My Family


Thursday, April 30, 2009

follow your heart?

many times when people are in a decision-making time in their life you will hear people say, "follow your heart." most of the time i think that people are just trying to help. but, according to the word of God, our heart is not what should lead us in our crossroads of life. the greek word for heart in many places in the Bible comes from the word "kardia" which represents the part of you that is the center of your personality. it contains the mind, the will, and the emotions. it is the part of you that makes you unique, different from everyone else. we all have different strengths and weaknesses in our heart because everyone of us have a different thinking process and different emotional tendencies. we definitely have all lived different experiences, even those of us who were raised in the same home. all of these things make us who we are in our heart or in our soul.

Jeremiah 17:9 states, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severly, mortally sick! Who can know it?" i think that this is pretty good evidence that our heart is not intended to be the leader of our lives.

Proverbs 4:23 states, "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance." it seems to me that God is telling us here that we are to guide our heart not the other way around.

during those times of decision in our lives, there really should only be one leading voice, the Holy Spirit within us. Romans 8:14 states, "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." so really people's advice to us should be "follow the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit always leads us to Jesus as our answer, Who really is our answer to our sickly heart as well.

our heart is not hopeless. our heart can be saved from its selfish ways. Ephesians 3:15-21 is a place in Scripture where paul is praying for the church to experience the fullness of our great salvation in every way. In verse 17, he prays that Jesus, through our faith might come and dwell in our hearts. the word "dwell" means to abide and make a permanent home and be Lord of. Jesus became Lord of my spirit by my faith in Jesus when i realized that i needed a saviour to deliver me from my helpless state of sin and the Holy Spirit came to live inside of me. He can be Lord of my heart, by my faith too, if i recognize my heart's need for a saviour as well. Every piece of my heart can be surrendered to Him and He will come and be Lord and Saviour of my heart and teach me to lead it by the direction of the Holy Spirit.

as we all come to know Truth, we will not be deceived by the lies of our unsurrendered heart or the world. Jesus, the Word of God should be our guide by the direction of the Holy Spirit within us. so, next time that i see someone at a crossroad in their life, "follow your heart" will not be my advice, but "follow the Holy Spirit in you!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

its a wonderful life

i thought i would share what my day was like today. it was a wonderful day! I woke up this morning to take my girls to school, came home and fed my baby his breakfast, laid him down for his morning nap and sat down to catch up on all my facebook friends happenings and my new blog interests. i am so ministered to by the things i read that God is doing in all of their lives.

then, aaron called and said he was coming home to take me to the home improvement store to pick out landscaping for our front yard of our new home. we picked up lunch while we were out. i came home in time to be there for my girls when they came home from school, talked to them about their day, put jacob down for his afternoon nap, and headed out to watch my oldest son hit his first homerun of the year for his highschool baseball team. they won 7-3.

when the game was over, i left the ball field to go back home. i pulled up to my house and saw my youngest daughter and my baby boy playing in the front yard together. it was such a sweet sight. i went into the house to find that my oldest daughter had made dinner, lasagna and garlic bread, and it was on the table waiting for us all to come home. we all ate dinner and then i was off to take my girls to dance. their recital is this weekend.

i came home and knew that i had to write about my wonderful day with my wonderful family, thanking my wonderful God for allowing me to live a wonderful life!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

amazed at His faithfulness

a couple of days ago my oldest daughter came to me right before it was time for bed and asked me if she could stay home from school the next day because her best friend from school was not going to be there then. she had been having some trouble at school with some of the girls, that used to be her good friends, singling her and her only friend out, being mean and bullying them with manipulative actions and words, trying to scare them. this had already been dealt with at school by the principal and she was being watched over and protected by him as much as possible. but, on this day, her friend was not going to be at school because she was going out of town for some reason. rachel was feeling like she was going to be taking on this situation all by herself and she was feeling scared and overwhelmed by it. so, she asked me to deliver her from having to deal with it.

knowing that running was not rachel's answer, i told her she could not stay home and that she needed to go to school, know who she was, trust Jesus to take care of her and be with her. she would not be taking on that day alone and she would be just fine. i always pray with her before she goes to bed and this time i made sure that we paid attention to the words of my prayer that God would help her to do her very best in all that she does and cause her to know that she needs Him and is dependent on Him in order for her to shine His character in her life. i had a real peace about the whole thing and she went on up to bed.

that next day when she got home from school, i asked her how her day went and she said that it went ok. her principal made sure to keep track of her day and helped to make her feel safe. she said she still had to deal with dirty looks and efforts of intimidation but she just thought that they were all so stupid and immature. that is about all she said. she did not give me many details. but, she made it through and she did not run from her problems, she faced them head on with Jesus.

so, today i was on the computer and i saw a status that she had put on for herself with a quote that just blessed me. it said, "another day of school, another scene of drama! but i managed to blow it off and go on with my life. i realized today as another stupid incident happened at school that choosing friends is so much more important than i thought it was. i trusted these people, all of them, and look where it got me. but nobody as dumb as them is ever gonna throw me out of my path of security because I KNOW WHO I AM and its not what they say i am." as i see God's Spirit at work in her heart, it makes me want to cry tears of joy. then i realized that she had been reading my posts on my blog which lead me to see that she had created one for herself. what she wrote in it so blessed me that i can not even explain. what God is doing in her is literally taking my breath away! i copied the first page of her blog onto this post for a testimony to the goodness and grace of my God. i am amazed at his faithfulness!!

Just The Average Teenager
My name is Rachel Rose! I'm 14 years old and have 2 Brothers and 2 Sisters. jacob and josiah! Olivia and Amanda! my parents christy and aaron Rose! i started blogging when i read all the blogs my mom did and it just inspired me and then i started realizing that i could take all my frustration in my life and make it good in these blogs or even just inspire someone else like my mom did with me!

Blog Archive
▼ 2009 (1)
▼ April (1)
Monday, April 27, 2009
LOVE? such a complicated concept that noone really understands, i mean you can say that you love someone and not really mean it but if that person says they love you and they dont mean it than your usally deeply effended. why is it that we expect so much from one person but we dont expect ourselves to give all of that back? my friend and i just recently went through breakups together hers a little harder than mine but still, her and her boyfriend had stated that they both loved each other and that they were going to be together forever and... but then when he changes his mind and dumps her shes crushed and then comes to realize that she didnt love him either she wasted those oh so special words on someone she now regrets:( but what hurts her the most was the fact he said he didnt love her anymore and even now when she realizes she didnt love him either it still makes her mad that he lied to her. i spent that last couple days just thinking... why is that God can love us even though some dont love him, but he doesnt care nothing can change his perspective of us no matter what you do HE still loves you and HE WILL NEVER lie to you! so many people are going to lie to us but we just need to keep our heads up and realize that ONE persone NEVER will:)

there is a link to her blog on the left under "blogs i love to read" if anyone is interested in visiting her site and leaving a comment to encourage her in her quest for Truth and her walk with God, as a teenager looking for answers in this crazy world.

Monday, April 27, 2009

the truth does set me free

feeling kind of blah today. i don't really know why. i usually keep myself from going down a path that i know ends in being overwhelmed with negative feelings because i know what it feels like to go there. but, i guess i will just be honest with myself here. i really have felt the temptation to wander down this path of thinking that no one is really interested in what i have to say. i know in my head that is not the truth, but my feelings are telling me a different story. God uses me to minister to many people and i love that. i feel like He allows me to be used to make a difference in many people's lives. but, when it comes to people being interested in my life, i find a lull.

i know that people are consumed with their own hurts and needs. i understand that. i know that God is their answer to heal their wounds and listen to their life stories. i get that. i enjoy being a part of God intervening and showing His care and concern for those who need their sense of value presented to them. i love that. and, i realize that most of the time those people can't look past themselves to give in to someone else's life. so, in allowing myself to think and ponder into my thoughts and feelings, i see where the lies of the enemy were taking me and once again i refuse to go down that path. i just tasted the bitterness of self pity and spit it from my mouth and heart.

my sense of value comes from knowing that even if no one else is interested in me, whick i know is not really true, that God is. His thoughts toward me are endless. He loves me more than i can even imagine and He is always interested in me and what i have to say. He listens and responds and listens again. there is no one that could make me feel more special than Him. Thank you Holy Spirit for leading me to Truth. my heart is lighter even now. i feel a sense of joy and enlightenment that was absent just moments ago. the truth really does set me free!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

eat it! it is good for you!

it seems that God is using my baby boy to teach me a lot of "new life" lessons these days. i have recently been experiencing many insights into my own continual behavior and God's continual love for me from caring for him. so here is today's lesson. jacob had just woke up from his nap and i sat him in his high chair so he could eat lunch. i cut up some green beans and fruit for him to eat and placed them on his tray. he took a couple of bites and began to throw his food on the floor, giving the dogs their second meal for the day. he really likes meat, cheese, and buttered bread. i know that but i try to give him fruit and vegetables first, when he is the hungriest, so that maybe he might try it and like it. as he began to throw his food on the floor, i told him, "jacob don't throw that food on the floor. it is yummy. it is good for you. eat it." i tried to pick up a few pieces and put it in his mouth for him, but he would not even try it anymore. he kept reaching his hand over toward the refrigerator where he knew i kept the diced up meat and cheese that he gets at meal times.

in order for jacob to be as healthy as he can be, he needs to learn to like fruits and vegetables. so, i am not going to quit giving them to him just because he keeps throwing them on the floor and prefers other things. i love him and i want him to be healthy. he is not capable of deciding for himself what he should and should not eat. its not that meat and cheese and bread are bad but they can not be all he eats, along with his bottle of milk, of course. and so, my dilema continues.

then later on in the day, i caught jacob climbing on top of dodger, our dog, and i noticed that he looked as if he had something in his mouth. i went over to him to look in his mouth to see what he was chewing on. carefully sweeping my finger in his mouth, i pulled out a slimy, crumpled, green seed of some sort. i wondered where he could have gotten something like that in his mouth. then, i looked down at dodger to see that he had many of these same seed-type green things matted in his hair from rolling around on the ground earlier that day. i wondered to myself why would he want to put something in his mouth that he had to pull out of dodger's fur but he wouldn't eat the vegetables that i had tried to get him to eat earlier. he spits out and throws what is good for him on the floor and attempts to eat a dirty, hairy weed just because it is interesting and small enough for him to grip with his little fingers.

then, once again, i see myself in my son's situation with God. i have found myself spitting out what God's word is telling me, that which is good for me. i sense God chuckle as i hear his voice say, "eat it! it is good for you!" and yet, i too, get caught feeding on the dirty lies that the enemy is putting before me, making them look interesting and easy enough for me to grasp myself. help me Lord to trust that You know what is best for me and that as i consume Your Word, and not spit it out or throw it out, i will grow strong and healthy, so that i will be able to recognize the grossness of the lies that the enemy teases me with and not desire to put them in my heart or in my mouth.

Friday, April 24, 2009

drinking dog water

ok so after yesterday's post telling the many
adventures of my 13 month old son's daily routine,
today was a new adventure. we also have two dogs
in our family. dodger is our 75 lb golden retriever. he
is 12 1/2. and, angel is our 25 lb beagle. she is
3 1/2. Here is a familiar scene in our home of them
sharing their water bowl. its pretty sweet. i took this
picture several months ago. the date on this picture is

the toilet was not jacob's interest today. he found a new interest. what is it with my little son? longing
to play in the filth of a toilet and now drinking with
the dogs? i think he was just another object lesson
sent from God to me today.

after i ran to get my camera to take this shot, laughing alot because i thought it was so cute, i told jacob, "no, no, jacob! we don't get our drink where the doggies do. we drink from a clean sippie cup." and, i picked up the dog bowl, so he couldn't go back to it and handed him his sippie cup. he gladly took it because i don't think he was really able to get much from the dog bowl anyway and he was thirsty.

this funny incident reminded me of a time a couple of years ago when i was getting ready to go somewhere and i was in a hurry, as usual. dodger, my golden retriever, kept following me around from room to room, just looking at me like he wanted something from me. i thought maybe he wanted outside. but, that wasn't it. i had already fed him so i knew that wasn't it. then i thought maybe he wanted a drink. his water bowl was not empty but i put some fresh water in it anyway. sure enough, that is what he wanted, fresh water. now, that surprised me because i had not known him to care if his water was fresh before. i continued getting ready and i began to think about how interesting it was to me that he knew where to go to get what he wanted, the good stuff. i knew that even if his water bowl had been empty, he knew where to get a drink if he was thirsty enough. i had caught him drinking from the toilet a number of times. but today, he was coming to his provider for the provision that i could offer him, clean, fresh, cold water to drink. trying on his own to meet his own needs would get him toilet water, but looking to me, his provider, got him the best that i could offer him.

then, my thoughts returned to my sweet baby jacob and how he keeps returning to the toilet over and over and now he is drinking the dog's water. the clean, fresh water that i got dodger and angel this morning is not the best for jacob. and he definitely does not belong in the toilet. and, if he listens to me and trusts me and comes to me to take care of him, i will provide what is best for him. but, he must believe that i can give him what is better than he can get on his own. i thought to myself that today jacob and dodger are the perfect object lessons for me, showing me that if i just go about my life trying to live in my own understanding and not depending on God to provide what is best for me, i keep ending up in the toilet and drinking dog water when His provision for me is so much better.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

please get out of the toilet

a very large part of my everyday routine is chasing my 13 month old son around our home cleaning up his messes. he seems to go from place to place like a wrecking ball destroying areas within our house. there is one area that has his toys in it and he usually plays there for about 10 minutes or until he has every toy out all over the floor. then he moves on to the shelves with my baskets on them and takes all the liners out of them and throws them and the baskets on the floor, everywhere. then he heads into the next room to find what else he can pull out and make a mess with. and, finally ends up in the kitchen emptying many cabinets of all of their belongings. i have a gate at the bottom of our stairs so usually he cannot get up there and i try to remember to keep the basement and bathroom doors closed to prevent further areas of disaster within our home. a lot of times i just let him go and clean up after him when he is napping. so if you ever come over to my house in the day and he is up. beware!

there are many forgetful people, including myself, who live in our home so very often the doors to the basement and the bathrooms get left open and the gate to the upstairs is left off. in those times who knows where i will find Jacob and his messes. but, there is always one place i always look first because it seems to be his favorite, the bathroom toilet! he is intrigued. he wants to play in the water and let anything he happens to be playing with, at the time he discovers someone forgot to close the bathroom door, go for a swim. it so disgusts me. the filthiest place in our whole house, a place created for dung and waste where germs live galore that could make him very sick, is place where he longs to return to over and over again.

so, today when i forgot to shut the bathroom door, like a shark smelling blood, within minutes, i heard water splashing. i went straight to the bathroom as fast as i could to rescue him and the toy he was trying to teach to swim. feeling a little frustrated that he keeps returning over and over again to such filth, i loudly said to him, "jacob, please get out of the toilet!" i picked him up and while i was cleaning him up, washing his hands and face with antibacterial soap and giving his toy an antibacterial bath too, i just kept thinking to myself why does he like playing in such filth? what is so attractive about it? he does not belong in the toilet with waste. he belongs on my lap or in his bed or in his high chair or in the rest of the house making his usual messes. these places are his domain of love with wonderful things for him. he isn't convinced that the the toilet is a bad place for him to play. he isn't convinced that he does not belong in the toilet and that it is not good for him to play in there. he isn't convinced that he could get very sick from it.

as i pondered these things in my head a thought occured to me about the lives we live here on this earth and how we as children of God living in His household always seem to find ourselves wallowing in the filth and waste of the world where the lies of the enemy fester and grow deadly sickness in our soul, things like self-pity, jealousy, strife, anger, pride, and unforgiveness. This filth results in us doing things that aren't righteous at all and that bring about destruction in our lives. and, i imagined God having the same thoughts toward us as He sees us returning to the same disgusting places over and over again saying to us, "get out of the toilet! you do not belong there. I delivered you from that filth, washed you clean, and set you up in a place that you do belong, next to me, on my right hand, living in my kingdom where there is righteousness, peace, joy and pleasures forevermore. this is the domain of love that I have made for you. please, get out of the toilet!"

so, again i asked myself that question, "why do we like playing in such filth? what is so attractive about it?" i think the answer is the same answer that i discovered with jacob. we just aren't convinced that it is bad for us. we aren't convinced that we do not belong in the places of waste and filth, that it is not good for us to play there. we aren't convinced that if we continue there it will make our soul very sick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

so much fun

i never could understand the people that i knew that thought that being a Christian was all about restricting themselves from having any fun and never experiencing all that life had to offer. they actually thought that God wanted to keep them from enjoying themselves and make their lives dull and boring. which just goes to show that they did not know my God. they only thought they knew what God was all about. but, they didn't.

even from the time that i was a young girl, i recognized that the ones that thought this way were misinformed or deceived because i was a Christian and i knew my life was fun and not boring at all. what seemed to be ironic to me was that the same people that thought God wanted to keep them from having fun were some of the most unhappy, miserable people that i knew. rejecting Jesus, therefore rejecting God, allowed them to act in any way they wanted and do the things that the world enticed them to do, making it seem they were having the time of their life. but, when all the partying stopped, all they had left was an empty shell with no purpose beyond the moment they were in and no hope for their life to ever be any different. so, they would try to keep it full of the party experiences so they did not have to live in the reality of being a person who was not happy at all. ordinary, everyday life was miserable to them.

and then there was me and the people that i knew that had accepted the Truth about Jesus and allowed Him to be their purpose in life. we knew what it was like to enjoy ourselves and have fun and laugh and play and experience life to the fullest. we had relationships that lasted and were founded on Jesus. we were happy and full of joy, living in the presence of God, experiencing the fun of what true life had to offer. that was ordinary life and that was where all the pleasures of God made a difference. everyday is a party with Jesus!

i think about my life today and know that the life that i live in Jesus brings more pleasure and fun than the world could ever offer me. My God loves me more than i will ever fully know. He wants me to have fun. He wants me to experience His abundant Life. He wants me to be secure, happy, content, and full of joy. He woos and bekons me into His presence where i am enlighted to His mercy, grace, and loving kindness which produces a joy in me that i can not explain with words. He positioned me "in Christ" at His right hand, where i have His authority over any lie that the enemy throws at me. this is my extraordinary, ordinary life. it is so much fun! this is what God wants for me and you. it is a daily experience that does not ever come to an end. how could anyone think that my God would want to keep this kind of life from any of them?

"Therefore my heart is glad and my inner self rejoices: my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety. For You will not abandon me to the place of the dead. Neither will you suffer Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path
of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore."(Psalm 16:9-11)

Monday, April 20, 2009

enjoy the light show

i usually sleep right through thunderstorms. many times the morning after a very intense thunderstorm my husband will ask me if i heard the thunder or woke up from the sound of the wind. and, usually i will have to say "no, not at all, i must have slept right through it." i think they must make me sleep even harder because most of the time i wake up very refreshed afterwards. of course, storms don't scare me when i am awake so maybe that attitude of confidence spills over subconsciously while i am sleeping as well. even when i was a child, i never remember being afraid of storms or even the forecast of one. I always just thought, "well when it gets here, i will just stay inside my house." the storm was outside, so in my mind, i was safe inside. i could look out the window and see the effects of the storm and still feel calm and secure because i felt protected inside my home. i knew when the storm was over i would go back outside and play. the storm was not going to be the end of anything, just a happening going on in the middle of my life.

we lived in oklahoma when my oldest daughter was about three. storms in oklahoma are very intense. huge tornadoes come through there quite frequently. one night while we were all sleeping, i heard her crying for me. i woke up and realized it was storming. the thunder seemed closer and louder than ususal and the lightning pretty much made it look like a light show going on in the sky. i went to her. she was crying and scared. she was looking to me for comfort and security. i calmly picked her up and reassured her that everything was going to be just fine. i told her the storm was outside and we were inside and we were safe from the storm. and tomorrow, when the storm was over, she could go outside and play. i told her to look out the window and look at the pretty lights in the sky. we sat there together for a little bit talking about the rain and the pretty lights and the sound of the pretty lights. she seemed to be comforted by that and was willing to lay back down and enjoy the light show, thats what we called the storm, from her window on her own after that. when we woke up in the morning she asked everyone if they saw the pretty lights in the light show last night and wanted to go outside to play.

there is a story in the Bible where Jesus sleeps in the midst of a storm too (mark 4:35-41) and, he was on a boat, at sea. all of His disciples were afraid for their lives and seemed to be mad at Jesus that He was sleeping. they woke Him up and asked Him if even cared that they were all going to die. obviously, Jesus knew he wasn't going to die, that is why he could sleep in the midst of what seemed to be disaster. He could sleep because He knew He was safe inside the boat. He knew his destiny was not dying in a storm at sea. He knew in the morning He would continue on His course of life.

i believe that sense of calmness and security should be in our hearts and minds in the midst of all our storms, even the ones that don't include rain, wind, thunder, and lightning. sometimes the storms of life rage loudly in our lives and it looks and sounds like disaster is eminent. but, we can have that same, strange sense of calmness that Jesus did if we know that our destiny does not include dying in our storm. it should be like we are just watching the storm from our bedroom window. so, just sit back and enjoy the light show, knowing that when the storm is over, we will continue on ejoying the rest of our life.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

cinderella syndrome

when i was a little girl, i remember listening to disney stories on record albums on our home stereo. you know, the original classics; cinderella, snow white, and sleeping beauty. the albums came with book pages that had pictures of the original disney film in them and words that i could follow along with the story. this was obviously before all of the disney films became so available on video. i had not seen these movies at this point in my life. so, the only visual i had from them was from the pictures in the pages in the record album case. i would listen to these stories over and over again, looking at the pictures of the beautiful ladies in the stories and watching the story unfold. they were wonderful stories. the beautiful ladies were always in some kind of trouble and were rescued by a handsome prince and whisked away delivering them from their hardship, promising to protect them, love them, and cherish them. and, then they would live happily ever after. i wanted that someday. i wanted to be swept off of my feet by my handsome prince and live happily ever after.

as i grew up, the romantic idea of finding my prince still lurked in the back of my mind with the pictures from those stories still very vivid to me. i wanted the fairy tale. i wanted to live happily ever after. when i finally did meet the man of my dreams, i had the picture of cinderella's beautiful dress still lurking in my mind. i wanted my wedding dress to look like hers in so many ways. i wanted my wedding day to be as glorious to me as cinderella's was to her on the night of the ball. isn't that funny? i was 25 years old and yet the idea of living the cinderella dream was still affecting me. really, i think every girl has "cinderella syndrome" in some form or another. we all want to be romantically swept off our feet, loved, cherished, and protected by our handsome prince. we all want the fairy tale. i really believe that it is something that God puts into the heart of every girl from birth. at first it seems that a girl's daddy is her prince charming. He protects her, loves her, cherishes her and literally sweeps her up off her feet when they play together. but, as she grows up the desire to find her soulmate causes her dreams to look past her daddy to the one who would choose her for life.

my wedding day did seem like a fairy tale to me. it was a dream. it was beautiful. but, for some reason, from that day forward was not always happily ever after. the fairy tale had come to an end and real life had set in. my husband was wonderful, but he was not the perfect prince that i had imagined cinderella's prince was. of course that was all in my imagination because all of the stories ended once the prince rescued the fair lady and the story teller said, "and they lived happily ever after." i just had to make up the rest, of what i thought life was like ater the end of the story, in my head. but, what i imagined was different than real life. i had very high expectations. so, when the times came that my husband responded to me out of his own real life issues and not just thinking about me anymore, i would be dissappointed and dissatisfied.

it did not take long for me to realize that aaron could not be my prince charming. he needed a prince charming himself, someone to rescue him, protect him, love him and cherish him, someone to sweep him off of his feet too. he wanted and needed the same things that i did. and, i realized that neither of us were created to be prince charming but in need of one. and, the only One that could make our dreams come true was the Prince of Peace.

as i began to realize this, God began to show me that the fairy tale is His plan for my life. He created me with "cinderella syndrome." But, He is the Author's scripted Prince that makes living happily ever after a true reality. both aaron and i needed rescuing from the destruction that our evil enemy had planned for us and Jesus was our knight in shining armour. as we both look to our Prince to make all of our dreams come true then our lives together are truly remarkable. with the security of God's love and protection firmly in our grasp, the pressure to be something that we are not sets us free to just love each other. and it is a beautiful thing. it feels as if the enjoyment of our marriage is actually a gift from our Rescuing Prince Himself.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

sowing seeds of righteousness, reaping loving kindness

my heart is beating quickly as i write this note today. as i watched my husband work around our home today, i think of the many times that i take him for granted, he is the hardest worker i have ever seen. he is constantly looking for ways to make our life easier and our home better for our family, building beds for our kids, painting things for their room, working in the yard, even cooking on the grill, which he does magnificently, many times a week. God has blessed my life with him and i know it. but, many times these things seem like just everyday living and not extraordinary. so, i overlook them being unappreciative and calloussed and definitely not enjoying him the way that i should. at those times it seems i am partaking of the fruit of the lies that the enemy has whispered in my ear.

but, today for some reason, my heart and thoughts toward him are of the sweetest kind and i keep feeling as if he is extaordinary, as if he is the greatest gift God could have given me, next to my salvation of course. wow! this feeling in me is not something i could conjure up myself. i feel the Spirit of God moving in my heart and making my heart soft and tender toward him, like He is breaking up the uncultivated, fallow ground, the hard and unappreciative parts, in me and gently planting His thoughts about my husband in my heart. i keep hearing the words in my head, "sowing seeds of righteouness, reaping loving kindness." as i receive God's truth in my heart, it seems like the fruit is almost immediate in me as to how i want to reach out to aaron in loving and kind ways. i keep thinking he is just perfect in every way. i can't think of one thing that he does that makes me irritated or frustrated with him, not one thing. every time i think about him, my stomach does a flip, like it used to when we were first falling in love. i found myself thinking that i can't wait until tonight when we are all done with our kids activities and household duties so i can cuddle up next to him on the couch with his arms around me and tell him that i love him. i am excited to partake of the full harvest of the planting of the seeds of righteousness that God is planting in me today.

Friday, April 17, 2009

i want the truth

when i was a young girl i had a friend who would very seldom tell the truth. she would exaggerate everything that she said and sometimes even make things up completely out of the blue. it got to a place in our relationship where i did not believe anything that she said. that was detrimental to our friendship because i could not trust her. i wanted her as my friend though because she was very nice to me and made me feel like she wanted me in her life. so, i continued hanging out with her. although, there were so many times that i just wanted to scream, "just tell the truth. i want the truth!" her lies did not cease so our friendship did.

as i think back on this relationship and realize that lack of truth dissolved it. i realize how even more importantly it is for me as a parent to teach my children to always tell me the truth. i have caught all of my children lying to me at times, sometimes defending their lie to the bitter end. at those times, once again i felt like screaming, "just tell me the truth. i want the truth!" sometime i did. but, in the end i would just let them know i knew they were lying and discipline them for it, usually grounding them from something that they loved. i would explain that they have to tell me the truth or they were going to be in trouble. that really hasn't worked that well because usually when children lie they are taking a chance to not get in trouble for something else. and, if they could get by with the lie, they could avoid punishment altogether. but, recently i have been recognizing that some of the trust in the relationship between my older children and myself has started to dwindle. there is no ending of our relationship so instead the lying must end.

i asked God to help me with this concern and give me wisdom in knowing how to bring truth back into our relationship on a consistent basis. and, He led me to the Truth Himself. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), the God of truth (Isaiah 65:16). He helped me to see that trust is built on truth not discipline. i was discipling for the lie but that was not building truth. so, i had to start back at square one with my kids. i said to them, "i have been handling dishonesty in our relationship all wrong and i am sorry. when i have caught you lying in the past, i was so concerned about discipling your bad behavior that i didn't recognize i was allowing distance to build up in our relationship through it. the discipline did not teach you the importance of honesty in our relationship at all. so, we are going to build trust together. we are going to build truth in our relationship. this is important to me because you are important to me. relationships cannot exist without trust based on truth. it is important that you see the necessity of honesty. i want to hear you say, 'i want the truth!' because you know nothing lasts that is not built on truth. so, from this point forward, there will be no discipline for lying only privilege for speaking truth. all privileges outside of our home are gone at this point, kind of like you are eight years old again, not mature enough to be away from your parents or out on your own. as we live our lives together and i recognize you embracing truth even if it means you not getting what you want sometimes, i will extend these privileges back to you a little at a time, kind of like you are growing up, until eventually you will be back to full freedom based on full trust. we are building trust on truth and privileges come with trust. if at any time you misuse a privilege by lying to me, you will not be grounded, like serving prison time to only be let out of jail when your time is up to do the same thing again, but all trust has been broken and will have to be built back up again from square one. the issue is not bad behavior but not recognizing the importance of retaining trust with me, making our relationship more important to you than whatever it is you are tempted to lie about."

their response was mixed. they accepted my apology and saw how lying had brought about distance. but, they did not like the idea of having to grow back into their privileges, of course not. it has been four weeks now since our new slogan, "i want the truth" has been created. the first week was really hard. but, slowly we are all beginning to see that truth builds relationships and lies destroy them. so in our home, lying is not just risking being grounded but losing trust that brings forth privilege.

as i continue on this journey with my kids, i must realize the same is true in my relationship with God. trust is built in my relationship with Him as i embrace Truth and distance begins when i am tempted to look somewhere else to find it. He is the Truth. My relationship with Him is the most important thing to me and my heart is saying, "I want the truth." I want Him!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

following the road signs

sometimes i feel as if i never get it right. there are times when i have wonderful conversations with my kids and my husband. you know, the heart to heart kind. the conversation starts out well. they are responding! they are actually talking to me! they're even allowing themselves to get vulnerable and share some of their heart! It is very enjoyable as a mother and a wife. then, somewhere along the way i say something stupid. stupid to them anyway. and, the conversation begins to go downhill. they get defensive and lash out or just clam up. and that ends the sweet intimacy that we were sharing together. i have thought to myself many times when this has happened, "if i just would have left it there and not kept going with that issue, it would have been such a nice memory together. but, no! i just kept it going, thinking that somehow i could add some more of my great insight to the topic. i pushed this good thing too far." too much of a good thing, i guess, is not so good after all.

i just wonder though, where does it all go wrong? it is not ususally me that ends up upset so it must be me that is stepping over the boundary line, or pushing just the wrong button to take the conversation in the wrong direction. i wish there were road signs to follow so i would know when to yield, when to stop, when to turn around because i am going the wrong way, or how to know this road is a dead end. when i think about it and i am really honest. i think i do see those signs. i must just ignore them thinking, "that can't be right. i will really get my point across if i just say this one more thing." or, "i don't care. i want them to know how i feel about this." i guess i do feel the unction of the Spirit of God within me right before it all goes awry. He is my road sign. and the same thing happens in my situations as would happen if i ignored the signs on the road when i drive my car, a big crash and many times with people really hurt. i always trust those signs on the highway. i believe they know more than me about what is up ahead. i have never once thought of just ignoring a dead end sign and just kept going trying to make a road where there isn't one, which is what i do when i ignore the Holy Spirit in me and depend upon my own wisdom and understanding about what is up ahead in my conversations. help me Lord to get to the destination you have prepared for me in my intimate conversations with my children and my husband. help me see the road signs and trust them to take me where you want me to go. i know i can get there if i follow Your leading and not depend on myself to know more than You.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

we all love being loved

i wrote this a few months ago before i started blogging and i thought that i would share it here today. i was sitting in my living room just relaxing. my nine year old daughter (amanda) and her friend (macy)were playing upstairs with my baby (jacob). they all come down, amanda carrying jacob. he was starting to get tired. she put him on the floor and he walked over to me, wanting me to pick him up. so, of course, i did. he sat on my lap for about 2 seconds and crawled over to a couple of couch pillows and laid his head up against them. so sweet!! i said, "look amanda." her resonse made me to see how much we all love to be loved and shown it with physical affection. she looked over at him and said, " i wish i were those pillows." and she went over and picked him up. my heart just melted as i experienced a tender sibling moment. but, that did not last long. jacob wanted down and that was that. a few minutes later, i decided it was time for his nap. i took him upstairs and put him in his bed. he usually goes right to sleep in a few minutes. i left the room and went downstairs. he played in his bed for a little bit ( i could hear him in the monitor.) but then he started to cry. so, i went back upstairs to see if he wanted me to hold him for a minute. (i love that) but, no, that is not what he wanted. he kept pointing over to my bed. feeling a little tired myself, i gave in. i laid on the bed, curled him up in my arms and felt the warmth of our bodies being so close. so sweet! i guess that is exactly what he wanted because he quit fussingl. for the first minute or so he attempted to put his finger in every hole in my face, so i closed my eyes and just enjoyed the sweet affection of my baby boy. slowly, i felt him seem to melt into me. i opened my eyes to see his pacifier drop from his mouth. a sure sign that he is out! he looked so sweet and i thought "aww, he just wanted to cuddle with his mommy." i reached over to kiss his sweet mouth and with his eyes still closed, he smiled! he knew he was being loved!

Monday, April 13, 2009

jacob 1 year

Proverbs 31:28
"...her children rise up and call her blessed..."
i can't believe it has been 1 year already. the time has gone so fast. jacob is such a blessing to our family. he is the center of attention in our whole family. he makes us laugh and keeps us going. i thank God for him every day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009




we enjoyed a wonderful morning at church. pastor andy preached a great message about God's love pursuing us through Jesus and us enjoying all that His love offers by responding to Him. then, we went to eat at grandma rose's for dinner while enjoying wonderful fellowship with extended family. the kids hunted for easter eggs and had a great time hanging out with their cousins. all in all, it was a beautiful day!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

its all worth it because i love them

the shopping is done for all the new easter clothes, the eggs are filled with candy, the baskets are filled with gifts, the potato dish and green bean casserole are done and ready to be taken to the family dinner tomorrow. i have finished my work for this upcoming holiday. and the reason for it all.....? its not just about giving my kids more stuff. but, it's about family, my family. and, allowing the heart of my Father to be revealed through me toward my family. but, it's all worth it because i love them! but, as i sit here and think about what Easter is all about, i am made to realize that i am reflecting the heart of Jesus.

if we happened to be living two thousand years ago, we might have heard Jesus say these words, "I have lived a sinless life, i have taken on the world's sin, i have suffered the judgement of that sin, i arose from the dead and conquered the grave through my Righteousness, i am now sitting at the right hand of my Father, and i have sent the Holy Spirit to live in you. I have finished my work for all eternity. and the reason for it all.....? its not just about giving the ones I love more stuff. but, its about family, My family. and, allowing the heart of my Father to be revealed through Me toward My family. but, it's all worth it because i love them!"

with that thought i am off to bed so i can rise and enjoy the celebration of the resurrection of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! it is going to be a happy, glorious day! Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

shaking off the dust

everyday i watch my children take their sense of self into this world. sometimes i see them stand amidst their world feeling confident in who they are and sometimes i watch them blend into the pressure of acting and behaving like those around them looking for acceptance from their peers, acting differently than who i know that they are, which makes me sad becuase i know that deep inside they can not truly be enjoying themselves, even if it looks as if they are . as a mom, i want to know that my kids understand their purpose in this world is to change it, not be changed by it, to be a light to those around them. when i do see them shine that light, it brings my heart great joy because i know that true happiness comes in knowing Truth, being yourself, liking who you are, and knowing you can make a difference in the lives of those around you. not compromising themselves to the pressures in the world will definitely cause them to experience some rejection. but, when that happens i hope they can shake the dust off their feet and move on to the next part of their world. more than anything i want my kids to live in Truth and be happy.

so i'm asking myself, "why, why do they let their light shine sometimes and not others?" it always seems i find my answer when i look into my own life. as a child, as a teen, and even as an adult, i can remember times of doing the same thing. sometimes feeling confident and secure and other times looking for my acceptance and approval amidst those around me. it seemed to prove my never-ending need of hearing my Father tell me He loves me and experiencing His unconditional acceptance and approval. when that Truth seemed distant in my life, i would look to others to fill that need which is impossible for them to do. comromising myself to get acceptance never really brought the results that i thought it would because it never seemed complete and was ever changing. so, blending into the world around me felt pointless and hopeless. you never really feel acceptance when you have to compromise who you are to get it. the times that i remember being the most enjoyable in my life were the times when i felt confident in knowing who i was, a child of God who was loved, accepted, and approved of, looking to shine His love and acceptance to those in my world. remembering at the time, that i was purposed in this world as a light and loving that light, i enjoyed shining it in the dark places of the world that i was exposed to.

so i guess the answer to my question about my children is that sometimes the understanding of the Truth about their approval before God is far away from them. recognizing that helps me to know how to pray for them and not get frustrated with them. then i can expect God to reveal His love to them and cause them to feel the unconditional acceptance as His child that satisfies when nothing else will, so that they can stand and shine His Light once again. i think of the song that i sang when i was a little girl, "this little light of mine, i'm going to let in shine......" i didn't quite understand the impact of that song then. but now, i can see that God has set us, my children included, in this world to experience His Life and shine that great Light into our small world bringing salvation to those who accept it, there isn't a happier way to live than letting Jesus change our world through us. then when we stand in confidence that we have something in us that they need, not the other way around, rejection will not even have a hold on us. it will be just like shaking off the dust and moving on.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

recognizing perfection in me despite myself

there is a habit in our home that i see in every person living in our family. it keeps us from listening to each other and caring about each other's feelings because we can't see past the seeming accusation to hear the situation at hand. it saddens me when i see my children be defensive with each other and with aaron and i. but, i know that being defensive is a form of protecting ourselves because of a lacking in our sense of acceptance, value and security. it is the result of feeling attacked, even if the other person is not attacking at all. they may just be sharing their feelings or asking a question. the words, 'its not my fault" or "that's your fault" prove the defensive feelings in ourselves. even the immediate response of changing the subject to the faults of the other person is that same form of defense in trying not to have to see or face an imperfection of our own if we focus on their issues or even blame them for ours. "the reason i do that is because you......" are words that i hear a lot.

i wondered how did that happen in my children. i try to teach them to just look inside and see the issues they deal with, admit them, and ask God to help them with them. admitting fault or weaknesses does not show weakness, it shows strength in understanding of their value as a person not because they have perfect behavior but because of who they are and that they are unconditionally loved by us and God. they seem to understand it when we are talking but it does not seem to change how they handle the next conflict. i guess that shows mental assent but not revelation of truth concerning themselves. then one day i remembered, from my humanities classes that i took in college, that most of the behavior that we see in children is behavior that is modeled by their parents. my heart was saddened once again but at the same time enlightened with hope. i saw that their responses were just a reflection of what they saw and experienced in their relationship with me and their dad. i guess that shows mental assent but not revelation of truth concerning myself.

you would think that would make me feel worse. but it didn't. it showed me that i am still growing in my own understanding of unconditional acceptance and love and my value before God. it gave me hope because now, i can take myself to my God and ask Him to help me recognize my value in Christ. and, as i do i can search my heart of intentions and my behavior that is not reflective of His character, recognize it for what it is, actions of a woman who is responding to her circumstance outside of Truth, and ask God to continue to lead me to Him for my worth (Psalm 139:23, 24). i can humbly look and see when i am wrong and admit it because i am learning to understand that i am not perfect in and of myself but perfect despite myself, because of the finished work of Jesus and his gift of righteousness given to me. that is exciting to me because of the freedom that i am beginning to experience within myself. but, also because i know that the work of the Spirit of God within me overflowing into my family will also demonstrate before my children the power of knowing God's uncondtional love, which is where my hope lies as i begin to watch the change in me change them as well.