Sunday, February 28, 2010

Friendship and Faith

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

Stop worrying! Quit thinking about it. You can’t do anything to change it. Worrying never gets you anywhere. Worry and anxiety keeps us up at night. It distracts us from family and friends and work. It sends us to the doctor for a pill or even to the emergency room with a heart attack. Worry and Anxiety are not our friends. They may even change our personalities so much that we drive away our friends.

But there is a friend. A friend that wants to help when we can’t cope with life’s problems on our own.

What more can we ask? We have a God that wants to get so personal with us that He tells us to not worry or fret or be upset, but to just ask Him for what we want or need. He says to be specific… to make our desires known to Him. Just like we would with a close friend. When we are worried about anything; whether it is money or relationships, a broken life or a fractured heart, we should lift it up to Him in prayer and let Him know about our situation. It is not as though He does not already know our circumstance or our need. But He asks us to speak it directly to Him and to be specific about it; tell Him the smallest detail. He wants us to interact with Him; to be in a real relationship with Him. To show Him that we believe He is Who He says He is. The Great I AM. Our Friend. Speaking our heart’s needs to Him is a demonstration of our faith in Him and His ability to deliver on His promise. That we will ask… that we will actually EXPECT and trust Him to respond in some manner is like stepping off a cliff and expecting to fly. And then… amazing as it may seem, He provides us with peace. We can’t explain it. We don’t understand it. But we experience peace. Peace in our turmoil. Peace in our pain. Peace in knowing that our incomprehensible and amazing God will act on our behalf and in our best interest.

Prayer: Amazing God, please remind me to trust You and truly believe that You always answer the prayers and requests of Your children. Lord, bless me with Your peace today. Thank You for being a faithful Friend. Amen.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Consider His Creation.

Take a moment, reflect on His Glory...bask in His Presence...Enjoy His Creation...consider His miracles....Give thanks...Give Praise...Breathe in His world! Consider HIM, the I AM! Take time to worship - Don't let the rocks cry out for YOU!!!! Genesis 1:31 Then God saw EVERYTHING that He had made, and indeed it was VERY GOOD!

Blessed to Bless

Genesis 12:2 "I will make you a great nation: I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing

I attended a women's meeting at our church this last week and this was a verse used in the devotional as she taught over the life and call of Abraham. It was as if God were speaking directly to me again, as he seems to do when I just don't get it the first time around!

I have been reading about letting our lives be a testimony of Christ in all areas, of giving everything over to him. This is not the first time in my christian walk that I have studied this, but it seems God is always showing me one more way to let go of this life and walk completely in him - this is hard to do at times.

This verse was my memory verse a couple of weeks was set up in my windowsill so that I saw it and prayed about it everyday that week. So it was neat to see it brought up again.

You see God came down to Abraham and spoke a direct blessing over him, just as he had done with Adam and Eve (genesis 2:28 Then God blessed them...), and as he does with each of us. He blesses us becuase we have a birthright in him and each of his children is personally blessed. He hasn't missed one of us. I find this amazing! In Jeremiah 1 we see again God personally speaking a blessing over a child of his, I believe these were written down for each of us as well. However, I believe that if we are ever quiet enough we would discover that God is whispering our personal, individual, intimate blessings to us - he has written them on our hearts since the beginning: as he thoughtfully formed each us. Taking into careful account our very lives, looking forward to see our roads, and tenderly crafting us to be victorious, beautiful, precious...

I want you to look carefully at the blessing God lays down: I will bless you! And you will be a blessing!! Not a maybe, not an if...not possibly - you will be a blessing. God does not beat around the bush about the expectations he has for us. He gives and expects that we give in return. For Abraham he was going to make him a might nation, the Father of Nations, the one who's line would eventually have Jesus Christ - the Saviour, the Mighty God, The Alpha & Omega, the Lion of Judah, the Mighty Warrior, the Prince of Peace! God expected Abraham and his descendents to bless others with the teaching of GOD! He expected that these very people that were to rise up were to be a light, an example a reflection of God. He expected them to bless the world with the love of God, the mighty works of God, the grace and love and mercy of God. For Jeremiah God blessed him with the prophecies - he expected Jeremiah to bless others by speaking these revelations to the people that they may be saved from the distruction of a Righteous ever-loving God. For Adam and Eve he blessed them with dominion over every living thing and the ability to be fruitful and multiply - he expected them to bless with the multiplication of others, to take care of the world they were entrusted with. To bless future generations with a legacy that imparted the friendship and closeness of a relationship with God.

Likewise we are blessed that we become a well-spring of blessings in ALL areas of our lives. Even when we are pressed out of our comfort zone. We are not given an option. Though often times we think we are. God calls us to the undoable so that his glory can be done, he calls us to the "crazy" so that his Might can be shown, he calls us to the difficult so we will learn to trust, he calls us to the sacrificial so that we will learn to love.

Commit today to be blessing in Word, Deed, and Thought!

Speaking of Rocks

Speaking of rocks, I have a new outlook on rocks these days. On the site where I work in Iraq, there are rocks everywhere. They form our driveways, our parking areas, they fill the shop yard and they are there when I step outside my chu (short for civilian housing unit). Sidewalks here are almost non-existent. A few of the roads are asphalt. But for the most part, every where you go, there are rocks.

You learn to walk carefully on the rocks. When they roll under your feet, you learn to ride the rocks until they stop rolling. The rocks shift and scrunch under your feet. The rocks can be treacherous and dangerous if you don’t pay close attention to where you step. A twisted ankle is no fun.

Eventually you learn to look ahead for the places where the rocks have been packed down into the ground so that they are no longer loosely lying in your path. It is not in any order. There is no rhyme or reason to where the packed down rocks lie. So you meander back and forth in a zigzag pattern looking a bit like a drunken sailor trying to step on packed rocks to get to your destination. Walking in a straight line is possible but it is not easy on your feet and legs and limbs. If you are fortunate, you will find actual sand or dirt to walk in. You watch for the patches of dirt. You hope for them because they make walking easy… trouble free.

I’ve learned to dislike rocks. A lot.

Until it rains.

When the rain comes, the patches of dirt and sand become sucking holes of mud that clings to your boots like gripping hands trying to drag you down into what was once an easy path. You slip and slide in the mud and begin to look for those rocks that you once tried to avoid. Those rocks become islands of freedom from the mud. A place to keep your feet dry and clean. They turn into an easy clean path and provide the best way possible to get where you want to go. You hope and pray for rocks. What once was difficult and frustrating and inconvenient is now the very thing that protects you and makes the way safe for you.

In a way, the path of rocks is like the life we live with Jesus. A Christian walk can be rocky and slippery and we can take a misstep and be hurt while we are trying to live life as a Christian. Sometimes we travel down paths that other Christians have traveled and ’packed down’ for us. Occasionally we have to blaze our own path with Christ in order to reach the high place He is taking us. We sometimes even look to make the way easier by taking the seemingly smooth road that the world wants us to take. That easy road has all the appearance of safety and goodness. But when hard times come and the storms hit our lives, that easy road does us no good. The easy road is deceptive and will fail us every time sucking us into the mire of the world and covering us with filth. And only then do we crawl back to Him. Then we begin to look for and call upon our Rock to lift us up and clean our lives of that filth. Filth that only the Rock of Jesus can wash away.

Our Amazing Lord and God is always so faithful to forgive and set us straight again.

Like a twisted ankle, an “off the path” broken Christian is in pain and not functioning correctly. It is not always convenient to walk with Christ. It is difficult to trust in times of hardship and stress when it “appears” that nothing is going our way. Or something shiny entices us to deliberately step off the road . We have all strayed off the path in our lives and trusted the sand. But if we stay on that Rock, we will be safe and receive the reward of knowing that although we took the narrow path, we can look back down our road and have no regret.

Although I may not always choose to take the rocky path in the shop’s yard or in the parking lot, or while walking to work, I choose the Rock of Jesus for my walk through this life come rain or come shine.

"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Matthew 7:24-27)

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Mother's Love

As I was praying for a mother who was rushing her 18 month old to the doctor today I could not help but share that overwhelming sense of worry. If your a mother you know what I am talking about. It overcomes you like a wave crashing against the beach and you feel the entire ground shifting beneath you as you struggle to keep your footing and your eyes locked on the Lord. It's a feeling like nothing else when you hold your sick child in your arms and know that there is nothing in your power you can do to right the circumstances.

Not long ago, I was in this mother's shoes. I sat playing with my children in the playroom and looked up to see my youngest boy staggering around, then he collapsed in a heap on the playroom bed and went into convulsion. He stopped breathing and began to turn blue. My world began to sway, my heart froze in mid-beat, my body reacted faster than my brain could process, as I scooped him up and ran to the phone. In my mind I was calm, my heart was screaming for help from the Lord, I was dialing 911 - - and I kept repeating "God has a purpose, God has a purpose". Anyone on the outside in those first few moments would have thought I was nuts. This is not the only time though my heart has broken for my children nor will it be the last.

However, as I prayed for this woman and her child I was introduced to a new part of God - one I knew in the back of my mind: But here he was saying to me today - - "Come, see who I really am..."

I have always heard that a mother's love is different than a fathers. It is because we are created differently, with different natures. However, it is more than just that. This child, these children that God has given me - will always be a part of me. I carried them for nine months in my womb, I felt the first signs of life, their first movements, their first attempts at breathing (hiccups). I talked to them, fed them, sang to them, rocked them, loved them from the very beginning. No matter what time brings they will always be a part of me. Even when the cord was cut and they took their first breaths on their own I still felt connected. I remember holding each of them and breathing them in - amazed at such a creation. And when trials happen, and bullies come, and sickness attacks, and accidents befall them, and bad decisions are made, and I see them hurt as they walk through something difficult or try to reconcile a mean world to a loving God - - - My heart breaks over and over, because no matter what they will always be a part of me.

I know that I will experience more heartache for my children as time passes on. There are many mothers right now agonizing over the choices their children have made, many that spend night after night praying they return to the Lord. Some right now sit at the side of a hospital bed praying for healing that may or may not come, or they are watching as their child walks through a valley of suffering or heartache.

Today God reminded me that sometimes I see him too much as a father and a friend, I forget his nurturing side. The side that I am created in the image after. You see it says that in the beginning was The Word and the Word was God and God was with The Word (John 1:1). The Word of course referring to Jesus Christ. God knows, personally, intimately a mother's heart! This is why he had Simeon tell Mary that a sword would pierce her soul. He knew the very agony and pain that Mary would feel (not to discount a father's love or the agony and pain a father feels in any way - we women are just a little more emotional), he knew her very heart! He knew that she would feel as if a part of herself was being ripped apart as she stood and saw the pain of Jesus, because she had carried him and loved him and cherished him the way mother's do. He wanted to prepare her, let her know that he was the I AM, and he would hold her during this time of suffering so that his plan could be complete.

Jesus was a part of God. God himself endured the pain of seeing a child suffer at the hands of a cruel world. We are created by him, a part of him, in his image: He suffers and grieves for us when we make mistakes that cause us pain, when we turn our backs. This very mother's heart is the what compels him to give us another chance. The father in him sets the boundaries and punishes when punishment is due, but the nurturing and love come in the form of a mother's heart - sensitive beyond measure to the pain of the children, longing to see things set right.

May I never forget that my heart is known by father, in an intimate, personal way. He created me, as a mother, to always be a part of my children - to have a driving, insatiable need to pray for them and see them come to Him. He also knows exactly how to comfort the mother's heart that is broken in pieces, no matter what caused the pain. When all the world doesn't seem to understand and our earthly fathers can not console us and our husbands can not share the motherly ache and heaviness in our hearts because it is so deeply ingrained, God Can and will. He knows - we are created in his image just as man was (each different sides of the character of a mighty, wonderful God).

Take heart in your times of grief and worry mothers - trust your heart in the Lord. You are dear and precious to him. He will handle it with care, after all he created it.

Be Blessed

"Melba"-(Eulogy I gave on Feb. 25, 2010 at her funeral)

I would like to share some thoughts on Melba today! She was a Mother, Wife-(Blessed with 2 wonderful husbands), Grandmother, Friends & Above all a Christian!)
When Melody & Debbie (granddaughter & daughter-in-law of Melba's) came to make some arrangements for funeral service on Monday at the church, they ask me if someone would stand at the service and say some things about Melba. I assured them that someone would! I had no idea that it would be me! Sometimes God puts that "burning bush", so to speak, in front of you, to make you be still, sit, & listen to Him!
I have known Melba for over 30 years. She was and I am both a charter member of this church. I was blessed with many experiences in my life with Melba and I am so thankful that God gave me these things to share about her, and 3 different things kept coming to my mind!
(1.) Her long life! -She was 91 years old. She was blessed with a long life and we were blessed to have known her. She loved to tell of times when she was growing up. Experiences she had had.
(2.) Her Faith!-She loved the Lord! Her faith was truly an adventure with the Lord. She had that walk with the Lord. Before this church was formed, she & her 1st. husband opened their home for a small group to meet and worship in. She was generous with financial help of this church.
(3.) "She Loved"-She loved her crossword books, quilting, crocheting, playing dominoes, canning, gardening, her flower beds, her family, her church, talking lovingly of her grand kids, her church friends to call & visit her, but, most of all she loved the Lord!

Her favorite Bible verse was Matt. 6:33-"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

The Lord blessed us all with having known Melba!!!

She loved and was loved!!!

( I believe God places in the path of His people certain messages, instructions, or encouragement to equip us to His will!!!) Thank you Lord for letting me sit still & listen!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Mother Undone is Second to None!

I expected great things out of motherhood when I entered into it almost nine years ago! I mean great things - the well-behaved child: always clean, perfect manners, never throwing a fit, no messes or drama, all things on schedule.

I still, nine years later and 3 more kids(4 in all) expect great things of motherhood, the great things have just changed. You see quickly I realized that I could not do all things - someone had lied to me about motherhood, and the expectations, the standards were too high.

Motherhood is one of those seasons of undone things. Laundry - always undone, toilets - never as clean as I want them. Bathtubs - left with dripping wash cloths, and filled with toys that have to be cleaned. Laundry - I'm a mother of 4!! You don't even want me to go there! I came back recently from a trip - I had NO laundry in the laundry room. I took all four kids with me. I went to the laundry room to put up my dirty clothes (that amounted to ONE load) and almost had a stroke!! There was laundry up to my knees, I almost need a pitch-fork to clean it all out and sort it. My wonderful husband had cleaned the kids room while we were gone and gathered the laundry under the beds and mattresses, behind the dressers and anywhere else kids hide dirty laundry they don't want to walk ten steps to put in the hamper or clean laundry they don't want to put up. There are always dishes to wash, put away, or prepare with food. Toys - please - they are everywhere! Forget dusting - June Cleaver does not live here - and I have given the chore of the vacuuming to my oldest two (the kids are the ones who seem to get food everywhere and where does all the torn up tiny peices of confetti size paper come from?!).

However, when I am absolutely exhausted and leaning on the dryer for support as I fold the third load of towels for the day and spend my prayer time with God. I am reminded in this season of being undone I have learned to be ever more dependent on God. May my life never reach a season when I am so comfortable and so "done up" that I become unuseful to God or cease to call on his name.

When my emotions are stretched tight as a clothes line cord that has heavy dripping sheets hanging on it that are whipping in the north wind and I feel as if I might snap - my Lord gives me strenght - in a child's sweet "I Love YOU!"

When I feel as if I might run from my house pulling my hair and throwing my apron in for surrender (Yes, I really wear one), becuase my children have fought over every little thing and yelled all day long. My Redeemer whispers peace in a childs gentle kiss.

When my kids have fought, and complained, made messes and yelled and I feel like a Military Cop instead of a mother. My Savior says you matter in a child's "Thank you mommy for the "appppple juuuuice".

In my very season of undoneness I have learned that true worth is in just that - being pliable enough to be undone so that God can work in me and through me for the salvation of my children. When I am undone, and I turn to him peace insues and I am able to stop and realize that all that matters to the world - - - all this that seems undone according to their standards can wait as long as what's done is done to the glory of God and what's done is my children first.

A Mother undone - is one on her knees asking for the wisdom to raise her children in the knowledge of the Lord, seeking his counsel. And that ladies is the woman in Proverbs that is more precious than rubies.

Let me be a mother undone for the glory of God!

"What is a Woman of Grace?"

A woman of grace is not a woman without sin. She is a woman who strives to walk away from sin. And in that walk she finds herself hand in hand with Jesus. Daily depending on Him to mentor her as they walk steadily toward home.
She is driven by desire to study The Word and share her learning. And disciplines her time in prayer and worship.
She learns to speak when God urges and holds her tongue when words aren't helpful.
She breathes in the beauty of God's earth and exhales the abuse that destroys it.
A "Woman of Grace" strives to be patient with others who have yet to experience the pleasure of "Living in Grace."
Martha Smith

"O. Lord make me a "Woman of Grace!"

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Daily Rules from God!"

1. Wake up!! Decide to have a good day! "Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24
2. Dress up! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7
3. Shut up! Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. "He who guards his lips guards his soul."Proverbs 13:3
4. Stand up! For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything..."Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good... Galatians 6:9-10
5. Look up! To the Lord. "I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
6. Reach up! For something higher. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5 & 6
7. Lift up! Your prayers. "Do not worry about anything, instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING." Philippians 4:6

"God wants our obedience, even in the little things!"

So many times in our lives we go our own way!! We make problems for ourselves!! God wants our obedience in everything!! I had a doctor's appointment on Feb. 16th. and I had to go in for lab work before the appointment. I am supposed to not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before. The night before my appointment my husband decided to fix a peach cobbler!!! When he told me he was cooking it, I could already taste it!!! But, when he went back to the kitchen, I knew I did not need it, but, I knew I needed God's help to resist it! That peach cobbler would not be good for my blood sugar!!! I wanted the peach cobbler, but, I did not need it!!! I prayed for God to take that desire away from me for the peach cobbler!!! A little later, my husband came back to the computer room where I was, and before I knew it, I told him to not bring me a bowl of cobbler and to keep it covered and out of sight!!! Praise God for His strength to say no!!!
We must all make choices in our lives. Daniel chose to not defile himself with the king's wine & choice food. He made up his mind to not engage in compromise by being untrue to God's call of commitment. Daniel 1:8
There are so many things in our lives that are put before us! But, we must always remember God has the very best plan for us!! Trust Him!! Keep the Faith!! Be Obedient!! Pray & Read the Word!!
Oh, By the way, I got a wonderful doctor's report!! Blood sugar had dropped from 122 three months ago to 112!! Praise the Lord!!

Roosters of the World

I recently visited a friend in South Texas where we used to live. Early that morning the neighborhood roosters began to crow - first the one behind her house then the one down the block and so on and so on. At first I lay there with my eyes closed trying to shut the noise out thinking to myself " I do not miss this one bit!"

Finally, half asleep, I rolled over and reached for my cell phone to check the time - 4:32am. "Lord, please, help this things to study to be quiet!!! I'm not ready to get up," I prayed.

Silence from the heavens - I guess that sometimes God just wants our attention. OK, I thought no word from God, no silence of the roosters. So I pulled the pillow over my head!! "If that thing does not hush I am going to get up and ring it's neck and have some fried chicken today!" Silence! Golden silence - no other rooster had answered his last cry. Good I thought, I can get back to sleep.

Just as I dozed off it all began again! IF there is one thing I have learned in this christian walk it is that Life's little "pot holes" (inconveniences, trials, derailments) are divine appointments with God. So I sat up and seriously began to pray about what God would have me to learn that day and I go my bible out.

Jeremiah 33:3 Show me great and mighty things Lord, I prayed.

Life - the world - is much like the roosters. A contest, a constant battle or competition to see who is the best (The head rooster). Have you been guilty of participating? I have, and if each of us were truly honest with ourselves we would find that we all are at some point or another in our lives. We desire the praise and acceptance of others. Sometimes we find our value, identity and worth tied up in the world system. We are either the rooster crowing or the rooster finding something to crow about - something that could measure up to the world standards and proclaim that we have arrived, that we matter.

If your lost, here it is: The world says to matter you must have this education, do this job, wear these clothes, drive this car, make this much money, have this type of kid doing this activity, belong to this club, look this way, live in this neighborhood, or this house -- - and the list goes on. For women, you must be a super-business woman, or an excellent soccor mom, or Proverbs 31 in a cape if your stay at home mom, you've got to be a certain weight, your children must behave the best, have the best and be involved in everything everyone else is doing and be the best at it!

The terrible thing is that all this begins when we are young. The lies are planted there by the enemy! I lie that we don't matter unless we meet this ever-changing, impossible standard that the world sets. I see it in my own children as they struggle to reconcile the world view to the bible. "Why does it matter so much what kind of game system you have, what type of Barbie you play with, car you get when your 16, job you have, boyfriend you date, cell phone you carry?" It often comes out in the open ended statements they say: "Mom, so and so has is getting the new dsi......." Child-eese for "Mom why does it matter, do I matter if I don't have this, will I still fit in, will I still be worthwhile, am I still important, do I still have a purpose?????" Isn't this the very question that most of us carry with us - What do I have to do to be important to the world - to show I matter? If we don't get an answer then it to turns to "I need this or that to fit in to be someone."

In the Bible we are told that the pursuit of worldly things will leave us empty because the eye is never satisfied. We will always fill empty and unsatisfied, unfulfilled if we pursue the world.

I love what my husband overheard our then 6 year old daughter told a church friend that was coming to our house for the first time. "Don't be shocked, we're different. My mom is very wierd! She won't let us have a Wii or watch t.v. She makes us play with the toys, blocks and dolls. But I have some really cool dress up and we can build a tent!"

You see when we become settled in Christ, content in his provision the world standards fall away. the pressure to conform begins to diminish as we lean closer to him. The noise and competition don't matter anymore because you are no longer competing.

The truth of the world system is once you have arrived you have to fight to stay there. Things are always changing the standard always being moved.

The wonderful thing about God is that his standard never changes - it is not based on you but what he can do IN YOU!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Washing Machine Treasures

Tonight was Awana. Wednesdays are always chaotic at my house. It just does not seem to matter how prepared a get the day before or what I do the day of. When it comes time to get ready kids start squalling, shoes are eaten by the "NO Where" monster, Awana books hide themselves in drawers and socks mysteriously jump and run from the drawers. When we finally get to church (which by the way if you don't know the parsonage is in the church parking lot), I am fifteen minutes late and look like I have walked through a tornado. I usually have a screaching two year old and two rowdy boys and one stressed 8 year daughter all in tow. Somehow we make it and they have the time of their lives.....Then it's time to come come. This is decompress time, eat a late snack or dinner, bath, and bedtime. They are so wired though that this rarely runs smoothly and sometime after ten they are snuggled into bed FINALLY snoring! I then am free to clean or do laundry (this mountainous task is rarely finished in my household). Tonight I opened the washer to find pieces of plastic kynex, and legos, and 4 quarters (my oldest son's pay-off for his first tooth). I couldn't help but smile! You see walking home accross the parking lot tonight I had noticed that the moon was a perfect smiley face and I had said outloud to the clear sky (and God) "Thank you God for the smiley face tonight - - you know just when I need it". It made my heart glad! The treasure in the washer made me smile too - How precious this time is! Some days I shake my head at the things I find in my washer that my son's pick up to put in their pockets. Tonight however, I could reflect on the fact that Chase was most certainly playing some sort of Transformers game or pretending to be a warrior with his brother - these things meant something special to him at some point today! What little treasures we often overlook in our lives. Take a moment today to enjoy the world through the eyes of a child. Slow down and let God show you little treasures to store in your pockets for the day - - then let them go and find new ones for tomorrow. Tucked safely and tightly into bed I know Chase has no memory of the things he left in his pockets today, and tomorrows wash load will reveal the treasures of that day. Don't hold too tightly of the things of today that you can't pick up or see the blessings and treasures of tomorrow. For God has spoken in his word that his blessing are fresh each day!

Created in His Image

Have you read the creation story lately? Take a few moments to do so now. Read it slowly and listen to the Lord as he reveals his personality to you...let him talk to you and tell you how very special you are daughter. Notice that God Created all things at his spoken word and they were considered good. Then something awesome happened in Verse 26 of Chapter 1 - He stepped into his creation, reached out a personal hand, and he scooped up dust and created man. Up to this point all things came into existance at his spoken word - as if that were not awesome enough he decided to take things to a personal level when he created mankind. He thought about man as he formed him, thought of his days, and every part he made. When he saw man it was good so he set man to work and lay down the rules, but toward the end of the day he saw that something was still missing in his creation. So he created woman. The creation of woman is so important that he devotes several verses in Chapter two to this moment in time. You see he made you,daughter, out of bone (ivory), you were precious and delicate - created to be the crowning jewel of all creation. A helpmeet to Adam - a special friend. Then God does something I find truly amazing! He blesses them: A birthright blessing, a personal I love you from God! At this he saw his creation and it was VERY GOOD (verse 30 Chapter 1). Not just ordinary good, not just standard - - it was VERY GOOD! It was complete and perfect. Look closely, dear one, the Lord took time to create and form you. All other things were spoken but you - you were created. You were thought about, made for a purpose, set apart, the crown of creation, delicate, precious, valuable, beautiful. Bask today in God's love, hear him whisper to you how very special you are to him.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Every Day Life with the 4 Amigos!

My Children are a constant source of joy, and every other emotion known to man. I can remember praying when I found out I was pregnant with Anna for patience. I now tell women never to ask for this during the season of motherhood - - - just let it develop naturally. You don't need to pray for it! God has most certainly put me to the test. When asked how I handle all four I tell people I spend a lot of time in front of my dryer. You see in the season of my life there is no such thing as a prayer closet (mom's don't get private time). Early morning devotional time - - - forget that, if I roll over in bed all four heads pop up in the bedrooms to see what I'm about to do. Uninterrupted late night devotional? - - who ever heard of that. My kids suddenly develop growing pains, throat aches, sleeping problems, stomach aches, all that need my undivided attention and prayer. So my time with the Lord is folding clothes - - The kids run from that, no one wants the task of putting up towels, and socks and unders. Mysteriously during this time my children focus intently on homeschool or play silenty and sweetly in the playroom so as not to draw attention to themselves. I have to pass this on though - when I become overwhelmed at being a mom I stop and give thanks for this brief season of life. Too quickly it will be over: no more feet to rub, no more foreheads to kiss, no more small bodies to scoop up into hugs, no more snotty noses wiped on my clean apron, no more fights, or messes, or mountains of laundry or gooey messes in carpets. So thank you Lord for inconveniences and troubles, and trying days - They make my snuggle days all the more dear. Take time today to tell your children how much you love them, how precious they are. Even if they are grown they need your affirmation: they need to know how proud you are of them. God never tires of us from the day we breath our first breath to the moment we take our last, in good times and bad, when we're wayward or obedient, when we are close and in fellowship or when we're silent and away. He still whispers his love, surrounds us with blessings, opens his arms, extends his hand, holds us close, lifts us up. So should we not do this with our own children? Scripture admonishes us not to "withhold good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it" (Proverbs 3:27). Today make a point to send a 'love letter' to your child, a 'just in case you were wondering' letter to let them know you love them and are praying for them. Give praise for some good quality you see in them. Be creative, email, text, send them a card, do a random act of kindness...
Be Blessed Sisters

Monday, February 15, 2010

Verse for Today: Count Your blessings/Be a blessing

I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.
Genesis 12:2

Take time today to consider the heart of God. He loved you so much he made you in His image. You were shaped before time by the God that holds the universe, He sent His son to die in your place to cover your sins while you were yet guilty grafting you into the family of God - a chosen people, a peculiar priesthood. He saw past the sin into what you could become, he set forth a straight path, promised to never leave you, to always love you, to keep you from harms. Then he said that you would be a blessing. Seek God, ask him to guide you into this. Have you been a blessing in your word? Proverbs 31 says that kindness rules her tounge. Have you spoken kindness to your husband - perhaps a word of encouragement or affirmation acknowledging his good qualities? Have you spoken kindness into the heart of your children - seeing past their disobedience to what they will become, seeking to affirm the good? Have you spoken kindness to the neighbor, your boss, your co-worker - - Your kind word may turn their day around. Have you been a blessing in your actions and deeds? Again, Proverbs 31 says that she stretches forth her hands to the poor, and that she takes care of her family. This is a heart matter - a matter of service with gladness, without thought of self - esteeming others greater, without grumbling and complaining. Have you done an extra act of service for those in your family - a random act of kindness that would let them see Jesus in you? Ask God to show you where you can bless others with your deeds and actions.
Be a blessing today --- for you have been richly blessed by the very Creator of the universe. You are a reflection of His divine nature. Let is light "glow" in you!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Mornings

Sunday mornings are no small thing at our house. There is an electricity that runs through everything - an excitement about going into the House of the Lord. An anxiousness to get there and get into class. Last night as my oldest son blessed the food one of his comments was "and thank you God for giving us Sunday so we can come see you and worship you in song..." WOW! My mind stood still, my heart listened and I thought - have I become too familiar with God at times to realize how awesome it is that I get to go to the House of the Lord, that God has invited me to come and worship? Do I get in a routine of worship and forget the sheer awesomeness of God, of presenting myself to him, the privilage of his friendship to me. I challenge you to ask yourself the same question. Has the business of life run over into our Sabbath. My prayer is that I never let the Sabbath become just another day, but as my children I look forward to the greatness of the day that has been set aside to enjoy the fullness of God with the fellowship of the saints. Be blessed sisters in your family -- both spiritual and physical. Take time on Sunday to delight in the prescence of Father God!
(the above picture is Rachel and Justin a few weeks back)

Winter Wonderland

My children saw their first snow a few days ago. I was amazed at the delight they took in such a simple thing and how they immediately gave God the credit for the blessing. They did not see the cold, or worry about accumulating ice on the roads, or think about the wet mush melting snow would leave. They could only see the beauty of God's creation in the present. They ran out barefoot in pajamas to catch the first snowflakes on their tounges and waited in aticipation for homeschool lessons to be ended so they could go out in the fully covered yard. As soon as they could they donned their coats and two pair of socks, mittens and ran out the door. Running headlong all three of the oldest dropped and made snow angels. My youngest son kept exclaiming "Mommy look, it's all covered....Mommy look at the trees their white, Mommy look....Mommy look!" Such amazement such awe. Fully immersed in God's creation, delighting in the miracle of snow, making the most of a new experience - no hesitation, just pure delight. How often do we overlook the miracles in our lives because we are to busy looking at the inconvenience of the moment? My son later posted on his blogsite that he was amazed at how soft the snow felt, how beautiful it was that God had created it. This is our lives in Christ, How soft his touch is in our lives as he creates something beautiful out of it. Sometimes it seems harsh and cold and lonely in life, but God sees the whole landscape - - a life washed white and being made beautiful. Our spring will always come, a new growth in our life. Without the winter there can be no new life, no spring, no growth. Take a moment to enjoy God's blessings as they come!