Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Months ago I had typed this out and promptly forgot to post it. J  That’s me for sure lol.  Our pastor preached on this chapter Resurrection Sunday and it reminded me I still had this and then 2 of my sweet sisters mentioned my sporadic blogging and reminded me again tonight.  All this has reminded me that I’m grateful for God showing me His love over and over during every day because obviously, I’m a “forgetter”.  Praying that anyone that reads this is encouraged.  Happy resurrection of our Savior every day!

On the Road to Emmaus
Luke 24:13-35

A couple sisters and I have been getting together diligently working through a discipleship book called Multiply by Francis Chan & David Platt.  It is an absolutely amazing tool to use with new and mature Christians.  God has used it greatly in our time together of fellowship to guide us in learning to study God’s word and God’s word has been ever so faithful to reveal parts of our hearts to us that we didn’t know were there or were too scared to see. 

My affections are so often set only on my own desires and dreams for right now.  I start to live as if there is no goal past the present and I do it knowing full well that “That Day” is coming.  The day I will stand before my Father facing eternity and give account of what I have and haven’t done with the knowledge, time, purpose, and people He has given me.  I start to live as if my days are my own knowing full well that my Jesus paid the highest price for the days I waste in laziness or with a bad attitude.

This week as I read and prepared for getting together with the girls (I ended up staying home having a sick day) I was reading Luke 24 and the verses 13-35 gripped my heart like never before.  I found myself completely identifying with Cleopas and his companion as they met Jesus. 

Here they were walking with the Son of God and they didn’t know it.  How often I live my day as if Jesus isn’t right there with me?  They were conversing with Him about Him and they didn’t know it.  How often do I read the word and fail to see Him in it, to know Him better?  They were questioning everything Jesus went through because it wasn’t what they expected.  Jesus was so compassionate of them that He walked them all through the scriptures from Moses on all the way through the prophets to show them that everything that happened was ordained by God and necessary for God’s glory and their good in verses 25-27.  Can you imagine!?  God resurrected, in flesh, walking you through the scriptures about the beginning of time, man’s corruption, God’s covenant, His birth, death and resurrection and the hope that comes from it!?

It was after they were reminded of the scriptures in their entirety (the Old Testament and the New Testament make ONE story of God’s redemption) that they sat down to eat with Jesus, to share in an everyday need that God opened their eyes to see Him and KNOW Him, verse 31.  Though He vanished from their sight, verse 32 made my heart jump and rejoice, “They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the scriptures?’” 

I struggle so much with getting up to pray.  Reading God’s word is a task that is much easier to accomplish, I can check it off my list and carry on with my day and even feel good about having done it.  Our time in working through this book has helped to see how bad this attitude toward God’s word is.  Here I have God’s living breath before me and I would treat it as if it was any old book that I could pick up or put down at my leisure.  Picking up it with the reverence its worthy of, remembering what it is has helped me to begin to learn to truly love it, to seek the treasure of God’s heart in it and to see His complete faithfulness throughout it all.  It is teaching me to converse with my Father in the quiet in the morning and all throughout my day (Luke 24:45).  It’s growing my faith!  When I stumble, when I fall (all day long), I know He is with me!  Its so beautiful what God’s word does and it leaves me humbled as I walk on this road with Him. 

Reading the scriptures, seeing Him and then seeking Him in prayer, simple & honest prayer, God is faithful to open our eyes.  In scripture we learn more and in prayer, in fellowship with Him through the day, at waking, at play, at chores, at everything God opens our eyes to KNOW Him, to be in relationship with Him that is real. 

Let me encourage you to be faithful in this, to read His word, to pray, and to seek fellowship in enjoying and discussing His word accurately with other sisters in Christ.  Be faithful to meet to be discipled and also to disciple others.  This is the work we are called to do, we can only do it well as we seek to KNOW Him and we know Him through His living word.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 ESV

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What a Piece of Candy Revealed

This is so late in the new year but Happy New Year!  I hope that everyone's new year was wonderfully blessed, that you ended 2012 with gratitude for everything the Lord did in your lives and began 2013 with a heart eager to know Him more and excited to see how He will work in this new year.  I pray that any resolutions that came out of a heart longing to glorify Him will be held close and thought of daily and not forgotten as the busyness wears on us. 

As we look to the new things God is already starting in our marriage, family, and church I really feel like I need to make time to pretty much journal here about it.  I don't know how God can use this in anyone else but I know that its something He uses in my life to remind me of the history He is building with me of His faithfulness.

I was listening to the podcast from our Sunday service today (I was in the back with the awesome 2nd and 3rd graders) and Pastor was preaching out of Acts 24, its titled The Fallacy of the Fence.  Here is the link if you want to listen,  The scripture really caught my heart and rang a very familiar bell when it comes to our children and the purpose in my parenting and evangelizing. 

Paul, given the opportunity to defend himself, instead shares the gospel (vs. 10-16).  He will not waste any opportunity to let a lost world know that they are in need of Jesus or allow for someone to continue in sin but treat them as Christians so that they won't feel offended or for the sake of his popularity (vs. 22-26).

See, technically, I know that my kids need Jesus.  I know that they are sinners in need of God's mercy and grace, but sometimes I don't realize the urgency of that knowledge.  They are sinning today, they need Jesus today, today when they are 7 and 5 and almost 4.  They need Him as much today as they will when they are 12, 18, 24 and 102 because we don't have any guarantee of those.  Its my job to teach them today that the things we do are a reflection of a heart that is sinful and then lead them to the knowledge of our Hope. 

The other day we had some candy bags in the house and the kids usually ask me if they can have one before they get it.  I had told them that they would have one after dinner.  Later I heard whispering in the area that the bags were and I asked my girls what they were doing and Bunni completely threw Tati under the bus saying she was trying to get candy.  Bunni is usually the sneaky one so I was going to just talk to her about it but then I saw the look of guilt on Tati's face and I knew that she totally knew what she was doing was really wrong so I talked to her. 

Its my job to seize these moments and realize they are about more than candy, this was her will wanting to do things her own way to satisfy her desire and at the moment it mattered more to her than showing her respect for Mama's authority and ultimately God's.  We talked about our sinful hearts and how Jesus died to bring us back to God so that He could give us new hearts and how my greatest desire for her would be for her to know God and love His ways and run to Jesus when temptation comes.  We talked about how the bible says that temptation is crouching at the door and wants to come in to kill and destroy what God paid for on the cross.  Messing up is hard but thank God that He gives us hope and repentance is so beautiful and good and sweet.  We sat on the floor in the kitchen and my little girl prayed a prayer of deep repentance that her heart understood, the whole time I cried with her.  A heart issue (hers and mine) revealed by a little piece of candy.

There have been times when I have let those moments go, especially with all I feel I need to accomplish but I can promise you that all that day my heart was rejoicing the way a list with everything checked off would never spur.

I am to evangelize, daily.  I'm supposed to show them what loving God means by living it in front of them, loving my bible, loving their daddy, loving them, loving our church and community.  Their little eyes are watching how I handle a bad mood or sickness or hardship, the piece of trash we could walk by.  There is only one way to do this and its total surrender to God.  To them we are windows of Almighty God and that is scary stuff! 

The truth is the world watches much the same way, help me Jesus...

Christmas Day: Bunni 5, Tati 7, and AJ 3

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deep Gratitude for the Will of the Lord

There is nothing in my life that I can't credit the Lord with.  Even the hardest of circumstances bring results that can only be accomplished by Him.  Its not easy to serve the Lord, there is, however, deep, complete, and overflowing peace and joy in it. 

Today Pastor taught out of Acts 21:1-16.  Here is the link, if you are able to listen you won't be sorry, as always, the word of the Lord is challenging, accurate, and timely in all of our lives: 

I have always admired the Apostle Paul and the way I look at him, and most of the others in the bible, has changed so much since I have become a mama.  I think so many things are so much more real, he poured himself into discipling and training up others to be like him in serving the Lord and spreading the gospel of Christ with ferver.  He spoke truth and refused to allow anyone to come between him and the will of God being accomplished in his life.  In the portion of scripture above, twice other Christians try to persuade him to not go into Jerusalem because the Spirit reveals to them that Paul will suffer there.  Paul lovingly rebukes them in confidence that he is willing to endure suffering for the will of God, even death.  He wasn't fearful because he knew God's promises are true and he was going to finish out the race the Lord had mapped out for him with no doubt that he held nothing back.  He was beaten, jailed, mocked, spit upon, called a traitor, shipwrecked, and martyred.  All of it he accepted, joyfully enduring it for his Redeemer and counted all he had in this life loss compared to the love of the Father.  He shared and taught about the Lord for the sake that no soul in his path go without the opportunity to know the truth that would set them free and always cared enough about the church body and it members to speak truth to them (even when it seemed harsh) for the sake of their growth.  In his final moments of ministry he confidently embraces the end of this life to rejoice in welcoming the promise of eternity with our Father. 

All of this puts the whole "house and white picket fence" dream into a clear perspective.  There is no fulfillment in that, if God chooses to give us that we will enjoy it and if he allows us to live on breadcrumbs we should also enjoy it.  How I would love to be able to say like Paul that I have learned the joy of contentment with what I have, and that the primary and ultimate source of that never be the "things" I have or have accomplished.  I want to always be content because first I have God, everything else is give or take.  I want to learn to love and long for the will of the Father as Paul did, as Christ taught him to do.  My Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.  Holding nothing back, remind me always Lord of the Cross and the beautiful work done there, not just for me, always for Your glory.  May my children go so far beyond what I expect or hope for them in serving you and may I not ever stand in the way of Your will for them.  Ever grateful for your will, longing to know and serve You better...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Prayer of my Heart

Its been so long, time has once again so quickly slipped by, I'm trying my hardest to enjoy the days and remember that they are limited.  Back in April of this year I posted this and I have been thinking about it and wanting to put it on here because soon I won't be able to find it again and I want to constantly remember that this is my heart's desire.

--I've finally stopped wanting the "American dream" for my babies. What I want for them is Jesus. 
Jesus over the perfect house with a picket fence, 
Jesus over the "right" education, 
Jesus over success, 
Jesus over keeping them close all my life. 
They are God's to call and send out to take Jesus to others. I'm praying that they come to know the fullness of heart and purpose that is the life of one surrendered to God in everything, help me prepare them Father and do your work of preparation in my heart.--April 10, 2012

I need to remember that one day they will be living out their calling, possibly far from me, and that right now I need to laugh hard at the things they say and do, and cry when I'm sentimental about what they say and do, and squeeze them tight so that I won't regret times I wasted the opportunity for loving on them later.  I pray that God will speak through me to them, and make me the wise mama they should have.  How I love you little ones.  So much.  

Help me Lord to grow into her--
"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness."--  Proverbs 31:25-27

Friday, August 10, 2012

10 whole years

Yesterday we celebrated our 10 year anniversary and Adrian's birthday. It seems unreal that we have been married for that long. When I look at how much the Lord has done in our marriage and lives it seems that 10 years can hardly contain all that He has worked out and blessed and grown us up.

We have moved 11 times, 3 of those being to different states. We have had 3 babies and my sister has come to live with us. We have had too many fights and arguments to count that have eventually taught us to listen and communicate better and compromise.

I have learned, even though it's hard and I fail at this a lot, that if I simply submit to Adrian I'm being obedient to God and making it so much easier for my husband to lead me.

We've learned that though God never guaranteed we would never be in hard times He has never left us and He has always made His presence known with utter peace and joy.

We have learned that in spite of our best laid plans God loves to throw us curve balls in the form of moving to places we didn't imagine and babies at times that we didn't "plan", and to laugh with the Father at the thought that we are in control of anything lol.

We have learned that what we need is and how to live well with that and still be generous.

We have learned what true friendship is, with each other and the deep friendships we have been gifted with others.

We have learned that despite our terrible flaws our God is willing to use us to encourage others and grow us up, because He is able and not because of anything we can do.

And we have learned that the best thing we want to teach our children is that if they embrace the Father with everything they have they will never feel anything but complete and perfect peace in spite of the storms and hardships that come because God works everything for the good of those that love Him and for the glory of His name.

Over and over and over again, we have been the beneficiaries of God's faithfulness in the huge and minute things, of His pleasure and grace, and of looking back in awe of the history He has built with us through years of provision. We are so blessed, so much more than I could ever put into words or even comprehend but I won't doubt His words or His leading because every single time he has been faithful, sometimes His answer is yes, wait, and many times it has been no - but every time it has been good. Thank you my Father for purposing us for You and for each other, help us steward out family, calling, and home well always for Your glory.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Seeking Wisdom

A year ago a few of us ladies from church decided to read a book together and have a sort of book club about it.  We did this so that we could encourage each other in further seeking to grow as wives and learn how to better disciple our children's hearts.  Three books later the group has since grown to 9 ladies from our church learning to grow in joy in the place the Lord is calling us to rise up and embrace our calling first to our family and ministries in the church.  Some of us home school, some of us plan to, some of our kids go to public school, some of us stay home, some of us work part/full time.  The love of Jesus is what binds our hearts with the same desire to serve our husbands well and encourage our children to love the Lord their God above anything else.  Its a beautiful thing, women who God has drawn together from different places of the country(ies), from all different backgrounds, who are all true sisters in the faith and just want to seek God and glorify him in obedience allowing truth to reveal to us where we are at times falling short and being encouraged by one another and held accountable.  Applying Titus 2:3-5. This is friendship.

This month we are going to begin a book entitled A Woman's Wisdom by Lydia Brownback.  We usually meet the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month and we read one chapter per week and our husbands, very sweetly, are committed to be done with work and to keep schedules clear so that they can give us the evening off.  I would encourage if you are part of a church family and you desire to grow closer to some of the women there to seek them out and set a challenge like this for yourselves.  I have always loved to read novels so beginning to read these kinds of books was a bit difficult for me and it is wonderful to know that the other ladies are reading with me and also encouraging each other to apply what we are learning. 

I will be posting about the book that we are beginning here and what I'm learning through it, if any of you ladies want to go through the book with me I would be happy to set up a discussion chat also if there is any interest.  Comment below and let me know and please leave an e-mail where I can contact you to give you further info.  You would need to order the book or get the kindle version, just personal preference :) 

If you have read this blog at all then you know that for a long while now the Proverbs 31 woman has been on my heart as a challenge to grow and excel in the calling God has before me.  I desire wisdom and the bible says in James 5:1 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."  I'm trusting God's faithfulness that He will continue the work He started with redemption until the return of Jesus Christ in my life.  May it all rest at His feet and may He renew us daily to love our hubbies and babies.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Just Some Reflection Time

After 3 kids there have been many interrupted nights but the sleepless ultimately make-me-feel-I'm-going-to-lose-my-sanity times with my babies are almost gone.  The kids randomly come in at nights but not regularly and we are past night time feedings.  Its not unusual to be woken once in the night but its getting more normal not to. 

As hard as being awake for days straight was at times I cherish the memories and I thank God for dear mother-friends that recommended I embrace those times of my baby needing me.  I will never regret not sleeping for the sake of my kids wanting me and there is no party or more awesome person I would rather have been with. 

I was their complete comfort in those days and now as I look forward and see how they are more and more independent from me I thank God for the sweet expressions and cuddles.  For the moments that mommy was the comfort they sought and longed for, when their smiles and desire was all for me.  I could take care of every need they had, feed, change diaper, snuggle, kiss anything.  Were they easy days?  Not at all, they were hard, they were painful and exhausting, and sometimes by the 4th time they were up in the same hour for the 17th night in a row I wondered if I would ever sleep again. 

Being a mama has taken everything I could give and so much that only the Lord could do and provide my body the strength to for but there is no other profession that could fulfill and challenge me the way this does. 
To raise these babies along with a man who loves us so much he will work and sacrifice so that I can be home, to teach them to love God and bear the fruit of that love in the interactions they have with each other daily that will cause you to plead to the Lord for the wisdom to do so. 

It has taught me that as I have to pour out grace to my little ones because they are little but mostly because undeserved grace has been poured out on my sinful self.  It has taught me to strive to not discipline in anger or frustration but to do it because every selfish and sinful thing that comes up with our children is an opportunity to teach them their absolute need for God and His holy standard.  The Lord has been so good to teach me about the unconditional love and forgiveness and enjoying little moments through my husband and children.  Thank you for the cross and every lesson that humbles in the day. 

I pray you help me see everything with a heart that longs to glorify Your name and stand in awe of the cross and everything we have because of it.  I love You my Savior and Lord!