Friday, January 1, 2010

Of Syrup and Monkey Paws:

Fun things heard around our house within 20 minutes:


"Daddy! Look at the syrup!"

"Don't lick the syrup off the floor!"

"He put his monkey paw in it!"

"I just washed those costumes today and they are dirty again..."

"AACK! He turned off my computer! And changed my task manager!"


"Whoever designed public bathrooms doesn't have kids! What am I supposed to do, blow dry my kid's runny nose??!"

The Heart That Sees (part 3)

This will be short and simple. I love to watch “18 Kids and Counting” and in a fairly recent episode about an ice storm, JimBob Duggar, the Patriarch of the family, mentioned that the kids were looking to him to see what kind of response he would have to destruction around their property. He spoke of how important it was to have a “right response” because your kids are always watching and listening to you.

That really hit home with me – esp. as a wife and a mom to impressionable children. If my heart and spirit is not rooted in Him, I’m just not right. If I allow myself to get bent out of shape about the trials I have in life, my family sees that. They don’t see Christ in a big mess like that. My words and actions come out all wrong and the next thing I know, the kiddos are imitating me and I’m not building my family up. Yes, I’m “human,” but I want to be like Christ. I want to point my kids, and others in my life, towards Him. Imitators of my Lord and Savior! How can I possibly do that if I don’t root myself in His word about how to properly conduct my life and myself? I can’t. Things of this earth are temporary and should NOT have such a hold over me. My response means a lot.

My current pastor preached about this earlier in the year. It was both convicting and encouraging at the same time! He stated that sometimes when we pray to become better Christians, spouses, parents and such, we tend to go through more trials. It shows us our weaknesses, causes us to depend upon Him and matures/strengthens us at the same time. Trials refine us. Instead of running away and/or pitchin’ a fit, I’d rather heed His call and seek His guidance. I’d rather have a right response.

The Heart That Sees (Part 2)

This second part came to me this morning. Lately, there has been a fair amount of things in my life that have been troubling me. From family, to finances, to… well, just about everything seems to have some kind of problem. L  The thing is, I know that I can’t sit around and have a pity party all day long. What kind of faith does that show? What does that say about my life (and ministry) as a Christian woman, wife, mom, friend, etc.?

My former pastor Rev. Pitts used to say something to the effect of “you can have your pity party for 5 minutes and then you have to move on!” That’s true. Although, lately, I’m beginning to think that it should probably be even shorter than that! Why get my blood pressure high and my face tight over such things? When I think about all of the times that God has delivered me from situations (some much worse, some seemingly mundane), I can barely count them all! I’m excited now – just typing about it!!! Yes, I have problems, but they aren’t anything that He can’t handle. Would I like all of my problems solved ASAP? Of course! Who wouldn’t? However, I know by now that the answer is in His timing and it is perfect. Yes, no, or wait. Whatever happens, I know that I will be okay. I know that my family will be okay. Tears may stream for a minute, but they need to be quickly replaced by that joy and peace that He (and only HE!) provides!

Plus, I realize that I need to get off my duff and do something! He didn’t call me to sit around twiddling my thumbs. Opening my home; ministering to others; stepping outside my comfort zone in some other areas… all are about to take place. I will try my best to not do it grudgingly, although I acknowledge that I may slip for a minute. However, I will turn to His face and think about His love for me. I will think of how He is preparing me for other things. I will think of how He may be using that situation to minister to others. I will have a happy heart. I will have a happy face and I will have joy.

"And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!” ~Luke 12:25-28

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”~Phil. 4:4-9

The Heart That Sees (Part 1)

This particular entry was one that crossed my mind a couple of weeks ago. However, I have since thought of a few more ways to look at my title. Here goes:

The Father’s Heart and My Heart: While contemplating the festivities of Christmas, I happened to see part of a "Dr. Oz" show about stress triggers and how those closest to you are “hard-wired” to do it. I also read a blog by Dr. Russell Moore that was both convicting and humorous. J

Why and I writing about this? Normally, I like to ask God to help me see others as He does. Not through my rose-colored glasses of past wrongs and preconceived notions, but through His eyes and with His heart. To look past what is supposedly on the surface to see the person underneath. No, I’m not trying to be Oprah or Dr. Phil, but I believe that once I pray that prayer, I tend to soften a little. My tone, my speech, my mannerisms – my overall attitude. Patience that was once shot is restored ten-fold. A quasi-sarcastic tone becomes a welcoming one. Arms once folded become open. I want them to see the love of Christ in me. If I don’t seek to have my pride and other selfish things stripped away daily (if not minute-by-minute), I’m not always a pleasant individual – just ask those closest to me. J

Life is short. Why not try to have some real peace, joy and happiness? Not only for you, but also for those around you?

It is because of Him, that I can. That we all can. Not that there won’t be pain, stress and such. It happens. Instead of letting it turn you into a year-round Grinch with a too-small heart, why not learn from it? Grow from it. Let your heart expand and mature with His grace. Try it… you’ll like it.