Monday, December 17, 2012

Praying for Connecticut

I have tried to avoid news coverage.  I scrolled past Facebook posts.  I turned the radio station…again. 

The horrific shooting in Connecticut last week was just too much for this momma to take.  What monster could look at a child and take their life and do it over and over again?

I haven’t allowed myself to cry, though the tears are certainly there, ready to flow. It is just too much.

“…by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” Proverbs 15:13

What these parents are dealing with today seems so unfair. No parent should ever out live their child. No parent should ever have to identify their child’s dead body. But it happens.  In fact it happens everyday, it just doesn’t get on the news. We live in a world of evil and wickedness.

Mothers across the world were united in their rage, grief and dismay. We all felt numb when we heard what happened, then we felt extremely saddened and now we are mad! How dare this young man take the lives of children into his own hands!

I often found myself in a conversation with God…

“Oh Heavenly Father, what have you allowed to happen? What was going on in the mind of this young man to walk in a school and shoot young children and their teachers?  We will never understand will we?

Oh Lord, hold tightly the parents of these precious ones.  Numb their emotions.  I just can’t imagine the pain, agony, aching feeling these  parents are experiencing.  I can’t imaging how difficult it is to see the Christmas gifts for children that will not be there to open them. I can’t imagine the empty bedrooms and quiet backyards.  I can’t imagine the silence at dinner time or in the car going to school. Lord, I just can’t imagine.”

As I listen to my kids arguing I pray…“Lord, thank you that today, I still have my children here to argue together.”

When I trip over their shoes… “Lord, thank you that I still have shoes to trip over.”

When they run through the kitchen wondering when dinner will be ready…”Lord, thank you that my children will all be here for dinner.”

Lord, I pray this horrific tragedy will draw these parents & families to you.  I pray they seek you for strength and comfort.  I pray they will experience you in a way that cannot be explained. I know that what the enemy meant for harm, you meant for good & I know that in this you will be glorified.  I know your name will be praised.  Have mercy on the hurting hearts as they search for answers to this.  Help me to never take for granted the days you give me with my children, for I know their days belong to you.

In spite of this help us to never forget that you are still…

isaiah9.6

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful

I hope you had a wonderful day of Thanksgiving!  Our family celebrated the day at my parents house.  It was the first time in a whole year that all of my kids had made it to my parents house at the same time.  I was so thankful that everyone’s crazy schedule’s took a break and we were able to stay for several days.

We of course, had to do our annual porch picture. My parents have this fantastic porch & we love to use it for pictures.

family

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My guys.

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Me & my little women.

 

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And of course…Charlie.  Our little wild man.  He is almost 7 months old now.  He crawls, eats real food, does not sleep all night and has the most wonderful little smile, as you can see here.

When I think of where I was spiritually this time last year I am just about brought to tears by the reality of God’s amazing mercy and grace.  My heart was dismayed, angry, hurt and very troubled.  Today, I can honestly say my heart is thankful.  Thankful for the trials of this past year.  Thankful for the time to be quiet.  Thankful for the solitude.  Thankful for the hard lessons. I am content with where the Lord has us.  Yes, I most definitely still want our family to live in our own home, but I would much rather be where God wants me. I am learning to slow down and not get ahead of God.  I am learning to be quiet.

It’s been a good year…and it’s not over yet!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Faithful Friday...at HIS Acceptable Time



I found this verse this morning and wanted to share it with you.

  But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. Psalm 69:13

Four words jumped out at me..."At an acceptable time".

My acceptable time & the Lord's acceptable time for answering my prayers are usually two different times.  This scripture takes my back to surrender.  Surrendering my want for God to answer my prayers at my acceptable time.

If you believe God truly is Sovereign and if you know He loves you with that love that is indescribable and incomprehensible, then you can be confidant that HIS acceptable time to answer your prayers really is the most perfect time.

His faithfulness to love us and answer when we call to him is perfect.  Never has he not answered.  He may make us wait a while, but that is so He can work out his plan through us. My prayer these days has been to ask the Lord for patience in the waiting.  I know he is at work.  I know he wants to bless us every day.  I know He is working out something wonderful for our family.  So, I continue to wait and pray,

O GOD, at YOUR acceptable time in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

There is Purpose in our Trials

 

Crayon Background

Sometimes I really wish the Lord would let us know why he takes us through certain trials or experiences.  So much of what we as Believers go through often seems a mystery. And my flesh wants to know why I have to go through this.

I was so blessed this morning to open my devotional and read the words of Oswald Chambers.  He explained why God doesn’t let us know.

Chambers writes…

If you are going to be used by God, he will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in his hands, and to enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will never be surprised at what you come across.

I know the trials and adversity I experience aren’t just for me, I have often told others that this trial is preparing me for the next season or the next trial.  And that is true, but it goes deeper than that.

If God is really going to be able to use me in the lives of others (including my family) he must prepare me by allowing me to experience things that won’t make any sense to me at all. 

For instance, why can’t my husband just get a job and make a living for us so we can live in our own house instead of living with his parents. So many times I have cried out & asked the Lord “how much longer?”.  And each time the Spirit whispers to my soul, “Trust me”. Some days are harder than others.  Sometimes it is hard because others watching our lives play out don’t understand what is going on because just like God doesn’t let us know the why…he doesn’t let others know why either. And their words can hurt when they think they are trying to help or maybe not trying to help, but maybe they are judging us.  I have to get past that & get over what others may say about us.

If I really want God to use me for his glory I must become satisfied with the “suffering” he has in store for me because I know that it is how he will use me later on.  I must go through it, not around it.  I have to stop trying to solve what I think to be a problem and rest in the understanding that He is God and loves me more than I can understand and is not trying to harm me, but is trying to prepare me.

This is how we can rejoice in our sufferings.  We must learn to look past the suffering and realize what is really going on…His glory will be revealed through our sufferings!  That excites me!  That makes the hair on my neck stand up.  That makes all of this worth it.

So my new prayer is to ask the Lord to help me not be so short sighted and to understand my tiny little trials are just a part of his bigger plan. If I am really going to honestly pray this I have to be ok with going through the trial.  I have to stop trying to figure out how to get us out of it.  I have to be content in the circumstances God has us in. OUCH!

Oswald Chambers closed the devotional with these words,

We never realize at the time what God is putting us through; we go through it more or less misunderstandingly; then we come to a luminous place, and say-“Why, God has girded me, through I did not know it!”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Only Political Post

romney-vs-obama-regulation-question

I really don’t know why I am writing this post except that it just keeps rolling around in my head. Many posts roll around in my head, but most never get published because I am just not ready to let them out or am not satisfied with the way I am wording my thoughts. So if you are reading this, it means I went ahead & hit the “publish” button.

Here we are only days away from possibly having a new leader for our country. It is exciting and then again I’m so ready for it to be over with.  It seems as though we have been talking about this for 4 years.

So, why am I writing about this? It definitely isn’t a typical topic for me.  I think our voting is really important.  I live in Texas where my vote, no matter who it is for, in a way really doesn’t matter because our electoral votes are cast for Mitt Romney. My husband at this point would get very loud as he explained that my vote still matters & not to say that. I love him. SmileHe is quite passionate about this election, as he should be.

To me, my vote is not just political, but is a spiritual matter. Scripture tells us to render to Caesar what is Caesars’ (Matthew 21:22) and that is where voting comes in.

But I’ve had a problem.  I didn’t care for either candidate, but I didn’t want to NOT vote. That doesn’t accomplish anything either.

I already knew I wouldn’t vote for our current President. For so many reasons I could not vote for him.  But, I also didn’t want to vote for Romney.  He was not my first choice at all.  So, I struggled with how to vote. 

As a Believer, I knew my vote had to be for the one who held closest to the biblical standards we live by. So, this is how I decided who to vote for. There are 4 things that are really important to me in a President, 4 things I look for. Below are those 4 things and the scripture I believe supports them.

I will vote for the most pro-life candidate, because God hates the shedding of innocent blood.

Proverbs 6:16,17, “There are six things that the Lord hates,seven that are an abomination to him:haughty eyes, a lying tongue,and hands that shed innocent blood.”


I will vote for the most pro-Israel candidate, because God blesses those who blesses Israel & curses those who don't.

Genesis.12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”


I will vote for the most pro-debt reduction candidate, because the borrower is servant to the lender

Proverbs.22:7, “The rich rules over the poor,and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”


I will vote for the most pro-marriage candidate, because God is for marriage as defined in scripture.

Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

There are so many other things I could say here, but I refrain.  I know that whoever wins this election was put there not just by votes, but by God.  I don’t have to agree with God’s decision or understand why, I am to trust Him & His way.

Also, I am not saying I believe Romney to be a Christian. He is Mormon and even though they are excellent people in the way they live their lives, they live according to a different gospel, not the gospel of Christ.

So, I guess I am writing this post to encourage you to vote.  Vote for the one of whom you believe best represents a biblical worldview.  As much as I would love to see a committed Christian become our president, I know that our nation can’t handle, nor would elect one. Thankfully, God can use whoever he wills in spite of their spiritual beliefs…or lack thereof.

 

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings;he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” Daniel 2:21

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Be Like Martin!

Many years ago, when our children were much younger we made a decision about Halloween.  We decided that we would not celebrate the day. In our own minds & heart we could not justify our family celebrating a holiday that was filled with evil and scary things.  If our family was committed to the things of God, Halloween didn’t fit into our traditions.

Now, we understood that we couldn’t ignore Halloween.  It is there every year.  We just knew that as a family we would not celebrate it.

As our kids grew they knew Halloween was there.  Their friends went trick or treating and for them, that was fine.  We never judged our friends or neighbors for celebrating Halloween.  We never told our kids that our Christian friends were not really Christians because they chose to go trick or treating.  We just made a different choice than our friends did & often it was hard to stick to, especially when the kids began wanting to go out & get candy. Even though our kids agreed with us on the Halloween aspect, they didn’t always understand what was so wrong about going out to get candy.  To them it was just a way to get free candy.  Their motive was not the same as others. But as parents, we had to stick to our convictions.

As we looked for other options, we learned about Reformation Day. How is it that I had never heard of this special day in our Christian history? We decided to put our focus on the Reformation rather than Halloween.

Luther-posting-95-theses-560x366Martin Luther is a very important part of our Protestant  Church History and I think it is really important that we teach our kids about Luther and others like him who rose above the standard of their day to proclaim the truth about the Gospel.  We live in a day where most homes have at least one Bible on their shelf if not more and when going to church is looked at as a drudgery instead of a privilege. We, as a Christian society, have become very good at being religious but not very spiritual.  This is what Luther was fighting against. 

The Catholic church at his time was very religious, but it was not spiritual.  It was full of deceit, selfish ambition, superstition and false doctrine. This was the church that Luther was a part of but when the Lord enlightened him on what was really going on Luther became enraged and searched the Scriptures for himself.  The result of that search was the 95 Thesis that he nailed to the Church doors on October 31, 1517.

We use Luther as an example of how God can use us to make a difference.  God gave Luther the strength and courage to take a stand against others who were leading others away from the Truth.  Luther was reluctant, being fully aware of his depravity and inabilities.  But, his strength came from the Lord. What a great example he is for our children!

I encourage you to study the life of Luther and other reformers for yourself and then share what you have learned with your children.

Here is a blog post I wrote a few years ago with several links that may help.

Reformation Day Blog Post

At the Well has some good Reformation Day links also.

If you have teens who like rap music, I recommend this video

 

Have you seen the Luther movie?  We like it & watch it several times a year.  I found it on Youtube.

I encourage you to evaluate why you do what you do like Martin Luther did. 

Does it bring glory to God? 

Does it encourage others to follow Christ?

Be like Martin!

Happy Reformation Day!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

When you don’t enjoy being a mom.

The morning was already off to a rough start when the baby woke up as usual, but never went back to sleep after he nursed. My head was pounding from a head cold and I really wanted to sleep it off, but not with a happy baby laying next to me.
The weather man was promising that Fall temperatures were finally on their way and we should expect to have cooler temps by mid-afternoon.  I thought that would be wonderful until I realized what the weather change was doing to my kids.
It seemed like they were on a major sugar high or had drank Red Bull!
I felt like the only thing I could say to them was…
“Stop!”
“Be quiet!”
“Stop running!”
“Don’t wake up the baby!”
“You woke up the baby!”
I definitely did not enjoy being a mom right now.
I want a break.  I want to quit.  I want to protest hyper kids by going back to bed.
Finally by mid-afternoon the baby did go down for a good long nap.  This gave me time to deal with the noisy kids & regain some order.  While they were busy cleaning up their messes I went to the kitchen to do what I love to do when I need to decompress…I bake.
While I baked this amazing chocolate cake I prayed.
Lord, I didn’t enjoy being a mom today.  I didn’t enjoy my kids at all.  I know the whole day wasn’t as bad as I think it was.  Please remind me of your blessings today. 
And no sooner did I finish my prayer did the Lord flood my mind with little moments through out the day when my children blessed me.
Sam brought me a bottle of water while I was still in bed. He knows I need to drink a lot of water since I am nursing and he knew I had a headache.
Zach read Morgan’s science lesson to her because she had a headache.
Collin ran to the store for me because I needed more baking cocoa for my cake.
Morgan laughed at Sam’s face that was covered in black from an ink pad, which made me laugh instead of scold him.
Gracie played with Charlie because she knew I didn’t feel well.
Austin sat with Charlie on his lap in front of the fish tank as long as Charlie would sit there while I helped someone with their school work.

Thank you Lord, I prayed. I truly am blessed beyond what I deserve.
I wish I could say the rest of my day was just peachy, but it wasn’t. The cake didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to & I still had my headache. But, finally as soon as the cold front blew through, my kids chilled out and slowed down.  Amazing how that works.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Scripture Pictures

Just wanted to share a few verses that the Lord has used in my life recently.

Feel free to use any of these.  Just right click & save image to your computer.









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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Posting on The MOM Initiative Blog

I almost forgot to let you know that I am the featured post at The MOM Initiative blog today.

Here is my post, "A Generous Helping of Wisdom"

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What's a Mom to do?



He thought his text message to me was funny, I didn't see the humor in it.

"Did Dad tell you he caught me drinking last night? LOL"

My heart sunk & the tears welled up in my eyes.  Yet again, my son was making choices that he didn't realize the dangerous nature of.

When my kids were young, I had (what I thought) an excellent plan to make sure we didn't go through what other parents went through when their kids became teenagers.  It was all in the raising.  It was all about what we allowed into our home and what we didn't.  It was all about just how great of a mom I would be to my children.

Then my kids started growing up.  It didn't take me long to realize that it wasn't all about me.

I didn't count on having a child whose desire for adventure would keep him in constant trouble.
I didn't know a child could break your heart so deeply.
My prayer life definitely took on a whole new life with this child.

It is this child that God has used to show me that I have no idea what I am doing!  I have to ask for wisdom in how to raise this son of mine.

So, what is a mother to do when she has a child like this?  I've learned a few things over the years.

Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains quiet. Proverbs 11:12

Be Quiet.  Don't react to everything he does.  It is really important for me to let natural consequences happen.  When appropriate, consequences were given by us.  But there were many times that if we just sit back & watch the natural consequences of his actions were a lot worse than anything we could have done.

For instance, when we lived in town our house was at the back of the subdivision.  There was a field and a lot of trees back there.  We told our boys over & over to not go back there. they were too young & we didn't know what all was back there.  But our son never listened to it.  Quickly we realized there was poison ivy back there.  The first time he got poison ivy it wasn't too bad.  The 5th time he got it was really serious.  He didn't go back there for a really long time.  Yes, he went back, but was much older & went back there with our neighbor.

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

Listen.  It is hard for me to listen, I want to fix.  I always think there is something I will say that will magically change their behavior.  My son doesn't come to me very often to talk, but when he does I have to work really hard to keep my mouth shut & ears wide open. We have had some of our best moments when I kept quiet and he talked.  By me being quiet & listening, I am validating his feelings.  I am telling him he is important to me even though he is driving me crazy!  Sometimes I offer advice, sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I ask him questions about what he has done, sometimes I don't need to because he has already figured out what he did wrong and how to make it right. What I do tell him is how much I love him.  Our kids need to know that there is nothing they can do that make us stop loving them.


Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.  Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.
Lamentations 2:19



Pray.  This is the most important of all.  This is the thing you will do for your child that they may never understand or see you do.  Sometimes this is all I can do because if I try to talk to my son I will react in a way that will do no good at all and will make him mad.  There are several things I pray.  I pray he will get caught in his sin.  I pray he will be miserable in his sin.  I pray that he will become desperate for God. I also pray for protection.  When I pray for him, the Lord always softens my heart towards him.  I'm not mad anymore and my love for my son only deepens.

"I have lent him to the LORD.  As long as he lives he is lent to the LORD." 1 Samuel 1:28

Give them  to God...daily  Moments after each of our children were born, my husband and I would pray together over our babies thanking God for them and dedicating them to God.  No big public display is needed; just us, our baby and the Lord.  But there are times when I forget this child actually belongs to the Lord.  I begin to think that his future is in my hands and it is totally up to me how he turns out.  It is during moments like this the Lord reminds me that this child is only a loan out.  He belongs to the Lord and it is the Lord that has his future, not me.  My son is considered an adult by society at this point of his life.  His father and I have taught him all we knew to teach him.   He is responsible for his choices.
I never realized how hard it would be to watch your child make bad choices over and over and to watch them learn things the hard way, but it is the right way. It is never easy to see your child in pain.

I have peace in my heart because it is the Providence of God playing out.  If I can trust my God with my eternity, I can also trust him with my children.  Though my son is walking a dangerous path now, I trust that the Lord has better days for him.  I have to trust the Lord with my son.  I know I can't do any better.  I could never love my children more than the Lord loves them.

I try not to let my son's behavior embarrass me.  I take it very personal when he acts the way he does.  I know others look at me and think, "Maybe if she did_______ he wouldn't behave like that." His decisions are his own.  We taught him right from wrong.  We taught his what Scripture says about what God expects of us.  He knows all of that.  Once again, he belongs to the Lord.

So, I watch and pray and ask the Lord to use me in the lives of my children, knowing he may let them walk a path I would not have chosen but is necessary for them so they can fulfill his will for their lives.




All Scripture verses are from the ESV translation





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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Free book on Prayer

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am a new writer for a new ministry.

The ministry is called The M.O.M. Initiative; Mothers on a Mission to Mentor other Mothers.


I am so excited to be a part of this great group of women.  They are committed to ministering to moms not just through their written words, but in real life.  Every quarter a new eBook will be available focusing on topics that will encourage & equip moms to be the godly mom they want to be.
The blog features a different writer everyday & often there are giveaway's.   Right now if you subscribe to the blog you get a free eBook called FACING OUR FEARS - 31 STORIES FROM M.O.M.

Many of the women on the team have written books or are in the process of writing a book.  One of my new friends on the team has her new book coming out really soon and as a promotion plan she is giving the book away on Amazon as an eBook.  I have read most of this book and it is absolutely wonderful.  Rachel Wojnarowski shares from her own personal experience as she uses scripture to paint a beautiful picture of how prayer can change our life.

It is called "The Sensational Scent of Prayer".  

The book will only be available for free on Monday (September 3rd) & Tuesday (September 4th).  Please, go & get it!  If you love it please leave a review on Amazon.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE BOOK  Don't forget, it is only free for 48 hrs on the 3rd & 4th.



 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

True Sabbath Rest


I get daily devotions in my inbox written by Ray Stedman. I think I have posted a few on here before, but I can't remember.

This particular devo, I thought, is so important.  Especially important to parents as we are in the daily-ness (I know, that isn't a word, but I used it anyway) of raising children.

Nehemiah 13:15-22
In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath, Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day (Nehemiah 13:15).


 Nehemiah was concerned by this disregard for the Law. He is trying to correct the difficulties that had caused problems for Israel in the past. So he orders the gates to be closed at sunset on Friday. He requires the Levites to cleanse themselves and to guard the gates so that no one violates the Sabbath.

Should we also keep the Sabbath by refraining from work and travel? As we have seen throughout this book, these regulations imposed upon Israel were what the New Testament calls shadows, pictures of something even more important that God wants observed. You observe the Sabbath when you fulfill what the Sabbath portrays.

At the heart of the Sabbath is the word rest. The Sabbath is intended for people, that they may learn to rest. The Sabbath is God's stress management program! It is how to prevent burnout—how to recover from too much pressure and catch up with yourself. It is how to gather yourself together and become able to handle the work you must do.

There are two reasons given in the Scripture for the Sabbath. The first one is found in Exodus 20:11. There we are told that because God finished creation in six days and then rested on the seventh day, He asked His people to rest after six days of labor. Why did God rest? He accomplished His objective. People too must recognize a limit to their work. There is a need to stop, to allow the body, mind, and spirit to recognize their limitations.

The second reason the Sabbath was given is often ignored. God said to Israel, Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day(Deuteronomy 5:15). They were to rest in order to reflect on God's ability to work beyond the labors they had already completed.

So there are two aspects of the Sabbath—creation and redemption. There is a rest of cessation; a ceasing from our own works. But then there is the rest of rejoicing in the mighty delivering power of God.
Father, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of my life, teach me that I need to enter into the rest of creation and redemption, always remembering that Your work comes before my work.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Whatever you do


I love listening to my children read, especially when they are reading the Scriptures.

This morning we were going over our theme verse for the year and starting our new Character study.  I was letting the kids take turn reading our verses and the sweet young voice that can sometimes get on my nerves so badly sounded like beautiful music as I listened to him read,

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, 
not for human masters. Colossians 3:23

"So, when you tell me to do my school work, I am really doing if for the Lord, not for you?"  he asked.

As we talked about it, my own mind wondered about how I am doing at this.  How does that happen...talking with your kids while you have a conversation secretly with yourself?  Must be a Mom thing.

Whatever I do, work at it with all my heart.  I have to admit, I'm not real pleased with myself.  I still find myself posting on Facebook things that I think will impress others, or tweeting verses or quotes I really need to take personal, but instead I post them hoping to encourage someone else.

I've got the pharisee thing down really well.

How can I instruct my kids to work for the Lord, if I am working for human masters?

I just joined a new writing team for a really neat ministry for moms (more on that later) & as I began praying about what my next article would be on I asked the Lord, "How can I tell moms anything when I am so fallen? I'm such a mess!"

His words whispered softly to my aching soul, "My grace is sufficient".

And last night as I watched my daughter sleep next to me, I read Paul's words to Timothy...

"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began." (2Timothy 1:8-9)

He has called me to a holy calling...he has called me to be a wife & mom.  It is hard to do when you live 2 hours away from your husband and older kids.  But the calling is still there and he called me to this for HIS OWN PURPOSE which I don't always understand, but that is ok.

And his GRACE!  Oh his wonderful grace.

So, whatever I do, I must do with all my heart because it is for God's purpose & grace I am doing it, not for anyone else.  What a blessing it is to serve such a wonderful Lord who loves me & calls me because of his own purpose, not because of anything I have done...or not done!





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Monday, August 27, 2012

Starting another school year

Today was the first day of school for many kids around here.  I really had not decided when we would start, but since I had all I needed for now I thought, "Why not".  Today was my 17th first day of school.

Here is what I have this year...
Morgan is a Senior
Collin is a Junior
Austin is a Freshman
Ben is 7th grade
Zachary is 5th grade
Gracie is 2nd grade
Sam is Kindergarten.

I'm at my parents house this week.  The four youngest kids are with me. Austin & Scott have been here for several days.  Ben is in Prosper so he missed out on starting his school today.

It was a mild school day to say the least.  I guess I could call it a Pinterest  school day.

First we made Gak. This blog post tells you how to do it.  Super easy! Super fun!

Then we (Zach & Gracie) had a short lesson on colors & what happens when we mix different colors together.  I found some simple color wheels to print out for them to color.  Then we made our own water color paints. I found easy direction on the Happy Hooligans Blog.




When we finished all of that I went over the books & lessons they had waiting for them in their school tubs.
And that is about all the "school" we did today.  Not really what a typical school day will look like but it's a start.

Then I had to cuddle & love on Charlie.  He loves looking at himself in the mirror.

I have had several ask how we homeschool when I am not with my older kids all the time.  Well, this is how we make it work.


I don't know if you can see the picture very well, but I got this in a text message from my son today.  He is in Prosper & had a question on his math.  We worked it out via text message! Love technology!  If they have a problem we just can't figure out, we put it aside if possible until I get back.  Many times Scott is there to help them, but there is a rare occasion when neither of us are there & that is when texting, phone calling or email comes in handy.  We just make it work.

We ended the day with yet another grab from Pinterest.

Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes.  So good!!

How was your first day of school?


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stretching my Flexibility


Flexibility. Not one of my strengths.

I'm a planner.  I don't like surprises in my schedule.  I like to know what I'm doing today and usually don't stray to far from that.

My husband is a totally different story.  He loves to be spontaneous.  When we first married he would come home from work and say, "Let's go to the mall!".  That simple sentence would throw me into a tail spin.

"I can't go to the mall!"
"I didn't wash my hair today."
"I haven't cleaned the kitchen."

So on & on & on. Bless his heart.  He finally learned that I do better when I have had at least 2 hours notice before he changes my plans.

Having children helped me to learn the importance of being flexible.  Things are gonna happen that you just can't help.

Did you know that flexibility is a character trait?  I had never thought of it like that until I found it on a list of character traits to teach your children.

Here are some definitions I found.

Flexibility:

  • Learning the wishes of the one I am serving and adapting my priorities to meet them. Learning how to cheerfully change plans when unexpected conditions require it. Avoiding obligations that would hinder us from taking the best course of action. (IBLP - Character Clues Game)
  • Not becoming attached to ideas or plans which could be changed by my authorities. (Character First!)
  • Flexibility is not setting my affections on plans or places that could be changed by those whom I am serving. (The Power For True Success)


Living with family in two different places has definitely stretched my flexibility.  The younger kids & I are usually at each house for about 10 days at a time now.  It is easier for us to travel between the two places than the older kids since they work.

I am learning to be flexible.  I never really know how long we will be somewhere.  It is hard to plan.  It is hard to make commitments. I am learning to not hold on to any plans because as soon as I do they will get changed.  I write my plans with a pencil.

Psalm 40:8  "I delight to do your will O my God.."
His will.  I delight in his will, not my own.

Matthew 6:19, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal."
  Colossians 3:2, "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."
1 John 2:15-17,    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Flexibility understands that nothing is about me or what I want.  My life is all about Him!  Even in the simple things like missing dinner with friends because I am not in town or not getting to sleep in my own bed.  When my attitude gets nasty it is because I am being stiff necked, impatient, determined to make my plans work.

When I set my mind on things that are above and I set aside my fleshly desires my attitude is not only better, but I am now free to see God is working all around me.  Who am I to think my plans are better?

Below is something I made a few years ago when the kids & I studied this.  It is the "I Wills" of Flexibility. Feel free to use it.

So my journey continues as the Lord continues to reveal more and more of myself that I keep holding onto.  I am so thankful He doesn't leave me to myself.  I would surely self-destruct.




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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy Charlie

Charlie is 3 months old today.  So hard to believe.



As you can tell, he is a happy baby.  He smiles so easily and is beginning to belly laugh. He is a chunky baby too weighing in at 15 lbs! He sleeps all night & takes wonderful naps during the day.  He loves to have someone to look at.  He loves to be outside and he loves music.  Such an easy baby to please! 
God is so good.  I love having a newborn again.  This go around is much different than the others.  This time I have my 2 moms to help; my mom & my mother-in-law.  They are always ready to take Charlie if I need to do something else or tend to the other kids.  Living with our parents is showing to have some perks I didn't expect.




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Saturday, July 28, 2012

28 Things Your Family Needs to Hear You Say

Found this on Pinterest & just had to share it here.  Our words to our family matter always.  Even when our kids get older & leave our home, our words to them matter.

We can either build them up or tear them down.  (Proverbs 14:1)






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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Attitude...keeping it in check

While I continue to learn the importance of surrendering my own plans & idea's I have been reminded lately of the importance of my attitude about out present living situation.
I know- surprising isn't it that I could have a bad attitude about something(insert major sarcasm here).  There are plenty of things these days that I could (& often do) have a bad attitude about.  Keeping this in check is an ongoing thing & keeping scripture in front of me is a must if I am going to overcome my yucky-ness.


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
This quote by my pastor is also a big help to me.


The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
Chuck Swindoll




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Friday, June 29, 2012

Trust in the Lord, Not in Yourself

Originally posted: November, 2009

Recently, I was faced with a very difficult decision.  I was faced with either compromising my relationship with a friend or compromising my relationship with my Lord God.  If I chose my friend all things around me would remain the same and there would be no break in our relationship. However; if I chose to keep my relationship safe with my friend I would be in direct disobedience of what God was specifically telling me to do.
After agonizing over my decision, I knew what I had to do & ask the Lord for strength to obey.  He answered my prayer.
The days & weeks following my decision were horrible.  My relationship with my friend was broken and will never be the same again.  This was agonizing for me.  I prayed that God would restore our friendship, that one day she would understand why I made the decision I did.  She weighed heavy on my mind.  As I continued to pray a verse I didn’t expect began to flow through my mind.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and hi will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
I had done a study of this verse last year in preparation for a talk I gave to a mom’s group.  I went back to my notes to review and was surprised by the reassurance I gained from it.
Trust= the act of leaning on.  Not standing in your own strength or abilities.  To relay on someone or something for support and strength.
My visual picture in my mind is my leaning against a strong mature tree.  The tree is supporting most of my weight.

Trusting in the Lord means I do not trust in myself and I definitely do not trust in others more than I trust in the Lord. I do not rely on myself or others for wisdom and strength.  I don’t do what seems right. I don’t do what feels right.  I do what is right, because I am trusting in the Lord.  The decision I had to make didn’t seem right or feel right, but it was clear what I was to do and I know have to trust the Lord that He knows what is right.
with all my heart”
Trusting the Lord with all my heart means that I don’t sort of trust him.  I don’t trust him when it is convenient or easy.  I don’t trust him in some area’s of my life and not in others.  I trust him with all my heart!  With all of me, my mind, emotions, spirit; I trust him.
Lean not on your own understanding”
This tells us what not to do, because if we are doing it we are not trusting him with all our heart.  Do not lean on your own understanding. Remember the tree?  Trusting him is like leaning against the big strong tree.  The tree is obviously my God.  It supports me, provides shelter and rest.  If I am leaning on my own understanding, that is like leaning against a small new tree.
This tree in the picture looks much like a tree in our front yard.  It is very small with a small trunk & if I leaned against it, I would push it over.  It cannot provide me with shelter or rest.  It would not support me at all.
If I am depending on my own understanding, it is much like me relying on this little tree to hold me up. My understanding is covered in sin and selfishness.  My understanding only brings me trouble.  It is very dangerous for one to depend on human wisdom alone. 
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
Our world is all about doing what feels right.  Or doing what others think you should do.  Many times in the life of a believer, we will stand alone as we trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him”
This is a call for total, unwavering commitment in trust for obedience in all things.  ALL THINGS.  Not some things, not just the things that will make us look good to others, all things.  In all we do, acknowledge him.  This is a mental and emotional awareness of who God is.  I can tell you that as hard as it was to go forward and obey what God was telling me to do, the reassurance of knowing  my God is what gave me the strength I needed to obey.  I knew he knows better than I do, I knew that he knew my friends’ heart better than I did, I knew that he is sovereign and His will is always done.
By obeying God, I was acknowledging him as the Sovereign Lord in my life.  By trusting him and not relying on my own wimpy understanding and as I obeyed what he told me to do, I acknowledged him.  The rest of the verse is the promise of a blessing when we trust him.
“…and he will make your paths straight.”

He will guide us, strengthen us and give us the wisdom we need to handle whatever comes next.  That is where I am right now; trusting God to give me the wisdom I need to handle the effects my decision had on my friend of whom I love so much.
My God is so faithful even when I am not, why would I not want to trust him.  He has never failed me. It is I who has failed him, yet he continues to keep his promises to me.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

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