Thursday, September 29, 2011

If this was your last day...

What a horrible thing to ask, but it does get some thoughts swirling in my head.  If you knew this was the last day, what would you do?  I am a big fan of country music, and the song "Live like you were dying" comes to mind.  And funny thing is, I HAVE been sky diving.  Crazy, I know!  If you are unfamiliar with the song, the first phrase in the chorus is "I went sky diving..." , so I could check that off my list.

But, what things would you say or do, and who would you want to see?  Is there someone you have been trying to win to Christ?  Would you beg one last time?

I was reading of Moses last days in Deuteronomy. God tells him he is fixing to join his people and die in 32:50.  Moses knew he was on his way to be forever in Heaven, but the Lord did grant him one look at the Promised Land he would never be a part of.  He got one last look of earth.

Would you want to see some place one last time, or even a new place you've never seen?

I know the Promised Land was a site to behold for Moses, but we know it is nothing in comparison to what he was about to lay his eyes on when he entered the gates of his eternal home and the ultimate Promised Land.  Oh the beauty we will see.  Thinking about this puts another song in my mind, "What a day that will be".

Today's Verse
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev 21:4

I can't say exactly what I would do.  It's just on my mind after reading of Moses, and just a thought to ponder for today.  I do know what I have to look forward to when my last day on earth comes.  I do know that it will be a "glorious day" when it is my time, because I will be looking upon His face and He will wipe away my tears.

"What a day that will be"
Words and Music was written by: Jim Hill

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye.
All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day, glorious day that will be!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bring on the Fall and a pen.

There is going to be a chill in the air this weekend in good old NC.  There will be some nights where the temps will be in the 40s.  BURRRR!  The Fall season is upon us, and although I know there will still be a chance for 80 degree days in October, they will be fewer and fewer.  I love Fall, but cold weather is not my favorite.  I have read in an email before, that one way you know you live in NC is you have to run your heat and your AC in the same day.  That has happened several days in October for our family.

I am trying to prepare today for the inevitable chillier weather.  We are going through boxes of clothes trying to figure out who can wear what and what needs to be purchased.  I hate doing this.  It is a never ending task.  Not to mention, that there are clothes everywhere and we can hardly walk in the girls' rooms.  I am just dreading every time the phone rings, praying it is not somebody wanting to come look at the house.  Wouldn't that be lovely right now.  Sure you can come, but please avoid knocking over the massive piles of clothes everywhere.

I am mindful of two things as I look at all these articles of clothing.  One, we have way too much stuff.  We are endlessly blessed by the material things we have.  Our devotion today was about how material things should never be more important than people.  I pray my girls never view having clothes or toys or other possessions as more important than family and friends.   I fear in today's society, possessions are often placed above the true meaning for our lives.

Number two, was how quickly time has gone by this year.  Every year seems to go faster for some reason.  I seriously feel like it was just Christmas, yet we are entering October.  Yikes!  I usually have a good deal of Christmas shopping done by now.  I am very very behind.

Only appropriate our verse for today is:
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecc 3:1

Each age and season brings something new to look forward to.  I pray the Fall season will be the best one yet!  Each season of life is full of milestones and memories.  Memories that I want to keep forever.  I am going to begin a new page on the blog that will hold memories.  I know these will be more for my benefit than anyone elses, but there are things the girls say and do everyday that I want to keep.  The Lord first kindled this love of writing and words when I became a stay-at-home-mom and started journaling more.  I urge anyone who does not keep their thoughts written down, to just try it.  I would love to do it more than I have a chance to.  It is not only the way to look back on our memories, but to me it is such an easier way to express my thought and prayers to God in written form.  And, although I know the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in prayer when we are unable to speak what is on our minds (Rom 8:26), I find I am able to talk to the Lord so much more openly in letter form.  He can read you know!

I do hope you will consider this thought and try it for the upcoming season.  Keep the memories close to your heart and your written prayers to the Lord in your mind.  The most fun of all is to go back and put big checks by the things He has answered for you.  I love a good check mark!  Bring on the Fall and the pen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This game called life!

I loved games as a child.  I even had the game called "LIFE".  My dad worked the late shift, so it was just my mom and me during the evenings.  I can remember pulling out those board games and playing until bedtime.  I also remember packing up those same games and heading to my Grandmother's house every other Saturday.  My father would do her yard work, and we would camp out at the kitchen table to play.  I already see the love of games in my daughters.  If we can just get them to turn off the technology and play a good old fashioned game, we always have a blast.  Our kids at church love them too.  I love making up scavenger hunts for them to complete or just a great game of Pictionary.  We even had a game recently where they had to hunt for coins in a bucket of ice.  I was scared some of them were going to lose their arms to frost bite.

Everyone loves a game, but when you do look at life as a game, do we know how to play?  I made a comment to my husband this weekend that I didn't know how to play this game anymore.  With our life in such limbo (another great game) right now, I can't seem to figure out which way God has us going.  We lean on Him for guidance, but right now I feel like the Israelites in the dessert wondering for 40 years.  We are waiting and longing for a green light to move or draw a card that doesn't say "lose your turn".  We are waiting...and unfortunately I am definitely not good at the waiting game.

I've begged God for wisdom today.  I have looked for verses for wisdom today.  The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom verses, including 8:11 "For wisdom is better than rubies..."  Oh how much that is true.  I need His wisdom to guide us through this life.

 I am searching even harder than usual for wisdom, direction and guidance.  One reason is because I was asked a dreaded question for a second time within a week.  "Where is your daughter going to school next year?"  Where, oh where will she go?  If anyone has a clue, please let me know!  We have no idea!  When that is our answer, the looks we usually get are not pleasant.  Do we go public, private or home-school?  What about if our house sells?  That really changes things up as the school districts would change.  All the possibilities, and what if we make the wrong move?

Wisdom verses for today
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
Jer 33:3
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God." James 1:5a
"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." 1 Cor 2:5

If we rely on His Word, which we must do, we are certain to not make a wrong move.  He might wait until the very last minute, the last grain of sand may be draining from the hour glass, but His guidance will come.

In Deuteronomy 30 we read some of the final words of Moses.  He is asking the God's people to choose a life for God.  They will receive blessings if they focus on Him and not turn away from Him.  He actually says in verse 19 to "therefore choose life."  I want to choose life and live it abundantly.  I know He is the driving force making my moves for my family in this game.  I want to stay in His will as we face the twists and turns.  As Moses says in verse 20 "That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life..." 

Is He your life?  I want Him to be my life.  I want to put that everywhere I can see "for he is thy life". I want my life to reflect 1 Cor 2:5 more that anything today.  I want the power of God to be my moving force behind my life.  I want to choose life for Him, and with Him we will always be a winner in this game!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

But I worked so hard....

Have you ever said that phrase when something you worked on just didn't pan out?  I am the queen of thinking or saying "But I worked so hard...".  The Lord had already laid this thought on my heart this morning as I was driving back home this morning.  The girls were watching Wonder Pets and my mind was on writing topics.  Driving, showers, and nap time seem to be my most inspirational times.  I didn't know that He was giving me this topic in order to prepare me for what was to come once we got home.  More about that in a minute.

My first and most important time I believe I said this quote was during the labor and delivery of my first daughter.  Now, I will admit that the Good Lord has erased most of my memory of the pain and anguish that I went through in those 17 hours, but I still have a few vivid memories.  One, was asking my husband to never make me do this again.  As we can see with the birth of our second daughter, that was not something I meant!  My other memory was when the Dr. told me I was going to have to have the C-section.  I just remember saying over and over that I had worked so hard.  I couldn't believe this was happening.  Why couldn't I have her naturally?  But, thankfully the Lord blessed us with a healthy baby girl. And, even though I felt like a failure at giving birth, I was quickly able to change my thoughts when I held Macie for the first time.

I also feel like a loser when I work so hard on a project, only to have it rejected, or it simply does not receive the response I was hoping for.  That can be disappointing.  But, I am slowly realizing I have to view it as a learning experience and move on.  Another thing that has recently made me whine that I have worked too hard is preparing the house for a showing.  With our house for sale, we have to keep it clean, which can be hard with the two little ones pulling out every toy fifty times a day.  When someone calls to say they are coming, I work like a crazy woman getting everything just perfect, only to have our hopes dashed when we later find out they like another house better. But, the positive side is I have a spotless house, at least for a few hours.

Today, my "but I worked so hard" moment came with trying to do two small projects for my husband.  It was on the computer.  It involved some ordering and designing a new business card.  I was also trying to finish up and order our new Directories for church.  In other words, I was trying to do too many things at one time, all while trying to entertain the little one.  That is one thing I hate about preschool.  I am the only entertainment around when her big Sissy is gone.  I had things mess up, and I got frustrated, and I finally gave up on some of my tasks.  Some were accomplished, but some were not, and I felt once again like a failure.

You know the devil uses those time when we feel defeated to really bring us down.  He can make us feel so bad about ourselves.  You can have negative thoughts that seem impossible to get over.  When we work so hard and the end result is not what we had longed for, it can be a game crusher.

Today's Verse
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before."  Phil 3:13

"Forgetting those things which are behind" is so hard to do.  We have to move past our past mistakes.  Things didn't go my way.  I had worked hard.  I must learn from it and keep on.  God had a reason for my unplanned C-section, for things not going my way some days, and even the mistakes that I have made.   I have to put them behind me and reach for "those things which are before".  Look toward the future and know that the hard work will pay off in the end.  You can't have a child without the delivery, no matter what kind of delivery it is.  You can't work for Christ without experiencing some hurt and rejection along the way.  The next verse in Philippians is a favorite for most, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  Press towards the mark with me!  Get past the poor poor pitiful me, and keep on keeping on!

Don't whine about how hard you worked.  Just keep working for Him!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

These are a few of my NOT so favorite things...

Sickness, unorganized things, packing, dusting, whining, and ticking clocks are just a few of my not so favorite things.  I also have to include when technology does not do what I want it to do and dentist visits.  The final two are what I am dealing with today.  First, I had worked a while on a post yesterday.  Then when I went to "publish post" it said my session had timed out and it only saved the first little bit.  Nap was almost over, and I didn't have time to retype it.  The funny part was, my verses for the day was 1 Thes 5:16-18 "Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks: for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you."  I had to not be upset.  I had just talked about giving thanks and rejoicing no matter what.  Man, that was a way to seriously practice what I preached.  So before crying and whining (which is part of my not so favorite things), I had to know there was a reason for me not to post yesterday.

Now, for the dentist visits, so not cool either!  My oldest daughter will be going to have a cavity filled.  We brush her teeth and are very mindful of what she eats, yet she has a cavity.  I am nervous.  She is nervous.  We are completely relying on God to get us through this!  Our devotion yesterday was about how some things in life just are not fair.  We don't know why bad things happen, but we will understand one day when we get in heaven.  For now, we have to accept it and ask the Lord to help us through it.  I told Macie that her cavity was a perfect example.  It doesn't seem fair at all!  We want to be upset about, but it is happening for a reason.  If nothing else, we pray that the dentist office staff will see God's love through us today!

Now what are some of your not so favorite things?  How about some favorites?

Hugs from my girls, notes from my husband, reading, writing, the beach, organizing things, cooking, and the list could really be endless.  What about my favorite favorite favorites?  God's love.  Showing God's love.  Living God's love.  Spending time with God to better understand His love.

I've told you about the peace I feel when I sit down with my Bible.  That peace is what is going to get us through today.  The peace and lots of prayer.  Prayers that I know He hears.  Prayers that I know He answers.  Prayers that don't have to be perfect.  Prayers to the ultimate Healer.

Today's Verse
"But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer."

Today the girls' devotion was about prayers.  Oh how He knows what we need to hear everyday.  It was another perfect topic for my child going through so much right now.  It had a fill in the blank prayer at the end.  It asked for some of her favorite things.  Do you know, she said EVERYTHING!  Everything is her favorite.  She can't really distinguish between the good and the bad.  She just knows she is thankful for everything!  She knows God hear's her.  Her prayers, for a four year old, make me so proud as a mom.  She talks to Him like He is right there; and He is.  He is right there listening to us 24/7 - 365 - and 366 every four years!

My favorite things are anything to do with Him and especially teaching my girls about His love.  I am so glad He hears us.  He get us through the Not so favorite parts of our days!

So yesterday was about favorite things in a whole different way.  I have put the small part that was saved.  It is about a game we play at supper.  Supper...another favorite thing.  Cleaning up after, not my favorite thing. But, the joy of our family meal is worth it!

We have a thing we do some nights while eating our supper.  We go around the table and talk about some of our favorite parts of our day.  This way the girls can share their fun activities with Daddy, and Daddy can in turn tell us something interesting that might have happened during his day.  It is a wonderful habit, as is family dinner together, that I hope continues in our house for years to come.  I get a little emotional as I imagine teenagers sitting there, and I pray that even in those tough years, they will want to share with mom and dad the happenings in their world.

We all have a few that we say everyday.  Daddy always says coming home is the best part.  Macie always says  when Daddy came home is one of her favorite things.  I always say that nap time was a great part!  But, we share other stories too.  There is crafts we might have done, lessons and devotion time activities that were interesting.  Interesting stories of people's lives being saved by wearing one of daddy's vest (daddy makes bullet proof vests).  What went down on the preschool playground that day.  Emmie's adventures in discovering everything and learning to talk and sing and everything an 18 month old is learning.  There are always some constants and always something new.

That's all that was saved, and maybe in the future I can finish what happened.  Writing is a favorite, but losing everything I had worked on...not so much!  I do encourage you to try this at your table and make it a favorite part of your day and memories!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pretty Weeds and Bad Grapes

One of my daughter's Bible verses at the beginning of the summer was 1 Sam 16:7c "for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."  It was so fun listening to her repeat that all week, yet I never can truly get it stuck into my own brain!  Why do I care so much what other's think of my family and our appearance?  We had to deal with me caring too much this weekend, and all I can think about today is how I wish I could rewind time and not care.

When we got home from errands today, my daughter ran out to the yard to pick a lone dandelion that had sprouted.  She loves it when those little yellow "flowers" sprout up.  It is perfect for a four year old to pick.  She ran to me with a big smile and said, "Mommy I got you a prize; it's a pretty flower."  Now, I have tried repeatedly to tell her that this little flower she thinks is so pretty is really a weed in disguise.  It is not the most desirable thing to have sprouting in our yard (especially considering our house is for sale and some family had just left from taking a look).  But all she sees is the outside, and to her it's brilliant yellow color is enough to make it beautiful.  She doesn't know the meaning of the word "weed" and that it is not something that is considered lovely.

Now last week, I had to run in the grocery store to pick up a few things.  My girls both love grapes, and we have them every morning with our breakfast.  We had been out of grapes for two days, and the natives were getting restless.  My girls were missing their grapes!  I picked up a few bags, carefully examining each one, before settling on my choice.  I grabbed a few other things, paid, and we were out the door (one of our more successful trips in the store).  The next morning I pulled them out to start washing and cutting (my little one has to have them chopped).  They were very pretty grapes.  The color was good and they looked juicy!  Now, we are not talking Promise Land grapes, but I was thinking they were going to be good.  But, I started cutting, and they were squishy.  I don't just mean a few, I mean the whole entire bag.  Everyone I checked was just mush on the inside.  How could something so pretty be so bad?

Now, with these two stories in mind, which would you rather be?  Do you want to be a "pretty weed" or a "bad grape"?

The pretty weed is beautiful to the little girl walking by.  Now, it might be a nuisance to some, but a joy to a few. The bad grape has beauty to behold, but on the inside is just a mess.

Today, I am picking the pretty weed!  I would rather my Heavenly Father look at me as a thing of joy and not care what anyone else thinks!  I didn't do such a great job of that this weekend when getting ready for a church event.  It was at my father-in-laws' church.  And it was Homecoming.  Something special for everyone involved.  I had bought my husband and new suit that was worth $310 that I got for $60 - oh yeah I love a good bargain.  And, that was suit, shirt and tie I might add!  The girls had pretty matching dresses, and I had a semi-new dress.  We got up to rainy and chilly weather.  Sweaters couldn't be found.  Hairbows were lost.  Outfits had to be changed.  It was a big old mess.  Now why was I not more concerned about how my heart was preparing for the day of worship instead of what our appearance looked like?  The devil had me good by the time we got there, which was surprisingly on time!

Today's Verse
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  Luke 12:31

I had to have a change of heart once I sat down at church.  I had to gather my thoughts toward Him, and ask forgiveness.  I had to tell that devil to get behind me!  I don't want my treasure to be anywhere but in heaven.

I don't want my heart to be about looks and clothing and impressing.  I want my heart to be about Him.  I don't want to be pretty on the outside, but just a big mushy mess on the inside.  I want my insides to be beautiful for my Lord to look upon.  He is looking at my heart, and my heart is what matters.  People might say, "that girl is always so happy, and it gets on my nerves."  That would be fine to me to be nuisance of a weed, but to my Lord I want to be His "good and faithful servant."  I want Him to pick me, even if I am a weed to others.  I want to be a pretty weed for Him!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Right Side of the Bed

Wow, yesterday was not how I had planned it to go!  Do you try to plan your day in advance?  The girls and I have a sort of routine, and I am very much a planning, scheduling, everything needs to go this way kind of girl!  I woke up on the completely "right" side of the bed.  First of all, I didn't not have any kids in my bed when I opened my eyes!  Shock and Hallelujah!  That is cause for celebration right there.  I was able to get a quick workout in and even an early Bible reading before my oldest was up.  Oh Yeah!  This was going to be a great day.

We had plans to do some baking for church and then some much needed errands.  After finishing breakfast and beginning our baking, I suddenly remembered we were having a visitor over at 10:00.  It had completely skipped my brain.  Ok, first rearrangement.  Things continuously did not go as planned through out the day.  Church services, I am sad to say, were no better.  I was being pulled in a million directions as soon as I walked through the door; my youngest daughter got hurt in the nursery, and I was not able to stay in my class or any class for that matter.  I was in tears by the time I was on the way home after having a "unique discussion" with a fellow church member.  All I could think was how my day had went from fabulous to the absolute pits and super fast!

How could things go that way, especially when I woke up with such optimism?  How was I going to face the next day after ending my day feeling so beat down?  The devil had really tried to cause me to break, and I was almost giving in.

I woke up wondering how today would be, and praying for the strength to get out of my bed.  And, of course, the devil was after me again.  I was beating my own self to a pulp by the time I was pulling out of the preschool parking lot.  I prayed for resistance to the devil's darts of doubt.  He was making me feel so worthless, but I cannot give into the temptation to crawl in a hole and not be the light God called me to be.

Today's Verse - a fave
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  Matt 5:16

Let your light shine so others can see His love through you.  I felt like I couldn't muster a smile on my face after the beating I received yesterday, but with His help, I did.  I even kept that smile while being told at Target that I couldn't use a coupon (not having a coupon honored - one of my worst pet-peeves).  I wanted to snap at that manager, but that is not how God wanted me to respond.  That would not be showing His light.  And we have those sort of encounters everyday.  But, remember someone is always watching, and if we handle it God's way it might just touch someone with just our actions.

That is my prayer every morning, show His light to all those you come in contact with, no matter if I got out of the bed on the wrong side or the right.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sorry - Not Ready

Do you ever feel like the wheel of Cheese in the Cheese-it commercials?  Do you know the one where the cheese is not "mature" yet, and the man in the lab coat keeps checking "not ready"?  Then finally one day the cheese matures.  I have put the YouTube link below for your viewing pleasure.  You might even laugh a little.  It makes me chuckle!!!

Lately I have envisioned myself to be this block of cheese and the lab coat man is God in heaven.  He is just waiting for me to mature just a little more.  When I hit that all important maturity level, He will say, "Ah, finally, she is ready for my will to be revealed."

I know the Lord is guiding me.  And, I know He has a purpose for this time of uncertainty about the next move in our life.  Yet, it can be sooooo hard to be patient.  With our calling in our church ministry, our house for sale, my husband's job issues, starting a side business, and my studying to possibly write, there are days when I just want to say "Where are you Lord?  Can you please tell me your plan?  Please!!"

In Psalms 77 the psalmist is crying out to the Lord (vs 1), seeking the Lord (vs 2), and even complaining to God (vs 3).  In verse 9, he even asks "Hath God forgotten to be gracious?  Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?"  But just a few more verses down in 11 and 12 the psalmist decides to "remember the works of the Lord" and "meditate also of all thy work".  He remembers in verse 14 that God is "the God that doest wonders".

It's ok to cry out to God.  But, just remember He is always there.  He is always listening, even when we can't feel it. He has performed so many blessings and miracles in your life, some that you are not even aware of.  The greatest of all is simply that if you have asked Him to, He has saved you.  He will reveal His will.  You might be in the dessert, but He will call you out of it.  He is the God of wonders, and He will use you.  He really just might be waiting for you to mature a little.  He is using this time of wonder to prepare us!

Today's Verse
"But it is good for me to draw near to God:  I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works."  Ps 73:28

Draw near to Him.  Wait for Him.  You will have to trust Him.  When you do, you can declare His works.  He will prepare your heart and make you ready!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

3 Minute Miracle

There is a hair product called "3 minute miracle" that I keep in my shower.  It is by Aussie.  It is a conditioner that you use every once in a while.  I have long hair, so it is necessary!  On the back it says to wash and rinse then apply and relax for 3 minutes and think about your day.  I am only able to use the stuff and actually take a relaxing shower on Saturdays.  That is the morning my hubby is at home.  He watches the girls and cooks us a fabulous breakfast (thanks honey).  And I get an uninterrupted shower.  No little ones coming in with questions or whining about this and that.  No rushing for school or church.  I get a much needed relaxing hot shower.

Those moments of peace are worth a lot!  We must have time to think, time to relax, and time to recoup from the pressures of being a wife and mom.  I have a hard time feeling guilty when I am away from my girls, but I have to remember that I am a better mom when I have had some time by myself with the Lord.  Yes I enjoy devotion time with the girls and prayer time with my husband, but in order for my life to feel in order, I need one on one time with my Heavenly Father.

My oldest is in the process of giving up her nap.  No nap - Oh No!!!!  I still have to have that "nap time" on those days when she can't sleep (like today).  That is my most precious time with the Lord.  Yes, I know there are clothes to wash and emails to be sent and phone calls to make and things to clean and church stuff to do, but nap time has to be my quiet time for me to make it as a mom.  The other things have to come after my time reading, thinking, writing and chatting with God!  I have made a deal that she still has to have her quiet time so mommy can have my quiet time.  It is going to take some adjustments, but I know the Lord will honor our time together.  As I said yesterday, when I give Him my time, He will give me more time!  Oh how true that has been!

Verse for Today
Ps 73:26 "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

This fleshy body is tired and falling apart, and this is even more evident since reaching my 30s (YIKES).  But, when I give Him my time it makes God the strength of my heart I am truly able to function better as a wife and mother!

I took a break last night and skipped gym class.  My wonderful hubby took the girls by himself; yes he is brave!  I felt horrible for like a minute, that is a fun time for us as a family.  But, it was pure bliss painting my nails, writing in my journal, catching up on pictures and working on a Bible study I am doing.  When those 3 minute miracles are possible to take, take them and don't feel guilty.  Your kids will thank you for them when you are more fun to hang out with.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Direct my paths

Wow - today is a true Monday!!!!  Why can't I still be at the beach?  I have managed to lock my girls and me out of our house (thank the Lord it is for sale and I was able to get the spare key), had major issues with boo-boos, and confusion on some of the church's financial statements.  All of this has occurred after a weekend were I had to stay up this for 40 hours with only 3 hours of sleep mixed in (Yay for all night youth lock-ins) and the emotional drain of yesterday being the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  I just want to crawl under a rock!  There is nothing about me that knows where I am headed or if I am coming or going.

Thankfully I have continually asked the Lord to direct my paths today, and I have the confidence that He is doing so.  I am not sure why He thought it would be beneficial for me to lock us out today of all days (which by the way I have never done this before - EVER), but I have told myself it is for a reason. I should at least be able to laugh at it sometime in the future!  I have a to do list that is 5 times too long, so stopping for constant boo-boos can be a little straining on the patience, but I know I will miss giving those kisses before I can blink.

I have to prepare my heart today and everyday when I know the devil is throwing everything he can at me to make me lose my temper and just plain mess up big time!  In 2 Chronicles chapter 12 we read about one of Solomon's sons, Rehoboam.  In verse 14 is sasy, "And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord."  I don't want that to be me.  I don't want my girls to say, "Mommy is mean", because I didn't take the time to consult God about our day.

Have I prepared my heart today?  Have I sought the Lord today?  I wouldn't be typing if I hadn't.  I'm not saying everyday I get up and prepare myself like I should, but I have to lean on Him continuously to make it through (especially when there is sleepless night involved).

Today's Verse
Proverbs 4:26 "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established."

When we get up, we must set our sights on The One to follow.  I had a little feeling of panic recently when I felt there was no way I was going to get everything done before the youth lock-in this weekend.  I felt a tug on my heart that said, "give me your time and I will give you more of it."  He can allow us to get everything done, but we must not cut Him out of our day.  He will establish our ways!  Ponder what we can do for Him and ask Him to direct our paths.  He promises He will (Prov 3:6).  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Picture Perfect

As I sat out on the beach last week, oh how I wish I was back there now, I looked out at the horizon.  Where the ocean meets the sky forms the only perfect line in nature.  It is amazing to feel the power of God through the beauty of His creation.  To me, looking out at the wide sea seems to be perfect.  It offers peace and calm, even with the waves crashing on the shoreline, there is peace to be had at the serenity of the view.

I was reminded of this beautiful picture of perfectness today when I picked my oldest daughter up from preschool.  Now in her defense, she did not get a Grench  on her discipline chart, but she did disobey today.  I was devastated as the teacher told me of my child's misbehavior.  Not my child!  How could she do that?  What was she thinking?  As I asked her this, she responded with the inevitable, "I don't know mommy."  I wanted to scream and cry and question.  I wanted to know if I was doing something wrong as a mother.  But all I could think of was the fact she is a sinner, just like me and just like you, she sins everyday.  As much as I would love for her to be the star student that I know she is capable of being everyday, she is going to have a bad day.  I know I certainly have my bad days.  I know there are days I don't want to obey!

I have this image of being a picture perfect family, but we are not, nor will we ever be.  I want my girls to obey, but they are not going to all the time.  I want to not lose my temper with them when they do disobey, but I will also fail at this.  The phrase "there is none that doeth good, no, not one" is found three times in the Bible.  And Paul tells us in Romans 3:10 that "there is none righteous, no, not one:"  We are not going to be picture perfect, but thankfully we don't have to be.

The only perfect person to ever walk the earth was our Lord.  There was none before Him and will be none after Him, including our little angels.  As perfect as His creation is, man fell to the temptations of sin and will deal with the consequences until the return of Christ.  The good news is, He took all our sins on the cross with Him, and as perfect as He was, He bore our imperfectness.

Today's Verse
Psalms 9:10 "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee:  for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."

We must seek Him everyday.  Seek His forgiveness and be forever grateful for it.  We must teach our little ones to seek Him everyday as well.  Tell them daily of His love and free forgiveness.  Tell them of the way we can trust in Him always.

Thank you Lord, that we do not have to try so hard to be the picture perfect family, and thank you for not forsaking us.  Please allow our family to be at least a small glimpse to someone of how Your light can shine through imperfect people!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's nice to be known

My verse my mother "gave" to me when I was young is found in Psalms 91.  I was reading this chapter while on vacation and wrote the promises given in this chapter down.  "My" verse is 11 and says "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."  I love this verse and have so many memories of finding that verse in my pocket during difficult times.  Thanks Mom!

I found a verse that spoke to me in a tremendous way that night I was reading this chapter.  Verse 14 says "Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:  I will set him on high, because he hath known my name."  He loves me, but not only that He knows me.  He even knows my name.  It's such a comfort to know I am known by my Lord.

I am dealing with a situation where someone is acting like they don't know who I am.  Yes, I know I am not the most memorable person you will ever meet.  And, yes there are people with bad memories  and who forget people easily.  But I specifically know this person knows me.  Yet, when face to face, she is not acknowledging that she knows me.  I am starting a situation where we will be in contact on a weekly basis, and I just simply do not know how to handle it.

As you might can imagine, this bothers me.  Now I do not want to have a bad attitude towards her.  I do not want to appear to be judging her.  I try to keep a smile plastered on my face as we have our little chats, even with the sense of tension in the air.   So I have to ask myself, how can the Lord use this to teach me something?  I need a reason for this!  Then today the thought hit me.  There is only One Name under the stars that matters and that person knows me!  Little old me!  He knows me!

I recently watched a cute movie "You Again" .  It was about a girl that had a horrible high school experience, but had went on and had lots of successes in her career.  She then finds out her brother is going to marry her arch nemesis from high school.  This girl had made her life miserable!  When they meet again, the girl acts as if she never knew her.  She only wants to be acknowledged and have a sincere apology from her former enemy, but she gets nothing. In true romantic comedy fashion, they all live happily ever after and everything is wonderful in the end.

I feel like this character trying to get this person to just realize that what she is doing is hurtful.  But, in the end of my life, it is not going to matter if she knows my name or not.  My name only needs to be in the Book of Life and spoken by my Lord!

Today's Verse
Joshua 23:8 "But cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this day."

I do not know how the Lord will use my current situation, but I know He has a reason for everything.  The one thing I do know is I cleave to Him because He knows me.  I cleave to Him because He is the Lord MY God!  I cleave to Him because He is all that matters.  He is mine and He can be yours.  He is the only one who needs to know your name!  He can make it nice to be known!

Other promises from Psalms 91
Verse 1 promises we will be protected by His shadows.
Verse 2 promises that He is our refuge, fortress and the One we can trust in.
Verse 3 promises He is our deliverer.
Verse 4 promises that His truth will be our shield.
Verses 5 and 6 promises us we don't have to fear.
Verse 7 promises protection.
Verse 10 promises that no evil will come upon us.
Verses 11 and 12 promises that His angels will have us covered.
Verse 14 promises He has loved us and knows us by name.
Verses 15 and 16 should be our promise to Him to honor and live for Him!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Home Again Home Again Jiggedy Jig

After some much needed R and R, the Allison family is home again.  We never want to leave the beach when it is time to go.  This was a vacation we thought would never happen.  There were problems with school conflicts, Gerrad's work, and of course a hurricane.  We didn't know if we would ever make it to Carolina Beach.  But, as always, the Lord knew what was best.  It was the perfect weather week with no storms and not even a cloud in the sky.  We got to see a beautiful fireworks display.  And, we were even able to have family come for a day and take us out on their boat - lots of fun!  Yes, I missed my bed and writing, but I still did not really want to have to get back in the swing of things here at home.

But alas, we are here and it feels good to be typing.  We had no internet or computers!  Culture shock at its finest.  One thing I did miss even more than typing was spending time reading my Bible.  I am not saying I did not spend time reading everyday and I definitely prayed, but in all honesty I did not read like I should have.  When I sat down today in the peace and quiet with my little ones sleeping (which didn't happen as much on vacation with the nap policy so lenient), I felt such a peace as I opened God's Word.  And as I have trudged through a study of the first five books of the Bible, I feel I have learned so much (even though it has sometimes made me yawn with all the laws- just being honest).  Learning more leads to wanting to learn even more.  Every verse can hold a new meaning and can be applied to our lives.  We must thirst for that knowledge.

I wrote down many topics to write on throughout the week and a half we were away.  Things that the Lord laid upon my heart, things the girls did and said, and the sheer beauty of the ocean in all its grand splendor, but it is just the peace of being home that I am happy to think about today.  The peace of spending much needed time with my Bible in hand.

As I think about what reading the Bible does for my life and my joy level, I also think about the guidance that comes with it.  I let the girls watch a Hermie movie on the way to preschool this morning.  Hermie is Max Lucado's caterpillar cartoon character that my girls love!!!!  In the movies, Hermie and his bug friends are able to talk with God audibly.  There are times when I listen to what is going on and think, "Lord, why can't you just shout down at me what to do or a comforting word to get me through this trial."  But, I immediately know the answer to my own thought.  I do have those things, and it's found in my Bible.  I just have to be willing to pick it up and listen!

Today's Verse
Isaiah 30:21 "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying , This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."

God speaks to us through His word.  We must find that quiet time to seek His guidance and strength.  He will reveal His will to us, we just must seek the way.  Isaiah is full of promises for those seeking strength, answers, and guidance.  Take some time today to seek God's guidance.  It will give you the warm fuzzy feeling like being home again!

Isaiah Promises
Is 41:13 "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not: I will help thee."

Is 42:16 "And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known:  I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight.  These things will I do unto them,
and not forsake them."

Is 43:2  "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not   overflow thee:  when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."