Category Archives: faith

I’m a Mom

I’m a Mom
I’m a Mom

I’m a Mom. My children are all grown now, except for the baby, but he’s half way to 18, so I am working on letting him go too. I am also finally a grandma! We are even expecting a little boy this month. (I’m just too excited to function sometimes!)

I was praying for my kids this morning, and was overwhelmed by the love I have for them. I was also overwhelmed with gratitude for the honor it has been, and still is, to be their Mom.  I was also reflecting on how blessed I have been to have raised my children, and all of the memories that come with that…. So, I thought I’d share.

Raising kids has been the most challenging, rewarding, heart breaking, joyous, painful, growing process of my life. Just when you think you got it, a new level opens and it’s brand new.

IMG_5851Babies were tuff, but OH so amazing!! Even the long nights, when I thought I was going to pass out (and I did a few times) I just couldn’t get enough of watching them grow. Those “firsts” will always be remembered. I learned pretty quickly to not rush those things. Everything comes in time.

Toddlers were exhausting, but a constant source of smiles, giggles and exhaustion. Even when they were stubborn, it was fabulous watching them grow and figure out what they were capable of. I didn’t have any trouble with my weight when they were in this stage! I think my favorite memories from this time was when they would be so defiant, but then just want to cuddle, and learning new words and trying to express themselves.

Elementary age was more of the same, just on a higher level. I never tired of answering questions and explaining all that peaked their interests. Children are little sponges! That’s a saying for a reason… I homeschooled off and on over the years, and being such a big part of that growth truly inspired me. A child’s mind is a blank slate, where the things they see and hear will be forever written. I always took that very seriously.

Middle School – OK. This is the only time period I really didn’t like. Maybe because I have 3 boys, but even for my girl, this period seems to be the most challenging. Kids in this space are really trying to figure themselves out – and where they fit. They are usually pretty gross too…. At least, mine were. (are – hahaha) If anyone has ever considered home schooling, this is the age. It’s the time where you can have the greatest impact – instead of their peers. They are still yours! They still need you, now more than ever! I think many parents start to pull away during this period, when it’s really the time to pull in. It’s definitely the time to be the keeper of your word – to have clear boundaries and to know what hills you are willing to die on. Prepare for this, and don’t give up – that’s my advice. I’m just glad we all survived.100_9244

High Schoolers…. Well. Honestly, I loved this too. It was probably harder on me than them, as I know parenting is a runway into adulthood… you are near the end of that runway and preparing them is at the highest level. I wanted to do so much more for each of them, when I knew I shouldn’t. I remember my daughter could only have 4 saves a year – that is, 4 times I would run whatever it was she forgot to wherever she was…. After the 4th time, whatever the consequences were to forgetting, she would have to suffer. It killed me!! I think there were a couple of years she got 5 or 6… Now, as a college graduate, she is much better at remembering… but I’ve come to think forgetfulness is in the DNA somewhere…

IMG_7369Consequences. That’s the hardest part of this whole parenting thing – and it becomes even bigger when they are in college and on their own. I think most parents IMG_5635want to protect their kids from unsavory consequences, but in doing so we stunt their growth.

Responsibility is learned, not assimilated. Kids have to see it and experience it in order to do it.

Now, as I “parent” adults, it’s a constant exercise in self-control. Not telling them what to do. Not trying to help – unless asked. It’s not checking on them everyday or expecting them to include me in everything. Agh. It’s about faith, and trusting God, and even just trusting them. It’s easier though, when you have seen it coming and have traveled the “run-way” with your kids. Praying is the biggest influence we have, and it is what can keep you focused on what matters.

Being a Mother-in-Law and a Grandma is also a whole new ballgame! I want them to leave and cleave, and grow together.11061253_10153213821815561_6693171734193154490_n

IMG_7099I did my best to teach my kids dependence on the Lord instead of me. I won’t always be here, but He will be. I will mess up, (and OH have I ever) but He won’t ever leave them or forsake them. He created them. Not me. He sustains them. Not me. He has a plan for their lives and it’s way better than anything I could have come up with.

It’s so cool to see my kids living their lives now. I still remember those “firsts” like they were yesterday, but seeing them launched into the life God has for them, is just A-MAZing.

My top 10 things to remember in parenting? (I wrote a while ago on the Top 10 Ways to Parent a Teenager)

Set clear boundaries – don’t be wishy-washy

Be proactive not reactive!

Remember it’s a run-way. There’s a process to a launch!

Consequences and trials grow us/them more than anything. Really.

God loves them more than you do.

Responsibility is taught…

Always, always put your spouse first (after God)… it makes the nest a much happier place when it is finally empty. (getting a dog helps too..)

Pray. Pray. Pray.

Pray with them from birth – all the way through. Never stop praying for them and with them when you can. Pray for their challenges, their victories and most importantly, their hearts – pray for their future spouses too! It teaches them that God is in everything – and he hears and answers. That’s the best lesson we can teach them.My kids

I am so far from a perfect parent – I learned the most through the trials though, and for that I am grateful. Really.

What was your favorite time?

Xo

 

 

Because Everyone Loves Marriage Advice, Right?

Because Everyone Loves Marriage Advice, Right?
Because Everyone Loves Marriage Advice, Right?

Two of my sons got married recently… three and a half months apart. Barely time for this mama’s head to stop spinning! Our family has added 2 new daughters as well as 3 new grandchildren and 1 on the way!I do

My boys married very well. Both brides are from years past, and have grown up, drifted apart and reconnected with our family. Both women bring out the absolute best in my sons, and I can see the love they have for each other, as it is as obvious as the grey in my hair! (even with Loreal it’s pretty obvious)

marry meI will admit that this has all been a little overwhelming – in an amazing, fabulous, OH MY GOSH kind of way. To me, getting married is the biggest deal next to accepting Christ as your Savior.  So choosing a life partner has been the focus of many prayers for them, and my prayers have been answered.

So, why write a post about it? A common theme at weddings and showers that I’ve attended, is to offer some marriage advice… Ya know, write it down on a piece ofdate night and advice paper and put it in the jar… or a date night idea. I’m not as good with the creative date night stuff, but advice? I’ve got plenty of that after a couple of failed marriages, years of counseling and a pretty AH-Mazing marriage for the past 18 years. I was also thinking, if I did it in my blog, then I won’t seem like a meddling mother-in-law either… right?

So here’s my top 10 list of advice I would offer any married couple;

1. Never go to bed mad, or in a argument. Agree to disagree if you must, but always kiss good night. (Eph 4:26)
2. Love covers a multitude of sins – it’s a verse for a reason. Remember that you chose and love each other first. Love is verb. (1 Peter 4:8)
3. Your spouse isn’t supposed to complete you, no matter what the movies say. Only Christ gets that job. The sooner you stop putting that expectation on each other, the sooner you can get on to really appreciating what you each bring to the marriage. (Col 2:10)
4. Assuming all of your past relationships have failed, then your experiences haven’t been successful… so remember that. Neither one of you is perfect, or really even know how to have a good marriage. Accepting that in yourself and in your spouse will alleviate some unmet exceptions and keep you humble. You are both on the learning curve – together.
5. Accepting #4 should naturally bring you both to a place of learning – God’s Word says a lot about marriage! Study it together. Look to seemingly happy marriages around you – ask for help – ask for advice. Go to counseling if you feel lost. Just try. There’s no shame in that game! (as my man says, “Never Give Up!”)
6. Even though you are still individuals, you are now joined together. The marriage is a life of it’s own, with 100% of each of you. Dying to self for the marriage covenant is where you really live out the “love is verb” thing. Treat it as the sacred gift that it is.
7. Get in community that’s doing life where you are – and more importantly, where you want to be. If you want a godly marriage, get in a group of people that are working on that same goal.
8. Your spouse should come second only to God. Your marriage should come before your kids. They will grow up and leave, and cleave, and you will be left with each other. If you don’t invest and keep your relationship at the helm, the empty nest will be a very lonely place. Plus, a happy marriage is the best place for nurturing your children.
9. Date! Even if it’s just a walk around the block. Connect weekly if you can’t daily! Have a party and set out a jar and little pieces of paper and ask folks to give you ideas if you’re lost… or just google some great ideas… Whatever you do, just do it!
10. Pray. Pray together even when you’re tired. Pray when you start and end your day, and especially if you’re mad at each other. It’s really hard to hold onto your anger when you are holding on to each other at the throne of God.

wedding funSo, that’s my top 10. There’s many more I could list, but these are the ones that have come to mind for a short post… These are the things that I pray for my children’s marriages. If you would like more advice, feel free to ask. I’m practicing being quiet unless asked these days. I’m a mother-in-law after all. Really.

What would you add to this list?

A Letter to the 22 year old me.

A Letter to the 22 year old me.

I wrote this a few years back, and while revisiting it this morning, I tried to think of what I would add… I have a 22 year old daughter right now, so it makes it even more of a reality than just a post of reflection.  I think I will add just a couple; 🙂

 

I’ve seen some blog posts lately that were the letters from the authors to themselves at a much younger age… The, “if I knew then, what I know now” wisdom posts.  So, to be a “follower”, and to impart some learned lessons, I thought I would have a go at it too…

At this ripe old age of 44, I can look back at myself at 22, and see a completely different person.  I’m actually amazed at the work God has done in my life thus far! If I could write a letter to myself at 22, I would say;

Dear Jennifer;

I know you feel like you have the world on your shoulders, and you can handle it.  I know that you think perfection is expected in this life of ours, and I see how you strive for it in almost everything you do. You worry too much, and care too much about things that aren’t going to last…  You clean too much, and expect too much from everyone around you.  The time spent trying to earn approval and love is in vain my friend.  So, to save you a few wrinkles, and a couple of prescriptions, I have some advice…

God loves you. Period.  He created you, and cares for you like no other.  He really is all you need – I know that sounds silly, but when you spend time with Him, you will see… All peace, comfort and joy – as well as acceptance, can be found in Him… So, open that Bible more, and get on those knees… heck, start talking to Him all the time!  HE hears you all the time and He cares… Don’t be too shocked when He answers you either – expect it.

Humans were never meant to be “your everything”… No man, woman, friend, parent or even your children were designed to fulfill you completely.  The only person that will complete you is Jesus Christ.  The sooner you grasp that, the easier the let downs and heart breaks will be.  No one is perfect, and don’t expect them to be.

Marriage isn’t about warm fuzzies and romance all the time.  It’s about commitment. It’s about remembering that the word love is a verb, not a feeling.  Your marriage can be more than warm fuzzies and romance, if you have Christ in the middle of it.  Seriously.  When you can pray with and for your spouse, it takes the marriage to a new level.  When you share the spiritual, as well as everything else – everything rocks…  When conflicts arise – and they will – take it to Christ – It’s pretty difficult to harbour resentment and anger when you hold hands before the Lord together… Really.

The Bible is relevant! Anything and everything is in there!  It really has instructions for life, from the Creator of life!  Don’t ever think you know more than the one who created you… His ways may seem restrictive sometimes, but it’s really for your own protection! You’re greatest blessings will come out of obedience… I promise.

The grass is never greener.  Just water yours and plant some flowers… Then yours will not only be greener, but it will be prettier and smell good too.

Pets are a full time commitment.  Dogs are even a bigger one…if you can’t feed them well, afford the vet or have time to walk them, don’t get one… It’s not fair to them or to you.

Don’t wait till you can afford kids to have kids.  That will NEVER happen.  When you finally have the kids, your priorities will change, and you will be amazed at how you will spend your money.

Enjoy your children when they are little! Don’t rush the walking and talking thing!  (Potty training – you can rush) Don’t hurry your babies through, and wish for them to grow up fast… I know it’s hard in the middle of the night, but try to relax and just ENJOY it.  This all will be gone in a flash – and parenting young adults is WAY harder…

You really don’t know it all.  I promise, you will be embarrassed when you get older and see how much you really didn’t know, but thought you did… Really.

Don’t drink too much.  It’s really a waste of good money and brain cells.  It doesn’t make you cooler or more popular, and it can be pretty dangerous for you, and for others.  Money is better spent on clothes, books, coffee… missions…

Life is short and no one makes it out alive … Try to think ETERNALLY.  What kind of legacy are you going to leave behind? Stop thinking you have plenty of time to do those “grown up” things… NO one is promised tomorrow.

Cherish Every Day.  Every single morning is new shot. A do over. A brand new shiny opportunity to try again.  Actually, every minute is new too.  We never get one back – time is the one fleeting thing that can’t be bought, borrowed or stored.  You have been giving this minute right now…

Everything matters.  People matter most – more than jobs, houses, entertainment, technology, sports and even shoes… When the stranger in the coffee isle starts telling you her life story, listen, because she matters.

Self control, patience and humbleness are a few of the greatest qualities you can have, so strive for those… It will bless your life, and be a blessing to others.

Wear sun block.  Just do it. Trust me.

Communication.  This is the key to all relationships. Knowing when to be quiet, or share the truth… Don’t assume someone knows your intent.  They rarely ever do, even those closest to you.  Be clear or be quiet – always.  This issue has never been more prominent than in this age of texting.  A text message doesn’t convey emotion, no matter how may emoji’s you use.

Date Intentionally.  Whether it’s intentional for marriage or for just friendship… those are the only 2 acceptable reasons.  Know someone’s spiritual identity, friends, family, temperament and goals before you even kiss… saves you from kissing too many Mr. Wrongs.  Sounds near impossible in todays culture right? Well, you were made to stand out, not blend in…

Last, but not least, Pray. Pray as often as you can.  The more comfortable you are talking to God, the easier it will be for you to hear Him answer you.

Growing up isn’t that bad.  You’re going to like it. Really.

 

What would say to the 22 year old you?

 

 

 

 

Everyone relates to the Prodigal Son…What about the Dad?

Everyone relates to the Prodigal Son…What about the Dad?
Everyone relates to the Prodigal Son…What about the Dad?

I read plenty of blogs and books about forgiveness and grace and how the Father’s arms are open wide.  I also read posts about hope for children as they grow and how everything will be ok. Really?

But what if you are in the position of the Dad in that story.  (Luke 15:11-23) What if your child is still out there in the pig pen, even though you did the best you could. How do you get to the place of daily living and being ready to open those arms when and IF they return?

I love that picture of love, grace and forgiveness for the returning son.  I am a true recipient of it.  I was in the mud and the muck and my heavenly father lifted me right out of it.  (Ps 40:2) I don’t even remember running to Him – He was just there, pulling me to himself, washing the grime and shame right off my face.  He beckoned me and I went.  Without that daily grace and love in my life I just know I would curl up in a ball and never function.

It’s that unconditional love that I have been given that stirs the desire in me to share it with everyone, especially my children.  I want to be that person, patiently waiting with open arms, filled with love and grace.  But what if that child doesn’t want it and what if they never come?  And what about those times I just don’t think I can?

Nothing in life guarantees that the sweet toddler you can’t get enough of will grow into the adult you have envisioned.  The reality is, they will grow up and be the person they want to be, and God will allow trials and consequences to grow and shape them.  (James 1:2-4) You can love them till it hurts and it might not make a difference for a very long time or seemingly never at all.  How then do you have hope and patience?  How do you get through those times of blaming yourself, fear or regret?

One of my favorite verses is Phil 4:13. “You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you.” We can do all things. We can love when it seems undeserved. We can bite our tongues when all we want to do is scream.  (Col 3:12-13) We can pray continually and feel the flood of God’s peace fill our hearts and minds when all seems lost. (Phil 4:6-7) We can rest in the real hope that God is sovereign, and He can and will take care of everything, either in this world or the next. (Rom 8:28) We can cast our burdens on Him, and He will take it. (Ps 55:22) We can be that person, with open arms, without judgment, when the prodigal returns.  Even if that child doesn’t return, we can cry out in the stillness of pain, and know that God is God and that can still be enough.

Find your peace and hope in the eternal Abba Father that is worthy of it. Love your children and enjoy the moments you have with mother prayingthem. It’s the closest example we have of how God loves us. Just never forget they belong to Him first, last and forever.   We can do our humanly best, and even our worst, and God is still in control.  I believe that’s how the Prodigal Son’s father did it.  His hope was always in the sovereign One who made us all.

One of my favorite quotes is this: “Everything will be ok in the end.  If it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.” Fernando Sabino

Sometimes the end takes a very long time to get here and sometimes it’s here in a flash. Either way, it’s never quite what we expected.  But, if we’ve spent time dwelling in the awareness of the ever-present God, and we’ve learned to acknowledge Him in all our ways, when that end finally does arrive, we will be ok… And what a celebration it will be!…Really.

 

Looking for Hearts

Looking for Hearts

heart collectionI am on the development team for a ministry called NBS2go. (Neighborhood Bible Study to Go –www.NBS2go.com ) The founder of this ministry is kind of obsessed with rocks, shells, and just about anything that look likes a heart. She loves to share how God revealed to her through these hearts that God is awakening hearts all around the world, through neighborhood Bible studies. She has quite an impressive collection to say the least! It’s always exciting to see another heart shape in something… She seems to find them EVERYWHERE!

beach walkingYesterday I was at the beach with my family. My husband  and 2 of my kids went walking after dinner, and my husband asked me if I was keeping my eyes open for “hearts” for my sweet friend. Wow. Honestly, I hadn’t been looking. I was too concerned with walking in the sand and not stepping on something sharp. So, I begin looking. My husband found one right away! I kept walking and walking, and looking. I would see one, that kind of looked like a heart, but not a really good one – I wanted a totally obvious one – no imagination required!

We walked for quite a while before turning back. I kept looking and passing over the partial looking hearts… and then it hit me. How many times am I too busy or concerned with my own walk or my own safety (mental or physical) to seek out hearts for God? How did my heart look when someone shared that love with me?  Then when I do finally decide to look, it doesn’t matter how long I walk, or have walked… How many hearts have I walked right passed, and not shared the love of Christ with because I didn’t think the circumstances were “just right”? Imagination required. Or better yet, faith required.

I didn’t find a heart yesterday, but my husband did. I was bummed, but then I was also reminded that one heart is just as important to one heartGod as a whole bucket full. (Luke 15:3-7)I love how the Spirit reminds me of truth, and opens my own heart and eyes to the love He has for every single heart out there.  The good news is that it’s never too late.  My prayer is that I will find one, either on the beach tomorrow, or back home in my very own neighborhood. Really.

 

Africa Update or Mama Smiles… Whichever you prefer

Africa Update or Mama Smiles… Whichever you prefer

If you’re familiar with my blog, then you know that my one and only daughter, Katie, is spending 2 months is Swaziland, South Africa this summer.  I posted about it HERE, when I was still nervous, and she was still fund raising.  Then I posted HERE when the fund raising was over… She has just passed the half way mark, so I thought it might be fitting to post about it…

I thought we would not be able to communicate with her, at least not often, but to my pleasant surprise, we have been able to “chat” on facebook about once a week.  Her team is keeping a BLOG, although they don’t get to post much, and one of the girls in her group has the international phone plan, that works occasionally, so I also get a random text once in a while.  This morning, I was blessed to get some “face time” with her because she was able to use an ipad and was in a South African mall with wifi… So, needless to say, my worrying has been at a minimum.

Her updates have been wonderful, and I can hear her excitement even in the words she types.  They are staying in a homestead in Swaziland.  There is no running water or any modern conveniences.  She has mentioned a time or two her grievance over not having real toilets, or showers.  They use baby wipes, and buckets of well water to clean with.  I’ve been instructed to have the tub cleaned and ready for her when she gets home.

She loves the people and her team.  The scenery is breathtaking and the children are her joy.  They work at “care-points” each day, feeding and caring for the children in the surrounding communities.  They have found several places to just help where needed, and they are always thinking of how to make a lasting impact.

She has been trapped in the shower shack (see the picture) by a heard of cows.  They have had some things stolen, by the cow herder.  He got caught, and fired, so everything was returned, but they woke to a dead cow in the front yard the next day.  So, since there is no refrigerators, they had the pleasure of watching the cow get cut up, and passed around.  Her exact words were ‘EW Gross!”

They went into a mental hospital, which was more of a hospital for the demon possessed.  It was the most terrifying thing she has ever experienced.  They managed to pray, and then get out, but it has stuck with them.  Katie told me today that she has planned a “Joshua” attack… since they can’t go back in the hospital, they will walk around it and pray till the ‘strong hold” comes down.  Prayers from here would be welcomed too…

They have been on safari, and have visited the mall.  They have fallen in love with the sweet bread that is sold through the jail-like bars on the windows of the stores throughout the area.  For the 4th of July they went to a party in South Africa… she said she hadn’t seen that many white people in one place since she got over there, and it actually felt weird. The food hasn’t been as bad as she feared and she misses chocolate more than anything…

One of the things she has learned is how simple sharing Christ really is.  She was preparing to say and do all the right things… And when it came down to it, she didn’t have to really say much, if anything at all.   She has been ministered to as much, if not more, then the people she is serving.

I must say, before she went, she had been living in a big city, doing the city life college thing.  I was concerned that maybe her heart wasn’t ready for such a big adventure.  Wow. I love being wrong sometimes.  Really.

Please keep her and the team in your prayers! Thank you!

 

 

Faith?

Faith?

Today was starting out as any other day… I tried to sleep passed 8AM and laid in bed silently going from cursing the sunrise to praying and going over my to-do’s for the day… all at the same time. Really.  This is the reality of the OCD-ADD mind.

As I gave in to the light, and headed in to wake the man-child, my Africa bound daughter screamed, “MOM!!”  Thinking there was a bug bigger than her, or she was stuck in the closet or… sorry, I guess you would have to know her…  and I digress.  I just quickly headed for her room.  She met me at the door, holding her laptop and asking me who Helen was.  This mystery woman had donated $500 to my daughter’s mission fund and we didn’t even know her!

Well. How about that?  This might not seem like such a big deal, nice maybe, and definitely an “awww” would be appropriate, but this really is a big deal and I’m going to tell you why…

All of the funds for this big mission trip had to be in by last Friday.  The Wednesday before we were still $641 short.  My daughter was calm, and without drama, told me that God would provide.  She had no doubt.  I, on the other hand, being the “adult” in the real world, knew that more action was required.  So, I posted on face book, talked to all my friends, prayed and even peddled an autographed football that my son and sister-in-law would have killed for.  My hard worked paid off, and at 9PM the Thursday before, a sweet friend purchased the football for the amount, which was now down to $316, since I had sent a check in myself… Whew!  Yay me! Yay God! Yay for sweet friends and footballs!  All is well and I was exhausted!

The week before I had sent an email out to my son’s baseball league as well.  Just trying to sell the football, for a good cause.  One of the parents emailed me and offered prayer and wanted to donate.  I thanked her and sent her the information. I really didn’t give it too much thought after that.  I didn’t know her, and seriously, why would I think she would donate more than $25, maybe $50?  Well, today the mission account updated and Ms. Helen from baseball donated $500.  I didn’t have to donate more myself.  I didn’t have to peddle a football.  I didn’t have to lay awake and wonder, and ask God why He was waiting till the last minute, if that was what he was even doing…

I didn’t have faith.  While I was wearing myself out, He was relaxing…with my daughter.

To read my post about her trip – click here

Phil 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.

(Duh)

Have you learned any hard lessons from your kid lately?

What’s Your Prozac?

What’s Your Prozac?

I’ve recently posted on social media about my little dog, Sam, and his unacceptable issues.  We started him on Prozac a few weeks back, as well as suiting him up with a nifty “Thunder Shirt” and a pheromone collar…  We’ve also isolated him to 2 rooms 24/7… All for the purpose of calming his little doggie demons and extending his life in this world.

We have had Sam since he was a wee little pup, when we rescued him from some neighbors.  He was abused his first few weeks of life, and has struggled ever since.  His past obviously haunts him, as he doesn’t trust anyone, especially boys.  He shakes, paces, scratches, relieves himself at will, and occasionally bites.  At this point, you’re probably wondering why we have kept him all these years.  Well, we wonder the same thing most of the time, but we actually love him and he was originally my daughter’s (aren’t they always?)…Even though we have paid for him, and ended up taking care of him 99.9% of the time, she swears that she will take him after she graduates from college.  So, the new routine will hopefully get us through the next 3 years.

All of this dog business got me thinking about human nature and how we deal with stressful situations or even just life…How often do we let our past, or our fears, dictate our behavior, subconsciously or consciously?  We can wrap ourselves in any kind of “thunder shirt” or take any kind of pill to try and numb the fears, but they always seem to come back, don’t they?

There is a way to be free from all of your fears though, and it doesn’t cost a thing.  There’s a love out there for each one of us, no matter how bad our past has been, or how many people we have bitten.  It’s the love of Christ.  He wants to adopt you, fleas and all.  (Romans 8:15) He can wrap you in a thunder shirt of his grace, that forgives you permanently. (Acts 2:38) When the storms come, and the fears surface, you can pray to Him, in faith, and his Spirit will comfort and restore you every single time. (Romans 15:13)

So, what’s your Prozac?  Consider trying the love of Christ.  That prescription never runs out.

Life Scales

Life Scales

Thinking about what to post this week was difficult.  There are so many things on my heart, but I never feel lead to share them – I usually write when I feel pressed upon – or pressured, whichever comes first.

I asked my husband what I should write about and he went off on the upcoming election… I just turned around and walked away.  I asked my college kid, and she said, “Broke college kids”… I said, no, so she said I should write about, “The increase of younger people getting married”… I responded, that I didn’t really know anyone that has done that recently.  So, then she told me to write about prostitution.  Really?  I then got a text from her, informing me that I was the blogger and I should figure it out myself.  My youngest son, in his obvious humbleness, told me to write about how wonderful he is….  I’m not going to ask anyone else.  I’m realizing that it probably wasn’t a good idea to ask them in the first place.

So, I figured it out on my own and here it is…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my life “scales”.  One side being worldly, responsibilities, hobbies, entertainment, etc., and the other side, kingdom work.  Now, don’t go jumping on the “covered by grace” train, I know I can’t earn my salvation, (Eph 2:8) but I am called to participate in the work of the kingdom.  Wearing the Jesus Team jersey comes with responsibility.  (Rom 12) The reasoning for the work can’t be driven by the belief that your salvation depends on it.  It’s supposed to driven by the Spirit that you have dwelling within you, and your gratitude for salvation – and the love you have for your Savior.

I used a marriage as an example when I explained it to my kids.  If you marry someone, (enter into a covenant relationship) and you never spend time getting to know them better, (reading the Word) or doing anything they asked you to, (kingdom work), or even talked to them all the time, (praying), how good would that marriage be?  Makes sense, right?

Reading the Word isn’t as hard as it used to be.  I look forward to it.  I can’t describe the peace it has brought into my life…  Praying without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17) has always been easy…If you know me, this shouldn’t be a surprise.  Sometimes I feel like that verse was put in there just for me, “Sure God! I will talk to you ALLL day!” I so got that one.

It’s the kingdom work that I stumble on.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to serve. But it’s more like, depending on my mood, or the need, time, location, energy level, schedule,  is it in my “gifting”?  Do I do it for the glory or for God’s glory?

I do believe that running our company with Christian values makes a difference.  Serving in our local body of believers is very important, (Rom 12) and just being pleasant, does shine a light for the most part. (especially while driving in the Atlanta area) I even try to scatter seeds by mentioning my faith often, and I offer to pray for those that seem to need it.  But do I do what Christ himself as asked me to do?  (Matt 28:18-20) Have I shared the gospel lately or served when it wasn’t so easy?  Ah… No.

It’s the going out and sharing the reason for my hope that trips me up.  It’s stepping out of the boat, when it’s not convenient, or easy, and maybe it’s even a little scary…But that’s when God will get the glory, because you couldn’t have done it without him.

We told our youngest son that he couldn’t have a fantasy sports team this week, because his scales were already too “sports heavy”.  You might think we’re mean, or too strict, but we are trying to teach him to manage his time wisely, and to be aware of the delicate balance of it.  As a young Christian man, he has the same responsibilities that I do in the Kingdom.  

We are never given a redo of time.  We will not wake up on Ground Hog Day, over and over again.  But even though days have passed, God, through His grace, gives us brand new ones.  With each tick of the clock, and breath in our lungs, we can adjust our scales (Pro 16:11) as often as we need to.  I’m putting sharing the gospel back on mine.

Do you know that Christ loves you so much that he died for you?

How do you make sharing the gospel a regular practice in your life?

Old Habits Die Hard

Old Habits Die Hard


Today I had an OCD day squared.  I haven’t had one of those in a long time.  My day consisted of paying both company and personal bills, going to the bank, getting my car serviced, taking one son to baseball practice, and lunching with another.  Then I vacuumed my house, dusted, windexed, straightened, mopped, did all the laundry, shopped, and cooked.

I call that an OCD day because I was totally anal about all of it.  My ADD kicked in as I flitted from task to task and even re-did a few things that needed it. (in my mind, anyway)  I really got a lot done.  Now I’m all tucked in my corner of the sofa with my laptop and remote control, waiting for Alcatraz to start.  I was reflecting on my day, and I am surprised at how obsessively productive I was, since I haven’t had such a full day like this in a long time…

I used to be intense about lots of things.  I guess you could say I was tightly wound, and had strong ideas and routines for everything.  I spent hours cleaning grout and hanging baby clothes on tiny hangers… I had to have the lines just right in the carpet when I vacuumed.  Everything had to have a box, or place… with a label.  Disorder and conflict were strictly forbidden.  Everyone thought my house was beautiful and clean. I had schedules, charts and lists.  It was a great front.  I worked so hard on things I had control over, because I couldn’t control so many other things that weren’t as obvious.  The insecurities were overwhelming but the appearance was close to perfect.

Those days are long gone, as I have submitted to the authority who really has control over everything.  It was an easy,
spiritual, and emotional experience to accept the One who has saved my soul, but letting go of the “control” that I thought I had, or didn’t have, is a different story.  It is a slow, painful development, which continues today.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this whole Christian walk is a process.  Thank God.

So how does that translate into a clean house?  I was productive, after all.  I guess it just reminded me of how psycho I used to be.  Have I regressed into my insecurities? Sure! Every now and then!  But now, instead of dwelling, stressing, and dusting 3 times, I say a prayer, praise my Lord and I let it go.  And it works…Really.

Do any of your old habits ever rear their heads in your new life?  What do you do?