Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas Mamas!

         Because they don’t know to and they are a bit too excited this morning, please let me say, Thank you!  Thank you for all the gifts, all the time it took shopping and deciding what to buy and what you could afford.   Thank you for setting up and putting together toys for your little ones.  Thank you for smiling even when you were awakened by their clatter way before “the sun got up.”
         This day in years past have passed quickly, as will today.
         This is the day the Lord has blessed us with.
         My prayer is you will, “live the life out of this Christmas day.”  Don’t miss a thing.
         The laughter and sounds of the wrapping paper tearing, the smell of sweet potatoes cooking and how it feels to sit on the couch holding a beloved stuffed animal as the children squeal over their new toys.  Make note of each of these stimulates and ask the Lord to help you remember and cherish every moment as a mom.
         Just as Mary the mother of our divine Savior did, she treasured all these things in her heart.  Mary can certainly recall the details of being pregnant as a very young teen and raising a perfect child.  Mary was keeping (at minimal) a mental log of her precious first-born.  She saw His capabilities and watched Him grow in wisdom and stature.

         Treasure the moments of today, of each child.  Thank the Lord for the blessing of being a mother and keep (at minimal) a record of God at work in your home.  Treasure Him in your heart, share Him as often as His Spirit leads you. Enjoy your children and have a very merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Two Masters

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24

As we celebrate the season of Advent, Christmas Eve & Day and then New Year’s, etc. this one truth keeps coming in front of me, head on— You can’t serve two masters. We ought not get caught up in the stuff of the world while we call ourselves followers of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  If we read His love letter to us we will certainly see that He did not get caught up in it but participated in the things that would please His Father.  Hmm, what about me?

Every time we drive through our neighborhood leaving home or coming back our kids call out the decorations they notice on people’s houses and lawns.   Matthew noticed a strange thing to him on some of the lawns and just had to proclaim, “What?! How can they have a manger scene and a Santa on the same lawn?? … You can’t serve two masters.” 

So true, I thought.  Am I serving two masters, getting caught up in this whole hustle and bustle of Christmas fever?

The radio announcer told us about their feature story on their web page about giving the gift of Presence in our Presents.  Making sure you are choosing the right gifts for your kids that will not take all their attention away from spending time with family.  Right on, preach it! 

Lord, above all may we reflect Your love during this season.  May we invite others to know You not just as the gleaming baby between Mary and Joseph but the One who resides in us and with us.  Please help us to read to our kids about the one and only wonderful You.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Do you see what I see?

         This week Greg and I experienced the 4D ultrasound image of our first grandchild. It was exciting and fascinating to be able to see such detail. (I question, is there any place of privacy in this world anymore?)
         That said we loved seeing her pudgy cheeks and beautiful shaped lips and her nose was perfect and tiny. We have much to look forward to!
         Greg was so wise when he drew the parallel of our granddaughter’s “snapshot” to the passages from Isaiah as he prophesied what the world had to look forward to…
The Messiah.

The government will be upon His shoulder. His name will be Wonderful. Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting father. Prince of Peace.

         This was the snapshot of what would be fulfilled 700 years later as the Messiah was born.  The Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, was born as a baby, in a stable, without a doctor, or warm blankets. Born to a mom and dad whom the angels had spoken.
         The fulfillment of that snapshot was taken 700 years prior. What did the shepherds find? What did the wise men find? Did that baby look like what they had expected from the snapshot?  Is He what you are expecting? God's plans are not our plans nor are His ways, our ways. The truth is His plans, hopes and dreams for us and our children far exceed any snapshot we can try to decipher. We need to trust the master photographer. I pray that your snapshot for this Christmas season will exceed your expectations!

A fun practical activity for your children this week; Go through last years (or any prior years) Christmas pictures/cards or “snapshots” with your children.  Have them look at their friends and relatives and talk about how their friends and family have changed and how they imagine they will change in the years to come.  Turn the conversation to spiritual characteristics of themselves that cannot be seen and help them to set goals for their future “snapshots.”

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Shake it off!

Defeated? Depressed? Doubting? Disillusioned?

There is a very real spiritual battle going on. The devil and his minions relentlessly attack with lies, broken relationships, chaos, confusion, etc... the same old tricks they've been using from the beginning of time. They rigorously cause division, destruction and despair and their efforts are persistent.  They never sleep.  These evil forces know they have ultimately lost the war, but hate God (and us) so much they will try everything in their power to keep us from the Great Commission.

Because they can't steal our eternal position in Christ, they try to render our efforts paralyzed.  If they can keep us focused on ourselves via doubt, disillusionment, fear, etc., they keep us from proactively sharing Jesus' love with others.  Our self focus will cause us to miss what He has for us to do and that is their plan.  They act as though they are victorious, but the ultimate authority, the Holy Word of God, declares them foiled.  The devil and his minions pretend like they have succeeded, but in reality they are completely defeated, and on their way to eternal damnation.

According to the Word, we, children and heirs of the Most High God are victors. The outcome is already certain.  Unfortunately there are times we live like we are defeated!


That's right. We look at the impossibilities and obstacles instead of the One who is able! We waiver, lose hope and give up, instead of standing firm on the truth of the Word.

Ladies, we worship the omnipotent Creator of the universe.  He is the great I AM! He is the Beginning and the End! He is able and He is willing!

Ask, seek, knock and repeat!  Believe on Him for all things!  Shake off the lies of the enemy like you would flick away a pesky little bug.  Declare victory in Jesus' name and be steadfast in your trust of Him.  We are victorious warriors and there is ground to be taken!

Friday, November 27, 2015

For What is!

         Wow!  Yesterday was our 29th Thanksgiving as a married couple and our 26th as parents.  What a celebration!  With our oldest two children married with their own plans, this Thanksgiving meal we sat down with my in-laws, our youngest, and my beloved.  A total of five.  Crazy, for sure this is the smallest Thanksgiving I believe I’ve ever sat down to (except when I ate alone on the beach in Hawaii when I was 14, that’s another post in itself.)
         However, I love the simplicity of five!
         As with every year, I know next year will be different.  The difference can be more amazing (as we expect our first grandchild) and it can be daunting (as our parents health continues on a roller coaster.)
         Our journey so far provides the perfect table to say thank you to our Heavenly Father.  For what is, what has been and His presence for what will be.
(Google Image)
         As you enjoy lots of turkey sandwiches and leftover favorites may your hearts overflow with thankfulness for what is. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Give Thanks

"in everything give thanks;
 for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Real Help

John 14:16-18
This part of scripture is SO for mommas! 

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – “ vs. 16

Whether you are a married or single mom, God the Father will give you “another Helper” and get this – “that He may abide with you forever.” Oh that’s wonderful news for us!!  <Big sigh of relief> We are not on our own.  He designed us and our kids and He put us all together for a great purpose.  – To give God glory.

“—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” vs. 17

Last week our family was eating dinner and a song came on the music station we had on in the background.  Our son Matthew said, “oh mommy, here’s your song!”  It was the song I had been singing a lot lately around the house and in the car.  “Holy Spirit You are welcome here, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere…”  I desire His Presence to be in us and amongst us wherever we are so we will be filling others up too. 

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” vs. 18

God did not leave us orphans.  He has come to guide us through this incredible task of motherhood. 

Thank You, Lord for Your Word that we can use as the plumb line, our truth, our cause.  Thank You for not leaving us all alone but You came to abide in us.  Help us seek You daily so we can have that clarity in the chaos.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

"You Gotta Believe!"

         Some people have a hard time going to bed at night.  Some people have a hard time getting up in the morning.  For our teenaged eleventh grader, she is both.
         For you who prefer a long shower (specifically a 30 minute or longer) so does this same child.
         One morning this past week, as she propped herself at the kitchen island for breakfast, my husband and I were trying to encourage her to “get it in high gear.”  We recognized she had gone to bed late, gotten up late and now had quite a few things to do to get ready before her carpool ride came to pick her up.  This morning’s “high gear” also included the ridiculously long shower.
         After on-going encouragement and prodding by her dad, our daughter (with much inflection and exaggerated gestures) told him, “Dad, you gotta believe!  You just gotta believe in me!”
         Her words have echoed in my heart throughout the week.  “You gotta believe, just believe in me!”  I think how important it is to give her confidence.  We need to communicate our belief in her.  Belief, that she can.  Belief, that she can be. Belief. In. Her.
         I wonder how much more our children can accomplish when we demonstrate and communicate that we believe in them.  Our children gain confidence when they know that we believe in them, believe that they can. 
         This belief ultimately reflects a confidence and a hope in our Savior.  Realizing who we ultimately believe in. Focusing on the Christ is who we can confidently place our belief in. Believing in Christ for me and for our children.
Philippians 4:13 says..."I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!"

         Within a few short minutes, her carpool ride pulled up in front of our house.  They too had to wait.  (Only another minute or two.)  As she grabbed her book bag, dance bag and lunch, quick hugs were exchanged.  The front door opened with her dad waving her goodbye chiming out, “I believe in you Baby Girl!”

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

God’s Graceful Way

The other day I wrote about boasting.  Then that morning I read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  Oh, how caring our Father in heaven is to us, His children.  Do you remember, momma that you are a child too? 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."  2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Then the next day I heard the DJs on the radio talking about boasting in weakness.  Wow, how our Father lovingly takes us by the hand to teach us rather than pushing us into submission.  He is leading me out of destructive ways, guiding my path and showing me scripture and daily examples of how to live for Him with the purpose He has designed.  We are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).  We are still on the wheel getting molded and shaped.  Oh, how wonderful to be in the Potter’s hands (Jeremiah 18).