Tag Archives: children

Which Way Do They Go?

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6

We were at a closing ceremony for Vacation Bible School when God reminded me how He has blessed me with two entirely opposite children.

The impeccably dressed kids were parading down the aisle of the Church, when my daughter comes out in a beautiful dress walking with proper posture, smiling and going into her assigned spot in the far left corner.  My son on the other hand, wore cotton pajama shorts and a white T-shirt with flip flops and bounced down the aisle heading to his assigned spot in the far right side.  As he tried to move next to the only other boy, two girls created a wall and he joyfully accepted their refusal and turned around and nearly knocked over a huge vase next to him.

When they began singing my daughter sang loudly, doing the hand motions perfectly and smiling with the exception of when she found the time to tell the older girl next to her to scoot over because she needed more room.

My son. He was trying to keep up with the hand motions but you can tell he had a hard time hearing, and he turned around at one point and faced the children and began to pick his bottom in front of the entire audience.  When it came time for the team cheer my daughter said it in unison.  My son was oblivious when his team cheered and when it was silent jumped in the air and yelled, “Go Judah!” All. By. Himself. The audience roared with laughter.

My reaction?

Laughter. I am thankful I was able to laugh. I am thankful it was a day I was not prideful as a mother but humble.  It was a day I chose not to make it about me, or what others thought.  It was a day I chose to accept my children for how God uniquely created them.

I must confess that’s not always the case, but I’m thankful for God’s inspired Word that reminds me:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6

This does not say to train up a child in the way I think he should go.  I have fought many useless battles with my son and daughter to try to conform them to the way I think they should go.  The majority of these battles derived from my pride.  I cared what others thought of my children and of me as a mother.  I let my insecurities of motherhood dictate how I raised my children, until I remembered: we all belong to God.  Since He is the Creator I asked Him, “which way do they go?”  Especially since I have two completely opposite children…how do I know which way is the ‘right’ way? Again, God answers through His Word:

The word “Train up” means:

“To narrow; discipline, to dedicate of a house or temple”

And “in the way he should go” means:

‘according to his way’

This means to train them, discipline them in the way God has uniquely designed them.

I have pondered what this means for my children and this is what God has revealed to me:

That has been the foremost training my husband and I have been focusing on for the past two years.  We have dedicated our children to the Lord and have made a vow to train and teach them as God commands in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. We are teaching them the primary ‘Way’ to go, leading them to Jesus Christ each day.

However, God has also uniquely designed them, and blessed them with talents He wants them to use to glorify Him.  He has created them with a purpose and He knows the plans He has for them, but how do I know ‘the way they should go’?

The best way for me to know how He uniquely created them is to pray for wisdom and ask God to show me.  I ask God for wisdom on how I can cultivate an atmosphere to encourage and help flourish the talents and gifts He has blessed them with. I ask God for strength to help me to ‘pay attention’ and be present with my children to listen, to watch, and be around them.

God has taught me, when I listen to my children, I am listening to their hearts because out of the heart the mouth speaks.  What is their heart saying about what sort of discipline they need? All of these are questions I ask my Father in Heaven and when I humbly ask, He gives me the grace to raise them.

I realize by the power of the Holy Spirit I can teach my children about God and Jesus Christ and show my children the ‘Way’ to go, and lead them to the gate and they may still choose not to walk in the way of the narrow path, but I have comfort knowing the Lord hears my prayers and the Words I share with them now, His Word will watch over them even in their sleep and one day when they are awaken God’s Words will talk to them.

My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck.  When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:20-23


His Giving, His Glory

I was in the car handing money to my children to give for a Church offering when my daughter objected, “Mommy, that’s MY money! I don’t want to give that to anyone!” I gently asked her, “Who owns everything?” She responded, “God, but that’s mine and I don’t want to share it! I love my money.”

I could feel my pride as a Mother and tension rise up within me.  I had to remember, this is not about me.  I humbled myself and God brought to my remembrance His Word:

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”2 Timothy 2:24-26

I said a prayer and asked for God’s wisdom and grace for this moment and to help me not to be quarrelsome with her but to correct her with gentleness.  He reminded me how difficult it is for me to let go of things I call ‘mine.’  Empowered by His Holy Spirit I was able to speak to her with compassion:

Praying I can wait on God to prepare her heart for His glory

“Baby girl, it’s not always easy for Mommy to give away things she wants to keep but we can pray and ask God for His help and He will help us. You said correctly ‘everything IS God’s’ and God gave you that money through Grandma and you can do what you want with it and I am not going to force you to do something you don’t want to do.  However, I am going to pray for you, that God will soften your heart and give you the grace to give cheerfully.”

She just held onto the money tighter.  That was the end of the conversation.

Five minutes later she bounced up to me and with a huge smile and whispered, “Guess what Mommy? I want to give my money to the orphans.”  My soul sings out: To God be the glory!

Oh one more thing…immediately after my prayer for her heart was answered we walked into the sanctuary and the message was:  “When you need help, God is with you” and the key verse:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

How kind of God to allow my daughter and I to walk out that truth together…


Free To Enjoy the Butterflies!!

Photo Credit: Photo prise le 5 mai 2006 (© majamarko / Flickr)

Photo prise le 5 mai 2006 (© majamarko / Flickr)

Do you like butterflies? Do you know the colors you see on butterflies are not from pigmentation, but rather they are a reflection of light? It’s true! I was watching God of Wonders when I discovered this awesome truth!

Butterflies were created with microscopic bio-photonic scales and the colors you see reflect the light of the sun.  Does this sound similar to someone else God created?

Like you and me…we are created in the image of God and if you are a Christian you can reflect the Light of the Son (Jesus Christ).  The Light that shines in you is not from you but from Him.

It was through this revelation that God has freed me from something I had been struggling with off and on in my life…OK I’m about to be transparent so please give grace:

Envy. Jealousy.

There I said it. I confessed it and God has cleansed me and I repent-turn from my sin of envy and jealousy and turn to Jesus Christ, the One who is able to keep me by the power of His Holy Spirit. Now He wants me to share with you…

Because of my insecurities of being a Mother I would sometimes feel green towards other Mothers. I would compare myself to her. I can’t cook like that. I can’t draw like that. I can’t write like that. I can’t…the list went on.  Instead of enjoying how God created them I was stuck on what He didn’t create in me. I forgot that He already created in me a clean heart–but I acted as an unbeliever. I had an ungrateful, un-thankful and critical heart which made for a lonely journey.

It was lonely because I didn’t allow myself to get close to anyone and God had to protect the woman–He was not going to allow me to hold the heart of another woman if I had envy and selfish ambition.  He told me this in James 3:13-18:

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

When God speaks, I listen.  His Words cut to the core of my green heart and now that I knew what the problem was, I knew how to pray.  I prayed for wisdom from heaven, I prayed I would be a peacemaker sowing peace to reap a harvest of righteousness for His kingdom.  I prayed I would abide and remain in Jesus Christ because I knew apart from Him I could only bear artificial fruit. I couldn’t ‘fake it’ I needed Him to surgically remove this root of bitterness and envy and help me to see other women as He does…then He gave me the butterfly. Wow, wow, wow!

As I heard how butterflies  reflect light I pondered all the different kinds of butterflies that are out there I realized they are doing what He created them to do and they are ‘being‘ what He created them to be…reflect light.  When I surrendered and gave God my green heart and when I prayed for His wisdom guess what happened?

I could see the hearts of other women (saved and unsaved)! I could be gracious and compassionate regardless how they reflected (or didn’t reflect) His Light.  And NOW I knew what I was supposed to do…pray.

Pray and thank the Lord for how He made those that reflect His Light–love them and thank them for their obedience and glorify God with them!

Pray for and LOVE those that do not yet shine His Light, or have green hearts toward me or are flickering.

In all cases, love and thank the Creator for the created.

So now I am free to enjoy the Butterflies…not just the ones outside flying around but the ones I see all around me. Women who love God and serve Him and share Him with others.  Women who are far from Him.  I now refuse to be used against God and I choose love.  I do this because I love Him.

You can’t sow what you don’t know.  Now I am ready to teach my children how to appreciate how God uniquely created them and others to reflect His Son. I’m glad I have this stone of remembrance that I can visit the next time I am tempted to look at others and not the Author and Perfecter of my Faith-Jesus Christ.

What about you? Do you appreciate the gifts, talents, creativity of others or do you let insecurities keep you from appreciating them limiting your ability to glorify God?

I’m praying for you dear reader. If you do not know our Creator, I pray He will draw you to Himself and open your eyes to see His glory and give you a new heart and put His Spirit inside you. I pray He will surround you with saints in Light that are loving you to Jesus Christ.

For my brethren I pray that we ‘may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that [we] will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” (Colossians 1:9-12)

Praying my daughter is a wise woman who fears the Lord and sees herself and others as God sees

“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25


A Dead Seed Blossoms

"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

As we bent down to check the progress of a newly planted seed I asked my 4 year old daughter, “do you know the seed must die before it can have fruit and blossom?”

Her responding question was simple, yet profound, “Why mommy? Why must it die?”

I paused. I exhaled, prayed and listened.  Then I whispered,

“Because only God can raise the dead. Only God can cause something beautiful to come from something dead.”

During her nap I retreated with my Father to soak in the lesson from this morning about a dead seed. His word confirms what I shared with my daughter:

“…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“For the love of Christ controls  us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. “John 12:24-26

It’s true.  It’s true of the seed God has created for plants, and it’s true of the seed of His other creation…people.

We must put ourselves on His altar and die before we can bear fruit. We do it once at rebirth and continue to present ourselves as living and holy sacrifices, acceptable to God each day. How do we do this? It can look different for each person but do not compare because it’s only for God’s purpose and for His viewing.

Search your own heart…

Have you put yourself on God’s altar? Does the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead live in you enabling you to bear much fruit? Do you care that others don’t see ‘your’ sacrifices?

I’m praying for us. Praying we have died with Jesus Christ and are living by faith through the power of Holy Spirit blossoming where He has placed us.

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  Romans 12:1

“But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.” 1 Corinthians 15:35-38

 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.” Romans 8:11


The Gift and Purpose of Friendship

I am content with the Portion of friendship God gave me…Jesus Christ!

A friend LOVES at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17)

Got friends? Even a better question: are you a friend to others? I must confess I have struggled with understanding the true meaning and purpose of friendship for a long time.  I struggled with the feeling that I was a bad friend.  Even worse than that, I struggled with jealousy and envy when I saw cliques or two close friends and it didn’t get better when I went on Facebook and I would see conversations or events I wasn’t invited to (I know pretty petty).  I wanted a close friendship so badly I would try to make people my friends, and when they didn’t respond in kind I was offended. I made friendship about me.  About my needs and wants and now I see I was wrong. This new revelation was given to me by God’s truth, cleansing me from a green spot in my heart and I feel free—I must sow what I know!

In 1 Samuel 18 there is a beautiful true story teaching us God’s gift and purpose of friendship through David and Jonathan.  David was a shepherd boy that had just killed Goliath with the strength of God.  King Saul was impressed by this young man and ‘did not let him return to his father’s house.’  Jonathan was the King’s son and according to tradition, would be the next heir to the throne but that was not God’s plan.  We see their first encounter in verse 1:

“Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.”

As I read this, I tell God, ‘Now that’s the kind of friendship I want.’  Then my eyes are opened:

Who knit the souls of David and Jonathan? God.

Where did this love for David come from? God.

What is the second commandment? “Love your neighbor as yourself”

I smile and my heart races! God is the creator of all things and has purpose in all things, and desires for me to have deep friendships too, and He helps me by giving me a command to love my neighbor as myself—just as Jonathan loved David as himself.

Then I see ‘my’ part, in the friendship: After God knitted their souls and gave Jonathan love for David, it was from this love that prompted Jonathan to “make a covenant’ with David:

“Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.  Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor including his sword and his bow and his belt.” (1 Samuel 18:3-4)

Aside for how personal these items were to Jonathan, I also see the symbolism of these items he freely gave:

  • Robe that was ‘on him’: His right to the throne (Here, take what I have, even my position)
  • Armor: He let down his defenses and was vulnerable, open, transparent (I choose to trust you with my heart and feelings)
  • Sword and bow, belt: He gives up weapons (I will not harm you)

When I read this true story, the Words of Jesus whisper into my heart:

Greater love has no one than this, man lay down his life for his friends…”

But how? How do I ‘lay down my life?’ Where does this sacrificial love come from?  Again, I am reminded: this love comes FROM God, the fruit of His Spirit.  The Spirit must come before the fruit for it to be genuine fruit, otherwise it will be artificial and I don’t want artificial fruit or friendship.  I ‘see’ the fellowship I have as a Christian is a gift from God for God.  God knitted the soul of Jonathan and David for His kingdom purposes. The knitting of my soul to another is for God’s kingdom and for His Namesake, it’s not about my needs and desires, it’s about serving His purposes!

  • As an individual I was created to glorify God
  • My marriage with my husband is to glorify God
  • My role as a Mother is to glorify God
  • Friendship with others is to glorify God

All for God by God! I feel the chains of jealousy and envy toward cliques and ‘best friends’ fall off me as I realize God ordained and allows those close friendships. Yes, I realize there are still mean people that are exclusive to others, but their behavior has no affect on my relationship and purpose with the Lord. In fact, I am called to love them no matter what!

Now instead of trying to add to my ‘friends list’ I’m going to surrender and allow the Lord to love through me and show me the friends He chooses at His appointed time.  He is the one who knits souls together, I should not force it.  I chose not to be envious of the relationships of others but to be content and present and obedient on what He has put before me…always remembering my neighbor is the person next to me.  Now, I am ready to teach my children about the gift and purpose of friendship!

What about you? Is your heart knit to the soul of someone? Do you love them as yourself?  Before we can have fellowship with others we must first start with God. He is the One that equips us to be a friend.

If you feel like you don’t have a friend I want you to know you can have at least One.  You can be a friend of God. He has made and fulfilled a covenant by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins so you can have fellowship with God.

Jesus laid down His life for me, and He did it for you.  He covers you with His Robe of righteousness allowing you to have access to God the Father!! He has given you His armor to stand firm against the schemes of the devil helping you to remain faithful. Jesus said, “you are My friend if you do what I command.”   Jesus strengthens me to be the friend I cannot be on my own through the power of His Holy Spirit.  I’m praying for you dear reader…

“…that [your] heart may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2-3)


My soul is like a weaned child within me

“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me” (Psalm 131:2)

Have you ever held a nursing child that is hungry? Their mouths open and close like baby birds moving their heads, striving to find the mother’s milk, never stopping or resting until they find it.  Have you ever seen a weaned child sleep on her mother’s chest? The child is still, peaceful—just resting, remaining, abiding. What a beautiful picture of what our walk with Jesus Christ can be if we just rest and abide in Him as He tells us in John 15:5. I know this truth, and I want this, but sometimes I am like a nursing child reaching, striving and not resting.  Again, struggling because I want to do BIG things for God, I want to ‘go up.’  Then I get a revelation…again.

I am doing BIG things for Him.  He has given me the role of a Mother.  He has given me instructions and tasks He has for me according to His perfect will.  I have the privilege as a Mother to fill my children with His love, making them wholehearted children with undivided hearts completely devoted to Him.  I have a calling. I have a mission…and I feel the deep sense of purpose as a Mother as never before.  I want to be present, available, flexible, teachable, moldable for God so He can love my children and others through me

In Judges 13:1-25 God confirms this new conviction He has given me. This is a true story about the parents of Samson, the one who began to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines. 

Samson’s Mother was visited by the angel of the LORD and was told she would give birth to a son (even though she was barren). 

  • He gave her instructions: “…be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing…and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb” (v.4-5)
  • He gave her a glimpse of the child’s role in God’s purpose/plan:for the boy shall be a Naziritie to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (v.5)
  • Her next step…She ‘told her husband’:Then the woman came and told her husband…” (v.6-7)
  • Then the husband Manoah prayed: “…O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.” (v.8)
  • God hears Manoah and the angel of God came again to the woman! (v.9)
  • She runs quickly to get her husband because he was not with her when the angel came a second time (v.9-10)
  • Manoah asks a direct question to the angel:Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and vocation?”(v.12)
  • The angel’s response:Let the woman pay attention to all that I said” (v.13)
My heart ponders the angel’s response to the question “…what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation” the response being:

Let the woman pay attention to all that I said.”

Wow!  Pay attention! Only a woman can carry a child in her womb by God’s grace and be called a Mother. Only a Mother can eat or drink the right things that will impact the growth of the baby in her womb.  This is by God’s design and purpose.  Pregnancy is a beautiful picture of God working in and through us for His good purpose but it does not end there.  In fact, there are plenty of Mothers that have not carried their child in the womb but they must also ‘pay attention’ to all that God has said, making sure she is eating and drinking the right things that will impact the spiritual growth of her child.

All of us Mothers need to be eating ‘every word that comes from the mouth of God’ and making sure our hearts are clean and we are ‘filled with the Spirit not drunk on wine.’ How else could we ‘pay attention?’ Out of the heart the mouth speaks—we have an opportunity everyday to see what is in the hearts of our children if we listen to them…and to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

I want to LISTEN to the desires in the hearts of my children and watch what they are interested in and how God has uniquely designed them.  I want to cultivate the garden of their souls, planting His seed in their hearts, pulling the weeds, and planting in every area so something else not of Him does not spring up.  By His grace I can do this. By His grace alone, I am learning to be content with the portion He gave me. By His grace I will keep my eyes fixed on Him, the Author and Perfecter of faith. 

What an honor to pray my children into His kingdom.  To love them into His Kingdom.  To help them learn to hear His voice and help them be lights in this world wherever He sends them. What a purpose I have in God’s plan! This realization and revelation causes my soul to rest. I do not desire to be anywhere but where He has me and I consider that His grace. I am thankful I can re-read this post and reflect on this stone of remembrance for those days I ‘forget’ my calling as a Mother.

What about you? Are you resting? Do you see your purpose as a parent in God’s plan to love your children into the kingdom? To listen and pay attention to all He tells you?  If you are not a parent yet, are you preparing your heart now by drawing near to the One who will help you raise them?

I’m praying for you dear reader…

“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:18-23)


A vow made. A vow kept.

A vow made...

Imagine taking a trip to offer a sacrifice and pay vows to the Lord your God–a trip you took every year and one day you don’t go…that is what a woman named Hannah did:

“Then Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, ‘I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him that he may appear before the LORD and stay there forever.’” 1 Samuel 1:21-22

Why did she stay back? Hannah had remembered her vow to God.  She had a deep sense of commitment to remain back to begin to honor the vow she took, to fulfill her role, and to do the task at hand—feed her baby the milk God supplied…and she would not go up until her son was weaned.

As a mother I read this and so many convictions and areas needing refinement in me are exposed.

Before I was a surrendered Christian yielded to the Holy Spirit, and before my new undivided heart I was divided and pulled many directions…always feeling the draw to “go” to a different type of “up.” For me, it was “up” the ladder of what the world would call ‘success.’ In the minds of many, I had “made it” and even after having my children I had been encouraged to keep going “up.” What was my encouragement, my treasure? Money, accolades, pride, selfishness, pleasing man, the desires of the world. I thought if I “go up” by the world’s standards I would give my children a better life.

Our first born son...

Now that I am a committed Christian wife and mommy I STILL feel the pull and temptation to “go up” where others may go. This time the “go up” is about serving God. Today the many things that pull or tempt me to “go up” include: the feeling of missing out, wanting to be involved, selfishness, pleasing others, and pride (yup that’s still there).

I struggle a lot with a different sense of “missing out.” Instead of missing out on what the world offers I struggle with missing out on the impact I can do for God if I’m not involved in all these different ministries–I can fall into the trap of trying to make an impact for God’s kingdom in my own strength, forgetting it is He who works in me both to will and to work for His good pleasure, and forgetting the vow I took as a child of God, wife and mommy.

Then I read about Hannah.  A committed woman…to God, to her husband, and to her son.  A woman who has not forgotten her vow but fulfills it.  Only until her son was weaned would she go up…and not only would she go up but she would give God a huge sacrifice: her first born son.  She did not sacrifice him by death but by His life—dedicating him to God causing her to see her son only once a year.  This was a son she wanted but could never have because of a closed womb.  A son she wept bitterly for as she spoke to God in her heart and poured out her soul before the LORD asking God to remember her.  She made a vow she would give her child to the LORD “all the days of his life…” When it was time to fulfill that vow she does not give begrudgingly but praises God and gives to Him from a heart of gratitude!

Praying we keep the vow to raise our children to love God...

I can remember asking God for a child. He remembered me. I have been given three (one is with Him). Today I give my children a different type of milk–the purity of His Word.  My husband and I have dedicated our children to God, remembering they are gifts from Him…there will be a day when they will be weaned, and begin to eat solid food—by His mercy and grace they will grow by His daily Bread; By His mercy and grace they will begin to feed themselves and live by every Word out of the mouth of God.

I pray I don’t give in to the temptation to “go up” or anywhere for that matter, until they are weaned…until God directs me.

God remembered me. I pray I always remember Him, and fulfill the vow I made to raise my children to love and know Him. I pray, I’ll always remember, they are God’s little lambs and my husband and I are stewards and shepherds following the direction of the Great Shepherd.

I pray I never forget the reason none of us have to take a ‘yearly’ trip to make a sacrifice for our sins because: It. Is. Finished. Jesus has died on the cross for our sins and has made the final sacrifice (*Hebrews 10:10-14). And that’s not all…Jesus rose from the dead on the third day and is alive, and today His Spirit lives in me helping me to keep the vow I took as a child of God, wife, and mother.

Whether your children are from your womb, adopted, or foster you too probably prayed to God for these precious gifts we call children.  I pray we have thankful hearts bringing them before the Lord daily.  I pray they will stay with God loving and worshiping Him forever.

*Don’t take my commentary for it~Be blessed and feed yourself by reading 1 Samuel 1:1-28; 1 Samuel 2:1-21 tell me what God shows you…


Begin with the ‘End’ in mind…

“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 3:24-25

I just finished reading Ecclesiastes! It took me three months to read those 12 chapters because I felt the Lord impress upon me to read it again and this time to put the last two verses of the book in context with every other verse.  What are the last two verses?

 “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

What pops out: Fear God. Keep His commandments. God sees me all the time and will bring every act to judgment.

What I hear God say is this:

  • Fear God: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction” Proverbs 1:7
    • The word knowledge reminds me of what Jesus said about what eternal life is: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
  • Keep His commandments: Jesus reminds us of the two greatest commandments: “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
    • Jesus also said, “If you love me you will keep My commandments.”John 14:15
  • God sees me all the time:And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:13

I say these truths to myself again:

  • Fear God and He will reveal more of who He is and I will experience a relationship with Him by knowing Him.
  • If I truly do love Him I will keep His commandments.  His commandments can be reduced to two: loving Him with all my heart, soul and mind and love my neighbor.
  • God sees me all the time and will bring every act to judgment.

These are the truths I meditated on all day….

“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” Revelation 3:3

Maybe it’s because I was meditating on these Truths that I acted the way I did the other night when our electricity went out. I heard noises outside when all of a sudden the lights in the house went out.  My daughter begins to cry and I say to myself… ‘this is it’ and I go downstairs in the pitch dark grappling around to get my children and gather them upstairs with my husband.

Moments after we get to our room the lights go on and I see my husband’s look of confusion.  He was wondering what I thought the sound was and why I was bringing the children…because it was just a thunderstorm coming….I laugh and smile.

Later I told Him I didn’t know if it was a thief trying to break in or Jesus coming like a ‘thief in the night’ but either way, if at all possible I wanted our family to be together.  If it was a thief, then as a family we will share the gospel with the thief and trust in the Lord Jesus to protect us. And if it was the King of Glory coming down I was hoping we could go together.

I try to begin with the End in mind daily…Jesus Christ is the Beginning and the End.

I am expectedly waiting for my Savior Jesus Christ to return, I have this deep sense of urgency to tell others about Him.

The sweet lambs God entrusted us to impress His commandments

As a mother I have a deep sense of urgency to “impress” His commandments on their hearts not just so they can join my husband and I in heaven but so they too can KNOW Jesus and experience eternal life now and receive the power of the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses with urgency to tell others…my prayer is that He will draw them and they will accomplish what they were created to do: to glorify God.

I am praying He will draw you and you will not deny Him but welcome Him and love Him with all your heart, mind, and soul. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ you begin with the ‘End’ in mind.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:10


The humble won’t stumble

I did it again…I fell into the snare of “self entitlement” and I didn’t even realize it until God showed me what I looked like through my little girl.

My 4-year-old daughter and I went on a ‘date’ but the excitement was crushed by her discontented and ungrateful spirit fueled by her attitude of self entitlement.  She felt she was ‘entitled’ to have many things I could not give her and she had to be disciplined.

When we came home I reflected on her behavior realizing she does not have the Holy Spirit in her to help to her obey, all the more reason I need God’s wisdom and discernment on how to discipline and train her.  Knowing my Father uses all things to sanctify me, to conform me to the image of my Savior Jesus Christ I asked God, “What are you trying to teach me through my daughter? I don’t whine and complain like that…do I?” Then my Father through the conviction of the Holy Spirit shows me:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45)

The other day when my husband went back to work I had an ‘opportunity’ to serve God by being my husband’s helpmate serving him in love. I stayed in bed. The next day God asked me to get up again—again I stayed in bed.  For one whole week God asks me and I disobeyed.  I chose to sleep instead of serve.

Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Matthew 8:20

Daily question: Will i sleep or serve?

The following week again God asks me to serve my husband and I begrudgingly rolled off my bed on my face and complained to God. “I am tired. My daughter got up several times last night. I have a cough, I deserve rest”…even as I write this my eyes fill with tears for talking to my Creator so disrespectfully.  Who do I think I am? I am the created not the creator! I get up and I serve my husband, not in love but in obligation and with much resentment.  Even though my husband had no idea, God did. God knows my thoughts and intentions and I was not pleasing to Him at all.  I was being disobedient, sinful, and haughty.

I go to my room and write to God telling Him what He already knows. I tell God I can’t hear His voice and I want the intimacy I usually have with Him. I wondered how could I have this great growth in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ one year ago, and today this moment be a forgetful hearer?  My loving God responds though James 4:6-10:

“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”

His living and active Word slices through my pride revealing my thoughts and intentions of the past two weeks and I fall to my face and mourn and weep.  By God’s merciful grace I am sorrowful.

I ‘see’ how this happened, I chose not to “remain” or “abide” in my Jesus Christ—I went away from Him…a slow drifting tide drowning me in deep waters.

I had been exhausted because I had been staying up late doing wasteful things; my time alone with Him seemed to be shorter, I began meditating on the things of this world and not His Word. I took my eyes off of Him and put them on others, and on myself.  I was disobedient and prideful doing things in my own strength, falling into the thorns and snare of “self entitlement” choking the growth of His Word that was sown each day.  I needed to ditch the self entitlement attitude.  I needed to humble myself under the mighty hand of God. I needed to get low and stay there.

After my confession, I receive His forgiveness and cleansing and He knows I am ready to listen and obey Him. He takes me to John 13 where Jesus Christ washes the feet of His disciples.  I read and ask Him questions.

After reading the Bible I listen to a recent sermon from Pastor John Piper titledFor His sake and for your joy go low” I felt like John Piper was talking to me, in fact he even used the word ‘begrudgingly’! His preaching “just so happened” to be out of John 13 and confirmed what God had been teaching me that morning.  I didn’t get to finish listening because God gave me an opportunity to serve, this time my daughter.  After we eat breakfast I grab the Bible to read to my daughter when my 6-year-old son joins us.  Just as I was going to tell them where we would read he interrupts,

“Mommy, can you read John 13:3…it’s good, I haven’t read it”

It didn’t hit me yet, I thought it was cute he was making up verses to read until I open and read…of course it “just so happened” to be the same place I was in alone with God…so what did God have to tell me?

“Jesus, knowing the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God,” John 13:3

  • Jesus knew God the Father had given Him all things
  • Jesus had come forth from God: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Jesus ‘came forth’ He was not created. I was created—Jesus was not. He is God.
  • Jesus knew He was going back to God
So Jesus, the Word made flesh, God made flesh, had “come forth” from God.  He always existed, He is the beginning and the end; all things had been given to Him and He knew He would return to God in heaven and how does Jesus act with all this “entitlement”? I see in verse 4
  • …got up from supper;
  • …laid aside His garments;
  • …and taking a towel, He girded Himself…

Why?

“..to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (v5)

He humbled Himself.

Like many times before, my loving Father used my children to show me what I looked like but also He used them to wash my feet with His Word. I am so thankful.

The humble won’t stumble because they will already be on their face fully surrendered.  The days I literally humble myself and roll off the bed on my face to worship the Lord and surrender my agenda, telling Him as I told Him the first day of my walk, “I will serve you Lord, I will pick up my cross and follow you”—those are the days I hear Him.  Those are the days I listen and obey Him.

The days I stand up and forget to acknowledge Him I stumble and fall.  I say acknowledge Him because He is always there…as I read earlier journal entries before this fall I see God had warned me through my daily readings of His Word:

 “Do not love sleep or you will become poor. Open your eyes and you will be satisfied with food.”
Proverbs 20:13

 “…he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come forth from the presence of the Lord”           Acts 3:19

One more thing that ‘just so happened’…the day my daughter and I were on our ‘date’ she asked to buy a book, you’ll never guess which one:

Jesus washes Peter’s feet from John 13

I’m so thankful to know the true living God.  I’m thankful to know He speaks through His Word (the Bible), people (even little ones like my children), and circumstances and there are no such things as “just so happen” or “coincidences” because every decision is from the Lord.

Thank you Lord for washing my feet with your Word, cleansing my filthy sin and unrighteousness.  Thank you God that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Help me to remain in Christ Jesus always walking according to Your Spirit. Thank you for loving me so much to refine and discipline me and bring me back to my first Love.  Help me to deny myself. Die to self. Take up my cross and follow Jesus’ I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

I am praying Philippians 2:5-8 for you and I…

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Philippians 2:5-8:

 


Teachable moment on God’s Love

My journal entry dated Summer 2010
 
 
The other day we were at a friend’s house when my 3-year-old little girl tried to play with two other older girls, but they closed the door and didn’t let her in.  My daughter came running to me with tears in her eyes saying, “Mommy they won’t share and they don’t want to play with me…” I must admit I am ashamed of my immediate reaction which was of my natural flesh fueled by hurt and sadness for my daughter.  I know what it’s like to see cliques of people enjoying each others’ company and not welcoming you to join them.  Unfortunately I have plenty of journal entries crying out to God about this hurt and rejection…it is from this hurt I initially responded:
 

I whispered in her ear, “Its OK we will go to the pool later and play with two other little girls.”

 
 

Instead of giving my daughter the ‘Bread of Life’ I gave her the dust of the world leaving her heart empty of God’s Word and thirsty for His Holy Spirit.  I took an easy road, giving her an opportunity to put her hope and happiness in a person or circumstance and not in Jesus Christ.  My daughter then said to the two girls, in a very bragging (unloving) tone, “We’re going to the pool and you can’t come!”  Only then was I convicted and repented and sought God’s forgiveness for not ‘diligently teaching’ her His Word.  After this confession and cleansing, I allowed myself to listen and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit…He who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.” Proverbs 17:9

 
 

The brown eyes I must diligently teach about Him

I bent down on my knees, looked into her big brown eyes and told her, “God loves you, and God loves those little girls who hurt your feelings.” I asked her a question.  “What are the two greatest commandments?” And her little voice replied with hand gestures to go with each word, “love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  Yes! My next step as her mother was to teach her ‘How’?  How can you love someone when they hurt you? How Mommy?

 

 I told her we can pray right now and ask God to give us the grace to forgive them and to love them.  We prayed right there, we prayed for the little girls that hurt her, and we prayed for ourselves…we prayed Matthew 22:37-39 and we asked for God’s grace to forgive and love the Way He commanded us to love. After prayer, my daughter immediately changed her behavior and invited them to the pool.  Before we left, one of the little girls asked me, “You’re already teaching her Scripture?  But she’s so little…”  I smiled and told her,

“Even infants in their Mommy’s tummy are at the perfect age to learn about God’s love!  Yes, my daughter like you IS little and Jesus says, in Matthew 19:14 let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

 Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, anyone around children meditate on this:

…the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Wow! God gave us an example through children to show us what heirs of the kingdom of heaven can look like!  Also, what a responsibility not to hinder them from coming to Jesus! Those little eyes are watching us.  They are watching to see if we ‘do’ what we teach them.  Consider our Great Teacher, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–what did He do?  He humbled Himself…He even washed the feet of the disciples….all 12 of them!  Yes, even Judas Iscariot, the one He knew that was going to betray Him.  When Jesus had finished washing their feet He asked:

 

“Do you understand what I have done for you?”

You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

John 13:12-17

 

Jesus washes His Disciples' feet...so should we

If my Lord and Savior, the Son of God can humble Himself and wash the feet of someone He knew was going to betray Him (Judas) and those that would deny Him (the rest of the disciples), who am I to not humble myself to love those who hurt me? My actions will show whether or not I truly ‘understand’ what Jesus has done for me.  My little children are His lambs.  I’ve been entrusted to teach them His Word diligently by reading the Bible to them and showing them how to walk His truth out.  I am thankful His Holy Spirit helps me to teach my children by bringing to remembrance His Word every teachable moment opportunity! I’m so thankful that I listened and obeyed….this time.

Father, help us to seize each moment to teach children diligently about Your commandments and the Way (Jesus) to obey Your commandments through the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Thank you for this opportunity to teach and relearn about love and forgiveness.

 
 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

1 John 4:7-11


%d bloggers like this: