Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good Kids

Good kids.

Is that all we want?

I think that I have spent the better part of the last 14 years of raising my children focusing on just that. Sure "good" to me involves a whole lot more than what it might mean to someone else.

Do they love God?
Are they kind and compassionate?
Unselfish, generous and good servers?
Obedient, and respectful?

These things matter to me, these are traits that I hold in esteem before my children. I measure their behavior according to how well they are fulfilling these qualities. I strive to reach their hearts with the importance of each of these in their life. I disciple, exhort, rebuke and discipline with their character in mind.

I want to raise kids that are not only a blessing to me but to others around me. I want to live in a home where there is joy, and dissension and conflict is at a medium.
This takes work, lots of work. It takes time, lots of time.

So much work and time that sometimes I forget that there is more. A whole lot more.

Will it be enough if I raise children that are just good?

I don't believe so. I think that there are lots of good Christian people out there. There are lots of good Christian people filling the pews every Sunday.

Christ didn't preach that we were to strive for good. He did not preach that we were to reach the epitome of good. We already know that our righteousness is like filthy rags. There is no comparison to Gods holiness, His perfection.

What did He preach then?

Matthew 16:25~For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

I think that Christian parents today have fallen prey to the worlds standards of success.
Sure they want little Johnny to grow up good, but they also want little Johnny to grow up privileged, to have most everything, to take part in most everything, to compete in most everything. They want the best education, the most opportunities, and little Johnny to not experience loss, pain, or want.

I most definitely believe education is important. But not at the expense of godly discipleship. I want opportunities for my children, but not just good, fun opportunities. I want them to experience service opportunities, difficult opportunities, and uncomfortable opportunities.

I have no desire to raise wimpy, pampered children. I have no desire to have lazy, indulged, pushy, or bully children.

When I look at my children's future I do not dream of fancy colleges or universities. I don't aspire for them to have lofty degrees and prestigious letters after their names.

No I am striving for something more, much more.

Will my children be willing to lose their life if asked... as in would they be willing to lay down earthly dreams, goals if God laid it on their heart to do so?

Will they strive after the worlds idea of success or will they seek the less prominent, less appealing, humble pursuit of service?

I realize that the world has a need for Christian doctors, lawyers, engineers and professors. But within those prestigious positions there are non prestigious choices. If God has given my child a gift, a skill if you may and has laid it on his heart to pursue one of these occupations would he be willing to set aside the many opportunities that came his way to seek out a way to use his position, his gift in humble service?

This may mean loss of status, loss of opportunities, loss of financial gain maybe even income.

Whoever is willing to lose his life for me will gain his life

I take it very seriously my role in equipping my children with this mindset. My training, my teaching, the experiences I provide for them, the experiences that they find themselves in that I do not rescue them from, the things that I let them struggle through.

All of this is beneficial, it provides a framework from which God can work within in their hearts.`

Why would we want our children to seek earthly gain, what eternal value is in that?

Heavenly minded, Kingdom purposes... those should be our goals.

Good is great.

But good is not good enough.

Strive for more mommies...strive for so much more.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Locks of Love

Who do these little beauty's belong too?

They did belong to my sweet, first born daughter.
Now thanks to Locks of Love they will go towards helping to make a wig for a child who needs one.

I LOVE my daughters long hair and it was sad for mama to see it go.

My daughter on the other hand could not get into that hairdressers fast enough and enjoyed every minute of the experience.

She is an independent, free spirit and wanted her hair short and wanted to donate.

I, on the other hand was just a tad mopey despite the good cause. Come on lets be honest here, you have seen baby takes FOREVER for my girls to grow hair, so mama gets just a wee bit attached when it finally does.

It did turn out pretty darn cute though! She suddenly looks a whole lot older...not too sure that I like that part!

Sweet baby girl, don't grow up too fast! I forbid it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Summer on the Brain

Ya, I got summer on the brain. Maybe it's because I froze my tooshie off outside for far too long today while carrying hefty baby My around on my hip through knee deep snow... okay not really knee deep it was normal snow but it felt knee deep with a large cold toddler on my aching arm.

I am SO ready for blue skies, green grass and the sun on my back. I am done with snow pants, squishy boots and missing gloves...

I am done with a cold house, cold toes, cold shoveling, cold van...

I want summer.

It's only January. 22 nd.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Refiner of Silver

I have been thinking much about trial and suffering in the Christians life. I have thought about our responsibility in how we walk through that trial, our example to the saved and unsaved around us.

If we mean what we say, and we want our lives to reflect a pursuit of God, than how we see trial is pivotal to how we respond to trial.

Embracing Gods sovereignty and the things that He allows to happen or not happen in our lives should be done with willingness and peace.

Willing - knowing that He will never leave us, and He knows our limits. That He will rescue us before it becomes more than we could possibly bear.

Peace - A real trust that He sees the future, knows the impact on not only our lives but on the ones around us. It is for the greater good. We can have that assurance by faith and His promises despite our limited human knowledge.

Below is something that I came across recently. A woman posted it on a ladies forum to comfort other sisters in Christ who found themselves amidst the fires of trial. I wanted to share it here in hopes that it would bring you joy as it has me.

Malachi 3:3 ~ "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says:

"He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith,

"How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered,

"Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

With joy being refined,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spiritual Pride

"Proud people tend to speak of other's sins, the miserable delusion of hypocrites, the deadness of some saints with bitterness, or the opposition to holiness of many believers. Pure Christian humility, however, is silent about the sins of others, or speaks of them with grief and pity.

The spiritually proud person finds fault with other saints for their lack of progress in grace, while the humble Christian sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.
He complains most of himself and his own spiritual coldness and readily hopes that most everybody has more love and thankfulness to God than he."

"One under the influence of spiritual pride is more apt to instruct others than to ask questions. Such a person naturally puts on the airs of a master. The eminently humble Christian thinks he needs help from everybody, whereas the spiritually proud person thinks everybody needs his help. Christian humility, under a sense of others’ misery, entreats and beseeches, but spiritual pride commands and warns with authority."

~Written by Jonathan Edwards

Monday, January 11, 2010

Important to Who?

Something to ponder...

"When you is precious to God, you become important to Satan."

A line said by Denver to Ron in the book
"Same Kind of Different as Me"

(An amazing true story by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.)

More on this book later. Still chewing on it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

To Purge or Not to Purge? (that is the question)

So in an effort to avoid starting school again with my children, I officially declared this week purge and organization week!

They had to still do their reading and their math (lest you think I am completely irresponsible) but other than that they were to be my child slaves laborers.

What is it about decluttering and organizing that causes me to want to hide under my bed (lest I have to share) with a package of chocolate chips?

I mean, I LOVE to think about all the things that I will declutter and organize. I even love to make lists about it or at least think about making lists. I always seem to have these great intentions and wonderful ideas but never any follow through (dang that pesky follow through)

So Monday morning was to start with a bang. Up and at' em, making my list and checkin' it twice goin' find out who's...never mind.

Anyhow, I had big plans, lots of expectation, and more than enough to conquer. After a morning of procrastination, and baking brownies with the little ones I ended up on the couch watching the movie Pinocchio with all the kids. What?? How did that happen?

When I gathered my senses, I marched myself upstairs with boys in tow and tackled their room. It took all afternoon and into the evening and still some was left for today. But it is finished... closet, clothing, under the bed (yikes), shelves, all purged! Hallelujah!

Today was to be the girls room day. I SO could not get motivated this morning. Coffee was not doing its job, I felt sluggish and lazy.

Tradesman was home today and had errands to do, needed to work on our van and start to clean out our garage.

I really wanted to just sit around and distract him (I'm just sayin) Eventually, he was able to pull himself away from me (I let go) to get the stuff done he needed too.

I on the otherhand, said yes to the little ones when they asked if they could go outside to play in the snow and toboggan. (what was I thinking) and then spent the next 1/2 hour finding snow gear, wrestling on snow gear, zipping up snow gear and then pushing snow geared children out the door. I had started folding a load of laundry before the kids requested to go outside and did not finish folding that load of laundry till at least an hour and a half later.

After pushing snow geared children outside, it wasn't long
(89 sec.) till they came back pleading for my help in finding sleds. Ugh. I donned my boots and coat, dredged my way across our yard through the knee deep snow to the workshop. Found a blow up toboggan, blew out a lung blowing the thing up, reminded the kids NOT to close the door behind us because the handle is broken and you can't get out from the inside, watched as 4 yr. old clamored into the shop excitedly and promptly closed the door behind him.

As I stood there looking bewildered, I wondered if it was really necessary to heed tradesmans warning to not enter the garage from the workshop door entrance because a skunk had taken up residence in our rafters. That being the only working door, I was thinking how likely is it really that the skunk would be awake and spunky at this time, I mean, was I really likely to get sprayed or just a little squirted?

However, having no experience with skunk spraying when I opened the door a crack I could smell a faint, familiar disgusting odor that has been encountered on many drives through the country. I figured being trapped in the cold workshop with the kids was a better option.

Thankfully, we were released a short time later, someone was hungry and came looking for me. (figures) After taking kids over to the hill at the back of our property with the toboggan, they proceeded to try and slide down the hill. There was too much snow and a path needed to be made first. I grabbed a cardboard box and had to use the only feasible, adequate body part I could think of. Ya, that would be my derriere. So a humbling and yet entertaining "skooch" down the hill produced the desired result and a sliding path was born.

I trudged back to the house, butt and legs covered in snow, hands freezing and insides craving more coffee. I knew it would not be long till the little snow geared children would find their back to the house, needing help dissembling from their many layers, hoping for hot cocoa and a mountain of boots, mitts, scarves, hats, coats and snow would be ready for clean up.

I found my way into the kitchen after replacing my pants and tripped over the pile of clean laundry I had abandoned earlier. I could almost hear my list on the counter laughing at me.
It was that high pitched, screeching witch's cackle.

Somehow, after much delay and drama I did make it to the girls room. We made a good dent, but I will still probably need another day and a half in there. At the rate I'm going I should be done by next week or not.

What is seriously the problem??!! How come some people are so good at this?? And some of us are just NOT??!!

Keeping it real,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Here at Your Feet

20 weeks today.

Half way through...such a milestone. I always loved it when I hit this week in my pregnancies. Such excitement, such anticipation. Nice large belly, lots of kicking and active movement, over the hump of morning sickness, looking forward to the promise of new life just around the corner...

I know I should stop counting. I know its wrong, silly, crazy, whatever. I can't help it. Tradesman says that I need to stop, its only going to hurt more. He's right.

I was thinking about them so much today. I was thinking about all the crazy ideas we had for announcing our pregnancy over Christmas to our families. We knew that my big belly would have been impossible to hide any longer.

Funny how sometimes I feel like two different people. On one hand I can laugh, talk, be silly, enjoy the festivities around me. I can pretend everythings just fine.
Then there is this part of me that's not really there at all. It's sort of just watching everything. It's thinking, remembering, hurting, weeping.

I have been listening to tradesmans new Casting Crown cd all day. One song I cannot get out of my head. "Here at Your Feet"

Here at your feet I lay this day down..not in my strength but in Yours I've found
All I need...You're all I need

Jesus, Jesus at your feet oh to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus at your feet there is nowhere else for me...
There is nowhere else for me

Here at your feet I lay my future down...all of my dreams I give to you now
And I find peace... I find peace

Here at your feet, I lay my life down...For You my King, You're all I want now
And my soul sings...Cause I am free

I lay it down, this long day, this constant reminder that I am not 20 weeks pregnant today...I lay it down here at Your feet.
My dreams and hopes for the at your feet Jesus

I am here at your feet Lord, my life it's yours ...there is really nowhere else for me... I find peace in You alone, in You alone my Lord. Peace in knowing that you have it all figured out, you have it all planned.

With You my King, my soul sings. Thank you Father that my soul still sings.

A New Year, new beginnings...not what I thought it looked like, not exactly how I wish it could be. But, exactly where I want to be...

At His Feet.
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