Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Get on Santa's "Good List"

Well, the countdown is officially on! I don't know about many of you but this is usually the time when i begin surfing the web, catalogs, Sunday papers and my e-mails for the best possible deals for last minute Christmas gifts. As I head into the different retail stores there is always my trip to Macy's that gets me the most gitty.

A few weeks ago, my family and I watched the Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade patiently awaiting Santa's arrival to Macy's, officially marking the beginning of their Holiday season. I personally get most excited waiting for little Virginia (the float of the little girl) rushing to Macy's clutching her letter to Santa in her little hands. She is also features in their animated Christmas commercial. For those of you that may have missed the promotional piece, every year Macy's has their Believe Campaign (inspired by the timeless classic Miracle on 34th Street). They set up a mailbox in the store and for every letter to Santa that is put in the box Macy's gives $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

In usual fashion, my children and I sat down to the task of penning their letters to Santa.  Most of my children are under the age of 6, so I used a wonderful template I found on iheartorganizing.blogspot.com and had tons of fun! Writing letters to Santa is wonderful past-time for children of all ages and how much more exhilarating to know that the letters are being used for a philanthropic cause. So as I pick of items here and them at Macy's-Herald Square I'll be sure to drop by that magical mailbox that turns my children's wishes into wishes for so many.

I know that Christmas time can be overwhelming but if you are looking for something philanthropic to do as a family that is also quick and convenient shoot Santa a quick note!(smile)

Merry Christmas & Be Fruitful


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The One Thing I'm most Thankful for...

God has blessed my life so much and there are a million things that I can tell God "Thank you" for, but one of the things this Thanksgiving that I have to say I am most thankful for is God's Forgiveness. I thank God that he is merciful despite that a lot of times, I am not deserving.  I am sure that there are many of you out there that feel the same way! What a mighty God we serve to be able to love us enough to give his only son and then still have us fail often enough at being obedient to his word and still he loves us; still he forgives us and wipes the slate clean as if it never happened. Isaiah 43:25 says:

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

His love for us is so deep that he chooses not to remember our sins.  If that's not saving grace...I am so thankful for God's mercy this year because I have been trying to be more vigilante in those things that the Holy Spirit has convicted me about and many days, have fallen short and gotten down about it, but I know that is exactly what Satan wants. Those are the days I know I need to pray a little harder and read the word a little longer because Satan will try to convince us that all is lost. He will make us feel it is too tough, that you can never measure up, but I guess that's why God is so forgiving.  He knows that we will never measure up.  Jesus said (to paraphrase) that the student can never be greater than the teacher! And there you have it! We can strive and work our hardest but will never reach perfection the best we can do is try! That's all God asks, is that we try, and with that he leaves it up to us to say "yes, I will try or no, I won't try" and if your answer is the latter...all i can say is "how ungrateful"!

Happy Thanksgiving and as always Be Fruitful


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Seasons & Reasons

Recently, the changing season has been a frequent topic of conversation and literature for me.  It seems like every week there is something new in my eye or ear on the changing season.  One conversation I had was about how the changing seasons effect people's moods; another on how to continue healthy living and eating despite the onset of cold weather. Along with the change in weather there has also been a lot of change in my life; a change in friends, a change in responsibility, a change in my personal goals, and change in my ambition. 

As you can imagine, at first, i didn't accept all of these changes with open arms.  I began to wonder just what all these changes meant, what was God trying to say, were they good...were they bad?  So I took to my Bible, but where would I look. So I put it down. And it's funny how God will answer you if you are sincere. I was about to wash the dishes and decided to catch up some episodes of Joni Lamb and as I was searching through the pre-recorded shows there is one within the past couple of weeks called "Seasons". I thought to myself "here we go again with the seasons, let's just go ahead and watch this, God is obviously speaking to me".

Sure enough the message, questions and scriptures were right on point! Before this, I'd been feeling a sense of stagnation in life. As a wife and mother it can get pretty routine and when you throw in the day to day sacrifices we make for our families, we aren't exactly living la vida loca.  The fun times can be few and far between as a night with friends or romance is bumped for a night filled with homework, crying, cleaning and refereeing.  After listening to that broadcast I was able to realize that I myself am in a season of life.  That is season is motherhood, full on motherhood, with 4 under the age of 10, motherhood! 

I never really viewed this as a season of life. Aren't seasons more about personal growth and development?  Boom!!! That's when the Holy Spirit spoke! Every impatient moment and overreaction I ever had with my children began to play in my head and I realized somewhere in my checklist of things to do, I had lost focus that the most important thing I have to do is to help my children grow into the people God wants them to be.  My ambitious entreprenerial tasks that often ended with me upset with one of the kids for "distracting me from something important" didn't seem all that important anymore. I realized that in this season, God is working in me on my patience and faith, that I don't always have to know where it is all headed.  And most importantly enjoy the ride until I get to a new season.  When in doubt it's always wise to consult God in prayer and turn to his word.
I was able to an abundance of scriptures in which seasons of life are mentioned all throughout the bible!

Feel Free to indulge and as always Be fruitful!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Those "Well I've Never..." Thoughts

By Renee Jamerson

(Photo Credit: Scene from the movie Saved!)

Yesterday, our Asst. Pastor preached his sermon on Sin, of course giving examples of sin.  As he spoke one after the other my mind started to say "well that's not me and never has been."  After church I meditated on the message and like a light bulb the Holy Spirit convicted me!  Sure...I wasn't guilty of those sins but did that make me sinless? "Absolutely not", I thought, "no one is sinless" and then it hit me.  How many of my sins do I partake of on a daily basis and never pay attention to.  For example, judgemental thoughts, entertaining gossip, and etc.  The funny part is some of these sins I have endulged in my entire life out of sheer upbringing.

How many of us were raised to be careful of the company we keep, usually coupled with the saying "birds of feather flock together"? What I realized in myself, was that it created in me an introverted attitude, not one created by shyness but one based on my judgements and sometimes, prejudgements of others. This gave way to another thought...am I at times self-righteous? So, I took to the bible. Using the table of content, I found my way to Luke 18.

In this chapter, Jesus gives a parable of two men, one a pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee began to pray saying I thank you Lord that I am not this and that and that I am definitely not like this tax collector (of course this is me paraphrasing but this is the jist of it), while the tax collector silently prayed saying Lord forgive me for I am a sinner. Jesus then states "for he who exalts himself will be humbled and he who is humble will be exalted." Wow! Wow! Wow!  I, in that moment at church and so many others was that Pharisee. I had thanked the lord on my pedestal while half-knowingly condemned others in my pride.

If you find yourself guilty of this fret not!  I am thankful to say that we serve a forgiving and merciful God who allows room for error as long as you repent and work on it.  Therefore, I know where I need work and I hope you can find some too, after all as Christians it is our life-long job to strive to be more like Christ.

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Woman of Divine Purpose

by Renee Jamerson

I was scrolling through my newsfeed a couple of days ago and was floored by how many people's status' read "depressed".  I know from experience that one big factor that can bring a person down is lack of direction.  When there is lack of direction there is usually lack of motivation which can lead to feeling lost, especially with Social Media and reality tv around.  A woman can begin to feel like everyone else is moving while she's just standing still sinking.

So, where do you find your purpose? How do you know what you're supposed to be doing with life?  Well, I started by reading the bible.  God gave lots of instructions for life but one chapter that stays in my heart is Titus 2, it reads:

" 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."

This speaks to both young women and old women, just find your age range and season of life in this scripture and you're sure to find your way.

As older women it is your job to help encourage the younger generation and lead by example and in case you find this to be cliche it's backed by Galatians 6, which reads:

"2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

It's a big job but it's your job!  There also must be an attitude of grace. A lot of times we get the older generation offering their opinions on the younger generation but without the grace and care that is required, which then comes across as being hypercritical or even judgemental.

As younger women it is your job to learn to be either the best wife, mother, or individual you can.  Depending on your season of life whatever you do should be to God's glory and honor.  It's your job to work on you, while working on and for those around you. 

Whatever your age, we are all in this together and our God given purposes depend on each other.  The Christian walk is not one that should be taken alone.  Galatians 6:6 says

"6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches."

So encourage your fellow sister and always be Fruitful!

Monday, May 19, 2014

When Will You Be Worthy?

You may have noticed that there has been a change in the name of this community to Fruitful Nurturing.  For some of you this may sound unusual and for other you may totally understand, but one day God spoke to me as I was trying to come up my next post.  It was just after Easter and all of my devotionals led up to Jesus' Ascension, before he ascended he met with the disciples and explained to them that he wanted them to be 'harvesters for the Kingdom'; that verse continued to ring in my heart and made me wonder...was I fulfilling my God-given purpose? For years now I have been asking God to reveal my purpose; I had grown so tired of my yearly routine, feeling unappreciated and lack of fulfillment.  I now realize that this feeling of failure and complacency was due to unpurposeful striving, it was not centered in God but in my ego and MY ideas of success. I longed to be an entrepreneur but for the wrong reasons.  I realize that it is not to just reap from your hard work but to the plant seed of Christ in others and to help them sow their seeds to improve the Kingdom's harvest.  So I got the idea to transform this vehicle of information-sharing into a vehicle to share the love of Christ and to help myself and others along their Christian journey. 

After meditating and confirmation that this was from the Lord and not of my own ego.  I said "okay" I need a name for this community, and God gave me "Fruitful".  The bible does tells us to be "Fruitful and Multiply", so I said... that works.  I was all set to launch and then "IT" happened.  The ego as big and self-absorbed as she is, jumped in!  So, I got down on my knees and I said (and these were my exact words) "Lord, I heard you talking to me but I have to admit I don't feel worthy to do this, I definitely ain't Preacher material and sure do still struggle daily to be virtuous..." All he said was "Well, when will you be worthy?" AHhah! He had me, when in this life am I ever going to perfect and clean enough to do his will...for salvation is a daily struggle for everyone.  I sat there and in that instant I thought of Moses.  I have to admit I am always hypercritical of Moses. God showed him many signs and he still needed to take Aron with him to see Pharoah. Well, there I was Moses...

Never the less, here we are Fruitful Nurturing aiming to do the will of God and help others along the way. I have no idea where this will eventually lead, I just hope that you continue to support our community, comment and give an encouraging word as we strive to fulfilling our God-given purposes!



Monday, March 3, 2014

Moms Casted as Leading Ladies for Oscars

(Source: Getty Images)
Michael Fassbender & his Moma
(Source: Getty Images)
Jared Leto & his Mom

(Source: Getty Images)
Leonard DiCaprio & his Mom
(Source: Getty Images)
Jonah Hill & his Mom

As parents we can only hope to one day share in our children's accomplishments but it always warms the heart to see the child openly acknowledge the source of their success.  As an Oscar nominee what better way to show your appreciation than to escort your Mom as your date. 


Thursday, February 27, 2014

We Love Them, But Do They Love Them?

Editorial by
Renee Jamerson

This month, one prevalent topic that seems to keep reoccurring in my life is the importance of a positive body image.  I recently watched a television program and had my 8 year old daughter question me on Beyonce's new video, "Pretty Hurts".  It made me reminisce back to my youth when the "positive body image" anthem was "Unpretty" by TLC.  I got the message of the song because my mother had instilled within me a love for myself so deep that even when I felt "unpretty", I knew it was only a temporary feeling and turned my "swag-meter" to 1,000 with self-praise.  As I strolled down memory lane, I pondered whether or not I had instilled the same values in my own children. 

I ran through a quick mental check list:

(1) You are special, if for no other reason than you are a child of God, created in his own perfect image.  - Check! We read the bible and attend church at least 3x a month.

(2) You are as smart as you want to be - Check!  I have repeatedly told them that they are smart enough to accomplish anything they put their mind to with the right training and hard work.

(3) Nobody can make you feel inferior, your acceptance of their judgement does - Check! I know for sure at least 2 of my girls will tell you to take a hike if you even think of offering your opinion of their hair or fashion-sense.

But was this enough?  I decided to speak to my oldest on her opinion of herself and what she felt the video meant.  She expressed a couple of issues regarding her appearance and what she'd like to change; which I have to admit was a little funny seeming as how I never really thought of changes to my appears until Junior High.  But, kids do develop faster these days...I guess...right?  After some thought I figured this wasn't too absurd, my daughter is a bit mature for her age.  We continued to talk and at some point she expressed a correlation between Beyonce's treatment in the video and the movie, Bully, a cinematic experience offered by her school to educate children on the consequences of bullying.  I found her comparison interesting.  I mean, think about it, we're all mentally bullied into a way of thinking and conceptualizing beauty.  We are held to societies and the fashion industries standards and when you don't fit, you're ostracized in a way.  I went on to tell her how she was "quite the little genius" and to "never conform".  I reassuring her one more time that she was made perfect in God's image and that the only way to one day understand true love was to first love yourself.

I walked away proud, because although she may not understand fully everything I said, I know that she is at least alert enough to know that passing judgement on someone based on their appearance is unfair, even if that person is yourself.  Plus I figured, for her to have this perception and be a tiny resident of NYC, gives a nod of approval to my parenting.  <smiling>

~Never Conform~

Friday, January 3, 2014

Snow Days = Slow Days, Maybe Not

On an ordinary day many of us find ourselves wishing we could spend more time with our children, especially working moms.  Nothing screams quality time like a snow day, does it?  Don't you see it, the day before, we anxiously await the announcement that the office is closed and celebrate when it is, thankful for that extra day to rest...NOT!

While mentally we imagine a day of relaxation, catching up on missed conversations and possibly a book, it turns out to be anything but that.  We either end up with family members dispersed in the home, some watching TV, others on electronics and others sleeping.  If you are fortunate enough to catch some zzz's there's still that point in the day/days when your kids run out of creativity and shows and want that imaginary character that only Mommy can bring to life.  While playing pretend with the little ones, theoretically, is the perfect description of quality time their demand usually happens at the most unexpected time.  Not to mention, pretending to dress up for a wedding was a lot more fun when YOU were 12 than it is at...(fill in blank).

If this describes you and you find yourself awaiting a blizzard,  it is not only wise to stock up on groceries but a schedule of activities as well.  There are tons of things to do when trapped in doors, some of which may interest you.  Here are my top 4:

1. Yoga - you can find yoga videos on YouTube for free ranging from beginner to advanced.  I've noticed that kids love to exercise, especially if Mommy's doing it...have a class with them and while they may not get every pose right, you'll have enough fun watching each other fall over.

2. Games - games such as Monopoly Jr. or even video games that include teams and dancing can be a lot of fun.

3. Devotionals- I love to include a bible study in my day so why not go the extra mile and have a full class complete with coloring pages and all, its a great use of time.

4. Cooking classes - just about every child loves to experiment with food, having your kids help you bake a cake or even create a finger snack is sure to be a blast and can take some stress out of having to figure out a menu for the day.

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