Tuesday, August 16, 2011

God is faithful even when we are not

I have been discovering quite a bit about myself lately.  I've found :  I'm selfish.  I have little patience.  I am not as grounded in my faith as I thought I was.  I am reliant on other people.  I complain too much.  I ask for God's help too little.  I am inconsistent in many areas of my life.  I am nit picky.  I judge others.  And of course, I am too hard on myself from time to time.  I hate to be wrong.  And the list is still growing.  My faults.  They are many.  And quite a few of them I thought I had conquered or overcome.  Or maybe I had through His great mercy and grace but then decided to take back the wheel and crashed and burned again, and am now back to my starting point.  God is good.  He's teaching me again.  He's showing the way.  So many times we hear the words and the sermons and believe we are living them out but in all actuality we are just going through the motions and "doing" the right things but not asking Him to do them through us.  If it is just an act of obeying the law and not surrendering to Him, the One who makes all things possible we will just strive to do our best and fail eventually.  I believe that is why Christians get so frustrated.  We want so desperately to do what God has laid on our heart to do but rely on our own strength and ability to do it.  It's as if we pray for God's help in our lives and then forget we even prayed for it when the test is at hand.  It comes back to the joy of the Lord.  Joy to renew our strength.  We will not forget that the Lord is our only source of true strength if we do not forget the price that He paid for our victory.  And we can rejoice in Him daily for what He has done and is doing in us!   

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Making The Grade

I remember being 13.  It was time to shop for school clothes.  I had gone from a size 7 to a size 9 over my 7th grade summer.  In my mind I was just getting older and growing.  I didn't look at my friends and wonder what size they were.  I didn't care that my jeans were a size up.  Something changed for me that year.  I got a taste of the world and what it expected from me.  I became more and more aware of the chatter around me.  The, "I'm fat" comments.  I soon felt the pressure too.  What a girl will put herself through to feel good enough is horrifying.  Why do we as women feel these pressures.  It travels into adulthood.  We need to be the good mother, good wife, good friend, good Christian.  And it seems we are seeking approval from this outside world while torturing ourselves.  I am not saying that we should not strive to be good in all of these areas.  I WANT to be a good mother,wife, and Christian.  But I don't want to rely on others to tell me or give me their approval when I've met or not met the so called standard. Our focus needs to be on the expectations of God and not man.  When we are led by the Spirit we will know God's will but when we let our own desires, the desires of others, and dysfunctions lead us we are lead to believe what the world would like us to.  God made us in His image.  Why then is it so hard to convince girls these days that they are beautiful?  That they are made specifically by a loving Father who wanted them to be exactly as they are?  I believe it is a distorted thought process that can only be reversed by the Creator who first formed us in His hands.  He is the only One who can pull these girls out of the superficial world that places all of their hopes and dreams on what their outward beauty can offer.  A world that is only surface deep and never seeks the innermost parts of the soul.  God has spoken.  He has said that, ..."The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."-1 Sam 16:7  "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."-Proverbs 31:30  The Lord wants us to know His value on outward beauty.  He puts very little stock in that which fades and soon will be gone.  So while the world is telling us the next best way to stay young and preserve our outward beauty, the Lord is telling us how to preserve our inward beauty and soul so that we may live forever with Him in the kingdom of Heaven.   It is a battle that I believe we will continue to struggle with as women.   Looking for the balance of raising girls to be ladies without putting too much pressure on them to be what the world thinks they should be.  And it really doesn't matter how many magazines we shelter them from or if we homeschool them and keep them in church.  They will still learn the majority of their principles from their number one example.  Us.  Their mothers.  The same women who have struggled with these issues growing up.  The same women who still may wrestle with these issues in our adult lives.  I urge you to take them to the cross.  To let Jesus heal you once and for all and to be able to see yourself as He does.  A child of God who is fearfully and wonderfully made.  Beautiful in His sight. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Walk I'm On

No excuses.  Blogging has not been at the forefront of my priorities.  Well it never really is.  So if you are one of my few followers you have probably figured it out by now that I am not a daily blogging kind of gal.  Shoot, I'm not really even a monthly blogging kind of gal!  I do aim to do better.  For my own records that is=)  After all, that is what my objective was in starting this whole thing.  A journal of sorts.  Documenting life, faith, raising kiddos, etc....  It's been an interesting  past few months.  There was the church shopping.  Highly recommended if you need some variety in your life or maybe just a good laugh.  No, really though.  It was hard and I'm still not completely sure we've found the right fit but it fits right now and that's enough.  We get in such ruts I think.  Of how church should or should not be.  What suits us and what doesn't.  I think those things can be fine in moderation as long as they do not get in the way of the real reason we have church.  To meet with God and seek His presence.  I've found that good deeds and godly works can be confused with spiritual wholeness.  But most of all I think I've found that as humans we are drawn to rely on other humans.  As Christians we are drawn to rely on other Christians.  And while that is all well and good, it gets dangerous when we begin to rely on other Christians before we rely on God.  When we are more willing to put our trust in them than fall blindly into God's open embrace.  Now don't get me wrong, we need fellow Christians to confide in, to fellowship with, to hold each other accountable.  But I think I've found that it is very easy to put God on the back burner or as co-counsel to the safer route.  I know God has been teaching me the lesson to look to Him first, for all of my life.  Sometimes I win the test and other times I find myself looking back and wondering why I took the long road.  And sometimes I don't even realize I'm on the long road.  Seasons.  So many different seasons in this walk of faith.  This season feels like the weather in Texas lately.  I think it's time for the rain.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It Only Takes One

It only takes one person to change another persons destiny.  It only takes one person, listening for the sound of God's voice, to speak out to a hurting soul.  It only takes one person to break the patterns and change the course of a family's history.  It only takes one person to remember where God brought them from and tell someone else.  It only takes one person to look up at Jesus  rather than look down on a sinner.  It only takes one person, and God knows exactly the person who can bring His truth to each and every lost soul.  That person is you...if you listen He will show you the faces of the lost.  Every heart has a different voice, a different way of responding to another heart.  But God's heart contains the yearnings of every heart.  It is not within us that the lost are reached, it is within Him.  Thank you Lord for showing me Your great love and mercy continually.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Precious Pictures From a Dear Sisterfriend (Yes, that is one word in my book)

I met Janea almost five years ago and she has become one of the best friends God has ever sent my way.  I can't help but brag on her photography.  It has been something I've watched grow from an interest to an amazing talent that I know brings joy to many.  I'm including her link for those of you who might want to see more of what she does.  I know, it's a shameless plug but I promise she didn't ask me to advertise=) http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1977515843932&set=a.1965108773763.120680.1424198580&type=1&ref=notif&notif_t=like&theater#!/pages/Lani-Janea-Photography/116203365127218

Monday, April 11, 2011

Apologies and Good Decisions

  It's been a busy April this year.  I don't have one free weekend and the weeks are pretty booked too.  I am not the type of mom who likes to have a lot of "activities" and extra curriculars planned and booked.  I like a few here and there but go, go, going is not my thing.  So having every weekend filled is a little much for me.  It's been alright though.  We've managed.  Everyone has had something clean to wear every day, the house is a bit dishevelled, and my room has become the storage room for packages, garage sale totes, Walmart what nots, etc.  I guess this week I'll be putting things away=) 

I have some awesome boys.  I don't say this enough.  Last week while Cole was doing his chores he came up to me and said, "You know that thing(he was specific, but I don't remember what it was) I did without asking the other day?  I forgot to apologize for that.  I'm sorry."  He had got in trouble for something and got a lecture because this is an ongoing issue.  I don't think I remember wanting an apology or thinking twice about why he didn't.  Another issue we deal with.  I want them to apologize for things without being told to.  I think they're old enough to get that.  So this was really sweet.  He recognized he needed to apologize, but the really sweet part for me is it came a day or two later.  Sounds weird I know.  But if you think about it, and know my son who has a memory that spans about half a second, it tells you something.  The Holy Spirit was dealing with him on that matter.  I LOVE this!  I don't love that it took him a day or two to apologize but God working in his heart totally trumps the tardiness of the apology.  It made my day.  And had I not been really praying for them, I may not have noticed this.  God showed me that instant..see, I'm working in their hearts.  Answering my prayers. 

We had a yard sale this past weekend.  I love having garage sales.  What?  I can make money by sitting around chatting with my girlfriend selling stuff I don't use or want? Huh? OK!  So a few days before the yard sale  Reily earned some cash mowing my friend's yard for the sale.  He was so excited!  He really wants to have his own yard mowing business but is saving to buy his own mower.  He did a great job.  The first day of the yard sale her husband offered him a raking job to earn this retractable fishing pole of his Reily had been eying.  Reily jumped at the chance.  So the first day he finished about half of the raking.  He said her husband told him he could do it in the two days.  I asked him if he was sure he didn't just want to finish it that day and he said, "No."  Now there's a little side bar here.  My husband had been planning a practice run on a lake he's going to fish for a tournament next weekend.  Reily really wanted to go with him and hadn't asked yet.  I think he forgot about that when he made his decision to postpone finishing.  I know I did or I would have reminded him=)  The next day rolls around and Jake(husband) is planning on taking Reily fishing.  Cole had decided last minute he wanted to go but there is only room for 3 in my brother-in-law's boat.  So Reily was going to get to go because he asked first.  Cole was fine with that.  Then it hit me.  Reily hasn't finished that job he started.  I forgot that too=)  I'm noticing a pattern here of forgetfulness!  So I call Reily in.  I ask him if he's forgetting something about today.  He remembered instantly.  So I told him to go ask Jake to come talk to me.  I let Jake in on the dilemma and he went to talk to Reily.  This is the part I love. He asked Reily what he wanted to do.  Leaving the decision up to him to go have fun or keep his commitments.  If you know Reily, you know fishing is his life.  He would probably chose it over eating.  There was no hesitation.  He chose the commitment.  This was hard for me because it broke his heart.  But it was such an opportunity to build him up for making the honorable, responsible decision!  It was AWESOME!  And he had a great day.  My friend's husband ended up helping him finish the raking.  Then he taught him a bunch of woodworking skills, which Reily loved.  And then he payed him again for helping him out in his garage all day.  It was a good day=) 

So just a little update on how God is working in my boys' hearts through prayer.  Prayer works!  I love, love, love all of it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Praying for My Boys

This month I am committing to praying for my boys.  Not that I do not pray for them on a regular basis, but I was invited to take this awesome challenge and really, I needed to.  I have had my boys on my heart lately.  Who they are, who they will be as young men, and who they will be as adult men with wives and children counting on them.  I know, like most moms, I want my boys to have a strong foundation of love and integrity.  I want them to love like I would want my husband to love me and I want them to be the kind of fathers I always wished I had had.  With all of that said...I know they are human and above all of the things I want them to be, I want them to be the things God wants them to be.  Even if that may take them in a different direction of what I think they should go.  Sometimes as parents I think we want the best of the best of the best for our children and forget that they are on the same journey we are and they should be seeking after the same thing we hopefully are....Jesus.  I want them to want to know His will for their lives in spite of my aspirations for them.  So my prayers have started with that.  Lord give them a heart for You.  Give them a true thirst for you and all that You are.  Lord awaken their hearts to Your amazing love and make it so real in their lives they have a burning desire to live it out.  Lord, I don't want them to just listen to me and obey my instructions, I want them to have the desire to seek You without me.  I want them as young men to truly find their own faith in You apart from me.  I've been praying for patience, kindness, consideration of others.  These things that don't come naturally to any of us...add hormones and well, it's been a tough ride for the last year or so=)  But I love seeing these boys grow, mature and make me proud in so many things they do!  Pray for me to keep praying fervently for them.
                                           Oh yea, he is AWESOME!

My sweet Reily placed first, but got points taken off for smiling.  If you know him he is ALWAYS smiling=)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

God is real. Period.

I know it's been awhile since I have posted anything.  Things have been busy, things have been crazy, and well life is twisting and turning as usual.  My husband has been traveling far more than usual for his job which leaves me with all of the fix its and projects around the house that he usually tackles.  Now a normal person would probably wait for their husband to return to tackle these things himself.  Not me.  I'm impatient and I guess not used to having to wait for him to do things.  He's very efficient and I can't recall a day when I had to "nag" him to do anything.  That being said, he can't very well help if he is not here to do these things.  So I can either put the project on hold or do whatever it is I need him  to do myself.  It usually involves more time, a few step stools or ladders and a lot of smashed fingers and unnecessary holes in the wall...But I get it done eventually and most of the time before he makes his way home;)  The reason I've been doing so many projects and stuff around here is because that's what I do when things are in upheaval emotionally in my life.  I conquer tasks and projects because I'm overwhelmed by other things.  A distraction if you will.  But this recent trial and test was one I just couldn't shake.  Couldn't paint through.  It was a doozie.  I began praying. I really didn't know what to pray for except for Him to intervene.  I had no answers, and still don't but I can say that I found a tangible realness to God that I had never known before.  A faith that was securely standing on His power.  He was showing me His power.  He was and is changing hearts.  He is answering prayer that is not even being spoken in words.  I wish everyone could experience what I have this past 3 weeks.  It came to me a few days into this amazing Holy Spirit filled prayer time I was having...God is real.  God is real like you and me(only much better=).  He is truly a friend that hears me like no other.  It was as if He was standing right next to me in all of His power rebuking Satan and the lies he had been telling me.  Fighting this battle I am in for me, with me, through me.  I want to glorify Him in what I'm writing so I want to be clear.  None of this happened because of me.  I didn't discover something that any person out there could not discover.  I simply found what was there all along.  Him.  I simply acknowledged what was true all along.  His power and ability to do all things.  I knew all of the biblical truths.  I believed them. I spoke them to others.  I had faith.  But to KNOW, without any doubt, to feel His Spirit speaking of His power and ability....such a revelation.  I don't ever want to lose this thirst to continue this journey He's revealed to me.  I don't ever want to sing another song and not realize the power of the words behind it.  I don't ever want to take His love for granted.  I want to always feel as I do right now.  In awe of His power, His ability to move, and His mercy for me a sinner who has not truly given everything in His name.  God is real.  He's so real to me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Balancing: Act I

Family.  Next to God I believe they are the most important of all.  As I sit at my computer after a long day of running here and there.  Running to the laundry room and back, running errands around town, running kids to and fro extra curriculars...Cramming, jamming this life.  Where does the family fit into all of this.  Balance is something I strive for and somehow rarely achieve.  I believe it has something to do with all of this running.  Learning to say yes to some and no to some is a difficult task for me.  Partly, I believe, because I want to be the best mom, give them what I did not have, etc...I'm sure it is every parent's goal.  I don't know if growing up with less makes us more susceptible to over achieving this goal, but it has crossed my mind.  I do see, as they get older that time is much more precious than any sport I could let them play.  Just the other night we were having a candid conversation at the dinner table about what age is the proper age to be allowed to "date".  Answers varied and overall were pretty fair.  Although, I will say, I sided with Sky who thinks 27 is a good age=)  Desi commented, "We should have talks like this more.  This was fun." We should, and it was.  There were some embarrassing moments and some red faces a few times but it was fun, and funny.  It awakened something in me that has been stirring for a few months now.  I want to find balance in this world of craziness.  Balance to find time with my children and husband, but to also do what it is God wants me to do.  I do feel called to be a mother.  But as a mother I don't want to just close my kids up in this bubble and not teach them how to be Christ to a lost world.  There seems to be this lack of time.  Why?  The business comes back to the forefront of my mind.  So as I hash this out in my mind I am weighing what is enough and what is too much.

"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." -Ephesians 4:17-18

Is my heart becomming blind in my busy life?

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.Walk as children of the light."-Ephesians 5:8

Lord, help me, help us to be Your light in this darkness.  Lord do in me what I cannot do on my own daily.

"Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.  And teach them to your children and your grandchildren."- Deuteronomy 4:9

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do We Just Settle?

I've been thinking a lot lately about living out God's will for my life.  It has been in the past just me trying to figure it out.  Search myself instead of asking Him to search me.  What do I want?  What inspires me?  While those are valid questions they do not require implementing God into the equation.  But I have been somewhat content in my Christian life of going to church faithfully, paying my tithes, reading my bible, praying, etc.  I'm following all of the "rules" right?  But at some point there is a restlessness.  Why?  Is this not good enough?  Am I settling for the lukewarm Christian walk that God so warns us about.  I think, I know He wants more from us.  And I am finally realizing that I cannot dream big enough to satisfy His plan.  So why would I try to draw it up myself when I can just choose to obey and trust?  I feel as if I've settled into being okay with this world.  Being okay with spending my time on meaningless tasks.  Being okay with irresponsibly spending His money on "things" that could better be used for eternal things.  I have to ask myself...What am I doing with this life He has blessed me with?  Did I forget how far he brought me up from.  No, I did not forget...but nice dinners, shopping sprees, and fancy coffee sure can make that memory pretty distant.  I am not an extremist...although I do see it's upside, but I do believe He blesses us so that we may bless others in return and seek His purpose.  I don't want to be caught up in living a routine Christian life.  I know where my heart lies.  The lost.  How do we reach them from our comfortable houses and our fancy cars and our organized extracurricular events?  I was lost.  I need to remember how Jesus found me.  So I am resolved to embark on this journey.  The road He intends for all of us I believe.  I want to leap with my eyes closed out of my comfort zone and into the assurance that while it may not be glamorous or convinient or easy, His plan is what I am here for and it is where I will find true meaning to this life.  Isn't that what the world has been searching for? 

"He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." -1 John 2:6

"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." -Philippians 1:6

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." -Psalm 32:8

"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." -Isaiah 30:21

Friday, January 21, 2011

Large Family Logistics

This is a giveaway on a blog I just love.  While I do not have near the large family Kimberly does, I can relate to a lot of what she blogs about and love her passion for family, homeschooling, and simplistic living.  Check out her recent giveaway for a great book called  Large Family Logistics.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Day!

When I think about the New Year and all of the possibilities and resolutions we all make it gets me thinking that each day is like that with the Lord.  It reminds me of the song with the chorus, "Today is the day, You have made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it! And I won't worry about tomorrow. I'm trusting in what You say, today is the day!"  I know this song is taken straight from bible verses and it rings so true to me in this season of my life.  There comes a time, I believe, in all of our Christian walks that God has to make clear to us who we need to put our hope and trust in.  Who we need to worship.  Who we need to make the center of our lives.  And in that process of learning to rejoice and be glad regardless of the circumstances.  He is the reason we sing!  Who other than God can bring joy in great sadness?  Who other than the author and finisher of our faith can give us utter peace when we feel such heartache?  The possibilities for today are endless just as the possibilities for this coming year are.  But what my focus has be directed to is today.  Today is the day to rejoice and sing His praises for what He has done and what He will do if we will let Him in.  I am so very thankful for the trials my Lord has brought me through.  I am so grateful that He has a purpose beyond what I can imagine.  I am so grateful that although I may try and fit Him into my little mold He is faithful to show me in all His wisdom and glory how much more He is.  I serve an awesome God who can work in the hearts of even the most stubborn willful humans like myself.  There is no greater love.  As I reflect on last year and the year before it seems they run together.  We had so many trials as a family, one after the other it seems like a dense fog that we just muddled through.  But as I also look back on the struggles, I look back on the victories.  Not victories in the sense that we as humans would like to define them.  You know, everything was made right, all problems solved and are no longer there.  But victory in His definition.  Victory in the sense that we know He is the same.  We know we can turn to Him and he will be our Comforter, or Counselor, our Prince of Peace.  This is victory in Jesus! So rejoice!  Praise His holy Name!  And expect the unexpected in 2011=)

Psalms 30:5...."weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."