Tuesday, September 25, 2007
What is it with WalMart anyway? I knew going in that it would be tough but we had too. We needed medication and unfortunately the place does not have a drive thru. Since this was a small trip I put my youngest in the stroller and off we went.
We arrived and what is the first thing we see? Mama can we ride on that? What is this an amusement park or something, I do not have a dollar to put in this ride besides you are in the stroller! I will just up it a notch. It will be just like that ride. Never a good enough answer. I NEVER let them ride those things. You think they would stop asking.
Waiting for the medicine to be mixed and signing for my insurance I turn to see my oldest whipping my youngest around in the stroller. It looked pretty dangerous. People probably were wondering where is their mother. I wanted to hide. That is the last thing I need right now, people thinking oh yeah it is one of those homeschooling moms! Why do we stereotype anyway?
After the medicine pick up I needed to get bread which was a mile on the other side of the store. Oh no-we had to pass those dreaded Halloween costumes! Like a dart out of my hand my stroller bound child darted straight to the Tinker bell outfit. As I gather her, my other one is begging for a different princess dress of sorts. I try to convince them that these will go on sale after Halloween but that does not satisfy.
We got moving and since we would make a pass by the movie section I thought that searching for a movie they liked would be a good idea. We had a birthday gift card so I thought, this may be a good gift for them. I would love to delight them. Unfortunately there was a fight over what movie. Then a fight over who got to carry the movie. Then a stack of knocked over gift cards. Then the movies would not go back into their holders. What is the deal with this day?
Off to the bread. For some reason everyone wanted bread today creating a congested isle. I wonder if there is rumor of storms? However I was able to maneuver around and grab some. Now I could see the end of this--The registers.
We had four items. That qualified us for the ten items or less isle. Could it be? No waiting. Made it straight through. Off we went. Then I realized. I was not charged for the movie. Are you kidding me? I head back and wait in line this time. I try to explain I want to pay because I was not charged. Why is this so hard to understand these days? This has happened more times to me than I can count. So I get that look. I say I just want to make it right. I wait for the cashier to understand. I pay.
Finally we are out of this place. Never would be soon enough for me to return there again. Unfortunately I am sure the scene will repeat again next week. Just different stuff and a different time. But I do believe it is some sort of endurance training! I cannot be for nothing!
I think my child must have the most sensitive scalp of all time. I start spraying that de-tangling stuff (is it really water or something--it really does not help at all) on her head. Yes, her head is already sopping wet from the bath (which yes I did condition) but still. I guess it helps psych her up.
While I am gently getting those tangles out and the whiny starts up. My hubby comes in and starts telling me about something but I cannot concentrate. I hate to see my baby in pain. So I nod and keep gently dragging through this hair. Then my other child pops in to see what is going on.
My youngest decides it is a good time to jump up to me and shout-You wanna piece of me? huh? huh? huh? With intensity and crescendo. Where ever did she hear this anyway? She keeps it up. We have a laugh. But the laugh is not enough. She then starts head bunting my leg.
Laughter does help and is a good medicine. We needed some laughs to get through the hair event! Plus I think I found the missing link (which really is not missing at all)--If evolution were really true then I would have not been stuck with two arms. I would have two for the hair, one for the spray stuff, one to block the head bunt and another to give hugs, and one more to assure my husband I am with him in the midst of it all.
But like every other mom I have only two hands, two ears, one mind, and one mouth. Made wonderfully the way God wanted it. The way that would remind us to lean into Him.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters--[yes] and even his own life also--he cannot be My disciple.”
Luke 14:26 (AMP)
“You love God more than you love me, don’t you mama?” With a huff and pouty lips the question came at me like an arrow straight through my heart. I paused for a minute to calculate how to respond to this question. Then I said the only thing I honestly could, “Yes honey, I do.”
To be God’s disciple we have to love Him more than anything else. There can be nothing that comes before Him in our lives. Anything that we cannot say we love God more than is an idol. God is a Jealous God (Exodus 34:14) and will not accept being second in our lives. In His proper place, He is first and always needs to be.
That question was hard to answer because it really made me check my heart. Was God really first place in my life? Did I really love Him more than anything else, including my children? I honestly could answer yes that day. I am not sure what spurred the question in my daughter’s heart but her response was, “Well, you hurt my feelings. I am going to tell my children about this one day if that is okay.” Children are so precious. I had to explain to her that of all the people in the world she, her sister, and their daddy were my favorite but God is and has to be in first place in our lives. It was a good discussion. This is a good lesson we all need to learn. I am thankful my daughter is learning it quite early because it will spare her much pain. When we hold things too tightly God sometimes has to pry them out of our hands and that experience is not pleasant. Everything needs to be a ready offering to Him.
I have heard both of my daughters say to other people now that they love some things but they love God the best and that is so sweet. I pray it will sink down deep in their hearts so they will have a wonderful love relationship with God. That is all that matters. What about you? Where is your heart with God?
Father, oh how we love and thank You for first loving us. You are everything. Thank You for helping us realize You are enough for us. Lord, please continue to grow us in our love for You. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
1. The goofy humor my husband has.
2. My babies waking up in the morning way too early and saying "Mama, is it time to get up yet?" waking everyone up in the house.
4. The sight of people reading the Word, most especially young people.
5. People who have a passion and longing for more of the Lord.
6. That crazy bunny rabbit that is making a home somewhere in our shrubbery. He darts across the drive when we come home like we will not see him!
7. A nice fall drive when the leaves on the trees fly gently across the road in a beautiful array of colors.
8. My children playing pretend. Especially when I hear them pretending to be me.
9. The voice of a dear friend.
10. A house in order and clutter free.
Okay there is ten. I could go on forever but those are my first thoughts. So I will now tag Jodi, Cheri, Kara, and Faith.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
After the big fight of the taxi drivers for our return fare to the ship from the beach, the winner took us on a ride back. He was a nice man (at least toward us). He liked country music and reggae. He asked which I preferred and I had to say very quickly reggae! I am no fan of country music (and no that is not a requirement for living in Tennessee!). While in the taxi he was playing Bob Marley. There is a song on the CD that says, "everyone wants to go to Heaven but no one wants to die. " So the conversation came up and the taxi driver says, "yeah mon, everyone wants to go to Heaven but no one wants to die." So I chime in and say, "The funny thing about that is that you have to die to go to Heaven. Oh yeah and there is only one way to Heaven and that is through Jesus. He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life and no one gets there except through Him. All you have to do is believe He came and died for your sins and was raised from the dead. But many choose not to believe it. Many choose to live there own way and not for Him but that is their choice and it is very sad."
Now I have never (well maybe not never but rarely) been that bold in my life. Definitely a work of the Spirit. His response was sweet but I was not sure if he really agreed. He said, "Yeah, mon. Jesus. Yeah mon."
When we got back on the boat and were leaving that place I looked at the island and it was overshadowed with a darkness. A storm was coming in. I told the Lord that that was such a true representation of what I saw on that island. But I was so burdened and asked God if there was any hope for them. That is when He gave me the most beautiful rainbow I have every seen. Now this was no ordinary rainbow. The picture I used is not what I saw. I had no camera to catch the moment but everyone around me was astonished at this rainbow. We could see the end of it and it was connected to the island on one side but the other came out into the water. This rainbow moved until the end of it stopped directly in front of me. I am not kidding. If I could have moved 10 more feet forward I could have touched it. It was such a breath taking site. Then, in that moment, I felt God speak to me that there was still hope. That the praying He had me doing on that island was not in vain and He was with those people.
You see the rainbow was given as a sign, a covenant of God's promise not to destroy the earth again with water to Noah and his family after the flood. That sign still stands for God's promise of covenant. Later on in time God's covenant meant more. Part of that was that He would never forsake His people. So whenever He shows me a rainbow it reminds me of covenant with God. It reminds me of His great mercy and grace. It is a beautiful sign of His promise.
Friday, September 21, 2007
I in turn am to forward this award on to others. So first I would like to award this to Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. I was in a marriage like this at one time and have been blessed to see it come around full circle. That is my prayer for her. I know the heartache and challenges that comes with it. It is a tough situation to be in but Lynn has proven to be so faithful and provides Christ-like character that I admire. She always takes the time to respond to all comments and that is just nice! :)
Next I want to award this to Micca at Reflections. I met Micca by "chance" (divine appointment I would really say) through a speaker promo. I conversed with her over a period of time and we just had so much in common it was crazy. Micca is the kind of person who is so easy to talk to and is just real. I love people like that! She has always been available to answer my questions about walking the path of my calling. And she is one of the best speakers I have heard. God has given her a wonderful gift and ministry!
Go check out their blogs. You will be blessed by them both!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
To get most anywhere in my town you must cross over a railroad track. There is only one larger road that bypasses this. When you venture out there is always a chance you will get stuck by the train. Not usually a huge deal except here lately. I have noticed that here increasingly these trains decide to stop and park blocking the crossing. I am not sure what the deal is with this because there definitely is not a train depo here. When they stop like this they take up a few crossings because there are so many of them so close together. It makes no sense to me really--you would think there would be a better place for them to stop. After all what are they stopping for? I often wonder if there is a secret pick up place along these tracks for stow aways. There is NOTHING around here to make it a beneficial stop.
Today we headed off for a fun day at the Children's Discovery Museum to meet some friends. Our day started later than we had hoped but all was well. We took off to the museum and hit the train crossing. Well, the train was traveling quite slow but surely it would not stop here in front of the crossing. Well, we waited and waited and waited and waited. Very patiently. The children and I made a game of it. We waited about 20 minutes. The train was going so slow my oldest started spelling and trying to sound out the graffiti written on the sides of the cars. Which could be a dangerous thing. By the way, I have always wondered how trains get this graffiti on them. Perhaps this takes place while it is stopped here. I digress, so finally we spot the caboose. We are so excited but the train slows to a complete stop with the caboose right on the crossing! Are you kidding me? Surely this train will not sit here blocking all this traffic. I thought. We waited 15 more minutes and still no movement. Many people came and went but we were trying to sit it out. After all my daughter's Sunday school lesson is in self-control. So finally we had enough and we turn around to travel way out of the way skipping all other possible crossings to make it to the museum. A huge set back in time.
Tonight, I go out to pick up a few items for the family. What do I hit again? A slow moving train. What is the deal with these anyway? Is there a new slow only speed limit for trains now? Did I sit and wait this time? NO! I did not want to take that chance again. I was by myself and I used up enough self-control for the day!
So today this happened to me two times in a row when I rarely ever see or have trouble with these trains. Perhaps I am making up for lost time! And at least I got a blog about it. Maybe not an interesting one to most but it sure is therapeutic for me to type!
Monday, September 17, 2007
I wrote a devotion about prayer at our ministry page here if you would like to check it out.
Kathy is keeping a prayer log for your prayer requests here.
Kara has a prayer request here.
Amy wrote a wonderful devotion about God watching here.
Go check them out if you have a chance today and spend time communicating with our Father who we have the privilege to call Daddy. He delights in you and wants to hear from your heart(Psalm 149:4). But most importantly He has so many things to share with you and wants to have your ear(Psalm 25:14).
Thursday, September 13, 2007
When I posted about the prison ministry and Jan's message yesterday I did not tell you that we talked about co-dependency which is basically anything being an idol in our life. Our God is a jealous God and will not take second place. Stephanie's story is covering this topic perfectly. Go check out some good encouraging stories from these girls! They will be worth the reading.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The funny thing about it is that I get a call at 3:00pm today with the invite. I have to leave my home at 5:00pm (I am not a spontaneous person). But I believe I am probably suppose to be there. I call all around to get a sitter for my kids because my husband is teaching a class tonight. I find one at the last minute literally last 30 minutes and go. The description I got from Kara was dinner and teaching by Jan Silvious with the prison volunteers. Or at least that is what I thought I heard. So ready for a fresh word, I set off. To my surprise the newly released prisoners were there as well. I was enjoying their company so much that if they did not tell me I would not have even known. They were ordinary people just like us. Dealing with the same issues just like us. They just blessed me so much. Hebrews 13:2-3 states, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Anyone of us could have been there in their shoes. And if we think differently we are lying to ourselves. Remember those in prison and those being restored.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Tonight we were talking about the transfiguration. One thing that really stood out to me tonight was that Moses and Elijah appeared. Why them? Out of all of the old testament saints, why were they the ones chosen. Then it hit me, everything we do here on earth is temporary. Moses was chosen for this conference with Jesus. Moses messed up in the end and did not get to enter the promised land on earth. But in Heaven he got this great task. I love that. I love how I learn things through these young ones from the questions they ask. I am going to start asking more questions. There is so much more treasure to be found in the Word as we do!
I have recently finished a book by Henry Blackaby called, Chosen to be God's Prophet-Life Lessons from Samuel and in the book it talked about David and how Samuel anointed him king eleven years before he actually took the position. After that David faithfully returned to tending his sheep. So at that point I surrendered this writing venture to the Lord as something that God will open up at the appointed time. There is nothing I can do except be obedient to His next step but in the meantime I need to faithfully tend my "sheep." My main ministry focus is always to be my family. Whatever else God adds to that is a blessing. So I was minding my business happily tending my sheep again and I get the email.
One of the publishers I met with who took my manuscript requested more information. That is always exciting. I do not know what that means at this time but it just goes to show me that at any moment God will open up the doors He desires us to walk through and we are required to be faithful and ready. I was asking a friend in the publishing ministry about what his thoughts were about this and what I could do to my proposal to make it the best it can be. His response was that his philosophy for ministry is not about looking at the best proposals necessarily but meeting God where He is and jumping in with what He has given them to publish. God can use whomever, whenever. I needed to hear that advice. I do hope this encourages any of you out there who are in the wait and in the trenches of ministry.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Proverbs 1 we did an activity based on verses 8-10, 15-16 "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching, They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.........my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths for their feet rush into sin."
We came up with many examples of people enticing them to do wrong and practiced the right responses.
The next activity we did was from Proverbs 2:7-8 "He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones."
Our activity was like a chase game. And when the bad guys got to us we said the Lord is my shield and the enemy fell down. They loved it and we laughed a lot! There are many activities that can go with Proverbs 2 for young children like a treasure hunt (v.4) and following the right path kind of activity (v.9-15).
Finally from Proverbs 3:3 "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart."
For the activity we made necklaces that said love and faithfulness and "bound them" around our necks. Based on v.9 a giving activity could be done also. Also something about staying on the right path and trusting the Lord (v.5-6) Also something on discipline and why it is important based on v. 11-12.
Anyway, we are having fun and they are really learning this this way. So it may take us a year to get through but at least it will stick as they begin to hide these words in their hearts. I have been so guilty at times to just check my study time off of a list to say I did it that this is helping me see this way is much better. Do we do it everyday? No. It is our goal but not to check it off the list but to really learn and stay focused on the Lord. To know Him better. I am grateful for this record. This entry I suppose is more for myself but if it helps anyone else or if anyone has any suggestions then please do let me know. Blessings!
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Since the girls birthdays are just a month apart we celebrated them together! That was fun and left it without argument--for awhile at least! :)
This was a delicious cake to make everyone happy-it was chocolate and white cake. Yum!
Sweet princess, artist, deep thinking, and loves God six year old.
Beautiful yet moody, fun-loving, goes as the wind blows, sweet and precious four year old.
Yet in defense of her moody picture, she did start to run a mysterious low grade fever today. Not too fun on your party day! Especially the party where you get to see your grandparents! :)
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Next top repeated phrase of the day. After much sibling rivalry and selfishness I replied, "Do good and share for this is a pleasing sacrifice unto the Lord." Are you doing good and sharing?
Next top phrase of the day. After much disobedience I replied, "Children obey your parents for this is right in the Lord!" Probably the one I am MOST passionate about right now.
Now I suppose with a tape recorder after each repeated phrase I could not get the increasing volume and emotion into it but really......cannot mama throw a fit too? What would that look like exactly if I threw myself down in Walmart on the ground wailing my arms? How would that make you feel? That is how I feel on the inside anyway. But I do have the promise that "God's Word does not return void but it goes about to accomplish what it was sent for". Those words that speak life and instruction to my children will eventually bear fruit. I must believe that in faith! I also have the promise that I am clinging to tightly as I throw myself into bed, "He gives us new mercies every morning." I about had my fill of mercies today. So with that all said, I am turning in and TGIO!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I was browsing through pictures and stumbled across this one. This is a picture of me and my most dear and precious prayer partner friend, Tiffany. Now I did not ask permission or tell her I put this up here-I know it would embarrass her because she is so humble. We have been praying together for over two years now. Life circumstances have caused us to have to take a break from meeting in person at times but we always get praises and concerns and lift those up to the Lord together for one another. We have been so blessed to see so many answered prayers from minor things to big issues. There is nothing better than a prayer partner. Tiffany is one of my best friends. She is so near and dear to my heart. She is the absolute sweetest person I know. I doubt I will ever meet anyone sweeter than her. She has a heart for God and desires so much to please Him. She just oozes Jesus out to everyone who sees her. She is a worship leader (though I doubt she would call herself that) who leads others in worship to our Lord. She ushers them right up to the Father's throne and it is so precious. Her love for Him is so evident. She is a wonderful servant who is always there when someone is in need. When I was so ill and laid up with Lyme disease and unable to do much of anything, she was the first person I let sweep my floor. I sat and cry ed while she sweep, did dishes, and whatever else she could sneak in to help without my protest. She loved on my children (and still does), cooked meals for us, and encouraged and prayed for us. I have learned so much from her through her words, example, and love for others. I am so blessed to have her as my friend. I am praising God for her. I challenge you to get a prayer partner if you do not already have one. It is a great way to celebrate Christ and the power of prayer. It is also a good way to be accountable to one another. Thank you Tiffany for enduring and persevering with me even when it got hard! I love you girl!
The tithing message our pastor is teaching on comes from Randy Alcorn's, "The Treasure Principle." I wrote earlier about Alyssa who has been called to go to Japan as a missionary. I am so proud of our Sunday school class who helped her raise over $1800.00 selling biscuits for four Sunday mornings in a row. Keep in mind that the biscuits only went for $1.00 a piece! What a generous church family we have.
This class pulled together in such a mighty way. They sacrificed their time and money to see this happen. Alyssa needed $5000.00. With what was raised plus some scholarships and stipends that came through God provided what was needed. That is such a huge praise. Alyssa left this am at 6:30. Please keep her in your prayers. I am praising God for this class who is a great example of what it looks like to give. They are truly generous givers. I am blessed to serve them.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
My title is suppose to reflect the song that sounds like it. You know that funky sounding song talking about the almighty dollar. The theme song to the reality show "The Apprentice." Money is a funny thing really. There is nothing wrong with it in general. However, really bad things can occur because of our attitudes toward it. Things like greed, materialism, divorce, discontentment, and me-ism(selfishness) among a few things.
Our church is teaching a yearly series on tithing this month. For some reason that makes some people uncomfortable. I understand, I have been there before too. But I just wanted to share that our attitudes and behavior reflect our heart's condition. Today a passage really spoke to me about this ministry of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 basically states that giving is a grace based ministry. God owns everything and out of our surplus we need to give to others then in turn when we have a need then others will give out of theirs. It is for equality and a matter of the heart. If we hoard everything we have been allowed to have then it does not meet God's purpose for it. We can excel in many things but we are challenged to also excel in this ministry of grace. When we participate in this ministry we make our selves like Christ who by His grace sacrificed His nice place in Heaven with all the riches and glory to come into such a poor and humble state. Just for us and His love for us. Then giving the ultimate sacrifice eventually dieing on the cross to redeem us from our sins. God is so good. When you think of what Jesus has done on our behalf, giving does not seem as hard does it? When we love God we want to give Him all He has given us. It is all His anyway. Let us search our hearts and seek what we are holding back from Him. Is it money? Our husbands or children (they are His too)? Is it time? What are you holding back. Let us excel in this ministry of grace. It is a test of the sincerity of our love (2 Corinthians 8:8). Are you passing the test?