Tuesday, April 12, 2016

40 Days to 40

I have forty days left in my 30's. I'm counting the days until I turn 40 with gratitude.

Starting off, I'm ever so grateful that Jesus chose to lay aside his life to pay the penalty for my own sins, and that I have been given the privilege, not only to believe in him, but to suffer for him.

I have shingles right now, and the constant pain is a subtle reminder to me that I deserve much worse. The older I get, the more I realize how sinful I am. I am more and more thankful that I have been been forgiven.


 Driving around today, I stopped to take this picture. I call it HOPE.
The beginning of winter is beautiful - the crisp air, the first snowfall, the jackets, scarves, warm hats and hot drinks. I love it. Then comes February and March, when the bleakness of winter makes me cringe. The lifeless trees and the gray clouds are no longer appealing, but make me yearn for spring.

So many people feel like they are caught in an endless winter of despair. But I have a hope within me that there is a better future. The dead will rise and live again in a world that is bursting with the freshness of spring. My hope is not on this earth. My Hope is in heaven.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Three New Questions

If you have ever sat with us during dinner, you probably have been asked our three dinner questions. Tonight, before we even started, Eldest asked, "Why do we always have to ask the same old questions? They're boring." (Many things are boring when you are eight.)

"Ok," I said, "You come up with three new questions. Go."

And to my surprise, he came up with three brilliant questions.
  1. What was something interesting you saw today?
  2. What was something you discovered today?
  3. What is something you like about Christmas?
It was fun answering new questions and actually easy to come up with answers. The kids had been getting a little bored with the questions and were not participating as I would have liked. Tonight, however, everyone had a ready and interesting answer.


What do you do to engage your kids around the dinner table?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Day

Do you ever have a day where everything seems to go wrong? I have actually left out a bunch of “things gone wrong” in this story, like jamming my finger, missing baseball practice, discovering I left something important in our van while it’s being repaired, and many more; it is the many small things that add up to make a day seem awful. I hope my story of this day encourages you to keep up the good fight.

The day actually started at 11:30 the night before.  My 7 year old son woke with stomach pain, and I took him to the Emergency Department to make sure it was not appendicitis.  Turns out he was constipated.

After very little sleep, I woke early and left my kids with my mom so I could go get a rental car while our mini-van was in the shop for repairs. The rental agency told my husband and me, after waiting for 45 minutes, that they didn’t have the car we had reserved.  It was then that I felt the enemy attacking.  I immediately went on to Facebook and posted in two of my church groups that we needed prayer.

You see, I was already sick.  I had pink eye, and was pretty sure I had a sinus infection.  I had planned on picking up the rental and being in the Urgent Care at 9:00 a.m. when they opened.  So my physical body was sick and my mental state was weakening because of the frustration with the rental.  Satan was using my weakness to attack me spiritually.  I felt like I was being attacked in the spiritual and physical world.

I returned to my kids at noon after visiting two Urgent Care facilities and finally getting a diagnosis of conjunctivitis, sinusitis, and a urinary tract infection.  I thanked my mom and sent her home because she was starting to feel sick.  All three of my kids had a doctor appointment at 2:30 p.m., which is in the middle of nap time, but my mom had put the baby down early, so he woke up just in time for us to leave.

While waiting for the doctor in the examining room, my kids were all whining and complaining, and being disrespectful.  I felt the enemy attacking again.  I called the kids all close to me and said, “Ok, you all are sick, and hungry, and Satan is using this against you.  He is whispering in your head that it is okay to be whiney because you don’t feel good, that it’s okay to disobey because you are hungry.  Don’t let him! Resist the devil and he will flee from you!”  And then I prayed.  Then Eldest prayed, which surprised me.  Sometimes he can be quite ornery and doesn’t want to pray, but other times, he volunteers amazing little-kid prayers that get to the heart of the matter.

We went to the grocery store to pick up our prescriptions (all three kids were diagnosed with pink eye and sinus infections), once again the enemy attacked. The kids disobedience and whining was at an extreme.  I stopped in the middle of an aisle and prayed with the kids, reminding them again, to resist the urges they have to whine and complain, because that is what Satan wants them to do.  I reminded them that our words and actions are to be uplifting to each other, and kind.  After we prayed, the kids were able to control their desire to fuss a bit better.  Side note: I find that when we know the reason we are acting a certain way, it is easier to control ourselves.

That evening, my husband and I talked. We are confident that God wants us to move to Kentucky.  However, we have been having all sorts of little set backs that make us wonder, is this God’s way of saying we aren’t to move, or Satan trying to get us to doubt? We concluded that God does want us in Kentucky, and Satan is making life very difficult in the mean time.  I’m not saying that our illnesses are caused by Satan, but he is using those illnesses to wear us down and cause us to doubt God’s will. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

So the next time you are confident that you are doing God’s will, yet all seems to be going wrong, just remember that Satan is our adversary, and he fights hard to make us give up and turn away from the right path we are on.  Because when you submit yourself to God, the enemy attacks, but when you resist the devil, he will flee. (James 4:7).

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What "Frozen" Has Taught Me About Parenting

The first time we watched “Frozen”, I had no idea what a fixture it would become in our house.  I love the movie, but it is actually a very sad story about how well-intentioned parents broke a friendship between sisters.  Here’s what “Frozen” has taught me about parenting:
  • When a child is hurt by another child, my immediate reaction is, “What did you do?!?”  This places guilt on the offender that may not warranted. Even though I’m scared for my hurt child, the child that did the hurting is probably scared too.  I need to be sensitive to the other child; even if he/she struck out of anger, the result was probably unintentional and now there is regret.  I don’t want to add undue guilt to those feelings that may last a lifetime.
  • I need to figure out how to help my kids learn to control with the seemingly uncontrollable. Instead of hiding a problem they are having, teach them how to work out the problem for themselves. I won’t be around forever, and if I don’t teach them how to handle what seems impossible, they will hide away or stuff it down, and that will just destroy them in the end.
  • I will teach my kids that as siblings, they have a very strong bond, one that will last forever, if I help them nurture it while they are young.
  • I’m not going to make my kids hide their perceived weaknesses.  Hiding something doesn’t make it go away.  I will teach them how to cope with the weakness and learn to turn that weakness into a strength.  My daughter has quite the dramatic personality.  At four years old, it is a weakness that often has her melting down.  I will teach her how to use that drama and passion in a good way – we all need passionate people in the world.  I won’t make her just stuff all that emotion down, but help her learn how to direct it to be useful, and not just a way of manipulation.
  • I will warn my kids about strangers, but also teach them that sometimes strangers are exactly the people they may need in times of trouble.
  • I will teach my kids that helping someone, even a stranger, who is in need, is always the right thing to do.
  • I will accept my child’s friends for who they are, even if they seem to be a “fixer upper.”
Has “Frozen” taught you any life-lessons?