Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweeter Things...

Last night at dinner, we were finishing an orange cooler of Gatorade leftover from Friday's field day. Brittlea, my oldest commented on how Gatorade was better at the bottom of the barrel. "It's sweeter." We all kind of nodded in agreement, smiled,...then Davis, my 6 yr. old said, "I added more powder to it." No wonder it was sweet!

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

New At This

Wow! I'm not sure how to do this blogging thing, but I'm excited about being able to "get real" with other moms out there in the blog world.

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

Pinch, Pinch

It’s almost St Patrick’s Day! Do you have your green attire laid out? Who was St. Patrick anyway? Was he just a guy who was overly concerned about green? Was he short…like a leprechaun? Did he go around pinching people? Here’s a little of what I’ve read about him.

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

Inspiration During Kids' Devotional...

I’ve been staying up late and sleeping late. That drives me crazy! We've had school projects, gymnastics lessons started, I opened a Facebook account (which I'm determined I won't give more than 5 minutes of my day…really!), and I've stayed up reading. I'm so much better if I get up at five and go to bed at 10:30, but that isn't how it’s happened lately.

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)

Following Him...