Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy & Blessed

All day I have tried to get to my computer to tell you about Zach, but with so many in the house who "need" to use the computer, I found myself waiting in line like the rest of the family.

Today is Zach's birthday.  A few facts about Zach...
  • He is the 8th child.
  • He is the 5th boy
  • He is the only child with dimples.
  • His middle name is Asher, who was Jacobs' 8th child.
  • He loves Root Beer & Skittles

But, that is not all I wanted to tell you about Zachary.  If you read my post about Ben, you read how I went through a depression (as a result of a car accident) while I was pregnant with him.  Soon after Ben was born I knew that I didn't want to have another baby & still be depressed.  I was sick.  My kids didn't have the mother they needed or deserved.  My husband didn't have the wife he needed or deserved.  I prayed that God would not give me another baby until He had healed me of my depression.  I had never prayed like that before.  I had never asked God to close my womb, children are a gift from God and I never wanted to say "No" to His gifts.  But, this prayer came out of my mouth anyway. "Please don't let me get pregnant".  I didn't trust myself as a mother.  I didn't like the kind of mother I had become.
I went months heading the advice of my closest friends who knew I struggled with depression.  I went to see a therapist who was more interested in how I manage a house full of kids than helping me.  I talked to my pastor who told me I was too difficult a case for him & suggested I go see someone & get on medicine.  I read self-help books.  I even talked to someone from Focus on the Family!  Nothing worked.
One day while having devotions with my children the Holy Spirit began to speak to me through the verses I was reading to my children.  I was so overcome with emotion that I quickly ended the devotion, gave my children busy work & headed to my room to pray & cry.

I re-read the scriptures I had read to my children & began talking to the Lord out loud.

I don't want to be like this anymore!  I don't want to be depressed!  Help me!  I'm sorry for trying to fix myself & not trusting you.  I'm sorry for believing the lies of the enemy.  You are the only one who can set me free from this!  Only you can make me whole & well again. I want to be happy.  I want to enjoy my kids & husband again. Help me!

I had my eyes closed & then opened them.  I saw colors I had not seen in months.  I noticed beauty that I had not noticed in so long.  I wasn't sure what had just happened, but I knew that something had happened.  I was different...at least I hoped I was different.  I didn't tell anyone what happened.  I wasn't sure it was real.
3 days later I had to take the kids somewhere.  For 18 months when we drove past the place where I had our car accident my hands would sweat & my stomach drew up in knots. On this day, we drove past that point & it wasn't until we were past it pretty far did I realize that my hands were not sweating, nor was my stomach in knots!  Then I told Scott.
After a few weeks of no more depression I knew that God had healed me.  He had heard my cries.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of the deep waters. (Psalm 18:16)
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19)

That was in March.  In April, I found out I was pregnant.  I rejoiced!  I cried!  God had answered my prayers.  I was so happy & blessed!

Zachary is a Hebrew name from the name "Zechariah".  It means "God has remembered".  God had remembered my requests to not have a baby while I was still depressed.  He remembered me.
Asher is also Hebrew, meaning, "Happy & Blessed" (Genesis 30:13)  No better words could describe how I felt when I realized I was pregnant.  I truly was happy & blessed.
Now that Zachary is 9, he is one of our happiest children.  He has the deepest dimples ever that shine as he smiles & giggles.

Zachary reminds me of God's amazing grace and forgiveness.
Zachary reminds me that God really cares & remembers our prayers.
Zachary reminds me on days when I feel depression setting in, I am free, I am healed and I am blessed.

I am truly a happy & blessed momma!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Cannot Do It

In my last post, I told you I was participating in the B90 challenge, reading the Bible in 90 days.  So far, I have used up my only 2 grace days, but thankfully, the Lords grace is unending! :o)
But, I am still in it & loving it! 

On day 4 I read chapters 40-50 of Genesis.  Something in chapter 41 caught my eye & of course, the Lord highlighted this for me quite brightly!
Joseph is interpreting Pharaoh's dream, a passage I have read so many times.  Joseph had been in prison for 2 years & now has been called out when the cheif cupbearer remembered that Joseph had interpreted his dream correctly.  Pharaoh couldn't find anyone who knew what his dream meant.  Pharaoh sent for Joseph & told him that he had heard that he can interpret dreams.  Josephs' reply was what my reply needs to be more often.

"I cannot do it, but God will." (Genesis 41:16)
I still like to think that I can function in my flesh & do good, accomplish much and impress many!  Don't we all know how that turns out. Never good!

Joseph knew that it wasn't he that interpreted dreams, it was the work of the Spirit through him, God interpreted the dreams & used Joseph as a voice.  He didn't have to use Joseph, but he did and in turn Joseph was blessed beyond comprehension.

When I step back & acknowledge that it isn't me, but God, who accomplishes anything good in my life, blessings are mine.  If my kids grow up and become successful, godly adults, it isn't because I was such a great mom, it is because God worked in their life. 

God had a plan for his people, the Israelites.  There are many ways God could have gone about in accomplishing that plan, but he chose to use Joseph.  He brought pain & hardship onto Joseph.  He allowed Joseph to experience freedom & then imprisonment again.  Joseph had never read the book of Genesis, he had no idea what God was doing. I'm sure he was thinking, "This is so unfair, what is going on?"  But he did know that he believed the God of his fathers was a powerful and just God and he hoped that his God would see fit to allow him freedom once again.  And as soon as he did taste freedom, God received all the glory when Joseph boldy told Pharaoh that it was God who would interpret his dream.  If Joseph was unwilling to give God glory, God could easily have used someone else to accomplish his plan.  Either way, the plan would still have been successful.

God has a plan for your family.  As a mom, he wants to use you accomplish his plan.  Everyday, I have a choice.  I can try & take credit for anything good happening in my children and try to accomplish my own plans for them, or I can acknowledge that it is God's plan that will succeed & will in the end, be better than anything I could try and accomplish.

I do that by going to Him first and seeking his wisdom and discernment in discipling my children. 
I do that by praying for my children. 
I do that by saying everyday, "I cannot do it, but God will."

Ah, there is so much about Joseph's life that I can learn from!

It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. Romans 9:16

Monday, January 3, 2011

Reading the Bible in 90 Days

I'm not one for making New Year's Resolution's.  But reading my Bible all the way through,without stopping, is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  I've read the whole Bible, many times probably, but never started at the front & read to the end.  I've even used a 1 Year Bible in my devotions for many years, but often got distracted for days on a passage of scripture & then got off of the reading plan.
So, I decided to do the "Read the Bible in 90 days".  I'm not doing it with a group of people like I'm supposed to do, I just downloaded the 90 day plan & am reading the assignment everyday.  I started January 1st.  I decided to break up the reading into a morning reading & an evening reading, because it is so much at one time.  I may even have days when I break it up into 3 readings in a day, depending on what I have going on that day.
Can I just tell you that already I am amazed at what has pricked my heart, caught my eye & completely amazed me at what I have learned.  By reading so much at one time I am seeing the bigger picture as God's story unfolds. It all points to Jesus!
I'm keeping notes, so that I can go back later & really study up on new things that I notice.  I think that is what distracted me in the past & got me off of my reading plan, I would chase a rabbit trail & spend days or weeks studying up on something.  I think keeping notes in my notebook will help with that.
I'm also going to try to blog through it as best I can. I want to share with you the wonderful things he is showing me & pray that you will be encouraged & maybe challenged in your own studies of the Word.
There are others out there who are doing this challenge & are blogging through it.  Mom's Tool Box is an excellent resource.  She started today, January 3rd.  But, you can start anyday you like.
If you are participating in this, I would love to know it. If you are going to blog through it, leave me your blog address.

I can't wait to see what the Lord teaches me in the next 90 days!  I have many exciting things coming up in the next few months & consuming myself with the Scriptures is greatly needed.