Sunday, December 25, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
They ask me how they can do this.
I tell them they already are.
They don't like my answer.
I haven't found the words to convey to them the deep, gospel spreading, kingdom impacting, eternal work they are doing in raising their children and supporting their husbands.
It is hard to take the back seat, to understand that we are called to stand by this man in what God has called him to and to further that work by encouraging, supporting and helping him in that call. His call takes rank over my call - his call is my call. It's such a confusing circle in man terms and yet in God's eyes who sees the married couple as one flesh - a beautiful picture of cooperation that the melding of these life callings makes perfect sense.
I know that it is very hard, but I HAVE to believe that all of this giving and supporting and behind the scenes work is impacting the kingdom for Jesus in a special way.
SEASONS - I always talk about seasons! There will come a season when I will be able to walk side by side with my husband in ministry. That is not the season I am currently in and I have to learn to excel in THIS season of separation.
"Children tie the feet of the mother."
Oh the kids... The possibilities here are endless. The far reaches of the world that might be impacted by our children are beyond comprehension. It takes the hard work now, to have the beautiful fruit later. Again, it's a giving work, a behind the scenes work, a day in and day out kind of work. The rewards? I can't tell you what the rewards will be, but I can tell you they will be great!
You know that old lady that walks up to you and tells you to ENJOY THEM because it goes by so quickly? She is trying to impart a secret to you, she is begging you not to miss the sweet moments, the tender moments, the laughter in the halls and kids around your ankles moments. Her house is quiet now. She has some regrets. She would go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Dwell in the land!
God has brought you here to this place and you have a discipleship job to do with these small humans that are on loan to you and you will be called into account for how good a steward you have been with these you have been charged with.
I know it doesn't feel world impacting, but your work as a wife and mother is so very important. I don't think we will be able to see the full impact of our lives until we reach heaven and our Lord is passing out rewards. :)
I know that when you teach a child how to say sorry and forgive, it doesn't feel like foot of the cross work, but it is.
I know that when you are holding a child through the night through illness, helping a teenager with algebra 2, disciplining a child for bad behavior, wiping up spills, cleaning counters - none of that seems like gospel work and if you are doing it in a rotten attitude, maybe it isn't. If we live these motherhood days in hearts of service to God, our impact will be everlasting.
Don't be fooled by the world to despise the call, the gift, that you have been given.
Now, I'm off to play dolls for Jesus!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Here is where I have been:
Parenting: Thriving in the Season of Young Children
Parenting: Choosing to Listen
I also tried something crazy here:
Thursday, September 29, 2011
When I am in those times I tell myself:
"this isn't me, I don't live this way."
Me, with my 6 kids, juggling the voices within myself; the controlling one that knows that I can make everything run just so and the reasoning one that tells me that I can live my life and enjoy it too!
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. - Deut. 6:5-9
my pastors wife, mom of 6 kids, wanna look like I got it all together image...
to immerse myself so fully in the heart impacting knowledge of the greatness of my God that I can't help but be enamored with Him.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
While I understand that adult conversation is nice and that talking while your clothing is being smeared with oatmeal is not the most romantic, I just don't think I buy this whole SELF PRESERVATION idea.
Did our grandmothers, our great, great grandmothers have time to themselves? Do the women who struggle just to get food into their children's mouths, have time to themselves? What makes us so evolved, so special, so entitled that we HAVE to have time to ourselves?
I don't think the problem is time alone, I think the entire system is messed up.
Think of mothers in other cultures, they very often have grandparents living with them. That provides adult conversation, help with kids, help in the house, wisdom, etc. In America we live in our little boxes with our own little family being independent from everyone and then we complain when we feel alone.
The other problem I have is the American family. They are running about from place to place with no schedule or cohesion of family. The idea of a mom getting out is this: ESCAPE THE CHAOS. Not, disciple your children, get on a schedule and solve the problem of chaos. No, the answer is to escape. And escape we do. To shopping, to adulterous relationships, to the internet...
Put your kids to bed! If your kids are in bed consistently and regularly at an early time, they will be rested and behave better and you will have automatic time as a couple.
Put your kids on a schedule! It doesn't have to be strict, but one that causes the house to run smoothly so that everyone can rest knowing what to expect next.
Spend time as a couple! With your kids, at meals, after the kids are in bed. The key is not getting "out" the key is ENGAGING while you are together. Laugh, talk, share!
Find your peace in God! When your life is disciplined and scheduled, you will have time to make spiritual disciplines. There will be a set time for you to be quiet before the Lord or with the Lord and your spouse and/or kids. You will have time to go to bible studies and make the things of the Lord your priority. Go to church picnics, go to church services, fellowship as a family.
I'm not against date nights or moms night outs. I'm against escaping problems that can be addressed. I'm against the looking to "take care of yourself" don't you know that your Father in Heaven looks after even the little sparrows and knows the number of hairs on your head?
That's just some of what is going on in my head...
|The 6 at the Circus :)|
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Every Thursday evening I sit here in front of my computer and I have a struggle.
Do I write from my heart or do I write what is safe? Do I dare open up and reveal the true me, my opinions and passions? Does anyone read any of this anyway, does it even matter?
I am living such a blessed life right now. I am living out my dream right now, I don’t have a guarantee that things will always be as they are now. Just around the corner could be something that is going to shake my world, dare I not share from the heart while I am able?
I know that my husband is gone a lot. I know that we live a very busy life. I hope that I have not portrayed that I am a victim, that I am trapped, stuck or left behind in all of this.
Many of you know that I NEVER wanted to be a pastor’s wife. I actually prayed against it (I don’t recommend that.) I feel as though I walked into this role with my eyes wide open. It has been a long road to get where I am now. For many years I did feel trapped, stuck and left behind.
What am I passionate about?
I am passionate about my role as a woman as a help and supporter of my husband, my principles and priorities are constantly being buffeted by that conviction.
I am passionate about the gospel going forth, brought about by regular people living their regular lives in sold out, lives laid down ACTION for Christ. Go unto every nation and PREACH is a command to all and I can’t with clear conscience spend too many weekends tending to earthly desires for material things or even just family activities.
I am passionate about raising children that serve and follow Christ with all their lives in all they do. To be disciplined, orderly and also be spontaneous and risk takers for Jesus. To love and reach out to those around them. To have eyes to see and a spirit to discern the needs of hurting people. I want other families to see what we do and not be afraid to take out their children and serve God alongside them. To do the “home work” so that their children are ready and capable to do their kingdom work.
And mixed with these passions are daily life and failure. I want order, so I yell at the kids, I need peace so I strain at my husband. My plans don’t go my way and I get so caught up in the “I” that I for get THE ONE that I’m doing it all for. My passions are all for nothing if my sin and pride overshadow and overtake.
Yes, I am home. Yes, I have 6 kids. Yes, the daily-ness of it all does get tedious.
But, these convictions and passions burn deep in my heart and it’s so difficult because I am not a communicator – not as clear as I’d like. Not through speech.
My intentions, the burning in my heart is to tell nothing else but Jesus Christ and Him crucified and to bring Glory to my God. My prayer is that those intentions are what shine through and that people don’t just see a crazy lady with a lot of kids and no husband. My deepest desire is to spend my life busy about the Lord’s work. Now that is living a dream.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I wanted to tell you what I have seen and observed and how blessed I am that you are alive!
On Saturday night we were in Huntington with the young adults when I got the call from my mom about Jeanne's FB post. We immediately left the beach, dropped off the kids and drove to St. Jude.
I was blessed to be one of the few that saw you, laid hands on you and prayed for you. I looked into Mike's eyes. I knew that he was saying there was hope, but I could tell he was steeling himself for whatever journey might lay ahead. There was something about his eyes, that even Pastor Bob mentioned on Wednesday night. Eyes of a man who knows too much I suppose.
Then we went downstairs and the waiting room was filled with a CROWD of people wanting to see you. The ICU nurses should give us a gold star for keeping all these anxious people from going up there!
We gathered and prayed and CRIED. Men, women, everyone cried together to our great God for you and your sweet family.
I wanted to take a picture for when you woke up, but I forgot. :)
I was getting texts and calls and emails like crazy, people everywhere praying. In fact, someone from my homeschool group, that I hardly know, asked me how you were doing yesterday!
This deeply impacted many and many were up in the night sleepless and in prayer.
The Young Marrieds ministry will never be the same, we've been to a place together spiritually that has forever changed us and deeply impacted our faith.
God is SO GOOD.
Please know that you are well loved and cared for by the body of believers at CCEA!
Rest well and don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings! I'm pretty sure you can do no wrong right now! Haha!
Take care Mama!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
She speaks these words to me as she tears open another note and reads words of thanks and blessing.
"If prayer is so effective, why don't we do more of it?!" she exclaims in wonder as we go about our daily chores.
My daughter is on a 90 day journey to bless others and is being showered with blessings in return.
Last summer I went on a different 90 day journey - to read through my bible in 90 days. I planned all year to repeat that challenge again this summer, but as the time drew near I felt like God was calling me to something different this summer.
After much prayer, the Lord put together this idea in my mind:
Here is what we are doing:
- Print a calendar for June, July & August.
- Put categories in front of each week; family, teachers, pastors, etc. and fill in people for each day of each week for 3 months.
- Gather cards, stamps, index cards, pens and a church directory/address book.
- Pray for the person on that date
- Read the Proverb for that date: June 3rd/Proverbs 3
- Write a prayer in a prayer journal
- Write on index cards any verses that stand out to you for that person
- Write a note to that person, complete with addressing the envelope and adding the stamp
- Walk on over to the mailbox!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
It can be summed up in this one phrase: Faith, real faith needs opportunity to be exercised, and our children are not excluded from that.
The best times in my children's lives and development with the Lord have been in those times when we have given them the opportunity to challenge and use their faith.
This has been a slow process as we patiently wait for a specific child's bent and talent to be revealed and then we nurture and grow that talent in use for God's glory. We are very intentional and prayerful about this for each of our children.
My little Josiah's journey is just blossoming and I'd like to share his story with you.
My little Jojo was a clingy baby. Like no other child I have had, he was large and clingy and stubborn. :) I would hold him as he cried as a baby for hours singing "Here I am to Worship" which became his song and a tender one to this mama's heart.
He would cry in the nursery for the entire service, angry that I would dare leave him. At home he was constantly by my side. At around 2 years old, he showed an interest in The Wiggles, I fed that interest! 30 minutes of freedom for these arms! :) This turned into a love for worship and the songs and hand motions at church, but like the Wiggles, he soon grew out of this.
Through the years he has been somewhat aloof. Not wanting to be in the spotlight, not feeling comfortable with attention, not knowing his place, always a middle child. :)
All of this changed in January.
One early morning in January, I prayed for this boy specifically. I ask the Lord to PLEASE give him a purpose, some way in which to serve Him.
The next day, he took out a Break Free DVD that had been given to Tony and started break dancing.
He hasn't stopped dancing since. His mentor and teacher loves JESUS and keeps him on track, always reminding him that we do this for GOD'S GLORY and in HIS name and not our own. My boy has watched people profess faith at events that he takes direct part in. My boy who would not leave my side now dancing in front of hundreds of people - peers, strangers, drunks at Huntington Beach :)!
At the end of May, Tony received more vacation time and God opened the doors for he and Josiah to go to Japan.
Then the faith work really began.
My boy had to pray and seek God as to whether or not he could go on this trip, spending endless time in the "peaceful spot" in our house reading his bible (the book of Colossians), reading his devotional and praying. It brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart to hear him ask: "Dad, where is that prayer list for Japan? I need it." Then, he proceeded to go to the peaceful spot and pray! This has continued, day after day.
He is sending out support letters all on his own (we always have a stack of them around so he knows what they are!) tirelessly writing them out by hand, listing each prayer request one by one.
It's a scary balance, urging this child in his talent, reminding him it's for God - all at a young age. It reminds me of that old song by DC Talk "What if I Stumble." I understand that and I take it very seriously and to prayer.
But if you're going to live recklessly - live recklessly for Jesus,
if you're gonna take a risk - take it for God.
So here we go.
Keep my boy in your prayers.
God is so faithful.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
We’ve all felt it, that heart quickening, stomach plummeting feeling when we realize that life as we know it is about to come to an end. As fast as glass shatters our lives change in an instant.
Our gut reaction is to respond in some way.
Be it fight or flight, action is the instinct.
And in our self preservation, we still find ourselves broken, shattered. . . not whole.
Our Lord would have it another way:
For the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, said, In quiet and rest is your salvation: peace and hope are your strength: but you would not have it so. Isaiah 30:15
Oh, but we we not have it so.
Coming to this place of quiet and rest, receiving this peace and hope that will be strength to carry us through – it sounds so wonderful…but,
we would not have it so.
We fight – to keep hold of what is ours. We fight to hold our lives intact. We occupy ourselves in the busyness of pushing hard for our cause, our rights OUR WAY.
And our Father calls softly…
"Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest”
Come to Me.
Maybe we don’t fight. Maybe that is not our way. No, we are flyers. We run and we run hard. We bury ourselves in other things, things of the Lord even. Ministry, television, children, jobs, houses, d i s t r a c t i o n s.
Even in our depression, the wallowing and burrowing the not resting in His peace.
Like Peter we need to cry out; "Lord, to whom would we go?
“You have the words that give eternal life.”
And still He waits. . .
Will you lay it down?
Will you trust?
Friday, May 13, 2011
Love God’s people?
Love God’s word.
The two are one and to separate them is to leave a gaping wound, hearts patched with blood seeping through.
Sometimes the whims of what people want to hear and what they need to hear clash and the resounding clang of fleshly desire and spiritual need rings loud.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Oh, but the temptation burns strong and is rooted deep. The desire to please. The desire to win hearts
The fear of rejection,
The fear of man.
Man comes to us holding the shredded remains of his broken, battered heart and we proceed to patch. To substitute Band-Aids for surgery, to cover flesh wounds rather than healing soul wounds. Great is the temptation to minister only to the flesh that is before us, ignoring the spiritual turmoil that is left raging.
The Father’s question beckons loud;
Do you love me?
Feed my sheep.
We stand in church and loudly proclaim our love for God, but will we shepherd His flock? Will we stand watch and guide and direct? Will we nourish His sheep in the pure milk of the word?
Will we tend wounds superficially or wash them in the soul cleansing word of God that washes away sin, taking away all spot and wrinkle.
Love the people of God, love them deeply and with abandon. Like a discerning parent who feeds a child the nutrients they need rather than the sweets they desire - give them what they need.
Give them God’s word.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[c]
And this is the word that was preached to you
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Still, they smile at the future and the joy to be had.
So, even though they fuss and they pick...
Happy Mother's Day!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
|photo by Jody McNary Photography||via PhotoRee|
Remembrances of God's love floating in the wind
When I was in college I invented a game for myself that has stuck with me through the years. The game was that any time a butterfly crossed my path, it was God reminding me of His love for me.
Since that time, I have often smiled at the timing of these fluttering wonders that dance beside me.
Be it a good day or bad, my mind always turns back to my Savior and His great love and tender care for me. Like a surprise from a very dear friend, a knowing smile spreads across my face at this gift. My step springs lighter and I smirk at my little secret.
Looking in the Bible, I see that I am not alone in setting these reminders before my eyes. The old testament if full of building memorials, putting God's word before you. I am reminded of Deuteronomy 6:
“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.Love God with all your heart, soul & mind, let the commandments of God be on your heart, teach these to your kids and put them before you as reminders!
I was sitting in my chair today watching the butterflies fly in my neighbor's garden, smiling at God's great care for me and thinking of you. What are those sweet and tender things that remind you of Him?
Like a romantic lover He woos us to His heart.
|photo by SimplyShutterbug||via PhotoRee|