Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Lord is My Shepherd

Weariness and discouragement crashes into us, sweeps us under with its overwhelming, damaging waves.

Difficult people and circumstances can wrap themselves around so tight, a noose choking out the last of our breath.

We feel parched, dry, so very drained.

We have a good shepherd, He sees.

He knows when His weary servants are looking for water.

We are thirsting, and He leads the way.

To my word dear ones.

He reminds us that He doesn't do things like we do. He doesn't wrap things up in a nice neat bow and give us the package without a struggle. Expectation of greatness, of hope rises out of futility.

That which seems despairing and pointless is never as it seems.

Our Shepherd is at work. He is at work in our hearts, chipping away at that which He cannot use. Our pride, our conditional love, our anger.

And we can rest in the knowledge that He is at work around us. He calls us to "Believe in Him" (John14:1) Questioning what He's doing or how He is doing it defeats the purpose of the Shepherd. Our Lord leads the way, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable.

The pointless is the pointed. Even the evil, sinful agenda of others God reigns over.

We are subjected to futility not willingly but because of Him who subjected us in hope. (Rom8:20)

Hope for what?

"The Lord is my Shepherd and I want for nothing..."

Can we find our satisfaction in Him alone?

When others seem bent on picking on us, when life's circumstances tap out the last of our strength.

Will our soul cry out in the wilderness....

"I am only satisfied by you..."

Our God is water for our soul! It fills us to overflowing! Courage, faith, new resolve to keep longer with despair, but with joy, springs forth.

What a good Shepherd we follow. He leads us to still waters.

And we drink.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Will Worship

Each day I am caught up in the "to dos" and the myriad of tasks.

Each one holy as they are all gifts from above.
You sowed into me, and I respond, I sow into those you have given me.

I get so lost in the everyday that I forget the lover of my soul.

My sin it tangles and slows my race.

Where is the worship?

On my lips I hear complaining. I taste bitterness and yet my soul remembers sweet communion.

Its now just you and me and I will worship.

My face feels carpet, and I think, when did I last bow low for you?

Too busy to sit at your feet.
Hurried prayers, hasty thanksgiving, distracted petitions.

Oh Savior,you deserve more.
You are my delight, my everything.

Here am I and I feel you lavish your love.

Its only you and me. The crowned one and the weary, distracted servant.

All I have, its not much I lay here.
You give so much and my offerings so meager.

My heart, my life, I have let go. No hopes, no dreams ...just you.
You are my delight, my everything.

The hand that blows the wind in the trees blow love through me.

May it overflow...overflow into the everyday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Boy

*a page from my journal~ fall 2010

My precious son.

He sits so confident, there on the couch. This boy/man... who is he?

Do I really know?

Have I taken the time to listen?

Do I hear when he speaks, do I read the pages on his heart?

It feels as if I only hear my words, echoing loudly off the fills my head to brimming. Why, oh why so angry? Why so annoyed?

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child and yet folly is bound up in the heart of this mother.

His weaknesses run me annoyed and the sweet fragrance of home is sour.

I tear down when I could build up. A critical heart shows weak.

His laugh tears into my soul, his smile contagious and bright. Oh the wonder of a boy on the brink of manhood!

A mothers heart reflects on how all at once foolishness is nowhere to be seen and behind the poise, posture of maturity he's still there.

A him that I forget to notice, a him that speaks volumes of what his Father in heaven has done in his heart.

He shares his stories of the evening. Evangelism on the streets with his father and older brother, a night filled with conversations with the lost. His word pictures and analogies amaze me..who is this young man who speaks so eloquently across from me? And how am I missing such wisdom?

I see it then, this fragile growth of a boy struggling to reach the light, stretching and searching.

I feel the pride and responsibility welling up inside of me to water, to gently care for and feed this young sapling. His roots are growing deep, they are grounded in the soil that produces and yields fruit and yet he's young.

Oh Father that you would shine through me that your light would illuminate my words and actions overflowing into the dark areas of the soul.

Your words make souls strong. I will speak strong into his life.

For am I not privileged to raise your warriors? I will fight hard the weak in me and equip the strong in him.

Thank you for the blessing of this son Father God. Thank you for the blessing of my boy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Altar

Friends' harsh words and untrue accusations they sting and cut. What good can be found here?

I struggle to find the gift, the purpose.

I reflect on words in haste years past all my own and am thankful for grace.

I unwrap the unexpected a piece at a time...the chance to lay down pride, forgive the unjustness, extend love, and find hope.

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

Putting it all to death for our friends...isn't that what He showed us?

This fleshy Holy one whose feet walked the path first and we, in all our unworthiness, can stumble behind meshing out what it looks like for us in the dailys.

Days run into each other, I feel the hurt resurface and I see the grace all around me. It's there in little ones faces, hugs of grown boys, trees dancing with fresh buds, words on paper that draw deep.

We have choices as women do we not? It's bound to happen...this topsy-turvy, messy world where our sin abounds and we stammer out life one day at a time flailing in response all wrong.

We pick up pieces, brush off our excuses and justify the selfish. When we hold onto the bitter, the root embeds itself and tangles all else. Choking we cling to remnants of life because we can't see the beauty.

He knew, our Father, how it would hurt, and He made way for us to come undone.

Laid bare before the altar, we toss aside our rights, forget our pride, see our own chipped, broken selves, and there we offer up our thanksgiving.

Sweet, perfumed, drenched in tears our gratefulness comes and we cling to our Saviors feet because that is where He puts us back together. Love that we cannot produce on our own pours forth unabated, we yield and it fills.

Oh, how our Savior He fills.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

You Know When...

You know you just had a high-need baby when....

1. Your laundry piles no longer can be contained or King Kong they invade the city (your home) in mass destruction.

2. You walk around all day with your shirt on inside out AND backwards. You are not aware of this until your hubby on arriving home chuckles lightly and informs you.

3. Speaking of clothing...getting "dressed up" just means ACTUALLY getting dressed.

4. Coffee is no longer is required for basic survival.

5. Clutter piles have become your new favorite way to decorate.

6. You've resorted to cereal as the breakfast of champions.

7. Someone in the grocery store asks you if this is your "first" as you simultaneously bounce fussing, unsoothable baby while unsuccessfully fishing for wallet in spilling diaper bag you mumble and cough "yes."

8. You have not a clue how old your baby is.

9. Grade.4 math stumps you.

10. You fantasize about what it would be like to get sleep in 4 hr increments.

11. You feel pampered when you have time to shave your legs.

12. You thank God for this gift and lesson in humility as you come to the realization that you apparently are NOT the baby "know it all" veteran.

p.s. pix of the little, high-need, well-loved masterpiece coming up soon...that is when I can find my camera amongst the wreckage. :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Embracing the Mothers Day

In Stacy MacDonald and Jennie Chancey's book "The Passionate Housewives Desperate for God" Dorothy Patterson describes her frustration with societys disdain for the homemaker and its insistence on the replaceability of the wife and mother. The amazing double standard...

"Of course, much of the world would agree that being a housekeeper is acceptable as long as you are not caring for your own home; treating men with attentive devotion would also be right as long as the man is the boss in the office and not your husband; caring for children would even be deemed heroic service for which presidential awards could be given as long as the children are someone else's and not your own."

The world lies to our hearts that caring for our families is not noble, that caring for our homes is bondage.

The word of God speaks of a different promise...

"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her"

~Proverbs 31:28

Happy Mothers Day to all the beautiful mothers out there serving and loving on their families daily!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Soul Surfers or Soul Winners?

There was all this buzz in the Christian circles about the movie that needed to be seen! It was being heralded as this great, God glorifying message hitting the big screen. I was excited until I saw the trailer.

Then I felt sick.

Really? This is what Christian families are thrilled about flocking too?

Have I missed something? I went to Focus on the Family's "plugged in" online and read the review and watched the trailer again as the reviewer exclaimed his 4 and 1/2 thumbs up for family friendly all the while half-naked girls are being displayed in living color directly behind him.

What?! Since when was displaying partial nudity God glorifying? 50 years ago no family would dare dream of a "family friendly" night on the town involving skimpy dressed girls on a big screen whether they were on a beach or not.

Why is it that we as Christians allow our society to determine our moral sensitivity?

I am already frustrated with how difficult it is to raise godly young men in this society. Men who value their purity, and integrity. Young men that rise above the social norm.

Focus on the family's own site bear statistics that are shockingly disturbing.

47% percent of families said pornography is a major problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003).

Roger Charman of Focus on the Family's Pastoral Ministries reports that approximately 20 percent of the calls received on their Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.

57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005)

A 1996 Promise Keepers survey at one of their stadium events revealed that over 50% of the men in attendance were involved with pornography within one week of attending the event.

Apparently, porn is a MAJOR problem! It destroys men, it destroys families. So why are we so willing to sit idly by and slowly desensitize ourselves and our loved ones to sensuality. Why is it that Christians are not alarmed by such blatant, extreme immodesty?

I'm wondering though would the same parents hand their teenage boy a Sports Illustrated swim suit addition and say "Here son, there is a great article in here. One of the models overcame adversity and tragedy and then gave all the glory to God for coming through it! You'll have to go through all those pages of pictures first before you get to the article, but wow, is it ever worth it!"

Would Focus on the Family ever endorse such a thing?

I am grieved by the inconsistencies. We complain about teenagers being addicted to porn, rampant promiscuity amongst the young people in the churches and then we wonder why and we shift the blame to society. Yes, we live in a worldly culture, but I love how Denise Mira states in her book "No ordinary Child" She says- "We live (as Christian parents) in a Holy Kingdom culture where "radical" means dressing modestly so that we don't cause others to stumble"- "Make war on inappropriate clothing!"

I'm making war. I encourage my boys to make war.
This is a battle, but I'm willing to fight.

I can almost hear the proverbial criticism... I cannot keep my kids under a rock forever. I get it, I do. The thing is my boys are out on the streets downtown all summer, they share the gospel and they open air preach to crowds where I am sure there are many inappropriately dressed girls. They hand out tracts at malls and I am sure they have spoken to their fair share of girls who are dressed skimpily.

In those situations they are making eye contact, and they are out for a purpose. They are on high alert. They are not sitting in a theatre, being entertained, gawking at larger than life scantily-clad images.

Now what about our girls? Sure maybe one could take mature, godly teenage daughters to this movie and it be a great springboard for discussion about some of the issues that would have been raised in the movie. I'm not sure I would, but I could see how it might not really pose any real problems. Modesty could be addressed and such.

As for my young daughters...never. They are 10 and 8. They are still so very impressionable. I want to guard their hearts and their minds from the pollution that erodes girls today. To see girls running around with their private parts barely covered and fall prey to the glamorous appeal of it all. Sure we could say one thing to them. Tell them how wrong it is and how they are worth more than that. We could talk about noble things like dignity and honor and yet in that dark theatre something else would be going on in their little minds. An allure would be created, an impression made, and a lie would find a voice.
This is what the world says is fun and beautiful.

I would love to think that my girls know better than all of that, that I have trained them well. The Bible reminds us "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jer.17:9)
A fragile heart, a delicate heart, my young daughters hearts, I will not expose them to temptation.

I will not set before their eyes and hearts role models who do not share our values, when there are so many other beautiful examples to give my girls.

As parents why we think we can somehow gloss over the attractiveness of sin and in some way down play its draw baffles me. I guess that is why God speaks strongly on this topic. All throughout Proverbs He commands turning away from evil, fleeing from evil, pretty much running in the opposite direction of evil.

I love Proverbs 14:16 ~"One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless."
And the consequence Proverbs 6:27 ~ "Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?"
A verse that has become a standard in our raising of our children is Romans 16:19 ~"For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil."

My desire is to raise children who are wise to what is good. That they will be world changers, pursue holiness in their lives and lead with strong character. That they will be innocent to what is evil, flee temptation, rise above society's low expectations.

This is not a complaint against the real Bethany Hamilton. I realize her story is inspirational and I am thankful that she has had a platform in REAL life to share her faith in Jesus Christ.

My problem is with the fact that Hollywood can make a movie, throw us Christians a bone by sprinkling in a little faith talk, a prayer or two, a reading of scripture and then many Christian organizations jump on the bandwagon to heavily promote it. I guess I am not looking for "better than bad." That is not where I draw my standard.

Just because I am used to Hollywood promoting filth doesn't mean I am going to embrace a film because it invokes a feel good message and provides an emotional reaction.

My standard is purity at all costs for my family. I will fight for a hedge of protection around my young men. I will not compromise for the sake of being relevant and more tolerant.

I am striving for soul winners, not soul surfers.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." ~Heb 12:1

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Chose The Nails

There was a price to be paid.

Was it just love that motivated Christ to bear our weight of sin on that cross?

God is equally holy, just and loving.

His sense of justice demanded a price.

His holiness is unmatched..there is not another suitable sacrifice.
Blemish free, perfect.

There was only one man who could take that punishment so we could be reconciled to God with an opportunity for intimate relationship with Him.

May we not have a flagrant disregard for the cost. May we reverently and fearfully worship the Majesty.

(remember to pause music in the sidebar)

Reflections from Easter past here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Resting in Him

*entry from my journal winter 2010*

At last her little soft hand reaches for mine. I enclose it, wrap her in arms close.
We rest. I weary in need of a nap, her cranky and needing sleep.

Scooped up she comes to my bed unhappy. I lay down with her and yet she fusses and complains, big tears spill down cheeks.
The pudgy pout takes over her little face. Up she sits resisting and defiant. I whisper love and sing a song of comfort.

I stare at her and contemplate how very much I am like this little strong willed baby girl of mine. How often as of late I wrestle and complain. I resist and fuss about the unfairness of it all.
Why oh why are we being treated this way? I don't understand, I don't like it. How can this be of any good?

I am defiant.

And yet there HE is... so patient, so loving. Beckoning me to rest.

Rest in me.

Know that I see and understand. Know that it is still for your good. I am preparing you, stretching you. You see only now, I see later...much later.

His whisper soothes me. His truth sustains me and I quiet.

She slumbers now, little nose pressed against my cheek, her heavy, contented breathing flows over my face. It is what she needed. Not what she wanted, but mommy knows.
She is assured that when it's uncomfortable or uneasy, I will still be there.

Never alone. Only an outstretched hand away. Just like my Father in heaven.

I will reach out for His hand and I will rest.

"If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all... they are meant to make you useful in His hands."
~ Oswald Chambers

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Journey


Sometimes we just need it. Lives to evaluate, motives, thoughts.

To just be quiet, learn at His feet.

That is where I was. So full, on a journey. Isn't that us all? We navigate this life one day at a time and the learning never stops, the experiences, the trials, the lessons.

I needed to be still, to be quiet.

Sometimes always having something to say drowns out what I need to hear.

We as women have such a powerful role. We speak into the lives of our husbands, we speak into the lives of our children and sometimes we speak into the lives of fellow women.

Those words can impact for good at times, they can heal old wounds, touch hearts, encourage growth, they can fan the flames of spiritual fervor that have grown cold.

What responsibility that leaves us with. As I have shared my life and my journey, my soul has been bared, my heart exposed and at times that has left me feeling naked.

I share because He calls me too. I share because I want to encourage, I want to embrace the learning, climb out of the trenches of suffering and point to the healer of our hearts.

This journey of womanhood is not meant to be taken alone. We need one another.

We will walk this road boldly, walking out our callings with obedience. Sometimes we will stumble along, weary we will lose our resolve, we may see the road as too difficult, too long, it may overwhelm us, but we will run alongside one another so that our eyes won't see the temporary but only the value.

And when we run, we will run with the sun on our face, the wind at our backs and the cheering of our sisters.

Our Father will beckon us on and the race will continue.

He tells us...

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"

So... Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2Corinthians12:9)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

9 Month Catch Up in Pictures

What's been happening around here?

Last summer my 15 yr. old wanted to be baptized and asked tradesman to do so.

And thanks to granda, we as a family took a trip to Disney.

Yes, I made the boys go on Cinderellas Carousel...'cause I can get away with it, I'm the mother. Besides, I feed them and with teenage boys that means you hold all the power.

You should also know that Baby My is no longer a baby. See...

Oh ya, and this little guy joined our family.

Well, that about wraps up the last 9 months of excitement.

Glad to be back!

p.s. so sorry about my un-announced very LONG blogging hiatus.

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