Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I learned something interesting about the gift God gave us this time of the year. Sending His Son to fulfill prophecy was enough, but He didn’t stop there. Sending His Son so that we could find forgiveness was enough, but He didn’t stop there. Putting all of our sin on His Son so that He would nail it to the cross was definitely enough, but He didn’t stop there. God came to the place of being human for another thing, so that we would never be alone, so that we could be who God created us to be, so that we would always have someone to go to, so that WE would have someone there through the calm and through the storm, so that we would not walk in fear or doubt, and He didn’t stop there either. God is not finished with His reasons for coming. He won’t stop either, not until it is completely finished in each one of us. EACH. That’s all of us. He wants to complete each and every one of us. And, He has given us all we need to be all He created us to be. He continues to work in us until we go home to Him. His work is not finished in us until that moment, the moment we are made complete. When is that? The moment we are finished here on earth, then we are made complete. It is a gift we do not have to repay, in fact, it is a gift we cannot repay. It is a gift with no strings attached. It is a free gift that only asks one thing of us – but it will cost us everything. That’s the glory of it though, although it will cost me everything, although it will cost you everything, it will set us free. This gift will do more for us in 1 day then all the gifts from a friend or loved one will give us in a lifetime. It doesn’t make sense. It goes against everything we know, everything we understand. That’s what makes it so great, this gift from God will do far more then we could ever imagine. WILL DO. This gift goes beyond the day we open it. This gift is life changing, don’t forget about it. Get the gift. It is yours for the taking. It is available to all who ask. It is the best gift you will ever open, trust me, or wait, trust Him. Open it. Receive the gift God offers you today. Don’t wait. Let the perfect gift come into your life and change you forever.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Since August

Wow, it's been a few months. I've attempted to write a couple times, but just either didn't have the time or didn't know what to say. Since August, much has changed, including the birth of my first grandchild. Brayden Maddox came into the world Sept 24. He is healthy and all are doing well. Since August, Brittani, Andy & Brayden all moved in. Cozy & crowded, but I like it :) Since August, my husband has been sticking around the house more, watching movies with us. Since August, my mom was in and out of the hospital again. Since August, my niece Ashley came out to visit and my nephew Thomas announced that he and his wife are expecting a baby. Since August, we had a great time on Thanksgiving with too much food, surrounded by family. Since August, someone got ahold of our debit card number and charged over 150 dollars worth of gas. Since August, the head gasket on my explorer died...

Hmm, right up to those last 2 (and my mom being in the hospital) it's all been stuff worth celebrating. So, I found myself wondering how to respond to the bank thing and the truck thing. It's frustrating. And, holds an uncertain future. But, at the same time, I have found myself thinking about the reality that through it all, God is still there. He still cares about me. He holds me close to Him and WILL get us through this. I don't understand why any of it happens, the good and the bad. But, God is still God. He is still worthy of praise. He will take care of our needs. Just because life still happens doesn't mean God doesn't care. And that is what I will hold onto- His promise, His word. I will continue to trust Him and I will still love Him.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Trying NOT to understand...

I’ve been trying to figure out what I could have done differently (as many parents do), like what I could have done to prevent my children from trying drugs; my sons from stealing; my son from being so angry; my son from leaving home and turning back to drinking and drugs; what would have helped all of them apply themselves more; what I will do with my youngest; how I could be a better parent, wife. I could go on. It’s not regretting things, it’s more then that. It’s trying to figure out how I could have done things better. How I could have done more, even what I shouldn’t have done. See, most recently it’s really been “in my face.” Having one child take to the streets is hard. I find myself wondering if I’d do the same thing if it were one of my other kids, wondering if it’s what God really wants me to do.

And then it hits me, although even in this next thought I question myself. I realize I am trying to save my kids. Not just from making mistakes, I know they aren’t perfect. I want them to just believe what I say, but then, that makes it more about me and me being right. It’s not about me and I can't save them. And, then I have to believe that although there are things I could have, should have, done differently, I can’t go back. All I can do is let them know I messed up; let them know that even though things could have been better, they still have a choice to make. And, hold on to the fact that just because it never was done “that” way before, things change. And we all learn along the way. And we have a choice to make, a choice to either focus on the things we messed up on, the things that were done wrong, even argue about how I, as a parent, don’t do things the same with each kid or even how what I did before isn’t how I want it done now. But, this choice pattern will keep us in the past, defeating any effort we give to better.

The other choice is to realize that no one can save us, NO ONE. We can’t save ourselves; our best friend can’t save us; our spouse cannot save us; our parents can’t either. There is only 1 choice to make and that choice is to choose life. But, how do we do that? How do we move forward choosing to make the best of things? The only way I know, no, the only way period is to choose to let go and surrender my life to Christ. It’s not easy. The problems WON’T go away overnight, some may never leave. BUT He CAN save me. He CAN save my kids. He CAN save you. And, although it doesn’t always make sense, although I still question things and wonder if what I am doing is right and even cry out to Him when I know what I did was wrong, He is the answer. My older brother has said it for years, I’ve said it before too but it’s worth repeating-Life demands an answer, God is it. But, letting God be the boss of my life has to be just that, my life. I can’t “try it for a week” and say it isn’t working. I can’t even try it for a year and decide it's not working. See, it’s got to be all or nothing. Hmm, I’m answering myself as I type this. See, if I decide right now that trusting God with all this confusion just is no longer worth it and I just do it my way (which believe me, my way would change day to day), well, it would just make a bigger mess. My way is emotionally and circumstantially based. I don’t want that seesaw adventure. I want to know that no matter how confusing it gets, no matter how hard it seems, no matter how scary it appears, no matter what, I can trust in God, who NEVER changes, who is ALWAYS there, who is simply waiting for me to call out to Him and then wait for HIS answer in HIS timing. Which brings me to this - There are times I wish life made more sense. But I guess if it always did, I wouldn’t need to trust God. Isa 55:8-9

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Marriage

After watching my parents this last week, I’d have to say a very critical part of staying married is just that, staying married. And, putting up with each others flaws. Not ignoring them like they don’t exist, but learning how to live with differences. We are not created equal. There WILL be things that others do that bother us or we wish were different. When you live day to day with some of those issues, you MUST make the choice to look past a LOT of things. One other thing. My dad is what I like to call an “introvert” romantic. Meaning he doesn’t express things all the time. Its why it became important for my mom to pay attention to the things he did that showed he loved her. One time that really stands out is when my mom was in the hospital. Starting with the time he talked to her right as she was admitted, he told her he loved her. Then, despite his own health issues, he insisted on visiting, bringing flowers the 1st visit. And last, knowing she would be coming home, he made sure the air conditioner was on-see, my dad would rather not have it on, ever. They will celebrate 46 years this August and in this last week, I have learned a great deal from them. Despite their differences and times where they got on each others nerves, they still love each other.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is in response to a conversation I read on FaceBook between people I know and love.

They’re just words, right?

Freedom of speech! I should be able to say what ever I want whenever I want, right?

Well, it depends. From here forward, I write this to those who call themselves Christians. Why? Not to single anyone out because what I am writing is good for everyone. But, those who do not profess to be Christians aren’t held to what I am about to say.

They are just words, words that when you look them up in the dictionary mean pretty much not bad things. For example, the “sh” word as it is commonly referred to really does mean poop. And, in some countries, its what they say; it’s not considered cussing. The f-word, well, it means intercourse. So, they really are just words. Lets also take into consideration that even if my words aren’t “cuss” words it doesn’t make it OK to just say whatever, like calling someone names or insulting ones intelligence. The Bible is very clear as to how our speech should be. Proverbs alone is filled with verses about the tongue and the power it has. The bible speaks of how we should sing praises to God, last I checked, David never penned the f-word or insults in the Psalms.

The following verses are just a few that really stand out…

Psalms 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ephesians 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. Matthew 12:36-37 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." 1 Peter 3:10 For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Psalms 119:172 May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death

Hmmm, gotta wonder if the conversation that was had meets any of the above.

Lets move to argument number 2 – Freedom of speech. I dealt with this one some time ago, and here is what I came up with. Let me just add that if my “freedom of speech” goes against someone’s rules or breaks a law, is it still defendable by freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech is the right to express opinions freely without interference.

interference: something that interferes.

interferes: To be or create a hindrance or obstacle

hindrance: to cause delay, interruption, or difficulty in

What freedom is there in speaking freely if what I freely speak brings death? hurt? judgment? hate? rudeness? disrespect? Couldn’t that provoke the other person to "freely" speak back? If I speak whatever I want, could I actually be interfering? Or creating an obstacle?

True freedom is that which brings forth life, more freedom, liberty, truth, order, edification. Freedom cannot exist along side death and hate.

I am not taking sides or saying that all parties were wrong. I am simply stating a truth that so often gets ignored. I deal with this “freedom of speech” regularly in my own home. I am NOT in any way trying to say I never say things I shouldn’t or even that I do not cuss. But, what I am saying is that we too often focus on whose right or whose wrong instead of going to the Word to see what God says. We justify our position. We say “this is who I am so deal with it.” We insult other people, calling them children, or idiots. And we do it over emotionless & expressionless facebook, or texting. Truth is even people reading this won’t see my emotion or hear it in my voice as I type.

We are Christians. Little Christ’s. Called that because we are SUPPOSED to look like Jesus and do what He did. He chose His words wisely. He only became angry when people were trashing His Father’s house. He forgave. He loved, unconditionally. He wasn’t rude or self-seeking. And He tells us how to live. He tells us to love one another. It is put very plainly in Colossians 3 - Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Let us be the light we are supposed to be. Let us wear the name Christian because we really look like Jesus…

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wow, moving up!

OK, last entry I added a badge. This time I added another blog to this one. It's my book review page. Click on it and review the latest book I have read. By the way, did I mention I got the latest book for free? Yep, from BookSneeze. It's a great way to get good books.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dont laugh

OK, for the most part, I am rather "blog illiterate." Meaning I really don't know how to make all the creative things, add pictures, add badges, etc. I pretty much just do basic stuff, until today. I just learned how to add a badge! I know, pretty exciting stuff. :) but, it is pretty cool to learn things. And, this one? Well, it's a site where if you agree to review a book, they will send you one for free. Yep, that's it. Sign up and agree to do book reviews on your blog site and they will send you a book to read & review. Missed the one I actually signed up for, but I bought it from another site :). I enjoy reading and am really looking forward to writing reviews of the books I have read. It also gives me another reason to blog.

That said, today my oldest daughter will be going to her 1st doctor appointment for her baby. I get to tag along :) It is still crazy to think I have a son-in-law and that I will be a grandma. I have been enjoying their company as they have been over for dinner several times since getting married (which is OK by me!). My youngest enjoys it too and is already asking when they are coming over today.

On another side note, I am looking to figure out a way to tell my story. Why? because everyone has a story to tell and I believe everyone has a story to hear. And, because I never tell anyone anything unless it's obvious, although even then I don't give all the details. I don't think I need to "air my laundry" and I believe some things are meant to be shared between only a few. I just really think if we were all more willing to be honest (not to a hurtful way), we would all be better off, after all, we learn from each other.

OK, i'm off...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

just a thought, or two

or none...

Home/public/private school. Raising children. Letting them go. Loving through the good and bad. Staying married. what do these 5 things have in common? None of them are accomplished through a step-by-step program :) yet, people do this all the time. How do you know how to do it? How do we work together to make these things all work out? Each child is different. Each marriage is different. Each person is different. So how do you know exactly what to do? How do you know what's best?

sometimes I wish the answers were written down so clear that all you had to do was follow the rule and there ya go...there's so much more to it though. and, lets not forget what the mind will do to whatever decision you make anyway...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Life passes you by

A friend of mines daughter posted this on her page "i'll blink, and be thirty-then blink, and be dead." She's 21. I was 21 when I got married and when I got pregnant. 21 years ago. Now, my 1st born is getting married and having a baby of her own. How did that happen? Is there a slow mode anywhere? This same friend made a comment to me the other day about how when she lived in Missouri life was a little slower and being back in California for a VERY short time she already feels the pull to go go go. Sometimes I feel like life has gotten so far away from me that i don't know how to get it back. You know what I mean? Like how do you get done what needs to get done, do what you need to do and get it all done? I move piles from one place to the next, like just today. I cleaned my counters in my kitchen, which included a pile of papers (important papers). guess where they went? my table... If I clean my table, guess where the paper pile will go? my counter...and so it goes.

Back to my original thought. It has been a busy year. My 2 boys finished high school (early) and 1 has started 2 classes at our local college while the other is waiting to see if he can get in. I have been trying to figure out how to get organized (again) and get control of our finances (again). My uncle is moving out of his house, which I have been trying to help with (although not very helpful). and, I started volunteering at the church I attend. and I'm trying to be more consistent in my "listening" time (that's a whole other entry) This seems so basic, like nothing over the top, but for some reason, I just can't seem to get it all done. And I often struggle with what is a priority. And, I want to read more, want to respond to what I do read (when it's on the net) and post more about books and movies and life and... oh, did I mention I still homeschool my youngest?

And then I find myself so wanting to do more. And now I'm going to be a grandma - which I am very excited about. But, it is the reality of my title - Life passes you by. I think it would help if I had places to put things or someone who could come in and help get it all done (I have a HUGE tendency of not finishing). and then, maybe then I could take the time to stop, and listen...