Thursday, December 10, 2009
When I unloaded my buys at home, I started trying on clothes along with my girls who had things to model as well. I put the "squisher" on and was thrilled with the results. We all admired my mini-waist. I felt like I was wearing a stretchy corset. All went well until I tried to take it off - I should have bought the XL. My girls began laughing hysterically at me trying to unminimize myself. Then I got tickled. I was stuck. "Hope I can take a shower in the thing, cause it's there for good," I thought. Eventually I did free myself. I hope I haven't caused my daughters too much trauma.
So...where is this story going? Is there a way to apply this to life? Of Courset...I mean of course. We have so many things binding us. Work, schedules, stress, troubled relationships, responsibilities. We feel stuck. Sometimes it means we need to let go of some things to make our schedule lighter. It might be that we need counseling for our relationships. Maybe it's that we should take a nap on Sunday afternoons to relieve the stress. Usually for me, I find myself completely stressed when I think I can do it all and I forget Who makes it possible for me to wake up everyday and breath. I've missed time with Jesus minimizing Him in my life. Instead, I have to try to minimize my life so that I can put God back where He belongs...in and over it all - bound only by His firm grip.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
But, on Sunday, it hit me. Even though the traditions of the Navajo have been passed down for hundreds of years, God has been around longer...He was first. As we stood in worship with white and tan faces joined in song, I realized that we all need the same thing. I get caught up in the things we have and the worldly possessions the Navajo's might not have instead of focusing on what we all need. We all need compassion, forgiveness...we need a saviour. He is the hope of all nations. No matter what our human ways have been, no matter what we believe, it's not about me, it's not about the Navajo people. It's all about Him. He is the hope. He is the reason we can rejoice always, pray continually, and be thankful in all circumstances. (I Thess. 5:16-18)
My fear for proclaiming His name was my own fear. Remembering that He is the hope for every nation - every person - put my confidence back in Christ rather than in myself. "In his name the nations will put their hope." Matt. 12:21
When we sang Mighty to Save, I was standing beside Harold, a precious Navajo man. I stopped singing to hear him sing. He needs the same thing I need. We need Jesus. Praise the Lord - we both have Him! To Him be the glory! www.youtube.com/watch?v=-08YZF87OBQ
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
So, what did God mean by fearing Him. Ps. 33:18 says, "The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love." A God who has unfailing love doesn’t sound like a distant God. Certainly not one that we should be frightened to approach as the word “fear” often leads us to think.
Over and over the phrase is used in the bible. My very limited index in the back of my bible holds 15 references about fearing the Lord.
I have to admit that I didn’t hear the whole sermon last Sunday. I had children sitting beside me (and actually on me) asking me how to spell things, playing with my wedding rings, burrowing into me trying to find a comfortable spot. But between the wiggling, something sweet appeared on the screen in front of me. To fear the Lord means: desperate dependence resulting in reverent intimacy.
When I realize that without Him I’m sunk, that brings fear in me. Knowing that I need Him, desperately, causes me to depend on Him and builds in my heart a reverent intimacy. Pride goes out the window. Self-pity, shame, guilt…none of those things can find a place in my heart when I am completely dependent on Him.
I want the unfailing love of the Lord; I want His eyes on me. If you do to, then it’s time we understand that He isn’t a distant, hard, uncaring God. He is, rather, a gentle, loving Father who cares about the details of our life and wants desperately for us to depend on Him for all the details.
(Thanks for your insight and study Roy.)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
- it's best if I take a deep breath before I jump into a lecture;
- that when she tells me stuff, she's not always looking for an answer;
- that we enjoy a lot of the same things (that's really cool!);
- that I shouldn't snort when I laugh because that's not cool;
- I'm learning not to panic...she's learning and growing everyday. I see glimpses of Jesus in her and it reminds me that He's the one who is ultimately in control;
- I'm doing all I can to pour into her the blessings and promises of God without shoving them on her...being available at bedtime, holding her when she asks, putting notes in her lunch box, reading the bible or a devotional at breakfast;
- she doesn't always want me around, but sometimes she does. At those times she really needs me.
- when she gives me a hard time, most of the time she's really trying to get me to play...when I tickle her, or roll my eyes and smile instead of getting mad, we end of laughing.
- sometimes I'm an idiot. If any experienced parents want to give me advice, I'll gladly take it!
Lord, we need your help. Please give us the wisdom, patience, understanding, and perseverance we need to raise this strong daughter you've given us. You created her and know her better than we ever can. You're works are wonderful. (Ps. 139) Thank you for the privilege of being responsible for training our kids. I love You and Need You. I ask this in Jesus name...Amen
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sometimes what is actually going on isn't what I see. It might look like one thing to me, but God, who never sleeps, is fully aware of what is really happening. (Psalm 121:3-4)
Disappointments come. Emergencies happen. Life changes. But, not without the watchful eye of our Father who isn't just sitting around playing tic-tac-toe, but is actively involved in the events of our days.
I'm trying to remember that today. Maybe what I've been counting on hasn't been grounded in God's reality, but rather in my dreams. Have I made idols of my aspirations? Probably. Today, as I long to do everyday, I'm clinging to Him...the author and perfecter of my faith.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition...so that you do not grow weary and lose heart." Heb. 12:2
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
We are about to launch a new t-shirt for my parent's shop. The shirt is the picture of how our parents relationship began. I wanted to include a verse on the back of the shirt. When I asked my dad, he thought for a while and then said, Ephesians 3:20-21.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
This verse fits the lives of our mom and dad perfectly. Dad lived a tough life as a child; he lost his daddy early on, smoked cigarette butts off the street when he was 5, lived with several step-fathers, and had very little money even though his mom worked up to 3 jobs at a time.
He met our mom at a soda fountain on Main Street in Whitesboro, Texas. They married, had three kids, both worked with mom's parents (his in-laws---pretty amazing), took over the business in the 80's, and have transformed the place little by little.
51 years after they said "I do", they are about to open a soda fountain of their own on Main Street in Whitesboro. God has done in my parents' lives more than they could have imagined. From a desperate situation at age 5, to a joyful life of following Jesus at 71, God has been at work for all those years doing immeasurably more than any of us could have dreamed. So, God gets the glory!
If you're in a desperate spot, turn your eyes to the one who was able yesterday, who is able today, and who will be able tomorrow to turn the darkness you feel into bright light...for His glory.
Contact us if you want directions to Lovejoy's on Main Street or if you want a great t-shirt. Tasty lunch, beautiful (fun!) store, and free wi-fi! What more could you ask for! Soda Fountain coming soon!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
1. The “golden years” happen when your children are young and you are healthy.
2. People under the age of 70 are spoiled.
3. Kids need to learn to work.
4. We buy too many clothes and toys for our children. With all the distractions, they miss out on some of the plain things that God put on earth for us to treasure…mud, clouds, sticks, etc.
5. TV is the biggest waste of time…right up there with computers and microwaves!
6. Respect your elders even when they tell you things you don’t want to hear!
7. Things are really better than they seem, especially in hindsight!
8. Riding in the car should be a thrill! There’s time to talk, time to find pictures in the clouds, count cows, trucks, watch high-line wires, look for trains...
9. Three Wal-Mart bags of plastic Easter eggs filled with candy would feed Coxes Army! (I don’t know who Coxes Army was, but there must have been a bunch of them!)
10. Little girls should wear short dresses so they’re not in the way of them playing.
11. Moms should not wear short dresses.
12. Make-up and money just make you worry more about how you look and what you have.
13. Happiness is having all your family around, just not all in the kitchen at the same time!
Friday, September 18, 2009
On Tuesday as I was taking care of Sharon's kids, Davis and Addison went out to play for a few minutes in between rain showers. To my surprise they quickly came back with a small bouquet of beautiful white flowers. With smiles on their faces, they said, "Look what we found!" I adored them, smelling the sweet fragrance they emitted (the flowers, not the boys!). Then I quizzed, "Where did you find these? They are beautiful! I've never seen them before." They replied, "They were outside in the grass! They are for you!"
Since I didn't know what they were, like any good mom, I told them to go ask the neighbor if she knew what they were. Sure enough, Mrs. Pam, our sweet neighbor, knows her flowers! She told them they were Rain Lilies which only come up after the ground is saturated with rain.
Wow! Did I ever need the reminder that God is faithful amidst the rain in my life. I shared with my children that even in the midst of a gloomy time, God is there, evident in His magnificent creation. Only when it rains can this flower be seen! Amazing!
Some of the most beautiful things come out of hard times in our lives. God wants to make something beautiful come from the rain in my life, if I will allow Him too.
Shortly after the flower incident, I began praising God, though the rain had not stopped. He helped me change my focus. So I ask you, "What is growing from the storms in your life? Is it discouragement, distraction and defeat (3 D's), or maybe bitterness, doubt and disappointment?" He wants to make something beautiful out of you and me, but it can only happen if we have our hearts and eyes turned to Jesus in the midst of the rain!
Romans 8:28 The Message
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. 29 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.. . .31 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? 32 If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? 33 And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen?
Lord, You are amazing. Your handiwork is evidence of your faithfulness and love. Thanks for loving me and drawing me to Your side when I allow myself to be consumed by my rainy circumstances. Thank you for Rain Lilies, Lord! I love You!
Here's "Sometimes..."—an oldie, but a goodie—from Steven Curtis Chapman for your listening pleasure!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
My kids and I have been working behind our house clearing a new walking path in the woods. In the process, we’ve pulled, clipped and chopped our way through the itchy overgrowth. (Thought none of us were allergic to poison ivy, but I was wrong!) As we worked, I noticed two kinds of plants. We have lots of grasses. You can tell because when you pull, it comes right up. The other takes more than a pull. We have to get the clippers and cut them down leaving the roots in the ground. These baby trees are surprisingly strong.
With sweat dripping from our foreheads in the Texas heat (I love sweating with my kids!) I realized that we have two choices in life. I told my son, “I am praying that you and your sisters are like these trees, not like the grass. When somebody tries to convince you to do something out of line with God’s plan, I want you to have strong roots, holding you firm. You don’t want to be like the grass that can be pulled up with no effort. The grass lasts one season, but the trees grow stronger year, after year, after year.”
I wasn’t sure he understood what I meant. But, a couple of days later at breakfast, he brought it up and explained the whole thing to his sister. Whoo-Hoo! I think she got it, too. And the roots grew deeper…
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord for teaching us principles about life through your creation. I pray that the children of this generation will rise up and stand strong, not swayed by the deception of the world. Draw their hearts to You. In Jesus' name…Amen
Check out our website for another verse under Spiritual Apps...We're learning it as a family over the next several weeks.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Once we arrived in NC, I realized I had no camera! After the Southbridge event we were headed to She Speaks where I wanted to learn about putting photographs on our blog. No camera, but needing pictures = a quick trip to Best Buy and wa-la...we have pictures - just not in time for Southbridge!
Laurie and I were so blessed to hear Jennifer Rothschild and get to reconnect with her again. Our families had visited with she and Phil at the MOPS convention in Minneapolis several years ago while we were on tour in Minnesota. I needed to hear that she had been prideful at times in ministry. I've done the same thing and have felt so guilty about it. Grace, grace, grace isn't just to offer to others. Sometimes we need to give grace to ourselves.
Laurie and I met with three publishers while at She Speaks pitching a book idea. We enjoyed meeting all of them (Kregel, Cook, Harvest House) Kim works with a couple of the ladies we met at Harvest House while we were on tour in Oregon several years ago.
Laurie had the privilege of being with 10 wonderful ladies as part of a speaker evaluation group. We all survived the 3 and 5 minute speeches and longed for more time to get to know one another.
At the last session, we were encouraged to take communion, then walk up to the front of the room and pick up a scripture from the pile at the foot of the cross. I picked up Ps. 33:11, "But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations." Laurie went up a few minutes later. When she sat down, I looked at her verse: Ps. 33:11. I thought maybe there were only a few verses printed, but as we looked around, nobody else had Ps. 33:11. So, not because it was ooh-mysterious, but because God is amazing and speaks to His people, we are studying and praying over Ps. 33 and how it applies to our lives and the ministry. Thanks, She Speaks Staff, for a wonderfully planned, uplifting, refreshing event.
Then, it was time to go back home to Texas. Laurie was packed up ready to go...really - walking out the door with bag in hand when she looked down to discover she was still in her houseshoes! Since I had a new camera, I took a picture to commemorate the occasion.
When we arrived at the airport, our families were waiting - all except Charles who was busy fixing a mysterious plumbing problem. Laurie will have to tell you more about that in another blog. The kids were thrilled to see us and just about as excited to see the new camera. Who knew you could do this with a camera! Leave it to a kid to figure that out!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
On Monday I took our fourteen yr. old to his first day of high school world view class. Wow! It's exciting, yet startling. Exciting, because he is beginning a new stage in life and gaining an invaluable learning experience. Startling, because I can't believe he is already in high school! I have been asking myself lately, "Have we been putting in the right stuff? Will he know all he needs to know to face the future?"
You know, I've heard it said that after they start driving, "It's all over!" Wow, that means I'd better hurry . . . he's about to turn 15!
I am keeping my eyes peeled for teaching opportunities such as, washing and cooking skills, to good work ethics and decision making skills.
So I ask you, "Are you putting in the right stuff right now?" Together let's ask God to remind us of what that is . . the stuff that really matters most.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I say all this to let you know the pressure I was under when I decided to cook. Many times I allowed myself to feel that I didn't measure up. I wasn't organized enough. (So much for our "Contentment" talk!) I didn't have all the ingredients I needed when I did decide to cook. Or, much of the time, I was just too plain-tired to cook. So, too often, my suggestion to my husband was, "Let's go out to eat!" Not only was this an expensive suggestion, after a while, it became a self-defeating suggestion. I wanted to cook for my family. I knew I needed to set a good example for my children and teach them to cook. I desired to be home to eat together, but I just wasn't very good at juggling all my responsibilities and getting a healthy dinner on the table on a consistent basis. "Why can't I do this?" I would ask myself. "My mom did it all the time and made it look so easy!"
One day my husband suggested I take a look at a website a co-worker had found, E-Mealz.com. When he told me that Dave Ramsey endorsed the program, I thought, "Oh, great! 7 creative ways to prepare rice and beans! This sounds fun!" At first, I have to admit, my feelings were a little hurt. I knew I wasn't doing the best job in the area of meal preparation, but I didn't want my husband to suggest I needed help. "The kitchen is my domain . . . right?"
Reluctantly, I decided to take a look. But to my surprise and delight, I discovered that not only did E-Mealz offer 7 meal recipes and the preparation instructions to go with them, but also a categorized grocery list mapped out for the aisles of my favorite store. Wow! I was sold immediately! This was my answer to my meal-time woes.
We have been using this meal preparation program for several months, and it has literally changed my way of thinking about cooking at home. I no longer dread making dinner. My children are very involved in meal preparation now. It has allowed me to be hospitable in a moment's notice, not wondering if I had all the ingredients I needed. We eat at home much more than we did before, and I feel that I'm providing for my family, like I always wanted to. What a wonderful feeling . . . sanity is back!
One of the things we want to do at Mom and Loving It is to pass on practical, helpful tips when we come across them. This is one we feel strongly about passing on to you!
Ladies, maybe you feel overwhelmed and defeated in this area much like I did. We want to encourage you. You can do it! Take a look at E-Mealz and then let us know what it does for your family!
Thank You for our daily bread. Now grant me the will, wisdom, and ability to prepare it for my family with strength and dignity, like the woman of Proverbs 31 (vv. 15, 25-27). In Jesus' name, Amen....Dig in!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
But, we’re supposed to. We know it. Bewildered by the absurdity of when and how to rest, we keep toiling, striving, trying to get it all done – only to find that it never ends.
Yet, we’re supposed to rest. We know it. God must have meant for us to take a break in the midst of the chaos. What does that look like?
When the kids ask 45 questions in the car, we can breathe a prayer asking God to help us answer patiently. While stirring a pot, we can be still and know that He is there. When worry invades our thoughts as deadlines loom, our eyes can move from the pressure, to focus on Jesus – our helper, sustainer, and strength.
I’m not at the end of this lesson - looking back. I’m a work in progress. But, I (Sharon) am on the journey, learning how to rest, not just by taking a load off in the nearest chair. I'm beginning to rest in Him - the author of my days.
Won’t you join me? We were never meant to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. In the middle of our circumstances, we can find rest in His arms.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Well, now that summer is halfway over, maybe you've found yourself resentful and angry because your children constantly "interrupt" your schedule. If that's how you're feeling, you're normal.
But, wait. We wanted these kids, right? Are they really interruptions or blessings in disguise? How can we move from simply surviving the rest of summer to making it a summer to remember?
Here are a few ideas to get you out of the summer survival rut:
Realize they won't be this way forever. Preschoolers won't always have tiny hands. Call your elementary-aged kid on the phone and listen to the smallness of their voice.Tween girls giggle. Tween boys have a fascination with being gross. Even though teens have lots of their own ideas and don't like yours, make your home the safe, fun house.My parents' secret was a ping-pong table. Enjoy them, because they'll be gone before you know it.
Say "no" with a smile. It makes you and your child feel better. They know you have some regret at having to say no. You are on their team.
Play music. Anger and music don't usually dance. Movie soundtracks, praise songs, music from my teen years or even classical stations. I rarely find myself upset with my kids when we have music playing in the background.
Go outside. Sometimes taking a walk or bike ride with the kids can do wonders to change everyone's perspective.
Work together. Life isn't all about fun. Use this summer to teach your kids how to sort, wash and fold laundry, put sheets on a beds, dust, mow, organize a closet, etc.
Things aren't always as they seem. Remember that the way you are seeing things at this moment is probably not how it will look in a couple of hours. Frustrations can build and dissolve quickly when you have kids.
Offer them 30 minutes of your time. After they have helped pick up around the house let them pick what the two of you will do together and watch their eyes light up! For older kids, offer them the day off after helping for an hour.
Ask your kids what they think is fun. You might be surprised to find that their idea of fun often doesn't cost any money. My sister was amazed to find that her 7-year-old son's idea of "fun" was playing tag in the front yard with dad, mom and his little sister.
Slow down. Successful parenting doesn't mean you have your children involved in every possible extra-curricular activity. Successful parenting means you are there for them. If you've been running all year, it takes "practice" to enjoy staying home. Don't give up. Turn off the computer, TV, cell phone, etc. etc. and read or play games (no matter what their age.)
Pray. When you are at your wit's end, ask God to help you remember what to do with your kids. On our own, it's hard to enjoy the moments because "life happens." But God has a way of giving us perspective that will slow us down and help us see our families the way He sees them-with love and compassion.
The next time you blow your top or realize you're just surviving your kids instead of enjoying their clumsy feet, silliness, or their constant desire to talk on the phone, stop and think, "one day I'll miss this!" The funny thing is, tomorrow we'll be longing for today. If we choose to think like that long enough, the kids won't be the only ones sad to hear the school bell ring this fall.
We would love to hear how things are going with you and your family. Feel free to Email us today!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Flew to CA. Went to In-N-Out, Susie's Deals, Disneyland. Drove to Ventura at 9...felt like 11. Our kids were exhausted. But, we made it. Got in bed. Davis threw up in the middle of the night. We prayed....Lord please let it be because he was tired...not a stomach virus.
God answered our prayer. It must have been something he ate. We drove the short distance to Santa Barbara. Shopped, ate lunch at an open air Jeannine's, had ice cream, rented a surrey and pedaled around the beach. Stopped to watch the skateboarders at the skateboard park. "It's only been an hour on the surrey? No wonder they give you the 2nd hour free. They know you'll be worn-out." We returned the surrey, with 1/2 an hour left. Went to the beach. The kids were like magnets. God's playground is the best. Ate at Moby Dicks...not our favorite, but it was located at the end of the pier. We saw dolphins from there.
Drove to Beverly Hills. Pat has done a great job organizing all of this. He flew us for free, and we've stayed for free most of the nights. This particular night was the best. We stayed at the Beverly Hilton. It doesn't look great from the outside, but it is beautiful on the inside. Our room made the kids ooh and ahh. We window shopped on Rodeo Drive, then took pictures along this gorgeous park-like walkway on the way back. Brittlea and Crislynn have been working on a music video the whole time, so they have had lots of really cool places to "shoot" their video. The family swam at the pool. I read a book and sipped iced tea...all the while looking for movie stars. We didn't see any.
That night we went to In-n-Out at UCLA, then walked around the fun shops. We had ice cream at Diddy Riese...the most amazing deal ever. They make an ice cream sandwich with your choice of cookie and your choice of ice cream - all for the low price of $1.50!! So fun...
Pat and I left the kids in the hotel room for a few minutes while we went to sit at the pool. I was overwhelmed by the hollowness of it all as we sat there and listened to Michael Jackson's songs playing in the background. No wonder actors and people who live here get distracted by everything that really doesn't matter. There is much to distract them. I was being drawn in, too, wishing we had more money, wishing for a better hairstyle, new clothes, a skinnier body and I know better! I had read Colossians 2:8 before we left home, but it meant so much more to me when I read it again while in Beverly Hills: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
How easy it is for that to happen. I'm grateful that God knows right where we are.
I'll write more about the trip tomorrow. We leave on Wednesday. I think this is the longest vacation I've ever taken. It's been fun, but it will be good to get home. I'm just dreading the Texas heat! Still, there's no place like home.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
My oldest (14 yrs) left for Basketball camp in Oklahoma on Sunday . . . I hate to say it but I was excited he was going. I needed a break!! Teenagers are way harder that I expected! Do you know the feeling?
He called me today (the first time I've talked to him . . . except for a text) and asked if I could bring his Bible when we come to pick him up tomorrow. He said, "I want to give it to this guy I met at camp." Wow, was I excited. Just when I begin feeling a little unsure of his direction . . . God will provide me with a glimpse of hope.
"Lord, I praise You for working in the lives of my children. I pray that you get a hold of their heart. and when they stray from what is right may they get caught by conviction or a loving person."
Thursday, July 2, 2009
As I thought about the whole experience God reminded me that getting back on a horse after being bucked off was kind of like facing fears in life; trying something again after failing miserably. "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," a wise elderly woman used to tell me at age 4 when I was unable to accomplish a feat the first time. Right now, my fear is not about learning to ride a horse, but about parenting challenges. I am afraid and overwhelmed by them because I feel so inadequate. I feel like a failure. Sometimes, I'd just rather not try again. "What if I fail.? Will I be ruining their lives?" I fear it will be all my fault, if I don't do the right thing, set the appropriate boundaries.
God so faithfully reminded me to walk in His truth knowing He is walking right beside me. He will hold the reins. It's okay to fear, as long as I don't allow the fear to to paralyze me, keeping us from ever getting back on the horse again. What are you afraid of? Give it to God! Go for it . . . don't worry about getting bucked off . . . your job is to just get back on! Leave the rest to Him.
Isaiah 41:10 "Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; and uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Friday, June 5, 2009
- Love perseveres - I Cor. 13:7b
- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 (Remember who is behind the evil stirring the pot.)
- When I don't give grace, I fall on my face (the Lord brought this to mind from a friend who shared it earlier this week.)
- And from the book, Humility, True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney, pg. 71 - "An ungrateful person is a proud person. If I'm ungrateful, I'm arrogant. And if I'm arrogant, I need to remember God doesn't sympathize with me in that arrogance; He is opposed to the proud."
After my 30-minute session with the Divine Counselor, my burdens were gone; replaced by perspective and hope. We have a great God. To Him be the Glory!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
And yet...they can sing as loud as they like, act like an ape in a restaurant, laugh uncontrollably -obnoxiously until you want to throw up! (When in the car, Laurie said she uses the excuse, "Addison is trying to sleep can you keep it down?") They can talk with their mouths full, burp, "Etc." in public places, have their food any way they want it and even ways it doesn't come - and it's fine - not humiliating. Oh Brother! Go figure. Could someone please tell me the rules?
We were laughing today about all the ridiculous things they record themselves doing...singing off key, acting like a baby, mouthing the wrong words to a music video. Then, crazy of all craziness, they want their friends and everybody else to see it...and just to make sure it's seen, they post it on YouTube and Facebook!
They're just weird. Don't get mad at me for saying it. I love watching the weirdness as they grow through these odd stages (If I can laugh instead of scream!) I remember, when my kids were younger, I would listen in frustration as parents of pre-teens and teens talked about their kids like that, but now I know they were just being honest. I'm not saying it to my kids, just to you...so don't tell them. They don't read their moms blog - that would be embarrassing!
From 2 Embarrassing Moms - Sharon and Laurie
Thursday, May 21, 2009
"Through this whole ordeal, I saw how God used people. They began to pray, but they didn’t stop there. They listened, then they moved into action. When we pray, we’re not blowing into an empty sack. The Lord speaks back and we respond. These people would say they are ordinary, but to the Lord, they are – we are all - extraordinary.
Sometimes we feel like the events of our lives are mundane…we do usual things as ordinary people until we are in a rut. I want to look at the normal, Mundane as God-Ordained. I think David must have felt pretty ordinary until he woke up one morning and realized what his relationship with the Lord really looked like. He wrote about it in Ps. 139 (paraphrased): "You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts, and every word that I’ll speak…It’s just too much for me to attain" (too much for me to get my mind around.)
That’s how much He thinks about us, too. He knows every detail of our lives.
If we could look at our days, not as boring, but as something God is orchestrating…big events, little events, good, bad, ugly, we would see that God “works all things together for good to those that love Him.” (Romans 8:28)
Here are a couple of word pictures that explain what I mean:
If you see a picture from outer space and the earth as it hangs in perfect balance, it’s not hard to think that God created the universe. He’s big enough and powerful enough to do that, but do we trust Him to take care of our own lives with such precision? And the main question, does He really care about the details of our lives? The answer to those questions, according to Ps. 139 is YES!! He is in the details. If He can control the universe and in contrast know how many hairs are on our heads (Matt. 10:30), He can use all the details of our life for a purpose. With His people, there are no ordinary; we are all extraordinary. We are partners with the creator of the universe. Amazing!
And another thought:
Our lives are a lot like an orchestra. The musicians come in one at a time; begin warming up, fiddling with their instruments. Then, the conductor asks for a tuning note, and one by one they all join in to play. Without the tuning, without each instrument, it wouldn’t be the best it could be. But when all the parts play together, the results are magnificent. The conductor doesn’t just start the orchestra, but he directs them through the whole piece.
That’s what God is doing with our lives. Every experience, good and bad, has a purpose, a part. When we look at our lives like that, we can be thankful rather than resentful. God has begun a good work in us, even though everything isn’t good, and he promises to carry it on to completion. (Phil. 1:6)
I’ve realized how important God’s people are in the “orchestra.” The Lord tells us: “You are the salt of the world…like a city on a hill. (Matt 5:13-14) We’ve been anointed with the oil of gladness (Ps. 45:7B). He will save His anointed (Ps. 20:6) (II Cor. 1:29) The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. (Ps. 37:23) And, I know how God is the one keeping it all together for a grand purpose.
Through this time of surgery and recovery, I think I’m understanding that anything we do - making hamburgers, pumping gas, changing diapers, driving a truck, or performing surgery on an ailing heart - our hands are, as my Dr. said, “Just an extension of His.”
So go out today knowing that whatever you do, He is there. He knows exactly what’s going on. Talk to Him about everything, and then listen. He loves you. What might seem ordinary isn’t…So hop out of that rut, and rejoice that He rejoices in you.
“The Lord your God is in your midst The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Thanks Dad...I needed to get out of my self-incriminating rut and see myself the way God does. We love you and are so glad to be called your kids!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
In disbelief, I told them it was fine with me. Then I noticed that they were walking funny. When I looked around the bar, I saw it…they were tied together.
Earlier that day we had field day and of course there was a three-legged race. So, they were trying it out at home. I was thrilled (and stored away this three-legged thing in my discipline arsenal for a day when they weren’t getting along so well!)
What if I always remembered that I’m joined to God, everyday, every step, much like a 3-legged race? When I spend time with Him, it’s like He wraps His arm around me and mine around Him, and we start to walk together. If I try to go my own way, I fall flat on my face, but when I fall, he stops and lets me get up. Sometimes He drags me for a few steps. When He sees me trying to strap myself to someone or something else, He holds me a little tighter to let me know He’s a better partner. When my eyes wander from the finish line, He reminds me of the goal. He doesn’t carry me unless it gets really tough, because He knows I can learn from walking in step with Him for miles and miles. He has allowed me to join Him on this journey—even though I am stubborn and often slow Him down. He sticks with me because we are in this race together.
Mother’s Day is a great time to evaluate where we are as moms. I’ve decided to let the month of May be a new beginning for me as a mom. I need that fresh start. Maybe you do too. Let’s get back in the race, 'cause we’re not in this alone…
Holding on to Him…
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:13b
What has been dragging you around lately? Are you tied to the One who knows you best and loves you most? We would love to hear what’s going on with you and your family. Email us today!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Proverbs. 3:5-6 is one of the first verses we taught our kids. It’s even quoted by 3-year-old Alec (Laurie’s son) in one of the songs on our CD. So, trusting God has always been important in my life. At least I thought so. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Knowing something and actually living it are two totally different things. More than a “truster” I’ve been a worrier. I’ve worried about schooling, parenting, money, what we eat, jobs, where we live, money, cleaning my house, someone getting sick, our nation, money, what I’m not getting done, what I should’ve done, and what I can’t do, and did I mention money?
When I realized I worry more than I trust, I began noticing all the areas that I could actually get rid of the worry and trust Him instead. What a relief. So, when we learned about dad’s surprise surgery, if I started to worry, I was able to replace the thought with, “Lord, I know I can trust You to show us.” Then I trusted Him and He led us through the whole ordeal in a way only He could do. The details that He worked out could fill a sheet of paper front and back. Many of them were things I think I would have missed if I hadn’t been relying on Him for everything.
It made me think about all I’ve missed because I have been so busy trying to figure things out on my own? Maybe you’re there today worrying about a kid struggling in school, illness in yourself or your family, financial chaos. What are your worries? Would you join me as I’m learning to trust Him for everything, not just the big things? I pray you’ll trust the Lord with All your heart, too. Lean on Him, not what you can see. Acknowledge that you need Him and trust Him every time something comes up that hits your worry button. Tell Him you trust Him to show you…and then watch while you wait for His direction.
“…The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
Trusting Him Today…Sharon
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I hope you are able to notice the extra sweetness God puts in your day today. It's there, we just don't always notice. My extra sweetness today has been getting to spend some time with my sister, being second in the shower so I was able to sleep a little later, going to the funeral of a precious lady and seeing the many people walk by the casket that have been an incredible influence in my life...don't miss the sweet moments. They're there.
Ps. 94:19 "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Where do I begin? I realize I am new to much of the technology today. My son, who is 14, can text, AIM, Facebook and email pretty-much all at the same time---I'm amazed! Yet he can't seem to grasp why I would not want a Facebook account, while he's asking, "What's for dinner? I'm hungry!" I told him that it's because I just can't seem to find the time in between washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, making meals for HIM (and the rest of the family), cleaning, teaching, grading, and running a newly-opened dog boarding kennel (KennelInTheOaks.com), and these are just the highlights. You know, you are there too!
I know I'm new to today's world of technology, but why do I still feel so new (or ignorant) about being a mom sometimes? I've been at it for 14 years. You'd think I'd have a clue by now!
I just talked to a dad and his grown boys at Panera Bread, and we discussed how different each child can be. Don't you sometimes feel like you are back to square one, starting all over without a lick of sense? I'm so glad I have God's wisdom on my side (I love James 1:5!) and wonderful children who are amazingly forgiving and resilient.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
St. Patrick wanted to share the hope of Christ with those in Ireland. So, when people questioned him about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit being “One,” he explained using a three-leafed clover to show how they were three, but still “one.”
Despite what St. Patrick’s Day has become, it started with a simple man, sharing a simple faith, in simple ways. Yet, even today, hundreds of years later, his name is a household word.
Last year I read a book to my kids about St. Patrick. The book mentioned two people I’d never heard of: Nial, the Celtic Warrior and King Laoghaire. It occurred to me that when these two guys were alive (in the 5th century), they felt powerful. Their life was soooo important to them. They, however, were living for themselves while St. Patrick had a higher purpose in life – making God famous.
Our existence in the grand picture, isn’t much to look at. The bible says:
"All men 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 stands forever." 1 Peter 1:24-25
After reading the book, I started thinking, “What am I living for today that will last forever?” The verse pretty much yells that only God lasts forever. It’s hard for us to realize the importance and unimportance of our presence on earth. We are important because God ordered that we should be alive right now – today. But, we’ll be pretty unimportant 100 years from now. The thing that will last is who we follow and how we shared that with the people around us – especially our children. Our name will probably be gone, but our impact can carry on.
When we live with God’s glory as our first goal, our 8-10 decades of life can impact centuries. Amazing! What an incredible gift the Lord has given us in allowing us to live. Really live today by intentionally making the most of the opportunities you have to impact your kids for the Kingdom of Heaven. Oh...and when you sport your green duds, remember to share with your kids what it's all about.
Lord, help me see past dirty laundry, meal preparations, and school projects to the purpose in all the things I do everyday. Help me pour into my kids the things that are important to You. In Jesus name, Amen.
The message St. Patrick shared is still the same for us today. A relationship with Christ isn’t something complicated, but simply trusting that He died for the wrong things we have done and choosing to live our life following Him. Because of His death, we can be forgiven no matter how awful our sin. When we accept His gift of taking our punishment, we are children of God and will one day spend eternity with Him. If you have questions about this relationship with Jesus, please email us. We would love to send you a CD explaining His incredible love for you.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Because of my up late/sleep late schedule, I haven't spent as much time with God as I want. However, God is faithful even when we’re not able to be so consistent.
Most mornings I try to read something from God’s word to my kids. A couple of mornings ago I was reading in Joshua 3 when the Israelites were about to cross over the Jordan river which was running at flood stage. Joshua instructed them to follow the ark of the covenant (basically follow God), so they would know which way to go because they had never been that way before.
I spend a lot of time ahead of God, or out beside him rather than walking behind Him. If I’ve never been this way before, how else will I know which way to go? That principle applies to life everyday…we’ve never been through this day before; we better follow Him. I’ve never parented this child at this age before; I better get behind Him. I haven’t faced this struggle before; I won’t know what to do unless I follow Him.
I love that God speaks to us along the way. I remember a friend telling me that God understands our seasons of life. Some times it's not a quiet time, but a loud time with God. He loves when we spend time with Him no matter when it is, even if it’s just reading to the kids…He can use it to remind us to stop leading and start following.
“…my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Your life is probably just as nuts. You may be in a different stage with all your spare minutes swallowed by changing diapers or sneaking a nap while you can. But whatever the circumstances, as moms, there’s usually some sort of chaos nearby.
I heard someone today on the radio talking about Joshua 24:15, “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” For yourselves: not what your parents chose, but choose for yourself. And this day. Not last year, tomorrow or 10 years from now, but today. Everyday, I get to choose for myself who I am going to serve.
The verse doesn’t say stop everything and serve me, but rather this day, during this day, as you wash clothes, work, hug, discipline, make dinner, plant flowers or birth puppies, choose who you will serve. Will I serve whininess about all that has to be done and the lack of help I’ve found in accomplishing the tasks? Am I going to decide to work myself to exhaustion so that I’m a grump? I must confess that I’ve done both. (Now you know!) What I’d rather choose is to serve the Lord as I go about my day and as I serve my family. When I give of myself because I love Him, my full life becomes a life full of joy.
So, how do you move past the whines of life? I have about a billion questions I want to ask you, but I’ll hold my horses and ask more later.
Laurie and I are excited to finally have a blog! If you have friends who would enjoy sharing life with us through the blog, we would appreciate your help in letting them know about us. Thanks for putting us on your favorites.