Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
"Lower your expectations of earth. This isn't heaven, so don't expect it to be."~ Max Lucado ~
This quote reminds me of a section at the beginning of Linda Dillow's book, "Calm My Anxious Heart". The section is titled, "Contentment Begins With An Eternal Perspective." The word perspective according to Webster's suggests "looking through; seeing clearly; the capacity to view things in their true relation of relative importance." Living my life with an eternal perspective helps keep life on earth in its proper place.
In her book, Linda shares the story of a missionary who worked with the pygmies in Africa for fifty-two years. She goes on to say that "primitive doesn't begin to describe her living conditions in the scorching heat and humidity of the African bush." Her daughter discovered "...a treasure, a much more significant find than gold or silver. In an old diary of her mother's, she discovered her prescription for contentment."
Her words convict my heart every time I read them.
- Never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather
- Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else
- Never compare your lot with another's
- Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise
- Never dwell on tomorrow - remember that tomorrow is God's, not ours
The words of this missionary are powerful. In her book, Linda concludes this section with these words: "The secret is in her last statement. Her eyes were fixed on eternity. Her tomorrows belonged to God. She had given them to Him. And because all her tomorrows were nestled in God's strong arms, she was free to live today. One day at a time she could make the right choices and grow to possess the holy habit of contentment. Her focus was eternal, and her focus led to an internal contentment."
It is so easy to place value in "earthly" things rather than "eternal" things. I have learned to ask myself the question, "Does this (thing, event, place, etc.) have any eternal value?" A verse I have written on the inside cover of my bible as a reminder to keep an eternal perspective is 1 Timothy 6:15, God... is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Let me never forget what it has cost so many. As I drove past our local cemetery with the parade of American flags displayed so beautifully this week, I am moved by what those colors represent. I am thankful for the men and women who have gone before me to protect what I have and what my children will also have FREEDOM! Freedom to worship God!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
**updated to add: yes, I changed the template for my blog. I am waiting on a new design. But in the meantime I thought it was time for something new to look at.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
No one wants to be called the "helper"! Yet, this is exactly what God called the woman when he created her, "...a helper fit for him." God in His word has clearly defined our role. Join me today over at CWO as I share a small slice of the journey God has used in my life to teach me what a woman's biblical role in marriage is to be.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
So here I find myself some twenty years later with five kids ranging in age from two to fifteen teaching my oldest to drive and potty training my youngest all in the same day.
My two year old son has all of a sudden taken this huge interest in going to the bathroom on the potty. It's not much different than my fifteen year old asking if she can drive every time we get ready to leave the house. He pulls on his diaper and says something that I interpret as "potty", she grabs the keys and says, "can I drive?" (sorry LT) I am not ready for either one. Don't get me wrong I would love to get rid of diapers and I would also love to have a child who could drive herself places . But just as it will take patience for my little guy to learn how to use the bathroom on his own, I am patiently letting my daughter drive as often as possible in order to give her alot of experience before she receives a real "able to leave home and drive somewhere alone" driver's license.
But each day as one child is gaining more and more independence and I am wanting to reach out and pull her back I look down and see my youngest holding onto my leg. I have found myself reflective of how as moms we often want to pull back and hold on to our children who are slowly moving further away from needing us every day and yet often times in the weariness of carrying for our young children wishing for a moment of solitude and quiet. I find myself living in this place. My oldest will turn sixteen in the fall, my youngest just two and a half. She is reaching for more and more independence, he is still reaching for me. I don't want to wish away either one even if it means in one day I am chasing a two year old around the house and reading "brown bear brown bear" for the thousandth time and what seems like minutes later driving down the highway with my daughter as we talk about driving safely, her desire to serve God with her life and where she would like to go to college.
This makes me walk a little slower (not because I am older), but because I am fully aware of how quickly these days will go by.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Saturday we continued to enjoy the beautiful weather in the low 80's by doing a little work in our yard, watched two of our boys play their last soccer game for the season and then headed to a graduation open house.
Sunday after church we had another graduation open house to attend which was alot of fun. In the evening, we sat outside again, played some Bocce ball in the yard and ended it with some more roasted marshmallows. The best part was while I was cleaning up in the kitchen, I was listening to my four older children sitting outside telling stories around the fire pit and the baby sitting in a chair with his brother giggling and trying to keep up with the conversation. What a treasured moment as I looked outside at all of my children enjoying each other. I said a quick prayer asking that their relationships continue to grow strong and their friendships would remain as they grow older.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
To trust in the Lord means I lean upon Him; I rely upon Him: I commit the whole weight of all I am and all I need to His care. 1 Peter 5:7 says, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV) Trust should not be based on anything but God, His word, His character, His integrity, His divine attributes.
To trust in the Lord means we trust in His purposes for our lives. God is at work in your life fulfilling His good purpose. What is that purpose? To conform you to the image of His Son, to make you and me like Jesus. He is always working.
To trust in the Lord means we trust in His plan for us. Psalm 37:23 says, The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; (ESV) and Eph. 2:10 says, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)
The next part of Proverbs 3:5 says, ... and do not lean on your own understanding. The command to trust in the Lord is reinforced by the command to not trust in our own understanding. Isaiah 55:8 says, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. (ESV)
This afternoon as I reflected on our time together this morning I was reminded of Jeremiah 17:5-8:
1. God knows me, I am not a stranger to Him.
2. He understands me as an individual.
3. He is intimately acquainted with me.
4. He knows me well enough to know what I'll say next.
5. He is covering me, I am protected.
6. He is always with me.
7. I cannot separate myself from the love of God.
8. He leads me.
9. He holds my hand.
10. My life is not in darkness, but basks in His light.
11. He made me, putting all the pieces together
12. I am a wonderful work of God's hand.
13. My life is a miracle.
14. My days have been ordained by God.
15. His thoughts are tender toward me.
16. He is always thinking of me.
17. God preserves me from day to day.
18. When I wake to start a new day, He is still with me.
19. I am alive by His design and plan.
Even in my sinful state, God knows me, loves me and is intimately involved in every part of my life. This leads to our study today on "Trust".
Why then do we struggle to truly "trust" in the Lord with all our heart?(Proverbs 3:5-6)
Monday, May 14, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
- Buy stock in companies that produce bandaids.
- For girls, never buy a dress without first considering the "twirl factor"
- For boys, don't worry if the only word he knows is vroom. Before you know it, his vocabulary will expand from engine sounds to include body noises.
- Keep your sense of humor. What upsets you now will be good joke (or blog) material in five years.
- When your child wants to wear the same outfit two months in a row; let him. Eventually it will rot and fall off.
- In all situations, apply the "Thousand Year Test." Ask yourself, "In a thousand years will anyone care?"
- Don't be too hard on yourself. You will fail. Forgive yourself and move on.
- Above all, love "because love covers a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)
Thank you Lord for allowing me to be a Mom to the five gifts you have entrusted me with. They are all each unique and fearfully and wonderfully made. I stand in awe that I am called Mom. It is a wonderful gift!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
- all things work together for my good;
- nothing can separate me from the love of God
I have gone through many things, and when I see that no "thing" can separate me from the love of God and that every "thing" will work together for my eventual good and growth, I am released from the need to worry or fear. But I must remind myself of these truths, and that cannot be accomplished in a one-shot glance at Scripture that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I must have firmly planted within me the truth that I have no need to fear because God
is my shepherd;
is for me;
is with me;
works in my circumstances for good;
cannot be separated from me;
gives His angels command to protect me;
delivers me from evil.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
That we like a man for his ways,
It isn't enough that we fill our minds
Nor is it enough that we honor a man
As our confidence upward mounts,
It's going right up to the man himself,
And telling him so that counts!
If a man does a work you really admire,
Don't leave a kind word unsaid,
In fear that to do so might make him vain
And cause him to "lose his head."
But reach out your hand tell him,
"Well done," and see how his gratitude swells;
It isn't the flowers we strew on the grave,
It's the word to the living that tells.