Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

 “Arise, shine; for your light has come,
         And the glory of the L
ORD has risen upon you."
Isaiah 60:1

And His name shall be called
The Mighty God,
The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6 

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matt 1:23

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11  

Celebrating the BEST GIFT ever today and throughout the year!!!! Merry Christmas to you! And Happy Birthday to Jesus, my Savior!


Monday, December 20, 2010

1000 Gifts: God With Us

Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel!

Have you ever really stopped and considered what these words mean? The enormity of the concept of God leaving His throne to be born in a barn among the animals?  It was probably pretty cold.  The stench of the animal dung lingering in the air... no place for a baby - much less a King Creator who spoke everything into existence! 
God with us - every. day.  Every step we take, every decision - be it wise or foolish - He is with us.  While we are alone and hurting or celebrating and joyful - God remains with us.
Counting on that truth today.

583 - 600.
~an early snowfall - God's reminder that we are as unique as the fallen snowflakes - no two alike.

~ a Christmas cookie exchange with a friend - time with ladies who love Jesus
~walking into Bible Study and having friends loving on the new baby
~ homemade pumpkin bread from generous friends
~God knitting together friendships that are eternal
~impromptu taco dinners 
~hearing my oldest whisper to my youngest "God loves you!"
~being a tv star - if only for a day and helping out some folks in a bind
~God blessing something that I wasn't looking forward to by making it fun just like I asked Him
~meeting new people and falling into friendships with them - with our KING being the common thread
~ a sweet sister - organizer extraordinaire - who came over to help me purge and stage
~the tree finally up - the blessing of a new (to us) prelit tree - for much less than we expected

~ my Jesus - healing my hurts, being with me, removing "log jams" - making it more able for me to hear Him.
~ already two months old - our quiet time together - nursing then talking about all sorts of secret things. 

~my awesome husband - completing a tedious task so I don't have to - Jeremy, you are AWESOME!
~remembering that I am called to think on "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, or excellent or praiseworthy!"
~ our oldest's first ever Christmas program - hearing songs over and over - practicing and worship - and our oldest grasping the true concept of what Christmas means.

~ a song in Bible Study - a new Christmas favorite - bringing tears to this momma's eyes - to think of the love of a Savior  - God with us!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Matthew's Begats

One of the pastors of our church sang this with his family at a luncheon yesterday.  Usually he has a scroll on stage and as the song is sung the kids unroll the scroll to show the names of Jesus' lineage.  I love this song and will someday memorize it with my boys.

The reason for the memorization is to remember that God's grace is abundant in allowing several, who were, by human standards, unworthy to be in the lineage of the KING of KINGS!  But only by God's infinite grace did He include harlots, murderers, and commoners in his lineage! And to remember that He was born for me!

Take a listen!

Monday, December 6, 2010

1000 Gifts: A Change of our Hearts

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

~Johnson Oatman, Jr.
(Thanks Heather)
This past week was rather harrowing.  A trip to Kroger with three boys in tow - meltdowns abundant.  Children who were less than obedient and rather rambunctious throughout the week.  Complaints about having to "do school", and just general disgruntledness among all in our household. HOWEVER, this blog is about thankfulness - things that God has done. Seeing the better side of things and how His blessings are abundant. every. day.
So with that I continue to count blessings!

569.  The season of Advent - preparing our hearts for the coming KING!
570.  After a melt down in the store - my older two discussing how they were loved and known by our Father before the beginning of the world.

571.  warm tears from this mom and the idea that they are "getting it" 
572.  Practice for Christmas programs declaring the coming of a Savior with Monkey participating in song

573.  Supernatural - 24/7 Children's Church at CF
574.  Watching my two older boys dance and sing - "Jesus is my Superhero" 
575.  The blessing of four straight days of seven uninterrupted hours of sleep as the little one goes through a growth spurt - rest for momma.

576.  An evening of fellowship - Bible study Christmas Celebration - White Elephant gifts galore - and some regifts from last year bringing tons of laughter.
577.  A clean living room - ready for decorating.

578.  Friends who take the boys and the husband out of the house to the park so the living room can be cleaned - thoroughly!
579.  Laughter

580.  A restful Sunday afternoon 

581.  A dusting of snow

582.  Christmas cookies from friends

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Worth It!

The past several weeks we have been thrown into a new life station... now we have three boys instead of just two.  Some might not think that that is a big deal... I would definitely argue said point.  I only have two hands instead of three, and although the baby doesn't really need to be corralled at this point... my other two require my two hands and four or five others at times... making for an interesting trip to the grocery store - or anywhere else we may go.  

Speaking of the grocery store... it was today's adventure.  Sometimes after I go places with my guys I wonder what I was thinking after the fact.  Today was one such day.  I prayed on the way to the store - out loud for the boys to hear - for God's favor, for a calm trip, for sanity.  We were good until about half way through.  

My boys were permitted to push the little carts - first mistake.  I was trying to be accommodating for them... not a wise choice. I was initially hoping my oldest would want to push his baby brother in the big cart - to no avail.   I'm sure several customers got a chuckle of the cart parade winding up and down the aisles of Kroger - like a momma duck with her ducklings... however,  my ducks kept running into me and each other. Half way through the trip I ditched both little carts because it was getting ugly.  This brought about fall out number one.  

Fall out number one subsided rather quickly for my oldest - although he made it clear in no uncertain terms that his heart was NOT happy anymore and that his attitude was having a hard time adjusting.  BUT there wasn't falling on the floor accompanied by a heaping helping of screaming and crying for which I was so thankful. BECAUSE fall out number one which DID include a heaping helping of crying and screaming continued with my now middle child through the rest of the trip (about 20 more minutes of shopping) until we reach the check out.

Commence fall out number two:  middle child screaming because he wants gum instead of the M&Ms I promised for good behavior (only because I had a coupon for free M&Ms :) ).  Laid out completely on the floor in line at checkout.  Screaming.  Wailing.  Like I'm the worst mother in the world.  All I could say was "Jesus!"  "Jesus!" - not in an expletive manner, mind you.  But calling out for help - because at this point - He is the ONLY ONE that could help.  The cashier actually asked me how I was doing.  I looked at her and asked in complete honesty (not sarcastically or rudely)- "Do you really want to ask me that question now?"  Reassuringly, she encouraged me by telling me we have all been there - I smiled weakly , picked my child up off the floor, and paid for my groceries.

While we are driving home - at this point middle child has calmed down - (praise the Lord Jesus!) my oldest says to calm middle child - "Isn't it so cool that God knew us before He created the world!"  Middle son said, "Yeah! Before He created me."  Then I jumped in and added, "He knew us AND HE LOVED US!"  

My children ministered to me in the midst of my crazy afternoon.  I was brought to tears, not because of behavior that was uncontrollable, but because my children are getting it.  They can be challenging sometimes.  BUT they are getting it.  The realization that my LORD not only knew me before the dawn of time, BUT He also LOVED me.  He knew my issues!  He knew my inadequacies!  He knew my sin - and LOVED me.  It brought me to tears because my kids are getting it AND because of such huge shortcomings I have to hurdle as a parent.  I wonder why God thought that I was enough to parent these young men.  How He saw that I was the best choice - I'll never know.  But I will press on... the race isn't over.  I may struggle sometimes - many times... but my goal is to raise Godly men who love their LORD.  And after the struggles of today (and yesterday - but we're not going there) I'm pressing on with enough encouragement - just those few words spoken by my boys.  

It's all WORTH IT!