time. You would submit your eyes to watching his favorite sporting events on TV. And you would commit your time to taking up new hobbies or learning all about something he liked to do in his downtime. You did all of those thing, and you did them with a huge smile on your face, and excitement in your heart because that was the man God has blessed you with, and you wanted to do everything you could to make him happy because he made you oh so happy.

Let’s fast forward to today…

The days seem long, you feel as though you can hardly squeeze in the time to clip and paint your toe nails, or read a few pages of your favorite devotional each day, let alone have time to listen to your husbands hopes for that awesome promotion next year, or HIS desire to loose 15lbs. When was the last time you asked your man where HE would like to go on the next family vacation? Ladies, I’m not trying to be the bad cop, but I am trying to gently yet firmly remind you to put your husband (which is a pretty sexy title) AFTER God and BEFORE your children on your priorities list. Submit yourself to him, and I promise he will submit himself to you. When your children see that you value daddy, they will value daddy. When they see you investing time into your marriage, they will strive to do the same in theirs someday. Marriage is suppose to be a reminder of the love Christ has for us. Unconditional, doesn’t keep track of faults, and everlasting. 

Below I’m listing some tips and suggestions on how to maintain the courtship after marriage, and kids 🙂 there is no reason why you can’t implement some of them TODAY! 

  1. Weekly, yes WEEKLY date nights. They can be at home, and can cost absolutely nothing. Turn your kitchen into a diner and make waffles or pancakes and bacon (men LOVE bacon) at 11 o’clock at night after the kids are in bed. Share a homemade milkshake at your bar or kitchen island.
  2. Read your Bible TOGETHER. Listen to what the spiritual head has been hearing from God. I’m sure it will knock your socks off! You should be excited to know what your man of God has been talking to The Lord about. 
  3. Talk. It sounds pretty simple but when was the last time you had a conversation with each other about the next comic book movie that’s coming out, a new recipe you want to try, or something you learned in your ladies Bible study. 20 minutes of conversation about something not regarding the children, bills, or household chores goes a loooooong way! 
  4. Clock out time: a set time every night that you clock out for the day including social media, TV, the phone and go to bed. Have pillow talk, and drift off to sleep TOGETHER. The more rested you are the better partners you will be for each other the next day, and better parents you’ll be for your children.
  5. Boundaries! Set them for your children. Let them know your bedroom is off limits for them, their toys, books, and electronics.  Have the conversation with them that when your bedroom door is closed mommy and daddy are spending alone time together, or are having sometime to refresh and relax. The entire house is the children’s, but the bedroom should always be a kid free zone. Your marriage is sacred, and your marital bedroom should be also. 

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭22-24‬