Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm in love, I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!

He was the new college roommate of my childhood friend. A cute, polite, southern boy. I asked him my preliminary questions. His answers were incorrect. Time passes. A few friendly waves from a distance. Polite small talk as we gather with friends. A bit of a crush forms.

Then, it happened. As we prepare for a school activity together, I hear His still small voice. "This is it. He's the one."

WHAT? Really? But God, He didn't answer my questions right. (As if my questions mean anything to the Creator.) Sure, he's nice, but are you sure?

"Trust in me."

More time passes. A friendship forms, and I fall absolutely head over heels in love. He asks for my hand, and I say yes.

Nine years later, and I am still crazy about that southern boy. He is my best friend, my partner in life.

Thank You, Lord, for my husband. You are a good Creator God. Your plans for us are perfect and good. You created us with each other in mind, with our children in mind. Thank You for all you have done for us. Thank you for blessing and protecting our marriage. Thank you for nine wonderful years together.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Love Languages

While sewing with my daughter today, she began to make up a song. "I love Daddy. I love Mommy. I love Brother. I love Papa. I love Nana. I love my family because they spend time with me."

My daughter requires constant attention. She talks non stop about anything and everything (a challenge for this mommy who has a hard time concentrating on more than one thing). She craves interaction. She craves love. She craves time. This her love language. Time. This is how she knows I love her. Time.

Having a child whose primary love language is time can be draining. It requires a lot more of you.

My son is quite opposite. He enjoys playing alone. As long as someone is on the same floor in the house as him (he hates being alone), he requires little attention. Instead, he gets his love from hugs and snuggles and kisses and wrestle matches with Dad and Sister. A much easier love tank to fill.

As she was singing, I was feeling guilty and remembering how important it is that I keep her love tank full, no matter how challenging. Too often, I brush her off. I get frustrated. I tell her to be quiet. I tell her, "We'll talk later. We'll do this together later." But often, later never comes. I get swept up in the busy-ness of life.

It its moments like these, listening to her made up song, spelling out what she needs from me, that I remember. There is very little in this life that is more important than me loving her with my time. There is very little that cannot be put on hold so that I can listen to the ramblings, look at the latest piece of art, or play another round of uno.

Lord, thank you for Daughter. Thank you for the wonder that she is. Thank you for her uniqueness. Help me to love her right. Help me to be patient and not get frustrated. Help me to give her all she needs. Help me to be the mom she requires. May she feel and know Your love through me. Amen

P.S. The Five Love Languages for Children by Gary Chapman is a must read for any parent! :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Time....

We started early, decorating before Thanksgiving so that it would be all ready for Auntie Katie's return home. Thanksgiving was full of tradition....the day at Jenn's with lots of food, family and friends. Followed by a day of shopping, parade, naps, and leftovers.

Saturday after Thanksgiving was tree day. The past few years, due to lack of funds, we have bought a tagged tree from the tree farm. Tagged trees are not the most beautiful of trees, but they are 25 dollars cheaper! This year, we went to the tree farm with every intention to buy the biggest regular tree we could find. Yet, once we arrived, where is the first place we go? Yep, to the tagged trees. It's like a treasure hunt...finding the best looking tree among the worst of the trees. At first it was just to look, and then a decision was made. This will be a new tradition. Picking a clearance tree. We got a good one this year. It is big and full. It was COVERED in prickly tree branch/needles from another tree, and took a bit of work to get it house ready, but it was worth it.

That evening, we decorated the tree together. This year, mom and dad put the lights on, and the kids did the rest. (With the exception of a few very special, breakable ornaments) They were so proud of their work, and did pretty good.

This year, I am stepping outside the box and helping my kids make homemade gifts for everyone. First, let me say, whoever said that homemade gifts were more economical is a LIAR!!!! I have spent more on the supplies for their homemade presents than on anything else I bought. But, that's not the point, right?

Son is working with his dad to make gifts from wood. I am working with Daughter on a long list of sewing projects. The first two on her list (which she came up with on her own) were much too difficult for her, so mommy ended up doing all but a few of the finishing details. The rest are simple enough for her to handle on her own. We are using the sewing machine (which belongs to my sister) and she has already got the hang of it!

My mom had the idea to countdown the days of Christmas by placing a different name of Jesus on a Jesse Branch. We decided to do this as apart of our family devotions. We are all enjoying learning the different names of Jesus. And praying them back to Him.

I am so enjoying this season! Relaxed and peaceful, enjoying lots of time with the family creating things, learning things, celebrating Jesus. He is our King of Kings, born to save us from our sins. Thank You, Jesus!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Celebrating the Prince of Peace

I love Christmas! I love December! I am extra excited about the season this year.

Jody and I will have been married nine years on the 17th. This will be our 10th Christmas together. I remember our first Christmas. We had just returned from our honeymoon in Victoria, BC. It was my bright idea that we fly home to Florida on Christmas Eve, so we could spend our first Christmas together in our new home, just the two of us.

I seriously underestimated what a bad idea that was. I had never been away from my family on Christmas. I cried when my Dad dropped us off at the airport. I cried while we sat on the plane waiting to take off. My poor hubby didn't know what to do. He kept telling me that we didn't have to go home. We could get off the plane.

We went home and had a nice Christmas. But, we were so lonely for our family that we left shortly after our small Christmas dinner and drove all night to South Carolina, stopping half way there to get a bit of sleep at a rest stop (boy were we young and dumb!), to be with Jody's family for the rest of the holiday.

Since then, all of our Christmases have been spent with family. Yet, the season has always brough some sort of chaos.

Through the years we have have moved 3 times, renovated a home, bought a home, been unemployed, gone through major financial crisis, and prepared for a huge mission trip, all in the month of December. That is just craziness!

Last December we prayed that 2009 would be a year of peace. That the Prince of Peace would reign in our home and in our lives. 2009 has not been without its problems, but it has been the greatest year we have experienced together. We have been living in His Peace. In His Peace there is simplicity, order, and rest. In His peace there is no room for stress and chaos.

This year, more than any other, I am exited to celebrate the birth of Jesus, my Prince of Peace. We have cleared the calendar. We have cut out all the busyness. We have made time to celebrate together. To learn together. To worship together.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Do-Over Button of Mercy.

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness and truth. Ps. 86:15

If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be? Many who are asked this question say, "Nothing. I have learned from all I have gone through." I am NOT one of those people. I most certainly agree that I have learned from my mistakes. Yet, if given the chance to change one thing, my only delay would be in selecting just one from my mile long list of things I wish I had not done or said, and an even longer list of things I wish I had done or said.

If I could have a do over, I would absolutly take it! But, God doesn't give us a do over button. Instead, he gives us His forgiveness, grace and mercy, and the promise that He will work all things together for good for those who trust in Him. He is able to take any mistake, any mess, and turn it into something beautiful that brings Him glory.

For me, this year has been a year of learning to trust in Him. A year of learning to allow God to be my hero and defender, even when I feel I don't deserve it. A year of learning to humble myself and ask God to clean up the messes I made that are bigger than me. But the biggest lesson I have learned this year is mercy. I have learned (am still learning) what mercy is and what it means to receive it.

In a recent sermon, my Dad defined the difference between grace and mercy. Mercy deals with the consequences. Oh, thank goodness for His mercy! Thank goodness that He is big enough to handle the consequences of my wrongs, and in His mercy shields me from them.

Lord, thank You. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your provision. Thank You for Your protection. You have protected myself and my family from the consequences of my sin, and You have show me mercy. Thank You for Your Mercies. Thank You for mercy that endures forever, and is new every morning.

I have always loved Ps. 91, but this year, as I have learned more about trusting Him and His mercy, it has become real and life changing. Especially verse 8.

1HE WHO [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
2I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
3For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
4[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.
5You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,
6Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
7A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
8Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.
9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,(A)
10There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.
11For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.(B)
13You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.(C)
14Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness--trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
15He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The thrill!

"Oh Boy!" She said. "I'm gonna do it!" The choice had been made long ago in her Spirit. God had spoken. Her soul had finally caught up.

Sometimes, in our Spirit, we know what God has spoken, but it takes us awhile to make the leap and commit to what He is asking. For me, when it is something I really want already, it makes it harder. I have convinced myself that my will was His before. It has made me gun shy. I ask myself, is it me or is it really Him? What about timing? Sometimes it is His will but not His time. What if I miss it? What if I fail?

Truth is, If I am His beloved and in tune with His heart, my desires become His desires. He does not hide His will from me. He does not hide His timing from me. In the quiet place, in stillness before Him, heart open, He speaks. Yet, the unknown, the weight of responsibility, the potential failure to hit the mark, these things make me hesitate.

Last night, I was reminded of the thrill. The thrill that comes from committing to His will. The thrill that comes from declaring and making known His will. The thrill of entering the unknown where total dependence on God and His provision is required. There is nothing like it!

Lord, I feel your stirring to make the leap. Give me wisdom. Guide my steps. I desire Your perfect will and timing. Show me when to go, when to wait, when to stop. I want to know and hear your voice clearly. Above all else, I want draw closer to you and please you in all that I do.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. Prov 3:5-6

Monday, November 9, 2009

If you are going to be doing any holiday shopping on, be sure to begin by first going to our website ( or blog. Click on the link. That is all you have to do. Each time you make a purchase by going to our website or blog first, we receive a 4-10% referral fee for your transaction. All monies go to AFN!! Happy Shopping!!

P.S. There is a link on both my personal blog and AFN blog.

Thankfulness pt 4

Thank God! Call out his Name! Tell the whole world who he is and what he's done! Sing to him! Play songs for him! Broadcast all his wonders! Revel in his holy Name, God-seekers, be jubilant! Study God and his strength, seek his presence day and night; Remember all the wonders he performed, the miracles and judgments that came out of his mouth. (1 Cor 16 The Message)

I am thankful for...

66. An amazing deal on a Christmas gift for my hubby.

67. Being able to help a friend.

68. Kids cuddling together on the couch watching cartoons.

69. Great coupon deals.

70. Babysitting my beautiful niece.

71. Encouraging words from a friend.

72. Friends who know how to fix cars.

73. Fun times with my kids creating things.

74. Funny things my kids say.

75. Cousin Amy and her girls

76. Fun times with friends.

77. Daughter's desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Reaping sown seed....

It was our entire life savings; monies received at our wedding. We'd managed to hold onto it for nearly two years. The need was urgent. We prayed. We obeyed. This act of giving in obedience, both in times of abundance and times of need, would be repeated throughout our marriage.

We have faced several financial crisis in our nearly nine years of marriage. Times of unemployment, times of foolish decisions, times of living beyond our means, even a time of bankruptcy.

Yet, through it all, we remained faithful in one thing, obedient in tithe and in giving. We sowed good seed. I wish I could say that we were consistently faithful, obedient, stewards with the other 90% Truth be told, bad seed was sown right alongside the good seed.

Through the years, He has remained faithful--abundantly faithful--even during the hard times that we brought upon ourselves. This was not enough to keep me from asking the forbidden question: Why them and not us? Where is our "blessing"? Why are we just getting by? I knew my questions were not justified. Some crops grow faster than others. The return on investment from poor financial decisions is often much quicker than that of good ones.

In this season in our life, we are reaping from the good seed. We have learned from our mistakes, and strive to be good stewards with all He gives us. We are enjoying the blessings.

Today, we were able to meet a need. Honestly, I was reluctant at first, wanting to use that money for my own wants. My husband said, "What good is it to be doing well (financially) if we can't use it to bless others?" He was so right. I repented. We obeyed.

By the evening, God had returned to us what He asked us to give.

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!" Malachi 3:10

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Marshmallows, Toothpicks, Needle and Thread

As I have mentioned before, I am not a creative person. This doesn't mean I never have a creative thought or that I lack the ability to be creative once in a while. Arts and Crafts--of any sort--are just not my thing.

I have been blessed with two VERY creative kids. They love all sorts of art and craft projects. They enjoy any sort of building or creating. Since I home school, I am forced to go out side my comfort zone, or zone of enjoyment, in order to nurture their creative spirit. (Thankfully, there are thousands of resources out there to help.)

While at a home school trip to an OMSI lab, the kids learned about bridges. After learning about the basic structure of a bridge, they were given toothpicks, stale marshmallows, pasta, and construction paper to build a bridge. Son really got into this project and built a bridge strong enough to hold a small car. He has been begging to do the same project at home ever since.

Daughter didn't particularly enjoy bridge building. she did enjoy making different designs with the toothpicks and marshmallows.

Daughter has been begging and begging for quite awhile to learn to sew. (Truth is, I can sew fairly well. I just don't enjoy it.) While at the library this week, she checked out "Kids Can Quilt." It is filled with sewing instructions and projects. She has been pouring over this book, and asking, over and over, when she will get to make something.

Finally, today, I caved. The marshmallows we bought last week had been sitting out and were
nice and stale. Son got right to work house/bridge. He worked on his project for two hours solid! That is unheard of for my busy little guy!

I got some scraps of material, left over from the curtains I made for our tent trailer two years ago, and traced a circle onto the fabric. With all the patience I could muster, I began to teach Daughter to sew. She caught on quickly! She stuck with the practice stitching, even when she messed up and had to do it over--a first for my "if it's too hard, forget it," daughter. Before too long, she managed to finish her practice stitches and make a small pillow for her Barbie.

My kids looked at me with eyes full of joy and thankfulness. It was worth it. Thank You, Lord, that when I am weak, you are strong---even in the small things like arts and crafts. You take my limited abilities and stretch them to meet the needs of my children. You are a wonderful, creative, God.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thankfunessl pt 3

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (The Message)
16-18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

I am thankful for...

55. Husband who went to the store for me, used the list and coupons, all just so I didn't have to go out in the pouring rain.

56. My son encouraging his sister with kind words.

57. Daughter's growing heart of worship.

58. Our neighbor who was able and willing to fix our car.

59. Our church children's workers.

60. Challenging message on Sunday.

62. Skype

63. M&M's group on FB

64. Monday Family dinner with kid frosted cupcakes

65. The Holiday Season we are entering

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Parenting tips?

I am most certainly not the best one to ask when it comes to parenting tips. I am learning as I go along. I often feel that I have more blunders than successes. Thank You, LORD, for your grace that covers all those blunders!

Thankfully, there is a wealth of wisdom out there that one can glean from. I get new ideas and inspirations from friends, books, blogs, Internet, sometimes even from myself! I thought I would share a few I have picked up. Some I have used, some I have been meaning to use but haven't got around to yet.


Potty training in 3 days--(I have it if you want to use it.) Prepare yourself for lots of accidents and arm yourself with lots of low sugar treats. If you are diligent your kid will be potty trained in 3 days--even at night. (I used this method, except for the night thing. I wimped out and used pull ups at night.)

Blanket Quiet Time--this is from the Duggars. I learned of it too late to use it. They give their toddlers a toy on a blanket for quiet play. They can't leave the blanket. Great tool for teaching self discipline.

Family Rules---stole this from the Newtons. We started this when the kids were 1 1/2 and 2 1/2. We have 6 basic family rules (each with a scripture). They are typed out and hang in our school room. We review the rules almost daily, some times several times a day if they are being broken. If a rule is broken, there is a consequence. (We used to have the consequences printed out with scriptures, too.) Our family rules: 1. Love Jesus, 2. Love each other, 3. Obey Mommy and Daddy, 4. Tell the truth: No Lying, 5. Be kind: No biting, hitting, scratching, screaming or name calling, 6. Have a Joyful Spirit: No whining, complaining or arguing.

Snack Tickets---I made this one up, because my son is ALWAYS asking for snacks. Make tickets and either color code or sticker code them. Then match that color with the snack. I made 4 tickets which matched 4 different types of snacks. (Cheese/Yogurt, Veggie, Fruit, Treat/Crackers) Each time they ask for a snack, they get a ticket. When the tickets are gone, no more snacks for the day!

Snack Basket---Another original. Now that my kids are older and can keep track of snacks on their own, we have two snack baskets. One in the fridge and one in the cupboard. They still can only have 4 a day. Each must still be different (in other words, you can't have 4 fruit snacks and no carrots).

Daily Proverb, Family Communion and Prayer---self explanatory, but this is what we do for our family devotion time.

Jesus and Journal Time---about 15 minutes (we started with 5) with some music, their Bibles, and their journals. This works even if your kids can't read and write yet. Make sure they have a picture bible and crayons to draw a picture with.

Room Chart---Each day that they get their room clean, according to the guidelines, they get a sticker. 30 stickers and we go to Chuck E Cheese. If your kids share a room, this is a good team builder activity.

Money system---We have a magnet sticker chart for chores and responsibilities. For each sticker they get a dime. At the end of the week, we divide our dimes into 4 jars. Tithe: 10% Offering: whatever they choose. Savings: 10%, more if they choose. Fun: all the rest.

Peace Retreat--just started this one. You can get it here. It really works.

Self Control Chair---I just learned about this one and am excited to use it! Instead of a time out chair or a naughty chair, my friend has the self control chair. Your child must sit there until they can show self control.

Verse Chart---we memorize verses at church and in school. To keep track, we write them on a note card and hang it on our chart (poster board). Then they are all right there for us to review.

Worship Music---just play it. Often. As much as you can. It will calm your kids and bring peace to your home. Plus, is there any sweeter sound than the sound of your kids singing along?

Music and The Word at Bedtime---Our kids have had their own CD player since they were born. Listening to soft worship music or Scripture reading helps them go to sleep. My favorite is PTB Children's Prayers from IHOP. Kids, praying Gods Word. Great CD.


Babywise---great for new mommies

Complete Guide to Baby and Child Care by Focus on the Family----great book for a-z advice on growth and health and baby/child care.

If Jesus Were a Parent by Hal Perkins----hands down the BEST parenting book EVER. If you only read one parenting book ever, make it this one.

Dare to Discipline and Strong Willed Child by Dr Dobson----He has many others. They are all great!

God's Design for Sex Series by Stan and Brenna Jones---There are 5 books in this series. One for parents and 4 for kids. They will take you from introducing this topic all the way through adolescence. Their books are geared for specific age ranges beginning at 3-5 up through 14.

Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis----Jody's favorite Dad book for boys.

Spiritual Growth of Children by Focus on the Family----a guide to what your kids should know about Jesus at what ages. Packed with great ideas and tips for good Jesus family time.

Hide It in Your Heart by Gloria Gaither and Shirley Dobson---wonderful book full of ideas for teaching your kids God's word.

Read n See DVD Bible by Stephen Elkins---this book and dvd set is simple but fun. Read the story, watch the short move, learn the song. My kids love this.

I Can Read God's Word by Phil Smouse---This book looks like a reader! It has simple reading lessons and then incorporates those lessons into Bible verses. Perfect for level 1 & 2 reader. My daughter LOVES that she can read the Bible all by her self.

Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian---great for praying for your kids

A Mom after God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George---another great book for moms.

WEBSITES: Go to current series. Print 31 days of prayer for children and praying Gods Word over your children. Then go to Listen, launch the player, and select contending for marriage and families.

I am always looking for new ideas, books, or websites. Please, leave a comment with some of your favorites.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thankfulness pt 2

I have been young, and now am old;Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. Psalm 37:25

Today is Multitude Monday. See my mom's blog for details on how to become a formal member or follower of this.

I am so very thankful for all God has given me. By American man's standards some may consider us "underprivileged". We don't have a 401K and our savings account is quite small (but growing!). Our cars are old and one isn't working at the moment. We rent our home, and most of the furnishings in it are either hand-me-downs, second-hand purchases, or from Ikea, Target, or Walmart. We don't have fancy electronics, and our 27" TV is 8 years old---basically from the stone age.

I would like to be able to boast that "at least we are debt free," but even this isn't true. We are still working on paying off a few small debts. From the outside looking in, some may say we have nothing at all. From the inside looking out, we are rich and blessed beyond measure!

Yes, we have had times of struggle and worry, but not once have we gone without. Not even close. Not once have we had no food. Not once have we gone without power, heat, or running water. Not once have we been without a place to live. Even in our "lack" we have surplus to give to others who are truly in need. God is good, and He is faithful. If I have Jesus, I have everything.

I am thankful for....
33. Rain that makes things grow
34. A small but growing savings account
35. A warm home--thank you NWNatural!
36. Kids who help with chores
37. Enough money to pay all the bills and extra for fun and savings.
38. New music from Dad.
39. College professors who continue to pour into our lives.
40. Friends across the world who I may never meet on earth, but who have become dear to my heart.
41. Being able to share a prayer request with hundreds by a click of the mouse.
42. Awesome time of worship, prayer, and healing at church.
44. pcbible
45. My son's courage to stand up for what he believes.
46. My daughter's heart to pray and believe for other.
47. A mom who still makes me breakfast.
48. A dad who is willing to make a special trip so I can eat said breakfast.
49. A solid, fulfilling and peaceful marriage.
50. The Holidays
51. God's grace revealing areas needing work in my heart.
52. God's voice giving wisdom and direction when making important decisions.
53. Godly council.
54. Two kids who are eager for me to hurry up so we can finish school and play.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

No Candle in his Pumpkin

Today my son took a stand for something he believed in, even though it made him the odd man out, and I could not be more proud!

As every family does, we have certain rules and standards in our home. Our kids know that when you go to an other's house you abide by their rules, and if they do something that is not allowed in our home, you need to ask mom and dad's permission before you participate.

This was the case tonight. We went to our friends home for dinner and afterwards we carved pumpkins. All was good and fine until the candles came out. I hadn't even thought about this occurring, or I would have prepared my kids ahead of time!

See, in our home we carve the pumpkins, but we don't put the candles in for the jack-o-lantern effect. We don't do this because of what the jack-o-lantern represents.

My son relates all things bad or having to do with evil to "devil worship". So, in his little head, a candle in a pumpkin meant you were worshipping the devil.

When those candles came out, my daughter and son looked at me with big eyes. I had to quickly pull them aside and explain that some people put a candle in their pumpkin just for fun and don't mean anything bad by it. They are not 'worshipping the devil.' I said this several times, and made sure they understood. Then I said at our house we don't put the candles in, but if you want to tonight it would be ok. You will not be doing something bad.

My daughter, having been given permission, went ahead and put her candle in. My son said NO WAY! He said, "I do not want be doing something to worship the devil!" I explained it again, wanting to make sure he understood. He said, "I understand, but I don't want to do it!" So, there he stood, with all his friends, no candle in his pumpkin.

I stood back and watched with a very, very, proud heart! It takes alot of courage to stand by your convictions when you are standing alone, but he did it! Way to go, son. May you always be strong and courageous and stick to what you believe even when it means you are the odd one out! I love you!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I love reading. Especially novels. I picked up a novel this weekend about five women of the Bible. I really enjoy stories like this because, although it is fiction, I get a better grasp and understanding of these infamous characters and what they went through.

The first story is about a lady we don't hear much about. Her name is Tamar. Her story can be found in Gen 38.

I am not done with the story, but last night I was hung up on a simple truth stated in this book.

Tamar is talking to Judah, her father in law, asking about his God. (Tamar is a Canaanite, and they worship and make sacrifices to idol gods.) She asks him a simple question, "Every god demands a sacrifice. What does your god require?"

Judah's answers, "Obedience."

WOW. Obedience. That is it. You can imagine what a shock this was for a Canaanite girl who has been taught all her life about animal and human sacrifices required to appease the many gods. Could it really be that simple?

This God that is so great, so powerful, so almighty, requires nothing more than for me to obey Him wholly. In asking me for this sacrifice, He is not self serving. He desires me to obey Him for my own good! Out of His perfect love for me, He asks me to trust Him and obey, because He knows what is best for me.

I ask this of my own children. I ask them to do what I say not because it is self serving (well, most of the time anyway!! :-) but because it is what's best for them. I see and know more and can predict the outcome and consequences of their disobedience. I don't want them to go through that. Even if obeying to them seems unfair or difficult, I know that it is better and easier in the long run.

It is not fun for them or me when they decide that they know better. When they decide they are going to do things their way. Someone gets hurt, a mess is made, a discipline must be given. It is never worth it.

The other thing that stirred me was the statement "Every god demands a sacrifice" Tamar was referring to the gods of their time. Idols made of clay, stone, wood.

Are there other gods in my life that I sacrifice to? Of course there are no idols, but are there things that are above God in my life? What am I sacrificing my time, money, efforts, emotions to? Am I giving my sacrifice of obedience wholly to God or am I spreading it among many gods?

Lord, I thank you for Your Love. You ask me to obey you because You love me and desire good things for me. Help me to trust You and obey. Help me to give my sacrifice of obedience wholly to You. Help me to see where and when I am not. Thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son. Thank You for forgiving me when I fail to obey. I love you, Lord.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Four years ago...

Today we went to the pumpkin patch. We had a great time together, despite my son having a serious case of the crankies.

I realized that the last time we went to the pumpkin patch all together was four years ago.
Four years ago. It was four years ago that our little girl came to live with us. The pumpkin patch was our first family outting.

I remember clearly the feeling of victory when we received that first signature. I knew in my heart it had been settled in the Heavens, but I knew we still had a battle to fight to settle it here on earth.
It was quite a journey. A lesson in trust. Proof of his faithfulness.
The toddler who came to us that fall day is now a toothless, beautiful, smart, first grader who I love with all my heart. She was worth the fight, worth the journey through the unknown.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Important Prayer Request!!

I met a lady today during Friday school who has a 15 month old foster son. They have had him for 10 months (he's been in the system for 12). They are praying to be able to adopt him. The mother had agreed, but is now back with the father (a registered sex offender), and is not as solid on her decision.

Since he is in the 'system' the choice isn't really up to her, but to the state. Obviously, her willingness would make it easier. Now the state descides if they want to continue their "reunifacation plan" or if they want to move to an adoption plan. If they choose reunifacation, the family will continue to live in limbo, as a reuniting with the parents could happen as soon as immediatly or as late several years down the road.

Having been in a limbo regarding my own baby once, my heart goes out to this mom. I praise her for being willing to love and fight for this little one. This is not an easy thing to do. There is no more vulnerable position to be in. As a mother, in your heart this is your baby, but in reality, this child doesn't belong to you and could be taken from you at any moment and put in a situation that you know will destroy them.

Thank goodness for the grace of God. Thank goodness His is really in control, and not the state or unfit parents. Thank goodness that this little boy has been rescued.

They have a very important hearing on the 22nd. Please, please be praying!! I cannot share this family or the boy's name, but you can pray for the "S" family. Pray for the state to move to an adoption plan. Pray for a change in the heart of the birth parents, especailly the mother. Pray for the protection of this family and this little one. Pray that he can stay in with his family so that he can grow up healthy and to know Jesus.

Monday, October 5, 2009

He is so faithful, why do I question?

Lately, I have felt His nudgings. Calling me to return to the battle. Calling me to put on my armor and fight again in the Spirit through prayer and intercession. A calling I have neglected for several years. I have never stopped praying, making my requests know to God, but I have let go the discipline of focused intercession. I have let go the discipline of putting aside my own agenda, wants, and needs to connect with the heart of God and pray His agenda.

I hear Him nudging me to move forward, to surrender to the call, but I hesitate. I know what he is asking, and my flesh fights against it. I do not dread the task, but the consequenses of obedience. The enemy doesn't bother stagnat believers. If we are not doing anything to impact the kingdom, he leaves us alone. I like being left alone.

He is calling me. I must trust Him.

Trust is not a trait that I come by naturally. There are few people that I trust. A handful at best. All others it comes as a challenge to let them in. I have not had a scarring, traumatic past that would cause me to distrust. Yet, I have witnessed the fraigility, disloyalty, and betrayl of people on many, many, occasions.

Sometimes, even trusting my Heavenly Father is a challenge. I prefer to do things on my own---that never works out. Why is it easier for me to trust myself, a broken, frail human, than the Creator of the universe?

Thursday, I spent time with Him, aknowledging His call, confessing my fears and hesitations. He assures me through His still small voice and His Word that He is in control. It is safe to trust in Him.

He challenges with the question, Have I ever let you down? I know the answer. No. There have been times I have not understood His answers, or what He allows to happen, but He remains. He is I AM. He is faithful.

But, Lord, it is not the outcome I fear, I know you will come through. It is the trial itself that brings discomfort. It is the desert and darkness I dread. The feelings of vulnerability, the insecurities of the unknown. These, I could do without.

How would you grow? How would you see that I AM?

A little more time in the Word, a trip to the memory box, and I come back humbled. Lord, you are so faithful. Every trial You were there. Every hardship You were there. Every need you met. Every unknown you brought Your peace. Each occurence requiring only that I put my faith and trust in You. Each time I do, You prove Yourself to me.

I am reminded of the many times I chose to put trust in myself and my own abilities rather than the I AM. What great disaters I have made! Yet, He remains. I turn to Abba, putting my trust back where it belongs. He meets me there, in the mess, pulls me out, cleans me up. His grace deals with my sin. His mercy will deal with the consequences. His mercies are new every morning.

I answer the call. Lord, I put my trust in you. I will be active in your army again. I will not fear. You are the great I AM.

Monday, September 28, 2009


My mom has joined the gratitude community, something another blogger started. You can go to her blog, then go to the other blog to find out more about it.

It is a list of 1000 things to be grateful for. What a nice idea. We have so much to be thankful for. Thankfulness gives you right perspective and brings you peace. It reminds us of His goodness and faithfulness.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6-7

I have not joined the community officially, but I want to start on a list. Perhaps I will have my kids work on a list, too. I want them to understand how much they have to be thankful for.

1. The Cross. Forgiveness.
2. His mercies that are new every morning and last forever.
3. A husband who loves me and beleives in me and is my best friend.
4. God's grace, faithfulness and protection that watched over our kids as they became forever ours.
5. Melaney. Despite her brokeness she manage to make two right decisions that will change history.
6. Grace that preserved my husband. When circumstances say he should have grown up to be a broken mess, God said, "No, I have other plans."
7. A loving Dad for my babies.
8. A good job for my husband that provides for all our needs.
9. The provision to be able to stay home with my kids and teach them.
10. The grace to teach them, even when I want to pull my hair out and send them to their rooms until the Lord returns.
11. God's Word. I love His Word.
12. The ABUNDANCE of food we are blessed with.
13. Clean, running water.
14. A Godly heritage.
15. My mom and dad. Seriously, they are the best.
16. My sisters who are my best friends.
17. Erin, my faithful forever friend (what a rareity that is!)
18. Matt. A faithful, loyal friend to my husband.
19. A husband who will eat anything, including my cooking.
20. My son's sensative heart.
21. My daughter's joyful and creative spirit.
22. Coffee and Chocolate. God's smartest idea yet!
23. The internet, computers, technology. Thank you, Lord, for giving man wisdom to invent these wonderful things!
24. Books filled with the wisdom of believers, past and present.
25. Elliana, God's promise fulfilled.
26. Friday school
27. Answered prayers
28. The opportunity to be apart of a historical revival.
29. The opportunity to minister to the poor and broken.
30. My church family.
31. Quiet moments with Jesus.
32. Good health for me and my family.

This is it for now. My kids are getting roudy. We are going to go to the library. And I am thankful for that, too.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

World Changers in the Making

My hearts desire it that my children love and serve the Lord all the days of thier lives. My constant prayer is that they not go a single day out of relationship with Him. Nothing is more important. I want them to know Him personally, now and forever.

Growing up, I never saw Jesus or church as something my parents made me do. I have loved Jesus personally for as long as I can remember! I thank my mom and dad for that, and that is what I want for my kids.

I fall short in so many ways. I forget to pray. I skip Bible time. We miss family devotions. I lose my temper. I play on the computer instead of playing with them. I often feel like I am stumbling through this journey called motherhood, and if they turn out even halfway decent it will be a miracle! :-)

But then there are those moment when I see Jesus in my kids, and I know that dispite my nearly daily shortfalls, God's grace is suffecient, convering my mistakes. His love is penetrating their hearts.

A few days ago, my son said, "Mommy, wanna hear me sing a song?" I said sure, thinking he would make up something silly as he often does. Instead, he opened his mouth and out came a beautiful, spontanious love song to Jesus.

During church on Sundays I watch as my daughter worships with her whole heart in her own "big and fancy" way.

These moment remind me to keep on. Keep being real in front of them. Keep 'stumbling' through in front of them. Live determined in front of them. I know they are watching. I want them to see that I may make a dozen mistakes each day, but I turn to the One who forgives and ask Him for grace and mercy. I never stop turning to Jesus. I never stop wanting to know Him and wanting to be better in Him.

I am a great planner and organizer, but I am the worst at executing my own plans and organization. I am very easily distracted. I have a daily schedule, but I don't think I have followed it once. I have a daily, weekly, and monthly chore list, but have you seen my house lately? I have a detailed school outline and schedule, but this morning we just got through Enghlish.

However, this school year, I have been determined that if we accomplish nothing else, we will learn to daily spend time in His presence. All of my elaborate school plans have already gone to the wasteside, and we are once again 'playing it by ear'. But so far, we have done pretty good with this little discipline.

The first day of school, we made journals. They are nothing fancy. Just some construction paper with elementary writing paper on the inside, stapled together and decorated by the kids with stickers and markers.

We talked about what a journal is for, and I showed them mine. Then we turned on some music, got out our Bibles, and spent some time with Jesus. This has become their favorite time of the day.

My son can't read yet, but he looks through his comic Bible very seriously and copies some of the words into his journal. Some pages have pictures of people or a cross. My daughter can read a little, but if you saw her you would think she was intensly absorbing every word from her little pink Bible. Perhaps she is. She writes things in her journal like, "Love Jesus. Don't Lie. Obey your Mom and Dad. I love you. Love, Jesus. Jesus and Me. I love you Jesus."

Proverbs 22:6 in the Amplified says "Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it."

This is my favorite version of this scripture because it says "in keeping with his individual gift or bent." I was raised that way, and I want to raise my kids that way. I want them to serve and know and love Jesus through their own individual personality and gifts. I don't really know how exatly to do this, but I know the One who does. I know how to intruduce them to the One. I also know that as I trust in and rely on the One who Created my babies and gave them their individual gifts and bend that He will give me the wisdom and know how to train them right.

Oh, what a good God we serve. Now, I am off to go play games with my kids and make some lunch.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What's with the Name?

Why did I pick the Journey of a Wannabe World Changer?

My sister sent me a link to a blog. The lady's blog had these beautiful pictures, poetic words, and seriously creative ideas. Oh, the envy!

I am so very not creative. I like to write, but it never sound eloquent, and my English and grammar are horrible! My house does not look like a magazine cover. Nothing matches, and would rather go read a book or play Sims than to decorate it---I am excited just to keep it clean for more than a day. I home school my kids, but struggle to just get through the material. Our arts and crafts consist of markers, stickers, glue and free reign to do whatever because mommy doesn't have a clue. For their spiritual education we read the Bible and pray. Nothing creative there either.

But, oh, how I would love to be a creative person like the one in the blog. I wish I had inspiring and creative ideas for teaching my kids to connect with Jesus. I wish we could do crafts together and they turn out good enough to sell. I would love if people walked into my house and went WOW.

But, I am not. So, it got me to thinking, who am I then? What is my claim to fame? I am a world changer....or at least I want to be. I wanna travel the world and tell people about Jesus. I wanna go into tribes that have never heard about Jesus and tell them. I wanna translate the Bible into languages that have yet to be discovered. I wanna be a 'Reinhard Bonnke' or 'Jim Elliot' or 'John G Lake'. As the old song goes, "I wanna be a history maker"!! That is what I desire, and I believe that is who God created me to be.

This doesn't mean I will someday be known for preaching to tens of thousands, or for dying in a village as one of the first missionaries to go there, or for healing thousands. It would be really awesome if I were, but I don't have to to be a world changer.

To be a world changer, I need to be obedient. I must seek Him and know Him, and then go and do when he says. Being a world changer isn't about changing the world that we see, but about changing the unseen, the everlasting.

I know that God has blessed me with the opportunity to change the world for two amazing little kids, and if that is all I accomplish in this life, I would be satisfied. I fail at this task miserably some times, but I get up, ask for forgiveness and grace, and try again. I know that were it not for the Grace of God and our obedience that their lives would be a story of darkness, devastation and brokenness rather than a story of life, hope, and promise.

It is my hope that as I strive to be a world changer for Jesus that I will teach them how to be one, too.

My Blog

So, I have decided to start a personal blog. I have a blog for AFN, which has got a whole whopping 140 hits in over a year. WOW. I am amazing! :-)

So, knowing that I am so unpopular, why start another? Well, AFN is really just to communicate stuff with our supporters, especially when we're in Africa. I try to keep it to missions related stuff, so it is not exactly exciting now that we are back in the US.

I decided to do a personal blog because I LOVE to write! I find the process of writing very theraputic. Whenever I was in trouble as a kid, or had to tell my parents something too hard to say to their face, I would right these seriously long letters. I am a journaler. Not a daily one, but if there is something on my mind, I write about it to God.

So, why not keep my writings to my journal? I dunno. Guess I like an audience. :-) No, truth is, maybe as I help my self and write out my thoughts, perhaps someone else will come along and read it, and they, too, will be helped in someway.

Condending for this generation

Our church, which has a new name, Truelife Church, is 9 days in to a 21 day fast. Each Sunday for the next 8 weeks we are condending and praying for diffrent areas. This last week we Contended for this Generation.

Pastor Brian preached. It was an awesome service and message. It was heart breaking and eye opening to see the pain and brokeness that this whole generation is expereincing.

I know my heart was changed about how I see this generation and how I really need to pray!!

Take a listen or download the prayer sheets. Click here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

True Joy

My Pastor/Brother in Law posted a video about Africa on his FB this week. It was about true Joy not being defined by circumstances. The theme: "I need Africa more than Africa needs me."

I have experienced what this video talks about first hand. In parts of Africa where dispair should be prevelent, you will find joy. They are not sad be cause of what they do not have or because of thier circusmances, instead, they are happy, and understand that things and circumstances are not the source of true joy.

The point is that we can learn from this--we need to learn from this. We base our joy and happiness too much on stuff and circumstance rather than the true source of Joy.

The only true source of pure joy is the Lord. The Joy of the Lord is our strength. That Joy comes from knowing that I have Jesus, no matter what comes my way, I know that He is my strength, my peace, my portion, my deliverer. Knowing that, I move forward. I press on towards the goal.

Click here to see the video.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Please pray for this very special family.

This link is to a blog that I read regularly. It is a family that I know, in fact, the Dad is our adoption attorney that handled both our adoptions.

Several years ago, his daughter (who is Maudilee's age) was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsey, six months later, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She has gone through treatment, and is currently cancer free.

Two years ago, their house burned down, on Rebekah's birthday (that's the daughter).

A few weeks ago the Mom was diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease. The prognosis is not good.

My heart breaks for this family. They have been through a lot. They are believers, and are praying for a miracle. I am praying with with them, and ask you to pray, too.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Amazing Timing of God...

Today, Jody became a licensed contractor. This has been a dream of his for a long time. He enjoys working with his hands and is really good at it.

Since we have been back from Africa, Jody has singlehandedly supported us doing handyman work (something he had done on the side for quite awhile). All the while looking for a job at the same time, because he is very limited in what he can do as a handy man without a license.

He had several interview, and even had a very promising job that fell through. So he began to study for his contractors test and we began to save so he could get his license.

Then, out of the blue, he gets a job. God held off, and saved this job just for him. His boss has encouraged him to get his license, and promised to make him a sub contractor once he did.

So, today Jody is a business owner, licensed contractor, and has a client with enough work to support our family.

I sit back in awe looking at how God perfectly orchestrated the timing of events to bring this all to pass, and at how He made provision for us every step of the way. He is a good God, a good Father, who gives good gifts to His children.

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Girl pt 2

My mom has a blog, and wrote about Daughter, who announced to Nana that she wanted to be a missionary when she grows up so she could help poor people. You will get a kick out of where she wants to be a missionary!!

Click here to read.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Girl

My daughter turned 6 this past week. I can't believe it. She is getting so big, and growing into a beautiful, sweet, smart, young lady. She and I are more alike than we are diffrent, so raising her has been a challenge. But a challenge I would do 1000 times over. I love her more than words can say and am so very proud of her.
I know that she is going to do great things for the Kingdom. When we were in Africa, she told me God wants her to be "like the girls on tv that Nana likes" (aka Joyce Meyer and the like), and teach people about Jesus and the Bible.
I am so blessed and honored that God has entrusted her and her brother to us, and pray each day for the grace and wisdom to raise them in the fear and knowledge of Him.

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ugh...another birthday...

Yesterday was my birthday. Another year's past, another year older. Since 26, each birthday I have had has been a huge reminder that I am getting older, and my life is going no where (well, not really, but it hasn't gone in the direction or timing I planned). However, this year has been pretty awesome. It hasn't been easy at times but it has been a great year of growth and experience, and I am pumped about the year ahead.

Sure, according to my childhood plans, I am seriously behind schedule on my "life". According to my own plans, I am two kids behind, a degree behind, several years behind of ministry in Africa, several major healings and miracles behind, and several walking on water experiences behind. But, my plans don't matter. God's plans do. Nearly daily I surrender my will and life to him, so why is it I get so bummed out when he doesn't work according to my schedule? And whose fault is it that I am not where I want to be? Is it me following God's will and where I am is fully where he wants me to be, or is it my own laziness and fear that is stopping me, but I just blame the will of God?

I was talking to God about this the other day, or rather whining and complaining to God, and he seriously put me in my place. I was expressing my concern, or fear rather, on how long it would take us to get back to Africa. I was reminding him that I was about to be 29, and nowhere near where I imagined I would be, in my walk with him, in my life, and in ministry. He said to me, "Whose stopping you? Stop complaining and do something about it. You hold you back more than I. Get up and do something about it! Move forward instead of standing still, remember, I respond to movement. I would rather you move and stumble than stand still and go nowhere."

Wow. What a reminder that there is God's perfect will, and God's permissible will. I desire his perfect will for my life, but I think I settle for his permissible will too often. How often do I ask for his perfect will to be done in my life, but then do nothing to pursue it? God is perfect and unchanging, which means if we are not in sync, I am the one that needs to adjust. If I am not as close to God as I want to be. If I do know His heart as I desire to know it. If I am not as in tune with the Holy Spirit and I would like, is it because He is holding back? NO! I am the one that must draw near to him and He will draw near to me. I am the one who must seek Him and then all these things will be added.

Each year on my birthday, I look back at what the year has been, and think about the year to come. This year, I want to be on the move with Him. I want to be in pursuit of His heart and His perfect will for my life. I don't want another idle year to pass. I want to look back next year on my birthday....for which I will be 29 again....and say, "God, I know you more, I love you more, I am obeying you more."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Speaking of time, my how does it fly!

My precious baby boy turned 5 yesterday. I can hardly believe it. If I could, I would have video taped every single moment of the past five years, so as to not forget a second. It goes by too fast! Before I know it, he's gonna be all grown up and too cool for mater, cuddles, and sneaking into our bed at night.

Son is my sweet, sensitive, tender hearted little boy, who can't sit still for more than 5 minutes. He loves all things boy, sports, cars, superheroes, and tormenting his big sister. His big sister who is also his best friend!

I love you, Mr. Funny!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Priorities, Schedules, Time

I over heard a conversation the other day in which the comment was made, "it seems he feel like he has to get everything together, that his life has to be fully in order before he can move forward."

Oh, how that comment is totally and completely me!! I try so hard to get all the ducks in a row, so that I can "move forward" with life. I do this knowing it is never fully going to happen, yet I try anyway. I am constantly in "catch up" mode. I need to catch up on my house work before I can, start a new bible study, exercise, or just simply follow my normal daily routine. I need to catch up on the check book before we can follow our budget really well. I need to catch up on my paperwork before I can start working on ministry stuff for AFN again. The list goes on and on...

My goal--to be caught up on everything, so that then my life will run smoothly and on schedule, day after day. This seems to be the unreachable goal for me, I believe because it is a bit unrealistic.

Sure, there are things I could do to improve. I could practice more self discipline. I could say no to distractions. Distractions like tv and computer or a project that really doesn't need to be done now. These are distractions that I know are of no eternal purpose and are a waste of my time, and yet I do them anyway.

However, Life does not happen on a schedule, no matter how hard we may try. Life throws us curve balls that take us out of our daily routine. And no matter how much house work or check books we balance, there will always be more that needs to be done.

I believe it is better to change our mindset. Rather than try to follow a schedule or routine, to live life according to our priorities. We must change our perspective so that we do not see the long list of things that need to get done, but rather the important priorities that should receive our time and attention.

Before Son was born, I was blessed to work with an amazing company. I worked for a company who coached business people how to succeed in life and business. It sounds cheesy and gimmicky when you say it, but it was anything but. This company was a group of believers whose hearts desire was to see overworked successful business people begin to live their life to the fullest, beginning with a relationship with Jesus. They wanted to teach them how to live their priorities rather than work themselves to death only to look back at the end of their lives and realize it was all for nothing. The coaches and owners of this company lived what they taught. They were people that you looked at and said, I want to be like them! They were also very successful at what they did, and saw marriages and families saved, saw people recover from depression and addictions, and most of all saw many people come to know Jesus personally.

When you signed up for the program, the first thing you did was create a life plan. A picture of what you wanted your life to look like now and in 20 years. Then you create accounts, or priorities, and set your time and resources accordingly.

It has been a long time since I have looked at my life plan, but I know I could certainly improve in giving my priorities more attention. I could do better in living life according to what is important rather than by the never ending to do list. To do this requires two things: a change in mindset, moving from the list to the priority, and a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. He is faithful to lead us in each decision if we listen to Him. If I begin my day with Jesus and surrender to His will and schedule for the day rather than mine, I know he will lead me, and I will experience more peace and fulfillment in each day.

Two days ago, a friend of ours dad died unexpectedly. Unexpected deaths are much harder to deal with than the ones you know are coming. Although I did not know this man, the news startled me. In an instant our life on earth can be over. You do not always get notice, time to prepare. How precious is our time here. We only have this short time to store are prepare for eternity.

I came across a page of quotes my one of my favorite revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill. Each one stings and challenges, but this one seemed to sting the most today, as I think about schedules, priorities and the wasting of idle time. It is a quote I will be writing out and posting on my TV and computer to remind me of how precious time is and how I should be spending it. It is my challenge for this week to turn off the TV and get into the Word more and spend more time being with my kids.

"How can you pull down strongholds of Satan if you don’t even have the strength to turn off your TV?"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Obediently seeking...

Today, my daughter disobeyed. Deliberatly chose to disobey. It wasn't one of those childish, ops, I forgot. Or, I'll do what you say but only halfway sort of deals. It was a blatant thought out choice to disobey. This is not the first time she has done this, and I doubt it will be the last...after all, she is only five...but it caught me off guard (she's been a really good girl lately), and got me to thinking.

Daughter wanted a brownie. She asked me for the brownie, but I said no. I didn't give her a reason, I just said no. I had a reason, I just didn't tell her. (I was too preoccupied at the time, to be honest.) My reason was good, and for her best intrest. I was about to make dinner, and didn't want her to spoil her appetite. I would give her the brownie after dinner.

About 15 minutes later, I go down to the kitchen and the brownie is gone. Not only is the brownie gone, be the evidence, the empty pan, had been strategically placed in the sink with the other dirty dishes. BUSTED.

I asked why she ate it and she told me because she wanted the brownie and there was only one left. So, basically, she was afraid that if she waited and obey the thing she really wanted would no longer be there.

Oh, how often am I like her with God? He tells me no. He says no, knowing full well why he is telling me no. Often it's simply because it's not time, other things must be done first. But, in my immaturity, in my selfishness, in my desire to satisfy my want now, I eat the brownie anyway, worried that if I wait and trust God, the brownie will be gone and I will miss out.

Daughter didn't ask me why she couldn't have the brownie. All she heard from me was no, and left it at that. She didn't take the time to seek out the reason for the no from mommy. Instead, she immediatly focused on figuring out a way to get what she wanted despite what I said.

I do that. I ask God, and He says no. And instead of seeking Him for the why, I just go on trying to figure out how to do it on my own anyway.

I find myself doing that even now. I want to go back to africa yesterday! I don't want 2 months every eight years! Every day that goes by with no activity focused on getting us back there; every day that goes by with us just striving to make it here, let alone save to return, I begin to panic. I get anxious and want to start figuring out a way to make it happen on my own. Instead, I should be seeking Him! Asking him the why! Why am I here, and what do You want to happen before I can "eat the brownie".

I believe we do not seek him about the reason for His answer enough, and we really should. You may discover that the no is really just a 'not right now' or you may discover that it really is NO. You may also discover, as I have several times, that there are just some things beyond our human understanding and we just have to trust that God is God. But, I believe that more often than not, we will discover a father's heart for His child. You will discover that He desires only good things for His children, and all that he allows or doesn't allow has eternal purpose.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Mt 6:33

P.S. Key to seeking: LISTENING :-)