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.
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         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).

Friday, November 13, 2015

Are you Me?

         As part of the challenge in studying Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God, we are asked to weekly put together a “prayer strategy.”  This strategy is ascertained by combining our favorite verses, quotes and what we hear God saying to us individually during the week of study.
         This combination of thoughts and observations are then to be written on a three by five card written out into a prayer.  (If you saw, WarRoom, you can think, “prayer closet” with post-it notes.)  It is a beautiful idea to help us become prayer warriors in our own right.
         Sitting with our small group yesterday the “prayer strategy” 3x5 cards came into topic.  One of the gals shared her hesitancy in writing out her prayer on the beautiful cards we are provided.  Her hesitancy included wanting to write it out without mistakes.  In her “best handwriting” and “without mistakes” she said. Finally she said she felt so much pressure to not make any corrections she wanted to write it on a separate piece of paper and then transpose it.
         When she finished her explanation, I looked at her and asked, “Are you me?”  She had more eloquently than I can remember to record for you, stated exactly how I feel.  Yes, exactly how I have felt about the cards, but more specifically my life.
         So often, I just don’t want to even start.  Why?  Because I want to be perfect.   Sometimes, I want to hold on to something special or meaningful (a new gift, clothes, pens, lotions…you name it.)  (Moms, really?  I may need to get into counseling based on this confession.)
         All that said, I want to be perfect.  I want to have it all together.  I want to do my best, be the best, excel in all areas.  As ridiculous and impossible as trying to be perfect is, I somehow think others expect the same from me.  (OK, as soon as I finish this post, I’ll make a counseling appointment.)
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As crazy as this is for you to read as a mom, sometimes our children struggle with this same desire.  They want to please, they want to do what’s right and it can easily become a vice in their lives.
         Today, be on the outlook for your desire to be right and do right and look right.  Look for the same in your children.  Encourage them to embrace THE ONLY perfect God Man, Jesus.  Help them to see their need for a Savior and recognize it is not them.

         As I looked at my friend at the Bible study table, questioning if she was me, I don’t want my children asking the same of me. I don’t want them struggling with perfectionism because they learned it from me.  My prayer strategy must contain my need.  And my perfect solution is HIM!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Unguarded Boastful Lips

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 10:17

I’ve found myself boasting a lot lately.  To anyone I’ll boast about my kids and how they are doing academically or about something they’ve said or done.  But afterwards I’ve noticed that the conversation dies and I’m left feeling empty and convicted.  The Bible clearly says not to boast in anything else but the Lord.  While we are obviously proud mommas of the kids God has given to us let us not be filled with pride but give Him honor and glory for what He is doing.

Let’s guard our lips so we can be humble messengers of the awesomeness of our God boasting only of who Jesus is and what He has done.  Hey, the conversation could lead to salvation for the hearer.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Just come over!"

Without fan fare.
Without a plan.
Without a written invitation.
It happened.  It was sweet and unexpected.
It was last minute and with only a minimal time window.
After exhausting possibilities of what could be.
The invitation came, by way of phone.

“I have everything we need for dinner, just come over.”

         And so we did.
         Just her dad and I.
         She and her husband.

         We walked in as she was rolling chopped apples in sugar and cinnamon.  We stood around her counter as she pressed out the dough.  She put them in individual tiny casserole cups and by the handful placed the apples on top.  Having arranged them on a baking sheet, she put them in the oven.

         We were invited to go sit 12 feet away into their living area.  The four of us gathered around the tiny coffee table as she sat on the floor and lit six or so well used candles.

         We talked and laughed about the day’s events. The “doneness” of the chicken was checked a time or two before we walked the same 12 feet back to the little four top table.

         We praised the Lord for the food and the brief time we had to share a meal.  The food deserved a Michelin Star. The company and conversation, the ease and the grace of the evening has no higher honor than for this grateful mom to say, it was a hallowed night. A gem of a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.