Friday, September 21, 2012


Her words are like a red light on the highway.  They stop me in my tracks, make me put on the brakes; although she has no idea that is the case.
My children have been praying in the morning on the way to school now for a while.  (Remember my Prayer Promise last year?  Still going this year!)  This morning, my 2 year old wanted to turn on his movie in the car, and I said, "Nope, remember we pray before school?"  This started a conversation on when we can pray to which my 6 year old chimed in, "Yep, remember we can pray anytime!  Before we eat, before bed, before we do anything really.  When we want to tell God thank you like if we are on a walk.  And when we are scared like if we are at school and we feel scared, we can just pray in our heads.  I pray at school when I'm worried.  And Mommy prays when she's worried too!"  
Oh Lord, is that what You were trying to tell me?  
Just this morning when my heart was breaking for someone I don't even know all that well.  Someone who's world is completely rocked right now and I was searching for something I could do for them...make them a meal, a gift...what could I do?  I kept running into road blocks with all my ideas and let's face it...when you have three kids and time is crazy, sometimes you feel like WHAT can I do that wouldn't be more harm than good?
What was it I read in my morning time with God?  "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."  (Colossians 4:2)  Devote.  Am I devoted to prayer?  
Beth Moore said something about this in my last study of hers.
Went something like this..."When God has brought you to a situation where all you can do is pray, then that's what you are there pray."  
How many times have I said to my friends, "I will be praying about that.  Let me know if there's something I can do."  As if praying wasn't DOING something. When will I learn?  When will I DEVOTE myself to prayer?
On Facebook, so many times I see people who say, "I'm praying for you" or "Prayers!"  Am I the only one who wonders how many people are REALLY praying?  I say it too, and I'm telling many times do I utter up a quick prayer and then that's the end of it.  And it's true, I am technically "praying" for them, so I'm not a liar here, but it feels like deception.  Because prayer is important, it's crucial.  And when we really love someone, the BEST thing we can do is pray for them.  It's way beyond anything we can physically do here on Earth.  I cannot make light of it, I cannot make it less than what it is.
My desire is to be devoted to prayer.  Lord, make me your prayer warrior.
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me, 
I will call on him as long as I live.
Psalm 116:  1-2
(Just trying to remove my picture of Resurrection Eggs that always comes up!  We shall see if this works!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It is beautiful...

"Though the world is ugly, IT IS BEAUTIFUL."  That line really stands out to me in this video.  That and "Moments...this is all we have.  Microscopic, fleeting moments."

*A woman I taught with is sitting at her mom's bedside at this moment, holding her hand as she dies of cancer.  Broken hearts.
*A 7 year old girl is fighting cancer, her days filled needles poking and treatments that make her sick and not seeing her family members (because they are far away).  Her parents are overcome with sadness, stress, and...hope.
*Another friend I have lost her mom in an instant a few months ago.  She didn't get to say goodbye.
*Children are dying from starvation and my children have plenty to eat.
*Some children, even some right here in our country where so many have so much, have no one tucking them in each night, no one caring enough to put healthy food in their bellies, no one reading them a story, and sometimes much worse.
*Women get pregnant and it's an inconvenience while some precious ladies I know would give ANYTHING to have a baby.  They long for a baby, while some view their children as anything but a blessing.

This world is ugly.  There is so much hurt.  The injustices and the hurting can be like an ocean and completely overtake you if you let it.
And I don't want to be light about it...I'm not walking any of the roads I listed above.  I don't want to pretend to understand.  I don't want to say what I would do if I was in their shoes.
So often when I am praying for these things that weigh on my heart, I think...what is the point of me counting these trivial little tiny things that are blessings through the day?  Why count blessings when the world's hurt is so overwhelming?  Doesn't that seem like I'm ignoring the ugly and just putting on a happy face?
Because...though the world is ugly, IT IS BEAUTIFUL.  Though this isn't Heaven, it IS earth.  It is our chance to enjoy the blessings God is giving us today, and long for the day the promise of Heaven will be fulfilled.  The day with no more cancer, no more death, no starving, dying children, no more infertility and miscarriage and loss.
Because if we let us, the losses and the hurt will overtake us and the truth is...even in the hurt, there is still beauty and blessings and the everyday things ARE really the big things.  And when we start to see the little things, the blessings through the day, we see how God is truly there through it all.  Not just there, but He is the everything, the reason we do what we do.  The reason there is joy and blessings, and the reason that one day the hurt will all be gone.
And when it's hard to count, when it's hard to see the joy because the hurt is blinding...then thank Him for the one thing that He has given that is far more than we deserve...salvation.  The best gift of all.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Church family

This morning church was a juggling act.  My hub and I lead a Young Marrieds Sunday School class and my man has been on a trip for the past four days.  Sooo...getting three kids ready for church was a task in and of itself.  Then my oldest's SS class wasn't meeting so she was in a different class, I didn't want the youngest in the nursery because he is a snotty mess right now (and I don't know if it's teeth or cold), and the middle child was not real excited about me leaving.  Fast forward to me finally getting in to class.  First of all, I'm not comfortable teaching without my hub anyway, second of all I realize I don't have our book with us (no materials at all with me!), and THEN my baby just cries and cries the whole way through class.  I pretty much just wanted to give up!
But...BUT, there's a part of the story I haven't told you.
One of the guys from our small group met me at my car to help me carry stuff in.
Another single mom for the weekend started leading discussion when I had to leave the room.  And the dad I spoke of before chimed right in with her.
The gracious ladies in the nursery loved on my kiddos like you wouldn't believe...even though they had a huge room full of kiddos.
Another mom in my small group walked my baby around for awhile just to give me a break.
All the people in our class had to go get their own chairs.  And they got one for me.  And I don't even think I ever said thanks!
And my inlaws took my big kids out to lunch when we got home!
I don't like to be needy.  At ALL actually.  I would say I hate to depend on others (besides my husband who I am more and more aware that I depend on a LOT!).  But sometimes, we just can't do it all on our own!  We need help!
It was really humbling to me all the people who stepped up to help us.
That, to me, is what church is all about. Serving God which means serving others. Being a family.  Loving God and loving each other.
So blessed to have my church family.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Today is my oldest's half birthday.  She is six and a half which is apparently a pretty big deal.  When we were talking about it, she shyly asked, "Will we get to do anything to celebrate?"  Now we don't usually celebrate half birthdays in our house, we just haven't made a habit of doing that.  But lately my thinking has been challenged on celebrating and enjoying and cherishing and making memories.  Not every day has to be a big production, but what if every day we celebrated somehow?  
She didn't want a party or a present or even a cake.  (Which is good because I'm not sure we would have done that.)  But when I asked her what would be a great celebration, her response was, "A donut.  And maybe a trip to the park."  
She won't always get what she wants.  She won't get to celebrate everyday with a donut and a trip to the park.  But for today, we're going to go celebrate turning six and a half.  We're going to eat a donut and play at the park and embrace today for what it is...a gift.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

With Thanksgiving

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

I have been reading this verse for years, memorized it a long time ago, and consider it to be a great "life verse".  However as many times as I have read it, I think I have missed a crucial part of it...that little line that says with thanksgiving.  With thanksgiving.  In everything with thanksgiving.  Perhaps it is just because I am doing the 1000 gift challenge, but it seems everywhere I go, this message is coming through loud and clear.  The key to joy is in the thanksgiving.  The GIVING thanks.
As a wife and a mother there are a hundred little things that threaten to rob me of my joy, my ability to give thanks during the day.  And the big things, there are those too.
But those little things, those pesky little things like picking up Mr. Potato Head for the 100th time so the baby doesn't chew on it and choke, the laundry that still needs to be folded being dumped all over the floor by the toddler, being in the middle of Walmart when the 2 year old decides to have a meltdown to end all meltdowns, the getting up in the night for a sick child or infant...all of this threatens to rob me of my joy.  But what I am discovering is that when I choose to see these things for what they truly are, a gift, then my joy cannot be taken away.
As a woman, I have chosen life by bearing my children, but I also choose to nurture that life every single day.   Life is a gift, a precious gift.  So when the baby is crying, and my toddler is screaming, and a little old lady is telling me Oh these days go so quickly, I rest in this.  That when we choose to give and nurture life, to find the joy even in the pesky little things, to give thanks...we bring joy to the Father.  The secret to a joyful life?  It's not in the getting.  It's in the giving.