Friday, June 22, 2012

When your child has one of those moments!

I think my next few blogs will be on what Freedom really looks like!  Not that I have it all together and not that I still don't have more to learn because I do but what God has taught me so far has set this sister free!!

Here I am outside with three of my kids just hanging out with them playing a game, when an old friend out of the blue stops by.  She is the mom of a friend both my husband I grew up with and I haven't seen her in about 7 years. 

It was exciting to see her, we made small talk catching each other up with what is going on in both of our lives when my one of my daugther's had a moment!  If you are a mother, you know exactly what kind of moment I'm talking about!  When your kids decides to do something totally out of control and there is nothing at that moment you can do! It wasn't as bad as it sounds but it still was one of the moments that if you cared about what other's thought you would want to crawl under your bed and stay there!

For some strange reason, Marcia ran in the house for something.Iinstead of coming back outside, she decided to climb up on the ledge and swing from the storm door inside the house. As she is swinging back and forth I hear my friend's mom say, "oh my!"  Hoping Marcia would stop she continues to swing back and forth calling my name!  By this time she jumps down and as she jumps down our dog, who is not small by any means, decided to HUMP HER!  Marcia is screaming HELP ME MOM!!!

Here is where FREEDOM comes in.  If I cared or was more focused on pleasing people, impressing them or concerned what other's thought I would of been furious!  Anyone who is mom or dad knows that Kids make mistakes.  I know Marcia and this girl is on fire for Jesus at 6 years old, loves life and has a heart that is humongous!  If you don't really know her than you miss out on knowing one beautiful girl. However, she is not perfect and keeps me humble and life interesting. I just thought God is this what you do when we screw up a million times everyday!  Do you sometimes just sit back and laugh.

As my friend left, I began walking in the house.  Marcia knew she was in trouble not for embarrassing me because honestly I didn't care what she thought.  I wanted her to know why we don't act like that, manners and be respectful.  She went to her room and came back later to ask for forgiveness.  She really meant it.  Of course I forgave her.  God has grace and mercy with us why wouldn't I show the same to my children.  I mess up everyday and I'm 37 years old!  She learned her lesson but it won't be the last one.  She's not perfect and I don't expect perfection.  In the grand of things, what she did was not horrible but it could of been if I was more focused on the opinions of others instead of teaching and loving my kids! 

FREEDOM:  My kids are not perfect and neither am I!  No longer does someone opinion of my family or myself define me or Who God says I am!!!  I know longer live to please man only GOD!  Yes, we will all mess up but when we ask for forgiveness God gives his grace and mercy!  We need to show the same to the children God has trusted us with!!!

Encouraging our kids to make a difference!

Yesterday, I read a story about a nine year old boy who learned about children in Africa who had become orphaned because of AIDS.  Instead of just hearing the story and going on with his life he decided and believed  he could do something to help. He had a "talent" that God could use.  On the World AIDS day this boy decided to shoot free throw.  HE shot 2,057 free throws to represent the 2,057  kids who would be oprhaned during his day at school.  People sponsored him and he was able to raise almost $3,000.  That year, the money was used by World Vision to provide hope to 8 orphan children. 

Since then, thousands of people have joined him in a basket ball shoot a thon called Hoops of Hope.  By doing something as simple as shooting fee throws, Hoops of Hope participants have raised over $500,000.  The children left behind by AIDS now have access to food, clothing, shelter, a new school and finally a medical testing facility. 

One boy who didn't listen to any adult who might have told him no.  He listened to the voice of God and made a huge impact on the world.  It reminds me of the parable in the Bible when Jesus feeds the five thousand with five loaves of bread and 2 fish.  His disciples who knew Jesus was the Son of God.  They witnessed Jesus do many miracles yet they still doubted and couldn't see the solution only the problem.  What does Jesus do?  He uses the bread and fish from a young boy in the crowd! 

God has called me to Home Educate our four children.  Our goals for our family are not just focused on Academic, but character, leadership skills and to be a fully devoted follower of Christ.  Sometimes,  parents forget the potential are kids have and the difference they can make right now.  It drives me nuts when our family wants to serve and volunteer but yet the organization will say put an age limit on who and when someone can help. Would Jesus say no? 

Begin believing in your kids.  Ask them how and what they would like to do to make a difference in the world. I want my kids to know they don't have to be head of some huge organization, pastor of a mega church, famous athlete or musician or well educated to be the hands and feet of Christ.  They don't have to start big they can start by doing something small in their own community.  Encourage your children to think beyond themselves.  It will make a difference in their life and your relationship with them!

The boy in the parable gave what he had and not only did Jesus feed over 5,000 people there was even 12 basketful of broken pieces that were left over.  The boy who started with just a basket ball and a hoop has saved millions of kids around the world.  What Jesus can do if we just give him what we have and say Yes!  It doesn't matter what are age we  might be...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Do we wait or do we Go?

I don't know about you but sometimes when reading the bible it causes me to have multiple personalities.  Of course I'm joking when I say that but this is the reason I say this.

God is calling each and everyone of us that is a Christ follower to serve and take care of the poor, the orphans and widows.  It's about loving our neighbor in our family, community and acorss the ocean on  the other side of the world.  We are the hands and feet of Christ.

As much as I want to run, serve and do so much for Jesus, I have to remember to wait on him. It's not what I want to do it's what and when he wants me to do it.  Do I go or do I wait?  What do I do first?  If you are in prayer and seeking God he will lead you. It won't mean we may not mess up but if we do, he will put us back on the right track. 

We are called to do something but then He tells us to wait!  I sometimes feel crazy or that song comes to my mind should I wait or should I go now!!!  The reason he tells us to wait and least he tells me because he knows the first ministry he has given me has to come first and that is my family. 

I have witnesses many awesome Christians who have the right intentions and are running after the things of God, wanting to help other's but then get their priorities mixed up.  I often wonder if it is really for God or for themselves.  I don't say that to be hurtful but the people God has first given us and trusted us with come first.  If you are a parent, then raising and training your kids should be your first priority.  Not that you can't serve and help others while being a mom or dad, but it's when the kids get pushed to the side and everything else comes before them. 
 " What Good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul." Mark 8:36 or stated differently what good is it for mom or dad to be in a ton of ministries, busy at church, working tons of hours, running after wordly possessions, looking for approval from man and sacrificing your relationship with your children?  Is it really worth it? 

I know God has called me to do more but in HIS time because the little ministry I have right here in my home may not seem much to the world but it is everything to God and to me.  I want my children to want to run after God not away and serve HIM in everyway possible. One way for that to happen is to take the time and raise them the way God inteneded and not put them aside on the back burners...They matter to God and they have to matter to us! 

But if you cause one of these little ones who trust in me to fall in sin, it would be better for you to be throuwn into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck. Mark 9:42

Our children have free will, but I will do what God is calling me to do and wait on him not getting to busy or forgetting his children he has blessed me with.  The last thing I want is to be the cause of my children running the oppostie way. 

Yes, we should serve and reach out but seeking God and what HE wants not what we want. At this moment I know God is calling me to more. But he is also pulling the brakes at the sametime preparing me for what is to come.  But I need to be obedient and not step out to soon becasue my family and our foundation in Christ is crusial.

Yes, we may feel a little crazy at times wanting to go but then knowing we have to wait but when we are truly seeking Jesus there will be no crazy just complete peace and my friend that is called FREEDOM!!!

Prepare and wait on God but once he says to Go you better get a move on!!!

Breaking our hearts for what breaks his

One of my missions as a mother, is to live a Godly example.  One of my prayes is to for God to continue to break my heart for what break his.  It's very easy to wrapped up in my own family, problems and even my own comfort, desires and wanting to please myself. 

As I read the parable in  Luke 16:19-21 about the beggar lazarus and a rich man.  I pray and ask God to not let me be the rich man.  If I am totally honest with myself at times I know I am.  See, the problem with the rich man was not that he abused Lazarus, he didn't beat him or mistreat him.  He simply ignored him, passing by him, day after day, with indifference.  I read in the book, "The whole in the Gospel" by Richard Stern, "his sin was not one of commission but of omission.  He knew, as the apostle James wrote, "the "good" he ought to have done, but he failed to do it. (James 4:17)

How many people do we know in our own community who need help.  How many peole do we see in the streets.  How many kids do we know are home all summer long with no food to eat?  How many people in our own community can't read or write? Who in our Church is crying for help but we don't want to see it.    Are we reaching out to our neighbors?  Do we even know our neighbors? Do they know Jesus or better yet do they see Jesus in you? Is our job to look the other way waiting for someone else to do the work or is Christ calling each one of us screaming I called you!  YOU are the answer! 

The same is true when I think of the parable the "Good Samaritian".  If I'm truly honest with myself, I am the priest and the Levite more than I am the good Samaritian.   Do I pass people everyday that could use a word of encouragement?   No, we can't take on the whole world oursevles but I know we at least I can do more.  But if each one of us every day made it a point to think beyone our circumstances to realize how blessed we are no matter what we are going through.  (Just living in America is a reason to be thankful ) and do something for someone else it can make a difference. Praying daily and asking God for his leadership,giving us ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart to serve.  Just by seeing someone for not what they are but for what they an be  is a step in the right direction.
 I know I would not be where I am today, if it wasn't for my family and a few people God brought in my life that believed in me and looked past all the mess and could see what I couldn't see... We can make a difference one person at a time and letting God to continue to break our hearts for what breaks his.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Will the Real Slim Daddy Please Stand Up!

Ok!  I have to admit the title is a bit cheezy!  I might of even used it in one of my past blogs and yes it tells my age too.  It's a song by M&M years ago! 

Today, Mark and I celebrate 14 years of marriage and with our anniversary and father's day on Sunday blogging about the men in our life seemed appropriate. 

Mark and I were talking just the other day about how important it is the closer we become to each other and Christ the deeper we need to get in his word becasue we have now become a threat to the enemy himself.  I know there are some new christians or non belivers that don't understand Satan and I understand becasue I use to think that was the craziest idea ever and that people just used the devil as an excuse. 

Satan attacks mark completly different than me.  Mark being the head of our household has pressure on him.  He is responsible for me and our 4 kids.  As much as Mark trust and belives in Jesus there are moments of doubt and insecurity that affects him and the rest of us.  The world begins to push on him and most men wanting them to believe they are not successful.  They begin to believe the lies that they  are failing becasue they may not make the money they feel they should be making or driving the car they dreamed of or their savings account seems to be dwindling or the house needs a ton of fixes ups but never have the time to do it.  The worries and uncertainity about the future begins to play in their minds.  The devil is screaming" YES, I have a foothold!!!"
They, He or even we get in the zone of focusing on ourselves or our family.  We begin to idolize the things of the world instead of God and his word. We begin to let believe what  the world says we need or should do and  begin to worry about stuff we shouldn't not even let entertain our minds. Jesus doesn't say anything about security or comfort.  He says the complete opposite. 

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, " I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nest, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head....

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. Luke 9:57-62)

All of us need to trust in Jesus and his ways. It doesn't mean it will be easy or glamours even though many churches are preaching and telling you a different message.  It will be risky and it will be worth it but my friend Satan knows that if he can take the dad out of the picture the whole family and society will begin to break apart. I'm not saying that single mom's or divorce families can't be used by God or that familes without a dad can't stay the course but it will be hard. In my opinion and many others, if you take a look at our society and our world the reason we are in the mess we are in is because of the missing dad and broken families.

I'm thankful Mark heard the call and so has many men I know including my own father  are stepping up and leaving the worldly ways behind and becoming the men God meant for them to be.  Yes, there will be times in all of our lives especially in our men when things get hard and temptation to give up will be there but at those times our Men need to be aware of what is really going on and be willing to fight with Christ on their side.  I'm thankful for the men that decided to stand up!  Please,  men we need more Christ  daddy's to please stand up! 

" Then he said to them all: "If anlyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses hi slife for me will save it.- Luke 9:23-24

The drunken and broken family down the street

These past few years as I grow closer to Christ my heart as been filled with more joy than I can express.  But at the sametime my heart aches and the pain of the world brings me to tears.  The brokeness of families, relationships, sickness, disease, not just in my own community but around the world.  I just want to scream there is Hope for all your troubles his name is Jesus. 

The other day mark and I were taking a walk in the evening.  It's our special time together and it makes it so nice that Makenna is now old enough to watch the kids so we can have some time to ourselves!  It's a new freedom that we are getting use to. 

As we were walking a car pulls up in front of a house and 2 boys in their twenties and 2 dad's jump out of the car.  You could tell they have been drinking and all kinds of words were flying.  There was so much hurt in the boys and dad's voice.  The boy screamed at his dad at how he hated him and was never there for him and said words that seriously brought tears to my eyes.  The dad, who was also hurt, yelled back and how his kids have never respected him.  They started pushing each other and the boy knocked down his dad. 

Of course, I couldn't sit back and do nothing.  I called the police and let them know what was going on and they sent an officer to check everything out.

The pain these men were holding on to.  I don't know there story or what they have been through.  But the brokeness in families even in my own breaks my heart.  If people could just wake up and know the answer is right in front of their eyes.  If dad's really knew how important they were to the lives of their children and wife.  If more men would stand up and fight for their families little by little not only would our communities be better but our world.

It's not something we can do on our own.  Their is no self-help book or pshycholigist that can cure it the only way relationships can begin to heal is having Jesus Christ at the center. It will not be easy and won't mean that things will always be peachy and rosie.  But we will know that we are unconditionally loved by God and won't have to try or search for it from anyone else. Forgiveness can then begin to take root. 

My heart ached for that family becasue I could relate to them at some point all of us can. There was a time getting drunk was fun and something Mark and I did.  But then there came a point it wasn't fun anymore and all the hurt I was feeling would come spewing out of my mouth to people I love because of my own brokeness.  We like to hide and pretend that everything is perfect. But there is so much hurt that people are hanging on to hoping to get approval or fighting for someone just to acknowledge or love them. Pride sets in and everyone wants to be right.    Instead of moving forward friendships and families move apart.  It's so sad because their is an answer.

I'm so thankful for God and for His grace and mercy.  Jesus Christ is the center of our family and I have witnessed the healing power of Jesus Christ.  It's not perfect and we still have growing and learning to do but I have hope that my family will not be broken not becasue of anything Mark and I have done but because of Jesus  and because of that we can be light to the world.  I pray that the curse has been broken and it can be broken in your family as well.  The only way is through HIM. 

Please click here, if you would like to follow!