Monday, May 24, 2010

1000 Gifts: Mercies new every morning

The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
         For His compassions never fail.
    They are new every morning;
         Great is Your faithfulness.
    "The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
         "Therefore I have hope in Him."
    The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
         To the person who seeks Him.

Lamentations 3:22-25

363.  a hard pouring rain as we leave church - reminding me of the precious washing away of my sin

364.  a son taking punishment for his brother - willingly - God's demonstration to us of what Jesus has done.
365.  anticipation of seeing life and discovering how God has chosen to bless us 

366.  a fishing trip with dad - a morning of fun with friends - just a boy and his dad

367.  a walk to get a donut - a mom and boy - spending time together - one-on-one

368.  purchasing a pool membership - our "vacation" for the summer - and all of the fun it brings
369.  an opportunity to go to a convention with a friend - after previously thinking I wasn't going.

370.  laundry folded
371.  Sunday afternoon naps

372.  bills paid
373.  trips to the library for new books 

374.  God's constant provisions
Great is Thy faithfulness
Oh God, My Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
All I have needed Thy hand hast provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

God's Huge Lesson

Yesterday was a REALLY rough morning at our home.  A power struggle ensued early and continued for a few hours between my oldest, his momma, and then his daddy.  It caused my husband to go to work quite later than normal.  It was one of those win and win decisively moments for my husband.  After a while I grew tired of the battle and wondered if we should even be fighting  it.  There comes a point in dealing with children that you have to ask if the goal is to really win the battle or to focus on showing your child who God is by grace and mercy.  Unfortunately, some times these things aren't clear or don't coincide because of our sinful nature in desiring to be right and be "the parent" or because we forget that we (the parents) are how our children learn who God is.

All while this struggle was going on I was questioning my abilities as a mom, fearing that my son would grow up to walk away from the LORD, reject his family, etc... all because of the struggle that was happening.  Ugly words were said - 6 year old words - wishing his family away - wanting to be in control, just fueling my worries even more.

Then God decided to show us all His grace in a perfect picture of His Son through ours!

After this power struggle had settled with my oldest, his brother decided to be defiantly disobedient.  Discipline would need to be delivered.  Immediately, the older stepped in and said, "I don't want him to have to have punishment.  I'll sit in time out in his place."  And so he did.  Whoa!  What a picture of what Jesus did for us!  He took the punishment in our place!  My son showed me Jesus.  He showed all of us a picture of Jesus.  My husband explained to both boys that this is exactly what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross.  Of course, this won't be allowed to happen all the time - but for one morning, when the struggle seemed so great, God turned the tables and showed us all a lesson.

Monday, May 17, 2010

1000 gifts: The Beginning of Unofficial Summer

We have completed the first year of homeschooling in our house.  What an accomplishment!  Ironically, for this former teacher, I was intimidated by the idea of teaching my own children at home.  But what fun it was - I loved watching both my boys learn, grow, and experience.  Without faith and obedience I would have never had the blessing of staying at home to teach my blessings!

350.  The official wrap up of the first year of school at home! Wahoo!!

351.  Walking with a friend in the morning

352.  Washing the feet of a family - by taking them dinner - serving them and glorifying Jesus

353.  Hubby riding a bike to work

354.  The chance to finally get my house thoroughly clean again.

355. Back to our Sunday evening ritual - time at the park after rest

356.  Teaching our 6 year old to ride his bike without training wheels

357.  A chat with my mom

358.  Finally getting a novel read for my own enjoyment! 

359.  The rearrangement of our backyard - removal of a fence to make a bigger space

360.  Being invited to the wedding of a former Sunday School student... blessings on both sides of teaching - before - the opportunity for relationship and teaching God's Word - now - being honored and remembered as we were invited to his special day.

361.  Seeing young men and women we used to teach all grown up with families of their own.

362.  The passage of time and the learning and growth that comes with it

For these and many others I give thanks!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is your Jesus too small?

I heard this question the other day.  I was at Bible Study Fellowship, and it came up during lecture.  I had to think a minute and ponder.  Since that time the question has been on my heart.

Last week we FINALLY got into the resurrection of my sweet Jesus after studying His suffering and death on the cross for about 3 weeks.  This was even after we actually celebrated Easter Sunday... which meant I had been pondering Jesus' sacrificial suffering and death for a month.  It seemed a hard thing to do to concentrate on Jesus' betrayal, suffering, and death for a month... oh, how I was ready to move on... move on to the GLORIOUS RESURRECTION!!!!  

But isn't that just how we operate?  I know that I think about Jesus' suffering and death occasionally.  I have to.  My sins placed Him there.  He paid the price for my sins!  But a month?  Really?  Shameful, isn't it?  I'm so ready to move on to the happy rejoicing of the resurrection that I have trouble focusing on Christ's death and resurrection for a month.

Now, back to the topic... the question at hand came up when Mary Magdalene was at Jesus' tomb... searching for His body, her plan was to continue covering it in spices since Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea didn't finish because of the Sabbath celebration to begin. So Mary was at the tomb... looking to serve her Lord the only way she knew how at the moment.  Unrecognized, Jesus asks her why she is crying.  Through her tears and utter grief she explains that she is looking for her Lord. Supposing Jesus is the gardener, she begs for His body willing to do anything to get it back.

Our lecturer noted that Mary's estimation of Jesus was too small.  She didn't expect the Man standing in front of her to be Jesus, her RISEN LORD!  She totally missed it.  Whether through her tears she didn't see Him or her grief blinded her heart to the truth, Mary missed it.  UNTIL!  Jesus called her by name!  All He had to say. was. her. name!

Praise God that He still calls us by name today!  He is just. that. personal.  

So the question remains... is your Jesus too small for what He desires to accomplish in you?  Is He too small to rescue you from the pit?  Is He too small to save your loved ones?  Is He too small to care for your family?

If He isn't too small to raise the dead, or to heal the lame. If He isn't too small to feed 5,000 men or walk on water.  If He isn't too small to resist temptation, even on the cross or to be RAISED. FROM. THE. DEAD.  He isn't too small!

1000 gifts: Multitude Monday on Tuesday

Being a Mom is what I've always wanted to do.  Ever since I was a young girl I dreamed of being called Mom.  After I was married it took us a long time to conceive.  I went to my doctor and had all of the tests - but after God's timing I have two wonderful boys, and a special surprise on the way.  Thank You, God for Your faithfulness to me... especially since I don't deserve Your blessings!

336.  "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!" 

337.  "Mom, I'll try to obey you today, since it's Mother's Day."

338.  My 3 year old - giving me a bouquet of straw flowers made in Sunday School, and asking for them back.  (smile)

339.  rocks for Mother's Day.

340.  talking to some special moms - women who have shaped and mentored me... women of God

341.  an evening for women - to celebrate how God made us 

342.  knowing that Almighty God can use me - even in the most difficult of situations - to bring glory to His name 

343.  the privilege of helping a friend

344.  the mighty prayers of Godly women

345.  making a cake for my Mother-in-law's birthday and going to enjoy it with her

346.  a 20 minute nap to rest

347.  knowing that my God shall supply all my need according to His riches and grace in Christ Jesus, my LORD!

348.  my two special blessings, different personalities, different temperaments, same last name... woven in the image of God, born to bring Him glory - may it be so.

349.  a prayer over a small gift for a friend who's lost EVERYTHING! - that the Lord would multiply it only as He can.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Am I that Sweet???

Last week my BFF, Heather, nominated me for the Sugar Doll Award, an award for bloggers who make the lives of others sweeter.  So Heather over at Goggles and Grace - one of the blogs I check daily, didn't just nominate me but chose me for this fun award.

This award does have some stipulation with it.  The rules are as follows:

1. You must thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Name five bloggers who make your life a little sweeter.

3.  Tell why you were given this award.

4.  Tell the nominees why you are giving them this award.

So here goes.

Thanks, Heather - you have been with me through thick and thin for over 10 years now... we have almost gone through it all together.  Joys, laughter, struggles, tears... God has definitely blessed me with a friend who is as close as a sister.  She is my sister in Christ, and there is nothing that can separate that, right? Now, if you would only move back this way. :)

I was given this award - I think just because I'm best friends with Heather - she was the one who encouraged me to start blogging.  I really didn't think that anyone would really care to read any of my stuff.  So I looked at blogging as an online journal of my life... to celebrate joys, work through difficulties, and conquer challenges - so that when trouble comes, I can look back at God's faithfulness in bringing me through.  He is always faithful.  Seeing the memorial stones set up by way of blogging gives me courage and strength and joy for the journey.

I, like my friend, Heather, am only going to nominate one person for this award... my time is very limited.  Because it is precious, I have only a few blogs that I read this chosey blog reader is going to give this award to my other favorite blog.

My other close friend, Amy, at The Lemonade Stand, is witty, artsy, and just says it like it is.  I love her humor - she really needs to write a book about all of the simple things in life... cuz she could cause you to have daily cramps in your side just from reading her material.  She blogs about family,  school stuff from her daughter, and life.  Her blog is one of my staples. Always good for a laugh, her blog is full of instruction on how to handle life's little irritations.

The awesome thing about Amy is that she is also my sister in Christ.  Again - inseparable just because of the love of a Savior.  I love how God does that - He takes strangers, makes them friends, and then knits them together even closer to be sisters.  Awesome!

So Amy, thanks for making my life sweeter - and always giving me a reason to smile.

Monday, May 3, 2010

1000 Gifts: A busy week done

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! 
~Henry Ward Beecher

0324.   Another year... another walk - to raise money and celebrate LIFE - only created by the LORD, Himself... and the mothers who chose life instead of the alternative!

0325.  A son, a realization... deciding to walk for LIFE instead of choosing a bad attitude.

0326.  A yummy treat

0327.  A beautiful day

0328.  The beach - a Bible study fellowship - for sun and sand - kids and adults, enjoying God's vast creation - the ocean whose waves hit the shore every 22 seconds - God's consistency

0329.  Home again - kids bathed, a movie before bed after a full day of outside fun.

0330.  The LORD's Day

0331.  Continued healing

0332.  Friends praying over a mutual sister, offering up prayers for her and her family

0333.  A Sunday afternoon nap - much needed after a full weekend.

0334.  Accountability - looking forward to a Monday morning phone call with a sweet sister :)

0335.  Being woken up by the Lord on a Monday morning - His beckoning to meet with me - to show me what He desires for me to know from His word.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; his love endures forever.
I Chronicles 16:34

holy experience