December 31, 2010 § 2 Comments
I would LOVE to know if any of my posts really touched you. I would like to know if you have a favorite. Any on post that you remember or that particularly touched you?
Here are a few links to my favorites of 2010:
Please share with me what you think! I want to encourage and lift you all up! So doing this will help me help you. 😉
Have a wonderful, blessed, 2011!!!! Happy New Year dear ones!
December 30, 2010 § 3 Comments
I love this time of year.
Christmas, the time we celebrate the birth of our God-man,
baby-king, Word-became flesh, God with us.
Then the end of the year.
The time to think back about the year we are leaving
and look forward to the New Year.
I have to admit I am a bit of a sap. I tear up at the thought of the end of the year, good-bye to 2010 never to be again.
Yet I love the possibilities of the new one coming. What new exciting, faith stretching, God-sized thing is God calling me to? What will happen? Who will I meet? Funny how I only plan on the good things, the exciting things, and yet I know hard things are to come as well.
In all my type-A personality, I have never set resolutions or goals because I fear failure. I look at a list of goals and if I don’t make it I think I failed. I have even stopped making lists for daily things. This is not a positive trait. It is just me and through God’s grace, I am working on it.
So in all my thinking about this past year and looking into the next, I have been praying for God to show me what this year was and what God is calling me to do next year….Drum-roll please….
2010 can best be described as stretching…
Serious stretching beyond me.
Letting God take over my hopes and dreams.
Letting Him do it His way and doing it all beyond me.
Opening up my mind and heart to God-sized things He can do if I follow Him.
My word for 2011 is growth.
Now that God has stretched me, I need to grow into the stretched out areas God created in 2010.
I need to persevere.
I need to grow beyond what I think is possible.
What about you? What did God do for you in 2010? What is He calling you to in 2011? Let me know I can’t wait to hear what He is up to!
December 29, 2010 § 5 Comments
I long for the day when grief no longer taints joy.
Our most joyful days on earth are tainted. Pain, fear, grief mingle and mix with our joy.
Day I accepted Jesus as my Savior…Joy of forgiveness of sins, pure love from heaven washed the fear of hell away. Yet knowing some would still choose hell over grace and mercy caused grief.
Graduating High School…The joy of accomplishment, the fear of what is next, the grief of friends lost during the journey.
Wedding Day…Joy, excitement, my man, my soul-mate, my life-partner mix with the sadness of leaving my family to cleave to my husband. The joy of making our own way entangled with the fear of leaving all I have known.
Birth of children…Incredible joy, love, and excitement. Mixed with PAIN in the process, fear of failure, and for some grief due to illness or tragedy.
Is the grief, pain, and fear in the joy a reminder for us? Is it God’s loving way to remind us Earth is not our home?
It points to what is not, but what “should be.” Does the pointing mean there is more? Does it mean that at some point the “should be” is what will be?
I believe that the answer is yes. I long and wait in fear and joyful expectation for that day. That DAY when:
“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Oh that I would allow those painful, fearful, grieving, joyful moments to turn my heart and mind to His return. That I would wait in hopeful expectation of that day –
when joy and grief no longer cling;
when tears, mourning, death, and pain are no more.
Oh what a day that will be!
December 27, 2010 § 5 Comments
We went to visit family last week. We loaded the van with bags, toys, DVDs (to keep the kids from rioting), and presents. We were nearly done with our trip. About two-thirds of the way to our destination and it happened.
I threw-up…in an empty cup, but none-the-less I lost my cookies.
The next two plus hours were a blur to me. We stopped two times for me. I slept briefly, then one of my sweet girls threw-up in a cup. I cleaned her up and got her clothes changed…Not long after that, my other daughter threw-up. At that point it hit me that I was in need of a bathroom and a cup would not do the job. We made it to the bathroom in time…As we made it to our destination, my daughter threw-up in again this time in a puffs box.
At one point during this amazingly difficult trip, I told my husband that we just needed to stop. Quit, give up. It was too hard to make it. Let’s just find a hotel and stay there for the night. He said no. In fact he said, “We will make it tonight.”
Thinking back it struck me. I’ll be honest this took days and days…I am pretty slow in learning God things from the mundane. Anyway this is what struck me:
That is the kind of friend we need to walk this life of faith. The friend that encourages you when you are worn out, smelly, bloated, and have puke-breath. The friend that exhorts you to take care of yourself and your family. The friend that rejoices in your triumphs and cries with you in your difficulties. My husband was that friend to me on our journey to visit family.
But in life, I need these kind of friends. We all know that there are days, weeks, months, years when we just want to sit down and say, “I quit. This faith, this journey, these difficulties are too hard. I am done.”
Oh, but God…God doesn’t quit on us.
He doesn’t say, “They are never going to get it. I am done with them.”
No, instead He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
We need friends around us to build us up.
To tell us, “You can do this.” (Phil 4:13)
To remind us, “God is with us.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
To keep our perspective, “Life is short and we have heaven waiting.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Don’t have any friends that encourage you like this? First I challenge you to be that friend to someone else. We can only encourage, remind, exhort others when we are in God’s word. So read His word, memorize it, breathe it. Then be prepared to love, encourage, and exhort others.
Second, I encourage you to pray and step out in faith. Seven-and-a-half years ago my husband and I moved to our current location. I was a new mom, in a new location, and I had just given up my vocation. I needed a friend. I prayed for a friend. After a year without really finding one, I asked a woman from church. I told her I needed someone to pray with me and meet with me regularly. She had been at our church for over ten years and she said that she had been praying for someone to meet with too. God knit our hearts together and we remain close to this day!
Finally I will say to you like my husband did on our trip, “You can do this. We will make it.” God is there for you my friend. He wants you to live this life in victory holding on to Him through it all. So rest in Him.
December 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
Christmas is the time we celebrate His coming. The time God came in human form and the world has never been the same.
We imagine what it must have been like for God – all-powerful, all-knowing – to limit Himself to human form, a helpless baby. Oh, but I believe we miss something. Jesus, in obedience to God the Father, “made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness…” (Phil 2:7)
Jesus was born. So that means that Jesus was inside Mary”s womb. Jesus, creator of the universe, limited Himself to a two-celled embryo. He experienced the smallest form of life inside a virgin’s womb.
Can you see the shock of His angels? The incomprehensible nature of this event?
And He came. Heaven’s treasure stepped down into time and wrapped Himself in dirt the foundation of flesh.
I am not often willing to give up my will, my rights, my desires for someone else.
I want to watch this show.
I have the right of way.
I want to listen to this station.
I demand my way in everything.
Yet Jesus, creator (John 1), Prince of peace, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Wonderful Counselor (Isa 9:6), gave up power, gave up being omnipresent, and stepped into flesh and time. He traded seeing God face to face for seeing only His shadow. He gave it all up for us. He gave it up to “become obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:8)
This life is often filled with grief, pain, mistakes, illness, but God came. We can find joy and peace in Immanuel, God with us. Whatever this Christmas brings to you, let us remember the reason we celebrate. He came!
December 15, 2010 § 3 Comments
The words hung in the air and flew like a dagger into my heart.
“I hate you mommy.”
I knew this phrase would come. I had prepared myself.
However I expected it closer to puberty,
not before my children were even in the double digits.
Pain and anger mix with disappointment.
My mind races. Hot searing words flow in angry tones.
My point made, minus grace.
This is beyond me. I can’t do this. , I think.
Truth comes to mind, “…while we were God’s enemies,
we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son…” (Romans 5:10)
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that
while were were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
That kind of love is beyond me. Even for my children.
Don’t get me wrong, I love them, I would die for them.
But my humanness tells me I deserve better.
I birthed them, I feed them, I clean up their puke and other bodily fluids…
I get them to school, I quit work for them…I deserve honor and respect.
In fact, God agrees. He tells children to “honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12).
The difference? God loves us even when we don’t. He is patient, He gives grace.
That ever-present, unconditional, grace-filled love is beyond me.
I can’t do it alone. I need His Spirit to guide me in those moments.
I need more of Him and less of me.
Humbly I come to my child.
My child in turn asks forgiveness of me.
Mercy and grace flow.
Mothering is beyond me. I need wisdom. I need a mind like Christ.
I need to rethink what I think is important in view of God’s grace and mercy.
Oh, but I must never forget, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)
Discipline, training, encouraging, all to help mold and shape my children.
All so they may know our Lord, so they can be men and women who
serve, love, and honor God in all they say and do.
All under the umbrella of grace and mercy through our Lord.
Father God, this mothering thing is beyond me. It stretches me. It changes me. Lord forgive me when I make mistakes. Give me wisdom that is beyond me. Give me patience, mercy, and grace to love, discipline, and encourage Your way. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
What part of mothering or parenting is beyond you?
If you aren’t a parent yet, what did your parents do well?
What do you want to do different from your parents?
Let me know what you think! Leave a comment (the link is at the top of each post).
December 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
Some of you may know that I was attempting to keep up two different blogs. Yes. At one time I was writing about six posts a week. Just saying that makes me tired. So after much prayer and consideration, I decided to combine my two blogs.
I will have a recurring “Infertility Girl” post about once a week or so. If you don’t know my infertility journey, you can check it out here. Over the next month or so I will be transferring my posts from my old blog here. I will try to just import them so that those of you who are getting my posts by e-mail won’t be overrun by my blog posts.
Now to the post:
Nothing spectacular happened or changed.
Just a scene from a drama a church kept striking a chord. A dissonant chord that caused pain as it vibrated through. The scene was lovely and touching. Elizabeth was holding baby John the Baptist on part of the stage and on the other part Mary was holding baby Jesus and they sang a song to their babies.
My heart ached at the mystery of God coming to earth as a baby. Wrapped in flesh rather than in His glory. My throat tightened at the sight. Those babies were only baby dolls, but the idea of holding a newborn babe, one that I had been carrying for months in my womb, also captured me. Christmas, the joy of God coming to Earth, is the season is full of stories of miraculous births.
Reminders that unless God creates a miracle in my body like He did for Mary and Elizabeth, I will never know those glorious sensations again.
Tears came over me. Washing down my face. The sheer volume of the tears surprised me.
But with the tears came faith.
Faith that God has a glorious plan for me and my family.
Faith that He knows what we can handle.
Faith that I need to focus on God’s riches awaiting me in heaven.
The anticipated joy of heaven did not assuage my grief, but the joy and grief mingled together.
As Jesus experienced on the cross. Hebrews 12:2 says, “…For the joy set before Him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus suffered cruelly on the cross. Yet He chose the cross for joy. Just like now I am choosing to rest in God’s promises. I am not doing it because it is easy or it makes my grief easier. No, I am resting on God because there is a joy to come in heaven. That joy is better than any pain I could experience here on earth.
Do you experience the bond between joy and grief? How does that shape your view of God? Do you think the grief in the joy keeps us longing for eternity?
Leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you.