Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tired and Weary

"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;" says Isaiah 40:30

As a momma trying to raise Godly men, it's encouraging to know that God, Creator of ALL things, knew my boys would stumble and fall. I've been shocked, scared, and disappointed by the actions and behavior I've seen from my children, but to God it's no surprise. My goodness, He already knows what I'm going to face today. In my flesh, I worry that I'm not doing enough, I'm not teaching them enough. Then I'm reminded (by an 11 year old, no less) that's it's not my job to worry, but pray for strength, wisdom, and discernment.

Isaiah 40:31 goes on to say, "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength."

Awe! Such sweet words to my soul. I just need to fill them with Jesus, point them in the right direction, and let the Spirit move them and God will lead their steps. He will correct them and renew them. I'm thankful God doesn't get tired and worn-out. And even though I do, I'm grateful he renews my strength, so I can keep pouring Jesus back into them.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Get over yourself

I have not been on blogger in months, but today the Lord is stirring my heart, so here we go!

I know this blog title may sound harsh. But that's exactly what God said to my heart this morning.  I thought, "Surly he's not talking to me!"  But, no, he was!

I've been doing a bible study in the mornings and I've been in the Word...or so I thought.  Last night at church the preacher said, "Put away your study, and just BE with God.  Don't just read your bible, but stop and meditate on what he is speaking to your heart. Let the Spirit lead." I opened my bible to Proverbs because it's one of my favorites.  He always convicts me there. But as I was reading, it didn't feel right, my mind started drifting (I kept getting this vision of Jesus on the cross) and I wasn't understanding the words. I was thinking, "Jesus died for me on the cross; he went through all of that pain. I don't want it to be for nothing....I need seek him with all my heart, let him lead. Stop trying to do this on your own." So, I just started praying and flipping through the pages. I ended up in Romans and that small still voice said stop. 

First thing that jumps off the page was Romans 7:18 "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out."

I stopped right there.  That was the only verse I read... My sinful nature WILL take over if I'm not in the Word.  So I began to pray again.  I want to do his will and cannot do it on my own.  Show me your way, Lord!! I flipped one page over and Romans 12:2-3, 6-8 jumped out at me:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. 

Now I could hear God yelling at me in my own mind, "Get over yourself!" Mercy is my gift, as it usually comes very easy.  Usually! I know this is already long, but I want to share this story:

Tuesday we went bowling with some friends.  I hadn't had lunch, so I stopped and got something on the way.  I took it in, as the boys were playing I was going to scarf my food down.  The old man (who is never very nice) said, "I guess I didn't need to pay someone to work the snack bar if you're just going to bring in your own food." I ignored it the best I could and finished while waiting on the rest of our group.  Heather finally got there (she is in charge of leading this up for us homeschoolers) and we went up to pay.  And again, this old man says to her, "You need to tell your people not to bring food in!" Instead of telling him I was sorry and it wouldn't happen again, I just handed her my money and walked away. Even though I could feel the Spirit telling me to show mercy. I let anger win.  Thank goodness!, Heather was very sweet to him and stood there talking to him.  Come to find out, he is battling cancer and was in need of a little Jesus.  That doesn't give him the right to be rude, but maybe his momma didn't teach him manners.  But that day I didn't teach my boys grace and mercy.  Everyone in your life needs His mercy and we need to give it.  I missed it that day, but I won't next time!! Thank you, Heather, for being the mouth of Christ to that man! I'm sorry I didn't reflect Christ as I should have.

Who in your life needs compassion? What is your gift? What is God calling you to do that you're not doing?

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Declaring it a Miracle

On the radio this morning I hear, "We are supposed to declare miracles! And then we are supposed to share them. No matter what you think people will think of you."

I have to share what happened yesterday. I was going to keep it to myself, because who believes "stuff" like this anymore. I did share it with Kyle when he got home from work, but even there, I almost didn't tell him. In fear he would be skeptical or think it was coincidental. But he says, "Why didn't you tell me this earlier today? I would have liked to have known that." So let me share now with you.

The boys have all been sick with strep over the past couple of weeks. So I took them to the doctor right away to get them all on meds. All seemed to be on the uphill. That is until this nasty stomach virus starts to hit one by one. Johnny first, he wakes up at 5 a.m. throwing up and with the worst belly pain. We knew what it was because his cousin was here over the weekend and had it, and lasted several days, throwing up several times a day.

The next morning (yesterday) Justin woke up crying, writhing in pain. He couldn't sit, he couldn't lay, he couldn't stand. Nothing he did gave any kind of relief. He would scream and try to lay in my lap, then jump up. Completely useless, I felt! What do you do for your baby when nothing helps. You pray! Pray hard! And rub on him when he gets close enough.

An hour later and still nothing. I had been praying, and nothing was happening. Quickly I asked for wisdom. Thinking I'd get a brilliant idea: give him a warm bath, give him Tylenol, rub his feet. All these things flooded my mind but didn't seem right, and then...

The verse (and I'm paraphrasing), "where two or more are gathered I am there also" entered my mind. I knew God wanted me to pray aloud for him, with him. He wanted me to use this as a teachable moment!!

I grabbed Justin up, put my hand on his tummy and prayed: I pray in Jesus name that you will take this pain from Justin and heal his little body.

That's it. Quick and simple, right to the point. Even now, my eyes fill with tears at his greatness, his faithfulness. Within minutes, Justin started to settle. He laid his head in my lap and took a deep breath!! Within 30 minutes he was able to relax and drift off to sleep again! When he awoke at 9 a.m. he was completely healed. Not only him, but all three of them!

As I shared that with them last night, I love how their eyes lit up and I could see their childlike faith!!

Our God is a miracle working God! Not only in the Old Testament. Not only while Jesus was on earth. But now, through your prayers! Believe it! Declare it! And go tell it!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

His Way Is Always Better

Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus!

The Lord woke me up early (3AM) this morning, calling me to his word. I was sleepy and tried to ignore it; After all, the boys will be up in just a few very short hours! He kept telling me not to have a spirit of fear, have faith, he will help me find rest. But not until I READ!

Oh, sweet friends, am I glad I did!! You see, I've been having my normal prayer and devotional time each morning, but I haven't felt truly refreshed. Even Jesus had to get up EARLY in the morning to pray to his Heavenly Father. We get so busy in our daily lives that sometimes we forget to slow down and let God lead us, speak to us, show us a different way. His ways are better than my ways, so why do I fight so hard to keep going my way? I think everyone runs into this season during their relationship with God. You're going about life thinking you're "okay" with Him, and focus on other areas of life.

I know God allows us to be tested, to refine us and make us like gold. And I am thankful for these tests and trials. They make me who I am today; a lover and seeker of Jesus Christ. I always love reading through Ephesians when I feel tested. The verses help strengthen my faith and encourage my relationship with my Creator. I then feel empowered, ready to face the devil's schemes.

Ephesians 6:10-18 
[10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. [11] Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. [12] For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [13] Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. [14] Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, [15] and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. [16] In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. [17] Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. [18] And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

In verse 12, we are remained that the devil exists and his schemes are active. He comes to "kill, steal and destroy!" (John 10:10)  Satan knows your weakness, and when you're weak...he know just when and how to attack. 

The good news is God has given us a way to protect ourselves. In Ephesians we have the FULL Armor Of God. Put it on daily and be ready to face whatever Satan might throw your way! There is no better way than to start off with God's word. 

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is used for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 

How is He going to teach me, rebuke me, correct me, and train me to be righteous if I'm not asking the Holy Spirit in my heart at the very start of my day? Better yet, how will I teach, rebuke, correct and train the boys in righteousness if I don't have it myself. They are watching and taking note. On the days I want them too, and on the days I don't. 

Just as I thought I was finished reading and praying, I closed my eyes ready to get back to that faithful sleep I thought I was due; NOPE! 6 AM and just as I started to drift off, my eyes popped open. I tried to ignore it, again, but the Lord said get up. What, get up?? Yes, get up, get dressed, and wake Johnny for an early breakfast. "His ways are better than mine," I reminded myself. So, 6 AM I get up, get dressed, and run out to warm the car. I ran back in to gather Johnny's clothes before I woke him. I was greeted with the biggest smile! At that moment I thanked God for putting it on my heart to get up. Then off to Waffle House we went. 

Be intentional today to be One After God's Own Heart! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Parents will do just about anything

Oh my goodness... I think I'm gonna die! I just had to spend 18 minutes on the trampoline with this boy.

His daddy made him a deal: For every minute spent reading a non pictured book, he would match with a push up. So 20 minutes equals 20 push-ups. I thought it would be fun to throw on top of that, I would spend that same number of minutes with him on the trampoline. What was I thinking?! It's cold out there! My lungs hurt, my legs are wobbly, and my vision is blurred. O_o

But look at the smile on this boy's face! I will do it again tomorrow!