Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back, looking ahead.

I'm pretty glad we're at the end of 2010. It's been a long, hard year. The big thing was waiting on Dan's master's degree pay to kick in. Yet every month, we managed to have enough and sometimes a little more. DH has taken on 3 piano students to help supplement and I am helping my mom in her house. We were never late on mortgage payment, and I am truly amazed because there is no way to describe it but that God was in it, helping us, holding things together. Even with unexpected expenses, the money was always there. What a Faithful Father I have. He concerned himself with taking care of my needs.

So, as I look back on 2010, I have a renewed sense of hope for tomorrow. He was there in the past and he's here today...He is already in tomorrow before I even get there..

This morning, OC(Oswald Chambers) was talking about the fact that God is in our yesterdays, our todays, and our tomorrows. I was really touched regarding this notion especially because I've tried to "forget what lies behind" so perfectly that I don't learn from those things well enough to keep myself from further heartache. Now, don't get me wrong, looking into the past doesn't mean I stay there. That's the point. When you're running a race, you can't look back, around or whatever, you have to keep your focus on the prize..the finish line. There are certain times when it is good to look back (albeit not during the race). You have to take stock in where you are and how you get there. You can't let each little failure take you under, but you musn't ignore them either.

Looking back on failures or challenges offers quite a few benefits: it allows you to see things you couldn't have seen while you were in the middle of the test. Seeing God's hand on us this last year has been invaluable in my walk with him. Tangible evidence of his love and care for us spurs me on in my relationship with him. Looking back also helps in the formulation of a different plan, one which ends in victory rather than defeat.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Discipline---he's getting it.

Tonight was a really strange but amazing experience with my 5yo. He's been ignoring my directions/being really disobedient of late, but I've sensed the Lord showing me how handle it. A few things come to mind already about how I've changed.
  1. I am learning that I need to express my dissatisfaction/unhappiness about misbehavior to my son in a clear, concise way. Telling him exactly what he is doing and how it is affecting me is step one. Dealing with the misbehavior and moving on is step two. I find that I'm not getting angrier and angrier because I'm dealing with each battle one at a time rather than doing full on war over everything.
  2. Sometimes delaying the response to misbehavior works in my advantage. An example would be that I had told him to do something, it wasn't done. I said nothing to him about it but waited until he wanted/needed something from me, then I used that opportunity to get his attention by not giving in to his desire and stated that I didn't have to fulfill what he was asking for because I was unhappy with his behavior.
  3. I began to realize tonight that it is my responsibility to teach my son right from wrong and that sometimes I had to do things I didn't like in order to get his attention and steer him away from the wrong path.

So tonight, I had given my son an instruction and he stuck his tongue out at me. I remained calm but knew that I couldn't let this pass. It was direct defiance of my authority. He asked me if he were going to get a spanking, and I told him yes, that he would be getting a spanking because he had completely disrespected me which was patently unacceptable. After the spanking, I asked him if he had anything to say for himself, and he said that he was sorry for acting that way. I hugged him and held him close to me. I told him that I loved him and that it was my job and his dad's job to help him learn right from wrong and to help him learn to live in a way that would bring glory to God. I told him that the way he acted didn't bring glory to God nor did it make him happy. After all this was finished, he said that he knew his mommy loved him but that she didn't love the way he'd acted. I was so grateful to hear him say that. No discipline is pleasant at the time but in the end yields a harvest of righteousness. Thank you, Jesus.

Taking liberties with time.

This morning, I locked myself into the bathroom with my bible, my notebook, and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.

I must find a way to lock out the distractions. This helped a lot even though the boy had awakened when I went in. To my surprise, he left me alone.

The title of the reading was Deserter or Disciple. Boy, does God ever know what's going on in my heart! The gist of it was regarding staying in the light of God's word to me rather than looking at what others are doing or how they are walking. His word is such a lightning rod into my soul, even though He is quite gentle with me. I asked him to show me any area in which I was not walking in the light of His Word for me.

I sensed him saying that I had been taking liberties with time. I've been filling my day with all sorts of things that don't matter...just wasting time playing mah jongg on the computer, not being punctual (disrespecting others with timing) and basically not taking care of the things that are important such as making my house a home.

I am thankful that He is willing to lead me, the mess that I am. I am thankful that He is willing to talk to me without withholding His love for me. I am thankful that He is showing me how I can trust Him to be all that I need.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cataloging the Important-a 30-day challenge.

I wanna use this space to write down what I feel God is telling me right now, right where i am. I have been feeling a great sense of emptiness of late. I've been thinking on the direction of my life and what i've hoped to accomplish or whatever. Whilst cleaning the kitchen yesterday, I sensed the Lord telling me to take stock in what i've been doing...What do i do with my time? What do i focus on? What do i talk about?

Here lately, I've been engrossed in Christmas presents, what the kids would like, the food we'd be having, etc...and playing on the computer. Where was Jesus in all this? I'd like to say that I have a steady quiet time every day, but I don't. I sometimes go weeks without it...and that's a very conservative estimate.

So anyways, I was in Sunday School this week and I know intellectually that I should have a quiet time..I know that 'religiously' too. But I am missing the boat what it is all about... We actually talked about it Sunday...getting to that spot where you just MOVE with the Lord. Where you're not just a 'follower' of Jesus, but that you are doing the things greater than He did. Where you're willing to die based on that belief in who he is. That is something that is not accomplished going the way I have been going. So now that I've examined myself, even this little bit, I find myself wanting.

This blog is a place where I can at least admit it to myself. I've GOT to know this Jesus and what made him tick as a human and how i can tap into his life deeper than I have to this point. I want to catalog a month of discoveries, insights, and actual time spent. This is day ONE...and my Bible and notebook are still in the car. Dan took them to his car, but left them outside and I am still in my jammies and it's COLD outside. Such a picture this is. Help me Lord to see you more clearly in these 30 days.

Monday, December 20, 2010


It's that time of year right? All over target, or was it Macy's was the theme encouraging patrons to believe...."in what?" I ask. In Santa Claus? In Christmas? in oneself? says that to believe means to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something...

Because it is that time of year, we've decided to play the 'Santa' game with our children. We've watched a lot of the stop action animation put out by Rankin and Bass (the ones we grew up on). It's harmless enough to play, guess. We haven't made too big a deal about it this year. Trying, instead to encourage our kids to remember that God gave us the gift of His POWERFUL presence inside us in the person of Jesus. That because of him inside us, we can love, we can give, we can live the victorious life.

I was really thankful to have come across Veggie Tales' The Story of St. Nicholas. The story is set in present day Christmas Eve. All the kids are excited about what is coming that evening and Junior has just been given a coin from his grandparents to spend any way he wishes...

Bob takes notice and asks the children what Christmas is really about, and eventually points them to the manger scene he and Larry are constructing. This, of course brings the question to mind, "What does Santa Claus have to do with baby Jesus?"

At this point, Bob begins the story in Greece at the time of Nicholas, a young boy whose parents were followers of The Way. Their lives had been impacted by Jesus and they were giving to any who had need. A series of events causes Nicholas to run away from his hometown where he finds himself empty and sad.

In his travels, he comes across someone else who, like his parents, was giving because of God's gift to her. It is this turning point that sends him back home to take up the work of his parents to love and care for others in need, even in the face of danger or persecution.

This story was about practical application of God's word into our lives....and it was told for children to understand.

As I think of it, I am stirred to think of the question: Do you believe that what you believe is really real? I'm challenged and haunted by this question especially at this time of year when even those who refuse to believe in Jesus, who was most certainly real are pressing for the rest of us to believe in an idea that doesn't bring last life or peace.

About Me

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I belong to Jesus. I am married to Dan. I am mom to Pearce and Garner. I am a musician, a cook, a taxi driver, a teacher, a manager. I am me.